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Opinion

  • 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:

  • Are you disgusted at the antics of our dysfunctional city government? I’ll offer our city council and mayor a suggestion that’s guaranteed to improve matters:  

    Hire a den mother!

    Bob (Robert K.) Johnston

    Las Vegas

     

  • As a relative newcomer to Las Vegas, I was excited to be a part of the elections last year and all the enthusiasm the newly elected mayor brought to the process. Now I think otherwise.  

    Mayor Tony has shown that not only is he incapable of running a city the size of Las Vegas, but he has his own agenda and doesn’t care what citizens want.

  • DOWN thumb ... KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY.  We agree that LeeEtte Quintana is her own person, and we understand that her husband must be considered innocent until proven guilty, but does the City Schools Superintendent Rick Romero really think it’s wise that she replace her husband, Jay Quintana, as the girls’ team golf coach? Team members might be interviewed by investigators looking into allegations that he had sex with a student for years, and her presence may be an inhibiting factor.

  • OK, so our little town has been getting a lot of attention, most of it is negative. Most of it is coming from the eastern most part of town too. I think that with the negative attention the town is getting from the Robertson football boys and its academic leaders, the issue isn’t only triggering people to say bad things about Las Vegas City school, but West Las Vegas also. I recall going to the New Mexico State Fair parade in Albuquerque in September 2008. Robertson High school band was unfortunately not participating in the parade, but West Las Vegas High was.

  • Remember the days before caller ID, when we generally had no clue of who was on the other end unless we recognized the voice or the other person introduced him/her/self?

    I can remember a couple of thriller movies based on the idea of a frantic search for the location of the phone booth where a man with a bomb was about to blow up a chunk of the city. Typically, it involved detectives racing through the banks of a phone company building trying to narrow the search to a two-block area.

  • I am a family member and friend to the deceased Damian Lucero-Ortiz and Stephanie Dimas. I am writing this article on behalf of both Damian’s and Stephanie’s families to again remind the community of the horrific tragedy that occurred more than a year ago on Dec. 20, 2007, which has left both families in deep sorrow.

  • DOWN thumb ... INFORMATION AND POWER GAMES. Information, it has been said, is power. And it’s certainly a potent force in City Hall battles over the past year. Months ago, after Mayor Tony Marquez took over, councilors Morris Madrid and Cruz Roybal charged that they were being kept out of the loop on matters of importance, and now its Councilman Andy Feldman saying essentially the same thing; he says the mayor isn’t providing him with information related to George Du Four’s dismissal at utilities director.

  • In just a few months the graduating class of 2009 will join the ranks of a proud and accomplished group of people.

    For decades, Robertson High School graduates have gone on to productive careers in politics, science, media, education and the arts.

    As proud graduates of RHS, we share memories of our years in the halls and classrooms: joking with friends, cheering on each other’s accomplishments, and helping each other through difficult times.

  • Open letter to Mayor Marquez and the Las Vegas City Council:

    When you took office 10 months ago, I had the privilege of attending the “strategic planning sessions” you held with the department heads and council members.  Your “State of the City” address was impressive and promised new vision and positive action to move the city forward. Ten months later, what do we have that indicates forward progress?

  • It is with great consternation that I undertake this discussion. True to the column heading, I speak of the dulce  y amargo that has surfaced in the local school environment of late.

    I am very ill at ease with the current Robertson and the prior West Las Vegas incidents and their far-reaching effects — on the community, on individuals, especially children, on my beloved, chosen profession.

  • Dear 300 (the Pecos Independent Schools District’s bond question was defeated 300-263): We live in a democracy, and as a taxpaying American, I understand and respect the democratic process. That means that the 300 sheep who followed their shepherds and voted against the bond have now labeled Pecos, Ilfeld, Rowe, and San Juan as communities that don’t value education, communities that aren’t willing to invest in their most valuable resource — their children.