.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Columns

  • Assets in Action: It’s summertime. Let’s get reading!

    Welcome to summer! It doesn’t matter what the date is on the calendar, school is out, so let’s get reading!

    One of the greatest memories as a child, was going to the library. We were poor, so there wasn’t summer camps, classes or an annual family trip. The library offered a bunch of mini adventures, that you got to take home. 

    I remember moving to Los Alamos and trying to pay a fine when my books were late. The librarian told me that there was no fine for being late. My mouth was agog! No penalty, isn’t that grand? I can also recall some robot, I believed the library staff called Harry, that would call you when you were late with books. I loved it, but I think he scared people, and they took him off the reminder call.

    Reading is so important for all people, from infants to senior citizens. It’s good for your brain, good for relaxation, well perhaps depending on what you are reading. It’s also way better than television, at least some of the time. It is also very important to help kids with retention during the summer, so they don’t miss a beat when school returns.

  • Manufacturing makeover reaps rewards for ABQ business

    By Finance New Mexico

    Aaron Velasquez knew it was time to modernize the equipment and processes his family’s metal-plating business had used for four decades, but he wasn’t sure where to start.

    An industry contact introduced him to New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NM MEP), a nonprofit that trains manufacturers in lean principles, value-stream mapping and other methodologies that help businesses increase profitability and competitiveness.

    Theta Plate, a second-generation, family-owned Albuquerque-based business, specializes in electroplating of precious metals for industrial and commercial uses, such as friction reduction and conductivity enhancement in electrical and computer components and applications that improve the radiance of costume jewelry.

    Much of the equipment used at Theta Plate was as old as the company, and manufacturing processes were geared to that legacy machinery. Over the decades, environmental laws had changed, forcing the company to spend precious financial resources meeting more stringent standards for wastewater discharge.

  • Before changing national monuments to parks, do deferred maintenance

    By Harold Morgan

    Turning Bandelier and White Sands national monuments into national parks isn’t just a feel-good deal. There are questions to ask, especially in light of the crowds overwhelming parks such as Zion in Utah, which I discussed in the previous column. 

    The proposals come from Sen. Martin Heinrich. 

    Bandelier is near Los Alamos and White Sands is southwest of Alamogordo and within the much larger White Sands Missile Range. Bandelier is about cliff dwellings; White Sands is a giant box of white sand.

    More people have come to both monuments the past few years, though both remain well below the record visitor numbers of decades back. For White Sands, the visitor record was 666,879 in 1986. The visitor count was 603,008 in 2018, up from 490,506 in 2013. 

    For Bandelier, 2001 was the most recent year with more than 300,000 visitors when 313,850 came. In 2018, it was 198,441. The record was 430,138 in 1994. 

  • On Family Law: Divorcing without going to court

    Mary Ann R. Bermester

  • Assets in Action: Spring can spark depression

    As you read this, spring has officially sprung! A few days of warm weather will put many in a good mood, just to know that warmer days are ahead of us.

    This is also a time when many often struggle with depression. Spring is a time when there is a large focus on new and improved, happiness and regrowth. Sometimes, people don’t see themselves in the same light and it can start a downhill spiral.

    You can learn a lot about a variety of topics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Their website at nami.org has areas of support for a variety of groups. You can learn about a certain condition, how to help a veteran or where to find support. 

    On Sunday, on CBS this morning, I saw a story about a young girl that propelled me into action. Alexandra Valoras, was a 17-year old girl with good grades, well liked, involved in clubs and didn’t appear to show any signs of struggle to her parents or her close friends. Then, after a family trip, she walked to a nearby overpass and jumped off.

  • When it comes to drinking, what is moderation?

    By Thomas Biuso, M.D.
    Senior Medical Director, United Healthcare of New Mexico

    A glass of wine with dinner, a few beers with work friends – drinking is not going to hurt you unless you overdo it. Right?

    It’s hard to say. New research shows even moderate alcohol use may have serious health outcomes.

    One recent study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, analyzed the correlation moderate drinking has with risk of death and also the potential for developing cancer. Researchers found the risk of death increased for those who consumed one to five drinks per week. The study also found consuming five to seven drinks per week increased risk of cancer by 10 percent.

    This study highlights the potential health risks associated with drinking, even when alcohol consumption falls within the guidelines set by the U.S. government. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion considers safe consumption to be up to one drink per day for women and up to two per day for men.

  • Rural water project funding now available

    By Arthur A. Garcia
    USDA Rural Development, New Mexico State Director

    Not long ago, the United States was a world leader in infrastructure investments. Federal and private funding helped even the most remote communities obtain electricity, running water and access to the rest of the world through telecommunications. 

    However, recent years have not followed the same trend, and too many rural communities have been left behind. The need for improvement is great, especially for rural water and wastewater systems. 

    To put this in perspective, the American Water Works Association estimates that more than $600 billion is needed over the next 20 years to upgrade our nation’s water and wastewater systems. Unfortunately, many small and rural water systems lack access to affordable financing.

  • Entrepreneurial orbit: Businesses at heart of resource expo

    BY HOLLY BRADSHAW-EAKES

    Finance New Mexico

    Once a business gets its foot inside the door with an economic development organization like the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), its opportunities for growth expand dramatically. Jack Kloepfer discovered this while navigating his Aztec, New Mexico, business beyond the line of outdoor recreation products he built from thermoplastic-coated fabrics and into products for energy and aerospace industries. The company’s relationship with New Mexico MEP has led to others, including the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program (NMSBA), the Small Business Development Center at San Juan College in Farmington and the New Mexico Economic Development Department, where Jack’s Plastic Welding CEO Errol Baade hopes to find capital to expand production space.

  • Laundry pods are a reminder to talk to our kids

     This week, I would like to focus on how often we talk to our children and maybe provide some ideas of what we need to talk about.

    I confess, I was unaware of the laundry detergent pod challenge. I thought about putting the word challenge in quotes, but the selection of words should probably have the word stupidity in front of challenge.

    I knew of the fact that toddlers and perhaps small children may see these pods as colorful pieces of candy. Due to that, parents might need an extra reminder to store them safely and away from tiny hands. 

    I also heard and understood that patients experiencing dementia symptoms may also be confused by their colorful nature. There is an illness connection to that confusion, so again clearly a logical conclusion.

  • Time to ask: ‘How is UNM athletics paying for itself and helping the university?’

     In 2017, the University of New Mexico got itself a new president, a new athletic director and a new athletic financial officer. They have their work cut out.

    UNM athletics is such a mess that former State Auditor Tim Keller called the athletics department and its fundraising arms “an ungovernable ball of organizations.” A special audit noted nearly $700,000 in missing revenues, perks for insiders, mixing of public and private money, and years of blown budgets.

    What other college sports program has drawn its own investigative journalist and a website devoted to its excesses? For about a year, Daniel Libit and his “NM Fishbowl,” instead of the usual fawning Lobo coverage, has scrutinized the program and demanded accountability. Now Libit, turning to other pursuits, calls on New Mexico journalists to stop acting like stenographers and step up to the plate. College sports should be covered like a public institution and not entertainment, he told the online NM Political Report. Students and taxpayers should hold the department to higher standards.