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By The Staff

thumb DOWN for ... A BAILOUT? Some interesting twists to the operation of our local senior centers recently surfaced, as the group that took over the centers’ program operations last year is now asking for city assistance with a budgetary shortfall. Last September, Albuquerque-based Ser de New Mexico took control of the three centers in San Miguel County — in Las Vegas, Pecos and San Miguel — but now its director, Theresa Lopez, is saying they ran a deficit of $62,000 in May and need the city to ante up. Ser served 400 meals a day at the centers on top of 200 more home-delivered meals.

Why, in less than a year, are these operations so short on funding? A lack of planning? Unexpected cost increases? These are questions that need to be addressed.

The city owns the center just off New Mexico Avenue, so if there are facility problems that’s the city’s responsibility. As for the meals and other programs, the centers need to continue their services — and a bailout, unfortunately, may be the only way to keep it all afloat.

We hope that some real long-term planning takes place — so such a request won’t have to occur again.

thumb DOWN for ... MISSING MACHINE. There has to be an easier way than standing in long lines. We’re referring to the removal of the postage stamp machine in the main lobby of the post office. For years, it has served patrons who want to buy stamps and leave, without having to get in a long line. We hope the machine’s absence is only temporary.

thumb UP for ... GOOD ADDITION. The city of Las Vegas recently installed timed traffic lights on some downtown intersections — and we enthusiastically approve. Having a digital number counting down the seconds before the lights change is a great safety feature, especially for pedestrians. We’d like to see them at all busy intersections in town.

thumb UP for ... GREAT PERFORMANCE. It’s difficult to praise even one person without the risk of omitting so many others. Let’s just say that the recent local performances of The Fantasticks were excellent, and we hope they lead to many more dinner-theater performances by the Las Vegas Nat Gold Players.

thumb UP for ... GLOBAL BECOMES LOCAL. As a sign of the times, the issue of climate change surfaced last week at a County Commission meeting.  The state Environment Department is looking at ways to ban the idling of big rigs when parked overnight or loading and unloading — something that is thought to be a significant contributor to global warming.

The county rejected the state recommendation but we suspect that won’t be the end of it. And while county officials understandably see the recommendations as burdensome, we’re glad to see the state looking at such matters and pushing local governments to consider them too.

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“We want to do this throughout the summer, and by the end of the summer, my goal is to have a drum circle around Plaza Park, all the way around. No one’s even done it before, and we want kids to bring out their parents and grandparents, so that everyone in the city is involved.”

 —Joseph Lujan, one of the organizers of the drum fest that took place recently in Old Town.