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Today's News

  • Group sees food insecurity grow in LA

    The moment LA Cares, a food charity based in Los Alamos was officially created in 1994, the charity faced an uphill battle.
    Back then, when the group was known as Homeless Services of Los Alamos, those who needed assistance had to go to Española.
    Many Los Alamos County residents then questioned the need for such a service. After all, Los Alamos County was and still is, known as one of the counties with the highest number of millionaires in the world.
    Homeless Services of Los Alamos started out with 12 clients.
    “In the beginning, we were always asked three questions,” LA Cares Secretary Linda Burns said at a recent talk about what LA Cares does in the community. “Do we really have a need up here? Are there really homeless people here? The answer was, there were and there are. We have delivered food to people living in cars, people living in tents, people living in motorhomes that didn’t look roadworthy.”
    They even delivered to a person living in a shed out behind someone’s house, according to Burns.
    “We never did know whether the people living in the house knew he was living in the shed,” Burns said. “The third question was ‘do you have to be homeless to benefit from LA Cares?’ And the answer was no.”

  • Gas leak shuts shopping center down

    UPDATE: The shopping center, located at 535 Central Avenue, is now open and all businesses affected earlier today are open.

    A gas leak shut down the old Smith's shopping center at around 11 a.m. Saturday morning. The shopping center is located at 535 Central Avenue. Stores and restaurants affected by the leak are Bealls Department Store, Auto Zone and Pajarito Brew Pub and Grill. The Fire Department and the Department of Public Utilities are on the scene now determining where the leak is and what caused it. No word yet on when the affected stores and restaurants will be open. Restaurants on the other side of the shopping center, which include Daniel's Cafe, Pyramid Cafe, and Thailand Thai Cuisine are still open. Fire and police have not blocked the shopping center off, just the lower half where all emergency activity is taking place. The shopping center, which contains the old Smith's grocery store that is now vacant, is located across from Smith's Marketplace at 751 Trinity Drive.

  • The Latest: Local election bill doomed by pocket veto

    SANTA FE (AP) — The Latest on New Mexico bills singed or vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez (all times local):

    2 p.m.

    There will be no reshaping of the political landscape for school boards, cities and other nonpartisan local governments in New Mexico through the consolidation of elections.

    Gov. Susana Martinez did not take action on the bill before Friday's signing deadline, resulting in an automatic veto.

    The measure would have allowed such local elections to be combined and put before voters in November every other year.

    Experts had suggested that doing so could boost turnout. Currently, such elections draw little attention, with some failing to garner a single ballot.

    Dona Ana County Clerk Scott Krahling says this marks the third time the legislation has failed. Krahling says democracies aren't successful if only a few people vote and consolidating elections would have been a step in the right direction.

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    1:30 p.m.

    Some Senate leaders and behavioral health advocates are voicing frustration that Gov. Susana Martinez did not sign legislation that would have addressed the handling of fraud accusation leveled against providers.

  • The Latest: New Mexico governor vetoes tax increases

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has vetoed a $350 million package of tax and fee increases designed to shore up shaky state government finances.
    Martinez said Friday in a veto message that the Legislature ignored her repeated promises to veto tax increases. She says a proposal to raise taxes on gasoline and diesel sales would place an undue burden on families.
    She also objects to new taxes on the sale of vehicles and trucking permit fees approved by the Democrat-led Legislature.
    New Mexico's traditional streams of tax revenue have been eroded by relatively weak energy prices and a stagnant local economy, with reserves nearly depleted.
    Martinez says she will call a special session to resolve a $156 million budget shortfall, but has not specified when. She is urging lawmakers to support a tax-code overhaul designed to improve the state's business climate by eliminating hundreds of tax breaks, including long-standing exemptions for nonprofit organizations. The reforms would lower standard tax rates on sales and services.
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    10:50 a.m.
    New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has vetoed major portions of a $6.1 billion spending bill for the coming fiscal year, including funding for higher education and the Legislature.

  • Special lecture-recital on Ladino Romanceros, Coplas and Kantigas Saturday at Unitarian Church

    The Unitarian Church of Los Alamos will host “Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, The Inquisition & New World Identities,” a special lecture-recital on Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) Romanceros, Coplas and Kantigas at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

    This program was previously presented at the New Mexico History Museum’s Fractured Faiths Symposium, as part of their six-month special exhibit in the fall of 2016.

