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Local News

  • Council paves way for apartment complex

    Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved the donation of county-owned land on DP Road Tuesday to Bethel Development Corporation, to pave the way for the development of an affordable housing apartment complex.

    The land is parcel A-9, located at 120 DP Road, between the Knights of Columbus Clubhouse and a county firefighting training facility.

    “We go to a lot of communities. This one has been so supportive in our efforts to redouble affordable housing in the community, that it’s refreshing to have that kind of support,” said Bethel President Daniel Terlecki, in his reaction to the vote.

    Bethel wants to build a four building, 72-unit complex on the site.

    The project would border a section of Canyon Rim Trail, which concerns Councilor Antonio Maggiore.

    “When you talk about desert landscaping, does that mean a lot of gravel,” Maggiore asked.

    Terlecki also said there will be greenery on the property.

    “We lean toward a lot of trees for that shading factor,” Terlecki said.

    Maggiore was concerned that the property would not have a buffer between the trail and the apartment complex.

    Terlecki then said they were planning on putting a buffer of year-round pine trees in that section.

  • Legislators update county on session

    Los Alamos County’s three state legislators talked about what they’re going to be working on in next week’s 30-day legislative session to a packed house at the Fuller Thursday night.

    The event was cohosted by the League of Women Voters Los Alamos and the American Association of University Women, a non-partisan organizations that promote awareness of political candidates and issues through a public forum.

    State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-43, talked to the audience about education, and gave them some good news.

    “We (Garcia Richard, and Sens. Carlos Cisneros and Richard Martinez) stood before you a year ago $350 million in the hole, and it is so great to stand before you know in the black,” Garcia Richard said.

    This January, the New Mexico State Legislature announced it was going into this session with a $200 million surplus.

    Some of that funding, she said, may be used to give teachers a raise (1.5 percent proposed by legislature, 2 percent by governor and a 1 percent raise for all state workers).

    She also said the Legislature would try to restore money for transportation, instructional materials and other “middle-of-the-line” items, money that was cutback when the state budget was running a $350 million deficit.

  • States rethink sexual misconduct policies after complaints

    By DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — After a tumultuous few months that saw numerous lawmakers accused of sexual misconduct, a majority of state legislatures across the country are considering strengthening sexual harassment policies that have gone unheeded or unchanged for years.

    A 50-state review by The Associated Press found that almost all legislative chambers now have at least some type of written sexual harassment policy, though they vary widely, and many are placing a greater emphasis on preventing and punishing sexual misconduct as they convene for their 2018 sessions.

    This week alone, lawmakers in Arizona, Idaho and Rhode Island underwent detailed training about sexual harassment, some for the first time.

    Yet about a third of all legislative chambers do not require lawmakers to receive training about what constitutes sexual harassment, how to report it and what consequences it carries, the AP's review found.

  • N.M. cities building onramps to information superhighway

    ust as public utilities and the interstate highway system made New Mexico more accessible and habitable over the past century, the internet – today’s information superhighway – is what links the state’s entrepreneurs with potential customers and partners around the world. 

    In a state with far-flung rural villages and growing urban hubs, such infrastructure enhancements as fast and reliable internet service determine whether residents are isolated or engaged and whether enough taxable revenue can be generated through economic development to improve public safety and community amenities. 

    With that in mind, New Mexico municipalities are getting creative in their pursuit of broadband service, and many are finding that collaboration is essential to procuring this indispensable collective asset.

    Pick a partner

    Larger urban communities with hundreds of thousands of potential customers have little trouble attracting broadband service providers. It’s a different story in communities where one company has a monopoly on phone lines through which broadband fibers run.

  • Community Calendar

    Choices for Sustainable Living at 6 p.m. at the Nature Center.
    Join a discussion course that will help you explore sustainability more deeply and learn its unique meaning from individual, societal, and global perspectives. Free, but purchase of the coursebook is REQUIRED. We need six people to run this course. 

     

    The United Thrift Shop will have a $6 bag sale, excluding jewelry from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at its shop at 2525 Canyon Road in Los Alamos. 

