Las Cruces publications are labors of love


On Dec. 31, we distributed our 2022 edition of “Bulletin’s Best of the Mesilla Valley.” A few days before that, we uploaded to our website, the 2022 edition of the Visitor & Community Guide: Life is Good in Las Cruces. The printed version of Life is Good will be hitting the streets this week. Also this week, we’re uploading the annual Southwest New Mexico Legislative Guide to our website. The printed version of that will follow once the legislative session opens in late January.

Our Legislative Guide always serves as a great resource and tool for New Mexicans interested in the state Legislature. Our goal is to introduce, or re-introduce, the legislators who represent the areas in southwest New Mexico to their constituents.

We always appreciate the state representatives and senators. They take time from their schedules, which include in most cases, a full-time job and several other duties in addition to their roles as legislators. Remember, New Mexico is the only state in America where legislators are unpaid for their role as lawmakers.

It’s also good to get to know them. Our reporter Mike Cook does many of the legislator interviews. Reporter Elva Osterreich does several others, and I pitch in as needed.

In our experiences talking with our legislators for this publication, in formal or informal settings in their districts, in Santa Fe and around the state, they are genuinely earnest about the work they do. They genuinely care about the people in their districts. I often disagree with their positions, but I appreciate the work and research they do when coming to those positions.

Every legislator’s district has Republicans, Democrats, independents, members of smaller parties and non-voters. Because of that, legislators will never please everyone. They know this going in, which illustrates the difficulty of their work.

For those of you interested in government, we predict you’ll find our guide useful during the upcoming legislative session and throughout the year. This year being an election year, all of our state representative positions will be open again.

The Visitor & Community Guide: Life is Good in Las Cruces, is a joint project between us and Visit Las Cruces. As I wrote in the introduction to that publication, “whether you’re planning to move to Las Cruces, are just visiting, or have lived here your whole life, you’ll find many reasons in this magazine to convince you that, yes, Life is Good in Las Cruces.”

This year’s publication has a lot of great photos from Norm Detlaff, a longtime Las Cruces photographer who joined Visit Las Cruces after a decade working with the Las Cruces Police Department. Dan Trujillo, Rochelle Miller Hernandez and others at Visit Las Cruces also provided key contributions to the magazine.

All of these products always require a big effort from all of our team here at the Bulletin, and I’d like to recognize and thank the team by name. Our news team that puts together the articles, headlines and many of the photos, but also edits and proofreads everything, includes the aforementioned Cook and Osterreich, as well as news editor Dave Burge. Doing yeoman’s work on the design of the publications is the talented and super-steady Albert Vasquez. Advertising is the engine that makes it go, and our sales team consists of manager Jamila Khalil, longtime marketing consultant Claire Frohs and newcomers Amelia Ontiveros and Kassidy Schmidt. Administrative assistant Maggie Adams is a jill of all trades, handling a number of duties and pitched in with an article in Life is Good. And, of course, none of these products can make it into your hands without the efforts of Circulation Manager Teresa Tolonen, her assistant Becky Jimenez and a great team of distributors.

While we’ve done the legislative guide and community guide for more than a dozen years each, we’ve only done Bulletin’s Best for two years. It has already become very popular.

Everyone has a different Bulletin’s Best list, but also, everyone in Las Cruces can agree with many of the winners in the contest.

For example, here’s a composite of a day I’ve had many times in the last 15 years in Las Cruces, using only winners in this year’s Bulletin’s Best.

I attended Mass at my church, St. Albert the Great (Best Church, second place), then took my daughter to breakfast at La Nueva Casita Café (Best Mexican Restaurant, second place). Later, I went to the ATM at my bank since 1995, Pioneer Bank (Best Bank, runner-up), picked up my tickets for the upcoming Aggie men’s basketball game (Best Local Sports Team, winner), then perused the sports, history and literature sections at one of my favorite haunts, COAS Books (Best Bookstore, winner). Later some friends and I drove to Hatch for burgers at Sparky’s (Best Green Chile Cheeseburger, winner). Then we came back to Mesilla for a glass at La Posta de Mesilla (Best Tequila Selection, winner), then a nightcap at El Patio (Best Dive Bar, second place) and listened to Nosotros (Best Spanish Band, winner).

You can create your own adventures, experiences and habits based on the information of any or all of these three publications. We thank our readers and advertisers for making them all happen.

Richard Coltharp