Editorial Thumbs

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By The Staff

Thumbs UP to ... A SMOOTH WEEKEND FOR ROUGH RIDERS. Aside from the rain, last weekend’s motorcycle rally went very smoothly, from its staffing to the schedule of events posted on the Internet. In fact, it was so smooth it begs the question — why couldn’t the fiestas have run that well?

The Rough Riders Motorcycle Rally was in sharp contrast to Fiestas de Las Vegas. Getting that event’s schedule was as tough as finding a Sarah Palin supporter at the local Peace and Justice Center. When the Optic finally obtained a schedule, it contained significant errors — Al Hurricane, for example, was listed but later said he never committed to perform. The council was also late in turning in its permit to the city, among other problems.

After five years, the rally is nearly self-sufficient, as Las Vegas’ city manager recently pointed out. The Fiesta Council, on the other hand, is in dire need of fresh blood and effective leadership.

Thumbs DOWN for ... CATCHING FLAK. We were criticized for a recent editorial in which we called upon people to help stop drunken drivers,  and named names — but we’ve concluded that exposing this problem with specifics is becoming a necessity.

In recent months, the state police have arrested a number of repeat DWI offenders. Since our editorial, Starkie Montaño, 60, of 2505 Collins Drive, Apartment 19, was nabbed for his 12th DWI, state police said.

We’re sure many of these recent repeat offenders are great guys (yes, they’re all men), but we’ll make no apologies for our coverage of this problem.

Thumbs UP to ... A GOOD CHOICE. Martha Johnsen is a good selection as the new principal of Sierra Vista and Los Niños elementary schools. The Las Vegas native has worked in both local districts and is well-respected in our community as someone who puts academics first.

Thumbs UP to ... INTERESTING ISSUE RAISED. We’re not sure if we agree with attorney and Highlands University regent Jesus Lopez argument that the university’s facilities should not be used for all private events, but we agree the issue is worth examining. But not because of the liability issues, as Lopez stated; rather, we think politically slanted events held at Highlands are loaded with the wrong implications.

Thumbs DOWN to ... BEING REASONABLE. The city isn’t trying to avoid its responsibility for the mistake of overcharging Highlands University by $600,000 for natural gas, and Highlands isn’t getting in a huff over the fact that it was obviously overcharged. Instead, they’re working it out. That’s quite unlike the brouhaha that formed around the city’s overcharging of Luna Community College a few years ago. Of course, there are significant differences, but this one is being handled so much more efficiently.

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“What do we do without these resources? Do we leave things as they are? “

— Las Vegas Mayor Alfonso Ortiz, posing questions to two City Council members who voted against garbage rate increases before he broke the tie in favor of them.