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 […]

Tourism generated by advertising

By Tom McDonald State columnist Since moving to New Mexico a decade ago, I’ve had a lot of family and friends come out for a visit, and they’re often quite curious about this land and its people. On such occasions, I like to play tour guide, taking my visitors around to see various historic and […]

There’s been enough bashing of Brumfield

And so it continues. Former Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield is taking another public, proverbial bashing from her loud-and-proud political opponents. Once again, City Commissioner Randy Crowder wonders if maybe she should not sit on the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority because she was not elected and she does not work for the city. Crowder […]

Feeling like Christmas after all

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher It has been a mixed bag this past week. • I wanted to buy $100 worth of donuts from a store to give to their customers as a goodwill gesture. Yes I saw down-the-road potential, but that was not what this was about directly. Got shot down; didn’t even want to […]

Schools missed chance to teach lesson

Sometimes kids do things that are just too stupid to have a serious conversation about. But the over-reaction from Clovis’ public school officials regarding the great Smarties candy debate needs to be discussed. For those who don’t read news of the weird, three Clovis middle school students last month were suspended two weeks for allegedly […]

Cowards hide behind screen name

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Over hot chocolate (at least in my cup), I asked Portales coeds Desiree Cooper and Amy Waltner what it’s like being 20-year-old women. “The glass ceiling hanging over me the rest of my life is a constant source of frustration,” said Cooper. “It is disheartening to face income disparity due […]

Oil, gas industry benefits, exploits us

By Tom McDonald State columnist As part of my work, and for pleasure, I read newspapers from all over the state — and two in particular recently stood out. Such different perspectives they have, and by “they” I don’t mean the newspapers’ editors. I’m talking about communities that the Las Vegas Optic and the Lovington […]

Taking time to talk might be best gift

It’s supposed to be the season of ho-ho-ho, sleigh bells jingling and peace on Earth. But not everybody experiences the holidays as a time of cheer. For many, for a variety of reasons, the season of joy is instead the time of holiday blues. They remember losses and grief that have occurred amid carols, decorations, […]

You get what advertising you pay for

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher First, let me preface this by stating this is not an attempt to try to sell any of you advertising. While I would love to have all of your business, this is not what this is meant to be about. Word of mouth on early returns about some of the events […]

The world will be fine without us

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My November book-of-the-month summary is Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us,” in which he explores what the world will be like after humans. Within a few hundred years residential neighborhoods will return to forests.  The longest-lasting evidence of humans will be plastics, metals and radioactive waste. Future inhabitants will encounter […]

Grateful for NM’s natural wonders

By Tom McDonald State columnist Let’s face it: Thanksgiving traditions are based on an incomplete memory. Maybe the Puritans sat down and ate with Native Americans a time or two, but they actually brought more death and destruction to the tribes they encountered than they did turkey and dressing. But it’s the sentiment, not historic […]

Textbooks should be inclusive, not exclusive

North of the Rio Grande, Juan Cortina is portrayed as a bandit who wreaked havoc on 19th century Tejanos’ efforts to settle the borderlands. Across the river he’s celebrated as a hero, who led a resistance against Tejanos who claimed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which transferred Texas from Mexican to U.S. control, also voided […]

Use extreme adjectives wisely

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher For those of you that came to the open houses in each market over the past two weeks, thank you for stopping by and it was a pleasure to meet you. For those who would still like to stop by and meet me or one of the other department heads, or […]

Balderas already delivering on promises

Attorney General-elect Hector Balderas isn’t wasting any time — his transition website is up and running ( so that come Jan. 1, the new attorney general will be ready to get to work. Constituents are being invited to send in concerns — that’s important, considering that several of Balderas’ best investigations as state auditor came […]

Politics muddy global warming debate

By Tom McDonald State columnist Seems you can’t even talk about the weather without stirring up some politics these days. You know the conversation: It’s often borne out of an awkward silence between two or more people, when somebody says something like, “Some weather we’re having, huh?” It’s generally a noncontroversial topic of conversation. Until, […]

NM senators wrong to block pipeline project

Pandering to their environmental activist base, 59 Senate Democrats, including Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, have again declared war on American jobs and rejected a boost to the U.S. economy and another step toward energy independence by blocking congressional approval of the $5.3 billion Keystone XL pipeline project. The proposed nearly 1,200-mile pipeline would carry […]