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Thumbs: Our high country lowdown on the news - Sept. 30, 2016

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! TIME TO JAM
The Fifth Annual Meadow City Music Festival is under way, and it’s offering a wonderful mix of free and premium performances. Besides the impressive musicians that organizers have lined up, this year’s festival offers a host of other fun activities, everything from a music and lyrics writing workshop to a dog singing contest. Kudos to the organizers for putting on such a great event.

THUMBS UP! A NEW CONTRACT FOR CITY OFFICERS
The City Council voted unanimously last week to approve a contract with the police union in hopes of making Las Vegas more competitive with other area police departments. Included in the contract is an increase in the entry level pay for police officers to $16.04 an hour. Previously, starting pay was $13.50 for non-certified officers and $15.80 for certified officers. We’re glad that city officials and the police union were able to reach agreement on this contract, and we hope it helps keep members of our police department here.

THUMBS UP! EDUCATOR SURRENDERS LICENSE
Wagon Mound educator Nick Trujillo surrendered his administrative license last week, opting not to force the state Public Education Department to go through the process of revoking it. Trujillo was one of seven educators who the Optic discovered had been granted a license despite significant deficiencies in their licensure files. In Trujillo’s case, he lacked the mandatory six years of administrative experience at a higher education institution to qualify for the pathway used to grant him the license. His licensure file also lacked a superintendent’s verification form attesting to Trujillo’s having successfully completed a one-year administrative internship. In surrendering his administrative license, Trujillo was essentially confirming that he didn’t qualify to receive it in the first place. We’re glad that he chose to give up the license when confronted by PED.

THUMBS UP! NMHU PAINTER’S EXHIBITION
If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to make some time for the Third Invitational New Mexico Painters Exhibition at Highlands University. The free exhibition is at Kennedy Alumni Hall, and it features 32 artists. It’s a real treat.

AND WE QUOTE
“I think our department was at risk of losing good officers and not keeping good officers.”
— City Attorney Chico Gallegos