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Today's News

  • Proposal would slam businesses with higher taxes to replenish unemployment coffers

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Businesses could pay $20 million in higher taxes under a proposal by Gov. Bill Richardson's administration to shore up the program that provides unemployment benefits to jobless New Mexicans.

    The unemployment insurance trust fund will run out of money by next year if the Legislature and governor don't agree on a rescue plan during the legislative session.

    The fund is being drained because of rising unemployment.

    The Workforce Solutions Department is briefing legislators on a proposal to keep the unemployment program solvent.

  • Scenes from the Haitian Earthquake Relief Fundraiser Friday night

    The Hilltop House hosted a fundraiser for Haitian earthquake relief Friday evening. The event featured live music and a variety of auction items. Proceeds from the event will go to Partners in Health, a charitable organization with a long history in Haiti.

    According to one source close to the event, more than $10,000 was raised.

    Watch for more details about this event in print editions of the Monitor next week.

  • Music for the community

    Some tunes come and go. For example, at one point, everyone seemed to swing their hips and embrace the simple lyrics of the “Macarena,” but now, most people scratch their heads and wonder why.

    But there are other songs that stand the test of time and their value is never questioned.

  • Engaging voters, engaging their minds

    According to a survey prepared for Los Alamos County during the first two weeks of December, the UNM-LA bond issue is likely to fail, while the LA Public Schools referendum is likely to pass.

    The two questions are now in the hands of voters.

    The survey by Southwest Planning and Marketing of Santa Fe is based on 408 telephone interviews with registered Los Alamos voters and was designed to test their awareness of the UNM-LA and Los Alamos Public Schools bond issues and, more generally, their attitudes about bond issues and education in Los Alamos.

  • Art of taxation: Exploring the pain threshold

    A Frenchman once said the art of tax collection is plucking the goose just below the threshold of greatest hissing.

    Legislators and the governor will explore that threshold during this 30-day session as they attempt to dam the flow of red ink. Nobody’s pretending this will be easy, but it’s encouraging that the governor and lawmakers begin the process pretty close together with a slate of proposed spending cuts and tax increases.

  • U.S. House passes Northern N.M. settlement bills

    ALBUQUERQUE — Two bills that would resolve decades-long water disputes in north-central New Mexico have passed the U.S. House, Rep. Ben Ray Luján said Thursday.

    The Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement Act and the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act are based on years of negotiations between American Indian leaders and local, state and federal officials. The court cases that started them were filed in the 1960s.

  • Dem group advocates tax increase

    SANTA FE  — A group of House and Senate Democrats advocates raising taxes by more than $300 million to balance the state’s budget and avoid deep cuts in health care services and education.

    One proposal outlined Thursday will roll back personal income tax cuts and capital gains reductions that were enacted in 2003.

    Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson opposes that, contending that the tax cuts are an economic development tool for recruiting businesses with high-paying jobs.

  • Housing plan up for vote

    Los Alamos County’s Comprehensive Plan calls for housing “at a variety of price ranges so that firefighters, teachers, police, young people and elders can live comfortably in our community.”

    The county council will consider an Affordable Housing Plan at its next regular session set for 7 pm. Tuesday in Council Chambers.

  • Citizens get a crash course in history

    The environmental uncertainties and risks related to the historic operations of Los Alamos National Laboratory is a subject that does not go away.

    Citizens of Northern New Mexico who would like a crash course in the history of environmental releases from the lab might want to clear their calendars for Thursday.

    What is known and what remains to be known will be the subject of a community-oriented event, continuing and wrapping up a conversation that has gone on for many years.

  • Swimming and diving: Baker expects big things as season winds down

    He might not be Abraham Lincoln when it comes to political speeches, but Alex Baker can produce some good numbers in the pool.

    Baker, a senior on the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys swimming team, already is and has been one of the top competitors in northern New Mexico, but he’s not finished just yet. Not even close.