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Columns

  • Thumbs: Our high-country lowdown on the news, March 9, 2018

    THUMBS DOWN: LET THE BRACKETS BE
    One of the troubles with having a seeded state basketball tournament is that it leads to complaining from adults and kids alike about the process — especially if one seed makes the difference in a road trip spanning hundreds of miles.
    These complaints — whether voiced at games, to Optic staff or on social media, are often overheard by players and coaches.

  • Three months into newspaper ownership

    Three months ago, I bought a newspaper, The Guadalupe County Communicator. I knew, or should have known, what I was getting into.

    It’s a different experience, owning the whole outfit. For about 10 years, I ran newspapers for a big corporate owner, so I already had a pretty good idea what it takes to run a paper. But being the bona-fide, local owner is a whole other experience, as the almighty buck is now permanently affixed to my desk, which I bought along with the paper.

  • We kind of like to help people

    “Gee, Dad, I wonder if maybe I could kind of like borrow the car tonight. Some of the guys are planning an all-night study session for finals.”

    That sounds and reads like a timid request for access to the wheels. It’s kind of like the request some pimple-faced teen might make.

  • The work done by EPA, NMED is essential

    By Rock G. Ulibarri

    New rollbacks of state and federal environmental regulations pose significant threats to New Mexicans’ public health and economy, including our clean water.

    These new risks come at a time when dollars and staff for the federal Environmental Protection Agency are falling and when the dollars for New Mexico’s Environment Department have been slashed.

  • Yes, the legislature’s retirement plan is unique

    I want to take a moment to clear up a few issues concerning New Mexico’s legislative retirement plan. Our retirement plan is unique because New Mexico is unique.

    We are a citizen legislature — the only one in the nation that does not pay members some kind of salary.

    New Mexico legislators spend days and weeks away from their families, loved ones and jobs during legislative sessions and during the interim.

  • Reliving a first job — four decades later

    A lot can change in 43 years. Doors I walked out of when I was sixteen looking forward to a full life ahead I walked back into for the first time again at 59 looking backwards at a long life behind me.

    Do you remember your first real job? I say “real” job because I am not talking about when you were 13, mowing yards or babysitting for a family friend. I am talking about working for an hourly rate where you have to keep records on your time maybe even by “punching a time clock.”

  • Thumbs: Our high country lowdown on the news, March 2, 2018

    THUMBS DOWN: SINGLE-SPACE, PASTABLE TEXT

  • Shake off winter and plan to explore the state

    SANTA ROSA — Maybe it's cabin fever, the kind that hits in the dead of winter. Or perhaps it was the brisk morning walk I took alongside some summertime soon-to-be tourist attractions here in the City of Natural Lakes. Or, maybe I'm just not in the mood to tackle anything too serious today.

    Whatever the reason, my attention now turns to the upcoming spring and summer, when most of this state really shows itself off.

  • And what about my mudda?

    NEW YORK CITY ­— about the only time I see so many people behind the wheel is during Las Vegas’ own rush-minute, which begins twice daily around Mills and Seventh.

    Well, that may be a slight exaggeration — especially after six of us tried, on foot, to cross some of the thoroughfares of New York City last week, to meet our Danish tribe Stan, Lisbeth, Ellen and June Bug, who crossed the Atlantic to meet Bonnie and me, who flew to the Big Apple for the first time.

  • We must care for the elderly

    Community newspapers get to know about the elderly in all sorts of ways.

    We hear stories about a favorite grandparent. We have older people come into the office and relating a revealing story. We run obituaries about those who’ve recently passed away after living a long life.

    We learn a great deal about the caring people in someone’s life when we see how those persons were living at the end of their time on earth. Frankly, the impressions are discouraging.