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Today's News

  • NM could lose millions in education funding

    SANTA FE (AP) — Millions of dollars of federal money for special-education programs in New Mexico is at risk because the state hasn’t met all of Washington’s requirements to qualify for the funding.
    Between $43 million and $93 million could be withheld in future years, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
    Officials with the U.S. Department of Education said the problem is that the state failed to abide by a requirement to not reduce its own spending on federally funded programs and so far has failed to obtain a waiver from the agency.
    State legislators addressed the issue Monday during a joint hearing of the Senate and House education committees. They said they’re still trying to sort out exactly what happened, and they expressed concerns over what the situation means for the state’s education budget.
    The Public Education Department maintains that it has been discussing the issue with the federal agency since the beginning of Gov. Susana Martinez’s tenure as governor.
    Correspondence between the state and the agency show that New Mexico was notified of stricter spending guidelines in the fall of 2011, and the two parties agreed that the state should request a waiver the following spring.

  • Business owners speak out

    Small business owners attended a roundtable discussion sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Chris Fresquez, the new head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Small Business Office, was introduced and took questions from the business owners.

  • School board OKs $1,000 reward

    If you were looking to buy a Sony Playstation 4, maybe some rims, a new computer or perhaps a special night out with your significant other (guys, Valentine’s Day is around the corner) but you just can’t afford it right now, listen up.

    The Los Alamos School Board is giving away $1,000; all you have to do is pick up a phone.

    The catch is, you’ll be calling the Los Alamos Police Department at 622-8222 to tell them who spray painted the front of Piñon Elementary School Saturday night. That’s it. You don’t have to give your name or anything. If it leads to an arrest and a conviction, you get the money, no questions asked.

    As of now, the police have few clues.

    The only details that are known for sure is that the vandal(s) used mostly red, yellow and blue spray paint, none of it seeming to have been purchased locally. Parents, contractors and other who keep spray paint on hand are urged to check their paint supplies to see if any amounts of those colors are missing from their supply.

  • Projects face delays

    As the Los Alamos County Council debated the current and anticipated budget crunch during its Tuesday meeting, councilors made it clear that deferring capital improvement projects was preferable to lowering standards for customer service through draconian cutbacks or raising taxes.

    County staff recommended deferring $10 million in capital projects spending for up to five years.

    Council voted to defer up to $12.5 million for four years.

    “Essential services are what a government is all about,” Councilor Rick Reiss said. “We need roads. We need a library, but the library may not need to be open 24/7 with big flashing lights.

    “But there are essential services that no private entity is going to provide. We’ve got to do certain things, like pick up the trash. And if we’ve got money to pick up the trash and that’s all the money we have, then we’re going to pick up the trash. If we have money to build an addition onto a pool, that’s not an essential service and if we don’t have any money, then we can’t build it.”

  • Be There 01-31-13

    Today
    In Search of Dominguez and Escalante. Come to PEEC to hear photographers/authors Siegfried Halus and Greg MacGregor speak about their book, which follows the 1776 expedition of Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez de Escalante. 7 p.m. Free, with books available for purchase. No registration required. Visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460 or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org for more information.

    The deadline for receiving proposals for plays to be performed in the 2013-14 Los Alamos Little Theatre season is Jan. 31. Look for the information sheet on the resources page at lalt.org for instructions.

  • Salute to senior service

    The search is on for New Mexico’s outstanding senior volunteer.
    The Salute to Senior Service program, sponsored by Home Instead, Inc., the franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network, honors the contributions of adults 65 and older, who give at least 15 hours a month of volunteer service to their favorite causes.
    Nominations for outstanding senior volunteers will be accepted between Feb. 1 and March 31. State winners then will be selected by popular vote at SalutetoSeniorService.com.
    Online voting will take place from April 15-30. From those state winners, a panel of senior care experts will pick the national Salute to Senior Service honoree.
    Home Instead, Inc. will donate $500 to each of the state winners’ favorite nonprofit organizations and their stories will be posted on the Salute to Senior Service Wall of Fame. In addition, $5,000 will be donated to the national winner’s nonprofit charity of choice.
    Senior care professionals and those who work at hospitals, senior care facilities and other places where seniors volunteer are encouraged to nominate older adults. So, too, are family caregivers and the adult children of aging parents. Older adults also may self-nominate.

