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Columns

  • ‘Think’ report proposes a way toward better instruction

    Dispatch New Mexico

    Over the years, my two daughters attended four different elementary schools in three states, while their middle and high school years were spent here in New Mexico. Despite all our moving around, I think they’re no worse for the wear, as their success beyond their primary and secondary educations indicates.

    As for their old man, I think I gained some parental insight into what makes some schools better than others, including this: It’s the principals who turn schoolhouses into true facilities were learning.

  • Forty-nine cents can be a half dollar

    A penny was a lot in my youth. As a child, I used to count each one, hoping the number would increase.

    Something like that happened when I was around 10 and considered myself the Rockefeller of Railroad Avenue. I was one of zillions of Optic sellers. If I sold 10 copies each day, I’d go home expecting some car company to have delivered my brand new Lamborghini.

  • NCAA toothless in punishment

    The following editorial was recently published in the Panama City (Fla.) News Herald.

    When the NCAA turns a blind eye to criminal behavior while punishing players who legitimately make money for themselves, something is seriously wrong.

  • A question that can transform your life

    Just a Thought — By Rick Kraft

    I have a new test for you to use in the life you live. If you apply this test, it can change your life.

    Okay, that is a lot to say in an opening to a column, but read on...I know that there are many facets of your life. You have family, friends, organizations you are involved in, possibly a job, and so on.

  • Bail reforms not to blame for crime

    Another Perspective — By Leo M. Romero

    Reforms to New Mexico’s traditional money-based bail system will make our community safer by permitting judges to lock up defendants who are most likely to commit new crimes if released. And the reforms should not be blamed for the increase in crime reported in the press.

  • Dolores Huerta: ‘Sí se puede’

    Beth Speaks for Herself — by Beth Urech

    Co-founder of United Farm Workers. First Latina inducted into The National Women’s Hall of Fame. Awarded Presidential Medal of Honor by Obama. 87-year-old crusader for civil rights. Coined the phrase: “Sí se puede.”

    Before I heard Dolores Huerta, I wish I had known she was born in Dawson, just 100 miles north of here. What a great way to make a connection! When her parents divorced, she moved to Stockton, Calif., but still.

  • Following the space trails through New Mexico

    Here’s something you might not know: New Mexico has a “space trail,” which spans the ages at more than 50 locations around the state.

    From a mountaintop called Wizard’s Roost in Lincoln County, where prehistoric New Mexicans aligned stones to the summer and winter solstices, to Socorro County’s Magdalena Ridge Observatory, one of many modern-day astronomical observatories around the state, New Mexico is steeped in the history and development of space observation and exploration.

  • ‘Mockingbird’ flares up anew

    There’s a bit of irony in the following, which concerns a reheated topic of racism, as shown in the decision of several school districts to ban Harper Lee’s award-winning novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

    Touching on Lee’s brilliant novel and of censorship leads me to make a couple of disclosures.

  • There's a severe shortage of mental health professionals

    This editorial was recently published in the Jacksonville (N.C.) Daily News.

    There is a national shortage of mental health professionals, and it’s being felt locally. Southeastern North Carolina and many other parts of the U.S. are seeing a shortage of all mental health providers.

  • One nation, under God —divisible

    Just a thought .... by Rick Kraft

    Today, I stood at the base of the flagpole at Fort Sumter and helped carefully unfold the United States flag. I assisted the ranger as he hoisted it up the pole so it could fly proudly over the island and the harbor.

    The flag that was taken down from the pole on April14, 1861 only had 33 stars. The one we raised today had 50. As I helped raise the flag I thought of the importance of the flag to our nation and what it represents.