Thumbs: Our high country lowdown on the news - Dec. 7, 2012

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS DOWN! ANOTHER LEAK. Once again the city of Las Vegas has been battling a big leak in its water line, this one to the tune of an estimated 110 gallons a minute, or 158,000 gallons a day, when it was at its worst. That’s considerably worse than the last big leak, on the old Medite water line, last September.
The same contractor that fixed the Medite line leak was brought in to fix the water treatment plant line. Here’s hoping for a long-term fix.

THUMBS DOWN! HOLIDAY VANDALISM. Someone tore into the holiday decorations at the Plaza Park, ripping down the lights along the bottom of the gazebo and slicing through the wiring of the color light sets. It’s unfortunate, especially since the city installed more decorations this year, making the park and other locales all the more beautiful for the season.

THUMBS DOWN! DEPENDING ON THE FEDS. As lawmakers prepare for their upcoming 60-day legislative session, state economists are forecasting a little more than $280 million to cover budget increases and offset tax cuts next year. Moreover, officials in Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration are cautioning legislators that there’s a degree of uncertainty for the state’s budget and the state economy with the “fiscal cliff” looming in Washington D.C.
If Congress and the President allow the automatic tax increases and budget cuts to take effect next year, it would hit New Mexico especially hard, since this state is so dependent on federal funds. Moreover, if a deal isn’t made in the nation’s capital before January, state lawmakers won’t altogether know what they’re working with in 2013.

THUMBS DOWN! INFAMY. Seventy-one years ago, a “sleeping giant” was awakened as Japan launched its attack on Pearl Harbor. The attack killed 2,402 Americans and injured another 1,282, and the “Greatest Generation” entered what we know as World War II. Today, we remember that moment, and honor those whose lives were turned upside down on that one day.

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“I came up through the ranks. I did 12 and a half years in the department of corrections in Arizona. ... They are not going to pull the wool over our eyes.”
— Jerry Estrada, director of Cornerstone Church Men’s Home, who, along with Anthony Alcozer, work with addicts to turn their lives around.