Local News

  • Author thanks LA for solving photo mystery

    Author John Bisney can’t thank Los Alamos enough for all the help.
    About a month ago, he enquired through the Los Alamos Monitor about identifying key figures in photos that were taken during President John F. Kennedy’s visit to the Los Alamos National Laboratory on Dec. 7, 1962.
    Bisney is working on a book called The Space Age Presidency of John Kennedy. The fairly rare photos of his visit to Los Alamos that he and photo archivist, J.L. Pickering came across during the research phase of the project had them stumped. While they knew who most of the people in the photos were, there were some they could not identify. In an article the Monitor wrote about it on Oct. 18, Bisney requested that anyone with information please contact the Monitor.
    People did come forward, including: Mahlon Wilson, Joel Dahlby, Claire Ulam Weiner, Sandra Haak, Darrik Stafford and many others.
    “As I said at the beginning of this effort, without such assistance, over time who these people are (names with photos) would be lost for good,” Bisney said. “I really appreciate the interest and help your readers provided.”
    Claire Ulam Weiner, the daughter of Stanislaw Ulam, a renowned lab mathematician who contributed much to the development of the first atomic bombs.

  • Small biz event helps local shops

    Los Alamites turned out in droves for Small Business Saturday this year.
    According to Chamber of Commerce Manager Nancy Partridge, one business owner reported her sales at 1 p.m. were 10 times those of a normal Saturday.
    Partridge also reported that people were waiting at Pig + Fig Bakery & Café at 7 a.m. Saturday. The restaurant was one of the locations with maps to the scavenger hunt, which people had been clamoring for since Thursday.
    White Rock’s Seeking Chameleon was one of the businesses on that scavenger hunt. Owner Catherine Richmond said it had “a tremendous effect.”
    “I was very busy on Small Business Saturday and had a number of new people come in who had decided to participate in the scavenger hunt, so they were coming in for the first time,” Richmond said. “I kind of happily heard one person say, ‘Well, while we’re here, we might as well do some shopping.’ And it was like ‘Yeah.’
    “So I think that it’s a great idea, and the chamber worked really hard to make it effective for the planet Mars of White Rock.”
    More established businesses also prospered.

  • New Mexico farmers brace for another dry year

    LAS CRUCES (AP) — Farmers in southern New Mexico are bracing for what could be another dry year.

    There’s not much water in Elephant Butte and other key reservoirs upstream, meaning any new water would have to come from snowmelt runoff next spring in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, The Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

    Snowmelt isn’t looking promising either, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts warm weather and low precipitation over the next 90 days in those areas.

    “It’s very dismal,” said Gary Esslinger, manager for the Elephant Butte Irrigation District, which delivers Rio Grande water in Dona Ana County. “Looking at the forecast, it’s not looking good. They’re saying warmer temperatures and less snowpack.”

    Esslinger said there has been light snowfall in southern Colorado but that there still needs to be more in southern cities. Snowfall in the mountains near Denver drains into basins other than the Rio Grande.

  • BPU studies, weighs value of solar

    At it’s Nov. 16 meeting, the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) heard a report on the “value of solar” from Utility Financial Solutions President Mark Beauchamp. UFS was contracted to conduct a study of how residential solar installations can impact the electrical grid and the local distribution network. 

    According to Beauchamp, Los Alamos has the second highest value for solar his firm has encountered, largely due to the impact of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Peak demand for LANL – the county’s largest customer – is in the afternoon, when solar is producing. 

    “So solar directly lines up with your production demands, so there’s a fairly high value,” Beauchamp said. 

    But according to Beauchamp, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is still under-recovering costs by offering net metering to rooftop photovoltaic (PV) customers. 

    He explained that rooftop PV helps reduce the system’s load profile by peaking when lab and other commercial usage peaks, but that residential peaks tend to occur around 7 or 8 p.m., when solar is not producing. 

  • The snake whisperer

    Snake Wrangler Dusty Webb does not call himself a snake whisperer, but others have. And listening to him describe what he does, it is hard not to see him that way.

    Webb’s company, Badass Critters, provides rattlesnake abatement, wrangling, handling and training. Webb has worked on numerous film, commercial and television shoots, providing his snakes for plot elements and capturing and relocating snakes from location. 

