Local News

  • Guys and Dolls rolls the dice on love and wins

    By Tris DeRoma

    The Los Alamos Light Opera’s version of Guys and Dolls is a great little escape, if only for a few hours.

    Directed by Laurie Tomlinson and produced by Cindy Hines, LALO’s family-friendly Guys and Dolls is a treat for the eyes and ears from start to finish.

    With mesmerizing choreography and excellent musical direction by Gretchen Amstutz, one will easily get lost in the adventures of Sky Masterson (Bear Schacht), Sarah Brown (Joy Reynolds), Nathan Detroit (Jeff Favorite) and Miss Adelaide (Elisa Enriquez) as they gamble on their dreams in 1930s New York.

    This year, the Light Opera is performing at the Crossroads Bible Church, while the Duane Smith Auditorium undergoes renovations.

    Maybe it’s just us, but the intimacy of the smaller venue helped to really pull one into the musical and root for the characters. Being so close and eye level to the stage made the dazzling ensemble pieces even more mesmerizing, the duets more intimate.

  • Trump signs $1.3 trillion budget after threatening veto


    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending measure Friday, averting a midnight government shutdown just hours after declaring he was considering a veto.

    Trump said he was "very disappointed" in the package, in part because it did not fully fund his plans for a border wall with Mexico and did not address some 700,000 "Dreamer" immigrants who are now protected from deportation under a program that he has moved to eliminate.

    But Trump praised the increases the bill provides for military spending and said he had "no choice but to fund our military"

    "My highest duty is to keep America safe," he said.

    The bill signing came a few hours after Trump created last-minute drama by saying in a tweet that he was "considering" a veto.

    With Congress already on recess, and a government shutdown looming, he said that young immigrants now protected in the U.S. under Barack Obama's Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals "have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded."

  • New Mexico unemployment rate dips to 5.8 percent in January

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico's unemployment rate is down, with the Department of Workforce Solutions reporting that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 5.8 percent, down from 5.9 percent in January.

    The department's report Friday says total nonagricultural payroll employment grew by 11,000 jobs, or 1.3 percent, since February 2017 when the state's jobless rate was 6.4 percent.

    Most of the job gains in the past year were in the private sector, with the goods-producing economic sector accounting for roughly half of the increase.

    The biggest increase was seen in mining and construction, which added 4,200 jobs.

  • Safety meeting covers community concerns

    A desire for more training for students against a threat of an active shooter was one of the predominate points made Tuesday night during a community forum on school safety and security.

    Just over 50 people attended the event at the Los Alamos High School Speech Theater.

    Those in attendance sat at tables in the theater. Each table consisted of a mix of students, parents, school staff members, representatives from the school board and members of the Los Alamos Police Department.

    Participants were asked to address the following questions at their respective tables:

    • What makes you feel safe at school?

    • When do you not feel safe at school?

    • What could be done to improve student and adult safety at school?

    After several minutes of discussing these questions and writing down ideas for making school safer, a student from each table presented the responses their group came up with to the audience.

    A common thread through each of the presentations was the appreciation the students and staff have for an on-campus presence by the LAPD.

  • UNM group recommends raising tuition next year

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — University of New Mexico’s budget proposal recommends raising tuition next year to cover costs for campus safety measures and employee raises.

    The Albuquerque Journal reported Tuesday that the budget proposal includes a 2.5 percent tuition increase and a 2.39 percent increase in student fees.

    Officials say it would give many employees their first raise in four years.

    Under the proposal, students could pay between $88 and $214 more each semester depending on which classes they take.

    The proposal was developed by the university’s budget leadership team which is made up representatives from the student body, faculty, staff and administration.

    University administrators will present the plan to the Board of Regents on Thursday.

    Regent President Rob Doughty said last month that he is against a tuition increase.

  • Forest to host ribbon cutting ceremony

    The public is invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony at Walatowa Timber Industries in Jemez from 9:30-11:30 a.m. April 4.

    The purpose is to commemorate the Pellet Mill project for the restoration benefits it will provide the Santa Fe National Forest, and the economic development opportunities it will bring communities in the Jemez Pueblo and Jemez Springs area.

