• NM awarded nearly $19M to market health exchange

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has received a nearly $19 million federal grant for its health insurance exchange for marketing, education and outreach to make uninsured individuals and businesses aware of their options for obtaining medical coverage through the state's online marketplace.

    The exchange, which is envisioned as a one-stop online shopping center for insurance, expects to enroll more than 80,000 uninsured New Mexicans in insurance plans next year and up to 211,000 people by 2020.

    However, the exchange faces rapidly approaching deadlines under federal law of starting enrollment in October and fully operating in January.

    New Mexico plans to initially rely on a federally operated exchange to enroll individuals but use the state-run system for businesses.

  • Officials break ground on Smith's Marketplace concept

    A broad cross-section of government entities were represented along with high-ranking officials from Smith's and parent company Kroger, as others from Los Alamos gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday afternoon that was staged on a mound of dirt near the intersection of Knect and Trinity.

    The officials made their way up onto the mound following a round of speeches heralding the start of construction for the long-awaited project. Kroger and Smith's executives said the new Smith's Marketplace is going to be unique in relation to any other store among the holdings of the nation's largest retail grocer. 

    The 110,000 square-foot store is scheduled to open before Thanksgiving 2014.

    See more on this in the Los Alamos Monitor and in the Multimedia section here on LAMonitor.com.

  • Raton Range closes, publisher hopes not for good

    RATON, N.M. (AP) — The Raton Range, a biweekly newspaper serving the communities along New Mexico's northeastern border with Colorado, has ceased publication.

    In a letter posted on the newspaper's web site, publisher Paula Murphy apologizes to readers for failing to deliver Friday editions, citing the high costs of printing and the shrinking population in Raton.

    She says the company is saddled "with so much debt that it would take the glory days of advertising revenue to pay it back."

    Still, she says she is an optimist and is working on one more potential option for saving the publication where she has worked for 28 years. Murphy says she cannot say with any certainty that it will work, but she hopes it will. "So this may not be our death, but merely a regrouping. "

  • Salvaging The Future

    Some might at first think of Brian Kelley as a modern-day Sanford and Son, turning one man’s electronics trash into another’s treasure.

    As computers, Smartphones and other trappings of the 21st century permeate virtually every aspect of life; an issue arises in terms of how best to dispose of outdated devices.

    The one place they shouldn’t be is in a dumpster or trash can. In many cases, these machines that in proportion can contain as much metal, plastic and toxic materials as a subcompact car, disposing of a computer properly can be a pretty involved task.

    Unless, of course, you live or work in Los Alamos. In that case, all you have to do is call “Azazo Recycling” at 500-0569 and they will drop by free of charge whether you’re resident or business, pick up your old machine and dispose of it properly. Or, you can drop by the business at 3540 Orange Avenue, Room LV-1.

    Azazo creator and owner Brian Kelley knows a lot about computers and other electronica, as well as the harm they can do to the environment when they are just tossed in the trash. He sees his business as a kind of salvage yard of the future. That’s the reason he started Azazo Recycling, to make sure as much of Los Alamos’ “e-waste” comes his way instead of the landfill.

  • Business Spotlight: Therapist seeks to heal using alternative method

    There have been several new tenants to open up shop in the Small Business Center recently and mental health counselor Lori Padilla is among them. Padilla is a therapist that specializes in the technique of “psychodrama and action methods.”

    Born and raised in Los Alamos, she works on a part-time schedule, splitting time with her full time job at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She has worked for LANL for 31 years. Padilla has been taking clients on an a      ppointment-only basis for the past four months.

    “I plan to retire from the lab in the next couple of years, so I can work as a therapist full-time,” she said.
    Padilla has a bachelor’s degree in organizational psychology, a master’s degree in counseling from the College of Santa Fe and a certificate in psychodrama and action methods from Southwestern College in Santa Fe. She is also licensed LHMC in the state of New Mexico. She received her license in 2012.

    “I use techniques from the schools of Psychodrama and Actions Methods, Interpersonal Neurobiology and trauma therapy,” Padilla said. “About 17 years ago, I first participated in a group process where these methods were used.”

  • Business Spotlight: U-Haul opens in Pueblo Complex

    With a nice smile, head for business and a professional can-do attitude, Victoria Work is certainly the kind of U-Haul dealer you’d want to help guide you through a stressful move. But she admits she only wears the trademark uniform on occasion.

