Today's News

  • A muni building in search of a name

    The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Executive Director Cedric Page is fully supportive of a motion introduced by Los Alamos County Councilor Frances Berting to name the new municipal building for late New Mexico State Representative Jeannette O. Wallace. The county is currently seeking public comment on the proposal.

    “I think the more we acknowledge the contributions of Rep. Wallace and others in the future, the better. We really need to personalize some of our facilities. I’m very supportive of her (Berting’s) efforts to have the community weigh in on that,” Page said.

    “It’s part of that inclusiveness. You have to put the question out there for people to really reflect on and decide whether that building is worthy of that individual who was a significant contributor to this county. I think they’ll find there’s support in the community for taking that step.”

    Under the guidelines of county code, County Administrator Harry Burgess is currently selecting a committee to hear public comment and make a recommendation to council.

    A few people have already weighed in on the idea. One suggested naming the building after former County Administrator Max Baker. However, county code stipulates that an individual must be deceased at least six months and Baker is still alive.

  • Clerk releases bond update

     The Los Alamos County Clerk’s Office reports as of Friday, there have been 4,000 ballots received for the Special School Bond Election. On Jan. 8, the clerk’s office mailed out 13,826 ballots. Officials at the clerk’s office would like to remind registered voters about some do’s and don’ts:
    • Do sign the outer envelope. If there is no signature on the outer envelope, the ballot cannot be counted.
    • Don’t have someone sign your ballot on your behalf. If you cannot sign the outer envelope, an ‘X’ is acceptable as your signature. Although it is not required, someone may witness you signature. Bottom line and most important, is that if the ballot is not signed, it cannot be counted.
    • Do affix adequate postage. A first-class stamp is required to mail the ballot back to the clerk’s office; however, registrants may also drop off their completed ballot at the clerk’s office located at 2451 Central Ave., Suite D. All ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Jan. 29.
    • Do come by the clerk’s office if you have not received your ballot.

  • Accelerate promotes technical training

    Two years ago the Regional Development Corporation joined with six Northern New Mexico colleges and regional businesses to launch a two-year training program called Accelerate: Technical Training and Job Placement.

    The program is designed to “get students out the door work-qualified for the jobs that we know are in demand now and the jobs that we’ve identified that we want to grow into,” according to RDC Executive Director Kathy Keith.

    Keith joined Program Monitor Carla Rachkowski and University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Executive Director Cedric Page to report on the program’s progress at the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities meeting Friday.

    The RDC’S 2010 Regional Economic Development Initiative identified workforce development as a key element for economic growth.

    “Under the human capital area of the strategic plan, our communities identified as their number one priority workforce development,” Keith said. “And specifically what we heard from communities in Northern New Mexico was we want local folks in our communities to have the qualifications to get good paying jobs locally, that we continually see our local businesses hiring from outside our region, and that’s frustrating to us. We want to see more locals employed in positions.”

  • LANL 6 plan to appeal

    The attorney for a group of anti-nuclear demonstrators recently filed an appeal on their behalf, just weeks after being found guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court of obstructing movement and “refusing to obey an officer.”

    “The motion asks Judge Kirk to reverse his decision and find the six defendants not guilty of obstructing movement and reduce the charge of refusing to obey an officer with time served with no probation, fines or costs,” Attorney Jeff Haas said in a written statement.

    Haas said in court that technically, his clients did not block the roadway, since police formed a barrier around the group and redirected traffic to go around them. In his official appeal, Haas also noted that Los Alamos’ municipal code states that authorized roadblocks referred to physical objects such as signs and barriers, and not to people.

    “The statute is clearly referring to a physical object that would be ‘placed or erected,’ and not to a person standing in the roadway,” Haas said.

    In municipal court Jan. 8, Kirk sentenced the six protesters, assigning a $100 fine for each charge and added $41 in court costs plus a $60 probation fee. Together, each of the six was ordered to pay $342. The maximum penalty was 179 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.

  • Chamisa students raise funds

    Colleen Goddard (third from left), poses with Chamisa students Tuesday morning, as they fundraised for field trips. Students hand made key chains and bracelets to sell. 

