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Opinion

  • 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.

  • Councilor Morris Madrid spoke long and eloquently at the city council meeting. He was compelled to leave as much unsaid.

    It would have been the perfect moment to recall Donald Rumsfeld’s famous quote: “There are known knowns. These are things that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

  • In these times, renewable energy cannot afford to be given a bad name by big business whose bottom line is bigger profit.

  • In response to Mr. Paul Gray, engineer for the New Mexico Department of Transportation, published Jan. 16-18 in the Optic (“Another killed in train wreck”): your assumption will not bring back the two people who got killed. This is called passing the buck. I don‘t have an engineering degree, but I don’t believe it’s the City of Las Vegas’ responsibility. There are two roads that access this crossing: one is Rio Arriba and the other is Aragon Road. The crossing provides access to either road; these are state or county roads.

  • Public officials should be held accountable, and that includes Las Vegas Mayor Tony Marquez.        Before last year’s election, we endorsed his candidacy for mayor, expecting him to be a breath of fresh air at City Hall. We supported his vision of transparency and accountability — and still do.

    But we have come to disagree with how he has tried to carry out that vision. He has brought great instability to city government, and that has high costs for our community.

  • Who around here needs to watch soap operas? Especially these last few months. Just watch what’s going on at City Hall. Nobody is suffering amnesia, as they typically do in soaps. But our community has plenty of other forms of drama — fights between former friends, lost jobs, chaos and lawyers.

  • We all know school board elections are coming up. In the atmosphere of hope that encompasses our country today, we can’t help but feel like we can make a difference. All elections are important, yet school board elections, the decision we make on behalf of the children in our community, typically have overwhelmingly low turnout rates.

  • We want to thank everyone who was part of the recent Cooney Fundraiser Concert at the First Presbyterian Church. What a joyful and heartwarming occasion it was!  Such talent, kindness, and generosity!  We are humbled and grateful and will put the money to very good use as we rebuild and rebound from the fire.

  • I would like to thank all the SAM-FM listeners who contributed to this year’s annual holiday turkey drive.

    This was the seventh year for the turkey drive and again people reached deep down to help their neighbors. Because of your generosity, I was able to get turkeys for the Samaritan House, Victory Home Health, the Soup Kitchen, the Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent de Paul, the I.C. Church and even some for Santa Claus. They were all extremely grateful for the donations and I also thank them for their devoted service to our community all year round.

  • Councilor Morris Madrid, I agree something should have been done about the $1.2 million months ago. Why did you not put the item on the agenda or call a study session or take any positive action?  Are you a victim of the process?

    Councilors take leadership for their community or they add nothing to the process.

    (Mayor) Tony (Marquez) may be the captain, but all councilors are the first mates!

  • SANTA FE — Ever since legislative bodies were created, observers, ranging from philosophers to comedians, have showered us with cynical assessments of these bodies.

    Somehow legislatures and Congress always are the easiest to dislike and demean. Their popularity rating always is lowest. Governors and presidents can charm their way along but legislative bodies have no personality. Constituents often like their own legislator but dislike all the rest.

  • In today’s newspaper, we have yet another story about Gilberto Reyes, who has been in jail for 13 months without his day in court. His trial is set for late February. We don’t know about his guilt or innocence, but we know he hasn’t enjoyed his constitutional right to a speedy trial. It would be nice if the justice system would take care of this matter.

  • Response to Friday’s letter to Eddie Roy Duran of Pecos: The Pecos Independent School District bond election on ... in help our district do necessary repairs, remodels, and purchase equipment as allowed by state law. This important bond will help our bonding capacity when we ask for state monies. Passing the bond will answer legislative questions regarding “How is your community supporting the schools?”

  • Solar, wind provide LV with opportunity

    My brother recently submitted a letter to your paper lamenting the decline of civility and pride in Las Vegas. Anyone who lived there during the ‘40s and ‘50s and sees it now would be hard put to dispute his observations.

  • On Tuesday, voters in San Miguel and Mora counties will go to the polls to elect school board members. We urge people to do their duty.

    In recent years, school boards in New Mexico have lost some of their powers. They don’t have hiring authority other than picking a superintendent. That’s a good thing; we don’t want elected bodies getting into the day-to-day process of hiring new employees.

    At the same time, boards still have much authority over the purse strings. And this is a vitally important responsibility.

  • To the Pecos community:

    As most of you may be aware, the Pecos Independent School District is having a bond election Feb. 3, which, if passed, will increase our property taxes. I would like to stress my opinions why we, as a community, cannot support this bond.

  • UP thumb ... GOOD TURNOUTS. More than 100 people turned out for this week’s school board election forums, sponsored by the Committee for the People and this newspaper. All candidates attended (except one, who has all but bowed out) and all but two of the city’s school board members turned out as well (only Ralph Garcia from West, who isn’t seeking re-election, and Ramon “Swoops” Montaño from East, who is not up for election, were no-shows).

  • At first I resented the corporate executives for pushing the issue as they did. The Optic could best pull out of its slump, I argued, if we merged our newspaper and our website into a dynamic new product. But for reasons I still don’t understand, I was told it wasn’t that simple, that our new Web platform, with all its blemishes, had to stay.

    Meanwhile, the numbers were becoming increasingly clear: We would have to downsize or face a tenuous future.

  • Hindsight is 20-20, as politicians who insist they want to move forward like to say.

    But sometimes it’s important to take a look back to see if some things could have been done better.

    Let’s hope Mayor Tony Marquez and the City Council do just that.

    In June, a City Council majority fired six of 10 department directors then immediately proceeded to hire a new city manager. In other words, the manager, Sharon Caballero, started with less than half of the city’s management team in place.

    Talk about a recipe for problems.

  • Congress and the Administration are touting alternative energy sources to replace power production derived from foreign oil. They want to generate 10 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. energy needs from alternative sources.

    Most of the alternative energy would have to be generated from wind power systems.  If we assume 10 percent of the U.S. energy requirements consists of 100,000 megawatts, and each wind turbine produces approximately 2 to 3 megawatts, it will take about 40,000 wind turbines to produce the 100,000 megawatts.