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Opinion

  • In regards to our city manager and the mayor and council’s inability to enter into a contract with Mr. Tim Dodge, there are some observations that I would like to share with the citizens of our fine city.  

  • The West Las Vegas school board was right to enact a freeze of some budget items for the rest of this fiscal year. Tax receipts are down everywhere because of the poor economy, so it’s good that our officials are making sure unnecessary expenses are done away with.

    Of course, top officials at both our school districts have already been clamping down on spending. But the school boards have to be on top of financial matters.

  • Babies enter this world every day, replacing those who die. OK, OK, I know I have a wonderful knack for the obvious. But I wanted to point out that with each new generation, our society moves in a hopefully more enlightened direction.

    In 2008, America elected Barack Obama as president, the first black person in the nation’s highest political office.

    Could that have been possible even 20 years ago? Doubtfully.

    What’s changed? Well, prejudiced people died, replaced by people who have repudiated this stain on society.

  • Thumbs DOWN to ... VALENTINE’S DAY DEATH. Michael L. Maestas, 55, was found dead near his home at 922 Railroad Ave. early Monday morning — the first reported homicide of the new year in the Las Vegas area. His brother, Joseph Maestas, has been charged.

    According to police, the brothers had been drinking and and were in an alleyway when an argument broke out. The dispute turned physical, Michael Maestas pulled a knife and cut his brother on the neck, police said.

  • I would like to begin by saying how invaluable I know teachers are to the education and wellbeing of our children, and how difficult I know the job to be. Having gone through several general education courses, including Field Base II, and having determined that I have not the talent nor the skill to be a teacher myself, I am especially aware of the tremendous fortitude, strength of character, and patience it takes to be a teacher. That being said, I would like to know what has happened to the etiquette of the teacher?

  • I don’t mean to wax poetic, but I just can’t help it, as that is a good part of my particular discipline. What I really want is to dispel some of the outright inconvenience that I have opted for as a rural dweller by choice.

    My headlined allusion to Whittier’s “Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyll” can be taken “romantically,” as the definition of idyll suggests — a nostalgic work describing a pleasant rural scene or homey setting. Well, that depends …

  • The news that Community First Bank plans to move part of its operation to the Crocket Building has drawn attention.

    Will the move itself revitalize downtown Las Vegas? We can hope. Irrespective of that, it’s great the bank’s owners, Ray and Joyce Litherland, chose to keep the bank downtown.

  • I disagree with the Optic’s “Thumbs Up” of Friday, Feb. 12, of a “good ruling.” I am in the position of having won the battle — i.e., the court ruled that the city clerk should have allowed me to file for the office and that a faxed copy of my voter registration should have been accepted. The city clerk would not allow me to file because she wouldn’t accept a faxed copy of my voter registration. Why would I get a copy sent to the city clerk’s office if she would not accept it anyway?

  • Data recently compiled by the University of New Mexico provides the strongest evidence yet the DWIs in San Miguel County are going down. A lot of people should be credited with effectively combating this hazard of the roadways.

  • It is time we take the responsibility for all in the United States, especially those below the poverty line, the elderly, disabled, and children, and pass a health reform bill.

    I am 67, disabled  with lung problems since childhood, now on oxygen full time.

     Basically, I am living on Social Security, a small income from painting and a small retirement fund. (I used to teach art kindergarten through university.) Now I am unable to work due to my disability.

  • Early voting has started at the city office and election day is March  2.

    On behalf of the Home Rule Charter Commission, I would like to remind  all voters that you will have the opportunity to vote “for” or “against” the new charter at the upcoming municipal election.

    For your convenience, copies of the proposed charter are available at  the city office and at various locations in town. Please acquaint yourselves with the draft before casting your vote.

  • There are a number of men who have already have announced their intentions to run for San Miguel County sheriff. They’ll likely make the funding for the Sheriff’s Department a major issue in the campaign.

    Sheriff Benjie Vigil, who plans to run for a second term, contends he has hit a brick wall with the county when it comes to getting more money for his department.

  • I’ll start out by giving state Sen. Phil Griego, D-San Jose, some credit. The rest of our local legislative delegation operates rather quietly in Santa Fe. You don’t hear from them often, even though most of them are the more senior members of the Legislature.

    Griego, however, does get his name in the papers. So he apparently is in the thick of the legislative battles. That’s good.

    In recent days, Griego’s name appeared in stories in relation to a couple of good-government issues.

  • Thumbs UP for ... A PURPLE PLATE. We imagine there will be many people jockeying for the lower numbers if Highlands University succeeds in getting its own auto license plates. This kind of plate, available to the general public for an extra charge, is along the lines of the kind seen around town boasting the UNM Lobos. Our proposed plate is prettier. Designed by Highlands public information director Sean Weaver, it features a swath of purple across the top, with “HU” in large letters and “New Mexico Highlands” at the base.

  • On behalf of the hundreds of interested people whom I have had the pleasure of working beside on the protest to what we define as an assault on the people of New Mexico, I would like to thank Attorney General King and his office, and the New Mexico Supreme Court for taking legal action against Public Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons and his office.

  • This is in response to the letter to the editor, “No quick extraction” by Paul Anthony Maes (Dec. 18.) If you are or were ever a firefighter, you would know that the police dispatcher of the Las Vegas Police Department is the one who dispatches the fire truck. You would also know that when the fire department receives the call of distress from the police dispatcher, the firefighters have to gear up, which by the way is set for the fastest possible time by the way the gear is laid out by the responders’ unit.

  • As a guide/outfitter, sportsman, recreationalist, land grant heir, and “Norteño” in northern New Mexico, I depend on the nearby wild and undeveloped public lands for the welfare of my business and my family’s well-being. Having public land available to hunt, fish and hike on is the foundation of my livelihood. That’s one reason I feel strongly about the need to protect the Whites Peak land swap that is taking place just north of Ocate in Mora County.

  • I attended the New Mexico Highlands University Master Plan public meeting on Jan. 27 with several of my neighbors, including the Cordovas who have lived in their home next door to me for over 50 years. Highlands presented three Master Plans (A, B, C) at its previous public meeting in the spring of 2009. Plan B involved demolishing our homes for a parking lot.

  • We were amazed last year when the state announced that Sierra Vista Elementary School was No. 40 on the state list for demolition. Recently, officials announced that the school is now at No. 14.

    And Sierra Vista is only a little more than 20 years old.

    Whatever way you cut it, the taxpayers have been failed if a relatively new building needs to be leveled. Officials say a leaky roof has caused deterioration to the building.

  • Several people commented on the piece about the demolition of Mortimer Hall, the Highlands building at Eighth and National that was cleared to make room for a new student center. In that building, as mentioned in a previous column, was “The Door.” On it I kept humorous headlines from various newspapers.

    In one move around Mortimer Hall, it was easier to move the entire door to a new location than to apply an Exacto knife to remove the clippings. But let’s be clear: The door was of the standard institutional variety, and it held up pounds of profundity.