• 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.

  • 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?