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Today's News

  • Projects face delays

    As the Los Alamos County Council debated the current and anticipated budget crunch during its Tuesday meeting, councilors made it clear that deferring capital improvement projects was preferable to lowering standards for customer service through draconian cutbacks or raising taxes.

    County staff recommended deferring $10 million in capital projects spending for up to five years.

    Council voted to defer up to $12.5 million for four years.

    “Essential services are what a government is all about,” Councilor Rick Reiss said. “We need roads. We need a library, but the library may not need to be open 24/7 with big flashing lights.

    “But there are essential services that no private entity is going to provide. We’ve got to do certain things, like pick up the trash. And if we’ve got money to pick up the trash and that’s all the money we have, then we’re going to pick up the trash. If we have money to build an addition onto a pool, that’s not an essential service and if we don’t have any money, then we can’t build it.”

  • Be There 01-31-13

    Today
    In Search of Dominguez and Escalante. Come to PEEC to hear photographers/authors Siegfried Halus and Greg MacGregor speak about their book, which follows the 1776 expedition of Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez de Escalante. 7 p.m. Free, with books available for purchase. No registration required. Visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460 or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org for more information.

    The deadline for receiving proposals for plays to be performed in the 2013-14 Los Alamos Little Theatre season is Jan. 31. Look for the information sheet on the resources page at lalt.org for instructions.

  • Salute to senior service

    The search is on for New Mexico’s outstanding senior volunteer.
    The Salute to Senior Service program, sponsored by Home Instead, Inc., the franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network, honors the contributions of adults 65 and older, who give at least 15 hours a month of volunteer service to their favorite causes.
    Nominations for outstanding senior volunteers will be accepted between Feb. 1 and March 31. State winners then will be selected by popular vote at SalutetoSeniorService.com.
    Online voting will take place from April 15-30. From those state winners, a panel of senior care experts will pick the national Salute to Senior Service honoree.
    Home Instead, Inc. will donate $500 to each of the state winners’ favorite nonprofit organizations and their stories will be posted on the Salute to Senior Service Wall of Fame. In addition, $5,000 will be donated to the national winner’s nonprofit charity of choice.
    Senior care professionals and those who work at hospitals, senior care facilities and other places where seniors volunteer are encouraged to nominate older adults. So, too, are family caregivers and the adult children of aging parents. Older adults also may self-nominate.

  • Scouts can enter to win a VFW scholarship

    The Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 8874 is seeking a scout to compete for this year’s VFW Scout of the Year Scholarship. This is a program that provides a $5,000 scholarship award.
    Scouts who are registered, active members of a Boy or Girl Scout Troop, Venturing Crew, or a Sea Scout Ship who have received the Eagle Scout Award, Girl Scout Gold Award, Venture Silver Award or Sea Scout Quartermaster Award are eligible to enter.
    Scouts must be 15 years of age and have demonstrated practical citizenship in school, scouting and the community.
    Scouts must be enrolled in high school at the time of selection.
    All applicants still in high school who reach their 18th birthday during the nomination year remain eligible if otherwise qualified.
    Scouts should submit the completed VFW Scouting Scholarship form, resume of high school activities, scouting record, community service record and letters of recommendation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars John D.
    Gamble Post 8874, no later than March 1, 2013.
    A Scout can enter through one VFW Post only.

  • Sellers named to board

    The Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, the state’s largest nonprofit serving girls, elected Los Alamos National Lab Deputy Laboratory Director Elizabeth (Beth) Sellers to serve on the Board of Directors.
    At its annual meeting, the members of the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails also elected Karen Bergren from Taos and Stacey Niver, a junior at Eldorado High School in Albuquerque each to two-year terms.
    “The Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails and our members are fortunate to have so many selfless leaders who are willing to share their talents to strengthen our organization through their service on the Board of Directors,” said Peggy Sanchez Mills, CEO of the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails.
    Sellers has been a resident of Los Alamos since 2011. Prior to coming to Los Alamos, she was responsible for strategic development and business development in Bethesda, Md.; and also worked in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
    Sellers has served on the board of directors for the Idaho Regional Medical Center and participated in several non-profit organizations including Women in Science and Engineering.
    Sellers joined the board because, “There are numerous needs in New Mexico and I believe Girl Scouts will enable girls to envision a new and different future by exposing them to new and different experiences.”

