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Features

  • Gardeners and even farmers often approach their planting from an egocentric rather than a land-based view. That is to say, they often plant what they like and try to find a way to make their chosen plants thrive. That's challenging, and all too often unsuccessful.

    There are others who simply grow the traditional crops that have grown here forever. There's nothing wrong with that, but there is a third way, which opens up the possibility of cultivating non-traditional crops predisposed to do well on your land.

  • Las Vegan Savannah Lujan has won many music awards and has taken part in pageants. But her parents say school comes first.

    The West Las Vegas Middle School seventh-grader won the Youth Artist of the Year and Youth Song of the Year at the 2008 New Mexico Hispanic Music Awards.

    Her parents, John and Paula, said she remains grounded.

    “During the school year, her mommy and I want Savannah to concentrate on her school work and school activities. We just want her to be a little girl — the music will always be there,” John said.

  • It’s time to kick up your heels at the annual Ride to Pride barn dance set for Friday Oct. 16, at the Night Owl.

    Organizers are pumped up about the benefit dinner, dance and auction, which will feature a Western theme that includes a chuck-wagon dinner catered by Lee Daniels, a theater performance, a barn dance with live music by The Bill Hearne Trio, and a silent and live auction with many items.  

  • A labyrinth is being created in the yard of St. Paul’s Peace Church in Las Vegas. The labyrinth was commissioned by St. Paul’s Peace Church pastor John Ridder as a memorial for his late wife, Jane A. Ridder.

    It is being constructed by his son, John E. Ridder, in conjunction with  Gaye Goodman of Faux Real, a company specializing in the acid staining of concrete, and Sean Medrano of Northeastern Construction, who did the actual concrete work.

  • If you’re the one whose life or property is saved, it is a big deal. But there are those who work in jobs where saving life, limb and an occasional cat stranded in a tree is pretty much normal and routine duty.    

    Since it’s their job to look out for the welfare and well-being of their community, Las Vegas firefighters were wondering what all the fuss was about after administering life- saving CPR to a heart attack victim.  

  • Robertson High School homecoming features a blast from the past, with the 2009 theme, “Breaking the Laws of Time.” Students are spending the week dressing in any costume that has to do with time travel.

    Student council President Cody Ross Romero said, “Individual classrooms decorated their hallways in a timeline, from prehistoric all the way to futuristic. So it’s pretty cool.”

    Romero said there will also be a bonfire.

  • She says, with deep conviction, “I had a blessed childhood.” Standing in the mid-morning breeze awaiting the opening of the Patriot Day 9-11 event at Carnegie Park, Gladys Dolores Hightower could be mistaken as “just another spectator,” but as she begins to sing the National Anthem, it becomes obvious to all that she is special. Nevertheless, she is somewhat self-effacing, saying, “I’m just ol’ Gladys.”

  • Local artist and musician David Escudero said volunteer groups in Las Vegas’ storied history have always been an important part of the social fabric of this community.

    “Volunteer organizations are what make a civilization great, the best things we gain as individuals is through voluntarism. That’s the important thing to remember, you have to give a little bit back to your community,” Escudero said.

  • “You can’t sit still for the blues.” Mary Oishi, KUNM disc jockey, chided those sitting in the crowd for not getting to their feet and dancing to the live music at Casa de Cultura’s first “Ain’t Got no Frijoles Blues Festival.”

    Sunday’s event, which drew roughly 200 people, was conceived by Casa de Cultura’s director, Miguel Angel, both as a way to bring people together through culture and introduce them to the wonders of King Stadium.

    It succeeded.

  • All day Thursday the skies over Las Vegas were moody, with a threatening rumble here and there. Organizers for the 2009 “Student Fiesta” at Plaza Park said they were crossing their fingers, and hoping the expected downpour would wait until after the big gathering.

  • The Robertson High School class of 1959 celebrated its 50th anniversary with a class reunion July 30-31.

    The get-together started with dinner at the Sandia Resort and Casino in Albuquerque. There were some 38 classmates in attendance, which included their spouses. They had a good time, going so far as revealing who had a crush on whom back in the 10th grade.

  • Well, it’s that time of year again, and the city has once again decreed that I can only water my garden on Tuesdays.

    It’s uncanny, really.

    There is nothing in nature to suggest that the plants in my garden now need only half the watering they needed just two weeks ago.

    So the city has placed me in the same dilemma as many Las Vegans who are looking to grow food in their backyards — shall I obey authority and let my tomatoes and squash shrivel and die or must I become a scofflaw in the name of food security?

  • New Mexico Highlands University chemistry professor David Sammeth participated in an intensive two-week program in July to study global sustainability at the prestigious Santa Fe Institute.  

    The program, co-sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, explored global sustainability with a focus on climate change. Twenty national and international scientists, economists, social scientists, and policy makers presented at the program.

  • The Las Vegas Peace and Justice Center celebrated its fifth anniversary in May. and it continues to serve the citizens of the Meadow City using a model based on the civil rights movement, whereby the community shapes the work.

    Twelve years ago, Patricia “Pat” Leahan arrived in Las Vegas to continue the work she had been doing in Minnesota in social work and teaching.

  • With a model’s looks and humble demeanor, Holly Holm might not look like a professional fighter.

    But the preacher’s daughter packs a punch that has taken her to the top of the boxing world. The IBA Junior Welterweight Wold Champion will perform in front of a Las Vegas audience this Friday at Wilson Complex. She will take on Terri Blair of Louisville, Ky.

    Holm was in Las Vegas last week to meet fans and give a motivational talk to students at the two school districts.

  • Perhaps you’ve sighted Bill Oshima on his 1973 Raleigh (once called the Cadillac of Bicycles) as he pedals toward the recreation center for a yoga workout; maybe you spotted him hiking the river trail to El Sombrero or to the bank at SECU. You might have done a double take as he pops out of his back yard wearing a bee mask or wields his push-mower and vanquishes the growth in his yard on Lincoln Avenue.

  • On the first day of school, Memorial Middle School teacher Clarabel Marquez has a way of getting kids to come out of their shell: They are introduced to Global Bingo, a game where they ask a number of questions and at the same time get to know each other.

    Students are given a global bingo sheet with a number of questions like: Who traveled out of New Mexico this summer? Who knows at least 10 names of states in the United States? Who knows the name of the mayor of Las Vegas?

  • Keith Salazar is considered the most decorated student that has passed through the halls of West Las Vegas Middle School.

    He won two national titles, was a national finalist in four events, earned 10 state championships and has four state runner-ups to his credit. But he said three years ago, he wanted nothing to do with Business Professionals of America.

    “I did not want to join it. I didn’t want to come to school dressed in a business suit. I didn’t want anything to do with it,” Salazar said.

  • It’s easy to catch their enthusiasm, if you can keep up with Miguel Angel and Georgina Ortega, as the couple work on a seemingly unending list of projects at one time.  

    Their personal stories are compelling, but they don’t want to talk about themselves.

    Angel and Ortega are passionate about talking about their work with Casa de Cultura, whose mission is to foster trust and cohesion among diverse ethnic and social groups, by getting involved in educational and cultural activities.

  • Major Gen. Kenny Montoya of the New Mexico National Guard told the audience at the 2009 Employer Appreciation Day luncheon last week that New Mexico soldiers are as busy as ever around the state. He also said fewer men and women from the state are being sent to Iraq.

    Montoya said a year ago, about 1,000 area troops were in combat. Now, there are 550 New Mexicans deployed.