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Columns

  • Infectious optimism in Vegas

    By Joseph W. McCaffrey

    For the Optic

    I can feel a new spirit of optimism in Las Vegas. This infectious optimism was written about in a recent New Mexico Magazine article by Kate Nelson [New Mexico Magazine, July 2014, 36-42].

    What are the sources of this new optimism?

  • Time to end failed policy of social promotion

    By Nora Espinoza

    Recently, the Las Vegas Optic published an opinion from Art Trujillo. I completely disagree with him. We must stop passing students who can’t read.

    Knowing how to read is one of the most important life skills you could ever learn. When you know how to read, knowledge is at your fingertips and nothing is far from reach.

    Unfortunately for New Mexico, too many of our children are unable to read proficiently. Yet, year after year we pass them onto the next grade without blinking an eye.

  • NM needs jobs, highway repairs, but not more debt

    By John Arthur Smith

    New Mexico needs more jobs, and we need them now. That is what we hear from folks in the cafes and diners in Deming and across our state.

    It was confirmed in a recent study by the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research: We are ranked one of the worst in the nation when it comes to economic and job growth – 48th of 50 states. That is a tough situation for families.

  • Work of Art: Was school tougher back then?

    Let’s say you have a load of wheat that weighs 3,942 pounds. What is it worth at 50 cents per bushel, deducting 1,050 pounds for tare?

    Well, before attempting an answer it would be helpful to know what a tare is or where on the planet one can score on wheat that goes for two bushels for a buck.

    And here’s another question that’s a bit more challenging: What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology and syllabication?

  • Dispatch New Mexico — Black history and white hearts and minds

    By Tom McDonald

    This whole Harper Lee story, about a long-lost manuscript showing up after a lifetime of being a one-book wonder, really has me intrigued.

    Turns out that “To Kill A Mockingbird” has a sequel, and while I can’t wait to read it, I’m also a bit afraid to. Lee’s book about a Southern white lawyer who defends a black man against a rape charge was a masterpiece, and a sequel is seldom as good. I expect, and dread, a bit of a letdown.

  • Another Perspective - Now is the time for capital outlay reform

    This legislative session, the legislature is expected to approve a capital outlay bill expending more than $200 million for capital projects without the benefit of any formal system for planning, vetting or selecting the projects. New Mexico is regretably unique among the states in its folly.

    This free-for-all system is in dire need of improvement to ensure that the state’s investment in capital infrastructure yields the greatest return possible for the taxpayer.

  • Governor’s policies aren’t child friendly

    By Gerald Ortiz y Pino

    As a politician, I can state unequivocally that “I love all children.” They are our future; they are our most vulnerable citizens, needing the greatest attention; history will judge us by how we’ve treated them, and (never forget) they make for great photo ops.

  • Another Perspective - Right-to-work bill would be good for New Mexico

    By Pete Domenici

    I am writing in response to those who oppose the proposed right-to- work legislation. While I respect those who oppose, they are flat out wrong on this issue.

    The truth is, passing right-to-work legislation would be good for New Mexico’s workers and our economy. But unfortunately, some politicians are trying to turn this into a partisan battle even though a majority of Americans support it.

    It’s not hard to see why.

  • Work of Art: ‘Social promotion’ - it rankles

    Some expressions simply rankle. But even so, their overuse leads them to become part of the lexicon, which in turn works toward acceptance.

    Let me explain:

  • Dispatch New Mexico - Another dismal round of voting

    I had thought I’d seen it all — paying attention to the news after so many years will do that to you. Politics becomes so predictable, advocacy so redundant, today’s story so much like yesterday’s. The news, like history, tends to repeat itself.

    But last week I read a story in the Roswell Daily Record unlike any I’d ever seen before. In the Chaves County town of Hagerman, population 1,200 or so, no one voted in the school board election. That’s right, nobody. Nada. Zero. Zip. Not even the candidates themselves.