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Columns

  • Work of Art: These titles are scrambled

    Back in the olden days, news used to arrive via some very loud, hot, clickety-clackety Teletype machines that seemed to operate with an invisible typist. In reality, someone in the paper’s main bureau was writing and rewriting the day’s news, which arrived locally on sometimes-unattended machines.

    The Optic had its own Teletype machine, and back in the days when delivery of the hot topics from the local sources was spotty, we used much more “wire” copy, that is, news with out-of-area datelines.

  • Just a Thought: If you wait to give praise, you may be too late

    By Rick Kraft

    Why is it usually the case that the most positive collection of thoughts ever spoken about a person are shared after the person dies? We always hear such kind words spoken at a person’s funeral. Why do we wait until a person is gone to speak uplifting words about them?

  • Another Perspective: Changes needed at Luna — immediately

    By Joe McCaffrey

    Las Vegas Optic readers have asked, What can be done about the governance of Luna Community College?

    The news is grim, the LCC Board of Trustees seems to be totally out of control. Nepotism and discord seem to be rampant; orderly fiscal procedures are often neglected; there are even reports of potential illegal activities. The Secretary of the New Mexico of Higher Education Department, Barbara Damron, has placed Luna in the NMHED Enhanced Fiscal Oversight Program following a preliminary review of Luna operations.

  • Another Perspective: Here are four critical books all leaders must read

    By Vidal Martinez

    After reading more than one-thousand books, 10 years leading volunteer firefighters, 13 years as a college administrator, a lifelong teacher, parent, and now a manager, I have identified four critical books leaders must read.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - Looking for the good in New Mexico’s reputation

    New Mexico is gambling with its future, in more ways than one.

    Thanks to a quick little special session, the state now has a balanced budget for the coming fiscal year, higher education has its funding restored and no new taxes were imposed on the citizenry.

    Of course, all that didn’t leave much of a reserve, but that’s a chance our governor decided to take.

    New Mexico is now like the family that spends all their money just paying the monthly bills, socking away nothing for savings or investing except for their change jar.

  • Work of Art: Lemonade stand creates juicy news

    A friend, Luke Phillips, who used to work in the composing room at the Optic, when it was on Lincoln Avenue, dropped a note recently, in which he explained that the city council session he covers in a California town had been meeting for three hours and had yet to finish Item #1 on the agenda.

    Ah, the glamour people in the news business can experience amounts to pure splendor!

  • Babbling Brooks - Plenty of room for two farmers markets

    This editorial was published by Capital News Service on June 2.

    Allegany and Garrett, Maryland’s two westernmost counties, tend to be lumped together as “Mountain Maryland,” their problems similar, their prospects equally muddled.

    But the two counties’ economic issues — and their approaches to solving them — differ starkly.

  • Beth Speaks for Herself - With Father’s Day approaching: lessons I learned

    When I walked into Joseph Baca’s office at KFUN, I was struck by a piece of furniture standing quietly in the corner of the office. It was a squat blond console that I later learned housed a turntable.

    On the front was the original RCA logo. I told Joseph he’d be reading about his record player because my father was the inventor of it. Well, maybe that’s not exactly right, but Daddy was surely instrumental.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - Looking for the good in New Mexico’s reputation

    It can get downright depressing when comparing New Mexico to other states, at least when it comes to economics, education, crime and other indicators of prosperity and progress.

    U.S. News and World Report ranks us 47th, 48th and 49th, respectively in those categories, which makes it difficult to take pride in this “land of entrapment,” as I’ve heard New Mexicans call it more than once.

  • Work of Art: Grab a cup of covfefe; we’ve got ‘alot’ to cover

    During my years of teaching, I don’t believe I ever had students — even at the college level — who consistently spelled “a lot” as two words. To that I say, “’Alot’ of students can’t tell the difference.” I believe the bigger problem is simply using the wrong word. There are, after all, many synonyms for “a lot,” including “many” and “plenty.”