Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news - July 20, 2012

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP - NEW FOR THE ELDERLY ... Meadows Home Skilled Nursing Facility, part of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute, is opening its doors with the completion of its 36-bed first phase of construction. The nearly 50,000-square-foot facility includes semi-private rooms and a visitation area, dining rooms and courtyards, a salon, a library and a small store for its residents. And with two more construction phases planned, the Meadows will be growing. This modern facility replaces the state hospital’s two other nursing facilities, which were built in 1948 and 1955.
As Las Vegas’ population ages, the Meadows will become more important to our community. We’re glad to see it opening.

THUMBS UP - ... AND NEW FOR THE KIDS. For families with young children, there’s something new in town for them too. Bright Beginnings Child Development Center, located on Collins Drive, has opened its doors as a nontraditional childcare facility, with six classrooms and space for 104 children ages 6 weeks to 12 years.
With Las Vegas City Schools going to a four-day week, we suspect it will be a welcome alternative for parents who must work on Fridays and need a place for their children. In that regarding, Bright Beginnings is right on time.

THUMBS DOWN - A SAD DESCENT. Jerome Block Jr.’s election to the Public Regulation Commission was a misjudgment by the voters, as charges that he misused campaign funds demonstrated. Then came his fall into bad behavior, including misuse of taxpayer money, and that was outrageous. Next came his plea agreement and his forced resignation from the PRC, which was necessary. And now there’s his latest incarceration —- authorities say he had alcohol in his system when he reported to his probation officer — which is just plain sad.
That’s how this story has descended — from scandal to criminal to just plain sad. He seems determined to self-destruct.

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“He’s in real good spirits. He just had a crazy accident. We’re covering for him.”
— San Miguel County Magistrate Chris Najar, referring to Mora Magistrate John Sanchez’s accidental shooting.