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Local News

  • Campos silent on partnership bill

    State Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, last year announced that he would support a domestic partnerships bill.

    Now it’s uncertain whether he will stick to that position.

    In an interview with the New Mexico Independent last week, Campos wouldn’t say how he would stand on domestic partnerships, which would extend many of the rights of married couples to same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

    Campos hasn’t returned the Optic’s calls on the issue over the last week.

  • West seeks another championship

    The West Las Vegas Honors Choir is on its way to to the capital city this week to defend its state title.

    It is never an east thing to try to hold on to the blue trophy, but Las Vegas’ pride, the “Voices of Angels,” as they’ve been called, will sing John Rutter’s “Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind,” Henry Purcell’s “Sound the Trumpet” and “O’Magnum Mysterium” by Morten Lauridsen.

  • Acequias seeking pact with city

    Members of local acequias are encouraging the city government to reach a short-term water-sharing agreement for the Gallinas River — at the very least.

    After that, they said they want a long-term deal with the city and the Storrie Project Water Users Association.

    William Gonzales, an acequia leader, said at last week’s City Council meeting that he applauded the city’s efforts to negotiate a long-term water-sharing agreement. But he said acequias want the short-term agreement in preparation for this year’s irrigation season.

  • Council forms charter panel

    The City Council has formed a panel to make recommendations for changes to the city’s charter, which was drafted nearly four decades ago.

    The Charter Commission will be asked to review such issues as term limits, instant runoff elections, mayor and council salaries, random drug testing, campaign finance reports and residency requirements.

    Each council member nominated a member to the commission, as did the municipal judge. Mayor Tony Marquez got to pick two members to the panel. All were approved unanimously by the council.

  • Official: Morale bad at City Hall

    City Councilwoman Diane Moore said last week that she is concerned about the morale of city employees.

    At a council meeting, she said employees have told her the city government is the worst they’ve seen it. She said employees are beginning to get paranoid about their job security.

    As such, she said it’s important to recognize the work of city employees, possibly advertising their accomplishments in a newsletter.

  • Forum planned for Luna candidates

    A forum is planned for the candidates for the Luna Community College Board of Trustees.

    The forum is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Middle School’s lecture hall. Sponsoring the event are the Las Vegas Optic and the Committee for the People, a local watchdog group.

    The election is set for next Tuesday.

    Running for the Las Vegas-based District 2 seat are incumbent Tony Valdez, Tommy Ortiz and Marsha Archuleta. Valdez was appointed to his seat in 2007.

  • Two vying for city manager position

    Mayor Tony Marquez this week revealed the names of the two finalists for city manager — Timothy Dodge of Santa Rosa and Dan Dible of Hobbs.

    Dodge has been city manager of Santa Rosa for the last four years. Dodge, who received his bachelor of arts degree from Highlands University, has said he’s looking for a bigger town to manage.

    He has pointed to the improvements in downtown Santa Rosa as a project that he helped bring about.

  • Native Americans gather in Las Vegas

    Governors and other tribal leaders from 23 Native American tribes and pueblos gathered Thursday at Kennedy Hall on the Highlands University campus to sign an agreement to promote higher education opportunities for Native Americans.

  • Chavez named new Optic ad manager

    The Las Vegas Optic has a new advertising manager. Vince Chavez’s first day on the job was Tuesday.

    Chavez, 52, is in the process of moving to San Miguel County from his home near Taos. He and his wife, Susan Maggie Chavez, are empty nesters who have raised five sons. They also have two granddaughters.

    Chavez grew up in the Midwest, but most of his adult life was spent in New Mexico and Colorado. He’s lived in Mesilla, Las Cruces and Taos in New Mexico. “My real passion is the West and the diversified culture we have out here,” he said.

  • City passes sex offender law

    In a split vote, the City Council this week passed an ordinance that is somewhat stricter than state law on where sex offenders can live.

    State law requires that sex offenders live at least 1,000 feet away from a school or daycare center. The city’s new ordinance would expand that to playgrounds, parks and the city’s recreation center.

    The ordinance was proposed by Mayor Tony Marquez, who told the council that the city can’t always depend on state law.