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Business/Economy

  • McDonald's coming to Pojoaque

    The Pueblo of Pojoaque broke ground on a new McDonald’s Restaurant this week. The groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday with construction expected to last about 100 days. The Pueblo will lease the new land and the new eatery will open on in July/August 2014.
    Participating in breaking ground was: Mark Cordova, Managing Member of Cordova Contracting and Developments LLC; Timothy Vigil, Director of Special Projects, Pueblo of Pojoaque; Stephanie Crosby, Tribal Secretary, Pueblo of Pojoaque; George Rivera, Governor, Pueblo of Pojoaque; Julian Garza, Franchise Owner.

  • Credit card could come with benefits

    If a partnership between the Los Alamos Schools Credit Union and the Los Alamos Public Schools is successful, “charging it” could come with extra benefits.
    At a recent school board meeting, LAPS’ Chief Finance Officer John Wolfe announced to the board that the credit union is looking to start a Visa credit card that its customers could also use to make donations to the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation. The foundation supports grants, programs and scholarships relevant to the school system.
    Matt Schmidt, CEO of the credit union, was also at the meeting, seeking the board’s approval to use the “Hilltopper” logo on the card.
    “We want to feature the school district as the primary benefactor of this card,” Schmidt said. “So therefore, I’m seeking your approval of the logo,” he said to the board.
    Customers who use the credit card, which would have the famous yellow and green “Hilltopper” logo on it, would have a choice of donating 25 cents to the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation with each purchase they make.

  • Vintage jewelry leads trip down memory lane

    When entering Mrs. Beadsley’s Vintage Jewelry Store, it is like walking into a giant jewelry box. Every inch of the cozy space holds costume jewelry and items from a different time. Its major draw is for people who “love old stuff.”
    Owner Debra Lowenstein opened the shop in March at 2101 Trinity Drive, Suite G. She has lived in Los Alamos two years, having come from Santa Fe, where she had a similar costume jewelry shop, first in a kiosk at DeVargas Mall, then in the Railyard.
    She keeps a plethora of loose rhinestones, beads, clasps and pads for clip-on earrings. She has knowledge in restoration and repairs, such as necklace restringing. She said that since she has opened she has done hundreds of restrings for customers.
    “It’s a challenge to make something look as if it has always looked like that,” she said, adding that it is a way for someone to keep enjoying the jewelry for years to come.
    Lowenstein laments that today’s jewelry is not made like it used to and the quality has diminished due to machine-made pieces. “Things were made by hand back in the day and people were frugal and took great care in what they had,” Lowenstein said. “The heyday for costume jewelry spanned from the 1920s to 1960s, before the human touch was lost.”

  • Housekeepers get back-pay from LA hotel

    The National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of four housekeepers, who said they were retaliated against and fired for trying to improve working conditions at the Los Alamos Holiday Inn Express.
    The housekeepers won reinstatement and back pay this week, according to a press release from Somos Un Pueblo Unido .
    The press release said in September 2013, Rosa Sanchez, Malena Sanchez, Ramona Salaiz and Yolanda Salaiz formed a work site committee to collectively complain about a hostile work environment, favoritism by supervisors, and unequal application of disciplinary measures (including arbitrary write-ups).
    The press release said the hotel soon began a series of retaliatory actions that included: threatening committee members with termination and lawsuits; reducing hours; intimidating the workers by having a uniformed police officer at a staff meeting; and increasing surveillance by installing cameras in housekeeper areas.

  • Business Spotlight: Remodeler to host showroom opening

    Quality of work and hiring a local company are usually top priorities for those looking into remodeling their home.
    Alec Caspersen, owner of ADC Builders Kitchen and Bath Design, fills those requirements and more.
    Caspersen’s talents will be on display Saturday when he hosts a grand opening for his new showroom from 1 to 4 p.m. at 212 D.P. Road.
    Caspersen, who grew up in Los Alamos and earned a degree in culinary arts in Santa Fe. He has been working with his father since a young age in the construction industry and has continued doing so for approximately 30 years.
    “I have worked in almost all styles of homes and all locations in Los Alamos and White Rock,” Caspersen said.
    He is a licensed residential and commercial general contractor in New Mexico, and has owned ADC Builders since 1997.
    Caspersen named the business after himself, his wife Deann and the family last name.
    He has always specialized in kitchen and bathroom remodeling as part of his residential construction business, Caspersen said. “Around 2003, I trained and was certified as a solid surface counter top fabricator. Solid surface is an ideal material for counter tops, tub and shower surrounds due to its inconspicuous seams and ease of cleaning,” he said.

