• About this issue, we don’t want to mince any words: Sierra Vista Elementary School should not be demolished. That would be a waste of taxpayer dollars.

  • The Cleveland Millfest this past Labor Day weekend was highly successful and possibly the best attended ever. We would like to thank the many people in the community who helped make this possible, including the Mora County Sheriff’s department, the participants, and not least, the folks who sponsored this event.

  • During every regular meeting, the Las Vegas City Council allows residents to speak up about public issues. Each person gets up to five minutes.

    Some speakers are regulars, including North Gonzales Street resident Lalo Sanchez. In the spring of 2008, he started coming before the council regularly to air his frustrations with how sewer rates are calculated. He also has spoken frequently about the need for speed bumps on Gonzales and loud stereos in cars. And he has criticized the Police Department for its lack of enforcement of the laws.

  • I attended a neighborhood meeting recently. At that meeting, those in attendance expressed thoughts, ideas and concerns. City Manager Tim Dodge spoke to us about his appreciation for how passionate we are and how much we love our city. He spoke of a master plan for the city, which, in a nutshell, consists of listening to needs and providing the community with sufficient services.

  • The proposed health care “charge” of up to $3,800 to be imposed on individuals who refuse to obtain health insurance is indeed a tax. It is clearly (and correctly) labeled an “Excise Tax” in the Senate’s version of the healthcare plan under consideration.  Further, dictionaries and basic economic textbooks all define a tax as a compulsory contribution or charge imposed or levied by authority upon persons or property for public purposes or good.

  • thumb UP for ... A DELAYED BUT GOOD REACTION. The charges against San Miguel County sheriff’s Deputy Inez Bolivar are serious. She is accused of breaking into a house and beating up a man while wearing her uniform and carrying her gun.

    At first Sheriff Benjie Vigil put her on paid administrative leave, then allowed her to keep her squad car at her house. But a few days passed and stronger disciplinary action was taken —Bolivar was dismissed from the force. In our judgment, that was a wise move.

  • This letter is in reference to a benefit Poker Run scheduled for Saturday. There has been a misunderstanding. All funeral expenses have  been met for Danny Garcia by the insurance. I greatly apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and would like to thank everyone for their prayers for me and my family.

    Debra Archuleta

    Las Vegas

    Editor’s note: Archuleta is Danny    Garcia’s mother.


  • At last week’s Homecoming parade for West Las Vegas High School I saw a bunch of football players from East School District in their jerseys wait for the end of the parade with large plastic bags in hand and fall in at the end of the parade.

  • We would like to share our experience meeting Mr. Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa. It was  July 4, 2008, on Collins Drive during the fireworks display. Pepe and I with daughter Katelynn always park on Collins to view the fireworks every 4th of July, but on this night it was different. Pepe asked the gentleman in a big white dual truck if we can park next to him and Patrick Swayze responded back by saying “I don't see why not.” We backed up our minivan, unloaded our chairs and Pepe said to me quietly, “Guess who that is?

  • Once upon a time, Las Vegas wore the infamous nickname Smack City, USA for the heroin trafficking in our city. Now we run the risk of being known as the small-town murder capitol of the nation.

    Since May 2007, there have been 11 homicides in and around Las Vegas. David Seiler, John Paul Gonzales, Manuel Ramirez, Stephanie Dimas and Damian Ortiz, José Apodaca, Jasmine Garcia, Timoteo Jaramillo, Terry Greer, and, this month, Ernest Gutierrez and Kevin Duran — all died at the hands of another person.

  • A couple of nights last week might have been the coldest of the season. Whether it froze or snowed depends on whom you talk to. Regardless, many people needed to crank up their thermostats.

  • Luna Community College President Pete Campos has been dealt two major defeats as Luna Community College’s president since he took the helm last summer.

    And both have been in the realm of politics — which is considered his area of expertise.

    In March, a whopping 83 percent of voters rejected Campos’ bid to increase their property taxes to pay for improvements at Luna’s facilities throughout northeastern New Mexico.

  • On Aug. 15, Mora had its first car show and hot-rod run.

  • In recent times, West and East school board meetings have become much more lively. Undoubtedly, that makes for more interesting news stories.

    More important, the more engaged discussions reflect democracy in action. And this is the way it ought to be.

    We don’t want debates to get personal, and for the most part, they haven’t. But to make better decisions, it’s important to figure out all the pros and cons beforehand.

  • Deborah Barrera says she was attacked by a Seventh Street resident’s dog while walking her own dogs a few weeks ago. The city, however, is suggesting that her own dog bit her in the incident.

    Regardless of which side of this controversy you believe, one thing’s for sure — loose dogs are commonplace in Las Vegas. Sometimes it’s only an annoyance, with dogs doing their business in someone else’s yard, but there are other times in which it’s an actual threat to safety.

  • thumb DOWN for ... A SECRET TRUTH? Roberta Vigil, the former head of West Las Vegas’ bilingual trial, got her day in court when the state charged her with fraudulently spending public money. She was represented by one of New Mexico’s best attorneys, Sam Bregman. After a week-long trial earlier this year, the jury found her guilty. That’s the way the system works.

  • Insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and other medical interest groups such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield, New York Life Insurance, Schering-Plough, and Amegen stand to make billions of dollars if health care reform legislation is stopped or public option is omitted from the legislation. Some of these corporations have contributed millions of dollars to several key politicians in key committees in return for political favors. To name a few key politicians that have received sizable political donations: Sen.

  • Three letters — t -a -g-, and a myriad of meanings. Language is so fascinating; if one allows him/herself to think about it — randomly or rationally, the result is often overwhelming.

    For some reason, the word “tag” crossed my mind as I drove in to town to do my daily chores — to check the mail, pick up a thing or two at the grocery store, check in at the Optic for the latest developments. Before I realized, tag became an obsession and, like a brain worm, kept coming back to haunt me.

  • Panhandling used to be the exception; now it’s epidemic. Sure, we all get used to seeing the occasional person holding up a building, or at a traffic light, holding up a cardboard sign containing a plea and a blessing. But it seems to have become big business.

  • On behalf of the Las Vegas Children’s Dance Theater, a mil gracias to the following individuals who donated artworks, services and other items of value for our successful silent auction at our recent performance at Ilfeld Auditorium: Sandi Ault, Rebecca Bourbon, Tito Chávez, Louise Cordova, Steve Ediger, Ray Finck (Ray’s Woodworks), Percyne Gardner, Cristina Gonzales, Andrea Gottschalk (Unikat Fine Jewelry), Susan Hayes, Vince and Vicki Howell, Susan Livermore, Caetano Mendoza, Mary Miller, Julianne Salman, Karen Spitzer, Sharon Seto, Christopher Thomson, Susan West and M