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Opinion

  •   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.

  • SANTA FE — It appears only two state senators will be trying to climb the political ladder this year. Senators have four-year terms, as do statewide elected officials.

    Those offices – governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, auditor, treasurer and land commissioner – all are elected in even-numbered years with no presidential election.

    State Senate elections are held at the same time as presidential elections. That means state senators are in the middle of their four-year terms when statewide officials are elected.

  • SANTA FE ­— Happy 98th birthday, New Mexico. You’re getting up there in years. What in the world are we going to do for your 100th?  The answer is not much. We don’t celebrate such things as grandly anymore. It has become so complicated. We still feel pretty free about celebrating Christmas, New Years and athletic victories. But anniversaries of events are something else. It’s not that we don’t know how. New Mexico had a huge celebration in 1940 for the 400th anniversary of Coronado’s Expedition. It was truly statewide.

  • You can tell it’s going to be a bad day when you wake up to find that your waterbed sprung a leak during the night. You can tell it’s going to be an even worse day when you remember that you don’t own a waterbed. Some days are better than others and some years are pretty much the same.

    But this is going to be a great year.

  • I am displeased with the overwhelmingly unconstitutional voting record of New Mexico’s entire congressional delegation.

    To judge for yourself and to keep apprised, please allow me to recommend The New American Magazine’s Freedom Index, available at www.thenewamerican.com. This invaluable resource summarizes congressional voting records and provides concise explanations regarding the constitutionality of each vote. Other useful websites are www.campaignforliberty.com and www.oathkeepers.org.

  •  I’m writing to you in support of the mil levy vote for the University of New Mexico Los Alamos branch.  Surprisingly enough, many of our town residents don’t realize that there’s a college branch right here.  We have some of the best faculty that you’ll find anywhere, including our main campus, and our class sizes are small enough that our students enjoy specialized attention from the instructors.  Although the majority of our degrees are two-year degrees, we also offer a full four-year computer science degree.  We are also one of the first

  • For the record, if you’re reading this right now, chances are you’ve successfully navigated through the wonders of the 21st century’s first decade.

    Perhaps you even have some water left from the Y2K scare. In fact, is there a better place to begin a reflection on the past 10 years than at the very beginning – or, say, the 12 months before?

  • The year and decade ended for me in an awesome experience of reconciliation in two outdoor ritual folk plays in Alcalde, just north of San Juan Pueblo, on Dec. 27.

    The Matachines dance and “Los Comanches” play were performed back- to-back in the brilliant winter sunshine on the icy ground of the Camino Real, below the snowy peaks of the Sangre de Cristos.  

    The folk plays reminded us how badly our new decade needs respectful truces. Democrats and Republicans, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, modernists and traditionalists, badly need to reconcile.

  • The letter by Mark A. Robinson “Climate change is liberal hot air,” Dec. 31, 2009, is a good example of what’s bothering people about this issue. It attacks the idea of human-caused warming not from a scientific point but from a political/economic one. Indeed most objections to this idea are made because it’s thought that this is some political ploy that’s simply going to cost too much to do anything about. This is understandable since there are a fair number of supporters of the idea who are liberal and many against it who are conservative.

  • The New Mexico Environment Department’s (NMED) recent public venting at LANL over radionuclide reporting in groundwater appears to be another subterfuge at hiding its own inadequacies in regulation.  NMED clearly has no statutory authority to regulate radionuclides at DOE facilities.  LANL provides large amounts of information to NMED as a courtesy.  Environmental surveillance reports dating back to 1970 and many other reports are full of data on ground and surface water and are publicly available.  For many years there were quarterly public meetings to talk about

  • Words take on a cultural aura. In Spanish, all nouns have a gender. Everything is either masculine or feminine, but neither rhyme nor reason can tell which.

    Would you guess the Spanish word for “necktie” is male or female? Even though neckties are in the men’s wear department, the word for necktie is “la corbata,” clearly feminine. You will do no better at guessing the gender of Spanish words for dress, book or window (masculine, masculine, feminine).

  • So we end the year with a climate “accord” nobody likes. And health care reform limped out of Congress with critics baying on all sides. When the Legislature convenes to contend with the state’s red ink, we’ll probably see more controversial compromises, just as we did in the special session.

    Which makes me think we don’t know how to compromise anymore. I’m not sure we even know what a compromise is.

    I’ve seen the process in two settings – as a mediator and as an observer at New Mexico First’s Town Hall Meetings.

  • With the advent of each new year, we can’t help but reminisce about the good times we had over the past twelve months. Buying your first house. Picking out that new expensive carpet. Bringing home a puppy for your kids. Buying a new carpet after the puppy ruined the carpet in your new house. Yeah, you can’t help but smile as you look back.

    Perhaps the best way to say au revoir (or Good Riddance) to 2009 is to recall some of the highlights that entertained the nation.

  • The Los Alamos Governmental Review Initiative would like to share information vital to the citizens of our community.  In the process of our successful petition drive to put to vote two amendments to the County Charter, we discovered that approximately 8 percent of those citizens who believe they are registered to vote in our county might not receive their mail-out ballots.  

    Anyone in Los Alamos who has moved or had a name changed should contact the county clerk’s office immediately to update their voter registration.  

  • As the Copenhagen Climate Change summit approached last week, articles appeared in liberal venues world-wide proclaiming the pending consensus on climate change, formerly known as global warming, formerly known as the coming new Ice Age.  Yes, I can remember when President Obama’s science czar, John Holdren, was predicting a coming Ice Age in 1971 “Global ecology: readings toward a rational strategy for man, edited by John P. Holdren, Paul R.