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Today's News

  • Navajo Code Talker recalls WWII

    Navajo Code Talker Jack Jones introduces himself by describing his disabilities. A bomb explosion during World War II injured his left eye, took away his sense of smell and damaged his hearing. Jones apologizes in advance for his hearing difficulties.

    But the 93-year-old Jones needs little prompting to talk about his war experiences. He was 19-years-old when he left his home in Montezuma Creek, Utah to join the Marines and was assigned to serve with the Navajo Code Talkers.

    Jones and his unit practiced the 600-plus-word code developed by the “first 29” until they could use it flawlessly. “We didn’t have any name for military weapons,” Jones said. “So names were given, such as a bomb, we called a chicken egg and a grenade we called a potato.”

    Before his journey across the Pacific began, Jones took to heart the advice of his Navajo elders.  

    “They said, you’re going to war. You have to come back in good health and good mind, wherever you go,” Jones said. “I said to myself, I’m going to a foreign country and I have to come back. So I jerked my hair like that and said, I’m going to come back to this country, right here. I was standing on the coast of San Diego.”

  • Visiting Nurses Service celebrates hospice milestone

    There are no definite plans yet, but if the successful reception the Los Alamos Visiting Nurses Service held at the Scout Lodge on Canyon Road was any indication, Los Alamos could soon be home to the first hospice in Northern New Mexico.

    “The closest inpatient unit is in Albuquerque, so this would be the first one in Northern New Mexico,” LAVNS Executive Director Sarah Rochester said.

    According to Rochester, it’s an idea whose time has come.

    “The Visiting Nurse Service has been doing hospice care in the home for 15 years and we have become increasingly aware that we do not have a place for people to go at the end of life that is covered by Medicare regulations, and that is reimbursable,” she said.

    Rochester also added that hospice’ Medicare partnership may also help fund some of the costs for respite care for the family as well as inpatient care.

    Though final plans have yet to be approved by the LAVNS’ Board of Directors, Rochester said securing a piece of property ideal for a hospice for the site was a big step toward accomplishing their goal.

  • School adapts to test mandate

    It’s called the “high school competency exam,” and if you’re a parent with a child in the Los Alamos Public School System, you probably already know that.

    What you may not know is, thanks to a recent change in state requirements students in their junior year of high school are now required to pass the test in order to graduate from high school. In other words, students in the graduating class of 2013 will be the first class that will have to pass the exam in order to graduate.

    “It used to be that if you had all your credits, you’d be able to graduate,” said Assistant Superintendent Paula Dean. “Now you have to show on this test you are proficient in these subjects.”

    The exam tests kids on how well they know science, math and reading. However, only math and reading count toward graduation scores. Students need at least a combined score of 2272.5 in these subjects to pass.

    So how did those kids do when they took the test last year?

    According to the stats, 28 students out of the class of ’13 failed to meet the requirements. That’s about 10 percent of the class of 268 students.

  • ´Toppers bounce back vs. Scorps

    The last time the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team went on to win the Louie Cernicek Invitational, it would go on to win the state championship.

    In 2012, the Hilltoppers are hoping this weekend’s tournament is a harbinger of things to come.

    Los Alamos picked up two impressive victories in the opening rounds of the tournament, but had to slug it out against the defending Class 4A champion Farmington Scorpions.

    After 78 minutes of scoreless ball and both teams struggling to produce any offense, Farmington’s Jeremy Klepac, quite possibly the most dangerous player in 4A, outhustled the Hilltopper defense to a long boot ball. Klepac emerged with the ball from a converging triangle of Los Alamos defenders to clang a shot off the crossbar and in.

    But the drama wasn’t over, not by a long shot.

    Deep in extra time, Cooper Christensen was fouled just outside of the Farmington penalty box. Midfielder Rohun Iyer was locked on to fullback Ben Stewart as he set up a flip-over kick that went right to Stewart’s head and into the goal.

    Stewart, who was named the Defensive Player of the Tournament, said he felt responsible for Klepac’s late goal and new it was up to him to make something happen.

  • Dunn done good in the Senate

    SANTA FE — State Sen. Aubrey Dunn was a master tactician and understood state finances perhaps better than anyone else ever has. He died last week at 84.
    Dunn was business manager and part owner of the Alamogordo Daily News. He also had an apple orchard at High Rolls. At the Legislature he preferred to call himself an apple farmer likely because that was safer than saying he was in the newspaper business.
    Aubrey was a Democrat but if he were in the Legislature today, he’d probably be a Republican. It was shortly after his 1980 resignation from the Legislature that Democrats in the Southeastern part of the state started changing their registration to Republican or getting beaten by Republicans.
    Dunn was conservative. He thought like a business manager — or an apple grower.
    During the period he reigned as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Democrats held a good 30 out of the 42 seats in the Senate.
    In the House, Republicans and conservative Democrats had formed a conservative coalition to take control. In the Senate that wasn’t necessary since most Democrats already were conservative and Dunn was in control of the money.

  • Would you post your salary on Facebook?

    If I were a New Mexico state employee, crunched somewhere in the middle of the hierarchy (which I used to be), and I learned that my colleagues’ salaries were posted online, I would be tempted to take a peek.
    I might scan for anyone whose salary was higher than mine but who, in my opinion, didn’t deserve it. If I found any, I might become just a bit resentful.
    Would my work suffer? A little, possibly. Would I use this information to justify small acts of defiance, like sneaking a novel into the restroom now and then? Maybe.
    Would I be distressed that my own salary had been put on public display? Absolutely. Wouldn’t you?
    New Mexico state employees’ salaries were posted online, with names, on the state’s “Sunshine Portal,” until the names were removed following a court order, prompted by a lawsuit filed by the employee union AFSCME.
    The court order, it is important to note, referred specifically to the Sunshine Portal. The database was left in place, with names deleted for classified employees.
    I breathed a sigh of relief. I was concerned not only about employee morale and potential internal dissension, but about the kind of mischief that could be done to all those employees by nefarious use of the data — cheesy targeted marketing programs or worse.

  • Legendary Songwriter Hal David Dies in LA at 91
  • Word on the Street 09-02-12

    Teen Pulse staff members Sebastian Garcia and Alexandra Hehlen asked students, “If You could add anything to Los Alamos to improve it, what would it be?”

  • Andrew and Mousie 09-02-12
  • Fashion Maven: Red alert: Violating the school dress code

    You’d think I would know almost everything when it comes to the rules of fashion: what to wear, when to wear it, where to wear it, you name it.
    You’d think I would be able to whip up an outfit every morning that follows all those rules — to include the school dress code. I thought I could too, but this week something went terribly wrong.
    That’s right, the Fashion Maven violated the school dress code.
    You’re probably thinking short shorts and spaghetti straps, aren’t you? No, my skirt was five inches above the knee instead of four, and my tank top straps were an inch wide instead of two.
    Nevertheless, I was called into the office, urged to sign a contract and obligated to change into a new set of clothes — not mine, but the school’s.
    Given that I am a fashionista and that I received the luck of the draw with the clothes provided to me that day,
    I created an outfit that looked at least mildly stylish. Still, the experience will haunt me forever, and it has driven me to tell all my readers about how to dress stylishly within the parameters of the dress code.
    For those of you who are unsure of the school’s rules for clothing, here’s the short list:
    • In general, skirts or shorts can come up to four inches above the knee;