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Today's News

  • Udall weighs in on confirmation process

    During a teleconference on Tuesday, Democrat Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) discussed the hearings on President Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees, which began yesterday in the Senate.
    Udall prefaced his statements by saying, “Every president, no matter who they are, should be able to choose his own team and the Senate should vote without unnecessary delay.
    But Udall went on to state, “The American people also deserve transparency. They deserve to know who is running our government and whether those people have conflicts of interest.
    “Many of Mr. Trump’s nominees are extremely wealthy. Many are connected to or have run major political or lobbying efforts. Several cabinet officials have not released their tax records or finished their ethics disclosure process,” Udall said.
    Udall pointed out that the director of the Office of Government Ethics has expressed concerns about the fact that his office has not finished the ethics review process for Trump’s nominees and that some have not yet provided the office with the required financial disclosures. The Ethics in Government Act requires that presidential appointments confirmed by the Senate obtain OGE certification of their financial disclosures prior to any congressional hearings.

  • Gov. Martinez unveils plan to fix budget shortfall

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez called on Tuesday for further belt tightening by state government as she unveiled a budget proposal to close the state’s general fund deficit and restore depleted reserves, while sticking with her vow to avoid tax increases.
    The budget plan for the coming fiscal year preserves funding for economic development initiatives and public safety agencies and extends recent spending reductions for other agencies and deepens cuts to the legislative branch and state universities, colleges and specialty schools.
    New solvency measures would shrink overall compensation to state employees and public school teachers by decreasing government pension contributions to the state’s two main retirement funds by 3.5 percent of salaries. Government employees would contribute more to maintain the same benefits, with less take-home pay as a result.
    “This sends a message that it’s up to state government to tighten its own belt – not our hard working families,” the Republican governor told reporters. “Furthermore this proposal will ensure that we have a strong, healthy savings account for the next oil and gas downturn or the next time federal government fails us.”

  • Garcia Richard pre-files gun bill

    State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-43) will introduce  a bill next week that would require criminal background checks for firearms sellers who are not licensed to sell but are looking to sell or transfer guns to another individual.
    “What they’re trying to do is, if you wanted to go and buy a firearm from your next door neighbor, you would not be able to do that. They would make that illegal,” said White Rock firearms dealer Stanley Hayes. “It should be the same as you wanting to sell your car and you not having to take it to an auto dealer to sell it.”
    The bill would require a licensed firearms dealer to act as a middleman between the buyer and the seller.
    It would also require that the two people involved comply with all state and federal laws, as if a person was buying the gun directly from a firearms dealer.
    With the bill, Garcia Richard is seeking regulate all firearms sales by requiring both parties to submit to criminal background checks as part of the sale.
    Garcia Richard did not return several calls requesting comment Friday. The bill is co-sponsored by State Rep. Miguel Garcia (D-14, Bernalillo), who also did not immediately return a call for comment.
    Hayes thinks the bill would only discourage law-abiding citizens from selling guns to each other.

  • Community Calendar 1-22-17

    MONDAY
    Nature Playtimes at 10 a.m. at the Nature Center. Join local families for fun in nature. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    Chapter AK, P.E.O., will hold its next meeting Monday, Jan. 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the home of Emma Stafford, 30 Paige Circle, in White Rock. Norma Puckett is the co-hostess. Emma also will provide the program. RSVP to Emma at 672-0540.
    TUESDAY
    A Mountaineer’s Story: Skiing and Climbing from Argentina to Antarctica at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Meet an adventurer. Be inspired. Plan your next expedition. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    Kiwanis meeting from noon-1 p.m. in Kelly Hall at Trinity-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Drive. Committee Day.

    Los Alamos Piecemakers meeting at 7 p.m. at the White Rock Presbyterian Church. The meeting with be a 4-corners demonstration.

    Rotary Club of Los Alamos meeting from noon-1 p.m. at the Los Alamos Golf Course.  Cheryl Pongratz, of the LA Family Council, will speak.
    THURSDAY
    Nature Yoga at 5:15 p.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga with Christa Tyson at the nature center, where you have a great view of nature. Cost is $15 for non-members, $12 for members. More information at peecnature.org.

