Charters show they belong in education system

Once again, New Mexico charter schools are at the top of the class, demonstrating why there is pent-up demand from families for this successful alternative public education model. A U.S. News and World Report ranking of the best U.S. high schools lists three Albuquerque charters at the top of the 12 New Mexico schools that […]

Accountable providers giving more to patients

Remember when that $3 million behavioral health audit was so shocking it had to be kept secret from the public that paid for it? And when the targeted 15 agencies lost their Medicaid funding and were reportedly on the brink of shutting down and leaving their tens of thousands of vulnerable New Mexico clients adrift? […]

McDonald: Differences are way of life here

In recent months, I’ve found myself living and working in three different communities. Very different, but with one standout similarity. I’m talking about Las Vegas, Taos and Roswell, three New Mexico municipalities with their own unique identities. I moved to the Land of Enchantment in 2004, ran the Las Vegas Optic for eight years and […]

Local B.J. Pierce worthy of cowboy Hall of Fame

The mission statement for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City says it “interprets the evolving history and cultures of the American West for the education and enrichment of its diverse audiences of adults and children.” If it’s cowboys and educators they’re looking for, Clovis’ B.J. Pierce would be a worthy choice […]

Let the potshots at liberals begin

National online publication “24/7 Wall St.” recently listed Curry County as the most Republican in New Mexico at 67.9 percent in the 2012 election — with Roosevelt County on its tail at 67.7 percent. This makes me optimistic about locally crowdfunding a guntry club called “High Plains Fantasies.” We will make residents’ fantasies come true […]

Arrowsmith: Volunteer shortage needs resolution

You hear it everywhere you go. Just about every community organization or entity that has an event is facing the same problem. The issue in question is the lack of volunteers. The reason for lack of volunteers varies. For some organizations, such as day care, or ambulance service, the issue for a potential volunteer may […]

Sundance/IAIA team-up good for Native actors

Repercussions from the walkout by Native actors who were extras on an Adam Sandler movie filming in New Mexico aren’t over. While making “The Ridiculous 6,” a made-for-Netflix send-off of “The Magnificent Seven,” the broad attempts at humor proved offensive to some in the cast. Rather than continue to act in a film that showed […]

McManigal: Laws are just opinions of bullies

If you were sitting alone in your own home, would you seek permission to read one of your books? Or to write one? Would you be concerned with whether you are allowed to scratch an itch? Would you wonder if you need a license to watch TV? Don’t laugh — TV licensing is a reality […]

Render: Grads should have to meet standards

I have written about New Mexico’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests that caused such a stir recently. Turns out the Texas End Of Course (EOC) testing for high school seniors ran into a similar buzz saw for the class of 2015. About 28,000 seniors were in danger of not […]

Weather warnings won’t help if you won’t listen

Storm forecasters are on the right track by assessing how they tell people of tornado threats. The forecasters were concerned about the high number of casualties when tornadoes caused the deaths of 558 people in 2011. That was the second-highest total of tornado deaths on record, according to an Associated Press story. Forecasters with the […]

McDonald: Bigger dreams mean harder work

It’s that time of year, when just about every newspaper in the state gives front-page attention to at least one local graduation. They’re always a big deal, especially to those who walk across that ceremonial stage and make their families proud. Graduations mark a transition in our lives, but sometimes I think it’s over-emphasized. Anyone […]

Might be time to end the federal ethanol mandate

In the jagged terrain of ethanol politics, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, presidential candidate, is finding it hard to find his footing. And hard not to look politically opportunistic to people who follow this issue. Walker has shifted his position on the federal ethanol mandate, telling an Iowa audience in March that he would support the […]

Sloan: Aunt Edna summed up Mother best

I hope you have or had as wonderful of a mother as blessed my life. A framed photo of her and my dad, who died at 71 in 1990 from working around asbestos at an east Texas steel mill, greets me every morning in the living-room as the TV shows the latest atrocities committed by […]

Arrowsmith: It’s TV; no one made you buy it

To all of you who feel like you were duped, misled, cheated out of the $100 you spent on the fight last weekend, I have this to say: It’s television. This has been going on since the beginning of television, ever since the big scandal involving the game shows in the 1950s. If you are […]

Alcohol issue shouldn’t be decided by vote

Muleshoe voters go to the polls on Saturday to consider “the legal sale of all alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption only.” Opponents say they’re trying to maintain “the safest, most wholesome environment possible for raising our kids and for the citizens of our community.” Supporters contend alcohol is readily available in the community already, and […]

McManigal: Bullying by statists will continue

If, like me, you are unconvinced that coercion, theft, and aggression are proper behaviors to organize a society around (assuming societies can be organized at all) there are a few automatic responses you will repeatedly encounter as people attempt to belittle your position. Besides the standard quip “If you don’t like it, move to Somalia!” […]

Render: Kids not going for healthier diets

In 1980, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture began a joint effort that would provide the public with a Dietary Guideline for Americans. This guide is reviewed and republished every five years, and the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has just been released. The […]

The state needs to remove its archaic traps

This week marks the second of five public meetings on a proposal to allow trapping of mountain lions on public lands, and it continues what appears to be the New Mexico Game and Fish Department’s standard operating procedure of ignoring vetted science and reliable data in favor of unsubstantiated anecdotes and histrionics. Because if New […]

McDonald: San Miguel codes might hold up

Well, it’s settled. But only for a moment. Mora County officials recently settled with some high-powered plaintiffs in a couple of lawsuits that effectively put an end to the county’s attempt to place permanent ban on oil and gas drilling inside its county lines. Actually, the crux of the lawsuits was settled last January, when […]

Legislature should toughen penalties for brutal crimes

In New Mexico, you can get away with serving just three years for stabbing your girlfriend 19 times. You can sever her nerves and tendons, puncture a lung, a kidney, her intestines, gouge her face, her back, her arm – then ditch the weapon and try to run out the prosecution clock. And if that […]