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Today's News

  • Byrd Spreads the Word

    Third District candidate Jeff Byrd stopped by Los Alamos’ Republican headquarters Wednesday to see some of his supporters, talk strategy and tell them how he’s differentiating himself from his Democratic opponent, Ben Ray Luján.

  • Local Courts: On the Docket 10-25-12

    Oct. 23

    Nicole Blanchard was found guilty of use or possession of drug paraphernalia by the Los Alamos Magistrate Court. Blanchard was ordered to pay a $50 fine and a $148 in court fees. She was sentenced to a year of supervised probation.
    Conditions of probation are that the defendant will obey all laws and not be arrested or indicted for any other charge during probation. Defendant will obey all court-ordered conditions of probation. Defendant shall not possess or consume alcohol during probation or enter an establishment that serves liquor. Defendant shall not possess a weapon or destructive device during probation and defendant shall maintain contact with probation officer throughout the probation period.

    Tessa Lopez was found guilty of disorderly conduct by the Los Alamos Magistrate Court. Lopez was ordered to pay $73 in court fees and ordered to undergo six months of supervised probation.

  • Update 10-25-12

    Trick or Treat

    Trick or Treat on MainStreet will be from 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Friday in downtown Los Alamos.

    Authors Speak

    Mesa Public Library’s Authors Speak Series presents Margaret Wood, companion of Georgia O’Keeffe at 7 p.m. today.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers.

    Brisket night

    The LAHS NJROTC will host a Barbecue Brisket Night from 5:30-7 p.m. today at the Posse Lodge on North Mesa. The cost is $10 per plate and includes brisket, potato salad, vegetable, a roll, drink and dessert.

    Meet the councilors

    Several of the Los Alamos County Councilors will be at the Health Fair Saturday to visit with residents about current projects, issues and other topics. Look for them at the library’s booth.

  • LANL scientist to speak Monday

    Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Michael Graesser will describe the Higgs boson particle during a Frontiers in Science series talk at 7 p.m. Monday in the Duane Smith Auditorium at Los Alamos High School.
    “A new particle was discovered last summer at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. The Higgs boson gives mass to quarks and the electron but we don’t know yet if this new particle is the Higgs boson,” said Graesser, of the Laboratory’s Theoretical Division. “I will describe what we know about this new particle and speculate about discoveries that might now be on the horizon.”
    Graesser will do similar discussions at the following locations:
    • Nov. 2 in the James A. Little Theater of the New Mexico School for the Deaf, 1060 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe
    • Nov. 8 in the Nick Salazar Center for the Arts, Northern New Mexico College, 921 Paseo de Oñate, Española
    • Nov. 9 at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, 1801 Mountain Road N.W., Albuquerque.
    All the talks begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

  • Councilors object to separate ordinances

    A number of Los Alamos County councilors objected  to having separate ordinances, since the CRC had urged that the changes be voted on as one ordinance.
    “I believe a single ballot question makes the most sense because we tried to balance the supermajority question with some of the additional clarification on the independence of both the utility manager and the utility board,” said Harry Ettinger, who chaired the subcommittee on utilities for the CRC.
     “I’m torn between the practicalities of what I think may pass and overall what I think is the best product,” councilor David Izraelevitz said. “I think overall the best product is the full set of recommendations the CRC has presented. We could break it up. My preference would be to present the entire packet to the public, because there are interactions, such as additional latitude given to the Board of Public Utilities.”
    Izraelevitz offered a substitute motion to that effect.
    Councilor Vincent Chiravalle said that all 10 changes should have separate ordinances.
    “If you do that, you could end up with a disjointed charter where the pieces did not fit together properly,” Rennick said.

  • Council approves more Charter amendments

    Despite continued opposition from the Board of Public Utilities, council voted 5-2 to approve the Charter Review Committee’s recommendations for amendments to the County Charter regarding utilities.
    The most contentious item was a provision that would allow council to remove one or more board members without cause by a 5-2 vote. The current charter only allows removal for specific violations of duty.
    The CRC was emphatic that this provision was not due to any past or present misconduct within DPU or the board, but to have procedures in place for future contingencies.
    “I want to make it clear that this is in no way a criticism of the Board of Public Utilities or the manager,” CRC Chair John Hopkins said. “We have the highest regard for their integrity and for their intelligence.
    “Our recommendations clearly support the semi-autonomous nature of the Board of Public utilities by explicitly spelling out the role of the BPU and council. But it also clearly spells out the role of council commensurate with their responsibilities.”
    Charles Rennick, who served as attorney to the CRC, reinforced that point during the lengthy debate.

