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Business/Economy

  • Holsapple to step down

    Kevin Holsapple has made the decision to step down as executive director of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation/Chamber of Commerce.

    Holsapple notified chamber staff of his decision this afternoon.

    Holsapple, who has been the executive director for the past 15 years, plans to relinquish the helm in April.

    “I am looking to step back and get down to a lesser-than-full-time activity so I can get some other projects done,” Holsapple said. “I turned 55 this year and I am looking to shift gears a bit. This is the last phase of work life.

    “I am going to continue to work, but just on a part-time basis. I have not resigned or quit or anything like that. I am just drawing back on the amount of time and effort I put into this job.”

    The LACDC Executive Committee has begun preparing a search for Holsapple’s replacement.

    A memo from the executive committee to the full board last week stated, “Kevin has made the decision to pursue other career ambitions with his wife while they are still young enough to do so. While we value his service to the chamber and the community, we understand and respect his decision.”

  • Small Business Saturday

    David Jolly from Metzger’s Do It Best presents a check for $669.59 to Kristy Ortega, with the United Way. Metzger’s participated in the Small Business Saturday, which donated a percentage of sales to the United Way.

  • Credit union kicks in for Kiwanis

    Ann Hayes of the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos accepts a large monetary donation from Del Norte Credit Union board member Roger Stutz to support the Breakfast with Santa. The event raises money for the Kiwanis Foster Kids Dinner and all food donated is distributed to LA Cares.

  • Highlights of White House, GOP budget plans

    The Obama administration and House Republicans have unveiled their opening offers in talks to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Details are scant but the White House estimates its plan would carve $4.4 trillion from the deficit over the coming decade, including previously enacted cuts ($1 trillion) and savings from reduced costs for overseas military operations ($800 billion), as well as interest payments on the national debt ($600 billion).

    House Republicans say their plan would cut deficits by $2.2 trillion over 10 years, but they don't claim previous cuts, war savings or interest costs toward that total. Both plans would block automatic spending cuts set to hit the economy in January and renew Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of the month.

    The two plans both draw upon ideas from 2011 talks between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, including a secret plan by top Obama aide Rob Nabors that was made public by author and Washington Post writer Bob Woodward.

    Here are the highlights of all three approaches:

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  • Nearly $500M available for capital projects in NM

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State economists estimate nearly $500 million is available to finance capital improvement projects across New Mexico.

    The Legislative Finance Committee was told Monday the state can issue bonds backed by severance taxes to provide about $222 million for new capital projects, which will be determined by the Legislature and Gov. Susana Martinez next year when lawmakers meet in a 60-day legislative session.

    State law earmarks about $175 million in bond financing for public school improvements and $33 million must go for water projects.

    Nearly $34 million of available financing must be used for tribal infrastructure and capital improvements in colonias, which are poor communities usually near the border with Mexico.

    The governor vetoed some capital projects earlier this year, complaining that lawmakers don't focus enough on statewide priorities.

  • Small Business Saturday benefits United Way

    Andy Fox presents the United Way’s Kristy Ortega with a check for $2,025.61 Saturday. C.B. Fox broke the single-day sales record that day in its 32-year-history.

  • Workers asked to pay more for retirement benefits

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State and local government workers and educators could see their take-home pay shrink in the next several years under proposals to have them contribute more out of their salaries for retirement benefits.

    Taxpayers also would chip in tens of millions of dollars under proposals endorsed by a legislative committee on Wednesday to shore up the long-term finances of two programs for public employees — a retirement system for educators and a separate program offering health insurance to retirees from state and local government jobs as well as public schools and universities.

    The measures will be forwarded to the Legislature to consider when it convenes in January for a 60-day session. Lawmakers and the governor must approve the proposals before higher payroll contributions would take effect.

  • NM gardening business closes after 29 years

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe Greenhouses has closed its doors after 29 years, blaming a combination of drought, fire, the poor economy and competition from big box stores.

    The New Mexican reports the gardening business plans to sell its property to pay debts.

    Owner David Salman told the newspaper's accounting office in a letter last month that the company made drastic reductions in payroll, made cuts to plant and hard-good orders and reduced spending over the summer but it wasn't enough.

    Salman says sales had dipped by 20 percent in a two-month period earlier this year.

    Santa Fe Greenhouses' sister store High Country Gardens has also closed.

    Salman began the High Country Gardens catalog in 1993. That was followed by online operations in 2000. The operation specialized in low water-use plants.

  • NM cracks down on unemployment fraud

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico labor officials say they have cut the unemployment insurance fraud rate over the past year and continue to crack down on improper payments.

    The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions says the state now leads the nation in reducing improper payments. Between 2011 and 2012, the improper payment rate dropped to under 11 percent.

    Gov. Susana Martinez says the progress is a testament to her administration's commitment to cracking down on fraud and strengthening the system for businesses and workers.

    More initiatives are planned next year to keep fraud rates down.

    In January, the state will launch a new system under which jobless New Mexicans will be able to apply online for benefits. The system will also help employers by allowing them to electronically submit wage reports as well as pay taxes and track their accounts.

  • Cyber Monday Not Only Time for Deals