McDonald: College, middle class linked

Politicians like to talk about how the middle class is struggling, and for once they’re right. Earlier this year, the non-partisan Pew Research Center reported that while middle-income households have remained steady since 2010 (when the U.S. was emerging from the Great Recession), they’ve been on a 40-year slide. Middle-income families comprise about 51 percent […]

Moving beyond labels good day for education

An era in education could be ending — perhaps. President Barack Obama told the country last month that educational testing had gone too far — and recommended that students only spend about 2 percent of classroom time taking a standardized test. As with most recommendations coming from Washington, there’s even an acronym for the recommendation: […]

Sloan: Dying owed right to end suffering

Tuesday’s Portales News-Tribune carried an Associated Press article by Russell Contreras about the New Mexico Supreme Court deciding whether the state will allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with doctor-prescribed drugs. Assisted suicide is legal in California, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont. A few days before I had heard Barbara Vigil, chief justice […]

Wilson: We’re to blame for dumbing habits

Kevin Wilson

While nursing the world’s worst shaving cut that morning, I reached for my secret weapon. By the time the bleeding let up, I looked at this $2 investment the labeling called a styptic pencil. I searched for the phrase, and got, “a stick of a stypic substance.” Great, but what’s styptic? It’s an antihemmorhagic substance, […]

Plea agreement for Duran soft, disappointing

Secretary of State Dianna Duran, leaving office in shame, did not go gently — despite resigning in the middle of the night on Thursday. Her news conference on Friday, after a plea deal was discussed before Judge T. Glenn Ellington, has further tainted her reputation. Rather than express sincere remorse and apologize for being caught […]

McDonald: We’re in for brual, extreme winter

We’re still a couple of months away from the first official day of winter (Dec. 22), but forecasters are already saying it’ll be colder and wetter than normal in New Mexico, so be prepared to bundle up. It’s another El Niño year, which means the ocean-to-atmosphere interaction of temperatures, especially in the Pacific Ocean near […]

Grandstanding takes attention from solutions

Political grandstanding in Washington, D.C., continues to halt real progress on the issues that challenge the country — including the need to fix the nation’s broken immigration system. Both New Mexico Democrats, Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, cast important votes last week against legislation that would have punished New Mexico cities and counties for […]

Sloan: You can blame the weather for that

My book-of-the-month summary for October is “The Handy Weather Answer Book” by Kevin Hile. As a kid, nothing seemed more boring than weather. Now, nothing is more fascinating. Without weather, we would not exist. Catastrophic weather can bring long-term benefits, lead to mass fatalities, political conflicts, and even determine the outcome of battles and romantic […]

Cantwell: We need a celebrity; just not Trump

I know the rest of New Mexico is pumped as I am about the excitement and intellectual stimulation of the political season. Through the magical medium of television, we join the rest of our countrymen in face to face engagement with America’s finest, one of whom will become president of these United States. How fun […]

New training program hope for our youth

If and when opportunity knocks, young people need to be prepared to seize it, and a new state program should help put them in that position. It’s not news that New Mexico struggles with poverty, low-paying jobs and poor educational outcomes. Our poverty rate is 20.4 percent compared to the national rate of 15.4 percent. […]

McDonald: Presidential outsiders have edge

By the time New Mexico’s preferential primaries roll around on June 7, some 40 other states will have already voted for their party’s candidate. That means there’s a good chance the nation’s Democrats and Republicans will have already decided who their nominees will be, even if it isn’t official until they hold their national conventions […]

Care is wonderful survival strategy

By Steve Hansen Local columnist Maybe I’m old fashioned, or just old, or just selfish, but the whole idea of the “sharing economy” is lost on me. I don’t get Uber, Airbnb, and GoFundMe. To me, the gains do not match the risks. If you pick up a rider on Uber, what’s going to stop […]

Acceptance would be start for GOP

“In a country where a sitting congressman (said) evolution and the Big Bang are ‘lies straight from the pit of hell,’ where the chairman of a Senate environmental panel brought a snowball into the chamber as evidence that climate change is a hoax, where almost one in three citizens can’t name the vice president, it […]

‘Forgotten’ vets get honor they earned, deserve

They were 16 Army soldiers; seven Navy sailors, including one female veteran; three Air Force airmen; and two Marines. Most served during the Vietnam War years. Several are from the Korean War era. They are: Army — Robert Axtell, Kenneth Carnes, Harold Chalupa, Arturo Gavilanes, Norman Grady, Adrian Greene, Glenn Loney Jr., Stanly Minge, Brock […]

Think NM proposal sorely needed

It should be no surprise to any of my regular readers that I’m a big fan of Think New Mexico. It’s important to our state to have a nonpartisan think tank researching quality-of-life issues and pushing for changes, especially in the Legislature, that benefit all New Mexicans instead of a self-interested few. Plus, it has […]

It pays to listen to dad sometimes

New Mexico native Paul Modrich says his father, the local high school biology teacher in Raton, suggested when he was a junior in high school that he “should learn about this DNA stuff.” Modrich took his dad’s advice. On Wednesday he received a surprise email from a colleague congratulating him for being part of a […]

Sloan: Professor: Obama legacy looks promising

In a book titled “Interview with Professor Donald Elder: The Presidents of the United States,” Clovis resident Michael Shaughnessy recently interviewed the Portales resident about the 44 U.S. presidents. As we dripped sweat from noon-time basketball, Elder told me he put his personal opinions aside in answering Shaughnessy’s questions. I find it interesting most of […]

Wilson: Showing friend new movie worth trip

“What’s this? ‘The Iron Giant’ is playing? With two new scenes? Everybody I know is going to want to go see this. We should get at least a dozen people … how will they all fit in the car?” Yes, these are some of the thoughts I had when I saw one of my favorite […]

Detective right for checking warrant status

If a police officer recognizes a convicted criminal, a man who has multiple aliases and convictions, and makes a phone call to see if that person has any outstanding federal warrants, it should go without saying that’s just good police work. Well, unless that man is an undocumented immigrant in a sanctuary city like Santa […]

McDonald: ‘Watchman’ historically insightful

Earlier this year, I wrote about the latest manuscript written by Harper Lee, author of the classic “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I was both excited and anxious about reading “Go Set a Watchman” since one of the central characters, Atticus Finch, reminds me of my own father. I wasn’t too excited about tarnishing the heroic […]