Local News

  • Opera at Bandelier returns on Sept. 26

    Opera on the Rocks at Bandelier National Monument’s Juniper Campground outdoor amphitheater is an annual event now in its fourth year.
    This year the performance will take place on the evening of Sept. 26.
    Opera Alta will present “Bastien and Bastienne” and selections from Mozart’s “Magic Flute.” “Bastien and Bastienne” was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when he was 12. It is the story of the travails of a shepherdess and her sweetheart, helped along by a would-be magician.
    The selections from Mozart’s famous “Magic Flute” will include  “The 3 Spirits and Papageno” and arias from Tamino and Pamina. All will be sung in English.
    The event is an opportunity for those not familiar with opera, as well as opera enthusiasts, see the opera in a unique venue.
    Beginning at 4 p.m. participants can pick up the Atomic City Transit shuttles from either Sullivan Field in Los Alamos or the White Rock Visitor Center.
    Parking will not be available at Bandelier for the event.
    Respected drummer Arnold Herrera from Cochiti Pueblo will be the first performer of the evening, starting at 4 p.m. A sing-along prior to the main event and the two main performances will be coordinated by local opera singer Alicia Solomon.

  • Longest serving employee honored

    Employment longevity for Los Alamos County employees is now being measured in “Hubers.” For example, someone retiring after the standard 25-year career is said to have half a Huber.
    “She is the standard for longevity at the county, and that standard continues to grow,” said Joseph D’Anna, deputy chief financial officer.
    That is because Shirley Huber just celebrated 50 years with the county. She was hired in 1965 — three years before the county was even incorporated.
    “The one constant in this county since its inception is Shirley,” D’Anna said.
    The actual date of Huber’s hire was Nov. 16, 1965, but the head of Huber’s division, Information Management Manager Laura Gonzales, asked Huber to move the date of her party up to sometime before Gonzales herself retires in October. Huber chose July 23, which also happens to be her birthday.
    “I used to always tease her that I was going to retire before she did, and she’s like, ‘Oh, no.’ And here it is, and I’m going to retire before she does,” Gonzales said.
    Technically, Huber could retire tomorrow and still have logged in 50 years with all her accumulated sick leave — almost 4,000 hours — and vacation leave.

  • About our changes…

    Effective Aug. 1, the Los Alamos Monitor print publication will be moving to a three issues per week publishing cycle and we will be investing more to expand our coverage in print and online.
    The Los Alamos Monitor in print will publish Wednesday, Friday and Sunday each week and online 24/7. We will continue to cover news in the printed edition, but we will expand our feature-oriented content throughout the newspaper and online site.
    We will also continue to grow our stable of tourist and niche products both in print and online.
    In an effort to better serve our subscribers, we will be moving from carrier delivery to mail. We have been a carrier delivered newspaper for decades, relying on independent contractors to handle distribution.
    Over the years, habits have changed and reliability of service has diminished in some cases, along with our ability to control service for timely delivery.
    These changes have been going on in the newspaper industry for many years as newspapers adjust to changing habits and disruptive technology. New Mexico especially has seen many such changes.
    Frequency changes are happening everywhere in cities both large and small, reflecting how people consume information in many ways.

  • Today in history July 24
  • Correction 7-23-15

    In a July 12 incorrectly stated that the Parks & Recreation Board is considering banning dogs from Community Center Park. County staff is not planning such a ban. The Los Alamos Monitor regrets the error.

  • Update 7-23-15

    Butterfly count

    The Dorothy Hoard Memorial Butterfly Count will be Saturday. The count will start at 9 a.m. starting at Burnt Mesa trailhead at Bandelier National Monument. Price is $5 for adults, kids are free.


    The Los Alamos Fiesta fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday at Fuller Lodge. The fiesta will include flamenco performances, auctions and other activities. Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door. Kids 12 and under are free. All proceeds will go benefit needy families in Juarez, Mexico.


