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Today's News

  • Winning, losing more complex than vote count

    Most people looking at election results believe that the person with the most votes “won” and the person with the fewest votes “lost.”
    The real win-lose story is more complicated. Admittedly vague, this concept considers actions candidates take (or do not take) that determine the results.
    A presumably stronger candidate may run a straightforward campaign and even win the vote total without “winning” the race. The determinant would be that the other candidate “lost,” as did the legislative candidate who came close, but ended the campaign with money in the bank.
    The example is Land Commissioner Ray Powell, whose modest campaign was not a winner, but who might slip a higher vote total from the current recount than challenger Aubrey Dunn.
    Carroll Cagle has been around the policy-punditing-journalism-political scene even longer than I have, which is saying something.
    He graduated from Roswell High School and edited The Daily Lobo, the University of New Mexico student newspaper. These days he does a policy and political blog for the New Mexico Prosperity Project (newmexicoprosperity.org), a voter education outfit, where he was executive director.
    Our exchange of emails a few days ago is the basis for what follows.

  • Saunders is top wrestler at Capital

    Lane Saunders had another big outing for the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team his second week out Saturday.
    Saunders, wrestling at 182 pounds, not only grabbed the 182-pound title at Saturday’s Capital Jaguar Invitational, he was also named the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament for the upper-weight classes.
    The Outstanding Wrestler title is one awarded by a vote of the head coaches of participating teams.
    His showing was the highlight of the day for Los Alamos at the Jaguar invitational, which is hosted by the Hilltoppers’ District 2-5A rival.
    Los Alamos nipped the favored Capital team for the district title last season and early projections suggest that they may go head-to-head for that title once again.
    However, the HIlltoppers were too short-handed to make a run at a team title at Capital. The Jaguars, who have many top wrestlers returning from last season’s team, won the tournament title, topping two other solid Class 5A schools, Valencia and Los Lunas.
    In all, 11 teams took part in the tournament.
    Hilltopper head coach Bob Geyer said he’s known his program will be something of a project until district time.

  • Today in history Dec. 16
  • Today in history Dec. 15
  • Today in history Dec. 14
  • Manhattan Project Park a go

    Editor’s note: First of a two-part series. Read what the new legislation means for the Valles Caldera National Preserve coming up in the Los Alamos Monitor.

  • Charges could be dropped in fraud case

    A $50,000 computer fraud case may end up being dismissed, due to “right to a speedy trial” issues and a judge’s political future.
    Fernando Rodriguez, 32, is suspected of trying to steal $50,000 by computer from a bank account managed by the Los Alamos National Bank.
    At a recent status hearing, Rodriguez’s defense attorney, Mike Jones, pointed out to the court that while Ryan Roller, Rodriguez’s alleged partner in crime, has been out on bail since November of last year, Rodriguez has been locked up in jail, with no indication of when he will be tried.
    Complicating matters is that the district court judge presiding over the case, Sheri Raphaelson, may have to step down in January since voters voted not to retain her. She is appealing the decision, and oral arguments are due to be heard in the Supreme Court of New Mexico Monday at 9 a.m.
    At this week’s status hearing, Jones used these arguments to successfully argue his client’s bail down from $30,000 cash-only to a $1,000 signature bond, even though the state considered Rodriguez a flight risk and a danger to the community.

  • Pregame Pep Talk

    Former Los Alamos High School teacher and Hilltopper superfan Gary Houfek chats with the members of the Los Alamos hockey team prior to the team’s game with the Santa Fe Blue Jackets Friday night. That game was the first of the season for the Hilltoppers at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink.

  • Trinity Capital says past losses weren’t recognized

    Los Alamos National Bank’s holding company, Trinity Capital Corporation, announced Friday it had filed its 2013 Annual Report.
    The filing, which was done with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, included financial results for both 2012 and 2013, as well as financial results for 2011, according to a press release.
    The report was filed with the SEC because, according to Trinity Capital, it had “not properly recognized certain losses and risks inherent in its loan portfolio on a timely basis.”
    Trinity Capital said it completed a review of its previous financial statements to reflect those losses.
    “We have worked diligently to correct our financial statements, as well as satisfy additional requirements from our regulators,” said Trinity’s CEO John Gulas. “Throughout 2014 we have addressed important internal issues, a process which has required considerable management attention, resulting in significant expenditures which will adversely impact 2014 results.”
    The failure to recognize those losses and risks, according to Trinity Capital, was caused by “the override of controls” of previous managers at LANB and “material weaknesses in internal control” of the bank’s financial reporting.

  • Last portable is hauled off campus

    Recently, Jaynes Construction Supervisor Sam Burns guided the last classroom portable from Aspen Elementary School around 33rd Street toward Villa Street.
    With that, and the construction of the newly-completed school, 17portables that once housed Aspen Elementary students for the past fourteen months have been removed from the construction site.
    Over the past several weeks, commuters and motorists in the Aspen neighborhood have waited patiently while portables were moved to grounds opposite Los Alamos Middle School and adjacent to Chamisa Elementary School for temporary storage until the district decides the next school renovation or remodel project.
    Kathryn Vandenkieboom, Aspen Elementary Principal, said the school is embarking on a new era.
    “We are so grateful for our permanent school,” Vandenkieboom said. “When I went out back the other day to look and they were gone, I was shocked that the space was so big. I’m so excited that the open space will become a soccer field and play space for children. We are so happy with the new school.”
    Vandenkieboom also thanked teachers, students and parents for their patience during the construction of the new school.
    She also said the new playground facilities will be completed in the spring.