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Columns

  • Orgullo del Norte - The Native utopian society

    In 1492, Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) miscalculated his voyage to Asia and landed in what is now the island of modern day Haiti and Dominica Republic. He thought he was in the Indies of the East; hence he named the natives “Indians.”

    Throughout history, groups of people have been named by their conquerors. It is for this reason I will use the term “Native peoples.”

  • Work of Art: An eckalectic reading list

    By Art Trujillo

    After years of having graded essays of kids all the way from seventh grade through their senior year, I encountered my share of words like “nuke-you-lerr” when the students meant “nuclear.”

    Why is it so difficult? Why does this combination of nasals, plosives, vowels and glides make even scientists struggle — sometimes not even realizing it’s grating on others?

  • Publisher's Note: 'Las Vegas, New Mexico'

    I’m going to take a chance here, by publishing lyrics to a song. It’s written by Jim Terr, a Las Vegas native who lives mostly in Santa Fe scratching out a living as a singer-songwriter and making off-beat videos.

    He’s also a big Vegas booster, as his work attests to (google him if you want to see for yourself). He gets much of his inspiration from right here at home.

  • Nuestra Historia - The 36 original grantees

    The Las Vegas Land Grant was made in 1835 to 36 grantees, who were for the most part from San Miguel del Bado.

  • Orgullo del Norte - The people’s history

    Editor’s note: This the first of a series of articles intended to lead up to the unveiling of a community mural depicting the history of Las Vegas.

    “American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.”  — James Baldwin

    The principal reason why we don’t repeat the terrible side of history is due to nationalism. You will find this to be true in the history books of most nations.

  • Another perspective: Dividing our blended state

    Raised in Northern New Mexico, in Mora County, I spoke Spanish as my first language. This was the only language I spoke at home and it was commonplace in our community to speak Spanish at the bank, the market, and among  our neighbors.

    Until I started school in the fall of 1955 I never thought of speaking English on a regular basis. It was a language foreign to me; I had heard my older brother and sisters speak it only in passing.

  • Work of Art: Don’t go there

    By Art Trujillo

    As a student at Immaculate Conception School in the late ‘40s, I recall social studies units on The Great Depression, the Stock Market Crash of ‘29, and the concomitant suffering that ensued.

    Well in those days, we were a lot closer to the tumultuous times of the early 20th century, and the biggest lesson I took home — and into my adulthood — was the fact that many people lost their fortunes. “Many millions of people lost everything they had,” intoned Sister Macarena, our fifth-grade teacher.

  • Publisher's Note: What the numbers say

    I did a little number crunching on the school board elections last week, and discovered some interesting tidbits.

    One of the things I found was that, while turnout was low for West’s election, it wasn’t bad on the east side.

    First, let me point out that the numbers I use below are by no means “official,” but that doesn’t mean they’re inaccurate. I gleaned them from Optic reports on the last three school board elections — in 2007, 2009 and last week.

  • To the Point: Ahead of the ax

    Highlands University folks have been commenting on their institutional expectations under new Gov. Susana “La Tejana” Martinez. Their expression demonstrates some justifiable angst.

  • Nuestra Historia - Las Vegas is born

    By Jesus L. Lopez

    Special to the Optic

    Even before 1835, farmers and ranchers from San Miguel had raised crops and grazed livestock on the lush meadows along the Rio Gallinas.  And as related in our last column,  Luis María Cabeza de Baca and his family had settled las vegas as early as 1820.