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Today's News

  • Happy meal

    Finding a decent Northern New Mexican meal on the Hill is not an easy task. In fact, it’s nearly impossible.
    Yes, there are restaurants that churn out Northern New Mexican food, but there’s always something missing.
    Sometimes the dishes lack flavor and sometimes the chile is no more than bland chile water. There’s no heat and there’s no flavor. Until now.
    DeColores Restaurant has been at the same location for years. It’s on the edge of town, so it’s sometimes forgotten. But it’s well worth your while to have a meal or two there.
    On a recent Thursday evening, the restaurant was practically empty.
    A singer/guitarist entertained the handful of patrons scattered about the dining area.
    One look at the menu and it was evident that things had changed.
    The prices had gone up slightly, but there was also a lot more to choose from.
    In addition to the traditional Northern New Mexican fare, the restaurant also offers a variety of hamburgers, salads and other items.
    It was hard to make a decision about what to order, but the waitress was patient, coming back a couple of times before a decision was made.
    In the meantime, free chips and salsa were offered to munch away on as the menu was browsed. The chips were good.

  • Death becomes her

    Oct.  31 may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean Halloween has to end.
    Los Alamos Little Theatre brings the spooky and macabre to the stage with their production of “The Woman in Black,” directed by Laurie Tomlinson and starring Patrick Webb and Warren Houghteling.
    The plot follows Arthur Kipps, who is trying to “perform a story and hires an actor to help him. They attempt a performance about when Kipps went to help settle the estate of the late Mrs. Drablow. When Kipps attends the funeral, he first encounters the woman in black. He inquires about the woman at the funeral, only to find out there was no woman there.
    “Kipps begins to sort through some papers and again encounters the woman in black at a cemetery. He soon begins to realize the possibility that this woman is an unsettled spirit. He becomes very aware that what he is seeing is s ghost,” according to the LALT newsletter.
    Tomlinson, who has directed the last three musicals for Los Alamos Light Opera, and has been involved with LALT since 1984, said she decided to direct “The Woman in Black” because the movie with Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) came out last spring. This also happens to be the first non-musical that she has directed.

  • Artists have different ways of Honoring the Dead

    The Dia de los Muertos show at Northern New Mexico College has become an annual tradition.
    Now in its fourth year, the show will once again feature 16 artists from Northern New Mexico and beyond, displaying their best interpretations of the Day of the Dead. The man behind the show is Española’s Toby Morfin. For the past few years, Morfin has curated the show, all in an effort to share his — and other artists’ — talent with valley residents and those from surrounding areas. This year, Española artist Cruz Lopez also helped curate the show.
    The type of work displayed is as varied as the artists that create it. A good portion of the artists have done the show before, but there are also some new faces this year. Rachel Montoya is one of the newbies. Montoya, a jewelry artist, collaborated with Arturo Montaño for this exhibit. But she’s no stranger to exhibiting her work. In fact, she won first place for jewelry at this year’s Spanish Market.
    “It’s nice to add her to the show,” Morfin said. He said the show continues to improve each year and has attracted a big audience.

  • Middle class has shrunk for awhile

    When we were house hunting, the Realtor told us there was great demand for high-end homes and starter homes and a lot less need for those in the middle, so we had quite a selection.
    That was 1999 and my first hint that the middle class was in trouble.
    Candidates have made the middle class a hot campaign issue, so I went looking for information. It was hard to find anything not tainted with political spin.
    A 2011 study from the leftish Center for American Progress catalogued the Romney-Ryan budget’s hit on programs relied on by the middle class. New Mexico, for example, would lose $30 million from highways in 2013 alone.
    From the right, a Forbes article last week blamed blue states’ tax policies for their ills. Both studies are notably shallow, their conclusions predictable.
    Economists and politicians agree that the middle class is squeezed, but discussions tend to fit in sound bites and bumper stickers.
    Last week, the news website GlobalPost.com published an ambitious portrait of the endangered middle class, “America the Gutted,” that gathered all the threads – trade policy, automation, globalization, business trends, consumerism, and tax policy. I divine a little attitude, but for the most part the stories are balanced and don’t endorse any candidates.

  • Benefits, breaks aid military, families

    As we honor our armed forces this Veterans Day, let’s also acknowledge the financial challenges they and their families often face, both while in service and after discharge.
    Fortunately, service members needn’t go it alone: Many tax benefits, social services and financial assistance programs are available to help.

    Special tax benefits for active duty personnel include:

    •  If you move because of a permanent change of station, you may be able to deduct unreimbursed moving expenses.
    •  If you serve in a combat zone for any part of a month, any military pay you received during that month is not considered taxable income.
    •  You can also include nontaxable combat pay as “earned income” when claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit for low- to moderate-income earners.
    •  Deadlines for filing tax returns, paying taxes, filing refund claims and taking other actions with the IRS are automatically extended for qualifying military members.
    •  Joint tax returns generally must be signed by both spouses. But, when one spouse is unavailable due to military duty, you may use a power of attorney to file a joint return.

