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The Five Largest Landowners in America

on December 24, 2012 - 5:59am

A ranch in Wyoming. Courtesy/MSNBC


The five largest landowners in America include:

1. John Malone: The cable tycoon has 2.2 million acres stretching from Wyoming to Maine. One of his crown jewels is the Bell Ranch, a 290,100-acre cattle empire.

2. Ted Turner: The media magnate has 2 million acres in Nebraska, New Mexico and other states. He is a strong advocate of wildlife conservation.

3. The Emmerson family: This low-profile family holds 1.8 million acres through Sierra Pacific Industries, the nation's second largest lumber producer.

4. Brad Kelley: The reclusive

Column: Ending the Year Contemplating Growth

on December 23, 2012 - 8:27am
By Harry Hertz, Director
Baldrige Performance Excellence Program

I always like to end a year with an optimistic view of the future. This year, MESA became the sixth two-time winner of the Baldrige Award; all six winners having experienced growth between the times they received the award.

That fact led me to contemplate factors leading to the sustainability and growth of any business or enterprise.

In a brief research study that the Baldrige Program conducted last year, we realized that the then five two-time recipients of the Baldrige Award represented very different industries, company

Ruby K’s Offers Special Holiday Treats

on December 22, 2012 - 10:19am

RUBY K's News:

Ruby K’s has pumpkin and pecan pies, challah, fresh rolls and food platters available for holiday parties.  

To order catering items call 662-9866 or stop by the restaurant. 

Orders for Christmas Day food must be placed before closing at 3 p.m. today, Saturday, Dec. 22. Orders must be picked up before 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 24.

Ruby K’s will be open until 1 p.m. Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day. For information, visit


LANB Treats Local Seniors to Holiday Feast

on December 22, 2012 - 9:59am

Los Alamos National Bank treated local seniors to its annual 'Holiday Lunch' Friday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. LANB employees served the meals during two seatings. Senior Center staff prepared the lunch, which featured tender roast beef  and all the trimmings. LANB's Karen Easton presented gifts and prizes to the seniors gathered for the event. She announced that LANB is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Local band Peace Meal provided holiday entertainment for the large crowd. Photo by Don Kendall

Quaking Aspen Fine Art Holiday Artist Reception Friday and Saturday

on December 20, 2012 - 10:45pm


Moon Over Mesas. Photo by Leslie Bucklin
Fall View From Los Alamos. Photo by Leslie Bucklin
Staff Report
The community is invited to attend the Quaking Aspen Fine Art Holiday Artist Reception Friday, Dec. 21 and Saturday, Dec. 22 at the Dixie Girl Gallery & Restaurant in downtwn Los Alamos.
Chat with photographer Leslie Bucklin and browse her greeting cards, matted prints and gallery images. Goodies will be served!
Bucklin grew up in Los Alamos and after a few years in Colorado and California, she has returned to Los Alamos to raise her family in the community she

'La Fin du Monde Party' Kicks Off Holiday Events at Dixie Girl

on December 20, 2012 - 9:33am


Photo by Carol A. Clark/


Dixie Girl owner Denise Lane announced four upcoming special parties open to the public:

“La Fin du Monde Party” (End of the World Party, Party like there is no tomorrow) 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21

  • Dinner Special: Stout Braised Brisket with Bourbon Peach Glaze, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Vidalia Onion Rings
  • Bar Specials: $3 Martinis, $3 Mayan Mojitos and $3 La Fin du Monde or Maudite Belgian Ales
  • Appetizer specials: Retro Rumaki, Flatbreads and “Buffaleaux” Wings $3

Holiday Wine Dinner 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22

Francine Mendoza Chosen 2012 Realtor of the Year

on December 20, 2012 - 8:26am

Longtime Los Alamos resident Francine J. Mendoza, fifth from left, was chosen Realtor of the Year during the annual President's Day Breakfast Dec. 13 at De Colores Restaurant. From left, Lauren Earles, Treasurer of the Los Alamos Association of REALTORS® (LAAOR) 2013 and past Realtor of the Year (ROTY); Michael Seivold, Director LAAOR 2013; Jon Bernard, Director LAAOR 2013; Mary Anne Beard, President LAAOR 2013 and Past ROTY; Mendoza, Past President LAAOR 2013, ROTY 2012; Pat Pipkin, National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Region 11 Vice President; Ardy Hafer Emce and Chairperson LAAOR 2012

Community Invited to Celebrate New Local Business

on December 20, 2012 - 7:34am

Abe Dispennette


Abe Dispennette invites the community to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony at his new business, Abe Dispennette State Farm Insurance Agency.

