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Today's News

  • US expects record domestic oil production in 2019, 2020

    By DAVID KOENIG
    AP Business Writer

    The United States expects domestic oil production to reach new heights this year and next, and that prices — for both crude and gasoline — will be lower than they were in 2018.

    Government forecasters are sticking to their forecast that the United States — already the world's biggest oil producer — will become a net exporter of crude and petroleum products in 2020.

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday that it expects the United States to pump 12.4 million barrels of crude a day in 2019 and 13.2 million barrels a day in 2020. The January average was 12 million barrels a day, up 90,000 from December.

    Most of the increase is expected to come from the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, where production has been booming for several years as operators use hydraulic fracturing and other techniques to squeeze more oil and gas from shale formations.

    "The U.S. energy industry continues to transform itself," said Linda Capuano, administrator of the agency, which is part of the Energy Department.

  • Manhattan Project National Historical Park to host public tours April 5

    Los Alamos National Laboratory, in collaboration with the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Los Alamos Field Office and the National Park Service, will offer public tours of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park on April 5.

    Registration for the event is on a first-come, first-served basis.

    The day will consist of four tours of 25 people each, each lasting three hours.

    The LANL event complements the April 6 Trinity Site Open House located on the northern portion of White Sands Missile Range near San Antonio, N.M.

    Participants will see the Pond Cabin, which served as an office for Emilio Segrè’s Radioactivity Group studying plutonium, a battleship bunker used to protect equipment and staff during implosion design explosives testing, and the Slotin Building, site of Louis Slotin’s criticality accident.

    Members of the public are invited to register for the tours on Event Brite beginning Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. LANL tour participants must be 18 years old, U.S. Citizens, and provide proof of citizenship at the tour check in.

    Future tour opportunities will be announced throughout the year.

  • Smith criticizes cap on property valuation increases

    By Thom Cole
    The New Mexican

    An influential state senator on Monday railed against a law that changed the way New Mexico taxes residential properties, saying the 2001 measure was supposed to help low-income people but instead has hurt them while providing a windfall to wealthier homeowners.

    Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Arthur Smith, in remarks on the Senate floor, also said the law has robbed counties of needed tax revenue.

    Smith, D-Deming, called the fallout from the law the "unintended consequences of the do-good of the Legislature."

    The senator made the remarks in response to a story in Sunday's New Mexican, which examined the law's history and effects. It was designed to protect longtime homeowners in gentrified neighborhoods like Santa Fe's east side from being taxed out of their residences due to rising property values.

    Under the law, which applies statewide, the market value of a residential property for tax purposes cannot be increased more than 3 percent a year as long as the owner remains the same. Resold and newly constructed residences are taxed at full market value.

  • Mexican wolves caught in traps in New Mexico

    By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
    Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The death of a Mexican gray wolf and injuries to another prompted environmentalists on Tuesday to call on New Mexico lawmakers to ban trapping on public land.

    Defenders of Wildlife said four wolves have been caught in traps in New Mexico over the last two months. The wolf that died was a female member of the Prieto Pack that roams northern portions of the Gila National Forest. Another member of the pack that was also trapped remains in captivity after having its leg amputated.

    The two other wolves that were caught were released into the wild.

    More than 40 wolves have been caught in traps in the Southwest since 2002, according to the group.

    "This is having a significant impact on the recovery of the species. Every wolf lost to trapping is unnecessary and unacceptable," Bryan Bird, the group's Southwest program director, said.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not immediately return a message seeking comment. The wolf management team this week is conducting an annual survey to determine how many of the predators are roaming parts of New Mexico and Arizona.

  • Fleur de Lys gets a new display

    Fleur de Lys, Los Alamos’ only French Bistro and grocery store got a bit of a facelift recently when the owners decided to extend their counter space for their customers.

    “The reason why we wanted to put in a new counter is because we needed to have more space to display some of the items we sell while people wait in line,” co owner Marcel Remillieux said. “…We started with a small counter, because we never anticipated we’d have so many people here.”

    To accommodate even further the customers’ line of sight, the bistro’s menus have migrated from the east wall where the kitchen is to the north wall, right behind the new counters.

    “Now, they can wait in line and have the menu right behind us, so they can talk to us and look at the menu at the same time. Everything is aligned and in place,” Remillieux said.

    The display case for the pastries is bigger, and there’s more room for staff to accommodate customer needs also.

    “On the staff side, it gives us all the room we need to package the goods we sell. It’s more functional,” Remillieux said.

  • Functional medicine doctor can take on more patients

    Dr. Carmen Solano’s office is welcoming, its main centerpiece has a low table with four chairs facing each other. Soft, relaxing music plays in the background.

