All good works have great value

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist With approximately 600 other souls, I rang in New Year’s Eve in the Pathway of Life Church in Dallas. By my estimate, about 60 percent were African-American, 20 percent Hispanic and 20 percent Anglo, with a smattering of other ethnicities. Casual dress dominated — with the only necktie being worn […]

Snow a lesson about community

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher Oh what a fun week it has been, starting with the snowstorm of the past weekend. Before I begin I do want to thank everyone for their patience as we worked our way through the weekend. I myself had to get out in it a couple of times to get our […]

McDonald: Dog had huge impact over six years

About six years ago, we picked up a shelter dog, named her Ellie and made her our own. A mutt by birth and all dog by disposition, she came into our lives right on time — especially for our older daughter, a teenager at the time who suffered from more than just the angst that […]

Flu shots help more than just recipients

For most people, the flu is inconvenient, causing missed work, depressed energy levels and varying levels of just plain misery. For many, including children and the elderly, the flu can be life-threatening. Whether it threatens your health or just your work week, however, it’s worthwhile to prevent it if you can. That’s why we join […]

Sloan: Ms. Jones says 10 minutes matters

A friend, “Ms. Jones,” who teaches first grade in a lower socio-economic school in a medium-sized city, says parents who read to children 10 minutes a night make a difference in their success. Reading also creates a closeness with their children, while making them value reading. Jones says, “The kids who are read to at […]

Arrowsmith: Is it good, or not so much?

When I am tired, the hamsters in my brain work in bursts. When I am bored, I am tired. Therefore, when I am bored, the hamsters in my brain work in bursts. This is going to be one of those bursts. When I was a kid, I always loved the Christmas Day and New Year’s […]

In pot debate, helping people should win out

Too much energy is being spent rewriting rules for the distribution of medical marijuana in New Mexico. The state Department of Health, rather than devising cumbersome rules that make it harder for patients to get the medicine they need, should streamline the process. While the latest version of rules is an improvement (anything would be) […]

Immigration mixed message lost in translation

The Obama administration’s tough public message that young illegal border-crossers would be detained, then sent home, apparently was lost in translation. Or it was just a PR stunt to begin with. Of the detainees — mostly unaccompanied teens, and Central American mothers and young children — who were housed at a temporary immigration center in […]

Good time to look back, forward

By Tom McDonald State columnist It’s all a matter of perspective. The year 2014 might have been a great one for you. Or it could have been hell. I hope for your sake it was the former, but either way it’s a good time to look back — and forward. Politically, it was a rough […]

It’s that time of year for predictions

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher It is that time of year … the new year. New Year’s Eve tends to be a time to look back, to reflect, and yet also a time to make those resolutions and predictions for the upcoming year. Being a constant forward thinker, I do tend to look back, but typically […]

New Year’s resolutions achievable

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My New Year’s resolutions may not be challenging, but at least they are achievable. • I failed to accomplish everything I intended in 2014, and I resolve a repeat in 2015. • There were times this year when I upset, offended or angered readers. I promise to continue that in 2015. • I […]

Yes, Virginia, Santa remains alive and well

The New York Sun in 1897 published its most famous editorial in response to a question from a reader. Dear Editor— I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there […]

Christmas is about the experiences

By Tom McDonald State columnist In terms of pure economics, our biggest national holiday is, of course, Christmas. I read somewhere that Halloween comes in as a strong second, but I’d be surprised if it’s anywhere close to the money we Americans spend for the yuletide. Perhaps that makes me a little off the mark, […]

Greetings: Wendel’s Christmas newsletter

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Apparently, Christmas newsletters are for bragging. Since my accomplishments have been negligible, mine may not qualify. In January, my great-nephew whipped me in basketball. It was inevitable, but I didn’t expect it to be on a three-foot foam goal after he’d just turned 18 (months). In my defense, he was […]

Wishing all a safe, Merry Christmas

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher When Sony Pictures announced it was canceling the movie “The Interview,” a whole new form of terror and blackmail opened up. In my personal opinion, the premise for the movie looked stupid, and was not a movie I was going to, but that is not the point. What happened represented the […]

Caution against techno-thieves bears repeating

’Tis the season to be cautious. We have recently learned about scams designed to extort their victims, thinking they’re securing a vital service, into paying the wrong people. In it, the fraudulent callers tell intended victims their power bill is overdue. Then they threaten to turn off the power if the targeted victims don’t fork […]

Important WIPP stay closed until good plan made

The New Mexico Environment Department got tough with the feds to the tune of $54 million in civil penalties. And for good reason: a leaky drum of nuclear waste packed for shipment at Los Alamos National Laboratory that contaminated nearly two dozen workers at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad and resulted in closure […]

Dependence on fickle oil, gas no fun

By Tom McDonald State columnist It’s almost laughable the way Americans just can’t win with gasoline prices. If they go up, it’s money out of our pockets, and if they go down, it’s money out of our investments. Poor folks couldn’t care less about how it affects the financial markets; they’re all for the cheaper […]

Public education improvement focus appropriate

Report cards for teacher colleges? You bet. “Nothing in school matters as much as the quality of teaching our students receive,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said recently. With that in mind, the Obama administration is pushing forward with regulations to require states to issue report cards for their teacher training programs. Under the plan, programs […]

Humor makes point easier to take

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My December book-of-the-month summary is “The Comedy Thesaurus” by Judy Brown, purchased for a quarter at this year’s Portales Public Library sale. The 480-page book’s 3,241 quips and quotations illustrate how humor makes subversive points more palatable. Here is a sampling: • “The KKK adopted a highway. The joke is […]