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Columns

  • Nuestra Historia - Las Vegas after Kearny

    After the 1846 occupation and annexation, New Mexico was brought under the civil law of the United States (Kearny Code), and government officials for New Mexico were immediately appointed by Gen. Kearny. Thereafter, New Mexico was governed by civil and military officials who received their appointments from Washington.  

    Thus began New Mexico’s territorial period, which lasted 66 years, until our old and venerable Nuevo Mexico, long a  Spanish and Mexican province, was admitted to the Union as the 47th state in 1912.

  • Orgullo del Norte - The great women of el norte

    “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community ....Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”
    — Cesar Chavez

    Women have always played a very large role in history but have received little or no recognition. It will be a crime if we do not honor our own “Norteñas.”

  • Work of Art: As easy as falling off a pie

    Only a couple of weeks away from spring, we’ve gotten restless, tired of checking the weather reports to discover whether traffic’s stuck in Glorieta Pass. Newcomers to this area are often surprised that there’s actually visibility, sun and clear roads after trudging along, following a million semis crawling on I-25. We’ve stayed home more than we’re accustomed to, due to the weather, and we’ve acquired cabin fever.

  • Publisher's Note: Mayoral speculation

    Here’s some premature speculating on next year’s mayoral election, already a hot topic among at least a few Las Vegas political animals.

    I’ve heard eight names thrown into the mix, and having spoken with nearly all of them, can announce the intentions of two in particular.

  • Lawmaker’s Perspective - Budget cuts can be repaired

    The budget cuts under consideration during the current legislative session are a painful continuation of cuts we’ve made for the last several years. But the recession that has forced these cuts is ending and there is hope that critical services can be restored as early as this fall.

  • Nuestra Historia - Kearney’s march into Las Vegas

    Some 1,150 people lived in Las Vegas on Aug. 15, 1846. It was a Saturday morning.

    Only 11 years earlier the 36 original settlers had built their adobe houses around a central plaza.

    They and others who joined them grazed their livestock on the lush meadows and planted their crops along the Rio Gallinas, and many families had already established their home sites and ranchitos away from the plaza.

  • Orgullo del Norte - A clash of two cultures

    “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
    —Churchill

    The village of Acoma is the oldest continually inhabited village in the United States (over 800 years). In 1540, it was Coronado’s expedition who first laid European eyes on the Acoma Pueblo and their people.

    The clash came 58 years later in 1598 (Spanish colonization). Legend has it that the Acoma people invited the Spanish in with a promise of food and shelter, then orchestrated an ambush.

  • Work of Art: A second helping of third grade

    Possibly the biggest fear I experienced in the elementary grades was in doing anything academic from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Before schools began tacking on extra days to the calendar, for “in-service” days, our summers were free.

    Now, the school year often starts in early August and stretches into June. Hey, where’d our summers go?

  • Red Bow Warrior

    By Martin Salazar

    “To me government is not peopled by good and bad men, with rare exceptions, but by men trying, each within the limitations of his abilities and his weaknesses, to perform the roles assigned them.”
    — Henry L. Trewhitt

    Being a journalist in your hometown can be a mixed blessing.

    You know everyone, and everyone knows you.

  • Nuestra Historia - Will it be red or green?

    It has been two months since our first column, and many Optic readers have contacted us with questions and comments. One continuing question is why Las Vegas and New Mexico history is alternately referred to as Spanish and Mexican.