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Columns

  • Work of Art: ‘Dress Me, Ultima,’ ‘Last of the Topekans’ quite popular flicks

    Last week’s column about scrambled movie titles drew some interesting emails from local readers. We heard from Geri Herrera and Chad Boliek. And though it shames me to admit it, some of their responses were cleverer than mine.

    1. The first item dealt with an invasion at our own Memorial Middle School and featured a leader whose body received extra pigment because of exposure to the sun. According to Boliek, the movie, “Red Dawn,” featured Red Juan or Big Red Juan.

  • Palabras Pinturescas: Gascon can go days without a hint of rain

    Our summer weather tells the story. It was obviously late June and there is no moisture or rain in sight. It is almost 80 degrees outside as I write this, here at 8,200 feet elevation at 8 a.m. We have not seen a cloud of any kind in the sky for days, and we all wonder when this so dry and dangerous weather pattern will change.

  • Another Perspective: Here’s hoping Skandera’s replacement embraces change

    By Sen. Howie Morales

    Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, is often quoted for saying, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” This has been used as motivation in all forms of contests to gain an edge on competitors.

    Most people do not realize, however, what Coach Lombardi actually meant. It was not about winning at all costs — ignoring the human spirit or looking at the scoreboard as the ultimate measure of success.

  • Just a Thought: Learning from walking through history

    By Rick Kraft

    Then they decided that Jews could not own pets anymore and they took away all their pets.” A member of our tour group asked, “Why did they do that?” The tour guide responded, “There was not much left that they could do to degrade the Jews, so they decided to take away their pets.”

    My wife and I have just returned from visiting Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria. There is no way to visit these countries without learning their history and what occurred during the middle of the 20th century.

  • Babbling Brooks - Hey, kids—Change teams until you win

    By Jason W. Brooks

    AI don’t watch a lot of pro basketball.

    In fact, sometimes, I’m embarrassed that I don’t recognize a player, until I think about how long I usually go between games I fully watch on TV.

    Needless to say, watching this year’s NBA Finals, I recognized the top stars on each team, and no one else. I recognized Kevin Durant, whose Golden State Warriors have received plenty of nationwide and worldwide air time the past few seasons.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - Wind energy has taken flight

    Travel across the Texas Panhandle and you’ll see the evidence of an up-and-coming industry that’s making Bob Dylan prophetic. “The answer is blowing in the wind.”

    Earlier this month I traveled the 175-mile stretch of Interstate 40 that spans the northwestern reaches of Texas, and was impressed by the sheer number of wind turbines that cover the landscape.

  • 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.