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Today's Opinions

  • From the bottom up

    This just in: According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, New Mexico ranks 50th among the states when it comes to residents’ access to emergency room service.
    The problem many New Mexicans have in digesting news of this sort is that it is just more of the same. In virtually every category some outfit comes up with for purposes of ranking the states — income, jobs and job opportunities, literacy, child well-being and safety, roads and infrastructure, you name it — New Mexico is always at or near the blasted bottom.
    New Mexicans are no longer shocked by such news. About all they can do when another batch of dismal rankings comes out these days is yawn when they should up in arms.
    Mad as Hell and not going to take it anymore! Mounting the barricades, waving placards angrily proclaiming “There’s nothing beneath the bottom and we’re falling through.”
    We must demand better from our state officials, particularly in the final weeks of a gubernatorial campaign.

  • Patroling not profiling

    Two weeks ago I was victim of a gas theft in the night at my house in the Western Area.
    When my almost empty tank was re-filled it cost $34. I called the police to report and Jeff Regenold came to take the information. We had a friendly chat, and I said I’d be more careful to lock the car from now on. I asked him to continue the night patrols through town.
    I had to leave the next day on trip to California, and although neighbors are good about picking up my newspapers for me, I know there are bums from out of town who cruise here, looking for open garages and other opportunities for theft.
    I am sorry that the Los Alamos Monitor delivery lady felt racially profiled when a police car followed her as she was delivering papers on North Mesa. I hope he explained and apologized. The police are trying to keep us safe. Her experience recalled an incident that happened many years ago to a friend of mine who had recently moved here.
    When she arrived from Albuquerque after midnight, she noticed a patrol car following her. She drove slowly, going all over town, including Barranca Mesa. When she finally stopped, the officer asked what she was looking for. She said, “Just seeing how far I could lead you all over town.” They both laughed and after he explained, she thanked him for keeping the night watch.

  • No political ties at homecoming

    The Los Alamos homecoming parade is coming up. In order not to politicize a beloved community tradition, our local parties have decided not to participate.
    We have also asked our candidates not to have entries (as candidates) in the parade.
    You’ll see plenty of our local candidates talking to people during the parade and some will probably participate in their other roles as active community members.
    While our two political parties don’t always agree on issues, we can agree that Los Alamos is a great community. Both the local Democratic Party and Republican Party want Los Alamos High School students to enjoy their weekend without political signs and overt campaigning in their parade.
    Robyn Schultz, Chair
    Democratic Party of Los Alamos County
    Robert Gibson, Chair
    Republican Party of Los Alamos County
     

  • Remember American family members who have passed away

    Sibling relationships stay. Even if the relationship becomes troubled, it is still there. Counting the siblings and spouses of my mom and dad, there were 14. They are all gone now.
    I think my dad, also named Harold Morgan and born in 1917, was the oldest. The last of the group died a few weeks ago. These people were the family adults when I was a kid. The realization of their passing came a few years ago in a comment from a cousin from my generation after the death of her mother, father and stepfather.
    “Wow,” she said. “I’m the oldest.” Being the oldest is new for us Baby Boomers.
    Though they were not especially diverse by today’s quota-driven, politically correct standards, the story of these 14 is one of the millions of American family stories. I share a little here because they are gone.
    Oklahoma City was home to nearly all the 14. Tulsa was involved. One husband, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, came in as the result of a wartime romance.

  • What the MVD has been doing to improve customer satisfaction

    New Mexicans rightfully demand that the Motor Vehicle Division provide fast, easy and reliable service in a customer-friendly environment at all of our offices.
    Gov. Susana Martinez also directed that we turn things around at the MVD in a reasonable amount of time and meet public expectations for operating more efficiently.
    Here’s what we’re doing to make that happen.
    Over the past 18 months, we’ve cut our wait times in MVD offices and at our call center. A majority of our offices now have average wait times of 15 minutes or less — the lowest in years. The average hold time in our call center is now less than four minutes.
    MVD is doing a better job listening and learning from our customers. We recently implemented the country’s first motor vehicle customer satisfaction capture system in most of our offices.
    At the end of each transaction, you can press a button, which tells us how well we’ve met your needs. By empowering our managers to address customer issues right when they occur, service-related complaints have dropped dramatically.
    Since we launched this system last year, more than 800,000 New Mexicans have provided customer feedback. More than 98 percent of MVD customers now rate our service as “good” or “excellent” — every office, every week.

  • Encountering racism in Los Alamos

    My name is Thalia Gibbs-Jackson. I’m a citizen of Los Alamos having moved here November of last year. I was born and grew up in a small town in South Georgia where I graduated high school and went to college. I later transferred to Atlanta and attended Georgia Tech and Southern Tech. I have worked for numerous companies and government contractors. I’ve travelled abroad and have loads of interests. I am also African-American.
    I’ve been working for the Los Alamos Monitor as circulation manager for the past three months. My job involves me sometimes delivering papers for carriers who are out of town or have given up their routes. I’m meticulous in making sure that every person who has paid for a newspaper actually gets it delivered to their home in the manner they have requested.

  • A court for every conflict: Resolving business disputes in New Mexico

    A clear, detailed contract with a dispute resolution clause is the best defense when a business and client disagree over performance or other conditions.
    But even the most airtight agreement can’t inoculate a business from all potential conflicts with customers, partners or other businesses.
    Simple arguments can be resolved through formal mediation or arbitration, but more complex disagreements require judicial intervention.
    Different courts
    for different conflicts
    If a business believes a client or competitor has broken federal law, say, by infringing on a trademark or copyright, it can bring the case in state or federal court.
    If a business needs to collect from a client who’s seeking bankruptcy protection, it files its claim on the client’s assets in Bankruptcy Court.
    But most disputes between businesses and their clients, investors or colleagues involve breaches of contract — including violations of confidentiality or non-compete clauses or of the terms of employment — or disagreements over service agreements, lease terms and real estate transactions. And most of these are heard in state courts.
    Size matters

  • Carbon Dioxide is our friend

    YouTube can be a hoot. You can watch someone launch themselves with a giant slingshot towards a small pond, overshoot the pond and land on a boulder. The search for videos like this usually require the keywords “human,” “slingshot” and “splat.”
    Or you can watch someone spray themselves with lighter fluid and set their body on fire, which is simply called “The Fire Challenge.” Imitating the Human Torch from the “Fantastic Four” is what I would call “The Atrophied Brain Challenge.”
    Lots of fun videos to watch and lots of laughs.
    Some years ago, I watched what might be the funniest video of all — “Carbon dioxide is our friend.” It’s an “educational documentary” produced by The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit, non-think tank funded by tea bag sources like the Koch brothers and several “unbiased” companies such as the Ford Motor Company, Philip Morris Company, Texaco Inc. and the Scaife Foundation (an extremely liberal organization).