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Opinion

  • The Council is preparing to select a site for the next Municipal Building.  Unfortunately, the result of this very important decision is likely to be compromised by an unfortunate urgency.  

    I am not referring to the excellent work done by the Municipal Building Site Selection Steering Committee. They analyzed and deliberated in a methodical manner that is to be commended.  

  • University of New Mexico - Los Alamos Campus is a valued asset to the community in that we provide an affordable, quality education for a diverse population of students.  UNM-LA holds the promise and dedication of promoting learning opportunities that will help students create hope for a brighter future. We at UNM-LA make the college experience exciting and rewarding with small classes, leading edge studies, a flexible schedule to fit your lifestyle, good resources, student activities and advisement throughout coursework.

  •  Call me strange, but I don’t drive a Humvee armed with a 50-caliber gun turret shooting up the neighborhood.

    I don’t engage in mortal combat with 800-pound lizard-people, vaporizing them with crystal swords or energy grenades.

    I don’t fight evil hordes of Planet Zorton, protecting the planet from certain doom. And yet somehow, I manage to cope with the day-to-day existence known to normal people as “life.”

  • In case you haven’t heard, there will be no cost of living increase for Social Security recipients next year. This has spurred outrage and consternation on Capitol Hill. After all, seniors vote in large numbers and are a politically-powerful voting bloc, so efforts to placate senior citizens are usually received favorably in Congress.

  • I have known Penny Granich and her family since 1999.  She worked for me at the Blue Window Bistro as my manager.  She is a great worker.  I got to know her family also at that time.  I have watched as she has struggled to keep afloat after the horrific accident of Dec. 4, 2005.  I was saddened by Tom’s death.  I sat through the trial and was thrilled when her not-guilty verdict was read.  We thought it was finally over.

  • This year is the 400th birthday of science and engineering. It’s an occasion worth noting and giving thanks for because each day those twin disciplines improve the lives of billions of people around the world. (Beyond that, science and engineering are awfully fun, so their total effect is sort of like combining doing good all around the planet with the pure joys of playing chess).

  • Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on the Principle of Population” (1798) predicts that population growth, spurred by societal improvements, eventually will outstrip natural resources leading to universal famine and the demise of civilization. It reasons that population growth is exponential, while growth of food production is linear.

  • Last year at this time, we were staring into an economic sinkhole, wondering if it had a bottom. In New Mexico, we’re usually spared the worst of downturns or there’s a delay in its impact, and this time we’ve seen both. Now, as we feel the monster’s tail lash our industries and our job market, it’s a good time to take stock.

    When I say, “First, the bad news,” you can assume there’s some good news.

    Really.

  • Myth:  Obama doesn’t want government-run healthcare.  

    Fact: Obama is on tape recorded as saying, “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program.  I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. “

    Gee, sounds like socialized medicine to me. You decide.

    Myth: The current leadership is not pushing us towards socialism.

  • Marita K. Noon either made a serious writing error in her recent Guest Column, “Eliminate redundancy to fix the budget,” or else she needs a substantive remedial course in elementary mathematics.

      She quotes Oil Conservation Director Fesmire as “sputtering,” that “... the OCD annual budget was only about 4 percent of the state’s budget PROBLEMS” (emphasis added).

  • Here’s something most of us know: There is a correlation between the Earth’s temperature and the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. And here’s another measure: CO2 concentrations grew 60 percent faster during the last eight years than in the 1990s.

  • If you could eliminate 4 percent of your debt with one pen stroke, you’d want to do that wouldn’t you — especially if it meant removing some redundancy from your expenditures? For example, if you are renting an apartment and it includes free cable Internet access, but you were also paying for DSL through the phone company, you’d quickly cancel your DSL service.

  • There are many places in the U.S wherea the value of education may seem abstract, but in Los Alamos that value is tangible. It can be seen and felt.

    Education built this town and it remains one of the best educated population in the country. To cite a typical example, 60 percent of Los Alamos residents have bachelor’s degrees, compared to 24 percent in the country as a whole, according to the last census.

    Even with hard choices in store for our community’s educational future, Los Alamos is more fortunate than most.

  • SANTA FE — What will come from the special legislative session that started Saturday? It may be the state’s most important special session ever.

    Gov. Bill Richardson and lawmakers will have to plug a budget hole of some $700 million. That’s a $700 million shortfall that has occurred since last March when the 2009 session ended.  By August, it was up to $400 million. In September, it climbed to $550 million. And now it’s October.

  •   Why are education and other state services being cut. What is the problem? When the New Mexico Legislature passed $1 billion in tax cuts for corporations and the rich in 2003, this created a budget deficit which lawmakers balanced with increased tax revenues from higher oil and gas prices. After the energy prices dropped, the deficit reappeared. But the 2009 State Legislature refused to repeal the $1 billion in tax cuts for corporations and the rich in order to balance the deficit.

  •   In Connecticut, possession of illegal drugs is a one-year jail term for first offense violators. Most states will lock you up for possession of a single marijuana joint. A gram of cocaine can result in a seven-year prison sentence in New Hampshire. You can get 30 days in jail just for selling a cigarette to a minor.

  • The “Cash for Clunkers” program for new cars may have ended, but the Internal Revenue Service wants to remind taxpayers that many people might overlook another special break available. If you buy a new vehicle this year, there’s a special federal tax deduction available that can help you save money — in some cases, hundreds of dollars. This tax break will allow people who buy a new vehicle in 2009 to deduct the sales and excise taxes they pay when they file their tax return next year.

  • I just saw a television ad sponsored by the U.S. Citizens Association about health care reform. I am all for airing a particular point of view, but I strongly oppose outright misrepresentations. The entire ad focuses on socialized medicine. Under socialized medicine, the government owns health care facilities and employs all health care professionals. There is no insurance. There is just health care for little or no payment. It is tax supported.

  •   The cat is killing me. I’ve had my ‘Tommy,’ as I call him, for about 3 years now and the darn thing is driving me crazy. Tommy used to be quiet, and kept a distance most of the time, but for the past 18 months he’s been driving me up the wall. I know some people love ’um, give them a feeling of contentment, but I just can’t jump up and down about mine, even when the darn thing is being good.

  • Gov. Bill Richardson has it right. He continues to speak out for holding public schools harmless in a special session of the legislature and he has been consistent and firm in that commitment.