• We were amazed last year when the state announced that Sierra Vista Elementary School was No. 40 on the state list for demolition. Recently, officials announced that the school is now at No. 14.

    And Sierra Vista is only a little more than 20 years old.

    Whatever way you cut it, the taxpayers have been failed if a relatively new building needs to be leveled. Officials say a leaky roof has caused deterioration to the building.

  • Several people commented on the piece about the demolition of Mortimer Hall, the Highlands building at Eighth and National that was cleared to make room for a new student center. In that building, as mentioned in a previous column, was “The Door.” On it I kept humorous headlines from various newspapers.

    In one move around Mortimer Hall, it was easier to move the entire door to a new location than to apply an Exacto knife to remove the clippings. But let’s be clear: The door was of the standard institutional variety, and it held up pounds of profundity.

  • This is my second letter to the Optic regarding (online reader comments) about Phil Warfield (Re: front-page story on Jan. 29). The first was Jan. 30 sent by the Postal Service and today, Feb. 2, sent by e-mail.

  • A disturbing proposal came before the Farmington City Commission last week, and after reading about it in an Associated Press report, our first thought was that some sort of white supremacy group had infiltrated that city. Our knee-jerk reaction was that it only goes to show just how far we have to go to achieve equality in our nation. But our second thought was that perhaps this little news item is a good opportunity to reflect on just what equality is, and how it’s achieved.

  • What is the public’s reaction so far to the March 2 municipal election?

    Likely a big yawn.

    Unlike previous elections, this one has generated little interest. That’s probably because there is only one name on the ballot for the races for mayor and municipal judge. Sure, the mayoral race has attracted two write-in candidates, but a successful write-in candidate is as common as a die-hard Republican on Montezuma Street.

  • It’s time once again for the communities whose children are educated by the Pecos Independent Schools District to answer the call and support the education of our children and vote in favor of the bond initiative this March. The need and the importance of passing this initiative cannot be overstated.  

  • The Mora Community Academy of Social, Science and Math program would like to express its gratitude to all the supporters who have donated monetary resources. The academy is developed for the Mora Independent Schools Elementary students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade.  It is a program designed to introduce children to math and science in an interesting, fun and hands-on approach. Our goal is to pique young students’ interests by exposing them to the vast fields in science and math.

  • Every religion tries to deal with how to handle human suffering. Last Sunday, a talk was given called “Motherhood Interrupted” at the Immaculate Conception church. The speaker, Mrs. Jane Brennan, whose website is www.motherhoodinterrupted.com, is an average American woman. She gave a woman’s view of having an abortion.

  • It was wonderful yesterday writing about how next year’s Super Bowl will feature the Oakland Raiders pummeling Dallas by about 87 to 3. Yet,  family members who realize I bleed Raiders black and gray interrupted  the joy; this column needs to be about this year’s Super Bowl. Or so they say.

    Nevertheless, I wanted to convince family members that the Raiders will be in the big game next year. So I asked around:

    Oldest son Stan: No particular interest.

    Middle son Diego (Tennessee Titans fan): Raiders don’t deserve it.

  • The time to file for those who want to run for office is just around the corner.

    A young man recently asked me the meaning of a politician. I replied that people who run for office most generally do it because they want to use their education, talents, personalities and experience in life to help others. They encourage self-sufficiency, but at the same time fight for and support programs that give people a little push in the right direction.

  • Perhaps Ms. (Councilwoman Diane) Moore is right in holding off awarding a contract to our current city manager. Perhaps we should try to hire a city resident to the city’s highest paid office. How many offices are we going to fill with out-of-towners, who pay taxes elsewhere and/or spend our hard-earned taxes (salaries) elsewhere? Recently, we’ve hired city attorneys, city managers, etc., from every town but our own.

    Can we try harder?

  • Recently five men in black robes took an action that may change the course of history. In ruling that corporations and unions have the same rights as persons to contribute unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns, the Supreme Court overthrew a century of practice and decades of legal rulings.

  • Oxford dictionary defines a “co-operative” as “a farm, business, or other organization that is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits.”

    The Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative is violating the spirit of a “co-operative” by ignoring their members’ rights to discuss and agree upon plans for a six-line, 86,400 volt overhead installation that has been designed and scheduled (mid-April 2010) to run from La Cueva through the Mora Valley, along Highway 518.

  • Thumbs DOWN for ... SOME PEOPLE STILL DON’T GET IT. There’s a large bank of handicapped-parking signs in front of the city’s recreation center and there’s often a car or two parked there illegally. That’s an indication that people often get away with it. And though the drivers predictably claim, “I was parked there just for a second,” the reality is usually much longer.

  • We’re all in favor of legislation that would create a state ethics commission, but the measures being advanced in this year’s session appear to be lacking a key ingredient — transparency.

  • Fair housing is an important value in our society — something that all levels of government must defend.

    Recently, local developer Phil Warfield filed a lawsuit against the city for its rejection of his proposed four-lot subdivision on New Mexico Avenue.

    The state courts will decide on the merits of that litigation, but Warfield’s lawsuit raised an interesting issue: Residents who opposed the development made statements that seemed to counter the idea of fair housing.

  • Reading the history of Mortimer Hall as written by Art Trujillo gave me a push to take the campus history a bit further.

  • Sometimes you have to marvel at the contradictions in government-speak.

    Patrick Lyons’ official title is “Commissioner of Public Lands.” But in defending his controversial proposal to swap Whites Peak lands, he argues in a PowerPoint presentation that state-owned lands in that area are not public lands. They’re trust lands.

    Say what?

    By Lyons’ account, the “public” part of his title is a big mistake. He is the public lands commissioner, but he’s not.

  • I am appalled by the actions of District Judge Eugenio Mathis in the case against Richard Baca in the killing of Benito Lemos. The reduction of charges and bail on the basis of a self-defense argument is absurd.

  • Unlike Thomas Wolfe’s protagonist, George Webber, in “You Can’t Go Home Again,” who returned home after writing a novel which upset his family and his hometown’s denizens by exposing the nature of the town’s failings, I’ve always been met with warmth and approbation when I return to Wagon Mound, my home for 11 years. Of course, I haven’t written a novel about the place.

    Nevertheless, no matter when I’ve returned to the village, I come away with good feelings.