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Today's Opinions

  • Accion teams with national craft brewer to coach local entrepreneurs

    BY JUSTIN HYDE
    New Mexico Market Manager, Accion

  • Letters to the Editor 2-19-16

    LA County owes Marquez debt of gratitude

    Richard Marquez recently left the Los Alamos National Laboratory after working there for over 10 years. Most people do not know that before working at LANL, he worked as a Department of Energy official in the Albuquerque office. During his tenure there, he provided significant assistance to Los Alamos County.
    Los Alamos County borrowed over $110 million to finance their hydroelectric facilities and other projects. After the bonds were issued, the market changed and it was to the county’s advantage to refinance those bonds. By doing so, they could save thousands of dollars per year. The transaction was held up in a disagreement on how to split the savings between DOE and the county. The county was in danger of missing the window of opportunity to refinance the bonds because of this disagreement. Richard stepped in and said that this was ridiculous. The DOE and the county are arguing over hundreds of dollars when thousands of dollars could be saved. He took an active part in the further negotiations with the county and hammered out a compromise that was fair.

  • House GOP improving transparency in New Mexico

    BY REP. JIM SMITH
    House Dist. 22, Chair, House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee

  • Scalia and the Constitution

    BY DR. CALEB VERBOIS
    The Center for Visions and Values

  • Crony capitalism benefits a few, hurts economy

    Corruption, crony capitalism and economic growth had not linked in my mind. An oversight, to be sure. Or just dense.
    The Committee for Economic Development in Washington, D.C., the Thornburg Foundation of Santa Fe and Michael Rocca, University of New Mexico political science professor, have combined to argue the three are quite connected.
    The factors are “a key reason for New Mexico’s lackluster economic growth,” Rocca says.
    The report is “Crony Capitalism, Corruption and the Economy of the State of New Mexico.” Rocca’s team included one undergraduate honors student and two Ph.D. candidates. The project came from discussions at the Thornburg Foundation. The Committee for Economic Development went to Santa Fe at Thornburg’s invitation, says Mike Petro, CED’s executive vice president. Rocca says he was contacted by CED and Thornburg.
    In the introduction, Rocca and his team say, “(Crony capitalism) refers to the unhealthy relationship between some private interests (e.g. business, anti-business interests, professions, and social groups) and government. Deals are struck that reward winners on the basis of political influence rather than merit.”

  • No need to raise taxes in New Mexico

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

  • The slippery slope of civil society

    Civil society is a slippery slope.
    It’s a constant tug of war between total individual freedom and rules that enable us to live as a society.
    We have free speech, but we may not yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater to start a panic. If we defame another person, we can be liable for the damage we cause. Your freedom to swing your arm, the saying goes, ends at my nose. We argue vigorously about freedom of the press and what government should be required to disclose.
    Government imposes laws, enforces laws, and has the opportunity to abuse its powers.  Usually it doesn’t. When it does, people sometimes get very badly hurt, but we can correct the abuse.
    Our laws swing back and forth with trends. We go through an era of being “tough on crime,” then the trend reverses as we see, for example, that too many people are in prison.
    Government makes mistakes; sometimes those mistakes lead to tragic results for individuals, but the power is kept in check by opposing forces, including the will of the people and the opportunity to throw officeholders out of office at the next election.

  • Letter to the editor 2-12-16

    Bartlit unaware of LANL’s various contributions

    As usual, John Bartlit’s Sunday column on Structural Health Monitoring is wise, insightful and informative.
    But it is somewhat startling that he was unaware of SHM, as Los Alamos National Laboratory has been a significant contributor both in applying techniques, such as frequency response (sound spectra) measurements for both validating parts (such as castings) and in situ monitoring (such as metal beam bridges) for corrosion or stress accumulation leading to cracking.
    LANL has also contributed to designs for such monitors that can be powered and report without grid connections (reducing costs and enhancing remote sensing capabilities).
    While Lab publications can be painfully self-congratulatory, they are worth at least skimming for the many technological developments carried out here that they report regularly.
    Terry Goldman
    Los Alamos