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Columns

  • Work of Art — Scout leaders messed up

    The aphorism, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” has an interesting pedigree, variously credited to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th century cleric, and to Virgil’s Aeneid written shortly before the time of Christ, and whose translation reads, “It’s easy to go to hell.”

    Those notions certainly apply to the three men who are likely to be facing felony charges for toppling over a huge rock in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. The unusual formations date back to the Jurassic era.

  • Work of Art — We love being scared

    Tomorrow night, many of us will get the chance to become frightened — and to enjoy it. Is it the rush of adrenalin that gives people a “high?”

    Thursday night, Halloween, will of course feature spooky costumes as kids go trick-or-treating. If history holds out, they’ll congregate mostly in the newer, better-lighted areas of town. Streets like Vegas, Mountain View, Dalbey, Legion and Lee drives are likely gathering places.

  • Nuestra Historia: 1965-1975: An era of great change in Las Vegas

    The tale of two cities culminates with consolidation in 1970 and the stirring election of that year. However, before proceeding to that conclusion, it is necessary for readers to understand that the municipal merger was only one of several momentous events which overtook Las Vegas at the same time — a period that was nothing less than transformational.

    A historical era can be many years or a short time, and is not so much determined by its duration, as by its significance.

  • Editorial Roundup: Newspaper opinions from around the nation - Oct. 25, 2013

    Gainesville (Fla.) Sun on cruel punishment (Oct. 20):
    It’s hard to have sympathy for someone executed for committing a horrific crime.
    In fact, some would say that murderers who make their victims suffer get off too easy when executed by lethal injection.
    Yet as long as our nation’s Constitution bans cruel and unusual punishment, and its people desire to be guided by their best and not their basest instincts, we need to question whether those values are consistent with our use of the death penalty.

  • Work of Art — Things we wouldn’t know . . .

    A columnist I admired in my early days in journalism was Hal Boyle, who wrote about 7,000 newspaper columns during a long career. He died in 1974 at the age of 64.

    Though he reported from the front lines during World War II, he didn’t limit his topics to war stories: Everything was fair game for the Associated Press writer, who often opened with, “Things a columnist wouldn’t know if he didn’t open his mail.”

  • Another Perspective — Native amphibians in trouble

    By Eric Martin

    Las Vegas Optic

    The USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative released a study this summer that states amphibian populations in the U.S. are declining at a rate of 3.7 percent  a year from the habitats they currently occupy. According to amphibianark.org, 165 is the “estimated number of amphibian species believed to have already gone extinct” and 500 is “the estimated number of amphibian species whose threats cannot be mitigated quickly enough to stave off extinction.”

  • Nuestra Historia: New Town’s first Hispanic mayor also its last

    A week after the merger of East and West Las Vegas was approved at a special consolidation election, the two towns held their last regular elections as separate municipalities, and on March 5, 1968, East Las Vegas elected its first Hispanic mayor since the rail town was founded almost a century earlier.

  • Work of Art — A prof’s word was law

    At Highlands University in the ‘80s, a secretary I used to know circulated a sheet that contained clever descriptions of the college hierarchy.

    It started with the dean, who was “able to leap tall buildings at a single bound” and was “more powerful than a locomotive.”

    The department head could leap Quonset huts and sometimes win a tug-of-war with a switch engine.

    The full professor left scuff marks trying to leap over a chair. The lowly instructor would trip over his own shoes.

  • Dulcey Amargo - I’m a (charmed) 49er!

    All the recent and upcoming activity revolving about Highlands University’s  120th anniversary and homecoming has given me an opportunity to reflect on so much that has been part of my life associated with the university during the past 49 years. It’s almost hard to believe it’s been that long. Some of it feels like yesterday.

    Back in 1963, when our guidance counselor, Fr. Venard,  at Cathedral High School in Gallup, called me in to advise me regarding my college plans, I didn’t realize the odyssey I was embarking upon.

  • Nuestra Historia: Las Vegas is one: Voters approve merger 4-1

    The above headlines and photographs are from the Optic’s front page the day after voters in East and West Las Vegas approved consolidation by an overwhelming margin. Two years later, the long separated towns would become one combined municipality.