Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • Letters to the Editor 6-19-19

    Happy to not be an LANB customer

    Dear Editor

    We arrived in Los Alamos in 1967. After checking in at the lab and receiving a quad assignment, we went to LANB and opened a bank account. When they did their big computer upgrade, it was done for people who are computer literate and have smart phones. Those of us who are technophobes and have dumb phones had to stand in line time and time again to try to fix the problems we were having. I found out that the account I thought was a joint account was not. The first person listed on the account was the only one who could make major changes on the account like closing it.

    I finally switched to Del Norte. Not only was I able to navigate their web site, I was able to sign in with one password to see my checking, saving, all my CDs and my two Visa cards. I get separate statements for the credit cards, but everything else is on the front and back of one sheet of paper. The interest on the CDs is posted every month, so it is cumulative.

    When our account at LANB was closed, we received 12 statements, all multiple pages. There was a separate statement for checking, savings and each CD.

    Reading Tris DeRoma’s article on LANB’s transition made me so glad I switched to De. Norte when I did. I can just sit back and smile.

    Camille Morrison
    Los Alamos

  • Fathers need to care for themselves as well as their kids – but often don’t

    Vanderbilt University

    If you had to choose, which would you rather have: a healthy father or a good father?
    Studies suggest men often choose being a good father over being healthy.

    Becoming a father is a major milestone in the life of a man, often shifting the way he thinks from being “me focused” to “we focused.”  But fatherhood can also shift how men perceive their health. Our research has found that fathers can view health not in terms of going to the doctor or eating vegetables but how they hold a job, provide for their family, protect and teach their children, and belong to a community or social network.

    As founder and director of the Center for Research on Men’s Health at Vanderbilt University and as a postdoctoral fellow from Meharry Medical College, we study why men live shorter lives than women, male attitudes about fatherhood, how to help men engage in healthier behavior – as well as what can be done to reduce men’s risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

    Work, sex and health

  • CBD goes mainstream with hazy claims

    The Boston Globe published this editorial June 7 on CBD, the nonintoxicating, natural molecule extracted from the cannabis plant.

    If you believe the hype, one little bottle of CBD contains miracles. It treats diabetes; reduces stress; alleviates chronic pain and anxiety; even cures acne. Trouble sleeping? Panicky pet? CBD to the rescue.

    All that, and so much more — at a bargain price as low as $40 for some formulas. This potent potable also comes mixed into body lotions, bath salts, coffee, smoothies, gummy bears, chocolate, cheese pizza, and dog biscuits.

    The fad for cannabidiol, or CBD, has clearly gone mainstream. From virtually nothing a few years ago, sales of the cannabis-related compound have exploded into a billion-dollar market. CBD’s true believers tout one miraculous health claim after the next.

    In light of the wide dissemination of these beliefs, CBD claims deserve careful scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration — and some attention from state regulators, too. Despite its ubiquity, CBD is still largely an unresearched substance in the United States. Exaggerated or unproven claims need to be challenged, and the industry shouldn’t be permitted to introduce CBD into food products until the compound is better understood.

  • While Dems sue to stop 5G, America may fall behind

    The Wall Street Journal published this editorial June 11 on Democratic state Attorneys General suing to block T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint.

    Ten Democratic state Attorneys General on Tuesday sued to block T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint, and the timing was no coincidence. The Justice Department will soon make its decision on the merger, and Democrats, unions and big business are lining up to defeat it at the expense of America’s leadership in 5G telecom networks.

    The State AGs say the merger “would eliminate Sprint as a competitor and reduce the number of (mobile network operators) with nationwide networks in the United States from four to three.” But a market of three strong wireless players would be more competitive than a de facto duopoly led by AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile has 79 million customers while Sprint boasts 54 million compared to Verizon (118 million) and AT&T (94 million). The Big Two need a strong competitor, not two weaklings that may not survive for long.

  • LA finds ways to stay positive, help others

    I was reminded this week about the amazing kindness of people, especially in this community.

    Father Theophan of Saint Job of Pochaiv Orthodox Church in Los Alamos sent me a notice that the church will be accepting donations Saturday morning for the immigrants in Deming.

    If the church gets a big enough response from the community, he will open the doors to receive the donations.

    Otherwise, people can drop by the location at 1319 Trinity Drive during the morning hours.

    Items needed include paper plates and cups, plastic cutlery, food, over-the-counter medicine for common colds and flu, cough drops, blankets, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, hair ties, shampoo, soap, diapers, baby wipes, canvas bags, coloring books, crayons and feminine hygiene products.

    Deming is continuing to struggle with caring for migrants who have been dropped off in the small border community.

    The fire department personnel have spent time around the clock caring medically and otherwise for the migrants at the local facility, according to a letter supplied to the church.

    Father Theophan said all donations will be driven down to Deming after they are collected.

    All of the care, feeding, cleaning, cotting, overnight watching and medical attention is being done by the fire department, according to the information.

  • Letters to the Editor 6-12-19

    Concerts should return to aprivate, local organization

    Dear Editor,

    As I drove by Ashley Pond on Friday night, May 31, my thoughts mirrored your comments when I saw the traffic and crowds and crowds of people, all standing at what used to be called  “Gordon’s Concert.”  

    I have seen lots of changes in Los Alamos since moving here in 1967 and when Russ Gordon started his concerts, first inside his store and then expanding into the parking lot, it was a wonderful gift to this community.  As you noted, people of all ages gathered, brought lawn chairs and watched the kids dance to the music.  It was a fun evening for all. That Friday night concert on May 31 had a totally different feel to it.

    I agree with you that the county should work with local and longtime business owners and return the event to a private, local organization. Another venue, perhaps Overlook Park as you suggest, would be more suitable for big, loud concerts. Thank you for sharing your views.

    Jackie MacFarlane
    Los Alamos

    Stalin not far behind Hitler

    Dear Editor,

    This is a response to Mr. T. Douglas Reilly’s recent editorial, when he reminded us of the USSR’s sacrifices during WWII.

  • Medical pot program expands with more changes to come

    When it comes to pain, there are two schools of thought: Suck it up or seek relief.

    The second school, seeking relief, is one driver in opioid addiction. Medical cannabis offers an avenue to both pain and opioid addiction.

    Last week, when the state Department of Health added opioid use disorder to the list of qualifying conditions to receive medical cannabis, it was less a sudden stroke of enlightenment and more a response to public outcry and building pressure that found its voice in a legislative task force.

    Expect more big changes.

    In 2018, the Legislature created a task force to look into issues of supply and demand in the medical cannabis program and make recommendations. The task force found that the state’s artificial limits on all aspects of the program denied relief to some patients, increased costs, and depressed supply.