Luminarias vs. Farolitos great Christmas debate

If New Mexico has a state question (red or green?) perhaps it’s time to establish a state controversy. Not mandated by the Legislature, but played out in conversations, whether face to face by the fireplace or on Twitter or Facebook. Our nominee, the perennial battle across New Mexico each Christmas season — farolito vs. luminaria. […]

McDonald: Experiences much better than gifts

Editor’s note: The original version of this column was published in 2012 in the Las Vegas Optic. It’s being distributed with permission and has been updated for 2015. In terms of pure economics, our biggest national holiday is, of course, Christmas. Perhaps it makes me a little out of the ordinary, because I don’t remember […]

Poor governing culprit of nuke waste site woes

Getting the shuttered Waste Isolation Pilot Plant back to full operation anytime in the near future looks dubious, with missed deadlines attributable to the usual culprits — ineptness and bungling. Operations at WIPP, the nation’s only underground repository for mixed radioactive waste from Cold War-era nuclear weapons work, have been curtailed and the site closed […]

Sloan: Dear friends, it’s been a tough one

Wendel’s Christmas newsletter: • January — I went skiing in Ruidoso for the first time since the Cold War. My skill had not gone downhill, but the Texans had. Overheard: “W” was the best president since Harrison Ford; Trump has the smoking gun Obama used in a Kenyan training camp; Ted Cruz invented cruise missiles. […]

Wilson: Worst, best Christmas? Same year

A question I ask, and get asked, every year seems to be, “What was the best Christmas you remember?” We never ask, “What’s your worst Christmas?” My best Christmas and worst Christmas are pretty easy memories, because they happened in the same year. First off, a defense of my family, and myself. Of the things […]

Lawmakers must strengthen corruption laws

Handed a plea deal with no jail time whatsoever — despite the 65 charges originally filed — District Court Judge T. Glenn Ellington had to walk a difficult path Monday when sentencing former Secretary of State Dianna Duran. We’ll call it a successful outcome if the disgraced Duran agrees to accept even 30 days in […]

McDonald: Expression masters a special group

You know what they say. What goes around comes around. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if that ain’t true. I’ve picked up a lot of old sayings through the years, and the older I get the more I recite them. At least, I quote the ones I’ve […]

Colleges must change business model to thrive

Faced with economic reality, New Mexico State University is making a smart move — away from seeking more public dollars and toward working with the private sector. Amid a financial crunch created in part by falling enrollment and declining tax and royalty revenues to state coffers from oil and gas, NMSU president Garrey Carruthers announced […]

Sloan: Introverts embody quiet strength

My book-of-the-month summary for December is “The Introvert Advantage” by Marti Olsen Laney. With extroverts outnumbering introverts 3-to-1 (although most of us have characteristics of both), the book helps introverts recognize and capitalize on their strengths. Laney says socializing was confusing. She enjoyed people, but dreaded going out. Even when enjoying herself, she was anxious […]

Wilson: Welcome to the real world kids

There’s one good way to get me to do almost anything: CTC. Not Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but good guess. In the words of former NBA player and unknowing philosopher Rasheed Wallace, “ As far as the CTC goes, it’s a business and you can’t put your personal feelings before that … That’s what the CTC […]

NM sports legends lived inspired lives

It might just be an urban legend, but the theory that deaths come in threes — especially deaths of those we idolize — was borne out for New Mexico sports fans in recent weeks. First, legendary University of New Mexico basketball player and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Mel Daniels. Then former world light […]

McDonald: No state immune to mass shootings

As a nation, we’ve got an epidemic on our hands. But instead of addressing it in ways that would actually be productive, we pray for the dead, argue over what to do and brace ourselves for the next round of random violence. Mass shootings in the U.S. are an everyday occurrence these days, done by […]

Pot patient card should suffice for border patrol

In theory, law enforcement should be implemented in a fair, across-the-board manner. In practice in southern New Mexico, it has made state-sanctioned medical marijuana patients legal victims of their geography. Get your medical pot prescription filled in Albuquerque or Santa Fe and, unless you are a very bad and very unlucky driver, you won’t encounter […]

Sloan: I was a hero in my own disaster

I was possibly a Thanksgiving hero in Lubbock when I helped put out a fire threatening an apartment complex. The only caveat potentially tainting my heroism is I caused the fire. While visiting friends — including the masters of a lethargic, narcissistic, black labrador I am babysitting indefinitely — I went shopping for a last-minute […]

Wilson: Sports fans mix of loyalty, lunacy

I tuned in for only the final minute of Monday Night Football, with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens tied at 20. First play, interception for the Browns at midfield. “Cleveland should have this,” I thought, with 50 seconds left and two timeouts. But wait, they’re the Cleveland Browns. Quarterback wastes 20 seconds calling the […]

Selfish cyclists should sing different tune

“The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted, The cheerful voice of the public road, the gay fresh sentiment of the road.” — From a “Song of the Open Road” by Walt Whitman When beloved American poet Walt Whitman espoused the enchantment of the open road in his […]

Roswell politics like South I know

In a way, my connections to the West are more real than my Southern roots would suggest. I’m certainly no native to New Mexico, though I’ve lived here more than 10 years now. I was born and raised in Arkansas, a southern state with a western tinge — especially in Fort Smith, where I survived […]

Freeing last chimps humane, ethical

This month, the National Institutes of Health announced it will retire the last colony of government-owned chimpanzees being held for biomedical research, including 20 that were subjected to decades of invasive, nonproductive testing at an Alamogordo research facility. This week, as our nation celebrates the holiday season, there is no better symbol of humanity, of […]

Sloan: ‘The World’s Gone Crazy’ indeed

During last weekend’s Friends of the Public Library book sale in Portales, I bought 97 books (including 59 children’s books I am donating to a first grade, and four DVD movies) for $7. For my November book-of-the-month summary, I’ve selected one: “The World’s Gone Crazy” by the Bathroom Readers’ Institute. Here are a few lowlights: […]

Wilson: Picked out some shorts for you

Column creation this week felt like Black Friday shopping. Everything I thought about was either too big or too small. Either that, or it was something I knew you wouldn’t like. Or there was a better version online. So I decided to go with stocking stuffers, not long enough for columns but too long to […]