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Opinion

  • We believe the primary responsible of any newspaper is to report the news to its readers. Beyond this, it is perhaps also to fairly conduct investigations in hopes of, as Anderson Cooper states, “Keeping them honest.” We respect the rights of the Optic to editorialize and express its opinions on any issue, however, we think it’s most unfair to not simultaneously provide space in you paper for an opinion opposing yours. Opposing views could be published on the same day in the interest of fairness to all involved.

  • I just returned from the largest-ever national conference of nonprofit Refuge Friends organizations.  Surrounded by more than 300 people who represented about 160 nonprofit Refuge Friends organizations that support national wildlife refuges, I came back home with a singular message: support for national wildlife refuges may be the most important thing we can do to ensure the conservation of wildlife for future generations. Our national wildlife refuge system is considered, “one of America’s best kept secrets.”

  • DOWN thumb ... OUT OF ORDER SIGNALIZATION. For more than a month, motorists have faced a four-way stop at the busy intersection of University and Grand. The reason? Someone ran into the control box for traffic lights, and the cost to repair it could be as high as $30,000. So the local Department of Transportation has converted the traffic lights to flashing lights and stop signs.

  • There’s a reason for the state Open Meetings Act — to require governing bodies to conduct public business openly. After all, the people have every right to see their government in action — we’re paying the bills.

    In recent months, however, the mayor and three Las Vegas City Council members have been privately communicating by e-mail. When a council quorum is discussing public business outside of an open meeting, that’s a violation of the Open Meetings Act.

  • The latest news about the case against Roberta Vigil, former bilingual program coordinator for the West Las Vegas School District, is that her husband, state Rep. Richard Vigil, took the Fifth when questioned by prosecutors working on the case. No great revelation there, since witnesses in a previous hearing testified that he was a party to the criminal activity she is accused of having committed.

  • My dad, who lived to be 94, might have been called a dandy in his younger days. We don’t use the term much nowadays, and for those too young to have heard it, it describes someone overly concerned with appearance.

    Today’s most proximate term might be “metrosexual,” although not all the connotations of the term apply to Dad. And in absolute fairness to him, I emphasize he worked hard to support his family of eight. But he still liked being dressed up.

  • Certainly I’m not the only one who gets frustrated with attorneys who insist on government secrecy at all costs.

    Last month, we ran a couple of stories on Isaac Apodaca, the deputy administrator at the state hospital.

    Employees at the state hospital were telling me that Apodaca was placed on administrative leave. But no one at the state Health Department, the agency that oversees the hospital, would confirm that was the case.

  • Recently, City Councilman Morris Madrid praised Jim Abreu, West Las Vegas’ superintendent, during a school board meeting. Madrid said he spoke to the board because he wanted to make sure there is continuity in the West district.

    That’s a valid concern. The recent school election resulted in a new member to the board, David G. Romero. Soon, the board will decide whether to renew Abreu’s contract. We hope it does.

  • On Tuesday, voters throughout much of northern New Mexico will go to the polls to decide on whether to increase property taxes to pay for capital improvements at Luna Community College. In some areas, there will be races for the college’s Board of Trustees.

  • I wish to comment on the recent property tax increase proposed by Luna Community College. Generally an investment in education and educational facilities are of unquestionable value in ensuring the future well-being of our young people and of our community.

  • It’s way past time for a female to join the Luna Board of Trustees. Now we have an opportunity to elect an intelligent, well-spoken, level-headed woman to the board.

    After attending the Optic’s forum and hearing from all the candidates, I have decided to vote for Marsha Archuleta. I encourage other Las Vegas residents to do the same. It’s time.

    S.A. Clancy

    Las Vegas

  • The Health Security Act is New Mexico’s answer to unaffordable health care in New Mexico. It offers health coverage for all New Mexicans and at less cost than that of the present terrible system. Some people doubt this is possible so the plan is phased in over three years. If the numbers do not work out during the design and implementation phase, the program can be stopped.

  • Someone asked me the other day why the Optic gave more coverage to this month’s ouster of Utilities Director George Du Four than it did the six department directors fired by the City Council last summer.

    It’s true; the mass dismissals didn’t get as much attention.

    Why is that the case? Were we fair?

  • Prospective investors often look at a number of factors when considering putting their money into an organization — stability in management, soundness of decisions, financial practices.

    Taxpayers are no different.

    On March 3, voters will decide whether they want to increase property taxes to pay for projects across Luna Community College’s service area. Based on Luna’s track record of recent years, we urge taxpayers to vote no.

  • When the Luna Community College Board of Trustees appointed Pete Campos as president last year, its members told the public that it wasn’t a problem that Campos was also a state senator. Even though Campos would be gone for weeks at a time while attending sessions in Santa Fe.

    Unconvinced, we had deep reservations.

    Since mid-January, Campos has been largely missing in action as the college campaigns for a tax increase. Voters will decide March 3 on whether to hike their property taxes — an annual increase of $52 for a home worth $100,000.

  • The family of Michael Esquibel would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the many friends and family members who came and called from near and far to pay their last respects to Michael and to comfort all of his relatives. 

  • SANTA FE — Actor Val Kilmer just keeps on coming. Last week he dropped in at the state Capitol for visits with Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Phil Griego, who represents the area where Kilmer lives.

    The governor is an admirer of Kilmer’s. Griego isn’t. Kilmer has been quoted in national publications making disparaging remarks about residents of San Miguel County and about Vietnam vets.

  • Mr. Robert E Gallegos (in his letter published Feb. 12) stated that New Mexico’s proposed domestic-partnership legislation would create an unfair tax advantage for domestic partners over married people, such as himself. Mr. Gallegos asserts that he and his wife in 2007 would have paid 49 percent less in state and federal taxes if they had been able to file as single taxpayers.  Later he states that he and his wife would have to pay “almost $4,000 more in taxes than two single people.”

  • Here we are on Presidents Day, recognizing all those men who have served our nation at the highest level. U.S. presidents, as we’ve seen time and time again, can lift us up to the moon  or plunge us into despair. No other position wields such power, and our history is replete with lasting changes these men have brought about.

    George Washington, our first president, wouldn’t serve more than two terms. His refusal to reign like a king helped shape our destiny as a republic.

  • You hear it once in a while in a comment, under one’s breath, in frustration or at an Obama event the other day: “Send the check to my mailbox!” It is not an option that is seriously being discussed — yet. But why not? When former treasury secretary Hank Paulson came running to Congress last fall with his three-page bank bailout plan in hand, Congressman Kucinich, for a brief moment, shone a bright spotlight on the obvious lunacy: