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By The Staff

thumb UP for ... THE FIESTAS. Maybe the rain didn’t always cooperate, and perhaps there were controversial moments, but it was still another fun and successful Fiestas de Las Vegas, with plenty of good music and dance and fun for young and old alike.

Congratulations, Fiesta Council, on another job well done.

thumb UP for ... OVERSIGHT MOMENTUM. The idea of an independent police oversight panel is gaining strength in city government as Mayor Tony Marquez and Councilor Diane Moore expressed their support last week, and Police Chief Gary Gold said he and other city officials have been talking about it. All this comes of the heels of a public meeting on alleged police misconduct attended by more than 100 people — so the timing is right.

The idea is a good one, though the details need to be resolved. But to ensure that it helps restore public confidence in the PD and guarantees fairness for the officers, it must be independent of politics and fact-based in its investigative approach to citizen complaints.

thumb DOWN for ... BULLETS FLYING. Gary Lovato, 20, of Las Vegas, is suspected of firing multiple gunshots at a residence on East Drive, hitting 19-year-old Aaron Benavidez in the legs three times and sending him to the hospital. What’s more, two bullets went into a neighbor’s residence and nearly hit a mother and her 1-year-old child as they slept.

Sound familiar? It might, since 6-year-old Jasmine Garcia was killed by a bullet last summer as she slept. Thankfully, this one didn’t end as tragically, but it’s way too close for comfort.

thumb UP for ... NEXT STEPS. With agreements being reached between the city and other area water users, Las Vegas has taken a big cooperative step toward greater efficiency of water usage. So now is a good time to be turning our attention to another longstanding problem — water waste — and Councilor and Community Water Board President Andrew Feldman is doing just that. He’s saying that because of leakages at the Peterson reservoir, a quarter of the water taken from the Gallinas River is being lost, while silting has reduced by about 30 percent the holding capacities of the Peterson and the Bradner reservoirs.

Seems like a good time to be addressing these items, too. Are you listening, mayor?

thumb DOWN for ... SIX MONTHS AND STILL WAITING. Last September, Fred Stark of Denver was killed at the railroad crossing at Arriba Road. And in January, Michael Esquibel of Las Vegas was killed in the same way, at the same crossing. Then came some pavement painting, a couple of stop signs and a commitment to install full signalization to make the intersection safer.

Now we’re told the plans are still moving forward and negotiations are continuing. Perhaps so, but couldn’t the process go a little faster?

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“I’m a salesman. This is my product. How can I sell it if I don’t understand it? … I’ll go to the Friday night football games and the Saturday Highlands games. You’ll see me at City Council and County Commission meetings.”

— Roberto Rios, the new director of the Las Vegas-San Miguel Economic Development Corp.