    Kiwanis Southwest District Division 3 Lieutenant Governor Don Casperson will speak on the recent Kiwanis International’s 100th anniversary convention. The Kiwanis Club meets weekly at Trinity on the Hill Church. The meeting is from noon-1 p.m. each Tuesday. Committee meetings will follow Casperson’s talk.

    Swing Dance

    There will be a swing dance at the Los Alamos Posse Lodge starting at 7 p.m. today, hosted by Atomic City Swing. There is a beginner’s lesson at 7 p.m., followed by social dancing. Price is $3 for dancers, $5 for those taking the lesson. Email atomiccityswing@gmail.com for information.


  • County, contractor assessing pavement

    The second phase of pavement surveys is beginning around Los Alamos County using a falling weight deflectometer.
    The county entered into a contract with IMS Infrastructure Management Services to perform pavement and assessed management services for country roadways. The first phase of pavement data was completely collected in late June using a van-mounted device called a laser road surface tester.
    The falling weight deflectometer (FWD) is a device that provides nondestructive testing to assess pavement conditions, according to Los Alamos County. Data collected will be used to determine pavement strength, load transfer capabilities and identify properties of the base and subgrade.
    IMS has subcontracted FWD work to Ground Engineering of Colorado.
    According to the county, the survey and study that will follow will help determine the types of road maintenance the county requires. It will also assist in the planning and prioritization for the Roadway Capital Improvements Program.
    Questions or concerns about the project may be directed to the Public Works Department at 662-8150 or LACPW at lacnm.us.

  • Travel Channel show features Los Alamos

    Los Alamos has been in the limelight lately, or, more accurately, the town’s past.
    With the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb’s creation, Los Alamos is getting plenty of attention nationwide.
    The Travel Channel’s television program, “Time Traveling with Brian Unger,” explores the history of Los Alamos and the creation of the weapon in a segment of the next episode, “Billy the Kid and Atomic History.” The show airs today on the Travel Channel. Check local listings for exact time.
    Two months ago, Unger and his crew of 12 spent about a week in New Mexico for the episode.
    “New Mexico is such a vast space, we did a lot of driving and stayed at many different hotels,” Unger said. He adds he was very moved by the experience. “It’s hard to look at a town like Los Alamos and not look at it’s past. It has a history that changed the world.”
    The episode covers the development in Los Alamos to the test at the Trinity Site at White Sands. While in town, Unger and his crew were guided by the Los Alamos Historical Society with tours of Bathtub Row and the home of J. Robert Oppenheimer.
    “You can see the transformation,” Unger said. “It was a town that was operating in code.”

  • Talkin' Tourism

    Governor Susana Martinez paid a visit to the Los Alamos Nature Center today to spread the word that New Mexico has continued its upward climb in the tourism industry, thanks to its “New Mexico True” campaign. According to the recent poll by Longwood International of 6,000 people on their perceptions of New Mexico as a ‘good place to live, start a career, attend college or retire,” and the polls were favorable.

  • Council gets behind budget proposal

    At Tuesday’s work session, Los Alamos County Council member Susan O’Leary presented her plan for implementing a new budget review process.
    The current budget review process was established in 2003, after an assessment by a Budget Process Advisory Committee comprised of councilors, board members, citizens and staff.
    Council adopted the committee’s suggestions for implementing many of the practices recommended by the National Advisory Council Budget On State And Local Budgeting. That organization has recognized the county with its Distinguished Budget Presentation 23 years running.
    The format — called a Departmental Budgeting approach — is required by state statute and to conform to audit requirements.
    “This isn’t about changing that process, because I imagine that process needs to happen not only because our county manager needs to know how to allocate money by department, just like any organization, but there are probably requirements for state and federal legislation that requires a department based budget,” O’Leary said. “I think the question is whether the department-based format is one that allows the council to do our best with our responsibility of approving how tax dollars are spent.”