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Today's News

  • The final days of the Class of 2015

    Wow, we made it through.
    We have arrived at the last week of school and another Hilltopper graduation.
    The Class of 2015 is sleeping in today, while the rest of us are up and at ’em or in the case of Los Alamos, perhaps up and atom.
    This week will find them picking up their caps and gowns, having their final class meeting, attending the traditional barbeque and of course there should be a powdered paint fight in their somewhere. Technically it shouldn’t be called a paint fight, but more of a dousing.
    Here’s some little known facts about the class that you don’t often hear about, unless of course you are one of the graduates: The class flower for 2015 is the sunflower. Their class color is turquoise. The class song is, “Beautiful Day,” by U2 and their class motto is, and “We’ll make H15story.”
    The yearbook this year is called IMPACT and what an impact the seniors have on their school and their community. To the yearbook students and their advisor Kendall Micco, well done!
    The senior favorites section of the yearbook lists 15 categories and while we don’t have the space to name them all, here’s just a few to tickle your fancy. I hope it represents a well-roundedness, academics, art, sports and the most important category, so read on to learn more.

  • Early bird registration on for next 8th grade D.C. trip

    It’s time to sign up for next year’s annual eighth grade spring break trip to Washington, D.C.
    The trip is available to Los Alamos Middle School and home-schooled eighth grade students. The trip is a private and not school-sponsored. It has been a highlight for students at LAMS for more than 30 years.
    Sign up online at worldstrides.org using ID Number 116072 or call 1-800-468-5899 using the same ID Number.
    The trip will include sightseeing in and around Washington, D.C. Highlights of the trip include the White House, the International Spy Museum, the Walter Reed Medical Museum, a Capitol tour, the Newseum, the Pentagon Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Holocaust Museum, the Smithsonian Museums, the National Zoo, Arlington National Cemetery, night tours of the Presidential Monuments, the Iwo Jima, Korean, the Vietnam Memorials, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the National Aquarium in Baltimore and much more.
    The trip will be four days and three nights in duration. The group will stay in a five-star hotel minutes from the D.C. sites.

  • Trade treaties have hurt people, economy

    Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a bad trade agreement for the U.S.? That remains to be seen.
    However, Americans have little reason to trust their government regarding trade.
    The U.S. was the principal architect of the global economy and current trade deals, yet, it has failed to acknowledge the shortcomings of the agreements or try to correct them.
    The global economy was conceived during WWII to expedite post-war economic recovery, prevent future wars of territorial acquisition, provide employment in the developed nations and improve the lives of people throughout the world.  
    Unfortunately, the inherent difficulties of international trade, such as equitable currency exchange, currency manipulation, trade imbalances, the outsourcing of production and the creation of national and international winners and losers, remain problematic.
    Regardless of intentions, U.S. trade agreements have adversely affected U.S. workers, small manufacturers, national wealth, and the long-term viability of the United States (the losers).
    On the other hand, they have richly rewarded international corporations, Wall Street, large investors and foreign nations whose economies are based on exports or currency manipulation (the winners).

  • Nuclear waste will always be with us

    The two faces of WIPP: We get $73 million for our trouble related to leaking waste AND the government now contemplates storing surplus weapons plutonium in WIPP.
    Whatever its problems, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, will figure into national policy because hazardous waste storage is a necessity, and we have few options. Risk and reward are embedded in the debate.
    Holtec International wants to build an interim facility near Carlsbad to store spent nuclear fuel.
    So let’s look at a 1996 study by Stanford Law School student Noah Sachs, who looked objectively at questions of ethics and environmental justice related to a similar New Mexico project.
    In the early 1990s, the federal government offered grants to tribes and rural communities to study the possibility of storing nuclear waste. The Mescalero Apache Tribe responded quickly and moved steadily through the process, becoming the first to seriously pursue a project.
    The facility would be a large, guarded structure holding spent nuclear fuel in steel, reinforced concrete casks on a square-mile site of the tribe’s choosing. It would contain more than half of U.S. spent fuel for 40 years. And because we didn’t have any long-term facilities, the waste would probably stay there.

  • UNM’s season ends in MW championship

    The University of New Mexico baseball team saw its season come to a heartbreaking end Sunday as it fell to San Diego State 6-4 in the Mountain West Tournament championship game.
    The Lobos had the potential go-ahead run at the plate with two outs in the ninth in the form of Jack Zoellner, who had already homered and doubled in the game, but he flew out to left-center to end it.
    Zoellner was one of four Lobos, all of whom is either a freshman or sophomore, to earn All-Tournament honors.
    He was joined by Carl Stajduhar, Lane Milligan and Carson Schneider.
    The Lobos (32-27) had plenty of chances in the championship, but the crucial game-changing hit eluded them in the late innings.
    Outside of the ninth, perhaps their best chance came down one in the eighth. Jared Holley doubled with two outs, but Sam Haggerty’s looping stroke to center was snagged on a nice sliding catch.
    SDSU (40-21) got on board with a run in the first off freshman Tyler Stevens, who was starting on just three days’ rest, but the Lobos responded in the second. Stajduhar doubled to and Zoellner followed with a two-run shot off the scoreboard in right-center to give the Lobos a 2-1 lead.