    “My mother always told me to dress like a proper lady,” she said, sitting behind a desk at her new U-Haul store inside the Pueblo Complex in Los Alamos, dressed in a fun yet modest looking skirt, complete with a leather pair of silver toned sandals and a snappy set of earrings.

    But don’t let the outside fool you; Work is all business, coming from a family of business people. If you’ve been around these parts for a while, you may remember John Work, her father, who managed White Rock Builders and was also a general contractor.

    It’s been a busy past couple of weeks for Work, as she has been busy starting up her U-Haul business here in Los Alamos while at the same time keeping track of what’s going on at her other U-Haul store in Pojoaque, called “Valley-U-Stor-It.”

    With her son also in the moving business with a company called “Moving Angels,” the Work family is pretty much a fixture in the moving business. She started the Pojoaque business in October of 1986, and she added the U-Haul side of it in 1996.

  • Microsoft reshuffles company structure

    NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft Corp. is reshuffling its business in an attempt to promote faster innovation and a sharper focus on devices and services. The move by the world's largest software maker comes amid lukewarm response to the latest version of its flagship Windows operating system and a steady decline in demand for PCs as people turn to tablets and other mobile gadgets.

    CEO Steve Ballmer said in a memo to employees Thursday that the changes mean the company is "rallying behind a single strategy" and organizing by function. While it has been widely anticipated, it's too early to tell how well the reorganization will help Microsoft compete with more nimble rivals like Apple and Google.

    "You don't make massive, sweeping changes like this unless something is wrong," said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Financial, pointing to Wednesday's reports of declining PC shipments around the world.

  • Santa Fe market highlights potential of artisans

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — For 10 years the International Folk Art Market has brought some of the world's finest artisans from far-flung and often poverty-stricken locales to peddle their wares in the well-heeled, artistic mountain town of Santa Fe.

    The show has brought in millions of dollars for the artists, many of whom have gone home to start businesses that employ other mostly impoverished women from developing countries. But it has also helped draw attention to what officials with a new State Department-backed alliance say is one of the largest but most ignored global industries.

    "The artisan sector is the second-largest employer in the developing world, after agriculture," said Peggy Clark, co-chair of The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise and vice president of the Aspen Institute. "But it's just not thought of as a driver of economic growth."

    To try to change that, the State Department last year launched the alliance in partnership with the Aspen Institute. Members include the folk market, retailers, even giants corporations like Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart.

  • White House delays key element of health care law

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's health care law, hailed as his most significant legislative achievement, seems to be losing much of its sweep.

    On Tuesday, the administration unexpectedly announced a one-year delay, until after the 2014 elections, in a central requirement of the law that medium and large companies provide coverage for their workers or face fines.

    Separately, opposition in the states from Republican governors and legislators has steadily undermined a Medicaid expansion that had been expected to provide coverage to some 15 million low-income people.

    Tuesday's move — which caught administration allies and adversaries by surprise — sacrificed timely implementation of Obama's signature legislation but might help Democrats politically by blunting an election-year line of attack Republicans were planning to use. The employer requirements are among the most complex parts of the health care law, designed to expand coverage for uninsured Americans.

    "We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively," Treasury Assistant Secretary Mark Mazur said in a blog post. "We have listened to your feedback and we are taking action."

  • Smith’s to break ground

    It is official. The Trinity Site development, with its 100,000–120,000 square-foot Smith’s Marketplace anchor, is moving forward.

    “We were informed by Smith’s/Kroger that on the 14th of June they had their capital committee meeting–this was kind of the final hurdle internally for them–and the project was approved by that committee,” Los Alamos County Administrator Harry Burgess said.

    The official groundbreaking is set for 2 p.m. July 23. Smith’s originally announced a 1:30 p.m. start time, but has since modified that.

    “It’s very exciting to see this project move from the due diligence phase of our lease agreement into the actual agreement itself,” Burgess said.

    “It’s the next step that actually makes the agreement real, because up and until we’re through the due diligence phase, there was still the opportunity for the developer, Kroger, to withdraw. Once we progress past this phase, it initiates payments, obligations and other things that were all covered within the basic agreement.”