Aug 7 - 13, 2008 

News Feature

“It’s Been a Long, Long Road”

A bill demanding equal insurance coverage for those with mental disorders stalls in the Senate

By Marisa Demarco

Coping with a serious mental health issue, says Victoria Cain, is expensive. "There are some years, I think back on our income taxes, it was again tens of thousands of dollars even with insurance."

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Answer Me This

By Simon McCormack

What percentage of New Mexico schools hit the mark this year? Police are looking for the _____ bandits. Who did Gov. Bill Richardson say he will lend a hand to? And which company's CEO is stepping down?

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Desi Brown and his swing dancing club have drummed up more than $51,000 for charities, peace organizations and local fundraisers.
Eric Williams

News Profile

Jitterbug for Justice

Dancer ignites interest in politics through swing

By Aeriel Emig

Dance and politics don't necessarily make a natural alliance. Yet Desi Brown managed to create a symbiotic relationship between the two, while remaining nonpartisan. “I’m amazed at how many people don’t question what they see in the news and why it happens," Brown says.

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Thin Line

By Marisa Demarco

Frozen Mid-Step

Is it really a free press when there are no guarantees for journalists protecting sources? Is it really free speech when there's no promise of safety for speaking out?

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Ortiz y Pino

Working Classroom

By Jerry Ortiz y Pino

A few years ago, I read Jonathan Kozol’s Amazing Grace. It’s a work about what makes some kids reared in desperate situations “resilient” while others in the same circumstances collapse. Even today, I find myself frequently using many of his insights when I try to make sense of what might be happening with our young people.

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Eric J. Garcia

The Radford Files

Survive an Alien Abduction

By Benjamin Radford

Thousands of people say they were abducted by aliens, and you might be worried you’ll be next. If you suddenly find yourself floating out your bedroom window toward a mother ship hovering somewhere over the South Valley, take the following steps. You should memorize this list; if you keep it by your bedside table, you will likely be paralyzed and unable to reach for it—or your glasses—as you are tractor-beamed toward the ET visitors.

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Eric J. Garcia

Odds & Ends

By Os Davis

DATELINE: New Zealand—As a sideline case to a custody battle, Judge Rob Murfitt ruled that the state would temporarily make a young girl a ward of the court so that she would be legally allowed to change her given name of Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii, according to the New Zealand Herald. Citing recent examples such as Midnight Chardonnay, Number 16 Bus Shelter and a pair of twins named Benson and Hedges, the judge’s decision stated in part that “Quite frequently judges in the family court are dismayed by the eccentricity of names which some litigants have given their children.” Though the girl had kept her given name mostly secret by introducing herself as “K.,” the decision ruled that “In all facets of life, a child bearing this name would be held up to ridicule and suspicion. ... It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap quite unnecessarily.” To protect her anonymity, the girl’s new name was not made public.

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Letter writer Gary O’Connell (right) with Don Schrader

Letters

The readers write.

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