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Today's News

  • Startup success begins with team of top performers

    BY PAUL BUTLER
    Managing partner, Azrael Partners and former chief operating officer of Lumidigm, Inc.

    Building a startup or creating a new line of business is hard work, and statistics show the odds of success are long ones. Beating the numbers comes down to a combination of experience, expertise, and commitment.

    The last of these three traits is important, but experience and expertise can make or break your venture in three critical areas.

    Building a high-performance team: Behind every profitable venture is a team. You might have a compelling idea, an excellent offering with market fit, and a large market opportunity, but without a competent team, your business won’t make it.

    You need folks who excel at what they do, because they’re an order of magnitude more productive than average employees. They also know what not to do. By helping a business avoid unnecessary cycles of learning and poor decisions, they allow more of that productive power to be used efficiently.

    Employees with this level of skill are drawn to startups because they seek a challenge, expect the payoff to be significant and hate mediocrity and bureaucracy. They must believe in the offering and will do their own calculus on your venture’s probability of success before joining the team.

  • Money is rolling in, but budget makers are cautious

    During the 2018 legislative session, held in January and February, the Legislature passed a budget for the 2019 budget year that starts July 1.

    The news is not that the Legislature did its job of passing the budget, but that the task, straightforward if difficult, was done without headline-generating nastiness, a difference from previous years.

    Possibly the biggest difference was that some new money was available. Saying yes to proposals always makes elected officials happier. The task of no is difficult, involving choices and facing constituents convinced of the righteousness of their cause.

    In her cover letter to the Legislative Finance Committee’s annual Post-Session Review, LFC Chair Patricia Lundstrom said, “An economic rebound made the 2018 legislative session a very different experience from the session of a year ago.”

    One significant item adds $28.4 million to early childhood programs, continuing a years-long commitment from the Legislature and Gov. Susana Martinez.

    The additional money stands in the face of claims that raiding the permanent funds would somehow make something magic happen.

  • Boys tennis finishes as state runners-up, girls reach semifinals

     After struggling in the individual portion of the state championships, the Los Alamos High School tennis teams rebounded in the team portion of the competition, with the girls advancing to the semifinals, and the boys going all the way to the championship match. 

    It was an unexpected trip to the semifinals for the girls’ team, which matched last year’s results despite having only one senior on the roster, compared to having nine last year. 

    After earning the No. 5 seed in the team tournament, the Hilltoppers began against No. 4 seed St. Pius X Friday afternoon. In a tight contest, LAHS pulled off the minor upset, defeating the Sartans 5-4 to advance to the semifinals. 

    In the semifinals, the Hilltoppers were simply outmatched against No. 1 seed Farmington, which dominated en route to a 5-0 victory. Farmington went on to defeat Albuquerque Academy in the finals to claim the team championship. 

    For the boys, seeded No. 3, the tournament began easier, as the Hilltoppers took down No. 6 seed Alamogordo 9-0 in the first round, advancing to the semifinals. 

  • School of Gymnastics wins state title

    The Los Alamos School of Gymnastics traveled to the Albuquerque School of Gymnastics last weekend to compete in the New Mexico Xcel State Championships against 11 other New Mexico teams. 

    In the highest level of competition, Diamond Division, Los Alamos won the banner for first place team.  In the second highest division, Platinum, Los Alamos was the second place team and in the Gold division they placed third as a team.

    Four Los Alamos Gymnasts won their age division by taking a gold medal in the all-around competition. Anika Lovato won in the Platinum division with a clean sweep, taking all five gold medals. Her total was 37.50, with her gold medal half twist on, half twist off vault scoring a 9.35.  

    Layla Warner claimed an all-around gold medal for first place in the Gold division competition with 36.45. She also won a gold medal for her 9.325 beam routine. Holly Martinez won an all-around gold medal for first place in the silver division with 37.475.  She also took gold medals in vault  (9.275), beam (9.40), and floor exercise (9.45).  

  • Atomic City Update: More progress needed in the future for LAHS softball program

    Being stuck in neutral is never a good place to be. If you’re driving a car, it means you can’t move forward. If you’re stuck in neutral in your career, it means you aren’t getting ahead or advancing. It is perhaps the worst in sports, where being stuck in neutral means you aren’t experiencing high levels of success, and have no real plan on getting to that point. 

    It’s a problem across all levels of sports. Many professional leagues, like the NBA and MLB, often have many teams “tanking” if they aren’t great, just to get a high draft pick and build success faster. While fans don’t enjoy seeing their favorite basketball team go 10-72, they deal with it if it means they will be returning to the playoffs a few years later. 

    In pro sports, just being average doesn’t cut it anymore. Teams have to be ready to compete for a championship, or appear to be on that path in the near future. Fans don’t want to pay good money to see a team finish 41-41 and get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. 