  • Armstong to be burned in effigy

    LONDON (AP) — His career is in ruins and now an effigy of Lance Armstrong is about to go up in smoke.

    The disgraced American cyclist has been chosen as the latest celebrity to be burned in effigy during an English town's nationally famous Bonfire Night celebrations.

    Edenbridge in southeast England has built a 30-foot (9-meter) model of Armstrong, who was stripped recently of his seven Tour de France titles for doping offenses.

    The effigy, to be burnt Saturday, sports a sign saying "For sale, racing bike, no longer required."

    Towns across Britain light bonfires and set off fireworks on Nov. 5 to commemorate Guy Fawkes' failed plot in 1605 to blow up Parliament.

    The bonfires are traditionally topped with an effigy of Fawkes but have been decorated with contemporary figures over recent years.

    Previous Edenbridge effigies include comedian Russell Brand and soccer star Wayne Rooney.

  • Toppers close out 2-4A season with sweep at home

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team closed out its District 2-4A season with an impressive victory Wednesday night.
    The Hilltoppers swept the Capital Jaguars in their final home game of the season. They served an impressive 10 aces as they dropped the Jaguars 25-12, 25-14, 25-12 at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Los Alamos closes out its regular season at St. Michael’s tonight. Los Alamos and St. Mike’s were scheduled to play in mid-September but that match was postponed due to a water leak in Perez-Shelley Gymnasium.
    With Wednesday’s win, Los Alamos (13-6) finishes with a district mark of 7-1. The team clinched the 2-4A regular season title, the No. 1 seed in the district tournament – which starts next week – and a berth in the Class 4A playoffs Saturday with its win over Española Valley.
    Los Alamos lost 3-1 to Santa Fe early in the district season, but bounced back, losing just three sets for the rest of the district season and earning four 2-4A sweeps.
    Against Capital, senior Erin Kirk, playing her final regular season match at Griffith Gym, led the way with 15 spike kills, scoring those on 22 attempts. Claire Stewart and Brianna Montaño both finished with 5 spike kills.
    Setter Savanah Romero, also a senior, had 27 assists.

  • Hilltopper hopes still alive?

    It’s still very much a long shot, to be sure, but there is a glimmer of hope for the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team to make the Class 4A playoffs.
    By Saturday morning, the Hilltoppers’ postseason fate will be sealed one way or the other. But a berth in the playoffs, which seemed like a pipe dream two weeks ago is, if not likely, at least plausible.
    Los Alamos (5-4) shouldn’t have any trouble with Capital (1-7), which picked up its lone victory two weeks ago against Española Valley, and may even have to pull back to get the game to the second half.
    But the most important game for Los Alamos Friday night is not its own game — if the Hilltoppers lose to the Jaguars, no force on Earth could get them into the playoffs — but rather the Santa Fe-Bernalillo game Friday at Ivan Head Stadium.
    Santa Fe will clinch District 2-4A if it wins Friday. If it doesn’t, that reopens the door for Los Alamos. Keep in mind, neither Los Alamos nor Santa Fe has a prayer of getting an at-large bid, so the only team that will advance will be the district champ.
    On paper, that doesn’t seem to be much to hang one’s hat on. The Spartans (1-7) have struggled mightily. The Demons (3-5) have struggled, well, less mightily. The Demons have a potent offense. The Spartans do not.

  • Toppers showing support for military

    Senior Night for the Los Alamos football team takes place Friday at Sullivan Field.
    But as its seniors are recognized, along with their parents, the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team will be working to support the Wounded Warrior Project.
    “This year’s team decided to do a charity fundraiser, and since we have many former Hilltopper football players who have entered the military, and family members who have served, we decided the Wounded Warrior Project would be a great charity to give to,” Los Alamos head coach Garett Williams said.
    “The greatest casualty is being forgotten,” is the motto of the non-profit agency that works to assist warriors, their caregivers and their families.
    Their services include transition programs to help them find employment and working to fill gaps for those that have visible wounds, as well as invisible wounds like PTSD and more.
    The Hilltoppers, who are playing their season finale against Capital, will collect donations and donate all of their proceeds from working in the concession stand that evening to show their support.
    Among past members of the football program that are serving in the armed forces are Garett Nelson, Jeremy Kasik, Wade Archuleta, Justin Trujillo, Kyle Trottier, Chris Naranjo, Eric Nelson and Nathan Robbins.

  • Updated spending reports due on political races

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Voters will get an updated look at the cost of New Mexico's legislative races as political committees and candidates face a deadline for fundraising disclosures.

    The last complete pre-election report of campaign spending and contributions must be filed Thursday by candidates for the Legislature and other offices as well as political committees.

    Legislative races are among the most hotly contested in the general election as Republicans and GOP Gov. Susana Martinez try to chip away at Democratic majorities in the state House and Senate.

    Spending on legislative campaigns has soared this year as outside political groups have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for mailings and advertising to try to influence voters in some House and Senate races.