Energy: a critical integration tool – Dr. Devon Gardner, Programme Manager,…

first_img Jun 22, 2020 You may be interested in… CCREEE Confronts Gender Challenges in Energy Sector May 7, 2020 CARICOM closer to developing regional regulations to improve energy performance in buildings  Energy conservation and the implementation of an Energy Efficiency Building Code are critical to mitigate the impacts of climate change which pose great risks to countries, like St. Vincent and the Grenadines, within the Caribbean. This was the sentiment expressed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign…July 27, 2017In “CARICOM”CARICOM Formulating Energy Security StrategyThe Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is moving to formulate an energy security strategy. To this end, a group is to be established to immediately begin working on the strategy, focusing on regional energy integration matters. Regional energy integration and security were among key matters around which there was significant agreement when…October 6, 2020In “CARICOM”CARICOM Heads of Government sign Agreement establishing Energy InstitutionCaribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government on Thursday signed the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE). The signing was done at the Thirty Eighth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in St. George’s, Grenada.   The signing of the…July 7, 2017In “Barbados”Share this on WhatsApp Dr. Devon Gardner, Programme Manager, Energy, CARICOM Secretariat, addresses the launch of CARICOM Energy Week 2014 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday 17 November A few short weeks after he became a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat family, Dr. Devon Gardner got his feet wet at a meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) where he made a presentation on a critical proposal to the Community’s energy thrust. His rapid-fire, succinct delivery, though late in the evening, held the attention of the Region’s Trade Ministers, and elicited discussion around the table. The proposal was endorsed and a Special COTED on Energy and the Environment was recommended to ensure exploration of the full ramifications and optimum exploitations of the proposal: the establishment of a Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CREEE). CARICOM’s Trade and Economic Council approves strategy for… center_img Dr. Gardner assumed the post of Programme Manager, Energy, at the Secretariat at a time when the Community is moving resolutely to chart its sustainable energy course, which will see increasing amounts of renewable energy use and energy efficiency applications within the Region. A proud son of rural Jamaica who was always interested in the sciences, Dr. Gardner sees energy as a critical integration tool, but conversely, also as the single entity that could most significantly retard sustainable growth and resilience building within the Region, given the way the energy sector is constructed. The bottom line is that energy is the most cross-cutting of sectors. The universe functions because of energy. If you think of everything you do – driving, cooking, seeing at nights when the sun is not available, if you need to cool yourself, anything you do – will require energy. The issue is how do you set your energy sector above to become most efficient, and, of course, cost effective? There is sometimes a trivialization of energy in an environment where energy does not cost a lot,” he said. The energy sector is a very important component in CARICOM’s development agenda and can be found in its five-year Strategic Plan and in its Aid for Trade strategy. Dr. Gardner is charged with overseeing the broad-based, multi-country approach to growing the energy sector and his work includes attention to CARICOM-wide policies and activities as well as resource mobilization. His priorities include improving coordination and harmonization in the Region’s energy sector; mainstreaming energy issues throughout a number of critical cross-cutting sectors; and strengthening the pursuit of energy efficiency opportunities. With respect to the coordination and harmonization of the energy sector, Dr. Gardner used the analogy of an orchestra, and said that the Region should be playing from the same music sheet, but playing different instruments. There are different layers of coordination that must be occurring at the same time, Dr. Gardner pointed out. With sources of renewable energy present in all CARICOM Member States, Dr. Gardner was of the view that the Community could be energy sufficient by 2027, conditioned on whether there is a confluence of technical, financial and socio-political readiness. It is a complex environment, but nonetheless it is an environment that has many confluences and similarities, and what the Energy Unit is trying to doing is not to impose on Member States a Regional issue per se, but to identify those areas that Member States themselves have prioritized that may have commonalities among multiple Member States,” Dr. Gardner pointed out. The new Energy Programme Manager brings to his new portfolio a wealth of experience. Dr. Gardner holds a Ph.D., Physical Chemistry and a B.Sc., Special Chemistry, both from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. I was always interested in energy, but from the nano-scale…, Dr. Garner said. Following grad-school, the interest in energy led him to a research group. There, his interest in the application side of energy was peaked, and this led him to understand the challenges in the energy sector as whole. He eventually gravitated to more macro-scale type analyses, and into mainstream energy. I understand energy from the level of the electronics and particle interactions all the way up to the macro scale at universe interaction. So I have a good understanding of the entire thing…” he said. (The above is an extract of a wide-ranging interview Dr. Gardner granted to the Communications Unit of the CARICOM Secretariat. Please continue to check CARICOM Today or caricom.org for updates) Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Exchanging best practices, joint problem-solving can help… Apr 29, 2019 Trade Ministers mark passing of Sir Alister with moment of… Nov 27, 2018last_img read more

