Today's News

  • Debt and the deceased: How should spouses, heirs proceed?

    If your loved one died leaving significant debt behind, would you know what to do?
    It’s a worrisome question for everyone. Young or old, based on particular debt circumstances or geographic location, death with debt can provide significant problems for surviving family members.
    Depending on state law and the specific credit relationships involved, they might be shocked to learn that they could be legally liable for a deceased relative’s outstanding debt — anything from unpaid mortgage balances and medical debt to unpaid credit card balances.
    Spouses who may share any kind of debt jointly, particularly credit cards in dual name, could face greater challenges. It also may spell problems for co-signers of any kind of loan.
    As with all financial planning, the best time to act is before an issue arises. Watching any family deal with extensive debt problems after a spouse or relative passes on illustrates the need for financial transparency while all parties are alive. No matter how difficult a family member’s credit circumstances are, spouses and adult children should face those circumstances while options are available to deal with any problems.

  • The eyes have it, the teeth don’t

    How are legislators supposed to decide on the relative competencies of healthcare practitioners?
    In these matters, we are asking lawmakers to make a tough decision on topics outside their expertise. In some cases, it’s not the public that’s asking, but the practitioners of healthcare professions.
    The dental therapist bill came back this year, but did not have enough — pardon the pun — teeth.
    The bill was widely publicized and debated in 2014. It attempted to create a new mid-level category of dental practitioner to provide care in underserved rural communities, based on a model that has been successful in other states. Last year, the bill stopped in a Senate committee. This year, the House version of the bill (HB 349, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Roch, R-Logan), passed the House and went no further.
    Its companion Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Benny Shendo Jr., D-Jemez Pueblo, stalled in committee.
    Though the details are technical, the argument is simple. Small rural communities need dental services, which the state’s dentists are not providing, but dentists are concerned about competency and training.
    As a dentist told me, you never know when a simple procedure like an extraction is going to be complicated until you do it and see what’s underneath.

  • On The Docket 3-25-15

    March 19

    Kimberly R. Ferguson was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit and failing to pay court fines and/or costs. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Paul F. Andrus was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to display a current, valid registration plate. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Judith W. White was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit and failing to pay court fines and/or costs. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    March 20

    Aiden Jaramillo was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of jaywalking when prohibited to cross the roadway. Defendant was fined $50.

    Persina Bitsul was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit and failing to pay court fines and/or costs. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Isaac Galvez-Suazo was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of jaywalking when prohibited to cross the roadway. Defendant was fined $50.

    March 23

  • Update 3-25-15


    The deadline for submissions for Bandelier National Monument’s Centennial Celebration logo contest is Thursday. Call 672-3861 for information.

    APP board

    The Arts In Public Places board will have its monthly meeting Thursday. The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building.

    County Council

    The next meeting of Los Alamos County Council is scheduled for March 31 in council chambers. The meeting will start at 7 p.m.

    Egg Splash

    The annual Egg Splash event will take place at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center April 4. It will start at 1 p.m. There is a limit of 150 participants 16 years of age and younger. Tickets are on sale. For more information, call 662-8170.

    Authors Speak

    Richard Ruddy will be the speaker at the Authors Speak Series. Ruddy wrote a biography of New Mexico territorial governor Edmund G. Ross, a staunch abolitionist. His talk will be 7 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs rotunda of Mesa Public Library.

    LOL Los Alamos
    LOL Los Alamos, a comedy and music show, is scheduled for Friday at the Duane Smith Auditorium. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 for students, $15 for adults. The show is a fundraising event for the Los Alamos High School band programs.

  • Española students compete at White House

    A trio of students enrolled at the James H. Rodriguez Elementary School in Española are among the intrepid middle and high schoolers attended the White House Science Fair on Monday.
    Jose Valdez III, Casandra D. Dauz and Jaleena Rolon from Rodriguez Elementary School took part in the DiscoverE’s 2014-2015 Future City New Mexico Regional Competition with a display of their rural, desert community’s cultural diversity.
    Team members came from a variety of backgrounds including the Santa Clara Pueblo community, a church that accommodates the hearing disabled and parents that have recently emigrated from Mexico.
    The students said they recognized the importance of communicating the detail of their Future City design to the diverse, shared culture of New Mexico and incorporated four languages into their presentation: Spanish, English, American Sign Language and Tewa.
    The experience was a big opportunity for students, parents and teachers involved, with one team members saying, “Speaking Tewa made me happy about my own language and Indian culture.”
    The students also felt that competition gave them “a heads up on engineering” and they are now inspired to continue their involvement in teams such as Future City to one day become engineers.

