In pot debate, helping people should win out

Too much energy is being spent rewriting rules for the distribution of medical marijuana in New Mexico. The state Department of Health, rather than devising cumbersome rules that make it harder for patients to get the medicine they need, should streamline the process. While the latest version of rules is an improvement (anything would be) […]

Immigration mixed message lost in translation

The Obama administration’s tough public message that young illegal border-crossers would be detained, then sent home, apparently was lost in translation. Or it was just a PR stunt to begin with. Of the detainees — mostly unaccompanied teens, and Central American mothers and young children — who were housed at a temporary immigration center in […]

Good time to look back, forward

By Tom McDonald State columnist It’s all a matter of perspective. The year 2014 might have been a great one for you. Or it could have been hell. I hope for your sake it was the former, but either way it’s a good time to look back — and forward. Politically, it was a rough […]

It’s that time of year for predictions

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher It is that time of year … the new year. New Year’s Eve tends to be a time to look back, to reflect, and yet also a time to make those resolutions and predictions for the upcoming year. Being a constant forward thinker, I do tend to look back, but typically […]

New Year’s resolutions achievable

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My New Year’s resolutions may not be challenging, but at least they are achievable. • I failed to accomplish everything I intended in 2014, and I resolve a repeat in 2015. • There were times this year when I upset, offended or angered readers. I promise to continue that in 2015. • I […]

Yes, Virginia, Santa remains alive and well

The New York Sun in 1897 published its most famous editorial in response to a question from a reader. Dear Editor— I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there […]

Christmas is about the experiences

By Tom McDonald State columnist In terms of pure economics, our biggest national holiday is, of course, Christmas. I read somewhere that Halloween comes in as a strong second, but I’d be surprised if it’s anywhere close to the money we Americans spend for the yuletide. Perhaps that makes me a little off the mark, […]

Greetings: Wendel’s Christmas newsletter

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Apparently, Christmas newsletters are for bragging. Since my accomplishments have been negligible, mine may not qualify. In January, my great-nephew whipped me in basketball. It was inevitable, but I didn’t expect it to be on a three-foot foam goal after he’d just turned 18 (months). In my defense, he was […]

Wishing all a safe, Merry Christmas

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher When Sony Pictures announced it was canceling the movie “The Interview,” a whole new form of terror and blackmail opened up. In my personal opinion, the premise for the movie looked stupid, and was not a movie I was going to, but that is not the point. What happened represented the […]

Caution against techno-thieves bears repeating

’Tis the season to be cautious. We have recently learned about scams designed to extort their victims, thinking they’re securing a vital service, into paying the wrong people. In it, the fraudulent callers tell intended victims their power bill is overdue. Then they threaten to turn off the power if the targeted victims don’t fork […]

Important WIPP stay closed until good plan made

The New Mexico Environment Department got tough with the feds to the tune of $54 million in civil penalties. And for good reason: a leaky drum of nuclear waste packed for shipment at Los Alamos National Laboratory that contaminated nearly two dozen workers at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad and resulted in closure […]

Dependence on fickle oil, gas no fun

By Tom McDonald State columnist It’s almost laughable the way Americans just can’t win with gasoline prices. If they go up, it’s money out of our pockets, and if they go down, it’s money out of our investments. Poor folks couldn’t care less about how it affects the financial markets; they’re all for the cheaper […]

Public education improvement focus appropriate

Report cards for teacher colleges? You bet. “Nothing in school matters as much as the quality of teaching our students receive,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said recently. With that in mind, the Obama administration is pushing forward with regulations to require states to issue report cards for their teacher training programs. Under the plan, programs […]

Humor makes point easier to take

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My December book-of-the-month summary is “The Comedy Thesaurus” by Judy Brown, purchased for a quarter at this year’s Portales Public Library sale. The 480-page book’s 3,241 quips and quotations illustrate how humor makes subversive points more palatable. Here is a sampling: • “The KKK adopted a highway. The joke is […]

Tourism generated by advertising

By Tom McDonald State columnist Since moving to New Mexico a decade ago, I’ve had a lot of family and friends come out for a visit, and they’re often quite curious about this land and its people. On such occasions, I like to play tour guide, taking my visitors around to see various historic and […]

There’s been enough bashing of Brumfield

And so it continues. Former Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield is taking another public, proverbial bashing from her loud-and-proud political opponents. Once again, City Commissioner Randy Crowder wonders if maybe she should not sit on the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority because she was not elected and she does not work for the city. Crowder […]

Feeling like Christmas after all

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher It has been a mixed bag this past week. • I wanted to buy $100 worth of donuts from a store to give to their customers as a goodwill gesture. Yes I saw down-the-road potential, but that was not what this was about directly. Got shot down; didn’t even want to […]

Schools missed chance to teach lesson

Sometimes kids do things that are just too stupid to have a serious conversation about. But the over-reaction from Clovis’ public school officials regarding the great Smarties candy debate needs to be discussed. For those who don’t read news of the weird, three Clovis middle school students last month were suspended two weeks for allegedly […]

Cowards hide behind screen name

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Over hot chocolate (at least in my cup), I asked Portales coeds Desiree Cooper and Amy Waltner what it’s like being 20-year-old women. “The glass ceiling hanging over me the rest of my life is a constant source of frustration,” said Cooper. “It is disheartening to face income disparity due […]

Oil, gas industry benefits, exploits us

By Tom McDonald State columnist As part of my work, and for pleasure, I read newspapers from all over the state — and two in particular recently stood out. Such different perspectives they have, and by “they” I don’t mean the newspapers’ editors. I’m talking about communities that the Las Vegas Optic and the Lovington […]