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Columns

  • 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.

  • Another perspective: Learning from the past and moving forward

    By Paula Garcia

    Special to the Optic

    Mora County is known for both its beauty and also for its persistent, rural poverty.

  • Work of Art: First, tell us who’s playing

    By Art Trujillo

    It’s not exactly a case of generalized apathy, but the zeal that’s usually apparent around Super Bowl season just isn’t there.

    The column of Super Bowl predictions lacks the wide-eyed passion we expect. And to no one’s surprise, some said, “I’ll tell you my prediction if you’ll tell me who’s playing.”

  • Publisher’s Note: Civility and passion

    All this “return to civility” chatter since the wake of the Arizona massacre, which left six people dead and a congresswoman with brain damage, is a good thing. It’s about time we re-learned civility in our national discourse.

    I realize it wasn’t hate-filled rhetoric that led to that shooting, it was a mentally deranged schizophrenic. But if that Arizona sheriff, who spoke from the heart about how the rhetoric contributed, caused the nation to tone down its hostilities toward one another, then maybe something good will have come out of it all.

  • To the Point: Another electoral crossroad

    The dreary ineffectiveness of many of our public schools is not news. Our collective failure to develop literacy in our students is at the root of our inability to gain social, cultural and economic well-being locally, nationally and globally. The news bulletin today is that New Mexico ranks 49th in eighth grade reading test scores.

  • Nuestra Historia - Luis María Cabeza de Baca

    Sometime in 1820, Luis María Cabeza de Baca traveled from his home in Peña Blanca to Santa Fe, and then to San Miguel del Bado.

    Don Luis, as he was known, was apparently looking to expand the already large land holdings he owned in and around Peña Blanca, which is located in Sandoval County, west of La Bajada. In San Miguel he heard about lush and extensive pasture lands located along a river to the northeast, and he joined eight others from San Miguel in filing an application for a grant of those verdant vegas.

  • Dulcey Amargo: Our cup runneth over — somewhat

    It might be an understatement that the atmosphere is rife for much comment about goings-on in Las Vegas. Yet, that is my thesis. Whether we talk of the weather or of other current conditions or issues, there is much to be said.

    So, my sincere wishes for a happy and prosperous new year to all of you, but let’s get down to brass tacks, eh?

  • Work of Art: A picnic? You mean today?

    By Art Trujillo

    After having struck out on my own — trying to survive by publishing my own weekly newspaper in suburban Chicago, I returned to the Meadow City, in 1964.

    My smartest decision: re-enroll at Highlands University, the institution I had left five years earlier, following grades less than many-splendored. Pell Grants and lottery scholarships hadn’t been invented yet, so most students took a part-time job.