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Opinion

  • 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.  

  • Many people have left the journalism profession to get more money. I don’t fault them for doing so.

    But it’s frustrating when they join government agencies and push for greater secrecy.

    At newspapers, we admittedly have an agenda: Promoting governmental openness.

    After all, taxpayers are footing the bills. They ought to know what’s going on.

  • Mr. Elias Hurtado has gone to a better life, but like most good educators he has left his footprints in the valley.

  • This is Sunshine Week, a time to recognize the importance of openness in local, state and national government. It’s a good time to remind ourselves that open government is necessary to maintain the ideal that government should be an institution of, by and for the people.

  • Congratulations to all the candidates for participating in the democratic process. The Home Rule Charter was passed and two new city councilors and a mayor have been elected. This is wonderful news.

    Now is the time for citizens to continue their involvement in city government by attending City Council meetings and urging our elected representatives to do the work necessary to correct the neglect of the years.

  • Thumbs UP for ... FIRST TIME EVER. Highlands University is sending its men’s basketball team to the NCAA Division II tournament. The Cowboys qualified as a No. 6 seed for this weekend’s regional tournament in Mankato, Minn., and will face No. 3-seeded Augustina College at 11 a.m. Saturday.

    Congratulations to coach Joe Harge and his team. It’s the second straight 20-win season and the first time in the school’s history to make it to the tourney.

  • While voting turnout was low, I would like to thank all voters who came out to exercise their constitutional right in Ward 1 as well as citywide. I want to thank all residents of Ward 1 who supported me during my campaign and gave me their trust and confidence.

    As I stated during the council race, my door will always be open to listen to our neighborhood concerns as well as citywide issues. I congratulate the winners, pray and hope that the new council and mayor will provide direction and leadership to unite us and move the city of Las Vegas in all areas of city government.

  • What does the future hold? Like everyone else, we at New Mexico Highlands University wish we could know with certainty, but we can’t.

    Nonetheless, planning for the future is essential. Since early 2009, Highlands has been working with Studio Insite, an architectural firm specializing in helping universities plan for growth. They have examined existing facilities, pedestrian and vehicular flow patterns, and the university’s programmatic and enrollment goals to formulate a master plan for the university’s future.