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Local News

  • House approves ethics commission proposal

    BY STEVE TERRELL
    The New Mexican

  • Senator starts process for overriding gov’s veto

    A Republican legislator on Friday began his attempt to override Gov. Susana Martinez’s veto of a bill that would enable teachers to use more sick days without being penalized in their performance evaluation.
    Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho, moved to have the vetoed bill returned to the Senate so he could seek an override early next week.
    Martinez is also a Republican, but Brandt said he would continue pursuing the override unless they can reach a compromise in which teachers are not penalized. He said he had initiated conversations with Martinez’s Public Education Department in hopes of starting such a discussion.
    “I don’t take any joy in overriding a veto,” Brandt said.
    Martinez’s spokesman, Michael Lonergan, referenced the governor’s veto message when asked about the possibility of a compromise with Brandt.
    In part, Martinez said: “I would welcome a bill that considers reasonable changes to attendance measures as part of an effective, comprehensive teacher evaluation system. However, the Legislature continually refused to engage despite the Public Education Department’s repeated good-faith attempts to meet teachers and teachers’ unions halfway.”

  • Locals have passion for saving local wild birds

    BY WREN PROPP
    Special to the Monitor

  • Annual school art exhibit wows community

    The Los Alamos Public Schools opened its third annual, district-wide art exhibit at the Mesa Public Mesa Library Thursday, filling the library’s third floor with the sounds, colors and creativity of Los Alamos’ school students. Sculptures, paintings, drawings and even works of computer animation were on display as residents went from exhibit space to exhibit space, trying to take it all in.
    “It’s a fabulous display. This is about the importance of educating the whole child and celebrating achievements in all fields,” School Board Member Ellen Ben-Naim said. “My face hurts from smiling so much. I’m so delighted by each piece. This just reinforces to me the importance of a fine arts education.”
    The district’s art teachers choose this time to have the exhibition since March is Youth Art month and March is also Arts in the Schools Month.  The library is open on the weekend for residents who haven’t seen it yet. The exhibit features works from all five elementary schools, the middle school and the high school.
    Besides being an opportunity to show the creative side of the school district’s students, the exhibition also serves as reminder to the community of how important the arts are to education and to the students themselves.

  • History Museum to host special ‘Perspectives on Atomic Bomb’ lecture Tuesday

    The Los Alamos History Museum will host a special evening of art, film and dialogue Tuesday beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Fuller Lodge.
    As part of the annual lecture series on the theme “Multiple Perspectives on the Atomic Bomb,” the Los Alamos Historical Society will present “Visual Peace: War Transformed.”
    The night will start at 5:30 p.m. with a reception and exhibit featuring artists Masaru Tanaka, a photographer born in Hiroshima, and Betsie Miller-Kusz, a painter born in Los Alamos, who have collaborated for 18 years on the “Peace’s New Century Project,” a reconciliation art project fusing their images into peaceful digital prints.
    Several of the prints will be exhibited for one night only as part of the evening’s presentation as the artists engage in an ongoing dialogue about the effects of the Manhattan Project on their lives, families, and art.

  • Stable owners, neighbors to discuss heath, safety concerns

    A Los Alamos resident who lives on North Mesa wants the North Mesa Stables moved or closed due to what she says is healthy and safety concerns.
    She voiced her opinion Thursday at a Parks and Recreation Board public hearing.
    “What the Parks and Recreation Board has asked is for the staff to pull together the stable owners and interested neighbors to discuss her concerns and accusations,” Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division Manager Chris Wilson said.
    The issue will be placed on the Parks and Recreation’s agenda at a future date when the public can participate in the discussion.
    “The Los Alamos horse stables shouldn’t be within the city limit in the first place,” Olga Chertkov said. “They are too close to the houses. Some dangers are very serious, but not so obvious.”
     Chertkov presented a paper to the Parks and Recreation Board that detailed the levels of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane and other chemicals found in the soil in and around the stables. She also claims the air is contaminated around the stables.
    Chertkov lives on a road near the stables, and when she first moved there in 2001, she said she did not mind the stables and enjoyed them with her children.

  • New Mexico lawmakers reject higher renewable power mandate

    SANTA FE (AP) — A proposal to ramp up renewable energy requirements at New Mexico's investor owned utilities and cooperatives through the year 2040 has been voted down by a Senate committee, ending chances for approval this year.
    The Senate Corporations Committee voted 5-3 Friday against a plan to gradually increase the share of electricity generated from solar, wind and other renewable sources to 80 percent of supplies for utilities.
    Senate bill sponsor Mimi Stewart of Albuquerque criticized Democratic Senate colleagues Mary Kay Papen and Clemente Sanchez for voting against the bill with Republicans.
    Portfolio standards requiring utilities to sell a specific percentage or amount of renewable electricity have been adopted in 29 states, helping drive the nation's multi-billion dollar solar and wind markets. New Mexico's standard is set for 20 percent by 2020.
     

  • New Mexico will work with ICE on inmate status

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on Friday ordered the corrections department to work with federal authorities on checking the immigration status of inmates serving time in the state's prisons.
    The governor's office said the administration of President Donald Trump asked New Mexico for permission to interview prisoners who were born in foreign countries.
    The interviews by federal authorities are intended at expediting potential deportation proceedings for those suspected of living in the country illegally, said Martinez spokesman Michael Lonergan.
    "This is a matter of public safety, as these are all convicted criminals, many of a violent nature," Lonergan said.
    Immigrant inmates determined by federal authorities to be in the country illegally will be deported promptly after finishing their sentences, Lonergan said.
    Martinez issued the directive after the Trump administration two weeks ago requested a list of inmates who were born in other countries. The corrections department has since provided U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with a list of foreign-born inmates and their convictions, which range from first-degree murder and rape to credit card fraud. Many on the list are from Mexico while a few are from the Middle East.

  • Techs working to fix internet problems at New Mexico capitol

    SANTA FE (AP) — With just a week to go at the New Mexico Legislature, the website is down and webcasting is unavailable to the public for floor sessions and committee meetings.

    Legislative officials say the problems Friday are related to off-site equipment that serves the state capitol, and that state technicians are working with a private service provider to restore the connection. State email accounts and public wifi service also were not functioning.

    The legislative schedule is packed over the next few days but viewers missed out Friday morning on committee meetings in which stricter ethics guidelines and a bill to change penalties for marijuana possession were debated.

    In the Senate, more confirmation hearings are scheduled and lawmakers are still working out details of the state budget.

    The Legislature adjourns March 18.

  • Bandelier to participate in wildland fire exercises next week

    The public may notice smoke in the area of Bandelier National Monument early next week beginning Tuesday as the park participates in class wildland fire exercises.
    Bandelier National Monument and the East Jemez Interagency Fire Center will assist with the field portion of a wildland fire investigation class Tuesday and Wednesday that includes exercises examining common ignition types.
    To provide hands-on experience for the class members, instructors will ignite small sample fires, totaling about 5 acres, on a portion of Bandelier just across N.M. 4 from the fire center. 
    Smoke may be visible from N.M. 4, White Rock, Los Alamos and Santa Fe and surrounding areas.