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Columns

  • 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.”

  • Work of Art - Caucasian and light-skinned

    The rage is palpable. Remember the casting call from an out-of-state agency that sought only “Caucasians or light-skinned Hispanics”? Anger has gone viral.

    To review: On Location Casting posted on its website a solicitation for “real families.” The website listed desirable qualities among the applicants, but the light-skinned requirement set people off.
    What were the talent scouts thinking?

  • Editor's Note - The root of all ...

    Money. It’s been on my mind a lot lately, because I don’t have enough of it.

    Oh, I know, you think I shouldn’t complain because I’m paid the big bucks to run the Optic. And, yes, I know I should be thankful for my seven-figure salary — I just wish those seven digits didn’t include the two to the right of the decimal point.

    Still, unlike a lot of people, I’m fortunate to have all the necessities of life.

  • Nuestra Historia - Founders met to draft state’s constitution

    It had been 60 long years since New Mexico became an American territory, following four years of U.S. military occupation after Kearny’s invasion in 1846. On June 20, 1910, at 1:40 p.m., with the stroke of his pen, President Taft enabled New Mexico to become the 47th American state.

  • Work of Art — Battling the elements

    Edward Flores, limping, fearing frostbite and distraught over marital problems and separation from his sons, is also without a car.

    It’s a strange tale, as circuitous as the routes he followed to get to Las Vegas, all of it occurring within the past two weeks. Part of the odyssey consumed much of last Saturday, through the winding, twisting cow-paths of eastern San Miguel and northern Guadalupe counties, as he and volunteers went in search of his car.