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Opinion

  • 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.

  • The school board approved a measure that asks residents to back a bond resolution to help repair and rebuild our schools.

    This is a measure – and effort – that we should support.

    Our schools are old and in need of repair – and in some cases outright replacement. The board recognizes this fact and its members are taking the right steps to move us forward.

    Yes, this will be a tax increase; there is no way of getting around that. And yes, these are difficult times in Los Alamos right now.

  • A recent ruling by the Attorney General’s Office should be of concern to everyone.

    See, the office ruled that state law contains no recourse for people who ask to inspect state officials’ public e-mails and find they’ve been deleted.

    So if an official wants to hide something, just do it via the Internet than delete it.

    It is scary. Any document produced by a public figure doing the public’s business belongs to the public. To just hit the delete key to avoid disclosure is not acceptable.

  • We can understand the concern of the Bernalillo County Clerk that she would run out of ballots on election day.

    But please, how much is clearly too much?

    See, Bernalillo County shredded almost 1.4 million ballots – which cost taxpayers about $1.2 million – that were left over from Tuesday’s primary election.

    County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver says her office wanted to avoid a debacle of not having enough ballots.

    Well and good, she should make sure she had enough. But how many voters does she think live in Bernalillo County?

  • Officials are boasting of a high primary election turnout. Statewide that translates to a whopping 28 percent.

    Yes, 28 percent of registered voters actually going and casting a vote is something to brag about.

    And this is of registered voters – many citizens don’t even bother to register.

    A total of 543,615 Democrats and 354,272 Republicans were registered to vote in Tuesday’s primary election. Of that, about 138,000 Democrats voted, while some 111,000 Republicans went to the polls.

  • First, Hill Restaurant was honored by the state’s restaurant association. That recognition is well deserved and appreciated by anyone who goes there to eat.

    The service is always pleasant and prompt.

    Now, the Hilltop House’s staff was recognized by the Best Western Corp. for having an employee who goes above and beyond.

    Again, anyone who has stopped by has always been greeted warmly – both in the hotel and the restaurant.

    These are just two examples of the outstanding businesses we have here.

  • While voting has been going on for some time, Tuesday is the big day when polling places will be open and tallies made.

    If you have not voted, be sure that you do so at your place of registration (see Sunday’s paper for a complete list.)

    Voting is one of the key elements of a democracy, be sure that you take part.

    Registered voters can begin casting ballots on primary election day from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

    As a recap, here are the Monitor’s recommendations in this primary election; only commenting on contested races..