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Today's News

  • GOP lawmakers eye return of narrow N.M. death penalty

    ALBUQUERQUE — Recent killings of children, attacks on law enforcement officers and a rise in crime in New Mexico’s largest city have conservative state lawmakers calling for New Mexico to reinstate the death penalty.

    State Rep. Monica Youngblood said Friday she will once again push for a bill that would bring back capital punishment for fatal attacks on law enforcement and in the murder of children.

    The recent attack on correctional officers by two high-risk inmates and a jump in crime in Albuquerque show that something needs to be done to stop “criminals who have nothing to lose” who will continue to prey on residents, the Albuquerque Republican said.

    “I think it would be a deterrent. I mean, look what’s going on in Albuquerque,” Youngblood said, referring to a jump in crime in that city. “This would be a narrow reinstatement focusing on those who kill law enforcement and children.”

    Two correctional officers were recovering Friday after they were stabbed by two high-risk inmates at a New Mexico prison, authorities said.

  • Tech company buys building in Los Alamos

    A tech startup that manufactures alternative energy products has decided to put down roots in Los Alamos by buying the building it leases at 134 Eastgate Drive.

    The council agreed to let the county extend a zero interest, $325,000 loan to the company, called UbiQD, to help them with the purchase. Loan payments will be deferred for three years.

    According to the county, the property is valued at $650,000. As part of the agreement, UbiQD will also contribute $65,000 of its own funds to the purchase, and also hold a mortgage with the building’s owner for the remaining $260,000.

    UbiQD CEO Hunter McDaniel presented his proposal to Los Alamos County Council July 25.

    McDaniel told the council his company has invested heavily in the property so far, and has plans to make further renovations to the building to expand its manufacturing operations.

    “We’re at this point where we want to purchase the building so we can invest in it,” McDaniel said. “Getting a loan through conventional channels like a bank is fairly difficult, so we’re asking the county to invest in our future, which is investing in the county’s future.”

  • Former drama teacher sues district for sex discrimination

    Former Los Alamos High School teacher David Daniel has filed a civil complaint against former LAHS Principal Bradford Parker, Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus and the Los Alamos Public School District, claiming sexual orientation discrimination.

    Daniel originally filed a charge of discrimination with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solution Human Rights Division on Jan. 24 and filed the civil complaint with the First Judicial Court July 25.

    Daniel worked for LAPS at the drama instructor prior to May 2016 and oversaw the drama club called the “Olions.”

    When Daniel was hired, he made it known to then Principal Brad Parker that he was gay and involved in the LGBT community because Daniel said he was afraid some parents might object to his involvement in progressive issues.

    From the beginning of his employment, Daniel claimed in the court complaint that he was “beset with inappropriate and offensive comments,” and felt that his sexual orientation was held against him.

    Daniel’s legal complaint claims he positively impacted the school during his time there. He was the creative director for a grant that the school was trying to obtain regarding the XQ Super School Project. As a result of his efforts, LAHS made it to the final 10 schools eligible for the grant.

  • Council to reconsider rec projects Tuesday

     

    Two Los Alamos County councilors have repackaged the same five projects voters rejected in the $20 million Recreation Bond Election in May and plan to ask county council to fund the new plan.

    Council Vice Chair Susan O’Leary and Councilor James Chrobocinski will propose changes to the county’s Capital Improvement Fund and program at Tuesday’s council meeting to offer the recreation projects back up for reconsideration.

    Those projects were a splash pad in White Rock, improvements to the Los Alamos Community Golf Course, a multi-generational pool at the Larry R. Walkup Center, a recreation center, and improvements to the athletic fields at White Rock’s Overlook Park.

    According to the council agenda, council is expected to consider whether to approve $13.9 million of CIP funds to pay for the splash pad in White Rock, the golf course improvements and the multi-generational pool at the Larry R. Walkup Center. 

    The proposal further recommends that the county look for ways to increase access to the Los Alamos Public School System’s gymnasiums and that the county’s Parks and Recreation Board look for ways to improve the number of softball and baseball fields in the county.

  • Gordon Summer Concert moved indoors tonight

    Due to inclement weather, the Gordon Summer Concert scheduled for tonight at Ashley Pond Park will be moved indoors to Fuller Lodge. The concert will begin at 7 p.m., as scheduled.

