Upfront efforts key to reducing wildfire risks

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the old saying goes. Of course, folk wisdom doesn't always hold up when examined rigorously. When it comes to reducing damage from wildfires, however, it appears that prevention really does matter. A report — "Lessons Learned from Waldo Canyon" — prepared after the devastating […]

Intentions of city officials perplexing

Concerning the March 8 article headlined "Watchdog: City letter inappropropriate." Was it Ignorance, greed or sucking up to the governor? I don't know and I don't care. But I am getting a little tired of officials, including law enforcement, going along party lines and refusing to crack down on gun laws. I don't own a […]

Insights into multicultural lunacy

Professor Craig Frisby is on the faculty of University of Missouri's Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology. His most recent book is "Meeting the Psychoeducational Needs of Minority Students." It's a 662-page textbook covering a range of topics from multiculturalism and home and family influences to student testing and school discipline. There's no way […]

Public safety should be high priority

Only in New Mexico, a state entering its 12th year of drought and experiencing conditions so dry it's too dangerous to conduct many controlled burns, could the Legislature take a proposed fireworks ban sponsored by a firefighter and amend it once, substitute it twice, and then let it die in committee. Get ready for one […]

Lobos’ hope dashed again, future uncertian

Pity the poor fans of University of New Mexico basketball. First, the euphoria of winning the Mountain West Conference season and tournament, then the No. 3 seed, whispers of Final Four possibilities, all ending with a humiliating loss to Harvard in their first NCAA tournament game. At least, though, the Lobos had next year — […]

Smoking cessation drugs available

Smoking cessation drugs now are available at no charge through the TRICARE Mail Order Program for service members, military family members and retirees under age 65 who want to kick this unhealthy habit. The free cessation drugs finally are available almost five years after Congress ordered them. The free medicines are part of a wider […]

Blurry line between rights and priviledges

Regarding thieves, killers and other criminals in our local jail: These people should not have comfortable living situations with three meals a day while sitting on their butts. Why don't we, as Roosevelt County taxpayers, make these bums work and make them stay in tents with barbed wire? As a Republican and a voter, why […]

Unavoidable adventures in jury duty

Recent headlines hard to swallow

It's a deeply felt conviction among liberals that they are the caring party. It's not too much to say that liberals are quite confident that they are nicer, more moral people than conservatives. It must require truly titanic powers of denial for the "moral" and "compassionate" party to maintain its position on abortion — a […]

Gun violence disturbingly familiar

Jonylah Watkins died on a Tuesday. She was with her father, who was sitting in a minivan in Chicago on the night of March 11 when someone opened fire. Doctors worked 17 hours trying to repair what a bullet had done to her body, but to no avail. She died the next morning. Her funeral […]

Meeting notice extension helps rural residents

Gov. Susana Martinez and New Mexico lawmakers have taken a major step to increase public awareness and participation in government meetings across the state. Martinez signed HB 21, sponsored by Rep. James E. Smith, R-Sandia Park, and Sen. Daniel A. Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, which passed each chamber unanimously. It increases the required notice of a public […]

Celebration of new life and a triumph over death

Easter's eternal spirit feeds two essen tial human appetites: hope and faith. Hope ⊇gives mankind a reason to persevere, even through difficult circumstances. Faith provides the belief of a better life ahead. Easter is our annual rite of spring, the perfect celebration and remembrance event for those who believe what Scripture tells us happened to […]

Keep it short, simple and straightforward

Last Monday I attended a "Secrets of Superlative Writing" workshop with Paula LaRocque at a Fort Worth conference. Before becoming a consultant and novelist, LaRocque was a well-known writing coach for the Dallas Morning News. I talked to her afterward, and she confirmed that my obsession with teaching students (and others) to write, "The XXX […]

Monument designation good move, and overdue

M onday was an important day for Northern New Mexico — not to mention for the state and even the nation. On that day, President Barack Obama officially designated the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, preserving some 240,000 acres of our finest wilderness for generations to come. What a long time coming! Residents of […]

appeals court racino ruling opens the gate

More than five years after receiving a racing license for a planned $50 million racino in Raton, the ill-fated La Mesa Racetrack and Casino is out of the running. And that decision by the New Mexico Court of Appeals means competition and feasible, honest intentions win, place and show. Canadian developer Michael Moldenhauer got his […]

Many parts of Iraq war can be considered successes

With the 10th anniversary of "Shock and Awe" — the relentless bombing attack that signaled the beginning of the end of Saddam Hussein's evil regime in Iraq —came the predictable recriminations against the Pentagon, the covert services and, naturally, George W. Bush. "It was not worth it, to put it mildly," observed The Hartford Courant […]

Viewpoint: Legislature finishes with several hits, misses

Another 60 days in the Roundhouse, another set of hits and misses for New Mexicans. In addition to the important tax reform compromise package that awaits action by Gov. Susana Martinez, many other important issues were acted on — or not — in the past two short months. The good news first. Lawmakers: Brought public […]

Despite tough times, legislative session successful

Each day when the Legislature is in session, busloads of school children come from throughout the state to witness democracy in action. Let's hope none of those impressionable youngsters were in attendance on the final morning, when the House squelched debate, ignored the clock and muscled through a 35-page bill that only a handful of […]

Senate has funny way of celebrating transparency

It is ironic that during national Sunshine Week and in the run-up to Freedom of Information Day state senators passed a rule in the middle of the night to keep their emails and other documents secret. Around 11:20 p.m. on March 13, the Senate pulled House Concurrent Resolution 1 off the table and adopted it […]

TSA finally coming to its senses

You're getting ready to board a plane at an airport in, say, Lubbock or Amarillo. An agent asks you to empty your pockets into a plastic tray. The contents include a pocket knife you've been carrying since Grandpa gave it to you when you were a youngster. Hey, no problem, the agent says. You can […]