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Columns

  • Another Perspective - Protecting our water

    By Bob Wessely

    For the Optic

    San Miguel County is acutely aware that the water supply upon which its citizens depend is severely limited.

    Variable surface streams, originating from snowmelt, springs, and rainwater runoff, have been used for agricultural and domestic purposes for centuries.

    Multiple formation layers of fresh groundwater have been deposited over the millennia, water that is pumped for domestic and agricultural uses. These layers or aquifers are very slowly refreshed by rainwater seepage.

  • Nuestra Historia - The two-hour break that saved Highlands

    On Monday, Feb. 6, 1893, Highlands University was born, only because John DeWitt Veeder and Felix Martinez were able to outmaneuver those who would have established only one normal school for the Territory, in Silver City, or none at all. It was a momentous day for Las Vegas, which would be forever transformed as the home of one of New Mexico’s early institutions of higher education.

  • Our Watershed - Mother Nature’s water system

    Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series running over several consecutive Fridays. It is written by members of the Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance, which seeks to foster land stewardship in the Gallinas, Sapello and Tecolote watersheds.

    The city of Las Vegas and its residents depend on water in the Gallinas River for more than 90 percent of its municipal needs. Storrie Lake Water Users Association receives almost all its water from the Gallinas River. That’s a serious dependency.

  • Work of Art - Adding s’s to our yes’es

    The first thing I reach for in reading a newspaper is the opinion section. And when going online, to read other newspapers, I click until the editorials, columns and letters to the editor show up.

    In short, I luuuuve to read other people’s opinions. But that (reading others’ opinions) comes with a price: namely fighting my urge to correct people’s spelling, grammar and punctuation. Often, I miss the points others make because I’m too busy chasing commas, run-on sentences and words that dangle.

  • Editor's Note - Mr. McDonald, take a bow

    Being at the top is never easy. Being at the top of a newspaper, even less so.

    More often than not, you’re vilified for calling people on the things they deserve to be called on. You’re blamed for things you had little or no control over. You’re criticized for going too easy or too hard on someone. You’re accused of being biased, no matter how you handle a situation.

    Such is life at the top when you’re the publisher or general manager of a newspaper.

  • Nuestra Historia - Martinez and Veeder outfoxed HU opponents

    As the 13th session of the Territorial legislature opened in January 1893, education was foremost on the minds of many New Mexicans.

  • Our Watershed - The people of the Gallinas Canyon

    Editor’s note: This is the third in a series running over several consecutive Fridays. It is written by members of the Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance, which seeks to foster land stewardship in the Gallinas, Sapello and Tecolote watersheds.

    Although it has changed through the years, a deep relationship with the land has been felt by the residents and visitors of the Gallinas Canyon. The stories are rich and varied, with many of them rooted in the land, water, fish and wildlife that have been so important to those with a history in the Gallinas Watershed.

  • Work of Art - Love, hate: It’s about time

    We’d been only about four hours into Daylight Saving (not Savings) Time when Bonnie asked her perennial question: “What time is it?”

    “It’s 6 o’clock,” I answered, barely awake. “No! I’m asking you what time is it really?” Oh, I get it. “Really” doesn’t refer to the time on the clocks, which I had spent ages dutifully resetting to synchronize with DST, early last Sunday; “really” really refers to the time is was before that back-breaking clock-resetting period hours before.

  • Editor's Note - Where a misfit might just fit

    First, let’s clear up a rumor. The Optic is not going to close. That makes no sense. Since I’ve been running this newspaper, we’ve ended every year in the black, always with a positive profit margin, and I’d be willing to wager that’s been the case every year since Russell Kistler printed the first edition in 1879.

    But let’s not start this farewell column there. Instead, return with me to when another esteemed newspaper did close. Oct. 18, 1991. That was the day the Gray Old Lady died.

  • Nuestra Historia - Martinez and Veeder: Fathers of NMHU

    Many readers have asked why Felix Martinez is considered the father of Highlands University, as recognized by the University and mentioned in prior columns. As we continue the story of La Voz del Pueblo, the newspaper Martinez founded here in 1890, we will answer that question — and also tell the story of John DeWitt Veeder, who together with Martinez, helped establish Highlands.