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October 30, 2014

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

‘A walk back in time’

No cars. No TV. No radio. No internet. No landline phones. Just a little light at night and a little water in the shower. Furniture, decor and art from the 1920s. Wood frame buildings clinging to a cliff or squatting on the sand beside the ocean. Nothing newer than1938. An entire town built in the elbow of a gentle cove, then deserted, then re-inhabited as a state park.

The harmonies of our lives play out to the rhythms of crashing surf. The markers of our days are sunrise and sunset, waves and clouds by day, stars and a red, red moon by night...

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October 29, 2014

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Gay Finlayson Gay Finlayson

Lack of Mental Health Treatment, Facilities Has Consequences for Families like Mine

Several years ago, my teenage son, out of the blue, began exhibiting signs of mental illness.  It was a cruel twist that most families don’t expect, but what followed the diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, was the deepest cut of all. It was the Kafkaesque search for psychiatrists, and for treatment programs and facilities that would provide a sense of safety and a hope of recovery.

I called every psychiatrist in the phone book and couldn’t get him seen.  I called my friend Nancy Jo Archer, then director of Hogares. She got Neil an evaluation, a treatment plan, a community support worker, a therapist, and a psychiatrist all available through her agency. Both Neil and I felt hopeful. But then Neil lost his therapist when Hogares was taken over by an Arizona company in the summer of 2013...

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October 28, 2014

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Zach Hively Zach Hively

Halloween Hissssterics

Halloween centers around the ancient, solemn Celtic rite of taking candy from strangers. I spent Halloween in Ireland once and celebrated by getting too drunk to verify how they observe the holiday in the modern era. But in America, I know for a proven fact that the tradition had not changed in hundreds, or perhaps dozens, of years.

My parent’s generation brought Halloween to our shores in what historians refer to as “pilgrim times.” Abduction had yet to be perfected as an art form, which meant kids could go trick-or-treating after dark, with all the eggs their homemade costumes could carry. Meanwhile, their parents stayed home with the porch lights off, inventing the concept of “sexy Halloween costumes"...

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October 27, 2014

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Dede Feldman Dede Feldman

Playing the “Ground Game” in the North Valley

Tomas Serna was something of a regular.  The 89-year old North-Valley resident called candidates, elected officials, ward heelers, volunteers who happened to come to his door whenever he had a thought—a thought about his benefits, his transportation problem, his health, his expired driver’s license or his daughter who was “no damn good.” He still believed politicians were there to help.  As a result, his telephone number was on every call list, and his doorbell regularly rung by campaign volunteers.  Now, in 2013, he was on the list of seniors who needed a ride to the polls to vote early in the local election.  The low turnout elections could teeter on two or three votes so Tomas was in high demand when a perky field worker knocked on his door...

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October 26, 2014

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James Burbank James Burbank

What Really Counts?

Rumor has it that Gubernatorial candidate Gary King is traveling around the state on a listening tour, hunkering down in every little burg and hamlet to hear people bitch about their problems. Doesn’t he get it?

These little people with their little issues don’t count anymore. The good and kind folks with the money are the People now. That and the companies are also Human.

If you have fifteen billion dollars, you are a human being. If you don’t have a job, or you are a teacher, or make less than two hunderd thou a year, you are just another member of the hoy polloy, the great unwashed, the ignorant masses, the general public...

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October 21, 2014

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Zach Hively Zach Hively

Fool’s Gold: Medicine for Dummies

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the state of my prostate. The results are in. It turns out that I, despite all of my years spent eating Flintstones vitamins, am not a qualified health-care professional.

One concerned reader noted that a wellness checkup for men, an important component of keeping doctors in business, is not prostate cancer PREVENTION but rather prostate cancer DETECTION. I stand corrected, albeit a bit bowlegged after running myself through so many fruitless background checks. And my friend Andy, who is training to be a real doctor, wrote me to say that “as a medical semi-professional, I can say with confidence that you’re too young to need your prostate checked for anything other than recreational purposes”...

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October 19, 2014

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

“Greese” at the Albuquerque Little Theater

The year 1959 may have been the last cry of normal adolescence: the year before the ‘60s, John Kennedy’s election, the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the freedom rides, the sexual revolution, the pill, miniskirts, the Beatles, the drug revolution and the endless war in Vietnam.

When the Albuquerque Little Theater ’s current production of Grease burst upon the Duke City stage with gleeful songs, acrobatic dancing and fresh-faced actors, the nearly sold-out audience was filled with those who can recall that period of their own youth...

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October 18, 2014

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Morgan Smith Morgan Smith

Iguala

“I came home from work on April 3 and Alfredo was just gone,” Adrianna says. “His breakfast was on the table, nothing had been taken, not even his toothbrush.” They then tell me how they had gone to every town in the area, talking to police officials, checking jails and asking for Alfredo. I’m stunned because I thought that the wave of violence that swept through Palomas a few years earlier had disappeared. It sounds, however, that he and two cousins had been kidnapped and are now dead and buried somewhere out in the desert...

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October 18, 2014

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Breanna Ryan Breanna Ryan

New Mexico Solar Businesses Ready to Roll with Clean Power

Over the last several days, anger has spread over news that the country’s largest methane leak is located right here in New Mexico, near the Four Corners region, and is three times larger than originally reported. The methane leak is attributed to gas production in the area and for many New Mexicans, this dangerous human health and environmental hazard represents a wake-up call for new energy policies in our state. Lucky for us, we’re not starting from scratch to address the issue...

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October 15, 2014

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

“Oh, no, not again.”

My wife’s reaction was understandable. I hate giving bad news but sometimes you just have to face the miserable reality head on.

The miserable reality is that in recent days it has quietly developed that in two years the country will probably endure another Bush-Clinton shootout at the OK Corral.

With the exception of 2012, you have to go all the way back to 1976 to find a year in which a Bush or a Clinton (or both) wasn’t running for President...

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