Editor,
As a New Mexican, I am concerned by the rapidly growing public health crisis of Alzheimer’s disease.
There are 5.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's — by 2050, it could reach 16 million. They are cared for by 15 million unpaid family caregivers.
In New Mexico 38,000 citizens live with Alzheimer's (expected to reach 53,000 by 2025) and they are cared for by 106,000 unpaid caregivers.

I am a volunteer advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association, N.M. Chapter, because I believe that this disease affects us all.


Editor,

Students Contemplating UNM Law School Should Be Leery of the UBE.

In February 2015, the New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners (BBE), without apparent authorization at the time, instituted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), nationalized, standardized bar exam questions pushed by a Wisconsin corporation, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). Reflecting a national trend, post-UBE test results have been devastating on test-takers in New Mexico. Pass rates plummeting 30 percent for UNM law school graduates post-UBE prompted the UNM Law School Deans to state, "The low passage rate is related to the adoption of the UBE..."

Editor,

On May 31, a panel of three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the second Circuit upheld the conviction and sentence of American political prisoner Ross Ulbricht.

It's been two years since I last devoted a column to Ulbricht's plight, so a refresher seems in order:

After a show trial so obviously fixed in advance that Stalin's pet prosecutor, Andrey Vyshinsky, would have blushed with embarrassment to participate in it, Judge Katherine Forrest sentenced Ulbricht to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the crime of running a website. Yes, really.

Editor,

Dr. David Shulkin, Secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, recently talked at a news conference about the challenges facing the VA. He spoke about such important issues as access to care, accountability and the quality of care. Now I would like to tell you about what is happening within the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System (NMVAHCS) and what we are doing to improve health care services for our Veterans.

Since I arrived in Albuquerque in December 2014, I have made it a point to travel to every area where we serve Veterans with a community-based outpatient clinic and listen to their concerns, ideas and often praises about their VA care. Near the top of our Veterans' issue list at every town hall has been patient appointment wait times. We take those concerns to heart and have made significant... 


Column: Why it's ok to have a meltdown in college

If you thought high school had it’s rough patches, well I’m sorry folks, but you are in for a major realization. College is hard.

All cards out on the table, college can kick your butt.

You’re probably living on your own now, you have to feed yourself three meals a day, wake up on your own, manage your time by yourself and worst of all, Mom isn’t there to make mac and cheese when you mess up.

Chances are, you will have several meltdowns, possibly within your first semester. What they aren’t going to teach you in school, kiddos, is that it’s okay to cry, to freak out (just keep it to a minimum).

Column: Five Things I wish I knew as a Freshman

From a new living space to different instructors to interacting with peers, adapting to your first year of college can be difficult, but here are a few tips on how to academically succeed, take care of yourself and make some great memories along the way.

1.

Freshmen Issue: Things to bring when moving into college

Most students would agree that going away to college is one of the most exciting things to happen to them so far. Okay, maybe it isn’t going to college that is exciting, rather getting out from under your parents noses.

As August approaches and you are beginning to pack up your room of childhood memories, remember this — you do not need to bring every little thing that holds a memory; there is not enough space in your dorm room, tiny apartment or, if you’re lucky, low-rent house. Also consider the fact that you will most likely be living with at least one roommate, and if you both empty out your rooms at home, there won’t be any space to move, eat, sleep or study.

Here is a go-to packing guide that will prevent you from hauling things back to Mom’s house every weekend and help keep the sense of newfound freedom to do-what-you-want-with your-own-space from taking over.

Letter: Take time for Mom

Editor,

I wish I had my mother this Mother's Day, actually every day. How sweet it would be to talk to her on the telephone and talk about the weather, family and friends and hear about what she was doing. How better yet it would be if life was such that I could take her to G.C. Murphy's snack bar and buy her a hotdog. Dad and mom gave me $5 and bought me a bicycle if I agreed to have my tonsils removed when I was about seven years old.

When dad gave me the $5, I wanted to pay for our lunch, which consisted of hotdogs and Cokes at the old soda fountain bar in the now defunct G.C. Murphy's store in downtown Paintsville, Kentucky. It was the most money I had owned in my life, and it felt good to treat mom and dad.

Letter: Reconsider decision to cut the UNM ski team

Editor,

Athletic programs are a source of pride for any strong university, and for the University of New Mexico, college sports provide a valuable activity and recruiting tool, an engagement point for students and a key cultural identity for the University.

As the president of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and a collegiate All American skier myself, I've felt a very heavy heart recently in following the abrupt dismissal of the UNM Lobos Ski Team, one of the really important programs in NCAA skiing. My sadness is not just for the student athletes who have had their program disrupted, but also for the University which stands to lose a vital cultural program and one that typifies all that should be positive about collegiate athletic programs.

Letter: Trump is right, "shutdowns" are good for America

If he's remembered for nothing else, Donald Trump will go down in history as the first president to think out his policies in public, 140 characters at a time.

That may not be a bad thing.

In fact, I think we should strongly consider a constitutional amendment limiting Congress to 140 characters per law. Hold that thought...

"Our country needs a good 'shutdown' in September to fix mess!" the Donald suggested in a tweet on May 2, in a fit of pique over the U.S. Senate's 60-vote cloture requirement. That requirement forced Republicans to negotiate with Democrats over a stopgap spending bill, in turn requiring Trump to give up on some of his policy goals for the short term to avoid the dreaded "shutdown."

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