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Columns

  • Yes, banana splits were less than a dime

    BY DAVID STEVENS

    Eastern New Mexico News

    CLOVIS — I collect historical tidbits that interest me from area newspapers. Here are a few from the first half of Septembers past:

    • Sept. 1, 1954: The Muletrain News was first broadcast from Muleshoe by Gil Lamb from the living room of his home at the corner of West Fourth and Avenue B. It aired remotely on Radio Station KICA out of Clovis until July 26, 1956, when KMUL went on the air.

    • Sept. 1, 1931: Portales schools were filled to capacity with the largest enrollment in their history — 1,364 students, a 13 percent increase from a year earlier. Officials estimated 200 to 300 more were expected in the next few days.

    • Sept. 2, 1910: C. S. Hart of Portales was shot in the arm, face and leg in a dispute over a $14 pasture rent. The injuries sustained from shotgun pellets did not appear life-threatening, but were described as painful. The shooter was described as a “mad man” from Bovina. If criminal charges were filed, they were not reported in the Roosevelt County Herald.

  • Medicare for all: Not a program -- it’s a slogan

    “Medicare for all” is not a program. It’s a slogan. We don’t know what it means until somebody defines it.

    By itself, it is not a solution to America’s health care needs. 

    Medicare for all was hotly debated during the recent Democratic presidential debate and will continue to be a major topic during the presidential primary season.

    New Mexicans may want to consider what the effect would be in our state, especially since more than half of our population is covered by Medicare or Medicaid or both.

    The version advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders, as expressed in legislation he has already introduced, would make medical care free to everybody and would add services not currently covered, such as dental and vision care.

    With this version, Americans would no longer pay insurance premiums but would pay for health care through taxes. 

  • Build a better business with relationships

    BY SANDY NELSON

    Finance New Mexico

    No one likes to feel hustled while shopping, whether it’s in a retail store or trade show booth. 

    To attract customers without brazen hawking or downright pushiness, businesses need to refine the art of the soft sell. That begins by making the store or trade show booth an intentional destination for people who are truly interested in what the business sells.

    Create relationships

    While any business would like to sell at least one product to every person who walks in the door, that’s the type of unrealistic goal that can turn sales reps into apex predators.

    A long-term perspective toward potential customers focuses on developing a relationship that lasts longer than one transaction. It lays a foundation through attraction rather than persuasion.

    A retailer might begin with an irresistible offer that draws customers into a store — say, 20 percent off on purchases over $100 or one-day-only sales on a hot-selling product.

  • Friends of Folklore: Route 66 alive with ghostly tales

    BY MATT WARD

    Columnist

    Last time, we talked about the ghosts of America’s main street.

    Everything from haunted hotels to eerie stretches of road, it seems spirits still travel across the states. But much more has happened on route 66. Stories of ghostly hitchhikers to UFOs to unexplainable phenomenon, route 66 might just be the most unnatural road in the world. One story comes to mind of a trucker driving from St. Louis to Texas.

    Well on the road in the middle of the day, the sky, which was sunny and cloudless, suddenly became dark and cloudy and green lightning erupted around him. In front of his car, a strange white light appeared and would not leave, causing particles of light to fly past him as though he was flying at lightspeed in a Star Wars movie. A

    nd then, at the speed of which it began, it vanished. What he thought was 15 minutes of this event turned out to be three hours. This brings us to the bizarre phenomenon of the stretching out or slowing down of time. Reports have come in of drivers experiencing timeslips, seemingly covering large distances within minutes. Whether it be trances, supernatural phenomenon, or even UFOs, hundreds of drivers have brought stories of timeslips, whether the slowing down of time or the speeding up of time, into the spotlight.

  • Assets in Action: Parents should let their kids be the adults they raised

    Last week, we had the opportunity to take part in wonderful event, the welcome orientation for New Mexico State University.

    Our youngest son graduated and is headed to NMSU. As a former Prevention Specialist, I had a slight issue with the school fight song. It includes the following line, “And when we win this game, we’ll buy a keg of booze, And we’ll drink it to the Aggies ‘til we wobble in our shoes!” 

    It was written by students and rumor has it that the school has attempted to change it several times to much uprising.

