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Columns

  • Keeping it Simple: Resilience

    My column this time around is about resilience — the resilience of people in this community. I was going to begin my article by noting a litany of unfortunate events which have plagued Las Vegas in recent years; however, two Optic editorials have already beat me to it.

  • Nuestra Historia - Eugenio, Las Gorras Blanca and the Constitution

    It was at the momentous constitutional convention of  1910 that Eugenio Romero again emerged as a strong voice to protect the rights of Hispanic New Mexicans.  

  • Orgullo del Norte - Separating the war from the warrior

    “See those fields down there. They are not frijoles or corn, carnal. They are rice patties and we are not at home.”
    — Lorenzo Flores

    I had the pleasure of sitting down with Willie Salas in attempt to capture what the Vietnam War was to our sons, brothers, and fathers. In 1966 Willie didn’t go to the prom, he went to Vietnam. Willie went into the 1st Marine Division.

  • Work of Art: Having a bone to pick

    “I have a bone to pick with you.” Really? Does anyone fail to understand the expression, meaning having a score to settle or an argument to advance?

    Methinks many of us — including and especially myself — must have come across this and other expressions and never really bothered to verify them, to discover what they really mean. Sometimes we use incorrect expressions without knowing so; other times we use them correctly but don’t know why.

    Here are some common terms, which, invariably get used wrong:

  • Publisher's Note: Family matters

    I come from a family of seven brothers. It was a crowded and rowdy upbringing. No sisters, though a host of spouses would later usher in a more feminine touch to our large and boisterous family.

    We were raised by a dedicated father who instilled in us a sense of humor and values about what’s right and wrong and fair and just, and a caring mother who was stern, loving and strong enough to raise us the right way.

  • Nuestra Historia - The formidable Don Eugenio

    Born in 1837, Eugenio Romero was two years younger than Trinidad.  In 1882 he was elected the first and only mayor of the combined city of east and west Las Vegas, before the eastside broke away and established itself as a separate municipality. (Don Eugenio alone held this distinction for almost 90 years, until the consolidation of our municipalities in 1970).

  • Orgullo del Norte - Kearney didn’t fire a shot, but Los Norteños did

    “The history of liberty is a history of resistance.”
    — Woodrow T. Wilson

    Much like President Bush’s “mission accomplished” statement, Gen. Kearny announced that the only resistance to the invasion of New Mexico was the mud on his wagon wheels. Both statements were made way too premature.

    Kearney failed to do his research on the inhabitants of Northern New Mexico. Had he done his homework, he would have learned how resilient, self-sustaining, proud, cunning, and fearless Norteños were.

  • Work of Art: The perfect photo-op

    One of the best photo-ops in recent times came Monday morning when I got a call from Optic managing editor, Martin Salazar, asking me to hustle over to the north exit on I-25 to get some pictures.

    Taking Exit 347, I discovered that a sea of orange cones, closing the right southbound lane, stretched for about a mile. There, a number of city vehicles were towing away dozens of wrecked trucks, buses, trailer houses and other equipment that had greeted locals and tourists alike. This eyesore has been an in-your-face assault on our aesthetic sensibilities for years.

  • Publisher's Note: Las Vegas United

    At the risk of pointing out the obvious, and sounding like a broken record, allow me to point out once again that we live in a divided community.

    I’m not just talking about our two school districts, or the conflicting perspectives between Anglos and Hispanics, or young vs. old, or even the ugly and unnecessary resentments between natives and newcomers. I’m talking about all of the above, which is fed by the antiquated notion that someone out there is going to destroy that which we hold dear.

  • Nuestra Historia - Trinidad goes to Washington

    As concerns the next several columns in particular, I humbly acknowledge the scholarly writings of Ralph Emerson Twitchell, Lynn Perrigo and  Maurilio Vigil, as well as the personal history imparted to me by John Paul Taylor and by my dear friend since childhood, Arabella Romero Aragon, Don Miguel Romero’s great-great-granddaughter.