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Columns

  • Editor's Note - Name dropping, Part 1

    One of the responsibilities I’ll miss most upon leaving the Optic is handling the letters to the editor. I’ve been doing it since I arrived here in October 2004.

    All that’s going to change soon, as I move on to new adventures and Martín Salazar starts doing double-duty as both interim general manager and managing editor.

  • Felix, La Voz, Las Gorras and Don Lorenzo

    As we continue our current series devoted to the history of Las Vegas newspapers, we hope it is apparent to the reader that it is through the prism of La Voz del Pueblo, that we recount a momentous epoch in the tale of two cities.

    Through the eyes of La Voz founder Felix Martinez and his associates Ezequiel C de Baca and Antonio Lucero, we continue to impart the social and political upheaval which occurred here as the 20th century dawned.

  • Work of Art - ‘Psilence’ is golden

    To use the students’ expression, they were “freaked out” at hearing the way I pronounced “knight.”

    Well now everyone knows the word belongs to that group of English words that’s fraught with silent letters. There are only three sounds in the word: n, a long i, and a t.

  • Editor's Note - Great presidents

    Really, President’s Day is a second-tier holiday — most of us don’t even get to take off work for this national holiday.

    Still, I’ve decided to use the day as fodder for today’s column, beginning with a single question: Who was the greatest U.S. president of all time?

  • Nuestra Historia - La Voz embraced Gorras Blancas crusade

    As noted in our last column, when Felix Martinez established La Voz del Pueblo in Las Vegas in 1890, a growing tempest was forming along the Gallinas and throughout San Miguel County — and La Voz would soon be at the head of the storm.

    Smoldering for decades, discontent among the Hispanic population came to a climax when Judge Elisha Long made his momentous 1889 decision in the Millheiser case, ruling that the common lands of the Las Vegas Land Grant could be lawfully fenced and claimed privately.

  • Work of Art - Why not just converse?

    The guy is either contemplating his navel (isn’t that the expression people used decades ago, for doing something pointless?) or he’s texting while driving. His head bobs to check the color of the traffic light, and sometimes he relies on a honk from the car behind him to decide when to proceed.

    That’s become a common occurrence. Some state organizations have even created a public service ad that urges people to sign a pledge in which they promise to W8-2text.

  • Editor's Note - A letter and a conversation

    A conversation I had and a letter I received last week got me to thinking about what’s wrong and what’s right about Las Vegas. Let’s start with what’s right.

    People top the list of what’s right, as far as I’m concerned. We enjoy a great diversity of cultures and backgrounds here — not so much as a melting pot but as a tossed salad.

    I love the legend about how warring Native American tribes once declared the hot springs in Montezuma neutral territory, so all could enjoy its soothing and medicinal powers in peace.

  • Nuestra Historia - La Voz and the three amigos

    When Felix Martinez acquired La Voz del Pueblo and moved it from Santa Fe to Las Vegas in 1890, he also brought with him its Santa Fe editor and former owner, Enrique H. Salazar, who helped Martinez get the newspaper off the ground in Las Vegas.

    Salazar also penned many of the fiery editorials which first appeared here in La Voz, but he and Martinez soon parted ways, and Salazar would establish another Las Vegas newspaper, El Independiente, which later fell into the hands of political boss Secundino Romero, as will be related in a subsequent column.

  • Work of Art - Double axels, double features

    Two things that generate a lot of nostalgia have been in the news lately: The prospect of bringing back the skating pond at Montezuma and the possibility of Las Vegas’ soon being without a drive-in theater.
    First the skating pond. It’s hard to pinpoint the year people stopped using the rink, located next to a steep cliff just beyond the community of Montezuma.

  • Editor's Note - Save the drive-in

    Seems that for the past few years there’s been concern about how much longer the Fort Union Drive-In Theater will be able to remain open. And yet, year in and year out, owner Jeanna DiLucchio manages to produce another season of good movies starting on or near the Memorial Day weekend.

    Each year, however, it gets more and more challenging, because the movie industry is moving away from the 35 mm celluloid films that Fort Union depends on. In fact, according to DiLucchio, the industry has set 2013 as a cutoff year for such films. Instead, they’re going digital.