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Today's News

  • State of County speech previews future

    Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess’ State of the County speech Thursday morning gave listeners a view of how the county was preparing for the future.

    All the efforts the county put toward tourism, housing, code enforcement and amenities this year is laying the groundwork for better things to come for residents, businesspeople and residents, Burgess said.

    Burgess spoke Thursday to the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos.  Many members of County Council, Chamber of Commerce and the public attended.

    Burgess talked first about tourism, and how the county had capitalized on the National Park Service’s recent addition of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The Los Alamos section is one of the park’s three sections, the other parts being in Hanford Washington and Oak Ridge Tennessee. The Los Alamos section in downtown Los Alamos.

    He said that the 20-member Tourism Work Group formed last year will soon release a plan on how Los Alamos County will better be able to capitalize on the thousands of visitors and tourists that come to Los Alamos every year, whether that be for lab business or to visit Bandelier, the Valles Caldera or the  Manhattan Project Historical Park.

  • State representatives help get veterans' Fisher House project moving

    Veterans and their families may soon get a place to stay in Albuquerque while they wait for their loved ones to get care at the VA Medical Center.

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs officials joined with officials from the state Historic Preservation Office, the Fisher House Foundation and state legislators Wednesday to agree on final plans to build a Fisher House on the campus of the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque.

    The agreement provides the framework for construction to proceed on a proposed facility that will house the families of military personnel and veterans while their loved ones are receiving medical care.

    The agencies and the foundation reached the agreement at the urging of the Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and New Mexico House Republican Caucus. Pearce and state representatives reached out to state and federal officials to resolve obstacles blocking construction.

  • Sandra Jeff to run as Libertarian for sec. of state

    Former New Mexico State Rep. Sandra Jeff announced late Thursday her intention to run for secretary of state on the Libertarian Party ticket.

    “It is time for candidates that are about making life better for New Mexicans, not about following party dogma,” Jeff said in a release.

    Sandra went on to discuss that she “is switching parties and looking to run for secretary of state to fight the corruption in Santa Fe so that New Mexico has a new horizon to look to.”

    In 2016, Jeff ran as Democrat in the state senate race for District 22. She was defeated in the June 7 primary.

    Prior to that, Jeff served in the New Mexico House of Representatives, District 5, (representing McKinley and San Juan counties) from 2009 to 2014.

    In 2014, during her bid for re-election, Jeff was taken off the primary ballot because she did not have enough valid signatures, according to a state district court judge. The New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the state court ruling.

    She then ran in the general election as a write in candidate, but was defeated by Doreen Johnson.

    She is the second Libertarian candidate to declare a spot on the Libertarian ticket.

  • Council paves way for apartment complex

    Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved the donation of county-owned land on DP Road Tuesday to Bethel Development Corporation, to pave the way for the development of an affordable housing apartment complex.

    The land is parcel A-9, located at 120 DP Road, between the Knights of Columbus Clubhouse and a county firefighting training facility.

    “We go to a lot of communities. This one has been so supportive in our efforts to redouble affordable housing in the community, that it’s refreshing to have that kind of support,” said Bethel President Daniel Terlecki, in his reaction to the vote.

    Bethel wants to build a four building, 72-unit complex on the site.

    The project would border a section of Canyon Rim Trail, which concerns Councilor Antonio Maggiore.

    “When you talk about desert landscaping, does that mean a lot of gravel,” Maggiore asked.

    Terlecki also said there will be greenery on the property.

    “We lean toward a lot of trees for that shading factor,” Terlecki said.

    Maggiore was concerned that the property would not have a buffer between the trail and the apartment complex.

    Terlecki then said they were planning on putting a buffer of year-round pine trees in that section.

  • Legislators update county on session

    Los Alamos County’s three state legislators talked about what they’re going to be working on in next week’s 30-day legislative session to a packed house at the Fuller Thursday night.

    The event was cohosted by the League of Women Voters Los Alamos and the American Association of University Women, a non-partisan organizations that promote awareness of political candidates and issues through a public forum.

    State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-43, talked to the audience about education, and gave them some good news.

    “We (Garcia Richard, and Sens. Carlos Cisneros and Richard Martinez) stood before you a year ago $350 million in the hole, and it is so great to stand before you know in the black,” Garcia Richard said.

    This January, the New Mexico State Legislature announced it was going into this session with a $200 million surplus.

    Some of that funding, she said, may be used to give teachers a raise (1.5 percent proposed by legislature, 2 percent by governor and a 1 percent raise for all state workers).

