Today's News

  • Low turnout for Tuesday’s elections

    Voter turnout was low for Tuesday’s elections as the community decided who would take seats on the Los Alamos Public Schools School Board and University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Advisory Board.
    Only 1,432 voters cast ballots for the election, according to the unofficial results Tuesday issued by the Los Alamos County Clerk’s Office.
    This election decided four races in a nine-candidate race. The only candidate not challenged was UNM-LA candidate Michelle Hall, who was renewing her term for Position 2 on the UNM-LA Advisory Board.
    In the race for seats on the UNM-LA Board, incumbent David Sutton defeated challenger Michael Redondo for Position 1, and Sheila Schiferl received more votes than James Robinson for Position 5.
    Stephen Boerigter defeated opponent Darryl Sugar for District 2, a seat vacated by Matt Williams. District 2 includes Chamisa Elementary School in White Rock. In District 1, incumbent and school board chairman Jim Hall was facing a challenge by Ellen Ben-Naim. District 2 is where Piñon Elementary School is located.
    Ben-Naim said she couldn’t wait to hit the ground running. “I’m excited about continuing to have great schools and making improvements where we can,” she said. “This was the result of a lot of people working together to bring about change.”

  • LA girls hoops fall to Del Norte, 50-28

    The Los Alamos girls basketball team continues to struggle in District 2-5A play after falling 50-28 against Del Norte Saturday at Griffith Gym.
    After the first half of district play, the Hilltoppers are 1-4 in district and 6-17 overall. Los Alamos faced Albuquerque Academy on Tuesday after the Los Alamos Monitor’s print deadline.
    Del Norte took command of the game from the opening tip-off and jumped out to a 15-7 lead after the first quarter.
    The Knights continued to succeed on offense in the second quarter and outscored Los Alamos 16-9 to take a 31-16 lead at halftime.
    The Hilltoppers didn’t have much success on the offensive end in the second half and only managed four points in the final eight minutes. Meanwhile, Del Norte executed on both ends and sealed its third district win to improve to 3-2 and 12-9 overall.
    Savannah Lucero led Los Alamos with eight points, while Isabell Larribas and Susana Gallegos finished with five points, respectively.
    Del Norte got a game-high 12 points from Breana Desoto, while Victoria Casaus added 11.
    Going into Tuesday’s games, Los Alamos was in last place in district while Del Norte remained in third. Española Valley was atop the standings and Academy was second.


  • Prep boys hoops: ’Toppers down Sundevils

    The Los Alamos boys basketball team’s district title hopes will depend on what team shows up.
    If the Hilltoppers team that played in the first half of their game against Del Norte Friday shows up, hopes will be slim. But if the second half team and the team that upended defending state champion Española Valley Monday shows up, Los Alamos will be right in the midst of the District 2-5A title talks.
    The Hilltoppers took down the rival Sundevils, 55-48, in front of a ruckus crowd at Griffith Gym. It was Los Alamos’ first win against Española since the 2011-2012 season, ending a nine-game losing streak against the Sundevils.
    “There’s always that stigma of playing Española and trying to beat them,” Los Alamos coach Mike Kluk said. “This team (Los Alamos) has kind of struggled with its identity and its confidence a bit, but hopefully this is a big confidence builder.”
    Los Alamos improved to 10-12 overall and 2-3 in District 2-5A, while keeping pace with the middle teams in the district standings. The win put Los Alamos ahead of 2-3 Albuquerque Academy and one game behind 3-2 Española.

  • Nation's only Latina governor denounces 'racist' charge

    SANTA FE (AP) — The nation's only Latina governor is denouncing a claim by a white former mayor of Santa Fe that she is a racist because of her effort to make it more difficult for people in New Mexico illegally to get driver's licenses.

    During a rally Monday for immigrant rights advocates, former Santa Fe Mayor David Coss told activists that moves by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez were based on racism and compared her to President Donald Trump – who Martinez sharply criticized during the presidential campaign.

    Coss told the audience that he was proud to live in New Mexico, a state "that rejected the racism of Donald Trump, that rejected the racism of Susana Martinez."

    The former mayor then said people had suggested that he not call anyone a racist. "Well, you know what? When you're a racist, and you try to implement racist policies in my community, it makes me angry," Coss said.

    The white liberal said the effort by Martinez, a Republican, to change New Mexico's law that allowed immigrants already in the country illegally to obtain driver's licenses was "racist, and that was wrong."

    Chris Sanchez, a spokesman for Martinez, criticized Coss' remarks late Monday.

  • 2017 State Legislature; Senators halt proposal to revive state school board

    By Robert Nott

    The New Mexican

    Five Democrats joined four Republicans on Monday to block a bill that would have eliminated the job of Cabinet secretary of public education and resurrected a statewide board to oversee schools in New Mexico.

