McDonald: Teachers need freedom to teach

It’s back-to-school time and, oh, the memories. I remember being a little kid and looking forward to the return with a mixture of dread and excitement. Dread because the summer was freedom and it was coming to an end; excitement because every new school year was a chance to become just a little more grown […]

Sloan: Taking a shot at vegetarianism

With a young vegan role-modeling new tricks about plants making her more mature and benevolent than an old hound, on May 5 I said cherrio to Paleo. Competitive about everything from outlasting strangers in saunas to solar-powering my noggin (sometimes in a close shave) more reflectively than fellow Neanderthals to hooping with farm-to-market kids on […]

Wilson: Thanks for your participation

If you’re reading this, congratulations. You’re participating in my column. Just be careful, because people are trying to tell you recognizing participation is the worst thing in the world. Even … dun dun dun … abuse. Recently, NFL star James Harrison — penalized numerous times by the NFL for illegal hits — posted on Instagram […]

Senators should rethink backing Iran nuke deal

The Iran nuclear deal was already of questionable value because it unlocked billions of dollars the rogue nation could use to further its terroristic ambitions and allowed such a huge window of time for inspections of suspicious sites that any checks and balances were rendered near meaningless. What happened to inspections “anytime, anywhere?” What happened […]

Auditor, PRC did well fixing lawsuit, email

Two wrongs don’t make a right. And both State Auditor Tim Keller and the Public Regulation Commission deserve credit for fixing two problems instead of compounding them with defensive tactics or rhetoric. The PRC wisely abandoned a lawsuit it had filed asking a state district judge to prevent the Santa Fe New Mexican from publishing […]

McManigal: Good, bad depend on cooperation

Through years of observing people interacting, I have noticed something: People are better and more cooperative than they are given credit. By “better” I mean less likely to intentionally harm others, and more likely to help; even strangers. Yet you and I are fed a constant stream of bad characters who are the exception. The […]

Render: Public impressed with The Donald

All officers of the Republican Party are required, by rule, to remain neutral in any contested primary. As a county chairman, I fall into that category. This does not mean that I don’t have a favorite among the 17-person field running in the Republican primary. It means that I won’t publicly endorse anyone running for […]

Game and Fish needs land use middle ground

New Mexico’s 8 million acres of trust lands are certainly worth more than 2 cents an acre to the state’s hunters and anglers. Likewise, the many services the Department of Game and Fish provides on those lands — wildlife management, law enforcement etc. — are worth something as well. So it is incumbent upon the […]

McDonald: Some old habits should never die

Editor’s note: This column first appeared in August 2013 and has been updated. Older people, such as myself, like to think we’ve acquired the wisdom of the ages, but when it comes to the modern world, the young’uns have a leg up on us. That occurred to me when I had some questions about my […]

Public against nightmare Iran nuclear deal

Amid rising concerns about the proposed Iran nuclear deal, the Obama administration is struggling in its efforts to drum up support for it and demonizing those who dare oppose it. The discourse has taken a nasty turn on several fronts — Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei vows “to defy American policies in the region,” Iranian […]

Sloan: Pastor gives insight to big church

I am not religious, but support whatever motivates social good. The pastor of a small church in the Clovis/Portales area thinks larger churches sometimes forget their mission. “Pastor” told me they become so preoccupied with “saving souls” they forget their mission of being a community of grace and compassion — not the “Me and Jesus […]

Wilson: Still appreciate shooting with film

Kevin Wilson

On the advice of a friend, I added the romantic yet implausible “Elizabethtown” to my Netflix queue, figuring I’d see what my friend loved about it. As I discovered while staying up into the early morning hours watching it, the movie made a big deal about last looks and how important they could be. On […]

Feds responsible for cleaning spill in timely fashion

An estimated $100 million cleanup has finally started pulling contamination from the underground fuel spill on Kirtland Air Force Base. The state recently received a $73.25 million settlement from the federal government for a radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad (that cleanup cost is estimated at $500 million and the nation’s […]

McManigal: Government less honest thieves

What do you want badly enough you are willing to steal to acquire, and kill those who resist your theft? For some people it is a smart phone, a pair of expensive athletic shoes, money, or a car. For others, it’s a fighter jet, a social net, public schools, safety, or something else they really […]

Render: IRS incompetent; training no help

The Senate Finance Committee recently released a bipartisan report on the IRS scandal that began in 2013. Depending on which news report you review they generally begin with something akin to, “Two years after being dragged through an embarrassing scandal stemming from allegations that Lois Lerner, a senior IRS official, wrongfully targeted conservative groups…” Left […]

Evaluations now as they should be

It took two rounds of evaluations and lots of listening sessions, but the New Mexico Public Education Department has changed its protocol for rating new teachers, as well as for those who teach subjects not covered by standardized tests. And despite the union line that it creates an unfair two-tier system — “a shell game” […]

McDonald: Nice to wave goodbye to drought

Seems New Mexico’s drought is over. Let the flooding begin. The drought actually began to noticeably subside a couple of years ago, and has now disappeared altogether in nearly all of the eastern side of New Mexico. The U.S. Drought Monitor, which was covered in blood red (the color used for exceptional drought) just a […]

Finding right police chief not an easy task

Clovis City Manager Larry Fry is getting ready to make his most important decision since coming to town in April. It’s good to see he has 17 applicants for the city’s police chief job, including a mix of local talent and options from seven other states. He’ll also be hiring a new fire chief in […]

Sloan: Shouldn’t call the fuzz on this one

Editor’s Note: Dear Cuzins is written by cousins Chef Juandel, The Anglo Mariachi Cowboy and Bootlegger Sloan. Dear Cuzins, While attending a funeral in east Texas, an apparent garage-sale-veteran pilfered my lawnmower from my carport. If they’d mow my yard once a month, I wouldn’t mind. Thankfully, they left my 32-inch bicycle. Should I contact […]

Wilson: This heat makes me wonder

When it gets hot like this, I find I can barely hold a solid thought in my head. But, I can wonder: • As the cashier rang up my lunch a few days ago, he made the friendly chit-chat, “How’s your day so far?” Not having much conversation ready, I answered honestly. “Hot. Your air […]