Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news - June 29, 2012

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS DOWN! WASTED WATER. Leaks happen, and when Las Vegas city officials find them they’re usually pretty good at notifying the appropriate people to get them fixed (we know, the Optic had a leaking swamp air unit the other day). We’re glad they take such waste seriously, especially when it comes to the larger leaks — like the old Medite line, which was found to be leaking 80 gallons a minute. Let’s hope it’s fixed soon.

THUMBS UP! CLEARLY ENJOYABLE. Clearly Confused Productions, an offshoot of Nat Gold Players, delighted the public with a well-wrought presentation of Shakespeare’s “A midsummer Night’s Dream,” at Kluge Auditorium. Set and stage manager, Cyn Riley, director, Lisa Cisneros and the cast of our very own youngsters provided a masterful rendition of the play.

THUMBS UP! SUMMER WORK PROGRAM. It was a success last year and it’s off to an even better start this year. The city has hired 242 employees for its second annual summer work program, investing $464,000 into putting young people to work and helping to spruce up the city at the same time.
Last year the city hired 118 youths and spent about $150,000 on it, so this year is a big increase. We think it’s worth it, considering the benefits all around.

THUMBS DOWN! OVERCONFIDENCE? When Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Sheryl McNellis-Martinez was in the middle of her impassioned plea to move the district’s 2012-13 calendar to a four-day school week, she said if it doesn’t work out, the district can always return to a five-day schedule in 2013-14.
Last week, the school board, in a 3-2 vote, gave her what she wanted — though her argument in favor of the four-day week changed when a budgetary shortfall was disclosed. The board majority also approved a two-year contract for its superintendent, as if they know already that the four-day plan is going to work out just fine. Which, of course, they don’t know.
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“This was a sad and unfortunate accident, and it does no good to penalize anybody further in light of all the suffering that everybody has endured.”
— City Attorney Dave Romero, regarding the announcement that two employees placed on paid leave last year following a fatal trench collapse returned to work and will not be disciplined.