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Today's Opinions

  • The county’s oil, gas ordinance

    San Miguel County’s draft ordinance regarding oil and gas references the “National Environmental Policy Act” and thus rightly includes all aspects of the biotic and abiotic environment, but unlike the law, fails to include “economics.” Unfortunately this is consistent with membership of the county’s oil and gas committee, which also did not have a specific representative for “economic development.”

  • ‘Envirowackos’ vs. other ‘wackos’

    According to Alan Franken’s letter to the editor published Nov. 2, those of us who oppose hydraulic fracturing, AKA fracking, are “envirowackos.” San Miguel County must be a haven for “envirowackos,” because more than 1,000  San Miguel County residents have already signed a petition demanding a ban on fracking. A recent online petition to ban fracking in San Miguel County has attracted over 1,600 signatures.

  • The road to (S)hell

    In Alan Franken’s Nov. 2 letter, he stated he was “scared” — more of the economic devastation than the known realities of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas here. Despite the mounting scientific evidence documenting the toxic effects on livestock, plants and, of course, people in 33 states, some still believe that the boom in the oil-and-gas industry will be a boon for San Miguel County — and, more dangerous, believe there is no down side.  

  • Must address the problem

    I recently read where Las Vegas has the highest homicide rate in New Mexico. That problem must be addressed immediately.

    Local political leaders, religious  leaders, and educators must join together with the local police and community members to create and implement a plan that can remove the negative connotation that goes along with the crime problem. Las Vegas can ill afford the title of the “highest crime rate in the state.”  

  • Crime reporting statistics

    I preface this by stating that as the Las Vegas chief of police, as far as I’m concerned, one homicide or one forcible rape in our city is one too many. [Las Vegas police officers] take the safety of our citizens very seriously and that is our priority.

  • Issues regarding Mora water use

    An open letter to Tim Farmer, District VII manager, Office of the State Engineer:
    Mr. Farmer, it appears that the legal notice (which ran in the Optic on Oct. 15) relative to digging three wells to dewater the track and athletic fields at the Mora Independent Schools is an exercise in futility, since three wells have already been dug and have been in use since at least June 2010, pumping 600 gallons of water per minute into the Mora River. This “after the fact” notice in the Optic is typical of governmental bureaucratic ineptness at work.

  • Eliminate the College

    Understand that this is being written before Tuesday’s election results, so we don’t know the outcome at the time of this writing. For all we know, one of them could have won the popular vote but not enough electoral votes, making his opponent the victor in a bifurcated election. It happens — see the 2000 election, when Al Gore won the popular vote and George W. Bush won the Electoral College.

    That’s what we want to write about on this day-after day — that antiquated relic of an 18th century solution called the Electoral College. We’d like to see it dissolved.

  • Work of Art - You’ll get a whole dollar

    As part of a let’s-be-friendly gesture, I once asked my then-next-door neighbor, James, if he’d help me unload some lumber from my pickup.

    I’d bought several pieces of wood to shore up our fence, and as I noticed him sipping Sun Tea on his porch, I sweetened the offer:

    “And if you help me, I’ll give you a whole dollar.”

    “A whole dollar?” James asked. “How about if I give you a whole dollar to leave me alone?” That’s how neighbors in Camp Luna get along. By the way, he did help me unload — a three-minute job — but refused my magnanimous whole dollar offer.