Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! VETERANS DAY. On this day in which we honor our veterans, we’re also wrapping up our nearly decade-long “war” in Iraq. The president says our soldiers there should be home for the holidays. That’s cause for a great celebration, and the giving of sincere thanks. We’re happy for the service men and women who are returning home, and we’re grateful for your dedication to our nation.
And for those who continue to serve, wherever you are, thanks to you as well. We are safer as a nation because of your best efforts.

THUMBS DOWN! AN ‘F’ FOR FISCAL FIASCO. The latest audit report regarding the Las Vegas City Schools district finances states the 2008-09 books are in such disarray that it’s impossible to determine if they’re accurate. That’s called a “disclaimer opinion” and it’s about as bad as it gets.
This isn’t the fault of the newer school board members but they, along with the rest of the board, are charged with the cleanup — and making sure this kind of mess doesn’t happen again. Here’s wishing them success in those endeavors.

THUMBS UP! GOOD RESPONSE. The state Health Department has confirmed a whooping cough outbreak here in Las Vegas, with two adults and two students at Rio Gallinas School testing positive last week for the bacterial infection. By all appearances, officials are taking responsible steps to control the situation, so we expect it to be a contained occurrence.

THUMBS DOWN! MORE BAD BEHAVIOR. This time it was a 61-year-old man, Roberto Benavidez of Las Vegas, to be charged with drunken driving after allegedly striking a co-worker with his vehicle. The victim was treated and released from the hospital, but Benavidez is now facing his fifth DWI — on top of a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

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“I just hope that whoever is elected keeps him for the sake of the city ... The city would be in dire straits if we didn’t have a man like him following through on the programs that we’ve laid a foundation for.”
— Las Vegas Mayor Alfonso Ortiz, commenting on City Manager Tim Dodge’s job performance.