• Santa Fe approves ban on plastic carry-out bags

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Starting in six months, a new city law in Santa Fe will ban the distribution of plastic carry-out bags intended for one use.

    The ordinance approved by the City Council on a 7-1 vote Tuesday evening also establishes a 10-cent fee for paper carry-out grocery bags.

    The city plans to give away 10,000 reusable cloth bags to prepare people for the change.

    Supporters of the ban cited environmental benefits, including reduced waste going into landfills.

    Councilor Ron Trujillo cast the only dissenting vote, saying that the plastic bag ban should include the thicker ones used by upscale shops.

    Other councilors said they agreed but wanted to start with the ban approved Monday night.

  • Miss. nuclear waste plan sparks early opposition

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Energy Institute is pushing for more exploration of storing and reprocessing used nuclear fuel in the state at the same time that one of the its congressmen is coming out against it.

    Leaders of the institute, which promotes energy development, pitched ideas Monday to the state Senate Economic Development Committee. Jason Dean, who works for a unit of the Butler Snow law firm, said Mississippi should explore interim storage and reprocessing of fuel rods. He said receiving used fuel rods and reprocessing them could create 4,000 permanent jobs and $30 million a year in taxes.

    "We see fuel rods no longer as a waste product, but as a commodity," Dean said.

    He said the proposal doesn't include permanent underground storage, saying that's the role for the stalled Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada. Instead, Mississippi would accept the waste in giant concrete casks, reuse most of it and ship the remainder to Nevada.

  • Teaching preschoolers progressively

    Construction underway on various road projects across virtually all of Los Alamos can cause quite a headache. Children’s Montessori Preschool is amidst the roadblock and detour signs.

    “We want people to know that we have open enrollment for the entire year,” Melanie Romero said.

    Mother-daughter team Shelli Petty and Melanie Romero are certified Montessori instructors. The school has been operating for 7 years at its current location at 1060 Nugget St.

    Director Shelli Petty takes pride in saying that the preschool program is progressive. “Kids these days need preschool to go onto kindergarten,” she said. “We teach children to be self motivated.”

    The age ranges of the children are 2 ½ to 5 years old.

    The school is open 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and follows a structured schedule consisting of outdoor time and snacking time. There are clocks on the wall that illustrate the rigid structure that formats each day.

    The philosophy of Children’s Montessori was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori. Three major points are for a child to develop his or her physical, intellectual and spiritual powers and achieve freedom through order and self discipline; to never risk failure of a child and recognize self-motivation as the only valid impulse to learning.

  • Eatery Set To Close

    After 35 and a half years of serving up trademark burgers, free chips and salsa, a variety Mexican fare and live entertainment, De Colores is closing its doors. The restaurant, located at 2470 East Road, just past the airport, will be no more after Aug. 28

    According to general manager Sue Dummer, the restaurant’s owner, Joan Duran, is ready to retire.
    “It’s time,” she said. “The owner wants to retire and so it’s time.”

    Dummer has been with the Duran from the beginning, back when they started the business in White Rock. Then it was a Tastee Freeze before they changed the name to “Mel’s Diner” after a TV show restaurant that was popular at the time. They then moved to the center of town on Trinity, where they came up with the name to fit in with the many colored buildings on their block. But, as landlords began to rent more and more to the Los Alamos National Laboratory and its contractors in 2003, De Colores eventually moved out by the airport, where it’s been located ever since.

    According to its website, the restaurant was the longest running one in the area, having started in 1978. Dummer credits a loyal following for the restaurant’s longevity.

  • Business Spotlight: Local physical therapists get to the point

    Two Los Alamos physical therapists are bringing an alternative method of healing to the area — biomedical acupuncture, otherwise known as dry needling.

    Mike Hoog and Lori Erickson are both licensed PT’s with 28 years of experience between the both of them.

    The couple has a side business called Shanti Therapeutics and work out of their home in the evening.

    The therapy is an integrative approach, just as acupuncture is, but there are differences between traditional acupuncture and dry needling.

    “Dry needling uses homeostatic points and symptomatic points,” Erickson said. “while acupuncture uses meridian points.”

    “The procedure is designed to improve tissue healing and restore normal muscle function,” According to a quote from Darren Beilstein in The Health Journal, “Continued activity with poor muscle function may lead to further tissue damage and increased pain.”

    Dry needling uses fine solid filament needles to cause small lesions in the tissue with the damage.

    The procedure addresses the specific muscle or tendon and allows the body to heal itself without the use of drugs for pain relief.

