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Columns

  • 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.

  • Work of Art: They gave it to she and I

    Martha Johnsen often poses questions on tricky grammar issues.

    Monday, on her morning radio program, she asked which of the two is correct: “He and his wife” or “Him and his wife”?

  • Publisher's Note: Protests and movements

    Late last week, as soon as I read that more “Occupy” protests were being organized in New Mexico, including one each in Taos and Santa Fe, I immediately wondered why one has yet to take place here in Las Vegas.

    After all, we’re about as left-wing a town as you’ll find in this state, so why are protests being staged elsewhere but not here?

  • Nuestra Historia - ‘Lynch the Wind Mill’

    A harmless windmill was erected over a water well at the east side of the Old Town Plaza in 1876, across from the present day Parish Hall. The frame windmill rose about 40 feet above ground, and wooden ladders were used to reach both the lower platform and the derrick.

  • Work of Art: We mustn’t exaggerate

    My mommy told me a hundred million times not to exaggerate. But I continue to do so. When something is outrageously expressed, we can always say, “Well, you ought to know I was exaggerating, deliberately.”
    For example, when we say, “We’ve been waiting for hours for Amtrak to arrive ...“ (Well, that would be accurate.) Let’s say instead, “We’ve been waiting for hours for the Rail Runner.” That’s an exaggeration.

  • A look at fracking

    If Michael Moore had made Gasland, it  would have been wittier. Maybe Josh Fox, who produced the documentary after a natural gas company offered to lease his Pennsylvania land for drilling, was just too close to the story. To him, the threat of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, coming to his homeland and polluting his water and air was a personal affront.

  • Nuestra Historia - Will the real Hermit please stand?

    Was his name Giovanni Maria Augustini or Juan Maria de Agostini, or one of several other variations that have been used in the 150 years the Hermit has been part of Las Vegas history?  And what of his likeness?
    Which of the two photographs appearing with this column was the real Hermit? Perhaps neither. Such is the lore and legend surrounding the Italian recluse for whom Hermit’s Peak is known.  (One source even identifies the Hermit as Matteo Boccalini, born on the Isle of Capri in 1808, and ordained in 1829 as Father Francesco.)

  • Work of Art: Someone’s bean misbehaving

    A dozen years ago, about a dozen of us retired from Highlands University, having amassed possibly a total of 300 years of service (12 faculty times 25 years average). There must have been enough of us personas non grata to prevent us from celebrating our retirement on the university campus.

  • Publisher's Note: Branding, marketing and ideas

    A report by Mercy López on today’s front page gives you an overview of the “branding and marketing” meeting that took place last week in Las Vegas. I was one among about two dozen people to attend — and I came away with some thoughts of my own.

    One is that a community’s reputation is tightly wrapped up in its own self-identity.