    The atmosphere is clearly designed to put patients at ease.

    Solano’s practice is unique in other ways. Solano practices a philosophy of medicine known as “functional medicine,” a type of medicine that factors in a patient’s entire medical history before giving a diagnosis.

    The idea is that when all familial and other histories are accounted for, the more accurate and successful diagnosis of a patient will be.

    “The foundation of the process is a very comprehensive health history,” Solano said. “We ask questions all the way from birth to now in terms of their medical history, their lifestyle… their stressors, their environmental exposures, family history, all of that. That information is gathered before a patient’s first visit.”

    Solano graduated from the University of Texas Medical School and has practiced family medicine for 18 years as a board-certified doctor. She opened her practice in Los Alamos in 2015. Recently, she was approved to accept Blue Cross Blue Shield medical insurance, the largest medical insurer in Los Alamos County.

  • January sees colder max temps

    By DAVID BRUGGEMAN
    Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Maximum temperatures in the region were colder than normal as multiple cold fronts passed through the state, but low temperatures were near average in January.

    Maximum temperatures have been below average in Los Alamos County since October 2018.
    Wind chills were below zero degrees, particularly on Jan. 18 and 21, as wind gusts exceeded 40 mph (41 mph and 49 mph, respectively).

    The multiple cold fronts kept most of New Mexico at near average temperatures.

    The above average precipitation that occurred at the end of 2018 continued into 2019. Los Alamos measured 142 percent of average precipitation and 166 percent of normal snowfall.

    Over the past three months, Los Alamos has measured above-average snowfall. The 49.8 inches of snow this winter is the most snowfall through January since the winters of 2000 and 2001.

    The snowpack for northern New Mexico Mountains is near average, with the Jemez Mountains at 95 percent of average, while the mountains in southern New Mexico are around 50 percent.

    The northwest half of New Mexico had above average precipitation, while the southeast half had below average precipitation.

  • Bill to shift federal education funding pits urban schools against tribes

    BY ROBERT NOTT
    The New Mexican

    Two state senators who represent rural districts hope to topple a long-standing system that uses the lion’s share of a federal grant program to help fund urban schools.

    Operational money from the grants initially goes to 25 school districts and five charter schools. But then the state shortchanges these needy districts, said Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, who called what happens “a shell game.”

    That’s because the districts and schools selected to receive money from the Impact Aid program only get a quarter of the overall annual grant, which topped $78 million last year.

    The state redirects the rest of the money to other school districts through New Mexico’s per-student funding formula. Muñoz and Sen. Clemente Sanchez, D-Grants, want to change that.

    They say redistributing the grant money to other school districts isn’t fair to hard-pressed schools and undermines the intent of the program.

  • It’s frustrating being a Republican this year

    By Daniel J. Chacon
    The New Mexican

    After a midterm election in which Democrats wrested back control of the Governor's Office and expanded their majority in the state House of Representatives, Kelly Fajardo feels almost invisible at the Roundhouse this year.

    Fajardo, you see, is a Republican representative in a Democrat-dominated House, where members of the GOP are now outnumbered by the largest margin in two decades.

    "It just feels like we don't matter," said Fajardo, R-Los Lunas.

    "Our job is to create good policy, and when you're going, 'I don't need you. I don't need to listen to you,' that creates a problem," she said. "I'm feeling that we're not being listened to."

    Fajardo isn't alone.

    Other members of the state's Republican Party say New Mexico Democrats, emboldened by big gains in November, are pushing through contentious and liberal-leaning legislation, including bills on abortion and guns, and completely ignoring their Republican counterparts.

  • Growth, and lack thereof, brings problems to N.M.

    BY KATHLEENE PARKER
    Guest Columnist

    Harold Morgan’s “Utah works, makes babies, grows,” (Jan. 30) should win an award for misleading discussion of population.

    But that award perhaps already belongs to the Washington Post. The newspaper shoves its self-righteous “Democracy dies in darkness” motto in our faces, but when it comes to population, WaPo itself creates darkness. Little wonder

    Americans are “innumerate” or to numbers — in this case, population — what illiteracy is to letters!

    Morgan asserts New Mexico loses population. Yet, we increase by .64 percent a year, or twice our current numbers early next century! In 2010, New Mexico numbered 2,059,207 and in 2018, 2,095,428. But for universal assumptions growth can only be good, some might ask if that isn’t too much growth in a state with failing education, crumbling infrastructure, overwhelmed medicine and ever-worsening poverty despite decades of boom growth, perhaps an indicator that “growth always brings prosperity” is a myth.