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Today's News

  • Music award recipients named

    The Rotary Deborah Beene Music Awards auditions last week at Fuller Lodge.  
    The committee of judges included Cindy Little, Charlene Cox-Clifton, Rotarians Brian Newnam, Mandy Marksteiner and Ed Van Eeckhout.  
    Nine students participated, with performances ranging from voice to strings, woodwinds to percussion.
    The winners were: First place, $1,200 — Michelle Yang, violin (teacher Kay Newnam). Second place, $800 — Caitlin Dahl, cello (teacher Dana Winograd). Third place tie, $300 each — Jennifer Necker, oboe (teacher Aaron Lewis). Catherine Runnels, soprano (teacher Nathan Salazar).
    The Deborah Beene account provided $1,000.
    Another $1,000 was given by the Rotary Club of Los Alamos and the remaining funds were provided through private donation.
    The Rotary Deborah Beene Music Awards program was established in the memory of Deborah Beene, daughter of Donald and Sara Beene, a violin and piano student who died in December 1973 while enrolled in school here. The awards are intended to assist students in their musical growth.
    The 9th-12th grade LAHS students may compete.

  • Capital outlay: Just another political football

    Odds were always slim that we’d see a special session to resuscitate the $264 million capital outlay bill.
    It’s just too close to 2016 elections, and the lost spending bill is too big an opportunity for political missiles.
    Every county had a stake in the game, and the business community made its wishes clear. The parties and the governor apparently had reached some meeting of the minds on capital outlay. Had they left it at that, we’d have a special session and the desired public spending. But the governor wanted a package of tax breaks.
    There are three rules about special sessions: Have an agreement ahead of time, keep it simple, and keep it short.
    Everyone wants capital outlay. The tax breaks are another matter.
    They passed the House but probably would have run into resistance in the Senate. In the last two sessions, I’ve seen a rising bipartisan awareness that continuing to scatter tax breaks like seeds in the wind is not necessarily in the state’s best interest.
    We don’t even know if the last batch of tax breaks worked.
    Even so, I don’t think the governor ever intended to call a special session. The Democrats divined that and both played the hands they held. You could see it in the scripted statements and equally scripted responses.

  • The cost of the war on coal

    About 60 demonstrators were waving signs in front of PNM headquarters the morning of the company’s 2015 Annual Meeting.
    Inside, behind a security cordon of nervous rent-a-cops, CEO Pat Collawn delivered the obligatory bland speech to a handful of local stockholders, while the bullhorn-led protestors four floors below chanted, “No nukes, no coal! Solar is the way to go!” and “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho! Dirty coal has to GO!”
    A disclaimer to reveal my bias: I’m thrice-related to PNM.
    First, I’m a shareholder. If that conjures up visions of Rich Uncle Pennybags off the Monopoly box, think again. PNM is almost entirely owned by conservative mutual funds that pool the savings of millions of small investors.
    If your nest egg is tucked away with Fidelity or Vanguard, you may be a PNM owner, too.
    Second, I used to work there.
    Looking back over my long and checkered career, I can honestly say it was the best job I ever had. The company demanded a full day’s work for a day’s pay, but the money was good, at least by New Mexico standards, helping me put two kids through college.
    Finally, I’m a PNM customer. The monthly bill is higher than I’d like, and it’s going to be even stiffer if the company’s current request for a 12 percent rate hike is approved.

  • Timberwolves win NBA lottery

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves won the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night, the first time since 2004 the team with the worst record won the No. 1 pick.
    After years of bad luck in the lottery, things finally worked out for the Wolves, who can perhaps choose between big men Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky and Jahlil Okafor of national champion Duke to put next to Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins.
    “We’re in this for big stakes,” said Flip Saunders, the Wolves’ president and coach. “The big thing about this is getting good talent that can blend together. This is another big step.”
    The Los Angeles Lakers moved from the fourth spot to second, keeping a pick they would have sent to Philadelphia if it fell outside the top five. The 76ers are third followed by the New York Knicks, who had the second-best odds of winning but instead fell to fourth 30 years after winning the first draft lottery and drafting Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing.
    Not since Orlando won the right to pick Dwight Howard in 2004 had the NBA’s ultimate game of chance came out in favor of the team with the best odds. The Timberwolves had a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick after finishing 16-66.

