McDonald: Paris attacks hit too close to home

War is a man-made institution, the worst thing we ever created. But there are times in which it’s either kill or be killed, so it becomes a necessity for survival. It’s no surprise that, last week, when terrorists killed civilians in one of the most culturally enriched cities on earth, the world took notice. It […]

True all-in energy policy on next prez

If only the hot air coming out of Washington could keep a major metropolitan area safe and warm this winter. Consider that this administration has not only unplugged a $15 billion solution to the nation’s nuclear waste storage dilemma but also disconnected plans for a $2 billion oil pipeline that would employ thousands of construction […]

Sloan: What does ‘In God We Trust’ mean?

Since “In God We Trust” is the official motto of the United States, adopted in 1956 as an alternative to the unofficial E pluribus unum (“From Many, One”), I am fairly indifferent about the legality of law officers putting the decals (at no taxpayer expense) on their official vehicles. Some think the practice violates separation […]

Wilson: Equal time roundup a media circus

NBC would have been in quite a quandary had it kept “The Apprentice” on the air while star Donald Trump was running for president. Under the Federal Communications Commission’s equal time requirement, every other Republican candidate would be entitled to the same weekly air time as the Donald. With a field that still includes more […]

Violent criminal belongs in jail, not honor farm

It’s incomprehensible that a felon with a long and violent criminal history “walked off” to a few hours of freedom just five days after he was assigned to the honor farm at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas. Corrections officials are scrambling to figure out how and why that happened, as well […]

McDonald: Pot issue approaching critical mass

Last week, nearly two-thirds of Ohio’s voters rejected a measure that would have legalized marijuana. That doesn’t mean the move toward legalization has hit its peak; instead, it signals another battle on the horizon, over control of this burgeoning legal industry. Gallup polls have been showing for three years now that a majority of Americans […]

Trees cut for private ski run selfish act

You would think that people who enjoy schussing down slopes of virgin snow would be great lovers of the outdoors and wilderness areas. But to judge by damage left behind by what many suspect were rogue skiers, some skiers apparently want to make the mountainsides their own. Santa Fe National Forest officials report that at […]

Sloan: Time for rational gun law talks

At the risk of getting shot, is it possible to have a rational exchange about gun violence? Of course, those opposing common-sense laws cite the Second Amendment with the fiery rhetoric of an Abrams tank’s muzzle flashes engraving a stone tablet with: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, […]

Wilson: Many lessons learned from cooking

“Stop bringing cookies to work,” my coworker exclaimed. “I’m sorry,” I responded, “but I can’t eat three dozen cookies on my own. I have to share them with the office (also friends, neighbors, and the football team managers, but I digress).” There’s always the idea that I don’t have to make cookies, she said. Sacrilege. […]

State needs too much to keep budget on track

New Mexico needs an additional $85.2 million next year to cover the Medicaid expansion it signed up for. It needs an additional $277 million to address a years-long backlog of prison infrastructure repairs and $12 million to pay more prison guards better, as guards now make around $13.65 an hour and work 64-hour weeks. It […]

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. […]