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Columns

  • 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.

  • Work of Art - A doggy-dog world

    A few weeks back, I told the saga of Heidi, my dachshund whose manners were bad, and in an effort to train the dog, my friend Bob McIntosh suggested we have Heidi meet and live with Bob’s Great Dane, “Duke,” the canine with perfect manners.

    There was a doggone education that followed, but I don’t think Bob ever forgave me for owning a dog that passed her bad culinary habits on to Duke.

  • Editor's Note: The water board forums

    The Las Vegas Community Water Board held two candidate forums last week to exclusively address — you guessed it — water issues.

    They did so for good reason. The city’s water system has long been a No. 1 concern because of what could happen and what’s already happening.

    What could happen is a wildfire, an earthquake or a prolonged drought. Since 90 percent of our water system comes out of the Gallinas River, ash from a major fire in the canyon could make it too polluted to use.

  • Lawmaker's Perspective: Time to be cautious

    New Mexico’s economy is improving, a little, and the result is that the state budget is growing, a little, for the first time in years. But this is not the time to go on a big spending spree.

  • Nuestra Historia - New Mexico trembled as territorial titans clashed

    Early territorial New Mexico saw the beginning of a collision which continues to this day, between a centuries-old social and cultural order, and the new American way. It would explode in an epic struggle between two priests, starting with the first elections for New Mexico’s territorial delegate to Congress.

  • Work of Art - Locals give edge to Patriots

    Except for the fact that more than half of them are Dallas Cowboy fans, it looks like a fairly balanced account of how this Sunday’s Super Bowl will turn out.

    At 4:28 p.m., as the world sits down to a big helping of football and meatball stew, the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants.

    The game features some of the cleverest, new commercials on TV, and that’s the reason at least one person interviewed plans to be watching on Sunday.

  • Editor's Note - Challenging the charter

    For crying out loud, the new city charter has been sitting there for two years, so why wait until after the Jan. 10 filing date to seek a summary judgment?

    The answer, from the man who wants to challenge the new charter, is that he should have done it earlier, but since he didn’t, it’s better to do it now rather than after the March 6 municipal elections.