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

Today's Opinions

  • Entrepreneurs build creativity during Startup Weekends

    Steven Eiserling is an idea machine. Ever since he was a teenager, Eiserling has turned ideas into businesses — even during his 20-year career in information technology. Now the Chicago transplant studies business information systems at New Mexico State University and participates in entrepreneurial events. In Las Cruces’ Startup Weekend Oct. 24-26, he and his team pitched an application to link nonprofit organizations to volunteers through an online portal.
    At last year’s Startup Weekend, Eiserling led a Las Cruces team that proposed a real-time parking app to help motorists find vacant spots in large commercial lots, and that team formed a company — ParaPhin — that’s developing the project.
    Eiserling’s team didn’t win this year’s event prizes, including legal and business development services, but working with young innovators made the whole exercise worthwhile, he said. Even teams that don’t secure financing or other prizes at the marathon weekend events benefit from the experience by working with potential collaborators, mentors and investors to create a business that can bring commercially viable products or services to market on a tight deadline.

  • Seven ways to cut your holiday expenses

    When it comes to holiday spending, waiting in store lines all night and jostling for discounts will mean very little if you don’t have a budget that shapes your finances year-round. With the average United States household spending $600-$700 in 2014 for the holidays, putting that money together shouldn’t be a game of chance. Here are some tips to get it right:
    • Before you make a list, plan. How’s your debt? Do you have an emergency fund or any savings put aside? Start the holiday season by getting a handle on what you owe and what you’re spending day-to-day. Then plan a holiday budget (practicalmoneyskills.com/YourHolidayBudget) as early as possible that allows you to spend wisely.
    • See what spending is really necessary. It’s tough to cut young kids off a gift list, so turn to the adults. If your finances are limited, it’s worth asking adult friends and family members if they’d consider a gift swap or forego gifts altogether. They might actually think it’s a good idea.

  • Criteria unsuitable for publication?

    This is in regard to your posted criteria for the letters the Los Alamos Monitor welcomes for publication versus the piece published on Oct. 30 from Paul Gessing. The criteria published in your paper says, “Letters that might be deemed unsuitable for publication include those that are . . . part of an organized letter-writing campaign, or are part of a mass mailing.”
    Gessing is the president of the Rio Grande Foundation. His letters are part of organized letter-writing campaigns backed by nationwide conservative think tanks. A web search on his foundation will show that it hosts writers chosen by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, whose funding is 100 percent anonymous and which screens its writers to ensure a free market bias before hiring them.
    According to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) website, The Rio Grande Foundation also has ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a corporate bill mill.

  • Maestas: State needs robust job creation fund

    The best thing we can do for small businesses, said Steve Maestas, is to increase their revenue.
    The best way to do that is to attract big businesses – the businesses that bring new dollars into the state’s economy, making products that are sold everywhere and generating revenue from outside the state. Speaking recently to a group of small business owners, he said big businesses generate the jobs and pay the employees who support the local service economy.
    So — here comes the punch line — New Mexico needs a taxpayer-funded job creation fund with $50 million of taxpayer dollars. We already have such a fund under a law called the Local Economic Development Act, but the law needs some amendment. And with only $15 million authorized so far, the fund doesn’t have enough money to be competitive against the incentives offered by other states.
    Maestas is a co-founder and partner of Maestas and Ward commercial real estate company and Deputy Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He’s on a mission to reverse New Mexico’s dismal economic outlook, and the job creation fund is his cause.

  • Something's happening out in the country

    Television cop shows have a mantra that there is no such thing as a coincidence. In the journalist-analyst cosmos, sometimes things happen at the same time. These things, being quite different, have to be a coincidence (or are they?). But the timing creates curiosity about underlying commonalities.
    Events reported Oct. 24 and 25 suggest hunting for insights or patterns or defining opportunity might be useful. The people creating these events may see and be acting upon opportunities missed by the powers that be, buried as they are in government dependence wailing.
    All these events happened in rural New Mexico except the first, which was the detail added Oct. 24 by the Department of Workforce Solutions to the federal jobs report released a week earlier. The salient detail is that the seven counties comprising the four metro areas (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Farmington) lost 2,700 jobs between them.
    Maybe something is happening out in the country.
    Robert Goddard started testing rockets around Roswell in the 1930s. Flight-related testing and practice continue at the Roswell International Air Center where B-52s wander by for touch-and-go drills.

  • Partisan attack misdirected

    The letter by a prominent local Democrat, exemplifies several facets of today’s political climate that turns so many people off.
    The letter asserts that “Republicans” were campaigning illegally near the high school late last week and had done so previously. It also asserts citations were issued. The letter then blasts Republicans several times.
    At least, the letter writer recognized it likely “the Republican Party knew nothing about this illegal act.” Of course, the Republican Party was unaware of these unfortunate incidents. In fact, no citations were issued and the organizer was a registered Democrat.
    The event itself, a few signs placed where they should not have been, is trivial. The use of that excuse to launch misguided blanket partisan attacks distracts from the issues and candidates that we should be focusing upon. Los Alamos has a proud tradition of civil public discourse. Let’s stick to it.

    Robert Gibson
    Chair, Republican Party of Los Alamos
     

  • Behavior unbecoming

    On Oct. 28, a political savvy teacher passed the high school at 4:30 p.m. and saw some Republicans waving candidate signs on the sidewalk by the high school property. But, in addition, there were numerous large and small candidate signs stuck into the ground, which blocked visual access to Diamond Drive from Canyon Road. She was concerned and called me.
    This was the third time she had seen this action on high school property with the Republicans. Los Alamos County has strict ordinances that candidates must follow with signage. In fact, they sign an agreement before they are allowed to have any signs displayed. Although it is permissible to stand on the public sidewalk and wave signs, political signs are never allowed in the ground on school property, and that includes UNM-LA. As a teacher, she felt very strongly about this continual flagrant violation of the rules.
    I drove over with a friend to see what was actually occurring. Indeed it was just as she described. We parked our car across the street and took a picture to document the violation. I tried to nicely inform the demonstrators that it was against the county code to put signs on the school’s property.

  • Some families have politics in gene pool

    Political dynasties are a hot topic lately because of potential runs by a Bush or a Clinton. We have our share in New Mexico.
    In this election cycle, we heard most often about the King family, but other candidates (at this writing we don’t know who prevailed) grew up with politics in their Cheerios.
    Take the two men competing for state land officer.
    Incumbent Ray Powell Jr.’s father, a mechanical engineer, came to New Mexico in 1943 to work on the Manhattan Project and helped found Sandia National Laboratories. He retired in 1985, ran for governor and lost to Garrey Carruthers.
    In 1963, when all state employees were political appointees, Gov. Jack Campbell assigned Powell to develop and implement a state personnel system, which he did, with integrity and fairness. In 1988, Powell became state chairman of a Democratic Party fractured along geographical and ideological fault lines, which spawned coalition control of the Legislature. Under Powell’s leadership, Democrats won majorities, and the coalitions ended.
    When he died in 2010 at 90, columnist Jay Miller wrote, “New Mexico has lost one of its greatest public servants.”
    Powell’s opponent, Republican Aubrey L. Dunn, another junior, is the son of a legislative powerhouse.