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Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - Oct. 2, 2013

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS DOWN! CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
It’s unfortunate that 800,000 federal employes, including several who reside in this area, are on furlough just because our elected officials can’t get their act together and pass a budget. This is a potential disaster for the economy and an outrageous example of the gridlock that pervades Washington, D.C. these days.

THUMBS DOWN! MORE SCANDAL AT MORA SCHOOLS
The state Public Education Department has launched yet another investigation into the conduct of school district officials. Not surprisingly, it’s Roger Gonzales, the former Mora school official who himself got in trouble with PED the last time around who is pointing the finger at the current superintendent and others. PED needs to wrap up its investigation quickly and either clear the current school officials or take action against them. Either way, the students and people in Mora County deserve better than what they’re getting.

THUMBS UP! FREE LEGAL HELP
Anyone who has gone out and tried to hire a lawyer knows it isn’t cheap. That’s why we applaud the 4th Judicial District Pro Bono Committee for putting together a free legal fair today (Friday). The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Highlands University Student Union Building and will cover everything from divorce and child support to foreclosure and immigration.

THUMBS UP! A SURVIVOR
Those of you who read last Friday’s Optic likely caught the senior profile on Raymundo “Ray” Angel, who was serving at Ewa Airfield near Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. At age 94, Angel is still going strong, and thanks to good friends, he has been able to preserve his independence. We thank you for your service in the Marines and for sharing your incredible story.

AND WE QUOTE
“We are optimistic that something can be worked out and have contingency planning for this and any other emergency and look forward to returning to serve the public.”
— Fort Union National Monument Superintendent Charles Strickfaden on the partial government shutdown that went into effect Tuesday.