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Today's News

  • Inflation, debt payments eat 30 percent of road funds

    Personal transportation vehicles powered by fossil fuels — cars, SUVs and pickups, that is — will be around for a long, long time.
    So will commercial trucks, which, with rail, are vital links in moving goods around the country.
    Roads will be around, too. Roads were crucial well before the combustion engine appeared. Check your Roman history. All this means we’re stuck with building and maintaining roads.
    And paying for this work.
    Governments pay for nearly all roads — federal, state and local. Yet, for years the state has been well short of having the road money it claims it needs.
    The recitation of this banal obviousness comes because the state’s political leadership has ignored the situation, a derogation of duty. Here is a summary of our sources of money.
    About $840 million will come into the Department of Transportation during fiscal 2016, the budget year starting July 1, according to “Legislating for Results: Appropriation Recommendation,” published by the Legislative Finance Committee in January. DOT requested $837.7 million; the LFC recommended $842.7 million.
    The difference, though large from the perspective of nearly all individuals, is small on the scale of things.

  • Aaron Hernandez found guilty of murder

    FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the downfall of an athlete who once had a $40 million contract and a standout career ahead of him.

    Hernandez, 25, looked to his right and pursed his lips after the jury forewoman read the verdict, convicting him in the slaying of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old landscaper and amateur weekend football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. The first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

    Hernandez's mother, Terri, and his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, cried and gasped when they heard the verdict. Jenkins wept on his mother's shoulder. Hernandez later mouthed to them: "Be strong. Be strong."

    The former football pro was also found guilty on both weapons charges he faced. The jury deliberated for 36 hours before rendering its verdict.

    For reasons that were never made clear to the jury, Lloyd was shot six times in the middle of the night on June 17, 2013, in a deserted industrial park near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough.

  • Today in history April 15
  • Be There calendar 4-14-15

    Today
    April lecture: Noel Pugach, retired professor of history at UNM, performs the role of Harry Truman, who left an indelible mark on the United States and the world. 7:30 p.m. at Fuller Lodge.  

    The Los Alamos Photographer’s Show. Through May 2 in the upstairs gallery of the Mesa Public Library.

    Canyons, Mesas, Mountains, Skies: Heather Ward. Through May 16 at the Portal Gallery.
    Wednesday
    The Los Alamos Federated Republican Women’s April meeting will be at noon at the Justice Center. The meeting will include a tour of the Justice Center and Municipal Judge Alan Kirk will share his responsibilities and about the JJAB program. Members are request to bring canned goods/staples for the shelter. For further information contact Donna MacDonald 662-4001.

    The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. in Building No. 1, Camino Entrada Road, Pajarito Cliffs Site. Representatives from Los Alamos Youth Leadership and Youth Mobilizers will give updates about these programs. The public is welcome to attend.

    Game Night: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Mesa Public Library in the Upstairs Rotunda.  
    Thursday

  • Dayhiking the mountain west

    The April Los Alamos Mountaineers will have a presentation by Sean O’Rourke, a Los Alamos native and peak-bagger.
    The meeting will begin 7 p.m. Wednesday at Fuller Lodge.
    During the meeting, there will also be a social and reports of recent and upcoming trips.  
    Since escaping graduate school in 2009, O’Rourke has traveled and climbed the mountain west from Baboquivari in Arizona to Robson in Canada, living on the road for half the year and writing about the experience at drdirtbag.com.  
    Though he occasionally brings ropes, tents and partners, he usually climbs peaks solo and car-to-car in a day.  Among his most “extreme” outings, he has climbed all 15 of California’s 14,000-foot peaks in 62 hours, summited Mount Robson in 15, and traversed the Kaweah peaks in 19.
    In his talk, he will describe how he progressed from ordinary dayhikes in Colorado and California to longer and steeper endeavors.  He will argue that most mountaineers can climb most peaks in a single day, and that with sufficient motivation and moderate skill, any peak in the lower 48 is a dayhike.  
    The talk will describe trips to some of the most remote peaks in the Cascades, including the northern and southern Pickets.

