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Today's News

  • Luján talks tech transfer

    Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District and co-chair of the Congressional Technology Caucus highlighted the Department of Energy’s response to President Barack Obama’s Executive Order on accelerating technology transfer and the commercialization of federal research in support of high-growth businesses.
    In October of 2011, Obama directed the heads of executive departments and agencies with research laboratories to increase the rate of technology transfer from laboratories to the commercial marketplace and to accelerate the economic impact from federal research and development investments.
    In response to the president’s memo, Luján sent a letter to Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu recommending actions for DOE to consider when addressing the president’s directive.

  • Update 11-29-12

    Arts and Crafts

    The Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Knights of Columbus Hall on DP Road. The event runs until 3 p.m.

    Call for entries

    Photo entries are being accepted until Dec. 9 for the 2013 edition of Los Alamos Life. The award-winning, full color glossy magazine features the best of photography done by local residents. Send your high resolution digital images to info@lamonitor.com.

    Calendar

    To kick off its 50th anniversary celebration next year, the Los Alamos Monitor will distribute a commemorative 2013 calendar Sunday Dec. 9. Look for it inside your newspaper.

    Idea Factory

    Idea Factory: Contribute your ideas about the Pajarito Plateau. Join PEEC as they discuss key messages and stories about the Pajarito Plateau. 6:30 p.m. today. Free. For more information or to register, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460.

    Library Board

    The Los Alamos County Library Board holds regular meetings the first Monday of each month (excluding holidays) at 5:30 p.m. in the Mesa Public Library Board Room or at White Rock Branch Library. The next meeting is Dec. 3.

  • Senators offer amendments to defense bill

    U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman announced work Wednesday on several amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, including one amendment passed that would ensure the Department of Defense could continue to purchase biofuels, such as those being advanced by companies in New Mexico.

    “With these amendments, we are ensuring New Mexico is a leader in the 21st century clean energy economy, and at the forefront of the national security achievements being made at our national labs and within the defense community,” Udall said. “Our biofuels amendment is especially important to national security and businesses in our state so I’m glad we were able to get one over the finish line today.”

    “The National Defense Authorization Act is one of the most important bills for New Mexico because it helps fund our national labs and our military installations. I am especially glad that the Senate adopted our amendment to allow the Pentagon to invest in all types of fuels — including biofuels — for its fleets. The Defense Department is a major consumer of fuel, and the more homegrown, cleaner-burning fuel it purchases the better off we will be,” said Bingaman, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

  • Heroic final act in a life cut short

    The pews were filled to capacity and close to another 200 people stood in the back of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

    They were there to celebrate the life of Nikolas Ventura-Arencon, a Los Alamos High School freshman who died in a car accident last week.

    The 800 or so people who came to pay their respects learned more about Ventura-Arencon and the way he died, than perhaps they ever knew about him when he was alive.

    Fr. John Carney and family members eulogized the 14-year-old.

    Perhaps the most striking declarations came from Carney and Ventura-Arencon’s aunt, Rianne Herrera, who both talked about the teen in the final seconds of his life.

    They told a story of a young man who did his best to protect his girlfriend, Divine Fellers, by shielding her when the vehicle he was riding in collided nearly head-on with a pickup truck on N.M. 4 last week.

    One of his other aunts posted this on the guestbook associated with Ventura-Arencon’s obituary online: “Not many people know what it’s like to lay down their life for someone they love. You do and I am so honored to say that you are my nephew!”

    His obituary also made mention of Ventura-Arencon’s seemingly heroic last effort.

  • Council gives nod to animal art

    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter will soon welcome visitors with some bright and whimsical artwork.

    Tuesday, the Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved commissions for interior and exterior art recommended by the Art in Public Places Advisory Board.

    This was the board’s second attempt to win approval for its choice of artwork at the shelter. In October 2011, the board recommended two mixed media dogs by artist Geoffrey Gorman. Council rejected the proposal, mainly because no attempt had been made to seek out other artists and because no images of cats were offered.

    The board went back to basics, issuing a Request for Proposals in February.

    “We got a lot of really great proposals, both for interior and exterior art, so it was very difficult to decide,” current Chair Carolyn Bossert said.

    The board displayed posters of the proposals at meetings and locations such as the Animal Shelter and solicited public opinion, which they incorporated into their choice.

    “There was kind of a consensus, even though it was a real tough decision,” Bossert said.

    The commission for exterior art will be awarded to sculptor Carrie Quade and Los Alamos artist Melissa Bartlett will provide acrylic paintings for the interior.

  • Board mulls builder choice

    The redesign project of Aspen Elementary recently received a boost when the Los Alamos Public School District’s Citizen’s Review Committee picked a Construction Manager at Risk to head up the project.

    The CMAR will be Jaynes Corporation, according to LAPS Purchasing Manager June Gladney.

    “The interview with Jaynes’ staff was dynamic, exciting and on target. It is clear that they understand the CMAR process and how it will benefit our Aspen project,” Gladney said in a recent report on the matter.

