Local News

  • Injunction sought on New Mexico teacher evaluations

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two New Mexico teachers union are seeking an injunction to halt the use of student tests as part of the state's teacher evaluation system.

    Lawyers for the American Federation of Teachers New Mexico and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation are scheduled Wednesday to make their case before a Santa Fe County district judge.

    The unions say the evaluation system is forcing veteran educators to retire or have their licenses jeopardized. They want the evaluation system tossed.

    Public Education Department spokesman Robert McEntyre called the suit a "disappointing distraction" from the agency's mission of providing a quality education to every child.

    He says previous attempts to undermine the evaluation system already have been rejected by state courts.

  • Today in history Sept. 15
  • ‘Living Legend’ and war hero Bill Hudson passes

    Bill Hudson, a Los Alamos man who was responsible for founding at least three Los Alamos institutions, passed this weekend. He was 90 years old.

    Though many have said his involvement in the community had a lot to do with making the “civilian” side of Los Alamos into the town it is today, he was humble about it.

    In August, Hudson penned an open letter to the community thanking Los Alamos for giving him a lot as well.

    “I want to say ‘thank you Los Alamos’ for being such a wonderful community with your awareness of the importance of learning, intellectualism, the fine arts, athletics, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, (Los Alamos) Little League, the county fair and for encouraging our young horse enthusiasts,” he said in his letter. “...I thank you for being the community you are. It is wonderful to have been a part of it all.”

    According to the man himself, he was involved in starting at least two athletic programs in Los Alamos as well as a credit union for teachers.

    He was one of the founding members of the Los Alamos Schools Credit Union, which was started with a little more than $300 60 years ago. Today, the credit union has about $16 million in assets and 1100 members, as well as its own credit card.

  • Heart Council Health Fair set for Sept. 26

    The Los Alamos Heart Council 2015 Health Fair will be from 8 a.m.-noon at the Los Alamos High School gym.
    As in past years, there will be free flu shots available for those 18 years and older, courtesy of Los Alamos Medical Center. There will also be discounted blood tests available.
    Many of the 80 booths at the Health Fair will have free screenings ranging from blood pressure, blood sugar levels and asthma to glaucoma.  This year the fair will have entire section devoted to family and kids health.
    For adults and kids alike, there will be an abundance of information about physician services, fitness, nutrition, health insurance, medications, allergies, chiropractic services, acupuncture, diabetes, natural medicine, emergency preparedness, and information on many other health and wellness topics and the organizations and businesses that serve all ages in our community promoting health, fitness, nutrition, safety and medical services.  

  • Judge: Teacher evaluation process to be settled soon

    The question of whether or not the state’s teacher evaluation process is a valid one will be, one way or another, settled this spring, according to Santa Fe District Court Judge David Thomson.
    In the meantime, there will be a hearing to determine whether or not the New Mexico Public Education Department will have to halt the process it uses to evaluate teachers.
    Ever since New Mexico’s education secretary, Hanna Skandera imposed the new system several years ago, unions from all over the state representing teachers have been fighting the evaluation process, known as NMTEACH, tooth and nail. Those unions would include the American Federation of Teachers New Mexico, the Albuquerque Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.
    In February, two of those unions, the AAFT and AFT, as well as several teachers filed a lawsuit against Skandera and the New Mexico Department of Education for changes they made to the old evaluation system.
    “... that change is based on a fundamentally, and irreparably, flawed methodology which is further plagued by consistent and appalling data errors,” read a statement in the lawsuit.
    On behalf of their representatives, the unions are suing to stop the evaluation process. They are also seeking to reform the entire evaluation system.

  • Udall visits Valles Caldera

    On Sept. 4, Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) met with leaders of New Mexico sportsmen’s groups at the Valles Caldera National Preserve to discuss efforts to renew the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
    The LWCF expires Sept. 30. Udall supports Senate Bill 890, introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), which would permanently reauthorize LWCF and provide for full, dedicated and permanent funding of the program.
    “We’re at a critical stage right now and I know all of you are concerned — and I’m concerned — because LWCF expires on Sept. 30,” Udall said. “And because of the huge amount of dysfunction in Washington, we’re just searching for a path to make sure we get the renewal.”
    For Udall, preserving the LWSF is personal. His father, Stewart Udall, helped to create the LWSF during his term as secretary of the interior, motivated by a review commission finding that the United States was not creating enough parks for its population.
    The act that passed Congress in 1965 had a bipartisan commitment to safeguard natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans.

  • Today in history Sept. 14
  • Fire, police respond to fire near former Hilltop House Hotel

    The Los Alamos Fire Department as well as police responded to a small fire early Sunday morning. According to police, a small, five by five foot fire was discovered in a park green between 4th Street and Central Avenue around 1:15 a.m. Sunday. The fire was quickly extinquished without incident

  • Ski Area land transfer, lease approved

    The Los Alamos County Council took two votes on Tuesday that will affect the future of the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area. On the consent agenda, the land transfer from the Los Alamos Ski Club was approved. On a subsequent agenda item, council unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing a ground lease for that land to Pajarito Recreation, LP, a Texas Limited Partnership.
    The two actions complete a process begun nearly a year ago, when a Land and Asset Purchase and Sale Agreement was executed between Pajarito Recreation, the Los Alamos Ski Club and Los Alamos County that transfers ownership and operating responsibilities for the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area to Pajarito Recreation.
    “Although there have been a lot of efforts to try to keep the club as the operator of the mountain, we knew that this was best for having a ski area in the community, and we are committed still to ensure that a ski area is here for the recreational participation of all of our community members,” said Susan Brockway, president of the Los Alamos Ski Club.
    Land at the base of the ski area and the top of the mountain was transferred to Pajarito Recreation. Approximately 300 acres encompassing the skiable area was transferred to the county. The ordinance approved Tuesday allows Pajarito to lease the county land for $1 a year for 99 years.

  • On the Docket 9-11-15

    The information pertaining to these cases was derived from the dockets of the Los Alamos Municipal and Magistrate Courts.
    Aug. 26
    Christopher Clark was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court for failing to use seatbelts. Defendant was fined $50 and defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Nicholas Seet was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding one to five miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $25 and defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Katherine N. Chartrand was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.
    Aug. 27
    Juanito Martinez paid a fine of $50 for improper stopping, standing, or parking.

    Bradley S. Nyenuis was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Nicole Mattson was found guilty at the time of traffic stop for failing to use seatbelts. Defendant was fined $50 and defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.