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Columns

  • Straight from the City: City and county collaborate on many topics

    The city of Las Vegas and the County of San Miguel recently met in a two-day public symposium to strategize in a way that some participants said was a historic first.

    Arthur Padilla, the longest-serving County Commissioner in New Mexico, said he had never seen the city and county join hands like this to work towards solutions to our common problems.

    Las Vegas Mayor Tonita Gurulé-Girón agreed.

  • Just a Thought: What happens in the exchange zone?

    By Rick Kraft

    It is what happens in the exchange zone that counts. We hold the baton we run with for such a short period of time. We receive it from another, carry it for a while, and then hand off to the one who follows.

    In track and field competitions, there are team relay events whose goal is for a team of runners to cover the course as quickly as possible, carrying a baton from the starting line to the finish line. Because the race is a team event, how well you finish the race depends on the actions of others.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - The twists and turns en route to special legislative session

    OK, settle down, everybody seems to be saying as this latest special session approaches in Santa Fe; the only way to accomplish anything is to sit down and talk. And so they did, late last week and into this week, in preparation for the gavel coming down, at noon on Wednesday (May 24), on yet another attempt to pass a state budget everyone can live with.

  • Work of Art: Their attempt to please

    A number of my columns have dealt with food. Growing up in this area, I’ve become accustomed to the real spicy stuff many moms serve several times a week.

    But first, let’s define some terms:

    • “Señor  Taco” is a term that should never be construed as an insult. It simply refers to a kind of amateurish way of cooking that adds tomato sauce and calls it chile.

    • Sopaipilla is spelled with two “i’s,” not one.

  • Straight from the City: City works on collaboration

    It does surprise me when some folks still ask, “What has the city done over the past year?”

    I can tell you first-hand that the city has been a whirlwind of activity, since I came on board seven months ago.

    What the City has been doing is too broad a topic to address in a single column, so I’ll just touch on a few of the high points.

    Let’s start with water.

    The city has been working diligently to resolve the half-century-long dispute with our acequias in a way that leaves all parties winners.

  • You can run from sopaipillas for only so long

    By Jason W. Brooks, Optic Editor

    When I left the Land of Enchantment on a cold, windy day in February 2013, Las Vegas was my last stop for food and snacks. Now, it’s my destination.

    After 12 years in New Mexico, I decided to leave behind the land of red chile chicken stuffed sopaipillas for a more diverse climate and other newspaper opportunities.

  • Another Perspective:

    It doesn’t take long in northern New Mexico to see the signs of a sluggish economy. Local businesses are closing, and empty storefronts dot our main streets all too often. I have always devoted my efforts to improving the economy of northeastern New Mexico.

    I’m always happy, then, to see new construction, and I’m very happy to report that Las Vegas and San Miguel County can look forward to over $45 million in new construction from capital outlay projects over the next couple of years.

    These projects include:

  • Just a Thought: There’s always someone who can do it better

    By Rick Kraft

    Many people live their lives looking to their left and right so much that it is amazing they don’t get a very sore neck.

    What we need to be doing is looking forward. That is why God put eyes on the front of our head. In other words, there is a reason God did not give us eyes on our left or right, nor did He put eyes on the back of our heads.

    People who are continually looking left and right will not accomplish what they need to be accomplishing in this world.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - Small-town graduates will leave; a few will come back

    About this time every year, parents all over New Mexico swell with pride as their daughters and sons walk across the graduation stage — and wave goodbye.

    The walk is ceremonial; the wave, at least for small towns, is figurative. As the urbanization of America continues, fewer of these young men and women will be staying in or returning to their hometown, simply because the opportunities they seek aren’t there.

  • Beth Speaks for Herself - My first college graduation

    By Beth Urech

    Don’t get me wrong. I graduated from college, but I didn’t attend the ceremony.

    That’s why my first graduation was at Highlands University on Saturday, May 13, 2017. As I entered the Wilson Complex, families were parading in. All dressed up. Little girls in party dresses with hair elegantly braided. Little boys in white shirts and new combat boots.