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Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - April 18, 2014

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! KEEPING LAS VEGAS BEAUTIFUL
City of Las Vegas departments and 132 volunteers collected 260 bags of trash from April 7 to April 13. It was part of the latest Keep Las Vegas Beautiful event coordinated by city employee Diego Trujillo. In all, city employees and volunteers collected 34,575 pounds of trash during the week. That’s quite an accomplishment. But there’s more work to be done. So let’s each roll up our sleeves and get to work cleaning up our own yards and streets.

THUMBS DOWN! LOSING THE T-4 RANCH
We don’t necessarily blame Phil Bidegain for making the request. Bidegain, whose family owns the sprawling T-4 Ranch in far eastern San Miguel County, is asking the County Commission to allow Quay County to annex most of his family’s San Miguel County land. Bidegain says he is making the request primarily for convenience: The ranch’s headquarters is in Quay County. But he told the Optic this week that the county’s extended moratorium on oil and gas drilling and the drilling ordinance the county is considering were also factors in his family’s decision. Bidegain said it should be up to landowners to decide whether they want drilling on their property. Under state law, San Miguel County may not have a choice but to allow the T-4 Ranch to be annexed. And that would result in an $18,500 loss in tax revenue. Besides losing the much needed property taxes, we hate to see our county shrink.

THUMBS UP! YOUTH MARIACHI CONFERENCE
The professionals and students who performed during Saturday evening’s Las Vegas Youth Mariachi Conference showcase did an outstanding job. Our hats off to them and their teachers for a job well done.

THUMBS UP! ANOTHER FOUR YEARS
We congratulate Tonita Gurule-Giron for winning a second four-year term on the City Council. We also thank Oliver L’Esperance for throwing his hat in the ring for the position and for running a good race.

AND WE QUOTE
“We are just the stewards for a short period. This building belongs to the town.” — Tina Mion, who along with her husband, Allan Affeldt, and their business partner Daniel Lutzick purchased the Castañeda Hotel and plan to restore it.