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Opinion

  • 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.

  • For many years New Mexico citizens have seen gasoline prices bounce up or down by 5, 10 or more cents per gallon.  

    Sometimes there were several price changes each week.  

    Service station operators, fuel distributers and the general public easily handled the constant price changes.  

    Nor have we seen any major negative economic impact or complaints from the general public concerning these constant price bounces.

  • Those angry growls you hear are likely emanating from employees of state, local and county governments around these United States, and their fury is approaching the level a roar. Two years into the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression, there’s barely a state where declining tax revenues haven’t produced budget shortfalls the likes of which haven’t gripped state and local governments in decades.

  • I just finished reading the Monitor and I have to say that I am truly saddened by what I read.

    Geoff Rodgers is the only candidate who supported local businesses 100 percent in his campaign for county council. Geoff you have my vote!

    The excuses are endless, “It was more convenient to shop in Santa Fe or online,” “It is too expensive when you use a middle man,” and “I did not know that any businesses offered this service.” I can walk down Central Avenue and see that these services are offered at two locations within a block.

  • Chimpanzees walk on two feet. They have hands, use tools and language and have a complex society. They display intelligence and emotion.

    Yet the United States government treats them as property, with no more rights than ashtrays or toilet seats.

    About 240 chimps at the Alamagordo Primate Facility in New Mexico were rescued from an abusive owner - cited for improper care and even negligent deaths - in 2000.

    They had been used for decades for research, much of which could be considered torture.

  • Colorado Springs is broke.

    A friend, driving in Colorado Springs recently, hit a pothole and did $400 in damage to her car. “They’re not fixing the streets!” my friend says angrily.

    It’s just possible my friend was going a tad too fast, perhaps operating on previously true assumptions of flat street surfaces. Certainly, going less fast is one short-term means of dealing with potholes.

    The Colorado Springs situation raises questions about the proper role of government.

  • Last week the Legislative Finance Committee warned that the state could see another revenue shortfall, even with the combined cuts and tax increases delivered in the last legislative session, even with federal stimulus money. The governor is presently ignoring the committee’s Nervous Nellies and waiting for consensus estimates by government economists.

    You will recall that if we see red ink, the ball – tossed to him by legislators – is in the governor’s court.

  • SANTA FE — Mid-July is a momentous time in New Mexico’s history. On July 14, 1881, Pat Garrett shot Billy the Kid. The Kid is arguably the world’s most famous outlaw. The news quickly traveled around the world.

    On July 16, 1945, the world’s first nuclear explosion occurred at Trinity Site, north of Alamogordo. According to history, news of that event traveled nowhere but Los Alamos, Washington, D.C., London, Potsdam and Moscow.

  • The primary way in which banks make money is through loans.  But in today’s economic environment, regulators are requiring banks to increase their reserves – the capital that backs loans — to support an increasing number of loans at risk of default.  As banks work hard to reduce their bad loans, many are making far fewer new loans and decreasing the limits on existing lines of credit. Their problem is that they need to make more loans to make money, but they are being pressured to make fewer loans.  

  • On my way back from visiting family in New York, the passengers were seated and waiting for our plane to depart.  

    We were delayed and as we sat there, a man was talking on his cell phone to his friend Dan.  Well, yelling on his phone is a bit more accurate.

  • Caroline Spaeth (“Road Work a Hazard to Pedestrians”) is correct to point out the need to ensure pedestrian and bicyclist safety in the construction zones along Diamond Drive.

    We certainly expect the county and the contractor to ensure all efforts are made to manage this project as safely as possible.

  • Were you hoping that life might slow down a bit this summer, but disappointed that time still is moving way too fast?  Are you feeling increasingly harried and distracted?  Does the thought of reading this entire article seem like it’s just going to take up too much of your time, so you’d better just skim ahead and get the main point?

    If so, you’re not alone, and the cause, according to a new book (available at Mesa Public Library) called “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains,” might be the time you spend online.

  • I am writing because I am very concerned about pedestrian and bicyclist safety on Diamond Drive.

    The increased amount of roadwork in numerous areas along the road is making it very difficult or nearly impossible to walk or ride a bike safely away from car traffic from the Los Alamos Canyon bridge past the high school and up past North Road.

  • John Pawlak’s usually amusing (content and style) column fell flat on July 9 when he argued like a politician about teacher pay. Namely, he quoted national expenditures of 600 billion dollars for this and 700 billion for that, but cuts in education funding.

  • SANTA FE — As of July 1, New Mexico state government began fiscal year 2011 $80 million in the red, maybe. That’s what the Legislative Finance Committee is guessing.

    Does that mean more tax increases and cuts in government services? For now, additional tax increases seem unlikely. The Legislature and governor have come to what seems like a firm agreement that there will be no more special sessions for the rest of the calendar year.

  • I see my name in a “Guest Column” from the July 9 Monitor where my friend Don Peterson writes about troubling aspects of the global warming issue.

  • A water expert I know complained last week that the candidates for governor haven’t said a word about water, one of the state’s biggest issues. But you can name about any subject and come to the same conclusion.

    Instead, the candidates have chosen to wrangle over perverts and who’s running the dirtier campaign. It’s surprising that Diane Denish would start with crime, which is Martinez’s strength, instead of her own, which is business and the economy.