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Today's Features

  • Cancer survivor Lisa Briggs-Valdez said she is lucky, because there are many people who lost their battle with the disease.

    “There are many that are still struggling, many that have fought and won and will fight for the rest of their lives. Everybody knows a family member or friend, because cancer knows no boundaries, no class, or race, nothing,” Briggs-Valdez said. “I know many people that have fought and won, and some who lost the fight.”  

  • Dozens of cars followed a West Las Vegas bus through town Monday evening, honking and cheering for a successful middle school club.

    West Las Vegas Middle School Business Professionals of America sponsor Brian Gurulé and his young team of champions stepped off the bus to a large crowd, who had caravaned from the Interstate 25 exit through town, led by police cars with sirens and lights blaring in honor of the two national titles they were bringing home.

  • The doorway seemed an odd shape, but once inside, everything was conventional — sort of.

    Ignacio “Nash” Lucero, Las Vegan, contractor, builder, broker, home inspector, looks like a regular guy, but is far from it.

        Get this — Nash’s first “job” at the age of 6 was building a porch. Today, 85 on June 14, he’s still building, but much more than porches. Give him that hammer, some nails, a rough idea of what you have in mind, and he’ll build it, or tear it down, if that’s what you want.

  • If you happen to be a music fanatic like I am,  you probably have noticed that there are many different genres of music, ranging from soul and blues to the darkest and heaviest heavy metal. I like many different kinds of music but I draw the line at pop. (I have an exception for Pop because there are only a few singers that I like.)

    I am a huge fan of rock. It can be the oldies but goodies or the new rock that is coming out. Every band that is out there sounds different and the music is real.

  • ‘Carthago delenda est!” cried Cato the Elder, “Carthage must be destroyed!”

    And so the Romans did, reportedly by leveling the city, selling its surviving citizens into slavery, and then sowing the land with salt.

    The Spanish adopted a similar practice. When a landowner was convicted of treason, salt was poured upon their lands, spelling death not only for the resident plants, but also humans, and any animals, birds and insects that depended on those lands for their habitat.

  •  Residents of New Mexico will celebrate Arbor Day 2009 on March 13. While National Arbor Day is held on the last Friday in April, New Mexico, similar to several other states, observes the holiday at a time best suited for tree planting.

    The Arbor Day Foundation encourages everyone to plant a tree to celebrate this special holiday. The Foundation’s Web site (www.arborday.org) offers many helpful tips from how to plant a tree to selecting the right tree for the right place.

  • As most readers probably already know, the Optic is downsizing, going from five to three editions per week.

    The end to the Optic’s long tradition as a daily paper is slated for early March.

    The Muchas Cosas is  also being discontinued. This edition is the last.

  • If you can read this, be thankful. Many in San Miguel County and across the nation can’t read, and many more still cannot read at an adult level.

    Nearly half of New Mexico’s population reads at or below a benchmark standard called Literacy Level 2. Level 2 literacy is that level of reading and comprehension skills expected from children in the fifth through seventh grades. Nearly two-thirds of all jobs require literacy skills above this level, but in San Miguel County, 59 percent of our residents fall at or below Level 2.

  • We all think of a forest as millions of acres of green-topped mountains where water and wildlife rule the land. But there’s a forest right in our own backyards that sometimes gets overlooked — the urban forest.

    An urban forest includes trees, vegetation, and associated natural resources within and around the inhabited area of a community. Urban Forests include trees in parks, tree-lined streets, trees that dot our neighborhoods and any trees within the wildland-urban interface between communities and adjacent forest and rangelands

  • What to plant first? Most people who decide they want to have a garden  just go out and plant their flowers or veggies.

    When the plants don't do well, or even die, they conclude that they don't have a "green thumb" and move on to other things.

    Their problem is that they began at the end of the process. There are other things which must be cultivated first.