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Local News

  • Voter forum features UNM-LA board candidates

    Residents attending a League of Women Voters of Los Alamos forum seemed to want to know more about the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos’ partnerships with the Los Alamos Public Schools.
    The forum included four candidates running for a seat on the UNM-LA Advisory Board. The forum took place in the Piñon Elementary School Library Jan. 18.
    Residents also wanted to know how the candidates running for the school’s advisory board, if elected, could help the students attending the school cope better with stress and other mental health issues. There are five candidates running for three positions on the board. They include Michael Redondo and incumbent David Sutton for Position 1; Michelle Hall for Position 2 and James Robinson and Sheila Schiferl for Position 5. Robinson and Schiferl are both vying for UNM-LA Advisory Board member Stephen Boerigter’s seat. Boerigter gave up his seat to run for a seat on the Los Alamos School Board. Hall could not make the forum due to illness.
    Public Education Commissioner Karyl Ann Armbruster wanted to know what an advisory board member could do to safeguard the mental health of students in what could be a stressful time in their lives.

  • Family YMCA and Bandelier build new partnership

    The Family YMCA has announced the formation of a new summer youth employment program focused on conservation and trail building.
    The Y Bandelier Corps was created in response to the loss of Youth Conservation Corps funding this year. The Y has hosted a trail building crew since 2009 and provided skills and wages for up to 43 youth from northern New Mexico each summer for the last 7 years.
     Last year, the YCC funded 43 programs around the state. That was reduced to 39 this year, and the Y did not make it into the top ranking for funding.
    “We almost didn’t have a program this year,” said Diana Martinez, Y senior program director, “The week before Thanksgiving, the state’s Youth Conservation Corps program said we were awarded a jobs grant; then the week after Thanksgiving they told us not enough funding was given to them from the state, so we were cut.”
    Martinez informed volunteers of the news and they rallied to come up with funding. The Volunteer Task Force, Bandelier National Monument, Delle Foundation and Pajarito Trail Fest have pledged enough funding to provide wages for nine youth workers.

  • Union wants a voice in new LANL contract

    A union of professional and technical employees that work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory hope that when the National Nuclear Security Administration seeks a new management and operations contract next year, it will be less about profit and more about science.
    “We’ve been building up a coalition of support for our ideas for influencing the process in the DOE (Department of Energy) and the NNSA to get them thinking about a nonprofit management model for the laboratory,” University Professional and Technical Employees Executive Vice President Jeff Colvin said. “We strongly believe that it’s the for profit management model that’s been the threat to the scientific enterprise to the labs, on which the lab’s national security and scientific research missions depend.”
    To make sure their concerns are heard, local members of the UPTE, (UPTE Local 1663) are engaging the community through community meetings and forums.
    At a monthly meeting of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities, a lab scientist presented the UPTE’s wishes to the board.

  • Today in history Jan. 31
  • Police Beat 1-29-17

    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.
    Jan. 19
    10 a.m. — Kimberly Martinez, 34, of Albuquerque was arrested on a municipal court warrant in the 2300-400 block of North Road.

    8:10 p.m. — Katie Pecos, 27, of Los Alamos was arrested for abuse of a child at Joya Loop.

    8:30 p.m. — Ryan Barnes, 38, of Valerde was arrested for petty larceny ($500 or less) at 9th Street.

    9:32 p.m. — Joseph Chavez, 27, of Hernandez was arrested for driving while under the influence at the intersection of 4th Street and Central Avenue.

    11:40 p.m. — Lauren Vigil, 29, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of criminal damage to property not to exceed $1,000 at Chiquita Drive.
    Jan. 20
    11:50 a.m. — Joshua Padilla, 18, of Chimayo was arrested for shoplifting (less than $500) in the 700 block of Trinity Drive.

  • Police unable to locate Barnes following complaint

    Police are unable to locate Ryan Barnes, 38, of Velarde, after a victim filed charges of trespassing and larceny stemming from a Jan. 19 incident.
    The victim told police that when he arrived home from visiting a friend’s house around 8:30 p.m., he found Barnes allegedly sitting on his bed.
    When the victim told Barnes to get out, Barnes reportedly said to the victim, “F—- you,” and walked away, according to the police report.
    Shortly after Barnes left, the victim noticed an electronic tablet, a “Nook,” was missing.
    “I had left my apartment door unlocked and he was inside. I yelled at him to leave and called the police,” the victim told LAPD Cpl. Robert Larsen.
    The victim’s friend described Barnes as a “tall bald guy” who was holding a backpack.  
    Police were unable to locate Barnes at the time. Officers reached at the jail Friday said Barnes was not in custody, and due to a technical issue could not say if he had ever been in custody since the charges were filed Jan. 19.
    Barnes is six-feet-tall and weighs 160 pounds. He also has a large, jagged surgical scar on his head. Barnes, who has family in Los Alamos, has been frequently homeless in the past few years and has also had frequent brushes with the law.

  • Forest thinning underway to protect watersheds

    The devastation brought on by the Cerro Grande and Las Conchas wildfires is something no one wants to see repeated. Not only were thousands of acres of forests devastated, watersheds were choked with ash and debris for months afterwards, effecting municipal water supplies as far away as Albuquerque.
    The Nature Conservancy-led Rio Grande Water Fund is an ambitious 20-year program aimed at protecting forests from those high-intensity fires and, by extension, the state’s watersheds. Their efforts are directed at the entire northern Rio Grande watershed.
    The program is modeled after the Jemez Mountains/Valles Caldera National Preserve Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, which was established by Congress in 2010.
    Bob Parmenter, the preserve’s division chief for science and resource stewardship, has been involved with that project from the start and now sits on the RGWF board.
    The foundation of both efforts is restoring healthy forests.

  • P and Z OKs Baseball Academy plan

    This time of year, the county’s baseball and softball fields are either covered with snow or soggy with snowmelt. That can make it difficult for Los Alamos teams to compete with teams in some parts of the state that are already in training. Real estate broker, county councilor and Little League President James Chrobocinski has plans to change that.
    On Wednesday, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a special use permit and a site plan for Chrobocinski’s new Los Alamos Baseball Academy, LLC. The 21,200-square-foot facility will offer everything from baseball training equipment to an indoor infield and coaching to help young players to hone their skills.
    Chrobocinski is modeling the facility after the Albuquerque Baseball Academy.
    “I was at the Albuquerque Baseball Academy with my son, and they said, you ought to open up an academy up there, and we can help you,” Chrobocinski said. “I started thinking about it and talking about it and working through it, and it just made a lot of sense, since we have such a large baseball group here, and we’re always pretty competitive. So we started putting this together.”

  • On the Docket 1-29-17

    Jan. 9
     Gabriel Vigil  was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six-10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant must pay $65 in court costs. Sentence deferred until March 9. Defendant also sentenced to community service.
     
    Mabel Vigil pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to speeding 11-15 miles per hour over the speed limit. Defendant must pay $65 in court costs. Sentence deferred until March 9.
     
    Desmond Stack was found guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to display a current, valid registration plate. Defendant was fined $25 and must also pay $65 in court costs.
     
    Marie Kailahi was found guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court of not having working tail lamps. Defendant must pay $65 in court costs.
     
    James Gallegos  was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six-10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant must pay $65 in court costs. Sentence deferred until March 9.
     
    Kilee J. Landon was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding 16 to 20 miles an hour over the speed limit and driving with a suspended or revoked license. Defendant was fined $100 and must also pay $130 in court costs.
     

  • Poll: New Mexico voters oppose cuts to education funding

    BY STACI MATLOCK
    The New Mexican