    The Senate Rules Committee voted 9-2 to table Senate Joint Resolution 2, a proposed constitutional amendment to create a 10-member school board that in turn would hire a secretary of education. In the existing system, the governor appoints someone to run the Public Education Department.

    Sen. Michael Padilla, D-Albuquerque, introduced the resolution, saying it would return power to school districts and would allow the state board to hire or fire a secretary of education at will.

    "If the individual [secretary] does a poor job, the state school board can take that individual out of the position," Padilla told the committee. Otherwise, he said, even if a secretary of education is doing a good job, a newly elected governor could "turn it upside down" by hiring his or her own person for the job.

  • 2017 State Legislature: New Mexico Legislature, Congress diverging on gun sales checks

    By Steve Terrell

    The New Mexican

    A House committee on Saturday advanced a bill that would expand required background checks to include most gun purchases in New Mexico.

    After a hearing that lasted more than three hours, the Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted 3-1 along party lines in favor of House Bill 50, sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos. The committee's action mirrored that of a Senate panel that last week approved an identical proposal, Senate Bill 48.

    While the New Mexico Legislature is moving toward expanding mandatory background checks, Congress is heading in the other direction.

    The U.S. House of Representatives last week voted 235-180 to scuttle an Obama-era rule requiring background checks for gun purchases by some Social Security recipients with mental disabilities. If this measure passes the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate, Republican President Donald Trump is expected to sign it.

    In presenting her state bill Saturday, Garcia Richard said her family owns guns. But, she said, "New Mexico has a problem, a problem that contributes to New Mexico being the deadliest state for domestic violence."

  • 2017 State Legislature: Bills to stop contract buyouts die in House committee

    A state House committee on Friday tabled two pieces of legislation aimed at stopping public school superintendents, college presidents and university coaches from getting what some lawmakers referred to as a “golden parachute” when their contracts are terminated early.
    The House Education Committee action effectively killed both bills, sponsored by Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque.
    The decisions came on bipartisan votes, with some lawmakers and members of the education community arguing that the measures would hinder the ability of school districts and colleges to recruit high-quality candidates for top jobs.
    Much of the discussion Friday centered on recent controversy involving Robert Frank, the former president of The University of New Mexico who agreed to step down in December under a deal with the board of regents that allows him to continue collecting his annual salary of $350,000 through May.
    Under the agreement, Frank can continue working at UNM in a $190,000-a-year tenured position. In the meantime, he has been job hunting. Frank is one of four finalists for the president’s position at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

  • 2017 State Legislature: Panel OK’s ban on conversion therapy

    The New Mexican

  • 2017 State Legislature: House committee advances bill allowing doctor’s aid in dying

    A parent tries to starve herself to death. A cancer patient wonders how long she will have to suffer before the disease destroys her. And across the state, New Mexicans hear the pleas of ailing loved ones to let them die.
    Hours of personal stories Friday about sickness, pain, dignity and death moved lawmakers to tears. Then a committee of the House of Representatives voted along party lines to advance a bill that would allow medical professionals to assist terminally ill patients in ending their own lives.
    The 4-3 vote came only months after the New Mexico Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in the case of a cancer patient who wanted the option to end her own life with the help of a doctor. The state’s highest court decided New Mexico law does not expressly provide patients the right to medical assistance in dying, and suggested the Legislature should clarify the issue.
    House Bill 171, endorsed Friday by the House Health and Human Services Committee, would change a 1963 law that made it a fourth-degree felony for anyone to assist in a person’s suicide. The law would allow medical professionals to aid in an adult’s death by prescribing lethal drugs, provided that the patient meets certain criteria.

  • Poet Joni Wallace to give reading Feb. 14

    Award-winning poet Joni Wallace will give a reading entitled “Mesas and Particles: Los Alamos as Literary Muse” at 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos, presented by the Los Alamos Historical Society.
    Wallace grew up in Los Alamos and is the award-winning author of three books of poetry. Her lecture includes readings from her latest book, “Kingdom Come Radio Show” (Barrow Street, 2016).  
    Los Alamos and the Manhattan Project compose the backdrop for “Kingdom Come Radio Show,” a poetic documentation of place (Los Alamos) and history (both personal, and that of the Manhattan Project).
    “Oppenheimer, pacing at dawn, smoking, working the equation that says the atmosphere will/will not ignite when the gadget blows straight up into Kingdom Come. In the tilt shot, Kitty Puening Oppenheimer, drink in hand, clink, clink of ice against glass. … Cut to a long drive along a stretch of road, almost-dark, the percussive hiss of cicadas, stereo. Hank singing on this road of sin you are sorrow bound.” – “Kingdom Come Radio Show,” Barrow Street Press, 2016.