Publisher's Note: Bits and pieces

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By Tom McDonald

First, a disclosure: My daughter was in this year’s Over the Edge IV put on by the Nat Gold Players. Plus, a couple of days after the last Edge performance, she attended a meeting to organize a youth subgroup of the Nat Gold Players, which they cleverly named Clearly Confused Productions. They are hoping to put on their first production sometime around Halloween.

That said, and without bias (OK, maybe a little), I must say that the Nat Gold Players are an impressively talented outfit. I didn’t see anyone in last weekend’s production that wasn’t thoroughly prepared to skillfully act out their character and run through their lines masterfully. I saw Edge IV twice and was thoroughly impressed both times.

And that’s not just the opinion of an amateur observer and biased father.

Earlier this year, the Nat Gold Players and its members won several awards from the Theatre New Mexico/American Association of Community Theatre Festival. Along with the Players’ Best Ensemble award for The Laramie Project, individual honors went to Maggie Romigh, Lisa Cisceros, Joan Krohn, Karyl Lyne, Juan Diego Chavez, Cynthia Riley and Patrick Rucker. Moreover, Rucker — who played a hilarious Major Twitty in Over the Edge IV — went on to  win a regional award in April for his acting.

• • •

In one segment of the play, when one of the weather forecasters, played by Cody Romero, made the point that if you want to know the truth about global warming, don’t ask a politician, ask a weather expert.

Amen to that. In fact, with the way Washington has been acting lately, I’m not sure we can expect a straight answer on anything from them.

The climate change issue, however, is particularly disconcerting. Here we are, with parts of our nation in the middle of a summer from hell, and it seems that no one’s talking about what we should do to reverse the warming trend.
Al Gore talked about an environmental tipping point. I wonder when the intellectual tipping point will occur. Possibly too late, I fear.

• • •

Last week’s column about desalination of city groundwater got a response from Las Vegas Community Water Board member Bob Wessley, who made an excellent point about the waste that desal creates — namely, concentrated salt liquid waste. He mentioned a few options for getting rid of the waste, none of which sounded very attractive. He also said that the city has to factor in the costs of treating the desalinated water to make it drinkable.
But this doesn’t mean he thinks desalination is a bad idea. “My intuition is that it could price out favorably for he city, but we’ve got to do it honestly,” Wessley said.

He agreed that if the city does publish a Request For Proposals — and I’m still hoping it will —  waste disposal and other details need to be specifically addressed by any and all bidders.

Plus, I would expect an environmental impact study to be conducted to ensure that a desalination project, and its waste, won’t do more harm than good.

• • •

School starts this week in the east and west sides of town, with lots of room for improvement and plenty of people who need to prove themselves.

For the West Las Vegas Schools district, the biggest change has to be Gene Parson’s departure as the high school principal, a position he held for 12 years, to become the district’s new associate superintendent. His replacement at the high school is John Bustos, previously the assistant principal under Parson.

My impression was that Parson was an excellent principal. Bustos will have some big shoes to fill (as he said in June when he got the appointment), but I hear he’s up to the task.

Meanwhile in the east side, this will be the year in which Sheryl McNellis-Martinez, who’s under contract as interim superintendent until the end of this school year, must prove herself. Plus, there is new leadership all over the district, including a new principal at Robertson High School, Darlene Ulibarri, who has worked in Santa Fe and Pecos before coming here.

I hope they all do well. I’m tired of all the problems in our schools. I’m ready to see a lot less drama.

Tom McDonald is editor and publisher of the Optic. He may be reached at 505-425-6796, ext. 237, or tmcdonald@lasvegasoptic.com.