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Columns

  • Work of Art - Hopefully this is correct

    The issue still isn’t settled. It might never be. Hopefully, this column will enlighten some people and bring a few to my way of thinking. Notice I said “hopefully.”

    For years, language purists recoiled in horror over the misuse of words and phrases that the Miss Grundys of our youth would implore us to avoid.

    Let me explain:

  • Editor's Note: New dynamics at City Hall

    Alfonso Ortiz has pulled it off, but Tonita Gurule-Giron is far from done. And yet it’s the new guy who may now hold the keys to power at City Hall.
    I’ll take ‘em one at a time.

  • Nuestra Historia - Taft made it official: NM statehood!

    It was almost two months before New Mexico determined the election results for its first state officials, as several won by razor-thin margins, and those contests consumed many weeks of legal argument. Finally, on Dec. 30, 1911, the Nov. 7 election was certified to Washington.

  • Work of Art - Please don’t tell me yet

    “I don’t wanna hear it!”         

    Usually we hear that refusal when 1) the utterer of the admonition believes, “Don’t confuse me with the facts; my mind is made up.”
    We also hear it in the context of refusing to hear the bad news: a firing, a loss of a game or an announcement that follows, “Hey Dad, you remember that can of paint on the shelf by the car in the garage?”

  • Editor's Note - A letters ‘explainer’

    This is what people in the news business call an “explainer” piece, where I offer up insights about how letters to the editor get published here at the Optic. Whether you’re a letter writer or simply a letter reader, hopefully you’ll find this informative.

    I have the privilege of handling the letters sent in for publication. In a typical week, I get a steady flow of letters, mostly by e-mail, a few typed up and dropped off or mailed in, and one or two a week sent in someone’s handwriting.

  • Nuestra Historia - Democrats swept on eve of statehood

    Public corruption is nothing new to New Mexico, and on the eve of statehood, the seemingly invincible Republican Party suffered a humiliating defeat amid a cloud of misconduct surrounding its candidate for governor.

  • Work of Art - Eggs-actly right

    “Cáscara or piñon?” That was the choice my oldest sister Dolores offered us in our youth, as the aroma of our mother’s homemade bread wafted through the kitchen.

    Bread was a Saturday staple in Mom’s kitchen, and those first in line got the choice pickings. Let’s define a few terms first:

  • Work of Art - Highlands’ big event

    Volunteerism is alive and well in Las Vegas. Just ask Sharon Caballero.
    Several months ago, she set out to create a celebration of Jim Fries’ five years as president of Highlands University. A former Highlands president herself who now runs the university’s foundation, she saw it as an opportunity to celebrate a lot of accomplishments under Fries and to raise money for a good and timely cause — scholarships.

  • Dulcey Amargo - Stewed, blued and a bit unglued

    I’m sitting  around, stewing in the “melting pot” mockery that has a big, rusty patch on its underside and is ready to spew out all the mush held inside.

    Yes, I know, as former language instructor and especially as a trained technical writer, I should know better than to mix metaphors as I’ve done in the opening sentence and stick to writing clearly, accurately, and to the point. Sometimes, though, one can flout convention to make that point.

  • Nuestra Historia - Constitution approved; first election set

    On Jan. 21, 1911, the people of New Mexico went to the polls to approve the constitution which would make statehood a reality — and despite attempts in Washington over the years to change the ancient and venerable name, the first words of the new constitution proudly declared: “The name of this state is New Mexico.”