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Today's News

  • LALT to hold play reading Dec. 3

    Los Alamos Little Theatre announces a staged reading of “After You’ve Gone,” a new work by Santa Fe-based playwright Mark Dunn.
    The staged reading will be 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3, at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St., Los Alamos.  
    Admission is free for this one-time event.
    “After You’ve Gone,” which takes its title from a song first published in 1918, introduces the audience to Adele Pike, who has just buried her husband of 36 years, and her two daughters and son-in-law.
    Amidst the leftover casseroles, cakes and pigs-in-a-blanket brought by her Southern friends and neighbors, Adele confronts the appearance of a former lover, and her family learns more about her in an evening than they had in the previous three decades.
    “I wrote an early draft of this play several years ago when I was writing about Greenwich Village during World War I,” Dunn said. “I have long been fascinated with how gay people throughout the history of this country were able to reach out, find one another and express their love in such a sexually buttoned-down country. This play looks at the complications of same-sex love at a time in which such love wasn’t accepted or understood.”

  • LANL has successful turkey drive

    Los Alamos National Laboratory held its annual Bring a (frozen) Turkey to Work Day Monday, in partnership with the Food Depot of Santa Fe.
    The drive is something the lab has done for years. The Food Depot partners with 145 other agencies throughout northern New Mexico to ensure that people in the area don’t go without food this week, according to LANL spokesman Steve Sandoval.
    Lab employees and contractor Cray Computers donated 475 frozen turkeys, which are packaged with nonperishable food items also donated by lab employees during the food drive.
    Food Depot personnel were onsite Monday and have already taken the frozen turkeys to Santa Fe for distribution via their partners.

  • NM Dem chair won’t seek second term

    SANTA FE (AP) — Democrats in New Mexico will be able to get new leadership as the head of the party has announced she will not seek a second term.
    Democratic Party of New Mexico state Chairwoman Debra Haaland said Tuesday that she will step down in April, when the party will elect a new state leader.
    On Tuesday the party’s 24-year-old vice chairman, Juan Sanchez of Belen, declared his interest in the position.
    Haaland’s decision to step down comes after a number of Democratic victories around the state during this year’s election and a presidential election cycle where Haaland was accused of showing favoritism toward eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.
    State GOP Chairwoman Debbie Maestas has also announced she will not seek re-election.

  • San Ildefonso Road tunnel to close

    San Ildefonso Road Pedestrian tunnel at the Diamond Drive roundabout will be closed starting Monday for about three weeks as the tunnel undergoes rehabilitation.
    Crews from GM Emulsion will remove the existing concrete slab in the tunnel and construct a structural shotcrete lining around the tunnel.
    The rehabilitation work is necessary to remediate the corrosion of the existing corrugated steel plate around the perimeter of the tunnel. For questions about the work, call 662-8150 or email to lacpw@lacnm.us.

  • US businesses cheer judge’s overtime ruling

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Businesses around the country on Wednesday cheered a court decision blocking the Obama administration’s sweeping new overtime rules, but many had already raised salaries or ordered managers to stick to a strict 40-hour workweek to avoid costs they expected to incur starting next week.
    An injunction issued Tuesday by the federal court in the Eastern District of Texas prevents the Department of Labor from mandating overtime pay for salaried employees who make less than about $47,500 a year — a dramatic jump from the old threshold of $23,660.
    More than 4 million workers would have been newly eligible for time-and-a-half pay under the rule, which now faces far more uncertainty from Donald Trump’s incoming administration.
    The ruling giving businesses a reprieve “is a little late for a lot of people’s taste,” said Tom Gimbel of Chicago-based LaSalle Network, a staffing firm that advised companies on how to prepare for the new rule.
    Wal-Mart, for example, raised entry-level managers’ starting salaries by $3,500 in September to stay above the threshold.

  • Council to review bond projects, water plan

    The Los Alamos County Council will hear an update on scoping for the 2017 recreation bond projects and a presentation on the revised long-range water supply plan at its regular meeting Tuesday.
    Also on the agenda is a citizens’ petition requesting the installation of two speed humps on North Road in front of Mountain Elementary School.
    For details on the recreational bonds projects, read “Weigh in on rec bond projects Thursday” in the Los Alamos Monitor’s Nov. 16 edition and “Residents look at Rec bond package,” published Nov. 21.
    See “County to hold meeting on water supply plan Tuesday,” published Nov. 14, and “Water supply plan weighed by public,” published Nov. 21, for more on the long-range water supply plan.
    For Tuesday’s complete agenda packet, go to losalamos.legistar.com.
    Tuesday’s meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.

