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Today's News

  • Rep. Steve Pearce two-steps to a different beat on healthcare, Trump

    Political pundits are talking lately about a possible run for governor by Congressman Steve Pearce. If that’s true, he has a strange way of endearing himself to New Mexico voters.
    Pearce was one of the Republicans to sign the American Healthcare Act. And while other Rs look for cover as the president’s controversies deepen, Pearce goes out on a limb to defend him.
    The current version of the House healthcare bill isn’t likely to survive the Senate makeover, but it’s instructive to look at what Pearce thinks is appropriate for us.
    The AHCA would repeal Obamacare, phase out increased federal funding for low-income people who got coverage through the 2014 Medicaid expansion. It would instead make Medicaid a cheaper block grant program. Millions of people would lose their coverage in the next ten years.
    In New Mexico that translates to more than 265,000 people of the 900,000 currently on Medicaid, according to an analysis by economist Kelly O’Donnell, of UNM’s Robert Wood Johnson Center for Health Policy. It would also affect the children, seniors and disabled people who traditionally qualified. New Mexico would have to come up with an additional $427 million a year or reduce coverage.

  • Let’s settle the debate about the role of the sheriff in LA

    There has been a long-standing debate about the role of the sheriff in Los Alamos. The present sheriff, Marco Lucero, was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, stressing the importance of the sheriff’s role in Los Alamos.  
    County Councils, not including myself, have worked to minimize that role, drastically cutting his budget and ultimately calling an election last November to eliminate the office. After a contentious campaign, our citizens voted to keep an elected sheriff. It’s time to settle this debate.  I will present at the June 6 council meeting a resolution that clearly defines the roles of the sheriff and police department, and returns a reasonable but limited set of duties to the sheriff’s office. Council and the sheriff need to come to an agreement at that meeting, so that we can all move on to the many other challenges our county faces.

  • Community Calendar 5-24-17

    TODAY
    Join Ray Monk, biographer of J. Robert Oppenheimer, for a talk and book signing in historic Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos at 5:30 p.m., sponsored by the Los Alamos History Museum and the Bradbury Science Museum. The event is free, and the biography will be available for purchase. Members of the Historical Society and the Bradbury Science Museum Association are invited to share membership benefits for this one event only – membership in either organization will get you a member discount at both museum’s sales tables at the event.
    THURSDAY
    Santa Fe author Anne Hillerman will speak at Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos at 7 p.m. in the Upstairs Meeting Rooms, in the latest offering from the Library system’s Authors Speak series. Hillerman has just released “Song of the Lion,” her third mystery since taking up the series started by her late father Tony Hillerman.
    FRIDAY
    Gentle Walks
at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. 9:00 AM Admission: Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    Astronomy Show: Nebulae
at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Join local Astrophysicist Dr. Rick Wallace to explore Nebulae and their significance in our galaxy. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.

  • National senior health and fitness day set for May 31

    Los Alamos County is partnering with Los Alamos senior centers and Los Alamos Retirement Community to celebrate the 24th Annual National Senior Health and Fitness Day on May 31, called “With Movement… There’s Improvement!”
    National Senior Health and Fitness Day is all about showcasing what local groups are doing to help keep seniors healthy and fit.  
    Why not try out a dance, music, and physical fitness class at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, White Rock Senior Center, or the Aquatic Center?  
    On that day, the Parks, Recreation & Open Space Division will honor free water fitness classes to those ages 60 and up. Some seniors will be selected as lucky fitness class participants to win a free reusable grocery/tote bag filled with useful health resources and information.
    How about some Putt-Putt Golf at East Park? Seniors may rent one set of putter and balls, and they will get one-set free.  Or why not play a few holes at the Los Alamos Golf Course?  Seniors can enjoy 50 percent off 18-holes, nine-holes or the driving range.  

  • Faith and Science Forum to host series

    Again this summer the Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum will present a series of talks by local speakers during May, June and July. The theme of the talks is “Hope: Science, Religion and the Future”. There will be seven Wednesday evening meetings, on May 31; June 7, 14, 28; July 12, 19, 26.
    The meeting format will be a light supper at 6 p.m., talk at 6:30 p.m. followed by questions and then table discussions. In a change from the past two years, these talks will be in the Fellowship Hall of the Unitarian Church located at 1738 N Sage Loop, Los Alamos.
    On May 31, Nels Hoffman will give the first talk entitled “Hope, Hopelessness, and the Future.” Titles and abstracts for the remaining talks will be announced soon.
    Also, as part of the summer program, the Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum has invited distinguished theologian John Haught of Georgetown University to visit Los Alamos and present two lectures, which he will do on Thursday, June 22 and Friday, June 23. His lectures are titled “Science, Religion, and Cosmic Purpose” and “Evolution and Faith: What Is at Stake.”
    More information about Prof. Haught and his contributions to theology will be forthcoming.

