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Local News

  • New Mexico, Texas activists to hold 100 immigrant forums

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Advocates in southern New Mexico and West Texas said Wednesday they will hold 100 community forums on immigrant rights from now until the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump amid uncertainty how the incoming president will change the lives of immigrants.

    The Border Network for Human Rights and the Reform Immigration for Texas announced the forums will be aimed at educating immigrants on their Constitutional rights and how to prepare for possible raids by federal immigration agents.

    "People are afraid. They have a lot of anxiety," said Fernando Garcia, executive director for the El Paso, Texas-based Border Network for Human Rights.

    The forums will inform residents how they should respond if federal immigrant agents or local authorities acting as immigration agents visit private homes, Garcia said. He also said advocates have a team of lawyers "on standby" if they are needed to represent people facing detention or deportation.

    During the presidential campaign, Trump promised to end a program that gave immigrant students living in the country illegal temporary status. He also vowed to create a "deportation force" to remove immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally.

  • Rio Arriba County to host gun buyback Dec. 10

    Rio Arriba County will host a gun buyback from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 10 at the

    Rio Arriba County Sheriff Office, 1122 Industrial Park Road in Española.

    Following a successful fundraising effort by New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence this summer, Dec. 10 will mark the second statewide gun buyback to safely get unwanted guns out of homes and off the streets.

    Over the coming year, RAWtools, in partnership with Santa Fe Community College welding and sculpture students, will forge unwanted, dismantled guns into garden tools and public art projects and installations.

    According to the New Mexico Department of Health, 405 people were shot and killed in New Mexico in 2015.

    Merchant cards for gas, electronics and food will be distributed in exchange for unloaded, working firearms. All exchanges are anonymous, and SFCC welding instructors will dismantle guns onsite.

  • Free farolito sand now available

    Free sand is now available for Los Alamos County residents who want to make holiday faolitos.
    Each year, the Los Alamos County Traffic and Streets Division provides free farolito sand as a courtesy to residents.

    Sand is now available at these locations:
    • Overlook Park, in south parking lot.

    • Urban Park, in the 42nd Street parking area.

    • Sullivan Field, in the west side of parking lot.

    • Barranca Mesa, at the end of Barranca Road at Navajo.

    • North Mesa, at the north end of the soccer field parking lot.

    Residents are asked to limit the amount of sand taken to the amount needed for their farolitos.
    For questions, call 662-8113, email lacpw@lacnm.us.

  • State certifies election results

    SANTA FE (AP) — The New Mexico State Canvassing Board certified election results Tuesday that return control of the state Legislature to Democrats, award a statewide victory to Hillary Clinton and provide Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson with his strongest showing in any state.
    Board members including Republican Gov. Susana Martinez also initiated automatic recounts in three state legislative races where the margin of victory was less than 1 percent. If results remain unchanged, Democrats would outnumber Republicans 26-16 in the Senate and 38-32 in the House of Representatives.
    In the presidential race, Clinton won 48.6 percent of the statewide vote to Donald Trump’s 40 percent. Gary Johnson took 9.3 percent of ballots, making it possible for the Libertarian Party to qualify as a major political party and take part in publicly funded primary elections alongside major party candidates.

  • Fan club supports Toys for Tots, LA Cares

    Small Business Saturday shoppers patronizing Metzger’s Do It Best Hardware Store encountered someone dressed in an odd-looking uniform collecting donations for Toys for Tots.
    That volunteer was Captain (JG) William J. Knight, ME, commanding officer of the HMS Implacable, a super dreadnaught in the Royal Manticoran Navy: The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association.
    The fan club fashions itself after the Honor Harrington science fiction series written by David Weber. Founded in 2011, the fan club engages in “cosplay” (costumed role playing based on novels, TV series, films, etc.) and charitable work.
    At 11 a.m. Saturday, Knight told the Monitor, “People in our own ship were down at the Santa Fe Walmart yesterday, and the people in Los Alamos just this morning have donated more than was donated all of yesterday. People in Los Alamos are amazing.
    “People have come in and not known this was going on and asked, ‘How long are you going to be here.’ And they’ve run out to the store and bought toys and brought toys back. So it’s such a wonderful experience. I love Los Alamos.”