CARICOM Secretary-General highlights Region’s Climate Change and EU Blacklisting…

first_img During two weeks in September 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria demonstrated starkly what those consequences mean for Caribbean SIDS. Those events occurred with global temperatures which have risen by around one degree centigrade above pre-industrial levels. Caribbean scientists had projected that 1.5 degrees centigrade would result in significant impacts on our region. This has been corroborated by the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which also showed that we will attain the 1.5 degree centigrade warmer world much sooner than anticipated – by 2030. The IPCC agrees with the region’s scientists that such a level of warming would cause extreme temperatures, increases in the frequency and intensity of mega storms, increase in the amount of unseasonal heavy rainfall, and an increase in the intensity or frequency of droughts. But the world continues on track towards a 3°C rise, maybe higher. There can be no question that for us in the Caribbean, climate change is an existential threat. It has been recorded that between 2000 and 2017, Member States of our Community suffered at least seven major disasters in which damage ranged from 33% to 226% of the affected country’s GDP. The Secretary-General follows closely as Foreign Minister of The Bahamas and Chairman of COFCOR Hon. Darren Henfield also addresses the Conference The estimated cost of reconstruction after the 2017 devastation by Hurricanes Irma and Maria has been put at US$5 billion region-wide. A sum of that magnitude is way beyond the capacity of the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), which we established as the first multi-country risk pool in the world. It provides quick financial relief following a disaster. The Facility is itself in need of recapitalisation. For us therefore, especially with the prediction of more intense and frequent mega storms, seeking to build resilience against that phenomenon is urgent. Resilience has been defined, in the context of disasters, as the ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards, to resist, absorb, accommodate and recover from its effects in a timely and efficient manner. This includes through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions. For us, resilience includes: Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC CARPHA Partners with, PAHO to Ensure Caribbean States’… Related Posts Romania sympathetic to CARICOM’s blacklisting concernsThe Government of Romania is sympathetic to the concerns of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with respect to the blacklisting of some of its Member States by the European Union (EU). The sentiment was conveyed by His Excellency Stefan Mera as he presented his credentials on Thursday to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador…January 24, 2019In “CARICOM”CARICOM SG emphasises benefits of building regional relationships”…The spirit of co-operation that has brought us all here today drives us towards generating ideas to strengthen the capacity of our Region to resolve the challenges that we all face.” – CARICOM SG at 15th Annual Conference on Regional Cooperation Antilles-Guyane Remarks by CARICOM Secretary-General at 15th Annual Conference on Regional…November 28, 2019In “Antigua & Barbuda”CARICOM exemplifies spirit of togetherness, Chairman saysEND OF YEAR STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM), THE HONOURABLE ALLEN CHASTANET, PRIME MINISTER OF SAINT LUCIA Season’s Greetings to all, and may you enjoy the festivities in the spirit of togetherness that is the hallmark of family and community. Our Caribbean Community (CARICOM) exemplifies that…December 27, 2019In “Anguilla”Share this on WhatsApp Address by the CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque to the International Conference on Building Resilience to Natural Disasters, Bucharest, Romania, 12 March 2019  This forum is extremely timely and in keeping with our thrust in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as we have embraced building resilience, including to natural disasters, as a matter of priority. The Caribbean along with the Pacific Islands are among the most disaster-prone regions in the world. I welcome this initiative by Romania which demonstrates your support of, your interest in, and your concern for our Community, as we face the existential challenge posed by climate change. Despite the relatively recent establishment of formal ties with CARICOM, Romania has demonstrated a keen interest in the issues that affect our Region, and has been very supportive of our efforts to combat our challenges. Minister Melescanu, I thank you and your Government most sincerely. Romania’s Foreign Minister Mr.Teodor Melescanu (5th left, front) is joined on his left by the Secretary-General of the International Organisation of LaFrancophonie Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque Small-Island and Low-Lying Coastal Developing States (SIDS) such as us in CARICOM, have been vociferous about the dangers posed by the effects of climate change. Scientific report after scientific report, put out by international agencies and respected academia, have warned of its catastrophic consequences. Oct 16, 2020center_img Oct 16, 2020 Social Protection for the most vulnerable persons as they are the most affected by disasters;Safeguarding Infrastructure with the implementation of building codes to ensure human safety and welfare, as well as strengthening public infrastructure such as bridges and sea defences, which is a key component of building the Region’s resilience;Economic Diversification which is enhanced through building economic resilience to reduce the incidents of income volatility;Environmental Protection and;Operational Readiness which allows for the continuity of Government and business operations. As the Foreign Minister of Dominica, the Honourable Francine Baron stated “we need to incorporate resilience in everything that we do moving forward, from infrastructure, to our economy, to our social sectors”. An IMF study found that for every dollar spent in building resilience, savings can be as much as seven dollars in damage and reconstruction costs after a disaster. With that concept in mind, the CARICOM Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy was designed in 2001 by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). It seeks to manage hazards including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, landslides, pandemics, through all phases of the disaster management cycle. These include prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery and rehabilitation with everyone involved – public and private sectors – all segments of civil society and the general population. While we appreciate the assistance after catastrophic events, in order to build the resilience necessary to mitigate the effects, we must have access to concessional development financing well in advance of a disaster. The need for building resilience is emphasised by the fact that these disasters play havoc with public finances, diverting expenditure towards recovery and rehabilitation and away from planned development. We find ourselves in extraordinary circumstances which therefore require extraordinary solutions. The key factor that must be addressed is the sustainable financing of these efforts at resilience. However, there are significant factors which constrain us in that regard. The IMF has also identified issues specific to our Member States, the majority of which are middle-income countries. According to an IMF study, CARICOM countries “exhibit extreme versions of long-term low growth, high debt, significant vulnerabilities and limited resilience to shocks which set them apart from other middle-income states”. Most of our countries have high ratios of government debt to GDP and, in some instances, at unsustainable levels. Statistics from both the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) point to the fact that two-thirds of the CARICOM countries have debt-to-GDP ratios above the 60% threshold, generally regarded as the benchmark for debt sustainability. It must be noted that a significant portion of the debt is due to external economic shocks and from the reconstruction after natural disasters. Almost unbelievably, reconstruction after disasters adds to the GDP and per capita income increases. Being labelled as middle-income countries, we cannot access concessional development financing, since the principal criterion for such funding is GDP per capita. I cite, for example, the case of The Bahamas, classified as an upper middle-income country, which sustained cumulative damage and loss of US$700 million by hurricanes that hit between 2015 and 2017. Yet, there was no access to concessional financing due to their classification. From our perspective, there is an urgent need for the international community and international financial institutions to change the criteria for access to concessional development financing by middle-income SIDS. Substantial weight must be accorded to our vulnerability in this regard. The OECD has begun looking at the issue. We need the support of all OECD Member States. In seeking to reduce our vulnerabilities and build our economic resilience through diversification of our economies, financial services is a significant contributor to public finances in many CARICOM States. It is a source of funding for building resilience. It is now under threat as it confronts the unwarranted labelling of some of our countries as non-cooperative tax jurisdictions by the EU. At this juncture, I would like to acknowledge and thank the Government of Romania for its understanding of our concerns with regard to the EU’s actions and processes, and its assistance in bringing them to the attention of the appropriate EU authorities. The EU’s actions are despite the fact that the countries in question are not designated as non-compliant by the relevant regulatory authorities, such as the Financial Action Task Force and the OECD Global Forum. While the CARICOM States are supportive of global initiatives to promote tax good governance, we continue to be concerned about the lack of transparency, dialogue and consultation, the extent of the reforms that have been demanded and the ambitious timeline for executing such reforms. Blacklisting amounts to an attack on our economies. It now appears that CARICOM Member States will be caught in an indeterminate process, dictated by ECOFIN, since the EU has already signalled its intention to update the criteria from time to time. This is clearly an infringement on the sovereign right of affected States to self-determination. Blacklisted jurisdictions face major reputational damage and disruptive controls on their financial transactions. Blacklisting influences the strategies of international banks, resulting in de-risking and their withdrawal of crucial correspondent banking relationships. The EU has also announced the intention to monitor investor citizenship and residence programmes.  The OECD has also published a report on what they deem to be potentially high-risk residence and citizenship-by-investment programmes which referenced several CARICOM Member States. Were it not for the revenue resulting from its Citizenship-by- Investment Programme, Dominica’s recovery from the disasters of 2015 and 2017 would not be so advanced. Even as we thank the EU for providing some assistance for our disaster management strategy, ECOFIN appears bent on destroying our attempts at ensuring economic viability, and thus the very efforts at building resilience. The events of recent years have clearly demonstrated that climate change and its effects are wreaking havoc in our Community. We must prepare for the next catastrophic hurricane, flood or drought since climate change is our new normal. Building resilience requires significant investment to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to prepare for the impact of such intense climate-based events.  It demands serious and urgent action.  Our very existence is at stake. I welcome today’s discussions and look forward to its conclusions. On Caribbean Statistics Day, PM Mitchell Hails Unwavering… I thank you. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Oct 15, 2020last_img read more

