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Opinion

  • Las Vegas Mayor Alfonso Ortiz is right to be looking for new ways to reduce the amount of illegal dumping in our area.

    Last week, he signed an executive order that eliminates fees for city utility customers who bring trash to the transfer station in north Las Vegas. All residents have to do is show their utility bills to prove they’re customers.

  • Both the city of Las Vegas and San Miguel County are saving trees these days.

    Last year, the County Commission started using laptops at its meetings. Since then, I have been able to get a CD with all of the backup documentation for the issues on the county's agenda.

    That provides me with much information about county business and helps me report about it for our readers.

  • Thanks to everyone who made the 7th annual SynergyFest a success.  Thanks to the SynergyFest committee members for many months of hard work:  Rob Bailey, Mitch Barker, Rebecca Glenn, Lloyd Goding, Daniel Jencka, Ben Jeremiah and Cary Lane.  The volunteers from Amigos de Rio Gallinas School under the chair of Anny Ruge and Anna Ortega once again provided fun activities at the Sunshine Kids Village.  

  • A few years ago, Cinder Road was blacktopped with asphalt. The makeshift design by the county made little or no consideration for drainage or floodwater runoff. These problems were brought to the attention of county officials, with our concerns falling on deaf ears. After several heavy rains caused damage to my property and the county commissioner of District 1 did nothing to alleviate the problems caused by poor maintenance and design, I contacted Sen. Pete Campos.

  • The Arizona law is not liked by many because it clumps all Hispanics, Latinos and Mexicans into one group. It stereotypes them all as illegal, unemployed, drug dealers, and sponges of our system. I, like most of you, have not read the law itself, but only see what opponents and proponents say about it. But it doesn’t stereotype only one group, it does more.

  • On behalf of the Our Lady of Sorrows Church Confirmation Program, we would like to thank all the people who donated money, oranges and water for our annual Good Friday pilgrimage. We would also like to thank the Knights of Columbus and other volunteers for their assistance in traffic control and for providing water and oranges to our participants.

    In addition, we want to thank Richard Vigil for providing two buses and to the West Las Vegas School District for providing an additional two buses to transport the walkers from Las Vegas to Tecolote.

  • I understand that the city is working on upgrades to the water system and I also understand the need to shut water off to facilitate the upgrades.  What I don’t understand is that the affected residents are not alerted to the pending shutoffs.  

    I live on Gallinas and our water has been shut off several times in the last couple of weeks. My next-door neighbor received a flier in her mailbox stating the intention of a shut-off that didn’t happen. I have never received any information at all.

  • As a student at Robertson High School, I learned a lesson from Ms. Florence Hernandez (my literature teacher) that has been especially poignant through my 15-year journalism career.

    It was Ms. Hernandez’ theory that the more languages a person knows, the more valuable they are. Following that lesson, I felt pretty puffed full of pride to know that as an English and Spanish speaker I was worth two people according to her theory. That is until one of my classmates proclaimed they spoke English, Spanish and French.

  • I am writing this letter to let everyone know exactly who Benito Lemos was. He was going to be my son in-law this summer, but I can honestly say that he was more like a son than a son in-law.

    He was an awesome person and kind to everyone he knew. Yes, he was a big guy but he had the biggest heart you’ll ever find. Anytime I needed him. he was there for me, no matter what. He had a great sense of humor, a great personality, and a smile that would light up a room.  

  • A little more than a month ago, I wrote a column in which I criticized and defended our online comments feature, all in the same space. I was hoping that if I encouraged a more civil tone and told readers how to police the comments themselves, we could raise the discussion to a more responsible level.

    I was wrong.

  • Thursday was our national day of prayer. We need to pray for our world.

    Older readers may remember the Cold War, when for some 40 years America had constant tension with Communist Russia. We were all afraid of an accidental, terrible war with atomic weapons that could kill millions of people.

  • Thumbs UP for ... A GOOD MOVE ... Highlands University regents passed a policy regarding the naming of buildings on campus. Wisely, it excludes current employees or politicians while in office.

    Thumbs DOWN for ... A MOVE THAT COMES UP SHORT. However, Highlands property can still be named after sitting regents — a provision that we wish had also been prohibited. Best to take politics completely out of the naming of facilities, we think.

  • The city of Las Vegas has ordinances that prohibit the obstruction of sidewalks by business activities. Unfortunately, when obvious violations are brought to the city’s attention, no action is taken.

  • On April 15, Tax Day, two of my dogs were apparently taken out of their dog run.  These dogs mean a lot to me.  They used to belong to my son.  I contacted the city police and Valerie at the Animal Shelter.  Fortunately both dogs have all of their shots, tags, and are spayed or neutered. Valerie took my report and put up a notice.  Later, I contacted Tina at the Animal Welfare Coalition. A “lost dogs” notice was put into their website. I received several phone calls and eventually found the dogs.

  • Elections are coming up. Our local government officials take an oath when they take office. Wouldn’t it be great if the oath said, “We pledge to work with the citizens of Mora to provide better services, jobs, education, environmental protection and all else that comprises a healthy community.”

  • “Six degrees of separation” is a concept that tries to show that everybody is connected to everybody else by just six steps.

    The observation, of about 1994 vintage, is also called “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon,” the “Footloose” actor who’s been in just about every other movie. The task, when it became a game, would be to show a connection between any actor and Bacon.

  • Once again we recognize Cinco de Mayo, an unofficial celebration stemming from the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It’s not widely celebrated because its significance is not that great — the Mexicans’ win in Puebla only delayed the French advance into Mexico City — but it’s a point of pride nevertheless, since the Mexican forces won the day despite being seriously outnumbered 2-to-1.

  • In the old Westerns, sheriffs didn’t have to contend with anything resembling a bureaucracy. The sheriff was a county’s top lawman.

    Maybe that’s the way it was, but not anymore.

    At a recent sheriff candidates forum, San Miguel County Sheriff Benjie Vigil told the audience that his deputies would start carrying Tasers in June. Never mind the County Commission’s opinion.

    Of course, the sheriff still has latitude in how he runs his department. But the County Commission indisputably holds the purse strings.

  • This is in response to the article which was published on April 23 in the Las Vegas Optic, regarding where we claimed Head of Household.

    Our primary residence is on El Llano Road. This is the only property where we claim Head of Household.

    The San Miguel County Assessor’s Office claims that we had two head of households for four years which is incorrect. This office has no proof of a signed affidavit to make such a claim.

  • In 2008, a pollster called me to ask about the presidential race. The first question: “Do you belong to a media organization?”

    I answered yes.

    The caller said, “Thank you very much,” and hung up.

    In other words, someone didn’t want the media finding out about the poll. It was likely a push poll, in which the caller asks questions with a bias — an example of a question on abortion: How do you feel about Barack Obama’s position in favor of killing babies?