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Columns

  • Editorial Roundup - Jan. 31, 2014

    Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on the need for Congress to fund a key tax program (Jan. 28, 2014):
    Here’s another example of a budget decision made far away and having a potential consequence to Fairbanks. Congress failed to include funding for the annual Payment in Lieu of Taxes program in the federal omnibus spending bill approved earlier this month.
    The program provided $742,500 to the Fairbanks North Star Borough in fiscal 2013. That’s an amount equal to just less than 1 percent of the property tax revenue raised that year.

  • Work of Art - Seattle 27.6, Denver 22.6

    Do you think it’ll work? For this Super Bowl edition of Work of Art, I asked a number of athletes, employees of the City Recreation Center — people who follow football — to predict the winner and the final score of Sunday’s game.

    Surprisingly, only West Las Vegas High School junior Brandon Gallegos predicted anything close to a slaughter. Brandon picks the Seattle Seahawks to beat the Denver Broncos 42-24. And why does he choose the Seahawks? “I don’t like Denver.” That’s reason enough.

  • Another Perspective - Time to enact reforms

    As we begin another short budget session, our troubled education system is our greatest cause for concern. As it stands, only about half of our public school students are proficient in math and reading and only half graduate ready to take on college. New Mexico now ranks last among all states in student performance. The sad truth is that our public school system is in need of a serious reworking.

  • Nuestra Historia - Students take over HU administration building

    A week into the student protests which began at Highlands University on May 20. 1970, the Board of Regents remained firm in its decision to name Wisconsin educator Charles Graham as university president. Despite the growing unrest at Highlands, Regents Chairman John D. Robb announced on May 25, “I have made it clear we have hired Dr. Graham. As far as I am concerned, the matter is closed.”

  • Editorial Roundup - Jan. 24, 2014

    Edwardsville (Illinois) Intelligencer on school shootings (Jan. 20):
    Something must be done — soon
    There are heroes and there are victims. There are those who go to prison and those who take their own lives.
    The scenes of police officers surrounding school buildings have become common. Much too common.
    Guns and students don’t mix.
    But lately, they have become regular headlines.
    In 2013, there were 29 shootings at elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges across the country.

  • Work of Art - ‘Whatever’ wins again

    It seems as if we’ll be stuck with it forever. A poll of 1,173 adults, conducted by researchers at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., discovered that the word “whatever,” has — for the fifth straight year — secured the title as the most annoying word in conversation.

  • Just a Thought - Our appetites and addictions

    By Rick Kraft

    Submitted to the Optic

    Zig Zigler used to tell the story of a man in Alaska who had two dogs, a black one and a white one. Each week he would take his dogs to town and they would fight against each other. The locals would gamble by betting which dog they thought would win the battle that week and then make or lose money accordingly. Some nights the black dog would win and other nights the white one would succeed.

  • Nuestra Historia - Tensions rise at HU — Gov. Cargo intercedes

    The atmosphere at Highlands University had grown somber and tense in the week following the appointment of Charles Graham as university president on May 19 1970. Students continued their protests, staging several campus rallies and marching through university buildings, including Burris Hall and the Rodgers administration building.

  • Editorial Roundup - Jan. 17, 2014

    Green Bay Press-Gazette on protect yourself against data breaches (Jan. 14):
    The phrase “buyer beware” takes a whole new meaning given the recent data breaches at large retailers
    The phrase is applicable to those who use credit card for their purchases as hackers apparently are moving from attacking the financial services industry to retailers.
    “There will be a wave of attacks on the retail industry throughout the year. The Target hack exposed how vulnerable the industry is,” David Kennedy, founder of TrustedSec, told USA TODAY.

  • Work of Art - And what’s so funny?

    What’s so funny? John Adams, a long-time member of the Highlands University English Department, often asked me that between classes at Mortimer Hall.

    Unlike several other members of the Humanities faculty of yesteryear, Adams was an 8-to-5-er. If not in class, he was in his office. Therefore, he heard every giggle and chuckle that emanated from my journalism and speech classes down the hall.