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Columns

  • Dispatch New Mexico - Small-town theaters struggle to keep up with digital filmmaking

    Most small-town county seats have them — once attractive single-screen movie theaters, with a 35mm projector room in the balcony and a neon-lighted marquee outside. Once upon a time they were entertainment centerpieces in their communities, and in some instances they still are.

    A lot of them are long gone, having succumbed to competition from multiplexes and home entertainment centers.

    Others, however, have held on and continue to show first-run movies to small-town audiences fortunate enough to still have a local theater.

  • Nuestra Historia -

    By Jesus Lopez

    Editor’s note: This column first appeared in the Optic on Feb. 26, 2011.

    It has been two months since our first column, and many Optic readers have contacted us with questions and comments. One continuing question is why Las Vegas and New Mexico history is alternately referred to as Spanish and Mexican.

  • Work of Art: Let’s hear it for maturity

    The standard for survival in college is “two hours of study and preparation for every hour in class.” Go figure: You enter college as a full-time student, signing up for five courses totaling 15 credits. The credits, or units,  correspond neatly to the number of hours of class time each course requires.

    And to be successful, one ought to devote twice as much time preparing and studying as time spent in an actual class.

  • Another Perspective: Acequias important to area

    Indo-Hispanos have created an intimate relationship with the land and growing crops for subsistence for over a hundred years in New Mexico.

    They built acequias — communal irrigation systems — not only to sustain an agricultural lifestyle, but also to nurture an organic and communal way of life. Researchers affiliated with the Rio Grande Bioregions Project initiated a pioneering collaborative, farmer-led, and interdisciplinary study of Colorado and New Mexico acequias in 1995-99.

  • Nuestra Historia - Texas invasion foiled, Gov. Armijo rallied in LV

    By Jesus L. Lopez

    For the Optic

    What has become an obscure footnote in both our local and New Mexico history, is the futile Texas invasion of San Miguel county in 1841, or what most historians have downplayed as the Texas-Santa Fe Expedition. It occurred here five years before General Kearny, leading the Army of the West, proclaimed in Las Vegas on Aug. 15 1846, the occupation and annexation of New Mexico by the United States.     

    These are the facts:

  • Editorial Roundup - May 2, 2014

    The Associated Press
    The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer on a smaller Army (April 26):
    It wasn’t long ago that the Army was 570,000 soldiers deep. With two wars underway and other commitments around the world, that’s what it took.
    Now, with Iraq behind us and Afghanistan winding down, Washington budget-writers are calling for big military staffing cuts. The Army is already down to about 522,000 solders. The projection is 490,000 by late next year and 450,000 two years later.

  • Work of Art: Let’s not dumb it down

    Without hesitation, I declare that no person had a bigger positive influence on the English language than William Shakespeare, whose birthday was believed to have been April 23, coincidentally, also the date of his death.

    But this isn’t going to be a pep talk on Shakespeare; rather, it’s a lament.

    Let me explain:

    Daniel Burnett, secretary of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a nonprofit dedicated to academic excellence, recently wrote that Shakespeare studies are virtually non-existent today.

  • Another Perspective: New Mexico needs new ideas for job growth

    By Fred Nathan/Think New Mexico

    Prompted by a large decline in federal spending, New Mexicans are now engaged in a healthy and useful dialogue about how best to diversify our economy.

    Think New Mexico would like to offer two ideas that we believe could propel private sector job growth in our state – and that gubernatorial and legislative candidates from both parties should be able to embrace.         

  • Editorial Roundup - April 25, 2014

    Compiled by The Associated Press

    Houston Chronicle on the demographic changes occurring in Texas and the importance of improving education conditions for black and brown kids (April 18):
    Texas is changing: Improving education conditions for black and brown kids is key to a bright future

  • Work of Art: Was it payback time?

    On the wall of the office of long-time Highlands University department secretary Jean Greer was a framed photo that showed a lone goat atop a craggy mountain. The message beneath it was, “I’m so far behind, it looks like I’m w-a-y ahead.”

    That was years ago, when I worked there. I’m reminded of Amtrak and its penchant for tardiness. Why doesn’t the government-subsidized railway company simply adopt this slogan: “We’re always prompt, no matter how long it takes”?