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Today's News

  • Obama: tax wealthy to help middle class

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Refusing to bend to the new Republican Congress, President Barack Obama unveiled Tuesday night an ambitious State of the Union agenda steeped in Democratic priorities, including tax increases on the wealthy, education and child care help for the middle class and a torrent of veto threats for the GOP’s own plans.
    In a shift from tradition, Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress was less a laundry list of new proposals and more an attempt to sell a story of a national economy emerging from the “shadow of crisis.” He appealed for “better politics” in Washington and pledged to work with Republicans, but he showed few signs of curtailing or tweaking his own plans to meet the GOP’s platform.
    Instead, the president vowed to use his veto pen to strike down the Republican leadership’s efforts to dismantle his signature accomplishments, including his health care and financial reform laws.
    “We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix,” Obama said in his hour-long address. “And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, I will veto it.”

  • Gov. asks for bipartisanship

    SANTA FE (AP) — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez urged state lawmakers Tuesday to put aside their politics and come together to focus on improving the lives of New Mexico’s children through a slew of education and economic development reforms.
    Martinez outlined her legislative priorities in her State of the State address after lawmakers convened for what many have described as a historic 60-day session.
    The political landscape has shifted somewhat now that Republicans have the majority in the House of Representatives, something the state hasn’t seen in 60 years. Whether that will help the governor as she pushes her initiatives remains to be seen since Democrats continue to control the Senate, where many of the proposals she floated during her first term faced steep opposition.
    Martinez noted the change of power in the House and told a packed chamber that New Mexico voters were tired of the status quo.
    “Voters didn’t choose one party over another in November. I firmly believe they chose progress over politics,” she said. “They chose to move forward, to keep reforming, and that’s my commitment - to work together with Republicans and Democrats to make New Mexico an even better place to live — for them, and for their children and grandchildren.”

  • County budget could face more cutbacks

    Deputy County Administrator/Chief Financial Officer Steven Lynne presented the Los Alamos County Council with grim news Tuesday night.
    Gross receipts tax revenue is projected to be $3.6 million lower than expected in FY 2015 and $2.1 million lower in FY 2016.
    The change is largely due to lower than anticipated spending and tax rates for Los Alamos National Laboratory. According to Lynne, LANL spending bottomed out at a figure lower than anticipated and the spending recovery after the government shutdown has been slower than projected.
    The lab has also refined its tax management policies so it is paying less tax.
    Lynne asked council to provide guidance on three questions:

    • Should general fund expenditures be reduced to one percent below FY 2015 spending?
    • Should Capital Improvements Project fund transfers be reduced by $3.5 million, and should previously approved CIP projects (i.e. improvements to the ice rink and the golf course) be delayed by one year? Annual placeholder amounts for roads, facilities, parks and IT maintenance projects would be maintained at an adequate level.
    • Should the county reinstate $1.5 million in property taxes eliminated by the council in 2011?

  • Vigil heading to trial soon

    A woman suspected of stealing checks out of Los Alamos County residents’ mailboxes in 2013 is due to appear in court next week for a motion hearing.
    Brandi Vigil, 30, of Alcade, was arrested in November 2013 and charged with four counts of forgery (issue or transfer, $2,500 or less) and one count of conspiracy to commit forgery (issue or transfer, $2,500 or less).
    Both of the charges are fourth-degree felonies, and carry a maximum fine of $2,500 and 18 months in prison.
    Vigil showed up on the Los Alamos Police Department’s radar in October when officials from the Los Alamos National Bank contacted detectives over some video surveillance footage of two Hispanic females allegedly trying to cash bad checks.
    The footage, dated Oct. 17, was taken at the White Rock branch of Los Alamos National Bank. More footage came from the main branch of LANB in Los Alamos.
    The video allegedly shows Vigil, along with a friend and accomplice, Elsie Fernandez, 36, trying to pass of two checks they just stolen out of a mailbox in White Rock.
    According to court documents, one check was for $198.85 and another one was for $192.38. On the one for $198, the check was altered to be made out to Vigil Brandi, and the “1” was altered to be a “9.”

  • Sports Briefs 1-21-15

    Senior Games will start in March

    The 2015 Los Alamos Senior Olympics Games will be held locally from March 13 through April 13 with a variety of events offered.
    Participants must be 50 years old or older to qualify for the Games. Local participants can qualify for the State Senior Olympics Games which will be held in Roswell in June.
    Registration forms are available at the Family YMCA of Los Alamos.  Registration is open through Feb. 28. The registration fee is $20.
    For more information on the local games, call 662-3526.

    Youth free throw contest is Jan. 31

    The Knights of Columbus will host its local free throw competition Jan. 31.
    The free throw contest if for boys and girls aged 9-14. It will be from 1-3 p.m. at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Registration is free, but a parent or guardian must be present during registration to give consent. Competitors can sign up starting at 12:30 p.m.
    For more information, call K of C youth coordinator Roger Anaya at 670-6717.

    Martial arts offered at YMCA

  • Be There 1-21-15

    Today

    Game Night: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Mesa Public Library in the Upstairs Rotunda.