    She also said the Legislature would try to restore money for transportation, instructional materials and other “middle-of-the-line” items, money that was cutback when the state budget was running a $350 million deficit.

  • LAHS picks up bounce-back win over Taos

    Led by 20 points from sophomore guard Gavin Campos, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team got back on track Tuesday evening, defeating Taos High School 82-62.

    Heading into the matchup, many questions surrounded the Hilltoppers, notably the health of two of the team’s best players.

    Senior guards Antonio Trujillo and Ramon Roybal missed time over the past week with injuries, and it was uncertain whether either would be able to play against Taos.

    As it turned out, both were good to go and played significant minutes, though neither started.

    In their places, Campos and David Owen, a junior, entered the starting lineup at the guard positions.

    Campos began scoring almost immediately, collecting 6 quick points in the first quarter, a time when the rest of the team was struggling to find an offensive rhythm.

    Senior forward Troy Hammock, who has been a key offensive contributor in recent weeks, picked up 4 points in the first quarter.

    Despite those contributions, the Hilltoppers trailed Taos 15-14 after the first quarter, as the Tigers knocked down three 3-pointers in the quarter.

    The offensive production picked up significantly for the Hilltoppers in the second quarter, with players consistently knocking down jump shots.

  • LAHS drops two weekend games

    Playing games on back-to-back days isn’t easy for a basketball team under any circumstances. Doing it without the team’s best player makes it even more challenging.

    This was the situation facing the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team last weekend, as it lost at home to Belen High School, and on the road to Santa Fe High School without the services of senior guard Antonio Trujillo.

    Trujillo, who has averaged more than 13 points per game this season, was on the bench with an injury in both games.
    The impact of him being out of the lineup was noticed immediately at the start of Friday’s game against Belen, as the Eagles jumped on top of the Hilltoppers 13-8 in the first quarter, and LAHS connected on just three shots. Two of those three shots were 3-pointers from Michael Naranjo and Ivan Balakirev, two of the team’s big men.

    Getting the ball to the big men continued to be the theme for the Hilltoppers in the second quarter, as all 10 points the team scored in the quarter came from Balakirev, Naranjo and Troy Hammock, another of the team’s inside presences.

    Heading into halftime, LAHS trailed 28-18. None of the Hilltopper guards scored in the first half, as Balakirev led the way with 7 points, Hammock had 6 points and Naranjo added 5 points.

  • States rethink sexual misconduct policies after complaints

    By DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — After a tumultuous few months that saw numerous lawmakers accused of sexual misconduct, a majority of state legislatures across the country are considering strengthening sexual harassment policies that have gone unheeded or unchanged for years.

    A 50-state review by The Associated Press found that almost all legislative chambers now have at least some type of written sexual harassment policy, though they vary widely, and many are placing a greater emphasis on preventing and punishing sexual misconduct as they convene for their 2018 sessions.

    This week alone, lawmakers in Arizona, Idaho and Rhode Island underwent detailed training about sexual harassment, some for the first time.

    Yet about a third of all legislative chambers do not require lawmakers to receive training about what constitutes sexual harassment, how to report it and what consequences it carries, the AP's review found.

  • N.M. cities building onramps to information superhighway

    ust as public utilities and the interstate highway system made New Mexico more accessible and habitable over the past century, the internet – today’s information superhighway – is what links the state’s entrepreneurs with potential customers and partners around the world. 

    In a state with far-flung rural villages and growing urban hubs, such infrastructure enhancements as fast and reliable internet service determine whether residents are isolated or engaged and whether enough taxable revenue can be generated through economic development to improve public safety and community amenities. 

    With that in mind, New Mexico municipalities are getting creative in their pursuit of broadband service, and many are finding that collaboration is essential to procuring this indispensable collective asset.

    Pick a partner

    Larger urban communities with hundreds of thousands of potential customers have little trouble attracting broadband service providers. It’s a different story in communities where one company has a monopoly on phone lines through which broadband fibers run.

  • Coalition uses data to analyze criminal justice

    By Finance New Mexico 

    For years I have wondered whether our criminal justice system makes sense. 

    I think first about my own safety. Does our system make me safer? Does it prevent crime? Does it make prudent use of my tax dollars? Is it pragmatic?

    Then I think about fairness and justice. Does our system teach criminals the lesson that will prevent them from committing crimes again? Does it prevent others from committing crimes? Do tougher penalties deter criminals from offending again? What is the system doing to prepare them for when they get out?

    I want data. Rather than being driven by emotions, either of compassion or retribution, I’d like to know what actually works.

    A group called NMSAFE (nmsafe.org) has done some of this homework.