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Columns

  • Nuestra Historia - New Mexico by any other name — Arizona?

    By Jesus Lopez

    Even New Mexico’s name was offensive to Washington, and during the long quest for statehood, several attempts were made to change her age-old identity.

    As early as 1869, a Congressional bill proposing statehood required that New Mexico’s name be changed to Lincoln. In 1888, New Mexico’s admission was proposed in Congress under the name Montezuma. Even these attempts at statehood having failed, a name change was never actually required —  until 1906.

  • Community Water Report - Protecting our water future

    By Bob Weesely

    Water supply is certainly the primary obstacle to Las Vegas’ economic growth and economic health.

    The Las Vegas Community Water Board, an all-volunteer organization, has been closely tracking the city’s water operations. In light of the political rhetoric over the past several weeks, we decided to report the facts about the city’s water behavior, as we see them.  

    In this two-part Optic series, we’ll describe the city actions to-date, and indicate what good each of the nearly two dozen actions will do.

  • Work of Art - Lots to ‘like’ in Cameron Diaz

    “What are you doing watching that program, Art?”

    “It’s strictly for educational purposes, my dear.”

    That was the exchange earlier this week when my wife asked me to turn down the volume of my “educational” program, Entertainment Tonight. Not highbrow enough? Well, let me explain:

    Purely for education and edification, I left the TV on after the evening news, enjoying a passive education and nodding occasionally, between my own nodding off.

  • Editor's Note - Getting down to business

    Seems there has been a lot of talk about our local economy lately. Or, at least, I’ve been hanging around the right places for such talk.

  • Nuestra Historia - ‘It is very hard to teach Mexicans English well’

    Like a whirlwind, he arrived in Las Vegas in the fall of 1902. Ten days later he departed New Mexico, confident that its people were not fit to be part of the American nation.

    When he returned to Washington, he declared imperiously that statehood should be denied indefinitely, “until the mass of the people of New Mexico shall in their daily life have become identical in language and customs with the American people — when the immigration of English-speaking people does its modifying work with the Mexican element.”

  • 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.