McDonald: Contamination deserves discussion

A couple of reports related to Superfund sites in northwestern New Mexico caught my attention last week, in part because of a trip I took to the Navajo Nation and its governmental center, Window Rock, Ariz., where the Navajo Times is headquartered. The Times had a front-page story on contaminated groundwater as a result of […]

Proposal would create largest free-trade area

If there were ever a way devised to promote economic growth, add jobs, expand markets, promote common interests and avert traditional wars without costing taxpayers a penny or adding to budget deficits, the United States should be first in line to embrace it. Senators, are you listening? The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a proposal born […]

Quote teaches us valuable lesson

Paris Gray isn’t an irresponsible student.   She’s her senior class’ vice president. She didn’t drink and drive and kill somebody. She’s involved in Students Against Drunk Driving and other organizations. Still, the Atlanta student came close this week to being barred from speaking at her high school graduation, because of a yearbook quote. Gray’s yearbook […]

Retirement concepts ‘hybrid’ plan

By Tom Philpott Military Update Current military members and retirees are to be “grandfathered” from any retirement changes that the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission recommends to Congress next February. Current force members shouldn’t let that dampen their interest in the work of the commission or its final recommendations, because any retirement reforms proposed […]

Thunderbirds showcase skills next weekend

The argument, “There’s nothing to do around here,” flies out the window and into the wild blue yonder next weekend. The Thunderbirds are back. Cannon Air Force Base hosts the air demonstration squadron at its open house and air show Saturday and next Sunday. Admission is free. The precision aerobatics begin at 2 p.m. both […]

Grad name game looks into future

Wendel Sloan

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist While thumbing through a commencement program, I wondered if graduates’ names contribute to their fates. Will … Mr. Brake discover the Midas touch? People think Ms. Brillante is just a sarcastic nickname? Mr. Elder become a statesman or dogmatically religious? Ms. Gust become a meteorologist? Mr. Hardwick develop long-lasting candles? […]

Too many turn to politics for “facts”

By Tom McDonald State columnist Last week, the latest report about climate change, the National Climate Assessment, came out and it wasn’t pretty. At least that’s what I heard, since I haven’t read it. Now before you criticize me for not doing my homework, allow me to point out that only a tiny fraction of […]

Doubling school spending won’t help students

Here’s a vital question for every candidate this election season who says New Mexico must increase education spending as the first, best and only way to raise dismal achievement and graduation rates: Are you aware just how much we are spending now to get results that rank near the bottom nationally? New Mexico already spends more […]

Government shouldn’t ID for anything

By Kent McManigal Local columnist The arguments in favor of requiring a photo ID to vote — specifically, I assume, a photo ID issued from some governmental authority — center around the assertion that you don’t want people voting who aren’t entitled to vote. However, if voting is to have any legitimacy, which is highly […]

Karma comes back to you in the end

By Kitsana Dounglomchan Guest columnist My friend Brandon and I are on shift work. Like so many, we earn our pay on weekends and holidays at all times of day. I’m not complaining about this — it’s what I signed up for. But your life can fall into a rut, if you aren’t careful. I […]

Focus on students drives successful education reform

The U.S. House of Representatives, including all of New Mexico’s delegation, has voted to expand a proven education reform that is delivering results in the Land of Enchantment. That reform is charter schools and the U.S. Senate should follow suit rather than depend on a yet-to-be-proposed revamp of the shelved No Child Left Behind Act to […]

‘Commissary issue itself is radioactive’

By Tom Philpott Military Update All seven members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified last week on the need to slow growth in military compensation and apply dollars saved to underfunded readiness accounts for training, equipment and spare parts. But their united front for easing current budget burdens cracked over the notion of slashing […]

My version of “Bronc to Breakfast”

By Baxter Black On the edge of common sense “Bronc to Breakfast” is my favorite Charlie Russell painting. The scene represents the typical roundup out west. In the foreground is a campfire with cooking pots and pans on the fire or hanging from the cross bar. A cowboy is sitting with his plate of beans, […]

Official Mother’s Day celebrated for 100 years

We’ve been officially honoring mothers for 100 years. Happy birthday, Mother’s Day. A West Virginia activist — Ann Reeves Jarvis — is generally credited with inspiring the national holiday for which President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation on May 9, 1914. Mother’s Day was initially a day for Americans to display flags in honor of mothers whose […]

Some gifts more appropriate for mom than others

By Wendell Sloan Local columnist With commencement season and Mother’s Day converging, this advice is for new graduates on what gifts are appropriate/inappropriate for Mom: Since you will probably be living with your parents as you work your way up the fast-food chain, the obvious gift would be for you to move out as soon […]

No end to seamy politics in sight

By Ned Cantwell State columnist The New Mexico Democratic gubernatorial primary is so boring I had begun watching Albuquerque police lapel camera reruns. Depressing stuff. So I clicked onto the New Mexico secretary of state website. I am going to share what I learned. Lucky you. This is particularly relevant information because in less than […]

Terrifying acts in the name of religion unacceptable

The mass kidnapping of almost 300 girls to be sold as slaves is unthinkable in civil society. And it should be in Nigeria, where an extremist Islamic terror group abducted the teenagers from a government high school in mid-April. Some escaped, but the whereabouts of about 270 is still unknown three weeks later. On Tuesday, […]

Springtime fun on the Llano Estacado

By Kent mcManigal Local columnist The recent “slightly stronger than average” winds wreaked havoc at my house. My only tree — a big, ugly elm with which I had expressed displeasure only 24 hours earlier — decided to fall and tried to take my carport down with it. It was only partially successful. Within minutes, […]

Intelligent work toward clean energy important

Some things are worse than getting a lump of coal in your sock for Christmas. Like having to wear four pairs of socks, thermals, sweaters and a winter coat and hat in your own living room — because the utility can’t supply enough power, or the price has increased so much you don’t have the […]

Governor failed to hold employee responsible

Intent often is not a measure of whether a miscreant is breaking the law or policy. As a  former prosecutor, Gov. Susana Martinez knows that better than most. Her knowledge of the law makes it even more difficult to understand why she isn’t doing more to rein in her free-spending chief of staff. Her office’s […]