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Our high country lowdown on the news

By Optic Editorial Board

Thumbs UP for ... OVER AND DONE. Whew, finally, one of the more brutal elections in recent memory is through, and now we can look forward to new leadership addressing many of the same old problems. And just as Barack Obama took the burden and the blame for two wars and an economic crisis he didn’t create, now a whole lot of newly elected officials must inherit a mess. Good luck, all.


For those whose candidates lost, it’s not the end of the world. And for those whose candidates won, your job isn’t over. All of us must now hold our elected officials accountable. 


Thumbs DOWN for ... MUDFEST. The governor’s race in particular was one of the ugliest in a while. We suppose it’s pie-in-the-sky thinking to hope for more responsible, accurate campaign advertising next time around.


Thumbs UP for ... LET’S BEAT WINTER. Here’s hoping that the state gets the Grand Avenue project done by the end of the year before the worst of winter sets in. The state originally had planned to complete the work last month. But an official said the underground utilities have been a major factor in delaying the project. That was likely to be the wild card. 


When all is said and done, our community will have an improved Grand running through our downtown.


Thumbs UP for ... FEEDBACK SOUGHT. The Highlands University Board of Regents is right to seek public input in naming its new dorms and the student union under construction. In the past, such decisions have been made in the backrooms. 


But let’s not forget we don’t have to name every building after a person. In fact, in recent years, New Mexico State University has given regional names to a couple of its new residential facilities — Piñon and Chamisa. 


Most students don’t know why buildings are named the way they are. So Highlands may want to depart from tradition and have a new approach to naming its buildings. 


Thumbs UP for ... SERVING AND PROTECTING. Gary Gold is stepping down as Las Vegas police chief. His last day is technically Dec. 31, but with all the leave time he has built up, his last day on the job is today. Deputy Police Chief Christian Montaño will assume the role of interim chief until the city selects a new head of the PD.


During his three-plus years on the job — and, indeed, previously as a state police officer — Gold has been dedicated to his duties as an officer of the law. And while he has earned his “retirement,” we’re certain that at age 42, we’ll be seeing more of him in the public arena.

We wish him well in whatever he decides to pursue. Interim Chief Montaño has big shoes to fill.


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“Highlands is Las Vegas, and Las Vegas is Highlands.”

 — Leveo Sanchez, chairman of the Highlands University Board of Regents, on his disappointment that more people didn’t attend a meeting in which the regents sought public input on the naming of buildings.