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Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - March 14, 2014

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! NEW LEADERSHIP AT ALTA VISTA
We’re glad to see that Alta Vista Regional Hospital moved quickly to fill its top position. The hospital announced last week that Chris Wolf is Alta Vista’ new chief executive officer. Wolf has impressive credentials. He previously served as CEO of Payson Regional Medical Center in Payson, Ariz, a position he held since 2002. We welcome Wolf to the community.

THUMBS DOWN! CAMPOS ACCEPTS EXTENSION
We’re not sure what to make of Sen. Pete Campos’ decision to accept his board’s offer to continue serving as Luna Community College for another year. He initially announced that he would be retiring at the end of this June, and then he rejected a previous offer to extend his contract until June 30, 2015. But on Monday the board again offered a one-year extension and Campos finally accepted it. His decision to stay at Luna another year bodes well for the college’s accreditation. But we sense that the relationship between Campos and some on the board  remains strained, and we fear that the toxic environment at Luna is only going to continue. We hope we’re wrong about this.

THUMBS UP! NOMINATING CONVENTION SHOCKER
It’s ironic that the gubernatorial candidate with the best name recognition would come in last at the Democratic pre-primary nominating convention. But that’s exactly what happened with Attorney General Gary King who, nevertheless, is vowing to stay in the race. His campaign manager blew off the results, saying King enjoys strong support of Democrats and the grassroots level who aren’t convention insiders. That may be true, but we wonder if this isn’t a sign from Democrats that they want a new kind of candidate. After all, the person who came in first at the convention was Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City. Political newcomer Alan Webber came in second, with longtime government administrator Lawrence Rael coming in third and Sen. Linda Lopez coming in fourth. Regardless of the outcome, it’s great to see people involved in the political process.

AND WE QUOTE
“I am confident that we will be able to work together to move the college forward and focus on the overall well-being and education of our students. They deserve the best we can offer, and I am committed to that.”
— Luna President Pete Campos, about his decision to remain at the school another year.