.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the editor

    Boy Scouts to accept
    donations for food bank
    Your local Letter Carriers (NALC-4112) and the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Venture Scouts of Los Alamos County are geared up to help LA Cares Food Bank by collecting, sorting and storing your donations of food and supplies during the Fall Community Food Drive on Nov. 22.
    Did you know that there are dozens of families, many with young children or elderly, who need help to put enough nutritious food on the table every day? So what can you do to help?
    Remember to fill a bag or box with non-perishable food and supplies and leave it by your mailbox by 10 a.m. on Saturday Nov. 22. Soon your letter carrier or a boy scout or adult scout leader will pick it up and take it to be sorted and stored by LA Cares. LA Cares relies on these donations for their monthly distributions.
    Is your cupboard as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s? Then visit your local Smith’s Food and Drug Center in Los Alamos or White Rock where a cub scout will be waiting to accept your donations on Nov. 22 only. If you’re out of town during the food drive, then you can leave non-perishable donations year-round at the Aquatic Center or the Los Alamos County Social Services at 1505 15th St. during regular business hours.
    Need ideas on what to donate? Here are some suggestions:

  • BPU should respect rooftop energy production PART 1

    This is part 1 of 2

    For the past 10 years, local and national trends have been that the price of solar has been sharply declining while cost and risks associated with coal and other fossil fuels are going up as evidenced by closure of half of the San Juan generating facility and a wave of divestiture.
    State and Federal incentives for homeowners and businesses adopting solar energy, including tax credits that can amount to a significant portion of the upfront solar investment have also been a significant driving force behind the rapid adoption of solar.
    In a state that is widely recognized as a natural leader for solar energy, it is stunning that the Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is proposing to slap its residents who operate solar systems with a steep monthly fee of $12/month. At best, this fee is seen as the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) attempt to recover the costs of distribution service. At worst, it penalizes Los Alamos County residents with a fee that does next to nothing to offset DPU operating costs and discourages other homeowners wishing to adopt renewable energy.

  • From the battlefield to the oilfield, it is all about employing veterans

    Nearly 2 million men and women served in America’s defense during the Global War on Terror. As troops return home, they face a new fight: finding a job in a highly competitive market.
    Most served in the Middle East, risking their lives for America, and ensuring an uninterrupted energy supply. They believe in the greatness of America.
    Their experiences in the military make them ideal employees for America’s oil-and-gas industry. Many companies have seen the value veterans bring to their organization and are actively recruiting veterans.
    The U.S. oil-and-gas industry has added millions of jobs in the past few years and expects to add more and more — especially with the new energy-friendly Republican-controlled Congress. Just the Keystone pipeline — which is now likely to be built — will employ thousands. Increased access to reserves on federal lands will demand more personnel. But finding potential hires that fit the needs of the energy industry in the general labor pool is difficult as they lack discipline, the ability to work in a team and, often, can’t pass a drug test. Here the fit for the veteran becomes obvious.

  • And so it begins

    Forty-two days. Six long painful torture-filled weeks.
    Forty-two days until I’m able to turn on the radio or the television set without having my eardrums suffering the waterboarding-style torment of tinny Christmas music!
    I own a stopwatch that can measure time in tenths of a second, but that’s not enough granularity to capture the speed in which stores switch from Halloween decor to Christmas decor. Kiddies weren’t even able to finish saying “Trick or Treat” before the seasonal aisle was cleared of HFCS infused chocolates and replaced by tacky trinkets to adorn dead pine trees.
    Thanksgiving is celebrated about a month after Halloween, but Christmas rules the day after all the ghosts and goblins and zombies have gone home to consume a mountain of sugar.
    Speaking of sugar, can anyone explain the love affair this country has with candy corn? Seriously, is it theoretically possible to make something more vile than candy corn? Who actually eats that stuff?

  • Region should invest in clean energy

    Times have changed since solar and wind power first became available. Across the country, the cost of coal is going up, and the price of clean energy — like wind and solar — is coming down. Employment trends are changing, too.
    Today, more workers are employed in the clean energy industry than in coal mining nationwide. Since 2012, New Mexico’s solar industry has added nearly 1,000 new jobs. Almost 2,000 New Mexicans now work in our state’s growing solar economy.
    As owner of a local solar company, I’ve seen the remarkable transition to clean energy take root in our region. Solar electricity costs less than grid energy, and home and business owners are taking advantage of the opportunity to fix their energy costs for the long run.
    We’ve added 30 employees in the past year to keep up with demand. It is a really exciting time.
    In our region and throughout the United States, communities are moving away from dirty, expensive coal and toward the growing clean energy industry.
    These trends are why I was so shocked to learn that instead of investing in new technologies and growing industries, PNM and Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities propose to double down on dirty coal and lock ratepayers into a future of expensive, outdated coal-fired power.

  • Venture Acceleration Fund helps Native-owned businesses

    Native-owned businesses in northern New Mexico are eligible for grants of up to $25,000 to spend on specialized services that will help them increase revenues and create jobs.
    One business, Than Povi Gallery, was awarded a Native American Venture Acceleration Fund grant in February 2014 to develop a marketing plan and ad campaign for the business, which moved in 2013 from San Ildefonso Pueblo to a site north of Santa Fe on U.S. 84/285. That move was partially enabled by a NAVAF grant in 2013, co-owner Elmer Torres said, and resulted in “a lot more foot traffic.”
    Torres and his wife, Deborah, both members of the pueblo, eventually hope to move their gallery to downtown Santa Fe so the many artists they represent can get greater exposure. In the meantime, though, their current location allows them to sell to a broader market. “We try to make (artworks) affordable for people in the local area,” Torres said.

  • Are extended warranties worth the cost?

    Are these costly add-ons worth the expense or simply a sucker bet intended to boost the seller’s bottom line? It depends on whom you ask.
    According to consumer watchdog organizations like the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Reports, extended warranties and service contracts often don’t make strong financial sense. However, some people find extended warranties reassuring, especially for large purchases with electronic components that can go awry and are expensive to repair or are easily broken.
    Before you buy an extended warranty, do your research and consider these points:
    • Does it overlap with the manufacturer’s warranty? Don’t pay twice for duplicate coverage.
    • Many credit cards automatically extend the manufacturer’s warranty for up to a year on purchases — for free.
    • Before purchasing, check the company’s track record with your state’s Department of Insurance, the Better Business Bureau and independent reviewers like Angie’s List.
    • Service contracts might not cover specific product parts or repairs. If the terms don’t list a part or function as specifically covered, assume it’s not.

  • More to campaign spending than Morgan states

    Harold Morgan’s Nov. 11 column discounting fears about unlimited and unregulated campaign spending is a little simplistic. The examples about local races seem to make his point, but those races are the tip of the unregulated campaign spending iceberg. Look at the District 43 race where I must have received 30 PAC flyers. That money could’ve been better spent in state coffers, funding education or mental health services.
    The fear addressed by Senator Tom Udall’s amendment is that people in the national congress and to a currently lesser extent state legislatures (except for the convenient ALEC prefab voter suppression legislation) have become beholden to the sources of their funding some of which is anonymous.
    Now, why shouldn’t voters who care be able to find out who is behind what PAC, or which corporate “job creator” is behind this funding. I suppose, on second thought it is true that the job creators are creating jobs in the PAC administrative business.
    As far as the McDonnells, they were directing campaign funds for their personal use, a moral transgression besides being illegal. It would seem that Morgan would get rid of even this regulation and why not, since in the current atmosphere regarding campaign funding the ends justify the means.

    Paul D. Richardson II
    Los Alamos