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Opinion

  • As an elementary teacher at Legion Park Elementary School, I am fortunate to work with some of the greatest people on this earth — the families of Las Vegas and their children. But even with such a great job, there are moments that stand out as spectacular events. The evening of Nov. 20, when we celebrated Harvest Night, was just such a moment.

  • It’s all but certain that Gov. Bill Richardson is on the way to becoming the secretary of commerce in the Obama administration.

    For the last year, Richardson has given all the signs that he wants to get out of New Mexico and work the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. As such, we’re sure that Lt. Gov. Diane Denish has been preparing for the likely transition to the governor’s office, even though she has joined with Richardson in being annoyingly coy about the possibility.

  • To Mayor Tony Marquez:

  • I’ve come to at least one conclusion about Tony Marquez after his first nine months as Las Vegas’ mayor: He’s not giving anyone any special inside tracks to city government.

    Marquez’s critics have plenty to say: The mayor has yet to bring any of the real changes he promised in the campaign, and the city remains in a holding pattern because the mayor’s administration has yet to fill six vacant director positions.

    They also say he’s too worried about publicity at the expense of action.

  • It’s an exciting prospect that Highlands University may acquire the College of Santa Fe, a private school founded in 1859.

    But the Highlands University Board of Regents should fully examine the idea — and involve the public — before making any kind of decision.

    The advantages of such a merger are obvious: A combination of the two schools will mean more specialties and programs with greater depth, and that is sure to benefit the student body.

  • SANTA FE — “Be careful what you wish.” It’s a popular warning these days because one never knows the form in which one’s wish might come true.

    When we planned a cruise through the Middle East many months ago, friends and loved ones cautioned us to be mindful of the dangers before we made a final decision. Some even pled with us not to go.

    My usual response was that it might be exciting to be captured and held hostage for awhile. Think of the book I could write.

  • Thank you for your article about the Viles Foundation Inc.’s 50th anniversary luncheon. The history that you included is very important. The foundation has strived to serve the San Miguel and Mora County communities in a manner the Matie R. Viles would have been proud.

  • Open letter to the County Commission:

    Just recently, the San Miguel County Public Works Department, along with my company, completed a job in San Ignacio, which included road repair involving the placement of culverts and base material. In order to get the most of out of most of the limited funds for the project, County Manager Les W. Montoya and Public Works Supervisor Harold Garcia agreed to use county employees to place the base material and culverts while my company would supply the base material.

  • In regards to the Optic’s editorial of Nov. 18 on the Milliken water wells, it would seem to be our best bet now to avoid further water rationing.

    I agree that all possibilities — the hydro dam, the dam to capture all Las Vegas run-off, the pipeline from North Dakota should be explored, but the Milliken ranch wells seems to be the best bet to  stave off  water rationing right now.

    The city can lease one or more of the wells conditionally that it would not have a negative effect on the neighbors.

  • On this day after Thanksgiving, instead of our usual thumbs, we are serving up some leftover thoughts on what we’re grateful for as this year slowly comes to a close. We’re thankful for ...

    MOM-AND-POP BUSINESSES: Las Vegas may not be the richest place on earth (at least not monetarily), but we do have some things that enrich our quality of life, including small, independently owned shops with plenty of character and quality merchandise. So don’t forget them this holiday season.

  • The big news is that there is a push on in Washington, D.C. to bail out the “Big Three,” that is to say General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler, with billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money. ($25 billion is the figure currently touted, but don’t be surprised if it goes up.)

    The reason that the “Big Three” are in trouble is presumably that we Americans are not buying enough cars.

  • New Mexico’s 2009 Rose Parade entry will be as much fun as this year’s float was and maybe a little less controversial than the space aliens that inhabited the 2008 prize winner.

    The idea of depicting our state as spacey didn’t appeal to some New Mexicans or to the tourism heads of our larger cities. But the alien float attracted much attention in Southern California, along with the Grand Marshal’s Award, one of the top three most prestigious.

  • These are tight economic times, and the city will almost certainly have to find places to trim the budget. Fortunately, officials are already working toward this goal.

    If unmanaged, perks such as take-home cars and cell phones can become excessive. And that appears to have been the case with city government.

  • The West Las Vegas Athletic Department would like to thank the following sponsors for their donations toward homecoming and the Vegas Bowl:

    Bank of Las Vegas, Community First Bank, Charlie’s Diesel, Alta Vista Regional Hospital, and Sun Loan Company.

    Thank you for your support for West Las Vegas Home of the Dons and Lady Dons.

    Jose Medina

    Las Vegas

  • My name is Amalia Gallegos and I am licensed state and national massage and bodywork therapist in the state of New Mexico. I am writing this letter to thank the following people for helping me build my practice here in San Miguel County and the surrounding area.

    First, Jody and Peter Stege for allowing me to build my business, Melissa Gold at the Small Business Development Center, Sharon Vander Meer at the Economic Development Corporation, Diane Ortiz at the Chamber of Commerce, and Joseph Baca at KFUN for all their help and support in the community.

  • The San Miguel County Commission last week passed an ordinance allowing the county to file liens on properties in which owners don’t pay their solid waste bills.

    This decision comes a few months after the county put a bunch of accounts on inactive status after it became apparent that they were uncollectible.

    The commissioners said they felt it was unfair that some people always pay their bills, while others don’t and essentially get away with it.

    This new ordinance will eliminate this inherent inequity.

  • Congratulations to Highlands University for not only being financially sound but for once again being a stable force in Northern New Mexico. It has been nearly two years since James Fries took the reins to my alma mater and I want to thank him and the regents for having the vision to move forward. I remember not too long ago when Highlands was an at-risk university.

  • A few weeks ago, state Rep. Richard Vigil, D-Ribera, suggested the Las Vegas City Council hire a lobbyist to help the community get money for needed projects.

    In making the recommendation, Vigil had good intentions for Las Vegas. But we disagree with his advice. Hiring a lobbyist would be a poor use of city money.

  • Yes, it’s a cliche, but there is strength in numbers. Those with more power know this rule better than anybody else.

    Last week, a city advisory task force told the City Council that film companies negotiate individually with local merchants who are affected by their productions.

    That leads to some businesses getting better compensation than others. Those with weaker negotiating skills jump at the first offer.

  •  What remedies do people have if they are mistreated by law enforcement officers? Last week an interim legislative committee considered the question and heard evidence that there isn’t much that can be done under present law.

    Testimony indicated that complaints to local officials seldom result in any action. Albuquerque has some police oversight mechanisms but no one present recommended them as being models others should use.