Delphi Steering Names New Finance Director

first_imgLSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain. DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business.  With more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.  TROY, MI — Delphi Corp. has named David Knill the new finance director for Delphi Steering, headquartered in Saginaw, Mich. In this new assignment, Knill joins the division’s executive staff and reports to Robert Remenar, Delphi vice president and president of Delphi Steering. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Knill succeeds Doug Gruber, who was recently named business line executive for electrical/electronic distribution systems at Delphi Packard. Knill joined the company in 1984, as a cooperative education student from General Motors Institute (now known as Kettering University), assigned to GM of Canada. Beginning in 1989, he served in a variety of assignments in engineering and operations for GM of Canada. In 1997, Knill joined the GM Treasurer’s Staff in New York, where he was a financial analyst in business development and in overseas finance. He then joined the Delphi Treasurer’s Office as manager of corporate finance for Latin America and was later named director of mergers and acquisitions for the corporation. In 2002, he joined the Delphi Packard team as the European finance director. For more information about Delphi, visit: www.delphi.com . _______________________________________ Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementlast_img read more

American Axle & Manufacturing Appoints New CFO

first_imgDeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business.  LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain. DETROIT — American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings, Inc. (AAM) has appointed Thomas Martin to the position of vice president of finance and CFO. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Martin replaces former AAM Executive Vice President and CFO Robin Adams, who left the company in April to become executive vice president, CFO and chief administrative officer at BorgWarner. Martin will resign from his position on the AAM Board of Directors and as a member of the board’s audit committee in order to focus on his new position. During his 36-year career in the automotive industry, Martin worked extensively in both the domestic and international marketplace. He served in various financial positions at DaimlerChrysler, including CFO and board member, Chrysler de Mexico; CFO, Chrysler International – Europe; controller, Chrysler de Mexico; and director, core process implementation. In addition, he served as controller, service and parts division and financial manager for manufacturing, engineering, program management, design, procurement and supply, Chrysler Financial and Corporate Staffs. To learn more about AAM, go to: www.aam.com. _______________________________________ Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement With more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit. last_img read more

