• Just a thought: Will there be a day when I won’t give a darn?

    Recently at a wedding, my wife Tanya and I ran into an 80-plus year old man whom we hadn’t seen in several years. He was seated at a table. Standing up was a chore for him. Excited to see him, I stepped closer, leaned forward, and shook his hand. My wife stepped next to him to give him a hug. But a hug wasn’t good enough for him. He looked into her eyes and said, “Give me a kiss-on the lips!”

  • Another Perspective: Public safety is a priority this legislative session

    The fundamental duty of government — local, state or federal — is to protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens. To protect these rights, governments have an obligation to ensure our communities are safe for us to live, work and raise our families.

    Recently, we have heard report after report of violent crimes being committed by offenders who have turned the criminal justice system into a revolving carousel. As chair of the House Judiciary Committee and a practicing attorney, I am alarmed by a common theme connecting many recent tragedies.

  • Palabras Pinturescas: Once robust, Watrous now a living ghost town

    I continue to be fascinated by the history of the big county I grew up in— Mora County, just north of San Miguel County.

    My birthplace and home was Valmora, the tuberculosis sanatorium just down the Mora river from the town of Watrous.

    Watrous was the hub of that area and the place where sweet Brother Bill and I caught the school bus for Vegas and high school. Our parents had many friends in Watrous and my doctor father had many patients there as well.

  • Dispatch New Mexico- Being Politically Correct Isn't Easy

    It may not be wise, but let’s talk about political correctness.

    Actually, it’s politically smart to bring up PC these days. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and others have been openly critical of language that seeks to sanitize modern America, and a lot of Republican voters love them for it.

    Conservatives see PC all over the place these days, and they’re thrilled when someone takes it on.

  • A work of Art:Riding double hoss power

    He may not remember it, but to me the event is quite clear. Well maybe not that clear, perhaps a bit fuzzy, as clarity and fuzziness are what inspired this topic.

  • Another Perspective: The main thing

    For the past several years, as the holidays draw near and the legislative session looms just beyond them, I have written an article outlining the challenges facing New Mexico and trying to map out solutions to them. This year feels different.

  • Just a Thought - Being known as a drum major for justice

    Behind my desk at home is a print of a man standing in front of a desk with his arms crossed. I’ll come back to him. On the wall behind the man is a portrait of another man. The portrait of the man on the wall is Mahatma Gandhi, a major political and spiritual leader during India’s independence movement through nonviolent civil disobedience from 1916 to 1945.

  • Palabras Pinturescas: Geology of Las Vegas Region book filled with photographs

    I start this word pictures column with a sad note. My family and I send our heartfelt condolences to Art Trujillo and all of the Trujillo family on the death of their brother Severino. There is such a special sadness in all of our hearts when we lose a brother. I know this first hand, and although I knew Sweet Brother Bill was very ill, I will never forget that phone call saying he was finally telling jokes and teasing the angels in heaven. Vaya con Dios says it so well.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - Another legislative session appearing around the bend

    So here we are, at the onset of another legislative session. It’s one of the short ones, 30 days, and it’s at the front end of an election year, so it probably won’t be an overly productive one.

    Sure, a budget will be passed, since that’s essentially required by state law. But I’m not optimistic much of anything else will get done in the upcoming session.

  • Work of Art: Ah, me oh mayo

    It’s interesting how quickly and easily an item on Facebook can make its way into the pages of a newspaper such as the Optic.

    Feeling ornery last week, I posted a note on the Internet disclaiming any love for mayonnaise.

    Yes, I enjoy some of the jokes about that creamy, tasteless stuff that some people call food. I like the one about how the largest shipment of Hellman’s mayonnaise was loaded on to Titanic, back in 1912. It was headed for Mexico, where its residents love that squishy stuff.