Today's News

  • Union: Don't hire consultants

    A union representing city employees pleaded with the City Council on Wednesday to end its relationship with a management consulting firm that helps government agencies with negotiations.

    Council members then directed city management to do just that.

    During the public input portion of the council’s meeting, Christian Laumbach, an official with the state chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, urged the city administration to negotiate directly with the union, without having any third party.

  • No answers from health trust

    Sunday marks a year since the Las Vegas Health Trust vowed to communicate more with the public about what it’s doing. At a public meeting last year, its president even promised to provide a press release.

    The Optic is still waiting for the release, and its calls to trust officials went unreturned this week.

  • Keep officials in the loop

    It’s no secret the Las Vegas City Council has its divisions. Mayor Tony Marquez has two staunch allies, Diane Moore and Andrew Feldman, while the opposition consists of Morris Madrid and Cruz Roybal.

    While many governing bodies prefer to discuss their differences outside public meetings, the City Council historically has carried out many debates in public. And that’s a good thing. After all, aren’t citizens entitled to learn about the pros and cons of issues during spirited public discussions?

  • Las Vegan accused of ramming man's car

    A Las Vegas man stands accused of repeatedly ramming another man’s car last week.

    Steven Quintana, 31, 205 Commerce St., was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence.

    Shortly before 6 p.m. last Wednesday, Quintana, in a blue pickup truck, followed another man driving on Commerce Street, according to documents filed in Magistrate Court. After a few blocks, Quintana struck the victim’s car a number of times, police said.

  • Learning 24/7

    After her first trip to Nicaragua, Lillian Gorman, director of Spanish as a Heritage Language summer program at Highlands University, said she was hooked on the cultural connections between northern New Mexico and the Latin American country.

    Gorman, a Highlands professor who is working on her doctorate at the University of New Mexico, has taken five groups of students to Nicaragua, where they are immersed in the language and where host families speak no English. This year, Gorman took 12 students, the largest contingent so far.

  • Reina pageant to kick off Fiestas de Las Vegas

    The 120th annual Fiestas de Las Vegas will start today with the Reina de Las Vegas pageant.

    The event is set for 7 p.m. at Ilfeld Auditorium.

    Four young women are vying to assume the crown from Alyssa Moya:

    • Jackie Conway, 23, a 2003 graduate of Robertson High School and a 2007 graduate of the University of New Mexico.

    • Rita Raya, 17, a Robertson High School student.

    • Carmela Montoya, 19, a Luna Community College student.

    • June Duran, 24, a 2002 graduate of Robertson High School and a 2007 graduate of Luna.

  • Bus contracts discussed in secret

    The West Las Vegas school board took its discussion about bus contracts behind closed doors last week.

    Almost half of the district’s bus drivers are under contract. The biggest contractor, which runs seven buses for the district, is RV Transportation, which is owned by state Rep. Richard Vigil, D-Ribera, officials said.

  • Rooting for Campos

    It’s an unfortunate reality in Las Vegas politics that some people work hard to bring down their enemies — even at the expense of the larger community. We see and hear it mostly behind the scenes: People rooting for the failure of their adversary after they’ve been elected or selected to lead an institution that’s important to the city’s well being.

  • National UFO coverage

    SANTA FE — Watch for New Mexico on TV this week. CW Network’s “The Daily Buzz” taped five segments around the state last month and is showing them every day this week around 7 a.m.

    The segments were taped in Bandelier National Monument, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Albuquerque and White Sands National Monument. In addition, on Friday, July 4, “The Daily Buzz” will broadcast live from the Roswell Convention and Visitors Center during the UFO Festival.

  • Is government wasting gas?

    In 2006, my wife, Brenda, and I purchased a sport utility vehicle, a 2001 Toyota 4Runner. We got it because she said she needed it for her job as a real estate agent; some places are hard to reach without a four-wheel drive.

    Subconsciously, maybe we got the gas guzzler because it’s the American thing to do.

    According to the Web site Autohopper, the gas mileage on the 4Runner is 19 miles per gallon on average, while our other car, a 1999 Toyota Camry, stands at 27 miles per gallon.