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Today's News

  • Calendar

    Today through April 4
    – Forest Explorers Hike and Play from 1-3 p.m. at the Nature Center. Get outside this winter by exploring with PEEC! This six-session class is for youth ages 5 to 8 and meets every other Wednesday. Admission: $135/non-member, $110/PEEC member. 

    THURSDAY

    Dr. Carmen Solano will be doing a Free Thyroid Seminar from 6-7 p.m. at the Los Alamos Project Y Conference room, from 6 Solano is a Medical Physician and a Functional Medicine Doctor. Space is limited so call 505-500-8356 to reserve a chair.

     

    Raspberry PI Club 7-8 p.m. at Los Alamos Makers, 3540 Orange St., Suite LV1. All levels are welcome. Get introduced to Raspberry Pis, get help with your Pi project and meet other Pi enthusiasts. Club facilitated by Akkana Peck, author of “Jumpstarting the Raspberry Pi zero W; Controlling the world around you with a $10 computer.”

    FRIDAY

    High altitude baking presentation from 10-11 a.m. in the Fuller Lodge classroom, on the second floor. Free. Contact Desaree Jimenez from New Mexico State University at 662-2656 for information.

     

  • NMED extends deadline to apply for food handler cards

    MONITOR STAFF REPORT

    NMED will continue to work with the regulated community, according to officials at NMED’s Environmental Health Bureau. Through NMED’s Environmental Health Bureau, New Mexico’s food program regulates all food establishments in the state outside of the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, which operate their own food safety programs.

    NMED will continue dialogue with food establishments and industry to address questions regarding the Food Handler Card and Certified Manager requirements and to draft modifications to the regulatory provisions as needed.

    Any necessary regulatory changes will need to be approved and adopted by the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) through a public proceeding

    The effective date for implementing the food safety enhancements has been extended until further notice. 

    “We want to assist permitted food establishments across the state with compliance,” said New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Butch Tongate. 

    For more information, contact the Food Program Manager Johnathan Gerhardt at food.program@state.nm.us or 505-222-9515.

  • Laundry pods are a reminder to talk to our kids

     This week, I would like to focus on how often we talk to our children and maybe provide some ideas of what we need to talk about.

    I confess, I was unaware of the laundry detergent pod challenge. I thought about putting the word challenge in quotes, but the selection of words should probably have the word stupidity in front of challenge.

    I knew of the fact that toddlers and perhaps small children may see these pods as colorful pieces of candy. Due to that, parents might need an extra reminder to store them safely and away from tiny hands. 

    I also heard and understood that patients experiencing dementia symptoms may also be confused by their colorful nature. There is an illness connection to that confusion, so again clearly a logical conclusion.

  • VAF information sessions prepare companies to apply for funding

     Early-stage businesses, or even those that are more established, often find it hard to land the right cash infusion, especially when traditional bank financing can be elusive. Under this common scenario, funding through the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) could be the needed boost.

    Information sessions to help businesses apply for VAF are taking place in Northern New Mexico until Feb. 9, when the application process officially opens. Applications for funding will be accepted until March 12. 

    According to Carla Rachkowski, associate director of the Regional Development Corp. (RDC), which administers the program, VAF has been key as seed financing for early-stage businesses for more than a decade. The point, she said, is to assist entrepreneurs with taking innovations to market more quickly. VAF helps them through marketing and technology development, proof-of-concept, prototyping, developing market share and product launch. Sometimes it’s used to leverage more funding.

  • The legislative life: Part-time, unpaid, fixed-length sessions? Not quite.

     Legislators go to meetings. That’s what they do.

    Legislators also get a lot of mail, both paper delivered by the postal service and email. Some of the mail, maybe much of it, is read. The proportion of read mail might be a measure of legislator diligence or engagement. 

    Our legislators are described as unpaid, part-time, citizen legislators who meet in fixed-length sessions or 30 and 60 days in alternate years. 

    None of this is quite true. 

    Though legislators get no salary, there is a $164 per diem to allegedly cover expenses during the session in Santa Fe or for other legislative business, such as interim committee meetings. The amount is laughable. Few decent hotel rooms in Santa Fe cost less than $164.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Senate Dems: ‘A new day on the horizon for New Mexico’

    BY DANIEL J. CHACON
    The New Mexican

    Senate Democrats said Tuesday that New Mexico’s future looks bright – partly because it doesn’t include outgoing Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who also struck a combative tone at the start of the 30-day legislative session.

    “There’s a new day on the horizon for the state of New Mexico,” said Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, who delivered the response from his caucus to Martinez’s final State of the State address.