  • Scouts can enter to win a VFW scholarship

    The Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 8874 is seeking a scout to compete for this year’s VFW Scout of the Year Scholarship. This is a program that provides a $5,000 scholarship award.
    Scouts who are registered, active members of a Boy or Girl Scout Troop, Venturing Crew, or a Sea Scout Ship who have received the Eagle Scout Award, Girl Scout Gold Award, Venture Silver Award or Sea Scout Quartermaster Award are eligible to enter.
    Scouts must be 15 years of age and have demonstrated practical citizenship in school, scouting and the community.
    Scouts must be enrolled in high school at the time of selection.
    All applicants still in high school who reach their 18th birthday during the nomination year remain eligible if otherwise qualified.
    Scouts should submit the completed VFW Scouting Scholarship form, resume of high school activities, scouting record, community service record and letters of recommendation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars John D.
    Gamble Post 8874, no later than March 1, 2013.
    A Scout can enter through one VFW Post only.

  • Sellers named to board

    The Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, the state’s largest nonprofit serving girls, elected Los Alamos National Lab Deputy Laboratory Director Elizabeth (Beth) Sellers to serve on the Board of Directors.
    At its annual meeting, the members of the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails also elected Karen Bergren from Taos and Stacey Niver, a junior at Eldorado High School in Albuquerque each to two-year terms.
    “The Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails and our members are fortunate to have so many selfless leaders who are willing to share their talents to strengthen our organization through their service on the Board of Directors,” said Peggy Sanchez Mills, CEO of the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails.
    Sellers has been a resident of Los Alamos since 2011. Prior to coming to Los Alamos, she was responsible for strategic development and business development in Bethesda, Md.; and also worked in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
    Sellers has served on the board of directors for the Idaho Regional Medical Center and participated in several non-profit organizations including Women in Science and Engineering.
    Sellers joined the board because, “There are numerous needs in New Mexico and I believe Girl Scouts will enable girls to envision a new and different future by exposing them to new and different experiences.”

  • Conscious capitalism ideas open business minds

    John Mackey is a radical. But Mackey’s radicalism—what he calls “conscious capitalism”— lies far from what one might assume given that his day job is co-CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc., the upscale purveyor of organics that lures sandal-wearing Subaru drivers. Mackey’s journey has taken him from the 1978 opening of a tiny natural foods store in Austin, Texas, with Renee Lawson Hardy to 264th on the 2012 Fortune 500 list.
    Along the way, Mackey developed a roughly libertarian philosophy—more than that, really, an ethos—with room for espousing ideas such as capitalism, natural foods and animal rights. And, yes, in case you are wondering, Mackey did donate to the Libertarian Party presidential campaign of former Gov. Gary Johnson. According to washingtonexaminer.com, Mackey gave $5,000.
    Mackey’s conscious capitalism has turned into an organization, Conscious Capitalism Inc. (consciouscapitalism.org) and a new book, “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business,” written with a professor, Raj Sisodia. I will leave you to learn more at the website.

  • How to avoid tax refund identity fraud

    Many people file their income tax returns as early in the year as possible. Some are eager to claim their tax refund right away, while others are simply following their New Year’s resolution not to procrastinate until midnight, April 15.
    Let me add another good reason to file your taxes right away: tax refund identity fraud.
    That’s where someone uses your Social Security number (SSN), birth date and other private information to file a fraudulent income tax return in your name and then pockets the resulting tax refund.
    Often, a victim’s first clue is a letter from the IRS contesting their legitimate tax return, saying one has already been processed under that name. It can take months — and mounds of paperwork — to unravel the mess.
    This scam has proliferated in recent years thanks to a confluence of events:
    There’s a thriving black market in personal information stolen from healthcare facilities, nursing homes, schools, insurance companies and other institutions that require an SSN as identification.