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Opinion

  • SANTA FE — Happy 2009. Let’s see what we can do about attempting some predictions for a new year.

    2008 was as unpredictable as years ever get. 2009 will be just as capricious because we’ll be living with the results of last year’s craziness.

    President Barack Obama will be neither a savior nor the end of the world. He will disappoint those whose expectations were too high and produce some begrudging acceptances from those who harbored great suspicion.

  • Thank you, councilmen Morris Madrid and Cruz Roybal, for making a very important point in noting that there are three elementary schools on New Mexico Avenue. This street is an old residential neighborhood and a portion of it is on the National Historic Register.

    There are also several boarding homes in this area, and because of this and other economic factors there are many pedestrians. Increased traffic on this street may endanger the lives of the people who frequently have to cross this street as well as the elementary students who walk to and from school.

  • As hard as it must have been for him, Gov. Bill Richardson did the right thing by withdrawing his name from nomination as secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department. It’s best for both the nation and, hopefully, our state.

  • For three hours last week, the Highlands University Board of Regents met behind closed doors to discuss the possible acquisition of the College of Santa Fe, a private school that is suffering financial difficulties.

    The state Open Meetings Act creates an exception for governing bodies to meet in closed session to discuss acquisitions of real property. The College of Santa Fe issue certainly would fall under this exception.

  • Here’s an idea: Since the city is pondering weight restrictions along Seventh Street, let’s just restrict all heavy trucks to Interstate 25. And to slow traffic through our residential neighborhoods, let’s just reduce the speed limit everywhere to 10 mph — with speed bumps placed on every block to ensure travelers will abide by the reduced speed limit.

  • Qwest has a monopoly over phone service in much of New Mexico; it is granted that right through the state Public Regulation Commission.

    We hope that Qwest, a private company, would look out for its customers’ interests, but last week, the telecommunications giant failed in that regard.

  • Is there any cure for language purists of my ilk? Will I/we ever be able to relax, irrespective of the knowledge that somewhere in the world public signs with misspellings abound?

    Being a newly dubbed strait-laced language cop, I get it back twice as hard as I give. I parade around commenting on other people’s typos, but when something I write, and by extension, something that appears in the Optic, has a glaring error, we catch it (the scorn, not the error).

    How does it feel, Art?

    A couple of examples:

  • A few hours ago, hundreds of millions watched the ball drop on Times Square, signaling the start of a new year, one of hope and promise, if not of prosperity.

    As they sang an ancient lay — something about an elderly man named Lang who owns an old sign — many people celebrated by uncorking bottles of champagne and later waking up to a man-sized headache today.         

    As for me, the real ache is a couple of feet lower.

    Let me explain:

  • The Dec. 26 paper had an article titled “PRC expands solar Incentives.” Solar, wind, alternative energy — we need to move in this direction sooner rather than later, right?

    The state Public Regulation Commission now requires PNM to pay (or better credit) businesses 15 cents per kilowatt hour they produce via solar, whereas the incentive for homes remains at 13 cents per kilowatt hour. Now, why is that? Is the solar power generated by businesses on their roofs somehow more valuable than the solar power generated on my residential roof?

  • Have you been passed up for a job opportunity at a local government agency for someone less qualified? You have the right degrees, years of experience, a record of accomplishments, a great list of references.

    But you forgot to do one thing — you didn’t talk with the morning coffee klatch at Hillcrest Restaurant.

    Oops. Apparently such a mistake can be a career killer.

  • SANTA FE — There is much we don’t know about Gov. Bill Richardson’s withdrawal of his nomination to be secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department.

    One thing we do know is that I’ve already missed on one of my 2009 predictions. I said 2009 would be as unpredictable as 2008. That was easy, considering all the stuff coming down these days.

  • The Israeli journalist Gideon Levy a few years ago referred to Israel as a “a loud-mouthed bully who shouldn’t be provoked into anger ... Not that the bully’s not right — someone did harm him.” Following the attack on Gaza this past week, Levy added, “Once again, Israel’s violent responses, even if there is justification for them, exceed all proportion and cross every red line of humaneness, morality, international law and wisdom…. Hamas brought this on itself and on its people, but this does not excuse Israel’s overreaction.”

  • Recently a group of residents from the Bernal area showed up at the San Miguel County Commission meeting to ask the county to enact stricter rules for wind farms.

    The county deserves great credit for enacting a wind turbine ordinance in 2003, long before most other counties, but it now appears that updating that ordinance is in order.

  • UP thumb ... READY TO GO. Struggling with broken equipment for months, the management at the city’s recreation center kept its pledge to have all the treadmills operational before the end of the year. Wednesday morning, all the machines appeared to have been working fine.

    Let’s hope exercise buffs take advantage of the repaired equipment as they begin their New Year’s resolutions, and that the rec center staff can keep them working throughout the new year.

  • I am a survivor of victims of homicide; my name is Helen Trujillo. I am the chapter leader of the group here in Las Vegas. This is a group no one ever wants to belong to but thanks that there is one. Ms. Sara Armijo comes from the office of the OMI in Albuquerque she had share her time with us for the past two years.

  • SANTA FE — It’s time to see how I did on my 2008 predictions.

    For beginners, I picked the winners of the four open congressional seats. Remember, at this point last year, candidates hadn’t even filed yet.

    U.S. Senate — Tom Udall over Steve Pearce. Right, all the way. Udall and Pearce won their primaries. Udall took the general election.

    1st Congressional District — Daren White over Martin Heinrich. White and Heinrich both won their primaries. Heinrich took the general election. Score me only 2 out of 3 on that one.

  • Last week, we lost a valuable colleague in Ricky DeHerrera, the Optic’s Mora County correspondent for 37 years. He died last week at the too-young age of 65.

    His work for this newspaper kept us in touch with current events in Mora, but more than that, his dedication to his community and the Optic brings back memories of how things used to be.

  • It does seem to me that the road Las Vegas chose is far from the goals I remember the community was looking for.

    For starters, where did the pride for community go? My last visit was so disappointing that I left in a depressed state. As a child and young adult, I always felt intense pride in every aspect of the community.

  • I would like to thank all my sponsors who helped me be in this year’s Albuquerque Pageant.

    Without your help, I wouldn’t have been able to be this year’s third runner up. I appreciate everything you have done for me.

    Phylisia Dimas

    Las Vegas

  • One morning, about a week ago, a puppy ran in front of my car on the Eighth Street Extension and was killed. Had the puppy’s owner cared enough (or had common sense) to keep the puppy fenced in or tied up in its yard, not only would it be safe from traffic, wild pack dogs or other predators, but both the dog’s final suffering and my grief could have been avoided.