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Opinion

  • Green jobs get most of the attention these days, but lately there’s news from an old and not-so-green industry, mining. Here, we have good news, bad news, and no news.

    Good news: Lea County will get its first new potash mine in four decades, Santa Fe Gold Corp. will begin processing ore near Lordsburg, and reclamation will begin soon at abandoned coal mines near Raton.

  • SANTA FE - If you like political surprises, you should love the next six months of the 2010 campaigns.

    Sure, attack ads will fill the air. They’ve already started in the gubernatorial race and we will be able to add the 1st and 2nd congressional district races to that soon. But expect some almost unpredictable twists also.

    Remember the last gubernatorial race in 2006? Gov. Bill Richardson was sailing toward his second term when Republicans suddenly switch horses after they already had nominated Dr. J.R. Damron as their candidate. That was an all- time first.

  • The medical cost of prescription opioid abuse in the United States is estimated to be more than $300 billion a year. That’s billion with a “b.”

    This statistic, which almost knocked me out of my chair, was presented recently at a conference of the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Association by Dr. Charles Kennedy of Corpus Christi, Texas, an expert on occupational medicine issues. This part of his talk was subtitled “Pain Medication Crisis.”  

    No kidding.

    A few more statistics from Kennedy:

  • Urtabulak and Ixtoc — two obscure names that can be found in the dusty (and unread) journals of historic blunders. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Let’s go back 47 years and see how little we’ve learned.

  • Will we be able to secure the U. S./Mexico border, or will it be impossible? With the U. S. Border Patrol denied access for routine patrol in federally designated wilderness areas along Arizona’s border and with new corridors and safe havens for illegal activities in wilderness along the border in New Mexico, how would securing the border be possible?

  • KRSN AM 1490 is Los Alamos’ radio station. It has been here since 1947.

    It has been a part of the fabric of this community for 63 years. It entertained Manhattan scientists after long days of inquiry. It grew to include news, sports and entertainment. It grew to be “the talk of the town.” It is a piece of living history continuing to bring you news, sports and entertainment.

  • We put a man on the moon and returned him safely to Earth. More than once, even.

    Inspired yet? More Nobel laureates and millionaires are in the Obama administration than ever before. Feel a tingle down your leg maybe?

    All of the pieces are in place for a remarkable turn of events.

    For the first time in our history, a sitting president will face a primary challenge from a member of his own cabinet. If this isn’t hope and change, what is?

  • SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson still has Billy the Kid on his mind. This time, instead of trying to dig him up, he’s wanting to pardon him for his sins.

    The governor invited me to his office a few months ago to ask if I would help him gauge public opinion, especially among the Billy community, about his project.

  • Friday (June 18) the Monitor underscored the problems of economics going forward we face.

    The Hannemann/Holsapple debate will, I suspect go on about how well business development happens here.

    But the lead story about our station, KRSN, still having antenna placement problems, shows the difficulties that many here, including myself, see as over commitment to code and under commitment to community needs.

  • I opened Thursday’s Monitor and read where the LAPS administration is getting comfortable in its new nest. Was I surprised to find out that the nest is a “building from owner Elmo C de Baca with the intent to buy it.”

    More taxable property out of the tax bucket. Silly me; I thought my tax dollars had just been spent to provide them with spanking new pads in upscale “Pajarito Cliffs.” Oh, those digs are just for the worker bees; not the higher ups.

  • British Petroleum is denying our media access to some of the areas affected by the Deep Water Horizon oil rig disaster. It has also violated OSHA regulations designed to protect cleanup workers’ health and safety.

    BP refuses to issue respirators to cleanup workers, who are being sickened and hospitalized for exposure to toxic fumes from oil and from a chemical dispersant, banned in other countries, which is being used in defiance of an EPA order. Training time for these workers is less than that required by OSHA regulations.

  • When Barney heard New Mexico’s next governor will either be Democrat Diane Denish or Republican Susana Martinez, he was elated.

    “That’s great,” gushed my friend from New Jersey in a phone call last week. “I know I’ve poked a lot of fun at your hick state over the years, but your future is on track with a female governor.”

  • When the British Petroleum oil rig exploded in April and sank to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico taking with it the lives of 11 workers, the wave of popularity that swept President Barack Obama into office just 15 months earlier ebbed. With his administration clearly sinking under the weight of its own ineptitude and inaction, it’s as though the oil rig and Obama’s presidency were inextricably tied together.

  • On the Navajo Reservation, you sometimes hear this comment: “They live so far out, not even the census takers can find them.” This is said with a bit of pride. Sometimes, envy.

  • The Monitor’s practice of giving space to Richard Hannemann’s critical harangues is tiresome but would be much more tolerable if it did not support publication of misinformation and mischaracterization of the positions and activities of others in the community. I want to point out that I am a recent victim. The aims and activities attributed by Hannemann to me and LACDC in his recent article on the editorial page are not mine.

  • Back in the late 1800s, some marketing genius discovered that glass wasn’t the only transparent thing made by man. He noticed that the number nine was also transparent, in fact virtually invisible, and hence was born the trailing invisible nines. I’m talking about the ubiquitous nines thrown at us in one of the most nefarious pricing strategies ever conceived.

    A gallon of milk costs $2.99.  A roasted chicken costs $5.99. A pound of Vermont apple smoked bacon runs $12.99.  Ah ha, you didn’t even see those nines, did you?

  • Mostly we see the day-to-day. The long-term isn’t noticed. Once in a while, though, changes grab our attention. Our children, toddlers just yesterday, get married. The lovely olive colored dishwasher from the ’70s now is ridiculed.

    Our economy is the same way. Unbeknownst to those of us buried in the day-to-day, from 2000 to 2008, some interesting and unreported things happened around New Mexico. The observation comes from annual per capita income figures for counties released in April by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

  • The conventional wisdom has it that we, the American people, are angry, frustrated, fed up and that we aren’t going to take it anymore.

    “Down with the rascals!”

    “Off with their heads!”

    “Out with the bums!”

    Who knows? Once in a while the conventional wisdom turns out to be on target.

  • From the Monitor June 13:  Kevin Holsapple, “... Trinity (Place) is to anchor a share of the shopper traffic in our community that currently flees to other communities.  Increased shopper traffic in the downtown can provide increased opportunity for other businesses.”  

  • To me, there’s nothing like a breakfast that involves an egg. That dose of protein, I think, helps me last at work until noon or even beyond the lunch hour if need be.

    Like me, you probably often have a dozen eggs on your grocery list. And when you wake up bleary-eyed on a Saturday morning, you face the choice of how you will buy those eggs.