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Opinion

  • 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.

  • Seth Grant was a person, not a patient.  I’m not sure what allowed your paper to identify him as a “patient” residing in a boarding home. There are privacy laws which prohibit  disclosure of a person’s medical history without due process.  I believe your labeling of Seth as a patient was in violation of these laws, or do you lose those protections if you’re dead? I guess that’s a question for the lawyer.

  • We were certainly no fan of his during the last election, but we might just change our mind about Jerome Block if he keeps up the good work he has started. The newly elected Public Regulation Commission member has stepped forward to address a matter that no one else wanted to claim responsibility for.

  • Once again the “Domestic Partnership” legislation will soon be voted on by our New Mexico Legislators, and once again, I am writing to oppose this legislation. Last year, I wrote twice to the Albuquerque Journal opposing the legislation and my letters were never printed by the newspaper. Since three states have legalized such arrangements, it is probably inevitable that New Mexico will follow suit.

  • It is time that the citizens of Northern New Mexico and especially Las Vegans get behind Highlands University and its drive to acquire the College of Santa Fe. Opportunities like this may never be available to Highlands again. The acquisition will enable HU to become the leader in education for Northern New Mexico without question.

    HU and Western New Mexico University in Silver City were both founded in 1893 as a prerequisite to statehood. I am sure our forefathers had bigger dreams for Highlands (formerly Normal University).

  • Big news. A major barrier in the path to ethics legislation appears to be softening. Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez of Belen says he thinks recent events will contribute to a greater likelihood of passage.

    The Senate has been the graveyard for most ethics legislation in the past. Sanchez himself is not the roadblock. He says he’s speaking for a majority of his members.

  • First let us stipulate that we believe in the premise that allegations alone don’t automatically translate to guilt. In criminal court, the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty, and in civil claims, a preponderance of the evidence must be established before someone is held liable for an illegal or damaging action.

  • We, the family of J. Richard “Ricky” DeHerrera, would like to express our sincere thanks to all the people for their prayers, cards, food, phone calls, visits, and overall love. We appreciate all you have done for us in our time of need. We would like to thank all of his doctors who helped him in his long fight with diabetes.

  • Did voters send a message that they want change during last week’s school board elections?

    At first glance, one would think that they went with the status quo: Two of the three incumbents running in the East and West districts trounced their opponents.

    Ultimately, however, I still believe that 2009 was a year that voters showed they wanted change.

  • Often, people accuse the media of having an agenda. And in the Optic’s case, they are absolutely right. Our agenda is simple: Promote open government.

    On Jan. 26, Las Vegas resident Leith Johnson submitted a public records request to the city government for “all records pertaining to the collection of the one-fourth of 1 percent gross receipts tax specially to be applied to water.”

    She asked, “How much has been collected since the (tax) law was passed? How much interest has been earned on the money? How has any or all of it been used?”

  • Salary cuts have been a major topic throughout our nation during this time of financial crisis.

    The discussion is headed by Wall Street executives of bailout companies who raked in a reported $18 billion in bonuses. That incurred the wrath of President Barack Obama, who called it shameful.

    Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill has introduced legislation to hold executive salaries and benefits to no more than the $400,000 salary of the president of the United States. President Obama is suggesting a cap of $500,000.

  • I am writing this letter to gain the attention of the Luna Community College Board of Trustees and administration. I have made several attempts to meet with the vice president of academics and the president and have been unsuccessful in getting my calls returned or meetings set up.

  • Here’s a quote from Mayor Tony Marquez: “I’m very disappointed that these two councilmen persist in negativity, division, mistrust and fear-mongering. I had hoped that they would change for the better if the people spoke. Obviously, if they choose to continue the dark past, they are free to do so, but they will have to answer to their constituents.”

    Is this about City Council members Diane Moore and Andrew Feldman, who have been harshly critical of Marquez these days?

  • Last week, board members of MainStreet Las Vegas took it upon themselves to canvass business owners and residents who will be directly impacted by the Grand Avenue Streetscape Project. We talked with 27 businesses and one resident; we were not able to meet with four residents and two businesses.

    We asked, Which alternative do you prefer: the four-lane alternative or the two-lane alternative?

    Of the 28 surveyed, 27 agreed that the two-lane alternative will have a beneficial impact on their businesses and provide improved safety and beautification opportunities.

  • SANTA FE — A gutsy state lawmaker has forced the door open ever so slightly to audio and video transmissions from state legislative committee hearings.

    Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, an Albuquerque Republican, went out and bought a webcam and has begun streaming video and audio from the committees on which she serves.

    The Webcasting was unauthorized so there is no telling how long it will continue but it did get some wheels turning that had been stuck in neutral for years.

  • One thing is absolutely undeniable about the Rio Arriba Road railroad crossing just north of town: Two people have been killed trying to cross there.

    Now, some are calling for the installation of warning lights and other safety equipment at the site, rather than just signage.

    But so far, they’re not getting any response.

    To be sure, all agencies contacted agree on one thing: It’s someone else’s job to improve the crossing.

  • While campaigning for president, Barack Obama insisted he couldn’t make real change alone — he needed all of us to help him by making our wishes known. Newly introduced in the New Mexico legislature are Joint Memorials entitled “Withdraw New Mexico National Guard from Iraq” (SJM20 in the Senate and HJM18 in the House). It’s a perfect opportunity to make our wishes known to our legislators that we need our Guard to come home.

  • I’m writing again because I know that domestic violence is still with us. There have been individuals that say, “She does not know what she is talking about.” After 12 years in the field and having had the best training at the Police Academy from experts, I should know that what I say is fact, based on experience and education.

  • UP thumb ... TWO NEW FACES. Congratulations to the winners of the East and West school board elections — Elaine Luna, Gabe Lucero on the east side and Christine Ludi and David Romero on the west side. Lucero defeated incumbent Philip Leger and former mayor Matt Martinez to become the City Schools district’s newest board member, while David Romero won the open seat being vacated by Ralph Garcia, who chose not to seek re-election. Luna and Ludi retained their positions in re-election bids.