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Today's News

  • Audit findings good for NCRTD

    After several rocky years of financial disorder, the North Central Regional Transit District has had its second good audit.

    The audit was on time with very few findings. Even having the audit completed on time has been a major success.

    “The past two audits have shown marked improvement in terms of internal controls as well as timeliness of getting the audits done. While there were findings, the trend is in the right direction,” Council Chair Geoff Rodgers said. Rodgers is the current council representative on the NCRTD board and serves as treasurer. “I think this is a tribute to Mr. Mortillaro’s and the staff’s professionalism. That being said, we all realize there is still more we can do to improve.”

    Anthony Mortillaro was named executive director in September 2011.

    It is difficult to find what led to three years of unfiled audits with findings ranging from unauthorized salary increases to missing disbursement documentation.

  • Heinrich, Udall request LANL cleanup funding

    Martin Heinrich has made plenty of trips to Los Alamos in the past.

    But on Friday, he made his first trip to the Los Alamos National Laboratory as a U.S. senator.

    “We talked about cleanup and a number of issues related to my committees,” Heinrich said in a brief phone interview Friday. We went through some budgetary issues and covered a broad spectrum of issues associated with the lab today.

    “Most of the visit was presentations by staff at the lab. There was not a lot of back and forth.”

    After being sworn in at the beginning of the year, Heinrich also got the following committee assignments — Energy and Natural Resources, Intelligence and Joint Economic Committee.

    And he has been busy getting acclimated to his new role as senator.

    “I look at this as a whole new set of opportunities to work Los Alamos,” Heinrich said. “I had a great visit today and we are continue to work hard with Los Alamos. We talked about cleanup and an number of issues related to my committees. We went through some budgetary issues as well.”

  • Salazar earns LANL lifetime achievement award

     Members of the House of Representative applaud the honor bestowed to Rep. Nick Salazar (D- Colfax, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel- 40) by the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  LANL presented Rep. Salazar with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at a breakfast in Santa Fe last week.

     Rep. Salazar received the highest honor recognizing his profound and significant contributions during his 63 years of service which include expanding opportunities for research and development, small business and minority business development, transfer of technology initiatives, math and science programs, job training and development while advocating for stringent environmental protection regulations.  He always fiercely argued that we must work toward striking a balance.

  • Los Alamos Historical Society Archives closed

    The Los Alamos Historical Society Archives are closed in preparation for a move, tentatively scheduled for April. More than 1,800 linear feet of documents and photographs along with more than 20,000 items will be moved from Fuller Lodge and the Community Building to the new, purpose-built facility that is part of the new Municipal Building. The Historical Society is asking that donors hold on to items until after the move so they will not get lost during the transition. Research requests also cannot be accommodated during this time. The museum will continue its normal hours. Call 662-6272 for more information.

  • Be There 02-05-13

    Wednesday
    February’s Brown Bag performance will feature the Lads of Enchantment Chorus and the Hot Flashes two piano quartet, at noon, at Fuller Lodge. The event is free and open to the public.

    Mariel Nanasi, executive director of New Energy Economy, will speak on “Securing a future with coal in New Mexico,” at the LASE/Sierra Club meeting at 7 p.m. in media room 203, building two at UNM-LA.
    Thursday
    Mesa Public Library presents the Free Film Series, featuring “Rear Window,” at 6:30 p.m.

    The February meeting of the Los Alamos Master Gardeners will be in the training room of the Community Building, just down the hall from the Extension Office, at 7 p.m. Los Alamos Extension Agent Carlos Valdez will present a program on the Demonstration Garden. For information, call 662-4950.
    Friday
    The Los Alamos Right to Life Committee presents Dauneen Dolce, executive director, from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 8 at Immaculate Heart of Mary’s McLaughlin Hall. Quizno’s and refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. Pro-life friends welcome.

  • Assets in Action: Tourney pays homage to Sanchez

    Let’s get ready to GRAPPLLLLLEE!
    You really didn’t think I would make it through a wrestling season without a column about it, did you?
    This weekend, the Hilltopper Wrestling team will host the Fourth Annual Bryan Sanchez Tournament.
    Sanchez, a former ’Topper, was a Hispanic Merit award scholar, a crimson scholar, and went on to attend New Mexico State University. The only sport he participated in was wrestling.
    Sanchez was considered wise beyond his years and he took incredibly good care of his mom Rita, a Los Alamos Middle School teacher, and sister Elena, former ’Topper wrestling manager.
    Rita is without a doubt, team mom and the only parent that can get away with yelling, “Come on honey,” to her boys, as she watches them with pride.
    “I was floored and so proud and so excited when they changed the name of the tournament. I knew that it came from the heart. The tournament brings him back to me every year and brings me closer to those boys,” Rita said.
    Her philosophy is simple; the kids give back to you what you give to them. If you give them love and respect, they will return it. It also helps that she is a kid at heart, which builds her relationship with the team.