Scenes From 2019 Los Alamos County Rodeo

first_imgThe cowboys arrive at Brewer Arena Saturday afternoon for the start of the 2019 Los Alamos County Rodeo, a two-day event hosted by the County of Los Alamos Parks and Recreation Department. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comThe colors mark the opening of the 2019 rodeo. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comCowboys pause to offer a prayer for a safe rodeo. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comA cowboy throws a rope to catch a calf and after caught the cowboy releases the rope and calf. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comAnother cowboy throws a rope to catch a calf. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comMutton busting is popular with the young cowboys to be. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com A young mutton buster in action. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com Scene from mutton busting. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com Scene from mutton busting. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com Junior bull riding lets the cowboys accumulate points to move to the major rodeos, so each ride is important. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comScene from junior bull riding. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comLindsey Smith thrills the crowd with her trick riding routines. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comLindsey Smith performing her trick riding routines. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comThe boot race is a mad scramble to find one’s shoes, put them on and race to the finish line first. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comThe barrel race is very competitive and every second counts. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comAnother scene from the barrel race. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comlast_img read more

New Mexico-U.S. Small Business Administration Ink Cooperation Agreement To Collaborate; Share Resources

first_imgWith the new agreement, state economic development representatives and SBA officials will be able to better collaborate and assist with programs and grants, including technical assistance, joint marketing, seminars and conferences. The purpose of this Strategic Alliance Memorandum is to develop and foster mutual understanding and a working relationship between the SBA and New Mexico Economic Development Department in order to strengthen and expand small business development throughout the state.  Crossie was joined at the signing by SBA’s New Mexico District Office Rep. John Garcia and Deputy District Director Ivan Corrales. The Strategic Alliance Memorandum agreement was signed at the National Hispanic Culture Center Salon Ortega Building in Albuquerque. “Small business is the bedrock of our economy in New Mexico,” said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department. “The services and tools provided by the SBA are important for empowering our small business owners and strengthening our economy.”center_img SBA News: The U.S. Small Business Administration and the New Mexico Economic Development Department signed a formal agreement today to better collaborate and share resources that will boost business growth and create jobs. “This is an example of our partnership with the state of New Mexico for economic development, entrepreneurship and small-business development,” said Justin J. Crossie, Regional Administrator with the SBA for New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. “This relationship is important to ensure New Mexico small businesses have the tools they need to succeed in today’s competitive environment.”last_img read more

Gessing: No, New Mexico Doesn’t Need Gas Tax Hike

first_imgBy PAUL GESSINGRio Grande Foundation The following are five specific reasons not to raise the gas tax. It is no secret that New Mexico is in the middle of historic budget surpluses with general fund spending (thanks to record oil production) booming from $6.3 billion to nearly $8.0 billion. That’s a 27 percent increase in just two years. There is plenty of money available to build and repair roads, especially in Southeast New Mexico where roads have been impacted by the incredible oil and gas growth.The tax hikes adopted in 2019 JUST increased taxes with $52 million annually going to roads starting this year. That number will rise in the years to come. It would be premature to raise taxes so quickly after taxes were raised “for roads” just this past year.New Mexico should stop wasting  $30+million annually on operating the Rail Runner. Ridership on the train is vanishingly small and wastes money that could otherwise be used for road maintenance. To keep spending money on this boondoggle while also calling for higher taxes is ridiculous. Transit is in decline nationwide. The sooner we realize this and stop spending money on it, the better.Gas taxes are “regressive.” Not only do the poor allocated a greater percentage of their incomes to paying such taxes, but low-income folks also drive older, less fuel efficient cars.Finally, although the current political situation in Santa Fe is unlikely to result in needed reform of New Mexico’s labor laws, the fact is that reforming the State’s Davis-Bacon “prevailing wage” law could result in cost reductions for a variety of transportation projects including roads (and schools).  A 2017 fiscal analysis from the Legislature found that legislation that would simply have reduced the impact of New Mexico’s law would have saved New Mexico’s Department of Transportation between $20 million to $22 million annually based on 2017-2018 active construction projects. New Mexico government is already bloated and the  State is considered the worst run in the entire nation according to a new analysis by 24/7 Wall Street . Rather than just handing more money over to Santa Fe, it is time we expect a little better management of our tax dollars. As we move toward 2020 and the start of the short, 30-day legislative session, there are some who want the big-spenders in Santa Fe to raise taxes once again on hard-working New Mexicans. In 2019, the Legislature, despite a massive surplus, passed the largest tax hike in New Mexico history. Although this was completely unnecessary, a portion of that money supposedly went to improving our roads. If that is still inadequate, there is plenty of surplus revenue sloshing around in the Roundhouse to ensure that roads across New Mexico are improved.center_img In particular Republicans must push back with full-throated opposition to raising taxes. Although lacking in power in Santa Fe, need to step up and provide a reasonable, limited-government alternative to the big-spending liberals in Santa Fe. They cannot yield to calls for still higher taxes whether they are sold as being for road improvements or something else. Building and maintaining basic infrastructure like roads is arguably THE core function of government. It’s right up there with public safety. Even in the very best of economic times (thanks to national economic growth and record oil production) New Mexico state government has a poor track record of addressing those core functions (thus the 24/7 Wall Street ranking). Paul Gessing is the President of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation. The Rio Grande Foundation is an independent, non-partisan, tax-exempt research and educational organization dedicated to promoting prosperity for New Mexico based on principles of limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility.last_img read more

