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Today's News

  • Assets in Action: Lay off pressures for last two weeks of school year

    My column this week is about a variety of assets. You can pick one or try to do them all: family support, positive family communication, caring school climate, caring for others.
    I would like everyone to understand the stress on youth and school staff as the year winds down. I just want to take a minute and give a nod to school staff and how hard this year in particular is with PARCC, final exams, end of course, etc.
    However, my main focus this week is on youth and how we as a community need to step up for the next two weeks. We need to understand the pressure, real or perceived, we need to be understanding, we need to have conversations around fun stuff that doesn’t involve academics.
    It doesn’t matter if you have school-aged kids or not, you too can step up and be a support system. Pass a kid on the sidewalk, look them in the eye and say hello, how’s it going, almost summer.
    The song by A Great Big World, “Say Something,” keeps coming to mind.
    Tensions are high and the troops are restless. I see it in people of all ages, not just the kids. I see crabby adults, people that need to tell you every grumpy thing on their mind. No matter how much you try and persuade yourself that your poor attitude isn’t or doesn’t rub off on the children, you are mistaken.

  • Cruelty to animals makes bad publicity

    When somebody’s dog gets caught in a leg-hold trap meant for a wild animal, the incident gets publicity.
    Meanwhile, out of sight and unreported, wild animals are getting caught in those traps.  
    Suddenly, in response to an alleged need that has not been demonstrated, New Mexico has a proposal to allow trapping of mountain lions, coming from our Game Commission.
    If this proposal is approved, Gov. Susana Martinez may someday find herself explaining on national TV why her state not only allows, but has increased the scope of animal trapping.
    One of New Mexico’s persistent problems is that we still have not succeeded in updating our public relations image.
    Much of the industrialized world still thinks New Mexico is a third-world backwater. A great way to perpetuate that negative stereotype is to get a worldwide reputation for being cruel to animals.
    Last year the state earned a national black eye from coyote-hunting contests. It may be necessary for ranchers to shoot coyotes to keep them away from livestock, but there is something gruesome about making that into a game with prizes. A move to ban the contests did not pass in this year’s legislative session.

  • Today in history May 19
  • Today in history May 18
  • Today in history May 18
  • Today in history May 17
  • Update 5-17-15

    Leader Lunch

    The League of Women Voters’ Lunch with A Leader is Tuesday. The speaker will be Ellen Mills, who will discuss how unions work for the betterment of the schools. For information, call Karyl Ann Armbruster at 231-8286.

    Sustainability

    The Environmental Sustainability Board will have a plastic bag ban discussion at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the municipal building.

    BPU

    The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Public Utilities will be 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in council chambers.

    Presentation

    Laura Green, a board member of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, will give a presentation on Israel in the lecture hall at Los Alamos Golf Course at 3 p.m. today.

    Mitigation

    Los Alamos County is hosting a hazard mitigation plan public meeting. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers. To submit a comment, visit the Open Forum on the county’s website, losalamosnm.us.

    Meeting canceled

    The Los Alamos County Personnel Board meeting intially scheduled for Wednesday has been cancelled due to lack of a quorum. The meeting may be rescheduled.

  • Saying Goodbye

    Los Alamos Public Schools held its annual retirement party for its teachers, technicians and maintenance staff that have been with the district for the long haul. Those that retired this year were awarded flowers and a check from the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation at a ceremony at Fuller Lodge.
    Among those retiring this year are Roger Scot Carmody, Carol Hermes, Terry Hiller, Laura Gallimore, Christy Marcotte, Marcella Nogar, Judith Rhode Goggin, Linda Seelau, Jane Shumaker, Rebecca Sims, Sharon Sole, Rebecca Steritz, Patricia Walls, Rick Dopke, Patricia Graves, Margaret Jenkins, John McHale, Gloria Pecos, Wendy Tiee and Juanito Vasquez.
    Assistant Superintendent of Schools Gerry Washburn, who will be having a sendoff himself, was master of ceremonies for the event.

  • Kite Festival trying again Sunday

    After scheduled events were washed out by rain Friday and Saturday, Los Alamos Arts Council said it will try to get things going again Sunday.
    A kite-building workshop is scheduled from noon-2 p.m. at Overlook Park. The workshop is still dependent on Sunday’s weather, however.

  • Report: Schools' strategy unclear on dealing with teen pregnacy

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico has no clear strategy on how to keep decreasing what is currently the second-highest rate of teens giving birth nationwide, according to a legislative report out this week.
    The Legislative Finance Committee report said inconsistent implementation of comprehensive standards for sex education may be a contributing factor. Public schools are required to instruct students on various ways to prevent pregnancy, but not all of them do, the findings stated.
    Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, D-Gallup, serves on the Legislature's appropriations committee and plays a role in funding state agencies that address teen pregnancy.
    "Year after year, we fund agencies, and it's supposed to be needs-based. But we don't always ask what success looks like," Lundstrom told the Santa Fe New Mexican.
    It appears that even in counties with sold school-based health clinic programs, teen pregnancy seems to occur at a higher rate, Lundstrom said. Some clinic programs offer health screenings and treatment but not contraception, according to health officials.
    "Obviously they're not getting enough support, including referral support," Lundstrom said. "If a school-based program had additional support for referrals to other agencies, I think they'd be much more successful."