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Opinion

  • 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.

  • 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.