• You’ve heard it said that a college degree is worth what a high school diploma used to be. There was a time, certainly in my lifetime, when educators urged us not to drop out of high school. “You hold the key to the future,” and other such bromides put the fear of poverty into us.

    At the time, when the U.S. began its switch from a mercantile society to an information-processing country, the need for higher degrees increased. I’m not going to give a paean on the benefits of school but merely stress how important certain qualifications are. To some.

  • Just because policymakers present a united front doesn’t mean everybody’s happy with the way things are going. Last week’s primary election offers a case in point.

    Two San Miguel County commissioners, June Garcia and Albert Padilla, were defeated in their re-election bids. And even though Sheriff Benjie Vigil won his party nomination, he did so with a slim, slim margin and only a little more than a third of the votes.

  • New Mexico’s Democrats are in trouble, and they’re beginning to realize it.

    Suffering from Bill Richardson fatigue, most people are tired of the governor’s more than seven years of pay-to-play politics.

    A day after the Democratic and Republican primaries, Diane Denish, the Democrats’ gubernatorial candidate and Richardson’s lieutenant governor, started to distance herself from our state’s leader.

  • I read, with disbelief, County Planning and Zoning Supervisor Alex Tafoya’s comment in your article, “(Task Force) Panel’s Makeup in Dispute.” He said, “....it’s not like we’re building a new nuclear bomb....”

  • “In Afghanistan there is war.  That’s President Obama’s fault.  He needs to leave the place alone so it can get settled, and if it doesn’t work he needs to try another plan, not the same thing over and over.  And he needs to stop sending people to Pakistan.  Then it will get worse. I’m Aman (an Arabic name), who was born in Las Vegas, N.M, and is trying to help Afghanistan for all.”

  • I am writing in response to a recent Optic article about the lop-sided membership of the San Miguel County Oil and Gas Ordinance Task Force. Planning and Zoning supervisor Alex Tafoya was quoted as saying, in relation to the work of the task force, “It’s not like we’re creating a new nuclear bomb.” Mr. Tafoya is correct. We want an ordinance to prevent a bomb, not create one. When I was a teenager, a natural gas pipeline exploded in our community. It was like a bomb was detonated.

  • I would like to respond to the letter written by Kathleen Dudley. The writer, in my opinion, seems to be trying to say that it’s odd that state Rep. Thomas Garcia is being interviewed for the position of (Mora schools) superintendent after he received gifts from the Mora Independent Schools. Has it ever occurred to Ms. Dudley that he is being interviewed for this position based on his education, and qualifications? Apparently not. And as for the gifts, there is a reason they call them gifts. They are just that.

  • Thumbs UP to ... THE PROCESS MOVING FORWARD. It certainly was an busy primary election season, with plenty of local and state races. Most of them were decided with pluralities rather than majorities — an unfortunate result of the lack of runoffs. Plus, turnout was low. So there are reasons to be discouraged with this election cycle.

    That said, those who did vote made the process work, while those who didn’t — the ones who are part of the problem rather than the solution — have no room to complain (though we’re certain they will anyway).

  • Over the last several months I have established a new online habit.

    As a voracious news consumer I will scan several online news sources; The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate), KTVU.com, the Dallas Morning News, The Los Angeles Times and others. And of course thanks to the online edition of the The Las Vegas Optic, I can call up the latest happenings of my hometown.

  • It’s not the isolated bag that somehow gets dislodged from a moving pickup or a Wal-Mart bag that shoots out the window when Missy cranks the handle.

    No, instead, what a residential area in Camp Luna inherited Tuesday morning, compliments of some anonymous donor over the Memorial Day weekend was more than a dozen bags of trash, garbage, organic stuff, important records, school reports, sensitive material from hospitals and welfare agencies, a partially used prescription, and several dozen empty DVD cases.

  • On behalf of Samaritan House Inc., we would like to take this opportunity to extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude to The Catholic Foundation, Archdiocese of Santa Fe, for their 2009 Grant Award of $5,000.

    The application was sponsored by Immaculate Conception Church and submitted by two of our board members, Katie McDonough and John Geoffroy.

  • In this weak economy, our local government agencies shouldn’t be giving raises to its top officials. Doing so sends a bad message.

    Unfortunately, West Las Vegas’ budget includes pay hikes for its associate superintendent and business manager — this during a time when West is set to lay off eight first- or second-year teachers.

    Under the budget, the business manager’s annual salary would increase from $70,000 to $90,000 and the associate superintendent’s from $89,000 to $95,000.

  • This letter is prompted by the visibility and apparent success of the Tea Party phenomenon, more specifically by the letter by Annette Franklin in the Optic on May 19.

  • John Loehr did not tell us where he attended high school. I found it interesting that he seems so horrified that anyone would not like the president and some people would even use racial epithets to describe the president.

    He talks about what a fine father and husband and basketball player he is. Of course, none of those attributes make for presidential qualities and abilities.

  • On behalf of the West Las Vegas Music Department, we would like to thank the following individuals and businesses that contributed to our event: Platinum sponsor: Bank of Las Vegas. Silver sponsor: State Employees Credit Union, Deseo (John and Rose Montoya), ENMR, and State Rep. Richard D. Vigil of District 70. Bronze sponsors: Herrera Coaches, WLV board President Christine Ludi, WLV board member and Mrs. Kenny Lujan, First Community Bank, Antonio Ortega, Roy Pacheco for Sheriff, and KNMX (Mr. Matt Martinez).

  • We, the sons and daughters of Arthur Padilla, want to thank you for your support for our father. He has served Las Vegas and the surrounding community for the past 40 years through his service in law enforcement and, most recently, his eight years as county commissioner.

    Our father is retired and will give 100 percent of his time and effort to help the people of San Miguel County. He has a personal open communication policy in which you may call and express your concerns or opinions. His values, strong ethics and experience speak for themselves.

  • I am writing this letter to let you know that I feel very sad and angry when I read the Optic article in Friday, May 21. This is in regards to my nephew Abel Herrera, who crashed and died during a pursuit by police.

  • I was shocked and saddened to find that the Optic no longer allows Las Vegas citizens to comment online. This was one of the only outlets in a city that controls any disagreement or new ideas.

    Speaking before the City Council is a hopeless travesty. The new city attorney interrupts and claims any mention of a city worker’s name or job description is to be handled by “personnel” and not to be spoken in public.

  • Annette Franklin in her letter published on May 19th asks: “How can voters vote intelligently when facts are not revealed and discussed?” It seems that she is urging readers to do just that; to lay out issues of concern and discuss them.

    Her letter covers a wide range of issues. I highlight here only a few of them.

  • In response to Annette Franklin’s letter to the Optic which ran May 19, I’d have to say “Tea Party hypocrisy” is precisely the right characterization of the Tea Party complaints.