  • Mistakes cost LAHS at state tourney

    At the state tournament, the lights shine a little brighter. Every big hit draws more applause and every mistake leads to more second-guessing. 

    On Thursday in the first round of the 2018 NMAA State Softball Championships, the Los Alamos High School softball team made far too many mistakes, and did not come up with enough big hits down the stretch as the Hilltoppers fell to Aztec High School 14-7. 

    LAHS head coach Randy Burditt said that he was proud of his team, and that this experience will make them stronger going forward. 

    “They came out hitting just like we wanted them to, and we got up,” Burditt said. “We had a couple throwing errors that opened the door for them.”

    In the early going, the game appeared to be all Hilltoppers. Before starting pitcher Reyna Lucero even took the mound, LAHS was ahead 4-0. Alicia Gonzales led off the game with a line-drive single, and advanced to third base on throwing errors. After Lauren Harris and Katie Wimer drew walks, the bases were loaded for senior catcher Jayde Tucker. 

  • Green leads LAHS girls to third place at state

    Throughout track and field season, Los Alamos sophomore Becca Green stole the show at every meet the Hilltoppers attended with her amazing performances in the shot put and the discus. The state championships last weekend at the University of New Mexico put the exclamation point on her outstanding season, as she won the state championship in the shot put and the discus, easily defeating every opponent. 

    In the shot put, she threw 41 feet-11.5 inches, defeating the second place competitor, Alamogordo’s Daysha Jenkins, by more than 6 feet. It was Green’s best throw of the season, surpassing her previous best of 41 feet-4 inches. 

    She also impressed in the discus, throwing 130 feet-3 inches to claim the state title by more than 6 feet over Alamogordo’s Brooke Payton, who threw 124 feet-7 inches. It was far from Green’s best discus throw of the season, as she came in with a season-best mark of 135 feet-10 inches. 

  • Distance events lead LAHS boys' track to fourth place finish

    For the second year in a row, the Los Alamos High School boy’s track and field team placed in the top four at the state championships, with many athletes putting together impressive results for the Hilltoppers. 

    Nobody was more impressive than junior Elijah Velasquez, who earned an individual state championship in the 800-meter run in unlikely fashion. In the prelims, Velasquez finished with the fourth-fastest time in the event, more than one second slower than the top racer. However, he turned things around in the finals, improving his time by nearly two seconds and winning the championship with a time of 1:56.70, the only Hilltopper boy to win a state championship this year. 

    Overall, the Hilltoppers finished in fourth place at the state championships with 44 points. District 2-5A rival Albuquerque Academy finished as the overall state champions, earning 83 points at the two-day event. Artesia finished in second place with 49 points and Alamogordo finished in third place with 48.5 points. 

  • Police Beat 5-13-18

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, server a court summons, or issued a citation.

    May 2
    5:31 p.m. – Los Alamos police took a report on a lost phone in Urban Park. Case inactive.

    May 3
    7:04 a.m. – Los Alamos police took in found property and destroyed it.
    10 a.m. – Los Alamos police investigated the vandalism of a mirror at a park. Investigation inactive.
    3:54 p.m. – Los Alamos police arrested a driver for having a suspended license at Mile Marker 8 on East Jemez Road.
    5:05 p.m. – Freddie Arellano, 39, of Santa Fe, was arrested by Los Alamos police for driving with a suspended license. He was later released.
    8:07 p.m. – Los Alamos police gave a warning to an individual for simple assault.

    May 5
    1:35 p.m. – Los Alamos police investigated a BB shot at a window. Investigation is inactive.
    10:10 p.m. – Los Alamos police responded to a “disturbing the peace” call and issued a citation or a summons at Starbucks Coffee.

  • BPU to decide county’s participation in 
coal plant post 2022

    Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities will recommend to its Board of Public Utilities Wednesday to let the county’s contract for a 3-percent ownership share in the San Juan Generating Station expire in 2022. 

    Consideration of this recommendation will be at the BPU’s 5:30 p.m. meeting Wednesday in Council Chambers at the Municipal Building, 1000 Central Ave.

    The BPU’s decision will be forwarded to the County Council.

    Los Alamos County entered into a plant participation agreement in the mid-1980s with eight other owners of the San Juan Generating Station, a coal-fired plant in the Farmington area. In December 2017, four of the owners voluntarily exited the plant with a penalty, after agreement was reached with the State of New Mexico and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to shut down two of the four units to meet a regional haze rule.

    The remaining owners, which includes Los Alamos, negotiated a new coal supply agreement with San Juan Coal Company, the fuel provider to the plant.

    As part of the new coal supply agreement, San Juan Coal requires notice by June 30 from the owners of their intent to either exit or remain in the plant after the 2022 expiration of the plant participation agreement.