• Possibly due to strict upbringing, or maybe because of a year with Sister Immer Richtig at Immaculate Conception School, I’m accustomed to saying, and, especially, hearing, “That’s wrong.”

    Teachers are discouraged from using the “w” word, lest somebody’s ego gets crushed and Mommy and Daddy need to run interference for the brutalized child.     

    Let me explain:

  • The Las Vegas City Council will likely consider a proposed city charter at its meeting today. Then it would go to voters in the March 2 municipal election.

    The charter serves as the city’s constitution. The existing one has been in effect since the two Las Vegases joined nearly four decades ago.

    Under the proposed charter, the city would be considered a home-rule community. That means it would have more latitude to form the city government it desires, rather than following state-imposed restrictions.

  • San Miguel County Treasurer Alfonso Ortiz has now announced what many already suspected — he is running for Las Vegas mayor.

    In revealing his plans, Ortiz promised that he wouldn’t shake up the city administration. Rather, he plans to keep the city manager and other departmental directors.

  • Often, the government is criticized for not planning ahead, so we should give officials credit when they take the long view.

    San Miguel County doesn’t have any requests for oil and gas drilling permits pending. Nonetheless, county commissioners have expressed an interest in updating what little is on the books regarding oil and gas regulation.

  • The answer to abortion is simple: No unplanned pregnancies. Yes, it is that simple.

    How do we eliminate unplanned pregnancies? By providing comprehensive sex education in our schools and readily accessible and freely available birth-control to all. That’s the solution.

    So why is abortion such a tumultuous controversy? This obvious and simple solution would eliminate the need for the majority of abortions.

  • Every year about this time, we begin sifting through the year’s Optics to select the biggest local stories of the year. I’ve always enjoyed this year-end chore, but this time around we’re going to do it differently.

    This year, you get to be the judge.

    Today, on Page B7, you’ll find a master list, compiled by copy editor Art Trujillo, of the big local stories covered by the Optic in 2009. I ask that you go through this list and rank the top 10 stories of the year.

    The rules for participation are simple:

  • We’re glad to see Richard Grogan, CEO of Alta Vista Regional Hospital, present his side of the story involving the hospital’s relationship with the union that was voted in a couple years ago, but we’re sorry to see him fall into the trap of “blaming the messenger” for some of his troubles.

  • I am very concerned about the proposed state land office Whites Peak land exchange. Specifically, the integrity of the appraisal process needs to be looked at very closely and I would strongly recommend that the appraisals be verified by a second disinterested party.

    Also, I am told that land office commercial properties in the Sandia Science and Technology park and at Mesa del Sol in Albuquerque are being considered as part of this exchange. This is where the appraisals need to be very sound to protect the best interests of the trust.

  • Thumbs up ... TIMELY COMMUNICATION. Last week in this space we complained about the manner in which the East and West school districts announced their first snow day of the year. We urged a better approach so that parents, students and teachers would be able to know in a more timely fashion.

  • Recently, the city of Las Vegas mailed its annual report to residents. This is part of Mayor Tony Marquez’s promise to keep residents updated on the city’s activities.

    I’m all for the city’s reporting to residents. The 16-page glossy booklet appeared professional and did a good job informing the rest of us about the city’s accomplishments.

  • Andy Rooney’s segment on “60 Minutes” Sunday evening made a point that’s become increasingly obvious: Few people write letters the way they used to.

    Rooney drew the patent conclusion that with e-mail almost instantaneous and almost free, the Postal Service receives less revenue because fewer people mail that way.

  • Surely every local voter knows that, here in Las Vegas, a candidate doesn’t need a majority to win an election. All that’s needed is more votes than any other candidate running for the same position. Consequently, majority rule doesn’t apply to our mayoral and council races — and much if not most of the time, the winner doesn’t get a majority.

  • I am delighted to report to you that CROP Hunger Walk Las Vegas raised $9812.85 this year and we had 150 walkers.  This means that our two local hunger relief agencies — The Samaritan House and the Las Vegas Community Soup Kitchen — will each receive $1226.60 (one half of the 25 percent returned to Las Vegas for hunger relief efforts here).

  • In 2008, we reported that Pete Campos entered a five-year contract with the Luna Community College Board of Trustees. But we never actually saw the document.

    In November, I issued a public records request for the four-page contract. I received it last week. And I got a bit of a workout in the process.

  • Thumbs DOWN to ... POOR COMMUNICATION. The manner in which the East and West school districts announced Thursday’s school cancelations because of the snow was pathetic. At first, the announcement on the radio was that the schools were on a two-hour delay; then word that the entire school day was canceled got out about two hours later — even though it was clear around sunrise that a full snowday would need to be taken.

  • As we begin the holidays this season, we should all laugh a little, sing a little, as we go our way. Work a little, play a little, as we do this everyday!

    Give a little, take a little, never mind a frown. Make your smile a welcomed thing, all around the town!

    Laugh a little, love a little, skies are always blue! Every cloud has silver lining, but it’s up to you.

    Always remember this thought: The driver is safer when the roads are dry, the roads are safer when the driver is dry. Please be safe and don’t drink and drive.

  • Roman Polanski  formerly of Hollywood -- a celebrated movie producer.

    Dave Letterman of CBS-TV -- a celebrated late-night comedian.

    Bill Clinton of the Oral Office -- a celebrated former President.

    Madonna of “The Sweet and Sticky (Music) Tour” -- a celebrated pop singer.

    Some people following their example in high school -- a good imitation of celebrated adult behavior.


    Frank Splendoria


  • The flames of the local public school consolidation fires will be fanned by the latest front-page revelations of fiscal mismanagement, inattentive governance and incompetent leadership in the local school systems.  

    These continue a cycle of previous front-page revelations of cheating, stealing, assaults, sexual predation(s) and other underachievements of our educational organizations.  

  • This from a canine perspective:

    Hello to the fantastic city of Las Vegas and to those of you in the surrounding areas as well! My tail hasn’t stopped wagging since the Sweetie Pie Initiative, named after me of course, held it’s Halloween Carnival. I would like to give four paws up to the anything-but-bare-bones support we received.  

    Thanks to you, many dogs and cats will be spayed and neutered and live happier, healthier lives! We sniffed all over town for support and we found it, right under our noses.

  • As further evidence of just how divided Las Vegas is, let us turn our attention to the recent decision by the Las Vegas-San Miguel Chamber of Commerce to let go of Vince Howell, who was serving as marketing coordinator. Last month, Howell’s $32,000 annual contract was ended because, according to chamber President Matt Martinez, is was too pricey.

    That was a weak excuse for a bad decision that only takes Las Vegas further down the road to self-destruction. This town is already a rough place to do business, and the chamber’s action only makes it worse.