Today's News

  • RCLC meeting sidelined by open meetings act violation allegation

    Regional Coalition of LANL Communities members unexpectedly halted discussion of the executive director’s contract at their meeting Monday when a Los Alamos County Councilor and coalition representative claimed the meeting did not meet a requirement of the Open Meetings Act.

    County Councilor Chris Chandler said she received a text message from the Los Alamos County Attorney Alvin Leapheart before the meeting started, questioning the validity of the meeting. “I received a text this morning from our county attorney, who asked me isn’t this meeting deemed a continuation of the previous meeting. I shared this text with the other members of the board,” Coalition member and Los Alamos County Councilor Chris Chandler told members of the coalition. “He says, if so, are they attempting to consider matters not appearing on the agenda of the original meeting. Apparently he views this in derogation of the open meetings act, because under the open meetings act you cannot add new items to a continuing meeting.”

  • High Court: Feds have role in Texas-New Mexico water fight

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A lawsuit pitting Texas against New Mexico and Colorado over access to water from the Rio Grande must be sent back to an arbitrator, also known as a special master, to resolve the dispute, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

    Justice Neil Gorsuch noted the federal government has an interest in ensuring water commitments are kept involving one of North America's longest rivers, citing an international agreement with Mexico and the decades-old Rio Grande Compact. The federal government has said it may pursue claims for compact violations involving the dispute.

    "A breach of the compact could jeopardize the federal government's ability to satisfy its treaty obligations to Mexico," Gorsuch wrote.

    All sides say the stakes are high given uncertainty about the future sustainability of water supplies throughout the Rio Grande Valley. In dry years when there's not enough water in the river, chile and onion farmers and pecan growers in southern New Mexico are forced to rely on wells to keep their crops and trees alive.

  • Immigration audits at New Mexico businesses sow fear

    SANTA FE (AP) — Immigrant rights advocates and local officials in New Mexico's state capital city say that recent businesses inspections by federal immigration enforcement officials and additional detentions are sowing fear in the community.

    Marcela Diaz of the immigrant-advocacy group Somos Un Pueblo Unido on Monday said that at least six businesses in Santa Fe were hit with employment audits over the past week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Agency officials for the region had no immediate comment.

    Diaz is not naming the businesses because audits are ongoing but described them as locally owned and not franchises. She also said four people were detained by immigration officials.

    Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales said the enforcement actions amount to bullying. Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Veronica Garcia says students are anxious.

  • Celebrating Wildlife Day in Los Alamos

    Special to the Monitor

    We here in Los Alamos are so lucky to live in a town that has such a close connection to the amazing abundance of wildlife New Mexico has to offer. One of the greatest opportunities I have had is to be a champion and advocate for the amazing wildlife rehabilitators here in New Mexico.

    I have done this as both a volunteer and chairman of Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation. These individuals, like Los Alamos’s own Dr. Kathleen Ramsay, have dedicated their lives to caring for the wildlife of New Mexico.

    There is one story that is special to my heart. Blue Beary was the first bear I accepted by myself, and she holds a special place in my heart! Blue Beary came into Ramsay’s care a mere 6 pounds, and with as badly broken arm.

    Partnering with Veterinary Care Hospital in Albuquerque and donations from all over the country (including many from Los Alamos), Ramsay was able to give Blue Beary what she needed to heal and to grow to over 65 pounds.

    Blue Beary was released back into wild late 2017, where we hope she found a cozy den for the winter. If successful, she will come out of the den around May and begin the journey all bears must make. The journey to become fat.

  • 100 Days of Winter winner announced

    The Los Alamos County Community Services Department wrapped up their collaborative 100 Days of Winter program on Feb. 26.

    Over 1,000 programming guides were distributed throughout Los Alamos County between November and February, encouraging residents and visitors to get out and active during the winter months.

    With just under 200 online participants, and over 260 entries for the grand prize, many shared photos of the wide variety of ways they were inspired to stay local and enjoy all the Los Alamos area has to offer.

    Congratulations to our grand prize winner Danna Pelland! Danna won a package of local goodies worth over $950.

