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Opinion

  • We, the West Las Vegas High School Class of 1960, thank the individuals who contributed to make our 50th-year reunion during the July 4 Fiestas such a success.

    We thank the Bank of Las Vegas, which sponsored our reunion float in the parade and donated flag fans to cool off the spectators in the parade route.

    Our thanks to Albert Goke, who provided the float frame and construction. Phil Leger loaned the group his flatbed trailer.

    Thanks to Judy Ramirez who fabricated a quilt with inlaid pictures of Class of 1960 members.

  • The Las Vegas City Council recently gave a new two-year contract to the community’s ambulance provider, Superior Ambulance.

    But the city, by its own admission, hasn’t closely monitored the company’s performance for such details as response times. One of the reasons, Fire Chief Phil Mares said, was that Superior apparently had problems getting data from the city’s police dispatchers.

  • “May I see your hands, please?” Good grief! Is she coming on to me? I thought.

     Instead, she rubbed what looked like a small, damp orange Wet One across my palms. “Now turn around.”

    I did so, my anxiety increasing. “I meant ‘turn your hands around.’” I did that too. So the backs and the palms got swabbed, but what for? We’ll get into that later.

  • No university has to name its buildings after people, but it’s been a long tradition to do so.

    Indeed, students and others often know the names of buildings, but they rarely know about the people they’re named after. So the names have very little impact.  

  • I have waged a ceaseless campaign urging the community to participate in animal rescue, health, and safety and am pleased to report, I have seen the volunteers and the dollars come trickling in.

    I would like to extend an enormous thank you to the community of Las Vegas and the Rough Rider Motorcycle Rally for showing they care about the lives of dogs and cats.

  • It’s been a long two years, starting with some terrible assaults in a football camp outside of town and culminating, last week, in the sentencing of the leader of the assaults. The disposition of Michael Gallegos’ case, the last of six to have run their course through the judicial system, brings an element of closure. But not completely — parents of the victims have filed suit against current and former school officials, which means court cases and press coverage will continue.

  • With the news of assaults suspect Michael Gallegos’ sentencing last week, I couldn’t help but think about his father, Michael Gallegos Sr., who served on the Las Vegas City Council for a decade.

    The older man was seen by many as the council’s tough guy, along with sidekick Eugene Romero.

    During his terms in office, city employees told me that Gallegos accused them of mad-dogging him. Apparently, Gallegos went to the city manager at the time with the complaint, but the manager declined to take any disciplinary action based on an alleged dirty look.

  • This is in response to the letter to the editor by Lorraine Ortega from of Denver, Colo., on Monday, July 26.

    First of all, l thank you and your 15 or 19 couples that traveled from Denver to enjoy the fiestas of Las Vegas. Your figures don’t jive. Did you miss count? Did you mean 15 or 19 couples?  You and the rest of your dedicated group deserve a great hand.  You all have contributed to the city of Las Vegas adding to the lodgers tax revenue by utilizing the Sunshine Motel. Gracias, gracias! I am in full support of that.  

  • I am a great believer in the press. It helps in keeping government transparent and citizens informed about happenings and things that might pose a danger to everyone. It also allows the public, like me, to submit letters when we see what appears to be unjust situations. The Optic has afforded me this on numerous occasions and I am thankful for that. It is just my opinion and allowed as long as I am factual and hurt no one.

  • Recently, Las Vegas citizens were treated to a thought-provoking film and forum on some of the realities of oil and gas development, should it come to San Miguel County and Las Vegas. The film, “Split Estate,” and  the panelists — including our Mayor Alfonso E. Ortiz Jr. — were all excellent and enlightening.

  • Thumbs UP for ... ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Getting companies to locate here has broad-reaching benefits — whether it happens inside or outside city limits or on the east or west side of town.

    A few years ago, then-Councilman Michael Gallegos told the Las Vegas-San Miguel Economic Development Corporation that he’d like to see it recruit more companies to the west side. That would be nice, but no matter where a new company is in our area, it’ll help both sides of town.

  • I greatly respect Highlands University Regent Jesus Lopez, and I certainly understand his concerns about renting Highlands’ buildings to private parties. Liability and insurance costs are something that we all must consider when dealing with others inside the buildings of our businesses or organizations. And I think Mr. Lopez is right that Highlands should reconsider its policies about renting spaces to politicians and for private parties, especially those where alcohol may be consumed.  

  • The Las Vegas Little League’s 10-11-year-old boys All-Star team and parents would like to thank the following individuals and businesses for contributing to our fundraiser for our travel expenses to enable us to compete in the District 4 baseball tournament in Raton.

  • Well, I figure that if the commercial market can have Christmas in July, I could follow suit with New Year’s Resolutions in August.

    It’s quite apropos, you know, as the latest monsoon weather has had me quite sequestered in my hermitage. It gave me time to think about changes I want to make in my activity or lack of it.

  • Superintendents and school board members who hold our politicians responsible for massive budget cuts in education are on the right track. These so-called progressives have jumped on the “cut taxes, small government” bandwagon that for some insane reason is still fashionable across our country.

  • PORTO, Portugal -- Why can’t all countries agree on their currency? Why must travelers take along an MBA or at least a banking expert any time they wish to go beyond San Miguel County, or in our case, the U.S?

    We’re preparing for a boat tour of Portugal, the last leg of a trip to Copenhagen where we will visit our son Stan’s family. The tour is a round trip, from Porto, in northern Portugal, back to Porto. It was my friend Pedro Carrico who encouraged me to travel to his homeland.

  • With the recent meltdown of the Fiesta Council, it’s clear that changes are needed. At a recent Las Vegas City Council meeting, Mayor Alfonso Ortiz suggested the possibility of the city taking over Fiestas de Las Vegas, held annually around the Fourth of July.

  • The state Transportation Department needs to improve its planning. The Associated Press reported that the state sold a piece of land next to an Albuquerque interchange for $306,000  in 2005, but bought it back for triple that price per square foot just four years later.

    Even when the state sold the land, top officials were seeking money to expand the interchange. Those plans came to fruition, and the state needed the old land back. It was a bad deal for taxpayers.

  • I was thinking about my co-workers the other day, and I realized something about them: None of them smoke.

    At least that I know of.

    After asking around, I found out that one of my co-workers smokes. But she apparently keeps the habit pretty hidden.

    Even three years ago, I remember that a number of my co-workers used to puff their cigarettes out the back door. But they have either quit their habit or left the Optic.

  • The Las Vegas City Schools board met last week to face a budget reality: The state plans to further cut spending for schools and other agencies.

    Now, East officials are mulling over how to deal with the drop in state revenue. They’re even mentioning the possibilities of closing a school and cutting some athletic trips.

    In the coming days and weeks, other area school districts and colleges and the state hospital will have to grapple with these cuts. The Albuquerque school district is contemplating more staff reductions.