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Columns

  • Nuestra Historia - Benigno, father of the State Hospital

    Created by territorial law in 1889, the New Mexico State Hospital opened its doors in May 1893, and since that time has been the mainstay of the Las Vegas economy.  

    In recent history,  the number of employees at the hospital has hovered  around 1,000, and few in this area have not had one or more family members employed at the hospital. Needless to say, the area economy may not have survived through the years without the State Hospital.

  • Orgullo del Norte - Unsung heroes of World War II

    “We wanted to make a difference. We wanted to let the country know we weren’t second-class citizens.”
    — Clarence Graham

    Spain was an ally to the newly formed United States of America. Every man of the Spanish colonies in the Americas (Spanish and Indian) was asked to pay a $2 war tax to support the American Revolution. In addition to money, the Spanish sent its military. The Spanish navy kept the British out of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. This critical move cut off all reinforcements to Cornwallis at Yorktown in October 1781.

  • Work of Art: Show us your hairline, Trump

    Birther. It must be awful to be identified by only one term: birther.

    By definition, a birther ought to be 1) someone who creates birth, 2) someone who bears a child, 3) someone like a midwife who catches babies, 4) a bad speller who offers choice sleeping accommodations to another on a Pullman train, or 5) the male child of another bad-spelling mom who expected a girl, whom she would have named Bertha.

  • Publisher's Note: Who cares about apathy?

    The “Las Vegas United” piece I wrote a couple of weeks ago resulted in some positive feedback from readers. It seems a lot of people agree that this town needs to set aside its differences for the common good, and for that I’m thankful.

    However, it seems there’s another prevailing sentiment that didn’t occur to me until a couple of people pointed it out to me. This town, they told me, has too many people who just don’t care.

  • Showing Mercy: Protecting all children

    April is a month that brings many joys for many. For me, it marks a very important part of my life — a lesson learned from the past.

    Recently, Gov. Susana Martinez proclaimed April as Child Abuse Awareness Month. The announcement brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart to the governor. Her simple action will bring more attention to the prevention of the child abuse epidemic that plagues our state. From toddler Leland a few months ago to baby Briana a few years ago, our state has been ill stricken by the tragedy of child abuse.

  • Keeping it Simple: Resilience

    My column this time around is about resilience — the resilience of people in this community. I was going to begin my article by noting a litany of unfortunate events which have plagued Las Vegas in recent years; however, two Optic editorials have already beat me to it.

  • Nuestra Historia - Eugenio, Las Gorras Blanca and the Constitution

    It was at the momentous constitutional convention of  1910 that Eugenio Romero again emerged as a strong voice to protect the rights of Hispanic New Mexicans.  

  • Orgullo del Norte - Separating the war from the warrior

    “See those fields down there. They are not frijoles or corn, carnal. They are rice patties and we are not at home.”
    — Lorenzo Flores

    I had the pleasure of sitting down with Willie Salas in attempt to capture what the Vietnam War was to our sons, brothers, and fathers. In 1966 Willie didn’t go to the prom, he went to Vietnam. Willie went into the 1st Marine Division.

  • Work of Art: Having a bone to pick

    “I have a bone to pick with you.” Really? Does anyone fail to understand the expression, meaning having a score to settle or an argument to advance?

    Methinks many of us — including and especially myself — must have come across this and other expressions and never really bothered to verify them, to discover what they really mean. Sometimes we use incorrect expressions without knowing so; other times we use them correctly but don’t know why.

    Here are some common terms, which, invariably get used wrong:

  • Publisher's Note: Family matters

    I come from a family of seven brothers. It was a crowded and rowdy upbringing. No sisters, though a host of spouses would later usher in a more feminine touch to our large and boisterous family.

    We were raised by a dedicated father who instilled in us a sense of humor and values about what’s right and wrong and fair and just, and a caring mother who was stern, loving and strong enough to raise us the right way.