Today's News

  • Farmington manufacturer seeks quality-management goal with help from MEP


    Brothers Kyle and Jim Rhodes have big ambitions for the family business they’ve owned since 1970. It’s not enough that their Farmington company Process Equipment & Service Company Inc. (PESCO) has a solid reputation as a manufacturer of natural gas and oil production equipment and that the company continues to grow even as gas prices rise and fall, employing more than 300 people and serving national and international customers.

    The Rhodes brothers want to earn their place among the winners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which Congress established in 1987 (and named for a former Commerce Department secretary) to recognize American companies with exemplary quality-management systems.

    To that end, and to find inspiration and ideas, the co-owners send a delegation of PESCO employees each year to the Quality New Mexico Learning Summit, where recipients of the Baldrige award describe what led to their recognition. Kyle and Jim Rhodes hope to learn from these top achievers what more they can do to make PESCO a better place to work, to expand its profile in the industry and to continually improve its products.

  • Regulatory pendulum swings again in FCC’s net neutrality decision

    The trouble with regulation is what I call the Rule of One, as in, there’s always one. It applies to the regulated and to the regulators.

    Regardless of the industry, most of the regulated do their best to operate within the rules, but there’s always at least one company abusing the process, the consumer, the environment or its own employees. Once the abuses come to light, regulators come down on everybody, and no good deed goes unpunished.

    On the other side of the fence, most regulators try to be conscientious but fair and don’t assume that every entity they oversee is up to no good. But there’s always one who doesn’t wear the mantle of authority well or applies the rules in ways lawmakers never intended. Often they have no idea what the impact of their actions will be.

    I’ve reported on this see-saw for years and heard horror stories on both sides. It’s the reason we swing back and forth between lax and intrusive regulation. Now you can hear it in the arguments for and against net neutrality. And, of course, it’s political. Republicans favor less regulation; Democrats want more.

    Last week that the Federal Communications Commission abandoned net neutrality rules debated for more than a decade in favor of what FCC Chairman Ajit Pai calls a regulatory “light touch.”

  • County council discusses future of Pajarito Mountain ski area

    Members of the Pajarito Ski Club urged the Los Alamos County Council Friday to do its part to save the Pajarito Ski Area from closing for good.

    Pajarito Ski Club President Susan Brockway-Hahn asked the Council to release county funds that would help pay for a water-supply pipeline to Pajarito Mountain. The deal would be that the county pay $1.7 million for the pipeline, and the club’s business partner, Pajarito Recreation, would pay the other half.

    Brockway-Hahn told the council the club’s board has already approved a deal where the Pajarito Recreation Limited Partnership will soon assume ownership of the land and the ski area’s equipment and assets. The deal she said would guarantee that residents would be able to enjoy skiing on Pajarito Mountain for many years to come. A contract is currently being written up, she said. Pajarito Recreation joined with the club three years ago, and has been working without a contract.

    “We can no longer just support the ski area within our community. Those days, unfortunately, have passed,” Brockway-Hahn said of their partnership with Pajarito Recreation.

    She also said that the club will continue to be a vital part of the community, even though Pajarito Recreation will own the land and the assets of the ski area.

  • Gubernatorial candidate visits northern New Mexico

    It was a standing room only crowd at La Cocina Restaurant in Española Saturday as gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham stopped in to energize her base and to talk about her platform.

    She also said, as a U.S. Representative for the state of New Mexico, it was time to “come home.”

    “We’re not going to have economic policy  that just works in the big cities in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. We’re going to have an economic agenda that focuses right here,” Lujan Grisham said to the crowd.

    “When Española and the valley succeeds, I tell you every community in the entire state will succeed.”

    Lujan Grisham also talked about clean energy, and how the state’s oil and gas producers can help get them there.

    “Clearly oil and gas plays a role our local producers are providing the income that we need in this state, but, they got to share in a productive switch and effort into a clear energy economy,” Lujan Grisham said.

    “They have to do methane mitigation, that’s hundreds of millions of dollars back into our economy.”

    Lujan Grisham also answered questions about the future of Los Alamos County and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  • LA Civil Air Patrol honors vets at Wreaths Across America

    It was a cold and windy Saturday morning when hundreds of people arrived at the Santa Fe National Cemetery for Wreaths Across America.

    Wreaths Across America started in 1992 when the Morrill Worcester Wreath Company had a surplus of 5,000 wreaths it donated to Arlington National Cemetery. The event grew and spread to other cemeteries through the years, and in 2007 a nonprofit organization called Wreaths Across America was created. In 2016, 1.2 million wreaths were placed at more than 1,230 cemeteries across the nation.

    Among the hundreds at the cemetery were a group of cadets from the Los Alamos Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. The group, which consisted of Air Force Lt. Col. Annette Peters, her husband Air Force Major Mark Peters, CAP Squadron Commander Lt Bill Wolfe, Cadet Second Lt. Juan Romero, Cadet Master Sgt. Bryce Gentile, Cadet Airman Gavin Robles and Cadet Airman Basic Kyle Gentile was given a list of graves and a handful of wreaths. The cadets spent most of the morning and afternoon walking the 78-acre cemetery, placing a wreath at each grave they visited.

