Today's News

  • Pajarito still battles burn scars

    Damages from the 2011 Las Conchas Fire still poses a problem for Pajarito Mountain Ski Area.
    Most recently, a damaged tree broke and struck the Mother Lift, which provides access to Pajarito’s expert-level runs. The Mother Lift was closed for a month, as mountain officials were cautious about fixing the lift due to height restraints and snowfall that hit the mountain.
    “It made a challenging project for us to do,” Pajarito general manager Tom Long said. “The project was 32 feet in the air and everything to do the work was heavy. I didn’t feel comfortable putting my staff up 32 feet in the air during a snowstorm. So we had to pick and choose when we were going to work on it. But we were able to fix the problem.”  
    After completing successful test runs Wednesday and Thursday, the Mother Lift began to operate normally Friday.  
    Despite being almost six years since the Las Conchas Fire burned thousands of acres at Pajarito Mountain, the ski hill still battles with the aftermath, especially when it comes to aesthetics and grooming of the mountain.

  • Create religious Easter traditions

    Easter is on the way, and practicing Christians across the globe have spent the Lenten season preparing for the day when they celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent is a season best spent in the company of close friends and family, and the following are a few ways for Christians to celebrate their faith in the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.
    • Give Easter eggs a different meaning. Easter eggs are popular among youngsters, and that popularity can be used to teach kids about their faith. Eggs are frequently viewed as a symbol of new life, so parents can use them to show their children how Christ died and was born anew. Eggs can be filled with small items that symbolize something related to Christ’s story. Or they can be left empty to represent the empty tomb after His resurrection.
    • Eat food that conveys Biblical stories. For Easter dinner, enjoy foods that are mentioned in the Bible. A fish dinner can convey the story of how Jesus multiplied fish to feed the crowds, or dine on lamb and share the story of Passover.

  • Jobs bills moving despite partisan wrangling

    Lawmakers are more focused on job creation in this legislative session, but jobs bills still get high-centered on ideological speed bumps.
    The Democrats this year offered a six-part plan that’s a shade better than their past packages. They would spend $63 million in capital outlay on infrastructure repairs and improvements, pass a modest minimum wage increase, increase broadband access, allow industrial hemp research, and try to open economic development incentives to home-grown businesses.
    Of the bunch, only broadband would be a home run.
    This year’s capital outlay has already seen partisan wrangling. A Republican lawmaker proposed giving up capital outlay to help stanch red ink, an interesting idea considering the problems with our capital outlay process. Democrats refused, and the governor bashed them for refusing.
    Capital outlay is a different creature in the rural areas. While the cities might forego their public works money for a year, smaller communities rely on it for needed projects. And the spending is a form of stimulus. Just ask the state’s construction companies.
    A minimum wage increase isn’t economic development, but it needs to happen. Our current rate is $7.50, and lots of states are higher.  

  • Lawmakers eye bills to shore up lottery scholarships

    The New Mexican

  • New report could shed light on health impacts of A-bomb test

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Residents of the New Mexico village of Tularosa have long said those living near the site of the world’s first atomic bomb test in 1945 weren’t told about the dangers or compensated for their resulting health problems.
    Since then, they say, descendants have been plagued with cancer and other illnesses while the federal government ignored their plight.
    More details will emerge on those concerns Friday, when a report is set to be released examining whether the blast damaged the genes of the people exposed to it.
    The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium will unveil the health assessment involving residents of the historic Hispanic village and other New Mexico counties around the testing site.
    Some residents allege that the federal government neglected to include New Mexico in a law that compensated residents near another atomic test site because many of those near the Trinity Test were Hispanic.
    The government has not commented on those claims. Officials with the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Division, which oversees the compensation program, said Congress would have to amend the act to expand payouts to New Mexico residents.

  • Council mulls changes to trash collection

    Los Alamos County residents appreciate Environmental Services’ quarterly brush and bulk trash collection service, but the program is not without its problems. On Tuesday, the Environmental Sustainability Board (ESB) presents the Los Alamos County Council with recommendations for maintaining the service while reducing costs and issues such as curbside clutter.
    Brush/bulk pickup provides residents with a means of disposing of large items such as furniture or compostable green waste.
    “The intent of the program was to help residents keep their yards tidy and to help them with large items they can’t bring in on their own,” Environmental Services Manager Angelica Gurule told the Los Alamos Monitor in a previous interview.
    At an ESB meeting, Chair John Bliss noted other positive aspects of the program.
    “People are doing fire mitigation, trying to keep trash away from their house. We want them to do that,” Bliss said.
    ESB has worked for almost a year to find ways to address the issues yet maintain the program for county residents.
    Program costs and the amount of labor required to execute it are major issues. According to Gurule, it originally took around four months a year to conduct the quarterly pickups. Now it takes approximately eight months.

  • Charges allege conspiracy to sell fake Native American art

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal grand jury in New Mexico has indicted four people on charges of conspiring to import and fraudulently sell Filipino-made jewelry as made by Native Americans.
    The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the indictment Tuesday stems from an investigation that began in early 2015, involved several federal agencies and resulted in a previous indictment.
    The latest indictment charges four people with conspiracy and one of the four as well as a fifth person with violating the Indian Arts and Craft Act. U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez says eliminating the flow of counterfeit Native American art and craftwork provides a level playing field for producers of genuine Native American art.

  • N.M. sanctuary state bill’s prospects dim

    The New Mexican

  • Pearce: Border wall won’t work

    The New Mexican

  • LA sees slightly cooler temps in January

    Los Alamos and White Rock measured slightly cooler-than-average daytime temperatures in January and significantly warmer-than-average nighttime temperatures.
    Los Alamos measured a mean maximum temperature of 1.4 degrees below average and a mean minimum temperature of 3.5 degrees above average, according to David Bruggeman, meteorologist with Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Environmental Protection and Compliance Division.
    “The total precipitation was well above average as four main storms passed through the area,” Bruggeman said.
    Los Alamos had 2.23 inches in total precipitation, which was 135 percent of average. In 2016, Los Alamos did not measure 2 inches until April. Los Alamos also measured above-average snowfall with 15.3 inches of snow, which was 2 inches above average.
    Many parts of the western states measured well-above-average precipitation, resulting in improvements in western drought conditions.
    The U.S. Drought Monitor also reported that California has recouped a portion of its five-year snow-water deficit as a result of the recent atmospheric river weather patterns, Bruggeman said.