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Today's News

  • We fill budget holes instead of creating a dynamic economy

    David Abbey, the longtime director of the Legislative Finance Committee, has said the state is running on fumes, and he’s not one to exaggerate.
    Because the recession hangs on and oil and gas prices dropped, tax revenues were down for 11 months of the last fiscal year by a whopping $543.3 million. Even though legislators cut budgets and swept spare change from every possible corner during the last session, we’re now spending money we don’t have.
    That might be a fine American tradition, but it’s illegal. The federal government can run deficits; New Mexico state government can’t.
    So Democrats, now joined by some Republicans, want a special session, but the governor is waiting for numbers from the entire year – as if one month’s revenues will make a difference – before calling a special session.
    Nobody likes a special session, especially during an election year, when the inevitable ugly decisions could affect votes.
    But the longer they wait, the worse it gets. They’ve used cash reserves to plug the hole, so the account hovers at 1 percent of state spending, or $63 million, down from $319.8 million last year. Good governance calls for higher balances.

  • Innovation comes from entrepreneurs, major corporations, children

    Countries become more prosperous by producing and selling more stuff. One approach is having more people produce the same amount for each person. This might apply in New Mexico where a low proportion of our population works. Just hire more people.
    Using technology to have each person produce more is better. Or combine old ideas into a new application, the technique of Vasari21 (vasari21.com), a Taos-based website launched by Ann Landi, a four-year Taos resident transplanted from New York City. Landi has been a freelance writer for publications including the Wall Street Journal and ArtNews.
    Vasari21, is an online publication directed at artists, not art consumers. “There’s nothing like it,” she says. With decades of contacts at the top of the art world and with the internet, Landi is able to operate from Taos.
    Topics include how artists make their way, why critics act the way they do, and talking to a gallery.
    So far, so good, she says. Vasari21 has “a very low bounce rate.”
    Landi has learned that means people stick around the site for a while instead of clicking away in a few seconds.
    Major corporate innovation came recently to my Gillette brand shaving cream, made by Proctor and Gamble. The shaving cream cap has been a 2.5 inch diameter, two-inch-high plastic item.

  • Community Calendar 8-10-16

    TODAY
    Green Hour Hike at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. Join other families for a kid-centered hike on the Las Conchas Trail. Admission: Free.
    THURSDAY
    Nature Yoga at 6:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga with Christa Tyson at the nature center, where you have a great view of nature. Admission: $15/non-member, $12/member.
    FRIDAY
    Gentle Walks at 8:30 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    Astronomy Show at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Explore our universe from the comfort of the planetarium. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.
    SATURDAY
    Bird Walk: Burnt Mesa Trail at 7 a.m. at the Nature Center. Observe local birds while quietly hiking Burnt Mesa Trail. See description at peecnature.org for cost.

    Feature Film: Black Holes at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Voyage through the galaxies in search of answers to explain the riddles of black holes! Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.

  • Fourth Friday Fractals Aug. 26

    Have you journeyed into the never-ending world of fractals? Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s dynamic fractal show is back for one evening this month at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 in the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium.
    This show incorporates math, science, art, and nature in a full-dome planetarium show featuring original music.
    This spectacular show starts promptly at 7 p.m. and seating is limited.
    Tickets may be purchased by phone or at the nature center and are only $10 for adults and $8 for children.
    This fractals show will run on the fourth Friday of each month, and is suitable for audiences ages 4 and up.
    For more information about this and other Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) programs, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 662-0460.

  • Constitution Day essay contest call for entries

    Students of Los Alamos County in grades 4-12 are invited to enter the second annual Constitution Day Essay Contest.
    The cash prizes are $300 for the high school winner, $200 for middle school and $100 for the winner from grades 4-6. Entry is free and judging is blind.
    The contest is sponsored by the Los Alamos Federated Republican Women, and all students are invited to enter.
    The awards ceremony will be Sept. 24 at the Constitution Day Dinner, sponsored by the Republican Party of Los Alamos.
    Winners will be notified by Sept. 14, and will be invited to bring one guest and attend the dinner at no cost. The winners will be invited, but not required, to read their essays at the dinner.
    The Constitution Day Essay Contest is designed to challenge students to learn more about the Constitution and to express original, thoughtful ideas in essay writing. Essays will be judged on how completely and clearly the ideas are stated and supported. Grammar, spelling and punctuation will also be considered. For more information, including the essay questions, go to losalamosgop.com.

  • Assets in Action: Start year off with positive thoughts

    This is the time of year when secretly I may be singing to myself, Andy Williams, It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
    I have never been fond of heading back to school, because I enjoy being at home with my kids. However, I do enjoy seeing everyone else’s children again. I miss those faces during the summer.
    I remember being a first grade parent outside the door and being so excited to see everyone again.
    I want to encourage everyone to start the year on a positive note. Try to find kind and encouraging words to say and start off on a positive note because it really does set the tone for the day.
    If you have seventh grader or a freshman, make sure they attend the orientations planned for them at Los Alamos Middle and High School. More than 125 students and countless adults have spent many hours in leadership training to welcome them and ease their transition.
    One reason I love the WEB and Link Crew programs is that they are grounded in the 40 Developmental Assets framework.
    Make sure you attend open house events, meet key people, hear important information and demonstrate to your children that parent engagement matters. They to see you care, so they care too.

  • Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson to hold Albuquerque rally

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson is set to hold a rally in the state that launched his political career.
    The former New Mexico governor is scheduled Thursday to hold a rally at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump held a similar campaign event at the same location in May. That rally turned violent and caused thousands of dollars of damage.
    Johnson is running with former Massachusetts governor William Weld.
    Libertarians including Johnson are pushing for reduced spending and taxes, saying the federal government has gotten too big across the board.

  • Today history Aug. 10
  • Comp plan sessions continue tonight

    The Los Alamos Planning and Zoning commission held its first work session on the comprehensive plan update on Saturday. Discussions became heated at times as commissioners discussed the three core themes of the plan: “housing, neighborhoods and growth,” “open space, trails and mobility” and “development, redevelopment and downtown.”
    During public comment, Chris and George Chandler questioned whether the material that Community Development Department (CDD) Principal Planner Tamara Baer presented even related to the comp plan.
    “None of these criteria mention the comp plan as a basis for changes, at least very few,” Chris Chandler said. “For example, for special use permits, something very near and dear to my heart, there’s no mention of the criteria that the change has to comport with the comp plan.
    “So all of these people who’ve been coming to all these meetings thinking the comp plan was going to inform the development of the town may be disappointed to learn that the comp plan – if you look at this criteria – is being minimized and barely referenced.”

  • Standoff ends peacefully

    An incident involving an individual who had barricaded themselves inside a home on Rover Boulevard Monday ended peacefully, according to a Los Alamos Police Department spokesman.
    According to Commander Preston Ballew, the incident involved a person with a medical issue, and there would not be any charges filed. No hostages were involved in the incident, Ballew said.
    “The incident was contained and the general public was not in danger,” Ballew said Tuesday.
    Officers responded to a welfare check and located the individual, Ballew said. That person was referred to “appropriate professional services,” he said.
    When the incident started around 2 p.m., police immediately took precautions and ordered an evacuation of a section of Rover Boulevard between Kimberly Avenue and Kendall Avenue.
    The LAPD issued a shelter-in-place order for the White Rock community. Piñon and Chamisa elementary schools were placed on temporary lockdown.
    About six officers had surrounded the house on Rover Boulevard earlier in the afternoon, while firefighters and paramedics stood by to render assistance, if needed.