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Editorial Thumbs

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By The Staff

Thumbs DOWN to ... AGENDAS NOT HELPFUL. The state Open Meetings Act requires that governing bodies produce a list of specific items -- otherwise known as an agenda -- to be discussed for their meetings. The attorney general’s office interprets this requirement to mean that interested members of the public are given reasonable notice about the topics a public body plans to address. It advises against using broad or vague terms.

Unfortunately, the Highlands University Board of Regents fell short of this standard in its agenda for its meeting this week. We were tipped off that the board would be looking at eliminating the school’s wrestling and rodeo programs. But one wouldn’t have found that out from the agenda. It only stated, “Rodeo and Wrestling-Action Item.” Nothing was said about the university axing these two programs.

Another item on the agenda reads, “2010 STB Resolution.” What’s an STB? We called the president’s office and found out it stands for “severance tax bond.” Who, other than a few government insiders, knows what that means?

Highlands needs to improve its agendas to keep the public in the loop, not out of it.

Thumbs UP to ... NOT BUYING  BOOZE ... The Associated Press reported this week on a survey that showed New Mexico ranks second lowest in the nation for minors buying their own alcohol. From 2006 to 2008, surveyors found, 3.7 percent of New Mexico drinkers ages 12 to 20 bought their own alcohol in the past month. The only state with a lower percentage was Alaska, at 3.1 percent, while the national average was 8.6 percent.

Thumbs DOWN to ... ... BUT STILL DRINKING. However, the same report found more than a quarter of underage New Mexicans drank in the month before the survey, the same as the national average.

Obvious, someone’s buying them booze, and that’s quite disconcerting.

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AND WE QUOTE

“They’ll bring any type of fear tactic to the picture. .. The bulk of these people have just moved into the Valley. They don’t have a real stake here.”

— Gilbert Ortiz, a Villanueva resident who has reached an agreement with Invenergy to put up wind turbines on his property, speaking in favor of wind turbines.