• Surely every local voter knows that, here in Las Vegas, a candidate doesn’t need a majority to win an election. All that’s needed is more votes than any other candidate running for the same position. Consequently, majority rule doesn’t apply to our mayoral and council races — and much if not most of the time, the winner doesn’t get a majority.

  • I am delighted to report to you that CROP Hunger Walk Las Vegas raised $9812.85 this year and we had 150 walkers.  This means that our two local hunger relief agencies — The Samaritan House and the Las Vegas Community Soup Kitchen — will each receive $1226.60 (one half of the 25 percent returned to Las Vegas for hunger relief efforts here).

  • In 2008, we reported that Pete Campos entered a five-year contract with the Luna Community College Board of Trustees. But we never actually saw the document.

    In November, I issued a public records request for the four-page contract. I received it last week. And I got a bit of a workout in the process.

  • Thumbs DOWN to ... POOR COMMUNICATION. The manner in which the East and West school districts announced Thursday’s school cancelations because of the snow was pathetic. At first, the announcement on the radio was that the schools were on a two-hour delay; then word that the entire school day was canceled got out about two hours later — even though it was clear around sunrise that a full snowday would need to be taken.

  • As we begin the holidays this season, we should all laugh a little, sing a little, as we go our way. Work a little, play a little, as we do this everyday!

    Give a little, take a little, never mind a frown. Make your smile a welcomed thing, all around the town!

    Laugh a little, love a little, skies are always blue! Every cloud has silver lining, but it’s up to you.

    Always remember this thought: The driver is safer when the roads are dry, the roads are safer when the driver is dry. Please be safe and don’t drink and drive.

  • Roman Polanski  formerly of Hollywood -- a celebrated movie producer.

    Dave Letterman of CBS-TV -- a celebrated late-night comedian.

    Bill Clinton of the Oral Office -- a celebrated former President.

    Madonna of “The Sweet and Sticky (Music) Tour” -- a celebrated pop singer.

    Some people following their example in high school -- a good imitation of celebrated adult behavior.


    Frank Splendoria


  • The flames of the local public school consolidation fires will be fanned by the latest front-page revelations of fiscal mismanagement, inattentive governance and incompetent leadership in the local school systems.  

    These continue a cycle of previous front-page revelations of cheating, stealing, assaults, sexual predation(s) and other underachievements of our educational organizations.  

  • This from a canine perspective:

    Hello to the fantastic city of Las Vegas and to those of you in the surrounding areas as well! My tail hasn’t stopped wagging since the Sweetie Pie Initiative, named after me of course, held it’s Halloween Carnival. I would like to give four paws up to the anything-but-bare-bones support we received.  

    Thanks to you, many dogs and cats will be spayed and neutered and live happier, healthier lives! We sniffed all over town for support and we found it, right under our noses.

  • As further evidence of just how divided Las Vegas is, let us turn our attention to the recent decision by the Las Vegas-San Miguel Chamber of Commerce to let go of Vince Howell, who was serving as marketing coordinator. Last month, Howell’s $32,000 annual contract was ended because, according to chamber President Matt Martinez, is was too pricey.

    That was a weak excuse for a bad decision that only takes Las Vegas further down the road to self-destruction. This town is already a rough place to do business, and the chamber’s action only makes it worse.

  • With trembling hands, I slid my thumb under the perforated seal in anticipation of news that could be only good or bad.

    The envelope had the image of the bald eagle, a line of stars and the word “official” two places in front and once in back. It came with the familiar no-nonsense san-serif font we’re all familiar with, and it bore specific instructions:

    • “To be opened by addressee only.” Darn! I was hoping my neighbor James Sandoval would be the first to open it.

  • State Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons has tried to bypass the public with his proposal to trade White’s Peak land near Ocaté with apparently well-off ranchers. He has disregarded the input of the sportsmen of northern New Mexico, whose families have hunted at White’s Peak for generations.

    Lyons’ office maintains that it has no legal duty to hold a public hearing on the transfer. But what would it hurt if the agency actually went the extra mile to keep the public it serves in the loop?

  • I have been fighting the city for the past 18 months to see if the city will change the way it is charging us for the water and the sewer. Did you know that a private residence is allotted 2,000 gallons a month at a certain rate? After 2,000 gallons the price rate goes up, but did you all know that if you don’t use the 2,000 gallons in a month you are still paying for 2,000 gallons? Last month I used 780 gallons and I still had to pay for 2,000 gallons. I don’t think that’s fair.

  • A word of warning for disabled and low-income property owners. All homeowners in the state must have a septic system by 2011. If a septic system is not installed on your property by 2011. The state Environmental Protection Agency will install a septic system for that property owner at a cost of $5,000 or more in 2011.

    Grant money is not available in Mora and San Miguel counties to assist disabled and elderly property owners to purchase septic tanks or pay for the installation of septic tanks.

  • 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.