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Today's News

  • UNM-LA Job Fair set for April 6

    The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Office of Student Services is hosting a job fair for students and local community members from 1-4 p.m. April 6 in the UNM-LA Student Center, building 2, 4000 University Drive.
    More than 20 large and small businesses from northern New Mexico will be on hand to meet potential new employees.
    Businesses will be sharing current job postings and distributing information about upcoming job opportunities including summer, full-time, part-time, internships and other possibilities.
    The Job Fair is open to students and community members. Attendees are encouraged to dress professionally and bring multiple copies of their current resumes.
    The following businesses plan to attend: 
    • A Nurse in the Family
    • Bandelier National Monument
    • Los Alamos National Laboratory
    • Los Alamos National Laboratory Student Programs Office
    • Los Alamos Retirement Community
    • Lowe’s, Española
    • New Mexico Consortium
    •  NM Workforce Connections, Española Office
    • Office of Instruction, UNM-LA
    • Pet Pangaea
    • Pueblo of Pojoaque
    • Buffalo Thunder and Cities of Gold

  • LAPS waits for word on budget, special session

    Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus said Wednesday he is keeping a close watch on several bills and waiting to hear if or when a legislative special session will be called to finalize a state budget.
    Steinhaus said several bills that require the Governor’s action or “pocket veto” by April 7 will determine what steps the district will take in its budget planning.
    Although he does not have any indication as to what Gov. Susana Martinez will do, Steinhaus said, “She’s got a big stack of bills and a lot of work to do, so I’m not sure she even knows yet.”
    Senate Bill 462, if signed by the governor, would return about $530,000 taken from the LAPS Cash Balance account.
    “I am pleased to report that these funding cuts did not result in any furlough days for LAPS staff. In addition, we protected LAPS classroom funding for 2016-17,” said Steinhaus. Other school districts, however, met a different fate and will have to implement furlough days and reductions in teaching staff.
    The district is also keeping an eye on the HB 2 General Appropriations Act that includes funding for public schools, HB 185 Limit School Testing Days and HB 211 Next Generation Science Standards.

  • County Council to consider immigrant, refugee resolution

    Los Alamos County Council is expected to consider a resolution Tuesday, taking an official stand against unjust treatment of immigrants and refugees.
    The move is a reaction to President Donald Trump’s attempt to ban refugees from six countries, but at least one councilor fears the timing risks millions in federal funding for the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    The resolution calls for all branches of the county government, including local law enforcement, to respect a person’s universal rights to due process and equal protection under the law and that county services “observe the fundamental American value that all people including immigrants and refugees should be treated with respect, justice and compassion.”
    The resolution, sponsored and written by Councilor Pete Sheehey, was in part a reaction to an executive order issued by President Donald Trump’s ban on refugees from six Muslim-majority countries as a strategy against terrorism.
    The federal courts have challenged Trump’s ban, and arguments for and against are expected to be heard in April.

  • Citizen board recommends DOE shed more light on WIPP waste storage

    A local citizens advisory board recommended to the Department of Energy Wednesday that it provide more information to the public on a proposed above-ground nuclear waste facility at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant at Carlsbad.
    The recommendation was put forth by Northern New Mexico Citizen’s Advisory Board member Stephen Schmelling.  
    “It is a fairly straightforward construction project and there is little reason to doubt, that if constructed to the proposed specifications, it would be capable of temporarily storing a large quantity TRU (transuranic) waste,” the recommendation said.
    “However, the permit modification provides no information on the cost of the facility, or the expected benefits to be derived from either in terms of the more efficient operation of the WIPP facility, or the reduction in risk around the DOE complex from the more efficient operation of the WIPP facility, or the reduction in risk around the DOE complex from the more efficient operation of WIPP and the TRU waste disposal process.”
    The board voted to direct the DOE to shed more light on how the proposed facility will benefit the region, how much the facility will cost and present these reasons before the public at a later date.

  • Create and hide unbreakable Easter eggs

    Easter is one of the most important days of the year for Christians. Easter Sunday is filled with symbolism and tradition, some of which harken back to early Christianity, while others trace their origins to paganism.
    The Easter Bunny and Easter eggs are two Easter traditions with less extensive histories. The Easter Bunny, according to sources including History.com, first arrived in America in the 1700s via German settlers who brought with them their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase.” Children would make nests where the rabbit could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread from Pennsylvania, where many German immigrants settled, to other areas around the country.
    Eggs are symbolic of new life and rebirth in many cultures. To Christians, eggs represent the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    Another theory suggests that Christians were once forbidden to eat during the Lenten season preceding Easter. Therefore, Christians would paint and decorate eggs for Easter to mark the joyous celebration and cessation of penance and fasting.
    Even though these traditions have endured, Easter eggs themselves might not be so strong. This year, Easter celebrants may want to experiment with different materials that are more forgiving and more enduring than standard eggs.
    Wooden eggs