    The event features soprano Christina Martos and pianist Debra Ayers performing works by Ofer Ben-Amots, an Israeli-American composer and chair of the music department at Colorado College.

    Ben-Amots will lecture about his recreations of musical settings for songs dating to the era of the Jewish diaspora in Spain, a time that gave rise to the unique hybrid of Hebrew and Spanish known as Ladino.

    Los Alamos soprano Martos sang several seasons with Central City Opera in Colorado and the Washington National Opera, and most recently performed at the world premiere of Los Bufones by Santa Fe composer Ron Strauss at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

  • Road Closure Alert: West Road closed Saturday

    Los Alamos National Laboratory will close West Road Saturday for safety reasons, the county announced Friday.

    West Road, owned by LANL, will be closed to vehicle traffic to ensure public safety while workers can perform tree trimming activities in the area between 9 a.m.- 2 p.m.

    West Road is the road that leads into Los Alamos Canyon to the Ice Rink and frequently used by motorists to access Pajarito Mountain. Motorists will need to travel through the LANL security portal to access Pajarito Mountain during these hours Saturday.

  • The Latest: New Mexico governor vetoes university funding

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has vetoed major portions of a $6.1 billion spending bill for the coming fiscal year, including funding for higher education and the Legislature.
    The Republican governor on Friday said in a veto message that the state's Democrat-led Legislature has refused to bear its fair share of reductions in state spending.
    In vetoing funding for state colleges and universities, Martinez chastised the state Senate for refusing to hold hearings on her nominations for regents. She says funding issues for higher-education and political appointments can be addressed during an upcoming special legislative session.
    Martinez also has vetoed a capital spending bill that would have restored $46 million in money taken from public school district reserves this year to address a state general fund deficit.
    The governor favors using those funds instead to shore up state finances and avoid proposed tax increases.
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    3:00 a.m.
    New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is drawing a line in the sand against tax increases and state government spending with hours left to sign or veto provisions of a budget plan from the Legislature.
    Martinez has until noon on Friday to consider a $6.1 billion spending bill that shores up funding for public schools and courts in the coming fiscal year.

  • Honeybee workshop at the Nature Center

    Have you ever wondered what goes on in the life of a busy bee? The Pajarito Environmental Education Center will offers a workshop with Dorothy Brown at the Los Alamos Nature Center about the biology and colony dynamics of honeybees from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday.
    This will be a great introduction for anyone curious about these non-native pollinators.
    What is happening inside the seemingly crowded honeybee colonies? Dorothy Brown will discuss the three castes of honeybee and how they contribute to the super-organism called the colony.
    Participants will take a journey through the hive and learn all about the complexities that make a colony work. This workshop is perfect for those considering starting to keep bees.
    Brown started Langstroth beekeeping in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York in 1974. She later kept some colonies in the Bay Area of Northern California. In 2006, she and Kate Whealen both took the Ecoversity class in topbar beekeeping taught by Les Crowder. She has a degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University and keeps a topbar colony on her carport roof in Los Alamos.
    Registration is required for this program, and is available at peecnature.org or by calling 662-0460. The cost is $8 for PEEC members and $10 for non-members.

  • LA native, poet to speak at WR library

    Los Alamos native and poet Allison Cobb will return for a special event Sunday to celebrate National Poetry Month.
    Cobb will read from her new poetry book, “After We All Died,” and an ongoing project, “Plastic: an autobiography,” both of which feature Los Alamos, at 1 p.m. Sunday at White Rock Branch Library in the multi-purpose room, 10 Sherwood Blvd., White Rock.
    Cobb is the author of “Born 2” (Chax Press); “Green-Wood” (Factory School); “Plastic: an autobiography” (Essay Press EP series); and “After We All Died” (Ahsahta Press), which was a finalist for the National Poetry Series.
    Cobb works for the Environmental Defense Fund and lives in Portland, Oregon, where she co-curates The Switch reading, art, and performance series.
    Cobb’s work combines historical and scientific research, essay and poetry to address issues of landscape, politics and ecology.
    She was a 2015 finalist for the National Poetry Series; a 2015 Djerassi Resident Artist; a 2014 Playa Resident Artist; received a 2011 Individual Artist Fellowship award from the Oregon Arts Commission; and was a 2009 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow.

  • Entering World War I, American soldiers depended on foreign weapons tech

    BY DAVID LONGENBACK
    Pennsylvania State University