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Columns

  • 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.

  • Work of Art - A fresh, new topic

    Months back in this space I mentioned some of the extremely specific topics I’ve covered since this column began in 2003.

    Would you believe one of the columns analyzed the word “up,” and how it can be used in many contexts, as in finish up, grow up, wise up, etc., without necessarily having anything to do with direction.

    Another column discussed the way people end their sentences with “so ...,” and, you know, another like parsed the overuse of “like” and “ya know.”     

  • Editor's Note - Revisiting the regional idea

    Do you know what came of the regional water symposium held Oct. 30 at Luna Community College?

    Apparently, not much; at least, not yet.

    The symposium, which was organized by Richard Trujillo of the State Engineer’s Office and Pete Campos, state senator and Luna president, was intended as a starting point for a more region-wide approach to the water problems in northeastern New Mexico.

  • Nuestra Historia - Kistler was ubiquitous provocateur

    Russ Kistler was not entirely preoccupied with race issues and division, and his Optic reported in earnest on virtually every local activity, though mostly about East Las Vegas.