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Today's Opinions

  • LEDA key to building New Mexico’s economic future

    BY REP. KELLY FAJARDO
    R-Valencia, New Mexico House of Representatives

  • Letter to the Editor 2-8-17

    That gut-wrenching pain

    Have you felt that painful, tightening, gut-wrenching feeling when you hear someone state something that infringes upon your rights or beliefs?
    Good, that means you’re human. The feeling comes from an emotional system that helps us survive.
    Have you allowed that feeling to develop into anger towards the one expressing the statement?
    That’s not good. It’s true that anger is part of our humanity, but it comes from the lowest and most ancient parts of our brain, one we share with lizards.
    Have you taken an oppositional stance of the idea or policy that was stated?
    That’s good. You’re using the higher levels of your brain to do something constructive with that painful feeling you felt initially.
    Is your opposition causing you to see the one who made the statement as someone from another group that’s evil?
    That’s not good. You’re letting the lower levels of your brain control the higher levels. You’re developing what we call hatred.
    Is your opposition directed at the idea or policy that was stated with the understanding that the one who made the statement is your brother or sister?

  • Will Trump sink pipeline projects with protectionist impulses?

    The Wall Street Journal on reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines:

    President Trump is making short work of campaign promises, and on Tuesday he signed executive orders reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. The resurrection is good news for the economy, but one question is whether he’ll sink the projects with his protectionist impulses.
    Mr. Trump signed an executive order inviting TransCanada to apply again for a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which the Obama Administration rejected to indulge the anti-carbon obsessions of Democratic campaign donors. Another Trump directive aims to expedite the Dakota Access pipeline, which is 90 percent finished but was halted by President Obama amid protests. A federal judge ruled that the government had met its legal obligations, but the Obama Administration suspended work anyway.
    Such carve outs for progressive constituencies are one reason voters rejected Democrats in November, and the pipelines promise broader prosperity. Keystone is predicted to spin off 20,000 construction and manufacturing jobs, many of them to be filled by union workers, and add $3 billion to GDP.

  • Looking ahead

    This is the final article on why I am running for re-election to the Los Alamos Public Schools Board.  My first article provided basic information about LAPS as an institution, the Board, and some major accomplishments of the Board and administration. The second article focused on current issues facing LAPS. This article focuses on my compelling vision: the staff, programs, parents, and community working together to enable all students to love learning, have great skills, and know basic facts.
    LAPS has three major challenges that have to be addressed in progressing toward this vision: funding, the technology revolution’s impact on learning, and student and staff well-being.  Each is discussed below.
    Funding first: Over 90 percent of school operational funds are allocated to school districts based on a complex state formula. Local communities cannot vote for additional operating funds, and our state budget, heavily dependent on oil and gas production and federal funds, may be constrained for years to come. Yet LAPS must increase compensation for all employees, grow program diversity, and maintain our commitment to long term fiscal stability and educational excellence.  

  • Letter to the Editor 2-5-17

    Ellen Ben-Naim is my choice for school board

    Los Alamos has an opportunity for fresh, community-minded leadership on the school board. Ellen Ben-Naim will provide new insights and vigorous advocacy for teachers and students. As a professional educator with a master’s degree and enormous community experience, Ellen will provide oppressive teacher evaluation, mental health, increase teacher salaries and reduce oppressive teacher evaluation. Ellen is an excellent people-connector and communicator. She will serve our community well.
    Ellen supports mental health issues and is committed to enacting recommendations from the Mental Health Design Team Plan. These mental health issues, including stress and depression, affect our students and faculty. Ellen recognizes the need for more community awareness around these issues.
    Ellen has a child attending Los Alamos High School. She understands the issues of today’s families and she is committed to voicing these perspectives.
    As a community-oriented person, Ellen spent four years as a the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board program coordinator. She has enthusiastically served on many LAPS committees, including the School Budget Committee, School Bond Committee, District Parent Council and GATE Advisory Committee.

  • 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.