• Work of Art: Having pie on Pi Day

    My friend, Bruce Wertz, often reminds me of the Frank Sinatra song (or movie), “A pocketful of miracles,” but in Bruce’s case it’s “A pocketful of trivia.”

    Yes, after church, during treat time, he’ll hand me a soon-to-be raisin and ask why John Steinbeck would have anything to do with it. Before I attempt an answer, he blurts out, “It’s a Grape of Wrath.”

  • Dispatch New Mexico - Revitalizing small towns requires change

    There’s a man running around the county talking about small towns and whether or not they have a future. Earlier this month, he visited Raton.

    Given the topic, I’ll bet he gets a lot of speaking engagements. Raton is just one of thousands of small towns that are struggling, as urbanization builds up the cities and decimates rural communities everywhere.

    His name is David J. Ivan, he hails from Michigan and he’s been studying the plight of small towns for years now.

  • Another perspective - Sunshine lights the way for good government

    By Gregory P. Williams

    Sunshine Week is March 15-21, 2015. This national initiative is designed to bring better awareness to the importance of open government. Here at home, the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government  is also celebrating its 25th anniversary as the only organization in our state solely dedicated to protecting your right to know. Our mission is to make sure that our public officials comply with our state’s sunshine laws ­— the Inspection of Public Records Act and the Open Meetings Act.

  • Another perspective - Griego explains his resignation

    Editor’s note: The following statement was prepared by Phil Griego the day he resigned his Senate seat.

    By Phil Griego

    I have informed my colleagues in the New Mexico Senate that, effective today, I am resigning my elected position as state senator in District 39.

    It is not something I ever anticipated — even 24 hours ago — and it is a painful decision.

  • Another perspective - Legislative budget is sound, responsible

    The $6.2 billion state budget approved by the Legislature is a responsible spending plan that emphasizes the need for quality education, child well-being and safety and public safety, even in the face of flat state revenue.

  • Work of Art: Honor code among players

    One gets cabin fever. It was easy to be stricken by that affliction during last week’s frigid days of winter.

    Outside of the Optic, stalactites and stalagmites grew to about 12 feet. I craved air and sunshine, which I received with a quick walk around nearby Lincoln Park.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - What makes community headlines

    One of my old journalism school textbooks lays out seven “elements of news” that are worth reviewing from time to time.

    They are: timeliness, conflict, human interest, impact, prominence, proximity and unusualness — news elements that help newspaper editors decide what’s news and what’s not, and what should go on the front page or inside.

  • Another perspective - Remove ‘merit pay’ for few, give raise to all school employees

    By Betty Patterson

    Amidst hollow proclamations of moving New Mexico education forward, the New Mexico House of Representatives sent to the Senate a budget for the coming year that provides absolutely no raise for the vast majority of teachers and absolutely nothing for all the other people who help local New Mexico students be prepared for a day of learning every day.  

  • Another perspective - Compacts, new racetrack for northeast NM good for all

    Responsible gaming, whether at a tribal casino or a horse racetrack, is an attractive economic development tool for New Mexico, attracting tourists, contributing to our unique culture and generating jobs and revenue for public education and other critical state services.

    Quick approval of new tribal gaming agreements and of a horse racetrack in northeastern New Mexico will help continue our economic momentum.

  • Another perspective - We must improve foster care system

    By Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino and Sen. Steven Neville

    Among government’s critical responsibilities is protecting children from abuse and neglect.

    Our goal in this legislative session is to improve the foster care system for children placed in the state’s custody because their parents are unable or unwilling to care for them.