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Today's News

  • Today in history March 16
  • Panel rejects expanded background checks

    By Steve Terrell

    The New Mexican

    A legislative committee on Monday effectively killed a bill to expand background checks for gun purchases – an issue that drew large crowds to the Capitol as well as big campaign contributions and intense lobbying and advertising.

    The House Judiciary Committee voted 7-6 to table House Bill 548 after a lengthy hearing. It marked the defeat of the most recent gun-control bill sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos.

    Democrat Eliseo Alcon of Milan joined the six Republicans on the panel to stop the measure, which would have required background checks on all sales of firearms at gun shows and from advertisements on the internet or print publications.

    Garcia Richard said other states that have approved similar bills have seen fewer violent crimes and suicides involving guns.

    Earlier in the session, Garcia Richard carried a similar measure, HB 50, which cleared two committees, including the Judiciary Committee. But last month she voluntarily pulled her own bill before it reached the full House of Representatives, asking it go back to the Judiciary Committee.

  • Today in history March 14
  • House OK’s campaign finance reform

    By Steve Terrell

    The New Mexican

    After six years of trying to require "dark money" organizations and other independent-expenditure groups to report their political backers, supporters of campaign-finance reform got their bill through the state House of Representatives on Monday night.

    The House on Monday passed Senate Bill 96, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, and Rep. Jim Smith, D-Sandia Park. The bipartisan vote was 41 to 24. Six Republicans joined with the 35 Democrats to vote for the bill.

    The Senate had already passed the bill, but it will have to go back there for consideration of House amendments. If the Senate doesn't oppose any of the changes, it will go to Gov. Susana Martinez for signature. She has signaled some interest in the bill.

    "This is huge," said Viki Harrison, executive director of Common Cause New Mexico, which for years has been the major group pushing the issue. "The citizens of New Mexico support this. Our poll found 91 percent support this."

    Harrison said she doubts the Senate will have any trouble with the House amendments – mostly technical changes. She noted that Wirth was in the House chamber during the vote and he had no problem with the amendments.

  • Community Calendar 3-24-17

    TODAY
    Fish Fry Friday from 5-7 p.m. at Immaculate Heart Mary Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road. Cost is $10 for Adults, $7 for children.

    Gentle Walks at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    Astronomy Show at 7 p.m. at the Nature Canter. Explore the night sky from the comfort of the planetarium. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    SATURDAY
    Habitat for Humanity is hosting a Hawaiian at the Pajarito Brew Pub and Grill. Live Hawaiian-themed music. A special menu of Hawaiian and Hawaiian-inspired dishes and beverages. What better way to celebrate the arrival of spring? So don your loudest Hawaiian shirt and your best grass skirt and hula over to a tropical island paradise at the Pajarito Brew Pub and Grill.

    Snowshoe Hike in the Valles Caldera at 1 p.m. at the Nature Center. Join a ranger and PEEC on a 2 - 2.5 hour, easy-to-moderate snowshoe hike in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Preserve entrance fee. More information at peecnature.org.

    Feature Film: Exoplanets at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center.

  • Martinez to consider bill to combine local elections

    SANTA FE (AP) — A piece of legislation awaiting Gov. Susana Martinez’s signature would reshape the political landscape for school boards, cities and other nonpartisan local governments in New Mexico by consolidating elections and putting them before voters in November every other year.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports that currently, such elections draw little attention, with some garnering zero ballots.

    Political analyst Brian Sanderoff says combining school board and municipal elections could boost turnout significantly. School elections draw maybe 5 percent turnout on their own, but Sanderoff says municipalities attract up to 45 percent.

     
    Municipalities would have the option of opting out of the combined elections.

  • Hike to Window Rock April 8

    Join the Santa Fe National Forest from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 8 to as part of the Forest Your Health, a local partnership and health initiative.
    The Window Rock Trail hike will include trash pickup, sign installation, archeological interpretation and campfire finale (hot dogs and s’mores).
    The hike is part of Window Rock and lies north of Española off of the highway to Abiquiu.
    Participants should not bring less than three liters of water, plus lunch, shade hat, sunscreen and clothing layers. The round-trip hike is eight miles.
    Contact Jennifer Sublett for more information and to sign-up for this bi-annual stewardship hike at jasublett@fs.fed.us or 505-753-7331.

  • LALT looks for producers

    Los Alamos Little Theatre is engaged in producing short staged readings periodically for the Betty Ehart and White Rock senior centers.
    The group is looking for anyone interested in either directing or acting in the staged readings. Because these are brief (10 - 15 minute plays), they are a great opportunity for people who would like to get some experience or practice without a huge investment of time.
    Interested directors or actors should send an e-mail to Pat Beck at pdbeck@aol.com.
    The next time slot for providing a staged reading is in May.

  • Bus Driver Appreciation Day celebrated

    Los Alamos Public Schools honored their bus drivers March 17 during National Bus Driver Day.
    “We are truly fortunate in this District to have such a tremendous group of professional drivers and bus assistants. Our team performs their job assignments each day with concern for the safety of students and the public. It is an honor to be a part of this team and district,” said Keith Rosenbaum, LAPS transportation director.
    “Today we celebrated National Bus Driver Day to show our appreciation to the unsung heroes of our community. They get up early every day to guarantee our children get to school on time, safe and sound. The Los Alamos Schools Credit Union wanted show them that we care and that their role in our community is important.  I’d like to thank Bethany for organizing this event and Keith for giving us this opportunity to brighten their day,” said Matt Schmidt of the Los Alamos Schools Credit Union.

  • DPU launches app for customers

    The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) announced the launch of its free Los Alamos DPU app Thursday by Smart Energy Systems. 
    The a new cloud-based platform has a friendly interface for DPU customers to access their accounts, track consumption and pay utility bills from their computers or mobile devices, according to department officials.
    In 2015, a DPU customer satisfaction survey revealed that a segment of customers wanted more online functions.
    “Customers under the age of 45 told us that they wanted better ways to do business with us online. We listened and believe the Los Alamos DPU App will allow customers the flexibility and convenience they seek,” said Utilities Manager Tim Glasco, in a statement issued Thursday.  
    Some of the advantages that DPU customers can expect from the Los Alamos DPU app when used on their computers or downloaded to their mobile devices include the ability to:
    • Customize the home screen to create personalized dashboards,
    • View current and historic bills,
    • Make payments with a credit card or electronic check,
    • View current and historic consumption,  
    • Compare personal consumption to the average of all Los Alamos customers’ consumption, and
    • Receive alerts for high or low usage.