Mexico shows it can’t hold onto criminals

If you’re a wealthy drug kingpin serving a 20 year-sentence in a “maximum security” prison, Mexico is the place to do your time: History has shown your stay can be brief. Over the weekend, Joaqumn “El Chapo” Guzman, the notorious Mexican drug lord and head of the infamous Sinaloa Cartel, escaped from Altiplano prison 55 […]

Hobbs active hub of energy, economic power

The road from Artesia to Hobbs — which cuts through the bustling oil-producing town of Loco Hills — is as crowded and active now as before world oil prices began to plummet last fall. And more oil- and gas-related facilities are planned or under way, such as a massive center in Jal to transfer sand […]

McDonald: Governor finds legacy in tourism

Earlier this year I wrote about Gov. Susana Martinez’s tenuous legacy, saying that, after a little more than four years in office, she has little of consequence to tout as a lasting accomplishment. Now, I’m thinking she may have found it in tourism. It’s no surprise Martinez is touting tourism, since it’s on the uptick […]

Sloan: Gay marriage least of our worries

Based on social media buzz after the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, we are living in the last days. I wish I knew for certain before springing for Amazon’s express shipping for an asbestos suit (as has been suggested I will need). Change is scary, and I feel empathy for those who think the […]

McDonald: First Cosmicon out of this world

Last weekend I experienced my first Cosmicon. That’s cosmic, not comic, aptly named for its interstellar flavor, which was inspired by an incident in 1947 that put Roswell on the international map. Cosmicon is an annual event alongside a science fiction film festival and the 20-year-old UFO Festival, which The Alien City puts on every […]

Shanna Peeples, teachers like her, hope for future

Teachers from across the country this week gathered in Florida for the National Education Association’s Annual Meeting. The inspirational speakers included one of our own, National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples, who grew up and still lives in the Texas Panhandle. While the list of problems with public education in America is a long […]

Safety a priority in our outdoor enchanted land

New Mexicans love the outdoors. That’s obvious, judging from the thousands of people who take to the mountains, trails or rivers every day of the year. We’re not just weekend nature lovers in the Land of Enchantment. Even with so many outdoor enthusiasts, it’s easy to forget that danger can lie behind the beauty of […]

Sloan: Doing my part, spreading the ‘word’

If you had to fly a rainbow or Confederate flag in your yard — with no chance to explain the nuances of what they mean to you — which would you feel more comfortable with? If someone slaughtered innocent strangers out of hatred, which symbol would you guess represented their beliefs? To understand why 21-year-old […]

McManigal: Bullies employ sleight of hand tricks

If you enjoy watching people flailing around over different ways to control each other, the past couple of weeks has probably been entertaining for you. I’m talking about the conflicting reactions coming from Terribly Sincere People over a spate of recent events. It would be comedy gold if people didn’t take these silly things so […]

Marriage an individual right, not debate for public eye

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage hasn’t changed anyone’s way of thinking. The religious right still believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. Trumpeters of equal rights still believe gay couples deserve to be treated the same as heterosexual couples. The only thing that changed is the law, which no […]

McDonald: Social stigmas changing in today’s world

Americans have seen a lot of civil rights advancements over the past half-century, with a launching point for other causes coming with the modern-day Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ’60s. That’s when some inalienable rights for African Americans finally took hold, especially but not exclusively in the South, where I was born and […]

Stevens: God is on our side … when we have to bury a child

Government has declared same-sex marriage is “legal” across the land. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, depending on your political party preference, is also legal, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. And Confederate flags are being pulled from some government buildings because they offend some folks. A South Carolina maniac reminded us all why. Meanwhile […]

Government limiting free speech on plates

A new U.S. Supreme Court ruling declares specialized license plates are a form of government speech. That may make life easier for state officials dealing with potentially controversial license requests, but it also appears to dilute individuals’ free-speech rights, as several justices noted in dissent. The Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans sought a special plate […]

Sloan: Tips from book of logic make sense

My book-of-the-month summary for June is “Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking” (2004 Random House) by D. Q. McInerny. Written for a general audience, the author says logic is about reality and truth. We must value facts — whether they mesh with what we wish to be true. Here are selected thoughts from the […]

More jobs needed to offset state’s health care bill

Starting next fiscal year, New Mexico’s budget will take a serious hit thanks to the state’s Medicaid enrollment success. And that means job No. 1 for state lawmakers is to figure out where to come up with an extra $268 million by 2020. Job No. 2 will be how to get more of those covered […]

McDonald: Environmental balance necessary

A lot of critters have been in the news lately. Predators, mainly, as a couple of meetings in recent weeks highlight. One was in the southwestern region of the state, the other up north. People are debating the Mexican gray wolf in and around the Gilas, while others are considering ways to control bears, cougars, […]

Local lawmakers should practice their preaching

Sometimes politicians leave us shaking our heads. Curry County Commissioner Tim Ashley on June 2 cast the only vote opposing a $5,000 increase for food benefiting area senior citizens. Ashley said he was concerned about the county’s budget, but also concerned that government has stepped outside its boundaries. “The Scripture doesn’t say for the government […]

Sloan: Plenty of stories to tell about father

Until steel-mill asbestos stilled his breath in 1990 at 71, after four boot-tough years of battling, my carpenter father lived a full life. Known for his bird dogs, fishing where he wanted and entertaining tales, Guy Sloan’s six kids, their significant others, and a rainbow of grandkids and great-grandkids he helped raise, have a book’s […]

Arrowsmith: LeBron James poor example of leader

We saw it in the 1980s when Magic Johnson decided he didn’t want to play for Paul Westhead and before you knew it Pat Riley was the coach. So yes, we have known for decades that the star player will get the treatment before a throw-away coach. But LeBron James took it to a new […]

Disability fraud stripping Social Security clean

The Social Security disability program is set to go broke in October 2016 — in large part because, for a decade, benefits being paid out have outstripped payroll taxes being paid in. But it certainly doesn’t help that the agency is shelling out billions in fraudulent payments. A 10-year study by the Social Security Administration’s […]