No easy fix for immigration crisis

By Tom McDonald State columnist No doubt about it. Our great debate over immigration has an emotional side to it. And this time we’re talking about children — more than 50,000 of them and growing — who are risking life and limb to make their way into the United States. No matter how you look […]

Challenge filing deadlines need to be extended

The details are not too much to ask for. Especially if a New Mexican wants to serve on the powerful agency that regulates business and industry in this state — and be paid $90,000 a year to boot. In 2012, New Mexico voters approved three of four constitutional amendments to reform the Public Regulation Commission, […]

Governments pay lip-service to reasoning

By Kent McManigal Local columnist There are two — and only two — ways to interact with other people: You can use reason or you can resort to force. Reason is the civilized choice. The really great thing about most people is they almost never — on their own — resort to force. Rarely does […]

Promote on competence, not background

By Rube Render Local columnist There are times when I wonder if we are all going just slightly mad or if we are well and truly in deep kimchi. At Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009, an Army major killed 13 people while shouting “Allah Akbar.” This incident was determined to be “workplace violence.” After […]

Name revisions part of history, change with time

The decision to rename Kit Carson Park in Taos has sparked a storm of protest. The Taos Town Council decided to rename the entire park Red Willow Park, derived from the native Tiwa language word for Taos, while keeping the name Kit Carson Memorial Park for the cemetery where Carson and his wife Josefa are […]

Central America immigration issue not that simple

More than 50,000 immigrant children, mostly from Central America, have crossed the U.S. border since last fall. President Obama hasn’t manned the border himself, welcoming these children with a firm handshake, though that’s the erroneous impression left by the president’s worst critics. Take Texas Gov. Rick Perry. On Sunday, the former Republican presidential candidate told […]

Cases about nothing pay nothing

By Kevin Wilson Staff columnist We’re having a silver anniversary about nothing this week. It was 25 years ago a popular comedian showed the world he wasn’t much of an actor in “The Seinfeld Chronicles.” Later shortened to “Seinfeld,” its nine seasons still stand as a pillar of television comedy and have made Jerry Seinfeld […]

Compensation trends need examing

By Tom Philpott Military Update Military folks upset that recent defense budgets have targeted their pay and benefits have no reason to fear a new 358-page “interim” report from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. The nine-member blue ribbon panel does present, in impressive detail, the full range of military and veteran pays, allowances […]

Court ruling does not mean tax lightning just

Now that the New Mexico Supreme Court has decided it should not ground tax lightning, the state Legislature should take another look at a well-intentioned law and its unfair, unintended consequences. In 2001, state lawmakers enacted a 3 percent valuation cap on residential properties, primarily to help keep older folks from being taxed out of […]

Portales jail staff must be held accountable

Nobody suggests it’s easy to run a jail. But most would agree it’s a bad idea to arm a murder suspect with an ax and send him out on a work detail with a lone, unsuspecting county maintenance man to keep watch. Yet that’s what happened Wednesday in Portales. Roosevelt County officials admitted, eventually, they […]

Politicians clueless about classrooms

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist In January, “Frustrated,” a fifth-year teacher in a lower socio-economic school, was transferred from fourth to first grade because a veteran teacher had had enough and quit to become a bank teller. Her 16 boys and seven girls included four Anglos, 10 Hispanics and nine African-Americans. Three lived with both […]

Patriotism shown in many ways

By Tom McDonald State columnist Patriotism isn’t one-dimensional. You won’t find it by wrapping yourself in the American flag. That really says nothing. And you won’t be saying much by shouting out that the U.S. is the greatest nation on Earth. That’s really just a matter of perspective. And while it’s important to lift up […]

Country’s religious freedom hanging by a thread

If you like your religious freedoms, you can keep them. For now. The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled Monday that business owners with religious objections can’t be forced to pay for women’s birth control under the Obamacare law. The 5-4 opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, held that imposing the contraceptive mandate on closely held […]

Privacy violations won’t keep us safe

By Kent McManigal Local columnist You are being spied on. As you read this, hackers are getting into your computer, your other electronic information, your telephone, and possibly even watching you with cameras (including the webcam on your computer — even if it’s turned off). And the worst culprits, capable of doing the most harm, […]

Independence Day, not Fourth of July weekend

By Rube Render Local columnist Today is Independence Day. It is not the Fourth of July weekend or the Summer Sale Extravaganza. It is Independence Day and commemorates, “Action of Second Continental Congress, July 4, 1776.” I expect that sooner or later some far-sighted politician will introduce legislation denoting the first or second Friday of […]

Education officials should follow lead of teacher

Not many people would have the resolve to turn down a $5,000 professional bonus — especially one that rewards and recognizes excellence at a job. But English teacher Francis Hahn of Taos High School said no to the New Mexico Public Education Department, which offered the bonus because his Advanced Placement students did so well […]

Letters to the editor: Proud of Clovis USA

Saturday night, my wife and I hopped on a motorcycle and joined the fun at the revival of “Draggin’ Main.” As we rode up and down, it occurred to me many of the world’s nations should have been there to watch. Right on our little town’s Main Street was an example of what’s right about […]

Praise, criticism part of elected official’s job

Elected officials and the public servants they supervise can get awfully thin skinned. It’s understandable. After all, who wants to listen to speakers rip them from the podium during public meetings, with comments that can range from right on to ridiculous to patently untrue. Yet, in our system, that’s part and parcel of being a […]

Just thought I would mention…

By Kevin Wilson Staff columnist Here are a few thoughts I’ve been kicking around that don’t really deserve a column of their own, or maybe I can just make the point in too few words. • An editorial in our newspapers last month argued that it’s time for New Mexico to do away with the […]

Roth TSP good for military savers

By Tom Philpott Military Update Military savers are discovering the special advantages a Roth-type Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) provides to them, given that their taxable income is dampened by tax-free allowances and periodic tax-exempt combat tours. The Roth TSP choice only became available in May 2012. TSP account balances so far average only $2,500 for […]