The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event at 3 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 3 at Abe Dispennette State Farm Insurance Agency, 1362 Trinity Drive Suite B.


Money IQ: Small Business Loans

on December 19, 2012 - 10:49am
Money IQ
By Al Hernandez
Small Business Loans

The challenges of obtaining a small business loan continue to frustrate budding entrepreneurs and as well as established small business owners alike.

Small business loans are generally defined as those seeking credit of $1 million or less. Financial institutions are less likely to lend in today’s environment and the reasons are many - a still weak but slowly improving economy, tightened bank underwriting standards, ever changing bank regulations, and or increased fear or skepticism with lending to newer firms or start-up businesses.

A Chat With Pet Pangaea Owner Cyndi Wells

on December 19, 2012 - 10:31am

Pet Pangaea owner Cyndi Wells with customers Sarah and John Gustafson's dog Isabelle. Courtesy photo

By Greg Kendall

Cyndi Wells is the owner of Pet Pangaea. Wells started Pet Pangaea in early 2005. Since that time, Wells has been searching for a location to build a store. Recently, I sat down with Wells and discussed the state of small business ownership in Los Alamos. 

Wells came to Los Alamos in 2000 for a post doctorial position at Los Alamos National Laboratory and became a technical staff member. She has a PhD in Chemistry.

Wells is married to Mike Warren.

Co-op Surpasses $3 Million in Sales

on December 19, 2012 - 9:35am

Co-op Board Member Nancy Savoia and General Manager Steve Watts. Courtesy Photo


The Los Alamos Co-op Market has announced that on Dec. 16, it reached another major milestone with year-to-date sales exceeding $3 million.

The Co-op opened March 2, 2011 and has grown to 1,703 members with approximately 75 percent of the sales being from its member-owners.

The Co-op is open to all whether they are a member or not.

"This is a most exciting milestone for our Co-op," said founding board president and current board member Nancy Savoia. "It is quite gratifying to see


NNSA Tops $290 Million in Small Business Contract Obligations in FY 2012

on December 18, 2012 - 7:17am

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In recognition of its commitment to working with small business partners, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that it provided more than $290 million in small business obligations for federal prime contracts in fiscal year 2012.

Nearly 80 percent of new federal award actions went to small businesses. NNSA’s Management & Operating (M&O) contractors provided an additional $1.65 billion to small businesses in FY 2012, equal to 49 percent of all money subcontracted by the M&Os.

“Small businesses are the heart of the American

Column: Smart Management!

on December 17, 2012 - 7:55am
Column by Elena Yang
Smart Management!

No, I am not joking. Besides, I really want to end 2012 with the last column on a high note. 

A few recent reports, from different media outlets, on “in-sourcing” and “octopus management” have highlighted some smart management practices:

Learning from octopus’ decentralized adaptive strategies, such as

What’s in a Number?

on December 17, 2012 - 7:41am



By Ken Voytek: 12-12-12, the Mayan calendar, your lucky number, or your birth number. We obsess about data. Well, maybe only I do. Maybe I should take up numerology.

The most recent BLS reports compiling data on manufacturing provides an interesting picture. Uncertainty seems to the word of the day given the broader economic and policy environment.

If you read the headlines as my colleague Mark Schmit does, you come away with one picture.

Small Business Owners Question Economic Vitality Administrator

on December 15, 2012 - 6:56am

Staff Report

“Small businesses form the backbone of any vibrant community and we realize the unique challenges faced by small business in Los Alamos and want to help,” County Administrator Harry Burgess said.

Los Alamos County hosted a question and answer session for small businesses last week. Business owners were provided an opportunity to ask questions of Economic Vitality Administrator Greg Fisher.

During the discussion, Central Park Square owner Phillip Kunsberg addressed questions about the proposed teen center displacing businesses.

"No tenant will be displaced by the Teen Center.

Trinity Site Plan Reveals Four Retail Pads; Two Eateries

on December 14, 2012 - 1:55pm
Kroger's Trinity Site Conceptual Site Plan dated Dec. 10, 2012. Courtesy rendering
By Greg Kendall

 County officials share activities that indicate the long-awaited Trinity Site Revitalization Project is in fact underway.

"Smith's is very proactive in moving this project forward," said Director Anne Laurant of the County's Capital Projects & Facilities Department. "They are scheduling preliminary meetings for January for site plan approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission and will be submitting for building permits."

County Economic Vitality Administrator Greg Fisher told the Los

Letter to the Editor: To Catch A Thief

on December 14, 2012 - 7:22am
By Nancy Coombs, Marketing Director
Fuller Lodge Art Center

On behalf of the staff at Fuller Lodge Art Center I'd like to extend a heart-felt "thank you" to our volunteer Deborah Stone-Richard and to the Los Alamos Police Department for their efforts in chasing and apprehending a shoplifter on Nov. 28.

