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Columns

  • 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.

  • Another Perspective - Mora County Courthouse

    By Thomas M. Sanchez

    The Mora County Commission held two public meetings in recent months to hear public input on steps to move forward with the Mora County Complex.

    Last December, local residents participated in an open public meeting to express concerns about the project as well as suggestions for taking steps to complete the project. Additionally, during a commission meeting in late January, residents had another opportunity to provide input on a request for funding for the Mora County Complex for submission to the New Mexico State Legislature.

  • 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.