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Opinion

  • 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.

  • At every level, we humans have a natural drive to understand the world around us. We try to understand people and the economy (with little success), and we try to understand the natural world around us (with more and more success over time).

  • You should have already received an email to let you know the Valles Caldera Trust is proposing a 10-year plan to restore and manage the forest, grassland, shrubland, and riparian systems of the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

  • I have practiced oncology and hematology in Los Alamos for two years alongside Dr. Peter Lindberg.

    Dr. Lindberg works on Tuesdays and cares for patients with prostate cancer. I take care of people with all other cancers and blood disorders all the other days of the week.

    My practice is diverse, ranging from providing care for people with anemia to those with multiple myeloma, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, malignant brain tumors and many other diseases. They are from all walks of life.

  • We are closing out our 2010 Relay For Life and I want to send a very big thank you to the community of Los Alamos.  

    We raised approximately $36,000 during our fundraising efforts this year for the American Cancer Society.  

    I want to thank the many relay teams that braved the rain to walk 18 hours around the pond.  

    The walking wasn’t always easy, but the dedication and honor shown toward those who are fighting cancer and those we have lost was profound.  

    The business community was enormously generous this year.  

  • By the sheerest coincidence, I have just read two books that turned out to share a theme: the power of statistics. “Moneyball,” by Michael Lewis, is about major league baseball.  

    “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” by Tracy Kidder, is about the physician Paul Farmer, who revolutionized medical care in rural parts of Haiti and other remote places.

    Both books describe revolutions in the practice of a discipline because of a revolution in what gets measured and somebody’s bull-headed insistence that it is critical to measure the right things.

  • Greek playwright Aeschylus is recognized as the father of tragedy.  He once noted: “He who learns must suffer.  And even in our sleep pain, which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”  

    Oh yeah, clearly this guy wasn’t big on comedy.  He did however recognize that true understanding is often super-glued to a swift kick in the head.  Who wants wisdom if you have to listen to that darn dripping noise of common reason all night long?

  • What do Scottsdale, Ariz., and Chapel Hill, N.C., have in common?

    If you said, “rich people,” you get partial credit.

    But the answer we’re looking for today is: Both require that homes in their communities be built with fire sprinklers in their ceilings.

    Fire sprinklers. Like the one’s Bruce Willis used to save the giant building in the first “Die Hard” movie.

    The do-dahs countless kids, one suspects, have tried to turn on with a lighter.  

    Or perhaps that’s an urban myth.

  • The County Council decided to change the name of the Airport Basin Site?

    Why?

    What was so bad about the name “Airport Basin Site” that it had to be changed?

    Who determined that it needed to be changed?

    Who approved the idea?

    If the name “Airport Basin Site” was so bad that it needed changing, why was it named that in the first place?

    How does the person that named the Airport Basin Site in the first place feel about being told the name wasn’t any good?

    How much is it going to cost to make the change?

  • When the New Mexico Small Business Investment Corp. formed in 2001, its founders envisioned the organization directly owning minority stakes in a large number of small New Mexico businesses that had received federal loans from the Small Business Administration or U.S. Department of Agriculture. While this seemed like a good idea at the time, it was a challenge to implement.

  • When she was two years old, “Maria” crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico on her mother’s back. She grew up as an American, graduated from high school in New Mexico, married a Navajo man and started a family.

    She’s now alone in a rundown apartment in Juarez, one of the planet’s most violent cities, far from her husband and children. Part of the price of trying to obtain legal residency is to first leave the country and wait for the immigration bureaucracy to creak forward. She speaks poor Spanish; to her, Mexico is the foreign country.