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Columns

  • Publisher's Note: Great debates

    A couple of weeks ago I was asked to be a judge at a series of debates at West Las Vegas High School. What I experienced was both frustrating and inspiring.

    First, the frustration. I found it difficult to sit there without speaking up about the issues under debate. The questions posed were relevant and timely and the wannabe teacher in me wanted to jump into the fray. But I maintained my role and kept quiet — not such an easy thing to do for an inky pundit like me.

  • Another Perspective: Living on the edge

    By Andrew Feldman

    For the Optic

    Our water problem can basically be broken into two parts — water infrastructure (expensive) and actual water supply (scarce). The infrastructure will take a great deal of money to fix. The supply is more uncertain and no amount of money can make it rain or snow. If we fix the infrastructure and do some other innovative things we can hedge our bet against drought.

    In the past when the water situation became dire, previous city administrations would talk, but then it would rain and nothing would get done.

  • Nuestra Historia - Charles Ilfeld built business empire

    The most well known of the early Jewish settlers of Las Vegas was Charles Ilfeld, who came here in 1867, when he was only 20. He had arrived in Santa Fe two years earlier, emigrating from Homburg vor der Hohe, a town in Germany near Frankfurt, then part of the Prussian Empire. According to Ilfeld family history, Charles arrived in Santa Fe with only $5 in his pocket.      

  • Orgullo del Norte - Connecting our herencia with our heroes

    “Spontaneous combustion of grassroots politics is the future.”
    — Dick Morris

    Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821. Now that Mexico had control of the church, it began to call back all missionaries from El Norte. This move left just a handful of priests to hold mass throughout the many villages. Most rural villages went up to a year without seeing a priest from the Catholic church.

  • Work of Art: This TV runs on kerosene

    “Please leave the humor to me.” I’ve used that line many times, especially toward my brother-in-law, Jeff Romero, a lawyer  who used to be the district attorney in Albuquerque.

    He’d start in with lawyer jokes (yes, lawyers know them all; they hear them, spread them, laugh at them and feel unloved if someone fails to tell a lawyer joke in their presence).

    One thing about Jeff, a man who has made quite a good living, was his reluctance to buy new stuff.

  • Publisher's Note: CAVE dwellers

    Last week I told you about my tour of the spaceport near Truth or Consequences, following a New Mexico Press Association meeting down there, but I didn’t say anything about TorC itself.

  • Nuestra Historia - The Jewish merchants

    When introducing the most recent articles in this column, we noted that between annexation in 1846 and the arrival of the railroad in 1879, there were three transformative developments in Las Vegas. We have related two of them, the Americanization of the Old Town Plaza and the emergence of the Romero dynasty.

  • Orgullo del Norte - English only?

    The first and most powerful step in dismantling someone’s culture is by erasing their language. In the not-so-distant past, young Native Americans of El Norte were sent to “Indian Schools” for assimilation. They were forbidden to speak their native tongue.

  • Work of Art: Not exactly a barrel of fun

    Video games have spoiled it for many of us. We have grown so inured to realistic things coming toward us that I fear too often we don’t know how to react when danger is imminent.

    Let me explain: Many years ago, we brought some friends home from a dance at Immaculate Conception School. Because my dad was the first one on his block to own a genuine adjustable camera (an Argus C-3), he wanted to take a group photo of us.

  • Publisher's Note: A formidable future

    Do you ever think about the future? Well, don’t dwell on it for too long, or you’ll have to rethink it all over again.

    That’s how fast it’s changing.

    Think of history as a line. Up until modern times, it was pretty much a straight line, in which one event led to another in a relatively predictive manner. Things didn’t always make sense at the time, but they usually did when we looked back on them. The line of knowledge and invention angled upward, but it was still basically a straight line.