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Opinion

  • The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus placed the idea of change at the center of his worldview, arguing according to Plato, that “you could not step twice into the same river,” because different waters flow, while the person remains the same.

    The question resurfaces in view of the Special Legislative Session that began at noon today. But is it rather the person who changes?

  • The term “500-year flood” makes the news as often as sandbag brigades work on levees. Offhand, the term seems to tell the last time and the next time for such a bad flood to hit.

    In reality, the term is a beautiful tool for describing and managing risk.

    The workaday term does its work mostly out of sight, busily dividing up flood risk among government, individuals, and the free market. The term measures and coordinates the portions of risk handled by each sector. Dividing up risk is a central reason societies organize.

  • There is no argument that the council can do what it wants – what it thinks is right. But we think that it should at least be forthright in that process.

    We believe that the council failed to be so in its announcement that it would put the issue of the skate park on its agenda on Aug. 19. We – along with almost everyone else – thought that this meant an honest reconsideration of the project.

  • As this year’s United Way of Northern New Mexico campaign begins it seems important to keep in mind that the theme – “People Matter” – is more than a slogan. It truly is what United Way is all about.

    Helping people.

    The campaign kicks off this Wednesday with an event at Los Alamos National Bank, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The kickoff is being held in conjunction with the Chamber’s monthly FAN Club and everyone is invited to attend.

    Los Alamos National Laboratory will kick off its annual drive with a gala Aug. 27 at the lab.

  • While we doubt that oil and gas prices will collapse and fall much below where they are today, they are falling and little and each drop means just a little less for the state.

    And these falling gas and oil prices have caused members of the Legislature to worry that the state’s projected $400 million revenue windfall may be melting away like an ice cube on a hot summer day.

  • How many times have we stated that perception is reality? That is the problem we see with the council’s decision Tuesday night on the skate park.

    If there had been some kind of independent, impartial hearing officer or body that had rendered the exact same decision as the one the council did, we believe this issue would be over.

    But those who question the project – and the process – simply do not feel they got a fair hearing, that, it was not right to have the judgment made by those who made the judgment.

  • Regardless of your view, this is the time to go do your back-to-school shopping.

    Today through Sunday there will be no gross receipts taxes charged on many school items.

    And this is a great time to discover just how much of your school – and other – needs can be met right here at home.

    There are some restrictions on the back-to-school gross receipts tax holiday and you need to be aware of them.

  • High fuel prices are hurting everyone. People are cutting down on their driving, they are driving more carefully and they are taking the bus.

    Ridership on the buses to Santa Fe and Albuquerque are up and if you have been on one of the Atomic City buses you’d see a high ridership.

    In fact, many routes at many times have packed buses as people seek to get relief from the high price of gas.

  • Well, it’s Aug. 15. That’s the date the governor has set for his big push. And that push has gotten even bigger.

    At first, the plan was to call the Legislature back in September to get them to pass his health care reform measure – the one that died in the January session.

    Now his call includes a request for more highway funds and his much CARE package that is now the centerpiece of the upcoming special session.

  • A recent article by the Associated Press reports that New Mexico’s largest electric utility is being praised by an environmental group for being ahead in the renewable energy game.

    The Legislature last year began requiring that investor-owned utilities, such as Public Service Company of New Mexico, generate 20 percent of its total retail sales to customers from renewable energy resources by 2020. The standard will gradually rise to that level from a current base of 6 percent.

  • If there is one thing that Los Alamos is known for, it is innovative science. So it is a natural fit for our community to host a fair devoted to new scientific discoveries and inventions.

    Kudos should go out to Los Alamos MainStreet for putting together the Next Big Idea fair this weekend.

    The first instance of what the organizers hope will become an annual signature attraction is meant to showcase discoveries and inventions.

  • Several years ago, the state invested heavily in bringing a call center to the Albuquerque area. They said they were working to provide jobs.

    That center is now closed. Moved on. Jobs gone.

    Recently the governor announced that Albuquerque would be home to a $35 million automobile factory for Tesla Motors’ all-electric, four-door, five-passenger sedan. He said the facility would mean 400 new jobs.

    Today, state officials are expressing disappointment that the company that built the first mass-produced, all-electric car will keep its factory in California.

  • Last week, Gov. Richardson announced several new DWI initiatives as part of the 100 Days and Nights of Summer campaign to prevent drunk driving.

    While we laud the governor’s efforts, it must be remembered that there are some very good anti-DWI laws already on the books – we only need to get our judges to enforce them better.

  • It seems that every time a national report comes out, New Mexico seems to be near the bottom of it.

    Well, it has happened again.

    According to an annual Kids Count report, our state ranks 48th in the nation for child well-being with poor showings in its teen pregnancy and child death rate, as well as the number of high school dropouts and youths living in poverty.

    And once again, the only places worse than us are Louisiana and Mississippi.

    New Hampshire ranked No. 1 for child well-being.

  • Many people like to spend much of their time working overtime to find anything – and everything – that is wrong with America.

    And while there are issues and concerns we as a people and nation have and must deal with, a very solid case can be made that this is truly the best place there is to live.

    When we have troubles – be it with the government, our leaders or our laws – we deal with them. We don’t bury our heads and pretend those problems don’t exist.

  • It was good to see that the county utilities department understands that our electric grid needs work. We only hope that things move along quickly.

    As anyone who has lived here for any length of time knows, the power goes off way too often. And it is more than just an inconvenience.

    At a public meeting this week at Fuller Lodge, John Arrowsmith, the new utilities director, and Steve Cummins, the deputy utilities manager, told the audience that over the next four years, the county will be fitted for a new electrical backbone.

  • The proposals coming from the House Appropriators Committee were a mixed bag and a bit hard to understand.

    While adding millions to energy and water work, it cut out work on the lab’s Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement facility. This is hard to understand.

    You can argue that we don’t need a huge new stockpile of nuclear weapons, that is fine. But to say we need no work, no production, no research seems foolish to us.

  • We must take a moment to pause and give the lab some due when it is deserved. And it earned some big points Wednesday when it hosted the quarterly Community Leaders Breakfast.

    It is easy to point out when the lab fails or when it falls short. But if that is so, then the opposite should also be true.

    And it is so here as LANL Director Michael Anastasio should be given credit for opening the lab’s doors – if even just a little.

  • Dr. James Anderson stepped out of his office at 751 Trinity Drive today and into retirement. As superintendent of Los Alamos Public Schools for 14 years, he leaves behind a proud legacy.

    Sen. Pete Domenici recognized this, saying, “Although the school district will certainly miss his leadership, I believe he is leaving a solid foundation for even greater educational growth and development for students and the entire community.”

  • Saturday was Flag Day, the day we pay an official tribute to the American flag, the ideals it stands for and the sacrifices made to preserve them.

    While we should honor the flag every day, an extra day is a good time to remember the symbol that stands for what we believe in: freedom.

    President Woodrow Wilson recognized during his first Flag Day address in 1915 that the freedoms the U.S. flag stands for were not and never would be free.

    And American blood has been spilled time and time again to preserve our liberties.