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Today's News

  • Event raises funds for House of Hope, Trinity Builders

    The English tradition of the “Coffee Morning” returns to Kelly Hall at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Drive, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday.
    The event is an informal fundraiser intended to raise funds for the House of Hope and Trinity Builders house-building mission teams.
    The Coffee Morning will also offer an opportunity to share that Saturday morning cup of coffee and a scone or other treat, while visiting with friends and neighbors. The event will also include tempting stalls or tables, including home-baked bread and cakes, plants and flowers, a white elephant table, used books and other media, games for children, a car wash organized by the Youth Choir, hats and a Scarf Market. All items will be reasonably priced.
    The car wash will also raise funds for the Youth Choir.
    Coffee Mornings are a very popular way of raising money for good causes at many churches in the UK. “A Coffee Morning is just what it sounds like: You get together, drink coffee, eat goodies and, this is the most important part, spend money,” said Claire Singleton, who is from the UK and has been part of the House of Hope women’s house-building team since its inception in 2005. For this reason, items will be reasonably priced to encourage patrons to dip into their wallets frequently.

  • Springtime arts at Fuller Lodge

    The Northern New Mexico Spring Arts and Crafts Fair will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday on the Fuller Lodge lawn. There will be creative, original art by nearly 100 artists. There will also be a meet-and-greet with the Greyhound Pets of America New Mexico branch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. across from the Memorial Rose Garden. Top: Recycled wood products by Bob Riolo. Right: A Zozobra-inspired birdhouse. los Alamos Arts council/Courtesy

  • Negative interest rates can be a brilliant concept

    I have to admit that initially I was uninterested, even close-minded, about the negative yield being offered on a growing share of European sovereign debt.
    “It must be a short-term aberration,” I thought at first. “Completely nutso,” I sniffed dismissively as the phenomenon spread. “Who in their right mind would invest in a financial instrument that would guarantee a loss of principal?”
    Upon calmer reflection, I would shrug and think, “Well, to each his own, but none of those topsy-turvy debt instruments for me.”
    More recently, I have taken a more tolerant attitude toward negative-yield debt. As I teach my Econ 101 students, the key to success in the economic marketplace is to set aside your own preconceptions and preferences and to acknowledge that the consumer is always right.
    In fact, the more I think about it, I find myself attracted to the idea of offering such a service to satisfy this unfathomable consumer appetite for negative yields. Maybe I should announce that anybody out there who would like to send me money on the condition that I return less than all of it to them in the future is free to do so (as long as they include payment for any incidental transaction costs). From that perspective, negative interest rates are quite ingenious.

  • DOT: Fixing N.M. roads is a matter of policy

    White poles frame the lanes of N.M. 279 at its intersection with N.M. 124 just north of Laguna and form a cluster.
    For the first-time observer, the white hilltop cluster is odd: “What in the world is that?” Turn north on 279 and the purpose — if not the rationale — becomes evident. The poles channel traffic, such as it is, through the intersection.
    Our years long, nine-figure difference between what ought to be done maintaining and building highways and the money available, as defined by the state Department of Transportation, must be a matter of policy. It has continued so long that it must be on purpose.
    Just kidding. I hope.
    Within the policy, some things stand out — the ghostly cluster, for example.
    One doesn’t just build a road. My sample of the materials from a Transportation Commission meeting is a five-eighths-inch thick book.
    Examples of work DOT likes appear in the department’s annual report. While the project descriptions are all happy news, some interesting hints slide in. The 2013 report’s description of rebuilding the I-10/I-25 interchange south of Las Cruces mentions reconstruction of two bridges “to meet current design standards.”

  • Woman rescued in rubble 5 days after Nepal quake

    KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A long-absent noise — cheers — rang out in Nepal’s capital Thursday as rescuers pulled a teenager alive from the earthquake rubble he had been trapped in for five days. A woman was rescued hours later. The joy interrupted a dreary and still fearful day in which thousands worried about aftershocks lined up to board free buses to their rural hometowns.
    Hundreds cheered as the 15-year-old, Pemba Tamang, was pulled out of the wreckage, dazed and dusty, and carried away on a stretcher. He had been trapped under the collapsed debris of a seven-story building in Kathmandu since Saturday, when the magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck.
    Nepalese rescuers, supported by an American disaster response team, had been working for hours to free him. L.B. Basnet, one of the police officers who helped rescue Tamang, said he was surprisingly responsive.
    “He thanked me when I first approached him,” said Basnet. “He told me his name, his address, and I gave him some water. I assured him we were near to him.”
    When Tamang was lifted out, his face was covered in dust, and medics had put an IV drip into his arm. A blue brace had been placed around his neck. He appeared stunned, and his eyes blinked in the sunlight as workers hurriedly carried him away.

