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Today's Opinions

  • Holtec project should go forward in N.M.

    Dr. T. Douglas Reilly
    Columnist

    The 12 June issue of the Monitor carried the article, a representative of the project defends need for Holtec.
    Most readers are aware that the Holtec company has requested NRC to grant a license for an Interim Nuclear Waste Storage Facility in southern New Mexico between Carlsbad and Hobbs.

    I realize this will be fought strongly by organizations such as Los Alamos Study Group, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has already sent a note to Energy Secretary Rick Perry criticizing the proposal.

    I should note than the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC, is the potential grantee of a license, not the DOE. I would like to second Mr. Heaton’s support of the project.

  • 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.

  • Supreme Court’s finding may violate double jeopardy

    The Los Angeles Times ran this editorial June 18 on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to try defendants on the state and federal level for the same offense.

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that if you are convicted in a state court of a criminal offense, the federal government can put you on trial again for essentially the same crime, and if you’re convicted, your new sentence can be added to your old one. In our view, that’s a violation of the Constitution’s prohibition against double jeopardy.

    In 2015, Terance Gamble’s vehicle was searched at a traffic stop in Alabama and a gun was found. Gamble, who had a robbery conviction on his record, pleaded guilty to a state charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and was sentenced to a year in prison. But he was also charged by the U.S. government for essentially the same crime arising from the same incident.

    Gamble pleaded guilty to the federal charge as well, while preserving his right to challenge the second prosecution as a violation of the 5th Amendment’s command that no person shall be “subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”

    In our view, that’s a violation of the Constitution’s prohibition against double jeopardy.

  • Friends of Folklore: Route 66 alive with ghostly tales

    BY MATT WARD

    Columnist

    Last time, we talked about the ghosts of America’s main street.

    Everything from haunted hotels to eerie stretches of road, it seems spirits still travel across the states. But much more has happened on route 66. Stories of ghostly hitchhikers to UFOs to unexplainable phenomenon, route 66 might just be the most unnatural road in the world. One story comes to mind of a trucker driving from St. Louis to Texas.

    Well on the road in the middle of the day, the sky, which was sunny and cloudless, suddenly became dark and cloudy and green lightning erupted around him. In front of his car, a strange white light appeared and would not leave, causing particles of light to fly past him as though he was flying at lightspeed in a Star Wars movie. A

    nd then, at the speed of which it began, it vanished. What he thought was 15 minutes of this event turned out to be three hours. This brings us to the bizarre phenomenon of the stretching out or slowing down of time. Reports have come in of drivers experiencing timeslips, seemingly covering large distances within minutes. Whether it be trances, supernatural phenomenon, or even UFOs, hundreds of drivers have brought stories of timeslips, whether the slowing down of time or the speeding up of time, into the spotlight.

  • Assets in Action: Parents should let their kids be the adults they raised

    Last week, we had the opportunity to take part in wonderful event, the welcome orientation for New Mexico State University.

    Our youngest son graduated and is headed to NMSU. As a former Prevention Specialist, I had a slight issue with the school fight song. It includes the following line, “And when we win this game, we’ll buy a keg of booze, And we’ll drink it to the Aggies ‘til we wobble in our shoes!” 

    It was written by students and rumor has it that the school has attempted to change it several times to much uprising.

    What I can tell you is, I believe our child is in great hands there. It was a stellar event by students and staff, to reach parents and students on many levels. It was about the relationships created, the goal to reach the students and in turn teach them to reach out too. They even told the parents that their job was to stay engaged, encourage their students, and let them grow.

  • The ‘summer slide’ can be reversed for reading and math

    By LORETTA HALL

    Playground slides are designed for sliding down, but children inevitably try to climb up them. Students’ reading and math skills typically slide during the summer months, but there are ways to reverse that too.

    Research on the “summer slide” is a mixed bag, with different studies yielding different results. But there is strong evidence that learning at least slows during the summer and perhaps some of the learning gained in the previous school year is actually lost. Interestingly, the pattern seems to be the same for all students, regardless of their families’ economic status.

    This year, the state Public Education Department is offering an expanded opportunity to combat the summer slide. The K-5 Plus program provides funding for eligible elementary schools to offer 25 days of summertime instruction for students who choose to participate. This is an extension of the previous K-3 Plus program. 

  • 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.