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Today's News

  • Susana feasts on Dems' state chair

    Unless every last New Mexico Democrat with any influence whatsoever has suddenly fallen victim to persistent and pervasive masochism, Sam Bregman’s days as state party chairman are numbered.
    Aren’t they? Doesn’t everything we know about politics and the logic thereof dictate that he must either leave his post voluntarily or face pressure from those top state Democrats capable of rational election year thought to resign his chairmanship?
    The miracle is that prominent Democrats up for election or reelection this year — Tom Udall, Ben Ray Luján, Michele Luján Grisham, Hector Balderas, the whole lot of them, including Gary King — haven’t already quietly taken Bregman by the neck and given him the boot.
    Admittedly the metaphor is mixed. But Bregman has become the main course in the buffet of campaign hash Susana Martinez has been serving New Mexico voters since primary election day when she walked away with her party’s nomination for a second term as governor.
    Who knows what’s fair and what’s not in today’s political climate?

  • Obama seeks $615 million to fight wildfires

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $615 million to help fight wildfires as the summer season is already prompting blazes across western states.
    The White House said Obama will submit the request along with a bigger, $3.7 billion proposal to confront a wave of Central American children crossing the southern border illegally. The $615 million would go to the Department of Agriculture.  

  • Firefighter injured in Jemez

    LA CUEVA (AP) — Authorities say a firefighter from California who was helping with fire prevention and other duties on the Santa Fe National Forest has been injured.
    The Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department says the firefighter either kicked or stepped on something that exploded Monday near an intersection east of Fenton Lake State Park.
    Federal authorities are now investigating.
    Santa Fe forest spokeswoman Donna Nemeth says the firefighter’s injuries are non-life-threatening and he’s reported to be in good spirits.
    The firefighter’s name was not immediately released. The employee is stationed on the Six Rivers National Forest in California but was assigned to northern New Mexico’s Jemez Ranger District to help since fire danger has been high.
    Over the weekend, Santa Fe forest personnel responded to 14 small lightning-sparked fires and one abandoned campfire.
     

  • News Briefs 07-08-14

    Planned power outage scheduled

    Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities has scheduled a power outage for apartments on Timber Ridge Road and the Trinity Village Apartments for Wednesday.
    Electricity will be shut off at 9 a.m. and will be restored at around noon.
    In support of DPU’s Electric Reliability Plan, DPU linemen are proactively replacing critical underground switchgear infrastructure identified as needing to be upgraded. This type of work requires a full power shutdown for three hours to allow linemen to complete this work safely.
    “We are sensitive to the inconvenience that scheduled power outages have on our customers,” stated DPU’s Deputy Utility Manager for Electric Distribution, Rafael de la Torre. “Many times we are able to upgrade equipment without shutting off electricity. On occasion, we have no other choice but to schedule a power outage to ensure the safety of our crews. ”

    Hearing assistance comes to Fuller Lodge

  • Independent challenges ballot access

    SANTA FE (AP) — A Public Education Commission member is asking a federal court to invalidate New Mexico’s requirements for independent candidates to secure a place on the ballot.
    Tyson Parker of Corrales brought a lawsuit in federal district court last week, contending state election laws discriminate against candidates unaffiliated with a political party by requiring them to submit an unfairly high number of voter signatures on nominating petitions.
    To get on the ballot, Parker needed nearly eight times more signatures than a Democratic candidate, almost five times more than a Republican and three times more than a minor party candidate.
    For independents running for the commission, petition signatures must be equal to at least 3 percent of the total number of votes cast for governor in the district in the last general election. Minor party candidates only need 1 percent of that vote. Democrats and Republicans need signatures equal to 3 percent of the votes in the district for their party’s primary election gubernatorial candidates. However, far fewer voters typically cast ballots in a primary election than a general election.
    Only Alabama and Montana impose similar or greater candidate petition requirements, according to the lawsuit.

