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Today's News

  • Kirk signs pro contract with Cavaliers

    The question of whether Alex Kirk will or won’t go to the National Basketball Association has been answered.
    The Cleveland Cavaliers, the most talked-about NBA team this offseason, inked the 7-foot former Los Alamos standout Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Kirk’s agent, Graham Boone, said it was a multi-year deal.
    Should Kirk make the Cavaliers team for the 2014-15 season, his contract will be for no less than the current NBA rookie minimum of $507,000.
    Boone, who said Monday he, Kirk and the Cavaliers have been working the deal for some time, said at least part of Kirk’s contract money was guaranteed — meaning he would receive that money regardless of anything else that happens between now and the end of the contract.
    “We’re happy to get this contract signed and delivered,” said Boone, who has been representing Kirk since shortly after his graduation from the University of New Mexico this spring.
    Kirk could not be reached for comment as of press time. The Cavaliers released a statement following the signing but didn’t comment further beyond that.
    With his signing, Kirk is the first athlete from Los Alamos since 1980 to sign a contract with a major American pro sports franchise. The last to do so was former National Football League player Walt Arnold.

  • You can only follow the money if you can see it

    If you’re trying to buy an election or throw an election, you’re in high clover. If you’re a concerned citizen or a reporter trying to find out who is buying elections, you’re in the weeds.
    That was just one thought I had last week, sitting in a roomful of New Mexico journalists at a seminar titled, appropriately, “Follow The Money.”
    Campaign finance is now so murky that it took a day for two smart people from the National Institute on Money in State Politics just to show us the websites we can use to tease out campaign donations. Seminar organizers were the Society of Professional Journalists and New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.
    Even with these tools, the big numbers and their donors still can’t be identified.
    The Citizens United case in 2010 spawned a raft of organizations with lofty names that can accept donations in any amount without revealing the donor, as long as they abide by a few flimsy rules.
    You have the familiar 501(c)3, which is most nonprofits. The 501(c)4 is a social welfare organization that supposedly promotes the common good for a community.
    The 501(c)5 is a labor organization operating for the betterment of working conditions. The 501(c)6 is a business group, like the chamber of commerce.

  • Better to build roads for today than to subsidize Tesla for tomorrow

     Tesla Motors Inc. (teslamotors.com) is brilliant. The electric car manufacturer company says it will build a huge battery factory, a “gigafactory.” (Gotta love that word, “gigafactory.” Wonder where it came from?)
    Tesla has simultaneously and publicly dangled the deal before five states — New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Nevada and California.
    State economic developers have responded like kittens faced with a piece of yarn. The yarn comment, though a tad snarky, merely says that developers, who get paid to chase deals, are doing their jobs.
    I admit to not paying huge attention to the Tesla proposal. This column focuses on the deep structural troubles affecting the entire state economy.
    A report a few days ago, taken with last week’s column, adjusted that perspective. In what follows, for the sake of argument, assume an either/or situation, one choice or the other.
    Tesla has finally said what it wants from the host state, basically10 percent off the top, according to an Aug. 3 Albuquerque Journal story. For a $5 billion project, that’s $500 million delivered via tax abatements, building infrastructure, job training funds, whatever, all for a gamble, a new, heavily subsidized technology.

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  • Today In History, Aug. 12
  • Comedian Robin Williams dead at 63

     SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63.

    Williams was pronounced dead at his home in California on Monday, according to the sheriff's office in Marin County, north of San Francisco. The sheriff's office said a preliminary investigation shows the cause of death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.

  • Cavaliers sign Kirk

    It was reported this afternoon that the Cleveland Cavaliers have signed free agent Alex Kirk to play for the upcoming season.

    Kirk, a former Los Alamos standout and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico, was inked to a a free agent contract today. Terms of the contract were not immediately disclosed, although Kirk's agent, Graham Boone, said it was a multi-year deal with part of the money being guaranteed.

    Kirk played for the Cavaliers during the 2014 NBA Summer League. He played all five games of the Summer League for the Cavs, playing an average of 15.4 minutes in those games.

    More information on the signing will be in Tuesday's Los Alamos Monitor.

  • Stewart pulls out of race after fatal crash

    WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) — Tony Stewart pulled out of the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen Sunday, 12 hours after the three-time champion struck and killed a sprint car driver who had climbed from his car and was on the darkened dirt track trying to confront Stewart during a race in upstate New York.

    Greg Zipadelli, competition director for Stewart-Haas Racing, said at a news conference that Stewart "feels strongly" about not racing Sunday following Kevin Ward Jr.'s fatal accident. The decision was an about-face for the organization, which had said when the track opened that Stewart would be behind the wheel of his No. 14 Chevrolet when the green flag waved.

    "We gave Tony some time to sleep on it. He feels strongly this is the right thing to do," Zipadelli said. "All you can do is what you feel is right, and we feel this is right. We get through today and do it the best we can as a group.

    "He's going through a tough time. It's emotional for him."

  • Newton wins three medals at Broadmoor competition

    Things haven’t been easy for people who take part in winter sports for the last several years around Los Alamos County.
    But Laney Newton has managed to get around that and hone her figure skating skills.
    Newton, a local competitive skater, as well as a Los Alamos Monitor newspaper carrier, had a big showing last month at the Broadmoor Open competition. The open was at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., which also happens to be the home of the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
    The 12-year-old Newton brought home medals in the free skate, jumps program and the spins program at the competition. She competes in the pre-preliminary level of U.S. Figure Skating.
    Newton practices at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink when she can, but, except for the winter and early spring, does most of her workouts at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center in Santa Fe.
    In Santa Fe, she competes with her team, the Desert Ice Figure Skating Club, which is coached by Megan and Mandy Edwards of Rio Rancho.
    Those that are interested in seeing Newton in action can see her in planned show in October at the Chavez Center.
    Newton has been involved in competitive figure skating for four years and has competed in Colorado on several occasions.