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Opinion

  • When the two local school districts cooperate on big issues, they deserve the public’s gratitude. Recently, West Las Vegas, which runs the area’s Head Start program, entered an agreement with the Las Vegas City Schools to provide early childhood program services on the east side of town.

    The most important reason for this agreement is that it benefits children. Need we say more?

  • I was delighted to see that Las Vegas (was) considering a moratorium on filmmaking. As a veteran location manager of many Las Vegas projects (including Wyatt Earp, East Meets West, John Carpenter’s Vampires and North Country), I have watched the film climate in Las Vegas steadily erode over the years. Most recently, the ambivalence (and dare I say greed) I experienced from some segments of the business community during the filming of No Country For Old Men left a bitter taste in my mouth.

  • The VFW in Mora has a new commander. His name is Sam Muniz. We must never forget the former commander Joe Gene Pacheco. It was through his efforts that land for the VFW was acquired and a building is in place. He did an excellent job and I’m very proud of his accomplishments.

  • Last month, when President Obama signed into law the furthest-reaching land protection in 15 years, he did it in the name of Theodore Roosevelt. In 1908, President Roosevelt established 150 national forests as America’s legacy for future generations.

    Here in New Mexico, Roosevelt’s vision created the Carson, Cibola, Lincoln, Santa Fe and Gila national forests. A century later, those forests and others like them still stand, because Americans enthusiastically embraced our heritage lands and pushed back when special interests threatened them.

  • A firm auditing a governmental entity’s finances should be unquestionably independent. That’s in the interests of public credibility.

    Recently, the West Las Vegas school board debated whether it should choose J.J. Griego Professional Services as the district’s auditor for the next three years, as it has been for the previous three.

  • As usual, we’re seeing that local argument between those who say film productions have greatly benefitted the community’s economy and those who say they haven’t.

    Both sides have their good points, but I sure would like to bat down one criticism of movie projects in the Meadow City.

  • The Las Vegas Police Department recently arrested one of its former officers for distributing prescription drugs.

    The department, which heads the Region 4 Narcotics Task Force, investigated Robert Ortega, who was on the force until last month. for trafficking drugs. And he ended up facing three counts of drug distribution, while his wife, Judith Ortega, is charged with two counts.

    Both are presumed innocent until proven otherwise. However, the arrest of the former officer shows that the department isn’t exempting its own.

  • Copenhagen, DENMARK — Two weeks in Scandinavia, for a vacation and the baptism of grand-daughter Ellen Vestergaard Trujillo, mark our third trip here. We took a side trip to Stockholm, Sweden, the farthest east we’ve ever been, and though we have a better feel of the turf both in Stockholm and Copenhagen, we have much to learn.

    Let me explain:

  • Question: Who said this?

    “Ratification of the Convention (against Torture) by the United States will clearly express United States’ opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.

  • When a police officer does a bad thing, it shocks the public and rightfully so.

    Certain rights are guaranteed to our citizens through amendments to the Constitution and those rights should never be infringed upon by law enforcement officers acting under color of law.

  • I am absolutely disgusted by the actions, not only of the police officer involved in the recent story that ran in the paper about a woman being allegedly abused, but by the actions of police Chief Gary Gold and District Attorney Richard Flores. This officer, at the very least, should have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of the allegations, but instead the chief states that he is still on duty because it was a personnel matter?...

  • I used to live around Bernal, right at the foot of Starvation Peak. Cleofes Ortiz was my landlord, friend and neighbor. I lived there for several years in the ‘70s, had owned property in the area and was currently hoping to find a nice parcel to build a passive solar adobe. My wife and I looked at a few properties in the Blanchard area and would have bought a charming eight-acre site we like until we learned of the proposed wind farm in Rowe Mesa.

  • thumb UP for ... AN EXTENSIVE RESUME. Roberto Rios starts Monday as the new executive director for the Las Vegas-San Miguel Economic Development Corp. His resume in economic development and business goes back more than three decades, having held high-level positions in promoting development in both New Mexico and Arizona. He has quite an impressive resume, and we’re glad that he’s chosen Las Vegas as his next challenge.

  • COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — What exactly is an expiration date? Much after the fact, I pondered that question following a hassling by a usually-friendly staff of customs-passport inspectors at the airport in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    This is our third trip here. Our passports, acquired in June 1999, show proof of our visits to this area twice before, in 2006, 2008 and this year. The policy is for each visitor landing at Kastrup International to furnish proof of residency.

  • When we elected Obama we voted for change. Before he could take office, our economy collapsed, caused by the greed of bankers and corporations, their influence on policies, their tax havens abroad and their unashamed drive to enrich themselves at the expense of the well-being of the majority of us. Our voices had been silenced by the power of their wealth.

  • Last week in this space, we encouraged authorities to seek an independent investigation into allegations against Las Vegas police Officer Martin Salazar.

    Unbeknownst to us, District Attorney Richard Flores had already decided to do just that. We commend him for taking this step.

    Earlier this year, three jailers at the San Miguel County Detention Center reported that Salazar had threatened to hurt a woman he had taken into custody, 52-year-old Bernadette Varela. Other jailers filed reports indicating that Varela alleged she had been injured by Salazar.

  • So where is all the crime occurring in our community? I recently obtained a copy of a Police Department report that shows the number of reports for each of the city’s four wards.

    For 2008, Ward 3 topped all the others in the combined number of crime reports. Ward 3 consists of the city’s southeast quadrant, including the New Town historic district, the Railroad district, and Sixth, Seventh and Eighth streets. This ward had 981 reports last year, followed by Ward 4, the southwest quadrant, at 828.

  • On behalf of the Mora Chamber of Commerce, I would like to thank the many volunteers who assisted on April 25 for the Mora County Clean-up Day.

    The success would not have been possible had it not been for the hard work of those involved. Thank you to the 120-plus individuals who cleaned up the roadways, ditches, yards and arroyos. Special thanks to Russell’s, New Mexico Department of Transportation, Community First Bank, Bank of Mora, Mora County, Daniels Ranch, Herzog Environmental, Allsups and the Buena Vista Volunteer Fire Department.

    Orta Vez, Mil Gracias!

  • In response to “Proposed wind rules called ‘one sided’”: It is important to note the amendments to the San Miguel Ordinance is designed to protect all citizens of San Miguel County per the San Miguel Comprehensive Plan that states “rural lifestyle, small farms and large ranches, traditional historic villages, cultural heritage and extraordinarily scenic setting of San Miguel County should be celebrated, honored and preserved.”

  • We have a 17-year-old boy who ran away recently. He was picked up by your police department in Las Vegas, N.M. He wanted to come home, and the police department helped get him back to us safely. We are very grateful to all who helped in this and wish to thank someone. That was a very hard time waiting, but the way (you handled it) and the contact we had with Las Vegas PD was so helpful. Thank your city for this.

    Pat Harris

    West Monroe, La.