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Opinion

  • “Are you the nice guy or the mean guy?” What? I hadn’t been asked that question in years. Hearing it, I harked w-a-y back, to 1966, when I still lived at my birthplace, at 906 Railroad, in a barrio we called “Tuff Street.”

    Every house got a little tuffer, and I lived in the last house. The person who inquired about my naughty- and nice-ness used to live in the second-to-the-last house.

  • In response to the column on the  options for Grand Street Improvements, we would like to offer the following comments. Our firm has had no involvement in this project except as residents and business owner in the area.

  • Last night at sundown, Hanukkah began. And while it may not be the dominant December holiday in New Mexico, it is still celebrated by many — and it serves to remind us that Jews have been an important part of who we are as New Mexicans.

  • SANTA FE — What kind of governor will Diane Denish be? There are some signs that our current lieutenant governor may do us a rather good job.

    Barring confirmation difficulties, it appears Gov. Bill Richardson will be leaving us sometime around the end of January to become the next secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department.

    There shouldn’t be many surprises for Denish. She has interned as lieutenant governor for six years. During the first four years, she and Richardson were close and she was involved in much of what he did.

  • I live in a solar-powered home on the quiet, rural mesa that Invenergy wants to turn into an industrial wind facility, and I don’t know if I should laugh or cry at this corporation’s claim that it is a “good neighbor” because it gives a whopping $500 per year to families living within a third of a mile of their turbines.

  • 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.