Medical pot program too easily abused

There were legitimate concerns with some of the Department of Health’s proposed revisions of its medical marijuana rules — a hefty new fee that had yet to be justified chief among them. But rather than reconsider why users — presumably some of the state’s most medically vulnerable individuals — should have to fork over an […]

Main Street project has run its course

Robert Arrowsmith

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher I took a walk around Main Street last week as I normally like to walk to meetings and walking-distance locations whenever possible, and saw and photographed the pots and their lack of flowers. First of all to those that have kept their planters up, kudos, they look beautiful. You clearly have […]

Private care for veterans challenging

By Tom Philpott Military Update The ambitious push by Congress and its veteran affairs committees to swiftly solve a health care wait-time crisis for tens of thousands of veterans by granting access to private sector care appears to have run hard aground. After four weeks, House-Senate conferees, working through their staffs to iron out differences […]

Letter to the editor: Joe Thomas asset as city manager

From reports in the Clovis News Journal, it appears the performance of City Manager Joe Thomas is being reviewed. I have had the opportunity to work with Thomas in a variety of situations. For over 20 years, I have served on various city committees including Public Works, Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Local Growth […]

Feds should investigate their internal conduct

American taxpayers — especially those who reside in the Land of Enchantment — deserve to know if the ends justify the means for U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents. As in: Ignoring rules and getting a reformed crack addict back on the pipe is OK if it means busting his dealer. Granted, Aaron Romero says in his […]

Often wondered about being black

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Having often wondered what it’s like being black, I asked nephew-in-law Tony Meeking while recently staying with him and my niece Carol in Mesquite, a Dallas suburb. Tony, born in 1962 in Ruston, Louisiana, said, “You have to develop thick skin.” The mixed-race couple, married 28 years with two sons […]

Independent center decides elections

By Tom McDonald State columnist People don’t listen like they used to, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the world of politics. I’ve heard it said that we’re now in an era in which Americans can go through their entire day plugged in to the media and hearing only that which supports their […]

Letter to the editor — Grateful to great people of Clovis, Portales

A few weeks back my wife and I visited the Blackwater Draw Museum and archaeological sites. We pulled in to a Recreational Vehicle park to spend a couple of days in your area. As we were setting up our RV, we encountered some problems. The next morning we located a welding and repair shop. We […]

VA actions continue making things worse

Plagued with a huge backlog of disability benefit claims for years, the Department of Veterans Affairs responded by approving tens of thousands of claims without knowing whether they were valid. With the nation reeling from a litany of VA abuses, the bureaucrats appear to have been rubber-stamping unreviewed claims in what could be seen as […]

Tolerating government not a virtue

By Kent McManigal Local columnist Tolerance is sold to us as some sort of virtue when it’s nothing of the sort. It’s simply putting up with something, or someone, you hate. I don’t want or need any government, but how much could I tolerate? I could tolerate a government that coordinates the construction and maintenance […]

Codes could use some limitations

By Rube Render Local columnist Depending on where you go to look it up, the United States Code contains more than 50,000 pages. Considering that the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd Frank Financial Act each contain more than 1,000 pages, the above number seems low. To get some idea of the size involved, the […]

Abuse, waste in government programs high

Whether intentional (i.e. fraudulent), the result of sloppy bookkeeping or almost certainly a combination of the two, $100 billion a year in improper government payouts over five years adds up. In 2013, federal agencies made $106 billion in improper payments — $97 billion in overpayments and $9 billion in underpayments — to recipients of government […]

Tips that may help to attract volunteers

Robert Arrowsmith

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher On Tuesday, I shared some thoughts about why our country has a lack of volunteers. Here are ideas for solving some of those problems right here in eastern New Mexico: • A central portal, database or website for regional volunteerism: This has come up in several discussions. Instead of the every-man-for-himself approach […]

Mood not joyous for most despite economic uptick

No wonder there is joy on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average has traded above 17,000 for the first time. On Main Street, however, the mood is not yet joyous. Issued on the stock market’s last trading day before the Fourth of July, a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report calmed worries about the economic […]

Some genetic testing covered again

By Tom Philpott Military Update The Defense Health Agency, relying on medical laboratory experts and existing authority to conduct medical “demonstrations,” will restore TRICARE coverage this month for up to 40 genetic tests used in patient care. Many of these laboratory-developed tests — also called molecular pathology tests — are viewed as medically necessary. But […]

Happy ‘Weird’ Al’s back in action

By Kevin Wilson Staff columnist Getting on the Internet every morning is a little wierder this week, and many of us couldn’t be happier. Monday saw the world premiere of the video for “Tacky,” the first song on “Weird” Al Yankovic’s new album, “Mandatory Fun” and a parody of the Pharell Williams “Happy” song that […]

Veterans need to get services they deserve

The can of worms that is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs isn’t empty yet. The VA has been reeling recently from revelations of veterans dying while waiting for medical treatments; and tens of thousands being parked for long terms on secret waiting lists for appointments; and top officials reportedly responding by covering up these […]

Plenty of issues stopping volunteers

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher I’m here … and will volunteer. For those who do not know about me, I have recently moved here (again) from a market that is in year seven of an energy boom, where $15 an hour is the considered minimum wage, finding workers to do most service jobs can be most […]

Obamacare problems death by thousand cuts

Watching Obamacare unfold has been like taking a dizzying carnival ride. With every twist and turn, the health care direction is altered and its riders are confronted with unexpected consequences. The Affordable Care Act got off to a wobbly start with an ill-prepared website. Health exchange signups lagged behind expectations, prompting a deadline extension to […]

Vacation an adventure in Arkansas

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My recent vacation through Arkansas was a tale of triumph, tragedy and astonishment. The latter happened in an east Texas eatery when lifelong friend Sid Hicks put Biblical scholars to shame by creating a self-serve ice-cream masterpiece surpassing the Tower of Babble in height and diversity. In Hot Springs, Arkansas, […]