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Columns

  • 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.

  • Orgullo del Norte - From Oñate to Invenergy

    “It is very hard to remember that events now long in the past were once in the future.”
    — Frederic William Maitland

    The downtown mural will be erected from the outside in. The panels will begin with the earliest period (pre-Spanish incursion) and latest period (today’s issues, conflicts, and events), working its way to the middle (the turn of the century 1880-1912). Therefore we will skip back and forth in order to describe what the public will be viewing, albeit out of a traditional timeline sequence.

  • Another Perspective: Economic development

    Economic Development in our community. One has to ask, why is this important element missing in our community?

    What must we do to encourage economic development?

    I believe there’s a methodical, well-thought-out process we must develop and implement to assist our local businesses, search out new businesses to bring to our city so as to expand growth, generate new business and create new jobs and enhance our tax base.

    Creating a plan of action:

  • Work of Art: An 88-year-old’s recollections

    By Art Trujillo

    In past columns I’ve devoted much lineage to the way things used to be, to my childhood and the dogged determination of hundreds of boys who worked six days a week to earn a few bucks selling Optics.

  • Publisher's Note: Development vs. preservation

    Last week’s meeting of the city Design Review Board was a classic example of the conflict between economic development and historic preservation.

    Well, maybe not a classic example. It was a Las Vegas example. In many parts of the country, economic development has the upper hand because people like to see money coming into town. In Las Vegas, however, some influential people prefer history because they figure that’s where our identity lies.

  • Another perspective: Our water: The basic issues

    Go into our “low price” Walmart and look at the cost of water — trucked in over long distances and hopefully of drinking water quality. Depending upon the label prettiness and package size, you will see the prices ranging from $1.10 to $6.90 per gallon.

    Surely, Las Vegans can do better than that. What about city water?  Let us drag you though some details.

    Where does city water come from? About 10 percent is piped from groundwater aquifers a few miles south of the city, and the remaining 90 percent comes from our local Gallinas River.