  • LANL hosts annual LDRD day

    Los Alamos National Laboratory conducted its fourth annual Laboratory Directed Research and Development day at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino Tuesday.
    Part of the activities involved attendees voting on best posters that are designed to explain LDRD work being done at the lab. By popular vote this year, the Best Poster Award went to Jennifer Hollingsworth and her team for “The Path to Nanoparticle Cancer Drugs.”
    “In contrast with small-particle chemotherapy drugs, nanoparticle-based therapies promise fewer side effects and improved performance. Traditional therapies attack both cancerous and healthy cells indiscriminately, which can lead to drug resistance and often force physicians to back off doses. Nanoparticles promise direct delivery of therapeutic agents to the cancer tumor. However, accurate targeting demands alternate, multifunctional nanoparticles. We aim to develop and test novel “inverted” nanoshell particles to provide the required combination of functionalities: imaging, so they can be tracked to the tumor, and selective therapy,” the LDRD program stated.
    Steven Brumby’s project, “Human-Like Computer Vision Using Deep, Sparse Models,” received the Poster of Exceptional Excellence award.

  • Two on board won't run

    School board members Melanie McKinley and Dawn Venhaus recently announced they will not be seeking re-election this year.

    Both members cited professional and personal reasons for why they won’t be seeking another term on the board.

    “Trying to balance teaching with raising four kids and serving on the school board, something had to give,” McKinley said. “It’s time for me to just step down for a while.”

    When McKinley’s term is up in February, she will have completed one four-year stint.  According to McKinley, she came on to the board during a very tough time, just when the school system was heading into some rough financial times.

    One of her proudest accomplishments she said was helping to guide the school system through that period.

    “I’m really proud of the fact that we weathered the storm and that we made it through without our education system suffering,” she said, adding that she and her fellow board members created a real legacy of sound fiscal management.

  • Rural areas plagued by poverty

    After World War II, national defense provided the biggest economic boost. But today, the rural areas farthest from the metro areas struggle under century-old burdens of limited educational opportunities and substandard infrastructure, among other challenges. Those rural counties near cities or with natural amenities have tended to hold their own.
    Rural counties are plagued by what the U.S. Department of Agriculture calls “persistent poverty.” Residents of rural areas “earn substantially less” than metro residents.
    Sound broadly familiar? It should.
    But if this summary of rural economic problems doesn’t quite sound like New Mexico, that’s because the description is of Florida, Georgia, Alabama and parts of three other states, the territory served by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The description is in “Wanted: Jobs 2.0 in the Rural Southeast,” in the current issue of EconSouth, a publication of the Atlanta Fed (frbatlanta.org).
    For New Mexico the article provides a useful summary, the type of overview we seldom get. It is close enough, overall, to provide insight, allowing for differences. With our double dip recession in place, we should take insight where we can find it.

  • Off The Hill 10-25-12

    Art exhibits

    The fourth biennial Taos Art Glass Invitational and Walking on Glass Tour will be through Sunday. For more information, visit tiganm.org or call Delinda VanneBrightyn at 575-613-6484.
    Art openings

    The Harwood Museum in Taos open three new exhibits exploring the theme of “Machine Wilderness (In Zero Gravity)” to members Friday and to the public Saturday. “Machine Wilderness (In Zero Gravity)” is presented in collaboration with “ISEA2012 Albuquerque” the 18th International Symposium of Electronic Art. For more information, visit harwoodmuseum.org.

    Taos artist Maye Torres will exhibit “Maye Torres: Unbound,” at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos. Her one-person exhibit opens Saturday and remains on view through Jan. 27. For more information, visit harwoodmuseum.org or call 575-758-9826.

    “Chairs Gone Wild!” will open with a reception at 7 p.m. Sunday at Jemez Springs Fine Art Gallery, 17346 N.M. 4, Jemez Springs. This is a charity event with a portion of all sales benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project. The exhibit will run through Nov. 9. For more information, call 575-829-3617.
    Dance