Thoughts from a nonagenarian

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Retired Portales math professor Vern Witten, 90, and I recently spent an afternoon chatting about him knowing his multiplication tables by second grade … his “mathematical proof of God” … “busing” to his Missouri high school in a pickup bed for $3 per month … being a 92-pound high school valedictorian […]

‘Better’ best defined by community

By Tom McDonald State columnist A story came out recently in my hometown newspaper to which I think people who live in other small towns and cities around New Mexico might relate. The Las Vegas Optic reported in its Oct. 10 edition on findings from a city-sanctioned study of residents’ purchasing habits. By tracking credit […]

More research is needed before trying solutions

“There was an old lady who swallowed the cow to catch the dog, She swallowed the dog to catch the cat, She swallowed the cat to catch the bird, She swallowed the bird to catch the spider, She swallowed the spider to catch the fly; I don’t know why she swallowed a fly…” In New […]

Education suits could upend school funding

It’s a shame that school districts have had to file a lawsuit to force the state to fund education adequately. But that’s exactly what is happening. Last week, the Santa Fe Public Schools joined forces with the Gallup-McKinley County and Moriarty-Edgewood districts to claim that current funding levels violate the New Mexico Constitution. The lawsuit […]

Musings from a brain out to lunch

By Kevin Wilson Staff columnist Some thoughts I had while driving around Monday, wondering why every post office was on lunch break before realizing it was Columbus Day and my brain was on lunch break: • A week ago featured an “all new” episode of “Gotham” on Fox. Sunday featured an “all new” episode of […]

We need more work on opioid control in NM

In the last two years, New Mexico has made strides in reducing drug-overdose deaths — from 521 in 2011 to 449 in 2013. Yet the state still ranks near the top in the nation for these types of deaths. So the fact the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is tightening up how a commonly abused prescription […]

Living with purpose my motivator

By Wendel Slaon Local columnist Death is the great democracy. No matter our role, our final bow is followed by the same curtain. A 29-year-old woman with brain cancer has moved to Oregon so she can use lethal medications to “go with dignity” on Nov. 1. A 57-year-old oncologist said after 75 he would refuse […]

NM emergency services not good

By Tom McDonald State columnist New Mexicans should be tired of all the state rankings, since they only seem to show us as the worst, or among the worst, in such issues as poverty, education, child welfare and more. So forgive me when I say, I’ve got one more — emergency services. I ran into […]

Time will tell if Affordable Care Act a positive

So much for President Barack Obama’s promise: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” Not the case for about 30,000 New Mexicans who on Jan. 1 will lose their individual health insurance plans because the plans don’t meet standards set by the Affordable Care Act. In May, New Mexico Insurance Superintendent John […]

In sync life about trust, knowing

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher I have to admit it. I am going to give my props to the radio stations here. To the stations I have my presets on when I am going to and from work, or making stops in town (yes Rooney and Moon, including you) I have to give kudos. Now why […]

Ebola’s bad, but flu actual threat to our health

With the dreaded Ebola virus moving to Texas after having traveled from Africa, people must not let over-the-top cable news channel coverage and Internet-fueled conspiracy theories lead them to panic. Ebola, while a painful, often fatal disease, is not transmitted easily. What’s more, because the health care system is superior in the United States and […]

Really don’t care what the fox says

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Sometimes when people are hyperventilating exclamation points that anyone not agreeing with what the fox says can “unfriend” them, I escape into DirecTV’s ’60s and ’70s audio music channels. Had I not been born with a tin ear, my dream would have been being in a one-hit wonder. After hearing […]

Hard to stop migration to cities

By Tom McDonald State columnist From the U.S. Census Bureau comes this bit of news: The nation’s poverty rate has gone down, but in New Mexico it went up. New Mexico has never been a wealthy state, but the second-to-the-bottom ranking (ahead of Mississippi only) stings and says something about how bad a lot of […]

Forest Service restrictions unnecessary

Talk about bureaucracy run amok. The U.S. Forest Service wants to tighten restrictions on how filmmakers and photographers can cover events in wilderness areas — going so far as to require permits before companies can take a photograph or video. Originally, the Forest Service had said the rule would apply to all members of the […]

Perception affects economic reality

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher Oxford defines perception as the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. Through this process we gain information about properties and elements of the environment that are critical to our survival. It includes the five senses: touch, sight, taste, smell and hearing. It also includes a […]

SpaceX testing deal bodes well for New Mexico

New Mexico may have lost out on Tesla’s $5 billion battery plant, but its link to launching Americans into space again from U.S. soil grew stronger with NASA’s selection of Boeing and SpaceX to fly astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX, another enterprise of Tesla’s daddy, billionaire Elon Musk, has a contract with New […]

Most life may be better without us

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist For readers who barely have time for 300-word columns, I will provide a book-of-the-month summary from my bookshelves. My first selection is “The Web of Life” by John A. Storer. The 1953 book, retailing for 50 cents (bought for 10 cents at the Portales Public Library sale), is timeless. “The […]

Society needs to redefine manhood

By Tom McDonald State columnist Thanks, NFL, for sparking a worthy national conversation. When it comes to the issue of domestic violence, you’ve given us a wealth of examples about how not to behave. Of course, it’s more important to talk about how such violence hits us at home, in our local communities, but it’s […]

If U.S. doesn’t defeat terrorism, no one else will

About that “peace dividend.” The escalating Islamic State’s threat to U.S. citizens and American interests here and abroad may deplete any anticipated dividend before it can go into the nation’s piggy bank. Some of the billions expected to be saved over the next decade from military budget cuts, downsizing forces and getting off a permanent […]

Return on investment important

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher I have used this term almost to the point of wearing myself out. And I do believe everyone has a basic understanding of it, though what they believe it is versus what someone else does can often be different. For those that do not have money, it is even more critical. […]