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Columns

  • 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.

  • Our Watershed - Natural processes and the human impact

    Editor’s note: This is the second 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 atmosphere and climate play a huge role in our water supply, but typically we cannot control the rain. The land is also critical and it is within our power to influence. We are the stewards of the land, our actions can support the land so it can provide us with the things we need.

  • Work of Art - Is New Mexico missing again?

    A popular, long-lived feature in New Mexico Magazine is called “One of Our 50 is Missing.”

    It’s a collection of anecdotes submitted by readers whose state got short-changed by some non-New Mexican.

    In this “Missing” column, you’ll read, for example, about a flatland tourister visiting this state and expecting to pay in pesos rather than dollars, or of some phone rep, trapped in a cube somewhere, who tells the New Mexico caller that the company doesn’t ship to foreign countries.

    You get the picture.

  • Editor's Note - Name dropping, Part 2

    The Optic is bigger than any one person. It’s an institution in Las Vegas — one that’s critical to the community’s life and livelihood.

    This institution, however, is run by people whose collective contribution to our product has been a source of great pride for me, since I’ve had the honor of being at the helm for more than eight years.

  • Our Watershed - It’s all interconnected

    Editor’s note: This is the first in a series to run 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.

    Water connects us all. It moves through the earth and our atmosphere in the water cycle, passing through many of us along the way.

    We are only one of the beneficiaries of this amazing substance. Almost everything we do and use and everything on this planet has or did have water as part of it.