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Today's News

  • Senators request additional $113M funding for WIPP cleanup

     

    ALBUQUERQUE — Members of the state’s congressional delegation are seeking an additional $113 million to help fund ongoing recovery efforts at the federal government’s troubled nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico.

    U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich outlined their request Tuesday in a letter to the chairman and ranking member of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has been closed since February, following a fire and then a radiological leak from a canister of waste shipped from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    Cleaning up WIPP and resuming full operations could take years. The cost has been estimated at more than $500 million.

  • Geisik's sentencing to be rescheduled

     

    A glitch in the court system has resulted in defendant Stephen Geisik’s sentencing being delayed. Though the Los Alamos district courtroom was filled with friends and family of both the victim and defendant looking for a resolution to the months-long case, 

    Judge Mary Marlow Sommer opted to continue the case because Geisik’s psychological profile she requested wasn’t extensive enough. In May, Geisik was convicted for criminal contact with a 12-year-old girl. Geisik has been in the Los Alamos County Detention Center ever since.

    “The psychological evaluation was not the psychological evaluation I anticipated. If I did not make that clear, I apologize,” Sommer said to the courtroom audience. “Since he was convicted of a sex offender offense, I thought I was going to get a sex offender evaluation. This is not a sufficient, comprehensive sex offender evaluation for me.”

  • Expect Main Hill Road delays

    The New Mexico Department of Transportation has restricted traffic on the Main Hill Road to one lane in order to perform shoulder work. The Los Alamos Monitor is currently trying to determine how long the delay is expected to continue.

  • Rebuilding project
  • LTAB receives 6 percent increase in revenue

     

    Ryn Herrmann, chair of the Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Board (LTAB), presented the board’s annual report to the Los Alamos County Council last week. 

    Herrmann had one qualified bit of good news:  Lodger’s Tax revenues were up 6 percent over this time last year. The board’s goal had been a 2-percent increase. However, revenues had taken a sharp dive after the Hilltop House closed late in 2012. 

    According to Herrmann, that closure reduced the available hotel rooms by 30 percent, to 280 within the county. LTAB is asking council to prioritize securing a new hotel/conference space. 

    “We’re very dependent on lab for room nights. It makes it difficult to have any other space available at the hotels,” Herrmann said. 

  • Be There calendar 11-19-14

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

    The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board’s next meeting will be 6 p.m. in Building No. 1, Camino Entrada Road, Pajarito Cliffs Site. Patti Vowell, New Mexico State Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative coordinator, will discuss the state’s progression towards implementing reform in the Juvenile Justice System in the context of the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative.

    The Los Alamos Photo Club (LAPC) meets from 7-9 p.m., the third Tuesday and Thursday of each month, upstairs in Fuller Lodge Art Center. The focus of LAPC is photography in general. All are welcome. Dues are $12 per year and are good for the Los Alamos Adobe Users Group. For more information email Doug at dfcoombs@comcast.net.

    “No Limitations.” Work by photographer Kimber Wallwork-Heineman. Daily through November at the Mesa Public Library Upstairs Gallery.
    Thursday
    Book and Gift Fair. 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in the doctor’s lobby area of the Los Alamos Medical Center. Prices are 30-70 percent off retail. Proceeds benefit LAMC Auxiliary.

  • CROP Walk participation inspires community

    This year’s CROP Hunger Walk and Turkey Trot is raring to go with enthusiasm.
    Among those preparing for Sunday’s event are Ted Williams and Vincent Chiravalle. Each of these gentlemen has committed energy to help this great community effort succeed. The race starts at 2 p.m. in Los Alamos Middle School cafeteria. Registration begins at 1 p.m.
    The CROP Hunger Walk and Turkey Trot has been held annually in Los Alamos since 1997.
    Williams has been involved in Atomic City Roadrunners for 30 years and is a co-creator of the CROP Walk/Turkey Trot event. Each year, he takes care of reserving the middle school, measuring and marking the course, timing the runners and walkers and other details. Ted notes that, before the CROP Walk was added to it, the last race of the season for the Atomic City Roadrunners would always be a Turkey Trot, held on North Mesa around Thanksgiving time.

  • Negative ads allowed Martinez to choose her opponent

    Did Susana Martinez’s campaign strategists influence the selection of her opponent? Did the Martinez machine want Gary King to be the Democratic nominee for governor?
    Brian Sanderoff thinks so.
    That was one of several points Sanderoff made in a recent talk about the forces at work in this year’s election. Despite how we prefer to think of ourselves, in many ways we voters are the captives of trends, from ethnic preferences to the unpopularity of sixth-year presidents.
    Sanderoff is president of Research and Polling and a respected analyst of New Mexico politics.
    In the Democratic primary, we recall, there were five candidates, three Hispanic and two Anglo. The Martinez campaign ran TV commercials during the primary against candidate Alan Webber. The intention, said Sanderoff, was to draw Anglo votes from Webber, which would tend to shift to King. With Hispanic voters divided, that would put King on top.  
    King, Sanderoff explained, would be the easiest candidate to beat because he has the longest public record. He has served eight years as attorney general and 10 years in the Legislature. That enabled the Martinez opposition researchers to find negative gems like the building in Moriarty that has no doubt become the best-known lease in state history.

  • Right-to-work gets a second wind

    As Republican legislators update goals in light of their newly won House majority, right-to-work is waking from a long slumber.
    Right-to-work laws prohibit union membership as a condition of employment. Republicans and the business community have long believed right-to-work would be good for economic development — a signal that the state is business friendly. Unions, Democrats and advocates for working people have always said that weakened unions would mean lower wages and deteriorating working conditions.
    Right-to-work has come up repeatedly, but hasn’t been a big issue for decades. In 1978, it was so hot that Bruce King almost lost his election to Joe Skeen. As governor, King vetoed right-to-work in 1979. When that veto was challenged, the state Supreme Court upheld its legality.
    For a sneak preview of the debate to come, look at the legislative session of 1981, when a gaggle of right-to-work supporters took office. One was Sen. Mickey Barnett, R-Portales, who introduced a right-to-work bill.
    House Minority Leader Hoyt Pattison, R-Clovis, argued: “The fact is, the people of our state and our nation don’t like to be told that they have to do something.” They don’t like to be told they have to pay dues to hold a job, especially when dues are used to support political candidates.

  • http://www.lamonitor.com/content/report-truck-crash-released

    As Republican legislators update goals in light of their newly won House majority, right-to-work is waking from a long slumber.
    Right-to-work laws prohibit union membership as a condition of employment. Republicans and the business community have long believed right-to-work would be good for economic development — a signal that the state is business friendly. Unions, Democrats and advocates for working people have always said that weakened unions would mean lower wages and deteriorating working conditions.
    Right-to-work has come up repeatedly, but hasn’t been a big issue for decades. In 1978, it was so hot that Bruce King almost lost his election to Joe Skeen. As governor, King vetoed right-to-work in 1979. When that veto was challenged, the state Supreme Court upheld its legality.
    For a sneak preview of the debate to come, look at the legislative session of 1981, when a gaggle of right-to-work supporters took office. One was Sen. Mickey Barnett, R-Portales, who introduced a right-to-work bill.
    House Minority Leader Hoyt Pattison, R-Clovis, argued: “The fact is, the people of our state and our nation don’t like to be told that they have to do something.” They don’t like to be told they have to pay dues to hold a job, especially when dues are used to support political candidates.