Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news - May 25, 2012

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! GREAT ECLIPSE. At first it looked as if it might be a big letdown, with a Sunday night cloud cover blocking the first eclipse since 1994. But then the clouds moved out of the way and viewers got all they hoped for — a spectacular view of the moon passing in front of the sun.
It was a great celestial show, well worth watching.  Can’t wait for the next one — in 2023.

THUMBS UP! VOTING MADE EASY. As an important primary election season hits its final days (with the Optic’s voters guides in today’s newspaper and the editorial board’s endorsements coming next week), let’s keep in mind that there’s one less obstacle to voting this year, thanks to the state Legislature and our very own Melanie Rivera, San Miguel County clerk.
It can get confusing as to where voters need to go to cast their ballot — but not so this time. Thanks to a new law passed by state lawmakers as an option for counties, now a San Miguel County voter can go to any of four different polling places and their vote will be accepted there — because Rivera opted in.

THUMBS UP! PERFECT ATTENDANCE. On his first day of school in the first grade, Manuel Martinez Jr. was so excited to be going to school that he didn’t want to miss a day. And he didn’t. Martinez is now graduating from Mora High School with a perfect attendance for all 12 years.
He’s off to a great start in life. Someone out there will be happy to employ such a dedicated young man, whose commitment to “being there” when expected is already well established.

THUMBS DOWN! FORECLOSURE. The financial downfall of the Plaza Hotel is a big blow to the local economy, since the historic building alongside Plaza Park is a big draw for tourists coming to town. However, even though the hotel is in a bad place financially, it’s in great physical shape and will continue to operate as such.
Wid Slick, the hotel’s owner since the 1980s, may not have been able to keep the hotel financially afloat, but he is handing off a beautifully refurbished building — which might just result in a fast turnaround. Here’s hoping for a quick sale to a great buyer.

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“The Plaza Hotel was expanded during a time when construction costs were higher than ever before or since ... The expanded facility came with new operating costs and a larger mortgage payment, just as the economy went into a tailspin, which no one saw coming.”

— Wid Slick, owner of the Plaza Hotel, explaining some of the economic circumstances that led to the historic hotel’s fall into foreclosure.