  • LAHS picks up big win at St. Pius

    As far as wins in December go, this was about as big as they come. Thursday night, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team traveled to St. Pius X High School, and won 70-56.

    On the schedule, it will be marked down like any other game, but this was far from ordinary. Year in and year out, St. Pius is one of the top teams in the state, and this year is no exception. The Sartans entered the game 6-1, with the team’s only loss coming against Española Valley, currently ranked as the top team in the state.

    This was LAHS’ chance to prove it was among the best in the state, and the team delivered.

    From the opening tipoff, the Hilltoppers were hustling up and down the floor, and contesting everything the Sartans did on offense.

    Though he scored just 2 points in the first quarter, Ramon Roybal was the catalyst for LAHS, bringing down rebounds, running the floor and stealing passes.

    His effort led to opportunities for Antonio Trujillo, who took full advantage. He led the way with 7 points in the quarter, as LAHS jumped out to a 17-15 lead.

    Though the Sartans hit just four shots from the field in the opening quarter, the aggressiveness of LAHS led to free throw opportunities for St. Pius, and the team knocked down five of the seven to stay in the game.

  • Atomic City Update: Girls basketball nears end of difficult start to season

    I don’t think a lot of people understand how difficult it can be at times to be a student-athlete. They go to school all day, and then go to practice or a game in the evening. They don’t get weekends off like most high school students do, and the amount of responsibility they have is enormous.

    With that in mind, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the girls basketball team at Los Alamos High School, which has been going non-stop since the season began on Nov. 18.

    Between then and now, the team has played 12 games, and has not had more than three days off between games at any point yet this season. And this isn’t a team filled with experience dealing with this type of schedule. There are only three seniors on the roster. The team relies heavily on sophomores and juniors, all of whom have stepped into roles they were unfamiliar with prior to this year. 

    Sure, there have been some struggles on the team this year. But expecting consistently good play from a young group that has not had very much time to practice together since the season began is a lot to ask.

  • Metzger’s raises more than $700 for United Way of Northern New Mexico

    United Way of Northern New Mexico would like to thank Metzger’s Do It Best for their generous gift of just over $700 from their successful Small Business Saturday.

    United Way of Northern New Mexico and Metzger’s have been partners since Small Business Saturday began encouraging businesses to donate to nonprofits in 2012. 

    Together, UWNNM and Metzger’s have raised thousands of dollars to support the mission of UWNNM and the people of Northern New Mexico.

  • Bandelier prepares for holiday events

    With the holidays and 2018 approaching, Bandelier National Monument is offering news on upcoming events, both this year and next.  

    First on the list is Winter Solstice, Dec. 21, shortest day of the year and the point on the calendar when the days begin to lengthen again.  Many peoples all over the world recognized the solstices and built markers into structures or found them in the surrounding landscape.

    The Ancestral Pueblo people in Frijoles Canyon may have built parts of Tyuonyi, the large pueblo on the canyon bottom, in alignment with the sunrise and sunset on the Winter Solstice.  Ranger walks will be offered that day to greet the sunrise and sunset and see the possible alignments.  The Sunrise Walk meets at 7:15 a.m. in front of the Visitor Center, and the Sunset Walk meets there at 1:30 p.m.  The times are a reminder that sunrise and sunset happen at different times in the bottom of the 400-foot-deep canyon than they do in the wide-open landscapes on the mesa tops.  No signups are required for these walks, but participants should be sure to dress warmly.  If the sky is overcast, the walks will be held the following day.

    The Visitor Center, book store, and administrative offices in Frijoles Canyon will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, and the snack bar is closed until March.

  • Pet Talk: What to do about heart murmurs in dogs?

    When a veterinarian uses a stethoscope to listen to your dog’s heart, chances are that the heart will sound normal. However, in some cases, a veterinarian may hear an abnormality such as a heart murmur.

    Sonya Wesselowski, a clinical assistant professor of cardiology at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, said heart murmurs are abnormal heart sounds caused by turbulent or rapid blood flow within the heart. In dogs, heart murmurs are usually the result of a leaky or narrowed heart valve.

    Heart murmurs are not always a cause for concern. Wesselowski said that some soft heart murmurs could be normal in growing puppies less than 6 months of age. However, most heart murmurs in dogs do indicate that there is an underlying abnormality of the heart. In some cases, the heart murmur could be caused by a congenital heart defect the dog was born with, or due to a heart disease that develops later in life.

    How can you know if your dog has a heart murmur? Wesselowski said that regular examinations with your veterinarian are crucial for detection of heart murmurs, as a heart murmur itself does not cause any signs or symptoms. Instead, a heart murmur is a finding that suggests a cardiac problem may be present.