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Opinion

  • 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.

  • As a teenager I lived with my family near London, England, for two years. This was in 1954 and ‘55 — 10 years after the end of World War II. I remember seeing whole acres of London which were flat planes where bombed out structures had been cleared away but not yet replaced. Meat and coal were rationed and paper was in very short supply.

  • Jack Van Horn, the designated liturgist at church Sunday, reminded all of us parishioners to “meet and greet the person in your pew,” then added, “if there is someone there to greet.”

    Clearly he was referring to the paucity of congregants, the bulk of whom blame the time change. Some of us lost an hour of sleep Sunday when we converted to Daylight Saving Time; some went ahead and re-found that hour and wondered where everybody had gone when they arrived at church, or some other function.

  • Mayor Ortiz, it’s time to revise our town’s noise ordinance. It’s also time to get out the ear plugs. I heard some robins singing until they were drowned out by the too-familiar warm weather cacophony of motorcycles without mufflers, loud cars and boom boxes. Damn!

    Does it bother anybody else? Why are these noise polluters allowed to make as much noise as they want to? There’s no control. It’s not fair, it’s rude and inconsiderate, bad for our health, and an invasion of privacy. Something should change, and I’m not moving out of town.

  • LeeEtte Quintana, the associate superintendent for the Las Vegas City Schools, should not be tied to the alleged actions of her husband, Jay Quintana, the former Robertson High School coach and teacher accused of repeatedly having sex with a student.

    At the same time, Quintana, the district’s second in command, should have nothing to do with the case when she is acting in her capacity as associate superintendent. And if she does, her actions deserve the greatest of public scrutiny.

  • The prison industrial complex continues to exert pressure on our citizens to comply with a very dangerous trend.  Drive by any middle school or high school and you see a primer for the prison lifestyle.  Fenced-in campuses are guarded by personnel at a security gate, much like a military or prison complex.  

  • Many people have left the journalism profession to get more money. I don’t fault them for doing so.

    But it’s frustrating when they join government agencies and push for greater secrecy.

    At newspapers, we admittedly have an agenda: Promoting governmental openness.

    After all, taxpayers are footing the bills. They ought to know what’s going on.

  • Mr. Elias Hurtado has gone to a better life, but like most good educators he has left his footprints in the valley.

  • This is Sunshine Week, a time to recognize the importance of openness in local, state and national government. It’s a good time to remind ourselves that open government is necessary to maintain the ideal that government should be an institution of, by and for the people.

  • Congratulations to all the candidates for participating in the democratic process. The Home Rule Charter was passed and two new city councilors and a mayor have been elected. This is wonderful news.

    Now is the time for citizens to continue their involvement in city government by attending City Council meetings and urging our elected representatives to do the work necessary to correct the neglect of the years.

  • Thumbs UP for ... FIRST TIME EVER. Highlands University is sending its men’s basketball team to the NCAA Division II tournament. The Cowboys qualified as a No. 6 seed for this weekend’s regional tournament in Mankato, Minn., and will face No. 3-seeded Augustina College at 11 a.m. Saturday.

    Congratulations to coach Joe Harge and his team. It’s the second straight 20-win season and the first time in the school’s history to make it to the tourney.

  • While voting turnout was low, I would like to thank all voters who came out to exercise their constitutional right in Ward 1 as well as citywide. I want to thank all residents of Ward 1 who supported me during my campaign and gave me their trust and confidence.

    As I stated during the council race, my door will always be open to listen to our neighborhood concerns as well as citywide issues. I congratulate the winners, pray and hope that the new council and mayor will provide direction and leadership to unite us and move the city of Las Vegas in all areas of city government.

  • What does the future hold? Like everyone else, we at New Mexico Highlands University wish we could know with certainty, but we can’t.

    Nonetheless, planning for the future is essential. Since early 2009, Highlands has been working with Studio Insite, an architectural firm specializing in helping universities plan for growth. They have examined existing facilities, pedestrian and vehicular flow patterns, and the university’s programmatic and enrollment goals to formulate a master plan for the university’s future.

  • I would like to thank both the members of the Las Vegas Fire Department and Gallinas Fire Department  for all the help they gave me while I was in need of heart surgery. Also, thanks to everyone who contributed toward my cause.

    Everything was greatly appreciated. I went through my heart surgery and am doing well. Thank you again.

    Frank Lovato

    Las Vegas

  • ‘What’s happened to Lee?” my friend Susan Swan straight-facedly asked me this week, and I fidgeted while attempting an answer.

    “Well, Lee, our erstwhile features editor at the Optic, isn’t with us any longer,” I think I answered. Susan responded, “I don’t mean that Lee.”

    But let’s back up a little. We’ll get to the other Lee in a few graphs.

    Language is what people say it is, which is why you won’t ever find me criticizing its usage.

    Yeah, right.

  • Aside from the question about the percentage of votes necessary to pass the new Las Vegas city charter into law — a simple majority vs. a super majority  — this much is certain: Most of last week’s voters declared that they want change. Fifty-six percent preferred a new charter over the four-decades-old document that was approved when the two Vegases united into a single city in 1970.

    Actually, “change” is a familiar refrain for voters; we’ve noticed it numerous times in recent years.

  • Am I surprised that San Miguel County Treasurer Alfonso Ortiz handily beat two write-in opponents in last week’s mayoral election?

    No. It’s rare that a write-in candidate wins. Many mention how Republican Joe Skeen won as a write-in the 1980 congressional race in southern New Mexico. But he was only the third person in U.S. history to be elected as a write-in to Congress. And there were unusual circumstances — a divided Democratic opposition and no GOP candidate on the ballot.

  • The recent arrest and release of a retired San Miguel County deputy on a DWI charge reminded me of a great lesson I learned in a geometry class at Robertson High School. I was a sophomore. We should have been going over the finer points of a parallelogram, but instead we were talking school politics.

  • Last week, 56 percent of voters approved a new charter for the city of Las Vegas — a 35-page document that includes, among other things, a requirement for runoff elections when no candidate gets a simple majority of votes.

    But now some people, including former city attorney Danelle Smith, are suggesting that 60 percent was needed to pass the charter, which serves as the city’s constitution.

  • Ever had chills up and down your spine? I used to think it was a myth — until I saw the famous pea-soup scene in “The Exorcist,” when Regan, the possessed child, decorated Father Damien Karras’s face with it.