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Columns

  • What, exactly, is a 'cascaron'?

    How often does it happen that a holy day clashes with a hellish day? It happened only three days ago, when a calendaric (is there even such a word?) date occurs to combine Easter Sunday with April Fool’s Day.

    That’s an opportunity for churchgoers to take part in both events.
    Easter Sunday is one of those holy days that flit all around the calendar; sometimes it falls in March, sometimes in April. My birthday is constant, on April 21, but Easter is not. However, I can recall several times when my birthday fell exactly on Easter.

  • Easter and a man who lived long ago

    By Rick Kraft

    I think from time to time, “What if everybody in our community went to church on the same Sunday?” What would that be like? Every seat in every church could be filled and there could be people who would have to stand outside the sanctuaries or be turned away.

    It's Easter weekend. There will be more people in church today than any other Sunday the entire year. Nationally, church attendance will climb an average of 25% on this one day.

  • It’s about Wonder Woman — and me

    At some point during last Saturday’s March for Our Lives in Columbus, Ohio, I walked behind two young girls wearing star-spangled blue capes.
    The one with the ponytail kept looking around at the crowd of thousands, as if she couldn’t believe her eyes. The other girl marched face-forward, holding up a handmade sign: “I cannot stand by while innocent lives are lost. ­They had most likely seen Gal Gadot utter those very words as Wonder Woman in the 2017 film, and now they saw themselves in her. What a lift on such a somber day!

  • Fresh young voices must be heard

    Every now and then, big national news turns into significant small-town news. You can see it on the pages of many hometown newspapers.

    Since the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., there have been plenty of reports of threats making the news — all over New Mexico. Estancia, Roswell and others have closed schools for a day or more as a result of threats.

  • ‘But I wuz robbed’

    I miss my dad. He died at age 94 — way back last century. He was long-lived and clung on, despite some 25 hospitalizations of at least a week’s duration.

    But before you surmise this column is going to be one of those “I Remember Mama” themes, let me assure you it is not. Throughout most of life (his), I was far from his favorite son (there were five of us children, and Dad’s younger brother moved in with us on the death of their mother).

  • ‘Duck and cover;’ and ‘Run, hide and fight’

    Some readers may remember a film released by the Civil Defense in 1951. When a monkey lobs a lighted dynamite stick his way, Bert the Turtle knows to “Duck and Cover.”

    The rest of the film shows school children hiding under desks and cafeteria tables in case a light brighter than you’ve ever seen before appears.

    If adults aren’t around, we see older boys showing how to duck in a corridor. So where are the older girls?

  • Handling the seasons of your life

    By Rick Kraft

    Today, you are in a season of your life. Previous seasons are in the rearview mirror and new seasons are ahead of you out your front window. The past seasons are fixed in time, future seasons are an unknown.

    I grew up enjoying music by Fleetwood Mac and enjoyed seeing them perform in person a couple of years ago.

    They have a song entitled “Landslide” that asks the important question each of us must ask, “Can I handle the seasons of my life?”

  • Hispanics had varying roles in World War II

    By Maurilio Vigil

    Hispanics, as a group, were widely represented among the American soldiers, sailors and women in the armed forces during World War II. Unlike African-Americans and others, Hispanics were fully integrated into all branches of the military and thus were active in most campaigns and battles in the various theatres of the war.

  • Think of Palestinians as fellow human beings

    By Alan Wicks

    Many Optic readers will be familiar with the picture of a young girl being walked away from the camera by two Israeli police as it appeared numerous times on Facebook. Her face is turned towards the camera and she appears composed and mature.

  • Opioid lawsuits abound, hit close to home

    The opioid epidemic is being litigated big-time.

    Here in Santa Rosa, in Guadalupe County, both county and city officials have been approached by attorneys about suing the pharmaceutical industry for saturating the nation with their painkillers and downplaying their addictive qualities.

    The New Mexico Attorney General’s office is building a case to represent not only the state but all localities around the state. But these days they are having to sell their representation to local officials.