Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news

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By Optic Editorial Board

ENTRENCHED DIVISIVENESS. It was interesting the reasons why school board candidates on both sides of the Gallinas River opposed, favored or wavered regarding the idea of administrative consolidation of the two Las Vegas districts. But no one really mentioned the psychological impact upon our community.

We’re a divided community — have been ever since the railroad came to town — and we just can’t seem to get beyond it. And we will continue the divisions as long as we refuse to unify the two districts.

RETURN TO CIVILITY? And speaking of divisiveness, some are quick to say that in the wake of the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ life, the national political scene has become more civil — as evidenced in the reception the President Obama’s State of the Union speech earlier this week.

We hope that’s true, but we  remain skeptical. Still, maybe it does say something that, this year, no one shouted, “You lie” to the President.

MONTANO’S APPOINTMENT. The decision to move Christian Montaño from interim police chief to the permanent position as Chief of Police is, in our view, a wise one. A Las Vegas police officer for 19 years, he’s a well-disciplined law enforcement official who has served this city well. And it doesn’t hurt that he knows the community well, having been born and raised here.

We wish him the best in the position, and have high hopes that he will continue to serve the city and its police force fairly and forthrightly.

WHITE PEAK DEAL STYMIED. The state Supreme Court has rejected the exchange of state trust land for private land around White Peak, ruling that the State Land Office didn’t follow a requirement for publication of trust lands. Former state land commissioner Patrick Lyons negotiated the land exchange in 2009, but state Attorney General Gary King challenged the action since the land swaps had not been done by auction.

The high court did New Mexico — and particularly the northeastern region of the state — a great service through its ruling. The land swap reeked of closed-door dealmaking, with the benefactors being private landowners in the area instead of the general public.

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“I want the community to know that I am loyal to them but we can’t survive unless the community is willing to work with us.”
— Bill Scheid, owner of the Enchantment Ford franchise, after his operation was shut down following his Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.