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Today's News

  • Congress returns with plenty to do

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A gridlocked Congress failed to do the big things: overhauling the nation’s immigration system, reforming the loophole-cluttered tax code and stiffening background checks on gun buyers. Now it’s time to see whether it can just do the basics.
    With just two weeks before lawmakers’ sacrosanct August break, progress is decidedly mixed on several must-pass items due to Capitol Hill partisanship, heightened by midterm elections and the Obama administration’s conflicting signals to Congress. Lawmakers must find about $10 billion to keep highway projects on track through next spring, ease long wait times for veterans seeking health care and deal with a humanitarian crisis of some 57,000 unaccompanied immigrant children who have entered the U.S. along the Southern border since last fall.
    Looming large is legislation to keep the government operating beyond the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1; the House has completed seven of the 12 spending bills while the Senate has done none. A once-promising effort to revive the appropriations process in the Senate appears to have derailed in a test of wills between top Senate leaders over the rights of Republicans to offer amendments to legislation.

  • Caring for the community

    LA Cares volunteer Peg Hume (left) works with other volunteers to prepare for the organization’s monthly food distribution, which occurs on the second Friday of each month. Donation boxes are set up at various locations around the county. 

  • Showing their support

    University of New Mexico-Los Alamos staff is taking part in the 2014 College/Military Day, sponsored by Assets In Action. The community is asked to participate by wearing their favorite college or military apparel to highlight their path of Life Long Learning. The 2014 event is scheduled for Sept 5. 

  • Obamacare subsidies to continue

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s health care law is enmeshed in another big legal battle after two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday.
    A divided court panel in Washington called into question the subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people pay their premiums, saying financial aid can be paid only in states that have set up their own insurance markets, or exchanges.
    About 100 miles to the south in Richmond, Va., another appeals court panel unanimously came to the opposite conclusion, ruling that the Internal Revenue Service correctly interpreted the will of Congress when it issued regulations allowing consumers in all 50 states to purchase subsidized coverage.
    The White House immediately declared that policyholders will keep getting financial aid as the administration sorts out the legal implications.
    Spokesman Josh Earnest said the adverse decision in Washington would have “no practical impact” on tax credits as the case works its way through the courts.
    Both cases are part of a long-running political and legal campaign to overturn Obama’s signature domestic legislation by Republicans and other opponents of the law.

  • Update 07-22-14

    Council canceled

    The scheduled Los Alamos County Council work session, orginally set for tonight in White Rock, has been canceled.

    APP meeting

    The Arts in Public Places Advisory Board will meet Thursday. The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.

    Personnel board

    Tonight’s originally scheduled Personnel Board meeting has been canceled due to the lack of a qurom, Los Alamos County said in a statement today.

    At the Pond

    Tuesdays at the Pond Series will feature Marcus Cavlante. It is set for 7 p.m. today at Ashley Pond. It’s sponsored by the Los Alamos Creative District.

    Farmers Market

    County officials announced there would be no councilors’ booth at Thursday’s Farmers Market.

    Friday's concert

    Gordon’s Summer Concert Series presents Ray Wylie Hubbard, with opening act the Bill Hearne Trio. The concert will be at 7 p.m. at Ashley Pond. 

  • Report: illegal immigration slows

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Border Patrol agents stationed in South Texas are the busiest in the country, arresting tens of thousands of children illegally crossing the border without their parents and thousands more families with children.
    Here’s a look at some numbers on the immigration situation.
    • In the last budget year, Border Patrol agents arrested about 420,000 people, most of them along the Mexican border. That followed a three-year trend of near record low numbers of apprehensions.
    • Overall, the number of immigrants caught sneaking across the border remains at near historic low levels.
    • The last time so few people were arrested at the country’s borders was 1973, when the Border Patrol recorded just fewer than 500,000 arrests.
    • The number of people being arrested at the border remains dramatically lower than the all-time high of more than 1.6 million people in 2000.
    What makes the situation on the border today different is who is crossing and where.
    Since 2012, the number of unaccompanied children caught at the border has been steadily rising. Compared to the first 10 months of the 2013 budget year, the number has more than doubled. And since most of the children are from Central America, they can’t be quickly sent home like their Mexican counterparts.

