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Business/Economy

  • Business Spotlight: Doyle brings counseling practice to Los Alamos

    Karen Doyle has devoted her life to helping people seek they life that is ideal for them.
    A licensed independent social worker for more than 20 years, Doyle and Clinical Psychologist Dr. Howard Ottenheimer, Ph.D. have teamed up to help people with emotional issues.
    Splitting her time between Santa Fe and Los Alamos, Doyle opened up a practice in July at 110 East Gate Road. Doyle and Ottenheimer specialize in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Ottenheimer practices mostly in Santa Fe.
    Doyle has seven years of experience with DBT, which is designed to help people change patterns of behavior that are not effective, such as self-harm, suicidal thinking, eating disorders, depression and substance abuse. “It is a way to looking at both sides of a situation, role reversing and finding a middle ground to deal and not make things worse,” Doyle said.
    The treatment is not psychotherapy, but rather using life skills and the modules to modify unhealthy behaviors.
    The evidence-based therapy uses four modules as a guide for successful recovery.
    • Mindfulness: The capacity to pay attention and live in the moment, experiencing emotion and all senses with a conscious perspective.
    “The core component is mindfulness — the program demands to take a look at life,” Doyle said.

  • Entrepreneurs with panache

    The Summer Youth Business Grant Program recently wrapped up the summer by recognizing their young leaders with some treats and a chance to showcase their business. Three winners were selected to receive additional funds to continue their business. Adele Mitchell, JonMichael Weaver and Savannah Martinez each received additional awards to make additions to their programs.
    The top winner JonMichael, a LAHS Senior and the owner if Buddy’s beans received $350 and will continue on to a regional competition called Start Up in September at the Los Alamos Science Fest. Check out his Buddy’s beans, locally roasted coffee on Facebook. The event was sponsored by the LACDC, the LANS Community Programs Office and the Feynman Center, UNM-LA and Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA).

  • Central Avenue businesses take hit during construction

    Construction for the Central Avenue Project has hit local businesses hard, and the losses are mounting. CB Fox’s sales are down 10 percent, the Manhattan Project is down 30 percent and Ruby K’s foot traffic has dropped 25 percent in July and 35 percent to date in August. Now owners are assessing plans for getting through the winter.
    “I would say that the locals have been outstanding, and have supported us in droves,” said CB Fox General Manager Andy Fox.
    “But the problem is that this is July and August, and when we rely very heavily on tourism. So only a small fraction of our regular tourist shoppers have been able to find us and get into our store. So we are hurting from lack of tourist traffic in our most important tourist season, July and August.”
    Fox has had to reduce hours for part time employees and cut back on purchasing. He called the 10 percent drop “a ton of money. We won’t recover from that this year.”
    Ruby Alexander, owner of Ruby K’s, has also had to reduce employee hours.
    “It’s hurt our staff, trying to make house payments and pay bills, but I’ve had to cut hours because I was overstaffed for the number of people coming in the door,” Alexander said.

  • Arts, culture have big impact on state

    A study being released by state officials shows the arts and culture industries have a $5.6 billion economic impact in New Mexico.
    The Cultural Affairs Department released the report Wednesday during an event at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.
    Aside from detailing the dollars behind the state’s arts and cultural attractions, the report says there are shortfalls that need to be addressed if the state wants to realize even more of the sector’s economic potential.
    The report challenges businesses, government agencies and nonprofit groups to find more ways to take advantage of the state’s strengths.
    Researchers say the cultural and creative industries are changing thanks to technology, but New Mexico needs to do more to adapt.
    The study was done by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of New Mexico.
    Key data from the report include:
    • The arts and cultural sector contributes $5.6 billion to New Mexico’s economy each year.
    • Arts and cultural industries provide primary employment for 76,756 New Mexicans (9.8 percent of employment -- one of out of every 10 jobs).
    • Arts and cultural industries contribute $2.2 billion in wages and salaries annually.

