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Today's Opinions

  • It makes sense to believe in the kindness of strangers

    BY KRISTIN BRETHEL-HAURWITZ
    University of Pennsylvania

    Would you risk your life for a total stranger?

    While you might consider yourself incapable of acts of altruism on that scale, it happens again and again. During hurricanes and mass shootings, some people go to great lengths to help people they don’t even know while everyone else flees.

    To learn whether this behavior comes more naturally to some of us than others, I partnered with Abigail Marsh and other neuroscientists working at the Laboratory on Social and Affective Neuroscience at Georgetown University. We studied the brains and behavior of some extraordinary altruists: people who have donated one of their own kidneys to a total stranger, known as nondirected donors.

    These kidney donors may never learn anything about the recipient. That means they are not making this personal sacrifice because a relative or someone they may interact with in the future would benefit.

    What’s more, this act of altruism is costly in multiple ways. It is a major, painful surgery. Many donors end up paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for medical and travel expenses, and they can lose out on salary and other earnings.

  • Assets in Action: Make time to spend with family

    So, we are at the halfway mark of summer. By the halfway mark, of course I mean when school starts. Have you accomplished some good family time yet? If not, let’s get on the ball.

    You might start thinking about the small, fun moments you can squeeze in there, before time slips away. If you let us know what fun things you like to do together, we can post them on our Facebook or webpage. It can be as simple as a Sunday dinner or movie night and as fancy as a trip to California, and an unexpected earthquake.

    Life for us does revolve around the Sunday dinner. I take turns making a night of someone’s favorites. I usually can get them to the table, but knowing you might enjoy your favorites, is an added bonus. Once the birds leave the nest, there really aren’t family vacations. When you have five people, five calendars and who will watch the dogs, life gets a bit less easy to organize. So, if that isn’t your issue, enjoy it while it lasts.

  • Letters to the Editor

    More water filling stations needed at parks, summer concerts

     

    Dear Editor,

    Hi Parks people. I’ve been working at the summer concert Zero Waste stations for several weeks now, and we’ve had a lot of people asking for water, and especially water bottle filling stations. 

    I think these would be a great addition to our community! So many people carry their own bottles these days, yet there are few places to fill them up. Let’s keep our residents and visitors happy and hydrated!

    Thanks for considering.

    Sue Barns

    Los Alamos

  • Medicare for all: Not a program -- it’s a slogan

    “Medicare for all” is not a program. It’s a slogan. We don’t know what it means until somebody defines it.

    By itself, it is not a solution to America’s health care needs. 

    Medicare for all was hotly debated during the recent Democratic presidential debate and will continue to be a major topic during the presidential primary season.

    New Mexicans may want to consider what the effect would be in our state, especially since more than half of our population is covered by Medicare or Medicaid or both.

    The version advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders, as expressed in legislation he has already introduced, would make medical care free to everybody and would add services not currently covered, such as dental and vision care.

    With this version, Americans would no longer pay insurance premiums but would pay for health care through taxes. 

  • You have the right to send all of your money to Santa Fe 

    This Independence Day holiday, while many of us will celebrate with backyard barbecues and neighborhood fireworks, bureaucrats in Santa Fe will be busy updating their accounting codes to prepare for the influx of new tax revenue. It will be a happy time for fans of big government. 

    I can’t imagine that our country’s founding fathers envisioned the current governing reality in our state. The Revolutionary generation built our country on the principles of limited government and individual freedom. They enshrined our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the very document that declared our independence as a self-governing nation. 

    Unfortunately, over the last 243 years, these ideals sometimes have been used to provide cover for objectives that limit individual freedom rather than protect it.  Take the tax increases passed by partisans in Santa Fe earlier this year. 

    New Mexico’s booming oil and gas industry produced a $1.2 billion revenue surplus in Fiscal Year 2019, and it’s on track to generate an additional $1.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2020. These surpluses could grow once the final numbers are tallied. 

  • Tailored content is core of economic development course

    The economic development field is rapidly changing and increasing in complexity. The New Mexico Basic Economic Development Course is designed to help community leaders understand legacy economic development approaches and become current with new program initiatives and best practices.

    Held on the campus of Western New Mexico University in Silver City from July 21 to 25, the course is one of several offered by the New Mexico-based International Academy for Economic Development that prepares participants for professional certification by the International Economic Development Council.

    The five-day course covers the core components of economic development, including business retention and expansion, recruitment, workforce development, real estate, finance, marketing, and ethics.

    Karen Baehr attended the course in 2018 with a curiosity for how economic development intersects with education.

    “After a career in education and systems design, I knew that economic development and education were inextricably linked,” Baehr said. “The challenge I faced was trying to figure out how these two important community elements work together.”

  • Lujan emails: What about New Mexico and Gold King?

    “I’m so humbled,” Ben Ray said in the first of two emails June 24.  

    Oh, puhleeze, Ben Ray. Or should I say, Congressman Lujan. Or Rep. Lujan. Keep it respectful.

    Borrowing from Winston Churchill, Ben Ray has much to be humble about.

    He’s running for the U. S. Senate. He seeks to replace Sen. Tom Udall, who is retiring. There is an opponent – a real one – Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

    I get emails from candidates, masses of them. Some I save. A compulsion, I suspect. Sometimes it’s worth taking a deep breath and looking at the saved group, just to see what is said. That’s today’s agenda. Full disclosure: I’m no Ben Ray fan.

    Campaign emails, besides being a pain for recipients, provide insight into the candidate and the campaign, which tells about the candidate. I saved 14 emails sent between June 4 and 14. One day had two emails. June 24 generated three.

    The first two emails, sent June 4 and 5, were preposterous at best and probably, it seems to me, not true. These two emails were duplicates, which seems sloppy. The absurd part was the claim, “My race was just named the most competitive Senate race in the entire country.”

  • Letters to the Editor 6-30-19

    Concerned about changes to Trinity Drive

    Dear Editor,

    I was dismayed recently to hear that the county is proposing a narrowing or “redesign” of Trinity Drive. The proposed changes, as I understand it, would reduce Trinity to one lane in each direction with a center turning lane /median with concrete cutouts similar to Central. 

    I am gravely concerned about the safety and practicality of this plan, especially as we already face a growing LANL population causing ever-longer traffic backups going off the hill during commuting hours. Since Pajarito Road was closed to the public many years ago, an increasing pressure on traffic leading off the front hill road and down the truck route has routinely made my commute to White Rock from the hospital take 40+ minutes during peak traffic hours.

    Narrowing Trinity would further add to the commute backup and congestion. This makes no sense from the standpoint of a growing workforce at LANL. From a safety perspective, how will emergency vehicles have right of way with this new design?