    A CMAR is an industry term for a construction manager that, once a total construction cost estimate is agreed upon with the client, must make sure to stay within the agreed budget. A CMAR usually agrees to assume all cost overruns, thus, the “at-risk” part.

    Gladney reminded the board of the difference, using the construction currently going on at the middle school as an example.

    “I hope the board will approve our selection,” said Gladney, reminding the board that “this is a CMAR project, in that we are moving away from the McCarthy model. There will be a preconstruction phase where there will be a guaranteed maximum price and then move forward from there.

    The district sent out a request for proposals and Jaynes was one of six companies that responded.

  • Tips for buying pet toys

    Tennis balls, Frisbees, rawhides, and Kongs. Dog toys line the shelves of multiple aisles at pet stores. With all of the choices, which toys should or shouldn’t you buy for man’s best friend?
    Dr. Mark Stickney, Clinical Associate Professor and Director of General Surgery Services at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, said that when first giving your dog toys, buy a variety of toys to see what the animal prefers.
     “They are going to have a toy preference the same way that children have toy preferences,” he said. “Once you determine their favorites, you can adjust your selection and your budget accordingly for the toys that entertain your pet.”
    To help guide your purchases, Stickney said it’s important to make sure the toy is made of nontoxic material and the appropriate size toy for the animal. A five-pound Yorkie, for example, will not be able to use an extra-large Kong toy made for a Rotweiller. Kong toys, he added, are one of his favorite brands because it keeps the pets busy by challenging them to get a treat out of the small hole of the toy.

  • GOP works to attract Hispanic vote

    SANTA FE – OK, so here’s the latest national plan to woo Hispanics into the GOP. Showcasing Latino top officials such as Govs. Susana Martinez and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio didn’t help much in the 2012 elections.
    So the latest plan is to create a super-PAC. Republicans are good at those. The idea isn’t to buy Hispanic votes. Hispanics are too honorable for that. It’s for buying congressional votes. That is usually pretty easy.
    The biggest fear of moderate Republican members of Congress is getting “primaried” by the tea party and other right wing organizations. It happened in 2010 and 2012 and lists of Republicans who might stray from the fold already are being made for the 2014 GOP primary elections.
    The new super-PAC, to be called Republicans for Immigration Reform, is intended to begin repairing the political damage left by years of anti-illegal immigrant rhetoric.
    The organizers are former George W. Bush Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and Washington lawyer Charlie Spies. Ironically, Spies was a co-founder of the pro-Mitt Romney super-PAC Restore our Future, which aired ads during this year’s GOP presidential primaries accusing some of Romney’s rivals of being too liberal on immigration.

  • Off The Hill 11-29-12

    Art openings

    Zane Bennett Contemporary Art announces the annual group exhibit, “A Square Foot of Humor.” The exhibit will be up Friday-Jan. 8. The show will open with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 30 at 435 S. Guadalupe St., Santa Fe. For more information, visit zanebennettgallery.com.

    Bazaar

    There will be a Christmas Bazaar at the Pueblo de San Ildefonso Gymnasium, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 8. Arts and crafts, baked goods, raffles, a food booth and more will be featured.

    Christmas events

    Taos will sparkle as galleries, studios, merchants and museums collaborate for Lighting Ledoux, at 7 p.m. Dec. 8. This free event is a time for friends and family of all ages to explore historic Ledoux Street in the heart of downtown Taos.

    Performances

    Experience a night of music with award-winning a cappella group, New Directions Veterans Choir. The group includes veterans who have overcome challenges with homelessness, incarceration and addiction. They come to Popejoy Hall at 8 p.m. Dec. 7.  Tickets are $20-$39 and can be purchased at popejoypresents.com, unmtickets.com or by calling 877-664-8661.

  • 2012 holiday concerts planned around New Mexico

    The Santa Fe Opera’s holiday concerts, “Arias, Carols and Songs,” return to Roswell, Santa Fe and Albuquerque in December.  Soprano Mary-Jane Lee and tenor Matthew Grills, both former apprentices, will perform a program of classical and sacred works as well as music of the season.
    Flutist Valerie Potter and members of Young Voices, the Opera’s program for high school students, will join them. Baritone Alex Harden, who has been a member of Young Voices for the past three years, will sing the hymn “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need.” He is from Tijeras. Kirt Pavitt is the pianist for all three performances.
    The Roswell performance of “Arias, Carols and Songs” will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Anderson Museum. The Santa Fe performance is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at Cristo Rey Catholic Church.
    The Albuquerque concert Dec. 16 will take place in a new venue, Simms Auditorium on the campus of the Albuquerque Academy, at 3 p.m.
    The concerts are free and everyone is welcome. Seating is on a first-come first-served basis and the doors open one-half hour before each performance.
    Lee was an apprentice in 2011 and 2012. She received her bachelor’s degree from Utah State University and a master’s degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.