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Columns

  • 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.

  • Nuestra Historia - Myth, legend or fact?

    Was Pablita Angel twice hanged in Las Vegas in 1861, and is she the only woman ever executed in New Mexico?

    Did an Italian holy man live in solitude atop El Cerro del Tecolote, and is that why the mountain is known as Hermit’s Peak?

    Did a group of settlers pursued by Native Americans take refuge at the summit of El Cerrito de Bernal, and there starve to death, and is that why the small plateau is called Starvation Peak?

  • Work of Art; They’ve already left Yanostan

    Possibly the most confusing and complicated verb form in the English language is, paradoxically, also about the shortest: to be.

    In many languages — not just in English — the different forms of the word seem to defy logic. You start with “be,” but you can’t change the tense of it by saying or writing “beed”; no, instead many forms of the word branch out: am, was, were, been, being. To most English speakers, the various permutations come naturally, but in other languages, such as Spanish, the issue seems much more difficult.

  • Publisher's Note: ‘Blessings in Disguise’

    If you want to read some beautiful prose about the purity of family and friendships, J.P. Baca’s book isn’t for you.

    But if you want to read a raw expression of one man’s rise above harsh and abusive conditions to conquer his own little piece of the world, you should read “Blessings in Disguise.”

  • Nuestra Historia - Montezuma’s United World College

    Charles, Prince of Wales, and heir to the British throne, came to Montezuma on Oct. 28, 1982, to dedicate the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West.

  • Work of Art: What will the people say?

    It’s just my luck to have been raised in a family where appearance might not have been paramount, but it was nevertheless w-a-y ahead of whatever was in second place.

    My mother, the late Marie Trujillo, would have been scandalized had we little Trujillos done anything to bring dishonor to the family. A devout Catholic, Mom probably added a couple of beads to the rosary she carried, something that ponders, “Que dira la gente?”