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Opinion

  • thumb DOWN for ... A BAILOUT? Some interesting twists to the operation of our local senior centers recently surfaced, as the group that took over the centers’ program operations last year is now asking for city assistance with a budgetary shortfall. Last September, Albuquerque-based Ser de New Mexico took control of the three centers in San Miguel County — in Las Vegas, Pecos and San Miguel — but now its director, Theresa Lopez, is saying they ran a deficit of $62,000 in May and need the city to ante up.

  • In a county such as Mora County, where agriculture is the way of life, ranching and farming, bartering and working long, hard hours on land passed down for multiple generations, there is little to compare with such a culture of activity.  Not unlike attempting to mix oil and water, “dirty” industry and agriculture do not mix. One will be dominant — the one that uses the most resources will over-ride the other. That will be the oil and gas industry.

  • I happened across your town a couple of weeks ago while on my way to a dive meet in Albuquerque. My car overheated just outside your town and I limped it into Las Vegas to Mike’s Precision Automotive. The mechanics checked out my car and found it could not be repaired on the spot. I inadvertently caused damage to my car by driving while it was overheated.

    I was in a bind, needing to get my daughters to Albuquerque. The rental car agency was closed, and I had no way to get to Santa Fe. Out of the blue, understanding my plight,

  • The City Council’s approval last week of new rules for movie projects was an example of city government at its finest. All of the contributors to the final product deserve credit: the mayor and council; the advisory Film Commission; Community Development Director Elmer Martinez and his staff; City Manager Timothy Dodge; and the public at large, which provided valuable input.

  • During public meetings, our elected officials should handle themselves with a certain level of decorum. Last week, Las Vegas City Schools board Chairman Phillip Vigil fell short of that standard.

  • In the last edition of Luna Community College’s newsletter, the college’s controller, Terri Mares, was asked about what she liked most and least about working at the school.

    She said she liked the people, her job and the college’s mission.

    As for what she liked least, she responded, “The politics and personal agendas that get in the way of us fulfilling the mission of the college; they may prevent us from becoming one of the greatest places to receive an education in the state, and perhaps, the nation.”

  • The Las Vegas Police Department’s chief has, appropriately, given the strongest argument possible for the establishment of a Civilian Review Board for the department. Indeed, the letter published in the same issue of the Optic arguing for such a board was not half as persuasive as to the need for such a civilian driven oversight mechanism. Not half as persuasive, I tell you. Listen to the highest-ranked law enforcement officer, Chief Gold: “Police officers work long hours and they are rarely appreciated.

  • With the election of Barack Obama as president, the United States has taken a big step toward becoming what some call a post-racial society. Of course we’re a long way from there yet, but we're closer.

  • It’s almost an unwritten rule that among the first words one acquires in learning a new language are the inevitable “bad words.” Of course, that doesn’t occur so much in the organized, academic setting. Nevertheless, the dictionary is always available for one to sneak a peek at the “forbidden” words.

    Way back in primal times, as we labored through the conjugations and declensions of beginning Latin, my classmates and I at Cathedral High School found a way to pervert the regimented learning for our less-than-civilized purposes.

  • Fifty years ago in May, the Robertson High School Class of 1959 was instructed to report to Douglas Elementary School for last minute preparations (cap and gown) before graduation. Once everyone was ready and lined up, we quietly marched across the street to Ilfeld Auditorium, where school administrators, family and friends were waiting. There were no cell phones or digital cameras to be found!

  • Thumbs up

    GRAND AVENUE IMPROVEMENTS, ANYWAY. We’re noticing two things regarding Grand Avenue that we like. One is that the New Mexico Department of Transportation is talking about other ways to spruce up this main thoroughfare through town, besides the two-lane proposal that’s been shot down. Paul Gray, the DOT’s district engineer, said trees can be planted, patterned concrete will be poured and better crosswalks will be painted into place.

  • Last month, downtown merchants presented a petition calling for the city to enact a moratorium on all new film projects while the city makes changes to its ordinance dealing with such activities.

    The business people contended that movie productions pay little heed to them when they’re filming. They say they don’t receive adequate compensation for their losses and that the companies don’t communicate well to residents about their schedules.

  • The weekend was a great opportunity to live like an estimated 2.7 million people who went without.

    Less than 1 percent of the U.S. population watched blank TV screens, or nothing at all when the media industry converted from analog to digital. The rationale is simple: If you don’t already have cable or satellite and if you failed to acquire a converter box, your TV set went blank.

  • I am a little hurt after reading David Giuliani’s “Why denigrate Mexicans?” in the Optic on June 8. I can’t believe some people in Las Vegas would feel this way. It seems that whenever someone is losing an argument, they turn to slandering the race, looks or color.

  • Thanks to West Las Vegas’ architect, the community has scored a win over taggers. A crew recently completed a wall during the renovation of Don Cecilio Martinez Elementary School, but the architect, Antonio Ortega, figured the wall was an open invitation to vandals. So he ordered a special anti-graffiti spray, and the crew applied it.

    As sure as a politician finds a camera, taggers struck the Don Cecilio wall. But it didn’t take much to clean up the mess.

  • The City Council has decided to consider changes to its water conservation ordinance, which was drafted in 2001. Top state officials have touted this ordinance as a model for the rest of the state. And they should.

    But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need further improvement.

  • Since the Optic converted to mail delivery more than three months ago, the local post office has done a good job. Our local customers are getting their papers on the same day as our edition, just as the post office promised it would do.

    In fact, my boss was visiting his folks in Arkansas last week and his parents got their Wednesday Optic  on Friday, which, considering the distance, is quick.

    The credit for this would have to go to our local post office employees and their boss, Postmaster Alberta Ellis.

  • School’s out and there’s evidence of kids enjoying the outdoors. I hope the trend lasts and youngsters continue to soak up some rays instead of overdosing on video games.

    At the moment a dozen kids are enjoying a game of baseball in the field just north of our house. I don’t know all of them, only my three grandchildren and their neighbor Soley. It’s a loosely organized game of baseball in which every time the bat makes contact, it’s a homerun.

  • I am writing this letter in response to unsubstantiated rumors and concerns about law enforcement officers within our community, primarily with the Las Vegas City Police Department. As I read the Las Vegas Optic, I see articles to include letters to the editor. These articles are alleging that officers are violent, abusive, and not being held responsible. I have recently been hearing rumors about police officers abusing their powers and violating citizen’s constitutional rights.

  • Thumb DOWN for ... WITHOUT A HOMELESS SHELTER. Members of the Samaritan House have asked the city for help with getting a permanent place for a homeless shelter. The group once had one, but it didn’t meet regulations, members said.

    Last year, First Presbyterian Church and Faith Hall donated space temporarily for a cold-weather shelter. From Nov. 23 to April 1, that shelter served 47 people, who used the facility for a total of 835 days. So there’s clearly a need in this community for a shelter.