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Today's News

  • Supporting the local Farmer’s Market
  • Tariff on newsprint hits newspapers hard

    The Post and Courier of Charleston published this editorial June 13.

    The trade war with Canada over steel, aluminum and milk understandably grabs the headlines. But flying under the radar is the battle over Canadian newsprint, a skirmish that’s hurting businesses and costing jobs.

    In January, the U.S. Commerce Department, responding to a complaint from a New York private equity firm that bought a Washington state mill, imposed a 6.2 percent tariff on imports of Canadian newsprint, then added another 22 percent in March. And U.S. newspapers, to put it mildly, are suffering mightily.

    That’s why a group of newspaper executives will travel to Washington, D.C., this week to try to persuade lawmakers to get the Commerce Department to back off. The tariff already has prompted layoffs – newsprint is typically a newspaper’s biggest operating cost behind labor – and caused some newspapers to reduce their number of pages.

    Thousands of U.S. newspaper jobs are hanging in the balance.

    The Washington state paper mill employs fewer than 300 people. Like some other recent tariffs, the cure is worse than the disease.

  • LeDoux on the Hill: Books speak volumes about today’s DC climate

    Living in Washington in 2018 has almost felt like living in a book club. The fascination around Donald Trump’s presidency has overtaken the city and has a lot of residents asking how did we get here? From the lines at Starbucks, conversations on the metro, or the halls of George Washington University. There isn’t a place in the DMV where this topic isn’t being discussed. Heck, even on a tour of an apartment I did, I got sucked into a two-hour conversation about Trump just because I discussed what I did for a living. To answer these questions many in the beltway have turned to books, on the Metro, I’d see book covers with titles that attack the president.

    The two gossipy books about Trump that I still see on the subway every now and then, and by the cash register at the CVS, are, of course, Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” and James Comey’s “A Higher Loyalty.”

    Apart from the Harry Potter books from my childhood and the Bibles in church, I have never seen more people in the wild reading the same book as these two books in the Washington Metro area. Even I bought into the hype, and the Wolff book lives in my kindle to this very day.

  • Trade tariffs might hurt, not help, blue-collar Americans

    The Wall Street Journal published this editorial June 12.

    More than a few conservative intellectuals have warmed to Donald Trump’s trade protectionism because it supposedly helps blue-collar Americans. But what if his tariffs do the opposite?

    Erica York at the Tax Foundation crunched some numbers recently showing that Mr. Trump’s proposal for a 25 percent tariff on imported cars, trucks and parts could eliminate half of the income gains from tax reform for millions of Americans. Those in the lowest income quintile could lose 49 percent of their tax gains. Say for ease of calculation that these folks received a $100 after-tax bonus from changes like the doubled standard deduction. After auto tariffs that would be whittled down to $51, Ms. York notes.

    The tariffs shave gains in all income brackets, but no one is hurt more than the poor and middle class. Take the fourth income quintile, or a household making at most about $70,000 a year in adjusted gross income. The Tax Foundation says auto tariffs could erase nearly 30 percent of that family’s after-tax income bump. Ditto for the third quintile, or a family earning no more than $43,000 a year.

  • Election system favors political extremes, discourages moderates

    If you’re a political moderate and feel your choices in the coming election are pretty darn limited, a lot of people feel your pain.

    The recent primaries bestowed victories on women. (Hurray!) They also blessed progressives and conservatives and left moderates in the dust.

    In the much-watched Congressional District 1 race, progressive Deb Haaland trounced Damon Martinez, a moderate and former U. S. Attorney.

    For State Land Commissioner, Stephanie Garcia Richard, another progressive, surged ahead of her opponents. George Muñoz, a businessman and moderate Democrat from Gallup, ran third, but the good news is he’ll still be in the state Senate.

    In Northern New Mexico, Rep. Debbie Rodella, a moderate who served 25 years, lost to a progressive newcomer, Susan Herrera. Rodella, chair of the Business and Industry Committee, had campaign money; Herrera had volunteers and shoe leather.

    On the Public Regulation Commission, moderate Dem Sandy Jones lost to progressive Steve Fischmann, a former Las Cruces legislator. And Lynda Lovejoy lost to Theresa Becenti-Aguilar, who previously held the seat. These two races were affected in part by a backlash against an industry super PAC donations to both.

  • Bikers for cancer stop in LA

    BY ISAAC FASON
    lanews@lamonitor.com

    Some members of the Texas 4000 For Cancer spent a day getting to know Los Alamos Monday as they continued their 70-day biking journey from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska.

