Local News

  • Council rejects electric rate restructuring proposal

    The Los Alamos County Council remanded a proposed electric rate restructuring ordinance back to the Board of Public Utilities on Tuesday.
    The point of contention was a proposed Power Cost Adjustment (PCA), which would have allowed the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to pass the actual cost of purchasing power onto the ratepayers as a variable rate when it either exceeded or went below the base rate.
    The reasons for including a PCA provision was explained by Deputy Utilities Manager for Finance and Administration Robert Westervelt.
    The PCA would have stabilized revenues and insulated against power cost volatility. Cost of power accounts for 63 percent of total costs and is the greatest variable in the system.
    According to an electric Cost of Service and Rate Design Study conducted by the Leidos consulting firm, DPU has under-budgeted for the cost of purchasing power for three years, resulting in nearly $1 million dollars in under-recovery, with as much as $1 million under-recovery anticipated in the current fiscal year.

  • New LAFRW officers installed

    The Los Alamos Federated Rebublican Women met Thursday for the group’s annual Holiday Luncheon and installed new officers for 2015-16.
    At the luncheon, Heather McClenahan gave the Year in Review report on behalf of outgoing President Mary Wilhoit, who was helping with the statewide land commissioner recount.
    For the LAFRW, the new officers were installed by Sadie Boyer, NMFRW Region A director from Taos.
    Bethany Douglas gave the new president’s acceptance message and informed the members of some of the upcoming year’s plans.
    New officers include Douglas, Vice-President Mary Wilhoit, Secretary Nancy Bliss and Treasurer Terry Marzili.
    Members of the group also brought gifts to be given on behalf of LAFRW to the local Adopt-a-Family program.

  • Update 12-16-14

    Ribbon cutting

    Pleateau Property Management will hold a grand opening and ribbon cutting for Ponderosa Pines and The Cottonwoods at Gold Street Wednesday. The event will start at 4:30 p.m. at 3000 Trinity Drive, No. 62.


    Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 2390 North Road will host a candelight service at 7 p.m. Thursday. For more information visit bethluth.com.

    Skate With Santa

    Los Alamos County is sponsoring its Skate with Santa, which is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at the county’s ice rink. it will be from 2:15-4 p.m. Dec. 21. Call 662-4500 for more information.


    Los Alamos Police Department will be conducting traffic enforcement, focusing on accident-related violations to include seatbelt enforcement for the holidays. Officers will also be on the lookout for impaired drivers this holiday season. To report potentially impaired drivers, dial #DWI, or #394 or call LAPD directly at 662-8222. Motorists are asked to allow extra time to get to and from destinations.

    Farmers Market

    A Holiday Farmers Market is scheduled for Thursday. It will run from. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Fuller Lodge.

  • Pile burning continues at VCNP

    The Valles Caldera National Preserve announced it was implementing prescribed pile burning that started today and is scheduled to continue through Wednesday.
    The prescribed pile burn will take place on 75 acres of the VCNP north of N.M. 4 in the Banco Bonito area near mile marker 30.
    The purpose of the burn is to reduce hazardous fuels and the chance for future catastrophic fire and for the restoration of fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem, according to a VCNP press release.
    Because of the location and elevation, smoke from the burn may be visible from all directions coming into the Jemez Mountains area.
    Smoke may have variable effects on neighboring communities including La Cueva, Sierra Los Piños, Jemez Springs and other areas near N.M. 4.
    The burn activity, according to VCNP, is not expected to impact recreation sites or necessitate road closures.
    VCNP officials said the pretreatment of the forest substantially reduced the amount of fuel in the project area and lessened the associated production of smoke.
    However, smoke could be a nuisance to some people. It may be a health concern for children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and those suffering from allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivities, or other heart or lung diseases.

  • E.T. game goes to Smithsonian

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — One of the “E.T.” Atari game cartridges unearthed this year from a heap of garbage buried deep in the New Mexico desert has been added to the video game history collection at the Smithsonian.
    Museum specialist Drew Robarge made the announcement Monday in a blog post. He included a photograph of the crinkled cartridge along with the official serial number assigned to the game by the city of Alamogordo.
    The game was one of hundreds recovered at the city’s landfill last spring as a team of documentary filmmakers investigated a decades-old urban legend that centered on Atari secretly dumping the cartridges. The “E.T.” game had the reputation of being the worst game ever, and it contributed to the demise of the company.
    Robarge said the Smithsonian has some amazing artifacts that represent big moments in video game history, including Ralph Baer’s “Brown Box” prototype for the first video game console and a Pong arcade cabinet. However, missing was something that represented what he called “the darkest days” of the early 1980s when the U.S. video game industry crashed.

  • Comedian is most 'Googled'

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robin Williams’ suicide seared into the world’s collective mindset more than anything else this year, based on what people were searching for on Google.
    The reaction to Williams’ death in August topped Google’s list of 2014’s fastest-rising search requests. It beat notable events such as the World Cup, the Ebola outbreak, the March disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the Ice Bucket Challenge, an Internet video craze to raise awareness and money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
    Other topics of worldwide intrigue on Google included the addictive smartphone game “Flappy Bird,” bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, the Middle East extremist group ISIS, the hit Disney movie “Frozen” and the Winter Olympics in Russia.
    Williams, Ebola, the World Cup and the Ice Bucket also ranked among the most-discussed subjects this year on Facebook, which released its list last week. Google released its list Tuesday.

  • Preserve will need to prepare for transition

    The name won’t change, but some very significant things could now that the 88,900-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve is transitioning from a trust under the auspices of the National Forest Service to a National Park Service property. The park became the 18th national park preserve on Friday as part of a public lands bill passed with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
    “The board is very pleased with the passage of the bill that will safeguard the Valles Caldera as a national park preserve, keeping intact such programs as grazing, hunting, allowing increased access to the public while still preserving it and all the tribal sacred sites and the ability to work with tribes,” said Kent Salazar, chair of the Valles Caldera Trust Board.
    “So we’re very pleased that it’s transitioned to a permanent preservation of this area, which is a magnificent gem of national land. We’re also committed to making a vey seamless transition with the park service.”
    The preserve status means several significant things will not change.
    The legislation, first introduced by then-Sen. Jeff Bingaman and now sponsored by Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich (all D-N.M.), requires that hunting, fishing and grazing continue, along with recreational access.

  • Raphaelson must leave bench

    SANTA FE — The Supreme Court of New Mexico has determined that Los Alamos District Court Judge Sheri A. Raphaelson will have to leave office Jan. 1, the date that her six-year term ends.
    Judge Raphaelson lost a Nov. 4 retention vote when 44.02 percent of the voters in the counties she serves, which include Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Rio Arriba, opted not to keep her on the bench for another term.
    According to New Mexico election laws, Raphaelson needed at least 57 percent of the vote in order to stay in office. She only received 55.98 percent.
    Raphaelson lost her retention vote largely on the strength of Los Alamos County’s results. The county cast 343 more votes not to retain her than wanted her back — she won the retention vote by a narrow 41-vote margin in Rio Arriba County, but by a relatively comfortable margin in Santa Fe County.
    After the election, Raphaelson immediately challenged the judicial system’s reasoning to put her on the ballot in the first place through a letter to Chief First Judicial Judge Raymond Vigil.

  • Today in history Dec. 16
  • Today in history Dec. 15