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Today's News

  • Diversifying economy means action, not words

    An unflattering picture of President Trump appears a few pages from the end of Jerry Pacheco’s current presentation about the Santa Teresa Port of Entry with Mexico. Above the photo are the words, “The future?”
    No other state has as much at stake these days as does New Mexico with the stuff about Mexico coming from Washington, D.C., Pacheco says.
    People along the United States-Mexico border are uncertain—that’s the nicest way to put it—as they look into a murky future reflecting the outlandish, absurd Trump statements about tariffs, the NAFTA treaty, and building a wall along the border.
    Mexicans are angry, insulted. Public statements are few, though, lest a firm provoke one of Trump’s nasty Twitter comments.
    Pacheco has a constantly evolving Santa Teresa presentation because he is president of the Border Industrial Association (nmbia.org), which, with 115 members, has become New Mexico’s largest industrial association. He is also executive director of the International Business Accelerator (nmiba.com), part of the state’s small business development center network.

  • Local teachers testify Saturday about HB 158

    Several local teachers showed up at the Roundhouse Saturday to testify about House Bill 158, a bill that would, if passed, allow selected school districts to create their own pilot teacher evaluation programs.
    “I urge you strongly to pass this bill in order to improve the evaluation system for teachers in New Mexico,” Chamisa Elementary School Teacher Megan Lee told the House Education Committee Saturday. “It will be an immense benefit for developing improved instruction for New Mexico students.”
    The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-43. Garcia Richard chairs the committee. The bill was tabled because of a needed language modification. It is currently in the House Education Committee.  
    Teachers from school systems all over the state lined up and spoke about the bill and what’s wrong with the current teacher evaluation process for about three and a half hours, starting shortly after 9 a.m.
    The committee scheduled the hearing on a Saturday to allow teachers and other stakeholders in HB 158 and the other education bills being considered to speak.
    If the bill passes, selected districts will be required to submit data and annual progress reports to NMPED and the Governor’s Office for a six-year period.

  • Sipapu to host popular family event this weekend

    Sipapu Ski Resort will host its annual President’s Day weekend celebration, the February Fun Fest. 
    It’s Sipapu’s most popular free family event, which includes a giant snow castle, costume contest and parade, mountain-wide treasure hunt, games, prizes and more.
    Sipapu Snow Castle
    Every year, a giant snow castle is built by the mountain team at Sipapu. It’s a snow playground for all ages and the only one in New Mexico. Each year, the snow castle changes in design, but what remains constant is the sheer size, which is usually two- to three-stories tall, the unique creation of stairs, slides, flags, and plenty of places to play in the snow.
    The building of the snow castle begins Tuesday and lasts throughout the week.
    The snow castle opens at 9 a.m. Saturday and is open for all to explore and enjoy.
    Treasure Hunt
    This weekend, Sipapu hosts a fun Treasure Hunt, which is part scavenger hunt and all adventure. Search the mountain Saturday, Sunday and Monday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for laminated letters. When letters gathered spell CLOWN, return them to Ski School for a great prize.
    Costume Parade and Contest

  • Military Order of World Wars to host Col. Ted Spain

    The Military Order of World Wars, Chapter 229, will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Los Alamos Research Park, the second floor conference room. The speaker will be COL Ted Spain USA (ret).  
    Spain was the Commander of the 18th Military Police Brigade during the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the first year of the occupation. He will talk about his personal involvement in the following areas: the invasion plan, weapons of mass destruction, looting in Baghdad, conflict over who was in charge – civilians or the military, opening of Abu Ghraib Prison and Camp Cropper and the standing up the Iraqi Police.
    The presentation will start at about 7:15 p.m. The meetings are open to citizens for the dinner and program with RSVP, or the program at no cost. The Hot Rocks Java Café staff will be catering the dinner of Fajitas and appropriate side dishes. Cost of the dinner is $25. RSVP for the dinner by Sunday. Call LTC Gregg Giesler, USA Retired, Chapter Commander, 662-5574 (g.gieslercomputer.org) or Eleanor Pinyan, 672-3750 (depinyan@cybermesa.com).
     

  • Lunch with Leader to feature Nurse Cunningham

    Lunch with a Leader will feature Andrea Cunningham, who was the nurse at the public health office in Los Alamos that is located directly across the street from the high school.  
    The lunch will be at 11:45 a.m. Feb. 21 at the Mesa Public Library.
    Cunningham will discuss the role of a public health office in Los Alamos, as well as what steps might be possible since the  services were drastically reduced.
    Cunningham graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s of science and nursing, and has practiced nursing for 27 years. She started her career at the University of Michigan Medical Center transplant unit before moving to Los Alamos with her husband 25 years ago.  
    Professionally, Cunningham is currently a program coordinator for Juvenile Justice Advisory Board.
    After leaving the New Mexico State Department of Health as the public health nurse manager for Los Alamos County, she took over as program coordinator for  theJuvenile Justice Advisory Board  
    In past years, she was employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory Occupational Medicine as well as other medical entities and performed various roles from case manager to team lead for medical records.

  • Small groups can change the world

    I really love the saying, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has,” by Margaret Mead.
    It only takes one person to start something that can change a community, but sometimes we insist that it must be large sweeping acts that take large amounts of money to get something good done.
    White Rock resident Trina Shrader was once part of a Los Alamos group during Friendship week, but later moved to White Rock…lucky for us.
    She emailed a handful of friends last year looking to swap fun anonymous things during friendship week and finally revealing themselves at the end of the week.
    The first year her family had about 10 families participate. This year it was about 15, and the word spread. There were three new families that signed up that they’ve never met.
    She is hoping that the numbers increase each year. She said it has been a fun way for people to get to know each other.
    “I think it breaks down invisible walls we inadvertently put up when we stick to our own little bubble,” she said. “It allows an opportunity for us (and the kids) to think about the people around us that might not be directly next to us or in our paths.”

  • Bill allowing open primaries clears House committee

    BY STEVE TERRELL
    The New Mexican

  • Gardeners get a start with seed exchange

    It was obvious from the number of people walking around town in short sleeved shirts during the early February “heat wave” that spring fever had set in. In some people, that brings on the urge to get their garden going.
    Although it is far too early for that, Master Gardener KokHeong McNaughton says it is the perfect time of year to start the seeds for that garden.
    “This is about the time of year to start seeds, right after Groundhog Day,” McNaughton said. “According to the agricultural calendar, this is when most farmers would start thinking about planting seeds.”
    To help facilitate that, the church’s gardening group began hosting the Community Seed Swap three years ago.
    The idea grew out of the local permaculture group’s annual seed exchange. The group meets for breakfast on the second Friday each month to talk about permaculture. Every year they gather to trade the seeds they saved the previous year for others.
    Since most of the group’s members belong to the Unitarian Church, they decided to turn their annual swap into a church project open to other members of the congregation.
    “And then we decided, why don’t we involve the community,” McNaughton said, and the Community Seed Swap was born.

  • LANL to resume shipments to WIPP in April

    STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

  • LAPS teachers do own survey for exit info

    Concerned by the fact that some of Los Alamos County’s better teachers were thinking of leaving the profession, teachers Megan Lee and Amy Bartlett-Gaunt decided to take a survey of the district’s teachers.
    They later presented the survey to the school board at a Jan. 26 work session at Chamisa Elementary School.
    “What if we did a survey, where we asked real questions to teachers, and collected data to show what the situation is?” Lee told the board at the work session.
    With the approval of Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus, they set to work, and came up with some interesting data. Lee said 193 out of the 247 teachers in the district participated.
    What the two teachers found was that about 67 percent of the teachers were seriously thinking about leaving the profession.
    “We think that this is a very sad but valuable piece of information as we go forward looking for a new evaluation system,” Bartlett-Gaunt said to the board.
    They also found that many of them thought the survey system the state uses to rate their effectiveness as teachers was seriously flawed, and was one of the main reasons teachers were thinking about quitting teaching.