Local News

  • State Briefs 2-6-15

    Lawmakers use hard rhetoric in heated debates

    SANTA FE (AP) — One lawmaker compared the repeal of a New Mexico immigrant driver’s license law to the Holocaust. A state senator said the appointment of a new child welfare leader was “a slap in the face” — to abused children.
    Despite initial calls for bipartisanship, the opening days of a divided New Mexico Legislature have seen its fair share of heated rhetoric. Lawmakers have linked immigrants to terrorists. Others say their opponents are pushing Jim Crow-style segregation laws.
    Experts say these rhetorical bombs help lawmakers later raise money during campaigns.
    Richard Pineda, a communications professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, says the outlandish language in legislative debates also speaks to lawmakers’ political bases but doesn’t help with the business of governing.
    Republicans control the House while Democrats control the Senate.

    Officials weigh options after zero-turnout vote

  • Update 2-6-15

    Public hearing

    Los Alamos County Council will hold a hearing Feb. 17 in council chambers. The topic of the hearing is to decide whether to adopt a proposed electric rate increase that was approved by the Board of Public Utilities last month. Comments can be made at losalamosnm.us.


    The deadline for submitting comments to Bandelier National Monument’s proposed fee increase is Feb. 15. For information on the proposal, contact Joanie Budzileni at 672-3861.

    'Uncommon Valor'

    Mesa Public Library will screen the documentary “Uncommon Valor,” about the battle of Iwo Jima, at 7 p.m. Feb. 18.

    Kiwanis Club

    Eric Boehn, manager of Smith’s Marketplace in Los Alamos, will be the speaker at the Kiwanis Club meeting Tuesday. The meeting will be from noon-1 p.m. at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church.


    Theologian and motivational speaker Danny Mack will speak Saturday at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church. Breakfast will be served at 9:30 a.m.

  • CAP Cadets receive their promotions

    A half-dozen cadets from the Los Alamos Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol were promoted earlier this month at a ceremony at the Los Alamos airport terminal.
    To receive a promotion in rank, each cadet completed requirements including participating in squadron activities, attending character development meetings and achieving physical fitness standards based on age, gender and rank.
    In addition, each cadet passed written exams on leadership and aerospace education.
    They also had an interview with the local CAP Promotion Review Board.
    Cadets receiving promotion to Cadet Airman 1st Class were Silas Morgan and Hannah Morgan. Jacqueline Lang was promoted to Cadet Senior Airman and Cadets promoted to Cadet Staff Sgt. were Andrei Popa-Simil and Victor Popa-Simil.
    Zacharay Lang was promoted to Cadet Senior Master Sgt.
    Also recognized was Cadet Commander Caleb Britton who has completed his eighth achievement.
    Britton is now able to begin the process of working toward a transition from his current rank of Cadet Chief Master Sgt. to becoming a cadet officer.
    During the ceremony CAP Squadron Commander Annette Peters expressed her appreciation for the dedication and hard work that resulted in these accomplishments.

  • State House panel stops marijuana bill

    SANTA FE (AP) — A New Mexico House panel has tabled a proposal that would legalize marijuana in the state.
    The House Agriculture, Water and Wildlife Committee voted 7-1 to table a bill sponsored by Rep. Bill McCamley. The Mesilla Park Democrat wants to allow the state to license marijuana producers to grow and sell the drug to adults.
    The move comes after a proposal to let New Mexico voters decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana stalled in a Senate committee last year. That proposal would have made it legal for adults 21 and over to possess and use marijuana. It would have been left to the Legislature to later establish a system for regulation.
    Gov. Susana Martinez has said she opposes marijuana legalization in New Mexico.

  • Pajarito hosting weekend events

    There’s a busy Saturday planned for local skiers and snowboarders.
    Pajarito Mountain Ski Area will host a pair of events Saturday, including the K2 Women’s Weekend and its Beer & Bands festival.
    After a tough go of it for most of the winter, Pajarito is making a late-season charge, that following late January snows.
    Pajarito Mountain opened for the first time this season two weekends ago after getting little snow through November, December and most of last month.
    The ski area is scheduled to be open through Monday. Early Friday morning, the area was reporting a mid-mountain snow base of 30 inches.
    The Women’s Weekend includes ski clinics with certified alpine and telemark instructor Pete Guiliani. In conjunction, a silent auction fundraiser is scheduled for UnQuarked wine room. The Craig Martin Experience band will play.
    For the Beer & Bands, which begins at noon Saturday, Santa Fe Brewing will provide local beers. Popular local band DK and the Affordables will play from 3-5 p.m.
    For more information, visit the area’s website, skipajarito.com.

