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Local News

  • TA-21 water towers coming down today

    The Department of Energy’s Environmental Projects Office will take down the water
    tower at the west end of Technical Area 21 (TA-21) today beginning at about noon.
    The tower to the east is scheduled to come down tomorrow.

    The Lakeworth Group LLC of Los Alamos will perform the demolition. Lakeworth is
    designated through the U.S. Small Business Administration as an 8(a) and
    Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business. The contract is valued at
    $482,467.

    Demolition of the towers, one of them 66 years old and the other 38 years old, is
    one of several projects to remove remaining structures at TA-21.

    “By bringing down these towers, we are making a noticeable difference in the skyline
    at TA-21,” said Pete Maggiore, Assistant Manager for Environmental Programs at the
    Los Alamos Field Office. “This is another positive step toward eventual transfer of
    this property to Los Alamos County.”

    Technical Area 21 was one of the early sites of the Manhattan Project and Cold
    War-era work at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). It was the location of the
    world’s first plutonium processing facility and where groundbreaking tritium
    research took place.

  • BPU chair defies board directives

    First of a series
    During the Los Alamos County Council’s July 8 public hearing on tiered water rates, Board of Public Utilities Chair Timothy Neal took several unprecedented actions.
    First, contrary to established protocol and the board’s direction, Neal insisted on speaking before Deputy Utilities Manager for Finance and Administration Robert Westervelt presented the staff report. He also spoke after the presentation.
    But that decision pales in comparison to Neal’s other actions that evening.
    Neal spoke for approximately seven minutes during the council hearing. Of those seven minutes, Neal spent only one minute presenting the board’s position. His remarks were largely devoted to undermining the board’s position.
    Board, staff and County Attorney Rebecca Ehler had all argued against that stance at the June 25 meeting, where Neal signaled his intention.
    At that meeting, Neal asked the board if they wanted to “go on the record” to the effect that the purpose of the tiered water rates was to assign costs.
    When the board tried to ascertain why he was asking for that, he replied that “I think it just clarifies the logic that you folks used.”

  • Neal statement

    BPU board chair Timothy Neal provided the following statement regarding his actions on July 8.
    “Before public comment, immediately following my statements on behalf of the Board and presentation of Department arguments by DPU managers, I announced that because of the unusual situation of the board receiving three new members simultaneously, I wished to speak on behalf of the new Board. Even though the new board had not yet met, I told council tiered water rates would be on their agenda. Citing recent data from Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, I explained that the desired 6 pecent revenue increase would probably not be achieved and suggested the approach to the rate structure be given to the new Board for review. Based on DPU information I had received that the water budget was not in serious trouble, I noted that implementation of the new structure could be delayed as much as two months. During public comment, I spoke about inequality aspects as an individual. Now that the decision has been made by council, we are implementing it and the subject is completed.”
     

  • School board looking for District 3 applicants

    Los Alamos School Board President Judy Bjarke-McKenzie issued a call for interested residents of School Board District Position 3 to apply for the open School Board position.
     The School Board opening occurred following the resignation by David Foster, who had served as District 3 representative since School Board Boundaries were re-aligned in 2012.
    To fill this position, the applicant must be a registered voter and resident living within School Board Boundary #3 and willing to serve the remainder Mr. Foster’s term that ends in March 2015. Interested applicants are asked to submit a notarized Declaration of Candidacy (which can be picked up at the County Clerk’s office or from the District Office receptionist), a letter of interest, a one-page resume, and a 300-500 word narrative explaining their intent and philosophy of education. Bjarke-McKenzie stated applicant packets must be submitted to Gayla Romero (Secretary to the School Board) at the District Office at 2075 Trinity by close of business day on Sept. 5,.

  • Update 08-17-14

    GOP meeting

    The Los Alamos Federated Republican Women will hold a meeting at noon Aug. 19 at the Ridgepark Clubhouse, 505 Oppenheimer Dr. All registered Republican Woman are invited to attend.

    Blood drive

    A blood drive will be held Aug. 21 and Aug. 22 at the First Baptist Church on Diamond Drive. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 21 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 22. To sign up, call United Blood Services at 877-UBS-HERO or 505 246-1457.

    Lunch with a Leader

    The League of Women Voters Lunch with a Leader will feature Ben Carlson, the publisher of the Los Alamos Monitor, as speaker at 11:45 a.m. Aug. 19 at the Mesa Public Library. Contact Karyl Ann Armbruster at 661-6605 or kaskacayman@gmail.com  for the menu choices if you would like to order a lunch from the Co-op ($10) by today. You do not have to order lunch to attend this community event.

    Concert

    Tuesdays at the Pond Series. 7 p.m. at Ashley Pond. Two acts performing: Bronach Celtic Blues Band followed by Belisama Dance group. on Aug. 19. The wrong date was reported Tuesday. 

  • State Police officer arrested

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Authorities say a New Mexico State Police officer in Tucumcari has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
    State Police said Friday that Officer Isaac Vigil has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
    Details of the domestic violence incident weren’t immediately released. He’s not allowed to perform any police duties and has had to turn in his police vehicle, badge and department-issued firearms.

  • News Briefs 08-17-14

    Gas company to perform maintenance

    New Mexico Gas Company (NMGC) will be performing maintenance/system improvement work on the gas transmission line in the Los Alamos area on Monday through Wednesday.
     The work will require the “blow-down” of the natural gas transmission line near the Forest Service boundary and Solana Road (southwest of the Quemazon subdivision) on Tuesday morning Aug. 19. Depending on wind direction, there is a possibility that area residents may be able to smell natural gas and hear the hissing noise from the release of gas. The actual process will take less than 15 minutes with most of the noise happening early during gas release. This is a routine operation to work on the gas transmission line and the “blow down” does not present a safety hazard to the public.

    GOP meeting scheduled for Thursday

    The Republican Party of Los Alamos will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the UNM-LA Wallace Hall, Room 505. The program will be a forum on the proposed charter change to restructure county utilities.
    Advocates both for and against will present their cases and respond to questions. A regular business meeting will follow. For more information, call Robert Gibson, 662-3159. 

  • Rain eases drought in state

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Recent rains are easing the pain of drought across New Mexico. The latest map released by federal forecasters highlights a spot in southeastern New Mexico where drought has disappeared.
    The area represents less than 2 percent of the state, but the development is significant since it has been more than two years since an area that large or larger has been drought-free.
    There are still pockets where extreme drought is holding on in the northwest and southwest, but those areas have been shrinking. More than one-third of New Mexico was dealing with extreme to exceptional drought three months ago. Now, it’s just over 7 percent.
    Forecasters with the National Weather Service say the best chance for rain this weekend is in the mountains and across the east.

  • Today in history August 16
  • LA girl reportedly found

     

    Rosa Betts, 17, a junior at Los Alamos High School, who had been missing for close to 30 hours, apparently been found. That news came from a family spokesman.