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Editorials

  • Our take on the amendments

    Here are the Las Vegas Optic’s positions on the five state constitutional amendments that are coming before New Mexico voters in the general election:

  • Word play, lies and spin

    From time to time, the media have been criticized for avoiding the word “lie.” Instead, when a newsmaker is caught in a fabrication of the truth, journalists tend to prefer milder terminology, such as “mislead” or “stretch the truth.” We at the Optic are no exception; we don’t like to accuse someone of lying unless it is blatantly obvious that he or she intentionally did so.

  • Activism and 40 years

    Activism comes in many forms. Sometimes it comes from someone who is independently wealthy and wants to give something back. Other times, it’s from someone who started at or near the bottom and learned to fight for the rights of the disenfranchised. In Las Vegas last week we saw examples of both, when Robert Kennedy Jr., son of the late attorney general, senator and presidential candidate, visited alongside Arturo Rodriquez, president of the United Farm Workers of America.

  • Openness appreciated

    The state hospital informed its employees last month that it was taking a $5 million budget hit, urging everyone to conserve resources. Not long after, officials found out that $3 million of the lost budget authority was restored. This year’s budget is $58 million.

    Troy Jones, the hospital’s administrator, is optimistic that his organization will receive much of the remaining $2 million soon.

  • Targeting waste

    Recently, Mayor Tony Marquez challenged the city administration to reduce the number of take-home cars and cell phones by 10 to 20 percent. That’s an acceptable goal.

  • Lapse in judgment

    We’re sure San Miguel County Clerk Paul Maez ran the June primary elections in an above-board fashion. But because of a lapse in judgment on his part, some may now question whether that’s the case.

    According to campaign finance reports, Jerome Block Jr., a Democratic candidate for the state Public Regulation Commission, gave Maez $300 for a “campaign coordination,” with the county clerk’s office listed as Maez’s address. And the country band, Wyld Country, to which Maez belongs, got $2,500 for a gig at a Block rally.

  • A good pick

    The San Miguel County Commission voted recently to apply for federal funds to complete the drainage and road improvements in Tecolote.

    The first phase of the project focused on drainage — more so than expected. If the county hadn’t done so, any road improvements would have been futile, being washed away within a year or two.

  • It wasn't a gaffe

    It seems as if the only time the word “gaffe” ever comes up in the media is during presidential elections every four years. With cameras ever-present, it’s natural for them to make a few public mistakes now and then.

    The media have made a big to-do about the verbal stumbles of both Barack Obama and John McCain — at the expense of coverage about their philosophies and positions on the issues. It’s a sad reality that sensation trumps substance just about any day of the week, especially on the presidential campaign trail.

  • A good approach

    The Las Vegas City Council deserves credit for hiring a third-party collection agency to help collect on past-due utility accounts. The firm will target 976 accounts, amounting to $256,000.

    This decision was at the prompting of Utilities Director George DuFour, who has been creative in his approach to his job since being hired late last year.

    If this collection effort works, as officials have pointed out, then the next goal should be to focus on unpaid fines in Municipal Court.

  • Let's hope board is right

    An elected body should think long and hard before it rejects the advice of its hired professionals. Ignoring that advice is exactly what the Mora school board did recently.

    Mora Superintendent Dora Romero said she had proposed that the district hire a third-party engineer for a planned multipurpose sports complex “in order to gain perspective as to what actually needs to be done in our situation.”