Today's News

  • Getting your home ready to sell

    As the economy improves, today’s sellers are facing a very different environment than they were before the housing market stumbled in 2006.
    Today’s housing market features new procedures and standards, not the least of which are continuing borrowing hurdles for prospective buyers. If you are thinking about a home sale in the coming months, it pays to do a thorough overview of your personal finances and local real estate environment before you put up the “for sale” sign.
    Here are some general issues to consider:
    Make sure you’re not underwater. You may want to buy a new home, but can you afford to sell? The term “underwater” refers to the amount of money a seller owes on a house in excess of final sales proceeds. If what you owe on the home — including all selling costs due at closing — exceeds the agreed-upon sale price, then you will have to pay the difference out of pocket. If you’re not in a situation where you absolutely have to sell now, you may want to wait until your financial circumstances and the real estate market improves.
    Evaluate your finances. Before you sell, make sure you are ready to buy or rent. Making sure all three of your credit reports are accurate is an important part of that process.

  • Do ex-cons deserve a fresh start?

    Every now and then, you read a news story about an employee who went to a home to clean the carpet and later robbed the place.
    The perpetrator had a prison record.
    That is not only a trauma for the homeowner; it’s a serious problem for the business owner, who probably will be sued. The business owner, you’d think, has a duty to screen his employees and make sure he doesn’t expose customers to the risk of employees with a known criminal history.
    This poses a conflict with the “ban the box” movement.
    A standard practice on job application forms is to ask applicants whether they have ever been convicted of a felony. Check yes or no. The applicant who answers “yes” likely won’t be hired, or even get a second look.
    Advocates, such as the National Employment Law Project (NELP, nelp.org), want to eliminate that box.
    The “ban the box” movement says ex-cons deserve a chance to start fresh. If society won’t let them earn an honest living, the argument goes, they may have no choice but to resume criminal behavior.
    It’s in society’s interest to help them get back on their feet — but it’s loaded with obstacles.

  • On The Docket 8-28-15

    Aug. 19

    Jose G. Chacon pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal court to speeding 11 to 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $75 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Kelso Street was found guilty at the time of traffic stop for failing to wear seatbelts. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Logan D. Cunico was found guilty at the time of traffic stop for failing to abide pedestrian control signals. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Danny Martinez was found guilty at the time of traffic stop to speeding 11 to 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $75 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Aug. 20

    Emily E. Orr pled no contest in Los Alamos Magistrate Court to shoplifting. Defendant was fined $50 and defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Lloyd Ami was found guilty by Citepay of improper stopping, standing or parking. Defendant was fined $50.

    Aug. 21

    Terrance C. Gray was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to wear seatbelts. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

  • Community Calendar 8-28-15

    Gordon’s Summer Concert Series. The Iguanas, roots rock band from New Orleans. 7 p.m. at Rover Park in White Rock. Free. For more information, visit GordonsSummerConcerts.com.

    Robotics Night. 5-7 p.m. at the Bradbury Museum, as part of Fourth Fridays. Includes robots of all different sizes, shapes and uses from LEGObots and SumoBots to Bomb Squad and Hazardous Material robots.

    Conversations in Clay. Aug. 14-Sept. 19 at the Portal Gallery at Fuller Lodge Art Center.
    White Rock Artist Market. First Saturday of the month at the Visitor Center. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Runs through October.

    Conversations in Clay. Through Sept. 19 at the Portal Gallery at Fuller Lodge Art Center.
     Classic Air Medical. Pilot Geoff Rodgers and the medical team will discuss the work of the helicopter rescue company and how they work with the local community. Free. 7 p.m. at the Nature Center.

    Conversations in Clay. Aug. Through Sept. 19 at the Portal Gallery at Fuller Lodge Art Center.
    Los Alamos Farmers Market. 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library parking lot.

  • Setting Up

    United Blood Service workers and volunteers were setting up the gymnasium at the Los Alamos First Baptist Church ahead of Thursday’s first day of blood drive efforts. The church is located at 2200 Diamond Drive. The blood drive will run through 7 p.m. today for those who want to donate.

