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Opinion

  • I am writing to you and the readers of the Optic today to let you know that April is Counseling Awareness Month!

    Were you aware that:

    • There are more than 600,000 professional counselors working in educational, mental health, community agency, private practice and other related human service settings all across the nation — with many of us right here in Las Vegas and San Miguel County.

    • Professional counselors work with human growth and development issues and problems of people at all life stages, from childhood through the senior years.

  • Our elected officials are required to live in the districts they represent. So it’s fair game to ask candidates for office about their residency.

    Voters can now reasonably wonder if District 1 San Miguel County Commissioner June Garcia lives here or in Sandoval County, which is two hours down the road.

    When a reporter called Garcia last week about these issues, she didn’t return the message. Instead, she had her husband and predecessor on the board, LeRoy Garcia, answer our reporter’s inquiries.

  • Thumbs UP to ... CREATIVE INGENUITY. A simple little “mil gracias” letter alerted us to a creative approach to education. Two local merchants — Hacienda and Gamble’s, provided Legion Park Elementary School students with a couple of hundred brown-paper bags and the kids used them to draw and color pictures of what they love most about our planet, as part of their Earth Day lesson. The decorated bags were then taken back to the stores for distribution to their customers.

  • As of April 20, the free Tuesday evening meal at the United Community Soup Kitchen will be stopped. The Soup Kitchen director made the decision to end this service to the community. For 20 months, a group of community volunteers have supervised and assisted in running this service, which provides a free meal to the 30 to 40-plus children and adults who show up each week for the meal served from 4 to 4:45 p.m. We believe it is our moral responsibility to continue to meet this need of our community.

  • On Monday morning, April 12, I received a phone call from a (woman) who garbled the name of the “delivery service” she claimed to be with. She informed me that she had a package for me inside of which was a check for $2.45 million which I had “won,” and that she would like to have the package brought “right over to you.” Smelling a scam, I hung up immediately.

  • What happened to the “balance” in the San Miguel County Oil and Gas Task Force?

  • The staff and students of Legion Park Elementary School would like to thank Hacienda and Gamble’s for their generous loan of a combined 200 brown-paper shopping bags. In celebration of upcoming Earth Day, the students colored each bag with a picture of what they love most about our planet (and, on some, a heartfelt message to us adults to save it for them). These bags have been given back to each store for distribution during the month of April.

  • An enjoyable aspect of writing a column is talking to and learning from people. Often, as I once did with the term “church key,” I ask people younger than I (and that includes the masses) what certain words mean to them.

  • Alta Vista Regional Hospital, which has an eight-member advisory board of area residents, won’t allow the San Miguel County Commission to have a seat at the table.

    Recently, the county requested to have a representative on the board. But hospital CEO Richard Grogan wrote back that the board considered the request and decided against it.

    We don’t know who is on the board, and Alta Vista is not eager to tell us. Its spokesman didn’t reply to a request for that information last week.

  • These days, just about everyone agrees that we need to develop clean energy alternatives. Over the long haul, the future cannot run on fossil fuels; instead, renewable energy sources must determine our economic and environmental destiny. So it’s imperative that we move toward solar, wind and other energy-producing alternatives.

  • On Thursday, conservatives from across the country rallied against big government and taxes at so-called tea parties. They even held a demonstration in ultra-liberal Santa Fe.

    The tea party’s message — combined with a hatred of President Obama — is simple. Sure, we can all agree that we don’t want a huge, overbearing government. And everyone likes lower taxes.

    But these tea party activists don’t give many specifics about what they would do.

  • The 16th annual Fiesta de la Hispanidad took place in March  in Ilfeld Auditorium and was, as every other year, a huge success thanks to the participation of our community members, both those performing and in the audience.  

  • My mother is Pat Harris and was talking to you about writing a letter thanking your city. She was thanking your city for the safe return of her grandson Nicholas Gage Kolb which is my son. (The letter ran May 22, 2009.)

    He made a stupid decision and ran away from home. We live in Louisiana. I am currently having the typical teenage problems out of him and I decided to put the article in his baby book for if he ever grows up he can have. I just found the article dated May 2009. This is the first time I had seen it. I just wanted to thank you again.

  • Thumbs DOWN to ... STILL NO REASON GIVEN. An agenda item to reconsider the termination of Jim Abreu’s contract as superintendent of the West Las Vegas School District was defeated this week before it even came up. Board member David Romero moved for its removal from the agenda and, just like last month’s action to dismiss him, no real reasons were given.

    Still, the public is left in the dark.

  • I would like to thank my children and grandchildren for the wonderful surprise retirement party given on March 20. I would also like to thank all who attended, family, friends and co-workers, for making it so memorable. I would like to thank Florian Castillo and his band for the great music.

    Thanks to my children: Kathy, Valorie, Toni, Juan and Raelene and to my grandchildren, Aaron, Daniel, Angelica, Jordan, Antonio and in loving memory of Chantal Angela Maestas.

    Priscilla Larson

    Las Vegas

  • A determined group of local individuals and organizations are forming a growing collaboration to address the needs of sexual assault victims. Hospital medical services, police and other law-enforcement services, community-based social services and victim-advocate services are critical and must be coordinated and ready to respond.

  • To anyone who has ever had a teacher: It takes more education and more money out of pocket than at any time in our country’s history to become and remain a teacher. Our student loan reform is a very good start, however, there are thousands of teachers out there now who have high-interest loans and old loans for teaching that are not forgiven.

  • In regards to the mesa wind project, I’d like to express caution about relying on corporate promises of long-term jobs for the area.

    In business terms, jobs are labor expenses. These dirty and dangerous jobs eventually will be engineered out of the equation, replaced by computers. Since the priority is profit, there is no social contract obligating this company to employ anyone at all.

  • Back in the olden days, before Storrie Lake became a state park and when entry was free, I once took a couple of neighbor-acquaintances swimming. I call them acquaintances because they were not exactly my friends.

    Without getting into the semantics of what a friend is, let me explain that they were simply young men my age whom I saw regularly but who weren’t part of my circle.

  • Storrie Lake has been in the state park system for decades. So it’s no surprise that Las Vegas residents see this attraction as the domain of no particular group or person but, rather, as public property.

    The state, however, doesn’t own most of the park’s land. Instead, it’s the property of the Storrie Project Water Users Association, which serves ranchers, farmers and government agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.