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Opinion

  • 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.

  • I was shocked, but not surprised, when I heard that there was a gay float in the most recent parade. Later, I was surprised, but not shocked, to read that the Las Vegas Optic reported on the event supporting and only representing one side.

  • It’s called “The Big Lie.” Hitler coined the term. Hitler believed that we, the people, actually are more vulnerable to colossal, outrageous lies than we are to small and relatively trivial falsehoods. He reasoned that the vast majority of us tend to tell the small and niggling little lies of the “that dress looks great on you” variety on a regular basis. Consequently,  petty falsehoods are within our experience and we are on the lookout for them.

  • As stated in this space last Monday, the Optic is in the business of conversations. And in that regard, we’re proud to have played a role in facilitating an open discussion last Tuesday regarding the possible consolidation of Las Vegas’ two school districts. Opinions were fairly evenly mixed between those who favor, those who oppose and those who simply had questions — and the varying viewpoints produced a healthy and vibrant discussion.

  • The second annual chile contest at this year’s Mora-San Miguel County Fair was a successful event. Over 200 people came out to participate in the judging in the different types of homemade chile. The contestants cooked both red and green chile. This year’s first place award went to Amy Chavez, second place Lydia Benavidez, and third place winner Juan Ortiz. The people’s choice award went to Manuel Benavidez.

  • In the spring of 2006, a woman told me at a local restaurant about a West Las Vegas schools-sponsored party that cost thousands of dollars. It was invitation only. No kids allowed.

    The kicker: It was paid for with taxpayer funds, she said.

    That sounded interesting, but unbelievable. I had a lot of stories on my plate at the time, so I didn’t put any time into pursuing this lead.

    But one by one, five more people called me up to tell me about the party.

  • As a citizen of the United States of America and as a God (Judeo/Christian God) fearing person, I was surprised and outraged to read an article on ABC News Jake Trapper and Karen Travers report dated Aug. 19, that in a conference call with liberal and progressive religious leaders President Obama railed against those who were “bearing false witness” in the debate over health care reform.

  • The recent article “Get both sides out there” characterized the Rainbow Club gay float as irrelevant and nonsense. The author opined that the Optic’s reporting of the event was “tragic” on the basis of certain Biblical passages that allegedly brand all homosexuality an “abomination.” He equated homosexuality to rape, incest, bestiality, and necrophilia. He challenged a public debate on homosexuality — the specific area was left open-ended.

  • To councilor Diane Moore: Thank you for looking out for the interests of Las Vegas’ taxpayers.

    We are too easy. Taxpayers get hit by federal, state, county, city, etc., for the little money available in Las Vegas and its surroundings, and no one seems to care.

    I was glad to see you stand up for the taxpayer in denying yet another big hire. Perhaps the customer service manager hire can be rescinded, also. As you are aware, I argue that our elected council persons are our customer service manager, that is the reason they are elected.

  • Thumbs up

    OPEN DISCUSSION. We’ve called it “the ‘c’ word” in the past because of the overall reluctance people have with discussing it, but now “consolidation” appears to be out of the bag. Some 150 Las Vegas and area citizens came out Tuesday night to openly talk about the pros and cons to unification of the school districts. The result was an agreement that a fact-finding committee should be formed to explore the issue more deeply.

  • I have always been proud of my hometown. When I read that a recent parade included a float that supported the gay community it confirmed what I already knew, that Las Vegas was a small town with a genuine warm friendly feeling that was accepting of all good people.  

  • If Mayor Tony Marquez kept his promise on open government, he would make his life a lot easier. And he’d do the public a big favor.

    Here we go again: The mayor gets in his bunker, broods in secret and comes up with schemes to get back at his perceived enemies. Then he ends up embarrassing his administration. And then when the bad news gets out, he lashes out yet again. And around and around we go.

  • Words are meaningless. Well, some words. Let me explain: There actually were good old days when a handshake sealed a deal, when people who promised to pay actually came through, when people didn’t need to get into the “did not/did too” entanglement.

    Nowadays, too many words tend to be laden with sarcasm. The last time you heard someone say, “excuuuze me,” “sorrry” or “You’re so-oo much help” you probably weren’t seduced by notions of sincerity.

  • Las Vegas City Attorney Carlos Quiñones often prefers government secrecy.  

    He would be doing the public he serves a great favor if he were to make openness the rule, not the exception.

    Unfortunately, he falls into the trap that many attorneys do — only reveal what you absolutely need to, and nothing more.

    A few months ago, we found out that a City Council quorum was discussing city business outside of public meetings via e-mail, a practice denounced by the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.

  • I am writing to express my thanks to the DAs Office and the New Mexico State Police for their recent work in identifying and arresting several of the individuals responsible for break-ins and burglaries over the past year in our neighborhood in Mineral Hill. Your continued attention and presence is appreciated.

    Chris Nelson

    Mineral Hill