Today's News

  • LA women lined up for Santa Fe March

     It wasn’t a big crowd that showed up for the sign making party at the Unitarian Church Saturday, but it was an enthusiastic one. Elena Mesivo, Cecile Hemez and Tina DeYoe spent the morning getting their signs ready for the Santa Fe Women’s March that took place Sunday.

    Mesivo saw the march as just a start for women to finally speak out on such issues as sexual harassment, which has become a hot topic in light of recent, well-publicized scandals in Hollywood.

    “People are finally opening up the door, even from years past to finally speak about it,” Mesivo said. “They are saying  ‘OK. I can go ahead, I’m not alone, I can speak out. For so many years they just kept it behind closed doors because they thought they were alone. Nobody was willing to believe them.” 

    Mesivo predicted that it was probably going to be big turnout Saturday, and she was right. 

  • Bill would nix lottery scholarship mandate

    BY ROBERT NOTT The New Mexican

     State law requires the New Mexico Lottery to allocate 30 percent of its gross revenues for college scholarships, a program that helped defray expenses for some 26,000 students last year.

    So effective was this system that it funneled more than $40 million annually to the scholarship program for nine consecutive years, helping many students obtain a college degree without the crushing debt that can come with loans.

    But lottery revenues dipped in 2017, a fact that figures heavily in another attempt to change the law. A Republican lawmaker has revived an annual bill to eliminate the requirement pledging 30 percent of gross lottery revenues to college scholarships.

    House Bill 147, sponsored by Rep. Jim Smith of Sandia Park, proposes that at least $38 million in net revenues go to the scholarship program. His bill includes a provision that would require the lottery to return to the 30 percent mandate if proceeds dip below the threshold.

  • Gov. Martinez looks ahead to her final year

     It’s Tuesday morning on the second week of her last legislative session. 

    This is it.

    Gov. Susana Martinez is frustrated. Once again, a Democratic-led Legislature is focused on passing a slate of memorial bills that have little impact on solving New Mexico’s problems.

    “It makes me a little agitated that from now until Saturday, they’re going to do memorials, instead of addressing what the people want,” Martinez said. “They’re angry, they’re tired of being victims. And they want these bills to be heard and voted on.”

    In an interview with the Los Alamos Monitor Tuesday, Martinez spoke about her thoughts on the session, her continued priorities for the state and reflected about the past seven years. 

  • 2018 State Legislature: Bipartisan bill would reform state’s troubled guardianship system

    By Bruce Krasnow
    The New Mexican

    Two Albuquerque lawmakers have introduced a 165-page bill that would revamp the way state courts handle adult guardianship cases, mandating open court records, more oversight and auditing.

    Republican state Sen. Jim White said he was approached by constituents who raised concerns about guardianship laws even before recent high-profile criminal investigations disclosed widespread problems with two nonprofit guardianship companies. The owners and managers of the firms in both cases have been charged with stealing millions of dollars from clients, and the need for more protection of vulnerable people in guardianships has drawn national attention.

    In one case, the Albuquerque firm Ayudando Guardians and its owner, financial manager and family members were charged in U.S. District Court with multiple counts in connection with the theft of some $4 million from trust accounts of more than 100 clients. The defendants were accused of using the money to purchase vehicles, and to pay for rent, personal expenses, vacations and even a luxury box in The Pit to watch University of New Mexico basketball.

    The case came to light when several employees of Ayudando approached federal agents in Albuquerque.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Dems again push to use land grant to fund early childhood education

    By Andrew Oxford

    The New Mexican

    A ballot measure that calls for using more money from the state's $17 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund for early childhood education is a small step closer to going to voters this year.

    The House Education Committee on Monday voted 7-6 along party lines to approve the constitutional amendment that backers say could expand access to education programs for young children across New Mexico, the state with the highest rate of child poverty.

    Republicans on the committee voted against the proposal. They say it could deplete a fund that now props up the budgets of New Mexico's public schools and is supposed to last forever.

    Democrats in the House of Representatives have made a priority of getting the measure, House Joint Resolution 1, on the November ballot. The measure is likely to pass out of the full 70-member House on a close vote.

    Unclear is whether budget hawks from both parties in the Senate could be persuaded to support it. They have blocked the measure in the past.

    Founded after New Mexico's entry to the union in 1912, the Land Grant Permanent Fund has accumulated revenue from a booming oil and gas industry. That money has in turn been invested in a sprawling portfolio, generating yet more revenue.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Building comaraderie but squandaring time

    By Steve Terrell The New Mexican

    At the end of every legislative session, there are dozens of bills that die on the House or Senate floor. When asked what happened, legislative leaders invariably shrug their shoulders and say, "We just ran out of time ..." Which is true.

