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Opinion

  • June is Torture Awareness Month, and to observe it, the Las Vegas group of Amnesty International will hold two events this Friday and Saturday.

    The Saturday event will be the annual vigil to remember victims of torture, taking place from 10 to 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Sixth and National. The night before, the group will show a film, “The Response,” a dramatization of a panel of military judges deciding whether an alleged enemy combatant should be released from detention at Guantánamo, or continue to be imprisoned, perhaps indefinitely.

  • In response to the advertisement in the Optic about the Mora San Miguel Electric Co-op annual meeting: I find the ad offensive because it is factually incorrect, and misses the larger point. The ad states that one of the proposed bylaw changes suggests moving the cooperative to Pecos, which is not the case. In the spirit of full disclosure, I did not submit, write, or collaborate on proposal No.

  • Thumbs UP for ... SHOW'S OVER. Val Kilmer gave an awkward apology at this week’s San Miguel County Commission meeting, saying he was sorry about what he says he didn’t say. And while that seems to be enough for most, it may not have been enough for his main antagonist, Abe Tapia, who was also put off by the “police state” approach to Wednesday’s meeting.

  • Apparently, the Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative has not even considered using current technology to solve the distance-to-meeting problem for its membership. Simply employ video teleconferencing from the Pecos office during meetings. This technology has been available for at least two decades, is proven, and is increasingly popular in commercial settings as the cost of travel increases. There are a number of commercial services offering this technology; for instance, Go To Meeting or Webex, among others.

  • All right, Tom Mullins, which version of your loose-lips-sink-ships inanity would you like for the public to bruit around?

    Republican Tom Mullins, who will face U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan in the November general election, was on local radio station KNMX in May. Although he made the following quoted remarks about a month ago, before winning the recent primaries, the full impact of the statements appeared in the press only last week.

  • The members of the Robertson High School Close Up @ WDC Club, along with their advisor, wish to thank the following businesses for their donations to their raffle:

  • We’re glad Las Vegas Police Chief Gary Gold has decided not to use the electroshock weapon known as Tasers in his department. He said the history of lawsuits and the number of reported injuries that stem from their use led him to conclude that they are just too risky. We think he’s doing the right thing by banning their use.

  • The Las Vegas City Schools has held the Fifth Grade Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball Tournament successfully for the past 10 years. This would not be possible without the support of the school administrators, teachers, parents, and coaches. A special thanks to Coach Fabian Trujillo, Coach Raynee Gerhart, Coach Benny Ortiz, Pete Garcia and Justin Montoya, as well as our sponsors, Elk Lodge 408 and the Bank of Las Vegas.

    Congratulations to the 2010 Champions: Legion Park Boys and the Los Niños Girls.

    Mark Herrera

    Las Vegas

  • We want to make sure you know that mental health services are available in your community.

    The New Mexico Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Institute Community Based Services Division (CBS) is a licensed community mental health provider that has a long history of providing quality community-based mental health services in northern New Mexico. We have operated mental health clinics in San Miguel and Mora counties for 20 years and in Guadalupe County for 15 years.

  • On Saturday, members of the Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative will vote on a number of issues.

    One of the major ones would make it easier to change the site of the headquarters, which has long been in Mora. The current threshold is that two-thirds of members need to support such a change, but a proposal on Saturday would decrease that to a plurality — in other words, the largest number of votes.

  • Sitting in a classroom isn’t the ideal way to spend a beautiful summer day.

    But because of a speeding ticket, Municipal Court mandated that I attend the defensive driving course taught by Cruz Flores on a recent Saturday.

    The alternative was paying a steep fine and letting the violation go on my driving record, thus increasing my insurance rates.

  • On Tuesday, June 8, our granddaughter was hit by a pickup in front of her home. First of all, we want to thank the city police, the state police and the EMTs in helping with this terrible accident. To all of our friends, thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts.

  • Thumbs DOWN for ... RIGHTLY SUSPICIOUS. Is it too much to ask that our politicians be straight with us? San Miguel County Commissioner-elect Arthur Padilla is the latest politician struggling with the question about where he lives. He swore in a required affidavit that he lives at 711 Legion Drive. That’s where he’s registered to vote. But his son, who lives at that house, says his dad lives in Rociada. Padilla himself contends he lives at both places.

  • Las Vegas, we have a problem. No one wants to talk about this huge white elephant in the room but everyone knows the problem.

    The problem is the blatant violation of traffic laws throughout town. We have speeding, illegal cell phone use, running stop signs and the list continues. Traffic laws are in place for public safety reasons and when we have a minority that ignores traffic laws it jeopardizes everyone’s safety.

  • Several times I’ve alluded to the phenomenon of meeting a word that suddenly everybody’s using. I then do research on the word or phrase and often discover that it’s been around since my seventh birthday, or the Punic Wars — which-ever came first.

  • Some Las Vegans might not even be aware of it. Those who enter or leave town via one of the Interstate 25 ramps on the north or south end of town don’t always have the opportunity to take in the view.

    The “view,” courtesy of local junkmeister Tony Ortega, is an unmitigated blight on the community. It besmirches all that a great many people hold dear; it taints the last vestiges of community pride in helping create an attractive community.

  • I would like to start this by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to a young man, who literally gave the shirt off his back for someone else.

    On June 2, at approximately 1:40 a.m., James Montoya Jr. saw the awning in front of my building in flames. He turned his car around and went back to help. He tried to douse the fire by using his drink, but when that didn’t work he took the shirt off his back and put it out. Nervously he dialed 911.  

  • One of my old bosses liked to say that running a newsroom is like herding cats. In many ways, that’s true.

    We’re questioners by nature, not blind followers of authority.

    But the media often act like a herd when it’s covering a big story.

    The TV stations and daily newspapers in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe corridor closely follow one another, often covering the same stories.

    You don’t see them often around here, except when big stories break such as the infamous sexual assaults at a Robertson High School football camp.

  • Congratulations to state Rep. Thomas Garcia for being hired as superintendent of the Mora school district. The district needs a strong leader who will get its finances back in order and push all schools to meet the federal standard of adequate yearly progress. (Mora High School, to its credit, already makes the grade.)

    Unfortunately, the superintendent’s position has been a revolving door in recent years. We hope Garcia succeeds and stays.

    As a state representative, however, he should now resign.

  • Our city is governed to the assets and speed of the “Victorian Triangle.” That is, those citizens living within the boundaries of Grand Avenue on the east, Rio Gallinas on the west, the confluence of Grand Avenue and Rio Gallinas on the south, and open-ended on the north, dictate taxing, personal resources, influence, and political clout.

    Our City Council is constituted as one in which the representatives are selected at the different sectors of the city, and the influence of that sector follows the council person.