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Today's Opinions

  • Workshop points small businesses toward government contracts

    FINANCE NEW MEXICO

    The federal government is the world’s biggest customer and a major driver in New Mexico’s economy.

    While only a fraction of the $8.2 billion that Uncle Sam spent in New Mexico in fiscal year 2017 benefitted local companies, advisers at the state’s four Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) work to increase the flow of federal dollars to small businesses that offer products or services the government wants.

    To that end, the Clovis PTAC is hosting a workshop March 20 at Clovis Community College for entrepreneurs who want to learn more about becoming a government contractor.

    “The workshop is to educate business owners on how to do business with Cannon Air Force Base and other government agencies,” said Jonnie Loadwick, procurement technical adviser at the Clovis PTAC and a certified VA verification counselor. “Cannon has been growing the last few years, and there is a lot of opportunity for government contracting in this area.”

    Obtaining government contracts can be just as onerous as securing contracts in the private sector: Businesses must aggressively market themselves, because competition is fierce.

  • Sheehey: Advocating for the GRT

    BY PETE SHEEHEY
    Los Alamos County Councilor, candidate for District 43

    As a member of the County Council’s Regional and State Subcommittee, I helped develop our state legislative agenda, which was approved by the whole Council last December.  One priority was to address the concern that if a non-profit organization won the new LANL contract, state and local government could lose a total of  $50 million per year in gross receipts tax (GRT).

    Working with our State Senators Cisneros and Martinez and Representative Garcia Richard, we developed a bill, SB17, to close the loophole that lets non-profit organizations avoid GRT payment as prime contractors for national laboratories (SB17 preserves the GRT exemption for all other non-profit businesses and contracts). The bill passed both Houses: 31-4 in the Senate and 48-19 in the House.  It still needs the signature of Governor Martinez to become law.

    Why SB17?

  • Political talk dies in style

    Political talk has had its substance wither away for the sake of style. In this country, business is conducted the most clearly and quickly using the American standard style of talk, which is also known as the “straight” style.

    In stark contrast, political exchanges today rely on ... are reduced to ... styles of metaphor, mimicry, sarcasm, sound bites and slogans. These popular styles would fail in business and they fail our country.

    Worse yet, the styles shift weirdly. In a political exchange, one style intrudes on the next style where they mix up for a spell before styles flip again. Shifts come too fast for the ear to know what style is in play. How much is metaphor? How much is sarcasm? What is told as a slogan? Or a joke?

    Parts of the talking from enemy sides are done in straight style. Yet, even the straight parts are lost in the crowd of talking styles.

    Examples tell more.

    Black lives matter” and “All lives matter”are two simple facts that are equally true when they are meant in the straight style. Now start every word with a capital letter and refashion the style as metaphor, mimicry, sarcasm or slogans. What happens?

  • Recent scrutiny of RCLC is sign of times

    BY ANDREA ROMERO
    Guest Editorial

    Founded in 2011, the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (RCLC) comprises nine cities, counties, and Pueblos surrounding the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Since I was hired as executive director in 2015, we have worked together to ensure that LANL is responsive to the issues and concerns of our northern New Mexico communities.

    RCLC has been the sole organization to go to the U.S. Congress and request increases for cleanup of nuclear waste at LANL. These requests have continued to increase from $184 million in 2016, up to $191 million in 2017, and a $217 million request for 2018. These funds bring critical jobs to northern New Mexico to remediate polluted land and water, making our communities safer and more environmentally sound.

  • Legislators: We don’t want to be Congress

     

    Last year was about digging holes. This year’s recently completed legislative session was about filling holes – literally, figuratively and financially.

    It was also about working together. “We don’t want to be Congress,” they said again and again.

    During the 2017 session, budgeters frantically emptied the state’s reserves, school balances and other funds to fill a deficit caused by plunging oil and gas tax revenues. It was an unforgiving process.

    In recent weeks, they’ve talked about “backfilling,” replenishing reserves and fund balances and restoring agency budgets.

    Two of the big issues were crime and the unstable, man-made cavity beneath Carlsbad. Lawmakers finally stopped talking and approved funding to remediate the Carlsbad Brine Well. Even then I heard griping: Why should it be the state’s responsibility? Well, we’ve harvested boatloads of taxes from the industry for decades. We can’t suddenly wash our hands of its impacts. (Footnote: Debates about over-regulation suddenly fall flat when we have a spectacular failure of regulation, and in this case it was a failure of state regulation.)

  • I’m an outsider, proven job creator, running for U.S. Senate

    I’m Mick Rich, and I’m running for the U.S. Senate. I’m not a career politician. I’m an outsider and a proven job creator.

    From the time I was in grade school, I wanted to build big things. I worked my way through college in construction and started my own company here in New Mexico. 

    Along the way, learning Hard Hat Values. 

    What are Hard Hat Values? Always do your best work. Use teamwork for every job. And do what it takes to get the job done. 

    Thirty-five years ago, I chose to start my construction business in New Mexico, because I loved the beauty of this state and the character of its people, and I knew I could make a difference here. This is where my wife, Marion, and I chose to make our home and raise our family.

    With the help of Marion and our four children, along with the efforts of scores of skilled and dedicated employees, I have helped to build communities around our state.

    New Mexico’s strongest resource is you and me, the people. People who work hard, treat one another with respect, and do what it takes to get the job done. We care for others and take pride our in our lives. That’s Hard Hat Values.

  • Time to talk about difficult subject of gun control

     

    Ithink you should know that my deadline for writing is well before you receive the paper on Wednesday. So needless to say, I feel like I need to comment on the events last week, in Parkland, Florida.

     

    As a nation, we will never come to agreement on gun control. I believe that the issue of mental health is too difficult of topic to tackle in a short-term solutions kind of way.

    So, when I hear the statements made by so many after a shooting that, “Now isn’t the time to talk, it’s a time to heal,” we have to realize that it happens so often that we are never talking about it.

    If that is the case, then I say let’s change the conversation! Let us look at it from a perspective at 180 degrees. What school is doing something that is making a shift in the area of bullying? Someone, somewhere is doing this work at gold standard level. If that is the case, then I call on all media outlets to sing their praises again and again.

  • N. Korea needs to abandon missiles before relations can improve

    Japan News published this editorial on why no improvement is possible in Korea relations without denuclearization.

    It is obvious that Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, has intensified his dialogue offensive to win over South Korea.

    Precautions need to be taken against a situation in which a rift would emerge in international efforts to contain North

    Korea, while there is no progress being made on the North Korean nuclear issue.

    In tandem with the opening of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, a high-level North Korean delegation visited South Korea and held talks with South Korean President Moon Jae In. Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of the North Korean leader, handed a personal letter from Kim Jong Un to Moon and asked Moon to visit North Korea at an early date. The letter was said to contain the leader’s willingness to improve South-North relations.

    Kim Yo Jong, as a special envoy for Kim Jong Un, joined the delegation led by Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea. It is the first visit to South Korea by a direct descendant of the North’s three generations of supreme leaders, which began with Kim Il Sung.