  • Assets in Action: Watch for distracted driving

    This week with two weeks of full summer fun ahead, I think it is important to talk about being safe on the roads.
    Distracted Driving month was back in April, but truthfully any and every month needs to be distracted driving month.
    According to a National Safety Council report, “cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. 1 out of every four car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.”
    Perhaps an adult is the one most guilty of being distracted behind the wheel?
    That doesn’t necessarily mean texting and driving, but includes everything from drinking, changing the music dial or even using hands free devices. There is so much to distract a driver today.
    If you aren’t sure how to start the conversation, visit their website for a family contract. The Distracted Driving Family Contract allows you to have the important conversation and take a variety of things into consideration. Imagine how empowering it could be for your teens if you are the one that needs to change and they see you initiating the change?

  • LANL Foundation kicks off scholarship campaign

    The annual Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund (LAESF) Kickoff Reception took place last Thursday at the Oppenheimer Study Center on the Los Alamos National Laboratory campus.
    This kickoff event included several current and past scholars to talk about how the scholarships they received made an impact on their lives. The LAESF is a part of the LANL Foundation whose mission is to inspire excellence in education and learning in northern New Mexico through innovative programming, collaboration, and advocacy.
    Since 1999, $6.1 million has been awarded to students, most of which has been donated by the Laboratory workforce, with a $250,000 employee match from Los Alamos National Security.
    This year’s fundraising campaign champion, Jeff Yarbrough, associate director for Plutonium Science and Manufacturing, addressed students, parents and donors at the Lab, emphasizing the fundraising theme, “Education: Mission Critical.” John McDermon, LANL Foundation scholarship program manager, and LANL Director Charlie McMillan were also in attendance.

  • Civil complaint filed against WR dog owner

    A case involving a vicious dog attack in White Rock has been closed and reverted to a civil case instead.
    According to Magistrate Judge Pat A. Casados, the original criminal case was dismissed because the dogs in question had not been previously officially deemed dangerous.
    An amended civil complaint was filed May 11 against White Rock resident and owner of the two dogs involved in the attack, Leslie Sherman. Casados ruled if the dogs are ruled as dangerous, a criminal complaint may then be filed.
    The incident that sparked the original criminal complaint occurred on Acoma Lane March 29 when “…A witness observed (two) large dogs, one brown and the other black, come into the yard where a smaller dog was,” according to LAPD Commander Preston Ballew. “The (two) large dogs killed the smaller dog and left the area.”

  • Hearing looms for troubled plutonium facility

    As LANL continues toward its goal of ramping up plutonium production at Tech Area 55, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has called for a June hearing in Santa Fe regarding LANL’s troubled plutonium manufacturing facility, known as “PF-4.” LANL wants to boost its production of plutonium cores from 20 a year to 80 by 2027, but safety issues connected to work procedures and the age of the facility has caused concern with some government agencies.
    In April a fire broke out at the facility during “housekeeping day,” when workers attempting to dispose of materials that were capable of igniting through contact with air caught fire when they emptied them into a bag.

  • Sheehey seeks to define sheriff’s duties in new resolution June 6

    County Councilor Pete Sheehey wants to restore what he called a reasonable set of duties to the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s office, and has crafted a resolution reflecting what he wants those duties to be.
    He plans to introduce the resolution at a June 6 council meeting.
    “I support returning a reasonable set of duties to the Sheriff’s Office: process and writ serving, sex offenders tracking, court security, and some transportation of prisoners,” he said in a written statement Tuesday. “It makes sense to assign enough duties to the Sheriff’s Office to justify a full-time deputy Sheriff.”
    The Los Alamos County Sheriff Marco Lucero was officially stripped of most of his duties, personnel and budget in a council vote last year. The majority of councilors wanted to end the office, calling it a redundancy in a county that practices home rule.
    However, when the question went out in a referendum this year to eliminate the office all together or keep it, voters voted to keep it.
    Sheehey also included in his resolution that council include a big enough budget so the sheriff can carry out those duties.
    When reached for comment, Lucero would like to see Sheehey’s resolution adopted then expanded on.