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Opinion

  • There are a number of men who have already have announced their intentions to run for San Miguel County sheriff. They’ll likely make the funding for the Sheriff’s Department a major issue in the campaign.

    Sheriff Benjie Vigil, who plans to run for a second term, contends he has hit a brick wall with the county when it comes to getting more money for his department.

  • I’ll start out by giving state Sen. Phil Griego, D-San Jose, some credit. The rest of our local legislative delegation operates rather quietly in Santa Fe. You don’t hear from them often, even though most of them are the more senior members of the Legislature.

    Griego, however, does get his name in the papers. So he apparently is in the thick of the legislative battles. That’s good.

    In recent days, Griego’s name appeared in stories in relation to a couple of good-government issues.

  • Thumbs UP for ... A PURPLE PLATE. We imagine there will be many people jockeying for the lower numbers if Highlands University succeeds in getting its own auto license plates. This kind of plate, available to the general public for an extra charge, is along the lines of the kind seen around town boasting the UNM Lobos. Our proposed plate is prettier. Designed by Highlands public information director Sean Weaver, it features a swath of purple across the top, with “HU” in large letters and “New Mexico Highlands” at the base.

  • On behalf of the hundreds of interested people whom I have had the pleasure of working beside on the protest to what we define as an assault on the people of New Mexico, I would like to thank Attorney General King and his office, and the New Mexico Supreme Court for taking legal action against Public Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons and his office.

  • This is in response to the letter to the editor, “No quick extraction” by Paul Anthony Maes (Dec. 18.) If you are or were ever a firefighter, you would know that the police dispatcher of the Las Vegas Police Department is the one who dispatches the fire truck. You would also know that when the fire department receives the call of distress from the police dispatcher, the firefighters have to gear up, which by the way is set for the fastest possible time by the way the gear is laid out by the responders’ unit.

  • As a guide/outfitter, sportsman, recreationalist, land grant heir, and “Norteño” in northern New Mexico, I depend on the nearby wild and undeveloped public lands for the welfare of my business and my family’s well-being. Having public land available to hunt, fish and hike on is the foundation of my livelihood. That’s one reason I feel strongly about the need to protect the Whites Peak land swap that is taking place just north of Ocate in Mora County.

  • I attended the New Mexico Highlands University Master Plan public meeting on Jan. 27 with several of my neighbors, including the Cordovas who have lived in their home next door to me for over 50 years. Highlands presented three Master Plans (A, B, C) at its previous public meeting in the spring of 2009. Plan B involved demolishing our homes for a parking lot.

  • We were amazed last year when the state announced that Sierra Vista Elementary School was No. 40 on the state list for demolition. Recently, officials announced that the school is now at No. 14.

    And Sierra Vista is only a little more than 20 years old.

    Whatever way you cut it, the taxpayers have been failed if a relatively new building needs to be leveled. Officials say a leaky roof has caused deterioration to the building.

  • Several people commented on the piece about the demolition of Mortimer Hall, the Highlands building at Eighth and National that was cleared to make room for a new student center. In that building, as mentioned in a previous column, was “The Door.” On it I kept humorous headlines from various newspapers.

    In one move around Mortimer Hall, it was easier to move the entire door to a new location than to apply an Exacto knife to remove the clippings. But let’s be clear: The door was of the standard institutional variety, and it held up pounds of profundity.

  • This is my second letter to the Optic regarding (online reader comments) about Phil Warfield (Re: front-page story on Jan. 29). The first was Jan. 30 sent by the Postal Service and today, Feb. 2, sent by e-mail.

  • A disturbing proposal came before the Farmington City Commission last week, and after reading about it in an Associated Press report, our first thought was that some sort of white supremacy group had infiltrated that city. Our knee-jerk reaction was that it only goes to show just how far we have to go to achieve equality in our nation. But our second thought was that perhaps this little news item is a good opportunity to reflect on just what equality is, and how it’s achieved.

  • What is the public’s reaction so far to the March 2 municipal election?

    Likely a big yawn.

    Unlike previous elections, this one has generated little interest. That’s probably because there is only one name on the ballot for the races for mayor and municipal judge. Sure, the mayoral race has attracted two write-in candidates, but a successful write-in candidate is as common as a die-hard Republican on Montezuma Street.

  • It’s time once again for the communities whose children are educated by the Pecos Independent Schools District to answer the call and support the education of our children and vote in favor of the bond initiative this March. The need and the importance of passing this initiative cannot be overstated.  

  • The Mora Community Academy of Social, Science and Math program would like to express its gratitude to all the supporters who have donated monetary resources. The academy is developed for the Mora Independent Schools Elementary students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade.  It is a program designed to introduce children to math and science in an interesting, fun and hands-on approach. Our goal is to pique young students’ interests by exposing them to the vast fields in science and math.

  • Every religion tries to deal with how to handle human suffering. Last Sunday, a talk was given called “Motherhood Interrupted” at the Immaculate Conception church. The speaker, Mrs. Jane Brennan, whose website is www.motherhoodinterrupted.com, is an average American woman. She gave a woman’s view of having an abortion.

  • It was wonderful yesterday writing about how next year’s Super Bowl will feature the Oakland Raiders pummeling Dallas by about 87 to 3. Yet,  family members who realize I bleed Raiders black and gray interrupted  the joy; this column needs to be about this year’s Super Bowl. Or so they say.

    Nevertheless, I wanted to convince family members that the Raiders will be in the big game next year. So I asked around:

    Oldest son Stan: No particular interest.

    Middle son Diego (Tennessee Titans fan): Raiders don’t deserve it.

  • The time to file for those who want to run for office is just around the corner.

    A young man recently asked me the meaning of a politician. I replied that people who run for office most generally do it because they want to use their education, talents, personalities and experience in life to help others. They encourage self-sufficiency, but at the same time fight for and support programs that give people a little push in the right direction.

  • Perhaps Ms. (Councilwoman Diane) Moore is right in holding off awarding a contract to our current city manager. Perhaps we should try to hire a city resident to the city’s highest paid office. How many offices are we going to fill with out-of-towners, who pay taxes elsewhere and/or spend our hard-earned taxes (salaries) elsewhere? Recently, we’ve hired city attorneys, city managers, etc., from every town but our own.

    Can we try harder?

  • Recently five men in black robes took an action that may change the course of history. In ruling that corporations and unions have the same rights as persons to contribute unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns, the Supreme Court overthrew a century of practice and decades of legal rulings.

  • Oxford dictionary defines a “co-operative” as “a farm, business, or other organization that is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits.”

    The Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative is violating the spirit of a “co-operative” by ignoring their members’ rights to discuss and agree upon plans for a six-line, 86,400 volt overhead installation that has been designed and scheduled (mid-April 2010) to run from La Cueva through the Mora Valley, along Highway 518.