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Columns

  • Nuestra Historia - Judge Leahy, Carl Magee and Sec Romero

    It was Friday, June 22, 1923, at 4:13 in the afternoon, when a jury returned a verdict against Carl C. Magee, editor and publisher of the Albuquerque Tribune — finding him guilty of criminal libel.

    Surrounded by the most capable lawyers in New Mexico, Magee stood before the court, as District Judge David J. Leahy sentenced the publisher to a year in jail.

  • Work of Art - Girls are smarter, aren’t they?

    Girls are smarter than boys, aren’t they? It depends on who’s asking and who’s being asked. My experience is that the first person to ask is considered “right.”

    Let me explain:

    Back in my childhood, I believed that girls were smarter. Why? Well, because they raised their hands faster when Sister Mary Muy Catolica of Immaculate Conception School would ask, for example, “Who knows the first commandment?”

  • Editor's Note - The primary finales

    Why, you may have asked on Friday, did the Optic editorial board feel compelled to endorse senatorial candidates in both party races, rather than just one candidate over all the others?

    I’ll tell ya, in a round-about way.

    I’m referring to our editorial endorsements of Democrat Hector Balderas and Republican Heather Wilson, who are running for their party nominations to be New Mexico’s next U.S. senator, replacing Jeff Bingaman, who opted not to run for a sixth term.

  • Nuestra Historia - Kirby Benedict’s inebriate judgeship

    Kirby Benedict was a close friend and former colleague of President Abraham Lincoln, and was among the earliest of the famed judges who occupied the Las Vegas bench. He remains New Mexico’s most notorious inebriate, and was district judge for Las Vegas from 1858 until 1866, when he was removed from the bench by President Andrew Johnson.

  • Work of Art - Fjords, and Chevies too

    We’re booked. In late July it’ll be our turn to fly across the Atlantic to visit our son, Stanley Adam, wife Lizbeth, and daughters Ellen, 3, and June, 5 months old.

    It’s our exchange for their having flown here; they’re in Washington, D.C, visiting one of my nephews, and they were due in Albuquerque on Tuesday night, a few hours after the deadline for this column.

  • Editor's Note - Farewell, our David Romero

    Here’s a tribute to a great pressman, who left this past weekend for a new life in Arizona:

    David Romero had been around the Optic for years before 1997, when his stepfather, Stuart Beck, hired him to run the circulation department.

    Then tragedy struck the family- owned operation, when Beck died suddenly of a heart attack. His wife, Delia, David’s mother, took over the operation.

    “When I was publisher, he was really my right-hand man,” she said of her son. “David was always there for me.

  • Nuestra Historia - The stories of the Las Vegas judgeship

    Having concluded the Centennial series — bringing it home to Las Vegas with the story of Gov. Ezequiel C de Baca — we now begin another titillating narrative. We will recount the history of the district judgeship in Las Vegas, and tell the story of the fascinating men who occupied that position through 1965.

    Our self-imposed terminal date is the year legendary District Judge Luis E. Armijo passed away, after serving almost 40 years on the Las Vegas bench.

  • Work of Art - Watching with a nude eye

    Two medieval beings chatted about the science of astronomy in the late 15th century.

    One marvelled, “The Renaissance is just barely beginning, and soon we’re supposed to become great painters, poets, scientists and philosophers, and already, scientists know the names of most of the planets. Without having traveled into outer space, how could anyone know these things?”

  • Editor's Note - The parent-teacher disconnect

    As a parent, I sometimes find it’s been easy to be supportive of my children’s public school education. Other times, not so easy.

    The difference lies in the teacher. I have a great affinity and want nothing more than to support the good ones, but my patience has been tested with the bad ones. And, yes, I’ve had to deal with both.

  • Nuestra Historia - Gov. Ezequiel C de Baca’s last days

    It was a Sunday morning on Feb. 18, 1917. Surrounded by his family, Ezequiel C de Baca died peacefully at age 52, after 49 valiant days as New Mexico’s second governor.

    C de Baca had not sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 1916.

    He genuinely resisted attempts to draft him, protesting that he did not have the funds to wage a campaign. As well, he was feeling in persistent poor health, due to some unexplained ailment.