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Today's News

  • Local pile burns to resume

    Los Alamos Fire Department is again planning burns for the weekend on county lands, officials said Thursday.
    The burns, which aim to reduce the amount of potential fuels in the county’s open spaces, are set for Saturday and Sunday. LAFD will have the burns will be in Bayo Canyon with assistance from Santa Fe National Forest crews.
    Those with questions about the weekend’s burns should contact LAFD at 662-8304 or 695-6729.
    Officials said smoke in the burn areas will be monitored to ensure air quality regulations are being met. Smoke-sensitive individuals are encouraged by the LAFD to take precautions.
    Smoke will likely to be visible from Española, Santa Fe and the surrounding pueblos, as well as locally.
    The burns involve 4-foot by 4-foot piles of loose branches and other fuels and have been going on since January.

  • Winter weather hits hard in North, East

    Arctic air plunged parts of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic into deep freezes and broke records Friday.
    The cold snap followed snow and ice storms earlier in the week, and weather forecasters warned that more sleet and freezing rain will be possible in the coming days.
    Residents also had to deal with more school cancellations, power outages, road hazards and water main breaks.
    A Boston-bound commuter ferry carrying more than 100 passengers had trouble steering in the ice and had to be towed to port.
    The ferry Massachusetts departed Hingham at about 8:30 a.m. Friday right behind an ice breaker, said Alison Nolan, an official with Boston Harbor Cruises. After the ferry went off course, the ice breaker towed it to Boston.
    The Massachusetts arrived at about 10 a.m., about 45 minutes later than normal. No one was hurt and the boat was not damaged.
    Ferry service was canceled elsewhere in the Northeast. The Cape May-Lewes Ferry, which connects Delaware and New Jersey, halted operations because of ice and wind. Ferries on New York’s East River also were canceled.
    Bitter cold temperatures have shattered decades-old records from Cincinnati to Washington to New York.

  • Lujan wants state consortium to manage the labs

    The congressional representative from Northern New Mexico told the New Mexico Legislature Thursday he’d like to see the state’s national laboratories mesh.
    Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat from the state’s third congressional district, wants the state to be more proactive in providing support and managed.
    “As we look to the future of the labs and the impact they have on New Mexico, I believe that we should seek a greater role in shaping that future,” Luján said. “The Sandia Management and Operation Contract is in the process of being solicited and re-bid and Los Alamos National Lab’s contract will be here before we know it.”
    He said the state should set a goal of having a New Mexico-led consortium as a prime contractor for LANL, Sandia, or both. With that he called on Gov. Susana Martinez, as well as the institutions of higher learning and the state’s business community to push for local control of the labs’ management.
    Luján, a third-term congressman, told the Legislature that assuming control within the state would strengthen the state’s economy by expanding economic opportunity.

  • Residents weigh in at Senior Center review

    White Rock residents turned out in force Thursday for a design progress plan review of renovations for the White Rock Senior Center.
    Tom Wilber, project architect for NCA Architects and Planners, AIA, Los Alamos County Project Manger Anthony Strain and Senior Center Executive Director Pauline Schneider fielded questions ranging from how many restrooms the buildings would have to whether new security systems would be installed.
    The plan calls for a new administrative area in the current library building and the creation of a program area in the current senior center building, as well as minor refurbishing for the town hall and activity center.
    All buildings will receive a new HVAC system, windows will be replaced and stud walls with insulation will line the interior. New storefronts will be added to the buildings and the administrative and program buildings could potentially receive vestibules.
    Also, all buildings will be brought up to current code and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
    The design includes space for a commercial kitchen, in order to provide lunches at the center five days a week and prepare home delivery meals for White Rock residents. Funding is still being sought to furnish the kitchen. Schneider gave an update.

  • Group looks to help local victims

    It may not have an official name yet, but what it does have is an objective and a meeting place.
    Simply called the “Domestic Violence Awareness Task Force,” the recently formed group has been busy getting off the ground, making the community aware of its existence.
    The group has been busy solidifying partnerships with regional agencies, as well as trying to add more domestic violence awareness professionals to its ranks.
    They are also working on launching some programs and seminars that will help victims locally. Members of the group will be presenting “Silent Storm,” a presentation that examines intimate partner violence and its impact on the workplace. It will also present courses of action to prevent it, as well as resources where victims can get the help they need.
    Upcoming presentations are scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Los Alamos Medical Center’s Large Conference Room and 11:30 a.m. Thursday, also at LAMC.
    Refreshments will be provided.
    According to group member Dr. Barbara Van Eeckhout, who is an OB/GYN physician at the Los Alamos Medical Center, the hospital is in the process of starting a program where victims of domestic violence and rape won’t have to “go off the Hill” to Santa Fe or Española in order to be processed for evidence.

