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Opinion

  • More than a week ago, the majority of the West Las Vegas school board voted against renewing Superintendent Jim Abreu’s employment contract. No reasons were given for this decision.  In our perspective, Abreu did a good job as superintendent. He has been effective in building improvements at various schoos. During the last year of declining revenue, he has worked to make sure budget cuts have the least impact possible on employees, knowing that layoffs kill morale. And he has changed the culture for the better at the top levels of the West administration.

  • Thumbs DOWN for ... VAGUE REASONING. The West Las Vegas school board worked into the wee hours Thursday night and finally voted down a contract renewal for Superintendent Jim Abreu. After three years on the job, he’ll be leaving the post at the end of June.

    The reason for his dismissal? Well, only a vague reference to moving the district “forward” was given. It seems to us that such a huge decision deserves a clearer public explanation.

  • I must admit to a certain level of angst when it comes to one of our more popular online features — the comments at the end of most Optic stories posted on our website.

    I’m torn between a deep-seated belief in the people’s right to free speech and my journalistic upbringing that newspapers should act responsibly in their use of the “free press” provision also in the First Amendment. Allowing anonymous writers to post belligerent and destructive comments on the Optic’s website just doesn’t sit well with me.

  • At a time when the money changers tanked our economy:

    • Our state mandates double-dipping and annual “special” sessions.

    • Our county mandates double-dipping, and our city follows suit with mandated raise for our judge and charter mandated salaries for our councilors. They then opt for mandated toilets.

    • You can hear horror stories at our unemployment office; while standing in line at the courthouse to pay property taxes; among students at Luna Community College, etc.

  • I live in the Mineral Hill area and it seems we are in the land of the forgotten. Forgotten by the San Miguel County Roads Department as far as maintaining our roads and providing a solid road base for our roads. Our roads have become impassable during bad weather, i.e., rain and snow. I personally own four 4X4s and I have been stuck twice in the last month. I have also pulled out many of my neighbors who also own 4X4s or all-wheel-drive vehicles.

  • Eighty teams competed in the just-concluded New Mexico high school basketball tournaments for boys and girls. Eighty teams.

    Let’s do the math: There are five classes, AAAAA for the behemoth schools, down to class A, for those quintets whose players need to lead cheers, collect tickets and man the concession stand when they’re not on the hardwood.

  • On March 1, I attended the bond information meeting at the Pecos village boardroom.

    I was very impressed how our school superintendent, Mr. Roy Herrera, and the architects explained to the public in attendance the purpose of the bond.

    I was glad to see that parents who have children in our school were there in support of the bond.

  • The multi-phase Alamo Street project has continued for years. The last few months have been particularly rough on Alamo residents.

    That’s because the contractor left a muddy mess when it put its project on hold in December. Residents have needed four-wheel drives at times to get to their houses. And a garbage truck got stuck a few weeks ago.

  • At its recent meeting, the Las Vegas City Council struggled with the issue over whether local voters passed a city charter in the March 2 election.

    In our view, as stated in this space before, the overwhelming evidence indicated that it did pass. Fifty-six percent voted for the new city charter, and both the state constitution and state law mandate that only a majority is needed.

  • David Salman’s passing on to a better life will be a big loss to those who knew and loved him, but what he left behind will live on for centuries to come.

    David once said that you can judge a town by its libraries. He used to say that if a town has a library, it can consider itself wealthy. While he was living, he himself donated a variety of books to the David Cargo library in Mora County. The books included dictionaries, encyclopedias, fiction, history, poetry, classics, westerns and magazines containing much knowledge of worldwide news.

  • Have you ever walked into a business and someone told you to take a number?

    I haven’t.

    That’s only happened to me in government offices, particularly the motor vehicle division.

    When you don’t have any competition, it’s easier to stick it to your customers.

    Until the 1990s, drivers had nowhere to go besides state motor vehicle offices for issues related to licenses and vehicle registrations. Since then, the state has allowed some private-sector operations to offer similar services for a fee.

  • I want to express thanks to the San Miguel County Road Department for clearing the roads of snow this winter, especially County Road A18A, which is one of the worst unpaved roads.

    Thanks to County Manager Les Montoya and the entire Road Department’s crew and staff, including road foreman Daniel Encinias and Toby Medina, Rudy Salazar and Michael Vigil, among others.

    The crew was even out on Feb. 25 at 5:50 a.m. clearing the road through my place when it was 16 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit).

    Their work is greatly appreciated!

    Dorothy Simpson

  • The spirit of the Lenten Season appears to affect people in strange, even vengeful ways. In a Feb. 26 letter to the editor, a supposedly man of the cloth “Man of God” chose to attack the Catholic church, Catholic people and Catholic traditions in general.

    If minister Neal Abott, Eastside Church of Christ, had his way, no religion could or should respect any of their own traditions, merely read the Bible and form whatever conclusions they chose to.

  • The City of Las Vegas claims, as printed by the Optic on Monday, “Residents contend that the city has torn up the street more than once. But city officials said the city hasn’t done anything over again on Alamo. They said a contractor did some patchwork paving before a previous winter.”

  • Thumbs DOWN f or ... A MUDDY MESS. Residents along Alamo Street are understandably fed up with the undone reconstruction of their street. Work was stopped last fall, leaving an inside-the-city dirt road that turned to mud with all the snows this winter.

  • As a teenager I lived with my family near London, England, for two years. This was in 1954 and ‘55 — 10 years after the end of World War II. I remember seeing whole acres of London which were flat planes where bombed out structures had been cleared away but not yet replaced. Meat and coal were rationed and paper was in very short supply.

  • Jack Van Horn, the designated liturgist at church Sunday, reminded all of us parishioners to “meet and greet the person in your pew,” then added, “if there is someone there to greet.”

    Clearly he was referring to the paucity of congregants, the bulk of whom blame the time change. Some of us lost an hour of sleep Sunday when we converted to Daylight Saving Time; some went ahead and re-found that hour and wondered where everybody had gone when they arrived at church, or some other function.

  • Mayor Ortiz, it’s time to revise our town’s noise ordinance. It’s also time to get out the ear plugs. I heard some robins singing until they were drowned out by the too-familiar warm weather cacophony of motorcycles without mufflers, loud cars and boom boxes. Damn!

    Does it bother anybody else? Why are these noise polluters allowed to make as much noise as they want to? There’s no control. It’s not fair, it’s rude and inconsiderate, bad for our health, and an invasion of privacy. Something should change, and I’m not moving out of town.

  • LeeEtte Quintana, the associate superintendent for the Las Vegas City Schools, should not be tied to the alleged actions of her husband, Jay Quintana, the former Robertson High School coach and teacher accused of repeatedly having sex with a student.

    At the same time, Quintana, the district’s second in command, should have nothing to do with the case when she is acting in her capacity as associate superintendent. And if she does, her actions deserve the greatest of public scrutiny.

  • The prison industrial complex continues to exert pressure on our citizens to comply with a very dangerous trend.  Drive by any middle school or high school and you see a primer for the prison lifestyle.  Fenced-in campuses are guarded by personnel at a security gate, much like a military or prison complex.