Their view: Cuts would decimate health care funding

Families USA, a national organization for health care consumers, issued this press release on proposed Medicaid and Meidcare cuts. The budget legislation passed last week in the U.S. House of Representatives along partisan lines would decimate health care funding in states across the country, according to a pair of reports released Tuesday. The cuts would […]

Veteran: Fee hike ‘slap in the face’

Older retirees such as Air Force Master Sgt. Floyd Sears, 81, stand shoulder to shoulder with younger generations of retirees in opposing any of the higher fees being proposed for hard earned TRICARE benefits. But Sears also agrees with many retirees of his own generation that there's something especially wrong with the Obama administration's plan […]

No excuse for legislators ignoring law

Granted, the state Campaign Reporting Act isn't beach reading. But taxpayers should be able to trust that the people they have elected to write their laws understand those laws and follow them. And granted, it might be understandable if a legislator in his or her first term wasn't up to speed on the law that […]

Proposed industrial bill frivolous

Imagine we're in next year's Legislature, and a representative suggests the following: Whenever the police arrest you for a crime, they can only keep you for as long as they reimburse you the wages you've lost. Cue the cadre of political strategists, arguing that we're wasting money. Arguing that we're giving people a free pass […]

My turn: Holiday hard to celebrate

Something caused me to be aloof this Easter. I was pretty excited for Sunday to come and when it actually did, I felt indifferent. Saturday night I prepared macaroni and cheese for our Easter potluck. I was trying a recipe from the Food Network hoping it would come out well. Sunday morning I got ready […]

My turn: Real life is definitely more interesting

It would be disingenuous to pretend that I'm never shallow. When the Cowboys are not on "Monday Night Football," I watch "How I Met Your Mother," "2 Broke Girls" and "Two and One-Half Men." But then I get irritated at how attractive, witty and well-paid everyone is — so I pick up a book. Reading […]

Easter stirs with new life

There's something amazing about the Easter celebration. For Christians, of course, it marks the resurrection of our Lord, the one whom we believe was God become man. However, there is perhaps an element in that marking that carries an image, a shadow, a glimpse, of that reality to the world regardless of faith perspective. New […]

Easter Bunny still creepy to me

I've got to say I've always been a little creeped out by the Easter Bunny. Santa Claus might be a little scary to little kids but at least his looks make a little bit of sense. A six-foot rabbit makes no sense at all and freaks out more youngsters than not. I remember one Saturday […]

Bathtubs not meant for sharing

What if today's motels were set up so that everyone on the same floor shared one bathroom? And there were no showers, everyone shared a bathtub. What would you do? That's a chin-scratcher, ain't it? I got to thinking about this the other day when The Lady of the House and I were looking at […]

Be wary of brown recluse spider

The brown recluse, also called the violin spider, is a venomous spider found in Elida, Portales and Clovis. Drs. Darren Pollock and Kenwyn Cradock — entomologists with the Natural History Museum at Eastern New Mexico University — and I have identified specimens collected by Ken Carlson from these areas. They are definitely brown recluse spiders. […]

My turn: Jamboree full of talent

Floyd Lions Club members weren't lying when they said this year's Floyd Jamboree would be the best one yet. I attended the Thursday night show last week and the event had a great variety of songs and performers. The instruments sounded amazing and there was fun humor thrown in, such as someone in a devil […]

Religion column: Easter proves love stronger than death

The tomb is empty. The stone's been rolled away bringing endless hope to the human heart. We have been redeemed. Let the world rejoice. He is risen! It is the greatest moment in the annals of time. Easter symbolizes victory. Jesus is our champion. The one who endured the cross still reaches out to hurting […]

My turn: Rather spend spring break on the High Plains

A dozen Midwestern college students spent part of their spring break in the Milnesand area last week doing some volunteer work for The Nature Conservancy. On their last night here, my TNC friend, Tish, invited me to stargaze with the group. We walked a couple of hundred yards east of Milnesand on a quiet side […]

My turn: Grateful for small-town generosity

I learned a big lesson about small towns this weekend. Don't get on the road with your gas tank almost on empty assuming that there will be a gas station. On Saturday I covered the Floyd Jamboree. Eager to get on the road, I decided I'd fuel up when I got there. When I arrived, […]

Fate of TRICARE in west unsure

TRICARE beneficiaries across 21 western states won't know for another three months whether TriWest Healthcare Alliance will continue to administer their healthcare benefit beyond March of next year. After 16 years, TriWest lost its latest bid to continue to run the TRICARE West Region under a third generation support contract, this one worth an estimated […]

Strangers always become stories

This weekend, while making a random shopping trip, I was approached by a store employee, asking if I needed help with anything. "No thanks, just looking," I said, though I still made polite conversation about why I'd wanted the product I was looking at. I was left alone after that, for all of 30 seconds. […]

My turn: A little dirt never hurts

Will Rogers said, "What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds." How I love this quote. It's fun to conjure it up when I've been in my flowerbeds all day and my nails are black with soil. It's finally time to get back out there in our yards, think about plowing our garden […]

Ban on feeding deer absurd

Here's why it is so much cooler to be a simple New Mexico columnist instead of a United States Supreme Court Justice. Instead of waking up at 3 a.m. troubled by the awesomely complex decision about whether the federal government has the constitutional right to force Americans to purchase health insurance, you get to ponder […]

My turn: Returning home to treasure hunt

I am moving to my hometown of Mt. Vernon (pop. 2,000), Texas, to pursue two lifelong dreams: buying a used pontoon boat for treasure hunts on nearby Lake Cypress Springs, and starting a newspaper to compete with the weekly — Optic-Herald. After becoming certified in scuba diving, I will lead expeditions of big-city folks to […]

Horseshoeing offers many lessons

I was asked by the author of Confessions of a Horseshoer* if he could use one of my quotes in his book. I agreed. He sent me a copy. The quote he used was "It's not that horseshoeing is so hard, it's just the dread of doing it." My first confession: it was not original; […]