    But in the days and weeks that lead to the last moments of a session, lawmakers eat up untold hours – joking around, talking sports, engaging in ceremonial activities and spending time on legislation that doesn't have the force of law.

    Call these activities "time bandits." Gov. Susana Martinez last year struck a chord – even with some of her critics – when she blasted lawmakers for spending time on "meaningless bills," such as those to establish an official state dance or state holiday song or official state hamburger.

    Martinez was unhappy because the Senate did not hold confirmation hearings on many of her nominees and didn't pass bills she was pushing. The time the House and Senate spend on nonbinding pieces of legislation, known as memorials, causes much of the heartburn.

  • Federal workers frustrated by back-and-forth over shutdown


    WASHINGTON (AP) — As Congress appeared ready to reopen the government Monday on the third day of a shutdown, some federal workers said they are frustrated over a political battle had put their jobs on hold and left them in limbo.

    J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers, said his members are exasperated that the inability of Congress and President Donald Trump to negotiate a budget led to the shutdown, which effectively cut the federal workforce in half Monday, as hundreds of thousands of workers were sent home.

    "We can't be the ball for the ping-pong game," Cox said Monday, after Senate Democrats dropped their objections to a temporary funding bill in return for assurances from Republicans leaders that they will soon take up immigration and other hot-button issues.

    Before the government can reopen, the Senate must vote on final passage, the House must approve and Trump must sign the measure.

    "There's still a lot of confusion. There's still not a done deal. There's apprehension that this could still fall apart," Cox said.

  • Ski club succeeds at junior national qualifier

    What a difference a year and more experience makes. That was evident for the kids on the Southwest Nordic Ski Club (SWNSC) team who traveled to the Rocky Mountain Nordic Junior National Qualifier Jan. 13-15 in Crested Butte, Colorado.

    Being up against all of the big teams from Colorado, such as the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, Aspen Valley Nordic, Summit County Nordic Club, Boulder Nordic Club, Durango Nordic Club, Winter Park Nordic Club, Crested Butte Nordic and Gunnison Nordic Clubs, the kids from Los Alamos definitely had their work cut out for them.

    Last season was the local club’s first taste of the highest level of competition for juniors in the Junior National Qualifier series, which is part of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association sanctioned regional races for kids looking to advance to the national and international levels.

    It starts with racing at the Rocky Mountain region qualifiers, then based on results there, up to the national level.

  • End to government shutdown in sight as Dems halt filibuster


    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress sped toward reopening the government late Monday as Democrats reluctantly voted to temporarily pay for resumed operations, relenting in return for Republican assurances that the Senate will soon take up the plight of young immigrant "dreamers" and other contentious issues.

    The vote set the stage for hundreds of thousands of federal workers to return on Tuesday, cutting short what could have become a messy and costly impasse. The House was expected to vote later in the day.

    But by relenting, the Democrats prompted a backlash from immigration activists and liberal base supporters who wanted them to fight longer and harder for legislation to protect from deportation the 700,000 or so younger immigrants who were brought to the country as children and now are here illegally.

    Democrats climbed onboard after two days of negotiations that ended with new assurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate would consider immigration proposals in the coming weeks. But there were deep divides in the Democratic caucus over strategy, as red-state lawmakers fighting for their survival broke with progressives looking to satisfy liberals' and immigrants' demands.

  • LAHS wrestling wins district trials

    The Los Alamos High School wrestling team was named the winners of the District 2-5A Trials, held Wednesday at LAHS.

    To win the event, the Hilltoppers had to defeat opponents from Del Norte High School and Española Valley High School.

    Defeating Española Valley proved to be no problem for LAHS, as the Hilltoppers took down the Knights 66-15.

    However, the Del Norte Knights proved to be much more of a challenge, as it took a great effort from LAHS junior Dylan Irish to finish off the match.

    With the teams evenly matched on the scoreboard, Irish was able to pin his opponent in the 182-pound weight class, sealing the 36-30 victory for the Hilltoppers, and sending his team and the supporters into an uproar.

    Also collecting pins for the Hilltoppers were Damian Gonzalez, who pinned his opponent from Del Norte in the 120-pound weight class, Trevor Brown, who pinned his opponent from Española Valley in the 145-pound weight class and Lewis Harvey, who pinned his opponent from Del Norte in the 170-pound weight class.

    Next up for the Hilltoppers is a road meet against Robertson High School on Tuesday afternoon. The meet will begin at 5 p.m.

    This season, the Hilltoppers are undefeated in head-to-head meets,  with wins against Pojoaque Valley and Hobbs.