  • Heritage Area lecture set for March 13 at Fuller Lodge

    Thomas Romero, executive director of the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area, will give a presentation on the work of the Heritage Area, which covers the area of Taos, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties, at 7 p.m. March 13 at Fuller Lodge.

    Romero’s lecture, “Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area: Sustaining Culture and Traditions,” will focus on the work of the organization over the last four years in creating sustaining partnerships with other cultural organizations. 

    He will discuss the Heritage Area’s grants program and project efforts to support education, community development, tourism and economic development, and the preservation of northern New Mexico’s cultural heritage. 

    As a sustaining organization, the National Heritage Area brings federal funding into the state, but it is through its collaborative partnerships that the Heritage Area intends to influence the preservation of culture and traditions.

    Romero has been the executive director of the National Heritage Area Organization since August 2011.                                          

  • Liz Martineau selected as Creative District curator

    Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation has announced that Liz Martineau is the new Creative District Curator, effective at the end of February.

    Martineau has worked for the Los Alamos Public Schools, the Bradbury Science Museum and has either taught or volunteered at the Fuller Lodge Art Center, History Museum and Nature Center. She serves on the board for Los Alamos Makers and is part of the community effort to open Polaris Charter School in Los Alamos.

    “Los Alamos is a vibrant community devoted to art, science, history, and nature, and I am excited to bring these together to provide new opportunities and to enrich our downtown.” Martineau said.\

    The Los Alamos Creative District provides programs, including the “On Tap” lecture and libations series and “Tuesdays at the Pond” summer entertainment series.

  • Political talk dies in style

    Political talk has had its substance wither away for the sake of style. In this country, business is conducted the most clearly and quickly using the American standard style of talk, which is also known as the “straight” style.

    In stark contrast, political exchanges today rely on ... are reduced to ... styles of metaphor, mimicry, sarcasm, sound bites and slogans. These popular styles would fail in business and they fail our country.

    Worse yet, the styles shift weirdly. In a political exchange, one style intrudes on the next style where they mix up for a spell before styles flip again. Shifts come too fast for the ear to know what style is in play. How much is metaphor? How much is sarcasm? What is told as a slogan? Or a joke?

    Parts of the talking from enemy sides are done in straight style. Yet, even the straight parts are lost in the crowd of talking styles.

    Examples tell more.

    Black lives matter” and “All lives matter”are two simple facts that are equally true when they are meant in the straight style. Now start every word with a capital letter and refashion the style as metaphor, mimicry, sarcasm or slogans. What happens?

  • Recent scrutiny of RCLC is sign of times

    Guest Editorial

    Founded in 2011, the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (RCLC) comprises nine cities, counties, and Pueblos surrounding the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Since I was hired as executive director in 2015, we have worked together to ensure that LANL is responsive to the issues and concerns of our northern New Mexico communities.

    RCLC has been the sole organization to go to the U.S. Congress and request increases for cleanup of nuclear waste at LANL. These requests have continued to increase from $184 million in 2016, up to $191 million in 2017, and a $217 million request for 2018. These funds bring critical jobs to northern New Mexico to remediate polluted land and water, making our communities safer and more environmentally sound.

  • University of New Mexico's 1st female president to take helm

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — For the first time in the 129-year history of University of New Mexico, a female president is preparing to take the helm.

    Named to the top spot in November, Garnett Stokes is scheduled to be introduced to campus Monday.
    Stokes, 61, accepted a five-year contract with a salary of $400,000 and comes to UNM from the University of Missouri,

    where she was provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

    "I am honored to be selected as the University of New Mexico's new president," Stokes said. "I am enthusiastic about what we can accomplish together to benefit UNM's faculty, staff, students, and alumni."

    She takes over as the University of New Mexico and other New Mexico colleges grapple with funding shortages and enrollments that have generally trended downward. In addition, the university has faced criticism for its professor salaries and not doing enough to help some struggling programs like the journalism program.

    The University of New Mexico also faces accusations of financial mismanagement in its athletics department. UNM football coach Bob Davie is also serving a 30-day suspension following multiple investigations that examined whether he and coaching staff interfered with criminal probes or misconduct cases involving players.