    What I can tell you is, I believe our child is in great hands there. It was a stellar event by students and staff, to reach parents and students on many levels. It was about the relationships created, the goal to reach the students and in turn teach them to reach out too. They even told the parents that their job was to stay engaged, encourage their students, and let them grow.

  • The ‘summer slide’ can be reversed for reading and math

    By LORETTA HALL

    Playground slides are designed for sliding down, but children inevitably try to climb up them. Students’ reading and math skills typically slide during the summer months, but there are ways to reverse that too.

    Research on the “summer slide” is a mixed bag, with different studies yielding different results. But there is strong evidence that learning at least slows during the summer and perhaps some of the learning gained in the previous school year is actually lost. Interestingly, the pattern seems to be the same for all students, regardless of their families’ economic status.

    This year, the state Public Education Department is offering an expanded opportunity to combat the summer slide. The K-5 Plus program provides funding for eligible elementary schools to offer 25 days of summertime instruction for students who choose to participate. This is an extension of the previous K-3 Plus program. 

  • Next year should be the year of higher education

    Rob Schwartz said he spent 40 years whining about how the University of New Mexico was run. As a new regent, the retired law professor has an opportunity to do something about it.

    The most important problem right now, he said, is a disheartened faculty beaten up by repeated rounds of budget cuts. 

    “They cut to the bone and they cut some more,” Schwartz told members of New Mexico Press Women recently. He referred to lawmakers and their desperate work to match spending to dwindling revenues in recent years.

    Faculty members couldn’t go to conferences or buy books or do many of the things that are a normal part of teaching. 

    “For a long time they thought they could tough it out, but now people don’t believe anything will get better,” he said. “This year after a 3 percent increase to faculty salaries, the university cut every single department by 1.5 percent. 

    “They can’t run their programs. The university is really standing on a precipice,” he said. He hopes oil and gas revenues will provide some relief.

  • Next year should be the year of higher education

    Rob Schwartz said he spent 40 years whining about how the University of New Mexico was run. As a new regent, the retired law professor has an opportunity to do something about it.

    The most important problem right now, he said, is a disheartened faculty beaten up by repeated rounds of budget cuts. 

    “They cut to the bone and they cut some more,” Schwartz told members of New Mexico Press Women recently. He referred to lawmakers and their desperate work to match spending to dwindling revenues in recent years.

    Faculty members couldn’t go to conferences or buy books or do many of the things that are a normal part of teaching. 

    “For a long time they thought they could tough it out, but now people don’t believe anything will get better,” he said. “This year after a 3 percent increase to faculty salaries, the university cut every single department by 1.5 percent. 

    “They can’t run their programs. The university is really standing on a precipice,” he said. He hopes oil and gas revenues will provide some relief.

  • Medical pot program expands with more changes to come

    When it comes to pain, there are two schools of thought: Suck it up or seek relief.

    The second school, seeking relief, is one driver in opioid addiction. Medical cannabis offers an avenue to both pain and opioid addiction.

    Last week, when the state Department of Health added opioid use disorder to the list of qualifying conditions to receive medical cannabis, it was less a sudden stroke of enlightenment and more a response to public outcry and building pressure that found its voice in a legislative task force.

    Expect more big changes.

    In 2018, the Legislature created a task force to look into issues of supply and demand in the medical cannabis program and make recommendations. The task force found that the state’s artificial limits on all aspects of the program denied relief to some patients, increased costs, and depressed supply. 

  • Medical pot program expands with more changes to come

    When it comes to pain, there are two schools of thought: Suck it up or seek relief.

    The second school, seeking relief, is one driver in opioid addiction. Medical cannabis offers an avenue to both pain and opioid addiction.

    Last week, when the state Department of Health added opioid use disorder to the list of qualifying conditions to receive medical cannabis, it was less a sudden stroke of enlightenment and more a response to public outcry and building pressure that found its voice in a legislative task force.

    Expect more big changes.

    In 2018, the Legislature created a task force to look into issues of supply and demand in the medical cannabis program and make recommendations. The task force found that the state’s artificial limits on all aspects of the program denied relief to some patients, increased costs, and depressed supply.