• Living life with joy in your heart

    By Rick Kraft

    Is there joy in your heart? No really, is there joy in your heart? Some people have it and some don’t.
    Over the many years of my existence, I have come up with many theories. Some people call them “Rickisms.” One of them is that happy people make other people happy.

    Another is that hurting people hurt people.

    Basically, we can’t give to others something we don’t have. Or the flip side, we can only give to others what we have within us.

  • Then and now: Machu Picchu and Las Vegas

    By Beth Urech

    Before I compare Machu Picchu in Peru with Las Vegas, let me tell you how I got there. (I got here via Route 66/Santa Fe Trail exactly two years ago).

    Back in Washington Grade School in Fort Wayne, Ind., I had an exceptional Social Studies teacher.

    When studying the explorers, Miss Opal Nichols divided my seventh-grade class into committees to research and present our findings to the rest of the class. My friend, Sue Brenn, got Montezuma, Kathy Dunigan got Balboa. I got Pizarro.

  • Growing ecotourism means thinking regionally

    The historical buildings in Las Vegas, N.M., are a treasure, to be sure, and are much talked about.

    What we don’t talk about often is the natural treasures we have beneath our feet.
    We should, because we need to value and preserve these treasures.

  • There are no easy options left for Luna

    By Joe McCaffrey

    The last two months have been very grim for Luna Community College, its Board of Trustees and its interim president, Ricky Serna.

    Optic readers will recall that on Nov. 8, 2017, the Higher Learning Commission, the accreditation organization for the central U.S., issued a show-cause order requiring LCC to present its case in writing by Feb. 1, 2018, showing why its accreditation should not be withdrawn.

    This will be followed by an HLC on-site visit and a decision by June about Luna’s accreditation fate.

  • Out with the old predictions, in with the new

    Guess I’m making it an annual thing, this review of predictions past followed by predictions present. The future is anyone’s guess.
    Last year, for my first column of 2017, I reviewed my ‘16 predictions — and didn’t do half-bad, though I didn’t ace it either — and then made some new predictions for the coming year. Let’s do it again, for ’17 and ’18:

  • What’s in a name?

    I’ve been called a number of things in my life. Some of the names, at least, have even been respectable.
    Many old timers still call me Mannie. In my childhood, I must have been given that moniker by one of my parents. It stuck, and now, when someone (probably an alumnus of Immaculate Conception School in Las Vegas) calls me that, I generally recognize that person as a former classmate.

  • First, walk a mile in my shoes

    By Rick Kraft

  • The year in politics and culture

    Oh, what a year it has been.

    Political upheaval overtook us in January. In New Mexico, Democratic majorities in both Houses united the legislature against our Republican governor, while nationally, Donald Trump was being sworn in as our 45th president, thereby upsetting every applecart on the national political scene.

  • Quitting ‘cold turkey’?

    Don’t most of us use expressions that mean nothing, that can’t really explain why those combinations of letters come to mean something we agree on but don’t always know why?

  • Beth Speaks For Herself: Tell your fellow Las Vegan 'Merry Christmas'

    Java and I were on Mills Avenue after our walk UP the bike path. At the Family Dollar Store, a car pulled up and the driver rolled down her window.

    I figured she wanted to talk to me, so I headed over. She pointed at Java and said, “Cute dog. I had a German shepherd.  Someone stole him.”

    “Oh, that’s terrible.”

    “I don’t have enough money to put up a fence. If I ever see my dog  in someone else’s yard, they’ll hear from me.”