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Today's News

  • Southwest Conservation Corps branches out in New Mexico

    On a fine April weekday we stopped outside Grants at El Malpais National Monument visitor center, one of our standard travel breaks. A group was lunching at the concrete tables under the ramada. Several wore bright jumpsuits. Their hardhats had a dark, rectangular insignia resembling, from a distance, the Caterpillar Inc. logo.
    Curious, I ambled over to visit.
    The logo was “SWCC” for Southwest Conservation Corps (sccorps.org), which turns out to have five offices around the region. The New Mexico locations are Acomita Lake, serving the Pueblo of Acoma, the Pueblo of Zuni and Gallup. The Colorado offices are the headquarters in Durango and in Salida.
    SWCC’s website lists 10 programs. In general the programs involve crews going to areas and doing all sorts of conservation work. The programs serve rural areas with one exception, the Barrio Corps in Albuquerque, a partnership with La Plazita Institute (laplazitainstitute.org).
    The Ancestral Lands program, based at the Pueblo of Acoma, has proven popular. Using the Acoma template, a Gallup office opened three years ago with a Zuni Pueblo office last year. A Hopi office is planned for this year.

  • Pajarito Mountain set for Bike & Hike

    Pajarito Mountain will open its gates this weekend for the summer portion of its schedule, known as Bike & Hike Summer 2017.

    The summer schedule, which runs from the end of May to the end of September, includes 19 dates on which bikers and hikers can hit the slopes for an entirely different experience than they will find during the winter months.

    On Saturday, the mountain will open for the first time since its winter season ended in late March.

    From 1-6 p.m., the lifts usually reserved for skiing will be turning, taking bikers to the top of the mountain for an exhilarating ride.  

    In addition, hikers can take advantage of the lifts and explore the vast system of more than 30 trails set up for cross-country hiking.

    According to the Pajarito Mountain’s official website, this opportunity allows these adrenaline seekers to “discover 1,200 vertical feet of downhill, cross country and free ride trails.”

    While visitors are on site, they can take advantage of the Pajarito Mountain Café, which will be open for lunch from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.

    Tickets will be available for purchase on-site. They will cost $25 for the day for those wishing to mountain bike, and $10 for those wishing to hike.

  • Trump budget would allow sale of wild horses for slaughter

    PALOMINO VALLEY, Nev. (AP) — President Donald Trump's budget proposal calls for saving $10 million next year by selling wild horses captured throughout the West without the current requirement that buyers guarantee the animals won't be resold for slaughter.
    Wild horse advocates say the change would gut nearly a half-century of protection for wild horses — an icon of the American West — and could send thousands of free-roaming mustangs to foreign slaughterhouses for processing as food.
    They say the Trump administration is kowtowing to livestock interests who don't want the region's estimated 59,000 mustangs competing for precious forage across more than 40,000 square miles (103,600 sq. kilometers) of rangeland in 10 states managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
    The budget proposal marks the latest skirmish in the decades-old controversy pitting ranchers and rural communities against groups that want to protect the horses from Colorado to California.
    "This is simply a way to placate a very well-funded and vocal livestock lobby," Laura Leigh, president of the nonprofit protection group Wild Horse Education, said about the budget proposal.

  • Rep. Steve Pearce two-steps to a different beat on healthcare, Trump

    Political pundits are talking lately about a possible run for governor by Congressman Steve Pearce. If that’s true, he has a strange way of endearing himself to New Mexico voters.
    Pearce was one of the Republicans to sign the American Healthcare Act. And while other Rs look for cover as the president’s controversies deepen, Pearce goes out on a limb to defend him.
    The current version of the House healthcare bill isn’t likely to survive the Senate makeover, but it’s instructive to look at what Pearce thinks is appropriate for us.
    The AHCA would repeal Obamacare, phase out increased federal funding for low-income people who got coverage through the 2014 Medicaid expansion. It would instead make Medicaid a cheaper block grant program. Millions of people would lose their coverage in the next ten years.
    In New Mexico that translates to more than 265,000 people of the 900,000 currently on Medicaid, according to an analysis by economist Kelly O’Donnell, of UNM’s Robert Wood Johnson Center for Health Policy. It would also affect the children, seniors and disabled people who traditionally qualified. New Mexico would have to come up with an additional $427 million a year or reduce coverage.

  • Let’s settle the debate about the role of the sheriff in LA

    There has been a long-standing debate about the role of the sheriff in Los Alamos. The present sheriff, Marco Lucero, was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, stressing the importance of the sheriff’s role in Los Alamos.  
    County Councils, not including myself, have worked to minimize that role, drastically cutting his budget and ultimately calling an election last November to eliminate the office. After a contentious campaign, our citizens voted to keep an elected sheriff. It’s time to settle this debate.  I will present at the June 6 council meeting a resolution that clearly defines the roles of the sheriff and police department, and returns a reasonable but limited set of duties to the sheriff’s office. Council and the sheriff need to come to an agreement at that meeting, so that we can all move on to the many other challenges our county faces.

