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Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the Editor 5-23-18

    Sheehey has qualities, personality to be member of Legislature

    Dear Editor,
    As a resident of Los Alamos for many years, I would like to express my strong support for Pete Sheehey’s candidacy for District 43 representative, New Mexico House of Representatives.
    Pete is strongly committed to fully serve in the best interests of our district and state. He is currently a member of the Los Alamos County Council, he is a recent vice-chair of the Los Alamos Planning and Zoning Commission, and he is President of the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security.
    Pete has the experience, skills, judgment, leadership qualities and personality to be an effective good-government member of the state Legislature.

    Lewis Agnew
    Los Alamos

  • Startup success begins with team of top performers

    BY PAUL BUTLER
    Managing partner, Azrael Partners and former chief operating officer of Lumidigm, Inc.

    Building a startup or creating a new line of business is hard work, and statistics show the odds of success are long ones. Beating the numbers comes down to a combination of experience, expertise, and commitment.

    The last of these three traits is important, but experience and expertise can make or break your venture in three critical areas.

    Building a high-performance team: Behind every profitable venture is a team. You might have a compelling idea, an excellent offering with market fit, and a large market opportunity, but without a competent team, your business won’t make it.

    You need folks who excel at what they do, because they’re an order of magnitude more productive than average employees. They also know what not to do. By helping a business avoid unnecessary cycles of learning and poor decisions, they allow more of that productive power to be used efficiently.

    Employees with this level of skill are drawn to startups because they seek a challenge, expect the payoff to be significant and hate mediocrity and bureaucracy. They must believe in the offering and will do their own calculus on your venture’s probability of success before joining the team.

  • Money is rolling in, but budget makers are cautious

    During the 2018 legislative session, held in January and February, the Legislature passed a budget for the 2019 budget year that starts July 1.

    The news is not that the Legislature did its job of passing the budget, but that the task, straightforward if difficult, was done without headline-generating nastiness, a difference from previous years.

    Possibly the biggest difference was that some new money was available. Saying yes to proposals always makes elected officials happier. The task of no is difficult, involving choices and facing constituents convinced of the righteousness of their cause.

    In her cover letter to the Legislative Finance Committee’s annual Post-Session Review, LFC Chair Patricia Lundstrom said, “An economic rebound made the 2018 legislative session a very different experience from the session of a year ago.”

    One significant item adds $28.4 million to early childhood programs, continuing a years-long commitment from the Legislature and Gov. Susana Martinez.

    The additional money stands in the face of claims that raiding the permanent funds would somehow make something magic happen.

  • Letter to the Editor 5-11-18

     

    Dear Editor:

    Local Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Venture Scouts are prepared to help the Atomic City Letter Carriers and LA Cares to collect, sort and store community donations of food and supplies during the 26th Annual National Letter Carriers Food Drive on Saturday. All we need is the community’s help to “Stamp Out Hunger.”

    It may be surprisingly to learn that even in our prosperous community there are dozens of families, many with young children or elderly, who need help in addition to those in our neighboring communities. In fact, one in six Americans (many of them children) struggle to get enough to eat.

    So what can you do to help?

    The community is asked to go to their pantry and fill a grocery bag (double it for strength), or a box with non-perishable food and other necessities. Then on Saturday morning, place it near the mailbox and soon a letter carrier, a Boy Scout or an adult BSA leader will pick it up and take it to be sorted, stored and distributed by LA Cares.   

     

  • Why I care about education and health care

    BY PETE SHEEHEY
    Los Alamos County Councilor, Democratic candidate for NM House of Representatives, Dist. 43

    I have written about the importance of scientists like myself playing a role in government. I will work to make sure that facts and sound science are included in lawmaking. I was honored recently that the National Education Association-New Mexico has recommended my candidacy, because I also feel strongly that good affordable public education and health care for all are the keys to a strong society and economy.

    My life experience has taught me this. I grew up in a working class family. My parents were well-read, intelligent people, but were only able to get a year or two of college because of the Great Depression and World War II. From an early age, they took my sisters and me to the public library and encouraged our curiosity, so we looked forward to starting school.

    We had access to good affordable public education, and this served us well. One sister became a librarian, the other an English and Creative Writing teacher.  

  • Los Alamos Middle School’s ‘D’ Grade from an Education Czar

    BY LISA SHIN
    Republican candidate for NM House of Representatives, Dist. 43

    The Los Alamos Public Schools rank among the best in our State, if not our Nation, when it comes to student reading and math proficiency. This, of course, is the natural result of our highly skilled and educated workforce.

    Los Alamos has one of the country’s highest concentrations of Ph.D.s. Our community puts a high priority on education, and it shows. So why then, did our Middle School, receive a D grade last year? At the League of Women Voters’ event earlier this month, Dr. Kurt Steinhaus explained. Even though our students demonstrated a high 83 percent academic proficiency, it was down from a 85% proficiency the previous year. Another school in New Mexico demonstrated a 14 percent proficiency, but received an “A” grade because it was up from a 7 percent proficiency the previous year. A school in Artesia was a National Blue Ribbon School one year, a prestigious designation for high achievement, but received a D grade.

  • Are new corporations  bigger bad wolves?

    The name “Big Bad Wolf” rings scary alarms in voters’ heads. The left and the right reply to fears with fears about big corporations, a big army, big unions, big government and big donors to big campaigns. Metaphors of politics picture Big Bad Wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing or lying in Grandma’s bed. Small wonder that big corporations incite voters to cry, “Grandma, what big teeth you have.”

    Big corporations indeed need a thorough look to figure them out. Big companies have grown through the centuries and brought society hoped-for benefits and unwanted side effects.

    The first Industrial Revolution began in the 1760s in Britain, evolved through the 1840s and came later to the US.

    Many histories come to mind. People produced copper, steel, oil and aluminum and, with them, crafted faster reapers, tractors, cars, trucks and airplanes, later on with radios in them and radars at airports. With these products, people grew and shipped better produce at good prices for more people. Jobs grew. Corporations grew – Big Farming, Big Finance, Big Pharma.

  • Letters to the Editor 4-18-18

    Thank you Sheriff Lucero

    Dear Editor,
    Even though difficult circumstance were the reason for my leaving Los Alamos, my thoughts and prayers for those in the community will always be with you.
    One matter of major concern is the unjustified scrutiny in regards to the office of the sheriff.  
    We the people elected to keep the office and a Sheriff that truly exemplifies the integrity and commission of that office. Sheriff Lucero has been under constant attack by county council members. He served us honorably and diligently.  
    His salary was virtually less than his personal expenditures to run that office and he was stripped of funding necessary to have a support staff. Yet he did not cave, much to the distress of those attacking him and the office. The Sheriff continues to serve because he loves the community and believes in the office.
    The attempted brain washing by the county council has failed. A court hearing will take place on May 10 at 10 a.m. at the Los Alamos County Court House.
    Please take the time out of your busy schedules to show your support for Sheriff Lucero and the office by attending that hearing.
    John L. Horne
    Los Alamos