Divorce mourned much like death

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Behind only the death of a loved one, divorce is life’s most traumatic experience. On Facebook I recently asked female readers to share their experiences. Twenty (and counting) responded. Over the coming weeks I will share excerpts: • “It was the hardest decision of my life, especially after 31 years. […]

Plenty of water can be converted

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher I love statistics; simply love them. We reported from an Associated Press story that the Ute Lake pipeline would funnel more than 5.3 billion gallons of water each year from the Ute Reservoir to Clovis, Portales, Cannon, and other smaller communities. We have reported before that the more than 150 miles […]

McDonald’s chicken decision a health boon

As goes McDonald’s, so goes the rest of the fast-food world? At least we hope that will be the case when it comes to McDonald’s recently announced policy to start using only chicken raised without medically important antibiotics. This commitment will help reduce the overuse of antibiotics in meat. That, in turn, is a public […]

Legislature got a little accomplished

By Tom McDonald State columnist It’s no secret this year’s legislative session was pathetically unproductive; on the day of adjournment, lawmakers couldn’t even pass the capital outlay bill. But it was an Albuquerque Journal report by Dan Boyd that quantified it: Of 1,365 bills introduced, only 191 made it to the governor’s desk for signing. […]

Prevention still best flu fighter

It’s officially spring, but one of winter’s unpleasant features remains with us: It’s still flu season. The New Mexico Department of Health advises that influenza B is still making the rounds, but that influenza A, the predominant form, is still actively circulating, too. Strains don’t matter to the sufferer. Flu is flu. It’s miserable and […]

Words to live by, other anecdotes

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My book-of-the-month summary for March is “Words to Live By.” Edited by William Nichols, the 1947 work contains essays of wisdom by the famous and obscure. Here are excerpts: • “The quickest way to correct the other fellow’s attitude is to correct your own.”— King Vidor • “Trouble creates a […]

Bullying won’t stop overnight

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher Wikipedia defines bullying as “the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual.” One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power. Behaviors used to assert such domination […]

Martinez needs to work with Dems

By Tom McDonald State columnist Susana Martinez had better figure out how to work with Democrats or she’s going to go down in state history as an ineffectual governor. Sure, she can and does point to a number of accomplishments during her first term — balancing the state budget during tough times, creating a simplified […]

Stopping theft by authority enhances rights

While New Mexico legislators wasted tax funds on pointless bickering for 60 days instead of legislating for the most part, they did pass one bill unanimously that actually enhances personal rights and liberties. That was a bill that stops police from taking a person’s property or other assets before that person has been convicted of […]

Government transparency hits new low

Amid Sunshine Week, no less, the Obama administration hit a new low for open government and transparency. On Tuesday, the White House announced its Office of Administration will be considered exempt from complying with Freedom of Information Act requests. The administration says the action reflects a court ruling made before Obama took office in which […]

Drinking problem not moral failing

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist “Mary,” a 50ish High Plains native who is now a businesswoman in a city, recently agreed to discuss her battle with alcoholism. Her first exposure to alcohol was at 5, visiting her grandfather on a West Texas farm while he sipped beer. Her first drink was with 10th-grade friends. By […]

Tourism key to bringing in money

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher Lately, in an attempt to clear the mind for the night, I have been playing different games on my iPad. Getting involved in enough things and having enough debates, believe it or not, can be tiring. I know I can be strong willed, and I know I can be vocal in […]

Even regents’ seats are now contentious

Even learning is political these days. Remember when members of a university’s board of regents were supposed to approve budgets, hire (and fire) university presidents and lobby lawmakers and private donors for money? Remember when the people appointed to those jobs were supposed to maybe know a little something about education, or know about managing […]

Youths key to rural town survival

By Tom McDonald State columnist There’s a man running around, talking about small towns and whether or not they have a future. Earlier this month, he visited Raton. Given the topic, I’ll bet he gets a lot of speaking engagements. Raton is just one of thousands of small towns that are struggling, as urbanization builds […]

Family of child deserves peace after 10 years

The most heinous crime in Clovis’ history is debatable. But a schoolboy spat that ended with an innocent, sleeping child shot in the head will always be in that conversation. Almost 10 years after 10-year-old Carlos Perez was killed in his home near Dennis Chavez Park, the last of his four accused killers was convicted […]

Negative feedback most entertaining

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Last week, I was in Dallas for a routine medical appointment, so for my fifth anniversary of pecking out this column (with three or four fingers) I’m letting readers do the heavy lifting by sharing a sampling of feedback. Positive comments far outweigh the negative, but the hostile ones are […]

Many little things become big deal

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher In Portales Leadership class, we had a number put to us that opened some eyes. Randy Knudson, from the economic development organization, stated that the aquifer beneath Portales has about 13 years of life left in it based on current demands. Thirteen years. During our class discussion, questions and ideas came […]

Time government left us, time alone

We may never get back that hour of sleep we lost over the weekend to usher in daylight saving time if a bill making its way through the New Mexico legislative process is approved. It will be a small sacrifice, however, if it means we don’t have to flip-flop our clocks twice a year for […]

Papers public interest watchdogs

By Tom McDonald State columnist One of my old journalism school textbooks lays out seven “elements of news” that are worth reviewing from time to time. They are: timeliness, conflict, human interest, impact, prominence, proximity and unusualness — news elements that help newspaper editors decide what’s news and what’s not, and what should go on […]

ISC transparency bill deserves serious thought

Several lawmakers want to rein in the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, which has been a lightning rod over a controversial multimillion dollar plan it approved to divert water from the Gila River. The project has spawned a tug of war between environmentalists and others who fear the river and its wildlife will be harmed, […]