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Opinion

  • thumb DOWN for ... HAVE WE LEARNED ANYTHING? On this day eight years ago, the world changed. That single day pushed this nation into a war against terrorism, and for a brief moment in time, we were united. No more — now it seems Americans are even more polarized than we were before the attacks. And that’s a crying shame.

    Still, on this day we need to remember those who died on Sept. 11, 2001, and pray that their tragic passing is not in vain.

  • We wish to call your attention to a situation at Sapello School, which we feel needs urgent correction. We are members of the school’s Parent Advisory Board, and/or concerned parents and residents in the Sapello area.

  • In Dale Harapat’s letter, published Sept. 7, there were two typographical errors in the closing sentence. It should have read “Such corrective actions would show female children, like my two daughters, and all citizens, that the most qualified and experienced person is really the best person for the job, no matter what sex they are, especially one as significant and important as chief judge.”

  • I have a large dog. Over the years I have feared he may someday bite someone other than the “bad guy,” so I have been exceptionally careful to protect him and others from something going “terribly wrong.”

    I have recently learned, however, that nothing would happen to my dog or myself if he were to viciously attack an innocent passerby walking his or her dog. No, my 87-pound Chow mix could silently charge and attack a naïve citizen and his or her dog and I would have no worries.

  • The U.S. Congress is considering a proposal to create a new mega-regulator designed to address abusive financial practices. Not only would this approach undermine small community banks and cause more harm than good, but it also misses the best opportunity to protect consumers: namely, addressing the too-big-to-fail concentration risks among our nation’s biggest banks that have cost Americans over $7 trillion in economic worth.

  • On Sept. 1, I made a transition from health insurance provided by my former employer to Medicare and a Medicare supplement. Perhaps my story has some relevance to the larger health care debate raging the past few months. Certainly it seemed so to me.

  • At 6 p.m. today, President Obama is going to speak to Congress about health care reform. It’s a big speech in that he needs to convince not only Congress but the American public that we’re better off passing some real health care reforms now rather than putting it off, again, until who knows when.

  • The Optic has maintained for six months that state law requires the city of Las Vegas to release e-mails involving a quorum of the City Council.

    Our argument was pretty simple: The state Open Meetings Act mandates that governing bodies discuss public business in the open. And that law includes all forms of communication, including e-mail.

    But City Attorney Carlos Quiñones stood in the way of openness, as is too often the case at City Hall. He told the Optic that the city couldn’t find any e-mails on its server involving a quorum of the council.

  • Much to my surprise and yeah, even annoyance, I’ve come across many people who, no matter what, cannot be coerced into optimism.

    I’ve met scores of them, possibly because that trait used to be mine as well. These are the people determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, who become obsessed with seeing the down side of things and who refuse to enjoy the present because, sadly, it’ll end some time.

  • During the recent forum on whether to unite the two local school districts, one woman claimed that those who took the opposite opinion from her didn’t have the best interests of the children at heart.

    Can’t folks disagree on district consolidation without accusing the other side of having the worst of intentions? Do we have to demonize differences of opinion?

    In this instance, I’m sure most of the people on both sides of the issue really believe that they are putting the children’s interests first.

  • The election of Matt Sandoval as chief judge of the Fourth Judicial District is not only disturbing, but I believe it sends a toxic and unfair message to young girls and women. It is a distressing message ripe with gender bias and sexist overtones.

  • Recently I took my son to the Leroy Garcia Health Center for his pre-school immunizations. From the time we entered the door of the building we were treated with respect and courtesy by a competent, friendly staff. The receptionist was efficient and put myself and my son at ease immediately. We waited a short time for a nurse to take us to the back. She was very pleasant and interacted well with my son. He had been very apprehensive about getting shots, but by the time she was done visiting with him he was calming down.

  • I would like to commend newly elected San Miguel County Commissioner Nicolas T. Leger as well as the road crew for their attention to County Road 56A in eastern San Miguel County.

    The work the road on CR 56A is exceptional and will help provide the residents of this area to travel with more ease, especially during inclement weather as these roads become virtually impassable.

    Job well done and thank you!

    J.D Maes, Jr.

    Trementina

  • LeeEtte Quintana, the associate superintendent for the Las Vegas City Schools, crossed the line recently when she circulated a petition in favor of her husband, Jay Quintana, a Robertson High School teacher.

    Earlier this year, Jay Quintana was placed on paid leave after allegations surfaced that he had sex numerous times with a student. The district referred the matter to the police but also conducted  an internal investigation.

  • The city was right to enter Stage 2 restrictions last month. It meant that residents will get to water their lawns only once a week, instead of twice.

    The city’s reservoirs have plunged to around 70 of capacity. Meanwhile, the city has been pumping 500,000 gallons nearly every day at Taylor Wells southwest of town.

    We had plentiful precipitation earlier in the summer, but it’s become drier as of late. And we don’t expect great amounts of precipitation in September and October.

  • I want to start a support group for medical cannabis patients in Las Vegas. The state Health Department has told me that it is prohibited from helping me contact registered patients because of “privacy” concerns. It was the department that suggested I post a notice in the newspaper. I have been on the medical cannabis program here since 2007, and I still have not met even one other patient. New Mexico is one of only three states that allow growing and distributing (selling) pot for medical use. It is difficult and dangerous to try to buy marijuana on the black market.

  • I would like to commend the Las Vegas Fire Department, particularly staff members Lt. Samuel Lujan, Engineer Louie Mares and firefighter Rodney Sauter, for their recent outstanding and noteworthy service to our community.

    At the Public Safety Committee meeting on Monday, Aug. 10, these three firefighters received the Phoenix Award, an honorary award that recognizes the individual for the significant service of successfully resuscitating a patient from respiratory or cardiac arrest.

  • Thumb DOWN for ... AN UNFORTUNATE TREND. It isn’t good news when a local school district has to report that it has recorded a decline in enrollment. The Las Vegas City Schools reported yet another such drop recently, announcing it was down 122 students compared to the beginning of school a year ago.

  • Politicians are for open government until they’re against it. The latest ones to prove this truism are Gary Gold and Christine Ludi, members of the West Las Vegas school board.

    Recently, David Romero, the board’s newest member, proposed that the board start recording its meetings, a practice that inexplicably stopped a few years ago.

  • Before the days of heightened airport security, I was at the terminal at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and noticed a man struggling with two huge suitcases. This was before luggage grew wheels. I  offered to help.

    Because of matters of balance — two trunks are easier to carry than one — the elderly man declined. As he rested, he pulled out a pocket watch unlike anything I’d seen before. It featured a thread-thin antenna for a radio; it announced the time; it had a 24-hour alarm, an adding machine, a ruler, level, altimeter and thermometer.