Letters to the Editor - Aug. 15, 2014

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School Priorities
“Wouldn’t it be nice if schools allocated their budgets first to the classroom, and then what’s left to administration? Teachers could be given good salaries, good enough to attract and keep the best.
Classrooms could be supplied with the best books, materials, and supplies. Students could graduate with the knowledge and skills necessary to land a good job (somewhere) and have enough to support themselves and a future family.
Can you imagine all the moaning and groaning if this were actually done? Yes, there’d be a big hue and cry from the administrators here and in Santa Fe.
Why not centralize and specialize administrative functions at the existing nine Regional Educational Cooperatives around the State. There’s one located in Las Vegas on the Highlands campus. These Cooperatives are funded by the New Mexico Public Education Department and exist to help the School Districts within their regions.
Yes, this would be a major change for the districts and cooperatives, but it’s time something significant be done to put the focus back on the classroom.
Let each school district focus solely, and only, on education. When only 19 percent of students who enter Highlands actually graduate, it’s time for a change. What are we waiting for?”
Frank Splendoria

Las Vegas a good place to be
It was made known back in 1998 or so that Las Vegas was/is one of the highest in crime. That was true then, but I believe that might not be true anymore. Our police do a very good job controlling crime. State police, sheriff, city police all work together keeping our town safe and crime- free. Our judges are also very good. Part of our community is involved in neighborhood watches. We also have many law-abiding citizens here. We have good lawyers.
Back in the year 1997 Sarah Madrid from East Las Vegas City Schools (Robertson High) and Nikki Mares of West High School held the ribbon of friendship at the Bridge Street over the Gallinas River. Over 500 people attended the event. Many Las Vegans and other people from the surrounding towns together celebrated the week without violence.
It was made known that Las Vegas, N.M., is ... a real good place to visit and has historical value. It was published in the New Mexico Magazine that Las Vegas is one of the best small towns in New Mexico, Silver City, Raton and Gallup being also best small towns to visit. Silver City (Foodie Heaven); Raton (fishing and adventure); Gallup (Navajo Rodeos). So come visit us. Enjoy. Las Vegas (Historical Revival).
Albert Gonzales
Las Vegas

Time to stop clowning around
Editor’s note: The following letter was submitted to the Optic prior to the Mora Fiestas.
Well, the Mora Fiestas are almost here again. This year, I am told, the theme is “Clowning Around.”
 It’s a good theme, because I’m sure that all of our relatives and friends who have left us for a better world would say:
“Quit clowning around, it’s time to get serious. Take your job and duties seriously. Teachers, teach in such a way that students will enjoy learning. Seniors, contribute and share your experiences, history and talents with your community. People take pride in your country and do your civic duty, etc.”
 It’s also interesting that the fiestas always fall on St. James Day, July 25. Legend tells us that St. James was the first cowboy, and that he used his horse to preach and teach lessons. In the book of James, 3:3, he says, “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great beasts.
Consider that a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
All kinds of animals can be tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil full of deadly poison. With our tongue we praise our Lord, and father, and with our tongue we curse men who are made in God’s likeness.
It’s time that we stopped “Clowning Around” and take the words of the first cowboy, St. James seriously. Think of this when you see all the handsome cowboys with their horses.
Rosalie Regensberg

Mil Gracias
Some time passed since my book Audrey of the Mountains: The story of a Twentieth Century Pioneer Woman (Santa Fe Sunstone Press) was published; yet I have not formally thanked many people who made the books publication possible, as well as those who prompted it, a biography of Audrey Clements Simpson. My mother, Audrey C. Simpson, (Mrs. Clyde J. Simpson) was a long-time Las Vegas Optic reporter, woman’s page editor, and church page editor — as well as a free lance writer. The book provides a history about the Las Vegas Daily Optic, Las Vegas, and New Mexico.
I wish to thank my brother-in-law, Wesley Lovett, for help with the photographs and my sisters Crystal Simpson Lovett and Holly Simpson for proofreading. I also want to thank Joseph Loretta Baca of KFUN Radio Station for having me as a guest on KFUN numerous times to talk about my writing.
Books were given to the Optic for a promised book review; to my knowledge, there has been no review. However, I appreciate the Optic’s providing permission for me to cite quotations from the newspaper. Without the Optic sources, it would have been difficult to write about their long-time employee, Audrey Simpson, citing passages of her work, as well as that of others of the 1950s, such as Editor Walter Vivian.
Finally, I want to thank the many readers who have given me positive comments. I am grateful for people willing to read lengthy books and to appreciate a book of local interest.
Dorothy Audrey Simpson
Las Vegas