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Today's Opinions

  • Bosque Redondo, Long Walk, treaty are Southwest survival stories

    It’s a human thing, I think, that nearby things and people get less attention. So it was for the Fort Sumner Historic Site/Bosque Redondo Memorial and George Dodge Jr., a Santa Rosa businessman. Then Dodge, a Democrat, became a state representative. With De Baca County, home to the Bosque Redondo Memorial, in his district, Dodge’s perspective changed.

    Dodge shared the story on a hot Saturday, June 9, at the memorial, as part of events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the June 1, 1868, signing of the treaty releasing Navajos from the concentration camp (today’s common term), allowing them to go home, and establishing the Navajo Nation.

    For the Navajo Nation, 2018 is the Year of the Treaty.

    June was full of commemoration events at Window Rock and other locations.

    One of three treaty documents is now displayed at the Memorial, which is seven miles southeast of Fort Sumner. It’s a big deal; it’s important.

    Navajos came to Bosque Redondo as prisoners of war, rounded up by soldiers led by Col. Kit Carson. Carson also got some of the Mescalero Apache people to Bosque Redondo, though without the scorched earth campaign conducted against the Navajos.

  • The full-blown sprint to 5G commercialization begins

    BY ASHA KEDDY
    Vice President, Technology, Systems Architecture & Client Group and General Manager of Next Generation and Standards, Intel Corporation

    Just six short months ago, I remarked that the finalization of the Non-Standalone 5G New Radio represented “One Small Step for 5G, One Giant Step for Wireless ” – noting that, with the announcement of the common standard, the real innovation was just beginning. Today, I’m excited to say that the industry has not just taken more steps to advance the future of 5G, but has gone from a walk to a jog to a run, and is now in a full-blown sprint to commercialization, as the 3GPP Release 15, Standalone (SA) 5G NR standard is finalized.

    Intel has been uniquely positioned at the forefront of these conversations – providing essential technological inputs and leveraging global partnerships to push testing and implementation of standards-based technologies.

    We’re also working with operators and manufacturers worldwide, to drive a wholesale transformation of the network infrastructure required to deliver 5G experiences to a flexible, agile and virtualized architecture powered by Intel computing technologies.

  • Tariff on newsprint hits newspapers hard

    The Post and Courier of Charleston published this editorial June 13.

    The trade war with Canada over steel, aluminum and milk understandably grabs the headlines. But flying under the radar is the battle over Canadian newsprint, a skirmish that’s hurting businesses and costing jobs.

    In January, the U.S. Commerce Department, responding to a complaint from a New York private equity firm that bought a Washington state mill, imposed a 6.2 percent tariff on imports of Canadian newsprint, then added another 22 percent in March. And U.S. newspapers, to put it mildly, are suffering mightily.

    That’s why a group of newspaper executives will travel to Washington, D.C., this week to try to persuade lawmakers to get the Commerce Department to back off. The tariff already has prompted layoffs – newsprint is typically a newspaper’s biggest operating cost behind labor – and caused some newspapers to reduce their number of pages.

    Thousands of U.S. newspaper jobs are hanging in the balance.

    The Washington state paper mill employs fewer than 300 people. Like some other recent tariffs, the cure is worse than the disease.

  • LeDoux on the Hill: Books speak volumes about today’s DC climate

    Living in Washington in 2018 has almost felt like living in a book club. The fascination around Donald Trump’s presidency has overtaken the city and has a lot of residents asking how did we get here? From the lines at Starbucks, conversations on the metro, or the halls of George Washington University. There isn’t a place in the DMV where this topic isn’t being discussed. Heck, even on a tour of an apartment I did, I got sucked into a two-hour conversation about Trump just because I discussed what I did for a living. To answer these questions many in the beltway have turned to books, on the Metro, I’d see book covers with titles that attack the president.

    The two gossipy books about Trump that I still see on the subway every now and then, and by the cash register at the CVS, are, of course, Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” and James Comey’s “A Higher Loyalty.”