  • Event planning goes 'green'

    Going “green” and becoming dedicated to sustainable living are buzz phrases in today’s society.
    Los Alamos resident Kimberly Hoch has started Piñon Events, a business which consists of conference and event management, but on a level where it is environmentally friendly and a way to reduce a carbon footprint.
    “I strive to provide quality event management services for everything from fundraisers to weddings, to large scale conferences and trade shows,” Hoch said.
    While living in Colorado, Hoch was employed by BBI International as event manager. BBI International was one of the first professional conference and event companies to implement full scale “no-low waste” greening services for the its events, Hoch said. The point was to use reusable, compostable, or recyclable materials for events, such as cups, napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, signage and marketing materials.
    “I’m particularly passionate about leaving the lightest footprint possible and continuing the greening initiatives I learned and implemented,” she said.
    Efforts a business can to achieve a green event may include full scale composting and recycling stations, use of bio-products for food and beverage disposable items, electronic marketing and reusable print marketing.

  • Roasting Peppers

    Smith’s employee Joseph Crocker roasts a 25-pound box of Hatch green chiles for a customer at the White Rock store Monday afternoon. The soil and growing conditions in New Mexico’s Hatch Valley contribute to the flavor of chile grown there. Most of the varieties of chile cultivated in the Hatch Valley have been developed at New Mexico State University over the last 130 years, according to Wikipedia.
     

  • Hunger Week, Summit address larger issues

    The Los Alamos County Council joined the New Mexico legislature in declaring July 14−18 as Hunger Week.
    Hunger Week — initiated to raise awareness about hunger throughout the state — coincided with the first End Hunger in New Mexico Summit, sponsored by the North Central New Mexico Economic Development District Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging and the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department. The summit took place July 17−18.
    “When people think of individuals or families going hungry, they often think of people living in extreme poverty, living in some distant land,” said Tim Armer, Executive Director for the NCNMEDD.
    “It might surprise them that there are many people experiencing hunger right here in New Mexico and most likely right in their own neighborhoods. People can have a house, a car and a job but still struggle with putting food on the table.”
    Here are some statistics about hunger in New Mexico provided by summit organizers.
    • New Mexico is one of the highest states facing food insecurity with at least 40,000 New Mexicans seeking food assistance each week, including many children or senior citizens. Currently New Mexico ranks No. 1 in the nation for childhood hunger and second for senior hunger.

  • Hidden in plain sight: Poverty in LA

    Forbes ranked Los Alamos County the third wealthiest county in the United States this year. The county also has the highest number of millionaires, according to Phoenix Marketing International. Livability.com just named Los Alamos the best small town in the country.
    So it is very hard for most people to believe that poverty exists in the county.
     “I think there is a perception that Los Alamos doesn’t have poverty. In areas of affluence, sometimes the issues of poverty become invisible. And it is true in Los Alamos that the great majority of people are doing rather well,” said Ellen Morris Bond, executive director for Self Help, Inc., a program dedicated to enhancing life skills and empowering individuals by providing programs and services that focus on developing self-reliance.
     “Whenever I do public talks, people are kind of shocked at my reports of what I deal with on the ground here, as an agency that deals with struggling people in Los Alamos almost every day. Every day I hear and see and meet with families that struggle to stay here.”
    Statistics show that 3.9 percent of the county’s population lives in poverty, based on such things as the number of food stamp recipients. And the story does not stop there.

  • Central Avenue construction

    Even though there’s a lot of construction going on at Central Avenue, local businesses are doing all they can to remind residents they are open, as the banner on CB Fox’ front window demonstrates.

  • Smith’s start is a strong one

    The ribbon cutting for the new Smith’s Marketplace Wednesday was relatively quiet, at least compared to what followed.
    Within an hour of opening, the parking lot was starting to fill up and by lunchtime it was packed.
    Reports kept coming back to Los Alamos Monitor — at 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 11 p.m. — it was still packed.
    The trend continued Thursday and Friday and shows no sign of letting up any time soon.
    “I can’t release sales information, but I can tell you that both yesterday and today (Wednesday and Thursday) we exceeded anything we thought was possible at this store,” manager Erik Boehm said. “So it will be an impressive store when it’s all said and done.”
    Boehm was able to provide some figures about the number of transactions. The store racked up 8,900 transactions the first day from an estimated 14,000 people. Day two saw 7,000 transactions from approximately 12,000 customers.
    “So we probably put 26,000 people through the store in the last two days,” Boehm said.
    That estimate may even be a little low, considering the number of people who just came in to check out the store without making a purchase.