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Opinion

  • 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.

  • I read with interest the lead story on Monday Nov 24 detailing deficiencies in our city parks and recreation center.  The sad condition of the parks was one of the first things we noticed upon our arrival in Las Vegas over 11 years ago, when our children were of an age to care about swings and slides. I hope the task force recommendations will have an impact.

  • “Change” is a key word during my administration as mayor of the beautiful city of Las Vegas. In early 2008, the citizens voted for that change, with new leadership and new direction. My administration continues to move forward in a proactive direction to effectively ensure the citizens of Las Vegas a quality city government. Today, we have implemented several initiatives to improve our city for the betterment of all Las Vegas residents.

  • UP thumb ... GOOD REPORTS. The citizen-based advisory panels that Las Vegas Mayor Tony Marquez has named in recent months are proving themselves valuable in highlighting problems facing our community on various fronts. Both the Parks and Recreation and the Plaza task forces have reported back to the Las Vegas City Council on the need to clean up and better maintain our parks and rec facilities and to improve the lines of communication between filmmakers and local businesses and residents affected by their activities.

  • It’s not unusual for Las Vegas parents to compare the East and West school districts, mostly from the vantage point of which one offers the best education for their children. But an Optic report published last week, took a different approach in looking at the two districts — by including a “by the numbers” comparison.

  • For experimental purposes only, I wanted to test the frequency of capital letters adorning products. Accordingly, I’ve arrayed a dozen items in front of me to test the theory.

    My belief is that most people overuse capital letters, LIKE THIS. And they like to play with exclamations marks as well!!!!!

    But it’s hard to hear anything or anybody when everyone’s shouting.

    Let me explain:

  • The list is long. Broken fences and bent basketball rims, overgrown  weeds and trash scattered about, a lack of working restroom facilities, graffiti — these are just a few of the items found to be at Las Vegas’ 14 public parks and recreation facilities. Scores of items were on the list. No wonder the mayor and city councilors described it as “embarrassing.”

  • The die is nearly cast and America’s newest presidential hope has chosen Hillary Clinton, the senator from New York and the spouse of an aberrantly brilliant American politician, for the important post of Secretary of State.  

    Bill Richardson, the affable, ingenious, out-of-the box guy, our ever-popular governor, ended up a distant second in the competition for this post. Those of us who like Bill and know of his uncanny capacity for insight and sound analysis — Wen Ho Lee excepted — are saddened and a bit querulous.

  • 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.