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Opinion

  • 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.

  • Twenty years ago this month, a grizzled old journalist with an Associated Press career under his belt hung out the shingle for the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government. And there Bob Johnson stayed for 17 years, diligently working for the public’s right to know, until his death in August 2007.

  • Which is worse, habitual drunken drivers who end up killing or apathetic citizens who do nothing effective to stop it?

    Face the facts:

    • Habitual drunken drivers have killed and continue to kill. See Optic headlines.

    • State police are effective in arresting them — over and over again. Kudos. Other law enforcement agencies vary in their effectiveness.

    • The “judicial system” has obviously failed to prevent repeat offenses; witness the recent arrest of a seven-time DWI offender.

  • No one runs for public office pushing for greater government secrecy. But once the victors take office, they often work to do just that — and sometimes rather quickly.

    I don’t want to beat up on the new mayor of Wagon Mound, Art Arguello. I’ve never met him; I’m sure he’s a great guy.

    But I hope he becomes more open with the public.

  • Thumbs DOWN to ... TUITION GOES UP ... Highlands University regents increased the school’s tuition rates last week by 7.7 percent — on par with other financially strapped state schools (such as the University of New Mexico, which jacked its tuition up 7.9 percent). That’s an additional $8.80 per credit hour for state residents. Non-residents and international students will see a 7.5 percent increase, while graduate students’ rate will go up 7.8 percent for residents, 7.6 for non-residents and 7.5 percent for international students.

  • At a recent Las Vegas City Schools work session, two teachers from Robertson High School made a presentation to the board. That was no big deal in and of itself, until I found out why they were there, and who they represented.

    I learned that at the direction of Superintendent Romero, an “advisory council” of teachers had been formed that was chaired by the associate superintendent, LeeEtte Quintana.

  • U.S. Senator Tom Udall’s father has passed away at age 90, but he left us a very valuable treasure in his son, the senator.

  • When do we learn, you don’t carve salary amounts in stone.

    We previously had our council persons tied in to county salaries.

    Judge [Eddie] Trujillo is now tied into some nefarious salary scheme.

    But do we learn? No, we are currently submitting, for the polities’ discernment, a new city charter which carves City Council persons’ salaries as part of our constitution. Some method of setting salaries must be set, other than “carving the $10,000 salary in stone.”

  • (Regarding the editorial cartoon referencing the Texas Board of Education published March 29), I couldn’t believe that the Optic would place an article like this in its paper. Although this article seems to be insulting President Obama and the liberals, that is not who is getting insulted.

    The insult is to God because this seems to indicate that God involved himself in politics, and the petty, idiotic, hatred-inspired views of people.

  • The Las Vegas  Jewish Community would like to thank Tom Trigg at the First Presbyterian Church for his assistance with this year’s community seder, held on  Tuesday night, March 30.

    We also wish to thank the Set-Up Committee — Zelda McCrossen, Stanley McCrossen, Teri Hackler and Ardys Otterbacher — for a job well done! Thanks also to Merryl Kravitz and Molly Smollett, food coordinators, there was enough of a food variety and Janet Stein Romero for serving as Seder Leader.

  • “Don’t forget ‘truchas,’” Joseph P. Santillanes yelled at me as I parked on Douglas and he crossed the street.

    Was the personable candidate for San Miguel County sheriff inviting me to have trout with him at Charlie’s Restaurant or at Dick’s?

    Hardly. Santillanes was reminding me that in my frequent attacks in my columns on words we use around here I’d omitted “truchas.”

    “Why don’t you write about truchas?” he asked.

  • All candidates for public office should expect scrutiny when it comes to their voter registrations. It’s not too much to ask that a candidate actually lives where he indicates on his registration.

    But somehow, it seems as if politicians often struggle with such issues — the latest being District 1 County Commissioner June Garcia.

    For 15 years, she was registered to vote at 220 Delgado St. Her predecessor and husband, LeRoy Garcia, also listed that address.

  • Your news article about the proposed wind farm quoted rancher Gilbert Ortiz as saying, “Those against the wind turbines fear the impact on the area’s scenery ... and will bring any type of fear tactic to the picture.” He also stated, “The bulk of these people have just moved in the Valley. They don’t have a stake here.”

  • The days of movie rental stores are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Last year, Blockbuster shut its doors, as it has in many places around the country.

    Recently, we learned that Movie Gallery on Seventh Street is planning to close as well. That, according to the Yellow Pages, leaves no other movie rental stores in Las Vegas (unless you count the Redbox vending machine in Wal Mart’s entrance).

  • I’d like to say thank you to Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Martin Heinrich and Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall for having the courage and vision to stick to their principles and vote for supporting the health care reform bill.

    They and all the other Democrats who did have created a change in our government perhaps far larger than anyone yet realizes. Business as usual, through monied lobbyists and bought media, should be much more difficult. Perhaps these congresspeople have succeeded in loosening the grip of the big corporations on policymaking.

  • Recently, former New Mexico Gov. David Cargo visited Las Vegas, as he has done so many times before. And true to his nature, this lifelong Republican found friends at every turn in this overwhelmingly Democratic town.

    On radio and at this newspaper, he told the tales of his political trials and tribulations as though he were reliving the glory days of his illustrious past. Anyone who is familiar with him knows he’s quite the storyteller — he has a lot of fun remembering days gone by.

  • Hi! I am a fifth-grade student at West Ridge Elementary School in Harlan, Iowa. My class is studying geography and the history of the United States. I’m glad I have New Mexico because I like studying Native Americans. I would appreciate it if you could send me a map, some souvenirs, and some pictures.

    My teacher would like a car license plate for a school project, if possible. I appreciate your time. Thank you!

    Greg S. of Mrs Newlin’s Social Studies class

    West Ridge Elementary School

    1401 19th St., Harlan, IA 51537

  • Thumbs DOWN to ... AGENDAS NOT HELPFUL. The state Open Meetings Act requires that governing bodies produce a list of specific items -- otherwise known as an agenda -- to be discussed for their meetings. The attorney general’s office interprets this requirement to mean that interested members of the public are given reasonable notice about the topics a public body plans to address. It advises against using broad or vague terms.