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Today's Opinions

  • Thank you from Lions Club

    Giving sight to community

    The Los Alamos Lions Club would like to express appreciation to the people of Los Alamos who have donated their used eyeglasses. These glasses are taken to an eyeglass distribution center where they are refurbished and given to needy persons in the United States, as well as around the world.
    Only volunteers of the Lions Club perform these jobs. Thanks also to Eye Associates of New Mexico for their donation of glasses.
    The collection boxes for used eyeglasses may be found at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, Los Alamos Medical Center and the Mesa Public Library.
    Lions Club has a dinner meeting at the home of Mary Swickard the first and third Thursday of the month. Any interested persons are welcome. Call 672-3300 for more information.

  • Knowing no means no

    Katie’s parents were excited to see their daughter going to college.
    They told her that she would be making all sorts of new friends, that she should welcome the experience of new adventures and new challenges, and most importantly that she should not be afraid of the unknown.
    Yeah, right! Can you imagine parents telling their 18-year-old daughter not to be afraid of college? Encouraging her to take chances? Encouraging her to trust new friends?
    One in five female students on college campuses report sexual assaults to the authorities (police). These statistics do not include the alarming number of brutal sexual assaults not reported.
    Of course, if women didn’t go to college, they wouldn’t get raped in college, right?
    That’s the inspirational logic spewed from the putrid decomposing brain of Phyllis Schlafly, who said “Boys are more likely than girls to look at the cost-benefit trade-off of going to college. The imbalance of far more women at colleges has been a factor in the various sex scandals that have made the news in the last couple of years.”
    That’s pure genius!  Schlafly equates the increase in female enrollment in colleges to a cost-benefit for men. And women are “asking for it” by going to college in the first place.

  • Negative interest rates can be a brilliant concept

    I have to admit that initially I was uninterested, even close-minded, about the negative yield being offered on a growing share of European sovereign debt.
    “It must be a short-term aberration,” I thought at first. “Completely nutso,” I sniffed dismissively as the phenomenon spread. “Who in their right mind would invest in a financial instrument that would guarantee a loss of principal?”
    Upon calmer reflection, I would shrug and think, “Well, to each his own, but none of those topsy-turvy debt instruments for me.”
    More recently, I have taken a more tolerant attitude toward negative-yield debt. As I teach my Econ 101 students, the key to success in the economic marketplace is to set aside your own preconceptions and preferences and to acknowledge that the consumer is always right.
    In fact, the more I think about it, I find myself attracted to the idea of offering such a service to satisfy this unfathomable consumer appetite for negative yields. Maybe I should announce that anybody out there who would like to send me money on the condition that I return less than all of it to them in the future is free to do so (as long as they include payment for any incidental transaction costs). From that perspective, negative interest rates are quite ingenious.

  • DOT: Fixing N.M. roads is a matter of policy

    White poles frame the lanes of N.M. 279 at its intersection with N.M. 124 just north of Laguna and form a cluster.
    For the first-time observer, the white hilltop cluster is odd: “What in the world is that?” Turn north on 279 and the purpose — if not the rationale — becomes evident. The poles channel traffic, such as it is, through the intersection.
    Our years long, nine-figure difference between what ought to be done maintaining and building highways and the money available, as defined by the state Department of Transportation, must be a matter of policy. It has continued so long that it must be on purpose.
    Just kidding. I hope.
    Within the policy, some things stand out — the ghostly cluster, for example.
    One doesn’t just build a road. My sample of the materials from a Transportation Commission meeting is a five-eighths-inch thick book.
    Examples of work DOT likes appear in the department’s annual report. While the project descriptions are all happy news, some interesting hints slide in. The 2013 report’s description of rebuilding the I-10/I-25 interchange south of Las Cruces mentions reconstruction of two bridges “to meet current design standards.”

  • Thank you to community

    Great community
    outcome for Earth Day

    On behalf of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center and as chairperson for the Earth Day Festival at the new Nature Center, I would like to thank the committee, the many volunteers, the staff, the community and the weather for making our Earth Day Festival a wonderful celebration. Fit in amongst the moving, settling and opening of the Los Alamos Nature Center was planning for the celebration of our planet Earth.
    The committee included volunteers and staff of PEEC, the Los Alamos Co-Op Market, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Bradbury Science Museum, and University of New Mexico-Los Alamos. Although we have sponsored an Earth Day Festival for 15 years, this was a new place, which presented new challenges. Each contributor’s ideas and dedication were greatly appreciated.
    Our sponsors included Los Alamos National Bank, LANL, Atomic City Transit, UNM-LA, the Los Alamos Monitor, the Los Alamos County Environmental Sciences and Los Alamos Mainstreet. We could not have done it without their support.
    We would especially like to thank Kristin Henderson, chairperson of the County Council, who took time to be our Master of Ceremonies.

  • Will N.M.’s economy get $260 million-plus boost?

    Back in early April, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez found himself in Roswell speaking to the Chaves County Republican Party’s annual dinner.
    It’s the sort of thing lieutenant governors do, part of the unofficial job description that goes with the position: If the governor can’t or doesn’t wish to make a speech before a group of local party leaders, send the lieutenant governor.
    Normally news coverage of such appearances goes largely unreported except, perhaps, by the local newspaper. In this case, however, after the lieutenant governor made it known to Chaves County’s top Republicans that “pressure is growing for a special session of the Legislature,” the story made a good deal of news.
    Naturally the Roswell Daily Record picked it up, but so did numerous other New Mexico papers and statewide TV newscasts. It even showed up in the conservative Washington Times back in the nation’s capital.
    Which makes a certain amount sense, inasmuch as only a few days earlier Gov. Susanna Martinez made it abundantly clear that she wasn’t keen on a special session. Mixed signals coming out of any governor’s administration make headlines.

  • Blatant showing of incompetence

    Dr. Gary Welton has clearly demonstrated that he has indeed set a very low bar for his children to exceed him. His complete failure to understand statistics is displayed by referring to no less than three differences of less than one standard deviation as if they were statistically significant.
    That all three have the same sign may indicate something, but not much.
    Do we need to have such incompetence presented in the local paper of ‘science city?’

    Terry Goldman
    Los Alamos

  • Proposed Los Alamos bag ban bad for environment and freedom

    Los Alamos County Commission is now considering banning plastic grocery bags.
    More than 200 municipalities in the United States, including two in New Mexico — Santa Fe and Silver City — have banned the distribution of lightweight plastic shopping bags.
    Proponents of bag bans, specifically the Sierra Club, claim they will reduce litter and protect the marine environment, diminish our consumption of resources and emissions of greenhouse gases, reduce waste and save taxpayers’ money.
    Unfortunately, the supposed environmental benefits of banning plastic bags evaporate upon closer examination.
    For starters, authoritative studies show that plastic bags constitute less than 1 percent of visible litter in U.S. cities.
    Litter is never a good thing, but the right way to reduce it is to through education — not to simply ban plastic bags.
    Members of some pressure groups claim that plastic bags kill large numbers of marine animals. Even for bags distributed in coastal cities, that claim is simply false.
    As David Santillo, a senior biologist with Greenpeace, told The Times of London: “It’s very unlikely that many animals are killed by plastic bags. The evidence shows just the opposite … on a global basis, plastic bags aren’t an issue.”