  • The time for motor carrier deregulation has arrived

    The Rio Grande Foundation recently completed a report in which it analyzed dozens of state regulations that are holding back our economy and need to be eliminated or reformed. The need for deregulation has never been more apparent with our economy losing jobs and seeing an outflow of workers (according to a recent report from United Van Lines).
    Unlike many issues in Santa Fe, deregulation has not historically been a partisan issue. At the federal level, President Jimmy Carter deregulated trucking, freight rail, and airlines to positive effect in the 1970s. President Reagan continued those efforts in ways that led to significant economic growth throughout the 1980s.
    To further illustrate the point that deregulation can and should be bi-partisan, we are pleased to see that Think New Mexico has embraced the concept of deregulation, at least insofar as motor carriers here in New Mexico are concerned.
    Think New Mexico has been working to pass House Bill 194, legislation sponsored on a bi-partisan basis by Republican Rep. Tom Taylor and Democrat Rep. Carl Trujillo. The bill attempts to overcome many of the most absurd barriers to free competition in transportation services. These barriers harm both New Mexico’s economy and reduce options for consumers.

  • Voters to Santa Fe: Do something

    Standing in the back of the room, as Democratic lawmakers rolled out their jobs package, was a seasoned economic developer with many notches in his belt.
    I asked him what he thought of all the proposals we’ve heard so far. He said he doesn’t like to mix in politics, “but if we don’t do something quick, we’re screwed.”
    With those inspiring words, let’s look at the proposals.
    The governor and state Economic Development Department Secretary Jon Barela offer the New Century Jobs Agenda, which calls for a single sales factor (companies pay tax only on sales within the stat)e; reducing the corporate income tax from 7.6 percent to 4.9 percent; $10 million to help local governments pay for job-creating infrastructure; $4.75 million for the Job Training Incentive Program, which supports new employee training for qualified companies; a reformed capital outlay process; the Spaceport Informed Consent law; and more money for the MainStreet program.
    Democrats presented a three-point plan: public works, potential growth areas, and a Jobs Council.
    Most innovative is the Jobs Council, which would meet between sessions to develop a strategic plan. Everybody I’ve talked to likes this idea. When we bring up tax reform and other sticky issues, we need a forum to hammer out solutions.

  • LA boys win Blue Griffin swim meet

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys swimming team won for the second time in as many weeks Saturday, holding off the St. Michael’s Horsemen at the Blue Griffin Invitational.
    Trey Pereyra picked up two individual wins for the Hilltoppers, leading them to a total of 407 team points. St. Michael’s gave Los Alamos a run for its money, scoring 384 points, but the Hilltoppers’ second- and fourth-place finishes in the final race of the day, the 400-yard freestyle relay, were enough to secure the win.
    Saturday’s meet was hosted by Santa Fe Prep at the Genoveva Chavez Center.
    In girls competition, the Hilltoppers finished with 220 team points, which gave them third place overall. Alamogordo won the team title with 319 points and Sandia Prep was the runner-up.
    Isabelle Runde led the effort for the Los Alamos girls, taking second in the 100 backstroke and third in the 100 butterfly, while Ashlynn Bennett had a third place finish 100 breaststroke and a fourth place finish the 50 freestyle.
    For the Hilltopper boys, along with Pereyra’s wins, Max Reidys (200 freestyle) and Jenz Hampel (100 backstroke) had runner-up finishes on the day.
    Here are Los Alamos’ results from Saturday’s Blue Griffin Invite:

    Girls

    Team scores

  • 'Toppers even 2-4A record with victory

     A trio of Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball players finished in double-figures as Los Alamos dropped the Capital Jaguars Saturday night.

    Los Alamos pulled away from a scrappy Jaguar squad in the fourth quarter following the early departure of Capital center Ashley Sorenson. Los Alamos took advantage, outscoring Capital 17-9 in the fourth quarter en route to a 52-39 win.

    Saturday’s win evened the Hilltoppers’ District 2-4A mark at 2-2 (12-10 overall) to keep them in third place in the district standings.

    Los Alamos’ McKenzie Logan had her second 18-point outing of the district season Saturday to lead all scorers.

    Logan, who hit 3 3-pointers, had plenty of help on the offensive end, too. Forward Kiana Zerr, who has come up big for the Hilltoppers since the departure of center Hayley Each in mid-January, dropped in 12 points and Erin Kirk had 11 points on the contest.

    Sorenson was giving Los Alamos trouble most of the contest. She ended up with 17 points despite her early exit.

    Los Alamos had a whopping 49 rebounds in the game, 24 on the offensive end. Zerr and Kirk both finished with double-figure rebounding totals, with Zerr pulling down 18 boards.