    Webb has been involved with the film industry for about 25 years, but his career as a rattlesnake wrangler started almost by accident. When he was working on the History Channel’s “Black Blizzard” series, they needed snakes. Webb caught one and the photo ended up on a film industry union website.

    That led to the role of snake wrangler for “Breaking Bad” for four seasons. Webb has also worked on “Magnificent Seven,” “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trial” and the television series “Longmire.” “Manhattan,” “The Preacher,” “Night Shift” and “Better Call Saul.” And those are only a few of his many credits. 

  • Re-opening of History Museum topic of History on Tap Dec. 1

    Join the Los Alamos History Museum for History on Tap at 5:30 Dec. 1 at UnQuarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square, for an engaging discussion about the new History Museum campus led by Museum Educator Aimee Slaughter.
    Learn the inside story of how museums create new exhibits and get a sneak peek into what to expect in the renovated History Museum.
    History on Tap, part of the On Tap series presented by the Los Alamos Creative District.
    Also, don’t miss the Dec. 30 grand re-opening of the Los Alamos History Museum! The festivities start at 10 a.m. in Fuller Lodge, with special guest speakers, surprises and refreshments. Explore exhibits, artifacts and activities that share stories of Los Alamos history, from the Ancestral Pueblo era through the Cold War as you experience the new History Museum campus for the first time. Begin with the new galleries in the Guest Cottage and continue to the Romero Cabin and the Ancestral Pueblo site on the way to the Harold Agnew Cold War Gallery in the Hans Bethe House.
    More information about History on Tap and other Historical Society programs and events, visit losalamoshistory.org and follow the Los Alamos History Museum on Facebook.

  • LALT to hold play reading Dec. 3

    Los Alamos Little Theatre announces a staged reading of “After You’ve Gone,” a new work by Santa Fe-based playwright Mark Dunn.
    The staged reading will be 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3, at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St., Los Alamos.  
    Admission is free for this one-time event.
    “After You’ve Gone,” which takes its title from a song first published in 1918, introduces the audience to Adele Pike, who has just buried her husband of 36 years, and her two daughters and son-in-law.
    Amidst the leftover casseroles, cakes and pigs-in-a-blanket brought by her Southern friends and neighbors, Adele confronts the appearance of a former lover, and her family learns more about her in an evening than they had in the previous three decades.
    “I wrote an early draft of this play several years ago when I was writing about Greenwich Village during World War I,” Dunn said. “I have long been fascinated with how gay people throughout the history of this country were able to reach out, find one another and express their love in such a sexually buttoned-down country. This play looks at the complications of same-sex love at a time in which such love wasn’t accepted or understood.”

  • LANL has successful turkey drive

    Los Alamos National Laboratory held its annual Bring a (frozen) Turkey to Work Day Monday, in partnership with the Food Depot of Santa Fe.
    The drive is something the lab has done for years. The Food Depot partners with 145 other agencies throughout northern New Mexico to ensure that people in the area don’t go without food this week, according to LANL spokesman Steve Sandoval.
    Lab employees and contractor Cray Computers donated 475 frozen turkeys, which are packaged with nonperishable food items also donated by lab employees during the food drive.
    Food Depot personnel were onsite Monday and have already taken the frozen turkeys to Santa Fe for distribution via their partners.

  • NM Dem chair won’t seek second term

    SANTA FE (AP) — Democrats in New Mexico will be able to get new leadership as the head of the party has announced she will not seek a second term.
    Democratic Party of New Mexico state Chairwoman Debra Haaland said Tuesday that she will step down in April, when the party will elect a new state leader.
    On Tuesday the party’s 24-year-old vice chairman, Juan Sanchez of Belen, declared his interest in the position.
    Haaland’s decision to step down comes after a number of Democratic victories around the state during this year’s election and a presidential election cycle where Haaland was accused of showing favoritism toward eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.
    State GOP Chairwoman Debbie Maestas has also announced she will not seek re-election.

  • San Ildefonso Road tunnel to close

    San Ildefonso Road Pedestrian tunnel at the Diamond Drive roundabout will be closed starting Monday for about three weeks as the tunnel undergoes rehabilitation.
    Crews from GM Emulsion will remove the existing concrete slab in the tunnel and construct a structural shotcrete lining around the tunnel.
    The rehabilitation work is necessary to remediate the corrosion of the existing corrugated steel plate around the perimeter of the tunnel. For questions about the work, call 662-8150 or email to lacpw@lacnm.us.