Talk of the Town - Albuquerque Journal

Talk of the Town

Judges should err on side of public safety

THE ARNOLD Tool use is described as “to determine the likelihood a defendant will show up to court and/or commit a new crime.” Here, “likelihood” is a euphemism for probability. Think of Mark Ronchetti’s famous “bust potential.” A 40% likelihood of no rain means a 60% chance it will.

An Arnold score of three out of six sounds to me like a 50-50 tie. And while baseball gives the tie to the runner, I agree with Sen. (Joseph) Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, that the courts should always “err on the side of public safety.”

The good news in this sordid saga is that there are at least two jurists, Metro Court Judge Jill Martinez and Second Judicial District Judge David Murphy, who still believe in and practice judicial discretion. I will remember them come election time.

Alan Schwartz, Albuquerque

Corporate greed is jacking up prices

FOLKS ON a fixed income received a cost-of-living increase in Social Security this year. Immediately the natural gas companies took it away with one healthy price increase. This is corporate America greed in action. Oil companies have done the same … at the pumps. There obviously is no shortage … as there is as much as you want available, just pay their price.

Food companies have been doing this for years, but it is much worse now. They have stooped to a new low by diluting their products and adding inferior, less expensive additives and disguising it with their packaging. …

The frozen pizza that was enough for four people is now a personal pizza in a large box. Coffee and other items are no longer a pound and are getting smaller. … Soon they will sell ground coffee by the cup — but wait, they already did, K cups. …

Health care is no exception. The health insurance companies now dictate what medicines you can get and what procedures are offered. All based on their profits. … We can do without frozen pizza and K cups, but basic items like food, shelter, health care and transportation are being attacked for record corporate profits.

The greed of corporate America will be the demise of our system, and our government is doing nothing to stop it. To control inflation, they raise interest rates, which makes everything more expensive. . ..

Pete Agrusa, Rio Rancho

Bills would ban more nuclear waste here

IT IS expected the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will soon issue a 40-year license to Holtec to store 30 million highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel rods from the country’s nuclear power plants in southeastern New Mexico.

The economic gain expected from storage of this deadly material is 350 jobs. To those who say this is an economic driver and should be part of our economic diversification plan, I say it’s an economic killer.

The losses to New Mexico’s outdoor recreation, tourism, oil and gas, and agricultural industries would be catastrophic should there be a release of this deadly material due to accidents … terrorist attack … or leaks. …

This is a private facility with no federal funding, and private insurers do not normally cover damage from a nuclear accident. Local New Mexico communities would be responsible for emergency response, health impacts and environmental cleanup. As a result, our communities would be accepting a disproportionate risk for the benefits of nuclear electricity, jobs and profits in other states while our local industries and communities bear the catastrophic impacts of storing this deadly material.

The Legislature is hearing bills to ban the storage and disposal of high-level nuclear waste in New Mexico. (Senate Bill 53 and House Bill 122 are) our last chance to prevent New Mexico from becoming the nation’s dumping ground for high-level nuclear waste. Tell your senator and representative to vote “yes” on them.

Margaret Bell, Albuquerque

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