App good way to learn about state tribes

Long drives to visit relatives are as much a part of the holiday tradition as turkeys and pumpkin pie. Fading, though, are the days when kids battled to find the most out-of-state license plates, or families played “I spy with my little eye” as a unit. Today’s families have a movie running in the back […]

Viewpoint: New Mexico’s cremation laws need adjusting

Generally, when a family member dies, the family proceeds to make final arrangements for the body. But for Leah McFarland, a mother who raised her daughter alone, it wasn’t that straightforward. Because she was estranged from the father for many years and could not locate him, the mortuary she selected would not cremate her 30-year-old […]

Tough to justify conflict with Syria

The next Middle East conflict, Syria, into which the United States is about to inject itself, is fraught with peril. It is difficult to justify joining this fight. At issue is President Obama’s decision to arm the rebels fighting the regime of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad. While the decision purportedly would involve small arms and, […]

Plenty of blame can go around for latest escape

At least Curry County had help losing a jail inmate this time. Ruben Hernandez, a convicted felon with a long criminal history, ran away from Clovis Municipal Court on Tuesday morning. He was captured about 14 hours later. Municipal Judge Jan Garrett is to be applauded for announcing the blame was all hers. (After all, […]

Be wary of the dangers of triple-digit temperatures

Who says we don’t have near-perfect temperatures this time of year? Yeah, until about 10:30 a.m., and once it nears dark and the sidewalks stop shimmering. We all know it’s hot, hot, hot. And those who watch the TV weather forecasters are aware that June is typically the hottest month of the year. Triple-digit temperatures. […]

Students need to know loan obligations

We don’t need what U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., calls “a manufactured crisis.” But once again Democrats and Republicans are at odds. This time in the Senate over a fix for student loan interest rates. On July 1, interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans are set to double to 2008 levels — from 3.4 […]

Lopez statue great idea, with private dollars

Government should spend public money on projects that benefit the public — not on monuments honoring iconic sports figures. We're not sure what our Legislature was thinking when it allocated $150,000 to build a statue honoring golf legend Nancy Lopez in her hometown of Roswell. We're glad Gov. Susana Martinez was thinking, and watching out […]

Enforcing Alford buyout terms strictly business

The Albuquerque Journal's editorial page had this to say about efforts to recover $1 million from former basketball coach Steve Alford: The fact the University of New Mexico is playing hardball when it comes to buyout terms regarding former men's basketball coach Steve Alford should give taxpayers and fans of a strong offense something to […]

Proposed field for Greyhounds needs scrutiny

Eastern New Mexico University is considering whether to build a new football stadium. This one would be on its Portales campus, would include soccer and track facilities, and could double as home field for Portales High School athletes. The downside, of course, as with all new stadiums, is the projected cost: $8 million. Compounding the […]

Denying equal rights is real issue

Those opposing equal rights for others inevitably find themselves on the wrong side of history. No one is more heterosexually macho than me, but I can think of no legitimate reason to deny gays the same rights I take for granted. A local letter-writer recently criticized politicians who opposed gay marriage, then changed their minds. […]

Upfront efforts key to reducing wildfire risks

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the old saying goes. Of course, folk wisdom doesn't always hold up when examined rigorously. When it comes to reducing damage from wildfires, however, it appears that prevention really does matter. A report — "Lessons Learned from Waldo Canyon" — prepared after the devastating […]

Lobos’ hope dashed again, future uncertian

Pity the poor fans of University of New Mexico basketball. First, the euphoria of winning the Mountain West Conference season and tournament, then the No. 3 seed, whispers of Final Four possibilities, all ending with a humiliating loss to Harvard in their first NCAA tournament game. At least, though, the Lobos had next year — […]

Smoking cessation drugs available

Smoking cessation drugs now are available at no charge through the TRICARE Mail Order Program for service members, military family members and retirees under age 65 who want to kick this unhealthy habit. The free cessation drugs finally are available almost five years after Congress ordered them. The free medicines are part of a wider […]

Keep it short, simple and straightforward

Last Monday I attended a "Secrets of Superlative Writing" workshop with Paula LaRocque at a Fort Worth conference. Before becoming a consultant and novelist, LaRocque was a well-known writing coach for the Dallas Morning News. I talked to her afterward, and she confirmed that my obsession with teaching students (and others) to write, "The XXX […]

Monument designation good move, and overdue

M onday was an important day for Northern New Mexico — not to mention for the state and even the nation. On that day, President Barack Obama officially designated the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, preserving some 240,000 acres of our finest wilderness for generations to come. What a long time coming! Residents of […]

Many parts of Iraq war can be considered successes

With the 10th anniversary of "Shock and Awe" — the relentless bombing attack that signaled the beginning of the end of Saddam Hussein's evil regime in Iraq —came the predictable recriminations against the Pentagon, the covert services and, naturally, George W. Bush. "It was not worth it, to put it mildly," observed The Hartford Courant […]

Viewpoint: Legislature finishes with several hits, misses

Another 60 days in the Roundhouse, another set of hits and misses for New Mexicans. In addition to the important tax reform compromise package that awaits action by Gov. Susana Martinez, many other important issues were acted on — or not — in the past two short months. The good news first. Lawmakers: Brought public […]

Despite tough times, legislative session successful

Each day when the Legislature is in session, busloads of school children come from throughout the state to witness democracy in action. Let's hope none of those impressionable youngsters were in attendance on the final morning, when the House squelched debate, ignored the clock and muscled through a 35-page bill that only a handful of […]

TSA finally coming to its senses

You're getting ready to board a plane at an airport in, say, Lubbock or Amarillo. An agent asks you to empty your pockets into a plastic tray. The contents include a pocket knife you've been carrying since Grandpa gave it to you when you were a youngster. Hey, no problem, the agent says. You can […]

Viewpoint: Rebuilding requires knowing history

Rebuilding a war-torn country isn't cheap, but in Iraq it came down to throwing good money after bad because apparently it didn't work. The U.S. has spent $60 billion in Iraq reconstruction efforts. But in his final report to Congress, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen concluded the U.S. didn't get much for […]