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Columns

  • Nuestra Historia - Kistler’s Optic spurred racial divide

    In 1979, a century after Russell A. Kistler founded the Optic, beloved Optic editor Lois Beck wrote of her predecessor: “Kistler had unabashed contempt for all other racial and ethnic groups but his. ‘Mexicans’ were barely tolerated by him, positively not considered ‘Americans’ even after Kearny told them they were. This racial dementia was so much a part of him that he disclosed it unconsciously, as well as deliberately. No, Russell and I didn’t belong in the same century and certainly not in the same town.”

  • Work of Art - Some things don’t mix well

    Time changes things. Or at least, the lack of time changes things by rendering them trite, banal.

    Ever notice when someone utters something while taking off from a red light, or on the way out the door? In my case, in the rush,  I sometimes fail to understand and respond with something all-purpose, like “You’ve got it” or “That’s correct” or “I see what you mean” or “Yes, I agree” or “Good point.”

  • Editor's Note - Mixing water and oil

    The other day I overheard a man and a woman talking about the water situation in Las Vegas.

    The man asked the woman, what if the city runs out of water, and she said she’d move to her family ranch.

    He replied that he’d do the same, then went into some detail as to the water he has on and under his land.

    Then their discussion turned to the problem such a move would cause, including how expensive it would be to get to and from work if living at their ranches.

  • Just a Thought - The wisdom of Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln’s name has been in the news lately with the release of the Steven Spielberg produced  film “Lincoln.” As is portrayed in the movie, President Lincoln led our country through a low point in our history at a time when we killed over 600,000 of our own citizens during our Civil War.  He had to carry the weight of a divided country on his shoulders each day of his presidency.  

  • Nuestra Historia - The dream vanished in frost, hail and drought

    Famed sociologist Clark Knowlton would later observe: “The rosy dreams of the Las Vegas Anglo American businessmen, lawyers and politicians who seized control of the Las Vegas Land Grant, hoping to populate it with thriving Anglo American farming communities, expired in frost, hail, drought, and high transportation costs.”

  • Work of Art - Including the kitchen sink ...

    A comic strip I remember from my childhood showed Dagwood helping Blondie with the Thanksgiving dishes. He broke one, causing Blondie to say, “If you break one more plate, I won’t let you help me with the dishes any more.” And a light bulb went on in Dagwood’s speech balloon.

    Would a Spanish version of the same comic strip have used a slightly different word with a slightly different meaning?

    Let me explain:

  • Editor's Note - Ripple effect

    Note: A version of this column first ran in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Sept. 10, four days after Charles McDonald died in North Little Rock, Ark., at age 86.

    One really can’t frame the modern Civil Rights Movement between two specific events. There’s no one day that launched the movement, nor a single moment that brought it to an end.

    For my family, however, events that took place between 1957 and 1968 made all the difference in the world.

  • Another Perspective - Bullish on the state’s GOP

    Election Day was a tough one for Republicans. It was tough for our candidates, our volunteers and Gov. Martinez. Despite an investment of nearly $3 million by the governor and her related political action committees, a well-funded U.S. Senate race and an active GOP Victory operation, let’s not fool ourselves; the Republican Party frankly got wiped out.

    Although Republicans had a net gain of three seats in the state Senate, we experienced a net loss of at least two in the House of Representatives, thus dashing our hopes of taking control of this chamber.  

  • Nuestra Historia - ... sometimes go awry: Raynolds, Long and Storrie

    He helped rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake, and had just completed the famed Rock Mile tunnel in that city, when he heard he might be needed in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

    He was told the land grant board in that faraway city was having trouble with its plans for a mammoth reservoir and irrigation project, which was at a standstill after D.A. Camfield gave up in frustration and abandoned the project in 1912.

  • Another Perspective - Overcoming New Mexico’s challenges

    The 2012 election season was one of the most divisive, partisan and personal that New Mexico has faced. It will be hard and it will take time to heal the wounds, but it is critical that we do so and move away from campaigning and toward governing as fast as possible if we are to make any progress overcoming the tremendous challenges facing New Mexico.