    Apart from the Harry Potter books from my childhood and the Bibles in church, I have never seen more people in the wild reading the same book as these two books in the Washington Metro area. Even I bought into the hype, and the Wolff book lives in my kindle to this very day.

  • Election system favors political extremes, discourages moderates

    If you’re a political moderate and feel your choices in the coming election are pretty darn limited, a lot of people feel your pain.

    The recent primaries bestowed victories on women. (Hurray!) They also blessed progressives and conservatives and left moderates in the dust.

    In the much-watched Congressional District 1 race, progressive Deb Haaland trounced Damon Martinez, a moderate and former U. S. Attorney.

    For State Land Commissioner, Stephanie Garcia Richard, another progressive, surged ahead of her opponents. George Muñoz, a businessman and moderate Democrat from Gallup, ran third, but the good news is he’ll still be in the state Senate.

    In Northern New Mexico, Rep. Debbie Rodella, a moderate who served 25 years, lost to a progressive newcomer, Susan Herrera. Rodella, chair of the Business and Industry Committee, had campaign money; Herrera had volunteers and shoe leather.

    On the Public Regulation Commission, moderate Dem Sandy Jones lost to progressive Steve Fischmann, a former Las Cruces legislator. And Lynda Lovejoy lost to Theresa Becenti-Aguilar, who previously held the seat. These two races were affected in part by a backlash against an industry super PAC donations to both.

  • Trade tariffs might hurt, not help, blue-collar Americans

    The Wall Street Journal published this editorial June 12.

    More than a few conservative intellectuals have warmed to Donald Trump’s trade protectionism because it supposedly helps blue-collar Americans. But what if his tariffs do the opposite?

    Erica York at the Tax Foundation crunched some numbers recently showing that Mr. Trump’s proposal for a 25 percent tariff on imported cars, trucks and parts could eliminate half of the income gains from tax reform for millions of Americans. Those in the lowest income quintile could lose 49 percent of their tax gains. Say for ease of calculation that these folks received a $100 after-tax bonus from changes like the doubled standard deduction. After auto tariffs that would be whittled down to $51, Ms. York notes.

    The tariffs shave gains in all income brackets, but no one is hurt more than the poor and middle class. Take the fourth income quintile, or a household making at most about $70,000 a year in adjusted gross income. The Tax Foundation says auto tariffs could erase nearly 30 percent of that family’s after-tax income bump. Ditto for the third quintile, or a family earning no more than $43,000 a year.

  • School lessons for adults who want to help

    When I started as a volunteer tutor four years ago, I wondered if I had the know-how to help a first grader catch up with his peers in reading. When school ended this year, I wondered if I’d need to throw myself on top of my student in the event of an active shooter.

    The answers are yes and not yet. The program prepared us for one but not the other.  

    When I started, I, like all the other school volunteers, simply wanted to help. But I also wanted to learn because schools are much in the news, and I write about them. It’s been a fine adventure.

    I learned that one little guy who doesn’t like reading but does like sports overcame his reluctance to read when offered books about sports at his reading level. Books like these are somewhat scarce, and for Hispanic athletes, they’re nonexistent, so at times I just wrote my own stories from web information about the lives of athletes. I leave in the hard stuff like divorce and poverty because my students experience both.

  • State program helps businesses clear loan collateral gap

    Joshua Grassham recognized a novel approach to supporting small business financing when he saw one. The vice president of commercial lending at Lea County State Bank in Hobbs was the first New Mexico banker to secure a client’s loan through a new state program to help collateral-poor businesses.

    The New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) introduced the Credit Enhancement Program (CEP) earlier this year as a way to help businesses, especially startups, by purchasing short-term certificates of deposit that businesses can use as collateral for larger loans. 

    Grassham closed his first loan in February on behalf of a longtime customer who wanted to start his own business serving the oil and gas industry. The customer had good credit and a sound business plan, but he lacked sufficient collateral to support his startup loan. The CEP loan bridged that gap.

    Grassham has two more CEP loans in the pipeline – one for a new restaurant and the other for a senior care facility.

    Temporary support