  • Dental therapists could help solve care issues

    As a practicing dentist in Fort Sumner, I see patients from just about everywhere in New Mexico: Santa Rosa, Roswell, Vaughn — and even from Albuquerque and some of the Texas border towns.
    Many of these folks drive several hours each way to get dental care at our clinic. Some come simply because they know me.
    Others make the trip because our clinic uses a sliding payment scale based on income and we don’t turn anyone away.
    A high percentage of my patients’ needs are extractions. That’s because a lot of the patients I see don’t have access to preventive and routine dental care. They are poor, often without health insurance, and from remote areas where dental care is hard to get.
    Across New Mexico, many people struggle to get dental care. Less than half of children from poor families see a dentist. Yet poor oral health at this stage in their lives can adversely affect their learning, social development and overall health for a lifetime.
    It doesn’t have to be this way. We could bring high-quality, affordable dental care to more people by creating a new kind of mid-level practitioner called a dental therapist. Many dentists don’t like this idea and I understand, because I was one of them.

  • A cool business climate

    In the bottom center of the map lies New Mexico, a light orange blip in a sea of blue. Our distinctiveness bodes ill. The map shows state business climates based on a survey of 650 business leaders by Chief Executive Magazine.
    Our light orange places us between two deep blue states, Texas and Arizona, respectively first and 10th in the survey. We rank 33rd in the 2012 survey. See chiefexecutive.net/best-worst-states-for-business-2012. On the map, New Mexico gains attention in a subtle way. We are one of two states between the left (er, west) coast and the Mississippi River to place below 31st in the CEO estimation. Minnesota is the other.
    The magazine survey, being a survey of people, however informed and thoughtful, remains just a survey, short on data. The Brookings Institution and the CNBC Top States for Business report fill the gap.
    Though Brookings only considers Albuquerque, the use of location quotients offers statewide insight, given that Albuquerque plus Santa Fe are half the state. Location quotients compare the given area’s concentration of employment in an industry to the national average.

  • Be There 01-22-13

    The Los Alamos Piecemakers Quilt Guild meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the side room at White Rock Baptist Church. They will make a needle case during the meeting. Bring a small pair of scissors and a large eye needle. You can also bring any embellishments you would like to use on the needle case. They will also pass out the guidelines for the Leprechaun Challenge. The Guild welcomes beginning and experienced quilters.

  • Assets in Action: MLK Day and the inauguration

    I hope you spent some time yesterday taking in the 2013 Inauguration.
    The politics of the day don’t matter when you have a chance to witness history in the making — especially if you can share it with youth.
    I viewed the event from a different perspective, taking in all the SPARKS or passions that were represented on a grand stage.
    As a speech communications major, I like to watch for the speeches, the pomp and circumstance and I love a good military march from the Marine Corps Band, also known as The President’s Own.
    We had the representation of music from instrumental to James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson and Beyoncé. How wonderful for every age to be able to relate.
    There was also the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and the solo of Alicia Olatula, during the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Think of the possibility that elementary-aged kids can see what can become of their passions. I understand that it is even available on iTunes.
    There was fashion and hairstyle discussion throughout the day and I’m sure that will continue for the days ahead.
    Poetry from Richard Blanco was part of the program and Blanco even used it to pay tribute to his mother’s work, to provide him the moment. How neat to see so much art and culture throughout the morning.

  • LA girls open district tonight vs. Spartans

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team will take on the Bernalillo Spartans tonight in the opener of the District 2-4A season for both teams.
    Los Alamos will travel to Bernalillo for tonight’s game. Game time is schedule for 7 p.m.
    The Hilltoppers, coming off a big win over the Sandia Matadors Friday night, have an excellent chance to get their 2-4A season started on the right foot. The Spartans have struggled so far this season and are among the lowest-scoring teams in Class 4A, averaging less than 30 points per game.
    The only win of the 2012-13 season for the Spartans (1-17) came against Dulce in late December. They have lost five straight since that game, including a 36-19 loss to Del Norte last week.
    Last year, the Spartans gave the Hilltoppers fits, taking two of three meetings between the two teams, but the Spartans’ lineup last year was almost exclusively seniors. This season, the Spartans have five sophomores and just one senior listed on their roster.
    Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers (10-8) are hoping the momentum from their 46-43 upset victory over Sandia carries over into the 2-4A season. Along with Bernalillo, Los Alamos will take on undefeated Santa Fe this weekend.