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Columns

  • Work of Art — A super-heated topic

    We were leaving a high school play that I had directed, “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson. It was exactly this time of year, and the weather conditions were identical to what’s happening tonight: chimneys blowing over, fences being uprooted, animals shivering.

  • Another Perspective — Fund schools adequately

    By Felix Alderete

    For the Optic

  • Nuestra Historia: It was a rocky start for one Las Vegas

    When the first officials of the consolidated city gathered in 1970 for their inaugural meeting following the March 3 election, the new City Council was evenly divided. Four had been elected from the “all Chicano” slate, and four from the slate headed by new Mayor Fidel “Chief” Gonzales — resulting in an acrimonious and inauspicious beginning.

  • Another Perspective — Who has the silver bullet?

    By Feliz Alderete

    For the Optic

    Editor’s note: This is part one of two. The second installment will run in Monday’s edition.

    How important is public education and how does it affect our lives? Those two questions can be easily answered by going to the local market and interacting with a store clerk, calling a service provider with a problem on a bill, or getting information over the telephone about a service.

  • Work of Art — Some people are so nice

    Ah, jeez, some people can be so nice. Please don’t overlook the irony to that statement. “Can be so nice” is almost like saying, “You’re so much help!”

    I’ve gone over these expressions, orally, a dozen times, and there’s no way I can make them seem sincere. In my experience “So much help” always comes out sarcastically, regardless of who’s uttering it.

    Now that we’re experts on irony, let’s get to the point:

  • Another Perspective — Let’s serve veterans as well as they have served us

    During the recent government shutdown many numbers were thrown around. But there is one number that stands out and it has nothing to do with the debate over the federal budget.

    More than one a day. That is how many members of our active-duty military, National Guard and Reserve forces have committed suicide over the last year. Simply put, we are losing more servicemembers by their own hands than we are by the enemy in Afghanistan.

  • Another Perspective — Remembering a true believer

    People here still remember my parents. I know because they still ask about them. They may not have lived here long, but they were adored by those they served.

    Well, technically, only my father, the Rev. Charles P. McDonald Jr., “served” the church. For nearly two years in 2005-2007 he was interim pastor for First United Methodist Church here in Las Vegas. But my mother, Lois Lee King McDonald, also served — brightening up the congregation with her inextinguishable optimism and belief, always, in the goodness of everyone she met.

  • Nuestra Historia: At crossroads, Vegas turned to Chief Gonzales

    Unlike most municipal elections before or since, the 1970 election to choose the first mayor and council of the consolidated city of Las Vegas remains uniquely important, marking a momentous turning point for the twin cities — a crossroads which would set the tone and chart the future for a town long divided.

  • Work of Art — Scout leaders messed up

    The aphorism, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” has an interesting pedigree, variously credited to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th century cleric, and to Virgil’s Aeneid written shortly before the time of Christ, and whose translation reads, “It’s easy to go to hell.”

    Those notions certainly apply to the three men who are likely to be facing felony charges for toppling over a huge rock in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. The unusual formations date back to the Jurassic era.

  • Work of Art — We love being scared

    Tomorrow night, many of us will get the chance to become frightened — and to enjoy it. Is it the rush of adrenalin that gives people a “high?”

    Thursday night, Halloween, will of course feature spooky costumes as kids go trick-or-treating. If history holds out, they’ll congregate mostly in the newer, better-lighted areas of town. Streets like Vegas, Mountain View, Dalbey, Legion and Lee drives are likely gathering places.