  • Mountain School names new principal

    Los Alamos Public Schools announced Tuesday that Jennifer Guy has been selected to serve as the next principal of Mountain Elementary School.
    Guy has most recently served Los Alamos Public Schools as a kindergarten teacher at Pinon Elementary School.
    Guy said that she is “very honored and excited to join the Mountain staff and community. I look forward to working with staff, students, and parents to continue to foster the level of excellence and love of learning that has been established at Mountain.”
    Guy has 24 years of teaching experience serving at Hobbs Municipal Schools, Moriarity Public Schools, and Los Alamos Public Schools. She has taught students from kindergarten through 8th grade, as well as special education classrooms.
    She has been actively involved in new teacher development at the district and state level through the dossier writing process. She also served on the New Mexico Educator Leader Cadre, which was working on preparing the state for the new state wide standardized student assessments.
    Among the honors she has received over the years are: Lea County Educator of the Year (twice), Reading Renaissance Master Teacher, Golden Apple Nominee, and Certified Core Knowledge Teacher.
    Guy has a master’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University in Pedagogy and Learning.
     

  • Update 07-08-14

    Lecture

    Climate change discussion with Chick Keller. 7 p.m. Thursday at PEEC. No advance registration required. Free. For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

    Concert

    Jazz Brasileiro and Friends. 7-8:30 p.m. today at Ashley Pond. An all ages show, free.

    Animal tales

    Summer Family Evenings: Tales about Tails. 6:30 p.m. today. Every animal has a tail and many have tales — myths and legends. Terry Foxx makes the raven, coyote, bear and other animals come alive through stories and activities. No advance registration required. Free. For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

    Reception

    The Paintings of Ryszard Wasilewski. Opening Reception from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday. Upstairs in the Mesa Public Library Gallery. Daily through Aug. 5.

    Farmers Market

    Los Alamos Farmers Market. 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mesa Public Library parking lot. Come get this season’s tomatoes. First drawing for the contest 10 a.m. July 17.

  • Skiing to return Nov. 27 to Pajarito Mountain

    With a new partnership securely in place, the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area will be ready for a full ski season, beginning Nov. 27, the area’s general manager, Tom Long, confirmed.
    “What our hope is, and what I think is going to happen, is that we will have some capability for snowmaking ability. We hope to get some snow on the ground early and try to get open around Thanksgiving,” Long said.
    In May of this year, Pajarito Ski Club voted to partner with Vadito-based Sipapu Summer and Ski Resort in a bid to save it from impending financial failure.
    Water for making snow is a top priority and Sipapu has many options to get it, according to Stacey Glaser, Sipapu’s marketing director. The ability to make snow could extend the skiing season into March and perhaps April.
    “Skiing is our number one priority, which means securing water for the mountain is our top priority. We are very optimistic and excited about the progress we’ve already made and what’s to come,” said Glaser.
    According to Glaser, these are some of the options being considered by Sipapu’s director of operations, Scott Price.
    Expanding Pajarito’s existing weir system

  • Historic designation

    After 11 years of effort, the United States Post Office in Los Alamos is on its way to being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
    The New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee reaffirmed the structure’s listing on the New Mexico Register of Historic Places (that designation had been previously approved) and recommended it’s listing on the national registry on June 13.
    Fuller Lodge Historic Districts Advisory Board (FLHDAB) Chair Mark Rayburn credits Steven Moffson, state and national register coordinator for the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division (NMHPD), with the ultimate success of the effort.
    “He is a wonderful man with a lot of excitement and energy for this, and has gone out of his way. And I’m thinking he kind of does this with all of his projects. He’s very much excited,” Rayburn said. “He’s got an enthusiasm about his work that is just unheard of, I think, in government positions, and I really appreciate the guy.”
    Rayburn took over the effort to obtain the listing a little over two years ago, after years of work by myriad individuals. Linda Goforth and Nancy Bartlit figured prominently in the effort.

  • Issues resolved between county, PAC 8

    A month ago, PAC 8 board of directors President Dave Schiferl made an appeal to the Los Alamos County Council to not only forego a proposed $7,560 cut in funding for the public access TV station but to increase its allotment by $1,700.
    The county had made the decision to hire a full-time audiovisual person whose duties included streaming council and boards and commissions meetings via Granicus, a system offered free of charge by the company that provides software for electronic council meeting agendas.
    PAC 8 had previously been filming council meetings as well as some board meetings and broadcasting them via the station and the web.
    The county asked PAC 8 for permission to continue broadcasting via PAC 8 in addition to Granicus, but it was uncertain whether an agreement could be reached.
    During the June 27 council meeting, Schiferl announced that through the efforts of County Administrator Harry Burgess, PAC 8 and the county had reached an agreement “to work together for mutual benefit.”
    A key element of that agreement is that council meetings will continue to be broadcast on PAC 8. Security issues, which were PAC 8’s main concern, have been resolved.