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Los Alamos County

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CRC to discuss charter Monday

The Charter Review Committee will meet in Council Chambers inside the Community Building at 5:30 p.m. Monday to discuss the section of the County’s charter pertaining to initiative, referendum and recall. The CRC will be reviewing recommendations from its subcommittee about possible changes.
The subcommittee’s report is posted on the County’s webpage at www.losalamosnm.us under the link to Projects/Charter Review Committee. Copies of the report are also available at the two public libraries at the Reference Desk, or, at the 311 Customer Care Center.


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Las Conchas: Thousands of sandbags protect Bandelier from major damage

Flood waters swamp roadways

By Carol A. Clark

Sunday’s pounding rainstorm washed out several areas throughout Los Alamos County. “We had flooding on West Jemez Road at Water Canyon with reports of four to six feet of water above the road,” said Los Alamos National Laboratory spokesman James Rickman.
Roadside guardrails washed out during the flooding, but the integrity of the road was not compromised, he said. The road was closed Monday while crews cleaned up the area.
Los Alamos Police Capt. Randy Foster reported that N.M. 4 was shut down at both ends Sunday due to rising rainwater and debris creating a hazard for motorists.


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DPU: Power outages drag down overall survey results

Customers rate utilities above average

The Department of Public Utilities’ (DPU) 2011 Biennial Customer Satisfaction Survey came in as good news for the board.

In every category, from customer service the service itself, customers rated DPU above average, and, in some cases, ratings neared excellent.

The survey was prepared by Vantage Marketing Research and the Howell Research Group. Jeff Eshelman, president of Vantage, presented the report. The telephone survey sampled 400 residential customers and 94 commercial customers. The margin of error for the customer sampling is 4.9 percentage points and 8.7 for commercial customers, due to the smaller sampling.  


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Cycling: Riders are out in force and it behooves everyone to take note

Bicycle lanes warrant caution

By Carol A. Clark

Much of Central Avenue, Diamond Drive and north and south San Ildefonso Road have bike lanes. With the completion of Diamond Drive’s Phase IV, the entire length of this arterial will include bike lanes.

“Most of our ‘spinal’ arterial connecting our homes to our schools, workplaces and other public places on Diamond Drive from 39th Street to south of North Road have opened with great bike lanes as well as bus pull offs and better sidewalks – so it’s timely to remind people of some general laws and guidelines that apply to bike lane use,” said Khal Spencer, a League of American Cyclists instructor.

First, before wheeling onto the road, Spencer says to make sure bikes are safe to ride.


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County: The share of costs for improvement is estimated at $16.5 million

Decision by EPA may cause DPU rates to rise

By Arin McKenna

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined last week that PNM must install select catalytic reduction technology (SCR) on all four units of the San Juan Generating Station within five years.

The decision, if it stands, is estimated to increase electricity rates for Los Alamos residents by approximately 11 percent.

The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) owns approximately seven percent of the generating plant’s Unit 4, which provides 36 megawatts of generating capacity – nearly half of the county’s energy requirements.


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LAFD: Five hopefuls set to go through the paces Thursday and Friday.

Fire chief finalists to visit community

By Carol A. Clark

Los Alamos County Fire Chief Doug Tucker postponed his retirement scheduled this summer following the May resignation of Deputy Chief Patrick Sleik, who after just 11 months on the job said it “wasn’t a good fit” for him.


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Triathlon returns Saturday

By The Staff

The 2011 Los Alamos Triathlon is closing its online registration Thursday night.
The triathlon, one of the most popular local sporting events of the year, is scheduled for Saturday morning. The first wave of contestants will head out at 7 a.m.
Online registrations are being accepted at active.com through 7 p.m. Thursday. Price for online registration is $50 for individuals, $90 for relay teams of two and $120 for three-person relay teams.
The triathlon is open to a total of 350 competitors.
The triathlon consists of a 20-kilometer bike race, followed by a 400-meter swim in the aquatic center’s pool, followed by a 5-kilometer run up and down Canyon Road.


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County: Document retrieval process viewed as cumbersome, costly

Requests for public records skyrocketing

By Carol A. Clark

A race against the clock begins each time someone exercises their right to inspect a public record from Los Alamos County. The Public Records Act mandates municipalities produce the document within three days.


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Best of Best winners are doing what they love

By Arin McKenna

The Los Alamos County Fair offers residents a chance to share their passions with the community and receive some recognition for their talent.


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Los Alamos: More than a science town

By Carol A. Clark

The  path typically taken by homegrown scientists, engineers and mathematicians over the last five decades starts at Los Alamos High School, moves on to college and ends at Los Alamos National Laboratory. 


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Events: Residents have a chance to shine with exhibits

LA County Fair entertains through Sunday

By Arin McKenna

The upper floor of the Mesa County Library was bustling Thursday as Los Alamos County residents arrived with quilts, baked goods, artwork and the fruits of their gardens. Anywhere from 500 to 800 residents exhibit their best at the Los Alamos County Fair every year.


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T-Board: First stretch of work delayed to 2014

Resident Questions State Funding of Trinity Project

At last week’s Transportation Board meeting, resident Patricia Max introduced a letter from Kathy Bender, deputy secretary of the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT). The letter was in response to an inquiry by Max concerning the NM 502 Corridor Study for Trinity Drive.


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County: Planning and Zoning Commission gives its OK 8-1

Muni Building site plan approved

Los Alamos County has been without a municipal building since 2008, when the 40-year-old municipal building adjacent to Ashley Pond was declared unsafe and demolished. After years of planning and legal maneuverings, groundbreaking for a new municipal building is in sight.


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Transportation: The board will re-interview the top three candidates face-to-face

NCRTD still looking for executive director

By John Severance

The North Central Regional Transit District still does not have a permanent executive director.


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County: Autio says this ‘actors guild’ has built a strong rapport

For staff, it’s all about acting

By Arin McKenna

Randy Autio became Los Alamos County Attorney in July of 2010. In less than five months, the county council terminated Anthony Mortillaro and named Autio Acting County Administrator. Autio has now held that role longer than his official one.


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