Arrowsmith: Efficient or not, Uncle Sam will come for you

In case you missed it last week, Oregon is about to embark on a first-in-the-nation program that aims to charge car owners not for the fuel they use, but for the miles they drive. Starting July 1, up to 5,000 volunteers in Oregon can sign up to drive with devices that collect data on how […]

Seniors, make sure college ends up more than just debt

High school senior Ronald Nelson is known to be smart. The Tennessee senior was accepted to all eight Ivy League universities. At Houston High School in Memphis, Nelson had a 4.58 weighted GPA, has taken 15 Advanced Placement courses and garnered a 2,260 out of 2,400 on his SAT and a 34 out of 36 […]

Render: Middle East policy wrongheaded

Is it possible for the Middle East to become any more of a basket case than it is now? If you asked that question last week the answer was yes. From Yemen to Syria and points in between, open conflict rages. Our naive secretary of state tells Reuters that the pending nuclear deal with Iran […]

McManigal: Alcohol laws do little to protect

Recently there was a situation near Farwell that stirred up a lot of residents. I doubt the backlash is finished. The reaction reminds me of my cats watching a bird through the window — lots of chattering and gnashing of teeth. The situation involved young people, a school board member, an after-prom party, and alcohol. […]

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!” […]