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Today's News

  • New Mexico Senate panel approves REAL ID compromise

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A key New Mexico Senate committee passed a measure Tuesday that lawmakers called a workable compromise aimed at making the state compliant under federal regulations for identification.

    After nearly a four-hour meeting where various proposals were presented, the Senate Public Affairs Committee voted 8-1 to combine a bipartisan bill with a recently passed version out of the Republican-controlled House as pressure mounted to pass a fix that meets the requirements of the federal REAL ID Act.

    The combined bill would allow all New Mexico residents to apply for REAL ID-compliant licenses or obtain a "driver's authorization card."

    Under the proposal, immigrants in the country illegally would be allowed to apply for the permit card but could no longer get a New Mexico driver's license.

    Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, said the move was needed to get a compromise out of the full Senate and get it back in the House in time before the 30-day Legislative session ends in less than three weeks.

    "The citizens of New Mexico are ready for us to act," said Ingle, who co-sponsored a bipartisan bill similar to the one the committee passed. "It gets us to a point."

  • Candidates vie for secretary of state post after scandal

    SANTA FE (AP) — The fall election for New Mexico secretary of state will pit Democratic Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver against Republican state Rep. Nora Espinoza of Roswell in the wake of a scandal that landed the state election agency's former chief in jail.

    A primary registration deadline passed Tuesday with no other major party contenders for secretary of the state. Aspiring candidates also filed declarations ahead of June 7 primaries to run for two high court vacancies and three U.S. congressional seats.

    Toulouse Oliver ran for secretary of state in 2014 and was defeated by Republican incumbent Dianna Duran. She supports changes designed to boost voter registration and increase campaign finance disclosures and auditing.

    Espinoza is a strong supporter of photo ID requirements for voters, and her candidacy could inject broader social issues into the election season. The five-term state representative is sponsoring legislation during the current session that would allow business owners to refuse service to customers whose sexual orientation goes against the religious beliefs of the owner.

  • Show your love for youth in February

    WOW – February and the month known for love.
    This month, I am asking you to show your love for youth with a fun fundraising idea for our local non-profit 501-C-3, Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA). C’YA became official after writing the 100 Best Communities for Young People grant for Los Alamos with our official non-profit status recognition in June of 2014.
    I had an idea based on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but cheaper, easier and a whole lot sweeter.
    The idea is for you to bake a plate of cookies for anyone or donate $5 to Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA). We have an account with Los Alamos National Bank or donations can be sent to 77 Isleta Drive in Los Alamos.
    We plan to use the funds specifically to recognize youth in a small but meaningful way throughout the year. The idea gained a hold after no youth were recognized for the 2015 Community Asset Awards, the seventh year we will host the awards.
    We plan to do the Cookie Plate Challenge throughout February and then launch a youth winner in March, and follow that with a monthly recognition all year long. We plan to do it throughout the year and still include youth in the Community Asset Awards done at this time each year.

  • New exhibit opens at Mesa Library this week

    The public is invited to the opening reception for a new exhibit at Mesa Public Library, to be held 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs rotunda. The exhibit is entitled “West and East: Just for the Beauty of It.” The artists are SuFong Milonni and Barbara Yarnell. Both artists work in the medium of clay. The show will be in the gallery through Feb. 28.
    Yarnell was born in Los Alamos. Milonni was born and grew up in An-tung China in the northeastern part of China.
    “We met and have worked together at UNM-Los Alamos clay studio for over 10 years,” Yarnell said. “For this show, we went back to our original backgrounds for inspiration.”
    In this show Milonni’s works are in the oriental tradition and Yarnell’s are flavored by the southwest. Yarnell’s work is inspired by the mesas and enchanted sky of northern New Mexico, while Mei-li’s work is in the ancient tradition of Chinese celadon glazing.
    Yarnell’s work is fired in an electric kiln to a mid-range stoneware temperature. Milonni’s work is fired in a gas kiln to a higher stoneware/porcelain temperature.   

