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Today's News

  • Assets in Action: Take time to take care of yourself

    As school gets back in the groove, take this time to take care of yourself and to be aware of the stresses children of all ages sometimes experience.
    While many are glad to get back into a routine and see friends, a lot of information coming from all directions can be overwhelming.
    One of the sad things about the community, and perhaps the world, is that many aren’t willing to share stories of stress, depression, anxiety or recovery for fear of how one will be received.
    I am about to tell you a story because personally now I feel that I can talk about it.
    Last year at this time, my mother fell and hit her head while she was out for a walk. We never could find out who to thank, but someone on 45th street called police and she was taken to the emergency room.
    What followed was a brain bleed, on a 70-year-old woman who had battled breast cancer for four years, then a brain tumor and radiation.
    God Bless my husband and children because the next nine months would be a handful, the likes of which we would not have imagined just before homecoming 2015.
    A slow decline started of which we were prepared for, but never realized it would be fraught with anxiety, depression, delusion and a touch of psychosis on the way down that hill.

  • State revenues collapse, fix requires compromise

    The day my newspaper brought a front page report about state government’s ugly financial situation, an insert offered a small-scale government extravagance, a 32-page full-color, tabloid touting the wonders of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. The insert, an issue of the department’s “New Mexico Wildlife” publication placed in newspapers statewide, sported additional elements that increased the cost.
    The cover was a photograph of a hummingbird.  
    Outside the budget mess but contributing to the overall national sense of New Mexico lies the killing of 10-year-old Victoria Martens in Albuquerque. Her memorial service provided the CNN.com headline the afternoon of Aug. 28.
    Some context is needed before moving to specifics during the next week or two.
    Solvency is back as the principal focus of state government, as in, how will the state decide to be able to pay its bills? This isn’t the usual meaning of solvency, which is the question of whether the organization can pay its bills. The state will rebalance the budget. The constitution requires it.

  • Climb set to honor Sept. 11 victims

    The fire department will once again hike to the top of Pajarito Mountain to honor those that died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The event will take place Saturday in an effort to accommodate more people.
    “The first two times, we did we did it on Thursday and then a Friday. So I figured I might as well make this easier for the public and our guys to attend,” said Capt. William Nackers. “By having it on a Saturday, it will allow more people to come and participate.”
    Nackers started the event two years ago to honor those that died in the attacks. As far as he knows, it’s the only significant Sept. 11 event in the region.
    Each year, the event has gotten bigger, with 20 attending the first event in 2014 and 30 in 2015.
    “I’m hoping to get 50 this year, but we’ll see,” he said. “Smith’s is providing a deli lunch afterwards, so when people come back down, they will have something quick to eat,” Nackers said.
    The hike to the top takes about two hours round trip, and it’s not a competitive event. The trail is relatively easy for civilians, and is family friendly. Pets are also invited.
    “We keep together and make it a group thing,” he said.

  • LANL Foundation provides funds for school program

    Two people, Mathilde Schaumberg and her husband Joseph, recently came forward to publicly thank the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation for helping the kids in their program have a great time this summer.
    Mathilde Schaumberg, a teacher and the director of the before and after school care program at the Pablo Roybal Elementary School, became director of the program this year.
    The after school program provides enrichment activities for kindergarten- through fifth-grade students. This summer, the students went on field trips to the Albuquerque Aquarium, Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, the ¡Explora! Science Center and Children’s Museum in Albuquerque, the Los Alamos Farmer’s Market, and other places.
    “With that grant, they were able to use it for transportation, swimming lessons and go on several field trips,” Joseph Schaumberg said.
    The program has 20 to 25 students, but the program has been known to have up to 40 members, Joseph Schaumberg said.
    The students took their swimming lessons at the Pojoaque Wellness Center every Thursday afternoon, which was a half-day at the school. Transportation costs were prohibitive for this program and the field trips until the foundation stepped in.

  • Former pastor pleads guilty to child porn

    Former Los Alamos Baptist Church pastor Paul Cunningham, 54, was sentenced to one year in jail Friday for possessing and distributing child pornography.
    Cunningham pled guilty in First Judicial Court in Santa Fe.  The sentence was reached during a plea agreement hearing with Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer.
    In exchange for pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of children (distribution) and sexual exploitation of children (possession), Cunningham agreed to four and a half years of jail time with actual time served limited to one year in county jail.
    At the official sentencing, Cunningham can argue for probation or a conditional discharge.
    No date for an official sentencing hearing has been set.
    If Cunningham serves one year in jail, he must also serve two years of supervised probation after he completes his jail sentence. Cunningham must also register as a sex offender.
    If Cunningham violates the terms of his agreement or probation, Cunningham will have to serve four and half years in prison.
    Prosecutors took Cunningham’s lack of prior criminal convictions into account for the plea agreement, according to the Associated Press.

  • Neighbors in difficult times
  • UNM-LA hires Hurley as asst. dean

    University of New Mexico-Los Alamos has hired Sharon Hurley as the associate dean of instruction.
    Hurley came to UNM-LA as an accounting and economics professor in 2003. She has served as the department chair of Business, Computer Science, and Information Technology since 2014.
    As associate dean of instruction, Hurley will assist the Interim Dean of Instruction, Kay Willerton, in the oversight of course scheduling, curriculum development, faculty hiring and supervision, budget development, fiscal monitoring, and other related administrative activities. She will also work closely with high school Dual Credit programs.
    Hurley has a Ph.D. in accounting, with a minor in economics, from Texas A&M University. She is licensed as a CPA in Colorado and New Mexico. Hurley first developed an interest in accounting when watching her mom do the bookkeeping for the family business. She attended Brigham Young University in Utah where she earned her undergraduate degree and then attended the University of North Florida for her master’s degree in accounting.
    Hurley’s academic career began at BYU where she served as a tenure track professor. Ultimately her family moved to Los Alamos, where she taught independent study classes for BYU, volunteered with the local schools, and taught part time for UNM-LA.

  • LAHS girl's soccer mercy rules Belen

    It was the offensive performance the Los Alamos girl’s soccer team was waiting for all season.
    The Hilltoppers routed Belen 11-1 Saturday at Sullivan Field for their fifth win of the season. The 11 goals are the most for Los Alamos since defeating Del Norte 11-1 in 2015.
    Los Alamos used its main attacking threats to put together its best all-around performance this season. Hilltopper midfielders were connecting passes to their attacking counterparts, while the wings managed to make runs that Belen had no answer for.
    It only took three different Los Alamos players for the Hilltoppers to score 11 goals.
    Sophomore midfielder/forward Katie Hopkins got on the score sheet four times, as she helped the Hilltoppers take a 5-0 lead at halftime. Hopkins also assisted two goals.  
    Los Alamos midfielder Abby Schmalz continued her stellar senior season with a four goal and two assist performance. As of Saturday, Schmalz had tallied six goals and a team-leading five assists.
    The Hilltoppers’ second leading scorer senior forward Sienna Ahlers helped finish off Belen with her first hat trick of the season. Saturday’s performance put Ahlers at seven goals on the season.

  • Does solar power make business sense?

    According to Karen Parmanandam, marketing director for Positive Solar Energy, homeowners, businesses, Los Alamos County and Los Alamos Public Schools could all save money in the long run by installing photovoltaic systems.
    “We’re here to talk about the dollars and sense of solar,” Parmanandam said. “Why does solar make sense, and not just for businesses? I’m talking about governments, for municipalities, for private entities, for nonprofits, for schools and, of course, individuals.”
    Paramanandam presented “A Business Case for Solar” Aug. 24 as part of projectY’s ongoing series of business-related seminars. She stressed how the dropping cost of solar coupled with federal programs can make photovoltaic systems a smart move for business owners.
    According to Parmanandam, solar is on the verge of hitting its “early majority,” when it becomes mainstream due to increased efficiency, better manufacturing, greater ability to meet demand and modernization of the electric grid.

  • Sports briefs

    ’Toppers cross country at Lobo Invite
    The Los Alamos cross country team began its 2016 season by competing in the annual Lobo Invitational, hosted by the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
    The Hilltoppers boys finished Saturday’s season opening meet in ninth, while the girls finished in 16th place. About 43 schools competed in this year’s Lobo Invitational.  
    Rafael Sanchez, Chris Buntain and Josh Strevell led the Los Alamos boys. Sanchez earned a 10th place finish, Buntain finished 63rd and Strevell came in 70th place.  
    For the Hilltopper girls, Lidia Appell led the way with a 47th place finish. The second-best Los Alamos runner was Paulina Burnside who finished in 69th place, while Sydney Schake came in 113th place.
    Los Alamos will compete in the ATC Invitational in Santa Fe on Saturday.
    LAHS volleyball wins a pair in Moriarty
    The Los Alamos volleyball team won two matches and dropped one last weekend at the Moriarty Tournament.
    The Hilltoppers defeated Hot Springs in five sets (25-14, 25-6, 18-25, 25-27, 15-11) and beat Bosque School 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-23). Los Alamos lost to Hatch Valley in straight sets (25-23, 25-22, 32-30).