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Columns

  • Another Perspective - Reforms will help us compete

    At the beginning of the session, I called on the Legislature to pass reforms making New Mexico more competitive with neighboring states. The mandatory cuts in Washington, D.C. will disproportionately hurt our state, and while we will always fight to protect our labs and bases, we must simultaneously work to diversify our economy by building a stronger private sector.

    I’m pleased that by passing the New Mexico Jobs Package, we reached a bipartisan compromise that will help our economy grow by leveling the playing field with surrounding states.

  • Nuestra Historia - Why Highlands sits east of the Gallinas

    Many months ago, when we began our present tale of two cities, a variation of today’s article appeared in Nuestra Historia, to illustrate the great divide that existed early-on between East and West Las Vegas. As we conclude the story of the founding of Highlands University ­— to bring full circle the early struggle for the school — we present the column again, especially for those readers who have followed the story with interest, but may have missed the previous narrative.

  • Our Watershed - Its condition and threats

    Editor’s note: This is the fifth 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.

    When compared with heavily populated and largely urban or industrial watersheds, the Gallinas Watershed is in relatively good shape. But, if we expect it to continue supplying our water in to the future, we have to face some realities and maximize its performance and resilience to future threats.

  • Work of Art - Whom are youm to ask?

    The simple answer is that if you can use “him,” you can use “whom”’ if “he” fits, use “who.” That was my proposed subject for this week’s column.

    We were in the Optic newsroom as I spouted this bit of faux erudition, when fellow writer Lupita Gonzales said that when it comes to “whom,” we need to think of objects, not subjects. As a now-retired long-time teacher of languages, she’s right.

  • 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.