    “Soon, we will have a new leadership team that will guide the state in providing more jobs, better classrooms, protection for our environment (and) safer places for our communities to raise our families and lead prosperous lives,” he said.

    “New Mexico has been on too many of the lists, at the bottom, for far too long.”

    In her speech, Martinez, who leaves office at the end of this year, focused on issues she has been working on since she was first elected governor in 2010. These included longer criminal sentences and mandatory retention of hundreds or even thousands of third-graders who are not proficient on standardized reading tests.

    But Democrats indicated they were ready to move on.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Clock ticking on nursing compact

    BY ANDREW OXFORD
    The New Mexican

    Lawmakers face a hard deadline this week to make sure that dozens or even hundreds of nurses can continue working in New Mexico.

    Legislators have until midnight Friday to approve a new nurse licensing compact, an update to an agreement that allows nurses licensed in other states to practice in New Mexico without getting a separate certificate.

    Hospitals say the compact is key to recruiting in a state facing a shortage of medical professionals. Missing the deadline to join the new system would leave New Mexico with fewer nurses to care for patients, they say.

    Though not much usually happens during the first days of a legislative session, the high stakes amid a particularly rough flu season have forged what appears to be a bipartisan consensus that lawmakers must approve the compact and fast during their 30-day gathering that begins at noon Tuesday.

    “We’ll get it done by Thursday or maybe even Wednesday,” said Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales. With Sens. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, and Howie Morales, D-Silver City, he is sponsoring a bill to join the new compact.

  • SF Women’s March to feature Rep. Luján, Valerie Plame

    The Santa Fe Women’s March 2018 is scheduled to begin at the Roundhouse at noon on Sunday. Marchers will walk to the Santa Fe Plaza where a variety of speakers will talk on this year’s theme of “Resistance, Perseverance, Revolution and Solidarity.”

    “People have asked why are we marching. We are marching for women, our bodies, our rights, we’re marching for men, children, immigrants the poor, the Dreamers, the disenfranchised, the environment, Mother Earth, human, nonhuman animals. We’re marching for you, for me and for all of us,” event organizer Karen Kane said.

    Speakers include Congressman Ben Ray Luján, Madeleine Carey of Wild Earth Guardians and ex-CIA Agent Valerie Plame.

    The march has a Facebook page at facebook.com/Santa-Fe-Womens-March-2018.

    The event also has a gofundme page at gofundme.com/womensmarch2018santafe.

    There will be a poster party Saturday at the Santa Fe Democratic Party headquarters, 1420 Cerrillos Road from 2- 4 p.m. Shirts and other apparel are available at Roadrunner Screen Printers, 1235 Siler Road.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Gov. calls for tax reform in State of State speech

    BY ANDREW OXFORD
    The New Mexican

    Gov. Susana Martinez signaled Tuesday she is not going quietly into her last year in office, opening a 30-day session of the Legislature with a State of the State address that touted issues she has pushed throughout her administration and steeling herself for one last showdown with Democratic lawmakers.

    The two-term Republican governor called for comprehensive tax reform but did not offer any specifics on what that might involve, urged tougher criminal sentences and raised many of the same education and economic policies she has regularly mentioned in her annual address.

    With the state’s finances improving, offering a reprieve from another round of budget cuts, many Democrats and Republicans alike had come to expect this monthlong session would not be marked by any particularly ambitious initiatives or changes in policy as Martinez prepares to leave office. Instead, many seemed ready to approve a balanced budget and take steps to try to stem the state’s rising crime rates.

    Indeed, the governor did not offer any big new ideas.

    But with her 54-minute speech, Martinez also seemed to challenge what had been a cautiously optimistic political consensus that she and the Legislature might work more cooperatively this year than last.

  • UT faces regional coalition, again

    Texas A&M University emphasized the university system’s diversity and its commitment to nuclear engineering during a presentation to the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Friday. 

    This was the second time the university faced the board. The first time was at a breakfast in December.

    Texas A&M is one of three university bidders that made public their bid for the next $2 billion-plus management and operations contract to operate the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    Texas A&M Assistant Vice Chancellor of the university’s Office of Federal Relations, A. Scott Sudduth, went before the coalition Friday to emphasize the university’s promise that it will be committed to supporting the interests and goals of the coalition if it is picked by the Department of Energy to be the next contractor.

    He said the 11 universities and seven state agencies that make up the university system have a very diverse workforce.

    “…including five majority of Hispanic serving institution and one historically black college and university,” Sudduth said. “We are a very diverse organization.”