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Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the Editor 4-8-18

    Foundation thankful for parents who contributed to recent telethon

    Dear Editor,
    On behalf of the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation and students from the Key Club and National Honor Society, we would like to thank all the parents of LAPS students who contributed to our recent student telethon.
    Our fellow students volunteered their time to call parents to ask for their support for projects and programs supported by the LAPS Foundation. These initiatives benefit all public schools in Los Alamos. Doing this telethon is a great opportunity for us students to give back to our schools.
    Our goal for the telethon was $2,000. So far we have raised $650. Unfortunately we were not able to call all parents of LAPS students. If there are any parents or others out there who were not contacted but would like to give to the telethon, we would appreciate your support! Gifts can be made online at lapsfoundation.com/donate or by mailing a check to the LAPS Foundation at 1900 Diamond Drive, Suite 1, Los Alamos, NM 87544. Please be sure to indicate that a gift is for the telethon.

  • Carbon Free Power Project to be discussed by BPU, Council April 10

    BY TIMOTHY A. GLASCO
    Utilities Manager, Department of Public Utilities

    On April 10, the Board of Public Utilities and the County Council will convene to consider approval of a Power Sales Contract (PSC) with the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) organization, to continue our participation in the Carbon Free Power Project. This will be the world’s first small modular nuclear reactor power generation plant.

    Located in Idaho, this 600MW facility is scheduled to be operational by 2027. Over the past four years, a fatal flaw analysis was conducted and the project was discussed at numerous meetings with the public, BPU and County Council.

    Now is the time to decide if we continue in the project or withdraw, prior to the development of a combined operating licensing application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  

    Why is the county interested in this nuclear generating plant project, and why now?  

  • Regulation was a tug-of-war before the dawn of history

    The battle of regulation – pitting powers outside ourselves against desires inside ourselves – began with the first glimmer of society. Railing against regulation continues to be popular. Today, patterned gripes are printed on tee shirts and sold online. The Babel of regulation grows from there and clutters the news.

    All humans are born with a dislike for regulation, which stays with us. The need for regulation is no less persistent, as is clear in history’s timeline of regulation.

    An early form of regulating was sticks and stones. In due course, this beginning evolved into peer pressure within small groups and hence to tribal customs among clans.

    The world grew more crowded and regulatory themes began to spread among the tendrils of religion. Religious teachings have long sought to restrict damaging deeds, using a potent mixture of fire and brimstone to promote self-responsibility. The Pilgrims enlisted religion as a regulatory aid to succeed in their Plymouth ventures. Laxity is perilous.

    In today’s crowds that have little else in common, people mostly look to a government to be the chief enforcer. This choice is expensive in many ways. It starts bureaucracy, which inspires catchy gripes that sell well on tee shirts.

  • Single-payer is not the answer

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

    Obamacare had thousands of pages of job-killing mandates, regulations, and taxes. Why should we be surprised at rising costs and skyrocketing premiums?  We should have learned that more government regulation over health care is disastrous. Instead, we have Councilors Sheehey and Chandler falling all over themselves to be the louder voice for single-payer: the most control government can have over health care.

    Be wary of old politicians who tout the merits of socialized medicine.  They love to talk about access to preventative, primary, and specialty care, but avoid the crucial questions:  “How are we going to pay for it?” and “Who will be the providers for it?” Briefly, these are the reasons why a single-payer system would not work for New Mexico. 

  • Letters to the Editor 3-23-17

    Chandler is superbly
    qualified for state
    representative

    Dear Editor,
    I urge all Democrats in District 43 to vote for Christine Chandler in the June 5 primary. She is superbly qualified through temperament, knowledge and experience.
    I have known Chris almost from her first day at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in late 1986. At that time, I was a lab associate director responsible for the nuclear weapons program. Chris and I worked together on numerous issues and problems facing the lab. She was always professional in the face of serious challenges. I remember one case early in her career when she was selected by the legal office to brief a University of California Regents subcommittee on some legal issue. I have forgotten the specifics, but Chris was selected either to win their approval for the lab’s actions or to be eaten alive. I attended the briefing. It started out with the visitors being very hostile and ended up with them eating out of her hand.  I was very impressed.
    As an attorney, she has extensive experience across the laboratory. She understands the lab contract process and how Los Alamos interacts with local, state, and federal governments.  She is unique with this experience that will be a great asset to District 43 and all of our neighbors in northern New Mexico.

  • Business needs, transparency rules find balance at spaceport

    The spaceport finally caught a break after years of flak. Three breaks, in fact.

    Even so, Spaceport America was in the crosshairs of a sustained transparency debate in the recent legislative session.

    As media and watchdog organizations like to remind you, transparency and open records in government are vital to a healthy democracy. But as an old business reporter, I also understand how cautious and downright paranoid high tech companies are about their internal information. They’re secretive for a reason.

    So when headline writers at the New Mexican exclaim, “Transparency takes hit,” after the passage of a bill protecting customer information at the spaceport, I’m afraid I can’t agree.

    The bipartisan Senate Bill 98, called the Commercial Aerospace Protection Act, started out exempting Spaceport client information from the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act  unless the company waives confidentiality. IPRA is the sacred cow of New Mexico journalists.

  • Letters to the Editor 3-14-18

    A case of legislative error on gun rights

    Dear Editor,

    Legislators have been known to do ridiculous things, and a majority of Florida’s legislators have done so along with their governor. They have assumed that acts of violence using a firearm are age related or cynically a trick to weaken the Second Amendment is in their sights.

    They have forbidden sales of firearms to persons ages 18 to 20 purely on the basis of age.

    This denies them their rights under the Second Amendment, placing them with a class of persons forbidden the right to bear arms for cause. The forbidden class is that which consists of the insane, idiots, statutorily immature, ajudicatedly forbidden or criminal.

    How now will this class of 18 to 20-year-old citizens feel about enlisting in the armed forces with their constitutional rights removed legislatively, a process denying right, that a person other than this newly created class, has with the individual right secured for others. These 18 to 20 year olds can die for their country but cannot be a fully covered by citizen rights under the constitution. Seventeen-year-olds can also serve their country and a case can be made for them regarding firearms.

  • Workshop points small businesses toward government contracts

    FINANCE NEW MEXICO

    The federal government is the world’s biggest customer and a major driver in New Mexico’s economy.

    While only a fraction of the $8.2 billion that Uncle Sam spent in New Mexico in fiscal year 2017 benefitted local companies, advisers at the state’s four Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) work to increase the flow of federal dollars to small businesses that offer products or services the government wants.

    To that end, the Clovis PTAC is hosting a workshop March 20 at Clovis Community College for entrepreneurs who want to learn more about becoming a government contractor.

    “The workshop is to educate business owners on how to do business with Cannon Air Force Base and other government agencies,” said Jonnie Loadwick, procurement technical adviser at the Clovis PTAC and a certified VA verification counselor. “Cannon has been growing the last few years, and there is a lot of opportunity for government contracting in this area.”

    Obtaining government contracts can be just as onerous as securing contracts in the private sector: Businesses must aggressively market themselves, because competition is fierce.