  • Comcast adds channels

    Comcast announced Thursday that it has completed its digital migration to a full digital delivery system in Los Alamos.
    This brings 87 new High-Definition (HD) channels as well as an expanded selection of HD On Demand choices to residential homes and businesses as part of Comcast’s growing Xfinity TV catalog.
    Earlier this summer, Comcast began a digital initiative in Los Alamos that converted channels 2 to 82 from analog to digital, and began laying the framework needed to launch these new products and services to customers there.
    The new programming will be available to both residential and business Comcast customers in the Los Alamos area. Included in the dozens of new HD channels are popular networks such as Bravo, CNBC, Comedy Central, MSNBC, MTV, National Geographic WILD, NHL Network, ReelzHD, ROOT Sports, Sprout and VH1. Customers with an Xfinity MultiLatina package will also receive more than two dozen new Spanish language channels.
    In addition to these new HD Channels, Comcast continues to deliver more HD content via Xfinity On Demand.

  • Radio station adds FM

    David and Gillian Sutton, owners of KRSN AM Radio 1490, have just found another place on the radio dial to call home. They’ve recently acquired space on the FM dial at 107.1.

    And don’t worry, KRSN AM 1490 isn’t going anywhere, their new space on the FM band will be an exact duplicate of their AM signal, so all of your favorite programs, whether that is the morning show with Dave and Nancy or sports with the Los Alamos Monitor’s own Mike Maez-Cote can now also be heard in crystal clear, stereo FM.

    Friday was the station’s first full day of broadcasting on the FM side, according to David.

    Why play the exact format at a different space on the dial? Gillian and David said there is a method to their madness. According to Gillian, FM 107.1 will have the same reach as AM 1490, but they hope with the FM 107.1 signal to reach more listeners within that same range.

    The couple discovered that it’s not just about certain people preferring FM over AM, but after doing some research, they found some residents literally can’t get the AM station inside their homes, due to the metal construction materials that are used to make modern buildings.

    “FM has no trouble getting through steel,” Gillian said.

  • Business Spotlight: Clinic rolls with changes in health care

    There is nothing more frightening to a parent than a sick or injured child. The availability of a pediatrician is crucial in these tense situations. The Children’s Clinic located inside the Los Alamos Medical Center has a doctor on-call 24/7.

    The clinic has been a staple in Los Alamos for well over 50 years and has expanded since its beginnings in 1955.

    Seven doctors and nurses form the backbone of the clinic that has seen many in the community grow up. With the health care landscape always changing, the business has changed primarily because of technology.

    “One of the things you can always count on is change,” Dr. Michael Nichols said, who has been a pediatrician at the clinic since 1978. Nichols also works out of an office in White Rock.

    Because of the small communities within the area, doctors at the children’s clinic organize outreach programs. “You meet a lot of kids,” Dr. Ben Neal said. “We go advise school districts through volunteer work.”

    The doctors have been known to also set up outreach clinics in rural communities, such as Española, El Rito, Tierra Amarilla, Pojoaque Valley and Chama. “You’ll see 2nd and 3rd generations of families out there,” Neal said. Neal has been working at the clinic since 1987.

  • Fine Art Gallery Set to Close

    Since 2008, Karen Wray’s gallery has hosted many local artists’ work. But as of Oct. 1, she is closing her doors. Reason being, there has not been much traffic coming through and business has dwindled.

    Wray is moving her studio to a different location in town so that art classes will continue. “It’s a bigger space ideal for art classes,” Wray said.

    Wray said she can now focus on her love of painting and teaching at the new location where she will teach oil painting, watercolor, drawing and composition. Wray also has taught classes on how to exhibit and sell artwork.

    She said she is hopeful classes will be available in the fall.

    The new studio space is on East Gate Drive. She said more information about the studio will be available at a later date.

    Wray said that she will miss the artists she has come to know throughout the years.

    “I’ve watched many artists grow and their work progress, so it is a sad time,” she said.
    Wray said the same of art classes, watching the budding artists learn and grow is something that she has always loved and wants to continue.

    Artists like Secundino Sandoval, Richard Swenson and others have their work on consignment at the gallery.

  • Family insurance in jeopardy at small companies

    NEW YORK (AP) — One casualty of the new health care law may be paid coverage for families of people who work for small businesses.

    Insurance companies have already warned small business customers that premiums could rise 20 percent or more in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act. That's making some owners consider not paying for coverage for workers' families, even though insurance is a benefit that helps companies attract and retain top talent. If more small business owners decide to stop paying for family coverage, it will accelerate a trend that started as the cost of health insurance soared in recent years.

    Under the law, companies with 50 or more employees are required to provide affordable coverage for their workers. They also must offer health insurance to employees' dependents, but don't have to pay for it. And they aren't required to offer insurance at all to employees' spouses.