  • Daffodils start to bloom for LA Visiting Nurse Service

    The Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service Hospice program is holding its annual “Daffodils for Hospice” sale.
    Proceeds from the sale will support the Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service Hospice program for terminally ill people.
    Daffodil pre-orders are being taken now through March 3.
    People can order the following items:  
    • A single bunch (10 stems) for $5
    • A small glass vase with single bunch for $10
    • A small glass vase with two bunches (20 stems) for $15
    •A large glass vase with three bunches (30 stems) $20.
    Delivery is free with any $10 minimum order to a single address.
    Flowers will be delivered March 11 or customers can pick them the orders up at “Daffodil Central” (call LAVNS for location in Central Park Square) from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. March 9 and 10.
    Watch for location sales at Los Alamos National Bank, both Smith’s grocery stores, Pig + Fig bakery and café, Uli’s Clothing Boutique and the Betty Ehart Senior Center March 9 and 10.
    The sale is sponsored in part by Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico and Walmart.
    Anyone who would like to place an order, can call Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service (the only local hospice) at 662-2525 or order online at lavns.com.

  • Confessions of an aggravated mope

    BY BOB HAGAN
    Coffee on a Cold Morning

  • Time is right to consider smart tools for pipelines

    Politics leads the nation in constant fights for and against new pipelines. So why do so few partisans on either side sing out for smart tools on pipelines?
    No matter how you view pipelines, President Donald Trump has timely chances to change the old ways.
    “Smart tools” is a broad term for the steady stream of 21st century devices with computer chips that continuously inspect, analyze and report on the state of health of almost everything. Smart tools are known to business and industry for saving costs and improving the reliability of products and operations. Smart tools are used in fields as diverse as health care, farming, manufacturing, home security systems and maintenance of infrastructure.
    To maintain public safety, smart tools yield rapid, routine knowledge of the health of large civil structures, such as tall buildings, bridges, aircraft and pipelines. Over the years, this field evolved into a speciality with its own name – Structural Health Monitoring (SHM).
    SHM has a rich history. The discipline of SHM has an international society of its own with its own technical journal. The 10th International Workshop on SHM was held in 2015 at Stanford University. Princeton offers a graduate course in SHM. Researchers at the national laboratory in town work on SHM.

  • Winter storm warning until 8 p.m.

    The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Jemez Mountains that remains in effect until 8 p.m. this evening. Expect snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches in the upper Rio Grande valley and six to 12 inches at elevations above 8000 feet, with locally greater amounts over the peaks and along west facing slopes of the southwest mountains.
    Snow will persist today before tapering off early this evening. West winds strengthening to 25 to 40 mph with occasional gusts from 35 to 55 mph. the stronger winds will occur over ridge tops and exposed areas. Cold enough for snow at all locations.
    Roads will become snow packed and icy with reduced visibility in snow and blowing snow. Areas of blowing and drifting snow are expected with significant visibility restriction at times. Travel will become difficult or impossible at high elevations above 8000 feet.
    Precautionary/preparedness actions: A winter storm warning for heavy snow and blowing snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. strong winds are likely. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel... keep an extra flashlight... food... and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
    More information:

  • Science Fair canceled

    Los Alamos Public Schools has announced that today's Los Alamos Science Fair and all Saturday classes are cancelled.

  • Prep girls basketball: LA drops 2-5A opener at Del Norte

    The start of district play didn’t seem like the start of a new season for the Los Alamos girls basketball team.
    Some of the same problems that hindered the Hilltoppers during non-district made an appearance in their 45-29 District 2-5A opening loss to Del Norte on Wednesday in Albuquerque. Los Alamos fell to 5-14 overall and loss a district opener for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
    “It’s all going to depend on how much fight they got in them,” Los Alamos coach Josh Archuleta said. “I pulled my seniors aside and I told them... ‘It’s up to you girls on what legacy you’re going to leave. If you’re going to go out there and give a performance like that, then I’ll invest the time with the underclassmen.’”  
    In non-district play, the Hilltoppers struggled offensively but were kept in games by their intensity on the defensive end. The same scenario played out early in Wednesday’s game. Los Alamos didn’t score until the 2:15 mark of the first quarter but its defense kept Del Norte (10-7 overall, 1-0 District 2-5A) from pulling away early on.
    The Knight opened up a 10-4 lead before Elena Abeyta’s layup with eight seconds remaining cut Del Norte’s first quarter lead to 10-6.