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Columns

  • 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. 

  • The New Mexico Legislature is broken

    By Vernon Kerr

    We, the sap citizens, have been scammed. Will Harrison, a columnist in the past (1970s), always referred to us as sap citizens and showed where we had been taken by the state government.

    I recall the many times he found out our shortcomings, but the one we are now experiencing is the slickest of them all. In the 2019 legislature, Senate Bill 489, the Energy Transition Act, was touted as a great victory for the environmentalists as a way to control “climate change”. A misnomer if there ever was one as it is applied as an environmental problem. Climate has been changing for millions and billions of years and has never been controlled by man. 

    Why do the Democrat progressives think they have the supernatural power of God and that “their” legislation can alter the nature of the climate. They worry that carbon dioxide injected into the atmosphere will accumulate and act as a blanket on the earth that will boost temperatures and fry us. 

  • Assets in Action: It’s summertime. Let’s get reading!

    Welcome to summer! It doesn’t matter what the date is on the calendar, school is out, so let’s get reading!

    One of the greatest memories as a child, was going to the library. We were poor, so there wasn’t summer camps, classes or an annual family trip. The library offered a bunch of mini adventures, that you got to take home. 

    I remember moving to Los Alamos and trying to pay a fine when my books were late. The librarian told me that there was no fine for being late. My mouth was agog! No penalty, isn’t that grand? I can also recall some robot, I believed the library staff called Harry, that would call you when you were late with books. I loved it, but I think he scared people, and they took him off the reminder call.

    Reading is so important for all people, from infants to senior citizens. It’s good for your brain, good for relaxation, well perhaps depending on what you are reading. It’s also way better than television, at least some of the time. It is also very important to help kids with retention during the summer, so they don’t miss a beat when school returns.