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Opinion

  • This letter is to thank the following individuals and/or businesses for their recent contributions to our senior citizens centers:

    Our Lady of Sorrows and Rev. C. John Brasher , Daylight Donuts, Charlie’s Bakery & Café, Howard’s Sand & Gravel, the City of Las Vegas, Jesse Abel, Nick Coca, the Salvation Army — and Carmen Gress, and Love Your Neighbor.

    Your continued support of our senior services programs is greatly appreciated.

    Theresa Lopez

    Program Director

    Ser de N.M. Senior Citizens Center

  • I have received many phone calls and many individuals have come to my home asking about the 2010 election for mayor.

    I would like to make it perfectly clear that contrary to rumors, neither myself nor any of those whom I associate with are endorsing or seeking the re-election of current Mayor Tony Marquez Jr.

    We will register new voters, go door to door, distribute flyers, put up signs, pass out cards, network, do phone banks and family block vote coordination for that candidate whom we feel will address issues we bring to the table. We are tired of being ignored.

  • Earlier this week, the Optic reported on a problem  facing Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico — a shortage of male “Bigs” in Las Vegas. Hopefully, some will step up to fill the void.

  • At the recent meeting in Mora concerning potential oil and gas development in Mora County, there was no question: The attending citizens spoke overwhelmingly against bringing this “dirty” industry into our pristine agricultural county. Of the 48 speakers, all but six strongly asked our commissioners to protect our water, our air, and our way of life against the industrialization that always accompanies oil and gas development. Many asked the commission to consider developing green industries rather than the polluting, outdated petroleum industry.

  • On behalf of the Las Vegas Children’s Dance Theater, a very humble mil gracias from the bottom of my heart to the following individuals and companies who underwrote our recent performance at Ilfeld Auditorium and thus made our trip to Jamaica a reality: Bank of Las Vegas, Community First Bank, Hayes Trucking, Semilla Natural Foods,  Southwest Traditions of Taos,  Sue Strebe Real Estate, Tome on the Range, Annette Garcia, Linda Halouska, Lawrence Johns CPA, Tekla Johnson, Lea and Dave Knutson, Carol and Peter Linder, Susan Livermore and Christopher Thomson, Diane Moore, and H

  • The Mora Fiestas are just around the corner and they are always celebrated on St. James and St. Ann’s Days. My grandfather was named James, as are a couple of my grandkids. It was the custom in Northern New Mexico for all the men to ride horseback on the 25th of July, which was St. James Day, and on the 26th, St. Ann’s Day, all the women would ride horseback.

  • Thumb DOWN for ... A REAL JOURNALIST GONE. Walter Cronkite, longtime CBS News anchorman and managing editor, died this week at age 92. His passing is nostalgic for those of us who remember when journalism was a highly regarded profession, one in which even superhero characters found refuge in the calling to report truth and expose injustice.

  • I found the Optic’s article on the Las Vegas school consolidations survey interesting. However, I thought I was somewhat biased, incomplete and misleading. My first impression was that most readers of the article would have a tendency to support the consolidation based on what was presented in the article. I arrived at the conclusion that various key factors were inadvertently omitted and it would be a travesty if people would support the consolidation without taking into account some of the concerns I’ve identified.

  • The public session to discuss gas drilling in Mora County turned out to be a walk down memory lane. I could hear echoes of statements made decades ago by representatives of the tobacco industry.

  • During Mora County’s public hearing on oil and gas drilling, everyone agreed on one thing: Mora County is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And, indeed, the view is incredible.

    Many of the speakers at the hearing said they didn’t want anything that would spoil the scenery, and in their minds, oil and gas drilling would do just that. They also contended that the drilling would cause water and air pollution.

    To help their arguments, some ranchers came in from San Juan County to talk about the negative impacts of natural gas drilling there.

  • Every year there are two big events that make me miss Las Vegas: the electric light parade in the winter and the Fourth of July Fiestas.

    They are celebrations unrivaled anywhere else in the country.

    This year I missed the fiestas a bit more because I noticed through Facebook that quite a few of my high school friends were going to be making a pilgrimage back to Vegas.

    I also missed a spectacle: a rainbow decorated float with George Michael music and people dancing.

  • LISBON, PORTUGAL — Bom Dia! That’s how each day began once I arrived in Europe — Portugal, to be exact. No snags, wonderful people, the ideal vacation and the realization of an almost-lifetime dream.Who could ask for more?

  • District Attorney Richard Flores has cleared Las Vegas police Officer Martin Salazar of any criminal wrongdoing in his handling of a suspect earlier this year. Earlier this summer, Flores sought a state police inquiry into jailers’ allegations that Salazar threatened a female arrestee with violence.

    We don’t know why the DA cleared Salazar or why prosecutors didn’t give credence to the jailers’ version of events. But Flores hasn’t shied away from prosecuting officials in the past. So it’s likely that he had good reasons for his decision.

  • First, my best friend got struck by lightning. The next day, my high-school buddy suffered a heart attack while boarding a bus. But the upside is that a man who works near me is now $7 million richer.

    Such would all be true if certain threats and promises really came true.

    But first some background:

    One of my teachers at Immaculate Conception School, Sister Ständige Angst, did a good job of convincing us of consequences. “If you fail to put others first, you will suffer,” she reminded us.

  • Often, I read stories in which someone reflects on his career or life and insists, “I have no regrets.”

    Really?

    Boy, some people must be perfect. Being an imperfect person, I have my share of regrets, especially after I read my stories in print.

    Recently, I wrote a column using the word “jihad” in referring to a battle at City Hall. A local police officer, Clarence Romero, wrote a letter to the editor, rightly chastising me for the use of that word, noting that it creates negative connotations about Muslims.

  • ‘The problem

    with cockroaches’

    During an economic downturn, citizens are willing to sacrifice as long as the burden is divided fairly.  Inequalities breed irritation and that itch, not scratched, festers and builds to a level of frustration that leaves the average man with only two options: He can curl into a fetal ball and surrender or use the ballot box and demand his voice be heard. You are the voter. You are the one person who makes politicians wake up in a cold sweat at night. You have a voice if you’ll stand up and speak.

  • Now that the saturation coverage over Michael Jackson’s death has subsided, leaving only the cable news channels to continue picking apart every titillating detail about his family and his dermatology, perhaps it’s a good time to take stock of the Fourth Estate.

  • DWI INTOLERANCE. Following the June tragedy in Santa Fe, when four teenagers were killed by the drunken driver, old wounds surfaced. Again, it was a tragedy that defies explanation, and will call many into another round of action to combat DWI.

  • I am flabbergasted by the farce that is labeled the “health care debate” currently playing out in Washington D.C. and in the media.

    Each one of us has entered a local store and seen a container near the check-out counter with a label asking for donations to help someone in need of medical treatment. Nowhere else in the industrialized “developed” world would such a request be seen. Why not? Because nowhere but in these United States is health care rationed either by one’s ability to pay or by a bunch of profit-hungry insurance bureaucrats!

  • Just a few weeks before my 70th birthday in April, a friend from High Rolls, N.M., sent me a booklet that tells all about my birth year, 1939. It’s an easy-to-read booklet whose facts I can hardly believe.

    Let me explain:

    All my life I’ve refused to believe that things could ever inflate as many as 10 times. For example, if I could buy a Coke for a nickel during my youth, I would never expect to pay 10 times that amount or 50 cents, even if I lived to be a hundred.