Local News

  • Governor: No special session on REAL ID in New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's office says she won't call a special legislative session to fix the state's noncompliance with the federal REAL ID Act.

    Martinez spokesman Michael Lonergan says the governor has already tried five times to repeal a New Mexico law that gives driver's licenses to immigrants regardless of legal status. However, Lonergan says Senate Democrats have blocked those bipartisan attempts.

    Lonergan says Martinez wants an up and down vote on her proposal that will put the state in compliance with the REAL ID law.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently denied New Mexico an extension from tougher federal requirements on state driver's licenses.

    The decision means New Mexico driver's licenses and IDs won't be valid for federal purposes, including, eventually, boarding commercial aircraft next year.

  • Flagged utility poles to be replaced in Barranca Mesa

    Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities’ contractor, Elite Power, will be replacing utility poles in the Barranca Mesa area starting next week.
    Poles to be exchanged are marked with a red flag and are in utility easements.  
    Crews will have minimal impact on traffic as they move through neighborhoods replacing flagged poles one at a time.
    Advance notice will be provided to customers when brief outages are required to complete work. Some poles slated to be replaced are located in the backyards of customers.  Elite Power will coordinate directly with these individuals to access and replace poles.  
    This effort is in accord with the DPU’s Electric Reliability Plan developed in 2011 and most recently updated in 2014.
    To enhance system reliability, the plan identifies pro-active and preventive operations and maintenance activities which include the replacement of older poles prioritized in a 2005 pole study. 

  • Trick or Treat on Main Street
  • Review of Manhattan: Tough to know what Nazis knew

    Editor’s note: The Monitor is publishing discussion via the Los Alamos Historical Society about the TV series and how it relates to historical fact. The show is on WGN America at 7 p.m. Tuesdays.

    Episode 3
    What did the Nazis know?
    Information about espionage is difficult to find and can be unreliable, so it is difficult to find a definitive answer.
    Sources indicate that the Nazis did not know much about the Allied atomic bomb effort. Eight Nazi agents did try to sabotage generating power plants that supplied power to labs in Oak Ridge, Tenn., but were caught.
    It seems to be that Germany tried to establish a large network of spies in the United States, but failed to do so as many spies were quickly discovered. None of these spies were apparently able to penetrate the Manhattan Project, if they even knew it existed. It seems while Manhattan Project secrecy was not well kept from the Soviet Union, Manhattan Project officials did succeed in keeping the Nazis from important information.
    What did we know
    about the Nazis?

  • County to look at major changes

    The Los Alamos County Council will consider a resolution Tuesday evening to adopt a reorganization of two key county departments: Community & Economic Development and Public Works.
    The changes were announced by County Manager Harry Burgess, in conjunction with the publication of the agenda for Tuesday’s regular council meeting (7 p.m. in Council Chambers). Burgess commented on the proposed re-organization and highlighted his reasons for the change in a memo to county employees and statement to local residents.
    “Given the recent resignation of our Community and Economic Development Department Director Anne Laurent, I felt it was an appropriate time to reflect upon our current structure and consider whether or not changes are warranted,” Burgess said. “Any recommended changes are not a reflection upon the past director, however the county organizational structure should be periodically considered and altered as new challenges and projects require. I had the opportunity to review our organization in light of the goals adopted by the council to move Los Alamos toward its 20-year vision, which was an important consideration ahead of beginning the recruitment for a replacement director for CEDD.”

  • Gallery hopping in Chimayó a worthy venture

    The Santuario de Chimayó − known as “the Lourdes of the United States” for the reported healing power of its Holy Dirt − draws visitors from all over the world.
    But many who visit the chapel miss the other treasures this historic village has to offer: art traditions passed down for generations, charming New Mexico style B&B’s and the first restaurant to spurn other labels and boldly call its cuisine “New Mexican.”
     “Chimayó’s a beautiful valley, it’s full of wonderful people, it’s got great art, it has a fabulous restaurant, lots of culture, lots of tradition,” said John Abrums, owner of Chimayó Trading & Mercantile.
    The mercantile specializes in American Indian art rather that the Spanish Colonial art found in most of Chimayós galleries. Abrums strives for “the best pieces at the lowest prices,” with a remarkable selection of Pueblo pottery, Navajo weavings and jewelry and rare finds such as paintings by the late Helen Hardin.
    Chimayó retains some of ambiance from the time it was an isolated Spanish Colonial village. Many inhabitants still live in family homes and carry on centuries old traditions.

  • Audit: Most New Mexico districts adding to testing time

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal officials are praising New Mexico for helping reduce the time students use to take standardized tests.

    But New Mexico Public Education Department says more than 60 percent of school districts unnecessarily are duplicating assessments in at least one area on districts' tests.

    Officials say that's hurting state efforts to reduce the testing time statewide.

    The "New Mexico Assessment Inventory" released Friday showed that state-mandated testing time had declined between 2010 and 2015 by around 2.5 hours for across all grades. And state officials expect to see further reduction in testing time by 90 minutes next year.

    New Mexico Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says districts duplicating work should look to those such as Aztec and Las Cruces where testing times have been reduced.

    Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus released the following statement Friday about the PARCC test results:

    PARCC test results for elementary and middle schools in New Mexico were released today.  PARCC stands for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

  • Udall honors nuclear weapons workers on National Day of Remembrance

    U.S. Sen. Tom Udall marked today’s National Day of Remembrance for Nuclear Weapons Program Workers.
    “Thousands of men and women served our country by supporting the nation’s efforts at the dawn of the atomic age and during the Cold War. And in some cases they were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, and unknowingly jeopardized their own health. Beyond scientists working on the Manhattan Project, there were many others affected — janitors, uranium miners, millers and maintenance workers. For far too many, their day-to-day jobs led to serious illness and premature death. I’m proud to honor the sacrifice these patriots and their families made for our nation. At the same time, we must continue working to ensure these Manhattan Project and Cold War veterans receive the care and compensation they deserve for their service.”
    Udall introduced a resolution in the U.S. Senate, that passed last month, to designate today as a national day of remembrance for nuclear weapons program workers.

  • Today in history Oct. 30
  • On the Docket 10-30-15

    Oct. 14
    Valerie A. Nevarez was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding 16 to 20 mph over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $100 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Joseph R. Santoro was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding 11 to 15 mph over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Cesar Bejarano-Jacquez  was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding 26 to 30 mph over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $150 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Tammy Winters was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding 1 to 5 mph over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $25 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Ashley Pryor  was found guilt at the time of traffic stop of speeding 1 to 5 mph in a school zone. Defendant was fined $30 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Oct. 15
    Eric C. Holgerson was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of failing to yield or stop at a sign. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Kimberly E. Nichols was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court for failing to display a current, valid registration plate. Defendant was fined $90 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Oct. 19