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Local News

  • On the front lines of Los Alamos 311 center

    They are the first people encountered at the Los Alamos County municipal building. They answer the 311 information phone lines. They take utility payments and property tax payments, they handle banner permits and the county’s “lemon lot” permits. They also serve as notary publics and manage the sale of cemetery plots and arrange for internments.
    All these duties fall to the 311 Customer Care Center staff, who are often the first point of contact between county residents and county services.
    “Those people are so good. I needed some information yesterday and they really went out of their way to find out,” said resident Chris Judson. “They always come through for me. Every time I’ve ever dealt with them it’s been so positive. They really deserve kudos.”
    The Los Alamos Monitor sat down with Billing and Service Specialist Tracey Alarid to learn more about what the job entails.
    “My day is always very extremely busy, but it’s different every day,” Alarid said.
    Judson’s experience of having a 311-staffer track down information is not unusual.

  • Trinity Capital to pay 1.5 million in federal penalties

    The Los Alamos National Bank and its parent company, Trinity Capital Corporation, have agreed to pay $1.5 million in fines. In exchange, the Securities and Exchange Commissio will drop the charges it levied against the bank and Trinity for accounting fraud.

    “Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Trinity agreed to provide ongoing cooperation and to pay a $1.5 million penalty, which takes into account the company’s significant remedial measures and cooperation during the investigation, The SEC said in a written statement.

    According to the SEC, Trinity underreported the net losses to its shareholders by $30.5 million. SEC officials said the company reported its 2011 income as $4.9 million, when actually the bank suffered a $25.6 million loss.

    In its investigation of the bank and Trinity Capital, the SEC directly blamed William Enloe, Trinity Capital’s CEO at the time, former chief credit officer Jill Cook and former lending officer Mark Pierce.

    The SEC’s complaint also blames Trinity’s former CFO Daniel Bartholomew and vice president of internal audit Karl Hjelvik for not installing proper internal auditing controls and failing “to ensure the bank’s books and records were reasonably accurate.” 

  • Schedule of Public Works projects set for Los Alamos

    Note: For more information about the projects listed below, please email lacpw@lacnm.us, call 662-8150, or visit the “Projects” link at www.losalamosnm.us. Please slow down and use caution within the construction work zones. Please note the below information is based on a schedule provided by the contractors and may change due to weather or other delays.
    Western Area
    Improvements Phase 3:
    Paving operations will begin on Monday, Sept. 21 on 43rd Street (north). Residents are asked to park vehicles in their driveways during paving hours.
    Work hours will begin 8 a.m. Residents can expect flagging operations. Crew members will be available to escort residents through the work zone if emergencies arise.
    20th Street/Fuller Lodge Improvements:
    The north bound lane will remain closed through Wednesday. On Thursday, the contractor will change the traffic control to allow for paving on the south bound lane. Motorists will use the north bound lane. Signs will be in place to help guide motorists through the detour. To access local businesses please follow detour signs.
    On Friday, the contractor plans to close 20th Street north of the Deacon Street intersection to the parking lot across from the Teen Center. This will allow for the contractor to construct new concrete pedestrian crosswalks.

  • Los Alamos executive resigns after 15 years with laboratory

    SANTA FE (AP) — A high-ranking official at the Los Alamos National Laboratory has announced his resignation after more than 15 years with the institution.

    According to a memo sent to lab employees on Thursday, Los Alamos Executive Director Richard Marquez told lab Director Charles McMillan that he would leave the lab, effective immediately.

    Marquez did not respond to requests for comment and lab officials declined to comment.

    Principal Associate Director for Operations and Business Craig Leasure will serve as interim executive director.

    Marquez worked at the Department of Energy in Albuquerque for several years before starting at the lab in 2001.

  • Sweet celebration
  • On the Docket 2-12-16

    Feb. 3
    Aurora Maldonado was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Timothy M. Acomb  was found guilty at the time of traffic stop to speeding 21 to 25 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $150 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Feb. 4
    Christopher Matthews  was found guilty at the time of traffic stop to speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Sheldon Martinez  paid a $50 fine to Citepay for failing to display a current, valid registration plate while parked.

    Carlos Gallegos was found guilty at the time of traffic stop to speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Isaac Schilling  was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of aggravated driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, resisting or obstructing an officer, making an improper lane change, assault on a peace officer and driving with an open container in the car.

  • Bulthuis hired as deputy director

    Public Works Director Philo Shelton announced Wednesday that Jon Bulthuis has accepted the position of deputy public works director. He will start March 14, overseeing fleet, facilities, transit and airport divisions.
    Bulthuis lives in White Rock with his wife and two children. He has worked most of his career with the City of Santa Fe. He has a master’s degree in urban and regional planning and a master’s degree in business administration.
    The position of deputy public works director was created when the Los Alamos County Council approved the reorganization of the community and economic development department in November 2015, and the Capital Improvement Projects and the custodial and facilities divisions were moved to the public works department.

     

  • Rockin' for a cause
  • Making New Mexico more competitive

    Wednesday’s Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Chamber Breakfast speaker Steve McKee spoke about how his strategies for helping “stalled, stuck and stale companies” could be applied to New Mexico’s economic situation.
     McKee is president of McKee Wallwork & Company, and author of “When Growth Stalls: How it Happens, Why You’re Stuck & What to do about it.”
    McKee laid out his theory of why New Mexico is in such poor economic condition and what should be done about it.
    According to McKee, New Mexico is in “a perfect storm of market tectonics” due to three external factors: the economy, changing dynamics and competition.
    “We call them market tectonics because, like plate tectonics in the geological world, when the earth shakes, it shakes everybody,” McKee said. “No matter how well built your building it will shake. If it’s built well, it will remain standing. If it’s build poorly, it will fall.”
    McKee pointed out that New Mexico’s recovery from the 2007 recession has been slower than other states, and that the state has had the highest unemployment in the nation for two months in a row.
    McKee posits that one of the reasons for that is the changing dynamics of the economy.

  • NPS seeks input on Manhattan Project Park

    A National Park Service team – joined by Department of Energy representatives – spent two days in Los Alamos this week, asking for input on what will become the Foundation Document for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.
    The team visited Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Hanford, Washington, during the previous week.
    At a public meeting Monday, citizens were encouraged to provide their insights on the questions of:
    • What is important about the park? What are its important stories?
    • What do you see as the threats and challenges to the park?
    • What visitor experiences and opportunities would you like to see?
    On the last question, Interim Superintendent Tracy Atkins told attendees to “think big” and “think long-term.”
    “Think 10, 20 years down the road,” Atkins said. “We’re not going to do everything at once. We’re a little baby park. We’re still just barely cutting out teeth. It takes us a while to move through all the planning processes to be fully operational.”
    Atkins explained that the Foundation Document is the very first step in planning a new park, and supports all future planning.