  • Community Calendar 5-24-17

    TODAY
    Join Ray Monk, biographer of J. Robert Oppenheimer, for a talk and book signing in historic Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos at 5:30 p.m., sponsored by the Los Alamos History Museum and the Bradbury Science Museum. The event is free, and the biography will be available for purchase. Members of the Historical Society and the Bradbury Science Museum Association are invited to share membership benefits for this one event only – membership in either organization will get you a member discount at both museum’s sales tables at the event.
    THURSDAY
    Santa Fe author Anne Hillerman will speak at Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos at 7 p.m. in the Upstairs Meeting Rooms, in the latest offering from the Library system’s Authors Speak series. Hillerman has just released “Song of the Lion,” her third mystery since taking up the series started by her late father Tony Hillerman.
    FRIDAY
    Gentle Walks
at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. 9:00 AM Admission: Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    Astronomy Show: Nebulae
at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Join local Astrophysicist Dr. Rick Wallace to explore Nebulae and their significance in our galaxy. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.

  • National senior health and fitness day set for May 31

    Los Alamos County is partnering with Los Alamos senior centers and Los Alamos Retirement Community to celebrate the 24th Annual National Senior Health and Fitness Day on May 31, called “With Movement… There’s Improvement!”
    National Senior Health and Fitness Day is all about showcasing what local groups are doing to help keep seniors healthy and fit.  
    Why not try out a dance, music, and physical fitness class at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, White Rock Senior Center, or the Aquatic Center?  
    On that day, the Parks, Recreation & Open Space Division will honor free water fitness classes to those ages 60 and up. Some seniors will be selected as lucky fitness class participants to win a free reusable grocery/tote bag filled with useful health resources and information.
    How about some Putt-Putt Golf at East Park? Seniors may rent one set of putter and balls, and they will get one-set free.  Or why not play a few holes at the Los Alamos Golf Course?  Seniors can enjoy 50 percent off 18-holes, nine-holes or the driving range.  

  • Faith and Science Forum to host series

    Again this summer the Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum will present a series of talks by local speakers during May, June and July. The theme of the talks is “Hope: Science, Religion and the Future”. There will be seven Wednesday evening meetings, on May 31; June 7, 14, 28; July 12, 19, 26.
    The meeting format will be a light supper at 6 p.m., talk at 6:30 p.m. followed by questions and then table discussions. In a change from the past two years, these talks will be in the Fellowship Hall of the Unitarian Church located at 1738 N Sage Loop, Los Alamos.
    On May 31, Nels Hoffman will give the first talk entitled “Hope, Hopelessness, and the Future.” Titles and abstracts for the remaining talks will be announced soon.
    Also, as part of the summer program, the Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum has invited distinguished theologian John Haught of Georgetown University to visit Los Alamos and present two lectures, which he will do on Thursday, June 22 and Friday, June 23. His lectures are titled “Science, Religion, and Cosmic Purpose” and “Evolution and Faith: What Is at Stake.”
    More information about Prof. Haught and his contributions to theology will be forthcoming.

  • Assets in Action: Watch for distracted driving

    This week with two weeks of full summer fun ahead, I think it is important to talk about being safe on the roads.
    Distracted Driving month was back in April, but truthfully any and every month needs to be distracted driving month.
    According to a National Safety Council report, “cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. 1 out of every four car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.”
    Perhaps an adult is the one most guilty of being distracted behind the wheel?
    That doesn’t necessarily mean texting and driving, but includes everything from drinking, changing the music dial or even using hands free devices. There is so much to distract a driver today.
    If you aren’t sure how to start the conversation, visit their website for a family contract. The Distracted Driving Family Contract allows you to have the important conversation and take a variety of things into consideration. Imagine how empowering it could be for your teens if you are the one that needs to change and they see you initiating the change?

  • Derby Dames come up short in home opener

    In its season home opener, the Los Alamos Derby Dames fell to Albuquerque Roller Derby 212-71 at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink.

    It was the first time the Derby Dames had competed in nearly a month, dating back to April 22.

    The game remained close toward the beginning, as Albuquerque led just 27-21 10 minutes in.

    This was due to the strong work of Los Alamos’ Super-Ova, as well as strong blocking from the entire team. This blocking did not allow Albuquerque to utilize its superior speed to its advantage.

    With 11 minutes remaining in the first half, the Derby Dames continued to keep the game close. A series of penalties led to power jams for the Derby Dames, which Acute Pain cashed in for 10 unanswered points, keeping the score within striking distance at 55-45.

    Toward the end of the first half, however, Albuquerque began asserting its will as its jammers began breaking through the blocking of the Derby Dames and earning lead jammer status.

    This allowed the Albuquerque jammers to score points without allowing the Derby Dames to score, by ending jams before the Los Alamos jammers could reach the pack of blockers.