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Opinion

  • UP thumb ... WINDS OF INVOLVEMENT. Dozens of Bernal- and Valley-area residents attended the San Miguel County Commission meeting this week to express their concern with plans to build a wind farm near their homes. They want a county regulatory ordinance strengthened to push the turbines back further from residential properties.

    County Manager Lee Montoya recommended that county staff meet with residents and come up with a solution — a move we think is wise and we hope will benefit all involved.

  • "Why should we give up our beautiful landscape to make California, Nevada and Utah more resourceful?”

    That was the very first question at a recent community meeting in El Pueblo about a proposed “wind farm” on a nearby mesa.  It was from 13-year-old Ramos Aragon, a Memorial Middle School student, who’s family has agricultural ties to the Valley.

    Right on, Ramos!  He zeroed in on the heart of the issue.  

  • Once again, our city government is in turmoil. On Friday, City Manager Sharon Caballero announced her resignation.

    Undoubtedly, this is a low point for Mayor Tony Marquez, elected in March. Caballero said that while she supported the mayor’s agenda, he has been micromanaging and has had a hard time focusing. And Councilwoman Diane Moore, a Marquez ally, expressed her frustration with the mayor, echoing some of Caballero’s criticism.

  • MainStreet Las Vegas is soliciting community input on the fully funded Grand Avenue Renovation Project at the tonight’s City Council meeting when presentations will be made to mayor and council.

    The project, from Tilden to National, is designed to accomplish four goals:

    • ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION:  directing traffic into our three historic commercial districts.

    • PEDESTRIAN SAFETY:  calming traffic in the five-block area of Grand so it is safe and easy to cross Grand Avenue and patronize businesses in the area.

  • PROACTIVELY SEEKING EFFICIENCIES. It seems a wise move to name Morris Madrid, finance director at the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute, director of operational efficiencies; he has the expertise and the experience to help the state hospital tighten its belt — hopefully without having to lay anyone off. And it’s big of Madrid to accept the job without a raise in pay; that’s something not too many people would do.

  • As a lifelong resident of Las Vegas and reader of the Optic I have never felt so compelled to write a letter to the editor as I did after reading Mr. Dale Harapat’s letter in the Dec. 2 issue of the Optic. As a retired social worker and nationally registered Guardian, I felt it necessary to address his misguided concern.

  • How would you like to receive 364 gifts, during a span of less than two weeks?

    If we believe the popular, tuneful Christmas carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” we ought to be gifted many times over.

    Let me explain:

    “My true love” doesn’t simply send a single partridge in a pear tree, but 12 of them. Remember, on the second day of Christmas, the true love sends two turtle doves plus a partridge in a pear tree, to keep company with the partridge the Postal Service dropped off the day before.

  • The Executive Board of District 1199 New Mexico (Hospital and Health Care Employees) wishes to vocalize its continued support and encouragement to the workers at Alta Vista Regional Hospital in fighting for their federal rights to establish their union at the hospital.

    Under federal law. it is the right of every employee to organize and form a union for the purpose of collectively bargaining with their employer. In July 2007, the workers at Alta Vista voted to form a union representing all employees except management and security employees.

  • This is in regards to your Nov. 20 editorial, “Marriage as a right” contending that Proposition 8 should be struck down (voted in by the people of California that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid) and again [an Associated Press] article on Dec. 1 emphasizing gay civil rights and equality.

  • Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This remarkable document, formulated in the aftermath of World War II, expanded the scope and application of our own Bill of Rights, written 159 years earlier.

     The UDHR applies to all individuals throughout the world, whatever their country or beliefs, without any exceptions for local customs. For example, “Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.” (Article 16 (2))

  • Next week, San Miguel County Commission members will have a weighty issue placed on their shoulders. At 10 a.m. Tuesday, they will consider an amendment to the county’s renewable energy ordinance to establish greater setbacks and noise limits for wind turbines. We hope the commissioners will give it the serious consideration it deserves.

  • In high school, my biology teacher often showed films during class. I remember people would often point to the teacher in the darkened classroom as he dozed off. During lectures, he would often veer off course, talking about mice in the school or bees buzzing in the classroom.

    In short, we didn’t learn much.

  • On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, Espiridion Nick Aragon received recognition at the Veterans Park Services for his contributions and many years of service to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1547 of Las Vegas. It is with great pride that Nick and his family express their gratitude to VFW Post 1547, to Quarter Master Archie Garduño, and all comrades of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Las Vegas and the surrounding area.

  • From time to time, New Mexico demonstrates that it is a forward-thinking state. From the Rail Runner between Albuquerque and Santa Fe to the planned Spaceport down south, our state has embraced the future. Whether you agree with these costly endeavors or not, it’s clear to all that they are designed with tomorrow in mind.

  • The Las Vegas City Council made the right decision last week when it rejected a proposal to include lobbying duties in the grant writer’s job description.

    Councilman Morris Madrid said the skills required of a lobbyist are far different from that of a grant writer. A grant writer for the city has to have considerable knowledge about the mechanics of government and the ability to research. A lobbyist, meanwhile, has to know how to work the political scene.

    Madrid made another good point: The mayor and council members themselves can serve as lobbyists.

  • Parents of students at Union Elementary take a special pride in their school. It’s small, and its students have been testing very well compared to others across the state.

    For some years now, the West Las Vegas district has been considering moving Union classes to Tony Serna Elementary and transferring the Family Partnership to Union.

    The school board should think long and hard before putting this plan into action. We’d hate to see a good thing end.

  • I am an off-grid, parttime resident of the Wrye Ranch area on the mesa south of Starvation Peak in San Miguel County and I am an advocate of alternative energy. However, I was recently  concerned about the plans described for the La Sierrita Wind Project in the “Residents Wary of the Mesa Wind Farm Deal” article in The New Mexican, dated Nov. 13, 2008.

  • Mil Gracias

    The Las Vegas Special Olympics would like to thank all the businesses that donated items for our fundraiser raffle sales. We would also like to thank everyone that brought raffle tickets. With the help of all the community and surrounding areas, our athletes will be able to participate in the next upcoming sport.

  • SANTA FE — To paraphrase an old love song, “Changing administrations is hard to do.” It’s especially true in tough times after a long romance of voters by both sides.

    We are getting smarter, however. When Franklin Roosevelt beat incumbent Herbert Hoover in 1932, he had to wait until March to take over. Now the date is Jan. 20.  New Mexico switches over on Jan. 1. That may be an even better idea.

  • Bottom line: Our elected representatives on the Las Vegas City Council should be kept in the loop when it comes to spending a more than $1 million grant.

    Sadly, that hasn’t been the case with a $1.2 million grant designated for a water project, and the city may lose all that money because of the resulting confusion.