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Columns

  • Work of Art Little has changed

    Several years ago, in the pre-911 era, before we needed to open up our world to the TSA, in the name of Homeland Security, we almost missed our flight to Orlando, Fla.

    Back then, there were none of those interminable lines of people ordered to remove their shoes or subject themselves to touchy-feelie pinching, patting, probing, poking and prodding. So, though my crew arrived too late to check our bags — we needed to tote them all the way to our destination — we were allowed on the plane, even with our bazookas, pipe bombs and jumbo bottles of lotion.

  • Holidays with the Optic

    Time to start thinking about the upcoming holidays — to give thanks, wish for peace on earth and goodwill to all, and maybe get a cool gift or two. Then we’ll turn the corner on a new year, with an adios to the old and hola on the new — hoping and praying for a  tomorrow that will be even better than the days before.

    Here at the Optic, we’re planning several things. First, I’ll provide an overview, then I’ll tell you how you can participate.

    • • •

    Here’s what we have planned:

  • Tiny, Joe, the monkey and the moon

    It was 1976, and Joseph M. Montoya was seeking his third term to the U.S. Senate. The quintessential politician, Montoya was becoming a powerful senator, and had served on the select Senate Watergate Committee which investigated the Nixon White House. (President Richard M. Nixon  resigned from office Aug. 9, 1974, the only president in history to do so.)  

  • Work of Art: 7 billion? On second thought ...

    One of the greatest features of my new toy, my iPad, is the ability to add “apps,” that is, applications that do different things. The one I like but can’t control is named, simply, “Population.”

    It resembles a car odometer. It’s digital, and the columns showing units and tens run fast. Last Friday, the last time I checked before now, the count was 6,9099,587,471. The time was 5:33 p.m. Watching the counter moving, I timed it for exactly one minute, during which the estimated population climbed by 148 people.

  • Publisher's Note: Politics and hiring at Luna

    A few hours before a scheduled Luna Community College Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 20, I heard a rumor that the board was about to remove Pete Campos as president. Some board members were not happy about being left out of certain hiring decisions, I was told, and they had the votes to fire Campos.

  • Nuestra Historia - Starvation Peak; Pablita’s conclusion

    An old and intriguing legend is that Spanish settlers, pursued by hostile Native Americans, took refuge and starved atop El Cerrito de Bernal, a small butte rising 7,031 feet, about 12  miles southwest of Las Vegas. As a result, since anyone can remember, the small mesa has been called Starvation Peak.  (Cerrito means small mountain, and the first written reference to El Cerrito de Bernal was in  1794,  in the description of the San Miguel del Bado land grant, which designates the butte as the grant’s northeastern boundary.)

  • Another Perspective: Back to my hometown

    Editor’s note: This article was originally published on www.YourLifeIsATrip.com, a group blog featuring experiential storytelling and first-person travel narratives.

    I had lived in Santa Fe for 23 years before it occurred to me to offer to move back to Las Vegas, where I was raised, to help out my mom.

  • Work of Art: Halloween: Hit or myth

    This week is the best time of the year. Other seasons are great, but nothing beats the first weeks of fall.

    Halloween features long nights and short days, and the probability that imaginations become bizarre. Most people like to be scared, and Halloween’s a perfect occasion for that.

    Here’s why this season is great:

    Things change. We leave the house early, often needing to scrape our windshields. We don a coat because of the icy car seats, but by the time we arrive at work, it’s time to turn on the AC.

  • Publisher's Note: Collective memories

    Last month’s 10th anniversary of 9/11 got me to thinking about the national experiences that get etched into our collective memory. The ones in which we personally remember where we were and what we were doing when we first heard the news.

  • Nuestra Historia - La Gavilla de Silva

    Vicente Silva came to  Las Vegas in 1875 from Bernalillo, in Sandoval County. He soon opened, on the south plaza, a saloon and gambling house known as the Imperial Saloon. Silva’s wife Telésfora and her brother Gabriel Sandoval helped run the raucous saloon, which was open round-the-clock.