• 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.


  • 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.

  • There’s little more flattering than receiving a letter, call or e-mail from a reader in a “gotcha” moment. “I caught a typo in your last column. You were supposed to have spelled it ‘proofreader,’ not ‘poofreader.’”

    Well, yes, the first spelling is what you’ll find in the dictionary. The second — done for effect, honest — usually appears in this column.

  • In John Loehr’s Nov. 13 column, he rightly praised the efforts of Dr. David Olivas to improve the developmental and introductory math program at Highlands. However, John incorrectly described those improvements as the result of an individual effort on the part of Dr. Olivas, with no support from the Highlands administration, and with no equivalent effort in the English program.

  • I recently had surgery in Alta Vista Hospital. I want to thank and praise Dr. Malik, Dr. Chaffee and the entire surgical team and hospital staff for their comforting, professional care. I am proud we have such a wonderful regional hospital in Las Vegas, so we don’t have to travel elsewhere for great medical care.

    On all other occasions at Alta Vista, I have always been treated compassionately and professionally.

    Thank you, Alta Vista Regional Hospital.

    Marylena Melton

    Las Vegas

  • I read the letter to the editor (about prayer at Las Vegas City Council meetings) titled “Why fix what isn’t broken?” OK, supposing many of us do think it is broken. Then what?

  • More than two years ago, employees at Alta Vista Regional Hospital overwhelmingly approved a union to represent them. But the hospital — run by Tennessee-based Community Health Systems — has refused to talk with the organization, District 1199 of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees.

  • I didn’t know either Benito Lemos or Richard Baca. And apparently they didn’t know each other.

    A week ago today, Baca, 21, was charged with killing Lemos at National Avenue and 12th Street.

  • Every government entity in the state is vulnerable to statewide budget cuts for building projects. The city of Las Vegas is no exception.

    The budget ax may well strike the $1.3 million designated for a rebuilding of the city’s dam on the Gallinas River, a project designed to make the diversion of water more efficient.

  • Highlands professor David Olivas, a retired Los Alamos engineer, has undertaken an heroic project to drag, pull, push, or otherwise cajole the math department he now chairs into the 20th Century (no typo here: 20th is correct).