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Today's News

  • Aviation industry might take off with tax relief

    Pilots in New Mexico may have a fantastic views to look at when they are airborne and no doubt, the arid climate is a plus when it comes to preserving a plane’s condition. However, that’s just about all most pilots — and anyone else connected to the aviation industry in New Mexico — believes it has going for them.

    According to some, the tax structure really comes down hard on a type of business that has yet to blossom in the state. Many of those in the aviation business find the state’s seven percent gross receipts tax on aviation supplies and services oppressive, especially when it comes to maintenance.

    When the hail storm hit Los Alamos last October, all of the pilots affected had to ship their damaged planes out of state to a facility in Colorado because there is no aviation repair facility in New Mexico equipped to handle it — or at least one that would repair the hail damage for the right price, which is typically dictated by what an insurance company is willing to pay.

    According to Los Alamos Airport Manager Peter Soderquist, 18 airplanes were damaged in the storm and many of those were considered a total loss. To his knowledge, not one of the aircraft was repaired in-state.

  • Report points to Tritium facility issues

    The Department of Energy Office of Enforcement conducted an independent review of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Weapons Engineering Tritium Facility Safety Significant Tritium Gas Containment System recently.

    The Los Alamos Site Office made the assessment and it evaluated the functionality and operability of the TGCS (a vital safety system) and to ensure that the system complied with DOE orders and standards.

    Tritium is a radioactive form of hydrogen, used in research, fusion reactors and neutron generators. The radioactive properties of tritium can be useful. By mixing tritium with a chemical that emits light in the presence of radiation, a phosphor, a continuous light source is made and it is commonly used in exit signs or gun sights, for instance. However, as with any radioactive substance, limiting exposure is recommended.

    After the two-week assessment, which took place last year, LASO and the Independent Oversight committee came away with nine findings.

  • Update 01-27-13

    Blood drive

    United Blood Services will host a blood drive from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 29 at Los Alamos High School’s speech theater.

    LALT deadline

    The deadline for receiving proposals for plays to be performed in the 2013-14 Los Alamos Little Theatre season is Jan. 31. Visit lalt.org for instructions.

    County Council

    There will be a County Council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers.

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    Pancake breakfast

    The Los Alamos Sheriff’s Posse Lodge will hold a pancake breakfast from 7-11 a.m. Feb. 3 at the Posse Lodge, 650 North Mesa Road. The cost is $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 10 and younger.

  • New Mexico gets a D, but not an F

    Michelle Rhee got the Public Broadcasting “Frontline” treatment a couple of weeks ago. Cameras followed Rhee during the three years (2007 to 2010) she was chancellor of the Washington D.C. public schools.
    PBS was sympathetic to Rhee, an interesting notion, given that in D.C. Rhee took names and, gasp, fired people, and PBS is a bastion of liberal media that one ordinarily would think is entirely a creature of the unions controlling schools.
    Rhee now runs the nonprofit StudentsFirst (studentsfirst.org). On the website, the organization says its “mission is to build a national movement to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform, so that America has the best education system in the world.”
    On Jan. 7, the day before the “Frontline” broadcast, StudentsFirst released its first “State of Education State Policy Report” (reportcard.studentsfirst.org).
    In the letter grade evaluations, New Mexico got a D, no real surprise there.
    The surprises are not getting an F and being in about the middle of the more detailed rankings. Further surprise is no state getting an A and only Louisiana and Florida getting a B.
    Rhee grades on a tough curve.

  • Papen’s effect on governor, if elected

    The New Mexico Senate is being run by still another coalition. What causes such a thing to happen?
    And how will this coalition work out? Will it provide Gov. Susana Martinez an easier pathway for her prized legislation? Will it make the governor’s 2014 reelection easier?
    The new Senate president pro tem is Sen. Mary Kay Papen. She is from Las Cruces, as is our governor.
    Papen said they are longtime acquaintances and although they have had their differences, they never have been adversarial.
    Papen describes herself as a fiscal conservative but a social moderate. She is a strong supporter of Sen. John Arthur Smith of Deming, a fiscal conservative who chairs the Senate Finance Committee.
    The New Mexico Legislature is not unfamiliar with cross-party coalitions running either the House or the Senate.
    Back in the late 1970s, a group of disenchanted Democrats joined with Republicans, who were the minority party, to form a coalition headed by a Democrat but run by Republicans.
    It was called the Cowboy Coalition because most of the Democrats were from the southern part of the state.
    The atmosphere was not pleasant.
    In the mid-1980s, Republicans in the Senate managed the same sort of coup, headed by Sen. Les Houston, a Democrat turned Republican.

  • Andrew and Mousie 01-27-13
  • Word on the Street 01-27-13

    Teen Pulse staff member Robert Naffziger asked students, “What is your favorite book and why?”

  • Youth Activity Center Schedule 01-27-13

    • Monday: Twister challen
    • Tuesday: Sand art
    • Wednesday: Movies and munchies
    • Thursday: Paper crafts
    • Friday: Birthday board
    Memberships are free and open to all in third through eighth grade.

  • Khalifa puts forth a solid effort with ‘O.N.I.F.C.’

    “Rollin’ down the street, smokin’ indo …” Some may know these lyrics from California rapper Snoop Dogg’s 1993 “Gin and Juice.” Almost 20 years have passed since this song was on regular rotation at radio stations. But while styles and sounds may have changed, some things have not.
    Songs dealing with drug use, violence and partying are alive and well in the younger rap generation. Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa, aka Cameron Jibril Thomaz, is one of those artists keeping the party scene alive in his music.
    With the release of his fourth studio album “O.N.I.F.C.” (Only Ni**a In First Class) on Dec. 4, 2012, the 25-year-old rapper proves that rap can be as dominant as it was in the ’90s  and it doesn’t necessarily have to be West Coast rap.
    Debuting at number two on the Billboard 200, and selling 148,000 copies in its first week, “O.N.I.F.C.” was a force to be reckoned with.
    Throughout December, you couldn’t turn the radio on without hearing Khalifa’s “Work Hard, Play Hard.”
    With it’s catchy chorus and Khalifa’s machine-gun type flow, “Work Hard, Play Hard” is an irresistible jam that is likely to get stuck in just about anyone’s head.

  • Program bridges generation gap

    About a dozen students met in the Los Alamos High School Speech Theater with a group of senior citizens for Cookies and Conversation recently.
    The monthly event takes place during students’ lunch hour and promotes conversation between the elderly and the young, accompanied by an assortment of cookies and free lunch.
    The atmosphere is ideal for talking about any subject. At the Jan. 14 meeting, topics ranged from New Year’s resolutions to community service and college degrees.
    For part of the get-together, two senior citizens, Don Casperson and Morrie Pongratz, took a trip back in time and shared some of their teenage experiences.
    Despite the age difference, both Casperson and Pongratz talked about subjects that today’s teens can relate to: music and high school.
    Casperson said he participated in many clubs and was part of the yearbook staff.
    He also recalled his love for music. “I was musically inclined. I played the trumpet and I was in band.” His favorite group was the Beatles.
    Pongratz noted that in his teenage years, Elvis Presley was popular. “The Beatles had not hit until I was in college, so it was Elvis Presley. Rock ‘n roll was just getting started,” he said.