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Opinion

  • The recent arrest and release of a retired San Miguel County deputy on a DWI charge reminded me of a great lesson I learned in a geometry class at Robertson High School. I was a sophomore. We should have been going over the finer points of a parallelogram, but instead we were talking school politics.

  • Last week, 56 percent of voters approved a new charter for the city of Las Vegas — a 35-page document that includes, among other things, a requirement for runoff elections when no candidate gets a simple majority of votes.

    But now some people, including former city attorney Danelle Smith, are suggesting that 60 percent was needed to pass the charter, which serves as the city’s constitution.

  • Ever had chills up and down your spine? I used to think it was a myth — until I saw the famous pea-soup scene in “The Exorcist,” when Regan, the possessed child, decorated Father Damien Karras’s face with it.

  • At the recent Health Summit held by President Obama at the Blair House, two Republican senators stated that we have the best health care in the world. One of them further told of two Canadians who came to the U.S. for that best health care, one for cancer and the other with heart disease.

  • Recently, former San Miguel County Undersheriff Joe Robert Urban was arrested on a charge of drunken driving. The gun-carrying Urban was stopped by state police on Mountain View Drive, officials said.

    While most offenders go to jail after being arrested on suspicion of DWI, Urban, who retired just a few months ago, got to go home. He was released to his former longtime co-worker, Sheriff Benjie Vigil.

  • Thumbs UP for ... A SMOOTH ELECTION. More than 2,000 Las Vegas residents cast ballots Tuesday, electing a new mayor and two new council members, re-electing by acclamation the municipal judge and approving a new constitution for the city. Alfonso Ortiz was elected with a commanding majority over two write-in candidates; Tonita Gurule-Giron and David Romero won pluralities in Ward 1 and Ward 4, and a strong majority said yes to the new city charter.

  • Las Vegans may remember when, in 2003, Mayor Henry Sanchez led a long procession (and) read a proclamation focusing on our community’s concern about the violence perpetrated against women in Las Vegas and ...

  • The Las Vegas Branch of the American Association of University Women wishes to thank the citizens of Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Women’s Club, Chapter H of the Philanthropic Educational Organization, Donnelly Library and Tome on the Range for their contributions of new and used books and other media to our annual Book Sale. Without your help and support, we would not have been so successful.

  •   ... The Pecos School District illegally used Pecos students to handout the bond pamphlets at the homecoming game. Using students to campaign for political purposes is against the law.  The Pecos School District just recently built two new administrative buildings that cost close to $1 million; however, the monies used to build these administrative offices could have been re-appropriated to accommodate the students’ needs.  The Pecos School District is trying to pass a bond for $5.1 million.

  • Imagine the following scenario: Bob has a for-sale sign on his Ford pickup truck. A stranger is looking it over, seemingly interested.

    “What will you pay for my truck?” Bob asks the man.

    “I’ll give you $3,000,” the stranger responds.

    “No, that’s too much. I’ll sell it to you for $2,000,”the seller says.

    Say what?

  • By the end of the day on Tuesday, all those who want to stake a claim on the future of Las Vegas will have voted in this year’s municipal election. They will have mapped out the next chapter in the city’s history — and since newspapers write “the first draft of history,” voters will be helping to decide the headlines to run in the Las Vegas Optic over the next couple of years.

    Is this municipal election really that important? Let’s take a look.

  • After many years living in a small community such as Las Vegas, one begins a list of the friends and acquaintances who have passed away. And gradually, a kind of phantom city begins to co-exist alongside the actual city. Here and there, as one goes about town, one passes a house that once belonged to someone now numbered among the dead. The house has new occupants. It is their house now. Yet it stirs up memories of its former occupant. It is still their house too!

  • A few weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against longtime bans on corporate and union contributions to political campaigns.

    The court said such bans infringed on First Amendment rights.

    Really?

    No law has prohibited people from exercising their free-speech rights, especially when it comes to politics. Yet some argue that restrictions on contributions are a form of free-speech infringement. If so, then wealthy people have been suffering for years. Or have they really?

  • I noticed on Wednesday, Feb. 17, several people wore crosses in ash on their foreheads, and I remembered it was Ash Wednesday. I would like to ask your readers to consider something.

    Is Ash Wednesday found anywhere in the Bible? No, it is not. Then where did it come from? It is merely human tradition and man-made doctrine.

  • I am a longtime bow hunter and have hunted the White Peak area since 1976. I have been following closely State Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons’ proposals to trade State Trust Land to private ranchers in order to “consolidate” parcels of private and state land in the White Peak area. Rather than beat a dead horse with details of the controversy, I would instead like to point out another very important issue that could have possibly avoided this entire mess.

  • The New Mexico Legislature did a lot of work during the regular 30-day session to prepare good tax policy proposals to fill the “sinkholes” that are threatening the provision of core government services.

    Although we had a 30-day window to set the framework to raise sufficient revenues to fund an efficient level of government and to compose a prudent budget, revenue projections have been volatile and we’ve been getting reliable indications that revenues are falling further, perhaps by as much as $100 million.  

  • One measure of a solid, stand-up community is how they treat their stray animals. A town that takes these animals in and does its best to ensure they are cared for medically and returned home or rehomed is a stand-up town. Las Vegas has a very bad reputation when it comes to helping its animals most in need.

  • Robert Pearson’s Feb. 5 letter in the Optic suggests a response. The Supreme Court’s decision to which he refers is Citizens v. Federal Election Commission, a ruling which did not “overthrow a century of practice and decades of legal rulings” as Pearson states.

  • The Literacy Council of Northeastern New Mexico, a division of the Las Vegas Arts Council, wishes to again thank the United World College and Tome on the Range for their partnership in the successful Literacy Fair held Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Abe Montoya Recreation Center. This year’s theme was “Where the Wild Things Are: Adventures in Reading.”

  • Is it me? Or can it be that alcohol, and all its outlets, were not even considered in the quest to increase tax revenues to offset the shortcomings in the state budget? Instead, our august group of lawmakers have pushed the envelope to where they will tax us all with yet another “special” session. Our trek to maintain professional politicians continues. City, county and state pols have learned from our federal politicians that their job is the only one worth saving.