• Thumbs UP for ... HISTORY RECORDED THROUGH ART.  Casa de Cultura, a local nonprofit organization and significant contributor to quality of life in Las Vegas, was awarded $15,000 by the city to create a mural on “The People’s History of Northern New Mexico.” The money will go for paneling and materials (though the total price tag is estimated at $25,000). The mural will be on the north end of the old Safeway parking lot at Seventh Street and Douglas Avenue.

  • I have had it with all the reports blaming secondhand cigarette smoke for all the illnesses of mankind. Most of my patients who smoked died from old age and nothing else. People need to take a good long look at all the damage caused from radiation contamination. It is in the air we are breathing.

    You can see cigarette smoke, you can’t see radiation fallout. The government will not tell you the truth as to what we are breathing in our air. Look at all the illness caused from radiation contamination.

    Blame it all on a cigarette? I don’t think so.

  • Daniel Garcia, who lives near El Pueblo, contends that the county took his road without his family’s consent decades ago. And now he’s fighting to get it back.

    Last week, the San Miguel County Commission heard his request to abandon one mile of B41-E, which he said had been in his family for generations.

    In October, the commission had granted his request, but officials found out that they hadn’t given proper notice to all nearby residents. So the commission decided to reconsider the issue.

  • Remember the fun we had two years ago with the letters on the marquee at the off-again, off-again running of the Serf Theater?

    To review: Some time after the airing of “No Country for Old Men,” the management had a showing of “In Her Shoes,” starring Cameron Diaz. It was a flick my wife Bonnie and I practically slept through. The first rule of movie-watcherdom is to have a person we can admire, whom we can identify with, but in this movie, there were none. But I’m not a movie critic, so back to the marquee.

  • The Mora Council of the Knights of Columbus, Council 9889, would like to thank the following businesses for their contributions; they made our yearly celebration a success.

    The luncheon was held on Dec. 20 at the St. Gertrude Parish Hall in Mora. The whole community was invited to join us. Our council served 250-plus meals.

    Contributors were The Bank of Las Vegas, Community First Bank, Salman Ranch, Robert Serna, Ralph Anderson, Nelson Funeral Home, and Russell’s Super Market.

    Thank you all for your generosity.

    Joseph F. Pacheco

    Mora County

  • A landowner in El Valle, who stands to profit from the Invenergy Industrial facility on the mesa next to Starvation Peak, has approached the board of directors of West Las Vegas High School to gain support for the project. As you probably know from previous opinions on the subject, most people in our neighborhood reject the location for the wind turbines. More than 300 petition (signatures) have been gathered against it.  

  • In Mayor Tony Marquez’s recent  press release announcing that he would not run for re-election, he took credit for “liberating” our city government from “old time politics and the patron system.” Mayor Marquez also stated that he chose to “side with the people.” What “people” was Mayor Marquez referring to? I was not one of them.

  • The lack of stability has hurt City Hall over the last dozen years. As such, the Las Vegas City Council has rightly placed continuity as one of its chief goals.

    Too often, petty politics has caused turnover in the city manager’s position. New mayors have come in, with the proverbial swagger intent on installing their loyalists. And that means employees have had to undergo new processes, new rules, new management styles at regular intervals.

  • Thumbs UP for ... A VISIT FROM A HERO. It’s not every day that Las Vegas gets an up-close look at one of the major participants in American history. On Sunday, Minnijean Brown-Trickey spoke at the United World College about her experiences as a member of the Little Rock Nine, the black students who integrated Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957 under the protection of federal troops.

  • I recently had the opportunity to revisit Las Vegas and my wife and I got to spend 10 really nice days visiting friends who live in town. I again found many of the residents that I encountered to be friendly and welcoming.

    Since we drove out to New Mexico from Florida, I was able to take my beagle Izzy with us on the trip. I had many walks with her through town and was able to see many side streets not normally seen by tourists. What I saw in many instances disturbed me.

  • This is for our kids in Las Vegas, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and for all who had any connection with Benito Lemos.

    I know that Benito Lemos’ death affected a lot of you, for whatever reason. Thank you for your support. I was impressed with the fact that there was so many people in his services.

    No church could contain the people, so they had to have it in the Robertson gym and even there it was standing room only.

  • Local government entities say they hire people based on qualifications, not connections. I hope that’s true.

    Both the Las Vegas City Council and the San Miguel County Commission vote on all people hired in their respective entities. Since I started covering both more than five years ago, they have approved every person recommended for hire but one.

    Three years ago, then-Commission Chairman Hugh Ley voted against the employment of the son of then-Commissioner, Kenneth Medina. Ley said he did so because he didn’t want to hire the relatives of commissioners.

  • On behalf of the Atencio and Augie Fudala families, we would like to say thank you so much to those of you who voted for our barn in the Campbell’s Soup and FFA barn renovation project. We are both humbled and grateful for your participation, and thanks to all the votes we received, our barn in Bark River, Mich., was one of five winning barns of a national contest that will be getting a facelift sometime in June.

  • It’s clear the corporation that runs Alta Vista Regional Hospital has an extensive anti-union playbook. It seems to have an answer for handling just about every union tactic.

    But they never figured on the San Miguel County Commission getting in the way.

    For years, San Miguel County — and other counties as well — routinely approve monthly payments for indigent services to hospitals. That money is to help hospitals pay for health care for those too poor to pay.

  • 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.