  • Assets in Action: Making jokes about serious issues

    This week, I want adults to pay attention to the many things that pass us by without even a second thought. The things that surround us on a daily basis that we might not even realize have become common.
    Many years ago, we brought the Rachel’s Challenge program to the middle school. The program is named after Rachel Scott, the first student to be shot by her fellow students at Columbine.
    The reason I bring it up is because the guest speaker told the students that it is the friends, music, books, games and shows you surround yourself with that assist in developing the person you become.
    I am well aware that I am getting older, but recently I have become more aware of things in every day culture that tend to blend into the background of our lives, yet barrage us daily, just the same.
    As I prepare to graduate my first group of leadership students, I pick out the photos that my husband will set to music that make a type of story book of the year we have just experienced together.
    As I listen to song after song, that has a good beat, some good lyrics, inevitably there comes a line about smoking weed or getting drunk or being high. Even though we can occasionally bleep out an ugly word, it makes me crazy that so many of the popular songs send the same message.

  • Los Alamos native to teach traditional oil painting

    There’s something exotic about painting with oils. Many artists will say that no other medium compares to working with the same medium as the great masters of old. Painting in oils is like painting with butter. Oil paint is thick and can be spread, pushed, troweled, brushed and scraped. Because it dries slowly paintings can evolve, with colors mixed on the canvas in order to create an effect.
    Artist Trevor Lucero wants to help students share in the mysteries of getting the paint to reflect their vision, to capture reflected light so realistically it delights the viewer. Although he developed this class with intermediate students in mind, he welcomes raw beginners, as well as more accomplished oil painters. Lucero say, “The amazing light of our New Mexico landscapes gives artists a great excuse to mash colors together.”
    In his class “Traditional Genres in Oil Painting” Lucero will teach how to build a painting in the traditional way: constructing an underpainting and working toward a completed image using a succession of glazes to achieve luminosity. Students will work on portraits, still lifes, or landscapes using photographs. The class meets from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays April 16-30 at the Fuller Lodge Art Center.

  • How corporate tax loopholes compromise our future

    The notion of “paying it forward” is a popular one, and while we may not think about our income taxes as a form of paying it forward, that’s exactly what we’re doing.
    The public works that we all depend upon today — roads and highways, schools and parks, telecommunications and electrical grids, even courts and prisons — were made possible in part by taxes paid by past generations. And the taxes we pay today won’t just go toward keeping these systems and infrastructure in good repair, they will also be needed to plan for our future and address unexpected issues and opportunities.
    This kind of long-term vision is the foundation upon which the United States was built.
    Our public works and infrastructure don’t just improve our quality of life, they also make our modern economy possible. Savvy American corporations understand that they depend on this infrastructure and that they bear responsibility for helping to pay for it.
    As the new report “Burning Our Bridges” (Center for Effective Government) shows, much of our nation’s infrastructure needs could be covered simply by collecting income tax on the profits that several corporations have retained overseas.

  • Loonies on the loose

    The “news” is too much with us.
    True, print news venues have troubles galore, have had for a long time now.
    But anything electronic — television, blogospheric, streaming, screening, online, live, recorded, you name it — positively fibrillates as it belches forth endless servings of routinely unedited rumor, claims, charges/counter-charges, pure hokum and mindless opinion masquerading as “news.”
    Last week, when a guy named Tom Cotton opined to the effect that it would be far easier simply to bomb Iran than to continue negotiations designed to forestall that country’s efforts to develop its own nuclear weapons, I became halfway persuaded that too many loonies are making too many headlines today.
    It was Cotton, a brand new Republican U.S. senator from Arkansas, who whipped out that infamous letter (co-signed by 47 other Senate Republicans) to Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei basically warning him that the negotiations were doomed inasmuch as the GOP controls both houses of Congress.
    Cotton had been in the Senate only a matter of weeks, but the media — particularly online — snapped it all up: Cotton, his letter, his cohorts, their bomb, the whole thing. They couldn’t get enough of it.

  • Watching It Fly

    Los Alamos’ Johnny Osden keeps an eye on his ball during Monday’s Los Alamos Spring Invitational at the golf course. Osden finished second individually in the boys competition, shooting a 79.