  • Isotopes split with River Cats

    The Albuquerque Isotopes (16-24) used a six-run sixth inning to beat the Sacramento River Cats (21-19) 10-7 Tuesday afternoon at Isotopes Park and earn a split in the four-game series.
    Center fielder Roger Bernadina mashed a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh to lead the Isotopes’ charge.
    Albuquerque jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after a three spot in the second inning, but Sacramento immediately began chipping away. The Isotopes added a run in the third, but the River Cats put two on the board in both the third and fourth innings to tie the game. Three straight singles led to three runs for Sacramento in the fifth and gave the Cats a 7-4 lead.
    Albuquerque was not done though, as the first four batters reached in the sixth inning to tie the game before Bernadina’s three-run smash put the ’Topes on top for good.
    The hottest Isotopes hitter of late has been first baseman Matt McBride, and he continued his good work on Tuesday. He turned in a 2-for-4 afternoon with a pair of singles and two runs scored. He now has seven straight multi-hit games. Since Wednesday, McBride is batting .571 (16-for-28) with 10 runs scored, three doubles, three home runs, six RBI and a walk. He also has hits in 11 of his last 12 games.

  • NFL moves back extra points

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The NFL is moving back extra-point kicks and allowing defenses to score on conversion turnovers.
    The owners on Tuesday approved the competition committee’s proposal to snap the ball from the 15-yard line on PATs to make them more challenging. In recent seasons, kickers made more than 99 percent of the kicks with the ball snapped from the 2.
    “There was strong sentiment coming out of our meetings in March that something had to be done with our extra point,” said Texans general manager Rick Smith, a member of the competition committee that proposed this specific rule change. “From a kicking perspective the try was over 99 percent (successful), so we tried to add skill to the play.
    “It was also a ceremonial play.”
    The accepted proposal places the 2-point conversion at the 2, and allows the defense to return a turnover to the other end zone for the two points, similar to the college rule. The defense can also score two points by returning a botched kick.
    The change was approved only for 2015, then will be reviewed. But Smith predicts it will become permanent.
    “This isn’t an experiment,” Smith added. “This is a rule change. We expect this to be a part of the game.”
    The vote was 30-2. Washington and Oakland voted no.

  • Gattiker has top prediction in race

    Katie Gattiker had the top prediction is this week’s pace race, which was held at East Park. Gattiker was only 3 seconds off of her predicted time.
    Sam Crooks and David Kratzer tied for next best prediction with a 5-second differential.
    Aurea Rojas was 10 seconds off her estimated time.
    On the 1-mile course, Mariela Saenz finished first in 10 minutes, 25 seconds.
    The top male participant, Brian Newnam, finished the mile in 10:48.
    Ted Romero finished the 3-mile course with a first-place time of 20:13.
    Nikol Strother was the first female to finish the 3-mile course, recording a 20:28.
    Next Tuesday’s race will be held at 6 p.m. on the Cañada del Buey Trail in White Rock. The races will start just to the west of Chamisa Elementary at 205 Meadow Lane. For more information call 672-1639 or visit the club’s website, atomicrunners.com.

     

  • Today in history May 20
  • The Art of Ballroom Dance

    Since the start of school year, the dance students of Los Alamos High School have been learning and perfecting the art of Ballroom dance.
    The students are showing off what they have learned at the Spring Dance Show at 7 p.m. today at the Duane Smith Auditorium. Admission is free.
    LAHS teacher Natasha Barkhudarova teaches her students the fundamentals of dance and performance. The students dance everything from the convivial Quickstep to the passionate Samba. See student choreographed dances and artfully crafted formation dances, as well as guest performances by the LAHS Bollywood, Hip-Hop and Ballroom clubs, and guest-performers from New Mexico Dance Theater, DALA, Folklorico, YMCA Kathak and NMSU Hip-Hop.

    See this story in Diversions on Thursday.

  • Lockhart win triple jump to lead LA at state meet

    ALBUQUERQUE — After breaking Los Alamos’ school record in the triple jump time and time again this year, Elizabeth Lockhart can now add state champion to her list of accomplishments.
    “It felt really good,” Lockhart said about her state championship performance. “I’m really happy.”
    On her first jump at the state meet Saturday, Lockhart jumped 37 feet, 1/2 inch to break her previous record and take the early lead in the competition.
    Lockhart consistently jumped further than everybody else after that. She had three of the four longest jumps in the prelims and three of the four longest jumps in the finals. Her first jump, however, was her farthest leap and proved to be her gold medal performance.
    The Hilltopper girls stepped on the podium 11 times at the state meet while the Hilltopper boys had seven podium finishes.
    Lockhart, however, was the lone Hilltopper that got to stand on top of the podium.
    The Hilltopper girls finished fifth as a team with 32.5 points. Aztec (78) won the girls state title, followed by Los Lunas (48), Piedra Vista (47) and St. Pius X (45).