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Opinion

  • Recently, the recreation center gave its customers questionnaires to gauge how well it is serving them. We applaud this effort.

    The center’s new director, Robin Abreu Martin, has been working hard to improve the services. She recently reported to the City Council about how she and her staff are addressing recommendations from a citizens advisory committee. Among other things, the center is getting a machine to scan members’ IDs and developing an hourly cleaning log.

  • Your readers may recall that in early March a letter accompanied by a petition signed by 180 people from the Las Vegas area was sent to Mr. Wayne Smith, chairman and CEO of Community Health Systems, the owners of Alta Vista Regional Hospital. The petitions asked that the corporation recognize the hospital workers’ legally chosen union and begin good-faith negotiations. It was pointed out that no responses had been received to the many personal letters sent to Mr.

  • A couple of weeks ago, I attended a more than two hour meeting on a proposed pedestrian-bicyclist path along Cinder Road. Backers touted it as a desirable extension of the riverwalk here in town.

    However, opponents claimed that the riverwalk is poorly maintained and that Cinder Road residents should expect the same thing.

    Up to that point, I had never walked or run on the entire length of the riverwalk. I have chosen other places for exercise over the years, including the tracks at Robertson High School and Highlands University.

  • On April 2, Steve Medina, the city’s wastewater utility supervisor, pleaded guilty to a petty misdemeanor charge of embezzlement. He admitted to having a city employee work on Medina’s personal vehicle on city time.

  • GOOD LAWMAKING. Anyone familiar with the legislative process knows that it’s much easier to kill a bill than it is to get one passed, so it should be no surprise when a session ends without much to show for itself, especially if you’re looking for progressive legislation. But the New Mexico session that ended a couple of weeks ago was exceptional in a number of ways — and with Gov. Bill Richardson’s signature, several good new laws are now on the books.

  • The 15th annual Fiesta de la Hispanidad took place on Friday, March 7, in Ilfeld Auditorium and was, as in years past, a huge success thanks to the participation of our community members, both those on stage and in the audience.

  • What is the argument with a union at Alta Vista? The workers voted for it. The doctors support it.

    I called the corporate headquarters of CHS — the company that owns Alta Vista — to ask the question. The receptionist told me she would have a man named Mr. Putoff return my call. But after I couldn’t stop giggling, she changed her mind and said that a “Mr. Hussy” would return my call. (I still could not stop giggling.)

  • On behalf of the Tri-County Farmers’ Market, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made Saturday’s Agricultural Co-op Exploration meeting a success. A thank you goes out to everyone who helped advertise and coordinate this important event. 

  • Every year on Good Friday people from far and near walk to El Santuario de Chimayo. They are called Pelegrinos (Pilgrims). Alice Bullock in a book called “Living Legends” published by the Spanish colonial altos society, gives her version of the story of “El Santuario de Chimayo.” Chimayo is a small village located in northern New Mexico, northeast of Santa Fe.

  • On Saturday, Martin Suazo was re-elected as the chairman of the San Miguel County Democratic Party. That victory doesn’t change the fact that it’s time for the party to clean up its act.

    By our reading of state statutes, a number of delegates violated the law by participating as delegates. This is likely a problem elsewhere, but our local party should lead the way by insisting on the highest standards.

  • Few things took precedence last week over the details of the visit by President Obama and the First Lady to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.

    The economy, bailouts, the war in Afghanistan, the G20 Summit: All of these paled as talk-show hosts and columnists spent days purely pondering protocol.

  • In recent months, the state engineer’s office has entered agreements with nearly all area acequias to install measuring stations to gauge the amount of water each community-operated ditch is using. This is a giant step for both the state and the acequias in the distribution of water from the Gallinas River.

    After all, it’s hard to equitably share the water if no one knows how much folks are using.

  • The members of the Manuel Sandoval family wish to thank all those who provided support and assistance following the recent death of our loved one.

    We thank Dr. G. Michael Lopez, Father C. John Brasher, Lorenzo Martinez, Soylo Martinez, Diane Martinez, Diego Trujillo, Michelle Manzanares, Michelle Velasquez, Alicia Padilla, Marilyn Romero, Bill Lindsey, the VFW Honor Guard, and the Alta Vista Hospital nursing staff.

    James Sandoval

    Las Vegas

  • I read the story on the Optic dated March 20 about the Acequia Madre, which I found very interesting.

    The story brought me back to my childhood when I went to school at the Sister of Loretto School on the corner of South Gonzales ad Moreno Street. I was 5 or 6 years old at the time. We used to play in the ditch with great pleasure.

  • A few days ago, one of our honorable state senators, Phil Griego, D-San Jose, was on the radio and he warned people about those in the merchant class in the Plaza area.

    He said they were newcomers and that they wanted to change Las Vegas into a Santa Fe or a Taos. (And he said the Optic was 90 percent wrong in its stories, but that’s a subject for another day.) Actually, newcomers make up a lot of the business owners in the Plaza area, but there are many natives who own shops there as well.

  • We would like to publicly thank Wid Slick of the Plaza Hotel for the outstanding job he has done with the new Ilfeld Building renovation. Not only is it a wonderful addition to Las Vegas and represents a huge infusion of time, effort and money into the community, it reflects the many unsung instances of generosity on Wid’s part to Las Vegas.

    Wid Slick has devoted endless hours to the promotion of our town and many kindnesses to locals are his trademarks.

  • Over the years, the San Miguel County government has shown that it is forward-looking with its projects. For instance, a planned crusher operation is expected to cut the costs of maintaining roads. And a proposed transfer station with a railroad spur is expected to make the county’s solid waste operations more efficient.

    In the last few years, the county has completed a new courthouse and a public health office. This is real progress.

    Now, the county is planning a pedestrian-bicyclist path along Cinder Road. We wholeheartedly endorse this project.

  • I read the Optic headlines wanting the new dorm at New Mexico Highlands University named after Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas. I applaud the regents for not wanting to name the dorm for a living person. There is one building or wing already.

    If you are going to name a building, name it for person who has passed on. Preferably an educator who was from the community and is remembered by many.

    My nomination would be Silas Lopez, NMHU alumnus, teacher, principal, superintendent. He served the community of Las Vegas for many years.

    Benito Duran

  • Government should aim for fully open bidding processes. And the public should have a reasonable idea what it’s bidding on.

    The city of Las Vegas fell short of these standards with a grazing lease on its reservoir property in the Gallinas area last year.

  • Twenty-some-odd years ago, I received a check from General Motors that was large enough to pay off my heavily mortgaged Corrales home, buy my first Montezuma residence, purchase (ironically) a lovely new Mercedes Benz and retire a major divorce settlement debt due an ex-wife.

    The money was part of a consulting fee to me and several partners who had been providing top-level strategic and tactical operating advice to the GM CEO and his well-suited team of white, male, Ann Arbor and Lansing engineers and accountants.