Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news`

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! ANOTHER GREAT FIESTAS. Once again, friends and family, neighbors and visitors came for the greatest annual celebration Las Vegas has. This year’s 4th of July Fiestas was another great success.

Congratulations to all who helped to organize and coordinate the event, including the many city employees and community volunteers who gave their all to make sure it lived up to expectations. And especially Lindsey Hill, the city’s special events coordinator, who worked tirelessly to make this year’s fiestas a success.

THUMBS UP! A SAFE HOLIDAY. While there were a few numbskulls who shot off fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend, it seems that most Las Vegas residents restrained from doing so, in deference to the dry conditions that have spurred so many fires lately. According to reports, property damage and human injuries were kept to a minimal over the weekend, which made the holiday all the better.

We thank all those who acted responsibly, as well as emergency personnel who helped to ensure responsible behavior and swiftly responded to any unsafe situations reported to them.

THUMBS UP! THE FIREWORKS OVER FIREWORKS. By nature, businesses think in terms of supply and demand, so maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that Walmart and a number of other stores in town would stock their shelves with fireworks in anticipation of the usual annual rush to buy them.

But good retailers also listen to their customers, and when the public outcry against the sale of such products (in the midst of such volatile fire conditions) got loud enough, they heard. By late last week, Walmart and other businesses were stopping their fireworks sales in deference to the public will.

Sure, we appreciate the stores who finally placed public safety above their own profits, but we especially want to thank the citizens who put the pressure on them. It was a good example of people power, and we’re happy for the successful ending.

THUMBS DOWN! CEMETERY VANDALISM. Was it a hate crime that drove someone to tear up the Jewish cemetery here in town? We don’t know, but we do know how despicable the act was. And it happens far too often, as many others of a variety of faiths have fallen victim to such a crime.
It just goes to show how low some people can go.

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“We’re following the guidelines that were established in terms of signage and things like that. ... If there are people in the park, the guys tell them they’re going to water the park.”

— City public works director Carlos Ortiz regarding the use of effluent to water the park. He said that because the city workers have other assigned duties, it’s not feasible to have them work at night to water the parks.