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Today's Opinions

  • No need to raise taxes in New Mexico

    BY PAUL GESSING
    President, New Mexico's Rio Grande Foundation

  • Latest batch of DWI bills, like the last, won’t work

    Tim Solano is one big reason we need tougher DWI laws, says a lawmaker. Solano is a good example of why those laws don’t work, says a DWI expert.
    Solano had five DWIs in 2005 when he killed a woman bicycling in Santa Fe. He served 10 years in prison. In December, after his release, he was arrested again for DWI.
    That was frightening to Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes, R-Albuquerque. Her husband exercised in the same area when they lived in Santa Fe. She’s carrying HB 83 to increase penalties for multiple DWI convictions. It’s one of three DWI bills in the governor’s package that recently passed the House.
    The measures won’t have any effect on the state’s dreadful drunken driving experience, said Linda Atkinson, executive director of the DWI Resource Center. “The victims get told that these laws will prevent future DWI deaths, but it’s a disservice to victims,” she said. “It won’t change anything. It’s very, very sad.”
    Atkinson has been involved in DWI issues since the 1980s and has worked with such DWI crusaders as Nadine Milford and former Gallup Mayor Ed Muñoz. She co-founded the nonprofit DWI Resource Center, which tracks data and provides information to victims.

  • Old-school PR can help business, not bust budget

    BY SANDY NELSON
    Finance New Mexico project

  • Pearce mine spill bill seeks special investigator

    Temporarily stopping the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency from making new regulations except in emergencies would result from a bill filed by Congressman Steve Pearce to appoint a special investigator to find exactly what happened last year with the Gold King Mine spill.
    The proposal is the ‘‘Gold King Mine Spill Accountability Act of 2016.” The move comes, Pearce said via telephone from his Washington, D.C., office, because, “We just feel like the federal government has no concern for their effect on local people.”
    We need to “defend our constituents…(and) hold the EPA responsible,” he said.
    “People come to us when they want someone to stand up,” Pearce said, explaining his pursuit of the matter, as opposed to, say, Congressman Ben Luján, whose district contains the Animas River, which was badly polluted by mine waste. Pearce said he has pursued other problems outside his district.
    A request to Luján’s office for comment produced a 154-word statement that is posted at capitolreportnm.blogspot.com. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, Rep. Luján, and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet have introduced a Gold King bill lacking the special investigator and allowing continued EPA regulation production,

  • End cynical manipulation of the New Mexico ballot

    BY REP. NORA ESPINOZA
    Dist. 59, New Mexico State Representative

  • Debates stay mum on smart tools

    BP’s lengthy oil spill in the Gulf and the Keystone Pipeline are issues long familiar to people of all walks. In sharp contrast, who ever heard of Structural Health Monitoring?  
    I first heard the term just two months ago. I was quickly amazed to see the extent of new techniques available to guard against leaky oil pipes of all kinds. Why does anything so relevant stay hidden from public news?  
    Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is well explained in Wikipedia. SHM refers to methods of gauging damage in materials and other safety aspects of engineered structures. Devices tied into structures detect changes as materials age. From the changes, computing parts assess safety. Call them “smart tools.”
    The tools can check and report frequently on the well-being of structures such as bridges, airplanes and pipelines. The results, in turn, point to in-situ methods of timely repair. “In-situ” repair means repairing in place without tearing things open.
    SHM is no mere glint on the horizon. It thrives now and keeps improving. The discipline of SHM has an international society of its own with its own technical journal. The 10th International Workshop on SHM was held last fall at Stanford University. Princeton offers a graduate course in SHM. The topic clearly has history and substance.

  • Economic policy: a long-ignored issue

    BY JOE D'ANNA
    Los Alamos

  • House proposes responsible budget for New Mexico

    BY REP. LARRY LARRANAGA
    Chair, House Appropriations and Finance Committee, Dist. 27