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Today's Opinions

  • Partisan, line-item vetoes deliver a confused message

    Last week, the governor’s biases were on display as she released the state’s annual pork bill and communities learned which of their public projects will receive capital outlay dollars.
    In a multitude of line-item vetoes, she came down hard on Navajos, Democrats, courts, and acequia associations.
    The governor chastised legislators in a nine-page message for squandering infrastructure funding and spending on local public works. She said some projects were underfunded or unwanted by local governments, and some spending was for items that will wear out before the bond is paid off. And legislators aren’t always working together, she said.
    No argument there, but she also vetoed any request for $10,000 or less, saying it’s not enough to accomplish anything. That’s pretty arbitrary. Some small projects can cost that amount or less.
    The big problem is that many of her vetoes are inconsistent, or they don’t align with her written message.
    Zuni Pueblo has no backup pump on its main well. Three legislators pooled their capital outlay money to buy and install a pump ($190,000), which was vetoed while dozens of other well projects around the state were approved.

  • 2016-17 school budget will require difficult choices

    BY JIM HALL
    President, Los Alamos School Board

  • Even in best times, Trump’s rump too much to bear

    Having spent a good share (or worst part) of this winter observing largely from my sick bed those events which have thus far shaped the 2016 race for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations, let me say outright that Trump’s rump is too much to bear.
    But, then, even in the most tranquil of times, Trump’s bum would likely be too much to bear.
    When one is fighting fevers and surgeries, the thought of our fellow citizens nominating a presidential candidate with a derriere more nearly the girth of William Howard Taft’s than anyone to have sought the presidency since 1912 is hardly appealing.
    Are these the same American Republican voters who just four years were mounting the barricades on behalf of a fellow named Mitt Romney?
    Or for the reelection of an incumbent Democratic president bearing the exotic nomenclature, Barack Obama, a young man who had yet to complete a full term as a United States Senator from the hoary state of Illinois?
    The doctors had told me that reducing the fever and removing some squamous cell skin cancers from the top of my head would perk me up nicely and perhaps even cure what ailed me.

  • Putting together a great wedding on a budget

    BY NATHANIEL SILLIN
    Practical Money Skills

  • Regular life is often about information received

    Those of us deeply involved in “consequential matters,” such as politics, the Legislature, the potential $417 million shortage for estimated Medicaid expenses, the non-performance of the state economy, sometimes need reminding that life exists outside the arenas.
    The national political overlay doesn’t help, what with Hillary Clinton’s lies, Bernie Sanders’ delusions, Donald Trump’s destructive offensiveness, the youth of the two senators and John Kasich’s decency.
    A massage therapist in Albuquerque feels doubly pressured. She finds Trump scary and fears the effect on her customers when Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry’s bus rapid transit fiasco destroys Central Avenue in front of the building where she has been for 17 years.
    A recent Sunday had, as bookends, regular life on Saturday and the governor on Monday.
    For us, regular life meant the sunny and warm Jemez Springs Cabin Fever Festival Feb. 21. Festival vendors included artisans from four pueblos – Acoma, Zia, Jemez and Taos.
    Cars lined the main street. The Bodhi Mandala Zen Center filled its grounds with cars parking at $2 each. Restaurants overflowed with people. After checking the legendary Los Ojos Bar, we ambled a few blocks south for a dandy pastrami sandwich at the Highway 4 Café.

  • Letters to the Editor 3-16-16

    Reopening of roundabout discussion would cause delays, cost money

    I was very disappointed to see at the recent Transportation Board meeting the re-opening of the NM 502 Roundabout discussion. This issue has been going on for a few years and has had a full and complete public input during that time and was considered in public meetings of the full Transportation Board and approved by the full County Council.
    The design approved was done by a major traffic-engineering firm (Ourston Engineering) and has been approved by New Mexico State Highway engineers. This design (in my humble opinion as a citizen and taxpayer) is a big improvement for NM 502 and is now funded with state and county funds. This decision has been already made and with full public input. The reopening of this discussion now is entirely unwarranted and way too much time was allowed in the recent Transportation Board meeting to roundabout opponents in promoting their views.  
    I think I would trust the professional opinions from New Mexico State Traffic professional engineers and the consulting firm, Ourston Engineering, so I have no comments on the design, which is being finalized now by the state highway department.

  • Letters to the Editor 3-13-16

    P&Z Commission invites public to Comprehensive Plan review

    During this past week, press releases, news articles, thousands of post cards, radio interview and print, electronic and radio ads have announced public meetings on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday to begin the process of public input in the coming update of the County Comprehensive Plan.
    I would like to take this opportunity to describe the function of the Comprehensive Plan in straightforward terms and invite the community to be an active part in the decision making process. Simply put, the Comprehensive Plan lays out the county’s policy and plans for land use decisions in both the Los Alamos Townsite and White Rock for the next five, 10, even 20 years.
    The current Comprehensive Plan elements are disjointed, significant portions of which were adopted in 1987. The County Charter requires and current needs demand that the Comprehensive Plan be updated to reflect current realities and provide better and more transparent guidance.

  • Loans help Atrisco continue educational, cultural mission

    BY CATHY SORENSON
    Community Development Officer, The Loan Fund
    Finance New Mexico