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Today's News

  • Assets in Action: We still need the old-school ways

    The weather has been hot lately, so perhaps my brain is working properly, but I have been thinking a lot about technology.
    There is a particular commercial that highlights a car that detects what could happen and stop the vehicle for you if the driver is unaware.
    I guess I am feeling a little old school about the need to learn how to do things the “hard way.”
    When I was a teenager, we learned to count back the change when you worked with money. I vaguely remember the discussion that there would always be calculators and there isn’t a need to count back money.
    Flash forward and now. Kids are doing math with not just their calculators, but their phones. Then there comes a time when they need to do math, but don’t have access to either or have to show their work.
    Old school. Sometimes we just need to learn things old school.
    It is the same reason that when the opportunity avails itself, you should learn how to drive a stick shift. There may come that time when you find yourself in a situation where that may be your only choice.
    Today’s cars are on the verge of doing the driving for you. You might not ever need to parallel-park again. There are even cars that may allow you to just sit inside while they do the driving for you.

  • Save New Mexico’s historic sites!

    New Mexico is about to fire Billy the Kid.
    Coronado, Victorio, the conquistadores, and the U. S. Cavalry are getting the sack, too.
    Visitors come here to see these icons at the state’s seven historic sites. Just in time for peak tourist season, the state Cultural Affairs Department announced a draconian plan to kick out the very people who know the most about these sites – their managers.
    The department announced a plan in late May to save money by reorganizing the Historic Sites Division, combing six sites into three regions with new managers. This would affect Jemez, Coronado, Fort Selden, Camino Real, Lincoln and Fort Stanton historic sites. Bosque Redondo and Los Luceros aren’t affected (yet). Another six positions department-wide are also on the block. But the department wants to hire 13 “critical employees,” including three PR people.
    Terminations are effective Aug. 3, if the State Personnel Board approves the plan at its July 21 meeting.
    Let’s recall that during the legislative session, declining revenues forced lawmakers to shrink the budget and give the administration permission to do more cutting, if necessary.
    It’s always a grim process, but in reducing costs, two principles ought to be at work. First, spread the pain evenly.

  • Making a well requires luck and science

    As a rule, New Mexico oil and gas production is out of sight and, therefore, out of mind. Even in the production areas of the southeast and northwest, I suspect a goodly proportion of people not directly involved have only a general sense of what happens.
    Even the financial impacts manifest only in a general way. In good times, state government gets oil and gas money and expands. In less good times, such as today, less money appears and government, though crunched, expands anyway. Local effects, though, are immediate for good or bad.
    At the recent Legislative Finance Committee meeting in Artesia, staff at Elite Well Services and Nick Agopian of Devon Energy walked through the steps in making an oil well. Overall, the Delaware Basin in New Mexico and Texas within the Permian Basin is a “world class oil and gas play,” Agopian said. The term “play” means (thank you Wikipeda) an area with the same geology (to over simplify).
    Each well costs from $1 million to $8 million. In most communities, an $8 million business investment merits a headline.
    The tasks are complicated, difficult, technical and not obvious to the passerby. The work requires much science and a fair amount of luck.

  • There are better ways to ‘pull together’ for New Mexico’s impoverished kids

    BY VERONICA C. GARCIA, Ed.D.
    Executive Director, New Mexico Voices for Children

  • Stronger state economy requires shared vision and collaboration

    BY WILLIAM F. FULGINITI
    Executive Director, New Mexico Municipal League

  • Community Calendar 6-24-16

    TODAY
    Gentle Walks at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free.

    Fourth Friday Fractals from 7-7:45 p.m. at the Nature Center. See fractals in nature as a full-dome planetarium show! Cost is $10 for adults and $8 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    SATURDAY
    Young at Heart Hike at 10 a.m. at the Nature Center. Join PEEC on a hike that brings together people of all ages to connect, learn, play, and explore. Free.

    June 25-26 — Los Alamos Amateur Radio Club Field Day exercise at the North Mesa Picnic Ground, off North Mesa Road. Ham radio operators across North America will operate from noon Saturday to noon Sunday using generator, solar and battery power to make radio contacts. Public is invited to attend. For more information, call Charles Rogers, KJ5KU, 412-3149

    Feature Film: “Black Holes” at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Voyage through the galaxies in search of the answers to explain the riddles of black holes! Enjoy a talk by a local astrophysicist. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children.
    SUNDAY

  • UNM-LA summer youth program set

    The popular University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Community Education Summer Program for Youth (SPY) returns in July with week-long classes for children in grades 1-10.  
    Children’s College, for children entering the first through third grades, and Youth College, for children entering the fourth through sixth grades, runs July 18-22. Teen College, for students entering the seventh through tenth grades, will be July 25-29.
    For students in first through third grades, this year there will be a morning class, Adventures at the University, and an afternoon class, Afternoon Adventures. Students who choose to participate in both classes can stay on campus through the supervised lunch hour.
    Grades 4-6 meet only in the afternoon, and may select a specific topical class. Nicole Lloyd Ronning, an astrophysicist at LANL and also a Bradbury Science Museum science ambassador, is teaching Awesome Astrophysics.
    The final alternative, Teen College, for students entering the seventh through tenth grades, will take place July 25-29.
    For more complete class descriptions and to register online, visit losalamos.unm.edu/community-education/2016-summer-program-for-youth.html. For more information, call Lisa Caldwell at 662-0346, or email commed@unm.edu.

  • Today in history June 22
  • Community Calendar 6-22-16

    TODAY
    Green Hour Hike at 10 a.m. at the Nature Center. Join other families for a kid-centered hike. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    The Los Alamos Faith & Science Forum summer series continues tonight at 6 p.m. at Kelly Hall at Trinity on the Hill. Dinner will be provided with a presentation at 6:30 p.m. and discussion at 7 p.m., ending around 8 p.m. All are welcome.

    Business After Hours will be from 5:30-1 p.m. at Float Los Alamos, 927 Central Ave. Business After Hours is a monthly after-work-hours social that promotes interaction, friendship and identification of business opportunities.

    Summer Family Evening: Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary at 6:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Del Norte Credit Union sponsors this evening of family fun. Cost is  $5 for non-member families and free for PEEC member families. More information at peecnature.org.
    THURSDAY
    June 23 — Nature Yoga at 6:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga at the nature center with Christa Tyson, where you have a great view of nature. Cost is $15 for non-members and $12 for PEEC members. More information at peecnature.org.
    FRIDAY

  • ‘Granite Mountain’ crews to impact area

    A movie filming in the area will produce special effects and closures through the end of July, county officials announced this week.
    “Granite Mountain,” a film based on the real-life Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite group of wildland firefighters that battled a fire in Arizona.
    The production is based at Pajarito Mountain, and started filming Sunday. The production will continue through July 29 and will be producing the special effects and impacts.
    Film crews will conducted a controlled ground fire Tuesday on Pajarito Mountain, under direct supervision of the Los Alamos Fire Department’s wildland division. Ground fires are set to be conducted June 27 and June 28.
    For updates on real-life fire events, residents and visitors may check nmfireinfo.com, nmfireinfo on Facebook, the Fire Restrictions Hotline: 1-877-864-6985 or the Santa Fe National Forest Fire Information Hotline: 1-877-971-FIRE (3473).
    Film crews will create smoke effects Thursday, June 30 and July 1, under the supervision of the Los Alamos Fire Department’s wildland division. The smoke will be produced from a natural, water-based compound that looks like real smoke, with black and grey components.