Editorial Thumbs

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By The Staff

Thumbs DOWN f or ... A MUDDY MESS. Residents along Alamo Street are understandably fed up with the undone reconstruction of their street. Work was stopped last fall, leaving an inside-the-city dirt road that turned to mud with all the snows this winter.

We understand that the work couldn’t continue into the winter, but some better pre-winter preparations could have been made. When the warmer months roll around, the street contractor, Sangre de Cristo Gravel, should use all deliberate speed to get the job done — and city officials need to keep an eye out to ensure the work is done right, once and for all. Alamo Street residents deserve better than they’ve gotten so far.

Thumbs UP for ... COMMUNITY-FOCUSED PROGRAMMING. Las Vegas’ KFUN radio personality Martha Johnsen brings a much-needed spark through her early morning program. She does her homework and discusses each day interesting bits of trivia — the origins of particular expressions or various customs. Once, recently, she encouraged her listeners to “do something nice for someone today. And tell us about it.” Soon, people began calling in describing kind acts they’d performed or had received from someone else. Such kindness might be contagious. To Martha, we say, “Keep it up.”

Then, station owner Joseph Baca comes on the air with news and valuable information for the listener, followed by the longstanding community forum Over the Back Fence, where various programs and events are promoted by the very people putting them together. A good public service, indeed.

Thumbs DOWN for ... A BIG RAISE IN TOUGH TIMES. By law, the city must give recently re-elected Municipal Judge Eddie Trujillo a big fat raise in salary — an additional $1,000 per month, to be precise, or from $68,000 to $80,000 annually. So, while other city employees get 3 percent raises, Trujillo’s getting an 18 percent increase.

Unfair? Darn right it is.

Mayor Alfonso Ortiz suggested asking Trujillo to voluntarily refuse the raise as “a gesture of goodwill.” We think that’s a great idea, and hope the judge will consider the request and do the honorable thing. “Goodwill” is exactly what it would generate.

Thumbs DOWN for ... OUT TO LUNCH. On a personal, one-on-one level, the clerks who work at the Motor Vehicle Division on Ridge Runner Road can be a pleasure to work with. Unfortunately, however, they must follow strict rules regarding what should be simple processes to license drivers and register cars.

It seems that everyone has a frustrating story about getting the runaround at the MVD, but last Friday, such frustrations took an outrageous turn. Supposedly shorthanded in staff, MVD employees went a lunch en masse without any advance notice and left a bunch of people waiting outside.

“Closed for lunch — Short on staff,” read the sign they posted on the door. Perhaps it should have said, “Inconvenienced? We don’t care.” Such behavior gives the MVD an even worse reputation than it has already.

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“Urban construction is tough, it’s dirty, it’s messy, but we’re going to do everything we can to minimize the impact to traffic and adjacent property owners. But I ask that you keep your eye on that prize. Think about what it’s going to look like when we’re done.”

— Paul Gray, the area’s state transportation engineer, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Grand Avenue project last week