Williamson: Local heroes are Valentine sweethearts every day

While lots of folks were nibbling on chocolates and counting the roses in their Valentine bouquets on Sunday, firefighters from nine area fire departments — most of them volunteers — spent almost six hours that day bouncing across fields and through rough sand hills getting a handle on a series of fires that gobbled up […]

Williams: Students need to be on same level as peers

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia ran headlong into the leftist meat grinder by questioning whether college admission of blacks with academic achievement levels significantly lower than the rest of the student body is beneficial to blacks. His question came up during oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas, wherein the court will rule whether […]

McDonald: The 2015 year has been busy

When thinking back on 2015, it’s hard not to get personal. It was a significant year for me as well as for the rest of the world. I’ve been writing this column since May 2013. I call it Dispatch New Mexico, though your local newspaper editor might call it something else: “filler” is one word […]

Fields: Here’s to firsts and lasts; thanks for reading, Portales

There are some things you do for the very last time without knowing it will be final. I look back over my life with that odd realization. You run a 10k having no idea your hip will start giving you trouble, and you’ll never run another race. You eat biscuits and gravy with no clue […]

Mil update: Autism fee cuts stir access concerns

When TRICARE this month announced cuts of up to 15 percent next year in fees for applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy of children with autism, some ABA businesses, in responding to an online survey, said they would stop treating TRICARE clients. Most respondents, however, said they need more time to assess how the reduced rates […]

Rodriguez: I’m making my own list and checking it twice

We’re about to reach our sweet 16. It seems like just yesterday, or was it three years ago, that the world was about to end. Hello 2016. It’s only days away. Let’s light 16 candles. With another year comes new resolutions, or perhaps anti-resolutions. It’s far too easy to say “I’m not going to make […]

Boswell: Love the unique qualities of families’ festivities

I guess I owe a late Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of our area residents, so Happy Holidays to you all. After a a few days of enjoying some relaxation and having time with my best 9-year-old buddy — who is always a very enthusiastic holiday counterpart to have — it’s […]

Sloan: Going with more realistic resolutions in the New Year

Since the only resolution I kept last year was being less diplomatic toward people insulting me, I am making this year’s resolutions more attainable. These include: • I will stay up until New Year’s by watching the ball drop on the BBC at 5 p.m. (MST) before calling it a night. • I will pack […]

Wilson: Hollywood can’t make everybody happy

I present to you a spoiler-free review of “Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” Emotional, lots of lasers and lightsabers. The Force controls everything, and it matters to certain families more than others. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but it was the soft reboot the series needed. Good movie, but I enjoyed “Creed” and “Spotlight” more. […]

Fields: Bad manners from a few people have consequences for everyone

There’s a long string of chewing gum running through my life. Memories are stuck in my brain like bubble gum. On the way to Sunday school as a little girl, I was finally trusted with the joyous responsibility of chewing a half stick of gum. Sadly, the teacher made me spit it out since everyone […]

Blue-eyed Valentine speaks to my heart

The man always puts me in a traveling mood. Whether it’s some stateside city like Chicago or New York, or an international destination like Peru, Paris, London Town or Acapulco Bay, he just says the word and I’m almost convinced to fly to the moon. I’d be sure to bring some moon beams home in […]

Let’s all get along this holiday season

’Tis the season for so many delightful things … concerts, feasts, shopping, celebrating, crafting, playing in the snow, taking special photos, traveling. I love the holidays. I cherish this season. When I see a banner exclaiming “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings,” I’m just tickled pink. You can serve me coffee in a plain brown mug. […]

Stevens: So many things to be thankful for

I am thankful for Christmas trees. They saved my grandmother’s life the day before Thanksgiving in 1964. She’d gone with my granddad to a tree farm near Las Vegas, New Mexico. The plan was to fill up their pickup with trees they could sell at their used furniture store — the Swap Shop — in […]

Williamson: Adoption greatest gift of all

It can be no accident that National Adoption Day and Thanksgiving take place within a week of each other. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone more grateful than children and parents on the day they become “forever families.” For Roosevelt and Curry counties, adoptions take place within the confines of the 9th Judicial District. On […]

Never been part of turkey team

Thursday is the big Turkey Day. The busiest-cooking-before-the-busiest-shopping-day-of-the-year. That’s enough to petrify a poultry panicked person. Say that three times. And I’m here feeling guilty, oh, and thankful, but mostly guilty. I’ve never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner myself. I’ve never been part of the head turkey procurement, management and preparation team. As a child and […]

Fields: Thankful for porches

I’m thankful for porches. It’s my treat to have three of them at my home. The front porch is the gathering place. It’s where we greet our guests, and where we line up for family photos. It’s where my niece reads on the glider when she visits. The glider was already old when her great-grandmother […]

Here’s hoping for the best

If I wanted to hire a chef to prepare a grand meal for a dinner party, maybe I’d seek out seven or eight of them to ask about their qualifications. I might bring them all together in one meeting to let them do what they could to win my business. They’d probably want to bring […]

Subcommittee chairman plans to reform commisaries

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nevada, is a brigadier general in the Army Reserve, a soldier-physician thrice deployed and also a discerning commissary shopper. Heck bristles at seeing half-empty shelves and goods askew because commissaries, unlike commercial grocers, rely on vendors to stock most items, and some do so only a few times a week. Shoppers, he […]

Black cats do bring good luck to home

Another Halloween comes along on the calendar. Another chance for me to extol the virtues of owning a black cat. Now, I’m not sure I can declare some kind of broad sweeping statement about the personality of black cats. Nor am I certain that all stray kitties possess the sweet disposition of my little sweetheart. […]

Ponder this advice: Savor words, music and poetry

I’m reading through another book of quotes. I certainly don’t need a “book.” I’m exposed to quotes all day every day, but there remains something sweet about turning pages. And especially when you come across the 33-year-old book while helping your mom clean out a closet. It’s so nice to read two or three phrases […]