• Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news


    We salute all the graduates from San Miguel and Mora area public schools and colleges and the United World College. We’ve seen a lot of smiles and caps and gowns this month, and we know these are daunting times.

    Never underestimate the value of hard work. No matter how difficult the most recently completed phase of education felt or seemed to be, keep in mind that work ethic will be one of your most important learned skills going forward.

  • Thumbs: Our high country lowdown on the news, May 24, 2019


    Each winter, ballplayers and coaches dream of those moments on that first warm day, when the smell of the grass and the feel of infield dirt underfoot is coupled with the crack of the bat and pop of the ball hitting the glove.

    It’s fantastic we finally ended the high-school portion of baseball season with the two varsity teams from Las Vegas, N.M., competing in the Class 3A title game, with Robertson topping West Las Vegas in Saturday’s state championship in Albuquerque.

  • Time to appoint a city manager

    It’s past time for Mayor Tonita Gurulé-Girón to take action on the city manager position: either appoint Ann Marie Gallegos for the permanent position, or advertise the position.

    Gallegos has been around plenty of controversy throughout her career. She holds the distinction of having been paid $70,000 to drop a retaliation suit against the city in 2004, three years after the mayor and council voted to terminate her first five-year stint as city manager.

  • Supporters of LGBTQ: Don’t take foot off gas

    A tally of the first 100 single-button reactions to the Optic’s Wednesday-morning Facebook post and link to our online story about the recent PRISM Pride Parade provided predictable results.

    There were 68 “likes,” 29 “loves,” or hearts; two “angry” faces and one “laughing face.” Perhaps you can visualize; perhaps not; perhaps you’re wondering how many folks even take the time to count up such stats.

  • We’ll miss you, Matt!

    As I recall, the marquee outside a movie theater in Columbia, Mo., displayed the showing of one of the “Alien” series. We were visiting relatives in Missouri.

    We entered and immediately saw a person we’ve known for years, on the screen: Matt Sandoval, at the time a Las Vegas police officer, who later became the district attorney for this area.

    Well, my friend Matt — far from being an Alien — was part of a police scene in the movie “Convoy,” in a scene shot near Romeroville.

  • Thumbs: Our high country lowdown on the news, April 26, 2019

    Brooklyn Aragon shows us what kinds of challenges a young person can overcome. The Highlands University biochemistry major is set to complete a paid competitive summer internship at the National Institutes of Health in the Washington, D.C. area this summer.
    Aragon said by age 11, she had lost both of her parents to drug addiction. She said she was very lucky to have her grandmother, Mary, to raise her, helping her make the honor roll regularly at West Las Vegas Middle School.

  • Thumbs: Our high country lowdown on the news, April 19, 2019


    While we should ultimately thumb-down the amount of time it’s taking for Mora County to finally get all wings of its Courthouse Complex, we’re thumbing up the perseverance and apparent patience and caution being taken by the County Commission and administration. No need to make it this far only to muck it up further with code or policy violations or, worse: hurried, shoddy done work.

  • ‘I don’t care?’ Yeah, you do

    “I don’t care what people think of me,” is a sentiment echoed around the U.S. and beyond. It’s a thinly veiled attempt to build a wall against our own insecurities.

    First Lady Melania Trump even tried her hand at this foolery, wearing a jacket that read, on the back: “I don’t care. Do U?” Sadly, regarding elections, the answer is that, no, we don’t care about much ­— or voter turnout would be higher.

  • SMC needs to find the switch

    It’s natural to walk into an unlit room in almost any building in the Western world and look or feel for a light switch on the wall, near the door.

    However, the San Miguel County Commission seems to be sitting in the room that is the economics of its own county, in the dark. While it was odd, in the first place, for the room to have been dark when the new chair and two commissioners took over in January, it is even more strange to see the Commission is still not really reaching for the economic lightswitch.

  • Thumbs: Our high country lowdown on the news, April 5, 2019


    A mere two weeks after San Miguel County high school basketball teams brought one of the strongest overall performances at state, cheer and dance squads from our area delivered scintillating routines last weekend at the State Spirit Championships on that same arena floor at The Pit in Albuquerque, highlighted by West Las Vegas cheer’s third consecutive state title.