  • ScienceFest is seeking entries

    Organizers of Los Alamos ScienceFest, a weeklong celebration of science, are seeking innovative presentations from passionate people with a love of innovation.
    “TechRev Day, a ScienceFest event, will showcase a series of 15-minute presentations from students, educators, scientists, engineers, bloggers, inventors and other creative types who are just bursting at the seams to share their contagious enthusiasm about innovation or innovation-related topics,” said Shandra Clow of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation, and organizer of the TechRev Day event. “Richard Feynman had an uncanny ability to enthusiastically and enjoyably convey technical topics to the layman, and we’re looking for individuals with enthusiasm in doing the same, to wow and entertain ScienceFest attendees with a topic about which they are extremely passionate.”
    Potential TechRev Day presenters have until Aug. 8 to apply.
    Presenters should submit a tentative title of the presentation, a 140-character description of it, and a short bio and headshot to Clow at clow@lanl.gov. Final selections will be made by Aug. 22, with presenters being notified the same day.

  • LA named top town by website

    Los Alamos has again been named as a top place to live, this time by the website Livability.com.
    Los Alamos was picked the best small town in the country, according to the website.
    In compiling its list, Livability.com analyzed data on towns with fewer than 20,000 residents. Towns were rated based on cost of living, health care spending, racial and socioeconomic diversity and numerous other factors.
    In all, 41 metrics were used to determine the top small town in the country.
    “Throughout the U.S., we’re seeing a resurgence of emphasis on downtowns in cities of all sizes,” Livability.com editor Matt Carmichael said in a press release, announcing the list. “It’s nice to see in the big cities, certainly, but it’s especially great to see these smaller towns not just holding their own, but also thriving.”
    According to the website, Los Alamos “offers an extremely low crime rate, top-rated schools, excellent health care, cultural amenities, outdoor activities and delicious restaurants, setting the city apart from the rest and making it our pick for the best small town in America.”
    Good weather and access to Bandelier National Monument and the Valles Caldera were also cited as big pluses for Los Alamos.

  • Ghost Bike honors son, classmate

    Described as athletic, handsome and smart, Forrest Fukushima was just 19 years old when a drunk driver on N.M. 502 killed him in 1986.
    An avid bicyclist, Forrest was training for the “Iron Horse Bicycle Classic” competition when a car driven by Alex Naranjo struck him.
    According to newspaper reports at the time, a tire on Naranjo’s vehicle blew out, which made the accident “unavoidable,” according to police reports. However, sobriety tests done at the scene also revealed that Naranjo had a blood alcohol level of .18 at the time of the accident. She was arrested for driving while intoxicated.
    Naranjo is currently running unopposed for a municipal court judgeship in Española.
    Though the tragedy has long since faded from headlines, his fellow classmates from Los Alamos High School never forgot him, and whenever they’d cross paths professionally or socially, Fukushima’s name would come up.
    Now, almost 30 years later, two of Fukushima’s classmates decided to make their remembrance permanent. Lisa Hecker and Ismael Mena, classmates of Fukushima’s, worked together to install a “ghost bike” near the crash site.

  • Kniss, Sanchez both ace LAGC

    Los Alamos Golf Course saw not one but two aces last week.
    Brett Kniss and Eddie Sanchez both scored holes-in-one at LAGC, with Kniss hitting his on the fourth hole and Sanchez on the No. 8 hole.
    For Kniss, it was the third ace of his playing career.
    Course professional Donnie Torres, one of the witnesses of Kniss’ ace, said the ball landed about three feet above the pin but spun back down and in the cup.
    Also witnessing the shot were Steve Birdsell, Johnny Montoya and Joe Gallegos.
    That ace was recorded Thursday. Kniss hit an 8-iron 159 yards.
    Meanwhile, Sanchez scored his hole-in-one Sunday. It was the second hole-in-one he’d recorded in back-to-back weeks.
    For his shot, Sanchez hit a pitching wedge from the No. 8 tee. from 115 yards out.
    Sanchez said he actually saw the ball go into the hole, the first of seven career aces he’d actually seen.
    The ace was also witnessed by Barbara Schmitt, Brian Colby, Cliff Fortgang and Larry Rich.