Today's News

  • International Folk Market opens today

    SANTA FE (AP) — Santa Fe’s famed summer market season opens this weekend with the International Folk Market, the world’s largest folk art market and one dedicated to helping artisans from impoverished nations start their own businesses.
    And as the popular market celebrates its 11th anniversary, it is drawing more than just tourists and locals. Organizers say designers from some of the most prestigious fashion brands are headed west to find inspiration for ethnographic prints and one-of-a-kindhandmade pieces that are increasingly popular in the fashion world.
    “We’ve had many fashion experts shop the market, visionary designers from Donna Karan, Yves Saint Laurent, Anthropologie, and Coach among them,” said market founder Judith Espinar. “We keep hearing that the market is a creativity hotspot, a place to exchange ideas and inspire and be inspired_for artists, retailers, collectors, and visitors alike.”
    This year, more than 160 artists from 62 countries will be selling their work, including includes scarves, jewelry, textiles, basket and host of other art pieces.

  • LAPD competes in Robot Rodeo

    Even though the title has as the word “rodeo” in it, it was all business at the 2014 Western National Robot Rodeo.
    The event took place June 23-27 inside the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Technical Area 49.
    This year, five bomb squads from New Mexico and their bomb-diffusing robots participated, as well as two teams from Colorado and one team from the United Kingdom.
    New Mexico teams included the Los Alamos Police Department, the Albuquerque Police Department, The New Mexico State Police, Kirtland Air Force Base and the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s office.
    Out-of-state and international teams included bomb squads from the 748th Ordinance Company from Ft. Collins Colo., a regional team from Colo. and a team from the British Army.
    During the weeklong event, the teams competed in different types of scenarios they were likely to come across in the performance of their regular duties.
    Exercises included diffusing of IEDs, (improvised explosive devices), car bombs, navigating obstacle courses, and operating in darkened buildings.

  • Funding set aside for Valles project

    Gov. Susana Martinez recently announced $6.2 million for watershed restoration on public lands throughout New Mexico. This funding will help restore and rehabilitate vulnerable watersheds throughout the state, improving water quality and quantity.
    “Unprecedented drought, wildfires, and flooding have decimated New Mexico’s watersheds,” Martinez said. “Water is our most precious natural resource, and we must take an active role in preserving it. By taking action now, we will not only help restore these vital areas for future generations, but we will also help improve the quality and availability of water, and support economic growth.
    Martinez signed this $6.2 million into law as part of the 2014 capital infrastructure legislation — which included an unprecedented $89 million worth of investment in water infrastructure throughout the state. The funding will treat approximately 7,700 acres of 14 high-priority watershed areas on public lands, as identified in the New Mexico Forest Action Plan.

    Martinez said last week she originally asked for $111 million.
    “They gave me $89 million and we prioritized with state forestry and vetted the projects in what needed to be protected,” she said.

  • Council OKs seasonal tiered water rates

    The Los Alamos County Council approved a new tiered water rate by a vote of 5-2 on Tuesday. The new rates go into effect immediately.
    The tiered rates now in effect are:
    • First Tier: $4.19 per 1000 gallons for the first 8,999 gallons consumed (same as current unit rate);
    • Second Tier: $4.45 per 1000 gallons for consumption between 9000 and 15,000 gallons; and
    • Third Tier: $5.32 per 1,000 gallons for all consumption above 15,000 gallons.
    The Department of Public Utilities had determined that a six-percent increase in revenue was necessary to address high capital and maintenance costs. DPU staff and the Board of Public Utilities spent months considering a change to a tiered water rate that more accurately allocates costs to high water users without unduly impacting users such as large families.
    Under the current flat rate, residents who used 4,000 to 4,500 gallons per month (the average use for all households during nonpeak months) pay the same rate for water as commercial users and residential customers using as much as 30,000 gallons a month.
    The new rates reflect the higher costs associated with high summer usage. DPU has found that 21 percent of the county’s households use nearly 56 percent of the water during peak months.

  • Be There 07-09-14

    Game Night: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library in the Upstairs Rotunda.

    Eureka! 4 p.m. at Fuller Lodge Art Center. Artistic interpretations of discovery by a variety of local artists in a variety of media. The Portal Gallery features the work of Katherine Brittin and Charryl Berger. Daily through July 26.

    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.
    Los Alamos Farmers Market. 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library parking lot. First drawing for the contest 10 a.m. July 17.

