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Opinion

  • Not every kid is worried about how Kris Kringle can go to so many houses in the world, all in one night.

    Unlike you, Antonia, my curious young friend, those kids will probably not be reading this column.

    But since you asked, I have looked into the question for the most current and credible peer-reviewed description and here’s what I found.

    The best explanation of Santa’s technological powers came this year from Larry Silverberg, a real-life professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University.

  • This week we take a break from politics, pay-to-play and pocketbook issues to celebrate all things New Mexican. With a tip of the hat to comedian Jeff Foxworthy ...

    If your good jeans are the ones you wear to church, funerals or the Santa Fe Opera, you must be a New Mexican.

    If linguists, anthropologists and historians appear at the door to visit with grandpa or grandma, you must be a New Mexican.

    If you’ve ever voted for a politician named Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker or Jose Cuervo, you’re definitely a New Mexican.

  • I used to have the utmost respect for our local police department and considered their efforts to be outstanding but no more. My 18-year-old granddaughter was carelessly pulling her boy friend’s car from in front of our house and an oncoming car hit the front end. Three police personnel just happened to be nearby and investigated immediately.

  • I am extremely disappointed with the recent job elimination action by the 3M Corporation in Los Alamos. Only eight weeks ago, a 3M company officer spoke to the assembled workers at Imtec’s HYTEC Technology Center in Los Alamos. He told us, your jobs are safe; your job may change, but you will have a job. Eight weeks later there was a different plan and no satisfactory explanation for the job cuts by the 3M Corporation. Twelve positions were eliminated, without warning, on Dec. 7.

  • The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce (GACC) proposed last month that New Mexico reimpose the tax on food. The food tax issue has not gone away, but a wiser strategy would be a targeted tax on junk food, rather than making necessities like fruits, vegetables and baby food more expensive for New Mexico families.

  • One week the White House announces an Open Government Initiative. The next week the National Nuclear Security Administration slams the lid down on a vital piece of information that has been shared with the public in the past.

    That probably isn’t the way it was meant to play out, but that’s the way it felt.

    Here’s what happened:

    Like most other newspapers and citizens everywhere we have been led to expect a new era of openness in the federal government.

  • There’s hardly a town in New Mexico that isn’t affected by tourism, even if visitors are just passing through. And this was not a good year.

    If you can agree with those two statements, maybe you can agree that there is such a thing as a good tax. I would define a good tax as one with a specific, desirable goal that takes a small bite and inflicts minimal pain.

    The tourism folks are hoping lawmakers see their proposal that way.

  • This is an interesting time of the year. Snowfalls paint a wonderful texture on the sagebrush, and the distant mountains become picturesque with their candle-dripped white caps. The mesas glimmer in the sunlight with their earth tone colors sporting ice floes. The entire landscape seems to yell out like a George Henry Durrie painting.

  • At the dedication ceremony for the Municipal Building, June 24, 1967, County Administrator Paul Noland said, “This building symbolizes Los Alamos as a normal New Mexico town and a normal New Mexico county.” My how things have changed. Now we have a “vision” statement that “Los Alamos and the lab are inseparable.” Not exactly a normal town or normal county. Not exactly the vision that Los Alamos had for itself 40 years ago.  Not exactly what was envisioned by the people who fought to establish a separate and independent Los Alamos County.

  • On behalf of the Los Alamos High School Science Department, we want to thank the Los Alamos community for their overwhelming generosity to a person who is very special to us. We hosted a fundraiser for fellow science teacher, Dave Thurston, who is battling leukemia and in need of financial assistance because his health insurance does not cover all the costs associated with his treatment.

  • Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) was the first senator to offer a successful amendment to the big Senate health-care overhaul bill now being debated in Washington, D.C. It was a perfect lesson in what’s wrong with the political mentality.

    According to Mikulski’s news release, the amendment would “guarantee women access to preventive health care screenings and care at no cost ... [by requiring] all health plans to cover comprehensive women’s preventive care ... with no copayments.”

  • Yes, it’s that time of year again. It’s the holidays and ’tis the season to be stressed. Crowded malls, last minute shopping, endless lines, 200 cards to write ... what? You mean I’m the only one who does that? Bummer. No wonder I don’t get many back.

  • The Los Alamos County council certainly talks-the-talk when it comes to supporting local businesses, but they and the county departments fail to walk-the-walk. In at least two current situations, Pet Pangaea and KRSN 1490 radio, this lack of support borders on active obstructiveness.

  • On the night the big snowstorm hit (Monday night and Tuesday morning last week), the Los Alamos electrical power went out. Our house was cold, and we could not start the heater. Los Alamos had a lot of power outages during 2009. The next day, my wife decided to make some Christmas buns to take to friends. She shaped the buns like snowmen, with raisin eyes, mouth, buttons, etc. After the buns rose to appropriate size, the electric power went off again and stayed off for a long time, so that she could not bake them. The buns continued to increase in size until they were totally distorted.

  • Surface water in New Mexico has always been crucial for agriculture, recreation and the ecological health of our rivers. Now, with a growing population and severe depletion of many of the state’s aquifers, surface water is also being developed as the major source for domestic water supplies. Protecting that water from contamination has become more important than ever. How can we help?

  • If you’ve ever wondered what members of Congress do to earn their keep, the current health-care debate on Capitol Hill should give you a good idea. This complex legislation, placed on the congressional agenda by President Obama but shaped by the intense give-and-take of the legislative process, is a perfect window into our democracy.

  • As long as people drive to bars, we’ll have drunks causing accidents.

    Those were the words of a UNM sociology professor I used to work with who was an expert on DWI.

    This year, like every other year in memory, the Legislature will tackle DWI. The governor has proposed some strict new measures to “defeat this problem once and for all.”

    Once and for all. Brave words.

  • SANTA FE — Disagreements between Gov. Bill Richardson and the Legislature are making state budget cutting even more traumatic. Both sides are pushing hard on the limits of their authority to get the upper hand on what will be cut.

    Our state constitution created a weak governor in order not to put too much power in any one person’s hand. But it does give the governor line-item veto authority. Gov. Richardson has been using that power to its fullest extent.

  • One has to wonder what motivates a person to write about anything these days.  Do people rant in the hopes that someone out there is actually listening?  Do people really expect to change the mind of someone they never even met?   Personally, I think columnists spill out their thoughts in newspapers and blogs not to be heard, but simply to get all that clutter out of their heads.

    So what’s it all about?

    And can someone tell me who Alfie was and why we should care? 

  • In a letter to the Monitor on Dec. 1, Don Willerton requested more information about who the poor in Los Alamos are. It is easier to answer his question by discussing who the poor are not. “The poor” are not victims of their own personal choices. Poverty, despite the myths we tell ourselves so we can try to sleep better at night, is not a punishment for personal failures and bad life choices. It is neither the result of laziness, nor of the lack of motivation or responsibility.