Local News

  • LA 'Songbird Lady' retires

    A longtime volunteer of the community and lover of songbirds, Jo Ferdinand had her retirement party on Sept. 20 surrounded by family, friends and fellow volunteers.

    Ferdinand worked as a volunteer at the Santa Fe Raptor Center and the Wildlife Center for 22 years where she earned the nickname, “The Songbird Lady.” She has rescued countless injured and orphaned songbirds and nursed them back to health. An injured baby hummingbird was at the retirement party for observation from the rehabilitation team of volunteers.

    Ferdinand still has some birds under her care at her home in Los Alamos, but is not personally taking on anymore.

    “Jo is an amazing person and the kind of person that really makes a difference in the community,” Raptor Center volunteer Lynne Mann said. “This celebration is to recognize and thank Jo for all she has done.”

    Lori Paras, director of the Santa Fe Raptor Center, said Ferdinand has been a volunteer since its opening in 2004.
    Ferdinand would take birds from all over northern New Mexico and the treatment depended on the injuries.

  • Flood cleanup just beginning

    First in a series
    Restoring the county’s infrastructure in the aftermath of the storm event which dumped seven inches of rain in six days will be a long and expensive proposition. Initial estimates to repair damage throughout the county stand at close to $6 million, with several major projects requiring long-term planning and construction.

    Restoring those elements under the jurisdiction of the Public Works department will require fewer resources than what the Department of Public Utilities is facing. Initial estimates are just under $700,000 to clean culverts, repair retaining walls and sinkholes and other small projects. Repairing the holding pond at Pajarito Cliffs ($350,000) and a sediment pond and eroded slope at the landfill ($250,000) are the two most significant projects.

    “For the most part, all our county infrastructure performed very well, considering a 1,000 year storm,” said Public Works Director Philo Shelton.

  • Today in History September 26
  • House GOP weighs options on government shutdown


    WASHINGTON (AP) — Pressure is building on fractious House Republicans over legislation to prevent a partial government shutdown, as the Democratic-led Senate is expected to strip a tea party-backed plan to defund Obamacare from the bill.

    As the Senate telegraphed its moves, House Republicans deliberated an array of imperfect options on both a temporary spending bill required to avert a shutdown and a separate measure to permit the government to borrow almost $1 trillion to keep paying its bills.

    Lawmakers face a midnight Monday deadline to complete a stopgap spending bill to avoid a partial government shutdown that would keep hundreds of thousands of federal workers off the job, close national parks and generate damaging headlines for whichever side the public holds responsible.

    The timeline is daunting since House GOP leaders appear all but certain to reject the Senate's attempt at a simple, straightforward stopgap spending bill like those routinely passed since the 1995-96 government shutdowns that bruised Republicans and strengthened President Bill Clinton.

    A 21-hour talkathon by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, whipped up the GOP's tea party wing even as it complicated efforts by House GOP leaders to assemble rank-and-file support for a temporary spending measure.

  • U.S. retains America's Cup with remarkable comeback


    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Skipper Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA won the America's Cup on Wednesday with one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.

    Spithill steered Oracle's space-age, 72-foot catamaran to its eighth straight victory, speeding past Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand in the winner-take-all Race 19 on San Francisco Bay to keep the oldest trophy in international sports in the United States.

    All but defeated a week ago, the 34-year-old Australian and his international crew twice rallied from seven-point deficits to win 9-8. Owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison, Oracle Team USA was docked two points for illegally modifying boats in warmup regattas and had to win 11 races to keep the Auld Mug.

    After almost dunking its chances when it buried its bows in a wave shortly after the start, Oracle's hulking black catamaran — with a big No. 17 on each hull — showed its incredible speed when it reeled in the Kiwis while the boats zigzagged toward the Golden Gate Bridge on the windward third leg.

    The New Zealanders were game despite being stranded on match point for a week. Spithill and crew still had to sail their best to end the longest, fastest and by far wildest America's Cup on a course between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.

  • Bandelier back to charging entrance fees

    Bandelier National Monument reopened Thursday and by Friday enough of Frijoles Canyon was open to begin charging entrance fees.
    So far, shuttle buses are still the only way to come into the canyon, and with no bridges and so much erosion, the far side of the creek is still off limits. But the main archeological sites are available.
    Other parts of the park, including Juniper Campground, the Tsankawi section, and trails including Burnt Mesa, Tyuonyi Overlook, and Cerro Grande, were not involved in the flooding and have been open all along.
    For anyone wanting one more reason to come to the park, Saturday, Sept. 28, Public Lands Day, is a fee free day. At Bandelier and the other National Park Service areas throughout the country, no one will need to pay entrance fees.  

  • Ashley Pond Progress

    Workers continue to make progress on the Ashley Pond renovation.

  • State insurance exchange priced below average

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico’s health insurance marketplace, which starts enrolling consumers next week, will offer medical coverage plans costing less than the national average, according to a new federal report.
    Uninsured New Mexicans and small businesses can begin next Tuesday to shop for health plans through the state’s newly established health insurance exchange.
    A report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said individuals in New Mexico will pay an average of $282 a month for a mid-range insurance plan considered a benchmark by the federal government. That’s lower than the national average of $328. Those costs are before people apply any tax credits they may be eligible to receive.
    Consumers can select from plans with a range of coverage called bronze, silver, gold and platinum. The least costly or bronze plans will require people to pay more out-of-pocket expenses.
    With New Mexico having among the highest poverty rates in the nation, it’s important to keep insurance premiums affordable through the exchange, said Barbara Webber, executive director of Health Action New Mexico.
    “I think that competition worked in this case,” Webber said of the premiums for plans to be offered through the exchange by five private insurers.

  • Update 09-25-13

    Quilt show

    The Heart of Enchantment Quilt Show sponsored by the Los Alamos Piecemakers Quilt Guild. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road. The Show will feature quilts and fiber arts items made by Guild members and members of the Jemez Bear Paws Quilt Guild.

    Alzheimer's walk

    The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s. 4 p.m. Saturday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Sign up or join a team at alz.org/walk or call 266-4473.

    Park flight

    Park Flight Interns Talk. 7 p.m. tonight. Join Jaime Garizábal, of Colombia and Vanessa Sandoval, of Bolivia, two biology interns who have spent the summer banding birds as part of the Park Flight program at Bandelier. They will discuss the birds, people, places and cultures of their respective countries. Free. For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

    Council meeting

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at noon Friday in council chambers in the Municipal Building.

  • Cub found at TA-3

    A bear cub reported to be without its mother has been found and captured near the Los Alamos National Laboratory, according to the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission. The bear was captured by an officer for Game and Fish as well as by LANL employee Manny L’Esperance, who was acting in his other capacity as a reserve officer for Fish and Game at the time.

    The capture was made sometime Monday afternoon.

    The cub was separated from its mother several weeks ago when Nthe MGFC captured the sow on Barranca Mesa. NMGFC officials were called to the mesa when a resident discovered the sow inside her home, looking for food.

    While Game and Fish managed to capture the sow, the cub could not quite make it up the same ladder into the trap, and ran away when officers approached. Since that time, it’s been spotted near various places around town, including Central Avenue.

    The bear was reportedly found in Technical Area 3, and was in fairly good condition, according to Game and Fish spokesperson Rachel Shockley.

    “It appeared to be a little smaller, but it was in good health and there didn’t seem to be any injuries,” she said.
    The bear was transported to the offices of Dr. Kathleen Ramsey, an Española veterinarian who specializes in rehabilitating wild animals before releasing them.