    Green Hour Hikes. 9 a.m. Meet at local trailheads for meandering hikes where kids set the pace. Join the PEEC Family Nature Yahoo Group to learn the location each week. No advance registration required. Free. For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

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

  • Love story has flaws but still worth watching

    Vicky (Rebecca Hall) wants Doug (Chris Messina), her handsome fiancé.
    Cristina, fresh from a break-up, only knows what she doesn’t want. When the longtime friends happen upon the gruff-voiced Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) during a trip to Spain, even Vicky cannot resist a sexual adventure of the highest, PG-13 calling.
    Thus begins writer/director Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008), a mighty interesting look at how conventions and desires overlap and drift apart. Mesa Public Library will show the film at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, as part of the library’s Free Film Series.
    “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” has flaws. The narrator waxes a bit too pseudo-sagaciously, the Woody-Allen-ness of the characters often threatens to overwhelm, and the characters don’t, ultimately, change as dramatically as I want them to. But the film succeeds, mostly because of Penélope Cruz.
    The film’s strongest scenes feature Cruz as Juan Antonio’s former wife, Maria Elena, who, despite being the stereotypical “crazy ex-wife,” redefines many words associated with love, including “partner” (with whom?) and “commitment” (to what?).

  • Friends of the Library honors scholars

    Four Los Alamos High School seniors were awarded $2,500 scholarships by the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries, scholarship chairman Maire O’Neill announced recently.
    The students are Ethan Clements, Justin Dunn, Emma Lathrop and Emily Pittman. A fifth senior, Tessa Snyder, received the June Ettinger Memorial Scholarship last month.
    The students each submitted personal narrative of about 500 words, on a book, which was required for school and which has not been translated into a visual medium. They were asked to tell their readers in what ways the book has added to their understanding of the human condition or has enhanced their life.
    Volunteer readers for the Friends were Patty Kokesh, Ruth Cox, Candee Haskins and Art Brown. The readers independently read 20 essays and the five top-scoring writers were awarded the scholarships.
    The Friends raise money for the annual scholarship through the all-volunteer bookstore at the Mesa Public Library and by public donations. For more information, stop by the bookstore. 

  • Changing faces of feminism: They're younger and more diverse

    As I entered the hotel, a reporter was asking a woman how feminism had changed over the years. I attended the National Organization for Women’s national convention in Albuquerque last week to answer that question for myself.
    The next day’s newspaper headlines shot back one answer: DeBaca County may elect the state’s first female sheriff since the 1960s. And she’s gay, but that hasn’t been an issue in her campaign.
    More answers: The Supreme Court ruled that a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics is unconstitutional. The Supremes themselves have a 100-foot buffer zone. They also decided that the beliefs of a corporation, Hobby Lobby, are more important than a woman’s need for contraception.
    “There are three things we can do,” said President Terry O’Neill, “vote, vote, vote.”
    I’ve been a NOW member for decades but never attend events. Many of us think we’re doing our bit through career choices, voting, and raising strong daughters and open-minded sons. Still, this was an opportunity to tune back in.

  • Read fine print carefully before signing contracts

    If you always stop to read the fine print before signing anything, congratulations — your parents trained you well. If you don’t, beware: Your signature could commit you to a long-term gym membership you don’t really want, an apartment you can’t afford or worst of all, paying off someone else’s loan you cosigned.
    Broadly defined, contracts are mutually binding agreements between two or more parties to do — or not do — something. It could be as simple as buying coffee (you pay $3 and the restaurant agrees to serve you a drinkable beverage), or as complex as signing a 30-year mortgage.
    Once a contract is in force it generally cannot be altered unless all parties agree. And, with very few exceptions (e.g., if deception or fraud took place), contracts cannot easily be broken.
    Before you enter a contractual agreement, try to anticipate everything that might possibly go wrong. For example:
    After you’ve leased an apartment you decide you can’t afford the rent or don’t like the neighborhood.
    Your roommate moves out, leaving you responsible for the rest of the lease.
    You finance a car you can’t afford, but when you try to sell, it’s worth less than your outstanding loan balance.

  • Strother wins twice at Pace Race

    Nikol Strother nipped two other racers for the best predicition at this week’s Pace Race.
    The Pace Race, which is hosted by the Atomic City Roadrunners, is held every Tuesday during Daylight Savings Time at various spots around Los Alamos County. This week’s race started at Acoma Lane in Pajarito Acres.
    Strother, fresh off her win at the Firecracker 5K race last week, finished Tuesday’s Pace Race with a prediction error of just 1-1/2 seconds, half a second better than Nick Parra-Vasquez and 1-1/2 seconds better than Katie Gattiker.
    She was a dual winner, as she had the fastest finish on the long course to go along with her top prediction.
    Many participants Tuesday finished within 60 seconds of their predicted finish times.
    The fastest finisher on the 1-mile course was Hannah Gartz, who finished in 11 minutes, 8 seconds. Roy Cope finished in 15:58.
    On the 2.8-mile course, Ted Romero (18:31) had to the top finish, followed by Strother (18:38)
    The next Pace Race will be July 15. It will start near the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area lodge. Race time is 6 p.m.
    For more information, call 672-1639 or visit atomicrunners.com.