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Today's Opinions

  • Trump, Mexico and the art of the deal

    BY BOB HAGAN
    Coffee on a Cold Morning

  • Letters to the Editor 2-3-17

    Time is approaching for seasonal employees

    While we are still in the icy grip of winter, summer is not that far off and with it will come a small crowd of summer seasonal employees, here to work the season and looking for a place to live.
    With the ever-tightening housing market in Los Alamos and the requirement for yearly leases, summer employees find it difficult to locate housing.
    Los Alamos National Laboratory often dominates the scene with its summer interns and techs that visit for projects during the summer, allowing few opportunities for others. Santa Fe and Española have housing available, but the distance and price make it much more costly and less efficient.
    Most summer seasonals will start their season in April or May (some even earlier) and finish up in the fall around October. If you have a small apartment, efficiency or room available that you would be willing to rent for less than the usual 12 months, to an outgoing, pleasant, quiet, hardworking (hopefully) person, please let me know and I can pass on this information to those who are looking for a place to stay this summer.
    Brian Kliesen
    White Rock

    Apologies to drivers
    running amok around town

  • How poor do we want to be?

    Three little words will generate a lot of heated words during this legislative session: To be determined.
    This is how the Legislative Finance Committee, meeting between April and December, indicates the source of money to help balance the budget in fiscal 2018. “To be determined” is shorthand for more cuts on top of cuts already made or new revenue in the form of tax increases.
    Before you jump to a conclusion about that choice, take a minute to grasp where we are. The choices made in this session will decide how poor New Mexico will be in coming years.
    All the usual clichés about “belt tightening,” “trimming the fat,” “low hanging fruit” and “right-sizing” no longer apply. In previous years, the governor and Legislature have made across-the-board cuts to state agencies, and those cuts continue. This year, they have to decide who gets hurt.
    The proposed victims, according to proposals from the executive and legislative branches, are schools, higher education (big time), courts, fire departments, law enforcement, economic development, water, tribes, local communities, state employees and teachers, and wildlife.
    Let’s see, did they miss anybody? Our unpaid legislators even cut their own feed bill, which funds the current session.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-27-17

    Join NM Wildlife
    Federation for annual rally Feb. 1 in Santa Fe

    On Jan. 21, millions of people from around the globe rallied for women’s rights, civil rights, the environment and a host of other issues. Here in New Mexico, thousands attended rallies across the state. The day was an amazing example of communities coming together and the power of organizing.
    The big question is, what’s next?
    As the legislative session continues and a new administration takes control in Washington, D.C. more and more citizens are looking to get involved. I think the best way to do that is by learning about local issues, elected officials, and races.
    One issue that hits particularly close to home in New Mexico is the continued access to our public lands. We are lucky to have an abundance of public lands in our state, but politicians are pushing to overturn our national monuments, and public land seizure is officially in the GOP platform.
    Our public lands give New Mexicans the opportunity to hunt, fish, hike, camp, and enjoy the outdoors however they want all year long. Transferring control of our national lands to the states is fiscally irresponsible and could deny Americans access forever.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-25-16

    Governments can’t be trusted with existing gun
    regulations

    Unfortunately Terry Goldman and I’m sure many others do not keep informed and therefore do not realize that both the federal government and state governments lie to the people all the time, especially about gun rules and laws. Though the Brady Bill requires that the Federal Bureau of Investigation destroy requests for background checks after 24 hours, the FBI has proved over and over again during the last year that they do not do this.
    Reference for one example that within three hours of the San Bernardino shooting, they knew where the shooter had bought his gun. The only way that is possible is if they never destroyed the background check, as required.
    And while we’re on the Brady Bill let’s not forget that at the moment it does not exist! Federal Judge Reed O’Connor declared the act “on it’s face blatantly unconstitutional,” and the Obama administration never appealed the ruling. Not to mention that the Second and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution clearly say the federal government has no jurisdiction to control firearms period! So the Interstate Commerce clause does not apply!
    Requiring gun owners to carry gun insurance is a form of registering.

  • Confessions of an aggravated mope

    BY BOB HAGAN
    Coffee on a Cold Morning

  • Time is right to consider smart tools for pipelines

    Politics leads the nation in constant fights for and against new pipelines. So why do so few partisans on either side sing out for smart tools on pipelines?
    No matter how you view pipelines, President Donald Trump has timely chances to change the old ways.
    “Smart tools” is a broad term for the steady stream of 21st century devices with computer chips that continuously inspect, analyze and report on the state of health of almost everything. Smart tools are known to business and industry for saving costs and improving the reliability of products and operations. Smart tools are used in fields as diverse as health care, farming, manufacturing, home security systems and maintenance of infrastructure.
    To maintain public safety, smart tools yield rapid, routine knowledge of the health of large civil structures, such as tall buildings, bridges, aircraft and pipelines. Over the years, this field evolved into a speciality with its own name – Structural Health Monitoring (SHM).
    SHM has a rich history. The discipline of SHM has an international society of its own with its own technical journal. The 10th International Workshop on SHM was held in 2015 at Stanford University. Princeton offers a graduate course in SHM. Researchers at the national laboratory in town work on SHM.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-20-17

    Sugar says he would bring unique, personal view to school board

    My name is Dr. Darryl Sugar. I am running for the school board in the Chamisa area, because I feel I can help continue the high quality of education at Los Alamos Public Schools. Nationally, the data indicates a growing number of stresses that affect students as well as teachers. As stresses from social platforms and other demands grow, mental health is increasingly at risk and can interfere with performance. That increases the likelihood of significant anxiety/depression or drugs/alcohol being used.
    I have a unique and personal perspective on this. My wife died unexpectedly on Christmas in 2009 in Denver, while we were visiting my daughter and her husband who are also physicians. Looking back, I became severely depressed and felt like my  life ended. When I returned home to South Carolina, the depression worsened, and I went to the office where my wife and I spent most of our time and decided to join her. I started a fire but found it was impossible to end my life.