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Opinion

  • 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

     

  • On August 9, the Ride To Pride 4-H and Junior Rodeo Club hosted the finals for its 2009 Junior Rodeo Playday Series. The summer event consisted of a series of three Playdays with awards through fifth place going out to Boosters, Novice, Juniors, Seniors and an Open Division. A great family event, competitors from all over New Mexico ranging in ages 5 to 46 competed in speed and roping events.

  • This newspaper is in the business of conversations. We initiate them. We participate in them. We encourage them. We believe that the more our community is engaged in healthy conversation and debate, the more likely we are to find solutions to the challenges we face.

  • The past several months have been difficult for those of us who live in the Mineral Hill area. We have endured multiple burglaries  that keep us on the edge of our seat.  I must say that the district attorney’s office and the state police have provided us with investigative resources that continue to help us pursue these individuals. I applaud their efforts and want to encourage them to continue to apply resources so we can resolve these crimes.  

  • Thumbs up

    WISE DECISION. We want to give a BIG thumbs up to the East school district, for doing what had to be done. Superintendent Rick Romero announced this week that Robertson High School teacher Jay Quintana has been fired. Six months ago, the math teacher and golf coach was placed on paid leave stemming from allegations that he had sex on multiple occasions with a student.

  • Like many women (and often, these days, men), I carry a shoulder bag almost everywhere I go. Back in the ‘60s it was a handbag, but through the years it has gained in volume and capacity. In an earlier column, I referred to the convenience or perhaps vanity of “being prepared” for any eventuality with the contents of my purse. There’s been a slight change of perspective recently.

  • I am the sister of Richard Osgood, who my husband wrote to you about earlier.  I am so upset over missing my brother that I don’t know what to do. I am grateful to my husband for contacting you because I never would have thought of that. We have had to come up with some creative ideas, since we have had little luck getting the police to react to our situation. Pray that a loved one of yours is never a “missing person.”

  • Rep. Ben Ray Lujan’s public meeting this week in Santa Fe didn’t turn out like the other town hall meetings we’ve been hearing about across the country. Absent were the loud protests by those opposed to the Obama administration’s health-care plan. One reason, more than likely, is that organizers of the event took written questions instead of letting citizens shout out their questions and concerns from the floor. Smart move, since those who are so aggressively against President Obama’s plan have become a bullying, not-so-silent minority.

  • Several of us were chatting about what we learned in elementary school, and most agreed the subject that caused the most difficulty was grammar.

    My wife and I visited with a new acquaintance, Meggie, at a staff party Saturday. I made the point — with as much veracity as I could muster — that I had slept through most grammar classes during my years at Immaculate Conception School.

    But years later, what I dozed through came back when I needed it. It gives credence to those learn-in-your-sleep foreign language lessons, which don’t work for me.

  • A federal whistleblower lawsuit alleges that Community Health Systems bilked Medicaid at three of its New Mexico hospitals, including Las Vegas’ Alta Vista Regional Hospital.

    The Tennessee-based company has yet to gets its day in court, and its spokesman is not commenting on the litigation.

  • The new dorms have opened up at Highlands University, and they are a showcase for the school.

    As sure as it rains during the Fiestas, local leaders will be contemplating about whom to name the new residence hall after. If history is any guide, it will be named in honor of a professor or a politician.

    Last year, a group asked the Board of Regents to name the hall after state Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas. We’re not sure why a university building would be named after a state senator, except that he did his job and helped secure the state funding for the project.

  • A few readers have wondered why we didn’t publish the name of a man accused of sexually molesting an 8-year-old in a story in the Aug. 3 Optic.

    They note that the name appeared in other news outlets. We didn’t give any special treatment to this suspect; our policy is not to publish the names of those accused of sexual crimes until they are bound over to state District Court for trial. Exceptions are made for public officials and people who are in positions of trust such as police officers and teachers.

  • My name is Connie Mack and I want to thank the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation for seeing me though college. I struggled for decades with disabilities I thought I was “just stick with.”

    I was having a difficult time making it through college at age 59 when I discovered the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.

  • Colfax County hosted the 2009 Northeast 4-H shooting sports contest on June 16 at the Whittington NRA center in Raton. The objectives were to assist 4-H members to learn and practice the rules of rifle safety, sportsmanship and accuracy with firearms. The county teams consist of three or four members. The event starts with a written examination for a maximum of 50 points. The shooting match has a maximum of 300 points. The written exam will account for 25 percent and the marksmanship counts for 75 percent. Targets are used at the 50-foot range.

  • Do you find it hard to believe that our city fathers are proposing to give $15,000 of our money to the promoters of a female boxing match? Given the past record of our City Council, nothing is too surprising. Apparently the only barrier to this giveaway is concern about a possible violation of New Mexico anti-donation laws.

    What concerns me more is that the city will be giving our money to a personal sports promoter. If this match is such a great thing, it should be able to pay for itself.

  • The columns I most enjoy writing are those that include reader comments. A few recent columns have generated some reaction and response, some of which appear here.

    People reacted to last week’s column on menudo and squash. I’m happy to say that most of the comments agree with my stance that I’d request neither item as my last meal. What would be preferable? That’s easy. Cocoa Puffs smothered in Velveeta Cheese.

    But on a slightly more serious note, a large combination plate like my neighbor, Carmen Vigil, used to make, would be fine.