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Columns

  • Work of Art: He hasn’t been assassinated

    By Art Trujillo

    An exchange, ongoing for years, has caused me to run for the dictionaries, all because of a single word: assassinate.

    Bruce Wertz, a clerk for the Las Vegas City Schools, has assured me he’s still alive by giving me an unusual answer as to his health. I’ll ask, “How you doing, Bruce?”

    Invariably, he replies, “I’m OK. I haven’t been assassinated this week.” Then he tacks this on: “And if I had been, I wouldn’t be telling you about it now.” Really?

  • Publisher’s Note: Flawed heritage

    I remember the day after Martin Luther King was killed just across the Mississippi River from my home-state of Arkansas. I was 11 years old and working for a man raking leaves, and I asked him what he thought about it.

    He said King got what he was asking for.

    And I remember years later, when I was applying for a job in Little Rock and the man interviewing me outlined the holidays I would get — the new King holiday was one, he said, but a lot of the employees preferred to celebrate it as the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s birthday instead.

  • To the Points: Cheers for WikiLeaks

    Thomas Jefferson once proffered that if he had to choose between an elected congress and a free media to ensure the preservation of democracy, he would roll the presses, every time. The present ballyhoo created by WikiLeaks supports Tom’s thinking and reminds us, once again, just how hard our government works to ensure that we, the citizens, don’t really know what’s happening to our national treasure and our aspirations to become an altruistic, even-handed, fair-thinking member of the global community.

  • Work of Art: Sweatin’ to the newbies

    By Art Trujillo

    It’s around this time of the year when people’s visits to doctors increase. And doctors often say such an increase is expected around the holidays. We overeat.

    ‘Twas the season to gormandize on turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, yams and the full spectrum of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s edibles.

  • Publisher’s Note: Candidate forums

    Ramon “Swoops” Montaño called last week, relaying a concern he heard about the upcoming school board candidate forums. He wondered if the east-side forum might be skewed in favor of two candidates in particular — Felix Alderete and Ricky Serna — since they are members of the Community Committee for Better Schools.

    That committee is co-sponsoring both forums — for West’s candidates on Jan. 18 and for East’s on Jan. 20 — along with the Optic.

  • To the Point: Resuscitating Marie Antoinette

    I’ve always thought of progressive taxation — the more you make, the more you pay — as a universally advantageous alternative to revolution.

    I recall that I first learned this heretical distinction during my liberal arts education at Highlands, which included reading Montaigne, Bentham, Hume, Locke, Smith and others of their ilk. I don’t know that these stalwarts are still on the required reading lists, but there might be some gain if they were.

  • Work of Art: Tell me model, make, year

    By Art Trujillo

    Las Vegas Optic

    As a child, I’d spend a lot of time waiting for my dad to get off work at B.M. Werley Auto Co., then the Ford Dealership on Grand Avenue.

    I knew all the front-office staff and most of those in the garage. Remember, in those days, new cars were guaranteed to break at least once on being driven for the first time. That kept the backshop full and the crew busy.

  • Publisher’s Note: Enter a new year

    For six years, managing editor David Giuliani occupied this spot on this particular day. But now, dedicated readers of the Optic know, he’s gone. Off to a newspaper in Illinois, where I’m confident he’ll do well.

    Giuliani was the consummate journalist. During his time at the Optic, he reported on the good, bad and ugly of our community without hesitation. I’m convinced that this newspaper and our community is better because of his work and dedication.

  • Showing Mercy: Being who I am

    Who am I? That question lingered through my mind daily for years. I know I’m a partner, a daughter, an aunt, a granddaughter, a sister, a sister-in-law and a friend. But, really, who am I?

    I’m Hispanic, 5-foot-7, a woman, 31, a journalist by trade, a dreamer and I’m not stating my weight, unlike my colleague Art Trujillo. But more importantly, I happen to be in love with someone of the same sex. Yes, I am a lesbian and proud of who I am.

  • Work of Art: Laugh? Thought I’d never start

    By Art Trujillo

    Rather than attempt Comedy Central, let me explain that I have absolutely no talent when it comes to telling those long, drawn-out, elaborate situational anecdotes that require a series of repetitive remarks (“and then the genie asked the third man ...) followed by a punchless line.

    In fact, where there’s laughter in my environment, it’s usually the result of some slip of the tongue, a one-liner, or something serendipitous, in which people are laughing at me rather than with me. And that’s all right too.