Papers public interest watchdogs

By Tom McDonald State columnist One of my old journalism school textbooks lays out seven “elements of news” that are worth reviewing from time to time. They are: timeliness, conflict, human interest, impact, prominence, proximity and unusualness — news elements that help newspaper editors decide what’s news and what’s not, and what should go on […]

ISC transparency bill deserves serious thought

Several lawmakers want to rein in the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, which has been a lightning rod over a controversial multimillion dollar plan it approved to divert water from the Gila River. The project has spawned a tug of war between environmentalists and others who fear the river and its wildlife will be harmed, […]

‘Twitter muscles’ flexed over PARCC

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher And so the hot topic last week was the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing that was going on in school districts. Hundreds of protests, many kids being opted out by their parents, etc., etc. Several times I heard that if you don’t pass the test […]

Legislature no place for peeves, personal issues

In every legislative session you can count on two kinds of time-wasting bills — those that make things illegal that are already crimes and those that address legislators’ personal pet peeves. There are at least two examples of the first kind of bill before the New Mexico Legislature. One would make child prostitution a felony, […]

SB 323 not in public’s best interest

By Tom McDonald State columnist Seems a good time to revisit Think New Mexico’s legislative push to bring some transparency into our state when it comes to health care costs and treatments. You may recall this nonpartisan think tank’s latest report, released last fall, about the need to give health care consumers access to the […]

Moonlighting may pay off

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist I’ve been brainstorming ways to earn supplemental income to fund the lifestyle to which I’d like to become accustomed. I’ve never been wealthy, so I’m not talking lifestyles of the rich and spoiled. For me, being extravagant is: • Marie Callender instead of Banquet; using the automatic carwash; buying a […]

Work like a knotted ball of string

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher Growing up, and even today, I have always liked to sort through knots. It requires patience, and sense of order, consistency, and a motivation to get all the way through. Every project, career opportunity, or objective I have ever taken on I have approached like a knotted ball of string, yarn, […]

Moving election date to March good for state

From the standpoint of raising New Mexico’s profile in the selection of presidential candidates, tabling a bill to move up the state’s primary elections from June to March was the wrong move. If the goal is to hold down voter turnout for state and local candidates in the Democratic and Republican primaries, keeping the status […]

Better LPC solutions found closer to home

Federal overreach hurts everyone. The Edward Snowden affair showed us how far government has gone in gathering information on all of us, endangering privacy. Because of misguided federal “No Child Left Behind” policies, teachers teach tests, and children are learning only how to pick from five options to black out a choice. Nowhere is federal […]

Drilling issues not going anywhere

By Tom McDonald State columnist Regulating oil and gas drilling in the state has taken some of interesting turns of late, and very different directions. Over the past few months, two developments in northern New Mexico occurred that could actually shift the approach local governments take in regulating the industry. The infamous Mora County ban […]

Few realize how we affect others

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My book-of-the-month summary for February is “A Book of Reasons” by John Vernon (non-fiction, copyright 1999). After his older brother, Paul, passes away in destitute squalor, each item in his meager estate elicits historical ruminations, memories and questions by Vernon. Paul’s notebooks and diaries showed dreams, introspection and even inventions. […]

We found you, and we’re coming

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher And so step No. 1 is under way. We have found someone who is stealing our newspapers out of the rack, and then delivering them to people. I do not know for sure at this point, but I guess that those receiving newspapers from this guy are probably paying him. But […]

Local newspaper should reflect all in our community

Our newspaper upset a few people on Valentine’s Day with a story about area relationships that included a gay couple. As of Friday, seven readers had canceled their subscriptions and others had threatened to do the same because of the report. Most quoted Scripture, a few spewed vile epithets, all stated or suggested that gay […]

Viewpoint: Transparency always best choice for New Mexico

While we’re always ready to see more sunshine from our state government, we’re doubly glad when we can cast new light on deals that mysteriously take money out of our state, especially the money we contribute as taxpayers. A bi-partisan bill proposed to the New Mexico Legislature would require copies of each state contract, including […]

President cut off from political, economic reality

As the economy shows renewed signs of life, it’s hard to fathom how President Barack Obama’s $4 trillion budget can be a good thing for the country. If it indicates anything, it’s that the president is disconnected from both economic reality and the new political reality in Washington. How else to explain proposing $75 billion […]

Partial truths told against Obama

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist A fellow High Plains conservative recently re-posted: “I know some of you are Democratic, and love Obama, but this is for Christians and Jews.” The post said in 2009 Obama canceled the 21st annual National Day of Prayer: “However, Sept. 25, 2009, a National Day of Prayer for Muslims was […]

My belief in God about faith, love

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher I have been asked, often because I am not the most obvious about my beliefs, on how I stand on God. My own mother has questioned my faith, how much I go to church, my practices, etc., etc. Others in the community want to know exactly how religious I am. So […]

Partisan election requirements should be ended

If Lady Justice is supposed to be blind to all who come before her, then she shouldn’t be subjected to politics. Unfortunately, partisan politics is part of the game in winning a seat on the bench in New Mexico. Judicial races today draw intense political interest — even to the point of a political party […]

Voting turnout dismal everywhere

By Tom McDonald State columnist I thought I’d seen it all — paying attention to the news after so many years will do that to you. Politics becomes so predictable, advocacy so redundant, today’s story so much like yesterday’s. The news, like history, tends to repeat itself. But last week I read a story in […]

Unspeakable that dogfighting continues today

Unspeakable. The discovery in Valencia County of the mutilated bodies of four dogs suspected of having been used as bait to train fighting dogs is sickening. They were dumped outside the Conejo Collection Station in Los Lunas. Two severely injured dogs were found wandering nearby; only one survived. While it’s hard to know how widespread […]