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Columns

  • 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.”

  • Work of Art - Got a Magic Marker?

    Several months back, around the time Highlands University developed its own license plate, I jumped in line for one of the lower numbers.

    Sharon Caballero, in charge of selling the new tags, called me when someone cancelled an order, and I was able to draw HU00011. A second plate, HU00211, which fits my second car, I got directly from the local motor vehicle department, unaware that Highlands had a stash of the lower-numbered plates.

    Not bad! The lower number makes me feel oh so important; the higher number, 211, reminds me I ought to weigh a lot less than that.

  • Editor's Note - Witching for water

    I first heard about them in the Appalachia Mountain region of Eastern Kentucky — “diviners” they were called there. And last week, one of them — a native of Trujillo who now lives in Las Vegas, came to see me.

    Salvadore Higgins said he’s been “witching” for water since the late 1970s. His ability to find underground water veins by walking around with a wire in his hand must be a God-given talent, he said. And, indeed, there is no conclusive scientific explanation for what he does.

  • Nuestra Historia

    By Jesus Lopez

    They remain among the most passionate and inspiring words penned by our founders in 1910, and they are virtually set in stone: “Children of Spanish descent shall never be denied the right of admission in the public schools, and shall never be classed in separate schools, but shall forever enjoy perfect equality.”