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Columns

  • Editor's Note - Voting for president in 2016

    With the 2012 presidential election still fresh in our minds, I’d like to propose to the little piece of America that reads my column a different approach for voters four years from now.

    But let me set the stage first, with a little perspective:

    We just witnessed perhaps the most misleading presidential campaigns of modern times. By one estimate, more than a million campaign ads ran on television, nearly all in nine or 10 swing states, mostly containing innuendo and half-truths to advance the candidates’ mudslinging agendas.

  • Nuestra Historia - Jones, Twitchell part of East’s prominence

    Never before in the entire Southwest had a community risen so quickly and grown so rapidly, as did East Las Vegas by the early 20th century.

    New Town became both the center of Anglo-American identity, and the foremost example of the Americanization of New Mexico. From all parts of the United States, newcomers descended on East Las Vegas, anxious to set their footprint in New Mexico’s premier American city.

  • Work of Art - You’ll get a whole dollar

    As part of a let’s-be-friendly gesture, I once asked my then-next-door neighbor, James, if he’d help me unload some lumber from my pickup.

    I’d bought several pieces of wood to shore up our fence, and as I noticed him sipping Sun Tea on his porch, I sweetened the offer:

    “And if you help me, I’ll give you a whole dollar.”

    “A whole dollar?” James asked. “How about if I give you a whole dollar to leave me alone?” That’s how neighbors in Camp Luna get along. By the way, he did help me unload — a three-minute job — but refused my magnanimous whole dollar offer.

  • Editor's Note - A regional alliance

    It seems the idea of a broader, regional approach to water issues in northeastern New Mexico gained some traction last week with a regional water symposium at Luna Community College. There’s another meeting being planned in an attempt to turn the talk into action.

  • Nuestra Historia - East Las Vegas claimed Highlands

    Plans are for Nuestra Historia to recount, in a latter series, the history of Highlands University, from its founding through the tumultuous times in the early 1970s, when the Hispanic community fought for and won its rightful place in the university’s governance.

  • Work of Art - Sons weren’t one bit scared

    On a particularly scary Halloween night, I darkened our living room and turned on a radio to prepare to be scared out of my wits. Of course, my two older sons, 7 and 10 at the time, were part of the mix, as was the then-1-year-old, Ben, even if he couldn’t yet follow the plot.

    Let me explain:

  • Editor's Note - Northeast New Mexico

    Included in Friday’s Optic, and distributed throughout an area we call home, was a special section titled, “Northeast New Mexico: Challenges and opportunities facing a seven-county region.”

    If you haven’t looked at it yet, I encourage you to do so. And if you somehow missed it, come by the Optic and we’ll give you one.

  • Another Perspective - Water then, water now

    I was born in 1946. Our winters were much different in the ‘50s.

    Snowfalls measured up to 2-1/2 feet and stayed on the ground for a long time. Today, sometimes we only get traces of snow, if any at all.

    Whatever happened to those days? Our heavy rains especially during the Fourth of July Fiestas, were a welcomed sight. Farmers loved it. Crops and fields came alive. Ditches were full of water, ranchers had hay and corn for their horses and cattle.

  • Nuestra Historia - Town High closed: the Dixon case

    Seldom recounted today, there erupted in New Mexico in the late 1940s, an impassioned struggle between Catholics and Protestants — especially in Hispanic communities ­— over the dominant role of the Catholic church in tax-supported public schools.

    So acrimonious was the conflict, that near-riots broke out in the small community of Dixon, in Rio Arriba county, where public school facilities were owned by the Catholic church and run by Catholic nuns, who provided religious instruction as part of the public school curriculum.

  • Work of Art - Did you lose something?

    Oh, pardon me, sir, ma’am, but did I invade your privacy?

    Excuuuuse me for peeking into your mail, most of which even you haven’t read, since much of the correspondence, which goes back to the year 2004, is still in sealed envelopes. And lots of the items are the same. Those things happen when people keep dunning you.

    Let me explain: