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Today's News

  • Community honors senior volunteers

    On April 17, the Los Alamos Volunteer Association, also known as LAVA celebrated its annual appreciation celebration for its senior volunteers.
    The event, which included food and dancing, was held at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.
    My Blue Heaven performed for the crowd.
    Door prizes were given out, donated by CB Fox, Starbucks and Smith’s. LANB printed out the programs.
    Home Instead partnered with LAVA by doing the postcard invitations and a DVD showing how “Volunteers are changing the face of aging.” They also presented LAVA with a plaque saluting all the volunteers and their contribution of more than 78,370 hours they donated in 2014, which is equal to approximately $1,619,907 worth of service.
    Members of the Los Alamos High School Student Council were on hand to serve food.
    For more than 40 years the senior centers in Los Alamos have had this service to help seniors (age 55-plus) find volunteer work that is just right for them.
    Volunteering is important to an individual, they benefit physically, mentally and emotionally by helping others.
    Nonprofit organizations appreciate the free help and support and everyone benefits.  
    Volunteering certainly can guard against boredom, lonliness and uselessness that aging might bring on.

  • Business accelerators invited to compete for SBA funds

    For the second year in a row, the Small Business Administration is sponsoring a competition to award $50,000 each to 50 business accelerators, incubators, shared tinker spaces and co-working startup communities.
    This time around, Javier Saade, associate administrator for the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation, hopes to see more applicants from New Mexico. Only one accelerator in the state competed in 2014 — out of 830 applicants.
    Given that one objective of the program, according to the SBA, is to “fill geographic gaps in the accelerator and entrepreneurial ecosystem space,” New Mexico is just the kind of place the agency would like to spend money from its growth accelerator fund.
    “It is well known that the most successful accelerators to date were founded on the coasts,” according to the SBA. The National Venture Capital Association concurs, reporting that startups in San Francisco, San Jose, New York, Boston and Los Angeles have consistently received the lion’s share of venture capital funding over the past five years.
    The SBA awards are designed to stimulate more capital investment in parts of the country that lack conventional sources of capital and vibrant entrepreneurial networks.
    What they’re looking for

  • Earth Day in Los Alamos County started 45 years ago

    To remember the first Earth Day in Los Alamos County, one must give credit where it is due — the Los Alamos High School Students to Save Our Environment.
    A group of very concerned students answered the call of a teacher and formed a group to determine how to plan for a first Earth Day. They were linking up with the efforts of the newly formed Citizens for Clean Air and Water, a group of citizens and lab scientists who had begun addressing the deadly air pollution from the Four Corners power plants.
    The idea for the First Earth Day arose nationally in the midst of the Vietnam War as the nation’s awareness began to focus on issues, such as the Cuyahoga River in Ohio catching fire from oil slicks, oil spills off the California coast killing sea life and so many other issues raising public consciousness. Gaylord Nelson, Democratic Senator from Wisconsin and Pete McCloskey, a conservative Republic Congressman, joined hands to bring about the first national Earth Day. As the nation began to respond, so did the students.
    LAHS students approached the administrators who readily gave permission to celebrate the first Earth Day. The students formed “teams” on particular topics to research and prepare talks.

  • Lost opportunities in hemp production

    I’m a natural-fiber kind of person. Whenever I can, I prefer to purchase and wear clothing that is 100 percent cotton.  
    I have learned recently about the pollution involved in the growing of my favorite fiber.
    Conventional cotton is filthy. It uses more herbicides and pesticides per acre than most other crops.
    For that reason I was doubly disappointed when Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed the industrial hemp bill.
    Hemp has been demonized in the United States because it is biologically very close to marijuana, but it won’t get anyone high. It’s a useful and amazingly versatile plant. Until it was banned because of its similarity to marijuana, hemp was used all over the world for centuries for an astonishing variety of purposes — food, clothing, paper, building material and, famously, rope.
    Sources agree growing conventional cotton uses as much as 50 percent of all the pesticides consumed in the nation. Hemp grows like a weed. It should be of special interest to New Mexico because it doesn’t need much water.
    Wouldn’t it be useful if New Mexico researchers could help New Mexico farmers know when to use hemp as an alternative crop?
    A massive amount of information is widely available extolling the benefits of hemp and refuting the old bugaboos about its similarity to pot.

