Today's News

  • Scapegoating immigrants is not the answer

    About three years ago, my dad was driving the truck he uses for his landscaping business in Phoenix when he was pulled over. Two patrol cars cornered him for making a wide right turn.
    Yes, you read that right: Multiple police officers went out of their way to stop my dad for supposedly making a right turn too wide.
    The traffic cops grilled my dad and his co-worker about their immigration status. They let my dad, a Mexican immigrant and U.S. citizen, go on his way without even issuing a warning. Then they arrested his coworker, who happened to be an undocumented immigrant.
    What seemed like a normal drive to work turned into a nightmare.
    Traffic stops that often begin with this kind of racial profiling, along with parking tickets and other minor offenses, have led to two-thirds of the record 2 million deportations during the Obama administration. These daily expulsions have instilled a culture of pain and fear among all our nation’s immigrant communities.
    When some of those communities urged their local governments to do something about it, about 300 cities responded by becoming something called a “sanctuary city.”
    Maybe you’ve heard about these places, but don’t know what a sanctuary city is.

  • Legacy mines, not the EPA, are the root of Animas spill

    Nobody who saw the Animas River will soon forget the sight of the orange waters flowing our way from the spill at an old Colorado gold mine.
    The odd color increased fears of what was now in those waters.
    I grew up with that color.
    Orange tailings spilling from old shafts in Colorado’s mountains remind us of the state’s colorful, boomtown past. Now we call them “legacy” sites, a word that’s all too familiar in New Mexico. Our legacy mines are mostly uranium, but the mess, the issues and the costs are the same.
    As often happens, the reporting by small, local media has been the best — and in this case, the least hysterical.
    Samantha Wright, of southwestern Colorado’s online news site San Juan Independent (sjindependent.org), wrote that Cement Creek, an Animas tributary and first recipient of the Gold King Mine’s three million gallon spill, runs orange every spring.
    The Gold King is one of many mines honeycombing those mountains. Colorado has 22,000 abandoned mines because back then, there were no environmental laws. Some of the worst are around Silverton.

  • Getting your home ready to sell

    As the economy improves, today’s sellers are facing a very different environment than they were before the housing market stumbled in 2006.
    Today’s housing market features new procedures and standards, not the least of which are continuing borrowing hurdles for prospective buyers. If you are thinking about a home sale in the coming months, it pays to do a thorough overview of your personal finances and local real estate environment before you put up the “for sale” sign.
    Here are some general issues to consider:
    Make sure you’re not underwater. You may want to buy a new home, but can you afford to sell? The term “underwater” refers to the amount of money a seller owes on a house in excess of final sales proceeds. If what you owe on the home — including all selling costs due at closing — exceeds the agreed-upon sale price, then you will have to pay the difference out of pocket. If you’re not in a situation where you absolutely have to sell now, you may want to wait until your financial circumstances and the real estate market improves.
    Evaluate your finances. Before you sell, make sure you are ready to buy or rent. Making sure all three of your credit reports are accurate is an important part of that process.

  • Do ex-cons deserve a fresh start?

    Every now and then, you read a news story about an employee who went to a home to clean the carpet and later robbed the place.
    The perpetrator had a prison record.
    That is not only a trauma for the homeowner; it’s a serious problem for the business owner, who probably will be sued. The business owner, you’d think, has a duty to screen his employees and make sure he doesn’t expose customers to the risk of employees with a known criminal history.
    This poses a conflict with the “ban the box” movement.
    A standard practice on job application forms is to ask applicants whether they have ever been convicted of a felony. Check yes or no. The applicant who answers “yes” likely won’t be hired, or even get a second look.
    Advocates, such as the National Employment Law Project (NELP, nelp.org), want to eliminate that box.
    The “ban the box” movement says ex-cons deserve a chance to start fresh. If society won’t let them earn an honest living, the argument goes, they may have no choice but to resume criminal behavior.
    It’s in society’s interest to help them get back on their feet — but it’s loaded with obstacles.

  • Fishing good near Jemez

    Abiquiu Lake: Fishing was slow to fair using tubes, crank baits, chigger craws, wooly buggers and zonkers for smallmouth bass. Anglers fishing at night and using night crawlers and liver picked up a few catfish.
    Animas River: Water flow near Aztec on Monday morning was 77 cubic feet per second (cfs). The river has reopened to fishing and other recreation but it is recommended that anglers practice catch and release through the contaminated area.
    Bluewater Lake: Fishing was fair using stick baits, jerk baits, spinner baits and hot dogs for tiger muskies.
    Brazos River: Fishing was fair using small streamers and salmon eggs for trout.
    Canjilon Lakes: Closed by the U.S. Forest service until further notice due to danger from falling trees.
    Chama River: Monday morning water flows below El Vado and Abiquiu were 736 cfs and 897cfs respectively. Fishing below El Vado was fair to good using salmon eggs, PowerBait, night crawlers, muddler minnows and wooly buggers for a mixed bag of rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout up to 19 inches in length. We had no reports from below Abiquiu.