    The event will be at 3795 Sawmill Road on State Road 4, Jemez Pueblo.

    Partner organizations include Walatowa Timber Industries, Pueblo of Jemez, Jemez Community Development Corporation, and the Santa Fe National Forest. 

    For more information, call the Santa Fe National Forest Public Affairs Office at 438-5320.

  • Another bus added for tour of Trinity Site

    ALAMOGORDO (AP) — Another bus has been added for a special tour of the spot of the world’s first atomic test during a special one-day open house.

    The Alamogordo Daily News reports that the New Mexico Museum of Space History has secured a third bus for a special tour of the Trinity Site after souring ticket sales.

    The Museum of Space History hosts a motorcoach tour to the site each April and October as part of a fundraiser for its Foundation.

    Last July marked the 72nd year anniversary of the test at the Trinity Site. It was part of the Manhattan Project, a top-secret World War II nuclear development program out of the then-secret city of Los Alamos.

    The bomb was tested in the desert near towns with Hispanic and Native American populations.

  • A-19 builder asks for redesignation of land

    Citing rising costs of basalt removal, the developer of a 161 residential home project in White Rock is asking Los Alamos County Council to designate the land a public improvement district.

    If the council agrees, it will allow the developer, A-19-A-1 Acquisition Group, to finance infrastructure through a bond sale. A portion of the assessment is then factored into the homeowners’ property tax bill.A-19-A-1 representative Adam Thornton said he was not asking the county for any more money, just to pass an ordinance or a resolution that would make it possible for his company to take advantage of New Mexico’s public improvement district statutes in an effort keeping project costs down.

    “We have had a significant increase in the cost of development,” Thornton said. “The amount of basalt that we have had originally estimated that we would be processing and the cost to deal with that has gone up past what we have ever possibly have considered a reasonable contingency amount,” Thornton said.

    Thornton estimated there’s 120,000 cubic yards of basalt they have to process.

    “The original estimates we had on the earthwork were just over $3 million. Those estimates have gone up close to ($6 million) now,” Thornton said during a barrage of probing questions from council.

  • Local fire managers maintain baseline restrictions

    Dry conditions in one eastern New Mexico county have prompted a burn ban while favorable conditions in another part of the state are allowing for a controlled burn.

    Here in Los Alamos County there is no change to the current situation as the 2018 fire season draws near.
    “We don’t have any burn bans at this time,” Los Alamos Fire Department’s Wildland District Chief Kelly Sterna said Thursday. “We’re still following our baseline restrictions.”

    The area is currently under a fire danger rating of “moderate.” According to the LAFD’s website that means fires can start from most accidental causes, but with the exception of lightning fires in some areas, the number of starts is generally low.

    It also means fires in open cured grasslands will burn briskly and spread rapidly on windy days, that timber fires spread slowly to moderately fast and that the average fire is of moderate intensity, although heavy concentrations of fuel, especially draped fuel (needles leaves, twigs), may burn hot.

    As for control of fires in the moderate category, the site says fires are not likely to become serious and control is relatively easy.

  • Perry sees plutonium pit work staying at LANL ‘into the future’

    Plutonium pit manufacturing and whether Los Alamos National Laboratory will remain the center of plutonium pit production was the highlight of Thursday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

    U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., asked Secretary of Energy Rick Perry how confident he was that Los Alamos would be able to get 80 pits manufactured a year by 2030.

    The National Nuclear Security Administration is expected to release an analysis of alternatives study by May 11 that may favor moving the facility to the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

    “Now there’s talk of stopping and recalculating and looking at another approach. I just don’t think we have the time to do that,” Reed said.

    “Sen. Heinrich (D-N.M.) and I have discussed this at length many times. I’ve been to Los Alamos and I’ve visited P-4 (the plutonium manufacturing facility) out there, and it is populated with some very extraordinary men and women,” Perry said.  “…Los Alamos is going to be the center for plutonium excellence for as long into the future as there is a future.”

    Perry further added that manufacturing at least 30 plutonium pits are guaranteed at the Los Alamos plutonium pit manufacturing facility.