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Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the Editor 6-30-19

    Smith’s near Monopoly in Los Alamos

    Dear Editor,

    I have lived in Los Alamos since 1980. I have appreciated having a well-stocked supermarket in town. Before Smith’s bought out Safeway, we did have Ed’s Supermarket and some C-stores for some alternative.

    When Smith’s arrived, especially after moving into Smith’s Marketplace and opening their gas station, things changed.

    Ed’s went out of business. The gas station had low prices and drove most other stations out of business. We do have the Co-op but they tend to be pricier and without the selection that Smith’s has. I did notice that when they moved into the Marketplace that their selection of groceries was reduced.

    Lately, I have noticed changes.

    The gas station has raised its prices to the extent that it pays to buy gas off the hill when possible.

    They have announced that they will no longer accept Visa cards so they can keep prices low. Prices seem to have gone up. I suspect it was to they could continue to pay their corporate managers salaries of 10’s of millions. It takes longer to checkout using a bank card.

    They are having increased problems keeping their shelves stocked recently.

  • Letters to the Editor 6-21-19

    Headline does not reflect state of oil, gas industry 

    in New Mexico

     

    Dear Editor,

    While I appreciate Tris DeRoma covering my recent presentation on New Mexico’s economy in Los Alamos, I believe the headline of the recent story does not fairly reflect what is happening in our State with regard to the oil and gas boom.

     The oil and gas industry is indeed booming and there should be no doubt that this newfound revenue is a good thing for our State. Unfortunately, rather than using those dollars to provide tax reform or relief to average New Mexicans, our State’s political leadership massively increased spending and has embarked on a number of special interest-driven “economic development” schemes, most notably a massive expansion of film subsidies.

    The newfound oil and gas wealth is, in other words, not to blame. Rather, it is the political leadership of New Mexico who seem inclined to squander that wealth rather than using that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to free New Mexico’s economy from onerous taxes like the gross receipts tax.

    Paul Gessing

  • Build a better business with relationships

    BY SANDY NELSON

    Finance New Mexico

    No one likes to feel hustled while shopping, whether it’s in a retail store or trade show booth. 

    To attract customers without brazen hawking or downright pushiness, businesses need to refine the art of the soft sell. That begins by making the store or trade show booth an intentional destination for people who are truly interested in what the business sells.

    Create relationships

    While any business would like to sell at least one product to every person who walks in the door, that’s the type of unrealistic goal that can turn sales reps into apex predators.

    A long-term perspective toward potential customers focuses on developing a relationship that lasts longer than one transaction. It lays a foundation through attraction rather than persuasion.

    A retailer might begin with an irresistible offer that draws customers into a store — say, 20 percent off on purchases over $100 or one-day-only sales on a hot-selling product.

  • Next year should be the year of higher education

    Rob Schwartz said he spent 40 years whining about how the University of New Mexico was run. As a new regent, the retired law professor has an opportunity to do something about it.

    The most important problem right now, he said, is a disheartened faculty beaten up by repeated rounds of budget cuts. 

    “They cut to the bone and they cut some more,” Schwartz told members of New Mexico Press Women recently. He referred to lawmakers and their desperate work to match spending to dwindling revenues in recent years.

    Faculty members couldn’t go to conferences or buy books or do many of the things that are a normal part of teaching. 

    “For a long time they thought they could tough it out, but now people don’t believe anything will get better,” he said. “This year after a 3 percent increase to faculty salaries, the university cut every single department by 1.5 percent. 

    “They can’t run their programs. The university is really standing on a precipice,” he said. He hopes oil and gas revenues will provide some relief.

  • Letters to the Editor 6-19-19

    Happy to not be an LANB customer

    Dear Editor

    We arrived in Los Alamos in 1967. After checking in at the lab and receiving a quad assignment, we went to LANB and opened a bank account. When they did their big computer upgrade, it was done for people who are computer literate and have smart phones. Those of us who are technophobes and have dumb phones had to stand in line time and time again to try to fix the problems we were having. I found out that the account I thought was a joint account was not. The first person listed on the account was the only one who could make major changes on the account like closing it.

    I finally switched to Del Norte. Not only was I able to navigate their web site, I was able to sign in with one password to see my checking, saving, all my CDs and my two Visa cards. I get separate statements for the credit cards, but everything else is on the front and back of one sheet of paper. The interest on the CDs is posted every month, so it is cumulative.

    When our account at LANB was closed, we received 12 statements, all multiple pages. There was a separate statement for checking, savings and each CD.

    Reading Tris DeRoma’s article on LANB’s transition made me so glad I switched to De. Norte when I did. I can just sit back and smile.

    Camille Morrison
    Los Alamos

  • Letters to the Editor 6-12-19

    Concerts should return to aprivate, local organization

    Dear Editor,

    As I drove by Ashley Pond on Friday night, May 31, my thoughts mirrored your comments when I saw the traffic and crowds and crowds of people, all standing at what used to be called  “Gordon’s Concert.”  

    I have seen lots of changes in Los Alamos since moving here in 1967 and when Russ Gordon started his concerts, first inside his store and then expanding into the parking lot, it was a wonderful gift to this community.  As you noted, people of all ages gathered, brought lawn chairs and watched the kids dance to the music.  It was a fun evening for all. That Friday night concert on May 31 had a totally different feel to it.

    I agree with you that the county should work with local and longtime business owners and return the event to a private, local organization. Another venue, perhaps Overlook Park as you suggest, would be more suitable for big, loud concerts. Thank you for sharing your views.

    Jackie MacFarlane
    Los Alamos

    Stalin not far behind Hitler

    Dear Editor,

    This is a response to Mr. T. Douglas Reilly’s recent editorial, when he reminded us of the USSR’s sacrifices during WWII.

  • Medical pot program expands with more changes to come

    When it comes to pain, there are two schools of thought: Suck it up or seek relief.

    The second school, seeking relief, is one driver in opioid addiction. Medical cannabis offers an avenue to both pain and opioid addiction.

    Last week, when the state Department of Health added opioid use disorder to the list of qualifying conditions to receive medical cannabis, it was less a sudden stroke of enlightenment and more a response to public outcry and building pressure that found its voice in a legislative task force.

    Expect more big changes.

    In 2018, the Legislature created a task force to look into issues of supply and demand in the medical cannabis program and make recommendations. The task force found that the state’s artificial limits on all aspects of the program denied relief to some patients, increased costs, and depressed supply. 

  • Medical pot program expands with more changes to come

    When it comes to pain, there are two schools of thought: Suck it up or seek relief.

    The second school, seeking relief, is one driver in opioid addiction. Medical cannabis offers an avenue to both pain and opioid addiction.

    Last week, when the state Department of Health added opioid use disorder to the list of qualifying conditions to receive medical cannabis, it was less a sudden stroke of enlightenment and more a response to public outcry and building pressure that found its voice in a legislative task force.

    Expect more big changes.

    In 2018, the Legislature created a task force to look into issues of supply and demand in the medical cannabis program and make recommendations. The task force found that the state’s artificial limits on all aspects of the program denied relief to some patients, increased costs, and depressed supply.