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Columns

  • Another perspective: Dividing our blended state

    Raised in Northern New Mexico, in Mora County, I spoke Spanish as my first language. This was the only language I spoke at home and it was commonplace in our community to speak Spanish at the bank, the market, and among  our neighbors.

    Until I started school in the fall of 1955 I never thought of speaking English on a regular basis. It was a language foreign to me; I had heard my older brother and sisters speak it only in passing.

  • Work of Art: Don’t go there

    By Art Trujillo

    As a student at Immaculate Conception School in the late ‘40s, I recall social studies units on The Great Depression, the Stock Market Crash of ‘29, and the concomitant suffering that ensued.

    Well in those days, we were a lot closer to the tumultuous times of the early 20th century, and the biggest lesson I took home — and into my adulthood — was the fact that many people lost their fortunes. “Many millions of people lost everything they had,” intoned Sister Macarena, our fifth-grade teacher.

  • Publisher's Note: What the numbers say

    I did a little number crunching on the school board elections last week, and discovered some interesting tidbits.

    One of the things I found was that, while turnout was low for West’s election, it wasn’t bad on the east side.

    First, let me point out that the numbers I use below are by no means “official,” but that doesn’t mean they’re inaccurate. I gleaned them from Optic reports on the last three school board elections — in 2007, 2009 and last week.

  • To the Point: Ahead of the ax

    Highlands University folks have been commenting on their institutional expectations under new Gov. Susana “La Tejana” Martinez. Their expression demonstrates some justifiable angst.

  • Nuestra Historia - Las Vegas is born

    By Jesus L. Lopez

    Special to the Optic

    Even before 1835, farmers and ranchers from San Miguel had raised crops and grazed livestock on the lush meadows along the Rio Gallinas.  And as related in our last column,  Luis María Cabeza de Baca and his family had settled las vegas as early as 1820.

  • Another perspective: Learning from the past and moving forward

    By Paula Garcia

    Special to the Optic

    Mora County is known for both its beauty and also for its persistent, rural poverty.

  • Work of Art: First, tell us who’s playing

    By Art Trujillo

    It’s not exactly a case of generalized apathy, but the zeal that’s usually apparent around Super Bowl season just isn’t there.

    The column of Super Bowl predictions lacks the wide-eyed passion we expect. And to no one’s surprise, some said, “I’ll tell you my prediction if you’ll tell me who’s playing.”

  • Publisher’s Note: Civility and passion

    All this “return to civility” chatter since the wake of the Arizona massacre, which left six people dead and a congresswoman with brain damage, is a good thing. It’s about time we re-learned civility in our national discourse.

    I realize it wasn’t hate-filled rhetoric that led to that shooting, it was a mentally deranged schizophrenic. But if that Arizona sheriff, who spoke from the heart about how the rhetoric contributed, caused the nation to tone down its hostilities toward one another, then maybe something good will have come out of it all.

  • To the Point: Another electoral crossroad

    The dreary ineffectiveness of many of our public schools is not news. Our collective failure to develop literacy in our students is at the root of our inability to gain social, cultural and economic well-being locally, nationally and globally. The news bulletin today is that New Mexico ranks 49th in eighth grade reading test scores.

  • Nuestra Historia - Luis María Cabeza de Baca

    Sometime in 1820, Luis María Cabeza de Baca traveled from his home in Peña Blanca to Santa Fe, and then to San Miguel del Bado.

    Don Luis, as he was known, was apparently looking to expand the already large land holdings he owned in and around Peña Blanca, which is located in Sandoval County, west of La Bajada. In San Miguel he heard about lush and extensive pasture lands located along a river to the northeast, and he joined eight others from San Miguel in filing an application for a grant of those verdant vegas.