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Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - Aug. 8, 2014

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! ANOTHER HILARIOUS SHOW
They’ve done it again! Over the Edge VII, a presentation by the Las Vegas Community Theatre Collective, entertained audiences with their latest capers taking pot shots (pun intended) at pharmaceutical shenanigans as well as local foibles. Capacity crowds hooted at the sometimes-not-so-hidden references to our community! Good job, folks!

THUMBS UP! A WET SUMMER
The Las Vegas area received more than 5 inches of rain in July, and that’s great news considering the persistent drought that has had our entire state in its grip for years. The National Weather Service says this past July was likely one of the wettest on record for Las Vegas, and we believe it. Lawns and gardens throughout our community are green, and our city reservoirs are in good shape. We’ve been blessed this monsoon season, even though those of us with leaky roofs or muddy roads near our homes cringe every time we hear thunder.

THUMBS DOWN! AN EIGHTH DWI
Given all the publicity about the bad things that happen when someone gets behind the wheel after knocking back a few alcoholic beverages, we fail to understand why it keeps happening. But it does. Late last month, state police arrested a man in Mora for his eighth DWI. Louis Chavez, 61, of the 1800 block of New Mexico Avenue deserves his day in court. But if he’s found guilty of the crime, the judge should throw the book at him, because there’s no excuse for one DWI, let alone eight.

THUMBS UP! RAISES FOR HIGHLANDS PROFS
Highlands regents voted unanimously last week to approve 1.5 percent pay raises for all faculty members represented by its Faculty Association. Regents also signed off on a change to the faculty contract that gives the administration more discretion in the number of sabbaticals it approves each year. While we wish the raises could be larger, we nevertheless commend the university’s president and regents for doing what they can to show faculty members that they are valued.

AND WE QUOTE
“I think Highlands has made a very strong effort over the last several years to improve both staff and faculty salaries as much as possible, and we have, in fact, increased salaries by more than the legislative appropriation in every year except two.”
— Highlands President Jim Fries