THUMBS DOWN! UTILITY RATE INCREASE. One of the few good things about our stagnant national economy is that inflation has been held in check. But in the case of our electric bills, that’s just not going to be the case. Beginning Sunday, PNM is raising its base rate 9.2 percent, after gaining the approval of the state Public Regulation Commission.
Oh boy, just in time for winter.
THUMBS UP! REFINANCING PAYS OFF. Another nice feature of our economic circumstances are lower interest rates, and San Miguel County has taken advantage of that by refinancing three loans. The result is $273,000 in savings in this fiscal year alone, placing the county cash reserves in pretty good shape.
That’s smart management of taxpayer dollars.
THUMBS UP! HONORARY AWARD. It’s not often that you see an 86 year old receive a high school diploma, but Mary Alice Gonzales was thrilled to get it, more than 65 years after dropping out to start a family. The Las Vegas City Schools board gave her an honorary diploma at a presentation earlier this week.
“My biggest regret in life was not finishing high school,” she said at Monday’s ceremony. “... My dream came true today.”
THUMBS UP! A GOOD NAME. Former Ribera resident Jesse Griego, who was killed in Vietnam 43 years ago, was memorialized when the West Las Vegas Schools board named the Valley schools gymnasium after him. Griego was a West athlete and graduate prior to joining the Marines. He was killed in action in 1968, in the arms of a fellow Marine, Jim Lewis. Lewis survived that terrible war and eventually raised $25,000 to honor Griego in Vietnam, opening the Jesse Griego Kindergarten School in A Xing, Quang Tri Province, a little more than two years ago.
We hope this serves as a reminder of all the hometown boys who gave their lives in service to their country.
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AND WE QUOTE
“The bears are hungry. ... It’s the garbage, the dog food, the bird feeders that are getting most of these bears into trouble.”
— Andrew Gray of the state Game and Fish Department, on the problem with black bears entering residential areas this summer.