  • N.M. special session on Tesla eyed

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said her office is mulling whether a special legislative session should be held to help the state win a Tesla Motors facility.
    In a speech to an Albuquerque area commercial real estate development association on Monday, Martinez said her office is evaluating whether a special session is necessary to complete a package of economic incentives being crafted to help make New Mexico more appealing to Tesla, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
    “If it’s necessary, we are open to whatever we can do that would even include that sort of thing. I’ve had legislators say, ‘If it’s necessary, we’ll come,’” Martinez said.
    New Mexico is one of four states identified as finalists for a lithium-ion battery factory that would supply the company’s Fremont, Calif., assembly plant. Others are Arizona, Nevada and Texas.
    The Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla says it will invest $2 billion in the 10 million square foot factory, which will cost between $4 billion and $5 billion. Its partners will invest the rest.
    The new factory will provide enough batteries to supply 500,000 vehicles by 2020, Tesla said. Tesla expects to produce 35,000 vehicles this year.

  • Mari Mac Businesses Weather Construction

    The construction of a new entrance into the Mari Mac Shopping Center is making access to the center’s businesses even more challenging than usual. Owners and managers are coping as best they can, and a number of them are surprisingly upbeat about the situation.
    The Pajarito Brewpub and Grill and Daniel’s Café Haagen-Dazs are feeling the greatest impact, since they have lost not only their entrances but all their adjacent parking during construction — a critical factor for lunchtime business.
    “Parking was already a stress at lunchtime, because there are so many restaurants,” said Dan Sena, who co-owns Daniel’s with his wife Margie. Sena estimates they are losing 20 percent of their business daily. The day two additional lanes were closed for re-striping, that number jumped to 40 percent.
    But Sena thinks the end result will be worth it.
    “We’ve been trying to get this done for 30 years, so it’s a good thing,” Sena said. He called the current configuration, with a blind curve next the exit from the brewpub and cars turning into pedestrian crossings at both entrances “an accident waiting to happen” that could have led to a fatal incident.
    “Having a safer intersection is well worth any inconvenience right now,” Sena said.

  • SBDC-LA to host free workshops

    The Small Business Development Center-Los Alamos, in association with the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP), will conduct two free workshops to help businesses get started with selling to the government.
    The workshops will take place April 3, on the UNM-LA campus.
    The first workshop, “Government Contracting Basics for Small Business” will cover such topics as whether the government purchases a particular product or service, how to get started selling to the government, whether government certifications are necessary, available resources to business owners, and how to market to the government. This workshop runs from 8:30 a.m. until noon and the cost is free.
    The second workshop, “Introduction to the System for Award Management” (SAM) will discuss how to register for SAM, which replaced the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) system, and how to migrate to the new system. This workshop runs from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and the cost is also free.
    For more information, contact Elaine Palin, PTAP Advisor, elaine.palin@sfcc.edu. To register, visit http://nmptap.org/training-events/ptap-trainings/santa-fe-events/.

  • Rowberry joins LANB as senior lender

     Los Alamos National Bank announced the hiring of Chris Rowberry as senior lender this week. Rowberry brings with him 20 years of experience in the financial industry in various areas including investments, retirement funds, annuities as well as mortgage and commercial lending.
    “LANB looks forward to having this caliber of expertise on board,” LANB president Steve Wells said. “As senior lending officer, Rowberry will lead the commercial lending team at LANB. “
    Rowberry recently relocated from Denver to Los Alamos with his wife and two dogs. He graduated with a degree in Finance from Colorado State University and received a Master’s degree from University of Colorado at Denver and has a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation.  

  • Food co-op to celebrate third birthday Saturday

    The Los Alamos Co-op Market will celebrate its three-year anniversary from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at 95 Entrada Dr. Coined the “Tree Year” Anniversary, the Co-op will be donating trees to help offset carbon created by Co-op operations.
    Additionally, the market will be supporting local environment’s needs by sponsoring a seed ball making activity led by the Family YMCA. As always, there will be food samples and a 10 percent discount day for members.
    To celebrate, the Co-op invites the community to participate in several family-friendly activities.
    Schedule of events:
    9:30 a.m.: Chair massages by Greg Barthell
    10 a.m. to noon: Live performance by the String Theory String Quartet
    10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Dairy goats and dairy products from Camino de Paz school and farm will be onsite to teach the community about the upcoming season.
    11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: The Española Valley Fiber Arts Center will be teaching wool spinning.
    Noon to 1 p.m.: Birthday cake — and one gluten-free cake.
    Noon to 2 p.m.: Face painting by Son-shine Art for kids.