Local News

  • Hilltalker team will have a bake sale

    The Los Alamos Hilltalkers Speech and Debate team will be holding a bake sale fundraiser from 3-6 p.m. Friday in the lobby of the Los Alamos National Bank at 1200 Trinity Drive.
    The high school speech and debate team will be accepting donations in exchange for homemade treats including brownies, cookies, breads, and cakes. Baked goods will be available in small portions, as well as whole cakes and loaves.
    The speech and debate team is raising money to send nine students from Los Alamos High School to the National Speech and Debate Association Tournament in Dallas, Texas this June. To date, this is the largest group of Hilltalkers to qualify to attend the annual NSDA tournament.
    Among the students attending are seniors Sudeep Dasari, Benjamin Duan, James Sinnis and Aniruddha Nadiga; juniors Rebecca Cai, Katherine Wang and William McCumber; and sophomores Robert Zhu and Wilbur Wang.
    Veteran head coach, Margo Batha, and assistant coach, Christine Engelbrecht, will also attend with a number of chaperones. “It’s tough to qualify for the National Tournament and these students did an outstanding job,” Batha said.
    “This has been an amazing year for the Hilltalkers and I could not be more proud of my kids,” said Engelbrecht.

  • LA man indicted in deadly crash

    Robin Wood, the Los Alamos man who allegedly was drunk when he drove his car into oncoming traffic Nov. 29. 2014, has been indicted by a Santa Fe grand jury for vehicular homicide (driving while intoxicated and reckless driving) and causing great bodily injury by motor vehicle (driving while intoxicated and reckless driving).
    The accident happened on N.M. 30 at about 5 a.m.
    Wood, who was driving northbound in a Chevrolet Impala, allegedly swerved into the southbound lane and ran into a 37-year-old woman driving a Chevrolet Cavalier. The woman was later identified as Elizabeth Quintana.
    According to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, she was on her way to work in the bakery department at the Smith’s Marketplace in Los Alamos at the time of the crash. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
    Wood, as well as his passenger, Mari C. Gaetgens, 40, were traveling to a residence in Española.
    Gaetgens was seriously injured in the crash and Wood was also injured. Wood was airlifted to Christus St. Vincent Hospital and Gaetgens was transported to a hospital in Española.
    After being treated for his injuries, Wood was held on an unrelated parole violation in a 2012 case, but was eventually released on bond.

  • Leisure pool backers try again

    When a supporter asked for a show of hands for the number of people at Tuesday’s Los Alamos County Council meeting there to support the construction of a leisure pool at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center, a large number of audience members raised theirs.
    Council voted unanimously to include the project in future Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) considerations.
    Supporters of the leisure pool have been slowly gaining momentum since voters rejected the question of whether to approve a $3 million general obligation bond to finance the project in November 2011. Council had allocated $3.1 million to for the $6.1 million dollar project and asked voters to approve the General Obligation bond the balance.
    The bond — which would have increased property taxes by $32.35 on a $300,000 home — was rejected by a vote of 3,851-2,239.
    On March 27, Shelby Redondo submitted a citizens’ petition with at least 715 signatures requesting that council construct the pool.
    Redondo herself asked council to designate the pool the next major capital improvement project (CIP), “funded in the manner of past capital improvement projects.”
    Leisure pool supporters continue to protest the fact that this was the only CIP project for which voters were asked to approve a bond to pay for it.

  • Today in history April 15
  • Update 4-14-15

    County Council

    Los Alamos County Council will meet tonight in council chambers. Meeting time is set for 7 p.m.

    Budget hearings

    Hearings for the proposed FY 2016 budget are scheduled for April 20, 21, 27 and 28. The hearings will be in council chambers at 7 p.m. all four days.


    Then Environmental Sustainability Board will have a regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the municipal building.

    Docent training

    The Los Alamos Historical Society will host History Docent Training from 3-4 p.m. Thursday at the Hans Bethe house, 1350 Bathtub Row. Anyone interested in volunteering as a docent is invited to attend.


    Pianist Ron Grinage will perform at the Los Alamos Arts Council benefit concert. The concert will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at Fuller Lodge and will include a silent auction and desserts catered by Blue Window Bistro.


    Los Alamos Historical Society will present a Harry S Truman Chautauqua today at Fuller Lodge. It will be at 7:30 p.m.

