Schools should help PED revise evaluation system

The New Mexico Public Education Department doesn’t dispute that the new teacher evaluation system is a work in progress, and that it’s a system that needs informed feedback to improve and refine its results. That’s important, because a few weeks after the second round of teacher evaluations have been released, there’s a lot of legitimate […]

McDonald: State’s festivals best part of summer

All around New Mexico, we love our festivals. I suppose that’s true all over the world, but here in the Land of Enchantment, we have more than our share of unique events. And summertime is the season a whole lot of them come out of the woodwork. The space I have would do no justice […]

Lifting crude oil ban would help in so many ways

With one action, the U.S. Congress could reduce the nation’s trade deficit, grow U.S. jobs, increase revenue and assure more U.S. influence across the world. But because of Congressional inaction, an export ban remains in place 40-plus years later. The ban was enacted by Congress following the 1973 Arab oil embargo. That embargo created a […]

Sloan: Earth history facts not so trivial

My book-of-the-month summary for May is Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything.” Its 544 pages cover everything from the Big Bang to civilization’s rise. Here are some highlights: • Pluto is barely one-fifty-thousandth of the way to the edge of the solar system. • Of Earth’s space by volume, 99.5 percent is off […]

Arrowsmith: FIFA take just a drop in the bucket

I know how I will go crazy. It will be because of numbers. I think I have said that before, and if I have said it, then I must be on my way. The FIFA — Federation International Football Association — raid this week brought about some of the largest charges of racketeering in the […]

Sloan: What’s in a name? I say destiny

With commencements, dust and ethanol co-mingling in the fragrant High Plains air, it’s time for another speculation about the impact names have on graduates’ Destiny. In potential couplings, will: • Ace-Ventura bond over Jim Carrey movies? • Moore-Bacon have cholesterol problems? • Poore-Sap declare bankruptcy caused by Flye-by-Knight contractors? • Rather-Grim’s union be mirthless? • […]

Arrowsmith: Efficient or not, Uncle Sam will come for you

In case you missed it last week, Oregon is about to embark on a first-in-the-nation program that aims to charge car owners not for the fuel they use, but for the miles they drive. Starting July 1, up to 5,000 volunteers in Oregon can sign up to drive with devices that collect data on how […]

Seniors, make sure college ends up more than just debt

High school senior Ronald Nelson is known to be smart. The Tennessee senior was accepted to all eight Ivy League universities. At Houston High School in Memphis, Nelson had a 4.58 weighted GPA, has taken 15 Advanced Placement courses and garnered a 2,260 out of 2,400 on his SAT and a 34 out of 36 […]

Accountable providers giving more to patients

Remember when that $3 million behavioral health audit was so shocking it had to be kept secret from the public that paid for it? And when the targeted 15 agencies lost their Medicaid funding and were reportedly on the brink of shutting down and leaving their tens of thousands of vulnerable New Mexico clients adrift? […]

McDonald: Differences way of life here

In recent months, I’ve found myself living and working in three different communities. Very different, but with one standout similarity. I’m talking about Las Vegas, Taos and Roswell, three New Mexico municipalities with their own unique identities. I moved to the Land of Enchantment in 2004, ran the Las Vegas Optic for eight years and […]

Local B.J. Pierce worthy of cowboy Hall of Fame

The mission statement for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City says it “interprets the evolving history and cultures of the American West for the education and enrichment of its diverse audiences of adults and children.” If it’s cowboys and educators they’re looking for, Clovis’ B.J. Pierce would be a worthy choice […]

Sloan: Let the potshots at liberals begin

National online publication “24/7 Wall St.” recently listed Curry County as the most Republican in New Mexico at 67.9 percent in the 2012 election — with Roosevelt County on its tail at 67.7 percent. This makes me optimistic about locally crowdfunding a guntry club called “High Plains Fantasies.” We will make residents’ fantasies come true […]

Arrowsmith: Volunteer shortage needs resolution

You hear it everywhere you go. Just about every community organization or entity that has an event is facing the same problem. The issue in question is the lack of volunteers. The reason for lack of volunteers varies. For some organizations, such as day care, or ambulance service, the issue for a potential volunteer may […]

Weather warnings won’t help if you won’t listen

Storm forecasters are on the right track by assessing how they tell people of tornado threats. The forecasters were concerned about the high number of casualties when tornadoes caused the deaths of 558 people in 2011. That was the second-highest total of tornado deaths on record, according to an Associated Press story. Forecasters with the […]

McDonald: Bigger dreams mean harder work

It’s that time of year, when just about every newspaper in the state gives front-page attention to at least one local graduation. They’re always a big deal, especially to those who walk across that ceremonial stage and make their families proud. Graduations mark a transition in our lives, but sometimes I think it’s over-emphasized. Anyone […]

Might be time to end the federal ethanol mandate

In the jagged terrain of ethanol politics, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, presidential candidate, is finding it hard to find his footing. And hard not to look politically opportunistic to people who follow this issue. Walker has shifted his position on the federal ethanol mandate, telling an Iowa audience in March that he would support the […]

Sloan: Aunt Emma summed up Mother best

I hope you have or had as wonderful of a mother as blessed my life. A framed photo of her and my dad, who died at 71 in 1990 from working around asbestos at an east Texas steel mill, greets me every morning in the living-room as the TV shows the latest atrocities committed by […]

Arrowsmith: It’s TV; no one made you buy it

To all of you who feel like you were duped, misled, cheated out of the $100 you spent on the fight last weekend, I have this to say: It’s television. This has been going on since the beginning of television, ever since the big scandal involving the game shows in the 1950s. If you are […]

State needs to remove its archaic traps

This week marks the second of five public meetings on a proposal to allow trapping of mountain lions on public lands, and it continues what appears to be the New Mexico Game and Fish Department’s standard operating procedure of ignoring vetted science and reliable data in favor of unsubstantiated anecdotes and histrionics. Because if New […]

McDonald: San Miguel codes might hold up

Well, it’s settled. But only for a moment. Mora County officials recently settled with some high-powered plaintiffs in a couple of lawsuits that effectively put an end to the county’s attempt to place permanent ban on oil and gas drilling inside its county lines. Actually, the crux of the lawsuits was settled last January, when […]