  • ‘In America:’ a hard-to-forget film

    Need a healthy cry? Catch “In America” (2002, rated PG-13) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library for a guaranteed catharsis.
    When the film opens, Johnny and Sarah Sullivan (Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton) are trying to immigrate into the United States, possibly hoping to outrun the death, about one year earlier, of their son Frankie.
    They and their two living children, 10-year-old Christy (Sarah Bolger) and 5-year-old Ariel (Emma Bolger), move into a tenement in New York City, a home to many drug addicts and one tenant described to the Sullivans as “the man who screams.” They appear to be the only family with young children in the building.
    Johnny, an actor, is often unemployed, but Sarah takes a job as a waitress at a local ice-cream shop and they scrape by. They make a friend in the building (the totally fantastic Djimon Hounsou) and embrace their new life as much as they can. However, they can’t put off grieving forever.
    Thoughtful, honest storytelling from writer/director Jim Sheridan makes “In America” the kind of film is hard to forget, in part because the story asks a lot of its viewers. This is not entertainment so much as a lesson in empathy, one that we might not want but can always use.

  • New Mexico begins process of debating open primary law

    Last week, two Democratic members of the state House, Reps. Antonio “Moe” Maestas of Albuquerque and Stephanie Garcia Richard of Los Alamos, introduced a proposed amendment to the state Constitution making it possible for voters registered as independent to cast their ballots in state primary elections.
    Also last week Donald Trump, the bloviated New York billionaire and self-advertised “frontrunner” for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, pulled out of a Fox Cable TV “debate” with the other contenders in that race.
    Seems Trump declined to submit to questions posed of him by the moderator of that debate, Megyn Kelly, because he feels she doesn’t “respect” him. Fox News and Ms. Kelly, on the other hand, dismissed Trump’s tantrum with the suggestion that he doesn’t like difficult questions when he’s in the spotlight performing.
    You pick. My guess is both camps are probably correct.
    But Mr. Trump’s latest campaign stunt was at least a novel way to put on a show without the bother of putting on a show. It also underscores one of the chronic challenges associated with popular self-government.

  • Groups seek state override of local wage regulations

    A vast business coalition has massed behind a proposed state law that would preempt local laws. The proposal comes in the form of House Bill 211 from Rep. Jason Harper, a Rio Rancho Republican, and Sen. Mark Moores, an Albuquerque Republican.
    The Association of Commerce of Industry leads the effort with Jason Espinosa, ACI president, as the campaign’s public face.
    I presume HB 211 in part comes in response to the so-called Fair Workweek Act introduced last summer by Albuquerque City Councilors Isaac Benton and Klarissa Peña. Much tearing of hair was the Albuquerque response to the detailed regulations of the Benton-Peña proposal.
    ACI’s Jan. 26 release cited “the recent wave of local governments developing complex mandates for employers.”

  • On the Docket 2-3-16

    Jan. 21
    Seddrick M. Robinson was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to appear in court and failing to pay. Defendant was fined $100 and must also pay $130 in court costs.

    Jan. 22
    Elaine M. Rodriguez  was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Sean E. Atchison was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding 16 to 20 miles over the speed limit in a school zone. Defendant was fined $200 and must also pay $65 in court costs.
    Daved English  was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of shoplifting. Defendant must pay $41 in court costs and received a deferred sentence. Sentence deferred until April 4.

    Kilee J. Landon  was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of driving with a suspended or revoked license. Defendant was fined $300 and must also pay $65 in court costs. Defendant was also sentenced to community service.

    Jan. 25
    Roberta J. Irwin was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding one to five miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $25 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

  • Storm causes 6 accidents, closes hill routes

    The winter storm that hit northern New Mexico Monday and Tuesday brought Los Alamos 13 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. Commuters and residents can look forward to a calmer week ahead.
    Both routes into Los Alamos were closed temporarily Monday morning due to six fender bender accidents. Commuters dealt with icy roads and bumper-to-bumper traffic, waiting hours to get to work.
    The roads became so severe and congested that commuters to the Los Alamos National Laboratory who did not make it in by 10 a.m. were contacted by the lab and told to turn around and go home.
    Los Alamos Public Schools also closed early, and all afterschool activities cancelled, including a public forum on mental health that was due to take place at the Los Alamos High School Monday night.  
    According to meteorologist Kerry Jones with the National Weather Service, the sudden storm was brought on by an eastbound cold air mass that came into the region early Monday morning and continued on through Tuesday.
    The front brought below freezing temperatures with it, complicating commutes in and out of Los Alamos County.

  • Today in history Feb. 3