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Local News

  • Police Beat 7-31-15

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    July 23
    8:10 a.m. — Steven Kowalczyk, 53, of Abiquiu was arrested for possessing false evidence for title/aegis on Rover Boulevard.

    4:05 p.m. — Police reported that a 13-year-old girl was the victim of child abuse on Trinity Drive.

    9:24 p.m. –– A 49-year-old Los Alamos man reported to police he was the victim of a burglary from a dwelling on 33rd Street.

    July 25
    1:23 a.m. — Andrea Rivera, 28, of Los Alamos was arrested for aggravated battery against a household member in the 3000 block of Canyon Road.

    6:48 p.m. — A 40-year-old Los Alamos man reported to police he was the victim of fraud (more than $250, less than $2500) at 47th Street.

    11:17 p.m. — Darryl Hayes, 53, of Albuquerque was arrested for identity theft at the intersection of 39th Street and Orange Street. On July 27, he was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant from another jurisdiction.

  • Senate passes new transportation bill

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate passed a long-term transportation bill, but with House lawmakers already dispersed for their August recess, the bill will become just one more sticky issue on a jam-packed congressional agenda in the fall.
    The $350 billion long-term bill was approved Thursday on a 65-34 vote with bipartisan support. It would make changes to highway, transit, railroad and auto safety programs, but its sponsors were only able to find enough money to pay for the first three years of the six-year bill.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the bill’s passage, “a win for our country.”
    “Many thought we’d never get here, but we have,” he said.
    Immediately after the vote, the Senate turned to a three-month patch previously passed by the House that extends the government’s authority to process highway and transit aid payments to states through Oct. 29. Without congressional action, that authority expires at midnight Friday. House Republican leaders opted for the patch to give themselves more time to work on a long-term — and long-sought — transportation bill.
    Lawmakers have said they are loath to take up yet another short-term transportation funding extension — this will be the 34th extension since 2009.

  • Udall, Heinrich want to expand RECA law

    On Tuesday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that they have asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on their work to amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to expand compensation for victims of radiation exposure in New Mexico, as well as several Western states and the island of Guam.
    The announcement was made through Udall’s office.
    Udall, Heinrich and Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) introduced legislation earlier this year to amend RECA to cover victims of the government’s nuclear arms testing, including those living downwind of the Trinity bomb test in New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin and post-1971 uranium workers in northwestern New Mexico.
    This year marks the 70th anniversary of the test of the atomic bomb at White Sands and the dropping of the bombs on Japan that helped end World War II.
    In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the bipartisan group of senators cosponsoring the bill wrote, “Considering the importance of RECA to many of our constituents, we respectfully request that you move quickly to hold a hearing to bring to light existing deficiencies in the compensation program and to review our legislation.”

  • Italian artist tops this year's SMART Contest

    Art and mathematics have been linked for millennia. Only relatively recently has there been a chasm created between the two.
    And getting those two disciplines linked back together is one of the underlying themes of the SMART Contest.
    Winners of the SMART contest were announced last week as part of the Los Alamos ScienceFest. Noted artist Jean Constant, who works out of Santa Fe, was on hand at Mesa Public Library Saturday to announce the winners.
    Constant, whose works include a variety of digital compositions, said the line between mathematics and art, which had been drawn sharply since roughly World War I, is blurring again, in no small part to the advent of the computer.
    “Math and art have always been one and the same,” he said. “Mathematics, 2,000, even 4,000 years ago used images to explain ideas to us, and to themselves, what they had…Digital art, in many ways, has an intensity, a quality that raised the bar and raised the aesthetic.”
    This year’s SMART contest attracted 260 entries, those coming from almost every state in the union and nearly 30 different countries.
    Constant said people around the world, including artists as well as scientists, knows what it means to compete in Los Alamos.

