• Lawmaker’s Perspective: Hard truths demand that we set aside political differences

    New Mexico faces an economic crisis — not a budget crisis — that can be solved, but not easily, quickly or cheaply.

    We have not recovered from the Great Recession of 2008. Wages are up slightly in New Mexico, even considering inflation, but the number of jobs is well below pre-recession levels, and the state’s population is essentially unchanged since 2010, as people in their 20s and 30s move to other states in search of work. This is all reflected in the state’s budget, which is, as expected, about the same as it was in 2008.

  • Palabras Pintorescas: Family became ‘squeaky clean’ due to sudden rain, hail storm

    That old phrase “time flies when you are having fun” surely applies to me and to the events at this old ranch. I must start with the weather. July has been a very wet month here. That translates to fields full of flowers, almost no fire danger in our forests and bountiful hay crops this year. Yes, our big watersheds need all the moisture they can get.

  • Dispatch New Mexico: The better side of humanity shines through at Olympics

    If ever there’s an event that makes the world seem small, it’s the Summer Olympics. This week it kicks off in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro with more than 10,000 athletes from around the world who will compete in 28 different sports and 306 events.

    According to the Albuquerque Journal, 11 of these athletes have ties to New Mexico, though not all are on Team USA. Competing for other countries and their teams are:

  • Work of Art: New-fangled car fails

    The Entire History of Automobiles in Western Civilization probably could have been based on and written in the Trujillo household where I grew up, on Railroad Avenue, or what we called Tough Street.

    It’s not that we had an abundance of cars (Dad bought the first one, a 1942 Plymouth in the early ‘50s).

    It’s not that we possessed great knowledge of cars (when the dial pointed to empty, we surmised it was time for a fill-up or a ring job, an expensive procedure at the time and a word foreign to my grandkids.

  • Another Perspective: College affordability: The great debate

    Affordability. In my mind, it’s the most important issue facing public higher education today.

    When I first went to college, support for public higher education was not mandated in the state budget, it was just assumed that it would be. In good years and bad, elected officials somehow found a way to make certain that a public higher education was highly accessible and affordable to me and thousands of other middle-class and poor students.

  • Just a Thought: The priceless value of a dining room table

    Mother Teresa said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

    The most important piece of furniture in a family’s home is the dining room table ... period. My dining room table needs to be replaced. It is over 30 years old, but it has served its purpose. More on this later ...

  • Palabras Pinturescas: Valmora survived because people cooperated

    Just about the time I think I’ve finally browsed through yet another box of books and “stuff” that has been stored here for a very long time, another box suddenly appears. I never know what treasures I might find tucked into these long-stored books. Here is yet another fun discovery, read for my family, much to my surprise.

  • Dispatch New Mexico: The echo chambers of modern America

    Maybe it began with the rise of Fox News. There, conservative people found a different spin on the news, more suitable to their tastes and opinions.

    \Or perhaps it was the rise of Rush Limbaugh, whose conservative rants were full of arrogance and hyperbole — a welcome relief from the liberal spinsters who monopolized the media.

  • A work of Art:Plagiarism now a household word

    Oh, I pity today’s comma chasers. But first, let’s make one thing clear. The term comma chaser doesn’t refer solely to that tiny punctuation mark but is a generic term for editors and teachers, and even parents who take the time to look over their kids’ homework.

    And while on this subject, let me stress that every person who checks submitted work for spelling, punctuation (not just commas), apostrophes (especially) and content already has a place reserved in the Great Hereafter.

  • Just a Thought: Everything rises and falls on leadership

    One of my mentors is author and pastor John Maxwell. I have listened to hundreds and hundreds of talks by him as well as many of his books on CDs.  

    His wisdom has helped equip me to teach leadership to others. I had the opportunity to meet him once at a book signing after he spoke in Atlanta.

     He has been named a bestselling author by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week. In 2014 he was named the No. 1 leadership and management expert in the world by Inc. Magazine. He has authored over 50 books.