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Today's News

  • LAPS to lobby for slowdown of N.M. eval system

    When the New Mexico State Legislature meets this January, representatives from the Los Alamos Public Schools will be ready with their wishlist.
    According to a pamphlet that will be distributed to the legislature, that wishlist includes:

    • Increased salaries for all staff
    • Sufficient funding for the “above the line” budget
    • Flexibility when it comes to adoption of the state’s teacher evaluation system
    • Increased funding for transportation for all schools (not just charter schools)
    • Capital outlay funding for structural repairs to the Duane Smith Auditorium (mostly weatherproofing the outside of the building, stucco).

  • Learn to Waltz

    As a part of fundraising efforts for the Los Alamos High School Dance Program, Ballroom Dance students and teacher Natasha Barkhudarova are offering four weekly sessions of Waltz dance classes for beginners.
    Classes are 7-8 p.m. every Tuesday, starting today. Other classes will be Jan. 20, 27 and Feb. 3 at the Topper Theater at LAHS. No partner is required. Everybody is welcome to join the class. The cost is $40 for adults and $20 for children, students and LAPS staff (for all four classes). Drop-in fee is $12 for adults and $6 for children, students and LAPS staff (per class).
    All proceeds go toward students’ travel to represent Los Alamos High School in the dance events and conferences around the state of New Mexico.
    For information, contact n.barkhudarova@laschools.net or call 663-2577.

  • LAPD honors its finest

    Monday was a busy day for the Los Alamos Police Department during ceremony at Magistrate Court.
    Magistrate Court Judge Pat Casados officiated a special swearing-in ceremony for five of Los Alamos’ top officers.
    During the ceremony Detective Sergeant Oliver Morris. Morris, a veteran of LAPD, was promoted to Commander.
    Tom Beyer also received promotion to public service aide.
    Also, a pair of officers were sworn into the force Monday, including Cpl. Matt Lyon and Officer Gabriel Nieto and former jailer David Bradshaw became a new police officer on the force.

  • As state after state legalizes marijuana, will New Mexico join in?

    Whether as a slowly rising tide or flash flood, marijuana reform is on its way to New Mexico. The question is, who will benefit economically from what’s shaping up to be the fastest-growing industry of this decade?
    Since New Mexico became the first state to license and regulate the production and distribution of medical marijuana in 2007, 23 other states have followed our lead. Now Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska have legalized recreational use. The District of Columbia has approved legalization, and unless Congress blocks it, President Barack Obama will soon be able to reunite his Hawaii choom gang for a smoke in the Rose Garden. (Hard to guess how the Secret Service would handle that, since pot remains illegal on federal property.)
    If he chooses to use the “pen and phone” he’s been brandishing lately in the cause of drug law reform, the president could drop marijuana from the fed’s list of controlled substances, a move that would favorably impact more Americans than his unilateral action on immigration. That would open the floodgates for similar reforms nationwide.
    Arizona legislators will weigh a legalization bill in the session opening this month, although it’s unlikely to make it to a floor vote this year.

  • Walmart and the myth of free market

    As the Legislature debates the two related issues of right to work and minimum wage, we’re probably going to hear about theories like free markets and free choice. So let’s get real.
    Some things are still traded in completely free markets, I suppose, but I would hesitate to name one nationally marketed product that is not somehow affected (for better or worse) by subsidies, tax breaks, or other factors that have nothing to do with consumer choice. (If you find one, please write to me!)  
    We are all subsidizing Walmart. If you don’t shop there, you are subsidizing the purchases of people who do.  
    Americans for Tax Fairness issued a report in April 2014 called “Walmart on Tax Day:  How Taxpayers Subsidize America’s Biggest Employer and Richest Family.”
    In this report, a state-by-state analysis shows the estimated number of Walmart employees in New Mexico as 14,322. The estimated public assistance cost for those New Mexico employees is $63.2 million. The estimated yearly total of tax breaks and subsidies to the Walmart stores in New Mexico, benefitting the company’s owners and stockholders, is $73.7 million. Those two figures add up to $136.9 million — money either not collected in taxes or paid out in public assistance to workers.  

  • Delegates preview Legislature

    An air of uncertainty hung over a forum on the upcoming legislative session sponsored by the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters Thursday.
    Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D−District 43 and Sen. Carlos Cisneros, D−District 6 discussed legislative priorities, but stressed that the impacts of dropping oil prices on the state budget and Republican control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 62 years are undefined at this time.
    Rep. James Smith, R−District 22, updated voters on bills coming before the Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC).
    AAUW Co-Facilitator Judy Prono moderated the discussion, which Garcia Richard led off by presenting her legislative priorities.
    Garcia Richard has introduced bills supporting a constitutional amendment to reduce class sizes, tightening loopholes in driving under the influence (DUI) legislation and making the state procurement code more favorable to local businesses.
    According to Garcia Richard, her own experience as an elementary school teacher in Pojoaque has brought home the importance of smaller class size, especially in tailoring educational plans to students’ needs.

  • Today in history Jan. 13
  • Correction in Andres Dow Story

    In the Friday issue of the Los Alamos Monitor, it was erroneously reported that Andres Dow was a member of the Los Alamos High School Varsity Football team at the time he committed alleged crimes against another student. He was not a member of the football team. According to school officials, Dow was cut from the team half way through the season for violations of team policy he committed while a member of the team. 

    The Los Alamos Monitor regrets the error.

  • Today in history Jan. 12
  • Today in history Jan. 11