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Opinion

  • As huge scoops of rock, mortar, wood and glass were loaded into waiting dump trucks yesterday, I waved goodbye.

    It’s gone. Mortimer Hall, my home away from home for about 25 years — its parts being hauled off to a landfill somewhere — has been razed, with surprising speed, to make room for the new student center.

  • Bill Richardson has had a good run as governor, but it’s not over yet. His place in our state’s history — as a mover and shaker who led us into some lasting improvements or as an overly ambitious leader who broke the bank — will be determined in large measure by the upcoming legislative session.

  • There are times when our better nature show through. During times of crisis, when neighbors are helping neighbors — that’s one of those times. Then there are the times when we help people we don’t even know because, well, we know it’s the right thing to do.

  • If the city of Las Vegas wishes to promote a recycling program, the receiving site does little to encourage people.

    There have been few times in the last several years when bins have not been overflowing and cans, newspapers and plastic containers scattered around. I have made numerous trips to the office of the city manager to register my concern.

  • Now that President Obama has ended his first year in office, it is time to evaluate. As human rights activists, we were hopeful that the president would bring change to U.S. foreign policy regarding the “war on terror,” Guantanamo Bay and torture, but his actions have fallen way short.

  • Last week, state Rep. Eleanor Chavez, D-Albuquerque, wrote on Facebook that she held a town hall with her constituents. She said they told her they opposed a food tax and education cuts, wanted to close corporate loopholes and pushed reform of the tax structure.

    She said she walked away impressed.

    Wait a minute. State lawmakers hold town halls?

    Apparently, some do. Our lawmakers held one at Luna Community College in the summer, but they haven’t held one in the months leading up to the annual legislative session, which starts this week.

  • The West Las Vegas Valley Elementary and Middle School would like to express our appreciation to the following businesses and people for their donations and support in helping to make our winter concert and winter festivities a success:  Walgreens, Community First Bank, Elks Lodge, Walmart, Christine Ludi, Rep. and Mrs. Richard Vigil and Mr. and Mrs. Tony Vigil Jr.

    Becky Gallegos

    Principal

    Valley Elementary and Middle School

  • Thumbs DOWN to ... A BAD THUMB. Last week we paid tribute to the Robertson High School boys’ basketball team championship at the Stu Clark Tournament, intending to give the Cardinals a thumbs up for their accomplishment. But we went the wrong direction and accidentally used a down thumb instead, thereby leading some of our readers to a bad impression.

  • In reporting the story on John Roybal, the words allegation and allegedly were used loosely. The word “fact,” I believe, did not appear. Here are some points to consider.

  • At this time we would like to thank the jury for their time and verdict, the Fourth District Attorney Richard Flores, Chief Deputy Assistant District Attorney Tom Clayton, State Prosecutor Amber Hirsch, other members for the district attorney’s office who followed up during the hearings leading up the the trail and the Las Vegas Police Department detectives and offices who took part in the investigation of this crime.

    The prosecution team did an awesome job in presenting the case for the family and friends of the victim Timoteo M. Jaramillo.

  • The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce recently proposed that New Mexico reimpose the tax on food. If the GACC wants to raise taxes, a wiser strategy would be a targeted tax on junk food, rather than making necessities like fruits, vegetables and baby food more expensive for New Mexico families.

  • It’s always been fun to play with the language. Rather than being a drudge, English can be fascinating. It is to me.

    Let me explain: Several years ago, I served on a committee charged with the hiring of the editor for La Mecha, Highlands’ weekly newspaper. One of the applicants was Eva, an Austrian-born woman who spoke English, Spanish, German and French. She’d been my student in several journalism courses, and naturally, I recommended her. I told the group that Eva was a polyglot.

  • Our son Joseph P. Baca Jr. has decided to enter the race for City Council in Ward 4. He did so after several people encouraged him to seek the position. Both my wife and I were very surprised when he informed us that he was seriously considering entering the race.

  • It shouldn’t take a newspaper to get action on an allegation of drunken driving. But that’s what happened over the last couple of weeks.

    Three weeks ago, the Optic started asking around about a crash involving a West Las Vegas vehicle, which occurred in early August in Moriarty. We then got the Torrance County Sheriff’s Department’s full report.

  • During a recent phone conversation with my brother this holiday season, he offered a pretty rough evaluation of my chosen profession.

    He layered on his indictment with a pinch of brotherly carria, and a fist full of spite, “Eeee Sergio, I hate to tell you this bro… but the media is all messed up.”

  • The mayor and Las Vegas City Council members always like to say they don’t micromanage. They insist they let the city manager do his job.

    That’s great — if it’s true. The council should set policy, while the manager should run the day-to-day operations of city government.

    One of the low points of Mayor Tony Marquez’s term was when his handpicked city manager, Sharon Caballero, abruptly resigned, accusing the mayor of micromanagement.

  • The mayor and Las Vegas City Council members always like to say they don’t micromanage. They insist they let the city manager do his job.

    That’s great — if it’s true. The council should set policy, while the manager should run the day-to-day operations of city government.

    One of the low points of Mayor Tony Marquez’s term was when his handpicked city manager, Sharon Caballero, abruptly resigned, accusing the mayor of micromanagement.

  • Thumbs UP for ... HAPPY NEW YEAR BABY. A big two-thousand-ten congratulations to Nina Romero and Mateo Cardenas, proud parents of Jordan Elijah Cardenas. Jordan gets the distinction of being the first baby born into this new year in Las Vegas. We wish them all well.

  • We are writing in reference to your article on Dec. 28 regarding the proposed New Mexico Highlands University Student Center. We are permit-holding cultural resource professionals with decades of experience, residents of Las Vegas and alumni of NMHU. We join Mr. Joe McCaffrey's objection to the plan, and add further objections of our own.

  • We must admit some surprise that no one stepped up to run for mayor against Alfonso Ortiz, but there’s still the possibility of a write-in candidate. We’ll know this week whether the San Miguel County treasurer walks in to the mayor’s office unopposed; the deadline to file as a write-in candidate is Tuesday.

    And the same goes for Municipal Judge Eddie Trujillo, who is also unopposed in his re-election bid for municipal judge.