  • Local Briefs 4-14-15

    Caldera planning burns
    at Valle Grande

    The Valles Caldera Trust announced last week it will look for a time to conduct a prescribed burn in the Valle Grande later this month or early next month.
    Trust officials said the proposed burn would take place over 1-3 days near N.M. 4 at roughly mile marker 39.
    The project would involve nearly 1,500 acres of grassland in the Valle Grande.
    Should conditions permit, burn operations would occur during midday to minimize morning and afternoon commuter traffic on N.M. 4, according to the Trust. Regularly scheduled Valles Caldera activities aren’t expected to be impacted by the burn.

    Santa Fe Watershed burns postponed

  • Senate votes on compromise

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached a compromise Tuesday on a bill that would give Congress a say on an emerging deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program — and an opportunity to severely undercut the implementation of any agreement it doesn’t like.
    The compromise came as Secretary of State John Kerry and other members of the cabinet visited Capitol Hill for a second straight day to sell lawmakers on conditions of the prospective final deal and to plead for time to reach an accord with Tehran by the end of June. International negotiators are trying to reach a deal that would prevent Iran from being able to develop nuclear weapons. In exchange, Tehran would get relief from economic sanctions that are crippling its economy.
    President Barack Obama, who wants a deal with Iran to burnish his foreign policy legacy, has been in a standoff for months with lawmakers who not only believe that Congress should have an opportunity to weigh in, but remain skeptical that Iran will honor any agreement.

  • Clinton kicks off campaign

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The big rallies and massive fundraising blitzes have to wait. Hillary Clinton is getting her 2016 campaign for president started with a few caffeinated beverages and says she’s ready to “drink my way across Iowa.”
    “Hi, everybody,” Clinton said Tuesday after popping into the Jones Street Java House, a coffee shop in the Mississippi River town of LeClaire. “I’m happy to be here.”
    Fresh from a two-day road trip, Clinton’s coffee shop stop Tuesday morning is the first event in her return to presidential politics. It sticks with her strategy to hold small “retail” style events that allow her to speak to individual voters. She doesn’t plan to hold a large kickoff rally for several weeks, and will tour a community college and hold a roundtable discussion with students and teachers in Monticello, Iowa, later Tuesday.
    It’s a debut reminiscent of the “listening tour” that opened her campaign for Senate in 2000, when she ventured into small upstate towns to convene meetings with voters and local leaders. At the coffee shop, she asked for recommendations on what to order, and decided on a Masala chai and a Carmela latte, along with some water with lemon. Her total: $6.96.

  • LACDC announces new loan program

    Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation announced a new program aimed at assisting local business improve the exterior of their buildings.
    The Façade Improvement loan program is available to any business in Los Alamos County located in a commercial zone, according to the LACDC.
    Loans are available in the amount of $500-$25,000 and charge zero percent interest.
    LACDC said it has made up to $100,000 a year available for the improvement program, in partnership with Los Alamos National Bank, which will provide loan administration.
    Façade improvements include either the entire façade or any part of it that is in need of repair, updating or replacement, including signage, lighting, storefronts (doors & windows), awnings, painting, stucco/plastering, sidewalks and necessary architectural and other professional services associated with the design and permitting of eligible improvements.
    Explicitly excluded from eligibility for this program is construction of new facilities or building interiors, additions or improvements to the side or back of buildings, although any side of a building that directly faces a street and is in the view of the general public may be considered for this program.

  • Plastic bags on the agenda tonight

    Los Alamos County Council is scheduled to hear a petition on a contentious citizens’ petition in its meeting tonight.
    The petition is requesting the council to pass a prohibition for retail establishments from distributing single-use plastic carryout bags.
    The petition further asks council to mandate a 10-cent per bag fee on requested paper bags at those establishments.
    There have been some exchanges among locals on social media in recent weeks and there have been several letters to the editor in the Los Alamos Monitor about a potential ban on the bags.
    The Sierra Club has been a big proponent of banning plastic bags in the county, arguing they are harmful to the environment and usually end up either in landfills, or in cases, into oceans.
    A local group on Facebook, Save the Bag Los Alamos, is currently putting together a counter-petition to keep plastic bags in retail locations — the group counters, among other things, that the county is already very good at recycling the bags and a ban isn’t necessary.
    Tonight’s county council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the municipal building.