Education key to preventing drug overdoses

New Mexico has a nasty habit of landing at or near the top of the list of states with the highest drug overdose death rates, and the state Health Department isn’t making any headway toward reversing that trend. Despite some recent efforts to lower that statistic, our state still has the second-highest number of per […]

Letters to the Editor — July 12

Hatred can be attached to any symbol South Carolina has declared the Confederate States of America battle flag is no longer to be flown on state capitol grounds. Odd that this action has stirred more emotions than any outrage regarding the slaughter today of civilian Christians in the spread of ISIS terrorism and ISIS’ destruction […]

Boy Scouts can choose what they want to do

So the Boy Scouts of America have ended their ban on gay adult leaders and the nation is celebrating/gnashing teeth, depending on perspective. From The New York Times: • “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote,” said a statement issued by the church moments after the Scouts announced […]

McDonald: Politics run north to south here

Last week I heard a DJ on the radio talking about a list of the most liberal and conservative cities in the U.S., so I looked it up online. Turns out it’s a dated listing, from last August, but I’d say it’s still applicable. And, hey, it’s a “Top 10” list and that always gets […]

Sloan: Book includes many eye-openers

My book-of-the-month-summary for July is “The Blank Slate” (Viking, 2002) by Steven Pinker. It is impossible to summarize 509 pages in 300 words, but Pinker says being born a blank slate is a myth. Discoveries in the sciences of mind, brain, genes and evolution debunk “fantastical beliefs flaunted as proof of one’s piety” that moral […]

Wilson: Good art can change destinations

I didn’t think much when the red envelope showed up, because I’d forgotten what I put on my Netflix queue. And then I saw Ethan Hawke staring me down on the disc cover. “Predestination,” the movie I received, seems destined for bargain bin DVD treatment, and it deserves more than that. Without spoiling it, the […]

Legislator trips, even comped, can carry large price tag

Had more of the state lawmakers who have traveled to Azerbaijan on the former Soviet republic’s dime been more willing to talk, one might be able to argue that Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen is simply naive when she says those paying for the 10-day, 14,000-mile trips expect nothing in return. At the […]

Editorial: Ankle bracelet only works if defendant wants it to

The fourth time was the charm for longtime lawbreaker Steven V. Trujillo who, after being turned down three times in his bid to get out of jail, convinced 2nd Judicial District Judge Jacqueline Flores to lower his bond and release him – albeit with an ankle monitor to track his whereabouts and his hollow promises […]

McDonald: Homelessness has no easy fix

It’s easy to see homelessness as more of an urban problem, since that’s where it’s more visible. But it’s a problem in smaller cities and towns too, and New Mexico is no exception. Earlier this month, a group in Silver City took up the issue by hosting a talk about the problems that surround homelessness. […]

Sloan: I had an awesome dream

With months of vegetarianism (interrupted by a brief hiatus on the Texas coast just for the halibut) probably making me unrealistically idealistic, I had a surreal dream about Rush Limbaugh. Here are a few chestnuts I hallucinated him bellowing: “I urge the good folks in Clovis and Portales to replace those Democrats-murdering-babies and hating-on-Hillary signs, […]

Wilson: Always keep a password handy

Even as a child watching Saturday morning cartoons, and even without knowing the word, I could usually spot malarkey pretty quick. “Coming up, a very special ‘Saved By the Bell,’ as Bayside students lose a close friend.” Is the close friend the guy who hasn’t appeared all season, and without explanation has a prominent role […]

Mexico shows it can’t hold onto criminals

If you’re a wealthy drug kingpin serving a 20 year-sentence in a “maximum security” prison, Mexico is the place to do your time: History has shown your stay can be brief. Over the weekend, Joaqumn “El Chapo” Guzman, the notorious Mexican drug lord and head of the infamous Sinaloa Cartel, escaped from Altiplano prison 55 […]

Hobbs active hub of energy, economic power

The road from Artesia to Hobbs — which cuts through the bustling oil-producing town of Loco Hills — is as crowded and active now as before world oil prices began to plummet last fall. And more oil- and gas-related facilities are planned or under way, such as a massive center in Jal to transfer sand […]

McDonald: Governor finds legacy in tourism

Earlier this year I wrote about Gov. Susana Martinez’s tenuous legacy, saying that, after a little more than four years in office, she has little of consequence to tout as a lasting accomplishment. Now, I’m thinking she may have found it in tourism. It’s no surprise Martinez is touting tourism, since it’s on the uptick […]

Sloan: Gay marriage least of our worries

Based on social media buzz after the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, we are living in the last days. I wish I knew for certain before springing for Amazon’s express shipping for an asbestos suit (as has been suggested I will need). Change is scary, and I feel empathy for those who think the […]

McDonald: First Cosmicon out of this world

Last weekend I experienced my first Cosmicon. That’s cosmic, not comic, aptly named for its interstellar flavor, which was inspired by an incident in 1947 that put Roswell on the international map. Cosmicon is an annual event alongside a science fiction film festival and the 20-year-old UFO Festival, which The Alien City puts on every […]

Shanna Peeples, teachers like her, hope for future

Teachers from across the country this week gathered in Florida for the National Education Association’s Annual Meeting. The inspirational speakers included one of our own, National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples, who grew up and still lives in the Texas Panhandle. While the list of problems with public education in America is a long […]

Safety a priority in our outdoor enchanted land

New Mexicans love the outdoors. That’s obvious, judging from the thousands of people who take to the mountains, trails or rivers every day of the year. We’re not just weekend nature lovers in the Land of Enchantment. Even with so many outdoor enthusiasts, it’s easy to forget that danger can lie behind the beauty of […]

Sloan: Doing my part, spreading the ‘word’

If you had to fly a rainbow or Confederate flag in your yard — with no chance to explain the nuances of what they mean to you — which would you feel more comfortable with? If someone slaughtered innocent strangers out of hatred, which symbol would you guess represented their beliefs? To understand why 21-year-old […]

McManigal: Bullies employ sleight of hand tricks

If you enjoy watching people flailing around over different ways to control each other, the past couple of weeks has probably been entertaining for you. I’m talking about the conflicting reactions coming from Terribly Sincere People over a spate of recent events. It would be comedy gold if people didn’t take these silly things so […]