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Columns

  • Just a Thought: Walk across the street and listen

    By Rick Kraft

    We live in difficult times.

    On one side of the street is a highly emotional mob of people with slogan-filled signs. They deeply believe in their cause. Collectively, they chant in unison. They are still contained but are real close to exploding out of control.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - Gary Johnson’s presidential bid gaining momentum

    Gary Johnson’s 15 minutes of fame has finally arrived.

    The former New Mexico governor and current Libertarian Party candidate for president is getting some attention by the national media as an alternative to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Polls are showing, and have been for some time now, that the majority of Americans don’t like Clinton or Trump, and Johnson’s subtle but important rise in the polls suggests that he, more so than Green Party candidate Jill Stein, is a legitimate third choice.

  • Work of Art: 23 to 2: What a thriller!

    You take the lead, then you go into a stall, and you pray that you win the jump three more times.

    We’re not referring to heavy molten metal, entering a corral, being in a church service or what grasshoppers do. No, we mean  sports, old style.

    Let me explain:

    In 1933, in what was dubbed “The Game to Remember,” the East Las Vegas’ Cardinals beat the Santa Fe Demons 23-2.

  • Another Perspective: The stalling continues: How much will it cost?

    ¿Qué pasa?  During the City Council meeting back on June 8 and in the July 2 Optic, I raised an inquiry about delays in solving Las Vegas’ primary water issue, storage.  It’s now August and there still has been no visible action from the City.  Let me explain the issue again, with perhaps a little more detail, as I repeated at the City Council meeting on July 20.

  • It’s as simple as addition and subtraction

    By Rick Kraft

    Let’s have some fun today and learn some math. We often make life more complicated than it is. We don’t have to be an expert at playing chess to plan three moves ahead in our lives. We don’t have to understand how electricity works to be able to enjoy its benefits. We don’t need to know how to solve algebra problems to be able to keep things balanced in this world.

    Life sometimes is as simple as addition and subtraction. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Lawmaker’s Perspective: Hard truths demand that we set aside political differences

    New Mexico faces an economic crisis — not a budget crisis — that can be solved, but not easily, quickly or cheaply.

    We have not recovered from the Great Recession of 2008. Wages are up slightly in New Mexico, even considering inflation, but the number of jobs is well below pre-recession levels, and the state’s population is essentially unchanged since 2010, as people in their 20s and 30s move to other states in search of work. This is all reflected in the state’s budget, which is, as expected, about the same as it was in 2008.

  • Palabras Pintorescas: Family became ‘squeaky clean’ due to sudden rain, hail storm

    That old phrase “time flies when you are having fun” surely applies to me and to the events at this old ranch. I must start with the weather. July has been a very wet month here. That translates to fields full of flowers, almost no fire danger in our forests and bountiful hay crops this year. Yes, our big watersheds need all the moisture they can get.

  • Dispatch New Mexico: The better side of humanity shines through at Olympics

    If ever there’s an event that makes the world seem small, it’s the Summer Olympics. This week it kicks off in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro with more than 10,000 athletes from around the world who will compete in 28 different sports and 306 events.

    According to the Albuquerque Journal, 11 of these athletes have ties to New Mexico, though not all are on Team USA. Competing for other countries and their teams are:

  • Work of Art: New-fangled car fails

    The Entire History of Automobiles in Western Civilization probably could have been based on and written in the Trujillo household where I grew up, on Railroad Avenue, or what we called Tough Street.

    It’s not that we had an abundance of cars (Dad bought the first one, a 1942 Plymouth in the early ‘50s).

    It’s not that we possessed great knowledge of cars (when the dial pointed to empty, we surmised it was time for a fill-up or a ring job, an expensive procedure at the time and a word foreign to my grandkids.

  • Another Perspective: College affordability: The great debate

    Affordability. In my mind, it’s the most important issue facing public higher education today.

    When I first went to college, support for public higher education was not mandated in the state budget, it was just assumed that it would be. In good years and bad, elected officials somehow found a way to make certain that a public higher education was highly accessible and affordable to me and thousands of other middle-class and poor students.