  • Pile burns continue Saturday

    Officials from Los Alamos Fire Department and Santa Fe National Forest said they plan to resume pile burning in Los Alamos County this weekend.
    Prescribed pile burns will start Saturday and continue through Sunday, if weather and other conditions permit. This continues a project fire officials started last month.
    This weekend’s burns will be on Los Alamos County open space land in Bayo Canyon or Gonzales Canyon. SFNF said the area would be dependent on wind conditions.
    The burns will consist of dead forest fuel set in approximately 4-foot by 4-foot piles around the canyons. LAFD said it would treat the piles each day of the burn to attempt to decrease the daily smoke volume.
    Fire crews plan to monitor the smoke to so that New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. LAFD warned area residents that smoke will likely be visible from Española, Santa Fe and the nearby pueblos.
    Officials said smoke-sensitive individuals should take precautionary measures.
    Other information concerning the prescribed burns can be obtained by calling LAFD at 662-8304 or 695-6729.

  • Facts About Measles

    • Measles is highly contagious. If one infected person has it, 9 out of 10 exposed people who are not immune will become infected.

    • Measles spreads through the air when infected persons cough and sneeze. It can live for up to two hours in an airspace and on surfaces.

    • Infected people can spread measles to others who are not protected from 4 days before to 4 days after the measles rash appears. Measles symptoms usually appear about 7 to 14 days after a person is infected.

    • Early symptoms are high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. The rash usually begins 3 to 5 days after symptoms start. When the rash appears, fever can reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

    • As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.

    • For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it.

    • Vaccination is the most important strategy to prevent measles. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles.

  • LA is 2nd in vaccine exemptions

    The recent outbreak of measles resulting from an exposure at Disneyland has raised alarms about the rising number of unvaccinated children in the United States.
    Many people were shocked at recent stories in the Santa Fe New Mexican reporting that Los Alamos ranks second in the state for the number of vaccination exemptions, at 3.1 percent of children ages 4 to 18, sandwiched between Taos at 3.2 percent and Santa Fe at 2.6 percent. Exemption rates drop off rapidly in other counties, with Bernalillo at 1.0, San Miguel at 0.3, Sandoval at 0.1 and Rio Arriba at 0.0.
    According to Dr. Mike Landen, state epidemiologist for the New Mexico Department of Health, that is cause for concern.
    “One of the issues is that vaccination exemptions aren’t spread evenly throughout school kids. There are pockets,” Landen said. “And what we’re concerned about with this outbreak of measles is if a measles case has contact with a school that has a very high exemption rate, then measles transmissions could be sustained, and that those that are more vulnerable to measles, might get the disease, particularly those that are unvaccinated.”
    The high percentage of exemptions in the county raised questions for Los Alamos County Councilor David Izraelevitz.

  • Today in history Feb. 6
  • President condemns those who try to 'hijack religion'

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Thursday condemned those who seek to use religion as a rationale for carrying out violence around the world. “No god condones terror,” he said.
    “We are summoned to push back against those who would distort our religion for their nihilistic ends,” Obama said at the National Prayer Breakfast.
    He singled out the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, calling the militants a “death cult,” as well as those responsible for last month’s attacks in Paris and deadly assault on a school in Pakistan.
    Obama offered a special welcome to a “good friend,” the Dalai Lama, seated at a table in front of the dais among the audience of 3,600. Earlier Obama, from the head table, pressed his hands together in a prayer-like position and bowed his head toward the Dalai Lama, then gave him a wave and a broad smile.
    It was the first time the president and the Tibetan Buddhist leader attended the same public event.
    China objects to foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama because of his quest for greater Tibetan autonomy from Beijing. Obama’s three previous meetings with the Dalai Lama have been private.