  • Church listings 2-20-15

    Baha’i Faith
    For information, email losalamosla@gmail.com. For general information, call the Baha’i Faith phone at 1-800-228-6483.
    Bethlehem Lutheran
    Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, a member of the ELCA, is located at 2390 North Road, 662-5151; see a map at bethluth.com. The Eucharist is celebrated each Sunday at 8:15 a.m. and 11 a.m., with coffee and doughnuts served between services during our Education Hour of classes for all ages. The preaching is biblical by our Pastors Bruce Kuenzel and Nicolé Ferry, the music is lively, children are welcome and abundant, and a well-staffed nursery is provided. All are welcome! Come Join the Family!
    Bryce Ave. Presbyterian
    The church is located at 3333 Bryce Ave. The Rev. Henry Fernandez preaches, bapca.org, info@bapca.org. For information, call 672-3364.
    Calvary Chapel
    Sunday school classes for all ages at 9:15 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., worship and a study of the Biblical Jesus as He relates to people in our look at the Gospel of Exodus.
    The Christian Church
    92 East Road, 662-6468, lachristian.org. 9-10 a.m. Sunday school; 10-10:30 a.m. Coffee Fellowship; 10:30 a.m. Worship Service. Rev. Doug Partin, Assoc. Rev. Ben Partin.
    Christian Science
    1725 17th St. 662-5057.
    Church of Christ

  • Challenges of interpreting the Bible

    “The Bible is a tough book to read and understand. What do you think is the biggest challenge to interpreting it?” — Andrew

    A Book written over the course of some 1,400 years by dozens of authors; an ancient Book set in specific times and cultures and written in ancient languages — yes, it can be a challenge. Indeed, countless students of the Scripture have devoted much of their lives for millennia seeking to grasp fully its message.
    There are basic principles for interpretation that are accepted by most biblical scholars. These include beginning with prayer and listening for the Spirit of God (Jn. 14:26; 16:13); learning something about the passage (the author and readers, the meaning of the words to the author, the type of literature and the historical and cultural context); and, using the whole Bible when seeking to understand what it teaches.
    You and I simply cannot pick and choose selected texts. We have to explore the full range of teachings the Bible may have on a given text or topic.  
    This thought leads to what, in my opinion, is perhaps the greatest challenge for Bible readers; i.e., allowing the text to say what it says rather than demanding that it say what one wishes it to say.

  • Social promotion fails students

    Legislation that would end the failed policy of social promotion cleared the House floor Wednesday by a bipartisan vote of 38-30.
    Social promotion passes kids onto the next grade even when they cannot read.
    On the House floor, Rep. Monica Youngblood pointed out that Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both favor ending social promotion.
    “Improving our schools and helping struggling students learn continues to be one of our top priorities,” said Rep. Youngblood, a sponsor of the bill.
    “Today, we took a huge step in the right direction to improve our schools.”
    Among other things, the bill would help teachers identify struggling readers and provide them with the targeted instruction they need to catch up to their peers.
    The bill also emphasizes parental involvement. For example, once a struggling reader is identified, parents are given strategies to help their child improve his or her reading skills.
    Studies show that students are four times more likely to drop out if they are unable to read proficiently by the third grade. One study found that 88 percent of high school dropouts were not proficient readers in the third grade.

  • Getting bills passed takes compromise from all sides

    Stubbornness and squabbling are the biggest roadblocks to progress.
    As state legislators, we must reject Washington, D.C.’s dysfunction and gridlock if we hope to improve the condition of our state.
    The reality is Democrats and Republicans will never agree on every issue. But as elected officials, it is our job to make tough decisions and find middle ground — even if it means both parties don’t get everything they originally wanted.
    As Republicans, we know the value of compromise. After all, we served in the minority for over 60 years. The only way we were able to tackle important issues was by working with our Democratic colleagues.
    Even though we’re now in the majority, we still believe in the value of seeking common ground.
    That’s why last week we amended our right-to-work bill to include a minimum wage increase to $8 per hour.
    We believe that it’s a fair compromise to promote common-sense, job-creating legislation.
    To be clear, not everyone in my party or the business community was happy with the addition.
    Nonetheless, there are many reasons that all lawmakers, regardless of their party, should support it.

  • Sending up smoke signals to teens

    Smoke signals are usually associated with American Indians dancing around a fire sending up Morse-Code-like puffs of white dots and dashes, spelling out messages like “The war party is attacking at 2:30 from the North! Prepare the troops! And don’t forget to pick up some milk and eggs on your way home today!”
    Actually, smoke signals were more often a simple series of large puffs of smokes, sometimes a continuous stream, or multiple fires with the number of smoke columns depicting the message. And the smoke was usually black.
    Smoke signals have been used across the world since ancient times to warn of pending attacks, to communicate one’s whereabouts, or to announce to your neighbors that you put too much lighter fluid on your barbecue.
    But in the same way that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, smoke is sometimes just smoke.
    And sadly, that’s exactly what it is at Los Alamos High School.
    New Mexico Education Admin Code 6.12.4 makes it illegal for anyone to use tobacco products on school property. So students walk to the sidewalk, a few feet off school property. 
    There, they can play American Indian message games, send up smoke columns, and enjoy their cancer sticks without breaking any school rules.