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Opinion

  • The nation’s outsized deficit is high on the list of domestic problems most in need of a solution.

    From the president’s deficit commission, meeting throughout the year to figure out what to do, to the America Speaks group holding multiple town hall meetings, experts are zeroing in on the skyrocketing deficit number.

    And we keep hearing that cutting Social Security benefits needs to be part of the solution.

    Hold on a second. The budget deficit needs to be tackled, and Social Security needs to be strengthened for the long run.

  • The New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled recently that a certain state employee is entitled to sue the state in district court instead of being restricted to workers’ compensation.

    A friend of mine e-mailed:  “Seems like it unravels the whole (workers’ comp) reform.”

    No, it doesn’t.

    For those who may be alarmed, some explanation:

    First, this case is not that big a deal, except to the parties directly involved.

  • My recent experience with the Department of Motor Vehicles makes me wonder if they even begin to understand service.

    On July 28 I went in the afternoon to renew a car registration. A sign was posted that stated “system down no registration possible.”

    I returned July 29 in both the morning and the afternoon and the sign was still posted.

    Then July 29 I tried to do an online registration and after 15 minutes and answering several recorded questions I again was told by a recorded voice the system was down.

  • As to your article on the muni building on Aug. 4: new joke: How much time and money does it take to build a Municipal Building in Los Alamos?

    Answer: We’ll have to spend another year and more money getting everyone’s opinion on that and then pay an outside agency lots of money to study it for another year and we’ll get back to you.

    People, it’s time to get it done.

    We have the lot cleared, it has space for a building and parking, so it’s time to put up a design and get it built.

  • Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is getting tied so closely to Gov. Bill Richardson that one might think Denish is Richardson’s last name.

    The Richardson-Denish or Richardson/Denish administration is being blamed for the ills of the past seven and a half years, thereby making the lieutenant governor equally responsible or at least a knowing accomplice in all the governor’s actions.

  • From the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary: weasel - noun; a sneaky, untrustworthy or insincere person.

    Our airwaves have lately been inundated with spokesmen who have dusted off their “down-home” accents to tell us all about what BP is doing to mitigate the effects of its record-setting deepwater horizon oil spill in the Gulf of New Mexico.

    Their statements are upbeat, rosy, reassuring and utterly fictitious.

    BP is currently engaged in many underhanded activities.

    They are contributing to university oil drilling research centers.

  • A recent Business on the Border luncheon in Las Cruces illustrated that the Mesilla Valley has fared better with job generation than both the national average and New Mexico as a whole — though it’s still behind the peak employment growth numbers of the mid-2000s.

    At that luncheon, Christopher Erickson, Ph.D., from New Mexico State University’s College of Business, said that even though the country seems to be emerging from a staggering 20 months of recession, it will probably take about three years to catch up to pre-recession employment levels.

  • Remember the four communist WWII Cambridge University effetes who donated American atomic secrets to the Russians? The latest “Peoples Republic of Cambridge” arrests spotlight “sexy” Russian spies passing “defense articles on the United States Munitions list” to their comrades.

    Russian spies using “false names and deep cover” were sneaking into “policy making circles,” snaring university degrees and recruiting other spies.

  •  Is demography destiny?

     If so, say some experts, states with growing Hispanic populations seem doomed to fail, weighed down with ineffective school systems and abysmal test scores.

    One academic recently predicted that states like New Mexico will become the “Appalachia of the 21st Century.”

    He based his prediction on well-known statistics concerning the dropout and low achievement scores of Hispanic students.  

  • Gary Johnson is looking more like a presidential candidate every day. The former New Mexico governor has now visited 22 states, appeared on a multitude of radio and TV talk shows and was included in the most recent GOP presidential poll.

    That poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling and had five choices: Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Gary Johnson.

    Gov. Johnson had the lowest name recognition but still did better against President Barack Obama than the other four did. GOP leaders are beginning to sit up and take note.

  • Job creation has been the Holy Grail for as long as I’ve been writing in New Mexico – 35 years, and one byproduct of our long struggle to spin straw into gold is the economic development incentive.

    We have dozens of tax breaks and gimmees to lure companies. Even in good times they’ve drawn criticism, but now, as the state attempts to balance the books, and candidates cast about for campaign fodder, there are new calls to examine their use and the public’s return on investment.

    It’s a dandy idea, but we’ve heard it before.

  • Being that the Monitor’s editor Garrison Wells and publisher Keven Todd weren’t here for the Boyer fiasco, it is understandable that they could fall for a developer promising pie-in-the-sky and the Monitor blasts it bold, top line, front page.

    Let’s hope that whoever is evaluating these RFP responses for Trinity site is not as gullible this time around. What we learned from the Boyer experience is that developers are willing to say ANYTHING in order to get the land.

  • It’s difficult to know how to compare enormous disasters with one another.

    What has been unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico is often called the “greatest environmental disaster” we’ve faced as a nation.  

    My mind turned to an earlier environmental disaster we endured for years in the 1930s. That was the Dust Bowl when a combination of drought and our farming practices in the Great Plains launched the top-most layer of the Earth into the sky again and again.

  •  Living alone and no longer able to drive, I was recently faced with the need to go to Santa Fe for medical treatment three days a week for six weeks.

    I was relieved and heartened to learn that the Los Alamos Lions Club maintained a volunteer driver program to meet just such a need and was able to avail myself of that program.

  • I want the community to know that the Frito Pie Dinner/Ice Cream Social fundraiser put on by the women of the House of Hope, Vacation Bible School and the Rainbow Trails Day Camp of Trinity on the Hill Episcopal and Bethlehem Lutheran Churches was a resounding success!  

     Thanks go to so many, but first off, thank you to the Monitor (Kirsten Laskey’s articles), KRSN (Nancy Coombs interview) and RSVP at the senior center for their support and getting the information out to our community.  

  • In early June, our minds were filled with visions of the coming summer months. Vacations to plan. Gardens to weed. Garages to clean out. As we soak up what’s left of the summer sun (and rejoice at the monsoons finally arriving), it’s difficult to even think back to June, isn’t it?  Well, let’s give it a shot.

  • Summer is prime disaster season in New Mexico, whether the disaster is a wildfire, flood or tornado. Two years ago saw the Manzano Fire in Estancia, tornadoes in Clovis and flooding in Ruidoso. Three years ago, floods hit Doña Ana County.

    For a small business, closing for just one day due to an unforeseen disaster can often mean huge financial losses — especially at a time when small businesses are investing time and money into creating jobs to lead America’s economic recovery.

  • The daughter of a friend got a great deal on a house recently, buying on a short sale. My friend is happy – her daughter, a single mom, can stretch her budget farther.

    These transactions are good for the buyer but not the seller or the bank and say something about real estate in general. In June, about 25 percent of home sales in the state were of distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales (lender and borrower selling a home for less than the balance owed).

  • Pictures of neglected, debris-infested homes in White Rock could make a 50-page edition for us to browse through.

    But rather than that, how about we all go out, look around at our own homes, spend a  weekend, if need be, (cutting grass/weeds, putting things away or getting rid of them if we have no place to store them, getting dead vehicles sent to vehicle heaven, storing your boats, campers, etc. out of sight to your neighbors.)

  •  On behalf of the United Way of Central New Mexico (serving Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia Counties), I extend  thanks and appreciation to the United Way of Northern New Mexico for their hospitality and leadership in convening local United Ways from around the state.  

    New Mexico’s communities are served by a number of independent United Ways and the United Way of Central New Mexico values the opportunity to meet with, and learn from, other United Ways in the state.