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Today's News

  • Resist urge to tap into retirement plans early

    I have yet to meet anyone who thinks they’re saving too much money for retirement. On the contrary, most people admit they’re probably setting aside too little. Retirement accounts must compete with daily expenses, saving up for a home, college and unexpected emergencies for every precious dollar.
    If taking money out of your IRA, 401(k), or other tax-sheltered plan is your best or only option, you should be aware of the possible impacts on your taxes and long-term savings objectives before raiding your nest egg:
    401(k) loans. Many 401(k) plans allow participants to borrow from their account to buy a home, pay for education, medical expenses, or other special circumstances. Generally, you may be allowed to borrow up to half your vested balance up to a maximum of $50,000 — or a reduced amount if you have other outstanding plan loans.
    Loans usually must be repaid within five years, although you may have longer if you’re using the loan to purchase your primary residence.
    Potential drawbacks to 401(k) loans include:
    • If you leave your job, even involuntarily, you must pay off the loan immediately (usually within 30 to 90 days), or you’ll owe income tax on the remainder — as well as a 10 percent early distribution penalty if you’re under age 59½.

  • LA nipped by Bernalillo in opener of District 2-4A, 1-0

    The undisputed premier player in District 2-4A is Demi Madalena.
    But for most of Wednesday’s game, Kiana Zerr was her equal.
    It was an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel in Overlook Park in the district softball opener for the Los Alamos Hilltoppers and the Bernalillo Spartans.
    Madalena, the fireball-throwing right-hander for the Spartans, mowed through the Hilltopper lineup for seven innings. However, Zerr was up to the challenge, scattering just five hits through seven innings.
    Unfortunately for Zerr and the Hilltoppers, they took a hard-fought 1-0 loss to the Spartans.
    The difference in the game was Madalena’s bat. Madalena lined a lead-off double into left-center in the fourth inning. That hit would eventually lead to the only run of the ballgame.
    Following Madalena’s double — one of the few balls that was well hit all day — she was lifted for pinch runner Heather Rosetta. Rosetta moved to third on a groundout, then came around to score after a running catch in right field by Los Alamos’ Hannah Mojica.
    Mojica, who was running toward the infield to catch Frankie Montaño’s line drive, threw a one-hopper to the plate to try to retire Rosetta, but the throw was a hair off line and Rosetta was able to slide in safely.

  • 'Toppers dump Spartans in 2-4A opener Wednesday

    One of its most balanced offensive showings of the season helped propel the Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball team to a win Wednesday.
    Los Alamos scored in five of its six plate appearances at Bomber Field, taking a solid 10-3 win over Bernalillo to open the District 2-4A season. Los Alamos scored two runs each in the second, third and fourth innings, then came through with three runs in the fifth to all but put the game away.
    The Spartans tried to rally in the top of the sixth and, although it squeezed out a pair of runs, never could make a serious charge to get back in the ballgame.
    It was a big day for several Hilltoppers, including Lane Saunders.
    Saunders started the game on the hill for Los Alamos, going 3-1/3 innings and giving up just one run. Saunders also went 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and drove in a pair of runs.
    “I just fixed the way I was approaching things,” he said. “It was more of an attack than waiting for your pitch…just more aggressive, not as picky. It was just my day, I guess.”
    Despite the Hilltoppers collecting 12 hits in the game, only Saunders and Trevor Pacheco had multi-hit games Wednesday. Pacheco finished 2-for-3 and scored three times.

  • North Korea to open race to foreigners

    TOKYO (AP) — Runners of the world, unite!
    For the first time ever, North Korea is opening up the streets of its capital to runner-tourists for the annual Pyongyang marathon, undoubtedly one of the most exotic feathers in any runner's cap.
    Tourism companies say they are getting inundated by requests to sign up for the April 13 event, which this year will include amateur runners from around the world. The race includes a full marathon — with a handful of world-class, invitation-only athletes — a half marathon and a 10-kilometer run.
    The opening of the race to recreational runners is in keeping with the North's ongoing, but sometimes sporadic, effort to earn cash revenue by boosting tourism, usually with well-orchestrated group tours to major arts performances or attractions the North wants to show off.
    Earlier this year, North Korea's government announced a plan to create special trade and tourism zones across the country and unveiled its first luxury ski resort, aimed largely at luring ski enthusiasts from abroad. Under the watch of young leader Kim Jong Un, the North has also been giving sports in general a higher profile. Simple recreational sports facilities, such as outdoor basketball courts and roller skating rinks, have been popping up lately in Pyongyang and some other cities.

  • Waterfalls explored at next PEEC talk

    Doug Scott has been exploring and writing about the waterfalls of New Mexico for decades. Of special interest is that a new 80-foot high waterfall is being formed this year, for which Scott is documenting the formation and the fact that it will continue to grow for years to come. Scott will share photos and observations of these waterfalls in a slideshow and presentation 7 p.m. April 10 at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.
    There are hundreds of waterfalls in the Land of Enchantment, yet very few people know this. Attendees of Scott’s talks are always greatly inspired to become “Waterfall-lovers” and begin “Waterfalling” immediately.
    At this event, Scott will also sign all four of his outdoor books for those interested: “Taos Waterfalls,” “Taos Mountains,” “New Mexico Waterfalls” and “New Mexico Waterfall Handbook.”
    At age 20, Scott was the first commercial whitewater river outfitter in New Mexico in 1972. Scott was also the founder of Taos Mountain Outfitters in 1972. He has been a New Mexico guide and outdoor enthusiast since moving here in 1957.
    The program is free to attend, and no advance registration is required.

