.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Today's Opinions

  • School responsibility goes beyond education

    Welcome to the school year and all the issues our schools have to contend with besides educating New Mexico’s children.

    Such as what is required if a student needs to take a pill.

    Even if you have had children in school in recent years, you may not know how complicated this is.

    I thought I was posing a simple question when I asked about rules for medication in schools.

    But simplicity cannot be assumed when parents are putting their children in other people’s hands every day.

    The minimum advice to parents is that before you send your child to school with even an aspirin, find out the rules of your school district. Each district makes its own rules within a general framework. Some may be different for elementary versus older students.

    The national associations of pediatricians, pharmacists, nurses and others all have sets of guidelines. That’s how important this is.

    The guidelines are reflected in policies of the state Department of Health.

    Most common: Almost all medication should be delivered to the school nurse with written instructions from the family doctor. Most medications should be administered to students only by the nurse, based on those instructions.

  • To improve our schools, spend more in the classroom

    BY FRED NATHAN
    Executive director, Think New Mexico

    While the recent Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico decision has understandably received intense interest for its landmark ruling that New Mexico’s public schools are not adequately funded, there has been less attention on another, equally important aspect of the ruling: the finding that more money will only make a difference for students if it is spent in the classroom. 

    As Judge Singleton explained in her ruling, there are two aspects to the state’s failure to provide an adequate education. First, she concluded that not enough money is spent to fund the programs children need.

    Second, Judge Singleton stated (on page 53 of her decision) that the Public Education Department and school districts are not doing enough to make sure that the money is actually being spent in ways that will improve outcomes for at-risk students.

    Last year, Think New Mexico studied some of the most successful school districts in the state, such as Gadsden, Texico, and Farmington. We found that these districts tend to spend a high proportion of their budgets on classroom expenses, such as teachers, coaches, counselors, nurses, educational assistants, and school supplies, rather than on administrative expenses in the central district office.

  • Hollywood’s long con on New Mexico’s taxpayers

    BY DOWD MUSKA
    Research director, Rio Grande Foundation

    Enjoying the new season of “Better Call Saul”? If not, you should be -- you’re paying for it.
    Annually, New Mexico’s taxpayers spend $50 million to “incentivize” film and television production in their state.

    Unfortunately, after shoveling more than half a billion dollars Hollywood’s way over the years, the Land of Enchantment has little to show for its generosity.

    The payoff from “investment” in the entertainment industry is dismal. Dozens of studies have been undertaken to determine the ratio of subsidization to tax-revenue generation. The Rio Grande Foundation has distilled the best research down to 14 analyses, conducted in states as varied as Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. All were performed by either legislative auditors or tax departments, and not one was issued by Hollywood consultants, economic-development/film bureaucracies, or ideological think tanks of any perspective. When taken as a whole, the 14 studies found the average “return” for a taxpayer dollar to be an appalling 23.6 cents.

  • Letters to the Editor 8-17-18

    County fair road closures inconsiderate

    Dear Editor,
    While I support the County Fair and its parade, I have to object to the inconsiderate and unacceptable closure last Saturday of Central west of the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.
    This prevented access to Canyon from Diamond. Indeed, with Central closed all the way to the east past where it meets Trinity, access to any part of Canyon required traveling to its far east end.
    This was irritating and time  consuming enough for me coming from the western area. Anyone coming from the mesas must have been thoroughly disgusted.
    Parades used to end at the Mesa Library parking lot, allowing access to Canyon and even Rose. As it was, of the three roads normally available for passage through the central part of town, only one was really available. The council should make it clear to county staff and all event promoters that this is not acceptable.
    Terry Goldman
    Los Alamos

  • State’s biggest water grab tests laws, regulators, residents

    The case of Augustin Plains Ranch LLC versus just about everybody else hit another rock early this month, when the State Engineer turned down – for the third time – the ranch’s application for a breathtaking amount of water.

    Speculative, said the hearing officer. Which is something opponents have said from the beginning. Opponents are so numerous the hearing officer had to designate who would speak or they would probably still be there testifying.

    The latest application faced opposition by groups that normally don’t sit on the same side of the table: the Catron County Commission, agricultural organizations, tribes, residents and environmentalists.

    Augustin Plains Ranch (APR) proposed to appropriate 54,000 acre-feet a year of groundwater from 37 wells for “municipal purposes and commercial sales” to parts of Catron, Sierra, Socorro, Valencia, Bernalillo, Sandoval, and Santa Fe counties.

    But APR doesn’t say who exactly will be the customer or how water will be used – information it also left out of previous applications. Without a user or a contract, it’s impossible to evaluate the application. APR claimed that New Mexico law doesn’t require it to have a contract.

  • Would JFK be a Democrat today?

    BY GOV. JERRY APODOCA
    Former Governor of New Mexico

    Last week I had to ask my 10-year-old grandson what a meme was. He explained it’s a humorous video or image on social media. The reason I asked was I saw an image on social media that said, “Would JFK be a Democrat today?”

    It got me thinking, would he? I have always looked at myself as a JFK Democrat: pro-business with openness towards social issues and fairness for all New Mexicans. JFK once said, “if by a Democrat they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, who cares about the welfare of the people - their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties - someone who believes that we can break through the stalemate...then I’m proud to say that I’m a “Democrat.”

    I would have to agree – that’s the kind of Democrat I am.  

    As a father, teacher, businessman, legislator and later as Governor of New Mexico, I lived my life this way. I ran an open government and made sure my office and party represented ALL New Mexicans. I am most proud to have opened doors for the first time to minorities that had never had a voice in state government.

  • What does it mean to say that someone is poor?

    Last summer, an Albuquerque charity shared its institutional conclusion that poverty is the problem in New Mexico.

    The charity misses the point, as do those writing heart-rending tales about awful things happening to children in our state. Poverty itself isn’t the problem; the many causes of poverty are the problems.

    New Mexico Voices for Children, a leftish lobbying group, drives a good part of the dialogue. A Voices paper, a “Blueprint for a Prosperous State,” says “public investment creates jobs,” which I guess is true in that people get paid for delivering the “investment.” But the private sector is the unmentioned detail. It’s the private guys who have ideas, hire people to deliver the ideas, and, along the way, create wealth and money to pay the taxes that finance that public investment.

    James X. Sullivan and Bruce D. Meyer, researchers at the University of Notre Dame write in the August 7 Wall Street Journal, “Poverty has declined significantly over the past 50 years.” Their report was released by the Council of Economic Advisors.

  • Candidate Shin answers questions for primary

    By LISA SHIN

    Republican, Candidate for New Mexico House of Representatives, Dist. 43