  • Lost opportunities in hemp production

    I’m a natural-fiber kind of person. Whenever I can, I prefer to purchase and wear clothing that is 100 percent cotton.  
    I have learned recently about the pollution involved in the growing of my favorite fiber.
    Conventional cotton is filthy. It uses more herbicides and pesticides per acre than most other crops.
    For that reason I was doubly disappointed when Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed the industrial hemp bill.
    Hemp has been demonized in the United States because it is biologically very close to marijuana, but it won’t get anyone high. It’s a useful and amazingly versatile plant. Until it was banned because of its similarity to marijuana, hemp was used all over the world for centuries for an astonishing variety of purposes — food, clothing, paper, building material and, famously, rope.
    Sources agree growing conventional cotton uses as much as 50 percent of all the pesticides consumed in the nation. Hemp grows like a weed. It should be of special interest to New Mexico because it doesn’t need much water.
    Wouldn’t it be useful if New Mexico researchers could help New Mexico farmers know when to use hemp as an alternative crop?
    A massive amount of information is widely available extolling the benefits of hemp and refuting the old bugaboos about its similarity to pot.

  • Update 4-22-15

    GOP meeting

    The Republican Party of Los Alamos will host its biennial organization convention at 7 p.m. Thursday at UNM-Los Alamos. All registered Republicans are invited to attend. Call Robert Gibson at 662-3159 for more information.

    Docent training

    The Los Alamos Historical Society will host History Docent Training from 3-4 p.m. Thursday at the Hans Bethe house, 1350 Bathtub Row. Anyone interested in volunteering as a docent is invited to attend.

    Budget hearings

    The Los Alamos County budget hearings for FY16 will continue Monday in council chambers. Meeting time is scheduled for 6 p.m.

    School board

    The Los Alamos School Board will hold a board meeting and work session Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be at Chamisa Elementary School in White Rock.

    APP board

    The Arts In Public Places Board will meet at the municipal building Thursday. Meeting time is 5:30 p.m.

    Shred Day

    The Pajarito Environmental Education Center will host a “shred day” at the Reel Deal Theater Saturday. A shred truck will be parked in the theater parking lot for those wishing to destroy CDs, video tapes, microfiche and other types of fabrics and plastics. For more information, call Sandra West at 695-2579.

  • State Briefs 4-22-15

    Heinrich introduces transmission legislation

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Federal regulators would have narrow authority to approve new electric transmission lines in certain circumstances under a measure introduced in Congress.
    U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich says his bill would ensure that transmission projects get timely regulatory approvals. The New Mexico Democrat says that’s critical, especially when multiple jurisdictions are involved.
    Under an order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, transmission providers must participate in a regional planning process and develop methods for allocating the costs of a new regional transmission facility among those who will use or benefit from it.
    Heinrich’s bill would require developers of new priority regional transmission projects to first seek approval from local or state authorities. If approval doesn’t come within a year, the bill would allow FERC to step in and provide backstop authority.

    Universities, health center participate in obesity project

  • Hope 4 Hope

    Los Alamos Elks Lodge 2083 held a fundraiser dinner for well-known Los Alamos resident and former Los Alamos Monitor sales representative Hope Wagner Jaramillo last week to help her with travel expenses as she fights an undisclosed illness. Jaramillo, right, stops for a photo with past Elks Lodge 2083’s Exalted Ruler, Lisa Harris and Tonya Sprouse-Mullins.
    To help Jaramillo in her fight, residents are welcome to donate at gofundme.com/hope4hope.

  • MATCH program will help young readers

    There is an innovative educational mentoring program in Los Alamos that could help children with reading efficiency.
    MATCH New Mexico is a program where college students come together with at-risk children in the third grade. The name of the program is “mind the reading gap” and its goal is to aid in a child’s future and give an equal chance of success for every child in New Mexico.
    A fundraiser for the program is from noon-3 p.m. April 26 at the Inn and Spa at Loretto, 211 Old Santa Fe Trail in downtown Santa Fe.
    Tickets are $30, which includes valet parking, entertainment and all activities.
    Tickets are available online through EventBrite.com. Search for “Mind the Reading Gap.”
    “The fundraiser is very important to the program and we want to get the word out,” said Betty Scannapieco, who is in charge of community outreach. “The point is to raise awareness and support to aid our society to change.”
    There will be a silent and live auction during the luncheon fundraiser.
    MATCH stands for Mentoring and Tutoring Create Hope.
    Working with college students, the third grader will be guided with one-on-one mentoring throughout the program.

  • PNM defends plans for San Juan plant

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico’s largest electric provider is defending its plan to replace power from part of an aging coal-fired plant with a mix of coal, natural gas, nuclear and solar generation.
    Critics, including environmentalists and consumer advocates, counter that the plan isn’t in the best interest of ratepayers.
    Public Service Co. of New Mexico said Monday in a filing with state regulators that rejecting the plan could jeopardize the continued operation of the San Juan Generating Station and end up costing customers more.
    The utility’s objections follow the recommendation last week of a hearing examiner who suggested the plan not be approved by the Public Regulation Commission unless changes are made. The examiner cited uncertainty surrounding the ownership makeup of the plant and the lack of a coal-supply contract beyond 2017.
    It could be another month before a final vote is taken.
    Two units at the San Juan plant are scheduled to close in 2017 under an agreement with federal and state officials to curb haze-causing pollution.