  • Play honors stories of New Mexico

    Thanks to the community’s support of a crowd-funding campaign, Teatro Paraguas and Recuerdos Vivos New Mexico present a full stage production of the oral history play, “When The Stars Trembled in Río Puerco,” at Teatro Paraguas in April.
    The play, presented in English, is a stage adaptation of “Recuerdos de Los Viejitos, Tales of the Rio Puerco Valley,” collected and edited by renowned oral historian Nasario García. It makes stories of land and community in four now ghosts towns south of Cuba, from the 1910s through 1950s.
    Written and directed by Shebana Coelho, an award-winning writer and filmmaker, it is co-presented with Teatro Paraguas, which celebrates the richness and diversity of Hispanic heritage.
    “When the Stars Trembled in Rio Puerco” runs for six performances: at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 4 p.m. Sundays. The events will be Friday through Sunday and April 11-13. The Sunday performances are preceded by a “Share Your Recuerdos” open mic — community members are invited to bring a memento from the past and share a 3-4 minute anecdote.
    The play is slated to be performed at Albuquerque’s National Hispanic Cultural Center in September during Hispanic Heritage Month.

  • ‘Silent Brothers’ make ideal hiking companions

    Among those I have taken to lunch over the years, I can now add a llama to my list. My dining companion, K-2, was one of six llamas that accompanied our small group on a recent day trek with in Northern New Mexico.
    A handsome blonde and statuesque creature with plenty of personality, K-2 was ever-alert and curious as we hiked the trails in the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Area of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. 
    I led my trusted wooly friend through the dense woods, over bridges and into the gentle creeks within this picturesque and unspoiled wilderness. With his leather padded, two-toed feet and natural agility, he walked with a self-possessed air, exuding confidence as he navigated the terrain without faltering, while carrying a load of gear.
    “Llamas are the perfect low-impact, high altitude pack animal,” said Stuart Wilde, owner and head wilderness guide of Wild Earth Llama Adventures. “They are sure-footed because they have the perfect ‘mountain moccasins’ — like mountain goats — and they have little impact on fragile wilderness trails. They exemplify the ‘leave no trace’ ethic we practice and teach out here.”

  • Harwood Museum hosts scores of events

    The Harwood Museum of Art in Taos is hosting a number of art, educational, and cultural activities for all ages to kicked off the spring season this weekend, with a panel discussion of contemporary art in Northern New Mexico, and continuing through April 18 with a jazz concert.
    “We’re thrilled that we could offer the community our popular children’s education programs, lectures, films, and musical presentations,” said director of public programs, Rebecca Aubin. “Many of these events give us an opportunity to showcase our state-of-the-art Arthur Bell Auditorium. These programs have been gaining popularity throughout the years and we plan on continuing with this growing tradition. We want the community to know that the Harwood Museum of Art is the place to come in Taos for all your art, learning, history and cultural experiences.”
    The events were kicked off by artists Jonathan Blaustein, Nina Elder and Debbie Long, who focused on contemporary art in Northern New Mexico during a panel discussion. Their work is currently on display, which demonstrates a new trend in how artists are using their art as a medium to talk about planet earth and regional landscapes.

  • SOMOS celebrates National Poetry Month

    SOMOS Celebrates Nat’l Poetry Month with Two-Week Poetry Event in Taos, now through April 12.
    To celebrate National Poetry Month in April, the Society of the Muse of the Southwest (SOMOS) is hosting 12 evenings of poetry readings led by 36 poets — many who live in Taos — until April 12. All readings will be at the SOMOS Salon room beginning at 7 p.m.
    The series is free, however, donations to SOMOS are appreciated as are all purchases of poetry books. The series has been curated by Taos poet and co-editor of “Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art,” Veronica Golos.
    “Taos and the surrounding area have a plethora of award winning, spoken word, poets with books,” Golos said. “We will hear from a variety of poets including young poets, firmly established poets, newer poets, formal poets, experimental poets, poets reading Shakespeare, poets reading their own translations, etc. We hope that the Taos community will be generous with their attendance, their donations, and will support poets by buying their books! It has been a great pleasure working with SOMOS curating this event.”
    All poetry readings will take place at 7 p.m. at the SOMOS Salon, unless otherwise noted. A schedule of appearances is as follows:

  • Restaurant Inspections 04-03-14

    Española
    China Kitchen, 604-A South Riverside Dr.
    Date inspected: Feb. 20
    Violations: Three high-risk violations. Sanitizer solution not at proper levels, which was corrected at time of inspection. Ice scoop needs its own container. No floor drain in three-compartment sink. Two moderate-risk violations. Needs 2-inch air gap in between three-compartment sink and the dishwasher, must get that fixed within four weeks. Four low-risk violations. Hood and vents are missing filters. Back door needs seal at the bottom. Screen needs to be replaced at back door. Linoleum needs to be replaced.
    Status of Establishment: Follow up required on March 20.

    Tortilleria Temosach, 419 Corlett
    Date inspected: Feb. 27
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.