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Today's Opinions

  • Return on LEDA investment enriches NM economy

    By Finance New Mexico

    For evidence of the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA)’s power to stimulate the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, New Mexico residents need look no further than the massive industrial building at 2600 Camino Entrada in Santa Fe.
    The former home of CleanAIR Systems and Caterpillar Inc. is now the world headquarters for Meow Wolf Inc., a leader in the vibrant “experience economy” that expects to employ as many as 360 highly skilled workers over the next five years. Its genesis was a City of Santa Fe-backed LEDA loan and grant package that enabled the original owners to capitalize on their company’s rapid growth.

    Infrastructure improvements like this building are what the proponents of LEDA envisioned 25 years ago when the law was passed: Allowing local governments to invest taxpayer dollars in promising private-sector businesses can bring jobs, skills training and permanent physical assets to New Mexico communities.

  • School buses don’t have to be toxic

    School buses can be hazardous to your children’s health.

    Most school buses, including New Mexico’s, are powered with diesel. The diesel fumes contain enough toxic substances to cause an identifiable health hazard to children (and others, especially the drivers) who are regularly exposed to the fumes.

    Documentation is ample. Diesel exhaust has more than 40 toxic air contaminants, including nitrogen oxides and known or suspected cancer-causing substances, such as benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde.

    Diesel soot from school buses has also been associated with reduced lung function and increased incidences of pneumonia in children, according to a 2015 study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. And New Mexico has a respiratory disease problem.

    “Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in New Mexico, with an estimated 150,000 adults and 47,000 children currently having the disease,” said a report from the state Health Department. It notes that asthma contributes to reduced quality of life and health care costs.

  • Getting a flu shot today can protect you, your family

    BY DR. DENISE LEONARDI
    Chief Medical Officer, United Healthcare New Mexico

    If you haven’t had a flu shot, the CDC recommends still getting vaccinated. The flu season typically peaks in February and can continue as late as May. You can help protect yourself and your family – as well as others you may contact – by getting a flu shot today.

    If you are a typically healthy person who’s had a flu shot but think you may be experiencing a common case of the flu, start by calling your primary care physician, visiting a convenience care retail clinic or urgent care clinic, or consider a virtual visit that lets you see a doctor on your mobile device or computer.

    Emergency rooms should be reserved for medical emergencies.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications should be treated with antiviral drugs (such as oseltamivir, generic Tamiflu) as soon as possible if they develop flu symptoms.

    Your primary care physician can assess whether an antiviral medication is right for you.

    The greatest concern with flu is for the very young, very old, or people with co-existing medical conditions.

  • Campaign notes: Endorsements, job titles and hysteria

    “(T)he state of our state is strong – and getting stronger,” Gov. Susana Martinez claimed in the State of the State address Jan. 16.

    My assessment is that the state of the state is weak and, maybe, getting a little less weak. Candidates seeking a say in our future give quickly passing attention to fundamental problems.

    Deb Haaland, Albuquerque candidate for Congress, is fond of endorsements from people outside New Mexico. A recent endorsement is from the Congressional Black Caucus. She has 12 endorsements from individual members of Congress, says her section at medium.com. Her website is debforcongress.com.

    My confusion is my general problem with endorsements: Why I should trust these other guys, especially the non-New Mexicans and especially members of Congress? If Haaland gets to Congress, I hope she represents her district without obligations to members of Congress from other states. Haaland has a bunch of other endorsements from New Mexicans, presently and formerly in office, from people she calls “community leaders” and tribes.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-31-18

    Why I joined the Women’s March

    Dear Editor,

    Why did I don a handmade pink hat and march alongside my wife, Naishing Key, and thousands of others on a freezing day at the 2018 Women’s March in Santa Fe?  Because I feel the same outrage that millions of people across the United States feel. No one, whether the president or a private citizen, should abuse women or other human beings, or treat them with disrespect.

    Together we demand equality, justice, and respect. That means an end to discrimination on the basis of gender, race, age, sexual orientation or disability. These are not liberal values: these are American values, established in our Constitution.
    We will never solve the many problems of our state and nation with the same old politics of division and scapegoating. We can start to solve our problems by recognizing the dignity of each and every human being.

    That is why I am running, and that is how I will do my job if I’m elected as our next District 43 state representative.

    Pete Sheehey
    Los Alamos County Councilor,
    Candidate for District 43 NM State Representative

  • Familiarity doesn’t have to breed contempt

    By Finance New Mexico

    One advantage of running a small business with family or friends is that the principals know and are committed to one another and the success of their enterprise. But intimate partnerships also have potential relationship-based perils, some of which could cause work-force demoralization, legal problems and even failure.

    The trick to making a small venture succeed is to acknowledge these risks from the start and institute processes to contain or minimize them.

    Conflicts are inevitable, so prepare for them: Disputes arise in all businesses, but they’re harder to conceal in a small operation that doesn’t have a formal complaints-resolution process or human resources personnel. Business disagreements can carry over from the partners’ private lives, with long-standing feuds, rivalries and disagreements poisoning business decision-making.

    Partners should refrain from taking sides in a business dispute based on loyalty or emotion; only facts should matter when deciding a course of action.

  • Eight years of guv’s speeches: Rosy glasses and black eyes

    Gov. Susana Martinez just gave her eighth and final state-of-the-state speech. I’ve covered them all. She’s given pretty much the same speech year after year, and in her consistencies are strengths and weaknesses.

    The first year her priorities were education reform, corruption, and repeal of the law allowing driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. In succeeding years she added increased penalties for child abuse, economic development, “job-creating infrastructure projects” like water and road projects, pre-K expansion, higher salaries for starting teachers, and tougher penalties for repeat DWI and violent crime.

    Her education reform platform has had different planks, but in her first seven years it included ending social promotion (passing third graders who can’t read at grade level), curbing school administration spending, and raising pay for new teachers and “exemplary” teachers.

    In her first year, she proposed and got letter grades for schools, calling it a “system that is uniquely our own” and a way to identify struggling schools. Educators call it demoralizing and ineffective.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-24-18

    Recent editorials favor immigrants

    Dear Editor,
    The Los Alamos Monitor seems to run a disproportionate number of “woe the poor immigrant” editorials, gathered from national news media. The most recent was, “Leaving immigrants in legal limbo isn’t fair,” from the Boston Herald on Jan. 12.

    Why never headlines that might read, “Continuing one of the highest rates of immigration in American history unfair to workers, the poor and the environment.”?

    I will admit national corporate media is almost universally biased toward unfettered immigration – because they are owned by companies being enriched by unfettered immigration – and that can make for “slim pickins” for editors. But there are nonetheless reputable sources for better representation of the other side of the coin.

    Let’s begin with the last paragraph of the Herald editorial. 

    It states, unsubstantiated, “America needs its immigrants just as much as they need a safe haven from the countries they left.” That is an example of a statement that has been blithely repeated by open-border advocates (led by media who are at least occasionally supposed to be fair, fully inclusive of all possibilities and objective) with no effort to justify or substantiate it.