  • Locals finish fast at Jemez Mountain races

    Nearly 500 runners from 24 states and Washington, D.C., tested their endurance Saturday in the annual Jemez Mountain Trail Races.
    Local runners, however, were at the top or near the top in all three races.
    Los Alamos’ John Rees won the half-marathon while Erika Baron was the first female to finish the 50K.
    The half-marathon was the shortest of the three Jemez Mountain Trail Races. The longest race was a 50-mile slog that started on North Mesa, went up the Mitchell Trail, passed Pajarito Mountain and then did a giant loop around the ski area before returning on Pipleine and Guaje Ridge back to North Mesa.
    Nick Clark of Fort Collins, Colo., won the 50-mile race for a third time. Clark finished the 50-mile run in 8 hours, 27 minutes and 2 seconds, over 22 minutes faster than the second-place finisher, Chris Price of Pasadena, Calif.
    There were 106 runners who completed the 50-mile race, including 11 from Los Alamos.
    Mark Porter led the local contingent with a 17th-place finish (10:27:19).

  • Story of 7 brothers in WWII is remarkable

    This time last year, I did a commentary on five brothers who served in World War II. Very impressive.
    Imagine my surprise when someone who caught the commentary sent me a package with this note:   
    “Dear Professor Kengor: Your [commentary] about the family whose five sons served in WW II was interesting. You might be interested to know about families who had more than five sons who served in WW II.”
    Well, Ted Walters of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, certainly had my attention.
    He continued: “My mother, Stella Pietkiewicz, had seven sons serve in WW II. She had the honor to christen the plane, Spirit of Poles, because she had the most sons who served in WW II.”
    Yes, seven sons.
    Along with Ted Walters’ letter was an old newspaper clipping that showed six Pittsburgh-area mothers, all of Polish descent, who had 33 sons in service. Anna Lozowska, Maryanna Sawinska, Katarzyna Antosz, and Mrs. Joseph Wojtaszek each offered five boys to the cause.
    Honorta Lachowicz provided six sons. Stella Pietkiewicz took the prize with seven.
    Bless their souls. These moms gave their boys to the cause of freedom.

  • Record keeping is a financial must

    If your financial life is confined to boxes, file cabinets and various piles of statements and receipts that only you can navigate, it might be time for a little de-cluttering.
    Software- and Internet-driven advancements in money management not only provide paperless alternatives to planning and tracking savings, spending and investments, they make finances easier to handle in an emergency.
    If you’re thinking about resetting your record keeping, here are some steps to get started:
    First, think about financial goals. Before tackling the job of reorganizing your financial record keeping, think through your current financial objectives and what changes might give you better data and efficiency to achieve them.
    You might want a system that tracks spending, saving, budgeting and on-time debt payments. If you already have that system in place, you might want more detailed information on retirement or your child’s college fund.
    Consider involving your financial and tax advisors in the discussion and see what suggestions they have.
    Also, create a system that makes it easy for loved ones and financial professionals to help in an emergency. If something were to happen to you, could a loved one easily navigate your finances? When organizing, always keep your spouse, children and/or executor in mind.

  • Irish overwhelmingly vote for gay marriage

    DUBLIN (AP) — Irish voters have resoundingly backed amending the constitution to legalize gay marriage, leaders on both sides of the Irish referendum declared Saturday after the world’s first national vote on the issue.
    As the official ballot counting continued, the only question appeared to be how large the “yes” margin of victory from Friday’s vote would be. Analysts said the “yes” support was likely to exceed 60 percent nationally when official results are announced later Saturday.
    Gay couples hugged and kissed each other amid scenes of jubilation at counting centers and at the official results center in Dublin Castle, whose cobblestoned central square was opened so thousands of revelers could sit in the sunshine and watch the results live on big-screen televisions.
    “We’re the first country in the world to enshrine marriage equality in our constitution and do so by popular mandate. That makes us a beacon, a light to the rest of the world, of liberty and equality. So it’s a very proud day to be Irish,” said Leo Varadkar, a Cabinet minister who came out as gay at the start of a government-led effort to amend Ireland’s conservative Catholic constitution.

  • Hitting The Trail