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Opinion

  • I am writing this letter to let everyone know exactly who Benito Lemos was. He was going to be my son in-law this summer, but I can honestly say that he was more like a son than a son in-law.

    He was an awesome person and kind to everyone he knew. Yes, he was a big guy but he had the biggest heart you’ll ever find. Anytime I needed him. he was there for me, no matter what. He had a great sense of humor, a great personality, and a smile that would light up a room.  

  • A little more than a month ago, I wrote a column in which I criticized and defended our online comments feature, all in the same space. I was hoping that if I encouraged a more civil tone and told readers how to police the comments themselves, we could raise the discussion to a more responsible level.

    I was wrong.

  • Thursday was our national day of prayer. We need to pray for our world.

    Older readers may remember the Cold War, when for some 40 years America had constant tension with Communist Russia. We were all afraid of an accidental, terrible war with atomic weapons that could kill millions of people.

  • Thumbs UP for ... A GOOD MOVE ... Highlands University regents passed a policy regarding the naming of buildings on campus. Wisely, it excludes current employees or politicians while in office.

    Thumbs DOWN for ... A MOVE THAT COMES UP SHORT. However, Highlands property can still be named after sitting regents — a provision that we wish had also been prohibited. Best to take politics completely out of the naming of facilities, we think.

  • The city of Las Vegas has ordinances that prohibit the obstruction of sidewalks by business activities. Unfortunately, when obvious violations are brought to the city’s attention, no action is taken.

  • On April 15, Tax Day, two of my dogs were apparently taken out of their dog run.  These dogs mean a lot to me.  They used to belong to my son.  I contacted the city police and Valerie at the Animal Shelter.  Fortunately both dogs have all of their shots, tags, and are spayed or neutered. Valerie took my report and put up a notice.  Later, I contacted Tina at the Animal Welfare Coalition. A “lost dogs” notice was put into their website. I received several phone calls and eventually found the dogs.

  • Elections are coming up. Our local government officials take an oath when they take office. Wouldn’t it be great if the oath said, “We pledge to work with the citizens of Mora to provide better services, jobs, education, environmental protection and all else that comprises a healthy community.”

  • “Six degrees of separation” is a concept that tries to show that everybody is connected to everybody else by just six steps.

    The observation, of about 1994 vintage, is also called “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon,” the “Footloose” actor who’s been in just about every other movie. The task, when it became a game, would be to show a connection between any actor and Bacon.

  • Once again we recognize Cinco de Mayo, an unofficial celebration stemming from the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It’s not widely celebrated because its significance is not that great — the Mexicans’ win in Puebla only delayed the French advance into Mexico City — but it’s a point of pride nevertheless, since the Mexican forces won the day despite being seriously outnumbered 2-to-1.

  • In the old Westerns, sheriffs didn’t have to contend with anything resembling a bureaucracy. The sheriff was a county’s top lawman.

    Maybe that’s the way it was, but not anymore.

    At a recent sheriff candidates forum, San Miguel County Sheriff Benjie Vigil told the audience that his deputies would start carrying Tasers in June. Never mind the County Commission’s opinion.

    Of course, the sheriff still has latitude in how he runs his department. But the County Commission indisputably holds the purse strings.

  • This is in response to the article which was published on April 23 in the Las Vegas Optic, regarding where we claimed Head of Household.

    Our primary residence is on El Llano Road. This is the only property where we claim Head of Household.

    The San Miguel County Assessor’s Office claims that we had two head of households for four years which is incorrect. This office has no proof of a signed affidavit to make such a claim.

  • In 2008, a pollster called me to ask about the presidential race. The first question: “Do you belong to a media organization?”

    I answered yes.

    The caller said, “Thank you very much,” and hung up.

    In other words, someone didn’t want the media finding out about the poll. It was likely a push poll, in which the caller asks questions with a bias — an example of a question on abortion: How do you feel about Barack Obama’s position in favor of killing babies?

  • The Las Vegas City Council has authorized Mayor Alfonso Ortiz to negotiate the closure of a longstanding dispute over a Luna Community College natural gas bill.

    In mid-2007, the city discovered that it had incorrectly billed Luna for several years, and back-billed the college $122,000. That set off a series of attempts to resolve the matter and recover the money, and the accusations started to fly.

  • To the West Las Vegas School Board: Five and a half years ago we made a decision to move our family to New Mexico. We had fallen in love with the “original” Las Vegas and all of the benefits we felt it offered – history, local culture, educational opportunities, job potential, great weather, future friends, and a beautiful setting. We have been delighted with everything we have found here.

  • The Pecos Independent School District will be facing a budget reduction for the 2010-11 school year. We are looking carefully at all operational budget areas to apply a reduction to create a balanced budget.

  • Few conversations with my neighbors in Ojitos Frios Ranches near Romeroville, south of Las Vegas don’t include water. “How’s your well?” “How full are your tanks?” “Where are you getting your water?” These questions have been a part of nearly every discussion since we began experiencing a plague of well failures last fall.

  • Imagine a cruise ship whose captain is required to set and maintain the course, handle disgruntled passengers, manage an increasingly dwindling cash box, assure quality on all decks, feed and nurture all members of the ship’s crew and passengers. In addition, this captain holds responsibility for the intellectual and physical development of all members of this floating community. There are occasional leaks, rough seas, and perhaps an iceberg at times. Successful voyages demand a qualified captain.

  • What do the U.S. Secretary of Education, the Highlands and Luna presidents, the New Mexico Secretary of Education and our local school superintendents have in common?

    For starters, they are all educational leaders who spend large amounts of our tax dollars.  They are also subject to judgments of their value based on measurements of what their students learn — or don’t — in our schools.

  • This is a response to (the letter which ran April 2 titled “Don’t gamble with our future”): In 2009, I began attending Mora County Commission meetings in hopes of learning more and being able to dialog with the commissioners on issues going on in the county. I publicly offered to assist with grant writing as a volunteer.

    What I got was a stop watch that was monitored more carefully than the words I spoke.

  • Bill Norton’s letter about drunken drivers and apathy (Optic; April 12), reminds us how critical it is to have a strong judicial system. A magistrate judge election will be held on June 1, and voters will be asked to select one of the two candidates. Magistrate judges are the men and women who are on the front lines with DWI cases. We voters need to know the position each candidate takes on DWI.

    We ask that both candidates write a position statement about DWI in their courts and publish it in the paper.