  • Why a 2,500-year-old Hebrew poem still matters

    At sundown on July 31, Jews around the world observed Tisha B’av, the most somber of Jewish holidays. It commemorates the destruction of the two temples in Jerusalem, first by the Babylonians and then, almost seven centuries later, in A.D. 70, by the Romans.

    Jews will remember these two historic calamities along with many others, including their slaughter during the First Crusade; the expulsions from England, France and Spain; and the Holocaust.The pattern of forced migration was set by the Babylonian conquest of 587-586 B.C., when the elite of Judah were marched to Babylon and the temple destroyed.

    Like the story of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt, which happened several centuries earlier, the Babylonian exile dwells at the heart of Judaism. The trauma served as a crucible, forcing the Israelites to rethink their relationship to Yahweh, reassess their standing as a chosen people and rewrite their history.

    Psalm 137, the subject of my most recent book, “Song of Exile,” is a 2,500-year-old Hebrew poem that deals with the exile that will be remembered on Tisha B’av. It has long served as an uplifting historical analogy for a variety of oppressed and subjugated groups, including African-Americans.

    Origins of the psalm

  • Aquatomics place third at state

     The Los Alamos Aquatomics swim team finished third at the state championships last weekend, making it one of their most successful seasons ever.

    One year ago, the team finished eighth at the state championships and was intent on improving in all aspects this year.

    After a summer of strong performances, they did just that.

    Seven different swimmers won individual events, and the team came out on top in three relays.

    The relays ended up being a key factor for the team, because relay performances are worth double the points of individual races at the state championships.

    Assistant coach Linda Corliss, who has been with the team since 2008, said she had never seen a performance like that.

    “I can’t remember us ever doing quite that well,” Corliss said.  “I’m proud of everyone because they all put their heart and soul into this all weekend and came away with some great results.”

    Going into the final day of competition, Corliss said she tallied up what the results would be if everyone swam to their seed times.

    When the races took place, the final scores were more than 10 points higher than what was predicted.

    “That shows that everybody swam better than what was expected and really gave it their all,” Corliss said.

  • Q&A: BPU‘s Carrie Walker

    By The Pajarito Conservation Allaince

  • Mexican gray wolf program is travesty

    By David J. Forjan

    To the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

    Look, we’re all grown-ups here.  Let’s cut through all the BS.

    Every USFWS employee involved with the Mexican gray wolf recovery program has sold them out.  You’ve all sold out the Mexican gray wolves.

    Either by the “Sin of Commission” or the “Sin of Omission.” Either selling them out by direct action, like those who wrote the new recovery plan. Or selling out the Mexican gray wolves by their inaction, like not standing up or speaking up or screaming at the top of your lungs that the program has, and is continuing to, fail the wolves.

    Let’s also cut the BS about the reasons the program is failing. The real reason, the core problem, is money, power and influence. Some people who have alot of money then want power. 

    And some people with power want to influence things. Mostly to make themselves more money. In this case, that influence is also killing Mexican gray wolves. And killing them off.

    And let’s skip the pretense that this new recovery plan will succeed. It will fail for so many reasons that if it wasn’t so sad it would be laughable.

  • NM buried in known unknowns; policy organization could help

    A few people truly worry about New Mexico’s long term. But they don’t know what to do. These isolated individuals emerged in the past few weeks in Farmington, Roswell, Las Cruces and Albuquerque from conversations with nearly 40 people who ought to be thought leaders in the state.

    The individuals cover the state’s precious demographics, though most conversations have been with old White guys. But then I am an old White guy.

    For recent conversations, the question has been whether the individual gets in discussions and/or is thinking about the long term for New Mexico. A few answered, “Yes.” Ah, but what to do.

    I used to ask what the individual saw for New Mexico. That question generated the conventional wisdom: too much government, Central New Mexico Community College is doing good stuff.

    The Albuquerque-Denver comparison has resurfaced. This is not especially useful. Denver is the major leagues (think Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche). Albuquerque is AAA. Compare Albuquerque with Tucson, Des Moines, Omaha.

    Typical “future” thinking amounts to citing New Mexico’s position on “all the lists” and wailing.

    Defining the problem is what we have not done. A position on a list says only a little.