THUMBS UP! ACCREDITED AGAIN. In the world of colleges and universities, accreditation is always a big deal. And in a town such as Las Vegas, where educational institutions are among the largest employers, an accreditation for the university that trains most local teachers is an even bigger deal. So, needless to say, the Highlands University School of Education’s re-accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education is a real cause for celebration.
It was a big hit when Highlands lost that accreditation four years ago. And it’s great boost to be regaining it this year — after meeting all the standards required for its undergraduate and graduate teachers’ program. Hats off to all who had a hand in restoring the designation.
THUMBS UP! DESERVED RAISES. And to add to the good news at Highlands, faculty will be getting raises with the onset of the 2012-13 school year. That’s on top of raises for other university staffers, so Highlands employees will be coming out ahead this year.
Highlands is enjoying a solid budget these days, so it’s only right to reward the university’s employees. Unfortunately for students and their parents, however, tuition for the coming year has also been raised, but the university is still far more affordable than other comparable schools in the region.
THUMBS DOWN! WILDFIRE SEASON. Despite some decent rainfall last weekend, the region is still suffering from drought conditions, and now’s the time when fire safety is a must. In Arizona, a fire in the Prescott National Forest nearly tripled in size overnight this week, as high winds fanned the flames across an eight-square-mile area on Wednesday night. Closer to home, San Miguel County fire officials reported last week that there have been seven wildfires just since March, burning more than 200 acres and costing about $20,000 to extinguish.
Sounds like ample justification to keep last year’s fire and burning restrictions in place, and that’s just what San Miguel County is doing.
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AND WE QUOTE
“We’re not here for vengeance, but there are legal requirements we have to adhere to.”
— Mayor Alfonso Ortiz, explaining his tie-breaking vote to require former Planning & Zoning commissioner Marvin Salazar and Salazar’s daughter to meet setback requirements.