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Columns

  • Another Perspective: Rural Development helps advance NM

    By Terry Brunner

    My time as State Director at the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development ended on Dec. 16. Little did I know when I took this job in 2009 that there were great challenges facing New Mexico’s rural communities and more down the road.

  • Just a Thought: It is all about a baby and the hope he brings

    By Rick Kraft

    The sun went down the evening before baby Jesus was born just as it had done every night in the history of mankind. But when it came up the next day, a baby had been born whose life and death would forever change the world.

    Christmas is the story of a baby.

  • Editorial Roundup - Dec. 25, 2016

    Compiled by The Associated Press

    The Portland Press Herald of Maine on the decrease in life expectancy in the U.S. (Dec. 12, 2016):

    Life expectancy fell in 2015 for the first time in more than 20 years, by itself a shocking and sad statistic that separates the United States from all other high-income nations.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - The best presents are given freely, not bought

    Christmas brings out the best and worst of our way of life.

    Crass consumerism runs rampant this time of year, as if owning things equates to happiness. If that were the case, then why are there so many miserable rich people?

    Sure, it’s the season of giving, but it’s also for getting. People go into debt to buy things for those they love and are close to, and then they go into debt a little more to buy that special something for themselves. You know you do. I do too.

  • Work of Art: Things becoming surreal

    Without searching very hard, it’s possible to find many supposed awards bestowed on people and things.

    Sports Illustrated this week treated LeBron James, the superstar of the often-luckless Cleveland Cavaliers,  to virtually its entire issue. It is true: LeBron is great, his having led his team to a national basketball championship (but the honor should have gone instead to Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.)

  • Beth Speaks for Herself - O Little Town of Las Vegas

    By Beth Urech

    Last December we drove back to Chicago after the Electric Light Parade to celebrate the holidays with family and friends.  This year we are staying here to celebrate with family and friends. What a difference a year makes!

    Yes, some of you know I flew to Chicago for three days, but that was merely to bring back my crêche, my Swiss fondue pot, my mother’s silver candelabra, and Christmas stockings to hang by the chimney with glee or is it glühwein? In Chicago we don’t even have a fireplace.

  • Water projects still a priority

    I first began to learn about the value of water from my grandfather, who was a public works director in Santa Rosa.

    Later, as a Chamber of Commerce president, I learned more about and began to really push for the effective use of water.

    It is no secret that we live in the desert, and that water here is scarce. We need it: from our bathrooms and kitchens to our livestock, acequias, wildlife and recreation. Still, it is easy enough to turn on the faucet, see water come out and forget how precious it is.

  • Just a Thought: Painting beautifully on the canvas of life

    By Rick Kraft

    Each one of us is a work of art. And we are ever changing works of art. As we journey through this thing called life, our artwork constantly changes along with the artwork of others around us.

    I was at a conference in Atlanta earlier this year and in between speakers they showed a very powerful video which helped me focus on what my life is all about.

  • Straight from the City: Working together to heal the Gallinas River

    What if I told you that there was a water storage and treatment system up in the Gallinas canyon? What if I told you it uses green technology to purify our water with zero consumption of fossil fuels?

    Such a treatment plant does exist. It’s called a healthy, natural river and its floodplain.

    All you have to do to recognize the treatment plant is to change your mental focus a little.

    Riffles in the stream? They’re aerators.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - Stories in small town newspapers say a lot

    Every weekend, I (or a proxy, if I want the weekend off) go through well over a dozen New Mexico newspapers and their websites in search of compelling stories to send out to subscribers of the Community News Exchange. This weekly column is part of this weekly news-sharing service.

    Sometimes I’m inspired to write this column about one of the stories I read; other times I’ve got something else on my mind. This week, I’ve been inspired by three local stories in particular: