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Opinion

  • Colfax County hosted the 2009 Northeast 4-H shooting sports contest on June 16 at the Whittington NRA center in Raton. The objectives were to assist 4-H members to learn and practice the rules of rifle safety, sportsmanship and accuracy with firearms. The county teams consist of three or four members. The event starts with a written examination for a maximum of 50 points. The shooting match has a maximum of 300 points. The written exam will account for 25 percent and the marksmanship counts for 75 percent. Targets are used at the 50-foot range.

  • Do you find it hard to believe that our city fathers are proposing to give $15,000 of our money to the promoters of a female boxing match? Given the past record of our City Council, nothing is too surprising. Apparently the only barrier to this giveaway is concern about a possible violation of New Mexico anti-donation laws.

    What concerns me more is that the city will be giving our money to a personal sports promoter. If this match is such a great thing, it should be able to pay for itself.

  • The columns I most enjoy writing are those that include reader comments. A few recent columns have generated some reaction and response, some of which appear here.

    People reacted to last week’s column on menudo and squash. I’m happy to say that most of the comments agree with my stance that I’d request neither item as my last meal. What would be preferable? That’s easy. Cocoa Puffs smothered in Velveeta Cheese.

    But on a slightly more serious note, a large combination plate like my neighbor, Carmen Vigil, used to make, would be fine.

  • Our country is embroiled, on a federal level, with the health care reform debate. One of the opening salvos came in the form of President Obama declaring that any talk of single-payer health coverage is “off the table.” Oddly, nobody has questioned how single payer got “off the table.” I am guessing it didn’t jump off the table of its own accord. I would lay serious money on the likelihood that the health insurance lobby leaned on Obama and others to push it off the table.

  • The Las Vegas City Council should think long and hard before it makes a decision on what to do with its vacant land along Mills Avenue, where the city demolished a public housing development a couple of years ago.

    Originally, the city has planned to have homes built there for a homeownership program for low-income people. Then, in 2005, the council entered a public-private partnership with Farmington-based JL Gray for tax-credit housing for a portion of the vacant land.

    That arrangement fell through. And the city hasn’t provided a clear explanation why.

  • thumb DOWN for ...AN INNOCENT VICTIM. We’re always dismayed when we hear about a dog attack. It’s even worse when the victim is a 74-year-old man in a wheelchair. Recently, Jose Gurule was reportedly knocked down to the ground as a neighbor’s canine attacked him.

    The police are looking into whether they should charge the owner criminally. If officers establish the elements of a crime, they should charge. Owners need to be held accountable when their dogs attack innocent victims.

  • The San Miguel District Attorney’s Office recently prosecuted and received a conviction on a San Geronimo resident who has been plaguing the Mineral Hill area with burglaries. This individual along with two, and at times, three others have burglarized numerous residences in the area. One home has been burglarized four times now and there is now virtually nothing left to steal.

  • At a recent public forum on the proposed city charter, some said they liked the idea that the city require its managers to live right here in Las Vegas.

    This may seem like a no-brainer, but it hasn’t always been the case. Remember that City Manager John Avila, who served from 2005 to 2008, kept his main residence in the Albuquerque area and only stayed in a local apartment during the week. That likely made him less effective.

  • Earlier this year, the city commissioned a special audit into billing adjustments in the utilities department. Mayor Tony Marquez said Councilman Andrew Feldman and Utilities Director George DuFour may have reduced people’s bills in violation of the law. (The mayor didn’t mention Feldman’s name specifically, but it was clear who he was talking about when he said “a councilman.”)

    DuFour lost his job over the issue. Both DuFour and Feldman have insisted for months they did nothing wrong.

  • When a police officer stops you, it’s always advisable to cooperate. That’s been my usual method of dealing with law enforcement.

    Only one time did I cop an attitude with an officer. And it didn’t work — I still got a speeding ticket.

    A couple of weeks ago, I was stopped by state police Officer Frank Chavez for speeding, as I reported in my column last week. He was professional, just like nearly every officer I have encountered over the years. But sometimes, cops can get out of hand, just like those in any profession.

  • I love Las Vegas and all the people. I worked there for 12 years, but I have a compliant. This past weekend, there was a bike rally in old town.

    My husband and I are both bike lovers. We were looking around for a place to park and finally saw a sign that read: “Public Parking.” No sooner had we parked when a security officer told us to move since that was “private parking.”

  • We the family of Myranda Lujan would like to thank the following people who helped us with her benefit dance on July 17: All the workers at the Nite Owl, Matthew Martinez and family, Cuarenta Y Cinco, Mathew Cordova, Sena’s Music, Casa de Musica, and the Optic — for all their time and effort in making the dance a success!

    I thank the many friends and family that helped with all the fundraising that was done for and prior to the dance.

    Tina Gallegos

    Las Vegas

  • The dancing creek glitters with the light/The glistening owl cries in the night/A baby coyote whimpers in fright/And then it is gone for good.

    Gone is the creek laughing with light/In its place is a poisonous blight /Gone is the owl who cries in the night/There is nothing left of her rippling flight.

    And of the coyote who whimpered in fright, there is left bleached white bones.

    Miranda Riccardi-Coon

    Golondrinas

     

  • Local authorities seem to be taking seriously the allegations against Robertson High School teacher Jay Quintana that he sexually abused a student.

    The allegations surfaced in February after the City Schools released a notice from the victim’s parents that they may sue over the matter. The district placed Quintana on paid administrative leave.

  • Thank God for a County Commission with common sense. I’m referring to the San Miguel County Commission, which recently chose not to jump on a “green” bandwagon sent courtesy of the New Mexico Environment Department.

  • The family and friends of Chantelle Lucero would like to send her congratulations.  Chantelle traveled with West Las Vegas Middle School to Dallas Texas in June 2009 to compete in the Business Professionals of America as the only high school student representing West Las Vegas High.

    We are very proud of our middle school for taking first in the completion. Chantelle placed within the top 10 in Dallas and later on found out she ranked fifth overall.

    We would also like to thank Chantelle’s sponsor, Laurie Sandoval, for all her time, support and leadership.

  • I am extremely interested in the issue of drilling for oil and gas now before us in Mora County.

    This, truly, is the time for our Mora County commissioners and the planning and zoning officials to stand behind the excellent Development Guidance System and Comprehensive Land Use Guidelines. These documents are well articulated and should remain in their original design.

  • A few weeks ago, the City Council agreed to give $15,000 in lodgers tax funds to help a private boxing promoter advertise an event for Aug. 28.

    We always should have a healthy dose of skepticism when the government hands over money to a private company. After all, we’re talking about our tax dollars.

  • CLEARING UP THE PROBLEM. District Judge Eugenio Mathis has stepped down as chief judge, who is in charge of assigning caseloads. This move was precipitated by a state Supreme Court decision.

    Last year, Mathis married his assistant, Michelle Pino, and that concerned the state Supreme Court. Our review of the state court system’s nepotism policy doesn’t address a situation in which a supervisor married someone who is already employed. So a case could have been made that Mathis and Pino were technically in compliance with the rules.

  • Thank God for a County Commission with common sense. I’m referring to the San Miguel County Commission, which recently chose not to jump on a “green” bandwagon sent courtesy of the New Mexico Environment Department.