  • Senior golfers play in Colorado

    The Northern New Mexico Senior Men’s Golf Association (NNMSMGA) traveled to Colorado for a trio of tournaments at two different courses in the middle of August.
    On Aug. 12, the golfers took on the Cattails Golf Course in Alamosa, Colorado.
    Los Alamos’ Spike Jones shot an 87 to win the second flight.
    Ron Krantz also shot an 87 in the second flight and finished one spot behind Krantz.
    Bob Quick finished second in the first flight with a 67 net score.
    In the third flight, Los Alamos golfers had the best two net scores. Kerry Coffelt shot a 63 and Jim Steedle shot a 67.
    Steedle also landed closest to the pin on the sixth hole.
    The next two days, the golfers played the Rio Grande Club in South Fork, Colorado.
    Quick had the second best net score in the first flight, a 72.
    Steedle and Coffelt had the best net scores in the third flight again, but this time Steedle finished ahead of Coffelt.
    Steedle shot a 69 and Coffelt shot a 71.
    On Aug. 14, no local golfer had a top-two finish.

  • Jerry Bower 5K near

    The Jerry Bower 5K will be held on Sept. 12 this year.
    The race will start at 9:30 a.m. at East Park on East Road (N.M. 502) in Los Alamos.
    The event is a benefit for the Alzheimer’s Association, held in conjunction with the Los Alamos Alzheimer’s Walk activities.
    The price to participate is $25. The money will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.
    The first 40 registrants receive a water bottle with Alzheimer’s Logo.
    Printable registration form are available at atomicrunners.com/next.html.
    Call 672-1639 for more information.

  • Kirk talks with students at Piñon

    Alex Kirk visited Piñon Elementary School last week and talked to kids, answered questions, took time to autograph items and also play basketball with fourth-sixth graders.
    Kirk spoke with sixth graders in Ms. Sinnis’, Ms. Martinez’s, and Ms. Nolen’s classes. He discussed the importance of having goals and working hard in school.
    Kirk told the classes that working hard in school gave him many opportunities in basketball. He credits his mother, Pat Kirk, who works at Piñon, for staying on top of him and his grades while he was a student in Los Alamos.
    After his talk, students asked questions, such as what is your favorite sport, besides basketball. Kirk said, “I love to golf.”
    Kirk autographed student backpacks, binders and water cups.
    Kirk then played basketball with students and impressed them with his slam-dunking skills.

  • Cross country teams scrimmage La Cueva

    Los Alamos’ boys and girls cross country teams got their first action of the year Saturday in a scrimmage at La Cueva.
    For the girls, the scrimmage featured last year’s state champs in Class 5A and Class 6A going head-to-head.
    The boys scrimmage featured last year’s Class 5A state champs and Class 6A’s fifth-place team.
    Even though no official scores were kept, both Los Alamos teams did well in the scrimmage.
    Each Los Alamos team finished with five of the top six finishers, including the winners.
    Maddy Foley led the girls with a first-place finish in 19 minutes, 48 seconds.
    John Rees, meanwhile, led the boys with a first-place finish in 17:43.

    Here are Los Alamos’ results from Saturday’s scrimmage meet with La Cueva:


    1. Maddy Foley, 19:48; 2. Talia Dreicer, 20:28; 3. Nica Vasquez, 20:38; 4. Sophia Galvez, 20:42; 6. Marin Kelly, 21:50; 8. Zoe Hemez, 22:06; 11. Paulina Burnside, 22:45; 12. Sydney Schake, 22:49; 18. Elise Koskelo, 24:09; 20. Matilde Jacobson, 24:27;

    24. Lexi Montoya, 24:51; 27. Jessica Cooke, 25:03; 29. Emily Mercer, 25:27; 30. Michaelle Sutton, 25:47; 31. Zoe Chalacombe, 25:50; 32. Katie Delgado, 25:54; 39. Elise Phillips, 27:44;

  • Golf superintendent receives professional certification

    LAWRENCE, Kansas— Matthew Allen, golf course superintendent at Los Alamos Golf Course, has earned the title of Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS) by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), a top designation currently held by only about 1,500 golf course superintendents worldwide.
    Allen, an 11-year GCSAA member, has been the superintendent at Los Alamos Golf Course since 2014.
    “This certification program requires the highest set of competencies in golf course management through testing and practical application, and we are proud of the Association’s Class A members who have advanced to earn this highest level of professional recognition as a certified golf course superintendent,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA chief executive officer. “We congratulate Matthew on his accomplishment.”
    To qualify for GCSAA’s top certification, a candidate must have at least three years’ experience as a golf course superintendent, be currently employed in that capacity and meet post-secondary educational requirements and/or continuing education points.