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Opinion

  • A few weeks ago, I mentioned in this column that I had received a ticket for driving 27 mph in a 15-mph zone on National Avenue at Highlands University. And I wrote that it was true: I had been exceeding the speed limit.

    When the officer presented me with the citation, he had me sign on the spot where I would go to Municipal Court. I’m used to just admitting my guilt and choosing the option in which I pay a fine.

  • Yep. We’re still a divided community. And perhaps that’s the way we prefer it.    Recently, Las Vegas’ two school districts were criticized by the Legislative Finance Committee for spending too little of money in the classroom. On the West side in particular, the committee’s audit report pointed to numbers showing that nearly half the district’s money goes into administrative functions. Likewise, the committee found plenty to criticize on the East side about, too.

  • Ahhh, Thanksgiving. A holiday like no other. The preparations are not so complicated, just a big meal if you so desire and maybe a family road trip. Plus, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a four-day weekend for shopping, ball games, leisure and a relaxing time with friends and family.

    Don’t forget the reason for the holiday. Take a moment to give thanks for all that’s good in your life.

    In that spirit, we offer up our annual thanksgiving expressions:

  • Recently, Las Vegas City Schools has received a great deal of negative publicity concerning their coaching staff.

    The purpose of this letter is not to dwell on the negative issues but to provide accolades for one of their outstanding coaches who is a fantastic young man. That person is Richard Martinez.

  • I came across a Dale Carnegie quotation a while back that says a lot more to me now than it might have in the past.

    “You can make     more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

    Since my affiliation with the Optic, my world has widened considerably. Yes, I had my “coterie,” made up of family, work, and social acquaintances, students and their families, and of course, my pal, Chien, the dog.

  • A note to congratulate Tom McDonald, elected as president of the New Mexico Press Association, and David Giuliani for winning two awards on his story reports.

    Our thanks to the Optic staff for the job well done in relating the news to the community. The community needs to hear the good and the bad news. Communication in this world is of vital importance to all of us, and we depend on you for delivery.

    I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for the many times we ask you to promote news from the VFW Ladies Aux Post 1131 in Mora.We are most grateful!

  • A letter to the editor in the Nov. 16 paper asks, “Suppose I want prayer wherever I go to attend a meeting? How come I can’t have it and yet the atheists and agnostics can say no to prayer because they don’t like it.”

     I am not an atheist or agnostic, but I also object to prayers at public meetings.

     My Irish and Scottish forefathers came to America to escape being forced to worship in the Church of England. Most people in Great Britain were members of that church, but my relatives refused to worship in the same manner as the majority.

  • It took years for turkey to become palatable for me, especially in light of memories of witnessing turkey slaughters in Buena Vista, a little settlement near Mora.

    Although my older siblings insist our visits to the home of Uncle Margarito Lucero were brief and sporadic, I still recall clearly an exposure to matters more agrarian than my city-slicker being should know about. And these memories appear to span several summers.

  • I’m sure all of New Mexico can agree that we have lost a great man with the passing of Gov. Bruce King. He was one of the best governors that New Mexico ever had. He was surely a servant of the people. He walked among us, and always left us feeling refreshed and knowing that someone cared. He was a good example for all elected officials to follow. His personality traits were pretty hard to beat. His personality traits were pretty hard to beat. He was a great leader with good talents, but yet so humble.

  • I came across a Dale Carnegie quotation a while back that says a lot more to me now than it might have in the past.

    “You can make     more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

    Since my affiliation with the Optic, my world has widened considerably. Yes, I had my “coterie,” made up of family, work, and social acquaintances, students and their families, and of course, my pal, Chien, the dog.

  • Thumbs UP for ... ANOTHER YEAR OF GENEROSITY. There are many who give back to our community at this time of the year, but one of our favorites is the annual, and free, Thanksgiving Day meal for all-comers at El Sombrero’s restaurant at 12th and Mills. This year’s meal was the 13th in a row put on by Helen Rivera and his family.

    As of this writing we don’t have any up-to-date totals, but last year El Sombrero served up more than 650 meals. That’s a lot of food eaten and considerable money spent. It takes mighty big hearts to make this happen.

  • When I began to research the budgets of Las Vegas City Schools and West Las Vegas Schools, I thought the financial argument for administrative consolidation was obvious.

    I expected that when people knew the combined budgets of just two offices within both districts (superintendent and business offices) totaled nearly $2.6 million in 2008, people would immediately recognize some administrative fat could be trimmed and sent to students and teachers in the classroom.

    Wrong!

  • I also fell in love with this wonderful city. It was not in our retirement plans to move, but we did.

    I understand the statement of a closed community. The only way I know to deal with this is to open it up.

  • Shortly after his arraignment, former Robertson High School teacher and coach Jay Quintana secured the money for his release from jail. His bail had been set at $100,000 cash-only.

    A day later, the manager of a Wagon Mound gasoline station told me that she had seen Jay Quintana, who is accused of sexually abusing a student, filling up.

    I called a magistrate judge and he told me that Quintana was allowed to go anywhere in New Mexico under the conditions of his release.

  • The four remaining defendants in the Robertson High School football assaults case are now seeking separate trails. Their attorneys say a single trial for all of them would make a fair trial difficult, if not impossible.

    We hope they don’t get their way.

    We understand that these defendants have the right to a fair trial, but severing these cases would be unfair to the victims. Imagine having to testify four times — once will be difficult enough. And once should be all that’s needed.

  • The 2009 Apple Harvest is now history and the last event was very successfully completed.

    Thank you parishioners for buying apples during the recent fund-raising to benefit the Heating and Air Conditioning Project at the Our Lady of Sorrows Church and thank you very much to the individuals who helped selling the apples: Bernie and Dora Duran, Robert Tyrrell, Marty and Michael Sweeney, Lettie Martinez, Albert and Lorraine Gallegos, Gloria Roman and Ernie Montaño.

    Juan A. and Alice Sandoval

    Las Vegas

  • Thumbs UP for ... STAYING PREPARED. Government always operates better when it takes the long view, rather than just responding to the latest crisis. Recently, San Miguel County Commission Chairman David Salazar asked to see what existing county rules may apply to any permits for oil and gas drilling.

  • Politics is a full-contact sport, especially in New Mexico. It’s all about power, competition, compromise, persuasion and relations, and in this rough-and-tumble world, Bruce King was a real pro.

  • Last week, fears surfaced that more than $1.5 million in state funding may be lost to the city of Las Vegas because of budget cuts, but there’s good reason to think that’s only the beginning. The state is facing more than a half-billion dollar shortfall and the legislature is going to have to deal with it by cutting expenses, raising taxes or doing both.

  • Las Vegas lost a beloved member of the community last week in an act of violence that didn’t have to happen. And it wouldn’t have happened if a gun hadn’t been readily available.

    Now, a young and promising life is lost and another young man — Richard Baca, 21, of Los Lunas, who had been serving his country — is facing the possibility of years in jail.