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Columns

  • Work of Art - Covering your assets

    My friend Chad Boliek turned what might have been a criticism into an advantage. Recall my having mentioned in a recent column that I had planned and planted misuses of the English language?

    That week I received numerous e-mails, phone calls and hand-delivered responses to these assaults on the language, several people having caught expressions like “a blessing in the skies” and “cut off my nose despite my face.” But others, like Anne Kennedy, went beyond what I said was a deliberate misuse and corrected things I had not intended to be erroneous.

  • Editor's Note - Power shifts

    Hidden within our municipal races this year is the stark reality that two of the most progressive council members in recent times are about to step aside. And while both of them were touted at one time or another as outstanding candidates for mayor, in the final analysis neither of them sought that position.

    I’m talking about Diane Moore, who was elected to the council in 2006 and Andrew Feldman, who won his seat in 2008. They were usually allies on the political battlefield, but they often had very different approaches to the issues facing Las Vegas.

  • Nuestra Historia - The mean season begins for New Mexico

    Referring to New Mexico’s ancient capital, a Congressional committee reported in 1888 that Santa Fe “is wretchedly built and the inhabitants, with the exception of a few Americans residing in the place, are ignorant and degraded, and the place bears an evil reputation as one of the most miserable towns on the globe.”

  • Work of Art - The meaning of ‘omberrrs’

    Question: Take a typical Las Vegas cholo with his pants sagging to the point where one inch lower might get him arrested, and with one of the pants cuffs being swallowed by his shoe a bit more than the other.

    What is the logical answer to his situation?

    “Not even.”

    Wrong! The words might be correct on paper, but the articulation of these words proves simply that one can’t always give an accurate rendering of certain words merely by looking at the orthographics.
    Let me explain:

  • Editor's Note - Election criteria

    Maybe it’s all the forums. I listened to bits and pieces of the radio station forums for the council and mayoral candidates. I attended the Community Water Board forums. Now I’m in the middle of moderating the Optic’s candidate forums. And next week I plan to attend the two business-specific mayoral forums being sponsored by the Las Vegas Independent Business Alliance.

  • Another Perspective - Mora County Courthouse

    By Thomas M. Sanchez

    The Mora County Commission held two public meetings in recent months to hear public input on steps to move forward with the Mora County Complex.

    Last December, local residents participated in an open public meeting to express concerns about the project as well as suggestions for taking steps to complete the project. Additionally, during a commission meeting in late January, residents had another opportunity to provide input on a request for funding for the Mora County Complex for submission to the New Mexico State Legislature.

  • Nuestra Historia - The handshake that doomed statehood

    After New Mexico became a Territory in 1850, statehood was not seriously considered by Congress for another quarter century. Then, on a fateful day in 1875, an assenting handshake proved disastrous, and delayed admission for yet another 35 years.

    During its 62 years as a Territory, New Mexico sent 18 delegates to Congress, equally divided between Hispanics and Anglos. They included seven Democrats and 11 Republicans.

  • Work of Art - Is ‘Chula’ a centurian?

    The response to last week’s Work of Art, in which I planned and planted misuses of the English language, was great. The reaction ranged from the concern that your resident Language Cop somehow had “lost it” to a let’s-do-it-again attitude.

    A half dozen readers either e-mailed or dropped off their responses, and one person went even farther, finding a stray question mark in my column and catching me on my capitalizing a word that shouldn’t have been.

  • Editor's Note - Let the debates begin

    Last year I wrote a column about some “great debates” that took place at West Las Vegas High School. Educators Molly Smollett, Mike Ulibarri and Margaret M. Johnson led several students in a series of debates that I had the privilege to attend and help judge.

    Well, they’re at it again. West’s student debates are scheduled for this Wednesday and, again, I get to be a judge.

  • Nuestra Historia - Lamy ends leadership of Hispanic clergy

    The little priest from old Albuquerque, who could neither speak nor understand English, won the election to become the Territory’s delegate to Congress in 1853. When he arrived in Washington, Padre José Manuel Gallegos requested an interpreter, a gesture truly symbolic of the great divide between New Mexico and its new American sovereign.