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Columns

  • Another Perspective - Public servants

    By Mark Shields

  • Nuestra Historia - Nuestra Historia begins third year

    This column first appeared two years ago, on Jan. 7, 2011, when Nuestra Historia was introduced with the hope of bringing to life the history of our area. We said we would focus on the social, cultural and political milestones — sometimes tumultuous — which have made Las Vegas and San Miguel County a very special and singular place.

  • Work of Art - Be it resolved ...

    The seasons are confused. Where else would we the people lengthen the day, under something called Daylight Saving Time, when each day is already getting longer?

    Similarly, we shorten days that are already on their way to being abbreviated.

    And we play a lot with the presumed ending times. Well, I’m still here, as I assume most of you are, possibly to the disappointment of the Mayans, who told us the world was about to end a couple of weeks ago. Imagine the embarrassment of some who may have believed the end was to be the next day.

  • Editor's Note - Predictions for the new year

    Of course this isn’t very creative — pundits far and wide love to spell out our future with the onset of each new year — but indulge me anyway, as I offer up some predictions of my own:

    Weather will continue to be a big story in 2013 — internationally, nationally and locally. Across the nation, there will be lots of extreme weather events: killer tornadoes in the South, superstorms along the eastern coastlines and oppressive heat and drought all over. An angry god won’t be the cause of it all; the onset of climate change will.

  • Another Perspective - Future may be in business

    New Mexico’s economy is struggling to free itself from the grip of the Great Recession.
    Despite some signs of hope, it’s clear we have a long way to go, with the number of jobs in the state at 2004 levels and wages generally stagnant.
    Fortunately, there are several specific steps we can take — right now — that will have both immediate and long-term impacts.

  • Nuestra Historia - Kistler sold Optic, faded into obscurity

    For 20 years Russ Kistler ran his Optic with bravado and bluster, and by the time he sold the newspaper in about 1898, the Optic was a mainstay in Las Vegas. Yet there is no known photograph or likeness of Kistler, and little is known of his personal life, or his pursuits after he sold the Optic — but that may soon change.

  • Work of Art - Don’t mix killings with politics

    A side effect of last week’s Newtown, Conn., massacre, once we think beyond the heartache, futility and insanity resulting from the actions of a deranged 20-year-old who gunned down 26 people, is the politics that inevitably follows.

  • Editor's Note - Memories

    In terms of pure economics, our biggest national holiday is, of course, Christmas. I read somewhere that Halloween comes in as a strong second, but I’d be surprised if it’s anywhere close to the money we Americans spend for the yuletide.

    Perhaps that makes me a little off the mark, because I don’t recall much about the Christmas presents I’ve acquired over the years.

    Instead, I remember experiences.

  • Nuestra Historia - Optic kindled outlaw lore

    During the Optic’s first years, Las Vegas was the epicenter of vice and violence in the wild west, as many notorious outlaws took up residence in the new rail town.
    So it was that during the Optic’s formative years, Russ Kistler’s colorful coverage of the mayhem and mischief on the streets of Las Vegas, helped make the young editor one of the leading newspapermen of that era — and the Optic a precursor in creating the lore and legend of the western outlaw.

  • Another Perspective - A flood of memories with Sandy Hook news

    I cried most of the day Friday after I heard the news. It was unbearable to watch the special news reports on the television that hammered so relentlessly about the tragedy of children — babies for the Lord’s sake — being brutally murdered.
    It took me to almost late evening Saturday before I realized why I was so out-of-proportion upset. It was because, I finally realized, in a very small way, I had faced a similar incident more than a decade ago at San Bernardino Valley College in southern California where I was president.