Berry: Portable pool needs work

I drove by the high school on the last day of school and I was really surprised at how calm things were. I remember when I ended my school year, we celebrated with water. It usually involved water balloons, buckets and anything we could find to hold and then throw water. One year a friend […]

Johnson: Pets can serve, too

Great sniffers, sharp eyesight, acute hearing, the strength and stamina to carry heavy loads, the ability to easily go places mankind cannot and the companionship they offer — animals have attributes that make them quite an asset when it comes to certain challenges. In an era of technology and motorized vehicles, it’s easy to forget […]

Brown: It’s just like riding a horse

I don’t remember exactly the first time I was put on a horse, but it was before I started learning to drive, so let’s say four years old. The first challenge is getting on board. When the stirrup is about level with your face, and you can’t reach the saddle-horn from the ground, traditional mounting […]

Rodriguez: Storytelling part of what made me who I am

This is a continuation of last week’s column on how, rather than my parents reading my sisters and I books as children, we listened to children’s records. However, in writing the column, I realized two things. While I grew up under a rich oral tradition of our Hispanic culture, an oral tradition which shaped my […]

Gossip is a deadly, poisonous thing

Several years ago my sister Susie and I stopped at the Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas, as we were on our way back from Dallas. We had to go through Sweetwater anyway, so we decided to take some time and experience something we had always heard about. We parked our car and headed down to […]

So what’s your ‘contentment number?’

One to ten scale. One, terrible; ten, incredibly good. Here’s the question: In general, in your whole life, how content are you? This is not a trick question. The first number that pops into your head is almost certainly the “right” one. Stop to think about this too long and you’ll mess it up. So […]

Boswell: Putting in personal request for duet at 2017 Jamboree

For the first time, I put in a personal request for next year’s Floyd Lions Club Country Jamboree with the jamboree band. Chek Rippee has always been a personal favorite for me, because I love the fiddle, and he plays a mean fiddle. But as I watched the show Thursday night, I realized someone else […]

Wilson: Can I eat like a celebrity?

The news of another eatery coming to eastern New Mexico was met with a range of emotions, from, “Best day ever,” to indifferent shrugs. The spectrum was inspired when we found out the Chipotle Mexican Grill franchise is looking at opening a Clovis location in the third quarter of 2016. For those who haven’t been […]

Sloan: Lessons of health in March reading

My book-summary-of-the-month for March is “How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter” (Knopf, 1994) by Dr. Sherwin Nuland (1930-2014). Excerpts: • Deterioration of the coronary arteries leads to half of the deaths in the United States. • Each cigarette, pat of butter, slice of meat, and increment of hypertension contributes to the deterioration. • Cancer […]

Williamson: Local heroes are Valentine sweethearts every day

While lots of folks were nibbling on chocolates and counting the roses in their Valentine bouquets on Sunday, firefighters from nine area fire departments — most of them volunteers — spent almost six hours that day bouncing across fields and through rough sand hills getting a handle on a series of fires that gobbled up […]

Williams: Students need to be on same level as peers

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia ran headlong into the leftist meat grinder by questioning whether college admission of blacks with academic achievement levels significantly lower than the rest of the student body is beneficial to blacks. His question came up during oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas, wherein the court will rule whether […]

McDonald: The 2015 year has been busy

When thinking back on 2015, it’s hard not to get personal. It was a significant year for me as well as for the rest of the world. I’ve been writing this column since May 2013. I call it Dispatch New Mexico, though your local newspaper editor might call it something else: “filler” is one word […]

Fields: Here’s to firsts and lasts; thanks for reading, Portales

There are some things you do for the very last time without knowing it will be final. I look back over my life with that odd realization. You run a 10k having no idea your hip will start giving you trouble, and you’ll never run another race. You eat biscuits and gravy with no clue […]

Mil update: Autism fee cuts stir access concerns

When TRICARE this month announced cuts of up to 15 percent next year in fees for applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy of children with autism, some ABA businesses, in responding to an online survey, said they would stop treating TRICARE clients. Most respondents, however, said they need more time to assess how the reduced rates […]

Rodriguez: I’m making my own list and checking it twice

We’re about to reach our sweet 16. It seems like just yesterday, or was it three years ago, that the world was about to end. Hello 2016. It’s only days away. Let’s light 16 candles. With another year comes new resolutions, or perhaps anti-resolutions. It’s far too easy to say “I’m not going to make […]

Boswell: Love the unique qualities of families’ festivities

I guess I owe a late Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of our area residents, so Happy Holidays to you all. After a a few days of enjoying some relaxation and having time with my best 9-year-old buddy — who is always a very enthusiastic holiday counterpart to have — it’s […]

Sloan: Going with more realistic resolutions in the New Year

Since the only resolution I kept last year was being less diplomatic toward people insulting me, I am making this year’s resolutions more attainable. These include: • I will stay up until New Year’s by watching the ball drop on the BBC at 5 p.m. (MST) before calling it a night. • I will pack […]

Wilson: Hollywood can’t make everybody happy

I present to you a spoiler-free review of “Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” Emotional, lots of lasers and lightsabers. The Force controls everything, and it matters to certain families more than others. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but it was the soft reboot the series needed. Good movie, but I enjoyed “Creed” and “Spotlight” more. […]

Fields: Bad manners from a few people have consequences for everyone

There’s a long string of chewing gum running through my life. Memories are stuck in my brain like bubble gum. On the way to Sunday school as a little girl, I was finally trusted with the joyous responsibility of chewing a half stick of gum. Sadly, the teacher made me spit it out since everyone […]

Blue-eyed Valentine speaks to my heart

The man always puts me in a traveling mood. Whether it’s some stateside city like Chicago or New York, or an international destination like Peru, Paris, London Town or Acapulco Bay, he just says the word and I’m almost convinced to fly to the moon. I’d be sure to bring some moon beams home in […]