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Opinion

  • Economists call them economic engines, and the rest of us call them our golden geese. Whatever they’re called, we need to trim spending carefully and, in some cases, feed the goose.

    Two cases in point: Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and the film industry.

  • SANTA FE — Perhaps  there was good reason for Attorney General Gary King to want his advice kept secret concerning the veto of a double dipper bill last March.

    This column and many other commentaries on King’s action had suggested his motivation was suspicious, maybe even nefarious. But it may be the secrecy was necessary to the performance of his job.

  • The attempted Christmas Day attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in Detroit demonstrates the need for constant vigilance in confronting the evolving nature of the threats to air travel security. As we work to address the vulnerabilities this plot has exposed, we must institute systems and technologies that would prevent the specific security breaches we saw on Flight 253, while having the vision and flexibility to deter future threats.

  • The bad news about state finances comes so often, it’s hard to pay attention sometimes. The latest bad news comes from the New Mexico Department of Transportation, which is warning local governments to expect cuts in money for local road projects because of declines in the state road and local government road funds.

    In a letter sent to local government road fund program participants, the department asks the participants to review projects to determine which can be downsized or postponed. School bus routes, city streets and equipment are all on the chopping block.

  • Tenth Night came and on the Eleventh Day, the picture emerged for the 2010 session of the Legislature that begins Jan. 19.

    The Legislative Finance Committee got there first with a 14-page outline released Jan. 4. A day later, Gov. Bill Richardson proposed, as his news release put it, “a responsible, balanced budget” with 5 percent reserves.

  • SANTA FE — Hooray. We still have a year to redeem the first decade of the 21st century from being a complete bust.

    Reader Earl Nielsen, of Alamogordo, recalled that 10 years ago, I participated in the effort to remind the world that the decade, century and millennium didn’t end on Dec. 31, 1999. It ended a year later.

  • I believe the most important role of newspapers is to keep citizens informed of what is happening in their community.  By being informed we can then be active in the community. 

  • The letter by Charles Chick Keller “Let science make the call on climate,” Jan 5, 2010 was welcomed by me. I was waiting for an opinion by a local scientist in this science-rich town of Los Alamos.

    I agree that the warming is real, but the statement that there has been “ no warming in the past eight years,” is pretty mild when the data shows a cooling trend that is equivalent to 2 degrees Celsius per century. How long does this go on before we change our minds about global warming?

  • On Tuesday, Dec. 24 at about 3 p.m., my Basset Hound, Gracie, was killed on the corner of 44th St. and Sandia in the Western Area right in front of my house. Whoever hit her, didn’t even stop.

  • Watching the antics of the United States Senate these past few weeks, I was struck by images of old men moving slowly and deliberately, afraid to go too quickly in any direction for fear of losing a campaign dollar or a vote.

    In every other American venue, new blood is regularly infused to keep up with changes in population, needs and attitudes. Not so in the Senate, where experience becomes a liability when it inhibits innovation and progress, and when senators’ ideas take on the color of their longtime sponsors.

  • When you are 20 years old, 10 years is half your lifetime, and time moves slowly. However, when you’re an older adult,

    10 years fly by at a speed that is unsettling. How has Los Alamos’ view of the environment changed in the last 10 years?

    The evolution of PEEC and Earth Day celebrations offers a frame of reference.

  • Sometimes a statistic knocks at your door.

    This one was an attractive, well-spoken, 40-something woman.

    “My husband and I were laid off last month. I can do cleaning, and he can do yard work,” she said, handing me a flyer.

    I could have used her help, but like a lot of other self-employed people, I’ve seen my work thin out lately.

  • Voters considering the UNM-LA operating mil levy and LA Public Schools (LAPS) bond renewal should be aware of a potentially important county council action that may lower the county portion of our property taxes.

  • SANTA FE — Expect the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to be the most fun ever. Brazilians know how to party. Even if Brazil doesn’t deliver on all the promises it made to win the bid, Rio will show everyone a good time, including television viewers.

    I say this after two weeks of travel in Brazil. I realize that doesn’t make me an expert on the subject but it did provide an opportunity to get a taste of the Brazilian way of life.

  •   I’d like to add my voice to those in opposition to the Monitor’s publishing of police arrests — along with photos of those arrested — on the front page of the paper. My opposition is not to printing the information. That’s an entirely different discussion. My opposition is to printing the information with photos on the front page.

  • Newspapers have a quirky kind of give and take with their readers. Typically it’s a predominantly giving relationship — that is until the newspaper does something readers don’t particularly agree with, and then the newspaper takes it… on the chin.

    Such was the case recently when the Monitor made the decision to start publishing mug shots in its weekly Police Beat, that’s become a standard feature on the Tuesday front page over the past several months. Mug shots are, after all, as accessible as the arrest reports that go along with them.

  • Colorado Gov. Ritter and New Mexico Gov. Richardson delivered an early holiday present this year – the new wildlife corridor initiative between southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. In the beginning of December, these two governors agreed to work together to identify and protect key wildlife travel and migration corridors across their shared border. The agreement sets out a plan to use the best scientific geospatial mapping systems available to help conserve several key habitats and migration areas.

  • SANTA FE — It is fun at this time of year to make predictions for the coming year in New Mexico politics. Then a year later comes the accountability, the time to tally how well I have done.

    This year’s evaluation of my 2009 predictions is not pretty. I usually have quite a bit to crow about. But a year ago today was during that brief period when we thought Gov. Bill Richardson was headed for the big time.

  • SANTA FE — Happy New Year. Here’s a toast to it being a happier year than this past one. Actually the entire decade has been pretty grim in many ways. Let’s hope this decade is an improvement.

    In keeping with tradition, herewith are some predictions about what may be in store for our state in the coming year.

    This year will be another uncertain one as far as our leadership is concerned. It was during the opening week of January 2009 that Gov. Bill Richardson announced he wouldn’t be leaving for Washington.

  • SANTA FE – For a moment, ethics reform has tiptoed into the spotlight.  But it won’t be for long and it won’t make much of an impression.

    Budget cutting is the major topic of the day, and for many days to come. It will be the excuse for nothing being accomplished on ethics reform in this coming legislative session.