en Thankful for students, parents, community <p> BY KURT STEINHAUS<br /> Superintendent, Los Alamos School District</p> Medicaid: New Mexico’s runaway train <p> BY PAUL J. GESSING<br /> President, New Mexico Rio Grande Foundation</p> Presidents and Thanksgiving: Proclamations through the years <p> BY DR. GARY SCOTT SMITH<br /> Center for Visions and Values</p> Los Alamos: A unique place with incredible views <p> BY ANDY DENNIS<br /> Special to the Monitor</p> The Keystone XL decision, climate change, some political realism <p> BY GERALD B. ANSELL<br /> PH.D. Greener Research, Los Alamos</p> Not losing is a loser’s game <p> BY DR. EARL TILFORD<br /> Visions and Values</p> NM’s ‘unbanked’ population booming <p> Using a bank is one element of being money savvy. Overall, we are not especially money savvy, says, a personal finance website.<br /> In gobanking&rsquo;s judgment of relative state money savviness (or not), New Mexico is in the group ranking from 31st to 40th. Criteria include using banks, saving and investing and a state&rsquo;s financial education policies, such as requiring courses in high school.<br /> The 2013 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was an important source for gobanking.<br /> New Mexico&rsquo;s 857,000 households are 10.9 percent what the jargon calls &ldquo;unbanked,&rdquo; without any bank account. That&rsquo;s 42 percent more than the 7.7 percent of unbanked households nationally.<br /> Another 22.5 percent were underbanked, that is, they had a bank account but used &ldquo;alternative financial services&rdquo; such as money orders, check cashing, remittances, payday loans, refund anticipation loans, rent-to-own services, pawn shop loans, or auto title loans. During the 30 days before being surveyed, 15.1 percent had used alternative financial services. Another 14.9 percent used such services during the past year.<br /> Majority of state’s jobs are still in low-paying sectors <p> New Mexico First just issued an ambitious Progress Report for the state, focused on the state&rsquo;s big four issues: education, health, economy and water. The nonpartisan public policy group provides a frank, unemotional appraisal of where we&rsquo;re at with the hope that legislators and organizations can use the information to find common ground.<br /> The report&rsquo;s advisory committee, drawing from an array of sources, chose 35 indicators. Some we&rsquo;ve heard before, but others give us new insight into our strengths and weaknesses.<br /> First, the good news: The state is making progress in pre-kindergarten enrollment, science and math college graduates, heart disease deaths, health insurance coverage, child immunization, adult smoking reduction, household income, unemployment, export-related employment, fiscal and regulatory policy, energy production, total water use, water use by public water systems, and water rights adjudications.<br /> And the bad: The state is getting worse in child hunger, mental healthcare access, healthcare provider access, substance abuse deaths, poverty, waterway impairment, and dams with safety deficiencies.<br /> Let&rsquo;s look at the economy because it supports everything else.<br />