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Opinion

  • The question is not whether history will be debated. If history is kept, the debate may be one of substance. If history fades out, the debate will be “sound and fury.”

    Keeping history strong and healthy is the goal of the proposed Manhattan Project National Historical Park, or some form of one.

  • Until recently supercomputers were only available to scientists and high-end companies. The ability to simulate complex systems, such as new commercial aircraft, is of the utmost importance to large businesses. However, small-to-medium size businesses have been disadvantaged since they have not had access to supercomputers. And while the work done with the world’s fastest government computers was critical to our national defense, the public did not have the opportunity to access these computers to do non-defense work.

  • SANTA FE — Legislative leaders put up a fuss when Gov. Bill Richardson announced on the final day of the 2010 session that he would call them back into session six days later.

    The governor now has given them an additional six days to work out their differences before calling them back into session. March 1 is the new date.

    Several senators had said they thought a quick return was a bad idea. And they really won’t have any more information with a second six-day extension than they had at the close of the regular session.

  • Christmas is long past with most presents either broken, shoved to the back of closets or donated to the thrift shop (like that purple and orange striped lycra body suit your Aunt gave you). Well, the holidays may be over, but you can still give your kids a wonderful gift.

  • Like most legislators, I am not proud of the fact that we were unable to finalize the budget during the 30-day session.  Our budget is top priority and I am confident that we will be able to balance it during the upcoming special session.

  • I am pleased to see that the Historic Sculptures Master Plan Committee (HSMPC) has mapped out a 10-year plan for life-sized statues of historic figures to be placed around town (Monitor, Feb.17). The unified theme would be a positive result.

  • Los Alamos is an island in the sky, comparable to other island communities. One other is St. Simons Island, Georgia, a coastal barrier island with a similar population size. Los Alamos was evacuated in 2000 due to the Cerro Grande fire; St Simons was evacuated in 1999 due to Hurricane Floyd. Or rather, evacuation was attempted. As Los Alamos has N.M. 502, St. Simons has a causeway.

  • In recent appearances, President Barack Obama has suggested that it’s time for Washington to confront the intense polarization and incivility that mark our politics these days.

  • SANTA FE — The 2010 Legislature didn’t get its job done. Democratic leaders knew the unwritten rules. Begin secret negotiations between House and Senate Democratic leaders several days before the session’s end while publicly continuing to predict a train wreck.

    It didn’t work this time. Democratic leaders said they just ran out of time. But the problem, in fact, is that none of them have confronted the reality of a recession that hasn’t bottomed out. They still cling to their insistence upon extending the hurt to everyone but themselves.

  • Two heavy hitters passed from the oil and gas industry in recent weeks.

    Pete Hanagan headed the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association for 15 years until 1985. He died at age 81 in Ireland.

    The association’s other Irishman, Bob Gallagher, got his walking papers a week after Hanagan’s death. Both men hailed from Roswell, and both practiced law, but the similarities end there. In the differences between the two is a tale for our times in New Mexico.

  • I know that most people are struggling with the way things are going these days. I, for one, am struggling with the way our society views education.

  • Some bicyclists want bike lanes all over Los Alamos and our county council has accommodated many of their desires. Indeed, the entire stretch of Diamond Drive is slated to be so marked when finished.

  • Not all Midwesterners realize they live in a region where earthquakes can strike, but they got a small reminder of that simple fact earlier this month when a 3.8 Richter scale temblor struck in northern Illinois. Let’s hope we can learn more from the event than just what the passing headlines might lead us to think about — because the center of our country is woefully under-prepared for much larger quakes yet to come.

  • SANTA FE — They just don’t get it. New Mexico is in a Great Recession that won’t be solved by quick fixes or nickel-and-dime fixes. And yet Santa Fe seems to be in denial.

    Even if a budget bill had passed, we are still at the beginning of a long road. We’ll have many more special sessions and regular sessions before we’re out of this hole.

    Sooner or later our governor and lawmakers will have to face the fact that minor surgery is not going to cure our budget problems.

  • This country is currently facing a huge triple threat to its future in the form of deficits: the first is a deficit of trust; the second is a deficit of jobs; and the third is a deficit of dollars.

    The current administration and Congress, apparently unable to break free from the bonds of ideological thinking, continue flailing away but repeatedly come back to the table with the same untenable solution and that’s to spend more money.

    That’s not the answer. It never has been and it never will be. Government cannot spend its way to economic prosperity. While the deficit of dollars that began in the Bush years was the equivalent of a hand grenade going off in the economy, the onset of the Great Recession and subsequent stimulus spending has resulted in something like the detonation of a nuclear bomb with a mushroom cloud that portends to obliterate any chance at financial prosperity for generations to come.

    As long as the specter of a lame economy looms large on the horizon, there’s little likelihood that the deficits of trust or jobs can be reduced either. Government can only gain the trust of the American people when it makes sound policy decisions. Likewise, as long as private sector employers are uncertain of the economy, hiring will be slow to rebound – such as what we’re experiencing right now.

  • One frequently hears the complaint that Los Alamos has too little retail choice – too few stores, too limited an inventory in the few stores we have and too high prices. The unspoken assumption behind these complaints is that this is the fault of the retailers themselves, or perhaps of the county government.  In fact, it is no one’s fault but our own.

  • It was a dark and stormy night.  The midnight air hung like a wet dishrag scented with the musty reality of stale promises, neither pride nor prejudice able to taint the flaking veneer of lost hope.

    The young college student gazed out his apartment’s broken window and wondered if it had been a mistake to major in paleontological reproductive systems.  Perhaps his parents were right and he should have considered meercat podiatry.

  • The county’s presentation, “New Municipal Building Space Program Update” at the Feb. 2 county council meeting did not generate the kinds of questions from the council that showed it was concerned about cost issues. There were questions on the size of the council chambers and conference rooms. However, there were no questions about why the space requirements were based upon the GSA figure of 300 square feet per person rather than 200 or 250. The cost of the building is a function of the size of the building, currently estimated at 50,425 square feet.

  • Thomas and Rebecca Shankland’s letter “Roundabouts are the way to go,” underscores a continuing problem in the Los Alamos community, including White Rock revitalization.

    The Shanklands consider roundabouts the safe and effective way to deal with traffic (presumably on NM 4) and they consider traffic lights ugly. (Who determined traffic lights are ugly?)

    Their opinion is put forward as fact.

    My wife and I think traffic lights are really safer and roundabouts a way to annoy our neighbors, at least those we’ve talked to.

  • Decisions, decisions, decisions. As a cancer survivor I hate making them. As a survivor of cancer as a chronic disease, I hate them even more. Think about it. If you have one of those horrible cancers that are likely to recur, and very difficult to treat, odds are you know the statistics. For example, I know that the average life expectancy for ovarian cancer patients is around eight years. For other cancers it’s worse. Of course, statistics are just that, data that physicians use to make clinical decisions.