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Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the Editor 10-28-16

    District attorney candidate Serna involved in case
    dismissal

    Marco Serna (D), 1st Judicial District Candidate for district attorney, is at the center of a storm. Sandoval County Deputy District Attorney Barbara Romo blames Serna, who was Assistant district attorney in the 13th Judicial District, for not filing a key piece of appeal paperwork, the victim’s testimony, leading to the dismissal of a brutal domestic violence case.
    Serna claims: “I didn’t draft the appeal and I didn’t sign the appeal and I didn’t attend any hearings... Nor was I involved in any of the appeal.”
    The victim’s attorney claims Serna was “actively involved with the matter from the beginning,” and that Serna attended high school with the alleged perpetrator and took classes from the perpetrator’s mother.
    A district attorney represents the state, pursuing justice while giving victims a voice. Can we get the facts? Either clear Serna’s name, or identify him to the voters as someone responsible for criminal charges against a friend since high school being dropped.
    • Costello, Brittany, Domestic violence case against former APD officer dismissed, kob.com/albuquerque-news/domestic-violence-case-against-former-apd-officer-dismissed-patrick-ficke/4140981/, May 17, 2016.

  • How much justice can New Mexico afford?

    New people moving into the neighborhood left a loaded trailer parked in the driveway. In the night, thieves made off with the trailer but hit a speed bump too fast, lost the trailer, and sped away, leaving the trailer behind.
    Welcome to the ‘hood.
    We know New Mexico has a crime problem. In 2015, we posted the third-highest violent crime rate and second-highest property crime rate in the nation, according to the FBI.
    It’s a heated election year, and one party would like you to believe that it’s the only one that cares about crime. What we need in the Roundhouse is a thoughtful debate AFTER the election that gets at the heart of the problem, the solutions and the cost of the solutions.
    Keep in mind that in last winter’s legislative session, one of the big topics was proper staffing and pay for state corrections employees.
    Even at starvation wages for guards, the cost per inmate is $45,250 a year. So we can lock ‘em up, but with a budget still in the red, what can we afford?
    This discussion got sidetracked lately when a study done in Albuquerque concluded that a rise in the city’s crime rate directly corresponds to a reduction in jail population. This study is bound to get a lot of mileage from now until the regular legislative session in January.

  • Continuing education is part of Prosperity Project

     Worried about the election?

    Worried about the not-so-creeping dogmas of control, dependence and redistribution driving the thinking of the so-called “progressives?” Worried about the $350,000 dumped into New Mexico local races during September and October by the Washington, D.C.-based Patriot Majority Democratic political action committee? Worried that the sources of that money were American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees ($250,000) and the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund ($100,000)?

    Wondering if your fellow employees at your organization might find value in issue information but also reluctant to step into the back-and-forth nastiness characterizing campaigns these days, especially because stepping into campaign nastiness would get in the way of your organization’s mission of doing the work and profitably serving the customers?

    Communicating with employees about policy and political matters is completely appropriate, observed Jim Gerlach, CEO of BIPAC of Washington, D.C. After all, Gerlach said during his June visit to Santa Fe, everyone else communicates about all sorts of issues. 

  • Letters to the Editor 10-27-16

     Chris Chandler is dedicated to community

     

    I strongly encourage Los Alamos citizens to vote for Chris Chandler for county council. I have known and worked with Chris for years and have great respect for her abilities and judgment. Her dedication to the community is shown by her previous service on the county council, the planning and zoning commission, and charter review committees. She is a hard worker who makes sure she fully understands an issue before recommending what action she thinks appropriate. She expresses her positions and the reasons for them clearly and understandably, and is able to work with others to find the best solutions for problems being considered.  She listens carefully to citizen concerns, and will strive to make council actions reflect the needs and wishes of the community.

    Mark Jones

    Los Alamos

     

    Anne Nobile will faithfully serve as probate judge

     

  • Assets In Action: Red Ribbon Week celebrates drug-free living

    If you didn’t know, this is Red Ribbon week. I hope you might take a moment to ask the children or grandchildren in your life, if school did anything for Red Ribbon week. Nationally the campaign slogan is YOLO for You Only Live Once, so do it drug free.

    While most schools try to send the message about not drinking or being drug free, almost anything healthy fits into the making healthy choices category, which should make the conversation easy to approach.

    While I love that schools attempt to send message, which I believe adds to creating a safe school climate, we need to carry the message from our homes, community organizations, churches, synagogues and more. Diet wise if I only had to make healthy choices while I was at work for 8 hours a day and then did all the bad things the other 16 hours a day, things wouldn’t work out.

    So we need to have the conversations with our kids and send the message that we as adults make healthy choices every day too. 

    Here’s what some of the data has to say about our youth. Did you know that 26 percent of our ninth through twelfth graders admit to being current drinkers? 15% of those drinkers admit to being binge drinkers and sadly there’s even a category that asks if they have had 10 drinks in one sitting.

  • Overcoming isolation of the elderly

     A woman I know lives alone and, at age 60-plus, has a chronic health condition. Often she doesn’t feel well. She thinks she would not be good company, so she doesn’t reliably return the calls of people who are trying to be her friends. 

    She’s isolated and depressed and has difficulty asking for help when she needs it. Eventually those friends may stop calling. Does that sound like anyone you know?

    Social isolation of the elderly and those with disabilities is an epidemic of our time. It’s receiving increasing recognition in public policy and public health circles. Isolation makes many frail elderly individuals miserable. And they develop health problems that add costs to our health systems. 

    Most people who have homes want to stay in them as they age; the studies confirm what common sense would tell you. But they (make that “we”) are all at risk for the frailties of old age, including losing the ability to drive and other skills basic to living independently.

  • Letters to the Editor 10-23-16

    Garcia Richard’s vote inconsistent with promise

     

    I heard about the recent vote Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard made to take away $25 million from New Mexico public schools. This vote seemed inconsistent with her promise to protect education funding during the special session, so I decided to watch a video of the committee hearing and see what actually happened.

    I am very troubled by what I saw. It seems that Garcia Richard initially voted to table the bill in question, Senate Bill 10, but when she saw that all of her Democrat colleagues voted to support the bill, she changed her vote.

    This bill would have taken over $265,000 from Los Alamos Public Schools. What is more important to Garcia Richard, representing her district or protecting the party line?

    We need representatives that can think for themselves, independent of party instructions. We don’t need representatives who make empty promises or tell us one thing and then vote the opposite way when it matters.

    It’s time to hold our representatives accountable for their actions in the legislature. I’m voting for Sharon Stover because I know she’ll always put the interests of district ahead of party politics.

  • Letters to the Editor 10-23-16

    Solar energy share is less than stated in article

    This letter is in response to a recent article regarding “Does Solar Energy Make Business Sense?”
    A statement in this article says, “In 2010, solar was only 4 percent of U.S. electricity generation capacity. Now it’s 64 percent. That’s incredible...” According to the Energy Institute of America (EIA) it is only 0.6 percent; by far the larger renewable source is Wind Power.
    The table below is from EIA:
    Search eia.gov under “frequently asked questions” and find the following information.
    The website said:”What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?” In 2015, the United States generated about 4 trillion kilowatthours of electricity.1 About 67 percent of the electricity generated was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum). Major energy sources and percent share of total U.S. electricity generation in 2015.”
    • Coal  is 33 percent
    • Natural gas is 33 percent
    • Nuclear is 20 percent
    • Hydropower is 6 percent
    • Other renewables is 7 percent
    • Biomass is 1.6 percent
    • Geothermal is 0.4 percent
    • Solar is 0.6 percent
    • Wind is 4.7 percent