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Today's News

  • LA Choral Society to host Memorial Day concert Sunday

    The Los Alamos Choral Society’s 2018 Memorial Day concert, “Freedom!,” is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday at the United Church, 2525 Canyon Road, Los Alamos.

    Tickets will cost $15 per adult at CB Fox in Los Alamos or at the door. Student admission will be free.

    This will be the Choral Society’s first concert since Steve Paxton took over as conductor.
    Paxton, former chairman of the Contemporary Music Program at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a veteran of 25 years teaching music composition at Texas Tech, said in a recent interview that he chose music for this concert that reflected the values for which Americans have been willing to fight and die.

    Those values, as expressed in the music, range from freedom of religion to civil rights for all; from appreciation of labor to love of the land; from support for creativity in the arts to dreams of justice expressed by our founders and refined and widened in today’s hopes for a better future.

    The concert will begin with Choral Society and the audience singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which is based on a poem written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812, when, at dawn, he saw the U.S. flag still flying over Fort McHenry, which had withstood a bombardment by the Royal Navy.

  • Art teachers find inspiration at national convention

    An important part of the strategic plan of the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation is to provide quality professional development opportunities for educators. Twice annually teachers can apply for professional development grants from the LAPS Foundation. Last fall, several art teachers applied for a grant to attend the 2018 National Art Education Association (NAEA) National Convention in Seattle through Thursday. The LAPS Foundation was able to fund 4 teachers to attend: Daisy Gorman-Nichols (Mountain), Libbi Lovejoy (LAHS), and Elizabeth Fisher and Laura Parkison (LAMS).

    Two additional teachers, Renee Mitsunaga (Chamisa) and Mary Grace (LAHS), were able to attend with separate funding.

    In the request to the LAPS Foundation, Mitsunaga, chair of the LAPS art department, stated “As we [art teachers] collaborate to research, share best practices, techniques, and projects with each other, we recognize the need to look nationally to be current with the new, exciting, and changing trends in art education.”

  • Blazing a New Trail: Driving friendly is safe, smart, fun

    There’s a sign I read every time I start to drive across Omega Bridge heading toward the lab.

    It’s not the largest, most prolific sign in Los Alamos County, just a simple sign, triangular in shape, black letters on a white background. Even though the sign’s message is simple, consisting of only two words, it may be the most powerful bit of signage we can be reading.

    All it says is: “Drive Friendly.”

    I like it. In fact, I like it a lot.

    I think each of us can benefit from a “friendly” little reminder every now and then, some maybe on a daily basis.
    Shortly after I moved here in February I found myself covering a story in which a driver actually pulled a gun on another driver and shot him in an apparent case of road rage.

    How could someone get so angry with another person that they think shooting them – while operating a motor vehicle, no less – is a proper way to solve the issue?

    I guess that could be said in response to a lot of issues involving anger these days.

    To be honest, I have in the past been know to holler at another driver after they’ve cut me off in traffic or done something that almost caused us to end up in an accident. Maybe even given them a dirty glance or sarcastic thumbs up.

  • Master garden tour set for June 2

    Those looking to start a garden, or perhaps improve what they already have, should mark June 2 on the calendar. That’s the date the Los Alamos Master Gardeners Association is opening up six member gardens to the public.

    Called the Master Gardeners Garden Tour, the free event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will feature six gardens, five maintained by residents, and one by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center. Residents are welcome to stop by each of the gardens between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., where the garden’s owners will give a tour and offer tips.

    “There will be people stationed at various places who will be able to answer questions,” former Los Alamos Master Gardener’s Association President Denise George said.

    Some of the gardens will have lists of plants that have been successful growing in Los Alamos County.

    The event is to show what’s possible in a mountain desert climate, for beginner gardeners and the advanced alike.

  • 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.