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Columns

  • Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - Sept. 15, 2017

    THUMBS UP: DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS

    Tomás E. Salazar has made the northern New Mexico community proud. The native of the tiny community of Chapelle is in his fifth year of service as Dist. 70 state representative. This year, he is being honored as a Highlands Distinguished Alumnus. In addition to service as dean and faculty member at Highlands University, Salazar has taught at Fort Lewis College in Durango and in high schools around the state.

  • In crises, humanity always rises to the top

    So much in life depends on our perspective. The glass can be half-empty or half-full, depending on how we choose to see it.

    Hurricane Harvey is one terrible example. It destroyed lives and property, and yet in its aftermath, humanity came to the rescue. In one place along, more than 600 miles away, an estimated 40,000 pounds of water and food were raised in a matter of days, and tons of bread in a matter of hours, simply because a few people put out a call to help.

  • Work of Art: A great memory for names

    One of my dreams as a teacher was to be able to greet students years after they’d moved on, and to be able to address them by their names, not just “Hi, there.”

    That lasted through the first week of my 8 a.m. class at Highlands University.

    As hard as I tried, there’d always be a set of twins with almost identical names and looks, or a Señor Muy Tarde who either failed to show up most of the time or signed his name illegibly or failed to articulate.

  • Give Dreamers a path forward

    The following editorial recently appeared in the Taos News.

    President Donald Trump has left to Congress the fate of hundreds of thousands of “Dreamers,” as they are frequently called — people brought to the United States as children without legal papers.

  • A new chapter has started

    Showing Mercy — By MercyLópez-Acosta

    My time at the Optic has come to a close.

    Since my return to the Optic nearly seven years ago, I have written hundreds of articles, taken thousands of photos, and spent countless hours meeting and talking to people. My work has been seen in edition after edition.

    But as of Wednesday, it came to halt as I have since resigned as features editor of the Las Vegas Optic.

  • Stories connecting at this very moment

    Just a thought — By Rick Kraft

    In your life may you positively impact the lives of others you never meet in places you have never been. What is your story? You didn’t just wake up today after being dropped here from a distant planet.

    Where you are today on the path of life is a result of what happened yesterday, the day before, the day before, and so on. I will walk out on a limb and say that where you are today is no accident.

  • Saying no to straws can be a tiny step

    Beth Speaks for Herself — By Beth Urech 

    When I ask for water in a restaurant, I say politely, “Please don’t bring me a straw.”

    More than 50 percent of the time, the server returns with a straw sticking right there in the glass of water. Hardly anyone listens carefully nowadays. Do you agree?

  • Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - Sept. 8. 2017

    UP:BACK ON THE WINNING SIDE

    It took a 47-yard field goal by kicker Luke Jones and some strong second-half defense to help put the Highlands University Cowboys back on the winning side. The 23-22 victory for the local crew is welcome news following a 12-loss skid that stretched back to Nov. 7, 2015.

  • Houston, we all have a problem; a huge one

    If ever there was a time to convert to science, this is the moment.

    Hurricane Harvey and the incredible flooding it caused should be reason enough to start believing that global warming is more than a Chinese hoax, as President Trump has said. Like it or not, we had best get ready for a future filled with extreme weather.

  • Work of Art: ‘Don’t ask us any questions’

    A half dozen of us sat nervously in the advanced English classroom of  Mrs. Ruth Shafer, a veteran teacher who, many had heard, ran her students through the paces.

    Mrs. Shafer, wherever she is would probably fault me for using such a cliché (“through the paces”), but even as I write this, I think back more than five decades to the favorable impressions she left on us.
    Let me explain: