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Local News

  • Discussing the Plans

    Last week’s Nature on Tap featured an update on the planetarium in the new nature center by Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) volunteer Paul Arendt.
    PEEC is planning monthly night sky shows at the planetarium, and is hoping to partner with the local astronomy club for viewings of Los Alamos’ night sky after the shows. PEEC is also working to book some major astronomy shows. Other activities such as binocular viewing of the night sky and dinosaur shows for kids are among the options under consideration.
    The planetarium will double as a lecture hall, available for rental. It is equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, including a 30-foot by 40-foot screen. PEEC already has one booking for the facility: a wedding “under the stars” of the planetarium.
    The nature center’s grand opening is on Earth Day, 2 p.m. April 22. PEEC’s Earth Day Festival is 10 a.m.–2 p.m. April 25, with planetarium showings throughout the day.
     

  • Local Briefs 4-9-15

    Property tax bills coming due

    Property taxes for the second installment of 2014 bill are due by May 11.
    Los Alamos County said in a press release that payments need to be made in person at the 311 center at the municipal building by 5 p.m. on that date or postmarked by midnight to avoid interest charges and a late payment fee.
    Mailed payments should be addressed to P.O. Box 99, Los Alamos NM 87544.
    The customer care center is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

    Fair contiues through Sunday

    The Book and Gift Fair continues through the weekend at Los Alamos Medical Center.
    The fair, which will be held in the lobby area of the LAMC, is going to benefit the hospital’s auxiliary.
    It will run from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    Schmidt reception set for April 28

    Los Alamos Public Schools will hold a “thank you” reception for outgoing superintendent Gene Schmidt April 28.
    The event will be from 4-6 p.m. at Fuller Lodge. Schmidt is leaving following the end of the academic year and will be replaced by Kurt Steinhaus.
    Light refreshments will be served at the reception.

    ‘Fiesta’ will be at Fuller Lodge

  • VA clinic in state is among worst

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A Veterans Affairs clinic in northwestern New Mexico ranks among the worst in the nation when it comes to the percentage of appointments that were delayed a month or longer.
    While local VA officials say they’re doing their best to expand services in rural areas where recruiting is a challenge, advocates say more needs to be done — and quickly.
    The AP examined wait times at 940 VA hospitals and outpatient clinics across the U.S. to see how things might have improved since a scandal over delays and attempts to cover them up led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and prompted lawmakers in August to pass the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act.
    The clinic in Farmington, New Mexico, ranked sixth on the list with more than 14 percent of appointments delayed 31 days or longer from Sept. 1 to Feb. 28. That’s more than five times the national average.
    Two other New Mexico clinics, in Santa Fe and Rio Rancho, and the hospital in Albuquerque, also ranked near the top of the list of VA facilities where patients are mostly likely to encounter long delays. However, numbers for February showed improvements in wait times at most of the facilities.

  • Ad hoc committee seeks applicants

    Those interested in serving on the newly-formed Manhattan Project National Historical Park ad hoc committee are being asked to submit letters of interest by next week.
    Los Alamos County issued a statement today announcing the search. Those interested need to contact the county by 5 p.m. April 17.
    There are six committee seats open, including three community at-large members. The other three are assigned for retail, hospitality and service industry representatives.
    The United States Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act in December which included sections that approved the formation of the MPNHP, which is made up of sections of Los Alamos County and Los Alamos National Laboratory, as well as Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and Hanford, Washington.
    The National Park Service, which will oversee the MPNHP, is anticipating an opening of January 2016.
    Work on the new committee is expected to be “intensive and expedited,” that according to county officials.
    It is anticipated the committee will meet frequently over the next nine months. The committee will be led by a project manager, which will be appointed by the county manager.
    The county said those interested should be prepared to devote a “significant portion of time” to project meetings.

  • Today in history April 9
  • Martinez approves biz-friendly bills

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez signed three bills Tuesday, including business friendly legislation to help boost New Mexico’s economy.
    “Our ability to diversify our economy and improve our education system is only possible with a collaborative support of people like you, people with influence who can push for change,” Martinez told attendees at an Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce conference.
    She urged business leaders to help her move the state forward and offered her take on the legislative session.
    Martinez critiqued the Senate majority in her half hour talk saying the public and the business community have a right to be disappointed with the lack of action in that chamber on key House priorities — which is GOP controlled for the first time in six decades.
    “The Senate majority said they’d obstruct, delay and prevent floor votes (on) the things that are overwhelmingly important and supported by most New Mexicans,” she said.
    She cited the failure of a right-to-work initiative, a bill to end social promotion of third graders, and a multi-million public works projects measure.

  • Raising Funds and RPM

    Last week, the Santa Fe Christian Academy was at Trinity on the Hill church to sell raffle tickets for its annual fundraiser. This year, the school is raffling off a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro. All proceeds from the raffle will go to the school’s general fund.

  • Local Briefs 4-8-15

    Last indoor market coming
    The Los Alamos Farmers Market will have its final indoor market of the season Thursday.
    The market is scheduled from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. inside Fuller Lodge.
    Market organizers said the outdoor market season will start May 7.
    Outdoor markets are held at the Mesa Public Library parking lot near Central Avenue and Bathtub Row. Outdoor markets typically run from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursdays.
    Triath-A-Toddle event is April 18
    Family Strengths Network will host its first Triath-a-Toddle April 18 at its facility at the Pueblo Complex, 1990 Diamond Drive.
    The event is for kids ages 1-5. A tricycle course, giant bowling and other attractions will be set up for participants and there will be a bake sale and snacks for those taking part.
    Those families wanting to participate are asked to secure $10 worth of sponsorship per participant. All proceeds will go to pay for FSN programs.
    For more information or to register, visit the FSN’s website, lafsn.org.

  • Update 4-8-15

    Seminar

    A seminar, “Learn About Lung Cancer,” will be presented Thursday at the First Baptist Church in Los Alamos. It will be presented by Dr. Nasser H. Hanna from Indiana University. It will start at 6 p.m. The event is free.

    Book and Gift Fair

    A Book and Gift Fair will be at the Los Alamos Medical Center from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday.

    School board

    The Los Alamos School Board will have its next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the LAPS administration board room.

    Future Energy

    The Future Energy Resources Committee will have its next meeting Tuesday at the municipal building. It is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

    Night Out

    First Baptist Church of Los Alamos’ Youth Group will host a parents’ night out Friday. Parents can drop off their children between 5:30-8:30 p.m. The event is free but registrations are required, as space is limited. For more information, visit the church’s website, fbc-la.org.

    Dive-In Movie

    The Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center will host a Dive-In Movie April 17. The movie will be “Big Hero 6.” Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie will start at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are on sale.

  • Coal-fired plant spurs opposition

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A plan by New Mexico’s largest electric provider to replace part of an aging coal-fired power plant with more coal generation and a mix of natural gas, nuclear and solar power has run into another roadblock.
    Albuquerque city councilors voted 6-3 late Monday to adopt a resolution that calls for the city administration to withdraw support for Public Service Company of New Mexico’s power-replacement plan.
    The city joins Santa Fe, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority and other groups that have voiced opposition to the plan in recent months.
    Albuquerque’s resolution cites what it says is mistaken economic analysis by the company, and it raises questions about projected fuel costs.
    “The costs and economics of certain elements of the agreement have changed to the detriment of the city’s ratepayers,” the resolution reads.
    Councilor Brad Winter proposed the resolution. His wife, Nann Winter, is an attorney who represents the water authority, which filed a brief with state regulators earlier this month in opposition to PNM’s plan to raise customer rates.
    The state Public Regulation Commission has yet to make decisions on either the power-replacement plan or the rate case.