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Today's Opinions

  • Flexibility exists for San Juan issues

    With respect to the San Juan Coal Fired Power Generating Station Vote in the County Council on Tuesday:

    1) We are told that we can’t get out from our ownership of San Juan until 2022.
    2) We are told it is smart to maintain our ownership to recover our $6 million bond outlay for the NOx abatement equipment to be installed.
    3) We are told we will have to pay our share of the expected forthcoming lawsuits whether in or out of the picture.
    Here is some background on all of these issues. Flexibility exists if we choose to take it. Going blindly ahead, we could be committing to much larger costs and here’s why:
    First, the removal of our ownership of San Juan was on the table. Here is how several California cities utilities did it. It is revealed in the document Entitled “City of Colton Electric Utility Department 2013 Integrated Resource Plan,” which can be found at ci.colton.ca.us/DocumentCenterView/1830:
    Here is a quote on page 17:
    “The California owners of Unit 4 (Anaheim and Modesto Irrigation District, Santa Clara and Redding or MSR) are trading their ownership in Unit 4 for capacity in Unit 3 so that when Unit 3 is decommissioned in 2017, they will have no remaining capacity in the project.”

  • Letter to the editor 7-24-15

    Time to compensate Downwinders

    Upon the 70th anniversary of the Trinity blast, we must not forget what has happened and continues to happen to the people of our state.
    Tina Cordova, Co-Founder of The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, along with other members, have recently met with Senator Tom Udall and Senator Martin Heinrich. “We were unknowing, unwilling, uncompensated taxpaying guinea pigs in the world’s largest science experiment” is how Cordova describes what happened to the people who were and continue to be affected by the radiation from The Trinity site test on July 16, 1945.
    The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) set up in 1990 to compensate people living downwind of the Nevada test site is long overdue in including the residents of New Mexico.
    Please contact your Congressmen/Congresswoman and let them know the amendments to RECA should be a priority for them in Washington. The Santa Fe New Mexican did an incredible job in their Five Part Series, “The Legacy of the Bomb, Trinity 70 years Later.”

  • ‘Looweeloowhy Onosay Ahway Gadow’

    I love all sorts of music.
    The world of music is like a buffet, and it’s fun to sample new dishes just to get a taste.
    I even like the taste of rap. Well, some of it. Most rap tastes like salted prunes dipped in Vegemite.
    The only two forms of music that I’ve never particularly liked are “country and western.”
    That nasal whining can ruin a good set of speakers, but there is one thing you can say about country music: when you listen to it, you know what’s being said.
    I love how Dennis Warner captured the true meaning of love in his song, “If my nose were full of nickels, I’d blow it all on you.”
    Or how about rockabilly’s legendary Johnny Burnette, who crooned out “You’re sixteen, you’re beautiful and you’re mine.” Did anyone ever ask him exactly how, at the age of 26, he knew her under-aged lips tasted like strawberry wine?
    Whatever one’s favorite music, it’s interesting to see how many people can enjoy a song without knowing what the song is about.
    The epitome of the enigmatic is, without a doubt, “Louie, Louie.”
    First sung by Richard Berry, it was later immortalized by The Kingsmen.

  • Thank You: A great ScienceFest celebration

    Los Alamos MainStreet, producer of ScienceFest, in collaboration with the Los Alamos Creative District and Los Alamos County, would like to thank everyone involved with the production of ScienceFest: The Secret City Unlocked.
    ScienceFest celebrates Los Alamos’ heritage with history and science-based events for the entire family. It is the signature event of Los Alamos County.
    Our goals were to showcase the remarkable science and technology community of Los Alamos while drawing people to the central business district and supporting a vibrant downtown. Our goals were realized by the programming produced and volume of attendees.
    We would especially like to thank our sponsors: New Mexico True — State Tourism Department, Los Alamos National Bank, Google, Los Alamos Medical Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Security, COMPA Industries, CHRISTUS Health Plan and Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation.
    We would also like to thank our partners: Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos Historical Society, Los Alamos Little Theatre, Buffalo Tours, Fuller Lodge Art Center, KRSN 1490 AM, Flowers by Gillian, Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op, Los Alamos Arts Council, Christian Science Society, Los Alamos Women in Science and Holiday Inn Express.

  • Unwanted pregnancies can be prevented

    Let’s stop unwanted pregnancies! Let’s stop abortions! Real progress has been achieved in Colorado.
    Recent articles in the New York Times, Santa Fe New Mexican and other publications have reported that the birthrate among teenagers in Colorado plummeted by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013 and teenage abortions dropped by 42 percent.
    There was a similar decline in births for another group of particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school.
    The changers were particularly pronounced in the poorest areas of the state where jobs are scarce and unplanned births come often to the young.
    These astonishing results were not the consequence of abstinence curricula, but rather an aggressive outreach program administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
    Using funds from a private grant provided by the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation (named for the billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s late wife), more than 30,000 long-lasting contraceptive devices, such as intrauterine device, known as IUDs, and contraceptive implants, were distributed at 68 family planning clinics across the state.

  • A sense of duty

    A Boy Scout takes an oath to become a Scout, “On my honor I will do my duty to God and my country and to help other people at all times and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” It is as simple as that.
    To become an American Legionnaire, one does not take an oath because one will have already done that when he/she raises their hand and swears to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and to defend our country against all enemies foreign and domestic. One then dons the uniform of the United States of America military service then become a veteran. The motto of the Legion is “For God and Country.”
    Both are very similar as to allegiance in the purpose and goals of each organization.
    The image of The American Legion may be that of a bunch of old men sitting around, drinking beer and swapping war stories. There may be something to that because veterans do drink beer, but the bulk of conversation is not war stories. It is about family, friends and just plain everyday conversation.
    The common bond is not spoken but it is there. Part of that bond is a sense of duty to something more than one’s own self.

  • Expensive energy hurts economy

    Despite public protest, Japan is going nuclear — again.
    Following the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima nuclear reactor in northeastern Japan, all nuclear reactors were gradually switched off for inspections. Due to safety concerns, the country’s nuclear power generation has been at a standstill.
    Meanwhile, new regulatory standards have been developed and reactors are undergoing inspections.
    Prior to 2011, nuclear power provided nearly one third of Japan’s electricity. Lost power-generation capacity has been replaced by importing pricey fossil fuels.
    Japan has few natural resources of its own. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports: “Japan imports more than 90 percent of its fossil fuels, and is particularly dependent on the Middle East for oil and natural gas.”

  • The bomb and us through the years

    Part 1 of 2

    Not one newspaper mentioned the searing flash, massive fireball and multi-colored mushroom cloud that arose in the southern New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945. Windows rattled as far away as Gallup and Amarillo, Texas.
    The army said it was an exploding ammunition dump. New Mexicans doubted the story privately, but the nation was at war, New Mexico was deeply involved, and citizens didn’t ask too many questions. The story of the first atomic bomb test at Trinity Site came out with the devastation of Hiroshima, a few weeks later.
    What we’ve said about “the day the sun rose twice” in news stories has changed during its many anniversaries, starting with the wonder of it all and moving to the morality and legacy of the bomb. Decades passed before we heard about human impacts here in New Mexico.    
    On the first anniversary, a news story described the Manhattan Project in detail and noted that during the year, “four atomic bombs have been dropped, and peace has returned to the world.”