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 […]