• Don’t lower standards

    A state representative from Albuquerque has pre-filed a bill that would make it easier for high school students to graduate from high school, a move that we believe undermines attempts to reform our state’s struggling education system.

  • Thorough probe needed

    There’s no denying that the signs of abuse and neglect were there long before 9-year-old Omaree Varela of Albuquerque died, allegedly at the hands of his mother.

    The boy was kicked to death on Dec. 27, and police have arrested 38-year-old Synthia Varela-Casaus on a charge of child abuse resulting in death.

    The tragic death has raised questions about whether authorities — specifically police, the Albuquerque district attorney’s office and state Children, Youth and Families Department caseworkers — dropped the ball.

  • Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - Jan. 10, 2014

    City police dispatchers received 10 different calls early Saturday morning from people reporting gunshots throughout the city. City police were able to get to the area where it was happening in time to arrest two men in a maroon truck that matched the description given to one of the officers by a witness. One of those bullets could have easily hit and killed an unsuspecting bystander.


  • Wrong-way drivers

    Who can forget the Nov. 11, 2006, Interstate 25 crash in which wrong-way driver Dana Papst plowed head-on with a minivan carrying a Las Vegas family?

    Killed in that horrific crash just east of Santa Fe were Paul Gonzales, 36, his wife, Renee Collins Gonzales, 39, along with their daughters Jacquelynn Renee Gonzales, 11, and Selena Gonzales, 10, and Paul Gonzales’ 17-year-old stepdaughter Alisha Rae Garcia.

  • Fix the lottery scholarship

    When the state Legislature convenes on Jan. 21 one of its top priorities should be an emergency appropriation to the lottery scholarship fund to prevent disruptive scholarship cuts during the spring semester.

    Thousands of New Mexico college and university students and their families rely on lottery scholarships. Among the beneficiaries are New Mexico natives attending Luna Community College and Highlands University.

  • Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - Jan. 3, 2014


  • Saving the Organ Mountains

    I have been to many national parks in the United States and have seen the wildlife and beautiful landscapes they offer.

    If it weren’t for these places, many plant and animal species would be endangered. For instance, the existence of Yellowstone National Park saves wolves, which then protects the circle of life in the park by keeping down elk and deer which threaten aspen trees.

  • Target licenses

    A Rio Rancho lawmaker wants to change state law so that students who are habitually cutting class could lose their driver’s licenses.

    The Albuquerque Journal reported Monday that State Sen. Craig Brandt has already filed a bill in advance of the legislative session that begins Jan. 21.

    Brandt told the newspaper he believes it’s time to hold teens who habitually play hookey responsible for their actions, saying, “They hold dear their driver’s license. Driving is a privilege, not a right. Being able to lose that privilege is huge.”

  • Let’s choose transparency

    If you’ve been keeping up with the issues that are likely to come up when the Legislature convenes in a few weeks, then you might have heard about a proposal to keep the names of applicants for key local government jobs secret.

    The New Mexico Municipal League approved a resolution in August, supporting such a change in state law.

  • Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - Dec. 27, 2013

    There’s been no shortage of generosity this holiday season. Las Vegas police went door to door delivering toys and food baskets in several neighborhoods last week. Los Hermanos Motorcycle Club distributed countless toys to children on its own. The Rough Rider Motorcycle Rally Association also bought clothing and toys for needy children this year. And that’s just scratching the surface. We’re lucky to live in a community where people care about one another.