Today's News

  • Spreading the budgetary pain

    SANTA FE — Everyone will be affected by the next round of state budget balancing.

    Thus far, lawmakers have been able to fill budgetary voids by sweeping money out of the cubby holes of state government and cutting back on agency spending.

    But next time the pain will be felt almost everywhere. The easy cuts have been made. Further cuts will affect services. Some of those services are not really noticed.

  • 12-18-09 State briefs

    Gov. proposing ethics bills

    SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson wants the 2010 Legislature to pass an ethics reform package that includes an independent ethics commission.

    Lawmakers  convene Jan. 19 for a 30-day session.

    Richardson proposes an ethics commission that would provide independent oversight of the executive and legislative branches and state employees. The commission would investigate complaints by citizens and whistleblowers and would be able to investigate and discipline public officials, state employees, lobbyists, contractors and officials.

  • The marijuana candidate returns

    SANTA FE – Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is in the national news again. He has launched a nationwide nonprofit campaign to advocate libertarian views on current issues.

    The campaign includes a Web site, www.ouramericainitiative.com, containing written statements and film clips of Johnson explaining his positions on the economy, drugs, civil liberties, the environment, abortion, the Federal Reserve, taxes and defense.

  • N.M. opens swine flu shots to everyone

    SANTA FE ­— The state has opened up swine flu vaccinations to all New Mexicans, not just people in high-risk groups.

    The state says health providers have enough vaccine for more New Mexicans.

    Health Secretary Dr. Alfredo Vigil says the Department of Health will continue to consider people in high-risk groups the top priority, but also will provide vaccine to as many people as possible.

    The agency has distributed about 554,000 doses to providers and public health offices statewide.

  • Sandia produces micro-sized solar cells

    ALBUQUERQUE – Sandia National Laboratories scientists have developed tiny glitter-sized photovoltaic cells that could revolutionize the way solar energy is collected and used.

    In an announcement Monday, the laboratory speculated that the tiny cells could turn a person into a walking solar battery charger if they were fastened to flexible substrates molded around unusual shapes, such as clothing.

  • Greenhouse gas emissions are up

    ALBUQUERQUE —  An inventory of New Mexico’s greenhouse gas production shows residents have reduced their average emissions from gasoline use over a seven-year period, but they’re consuming more energy to heat, cool and power their homes.

    Despite efforts by Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration to address climate change and lower greenhouse gas emissions, a draft inventory prepared by the state Environment Department shows New Mexico’s total direct emissions increased by about 4 percent between 2000 and 2007 to 80 million metric tons.

  • Tax increases may be inevitable

    SANTA FE ­— Government efficiency is currently the major focus in Santa Fe. Maybe it was the stern warning from legislative leaders that tax hikes are not inevitable as Gov. Bill Richardson has suggested.

    The spotlight on tax increases certainly will return as the Budget Balancing Task Force makes its report to the governor.

  • Give thanks year round, not just during Christmas

    SANTA FE — Merry  Christmas. I hope saying that doesn’t ruin somebody’s day. I realize not all of you are Christians but ours is a diverse society. We should all be willing to appreciate each other’s traditions.    

    A Jewish congregation down the street places a large menorah on its fence, this time of year, which I always appreciate. Apparently the rest of the neighbors do too because it goes back up every year.

  • Police scrutinize policies and procedures

    Nearing the end of a lengthy accreditation process, Los Alamos Police Department officials recently participated in a special two-day policy validation session earlier this month.

    “The point is to ensure not only that we have the policies and standards in place, but that the supervisors from every one of our departments understands and implements them correctly,” Chief Wayne Torpy said during an interview Wednesday.

  • Showing off the reason for the season

    The Los Alamos Crèche Show began as a small but creative idea launched by the chairman of one committee at one local church.

    When the 16th annual Crèche Show was held at the Los Alamos Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, this year however, the show was an established success.

    Gail and Roy Capshaw, the husband and wife team who chaired the show this year, said it drew 300 exhibitors. The nativity sets exhibited came from 44 countries. A record 600 people came to see the show. And people from churches all over town were involved.