    Texas 4000 For Cancer is an organization from the University of Texas that annually bikes over 4,000 miles from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska while trying to share hope, knowledge and charity as part of the fight against cancer.

    The group’s time spent in Los Alamos included a visit to the Bradbury Science Museum and a dinner at the UnQuarked Wine Room.

    At UnQuarked several of the riders stood up and shared their message.

    “Raise your hand if you know someone who has passed away from cancer,” one rider said as nearly every hand in the room slowly rose. “As you can see cancer affects a lot of us, and the only really positive thing that comes out of it is all the fight to end cancer, such as our journey.”

    Texas 4000 has three central pillars-hope, knowledge and charity. “We raise at least $4,500 for cancer research each, and in total we’ve raised over $8 million,” another rider said.

  • GOP candidate would replace teacher evaluations

    By MORGAN LEE, Associated Press
    SANTA FE (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce said Thursday he would immediately suspend New Mexico's embattled teacher evaluation system if elected. He said educators are being judged unfairly as the state struggles to improve student academic performance.

    Pearce, currently a U.S. congressman, said he would he would devise a new plan within six months in consultation with teachers and other stakeholders. He said teachers are currently being judged on metrics that do not accurately reflect their effectiveness.

    "We all want accountability and quality results, but the current system has crushed the spirit of many talented educators and contributed to our state's teacher shortage," Pearce said.

    Outgoing two-term Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has pushed to incorporate teacher evaluations and students' standardized test results into a system aimed at instilling greater accountability. That has prompted protests by teachers and legal challenges from unions.

    Union leaders said Pearce was late to denounce shortcomings in the evaluation system and questioned whether he would respond to the concerns of the majority of classroom teachers.

  • Youths suggest legislation to ensure guns stored safely

    SANTA FE (AP) — A high school student and recent graduate are urging New Mexico lawmakers to adopt a child access prevention law to hold gun owners accountable for the safe storage of firearms.

    Santa Fe-area high school student Julia Mazal on Wednesday told a panel of legislators that there is no excuse for the negligent storage of guns with the knowledge that a firearm could fall into the hands of a child and result in tragedy.

    She and recent high school graduate Lia Fukuda say youths who perpetrated recent shooting rampages in New Mexico and Texas obtained guns from home.

    A failed state bill introduced in 2016 would have created criminal penalties and civil liability for negligent storage of firearms when the owner should have known a minor would have access.
     

  • Young basketball players gain experience at Jr. Topper camp

    By Isaac Fason

    The Jr. Topper Basketball Summer Camp returned to Los Alamos this week and continues June 12 through June 14. The camp is sponsored by the Hilltopper Basketball Academy and the Alex Kirk foundation.

    The camp is offered to three different age groups; the Mini Toppers (Kindergarten through third grade), the Mid Toppers (fourth grade through sixth grade), and the Advanced Toppers (seventh grade and eighth grade).

    Registration for the camp costs $75 per camper and includes an Alex Kirk Foundation basketball, water bottle and t-shirt.

    Head coach of the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team Mike Kluk has been running the Jr. Topper summer camps for the past several years with the assistance of current Hilltoppers and returning alumni. 

    One alumni helping run the camp this year is former Hilltopper Isaiah Espinosa.

    ”A lot of the kids there don’t go to get better, but they go to have fun,” Espinosa said. On his reason for helping with the camp, Espinosa said, “I found basketball was a good release growing up. I feel like if I can find a way to help kids then I am doing my job, and it’s great to put a smile on a kids face.”

  • Atomic City Update: Title IX violations a bad start to an important summer for UNM

    More than any year before, this summer will determine the future of University of New Mexico athletics, for better or worse. Due to a mountain of debt accumulated under the previous school and athletic administrations, drastic measures will be taken, including the elimination of one or more sports, to be announced July 1 or earlier. 

    The first step in that process was a Title IX assessment of the school’s athletic department, released last week. The assessment showed a variety of serious problems that need to be addressed, something that won’t be easy at all with the financial troubles facing the school.

    Among the top problems are the disparity between athletic opportunities for men and women and the difference in locker rooms and training facilities between men and women’s sports. 

    To me, the most disturbing thing to come out of the Title IX assessment was the description of how the softball locker room differs from the baseball locker room, as well as the conditions that the volleyball teams are forced to endure.