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Features

  • The remaining animals of The Animal Support Center have a place to live. Jessica Taylor, owner of Green Gates Sanctuary in Ilfeld, N.M., is willing to care for and socialize the remaining animals of TASC so that they can be adopted to loving homes. Green Gates is a separate entity from TASC and will continue to exist as an educational center and a much needed sanctuary when all TASC animals are adopted.

  • Labor Day weekend was full of exciting happenings. Not forgetting to mention that indeed we got lost in a mountain with a boat. We spent 13 hours driving all over the mountains of Colorado looking for the place where we were supposed to camp.

    But I never thought getting lost would be as much fun as it was.

    While we were stuck in the truck together, we sang and my uncle told jokes and would ask me, “So, is being lost with me better than being at home?” I had to laugh because my answer would always be “Yes.”

  • Meredith Britt’s work in the upcoming show, “el arte moderno,” invokes a soft but colorful serenity, as though no sound plays a part in the art making. A person of few words with a dry sense of humor and a quiet demeanor, Britt seems quite comfortable in the company of only her paints and canvas.

  • On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Carnegie Library Park, local activists will team up with featured speaker Magdaleno Rose Avila to help kindle the struggle for justice in Las Vegas.

    Magdaleno Rose Avila grew up in an immigrant family, in southern Colorado where he faced poverty, limited education, stereotyping, drugs, and gangs.

  • The reason people want to come to the Wildlife Refuge is because we miss our mother — the mother of us all, Mother Nature — according to Jan Arrott at the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge. Jan and other members of the Friends of the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge are there for the birds and other wildlife because people need that connection. Human beings long for something that connects us with our roots in nature, with soaring eagles and smooth-sailing cranes.

  • The Concert of the Birds is an annual musical festival that benefits The Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge. The Concert of the Birds has been going on for four years and is hosted by The Friends of the Las Vegas National Wild Life Refuge. Janice Arrott is the organizer.

    “We try and have local Northern New Mexico musicians.” Arrott said. For the past four years there have been a variety of musicians. This year, Los Tropicales is playing.

  • The National Park Service and Fort Union National Monument announces its’ monthly “Glimpses of the Past” presentation. The program will be held at the CCHP/Santa Fe Trail Interpretive Center, 116 Bridge St., in Las Vegas, Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.

  • It was the early 13th century, in the Sierra Morena mountains north of Seville. The Spanish were rebelling against centuries-old occupation by the Moors.

    The Spanish soldiers were at a standstill, the Moors controlling all the passes leading to their stronghold, but a shepherd named Martin Alhaja turned the tide — he told the Spanish soldiers of a secret passage, and marked the entrance with the skull of a cow.

  • One of the truisms of permaculture is that problems can be solutions. We tend to view problems in a vacuum, but this is often the result of a limited perspective, and of our failure to ask big enough questions. It is a good discipline, in gardening and in all endeavors, to look at what we believe is a problem, and ask ourselves whether there is some other problem to which the problem before us is a solution.

  • People are always asking me, “Why do you want to leave?” ‘Why would you rather go to Albuquerque when you graduate?’

    Its simple, there is absolutely nothing to do here. There is nothing that can be offered to young adults besides Highlands and Luna. I have to say, though, Highland and Luna can offer a very good education but besides that, there really isn’t much here.

    Speaking as a student and a kid that grew up here in Las Vegas, there isn’t really much that the kids can do.

  • A massive football player, his uniform black, heavy, robotic, runs through a modern city, a flutter of torn books beneath spiked shoes.

    He carries a graduation cap in one hand, stolen from the head of a statued scholar, the other hand extended in an evil claw toward a group of diminutive young children sitting at simple desk — a hawk ready to pluck his prey. The city ignores the indignity; it crowds the horizon with shiny righteousness, a new stadium earning center stage, separating education from progress.

  • Yunus Peer remembers the sting of apartheid in the early ‘70s when he was 13 years old and ranked the No. 2 tennis player among non-whites in South Africa. An Indian, he wanted to compete against all talented players his age, to swing the racket to the best of his ability across the court from any worthy opponent.

  • Before I could afford a car, I walked as fast as I could those mornings I was late for work. I jumped over the cracks in Carnegie Park’s sidewalk, letting my eye catch the echo of sun against lone blue spruce.

    Before I owned a cell phone, my afternoons resonated with natural silence, with only the crack of frog and cricket against ear. Before I bought a computer, my hands knew how to hold a pen, how to round my letters with legible panache. Today, my body forgets the simple, the sane.

  • A tall man in a pink Nehru shirt and wrinkled linen slacks stood at the edge of Ilfeld Auditorium’s stage, his head and shoulders cocked at an awkward angle, no other musicians at his side. He held a violin, a instrument that seemed tiny, insignificant, compared to his large frame. The audience shuffled program and purse as he lifted the wooden body to his chin in a gentle arc.

  • ‘The reason I agreed to do this interview is because I exist. I am not a myth,” says 78-year-old Emilio Coca, a once crypto- and now practicing Jew who traces his fractured family history back to the Diaspora ignited by the Spanish Inquisition.

    Coca’s life story is one of many woven into A Light In My Soul/Una Luz En Mi Alma, a new drama created collaboratively in an unlikely partnership between a the New York-based Tectonic Theater Project, choreographer and director Krista DeNio and the Working Classroom ensemble, a theater company based in Albuquerque.

  • Until the mid-1800s, gristmills in New Mexico were small, primitive, difficult to use, containing two rotating grinding stones powered by water.

    Called “molinos” in Spanish, early gristmills were most often used to grind the hearty corn grown to make tortillas and tamales. By 1850, wheat flour crept into the local consciousness, and as the population of Mora County grew, farmers added wheat to their crops. The founding of Fort Union increased demand for wheat even more. New Mexico was hooked. Flour became local king.

  • A tiny gray rock outlined in craggy black paint rolls against a stack of comic-book Stonehenge slabs.

    The stones expand in an exponential arc, a burst dam of yellow-red emotion mixed with icy blue spikes. The large abstract expression calls to mind subdivision sprawl, the furious cell-division chaos of mother earth egg and tractor sperm. Las Vegas artist Dakota Mills’ oil painting, “Reproduction,” asks the viewer to step inside the collective hive mind — an unsettling place of highway noise and microwave energy.

  • This summer, celebrate the power of music through the 25th Anniversary Season of Music from Angel Fire, the Festival that brings chamber music to the mountains of Northern New Mexico.

  • The National Park Service and Fort Union National Monument announces its monthly “Glimpses of the Past” presentation. The program will be held at the CCHP/Santa Fe Trail Interpretive Center, 116 Bridge St., in Las Vegas, Thursday Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.

  • I will be teaching a continuing education course at Luna Community College soon. The topic is “water harvesting and watershed restoration.” It occurred to me, though, that since this is an esoteric subject maybe I should share with Optic readers some basic knowledge on the topic.