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Opinion

  • 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.

  • It took years for turkey to become palatable for me, especially in light of memories of witnessing turkey slaughters in Buena Vista, a little settlement near Mora.

    Although my older siblings insist our visits to the home of Uncle Margarito Lucero were brief and sporadic, I still recall clearly an exposure to matters more agrarian than my city-slicker being should know about. And these memories appear to span several summers.

  • 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.

    Wrong!

  • 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.