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Columns

  • Another perspective - Remove ‘merit pay’ for few, give raise to all school employees

    By Betty Patterson

    Amidst hollow proclamations of moving New Mexico education forward, the New Mexico House of Representatives sent to the Senate a budget for the coming year that provides absolutely no raise for the vast majority of teachers and absolutely nothing for all the other people who help local New Mexico students be prepared for a day of learning every day.  

  • Another perspective - Compacts, new racetrack for northeast NM good for all

    Responsible gaming, whether at a tribal casino or a horse racetrack, is an attractive economic development tool for New Mexico, attracting tourists, contributing to our unique culture and generating jobs and revenue for public education and other critical state services.

    Quick approval of new tribal gaming agreements and of a horse racetrack in northeastern New Mexico will help continue our economic momentum.

  • Another perspective - We must improve foster care system

    By Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino and Sen. Steven Neville

    Among government’s critical responsibilities is protecting children from abuse and neglect.

    Our goal in this legislative session is to improve the foster care system for children placed in the state’s custody because their parents are unable or unwilling to care for them.

  • Work of Art: Daylight Saving Time is great

    Why must people look a gift horse in the mouth? I used to struggle with that expression — until someone wiser explained.

    I surmise the expression refers to those who question the quality of something given to them. Accordingly, if you receive a horse with no reins attached, you should be grateful and not check under the hood to determine the age, health, strength or orneriness of the beast.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - A battle of bills to expose health cost, quality

    Seems a good time to revisit Think New Mexico’s legislative push to bring some transparency into our state when it comes to health care costs and treatments.

  • Another perspective — Budget sets course for better future

    By Rep. Larry Larrañaga

    I’m proud that the House of Representatives recently passed a budget that will not only keep New Mexico on solid financial ground, but also chart a better course for the future of our state.



  • Think New Mexico - Senate Bill 474 makes health care prices clear

    By Fred Nathan

    Health care pricing has been likened to shopping blindfolded in a department store, and then months later receiving an indecipherable statement with a framed box at the bottom that says: pay this amount.

    Indeed, here in New Mexico it is easier to find information about the price and quality of a toaster than of a common medical procedure. Because information about price and quality is essential to almost every market transaction, this lack of transparency means that health care is more expensive than it would otherwise be.

  • Another perspective - The need to fix a flawed tax shift

    By D. Dowd Muska

    On Jan. 1, 2005, food bought at New Mexico’s grocery stores was excluded from the gross receipts tax. In exchange for the break, the GRT was hiked on all other purchases.

    A decade later, it’s clear that the tax shift was a mistake.

    With several proposals before the legislature to reinstate the GRT on food, it’s time for an honest examination of how and why the well-meaning exemption failed.

  • Work of Art: Who’s a Neanderthal?

    It might have been around the time of my first prom date — that would have been in the mid-’50s — when we’d been studying early man: Piltdown, Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon. We students at Immaculate Conception School became fascinated by the terms, presented with drawings of what our ancestors might have looked like.

    Accordingly, anyone who failed to render a quick and correct answer when called on by Sister Mucha Misa was labelled a Neanderthal, the same way we’d brand our classmates as creeps or nerds, or even Communists.

  • Dispatch New Mexico — Regulating the oil and gas industry

    Regulating oil and gas drilling in the state has taken some interesting turns of late, and very different directions.

    Over the past few months, two developments in northern New Mexico occurred that could actually shift the approach local governments take in regulating the industry. The infamous Mora County ban on drilling, via its misguided “community rights” ordinance, was recently struck down as unconstitutional, while next door in San Miguel County, a different kind of ordinance took root in November, to the consternation of the oil and gas industry.