    Temporary exhibit: Saul Hertz, MD: A pioneer in the Use of Radioactive Isotopes. Daily through Jan. 31 at the Bradbury Science Museum.

    Keep It Classy. Ongoing at the Fuller Lodge Art Center.

    The Paintings of Francis Harlow: Portraits & Pottery. Ongoing through February at the Los Alamos History Museum.
    Thursday
    For the January meeting of the Los Alamos Genealogical Association, Kent Parsons will lead a discussion on “Descendancy Research” at 7 p.m., upstairs in the meeting room of the Mesa Public Library. The public is invited. The usual no-host social dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. at China Moon before the meeting.

    Backcountry Film Festival. 7 p.m. The Backcountry Film Festival is back in Los Alamos for another year, with nine unique films aimed to inspire winter adventurers to seek the snow less traveled. It promises to be an evening of entertainment, prizes, and fun. Pajarito Brewpub returns to sell beer and wine. Reel Deal Theater. $12 advance/$15 at door. For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

  • 'Toppers struggle on offensive end

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team was held to just single-digit scoring in the first three quarters of Tuesday’s District 2-5A opening contest Tuesday.
    Los Alamos scored just five points in the second quarter and just four in the third quarter as the Capital Jaguars moved out to a big advantage. Capital earned at 52-28 victory at Griffith Gymnasium in the first game of 2-5A play.
    Capital, which was on a 4-game losing streak heading into Tuesday’s opener, took control early thanks to a big run to end the first quarter.
    Los Alamos hit some quick buckets in the first quarter and led 8-7 after Adam Paulson’s tip-in off a missed free throw chance.
    For the balance of the quarter, however, Capital dominated.
    Capital had little trouble picking off several long skip passes in the backcourt that led to easy baskets on the other end.
    After the 3:09 mark of the quarter, the Jaguars went on an impressive 8-0 run to take over control and Los Alamos wasn’t able to mount any kind of offense to try to work itself back into the game.
    The Hilltoppers (2-15 overall) were held without a field goal for more than 8 minutes following Paulson’s tip-in.
    Paulson, a sophomore post player, was one of the few bright spots on offense Tuesday.

  • Writer, teacher to speak at Authors Speak Series

    Author and teacher Sharon Oard Warner will talk about her work for this month’s Authors Speak Series. Her latest book, “Sophie’s House of Cards,” was published by UNM Press in October.
    Warner will bring copies of her books to sell and sign. The event starts at 7 p.m. Thursday in Mesa Public Library’s Upstairs Rotunda.
    Warner is also the author of “Deep in the Heart,” and “Learning to Dance and Other Stories,” and the editor of “The Way We Write Now, Short Stories from the AIDS Crisis.” She teaches creative writing at the University of New Mexico.
    “Sophie’s House of Cards,” is set in New Mexico, where Warner has made her home for many years, so the descriptions of the landscape, flora and seasons will ring true to every New Mexican. The family portrayed in the novel also carries that same sense of authenticity. Peggy, Jack, Sophie and Ian are just moving forward, in the way of most families, until the young Sophie finds herself pregnant. That fact causes the family to examine everything about how they have been living. The house of cards in the title refers both to the fragility of the stories people construct in order to proceed, and also to Tarot cards, which introduce each chapter.

  • Community briefs 1-21-15

    Financial aid workshop available to help students

    A representative from the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation will be at Los Alamos High School to help students and parents complete the Financial Aid Application at the FAFSA Workshop at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the MacLab (located in the IMC).
    Parents and students will need to bring several important documents to complete the FAFSA, including a 2014 Federal Income Tax Return, W-2 Forms, birth date, Social Security number, any 2014 business and investment mortgage information, business farm records, stock, bond and other investment records, and current bank statements and an alien registration card for non-U.S. citizens.
    For more information on FAFSA, go to nmknowledge4college.org.

    Kiosk art contest now underway

    Los Alamos MainStreet announces the “Living Los Alamos” Kiosks Art Contest. The contest is a call for original photographs or artwork that represent “Living Los Alamos.”
    Winning art will be displayed in the four directional kiosks along Central Avenue. The only qualification is that the art should be representative of living in Los Alamos or the surrounding area.

  • Nature Center to begin installing exhibits

    With the new year comes a new focus on the Los Alamos County Nature Center. The building, now nearly completed, sits ready for the next phase of construction: installing the professionally designed and developed exhibits and planetarium projector.
    Meanwhile, finishing touches are being made on the exhibits in a fabrication facility in Albuquerque. Soon they will be transported up to Los Alamos and installation will begin. The new nature center is still on track to open on April 22, which is Earth Day.
    “Every step of this process has been exciting,” said PEEC Executive Director Katie Watson, “But now it’s getting down to the final stages, and we’re all becoming more excited for the grand opening. The exhibits that we’ve been talking about for over a year are taking shape, and we can finally imagine them going into the beautiful new building.”
    The new nature center is a public-private partnership between Los Alamos County and the Pajarito Environmental Education Center. Under the partnership agreement, the county is responsible for construction of the $4.3 million facility. PEEC has been chosen by the county to operate the new nature center.