NMMSH: Free Telescope Workshop Jan. 4

first_imgA telescope can help inspire a lifelong interest and appreciation in nature and science, but the first step is learning how to use it. Bring your new telescope and everyone interested to the free telescope workshop Jan. 4 at the New Mexico Museum of Space History. Courtesy/Air & Space Magazine “Buying a telescope as a Christmas gift is a great idea, but teaching your child how to use it is sometimes very challenging,” Museum Outreach Coordinator Tony Gondola said. “Our goal with this free workshop is to teach parents and aspiring young astronomers tips and techniques that will help them get the most out of this exciting gift that can inspire a lifetime of interest in nature and science.” ALAMOGORDO — The New Mexico Museum of Space History education department is holding a free telescope workshop beginning 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4 in the front classroom of the Tombaugh Building in Alamogordo. The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575.437.2840 or toll free 1.877.333.6589 or visit www.nmspacemuseum.org. NMMSH News: The focus of the workshop will be on showing new telescope users the basics of set-up and viewing. Workshop participants should bring their new telescope, along with all of its parts and directions, with them. Museum educators and local amateur astronomers will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice on how to best assemble and use telescopes.last_img read more

NWS: Today’s High 40s; Tonight’s Low 15 To 25

first_imgThe National Weather Service forecasts today’s high in Los Alamos in the 40s with mostly sunny skies and lows tonight around 15 to 25. Courtesy/NWSlast_img

Bandelier To Begin Pile Burning As Conditions Allow

first_imgA prescribed burn may begin as early as Feb. 19 ng N.M. 4 throughout Bandelier. Courtesy photoBANDELIER News:With favorable conditions for pile and prescribed burning present, the fire crew at Bandelier National Monument is planning to burn up to 172 acres of piled fuel materials along N.M. 4 throughout Bandelier. This prescribed burn may begin as early as Feb. 19 and will continue through the winter months as conditions allow. A few days of ignitions are expected. Smoke may be visible from N.M. 4 and Los Alamos. Little to no smoke impacts are anticipated to nearby communities. No road closures to N.M. 4 are anticipated; however, smoke may temporarily reduce visibility along N.M. 4 as crews ignite nearby piled material. Use caution and reduce speeds while driving near smoke.  The parameters for implementing a prescribed burn are based upon specific assessments, agency guidelines and safety protocols. Managers continuously monitor weather conditions during a burn including wind, temperature and relative humidity. Fuel quantity and moisture are also measured. The project will not be started unless all conditions support the burn and associated resources are available. If conditions are not right, the burn may be postponed. Smoke/Air Quality: Information on air quality and protecting your health by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.For more details or general information about Bandelier, check the park website at  www.nps.gov/band, or follow the park Facebook page at BandelierNPS.last_img read more