My turn: Alcohol abuse a disease, not moral lapse

The postcard from a Portales church urging me to vote “No” on Sunday liquor sales at restaurants inadvertently reminded me to vote. “In addition to the economic impact (of alcohol abuse), we see an enormous social impact. Domestic violence, alcohol related diseases, and drunk driving all affect more than just the bottom line,” the card […]

My turn: Liquor sales issue never put to rest

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Portales heads to the polls today for another round in its century-old debate over firewater. Today’s chapter is focused on Sunday alcohol sales in restaurants. The story began in 1898, when Portales consisted of one house, one general store … and two saloons. Railroad workers and cowboys frequented the saloons in those days, searching for […]

My turn: Gifts cheap, words cheaper

Wendel Sloan While recently cruising Dallas projects for Christmas presents, I saw a handwritten Goodwill sign: “1/2 Off Sale!” Although Salvation Army stores are more within my budget, I figured that the sale might allow me to splurge. After entering past burglar bars, I fought my way through Texas politicians’ worst nightmares grabbing mariachi cassettes, […]

My turn: Pranks run in family

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My mother knows me too well. Before she moved last week, she gave me a month’s worth of advent boxes she had filled for me, one for each day in December. I opened Thursday’s advent box to discover she had filled it with rubber cockroaches. Allow me to explain: My father and I have always […]

My turn: ENMU presents gift of music

Betty Williamson Friday evening Eastern New Mexico University presents its most beautiful annual gift to our community, wrapped in a treble clef and topped with a sleigh bell: The Holiday Concerts in the University Theater Center. In back-to-back free identical performances that begin at 6:30 and 8 p.m., choir director Jason Paulk and band director […]

My turn: Let’s keep Christmas simple

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I remember driving through Christmas-lit neighborhoods when my daughter Laura was little. She’d excitedly exclaim, “Yayas” and “activities.” That’s what she called luminarias and nativities, my favorite holiday symbols. When I think of a traditional New Mexico Christmas, I think of luminarias and nativity scenes. I prefer these simplistic displays that capture the essence of […]

My turn: Which gender is better suited to lead?

In Newsweek, Moshe Dayan’s widow, Ruth Dayan, 95, expressed pessimism about peace between Israelis and Arabs. “I long for the old Israel…It was about living together, working together, creating a bridge. “I’m friends with so many Arabs. This government does not represent my values…Both sides think they are freedom fighters.” Three area women surprised me […]

My turn: Holiday traditions never get old

Alisa Boswell I could potentially be an incredibly cheesy person because without fail, no matter how old I get, I still get ridiculously excited about the holidays. But I like to think of it as me just being ‘a kid at heart.’ My family has always been one of those families with multiple corny traditions […]

Their turn: Give thanks for big, small things in life

CURSTIS SHELBURNE, pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe, writes a weekly column for the CNJ website. This is his latest submission:

My turn: In good times and bad, give thanks

Thanksgiving not only came early for me this year, it’s actually come multiple times, especially during times of difficult trials and spells of uncertainty. If there’s one thing I used to fear, it’s the unknown, and if there’s one thing I use to despise, it’s waiting. Yet these past few months were filled with constant […]

My turn: Family can always turn stress into fun

Alisa Boswell I’ve been learning the last two weeks how to find the humor in a situation which is breaking my heart. After being within a 20-minute drive of my parents my entire life, I am finally having to say goodbye as they pack up my childhood home and prepare to make their big move […]

My turn: Library sale offers books for change

I am a shameless promoter of the Portales Public Library. It is my home away from home, especially for the better part of this week before Thanksgiving when we self-confessed Friends of the Library hold our annual used book sale. You have to really love books (doesn’t everyone?) to spend as many back-breaking hours as […]

My turn: Farmville neighbors not so nice

Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime. Help a farmer plow his field, however, and then he’ll want you to unwither his crops, feed his chickens and more. I’m for helping neighbors, but when do their constant requests become un-neighborly? I’m not talking about real farmers now, but virtual farmers […]

Turning around Lobos tough job

It was a toss and turn night. Dawn was distant. Nightmares gripped a restless slumber. The editors had assigned me, once again in my dreams as they did in real life back in the 1960s, to the police blotter. What a way to start the day, sitting in a dreary station house sifting through reports […]

My turn: Children’s home more than a house

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My newest buddy is a 4-year-old from the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home — eight miles from Portales on Highway 236. Gary Cox, a house parent, brings the little ball of energy when he joins us for noon-time hoops in Portales. The boy, whose parents are incarcerated, and I visit when I get benched for […]

My turn: Local flag folders part of moving ceremony

On this Veterans Day eve, I tip my hat to Roosevelt County’s own folders of the flags, the honor guard from American Legion Post 31. They offer what is arguably the most moving of American ceremonies, military honors at the funerals of men and women who have served in any branch of the armed services. […]

My turn: Geology rocks

By Helena Rodriguez: PNT columnist My niece, Marili, was telling me and my other niece, Mireya, how challenging her college geology class has been. I was like, “geology?” And my eyes lit up. Of course, when I was Marili’s age, I couldn’t care less about the sciences. I guess I’m trying to make up for […]

My turn: Mom was wiser than she realized

My mother died one year ago tomorrow. My niece Carol — her primary caregiver and one of several grandchildren and great-grandchildren that my parents raised — and I went through mother’s modest possessions trying to decide who would want what. None of her six kids, 10 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren or six great-great-grandchildren is starving, so […]

My turn: Coffee shop seeking local artwork

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I got to be in my very first flashmob Monday for Halloween and as nervous as I was before hand, I was surprised at how well it went. My group got compliments on our performance, which was one and a half minutes of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and we had a good time doing it. Another […]

My turn: Church’s turkey day meal raises spirits in community

Today is the 58th year the First United Methodist Church in Portales has offered its annual “Turkey Day” to our area. The numbers are impressive. Last year, 1,855 people lined up to eat 46 turkeys, 84 gallons of green beans, 26 roasters of cornbread dressing and 156 dozen rolls. Volunteers chopped 450 apples and 150 […]