Planning for invaders good idea

By Tom McDonald State columnist In a recent Time magazine article titled “Space Invaders,” senior writer Bryan Walsh reported on how foreign insects, fish and animals are invading the U.S. in alarming numbers. They are upsetting the environmental balance of entire regions and, in several instances, disrupting their economies as well. In the report, several […]

Immunizations save lives, keep kids healthy

Global health activists continue to make strides against diseases that kill in the developing world. Few tools are more essential than vaccination drives, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates are saving the lives of 2 million to 3 million people a year around the globe. Yet, in the United States, more educated […]

Tech time can be put to good use

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher We know the statistics. According to Kids Count Data Center, New Mexico’s overall rank: 49th. Economic well being: 49th. Education rank: 49th. Health rank: 49th. Family and community rank: 49th According to teacherportal.com, teacher salary comfort score: 37th. Average teacher salary rank: 39th. Starting teacher salary rank: 38th. While the average […]

Certainty of death allows perspective

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My father, who died at 71, told me he was not afraid to die. My mother, who died at 92,, told me she wished “it would hurry up and get here.” I enjoy life, but know it is ephemeral. I have had close calls — cars skidding out of control, […]

Martinez seems obstinate on issue

By Tom McDonald State columnist If there’s an issue out there that could slow Gov. Susana Martinez’s cakewalk into a second term, it might just be the behavioral health issue. The issue surfaced a year ago when, after an audit alleged Medicaid overbilling and possible fraud to the tune of about $34 million, the Martinez […]

Reading program worth investment for kids

We don’t always agree with Curry County Manager Lance Pyle. … But when we do, it’s for a good cause. Pyle is leading efforts to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Curry County. The country singer’s project places books in the hands and homes of preschoolers at no charge to their parents or guardians. The […]

Tony Day’s not walking away from his actions

The outrage and frustration from family members is understandable. Tony Day is accused of killing two innocent people and the maximum punishment he will receive under the law is nominal by comparison. But Tucumcari District Judge Albert Mitchell acted responsibly and humanely with his ruling last week that Day should be sentenced as a juvenile. […]

Local paper needs more local content

Robert Arrowsmith

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher It has been two weeks and David Stevens and I have been getting questions about the direction of the newspaper. Where did the state, national, and international coverage go? Where did the editorial go? I have seen posts on Facebook where some of the ideas are lame. Why would they do […]

Student loans should be weighed on risk

There was a time when people had the quaint notion that borrowing money was done with the understanding you would have to pay it back, with interest, whether for a car, a house, a vacation or college. But a New York Federal Reserve Bank report calls into question whether many people made that mental check […]

Aspirations to tour quickly unraveled

Wendel Sloan

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist On the strength of our epic six-minute-plus debut single, “20 Years Since I’ve Seen You,” I had hoped to be touring with The High Plains Hippies. The group’s genesis began in the bicycle aisle of Portales’ Wal-Mart (where, as requested by lawmen, I was purchasing a 32-inch bike to replace […]

Finds on our back roads amazing

By Tom McDonald State columnist Travel the back roads of New Mexico and it’s amazing what you can find. Last week my daughter Maya and I took a day trip to the northeastern tip of New Mexico, for a meeting I had in Clayton. Then we returned to our hometown of Las Vegas by way […]

Medical pot program too easily abused

There were legitimate concerns with some of the Department of Health’s proposed revisions of its medical marijuana rules — a hefty new fee that had yet to be justified chief among them. But rather than reconsider why users — presumably some of the state’s most medically vulnerable individuals — should have to fork over an […]

Portales feels like unified community

Robert Arrowsmith

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher There is always something that gets me about Portales. I spent part of the day on Friday in the News-Tribune office and around town, and it reminded of that feel I had when I was here a year ago. After talking with Cindy Cole, the circulation director for the newspaper, I […]

Private care for veterans challenging

By Tom Philpott Military Update The ambitious push by Congress and its veteran affairs committees to swiftly solve a health care wait-time crisis for tens of thousands of veterans by granting access to private sector care appears to have run hard aground. After four weeks, House-Senate conferees, working through their staffs to iron out differences […]

Feds should investigate their internal conduct

American taxpayers — especially those who reside in the Land of Enchantment — deserve to know if the ends justify the means for U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents. As in: Ignoring rules and getting a reformed crack addict back on the pipe is OK if it means busting his dealer. Granted, Aaron Romero says in his […]

Had to ask about being black

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Having often wondered what it’s like being black, I asked nephew-in-law Tony Meeking while recently staying with him and my niece Carol in Mesquite, a Dallas suburb. Tony, born in 1962 in Ruston, Louisiana, said, “You have to develop thick skin.” The mixed-race couple, married 28 years with two sons […]

Independent center decides elections

By Tom McDonald State columnist People don’t listen like they used to, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the world of politics. I’ve heard it said that we’re now in an era in which Americans can go through their entire day plugged in to the media and hearing only that which supports their […]

Letter to the Editor — Grateful for great people of Clovis, Portales

A few weeks back my wife and I visited the Blackwater Draw Museum and archaeological sites. We pulled in to a Recreational Vehicle park to spend a couple of days in your area. As we were setting up our RV, we encountered some problems. The next morning we located a welding and repair shop. We […]

Mood not joyous for most despite economic uptick

No wonder there is joy on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average has traded above 17,000 for the first time. On Main Street, however, the mood is not yet joyous. Issued on the stock market’s last trading day before the Fourth of July, a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report calmed worries about the economic […]

Some genetic testing covered again

By Tom Philpott Military Update The Defense Health Agency, relying on medical laboratory experts and existing authority to conduct medical “demonstrations,” will restore TRICARE coverage this month for up to 40 genetic tests used in patient care. Many of these laboratory-developed tests — also called molecular pathology tests — are viewed as medically necessary. But […]