Around the Area

  • New Mexico Airlines grounded again

    KOAT Channel 7 reported last night that New Mexico Airlines has again stopped flying and that the FAA is currently investigating maintenance problems that pushed the airline to voluntarily ground its planes Dec. 11.

    According to Los Alamos County Public Information Officer Julie Habiger, Airport Manager Dave Ploeger has confirmed that the airlines’ last flight to or from Albuquerque was Monday afternoon. All flights since have been cancelled. The county was not notified of the interruption.

    “We have not talked to the officials at the airlines at this time. We are not in contact with the FAA nor would they talk to us about what the possible maintenance issues might be,” Habiger said,

    Habiger confirmed that the county is addressing the issue and hopes to issue a statement about the situation soon.

  • Senate approves National Park status for Manhattan Project, Valles Caldera

    The senate has just voted 89−11 to approve the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes public lands legislation creating the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP) and granting National Park Preserve status to the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP).

    Both pieces of legislation have been years in the making. Senators Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, and former Sen. Jeff Bingaman were sponsors of both pieces of legislation. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan helped sponsor the MPNHP legislation in the House.

    On Dec. 11. Heinrich delivered statements supporting the inclusion of several public lands bills in the NDAA. He stated,

    "None of this would be possible were it not for years of effort and support from the local communities that helped craft these bills. Thanks to their work, New Mexico's critical public land based economic engine will continue to grow in the energy, tourism, sporting and recreation sectors."
    Lujan also issued a statement after the House passage of the bill last week, stating that establish the MPNHP

  • Expect Main Hill Road delays

    The New Mexico Department of Transportation has restricted traffic on the Main Hill Road to one lane in order to perform shoulder work. The Los Alamos Monitor is currently trying to determine how long the delay is expected to continue.

  • BPU gives itself high ratings

    The Board of Public Utilities gave itself high marks on its first self-evaluation during a special meeting on Friday. A yearly self-evaluation is part of the new Policies and Procedures Manual adopted on May 21 of this year.

    Most of the questions were routine checks, such as, “Is there an annual board calendar?” or “Do all board members participate in a formal orientation?”

    On a scale of one to five, the lowest score was a three on the question of “Does the board give clear directions to management on the mission and goals of the organization?”

    The board felt that the mission and goals were too driven by Department of Public Utilities staff, and that the board itself should have more discussion regarding those and provide more direction to the department.

    “Our responsibility is to set direction,” Board Chair Timothy Neal said. “I don’t think we have talked among ourselves about how we want the department to move… I think we should have a consensus about where we want to move.”

  • Valles Caldera trust asks for five more years

    The board of trustees for the Valles Caldera National Preserve voted on Wednesday to ask Congress to extend the current trust model for another five years.

    Under the 2000 Valles Caldera Preservation Act (VCPA), the enabling legislation that created the preserve, the trust dissolvesif it fails to achieve financial self-sufficiency by 2015 and management of the 89,000-acres preserve transfers to the U.S. Forest Service.

    The legislation allows for an extension of the current model to 2020 provided sufficient progress has been made toward self-sufficiency. The board is officially requesting that extension.

    Read Thursday’s Los Alamos Monitor for more on this story.


  • Golf course community building receives certificate of occupancy

    The Los Alamos Monitor just received word that the golf course community building received its final inspection and certificate of occupancy from the state late Thursday. Project Manager Anthony Strain anticipates having golf course and pro shop operations moved in and operational by mid-September, with the restaurant opening in November. Look for more on this breaking news in Sunday’s Los Alamos Monitor.

  • VIDEO: Los Alamos Monitor interviews with "Manhattan" producers and cast UPDATED

    View Los Alamos Monitor reporter Arin McKenna's interviews with the creator, director and select members of the cast from "Manhattan." View the first three interviews at the links below and look for more to follow.





  • Stover announces change in polling station

    On Tuesday, Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover and Deputy Clerk Sheryl Nichols informed the county council that (pending a court order) the third polling station for the June 3 primary election will be moved from the Los Alamos County golf course to the Duane Smith Auditorium. Los Alamos Superintendent of Schools Gene Schmidt made the auditorium available after county Attorney Rebecca Ehler informed Stover that the temporary certificate of occupancy for the new community building at the golf course has not been received from the State of New Mexico.

  • Deadlines loom for Open Enrollment for healthcare coverage

    Deadlines to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act are looming.

    Saturday is the deadline for coverage to start on April 1.

    Open enrollment for 2014 ends March 31. Those not enrolled by that date face penalties of $95 or one percent of adjusted gross income, whichever is higher. Penalties increase in successive years.

    Those enrolled by March 31 should be covered by the end of April.

    Sign up at bewellnm.com or call 1-855-99-NMHIX.

  • Mari Mac construction starts next week

    According to the Department of Utilities, construction for the new entrance into the Mari Mac Shopping Center could start as soon as next week. Both of the Trinity Drive entrances and three rows of parking will be closed for approximately five weeks.

    The shopping center will be accessible from Central Avenue and all businesses will remain open.

    Once the new entrance is complete and a traffic signal installed, construction on Trinity Drive will begin and continue until July.