Local News

  • Park officials to meet with public

    The Intermountain Region of the National Park Service (NPS) in Denver announced it will hold three public listening sessions in northern New Mexico next month to discuss the transition in management of Valles Caldera National Preserve from the Valles Caldera Trust to the NPS.
    The meetings are scheduled for May 11-13, in Albuquerque, Jemez Springs and Los Alamos. Each meeting runs from 6-8:30 p.m.
    “This is an opportunity for the National Park Service to get to know the communities around the Valles Caldera, and for us to begin to establish the kind of strong working relationships that are at the heart of effectively managing the preserve,” said Intermountain Region Director Sue Masica.
    In December, Congress designated the preserve as a new unit of the National Park System. The legislation requires that the Valles Caldera Trust be terminated and the management of the area be turned over to the National Park Service.
    The listening sessions will include a brief presentation with a time for questions, followed by multiple small group discussion circles, each assisted by a Park Service facilitator.
    Circle participants may include partners of NPS and the Trust as well as members of the general public and various stakeholders, from local governments and businesses to recreation and conservation interests.

  • Underground line in Western Area fails

    A bad underground cable left approximately 1,000 local customers were without power for about 30 minutes Tuesday.
    Los Alamos County’s Department of Public Utilities announced Tuesday that linemen discovered a faulty cable at 39th Street was the culprit of the outage.
    The outage affected residents in Western Area. It occurred at approximately 11:20 a.m. Crews had power restored before noon.
    The county said its crews completed repairs at about 3:30 p.m. and that the distribution system was scheduled to be placed to its original configuration today.
    DPU can be reached by calling 662-8333 or by emailing DPU@lacnm.us.

  • Summary of Budget Amendments

    The approved FY2016 budget is $336,400 higher than the budget proposed by staff. The amendments made to the original proposal are:

  • Property taxes heading up

    The Los Alamos County Council approved a $193,163,741 FY2016 budget on Tuesday by a 5-2 vote.
    The final version of the budget includes a 2.25 mills property tax increase, which will increase revenues by $1.5 million. Taxes on a $300,000 home will increase $225 per year.
    Councilors James Chrobocinski and Pete Sheehey voted against the motion.
    Chrobocinski strongly opposed the property tax increase. A motion he made to approve the budget without the tax increase failed by a 5-2 vote, with Sheehey also voting for the motion.
    “I don’t think this takes into account the potential for increased economic activity from the Manhattan Project National (Historical) Park. I’m already seeing increased commercial activity going on,” Chrobocinski said. “I don’t think the prospects are nearly as doom and gloom as this puts it forth.”
    Chair Kristin Henderson was not as optimistic as Chrobocinski.
    “I think it’s possible our GRT (Gross Receipts Tax) is going to increase, but I don’t think it’s anything compared to the revenue we get from the lab and I don’t see it happening this particular year and I don’t think we can count on it next year,” Henderson said.

  • Today in history April 29
  • State Briefs 4-28-15

    12-acre parcel added to Rio Grande Valley park

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — An Albuquerque-area state park has grown by 12 acres.
    The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District’s board has designated a parcel known locally as “Dog Biscuit Hill” as part of Rio Grande Valley State Park.
    The parcel is a popular access point to the Bosque and it’s been designated the Patrick J. Baca Open Space Unit.
    The new unit of the state park will be retained and owned by the conservancy district.
    It will be maintained and managed for conservation, education, and recreation by the city of Albuquerque under policies of the Rio Grande Valley State Park Management Plan and Joint Powers Agreement.

    A dozen facing drug trafficking charges
    in Texas, New Mexico

  • LAPS is recognized by quality board

    Los Alamos Public Schools was given Pinion Recognition earlier this month at an event hosted by Quality New Mexico.
    LAPS submitted an application to Quality New Mexico’s external review team and the team visited LAPS late in 2014. The team then submitted a feedback report to help LAPS find “a pathway to improve overall performance,” that according to a press release from the schools.
    The recognition was awaarded to outgoing superintendent at LAPS, Gene Schmidt, by the state’s Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez.
    The event was hosted by Isleta Resort and Casino near Albuquerque.
    Other local groups honored at the event included the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities, the Nuclear Material Control and Accountability Group at LANL and LANL’s Quality & Performance Assurance Division.

  • Local Briefs 4-28-15

    Santa Fe National Forest selling permits for fuelwood

    Fuelwood permits for dead and downed timber are currently available for purchase at Santa Fe National Forest headquarters and most Ranger District offices around the state.
    The nonrefundable permits are for personal use only.
    Price for the permits are $20 for five cords. There is a maximum of 10 cords that can be gathered per household. Permit purchasers will receive load tags, a fuelwood cutting map and guidelines for harvesting the wood.
    The permits will be on sale at the SFNF offices from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. weekdays.
    SFNF officials, however, said that the Española Ranger District office wouldn’t be selling the fuelwood permits until May 4.

    Donations being accepted at Smith’s

  • Bobcat Bonanza is coming back

    Those who want to get the first crack at dunking new Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus will have their chance Friday.
    Steinhaus will be in the dunk tank during the Bobcat Bonanza at Barranca Mesa Elementary School. The bonanza is scheduled for 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the school.
    In addition to the dunk tank, the event will feature food, carnival games, entertainment and more. All ages are invited to participate.
    This is the second year of the Bobcat Bonanza. Last year’s fundraiser generated $7,000 that helped support school programs such as the science fair, field trips and teacher stipends for classroom materials.
    For more information about the Bobcat Bonanza, call 662-8903.

  • Update 4-28-15

    Bighorn sheep

    A talk on bighorn sheep is scheduled for today. The talk will be at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. The event is free and no preregistration is required.

    Future Energy

    A meeting of the Future Energy Resources Committee is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the municipal building.

    Possible quorums

    The White Rock Master Plan Implementation Committee and the Lodgers’ Tax Advisory board announced they would have possible quorums at the Golf Course Community Building ribbon-cutting event Thursday. The ribbon-cutting will be at 3:30 p.m. Neither group will conduct business at the event.


    A discourse on human trafficking in New Mexico will be presented 7 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library. Speakers will include Maria Sanchez-Gagne, director of New Mexico Border Violence, and Lynn Sanchez, director of the Human Trafficking Aftercare Program. The event is free.

    Parents meeting

    The Parents Raising Teens Group will meet Wednesday at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos. The meetings focus on communication, setting and enforcing boundaries and similar topics. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Building 2.