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Opinion

  • 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.

  • Despite problems and crises at every turn, right now President-elect Barack Obama has the goodwill of the majority on his side. He will enter the Oval Office in a strong position to affect significant change, in part because of the honeymoon he’s on with the public as well as the media.

    But as soon as he takes office, he could strengthen his position even more — by opening up some federal doors that the Bush administration has tightly shut.

  • “Concepts.” I think it was addressed to people who are “spiritual” or in the experiment of if the Bible was true. I thought the letter was to emphasize precautions needed after you found only way to be saved referring to changing most of your beliefs were incorrectly aligned with lies to not be violent toward people who do this. If we have purity, Jesus notes, songs, worship, it shouldn’t matter the source, who is better, because the newcomers are in sin (though sin is “burnt” separation)!

  • We, the Jackie R. Tapia family, wish to express our deep gratitude and appreciation for your love, understanding and assistance, to the following professionals who cared for and assisted him during his illness:  All doctors, nurses and staff at the Centro de Salud, Dr. Michael Lopez and staff, the technicians of the Las Vegas Emergency Ambulance Services, Rocky Mountain Ambulance Services, and the many helpful and caring staff at the Alta Vista Regional Hospital.

  • UP thumb ... FISCALLY SOUND. Highlands University regents were told last week that, despite the expectations of budget cuts coming with an economic slowdown, the school is “fiscally strong in all respects.” And that’s on top of findings in a recent study that Highlands’ tuition and fees for undergraduate New Mexico residents are the lowest in the West (an 11-state region).

  • It isn’t likely that Proposition 8 will be the final word in the debate over same-sex marriages in California. And it shouldn’t be.

    The initiative passed by 52 percent of California voters alters that state’s constitution to read, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Its passage overrules a court decision last May allowing same-sex marriage, but opponents have already filed legal challenges, contending that it should be invalidated.

  • No one would deny that the United States established a significant historical milestone on Nov. 4. The question now presented to us as a nation and as a society is: How is this significant?

    One answer is to place it into America’s historic time line:

    232 years ago the Congress of the 13 colonies declared their independence from British rule, stating, in terms that we all know so well: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”

  • Scenic Corridor not an industrial zone

    The proposed facility will be located also on state land. It will consist of 47  390-feet tall 1.5 MW turbines and miles of power lines going down the mesa to the grid northward. These enormous wind towers will be easily seen from Interstate 25 between Tecolote and South San Isidro (as far as mile marker 312) and from the north end of Route 3.

  • This is in response to [article about] Patricia Anderson on Oct. 24:

    Ms. Patricia Anderson’s story is proof we will never win the so-called War on Terror because we are often steered from our instincts, refused access to relevant information, and mired in bureaucratic procedure — all of which leaves us vulnerable.

  • Let’s be clear on one point: Just because a company is trying to advance a renewable energy source doesn’t give it a free ride over the government process of oversight. That’s not how this nation should move forward with a new energy policy.

    Unfortunately, however, deference seems to be a big reason why Invenergy is getting state support to construct up to 50 massive wind turbines in western San Miguel County, while protesting neighbors are being discounted as anti-progress.

  • I confess that I’ve always been a car nut. From my first car (a much-used Oldsmobile Rocket 88), more than half a century ago, to my current monthly readership of every known English-language car mag, I’ve loved cars and enjoyed the driving — and racing — pleasures of Alfas, BMWs, MGs, Porsches, big American iron, the best of the Asiatic offerings and everything in between (including some fast motorcycles).

  • The first time I felt the impact of big bucks was in my youth, while window shopping at the old J.C. Penney store in Las Vegas, exactly where Beall’s operates now.

    I had been selling newspapers downtown and ran in to a fifth-grade classmate who I thought to be the richest kid in town. We began talking about finances. I’d been proud of having opened my own passbook-savings account, at the First National Bank, and, solely through sales of Optics, I’d built up a nest egg of about $7.

  • The people accused of assaulting others during a Robertson High School football camp in August are innocent until proven guilty. That’s as it should be.

    The allegations, of course, are highly disturbing. The one excuse we’re hearing over and over holds no water whatsoever.

  • Recently, the Las Vegas Police Department closed its rifle range to the public. That’s after officers discovered yet another rash of damage to the facility, including vandalism, illegal dumping and shooting at structures not intended as targets.

    The police made the right decision. Now, officers are drafting a new policy for use of the range, and they say they hope to involve the public.

  • When it comes to water supplies, the city of Las Vegas should keep all options on the table. That should be the city’s approach even in times of plentiful precipitation, which has been the case over the last year.

  • SANTA FE — New Mexico’s three new Democratic U.S. House members won election by solid margins. But can they all survive?

    The representatives from congressional districts 1 and 2 took over seats that Democrats have not held in over 25 years. The 3rd Congressional District looks plenty safe for Rep. Ben Ray Lujan.

    His most likely competition would likely come from another Democrat and that isn’t probable as long as his father remains a power in state politics.