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Columns

  • Work of Art: ¿Q-vo, ese bro?

    Remember when boys would go to school, their pockets bulging with marbles, and those same marbles would work wonders when spinning around their moms’ washing machines?

    I doubt one can find a game of marbles anywhere anymore, its having gone out of style when gadgets like Rubik’s cubes and little tile games made the scene.

  • Another Perspective: Martinez is helping teachers

    By Tim Lewis

    I know it’s popular in some circles to attack Gov. Susana Martinez as anti-teacher and claim that her education reforms aren’t working. But let me tell you, as a teacher from a family of teachers, those smears don’t reflect the facts. Gov. Martinez has a record that demonstrates she cares about teachers and the students we teach.

  • Nuestra Historia - Kearny, Manifest Destiny rode into Las Vegas

    By Jesus L. Lopez

    For the Optic

    There were 1,150 people living in Las Vegas on Aug. 15, 1846. It was a Saturday morning. Only 11 years earlier, the 36 original settlers had built their adobe houses around a central plaza. They and others who joined them grazed their livestock on the lush meadows and planted their crops along the Rio Gallinas, and many families had already established their home sites and ranchitos away from the plaza.

  • Work of Art: ‘Please speak English’

    A dabbler in languages, I came across a book titled Les Bon Mots. I found it at the latest AAUW book sale, where early birds can get some amazing stuff at a good price.

    The book is a guide to hundreds of French words guaranteed to make people sound oh-so learned. As interested as I am in English, Spanish, French and German, I fear that decades from now many of the lesser-spoken languages, including a host of Indian tongues, will have vanished to make room for English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.

  • 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.