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Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - May 3, 2013

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! BACA GOOD CHOICE FOR JUDGE
We applaud Gov. Susana Martinez for her decision to appoint Gerald Baca to the vacant judge post in the 4th Judicial District. Baca is a well respected lawyer who has never shied away from tough cases. His experience — as a defense attorney, prosecutor and even as a district judge — will give him a running start when he begins his new job on May 13. That said, the governor really didn’t have a bad choice here. Attorney Anna Aragon was also an impressive candidate. Perhaps she’ll throw her hat in the ring to fill the vacancy on the magistrate court bench created by the retirement of Philip Romero.  

THUMBS UP! RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY
At long last, Highlands President Jim Fries and the school’s Board of Regents were able to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Friday to mark the opening of the university’s new Student Center. The building offers beautiful views and state-of-the art technology. But perhaps more importantly, it serves as a welcoming gateway to the campus. The university is still mired in litigation involving the contractor it fired from the job, and the building opened more than a year after it was supposed to and cost significantly more than anticipated. With the building finally complete, now is a good time for the university and the regents to do a postmortem on the project to figure out exactly what went wrong and how the fiascoes that plagued the project might be avoided in the future.

THUMBS DOWN! MORE BULLYING ALLEGATIONS
The bullying that took place late last month during a Robertson High School junior varsity team practice is unacceptable. And the allegations that school officials have ignored the situation and allowed it to fester is even more troubling. In defense of the school officials, it’s often difficult to determine who the bully is and who is getting bullied. The matter isn’t going away by ignoring it, and there could be grave consequences to taking that approach.

THUMBS UP! A GENEROUS FRIEND
The United World College lost a good and generous friend last week with the death of Kathryn Wasserman Davis. Davis, who died at 106, established an endowment to support female Muslim students in perpetuity. She will also be remembered for the Kathryn Davis Student Center and the Kathryn Davis Tennis Courts at UWC’s Montezuma campus. Her real legacy, however, will be as a “visionary for peace.”

AND WE QUOTE
“My campaign for election starts today.”
— Gerald Baca after he was selected to fill the judicial vacancy in the 4th Judicial District.