• A big leap forward

    It’s one of those events that captures the imagination. Felix Baumgartner took a helium-filled balloon 24 miles up, into the Earth’s stratosphere, and jumped. On the way down he started tumbling, but he corrected his position before it got out of control and ended up hitting Mach 1.24, or 833.9 mph (according to preliminary data). Such a speed made him the first human to break the sound barrier without a jet or rocket-propelled spacecraft.

  • Protecting our water

    We’re convinced that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, just isn’t feasible in San Miguel County. Water is a major component to this method of oil-and-gas drilling, and some undisclosed chemicals get mixed in to contaminate the water, so it ruins this most valuable of natural resources. For that reason alone, we can’t imagine the county commissioners passing a toothless ordinance to regulate this method of extraction, and we expect that they won’t.

  • Thumbs: Our high country lowdown on the news - Oct. 12, 2012

    THUMBS DOWN! NECESSARY CONCLUSION. Mora County resident Rudolph “Rudy” Muniz, 53, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide and two counts of causing great bodily harm. The charges stem from a February accident at Lincoln and Grand avenues in Las Vegas.
    Muniz was reportedly driving drunk — his blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit — when he ran a stop sign and was hit by another vehicle, resulting in the death of Muniz’s friend, Manuel Olivas, and the injury of two others.

  • On politics and numbers

    In today’s politically charged climate, it’s easy to get suspicious. In fact, it’s a good idea to be skeptical of just about anything said by or on behalf of either candidate for president. However, in the case of the latest unemployment figures, it’s hard to see any plausible reason to believe a conspiracy took place to cook the numbers in Obama’s favor.

  • Troubled tenure

    Thomas Garcia’s resignation as superintendent of the Mora Independent School District is, to say the least, timely.

  • Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news - Oct. 5, 2012

    THUMBS UP! HONOR FOR AN HONORABLE MAN. We hope former coach and Las Vegas mayor Henry Sanchez, who died last November at age 72, is smiling down right down. Highlands University has named the basketball floor in the Wilson Complex in his honor. Sanchez had a storied career as a New Mexico high school and college basketball coach, including as coach of the Highlands men’s team en route to a 702-450 won-loss career record.
    The lives he touched were immeasurable. We’re glad to see Highlands bestowing this honor on him.

  • Going with half a loaf

    Count us among those who think the Las Vegas City Council went only half as far as it should have last Friday when it hiked the city water rates. The new rates will increase in stages over the next four years, beginning later this year, and are expected to raise $21.6 million in bond proceeds to pay for water system capital improvements.

  • The Facebook food photo

    Oh the power of today’s social media. Just ask Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Sheryl McNellis-Martinez and her cafeteria staffs — they’ve had a couple of rounds of in-your-face Facebook postings that make their work look quite unappetizing and unsanitary these days.

  • Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news - Sept. 28, 2012

    MARTIAL ARTS IN THE RIGHT HANDS. Las Vegas Police Chief Christian Montaño personifies the respect and discipline that comes with a training in the martial arts, but his level of skill in jiu-jitsu is far greater than these humble traits. He’s world class, as his upcoming trip to Long Beach, Calif., demonstrates.

  • Unifying efforts

    Movers and shakers in Las Vegas and San Miguel County have known for years that one of the biggest obstacles to progress has been the community’s divisions. Las Vegas is known for pulling itself apart rather than putting itself together for a common purpose.