  • Local Briefs 8-28-15

    Court will be closed next week

    The Los Alamos Municipal Court clerk’s office will be closed the week of Aug. 31-Sept. 4.
    The court’s office said the reason for the closure is for training of staff that week.
    The Municipal Court will also be closed Sept. 7 in observance of Labor Day.
    Payments due during the period of the closure can be mailed to the Municipal Court, 2500 Trinity Dr., Suite C, Los Alamos N.M. 87544. Some court payments may also be made online at citepayusa.com.
    The court clerk’s office will reopen at 8 a.m. Sept. 8.

    Hitchcock movie to screen for Free Film Series

    The 1955 film, “To Catch a Thief,” will be screened at Mesa Public Library Sept. 3 as part of the library’s Free Film Series.
    The film, which stars Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, was directed by legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. It will be screened at the upstairs meeting room of the library.
    For more information about the Free Film Series, call Mesa Public Library at 662-8247.

    Islamic nations topic of talk in Albuquerque

  • Parks touts plans in podcast

    A Community Connections podcast episode that features the new CEO of the LANL Foundation, Jenny Parks, has just been released by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Community Programs Office.
    In the podcast, Parks discusses her diverse professional background and the Foundation’s plans for the future with Carole Rutten, deputy director of community programs.
    Parks joined the Foundation as CEO in January after serving as CEO of the New Mexico Community Foundation.
    The LANL Foundation was established in 1997 through an allocation from LANL, along with congressional appropriation through the Department of Energy. The primary mission of the Foundation is to support the educational needs of children in the public schools in the vicinity of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Today, they are serving this mission by focusing on three areas: early childhood education, inquiry science and scholarships.
    “These scholarships are really changing lives,” Parks said. “We now have scholarships available for all ages, along with the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund which has granted more than 1,000 scholarships to date.”
    According to Parks, plans are underway to expand its Firstborn program that the foundation manages into a statewide program that can operate autonomously.

  • Unemployment down in county

    Unemployment in the state ticked up last month, but local unemployment numbers fell from the previous month, according to the Department of Workforce Solutions.
    Los Alamos continues to have the lowest rate of unemployment anywhere in the state, with its rate of just 4.4 percent, nearly a full percentage point better than any other county.
    According to the state, 373 of the county’s workforce of nearly 8,400 were seeking work last month. That was down 25 people from the states adjusted numbers for June.
    The percentage was also the same figure the county reported one year ago.
    In the entire state, the rate was 6.5 percent, seasonally-adjusted. That was up from June’s figure of 6.4 percent.
    Among the state’s metropolitan areas, only Farmington’s rate rose from June to July.
    Intestingly, job losses from last month were largely confined to a few counties. McKinley County saw one of the worst tumbles over the month, increasing its unemployment rate by half a percent, although part of that may be due to a jump of job-seekers in the county by more than 1,200 people.
    Nationally, July’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

  • Creative District to host Fourth Friday

    Los Alamos Creative District’s Fourth Fridays returns to downtown Los Alamos this afternoon.
    Ahead of the Summer Concert Series, which starts at 7 p.m., Fourth Fridays is a monthly event that offers special programming at Mesa Public Library, Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos Historical Society, Fuller Lodge Art Center and the Los Alamos Nature Center.
    As the name implies, Fourth Fridays happens on the fourth Friday of each month and promotes special offerings from participating local businesses.
    The Bradbury Science Museum will feature Robotics Night: This evening features the return of one of our most popular events.
    The event includes robots of all different sizes, shapes and uses from LEGObots and SumoBots to Bomb Squad and Hazardous Material robots.
    Robotics Night runs from 4-6 p.m.
    Also today, Los Alamos Historical Society and Museum features an investigation into the history and future of artificial intelligence.
    Those interested can learn about Alan Turing, his work as a mathematician during World War II, and the test named after him.
    Participants can run a Turing Test and see if they can tell if the answers are coming from a real person or an artificial intelligence.
    That will also start at 4 p.m. today.

  • Opening Night

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper football team starts is 2015 season tonight. The game will be at 7 p.m. in Jacona against the Pojoaque Valley Elks.