• These so-called visits with the citizens in Las Vegas by our new (hopefully one-term) Congressman Ben Ray Lujan are fake and only intended to make Mr. Lujan appear interested in what we have to say. He has held only one public town hall meeting — immediately after he was elected. Now, he comes to town and only meets with selected citizens (like George Bush used to do) or with those folks who happen to hear about it weeks ahead of time and make an appointment to speak to him for five minutes in private. Does he think he is the Pope or what?

  • With 2010 coming up, we wonder what changes we can expect. And if there are changes, which ones and to what extent?

    People don’t feel too concerned over the nice, even round number that 2010 will represent, nothing like when nature’s odometer turned from 1999 to 2000, or Year Two Thousand.

  • For the last several years, the Optic has presented its New Year’s wishes for our community. Next year, our community will experience its share of progress and setbacks. We can’t predict them, but we have our hopes for 2010:

  • The City Council has unanimously rejected a proposal by Mayor Tony Marquez to open each meeting with an invocation, and rightfully so. There is no legal basis for including prayer at public meetings; there is, in fact, a legal basis to prohibit it.  Thankfully the City Council has the good sense to reject this second attempt to inject religion into the public square.

  • Ignorance of the law is no excuse — or so the authorities like to tell us. But I think ignorance may be a good excuse in Las Vegas.

    After all, we don’t have easy access to the ordinances that govern us.

    Many cities have ordinances available at their libraries or city halls. Not Las Vegas.

    Some municipalities actually have their laws online. Not Las Vegas.

  • I’m just writing to thank and praise Mr. Carlos Crespin and New Mexico State Silver Gloves committee for bringing the tournament to Las Vegas. Not only does it bring the up and rising boxing stars to the community but it also gives Las Vegas a little economic boost right before the holidays. Families from around the state and from out of state get to travel to Las Vegas and enjoy the amenities.

  • I understand the editorial (titled “Blaming the messenger”). However the Optic, on occasion, does seem to be very negative about Las Vegas in its coverage and editorials. For folks who read the paper because they visit Las Vegas, it does not come across as friendly. Especially if the paper and visits to town are the only way we interact with the citizens of Las Vegas.

  • When it comes to economic development, Las Vegas needs to put forward a united front. Anything less is unacceptable.

    Recently, the Las Vegas First Independent Business Alliance told the city Lodgers Tax Advisory Board that it is interested in vying for the city contract held by the Las Vegas-San Miguel Chamber of Commerce. It made arguments about how it could take on that role — its marketing plan in place, its relationships with various agencies, its securing of discounted rates for the placement of advertisements.

  • Luna Community College has suffered its share of allegations involving sexual harassment over the years.

    Now the college is proposing a policy in which any employee who witnesses harassment is required to report it to the proper officials. No excuses.

    This would be an important step for Luna to show that it takes harassment seriously. It would turn the page from an unfortunate history.

    We hope the Board of Trustees approves this proposed policy change.

  • By the time you read this, I’ll be either sleeping or sleepless in Seattle -- seriously! My daughter, Ileana, sent me a ticket for a holiday getaway.

    Nevertheless, it’s the season -- however one wants to categorize it; the time to wish you all season’s greetings --Shalom, Joyeaux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Fröhliche Weihnachten, Mele Kalikimaka, oh, yeah, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, etc. And I do.

  • Editor’s note: This editorial first appeared here on Christmas Day 2007.

    We don’t think a secular, general circulation newspaper is the place to advance any one religious belief. It isn’t appropriate or even right to push our faith off on good people who believe differently. And, frankly, inclusiveness is consistent with our view that there are many paths to the Truth, and our search isn’t the only way to get there.

  • Parent Night or Open House was held on Monday, Oct. 19, at West Las Vegas High School. Parents were invited to meet and speak with their children’s teachers regarding grades, attendance, or any other matter in regard to their child’s education. Sign-in sheets in the front lobby indicated that 302 parents attended the event.

  • As one of the uneducated, unenlightened elite, who for some reason does not know with absolute certainty when human life begins, I was surprised to learn that I was one of those anti-abortion people who are therefore “anti-women, anti-child, and pro-patriarchy.” Gosh, I always thought when a human fetus was allowed to come to term a human being was born, not Flipper or Rin-Tin-Tin. But what do I know, I’m only playing with half a deck according to Ms. Joan Krohn, because I oppose abortion.

  • Invention is the mother of necessity. Just because if it’s been manufactured, we must have one. A look at the spending frenzy Sunday night at Santa Fe’s Best Buy convinced me that the world is ending tomorrow, and if people don’t buy their gadgets immediately, there’s no hope.

    For the most part, I’m a practitioner of shopping at home, but what I needed was not available locally. As I saw people grabbing up flat-screen TVs, for less than $200, I wondered why the serious jolt to the economy doesn’t seem to have hit Santa Fe or Las Vegas.

  • We’re glad to see Luna Community College continuing to emphasize to its vocational programs. It’s a great way to serve both its students, who need to go on to good-paying jobs, and area industries, which need well-qualified workers.

  • I don’t like writing domestic violence stories. I know that their publication has effects on families.

    But if the allegations are true, then the offender deserves the blame, not anyone else.

    I often look at Optic editions  from decades ago, and you see plenty of crime stories. What’s missing is reports of domestic violence. Does that mean such offenses never occurred back then? Of course not.

    In those days, law enforcement, the media and society in general considered domestic violence a private matter. It was between a man and a woman.

  • I think Mayor Tony Marquez has done a good job for Las Vegas, being that he was new at the job and young when he started. He helped with the development of Grand Avenue and worked on utility rates and with the homeless shelter’s program. He hired a good city manager after reviewing candidates. He works long hours. I watch them on TV. They work until 9 p.m. at times.

    Alfonzo Ortiz thinks he’ll be able to handle that at 69. ... He’s too old already.

  • Covering government can feel like a perpetual merry go round. And when it comes to the Mora school district, we’re getting awfully dizzy.

    The district has suffered much embarrassment this year. First, the Optic revealed that the schools spent thousands on leather jackets, beef jerky and other refreshments and meals for our area state lawmakers. Then after that, the state auditor revealed that the district improperly diverted tens of thousands in federal and other funds into a discretionary account, which turned out to be a slush fund for top school officials.

  • I was shocked to read in the Optic that Richard Grogan, CEO of Alta Vista Regional Hospital, told our county commissioners that someone from the Optic planned the pro-workers-rights rally. How absurd!

  • The Historic Plaza Hotel would like to thank all the local businesses who donated their time and money to purchase and decorate a Christmas tree for the Festival of Trees that was held in the Ilfeld Ballroom Lobby: Community First Bank, Alco Store, NMHU Housing, NMHU Alumni, NMHU Athletics, Wells Fargo Bank, Noontime Kiwanis, Sunrise Kiwanis, State Employees Credit Union, The Plaza Wine & Gifts, Las Vegas Arts Council, Bank of Las Vegas, KFUN radio, and Floyd’s Rental.