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Today's News

  • Musicians prepare to pay the piper

    The Los Alamos Board of Education recently approved a measure that would allow the schools to charge a rental fee to outside musical groups looking to use instruments from the high school. 

    For $50 a semester, musicians from the Los Alamos Community Winds and the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra can rent the high school’s larger instruments for rehearsals, saving musicians the effort of moving their own instruments back and forth to their rehearsal space and other logistical problems. Instruments that fit the category include timpani, bass drums, gongs, xylophones, vibraphones and other percussion instruments.

    According to Kim Lettellier, the school system’s music staff team leader, one reason for the fee is to be fair to the students who are also renting instruments from the school. Students that rent from the district pay $100 during the school year and $50 for the summer. The money goes into a special fund set aside for repairs.

    “It didn’t seem quite fair to me that we expected the students to pay something, but we didn’t expect these outside groups to pay something,” Lettellier said.

  • Luján warns of fiscal cliff impact on labs

    Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District sent a letter to Congressional leaders Wednesday, urging them to resolve the fiscal cliff in a manner that prevents damaging funding cuts to the national laboratories, including Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories.

    In the letter, Luján highlights the important role these labs have played in providing cutting-edge research and innovation for applications ranging from national security to the Mars rover and renewable energy.  

    He expresses his concerns that deep budget cuts due to sequestration will threaten the vitality of the labs and their capability to fulfill their scientific and security missions.

    In addition, Luján announced that he has joined the new House Science and National Labs Caucus as a co-chair, partnering with Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) and Alan Nunnelle (R-Miss.), who will also co-chair the bipartisan group.  

  • Reservoir reconstruction

     

    The Board of Public Utilities toured the Los Alamos Reservoir reconstruction on Wednesday. The estimated completion date for the project is mid-March, 2013. 


  • Revenue losses hit hard

    Like a one-two punch to the fiscal gut, county officials have been left reeling in efforts to shore up a budget that’s just been hammered.

    Los Alamos County Council’s mid-year budget review at the end of January will be anything but routine. Two unexpected revenue losses have staff scrambling to address both short-term and long-term implications. 

    Despite ongoing conversations with the lab and efforts to prepare for a downturn in federal spending, no one anticipated the news coming from Los Alamos National Laboratory in November. 

    LANL’s fiscal year ends in September. County Administrator Harry Burgess said that the largest expenditures traditionally come in that final month. But the report that posted Nov. 15 was shocking for county officials.

    “When we logged on the state’s reporting website, we learned that not only was it a decrease, but it was a significant decrease,” Burgess said. 

    “The spending for the lab was approximately $3 million less for the month of September this year than it was one year prior. There have been fluctuations over time, but this was a greater amount than we’d seen before.”

  • Celtic Christmas showdown

    The Celtic Christmas Showdown concerts this weekend features two Texas
    State Celtic-Dulcimer Champions, vying to see which musician can out-perform the other.  
    The concert will feature Celtic aires, Christmas carols and Appalachian blues.
    The Celtic Christmas Showdown concert tour opened last weekend at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame with a benefit concert for the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences.  The tour continued to Springfield, Mo. with a benefit concert for the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks.
    The Celtic dulcimer is a stringed instrument, held on the lap and picked or strummed.  Celtic immigrants to Appalachia more than 200 years ago, invented the dulcimer.
    Wendy Songe, from Oklahoma, won the 2012 Texas State Dulcimer Championship and New Mexico’s Jonathan Dowell won that contest in 2008.  Both of these musicians are also winners of the Southern Regional Championship, Dowell in 2007 and Songe in 2012.  
    The concert will unite these two musicians in a friendly mock competition. Tessa Dowell performing pennywhistle and bodhran (Irish drum), will join the duo.
    Together, these musicians call themselves Dually Noted. The Dually Noted Celtic Christmas Showdown CD with more than 50 minutes of aires andcarols, will be available at the concerts and online at wendysonge.com.

  • Take a bit of Chimayó home for the holidays

    Chimayó is best known for red chile and El Santuario de Chimayó, but a group of local artists is hoping to soon be included in that list.
    Joan and Lowlow Medina, along with their daughters Anamaria and Marisol, will be part of a holiday art show at the their gallery from 6-8 p.m. Friday.  
    Along with the Medina family, Fernando Bimonte, Alfredo Baca, Charles Medina and Sharon Candelario will also show their work.
    The Medinas are no strangers to the art world. In fact, Joan and their daughters were part of the “Her Legacy” art show at the Bond House Museum in Española in March.
    Joan and Lowlow have been doing art for 30 years as a couple and got their start on a different kind of media — and what some might consider an unconventional way.
    “Lowlow and I started by painting murals on cars. He did murals on walls and on wood or canvas, then he got me into painting on canvas, too,” Joan said of their artistic beginnings.
    The couple’s children were exposed to art at early ages.
    “My two daughters stated at the age of three. Now Ana is 17 and Marisol is eight,” Joan said.