Although our staff was suspicious that the woman was pocketing items as she walked around the gallery/gift shop, there was no direct evidence of theft inside the shop.

Deborah's shift ended just as the woman left the Art Center, and she chose to follow her.

County Survey Results Now Available - LA Daily Post Leads Online News Sources

on December 13, 2012 - 10:22am


Los Alamos County’s bi-annual citizen survey results are now available for the public to review on the News page of the County’s website at

In addition, copies for public review are available at the 311 Customer Care Center located at 150 Central Park Square or at the reference desk of either public library.

The firm under contract to conduct the County’s survey was CRC & Associates, LLC. They randomly selected approximately 400 County residents to participate in a 20-minute phone survey or street interview.

The survey included a variety of questions

Money IQ: Are Trusts Just for the Wealthy?

on December 12, 2012 - 11:04am
Money IQ
By Dan Monte
Are Trusts Just for the Wealthy?

As an attorney who has practiced primarily in the areas of trusts and estates for the past 20 years, I frequently hear people say that they are simply not wealthy enough to have a trust.

There is a very common misconception that somehow the use of trusts in estate planning is only for the wealthy. The intended purpose of this short article is to dispel this misconception.

As each one of us has a unique personality, each one of us has a unique set of circumstances which will dictate the form of our estate plan.

Contrary to

Letter to the Editor: Local Businesses Show Generosity

on December 12, 2012 - 8:02am
By Diana Martinez
Senior Program Director
The Family YMCA

Local businesses field requests all year for support of worthy causes. My experience is that our local businesses are often more generous than the corporate giants.

I hope our community remembers this and buys gifts and certificates locally not just at Christmas, but all year. The Y’s latest event was a half marathon and 5K race and many businesses came though yet again, but so many more give in other events to other charities.

Thank you to our business community.

Column: I Am Flummoxed!

on December 10, 2012 - 12:41pm
Column by Elena Yang
I Am Flummoxed!

I just wanted to find a way to use “flummoxed.” One story and one news item put me in this state.

Here is the story: Lynn Harrell, an internationally renowned cellist, found himself banned by Delta Airlines for violating their Frequent Flyer Program terms.

Travel is always a tricky venture for musicians who play large instruments, especially by plane. How many of us would trust the airlines these days to check in our luggage that contains our livelihood?

So, Mr.

Dixie Girl Brunch Draws Steady Crowd

on December 10, 2012 - 9:07am

Dixie Girl servers Victor Medina, left, and Fernando Rodriguez near the Bloody Mary Bar set up as part of the restauraunt's new Sunday Brunch Menu, which launched Dec. 9 . Owner Denise Lane reported a "steady flow' of diners throughout the 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. event at the Dixie Girl, 1789 Central Ave. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Massage Therapist Strives for Deeper Connection

on December 10, 2012 - 7:33am

Owner Michelle Harkey of Mullein Leaf Massage. Photo by Mandy Marksteiner

By Mandy Marksteiner

“I enjoy being able to help people,” said Michelle Harkey, who opened Mullein Leaf Massage, 3500 Trinity Dr., Ste. A-5, a year and a half ago when she moved to Los Alamos. “I want to connect with people and make a difference on a level that not everyone is willing to make: a deeper level that is physical, intellectual and emotional.”

Letting go of chronic tension

People with chronic tension may wonder why they always have pain in the same place.


The Coffee House Embraces Artistic Trend

on December 6, 2012 - 10:51am


The Coffee House in Los Alamos is joining a national trend by inviting local artists to showcase and sell their work at the restaurant in Mari-Mac Shopping Center.

"We are delighted to have local work at the Coffee House," owner Brian Booth said. "We have had a potter and a photographer here already and have a jewelry and a knitter this week."


Jeweler Patty Kokesh and knitter Maire O'Neill will be at the Coffee House from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Kokesh began working with leather craft at the age of 10 and expanded into other creative works such as silk ribbon

Holiday Open House at Fuller Lodge Art Center Saturday

on December 6, 2012 - 8:25am

FLAC News:

The community is invited to the Fuller Lodge Art Center Affordable Arts 2012 Holiday Open House this weekend.

On Saturday, we'll open at 10 a.m. and stay open through the Light Parade in the evening.

We will be serving hot cider and cookies all day.

If you love to bake, consider dropping off some of your home made cookies at the Art Center this week, so we can share them with the shoppers on Saturday!

'Tis the season to go shopping! At many stores you can expect to see the same kinds of things year after year, increasing the challenge of finding the perfect gift.