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 […]

State should note Wisconsin youth offender study

In 1995, the Wisconsin Legislature established a program to study and, ideally, cut recidivism among the toughest of its youthful offenders — those who had committed homicide. Of the group of 200 that was given a year of specially designed therapeutic exercises and games, as well as designated ways to consider the consequences of their actions, not […]

Lawmaker accountability problematic

I’d like to add to Rube Render’s column in Friday’s CNJ. Our commissioners, including Bobby Sandoval, are elected officials. They are elected by the residents in their respective districts and are accountable to them. Their constituents who choose to attend commission meetings are not “spectators.” They are the people who chose to have their commissioner […]

Letter to the Editor — Happy birthday to greatest country

The Mayflower, a ship of 180 tons, set sail from England in 1620. Aboard were 102 souls determined to cross the Atlantic. After 63 stormy days. they landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Before going ashore these first settlers signed a covenant called the “Mayflower Compact” in the belly of the Mayflower ship on Nov. 11, 1620. […]

Cultural diversity still ‘American’

DAN TRUE: Courtesy photo
Dan True with a crop duster plane. True flew crop dusters, an experience he believe helped him become a television weatherman.

By Tom McDonald State columnist When I first came to New Mexico nearly 10 years ago, I had never been to a fiesta. Since then, I’ve been to more than I can count. I wish I could say it’s because I wanted to embrace the culture I had moved into, but really it was because […]

Green Tea Party for bare essentials

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist If I decide to run against David Lansford and Sharon King for combined mayor of Clovis/Portales again, it will be on the resurrected Green Tea Party (GTP) ticket. Our views do not strictly fit Republican or Democratic platforms, and the Tea, Libertarian and Communist parties are impractical. The Parrothead Party […]

Commissioners must ensure ‘due diligence’

Clovis city commissioners on Thursday will consider purchasing water rights from a private landowner at a cost of nearly $2 million. The Economic Development Tax Advisory Board has recommended the deal with farmer J.L. Wall be approved. Stockpiling water for future use is a sound concept, but city commissioners must wade into this cautiously, ensuring […]

Limited government Utopian dream

The siren songs of the next election season are already tickling your ears. One thing I notice a lot of people advocating is a “return to the Constitution,” which they believe would bring back “limited government.” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it didn’t work before, so how do you plan […]

King should look into campaign money scheme

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, one of the people specifically empowered to look into campaign finance violations, should take a break from his run to put the Democrats back in the Governor’s Mansion and investigate how around $128,000 was essentially laundered through a web of liberal political action committees before the June 3 primary […]