  • Church group to leave for Mexico

    Volunteers from the United Church of Los Alamos and the Unitarian Universalist Church will form a Circle of Love Saturday morning, as they prepare to leave for Puerto Penasco, Mexico, to build homes for the poor.
    The 50-plus-member team will build for three families this week, including a 78-year-old mother and her daughter that make $35 a week, a five-member family that makes $42 a week and a six-member family that makes $170 a week.
    As they do a formal key ceremony of Friday for each family, giving them the keys to their first real home, the team tells each family that the house is a gift and they owe them nothing for their work.
    The team will arrive back in Los Alamos Saturday night.

  • N.M. hit by ‘flash drought’ weather phenomenon

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Across New Mexico, unusually warm March weather and virtually no rain for a month prompted dust storms that closed highways, warnings for some to stay inside and rapid mountain snow melting that could threaten drinking water supplies and farmers’ irrigation needs.
    This weather phenomenon — driven by a quick increase in temperatures and a lack of precipitation resulting in bone-dry soil — is called a flash drought. It has affected pockets across the country in recent weeks, from the Midwest to northern California.
    In New Mexico, the flash drought is ending as quickly as it began thanks to rain finally falling this week.
    Here are some things to know about the phenomenon:
    Quick Start
    With a snap of his fingers, National Weather Service hydrologist Royce Fontenot explained the speed at which flash droughts can develop and then disappear.
    New Mexico broke dozens of high temperature records in March with some weather stations recording highs nearly 10 degrees above normal. Communities on the state’s eastern edge approached 90 degrees, while some parts of the arid state had no rain for a full month.

  • N.M. cash reserves threatened amid budget fight

    SANTA FE (AP) — Concerns about New Mexico’s short-term cash reserves are taking center stage as state lawmakers await anticipated veto decisions by Gov. Susana Martinez on a budget for the coming fiscal year.
    Top finance officials for Martinez said Wednesday that a $102 million operating reserve cushion will leave the state perilously close to insolvency when the fiscal year ends in June. Martinez is preparing plans to possibly furlough state government workers as soon as April and reduce the number of days that state museums, parks and motor vehicle offices are open to the public.
    Leading lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled Legislature are questioning whether the Republican governor’s warnings of a government shutdown are justified or amount to a bargaining tactic in the larger state budget standoff. Legislators are concerned about dwindling state cash accounts as the federal government delays a major payment on an oil and gas lease sale.
    Here are some things to know about the state budget and the political confrontation:

    Cash balances
    The Martinez administration and the Legislature are working off nearly identical estimates placing state general fund reserves at between $95 million and $102 million at the end of the current fiscal year in June.

  • Assets in Action: Life is short — slow down, hold on for the ride

    This week, I feel like the column should be called, “It’s all about me,” and “It’s not about me at all.”
    Today starts the long, slow crawl to 50, and the previous year and a half has been a stressful time, to say the least.
    It has been a time to see what you’re made of, grab the bull by the horns and hold on for the ride.
    I’ve always had friends with children a year or two older than our children.
    I highly recommend it, because these little nuggets of wisdom can be stored, like a squirrel stores nuts and pulled out when you really need them.
    So the same might be true of having a friend that is a few years older than you. Perhaps it will help you see what’s ahead and perhaps at the same time, you don’t want to know.
    I had a friend that had already hit the magic age of 50. She had some health problems, but was battling through along the way.
    Then unexpectedly, she died in her sleep. Yep, 50 years old and gone overnight.
    My heart aches for her husband, because he’s just slightly younger than my husband and his life has been uprooted in a flash.

  • County DPU presents ‘Water is Life’ at Nature Center

    The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities is bringing four speakers and a film to the Los Alamos Nature Center from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 4.
    The evening will start with a discussion about rivers and local water issues by four speakers followed by a break with refreshments and a chance to meet the speakers. Afterward, they will show the documentary This event is free.
    The four talks are:
    • Where the water we use in Los Alamos comes from, with some thoughts on a sustainable future by Jack Richardson, Deputy Utilities Manager – Gas, Water, Sewer (GWS) for Los Alamos County.
    • The End of the Dam-building Era in the Western US by Steve Harris, Executive Director of Rio Grande Restoration.
    • Rethinking the Rio: the opportunity and challenge of moving low-elevation storage from Elephant Butte to high-elevation reservoirs on the Rio Chama to conserve water from evaporation and restore flows to an ailing river by Jen Pelz, Wild Rivers Program Director at WildEarth Guardians