  • APP board seeks comments

    The Art in Public Places Board announced recently it is seeking comment on its proposal to place a series of pottery replicas along the N.M. 4 corridor in White Rock.
    The APPB is accepting comment through Aug. 3 for the proposal, which includes placing six large Native American pottery replicas along the area, a similar display to one that adorns the road going toward the Albuquerque Sunport.
    According to an announcement by the board, the proposed project was first suggested by the White Rock Master Plan Implementation Committee, that proposal coming when the new Visitor Center was still under construction.
    The concept, now developed, involves a historical progression of pottery styles associated with San Ildefonso Pueblo, from prehistoric to contemporary.
    The pottery forms, which would be made out of concrete, would be produced by the same firm that made the Sunport display, while a group of San Ildefonso artists, descendants of the original inhabitants of the Pajarito Plateau, would select authentic ancestral designs and paint them on the replicas.
    The pieces would range in size from 4 feet tall to an 8-foot diameter plate in the style of Maria Martinez, and would be distributed along both sides of the road.

  • Bandelier warns of possible flash floods

    Although it has been a rainy summer so far, there haven’t yet been any large flash floods in Bandelier National Monument.
    However, Bandelier officials warn that floods are certainly possible and the park has announced that the annual closure of all canyon bottom camping zones is in effect through Sept. 15.
    According to an announcement released by the National Park Service, hikers are still welcome to go out on the trails and backpackers can get Wilderness permits to camp in zones on mesa tops.
    Juniper Campground also remains open.
    However, Bandelier staff is also reminding visitors to take precautions to avoid flash floods during the rainy season.
    Since the 2011 Las Conchas Fire burned through the watersheds of canyons across the plateau, heavy monsoon rains can cause flash floods in any of the canyons, just depending on where storms are heavy.
    Flash floods can be dangerous if hikers are unprepared.
    According to information from Bandelier, efore going out for a day or overnight hike, hikers should check weather forecasts and keep an eye on the horizons throughout the day. If a device that can pick up radar maps is available, that should also be used to keep track of potential storms.

  • Stacking Shelves

    From left, Branch Manager Veronica Encinas, Library Manager Steven Thomas and Library Specialist Monique Archbold place periodicals on shelves at the new White Rock Branch Library in anticipation of its opening. There will be a grand opening ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday at the new location.

  • Indoor elevator may be feasible

    Wayne Kohlrust, project manager for the Fuller Lodge Phases 2-4 Remodel Project, has literally done the groundwork: maneuvering through crawl spaces under the floor to determine whether two proposed locations for an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) elevator are feasible.
    The good news is that both spaces are challenging but workable, eliminating the need to place an elevator outside the historic building.
    The project’s design team from Mullen Heller Architecture, P.C. created considerable controversy when they proposed building a glass and steel elevator near the entrance.
    Michele Mullen, architect/co-owner of Mullen Heller, joined Kohlrust in explaining the pros and cons of the two new options.
    The indoor options have a greater impact on the building than an outside option, but will be less intrusive visually.
    Both will require adding columns to hold up the first and second floor framing around the elevator space. Option 1 requires the additional step of removing two steel support beams that run from the sublevel to the roof.

  • Today in history July 30
  • Council approves deal on San Juan plant

    On Tuesday, the Los Alamos County Council approved the San Juan Generating Station Settlement Agreement (actually a combination of five agreements) by a 5-2 vote, with councilors Pete Sheehey and Susan O’Leary opposed.
    Sheehey made a motion to approve the agreement with an amendment directing the Board of Public Utilities and staff to prepare a phased plan for replacing coal with renewable energy when the agreement expires in 2022.
    O’Leary added a friendly amendment directing BPU to provide council with a plan for soliciting public feedback on a post-2022 plan no later than February 2016.
    Other councilors agreed that council should address those issues, but as an agenda item at a later date.
    Councilor James Chrobocinski made a substitute motion to approve the agreements as written, which received the majority vote.
    Los Alamos was the last of the nine SJGS owners to approve the agreement.
    For details on the agreement, read “BPU will review power agreement,” published in the Los Alamos Monitor July 12, or find the full agreement at secure.losalamosnm.us/utilities/Pages/Electricity.aspx.
    Council also voted to move the Aug. 4 work session to Aug. 18.