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Opinion

  • This letter is in regards to the Optic’s May 15 article, “Spending in Mora Questioned.” It is an absolute embarrassment and disgrace that Mora school employees tastelessly attempted to bribe legislators and board members. While some call the purchases gifts of appreciation, others call it a bribe when it’s purchased with public funds.  The crux of the embarrassment is that our state representatives accepted wrongfully purchased leather jackets, beef jerky and empanadas. It’s cheap.  

  • In Edward Albee’s play, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” George, the host at a late-night party, tells the guests about how faculty wives “gather at the downtown A&P like a bunch of geese.”

    The guest “corrects” George by saying the proper term is “a gangle of geese, not a bunch.” Well, the host, played by Richard Burton, points out that if the guest is “going to be cute and ornithological about it,” the correct term is “gaggle, not gangle.”

  • Earlier this week, state Republican Party chairman Harvey Yates called for the resignation of Rep. Richard Vigil, D-Ribera, the husband of Roberta Vigil. He said Vigil used his position as a state representative to “steer money to his wife, money that she ultimately misspent,” and betrayed the public trust in doing so.

  • Last week, a jury in Santa Fe delivered a guilty verdict for former West Las Vegas bilingual coordinator Roberta Vigil of fraud and conspiracy. The judge had previously thrown out the case against former West board member Ralph Garcia.

  • On behalf of the West Las Vegas Middle School, I would like to thank the community for making our second annual “Education Awareness Expo” held on March 23 such a success.  

  • During the last several months there have been many news stories that have cast a dark cloud over Las Vegas. We as a community have taken a beating and need to stand up a support our young community members by acknowledging and focusing on the many positive activities that go on around us. We need to put the bad stuff behind us and call attention to those who have made us proud and focus on what is good about our youth.

  • If a Martian landed in a Western county, he wouldn’t ask to see the head of the state police or the county manager. He’d demand to speak to the sheriff.

    In the West and throughout the United States, the sheriff is an enduring symbol of power. He runs law enforcement in his county, and he won’t let anyone mess with him, let alone bureaucrats.

    It may work that way in some places, but not in most of the counties in northern New Mexico.

  • We wish public officials would more frequently ask the question, “What if this makes the newspaper?”

    It’s likely that Mora school officials didn’t ask this question when they went on a spending spree for legislators. Through a public records request, this newspaper discovered that the district spent thousands of dollars for perks for state legislators and Mora school officials.

  • The San Miguel County DWI Program would like to thank Pink Carnation Florist owner Patrick Padilla for their help with getting the message out to local students who attended prom.  The Pink Carnation Florist placed stickers on flower boxes for prom to remind them to stay sober and safe on prom night.

    Leonor Encinias

    DWI Prevention Specialist

  • Check out the news, read the papers, talk to friends and acquaintances; we are going through hard times.

    But is that anything new?  I wonder if scanning “The Book of Job” could give us some insight on the issue.

  • CONTINUING FORWARD MOMENTUM. The Highlands University Board of Regents and the Faculty Association reached an agreement last week that effectively ends a months-long dispute between the administration and educators. The new contract includes salary increases retroactive to the beginning of this academic year and changes in the school’s grievance, evaluation, promotion and tenure policies.

    A lot of improvements have been taking place at Highlands since President Jim Fries took over, so it’s good to see this issue resolved and the momentum continuing.

  • When I was taking journalism classes at the University of New Mexico, one of the most embarrassing lessons I learned was from a crusty old professor who used to be an editor at a daily paper.

    He had been retired from that job for years, but he still embodied what I thought was the typical image of an old school editor. He was slightly rotund, he always wore a starched white shirt with a few ink stains on it, and occasionally a bow tie. His voice was deep and gravelly, like he had spent a couple decades chomping on a cigar.

  • Over the last few months, San Miguel County has undertaken a diligent effort to revise its ordinance regulating wind farms. To its credit, the county drafted the ordinance six years ago, long before anyone seriously considered wind farms around here.

    Last year, when Chicago-based Invenergy presented its idea to have wind turbines in the Bernal area, some residents there expressed concern about noise pollution and the effects on scenery and wildlife. So the county formed a task force.

  • A few weeks ago, driving in Albuquerque, we noticed a couple — one steering, both pushing — who’d run out of gas close to a service station.

    With my wife driving, I did the Good Samaritan regimen, hopped out of the passenger’s side to help them get their Chevette up the ramp to the gas pumps on Montgomery.

  • As we enjoy graduation season, it’s important to recognize the contributions of teachers and principals. Good ones make a big difference.

    The Optic’s last Hometown Heroes feature profiled West Las Vegas’ choir director, Arnell David Arellanes, and West High School principal Gene Parson. Arellanes deserves credit for turning around the choir program a few years ago, and he has received solid support from Parson.

  • These days, Gov. Bill Richardson isn’t doing sitdown interviews with reporters from New Mexico. Since a pay-to-play controversy forced him to decline his nomination as Commerce secretary, Richardson has held just one such interview — with a reporter from the Washington Post.

  • As an education employee of the state of New Mexico, I have been asked to give up 1.5 percent of my pay for the coming fiscal year. A $400 million shortfall, they tell us. OK. The school district comes to us today, and asks us to give up one day’s pay to help balance the budget here in our district, and keep everybody employed. A $400,000 shortfall, they tell us. OK. We all know state revenue is down. A lot. I guess we all have to do our part, and we know things are much worse in other parts of the country.

  • This past weekend, a few hundred Highlands University and Luna Community College students walked across the commencement stage and received their degrees. And while some will go on to pursue another degree, most of them are about as academically prepared as they’re going to be for the working world.

    Unfortunately, they will enter the workforce during a recession, so it won’t be easy. Just about every job opening out there will have numerous applicants, so standing out in a crowd will be a challenge.

  • This past weekend, a few hundred Highlands University and Luna Community College students walked across the commencement stage and received their degrees. And while some will go on to pursue another degree, most of them are about as academically prepared as they’re going to be for the working world.

    Unfortunately, they will enter the workforce during a recession, so it won’t be easy. Just about every job opening out there will have numerous applicants, so standing out in a crowd will be a challenge.

  • For about four years now, Optic readers have been exposed to aggressive and fearless news reporting, and incisive, no-holds-barred editorials. Optic readers were not accustomed to a forceful press, and this has caused a not-so-quiet dialogue on the question of whether the Optic is too negative.