  • None Shall Pass

    Hilltopper pitcher Lane Saunders threw a 5-inning no-hitter for Los Alamos Wednesday against Bernalillo.

  • CEDD comes under fire during budget hearings

    The road to approval of Los Alamos County’s FY2016 budget was a long and often contentious one.
    The Community and Economic Development Department (CEDD) in particular came under attack from several councilors.
    Councilor Rick Reiss spent 20 minutes questioning CEDD Director Anne Laurent about her job duties, later commenting on her “ability to do 15 things and do what most mothers do, manage several things at the same time.”
    Reiss noted that 85 percent of the CEDD budget is spent on county facilities and economic development, with only seven percent dedicated to housing, building safety and planning.
    “Making the permitting system work is not receiving the priority that it needs,” Reiss said.
    Laurent acknowledged that the permitting process does sometimes take too long, and that staff investigates and attempts to correct those situations.
    But Laurent argued that most applications do not encounter delays, and those that do are often held up because the county is waiting for required information from the applicant.
    Several departments, including Public Works and the fire department, also must review permits.

  • 'Avengers' film opens at Reel Deal tonight

    The summer is approaching, but for local fans of the superhero genre of movies, the summer starts today.
    The Reel Deal Theater will have a special screening of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” at 7 p.m.
    The second installment of “The Avengers” series, which officially opens across the country Friday, is believed by some movie industry insiders to be potentially one of the biggest blockbusters of all time.
    For Reel Deal owner Jim O’Donnell, that wouldn’t bother him a bit.
    “This is going to be up there with ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘The Hobbit,’” O’Donnell said. “It’s all hands on deck this weekend. I’ll even be working concessions.”
    The Reel Deal is four-screen theater, but for Friday’s and Saturday’s crowds, two of those screens will be showing “Ultron.”
    For “Avengers” fan Breanna Perea, who said she enjoyed the first movie, the chance to see it in Los Alamos tonight was a big plus for her.
    “All the real fans are going to be there (tonight), as opposed to a midnight showing,” Perea said. “It’ll be a lot quieter. There won’t be a lot of talking.”

  • State pulls its support funds

    The Los Alamos school district recently received word that when the time comes to ask taxpayers to foot the bill for another school reconstruction project, Los Alamos residents may have to foot the bill for the entire project.
    The Public School Capital Outlay Council, the organization that approves the granting of matching state funding for school construction projects, narrowed its criteria, only approving pre applications from districts that are qualified to receive 50 percent in matching funds or higher.
    The Los Alamos Public School is qualified to receive 42 percent in matching funds or higher.
    “They (the PSCOC) essentially decided to draw a line in the sand at districts that received 50 percent match or higher, and everybody else’s applications were not considered,” said Joanie Ahlers, Los Alamos Public Schools’ chief operations officer at a recent school board meeting. “Our pre-application, that the board approved, was not considered.”

  • LA softball has win streak snapped

    The Los Alamos softball team had its five-game win streak snapped Wednesday by the District 2-5A champs, Bernalillo.
    The Spartans stayed perfect in the district, improving to 10-0 in 2-5A and 20-4 overall, with a 5-0 win against the ’Toppers (6-4, 11-13).
    “Overall it was a well played game,” Los Alamos manager Roger Anaya said. “We definitely played better than the first time we played them.”
    It was certainly closer that their previous games.
    The first time Los Alamos played Bernalillo, the Spartans hit eight home runs in a doubleheader.
    Jordan Hammock kept Bernalillo’s bats a lot quieter Wednesday, only giving up one extra-base hit and no home runs. “They had to earn every run,” Anaya said.
    Hammock pitched all seven innings, giving up 11 hits, five runs — three of which were earned — while striking out five and walking three. “She threw a great game,” Anaya said.
    Bernalillo’s pitcher, Isabella Navarro, was also impressive. She struck out 12 ’Toppers in the game.
    “Their pitcher is very tough,” Anaya said. “She has the best rise ball we’ve seen.”