Editorial Thumbs

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By The Staff

Thumb DOWN for ... A REAL JOURNALIST GONE. Walter Cronkite, longtime CBS News anchorman and managing editor, died this week at age 92. His passing is nostalgic for those of us who remember when journalism was a highly regarded profession, one in which even superhero characters found refuge in the calling to report truth and expose injustice.

It shouldn’t be forgotten, however, that the times in which Cronkite lived allowed for him to be trusted, more so than those who serve the profession with integrity today. Let’s not forget that, prior to a 1972 opinion poll finding that he was “the most trusted man in America,” he had already voiced his opinion that the Vietnam War could not be won and that the U.S. would be wise to negotiate an end to the conflict.

Imagine if that had been said today. He would have been skewered by the pro-war crowd as un-American, partisan and a quitter. But, of course, Cronkite was none of the above. He was one of the greatest journalists of our day.

It seems we no longer have heroes; we prefer to see them fall. But Cronkite stood for something — for the better side of truth-telling — and for that, he’s a hero to us.

Thumb UP for ... ANOTHER CHARTER SCHOOL. If all goes as planned, Luna Community College may soon be running a charter school. Las Vegas already has Rio Gallinas School through the West Las Vegas Schools district, but the Luna Charter Academy will fill a gap left by the closing of the Bridge Academy on the east side of town and, according to Luna President Pete Campos, will serve the larger northern New Mexico area that the community college encompasses.

Luna’s trustees approved the use of the college’s facilities and the overall plan is before the state Public Education Department for consideration. We’re hoping it sails thoughtfully through.

Thumb UP for ... GOOD EATS. West Las Vegas Food Services Director Dean Gallegos appears to be working hard to produce fresh meals for the district’s schools, rejecting the more convenient freezer-to-oven method of preparing the meals. It’s great to hear about someone who takes pride in what he oversees, and cares not just about feeding the kids, but feeding them well, too.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Gallegos. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to get in on one of your meals in the coming school year.

Thumb UP for ... DOWNTOWN MURAL. Casa de Cultura wants to paint a mural on the concrete wall at the old Safeway store location in New Town — where, once upon a time, a new City Hall was going to be constructed. The group wants the mural to celebrate the history and culture of the Las Vegas area and has sought the OK of the Las Vegas City Council to get started.

Council members enthusiastically embraced the idea and we’re glad they did. We hope the group can get started as soon as possible.

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“He has developed into a person who understands public works and how local government works for citizens. It’s a thankless job, but someone has to do it.”

— San Miguel County Manager Lee Montoya, on Harold Garcia’s retirement as public works supervisor, after 25 years working for the county.