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Today's News

  • 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

  • Community Calendar 3-19-17

    TODAY
    Business After Hours hosted by New Mexico Bank & Trust 1475 Central Ave. from 5-7 p.m. For more information, visit losalamoschamber.org.
    THURSDAY
    Nature Yoga at 5:15 p.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga with Christa Tyson at the nature center. Cost is $15 for non-members, $12 for members. More information at peecnature.org
    FRIDAY
    Gentle Walks at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free.

    Fish Fry Friday from 5-7 p.m. at Immaculate Heart Mary Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road. Cost is $10 for Adults, $7 for children.
    SATURDAY
    Bird Walk: Cañada Bonita from 7 a.m.-noon at the Nature Center.
Observe local birds while quietly hiking through conifer forests. Free for members, $5 for non-members.
     
    Rockhound Geology Outing: Driving Tour of the Pajarito Plateau
from 9-11:30 a.m. Enjoy a scenic drive from White Rock to the Valles Caldera with stops along the way to learn about the fascinating geology of the Pajarito Plateau from geologist Patrick Rowe. Cost is  $7 for individuals, $14 for families; $5 for PEEC member individuals; $11 for PEEC member families.
     

  • Practical financial planning for parents

    Nathaniel Sillen

    Practical Money Skills

  • When legislators tackle big reforms, movement translates as progress

    Lawmakers this year took on some major reforms of old issues hovering over the state like turkey vultures waiting for road kill.  
    Interest groups ranging from Common Cause to the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce proclaimed progress. Maybe not as much as we hoped, but progress.
    The big reform bills were ethics, campaign finance, capital outlay, payday lending and taxes. Many were bipartisan.
    Years in the making, the ethics bill began bravely by standing up an independent ethics commission with subpoena power, protected by the Constitution. When it emerged after pummeling in various hearings, it was missing language that required complaints and hearings to be public, and the Legislature, not the law, will determine the commission’s powers and rules.
    Changes reflect legislators’ residual fear that the commission could become a political weapon.
    So voters in November 2018 will decide on a constitutional amendment creating an independent ethics commission.
    Common Cause and business groups cheered. New Mexico Ethics Watch booed, saying lawmakers gutted a strong bill.
    Kudos to Rep. Jim Dines, R-Albuquerque, who patiently listened to input and welcomed suggestions. The hearings themselves were a marvel. Instead of trying to kill the bill, lawmakers worked with Dines to fine tune the bill.

  • NFL owners revamp video replay for officiating

    PHOENIX (AP) — One day after approving the Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, NFL owners got busy passing several rules changes and adopting resolutions they believe will speed the game and enhance player safety.
    Most notable Tuesday was the change in handling officiating of video replays. Referees will now watch replays on the field using tablets, eliminating “going under the hood” to the watch on television monitors.
    League officiating chief Dean Blandino and his staff in New York will make the final decisions on those calls, with input from the referee, who in the past was the ultimate arbiter after consulting with league headquarters.
    “And I think that’s important to remember, we’re not taking the referee out of the equation,” Blandino has said. “The referee will still be involved, the referee will still give input, but will no longer have the final say.”
    Also at the league meetings owners extended bringing touchbacks out to the 25-yard line for another year; eliminating “leapers” trying to block field goals or extra points; added protections for defenseless receivers running their routes; and made permanent the rule disqualifying a player who is penalized twice in a game for specific unsportsmanlike conduct.