Thumbs: Our high country lowdown on the news - Dec. 28, 2012

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS DOWN! SIGNIFICANT SETBACKS. Just as we were thinking the city was making some progress toward a long-term fix for its ongoing water problems, here comes word that (1) it’s going to take a lot more than the millions of dollars already expected to go into the city’s aging reservoirs and that (2) more than a quarter million dollars had to be dumped into repairing a single — but massive — water leak by the treatment plant north of town.
Seems that when it comes to the Las Vegas water system, it’s one step forward and two steps back. It appears we just can’t throw enough money at the problems that the city’s too-old infrastructure has.

THUMBS UP! GREAT IDEA. The Alejandro Rivera Substance Abuse Program, along with dozens of Las Vegas “partner” merchants, churches and organizations, are holding a  Sobriety Ball beginning at 7 p.m. this Saturday at the United World College. Individuals and families who want to celebrate without alcohol or drugs are invited to attend. Los Tropicales and The Rite of Passage will be providing the entertainment and the cost is only $5 per person.
The program seeks to revive “la familia, la comunidad and la cultura” in Las Vegas, and the ball promises to be great family fun. Here’s hoping it’s a big success.

THUMBS DOWN! OLD JOKES. Here’s a quip that didn’t make it into the roast and toast portion of last April’s President’s Gala at Highlands University: The new Student Center is taking so long to construct that we understand it’s going to be renamed the “Alumni Center.”
And now, with yet another delay in its completion, along with criticism of its less-than-attractive metallic exterior, we are compelled to add another one to the mix: We hear it’s taking so long to complete the building that they decided that, to catch up with the intended age of the facility, to just add the rust now.

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“Every year I say I am not going to sell trees anymore, but then it happens that I have to. This is part of my regular Christmas routine.”
— Albert Padilla, 72, who has been selling Christmas trees along Chico Road for 52 years.