• Dispatch New Mexico- Behavioral health story gets new legs

    Attorney General Hector Balderas recently announced that he had cleared 10 providers of behavioral health care services of any criminal wrongdoing. Both politically and legally, this latest announcement gives new legs to an issue that took root more than two years ago and shows no signs of going away anytime soon.

  • Work of Art: Those guys on Tough Street ...

    The number is 732 and counting. That’s how many installments of Work of Art have appeared in the Optic since 2003. I plan to make it to 1,000. And I’ve never missed a week, even when traveling with family to far-off places like Denmark, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Hungary and Tecolote.

    “Don’t you ever run out of ideas?” some people ask. Well, yes, and many a Monday night and early Tuesday morning I’ve paced the floor, trying to conjure up a topic. It usually works.

  • Another Perspective: Campos fix would help teachers

    The test-based focus of House Bill 2, the “budget bill,” must be ended.

    Students are at the center of our existence at the National Education Association — New Mexico. Student success is best supported when every student has a high-quality professional education team there for them. House Bill 2 as sent by the House to the Senate moves our state in the wrong direction.

  • Palabras Pinturescas: Winter brings 86 inches of snow­—and counting

    As I write this, very early in February, the weather forecast  was for snow showers in the mountains. It is snowing so hard I can barely make out the small cabin south of my picture window. This Gascon weather station has had 86 inches of snow so far this winter. The high mountain tops have had at least twice that amount so hopefully we will have fast running streams this summer.

  • Dispatch New Mexico- Could Marco Rubio win NM

    We’re four months away from the primary elections in New Mexico — a lifetime in the world of politics.

    By the time New Mexicans get to vote for their choice in the already-dwindling field of candidates for president, the races will probably be down to two clear frontrunners in the Democratic and Republican parties. Chances are, they’ll already have the delegate counts they need to win their respective nominations, so this state’s primaries votes for president will be moot.

  • Work of Art: And as for you . . .

    My son, a resident of Copenhagen, Denmark, for several years, often finds time to skim American-English newspapers, excerpts of which he forwards to me and to Facebook friends on this side of the Atlantic.

    Has Adam picked up an affliction from his dad? I thought I was the only one in the family to sit mesmerized after observing something that’s strangely worded.

  • Another Perspective: House proposes responsible budget

    The recent drop in oil prices has put a strain on state budgets across the Western United States. While other states are implementing massive budget cuts or considering tax increases to meet their obligations, the House Appropriations and Finance Committee has developed a responsible budget that meets the state’s critical needs without raising taxes or draining our state’s reserves.

  • Just a Thought: We found love right where we are

    “I MADE A WISH AND YOU CAME TRUE!” So said the sign on the shelf at the novelty shop we visited on a recent vacation. My mind immediately thought of my bride of 31 years, Tanya, across the store from me.  I am so blessed this Valentine season.

    Can you say the words “I am in love?”  Spoken by an infatuated 16-year-old these words mean something different than they do when spoken by a 60-year-old after 40 years of marriage. Nevertheless, they are powerful words.

  • Palabras Pinturescas: H.U. fraternities, sororities added life and fun to campus

    I just read Art Trujillo’s Column where he asks if anybody remembers Jan Black, the Highlands University candidate for homecoming queen, way back in 1953. I  know this dates me, but I knew her. I was a senior at Highlands in 1954 when Jan entered the freshman class there.

    I have to begin with a bit of history from that era. Senior girls lived upstairs in the West Wing of Kennedy Hall. Freshmen lived across the way in the east wing.

  • Dispatch New Mexico- The latest ethics commission push

    Perhaps this will be the year when we actually get some decent ethical standards in place for state officials.

    It’s a long-running issue that seems to resurface every time someone gets in trouble, but for various political and provincial reasons, nothing ever gets through the state legislature. This year, however, one proposal might actually make it in front of New Mexico’s voters.