  • Three Americans ID'd in French plane crash

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Three Americans were presumed dead in the plane crash in the southern French Alps, including a U.S. government contractor and her daughter, the State Department said Wednesday.
    The mother was identified as Yvonne Selke of Nokesville, Virginia, an employee for 23 years at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. in Washington, and her grown daughter, Emily Selke, a recent graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia. The U.S. government did not identify the third American it said was on the plane.
    Yvonne Selke performed work under contract with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s satellite mapping office, Booz Allen confirmed in a statement after the AP had reported her identity and employment.
    “Yvonne was a wonderful co-worker and a dedicated employee who spent her career with the firm,” Booz Allen’s chief personnel officer, Betty Thompson, said in a statement.
    Friends and co-workers of Selke’s circulated a photograph of her showing a smiling, middle-aged woman with brown hair and eyeglasses, and a photo of Emily showing a blond young woman with dark eyes and a bright smile. They described Selke as a diligent and generous worker who regularly brought cookies to co-workers.

  • DOE, other agencies renew energy MOU

    The U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Department of the Army for Civil Works announced Tuesday that the three agencies have extended their partnership to advance hydropower development for an additional five years.
    The renewal agreement signed today commits the agencies to a specific, ambitious agenda for hydropower, building upon their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for hydropower signed exactly five years earlier.
    At a signing ceremony at the Department of the Interior, the agencies celebrated the accomplishments of the first five years of this partnership and recognized the value of continued collaboration driven by a detailed, shared action plan.
    The partnership is designed to help meet the need for reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable hydropower by strengthening a long-term working relationship, sharing priorities, and aligning ongoing and future renewable energy development efforts across the agencies.
    Th MOU renews the agencies’ commitment with a second phase of collaboration. This action plan aims to support the Obama administration’s goals for doubling renewable energy generation by 2020 and improving federal permitting processes for clean energy as called for in the President’s Climate Action Plan.

  • Planning underway for Manhattan Project Park

    The establishment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park — signed into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act in December 2014 — promises to be an economic boom for Los Alamos County.
    However, the influx of an estimated 200,000 visitors a year could also pose challenges to the county’s infrastructure, transportation system and quality of life.
    In January 2014, the county’s liaison during the legislative process, Los Alamos Historical Society Executive Director Heather McClenahan, convened a committee to begin identifying various issues that must be addressed in order to prepare Los Alamos for the park. The committee worked closely with County Manager Harry Burgess and former councilor Frances Berting.
    McClenahan presented the committee’s findings at the Los Alamos County Council work session Tuesday.
    “Don’t expect any answers coming out of this report about what the park is going to look like,” McClenahan said. “There are so many moving pieces right now, it’s worse than a Tetris video game.”
    Much of the county’s planning will hinge on decisions made by the National Park Service and the Department of Energy, both individually and through a Memorandum of Agreement being negotiated now.

  • Volunteers can help with mitigation

    “Wildfire 2015,” the event the county hosts every year to educate residents about the dangers of wildfire and how they can prepare themselves for the upcoming wildfire season, may have a few surprises this year.
    One of those surprises may be about where the next wildfire may start up and, according to the Los Alamos Fire Department, residents need to look no further than their own backyards.
    That’s because while the county’s Interagency Wildfire Management Team, which includes the Los Alamos Fire Department, has been keeping a close eye on identifying and mitigating fire hazards in the open areas through controlled burns and cleanups, there is one area that the LAFD hasn’t been able to go, and that’s residential areas. Over the years, due to neglect or residents just not being aware of the danger, these areas have slowly risen to the top of the priority list.
    The department has received some requests from residents, especially those who cannot physically help with debris removal, even though they know there’s a problem. However, the fire department simply is not allowed by law to carry out clean-ups on residential property.

  • Minor League Baseball announces new pace of game regulations

    Minor League Baseball recemtly announced rules and procedures aimed at improving the pace of play in games at the Triple-A and Double-A levels.

    The procedures, created in partnership with Major League Baseball, will monitor the time taken between innings and pitches, and will limit the amount of time allowed during pitching changes. Umpires will continue to enforce rules prohibiting batters from leaving the batter’s box between pitches.

    Timers have been installed at all Triple-A and Double-A parks in plain view of umpires, players and fans to monitor the pace of play and determine when violations occur. The month of April will serve as a grace period, with players receiving warnings for infractions. Beginning May 1, rules will be enforced as written. The regulations and penalties for non-compliance are listed below.


    -Inning breaks will be two minutes, 25 seconds in duration. The first batter of an inning is encouraged to be in the batter’s box and alert to the pitcher with 20 seconds left on the inning break timer. The pitcher must begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position at any point within the last 20 seconds of the 2:25 break.