  • NM mulls partial closure plan for WIPP

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico regulators have received a formal proposal from the U.S. Department of Energy to close part of the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository due to safety and contamination concerns.
    The repository has been shuttered since February 2014, when a chemical reaction inside an inappropriately packed drum of waste triggered a radiation release.
    The closure halted the shipment of tons of Cold War-era waste from sites across the country, stalling a multibillion-dollar cleanup campaign by the Energy Department.
    The incident also resulted in an overhaul of policies and procedures, costly work to mitigate the contamination, and a multimillion-dollar settlement with the state of New Mexico for numerous permit violations.
    Under the proposal to close part of the underground area, federal officials want to install a series of steel barriers that would permanently seal off disposal rooms and other main corridors in the southern end, reducing the chance of waste disposal and mining activities stirring up dust and contamination.
    The barriers would reduce the footprint of the contaminated areas by about 60 percent, officials said.

  • Teachers treated to special event

    With a live jazz band playing in the background and multiple prize giveaways happening every hour, it wasn’t a typical teachers event, and that suited the teachers just fine.
    Nov. 18 was “Teacher Appreciation Day,” a day when the community reached out to teachers of Los Alamos and collectively said “We care.”
    “The intent was pretty straightforward, to let teachers know they’re appreciated.” Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus said. “It was organized by the District Parent Council and the school board as a way to say thank you to our teachers. One of the things that’s hard to explain is how hard a teacher works.”
    Over 100 people attended the event, where 100 gift bags filled with certificates and items from local business were given away. And, over $1,500 in gift certificates were given away.
    While the school always has an annual teacher appreciation event, this one was different. This one featured more of a personal touch from the community, as prizes, gift certificates and direct praise from parents and students was included.
    Parent District Council member Suzette Fox described the event as a “big hug” from the community to the teachers that educate its children.

  • New Mexico could be hard hit by gutting ACA

    Editor’s note: Second in a two-part series.

    According to Anne Sperling, president and CEO of Vanguard Resources, Inc., one goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – eliminating discrimination based on factors such as preexisting health conditions and gender – has one glaring flaw.
    Age discrimination is built into the premium structure, and it impacts both individuals and small businesses. That impact will only get worse if the so-called “Cadillac tax” goes into effect in 2020.
    Sperling pointed to the premium for a Blue Cross/Blue Shield bronze plan with a $6,000 deductible and a maximum out-of-pocket expense of $7,150. The premium for a 59-year-old is $820 a month. A 21-year-old pays $200 a month.
    Needless to say, the impact on individuals is tremendous. But small employers – defined as one to 50 employees in New Mexico and up to 100 employees in other states – also feel both the financial and administrative burden of those rates.
    Large employers receive composite rates, in which the age of the population is averaged. Rates for small employers are based on the age of each individual in the organization.

  • Trash steals the show at Fuller Lodge

    They came down the runway at Fuller Lodge Saturday sporting gowns made entirely of swim caps or shimmering with recycled CDs and pop tabs. Newspaper, egg cartons, old socks and even political junk mail were all transformed into whimsical creations by contestants in the Recycle Fashion Show.
    The annual show, sponsored by the Los Alamos Environmental Services Division, uses frivolity and fun to encourage recycling.
    Although most of the designs would be impractical for actual wear (try sitting encased in a box decorated with egg cartons or wearing a dress made of paper bags), they displayed an enormous amount of creativity and encouraged audience members to literally “think outside the box” when it comes to reusing materials.
    Contestants were required to use at least 75-percent recycled or reused materials that would have otherwise ended up in the trash or recycle bin. Outfits made strictly of vintage clothes or trash bags were not accepted.
    Joyce Haven emceed the show wearing a recycled jacket adorned with recycled ties. She also modeled the shirt she was wearing, made from a pair of recycled pants.
    The top prize in the child’s category went to Harper Barras for “Sparkle Swirl,” a dress made from panels of woven newspaper and other recycled paper and decorated with swirls and glitter.