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Opinion

  • You needn’t go very far to find those opposed to “change agents.”  The citizens of West Las Vegas were the most adamant for consolidating the two “cities,” but the Las Vegas Daily Optic opposed that consolidation just as adamantly.  I am sure you can find those stories in your own archives.

  • The construction that made Grand Avenue a true four-lane highway took place in the early ‘50s. Traffic got routed through Railroad Avenue and even New Mexico Avenue during the several months that improvements took place.

    This month, a $4.4 million project began on the same stretch of road. The news of the project has sparked memories about the major job some 60 years ago.

    Before the ‘50s project, the pavement covered only two lanes, the rest being dirt and gravel, and even the slightest sprinkle of rain managed to get cars stuck.

  • I’m sure you’ve seen and read many news reports lately regarding the crisis our schools are facing nationally and locally. The lack of money to support our current educational system is most often the major concern. Approximately $98 billion in stimulus funding was provided states to support education throughout the nation. New Mexico also received support from the stimulus monies. When the stimulus monies run out this next year, some states are projecting a meltdown of schools and universities.

  • I am writing this thank you letter to the people of  Las Vegas who have kept me in their prayers. I suffered a number of strokes and have cancer (in remission) and a terrible fall which required a number of procedures from Dr. Mario Leyba and Dr. Salman Malik. I wish to thank these wonderful doctors and their staff, Cynthia Ridgeway and Frances Morales, for their care and professionalism. Thank you also to Dr.

  • Last week, San Miguel County Commissioner June Garcia ran an advertisement in our newspaper. In it, she announced that her four colleagues on the commission had endorsed her re-election bid. 

  • More than a week ago, the majority of the West Las Vegas school board voted against renewing Superintendent Jim Abreu’s employment contract. No reasons were given for this decision.  In our perspective, Abreu did a good job as superintendent. He has been effective in building improvements at various schoos. During the last year of declining revenue, he has worked to make sure budget cuts have the least impact possible on employees, knowing that layoffs kill morale. And he has changed the culture for the better at the top levels of the West administration.

  • Thumbs DOWN for ... VAGUE REASONING. The West Las Vegas school board worked into the wee hours Thursday night and finally voted down a contract renewal for Superintendent Jim Abreu. After three years on the job, he’ll be leaving the post at the end of June.

    The reason for his dismissal? Well, only a vague reference to moving the district “forward” was given. It seems to us that such a huge decision deserves a clearer public explanation.

  • I must admit to a certain level of angst when it comes to one of our more popular online features — the comments at the end of most Optic stories posted on our website.

    I’m torn between a deep-seated belief in the people’s right to free speech and my journalistic upbringing that newspapers should act responsibly in their use of the “free press” provision also in the First Amendment. Allowing anonymous writers to post belligerent and destructive comments on the Optic’s website just doesn’t sit well with me.

  • At a time when the money changers tanked our economy:

    • Our state mandates double-dipping and annual “special” sessions.

    • Our county mandates double-dipping, and our city follows suit with mandated raise for our judge and charter mandated salaries for our councilors. They then opt for mandated toilets.

    • You can hear horror stories at our unemployment office; while standing in line at the courthouse to pay property taxes; among students at Luna Community College, etc.

  • I live in the Mineral Hill area and it seems we are in the land of the forgotten. Forgotten by the San Miguel County Roads Department as far as maintaining our roads and providing a solid road base for our roads. Our roads have become impassable during bad weather, i.e., rain and snow. I personally own four 4X4s and I have been stuck twice in the last month. I have also pulled out many of my neighbors who also own 4X4s or all-wheel-drive vehicles.

  • Eighty teams competed in the just-concluded New Mexico high school basketball tournaments for boys and girls. Eighty teams.

    Let’s do the math: There are five classes, AAAAA for the behemoth schools, down to class A, for those quintets whose players need to lead cheers, collect tickets and man the concession stand when they’re not on the hardwood.

  • On March 1, I attended the bond information meeting at the Pecos village boardroom.

    I was very impressed how our school superintendent, Mr. Roy Herrera, and the architects explained to the public in attendance the purpose of the bond.

    I was glad to see that parents who have children in our school were there in support of the bond.

  • The multi-phase Alamo Street project has continued for years. The last few months have been particularly rough on Alamo residents.

    That’s because the contractor left a muddy mess when it put its project on hold in December. Residents have needed four-wheel drives at times to get to their houses. And a garbage truck got stuck a few weeks ago.

  • At its recent meeting, the Las Vegas City Council struggled with the issue over whether local voters passed a city charter in the March 2 election.

    In our view, as stated in this space before, the overwhelming evidence indicated that it did pass. Fifty-six percent voted for the new city charter, and both the state constitution and state law mandate that only a majority is needed.

  • David Salman’s passing on to a better life will be a big loss to those who knew and loved him, but what he left behind will live on for centuries to come.

    David once said that you can judge a town by its libraries. He used to say that if a town has a library, it can consider itself wealthy. While he was living, he himself donated a variety of books to the David Cargo library in Mora County. The books included dictionaries, encyclopedias, fiction, history, poetry, classics, westerns and magazines containing much knowledge of worldwide news.

  • Have you ever walked into a business and someone told you to take a number?

    I haven’t.

    That’s only happened to me in government offices, particularly the motor vehicle division.

    When you don’t have any competition, it’s easier to stick it to your customers.

    Until the 1990s, drivers had nowhere to go besides state motor vehicle offices for issues related to licenses and vehicle registrations. Since then, the state has allowed some private-sector operations to offer similar services for a fee.

  • I want to express thanks to the San Miguel County Road Department for clearing the roads of snow this winter, especially County Road A18A, which is one of the worst unpaved roads.

    Thanks to County Manager Les Montoya and the entire Road Department’s crew and staff, including road foreman Daniel Encinias and Toby Medina, Rudy Salazar and Michael Vigil, among others.

    The crew was even out on Feb. 25 at 5:50 a.m. clearing the road through my place when it was 16 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit).

    Their work is greatly appreciated!

    Dorothy Simpson

  • The spirit of the Lenten Season appears to affect people in strange, even vengeful ways. In a Feb. 26 letter to the editor, a supposedly man of the cloth “Man of God” chose to attack the Catholic church, Catholic people and Catholic traditions in general.

    If minister Neal Abott, Eastside Church of Christ, had his way, no religion could or should respect any of their own traditions, merely read the Bible and form whatever conclusions they chose to.

  • The City of Las Vegas claims, as printed by the Optic on Monday, “Residents contend that the city has torn up the street more than once. But city officials said the city hasn’t done anything over again on Alamo. They said a contractor did some patchwork paving before a previous winter.”

  • Thumbs DOWN f or ... A MUDDY MESS. Residents along Alamo Street are understandably fed up with the undone reconstruction of their street. Work was stopped last fall, leaving an inside-the-city dirt road that turned to mud with all the snows this winter.