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Business/Economy

  • Council short on options--Updated

    When the Los Alamos County Council meets in special session Sept. 24, it will be almost three years to the day that councilors split the sheets with the last developer who tried to make a go of the Trinity Site.

    Now, 36 months later, it’s déjà vu all over again for the county council.

    North American Development Group has sized up its potential to make financial sense of the proposed development and determined it’s time to bail.

    Unlike its predecessor, the Boyer Company, which spent about four years in a fruitless effort to move the development forward, NADG is moving to assign its lease agreement to the development division of Kroger, the parent company of Smith’s.

  • Jobless rate falls as more people give up looking for work

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, a weak figure that could slow any momentum President Barack Obama hoped to gain from his speech to the Democratic National Convention.

    The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, the Labor Department said Friday. But that was only because more people gave up looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching.

    The government also said 41,000 fewer jobs were created in July and June than first estimated. The economy has added just 139,000 jobs a month since the beginning of the year, below 2011's average of 153,000.

    Dow Jones industrial futures, which had been up before the report, fell soon after it was released.

  • LA Monitor announces new online partnership

    The Los Alamos Monitor has announced a major new online partnership with Homes.com, which now makes the site available locally through LAMonitor.com.

    “This partnership represents another investment the Los Alamos Monitor has made to better serve this community,” Los Alamos Monitor Publisher Keven Todd said. “There’s no question that Homes.com is a nationally recognized powerhouse in the real estate business, and we’re pleased to bring this information-packed provider to Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico through LAMonitor.com.”

    Homes.com has close to three million homes for sale and rent. Each month more than 11 million consumers visit Homes.com to search for real estate by location or property type. Visitors to Homes.com can also find the value of their current home, learn more about home financing, find a real estate agent and seek answers to real estate questions through the Homes.com Questions and Answers community, according to Homes.com officials.

  • Analysis: 4-year progress query puts Obama in box

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — It's a question that aides to any president seeking re-election should be ready to handle: Are Americans better off now than before he took office?

    This seemingly simple query, however, flummoxed President Barack Obama's team over the Labor Day weekend, throwing the campaign on the defensive just as the Democrats are about to open their national convention.

    Republican Mitt Romney's campaign pounced. Running mate Paul Ryan, speaking Monday in another North Carolina town, amped-up his party's long-running efforts to persuade Americans, once and for all, that Obama's economic record disqualifies him for a second term.

    Democrats acknowledged that Obama's team must get a better handle on the question, an updated version of the Ronald Reagan line that helped sink President Jimmy Carter in 1980.

  • Forest Service gives nod to Taos Ski Valley expansion

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has approved Taos Ski Valley's request to expand its expert terrain by 60 percent with two new lifts that will take skiers to popular high alpine areas currently accessible only to hikers.

    The plan also calls for upgrades to three other lifts, thinning of trees to expand two new glade areas for advanced intermediate to expert skiers, construction of a permanent tubing facility, a snowshoe trail system and a lift-served mountain bike trail for summer visitors.

    Officials hailed the action as crucial for helping the northern New Mexico ski area keep pace with competitors in Colorado.

  • New Mexico plans summit on economic policies

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez's administration plans a summit in October to gather recommendations for boosting New Mexico's economy.

    The Economic Development Department is organizing the "New Century Economic Summit" in Albuquerque on Oct. 2 to hear from community and business leaders and educators.

    Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela said policy recommendations may be incorporated into legislative proposals and the agency's long-term strategic plan for expanding the economy.

    Barela said the summit needs to consider New Mexico's tax system, infrastructure, economic development incentives and educational programs for preparing a competitive workforce.

    The summit will be held at the Workforce Training Center at Central New Mexico Community College. There is a $25 registration fee, and the public policy group New Mexico First is helping with the summit

  • Is North Carolina Beyond Obama's Reach?
  • It's a Gas

    The kiosk for the new Smith’s Fueling Station went up this week. Smith’s Manager John Roberts said the target date for completion is Oct. 3.

  • VNA hosts mixer

    Members of the Los Alamos Visiting Nurses Association and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce recently came together to celebrate and talk about the LAVNA’s latest project at the old Scout Lodge on Canyon Road. The “Food and Networking” (FAN) event focuses on building Los Alamos’ first hospice. Though plans aren’t final yet, the LAVNA plans to move to the site in October and start the project in earnest.

  • Talking fuel pumps new to LA

    If the normally quiet pumps at your favorite gas station have started spouting advertisements at you recently, chances are the station is one of three locations now under longterm lease to Western Refining.

    In an agreement signed June 6, Western Refining acquired longterm leases from Polk Oil on 12 stations throughout Northern New Mexico. The Chevron on Trinity Drive, the Shell station on Diamond Drive and the Conoco Quik Stop in White Rock are part of that group.

    Although Western Refining operates 222 stores throughout New Mexico, Arizona, Southern Colorado and West Texas — known as Giant Convenience Centers — this is the company’s first venture into Los Alamos County.

    “The transition has gone well,” said Gary Hanson, vice president of corporate communications. “We’ve completed rebranding and the office systems have been converted. And we’re very pleased with the performance of those stations.”

    “Our retail stores help us as a business. They give us an outlet for the oil and gas we produce at our refineries. So it’s good to add these stores to our mix,” Hanson continued. The company has refineries in El Paso and Gallup.