  • Conscious capitalism ideas open business minds

    John Mackey is a radical. But Mackey’s radicalism—what he calls “conscious capitalism”— lies far from what one might assume given that his day job is co-CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc., the upscale purveyor of organics that lures sandal-wearing Subaru drivers. Mackey’s journey has taken him from the 1978 opening of a tiny natural foods store in Austin, Texas, with Renee Lawson Hardy to 264th on the 2012 Fortune 500 list.
    Along the way, Mackey developed a roughly libertarian philosophy—more than that, really, an ethos—with room for espousing ideas such as capitalism, natural foods and animal rights. And, yes, in case you are wondering, Mackey did donate to the Libertarian Party presidential campaign of former Gov. Gary Johnson. According to washingtonexaminer.com, Mackey gave $5,000.
    Mackey’s conscious capitalism has turned into an organization, Conscious Capitalism Inc. (consciouscapitalism.org) and a new book, “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business,” written with a professor, Raj Sisodia. I will leave you to learn more at the website.

  • How to avoid tax refund identity fraud

    Many people file their income tax returns as early in the year as possible. Some are eager to claim their tax refund right away, while others are simply following their New Year’s resolution not to procrastinate until midnight, April 15.
    Let me add another good reason to file your taxes right away: tax refund identity fraud.
    That’s where someone uses your Social Security number (SSN), birth date and other private information to file a fraudulent income tax return in your name and then pockets the resulting tax refund.
    Often, a victim’s first clue is a letter from the IRS contesting their legitimate tax return, saying one has already been processed under that name. It can take months — and mounds of paperwork — to unravel the mess.
    This scam has proliferated in recent years thanks to a confluence of events:
    There’s a thriving black market in personal information stolen from healthcare facilities, nursing homes, schools, insurance companies and other institutions that require an SSN as identification.

  • Ski Report 01-31-13

    Angel Fire
    29-inch base of packed powder. No new snow reported. 72 trails and 6 lifts open.

    Enchanted Forest
    30-inch base of packed powder. 6 inches of new snow reported. 33 trails open.

    Red River
    40-inch base of powder. No new snow reported. 56 trails and 7 lifts open.

    Sandia Peak
    20-inch base of packed powder. No new snow reported. 2 lifts open.

    Sipapu
    38-inch base of powder. No new snow reported. 41 trails and 5 lifts open.

    Ski Apache
    30-inch base of packed powder. 22 trails and 5 lifts open.

    Ski Santa Fe
    44-inch base of powder. No new snow reported. 69 trails and 6 lifts open.

    Taos
    51-inch base of packed powder. No new snow reported. 84 trails and 14 lifts open.

    Valles Caldera
    6-inch base of variable conditions. One-half inch of new snow reported. 9 trails open.

  • Sports Briefs 01-31-13

    Beginning fencing class returns

    The YMCA’s beginning fencing class will start Tuesday at the YMCA’s gymnasium.
    The class is for those with no previous fencing experience. It is open to interested persons 10 years or older.
    Instruction will include basic footwork, fundamental blade skills and rules. Some bouting for beginners is also scheduled.
    All equipment for the class will be provided by the YMCA.
    More information is available by calling Tom Hill at 672-1058.
    Registration can be done at the YMCA front desk or online at laymca.org.

    Renegades to visit ice rink again

    The New Mexico Renegades semiprofessional hockey team will host the Wichita Thunder at Los Alamos County Ice Rink Feb. 9.
    The Renegades, a Junior A team located who play in Rio Rancho, compete in the Western States Hockey League Mountain Division.
    Pregame is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Public skating will be available that day from 1-3:30 p.m.
    More information can be obtained by calling the ice rink at 662-4500.

    Women’s Weekend starts Feb. 8

  • Pajarito to reopen Saturday

    Pajarito Mountain officials announced the ski area will reopen Saturday morning.
    Pajarito received approximately 7 inches of snow from the recent storms around Los Alamos. The area is now reporting a 20-inch base of machine-groomed snow.
    Saturday, the area will have the Beginner, Aspen and Mother lifts running.
    Pajarito was open in late December but ceased operations early this month after the base dwindled to 16 inches, less than minimum operating level.
    The mountain’s café, rental shop and snowsports school will be in operation Saturday.