• 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

  • The city’s billing department has lacked good internal controls — something on which everyone involved seems to agree.

    According to a recent audit, nearly 90 percent of transactions in the billing office come without all of the required documentation. Out of 100 receipts, the auditors couldn’t match 57 of them to corresponding deposit slips. Twenty-three of the receipts involved cash, but auditors stated that they couldn’t verify if any of them were ever deposited.

  • Molly Salman is following in the footsteps of three  previous students to serve on the Las Vegas City School Board. April Esquibel, Audra Martinez and Brandyn Jordan have each served the district and its students well in their respective years on the board.

    Salman is a top-notch student and a great choice for the job — and she’s already bringing ideas to the table. She, like the other student board members, will bring a fresh perspective to the meetings.

  • District Attorney Donald Gallegos recently announced his decision to dismiss charges against Robertson administrators, namely, the superintendent and athletic director, and former coaches.  As much as I respect Mr. Gallegos, I disagree with his analysis and conclusion concerning these cases.

  • The U.S. Census reported last week that one in four New Mexicans lacks health insurance — the second highest rate in the nation. Only Texas has a higher rate of uninsured.

    Disconcerting news, yes, but not devastating  because, well, health insurance just isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

    Here are a couple of loaded questions: What’s the biggest reason for personal bankruptcies in the United States? Yes, it’s medical bills. And what do three-fourths of those who file for bankruptcy have? Believe it or not, it’s health insurance.

  • Bill Richardson has been New Mexico’s governor since 2003, and he has done some good things since taking the helm.

    His all-out effort against drunken driving has seen some success. And unlike his predecessors, Richardson has made economic development a priority, and that includes the film industry, which has benefitted Las Vegas.

  • An open letter to Congressman Joe Wilson (and those who support his outburst):

    Presidents and their administrations come and go. This country was founded on principles and institutions — and not on individuals. The fastest way to erode the very foundations of this country is to legitimize the disrespect and contempt of these very foundations.

  • I would like to add to Glenn Yocum’s letter to the Optic published Sept. 11. Glenn’s letter indicated that he had received superior service from Medicare personnel than he did from any private insurer he contacted.  

    While I would echo his comments from my own experience, I would add something Glenn may not know. Medicare provides superior service at a much lower cost. The Medicare program spends 97 cents of every tax dollar they receive paying benefits and only 3 cents on administration.

  • The friends of Carnegie Library would like to extend an enormous thank you to the citizens and businesses of the city of Las Vegas for their overwhelming support of our annual raffle fundraiser. This year, we have five art pieces, donated by local artists that will each make a beautiful addition to the homes of our winners.

  • The claims by the Las Vegas mayor and city attorney that they did not have to turn over e-mails between the mayor and city councilors because they were communicated over a private account or a private nongovernment server is like saying that it’s not public record if the mayor and city councilors had a conference call over the mayor’s home phone or held a meeting at the mayor’s house.

      Nothing like “common sense” can effect the thinking of the political mind when scrambling for an excuse.

  • thumb DOWN for ... WAY TOO MANY. It’s hard to keep up with the violence. The latest is the death of 59-year-old Ernest Gutierrez, who police say was killed by the hands of his son-in-law, Mica Murray. He was allegedly choked to death.

    By our count, that makes three homicides this year alone. According to FBI statistics, the national homicide rate is one per 20,000 people; here in San Miguel County, the rate this year alone is one in 10,000. And there have been at least 10 homicides in Las Vegas since May 2007.

  • This could be titled, “What happens when the Attorney General explains the law to our interim city attorney.”

    I am embarrassed, as a citizen of the city of Las Vegas to have a mayor that condones this behavior.  When the city attorney states there are no emails on the city server, but when the information comes to the light of day, guess who is copied — the city attorney. And this is the man who wants to teach ethics to our governing body?

  • I have health insurance and get health care from Medicare. I am one of the 85 percent of the American population that has health insurance and am extremely unsatisfied with having the insurance company attempting to decide what is best medically for me. My wife’s insurance cost about $55 a month; mine cost nearly $1,000 per month. I cannot receive any health insurance under another carrier because of my existing medical disabilities. We need health-care reform that does, at minimum, the following:

  • Forty-five years ago this month, a bipartisan group of lawmakers agreed to legislation that would have a lasting impact on our nation’s public lands — not by changing them, but by making sure some portion of these magnificent wild places would stay as they were for all time and for all generations to use and enjoy. The Wilderness Act, signed into law Sept. 3, 1964, was acknowledgement that our public lands are part of what shape us as a people and that there is value in protecting some of them in their pristine state as a natural legacy.

  • “I  demand an immediate apology!” “Awwright, I apologize.” “Well that’s more like it.”

    Have there ever been any more meaningless words than those surrounding a call for an immediate apology? Not likely.