  • Restaurant Inspections 12-13-12

    The following restaurant inspection reports were provided by the New Mexico Environment Department.

    Española

    McDonald’s, 618 N. Riverside Dr.
    Date inspected: Dec. 6, complaint
    Violations: One high-risk violation for inadequate cooking/cooling — investigated complaint regarding raw chicken nugget served to customer. NMED representative and manager confirmed/witnessed the raw nuggets in box brought in to NMED. Staff was shocked. Discussed possible mishandling/cooking by removing from fryer (interruption of cooking process). NMED and manager observed fry cook fry nuggets and observed process, which is timed. Potentially possible that wrong fry basket was removed early from the frying process. It is possible that multiple baskets were in operation and removed early. Manager to address cooking/frying times with staff. Violation corrected. Temps OK, nuggets holding at 156-170 degrees. Refrigeration OK.
    Note: Facility is old. Needs paint, sealing of cracks in backroom/storage area. Overall clean facility.
    Status of establishment: Approved, no follow-up required.

    Trujillo Farms (processor), 1027 Railroad Ave.
    Date inspected: Dec. 5
    Violations: None
    Status of establishment: Approved, no follow-up required.

    Santa Fe

  • This week on PAC-8, Dec. 14-20

    THIS WEEK ON PAC-8
    Views expressed on programs shown on PAC8 do not necessarily reflect the views of the manager, staff, or board.

    Friday, December 14, 2012
    06:00 AM Democracy Now! – Live
    10:00 AM Democracy Now!
    11:00 AM County Council Replay (12-11-12)
    03:00 PM Celebration of Aging
    04:00 PM Al Jazeera DC Bureau
    05:00 PM Living Treasures Ceremony Fall 2012
    06:00 PM Democracy Now!
    07:00 PM Los Alamos Historical Society “A Brief History of Wendover Airfield”
    08:00 PM Clear Heart, Clear Mind
    09:00 PM FSTV

    Saturday, December 15, 2012
    FSTV

    Sunday, December 16, 2012
    06:00 AM FSTV
    05:30 PM Key to the Kingdom
    06:00 PM Drawing Men to Christ
    07:00 PM United Church
    08:00 PM That Which Is
    09:00 PM Trinity on the Hill
    12:00 PM Free Speech TV

    Monday, December 17, 2012
    06:00 AM Democracy Now! LIVE
    10:00 AM Democracy Now!
    11:00 AM Elizabeth Clare Prophet
    12:00 PM Army Newswatch
    12:30 PM Amy Goodman at Fuller Lodge – “The Silenced Majority”
    02:30 PM Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2012
    03:00 PM The David Pakman Show
    04:00 PM Al Jazeera DC Bureau

  • ‘Belly Flop!’ release party slated for Monday

    Local cartoonist Stephen McCranie will throw a release party for his recently published graphic novel, from 4-6 p.m. Monday at the Mesa Public Library.
    The free event will include a short talk by the author and a chance to purchase a signed copy of the book for $10.
    The new book, “Belly Flop!” is the third volume in the kids graphic novel series, Mal and Chad. The story follows the boy genius inventor, Mal and his loyal dog, Chad.  
    For all Mal’s inventions, he still can’t seem to get the attention of his school crush, Megan.
    But Megan becomes the least of Mal’s worries when his weather machine goes haywire and engulfs the town in a freak snowstorm.
    McCranie began Mal and Chad as a comic strip for The University of New Mexico school newspaper.
    A publisher from Penguin spotted the strip online and contacted McCranie about making the feature into an all-ages comic book series.
    McCranie has since created three Mal and Chad books, including: “The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever!,” “Food Fight!” and most recently, “Belly Flop!”
    Leading up to the release party, McCranie will visit Piñon and Mountain elementaries to teach students about cartooning and what it’s like being a cartoonist.

  • ‘Skyfall,’ ‘Guardians’ duel for box office win

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — James Bond is in a box-office photo finish with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny over what looks to be the last slow weekend of the holidays.
    According to studio estimates Sunday, Sony’s Bond tale “Skyfall” took in $11 million to move back to No. 1 in its fifth weekend.
    That put it narrowly ahead of Paramount’s “Rise of the Guardians,” the animated adventure of Santa, the Easter Bunny and other mythological heroes that pulled in $10.5 million.
    The two movies inched ahead of Summit Entertainment’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” which had been tops for three-straight weekends. The “Twilight” finale earned $9.2 million, slipping into a tight race for No. 3 with Disney’s “Lincoln,” which was close behind with $9.1 million.
    The top movies were bunched up so closely that rankings could change once final weekend revenues are released Monday.
    The weekend’s only new wide release, Gerard Butler’s romantic comedy “Playing for Keeps,” flopped with just $6 million, coming in at No. 6.