     

    League of Women Voters and AAUW will host a 2018 New Mexico Legislative Preview presentation started at 6:30 p.m. at Fuller Lodge. The presentation starts at 7 p.m. Los Alamos legislators, Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, and Sens. Carlos Cisneros and Richard Martinez, will share their views on the upcoming New Mexico Legislative Session. Artie Pepin, Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, will discuss the new (2017) pretrial release and detention rules issued by the New Mexico Supreme Court, as well as the need for increased funding for the judiciary. Come at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments and socializing.

    THURSDAY

  • Registration begins for UNM-LA

    With a high number of faculty who have Ph.Ds in their teaching fields, UNM-LA provides an exceptional quality of instruction. 

    Small class sizes allow for personal attention that is critical for student learning and success. The student support in advising and career exploration is vibrant and personal. According to Kathryn Vigil, Student Enrollment Director at UNM Los Alamos, “There is no better value in New Mexico, and families can feel comfortable knowing that they’ve made a good investment. Compared to the two larger Universities in New Mexico, the savings at UNM-LA can be viewed as a 45 percent discount. Money can also be saved in rent, food and transportation for students who choose to live at home for a year or two.”

    In addition to traditional face to face classes, UNM-LA offers online and hybrid classes (a combination of face-to- face and online) to help meet the various scheduling preferences and learning styles of students. There are also a variety of short courses, including classes that will start later in the semester.  

  • Assets in Action: Time goes by fast when you do what you love

    Only 72 days until spring break! I know you must be thinking, what?

    Sure, it is might be due to the fact that, everyone is now back to school. Sure, there is someone already counting the days, but I like to emphasize the point for the parents of seniors in high school. Time is about to take on a new meaning.

    We are at the halfway mark and time will move at warp speed between now and spring break. Truth be told, prom planning is already underway. Once spring break is over, I can’t even describe how fast time moves.

    We see time differently when we graduate and head off to college and that time also goes by so fast.

    I graduated from Idaho State University in 1991, 27 years ago, wow! Now not only does that make me feel old, but it is unreal that so much time has passed.

    Recently I received an email from Dr. Brandt Short, one of my college professors. He actually tracked me down through my Assets In Action work, which this column is based upon.

    Dr. Short wanted to return a term paper that I wrote for his class after an internship. 

  • Colon to run for state auditor

    Colon announced his bid in a statement late Sunday. Colon says he is running because he is “fed up” and wants to ensure taxpayer money goes to the right places. He says his background in finance and law make him the right candidate.

  • Lawmakers propose pet food tax to help spay, neuter pets

    Democratic State Reps. Carl Trujillo and Debbie Rodella sponsored a bill that would impose an increase on commercial pet food registration fees from $2 per label to $100 per label of food each year, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported .

    The increase would raise over $800,000 to help impoverished citizens pay to have their dogs and cats spayed and neutered, Trujillo said. He estimates the fund could pay for services for some 8,000 to 10,000 pets annually.

    “This is a needed tool to combat an overpopulation of dogs and cats in the state,” he said. It also will cut down on the number of pet euthanizations, he added.

    But Laura Moore, owner of The Critters and Me pet store in Santa Fe, has concerns.

    “This is either going to increase the price of dog and cat food or manufacturers are going to want to stop supplying these foods to New Mexico,” she said. “There has to be a better way to facilitate spay and neuter services than having bureaucrats get involved in it.”

  • US hits record for costly weather disasters

    The U.S. had 16 disasters last year with damage exceeding a billion dollars, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. That ties 2011 for the number of billion-dollar disasters, but the total cost blew past the previous record of $215 billion in 2005.

    Costs are adjusted for inflation and NOAA keeps track of billion-dollar weather disasters going back to 1980.

    Three of the five most expensive hurricanes in U.S. history hit last year.

    Hurricane Harvey, which caused massive flooding in Texas, cost $125 billion, second only to 2005’s Katrina, while Maria’s damage in Puerto Rico cost $90 billion, ranking third, NOAA said. Irma was $50 billion, mainly in Florida, for the fifth most expensive hurricane.

    Western wildfires fanned by heat racked up $18 billion in damage, triple the U.S. wildfire record, according to NOAA.

    Besides Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina all had more than $1 billion in damage from the 16 weather disasters in 2017.