  • Author thanks LA for solving photo mystery

    Author John Bisney can’t thank Los Alamos enough for all the help.
    About a month ago, he enquired through the Los Alamos Monitor about identifying key figures in photos that were taken during President John F. Kennedy’s visit to the Los Alamos National Laboratory on Dec. 7, 1962.
    Bisney is working on a book called The Space Age Presidency of John Kennedy. The fairly rare photos of his visit to Los Alamos that he and photo archivist, J.L. Pickering came across during the research phase of the project had them stumped. While they knew who most of the people in the photos were, there were some they could not identify. In an article the Monitor wrote about it on Oct. 18, Bisney requested that anyone with information please contact the Monitor.
    People did come forward, including: Mahlon Wilson, Joel Dahlby, Claire Ulam Weiner, Sandra Haak, Darrik Stafford and many others.
    “As I said at the beginning of this effort, without such assistance, over time who these people are (names with photos) would be lost for good,” Bisney said. “I really appreciate the interest and help your readers provided.”
    Claire Ulam Weiner, the daughter of Stanislaw Ulam, a renowned lab mathematician who contributed much to the development of the first atomic bombs.

  • Small biz event helps local shops

    Los Alamites turned out in droves for Small Business Saturday this year.
    According to Chamber of Commerce Manager Nancy Partridge, one business owner reported her sales at 1 p.m. were 10 times those of a normal Saturday.
    Partridge also reported that people were waiting at Pig + Fig Bakery & Café at 7 a.m. Saturday. The restaurant was one of the locations with maps to the scavenger hunt, which people had been clamoring for since Thursday.
    White Rock’s Seeking Chameleon was one of the businesses on that scavenger hunt. Owner Catherine Richmond said it had “a tremendous effect.”
    “I was very busy on Small Business Saturday and had a number of new people come in who had decided to participate in the scavenger hunt, so they were coming in for the first time,” Richmond said. “I kind of happily heard one person say, ‘Well, while we’re here, we might as well do some shopping.’ And it was like ‘Yeah.’
    “So I think that it’s a great idea, and the chamber worked really hard to make it effective for the planet Mars of White Rock.”
    More established businesses also prospered.

  • New Mexico farmers brace for another dry year

    LAS CRUCES (AP) — Farmers in southern New Mexico are bracing for what could be another dry year.

    There’s not much water in Elephant Butte and other key reservoirs upstream, meaning any new water would have to come from snowmelt runoff next spring in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, The Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

    Snowmelt isn’t looking promising either, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts warm weather and low precipitation over the next 90 days in those areas.

    “It’s very dismal,” said Gary Esslinger, manager for the Elephant Butte Irrigation District, which delivers Rio Grande water in Dona Ana County. “Looking at the forecast, it’s not looking good. They’re saying warmer temperatures and less snowpack.”

    Esslinger said there has been light snowfall in southern Colorado but that there still needs to be more in southern cities. Snowfall in the mountains near Denver drains into basins other than the Rio Grande.

  • BPU studies, weighs value of solar

    At it’s Nov. 16 meeting, the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) heard a report on the “value of solar” from Utility Financial Solutions President Mark Beauchamp. UFS was contracted to conduct a study of how residential solar installations can impact the electrical grid and the local distribution network. 

    According to Beauchamp, Los Alamos has the second highest value for solar his firm has encountered, largely due to the impact of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Peak demand for LANL – the county’s largest customer – is in the afternoon, when solar is producing. 

    “So solar directly lines up with your production demands, so there’s a fairly high value,” Beauchamp said. 

    But according to Beauchamp, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is still under-recovering costs by offering net metering to rooftop photovoltaic (PV) customers. 

    He explained that rooftop PV helps reduce the system’s load profile by peaking when lab and other commercial usage peaks, but that residential peaks tend to occur around 7 or 8 p.m., when solar is not producing. 

  • The snake whisperer

    Snake Wrangler Dusty Webb does not call himself a snake whisperer, but others have. And listening to him describe what he does, it is hard not to see him that way.

    Webb’s company, Badass Critters, provides rattlesnake abatement, wrangling, handling and training. Webb has worked on numerous film, commercial and television shoots, providing his snakes for plot elements and capturing and relocating snakes from location. 

    Webb has been involved with the film industry for about 25 years, but his career as a rattlesnake wrangler started almost by accident. When he was working on the History Channel’s “Black Blizzard” series, they needed snakes. Webb caught one and the photo ended up on a film industry union website.

    That led to the role of snake wrangler for “Breaking Bad” for four seasons. Webb has also worked on “Magnificent Seven,” “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trial” and the television series “Longmire.” “Manhattan,” “The Preacher,” “Night Shift” and “Better Call Saul.” And those are only a few of his many credits.