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Local News

  • Gov. Martinez disagrees with Trump comments on judge

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is joining a chorus of Republicans in criticizing Donald Trump for his claim that a federal judge is not qualified to preside over a case because of his Mexican heritage.

    Martinez spokesman Chris Sanchez says the governor is concerned by and strongly disagrees with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee's claim that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel cannot preside fairly over a case involving Trump University because the judge is of Mexican heritage and Trump wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Republicans including U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan have strongly criticized Trump's remarks.

    Martinez is at the forefront of GOP efforts to help elect Republican governors in fall elections, as the chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association. Martinez has not endorsed Trump.

  • LANL waste violations carry civil penalties

    SANTA FE (AP) — The Los Alamos National Laboratory mishandled hazardous waste and should expect to face civil penalties, according to a violation notice issued by the state of New Mexico.

    The New Mexico Environmental Department found 12 violations during a June 2015 inspection, including open waste containers, failure to label containers as hazardous waste, not describing what was inside certain waste drums and failure to properly package drums containing free liquids, The New Mexican reported.

    The report also noted that receptacles for newly-generated waste were often too far from the place where the waste was generated. In addition, the lab had incomplete emergency contact sheets and didn't share its emergency plans with first responders.

    A failure to promptly correct the problems is also a violation of the lab's waste management permit, according to the violation notice.

    Lab managers were notified in the June 1 letter that further lapses could result in legal action or a fine of $10,000 per day. The Environment Department also said a civil penalty would be issued because of the lab's "past history of noncompliance."

  • Elections officials prepare recount for two primary elections for House

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico election officials are preparing to recount ballots in two primary elections for the state House of Representatives that were too close to call.

    Kari Fresquez of the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office said Wednesday that two races finished within a margin of less than 1 percent that triggers a recount.

    Based on unofficial results, Republican Vicki Chavez led Scott Chandler by 12 ballots out of 1,764 counted. The winner of that race will run against Democrat Candie Sweetser of Deming in November.

    Democrat Mary Hotvedt of Pinos Altos led Karen Whitlock by 31 votes out of 3,487 counted. The winner will run against Republican Rebecca Dow of Truth or Consequences.

    The recounts still must be authorized by the New Mexico State Canvassing Board.

  • Time to back the winner? Clinton, Trump try to unify parties

    NEW YORK (AP) — Energized by a final batch of primary victories, Hillary Clinton is setting out on the difficult task of uniting her fractured Democratic Party for the five-month presidential battle with Republican Donald Trump. Fellow Democrats are growing more insistent in trying to push Bernie Sanders out of his all-but-hopeless challenge to her.

    Sanders vowed to continue to his campaign to the last contest in the District of Columbia next Tuesday. But about half his campaign staff is being laid off, two people familiar with the plans said Wednesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the layoffs.

    Clinton cruised to easy victories in four of the six state contests Tuesday. With each win she further solidified Sen. Sanders' defeat and dashed his already slim chances of using the last night of state contests to save his flagging bid.

    The victories allowed Clinton to celebrate her long-sought "milestone" — the first woman poised to lead a major political party's presidential ticket. Standing before a flag-waving crowd in Brooklyn, the former secretary of state soaked up the cheers and beamed.

  • Henderson, Sheehey, Chandler go on to general election

    Los Alamos voters decided local, state and national primary races Tuesday.
    Kristin Henderson, Pete Sheehey and Chris Chandler will move on to the general election for county council in November.
    Henderson topped the four Democratic council candidates with 1,641 votes. Sheehey took in 1,635 votes and Chandler received 1,385 votes. Antonio Maggiore, with 1,351 votes, was eliminated from the race.
    The three Democratic candidates will compete against Jaret McDonald (1,123 votes) Steve Girrens (1,040 votes) and Patrick Brenner (923 votes) for the three open council seats.
    In up ballot races, Los Alamos voters chose Hillary Rodham Clinton over Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential ticket, 1,424 to 1,404.
    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was declared the winner in New Mexico shortly after polls closed Tuesday night.
    Republican Michael Romero will compete against Incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep Ben Ray Lujan (2,410 votes) for U.S. Representative Dist. 3. Michael Romero, 709 to Michael Lucero 580.
    The only other contested race was for the Democratic nomination for District Attorney for the First Judicial District Jennifer Padget (986) beat out Gagne (681) and  Serna (551) votes.

    Follow the Los Alamos Monitor for more on the election results.

     

  • Henderson, Sheehey, Chandler go on to general election

    Los Alamos voters decided local, state and national primary races Tuesday.
    Kristin Henderson, Pete Sheehey and Chris Chandler will move on to the general election for county council in November.
    Henderson topped the four Democratic council candidates with 1,641 votes. Sheehey took in 1,635 votes and Chandler received 1,385 votes. Antonio Maggiore, with 1,351 votes, was eliminated from the race.
    The three Democratic candidates will compete against Jaret McDonald (1,123 votes) Steve Girrens (1,040 votes) and Patrick Brenner (923 votes) for the three open council seats.
    In up ballot races, Los Alamos voters chose Hillary Rodham Clinton over Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential ticket, 1,424 to 1,404.
    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was declared the winner in New Mexico shortly after polls closed Tuesday night.
    Republican Michael Romero will compete against Incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep Ben Ray Lujan (2,410 votes) for U.S. Representative Dist. 3. In Los Alamos, Romero defeated primary opponent Michael Lucero 709 votes  to 580 votes.
    The only other contested race was for the Democratic nomination for District Attorney for the First Judicial District Jennifer Padgett (986) beat out Maria Sanchez-Gagne (681) and  Marco Serna (551) votes.

  • Next round of comp plan meetings to start

    Public outreach for the update of Los Alamos County’s comprehensive plan entered round two, with a random sample survey mailed to 3,000 households in mid-May. Public meetings for this phase begin next week.
    Community Development Department Principal Planner Tamara Baer reported at the June 2 Transportation Board meeting that more than 500 surveys had been returned. The survey closed June 3.
    Architectural Resources Consultants (ARC), the firm hired to conduct public outreach, has scheduled three meetings for this round, each with a specific focus. All are from 6–8 p.m.
    The June 15 meeting – held in room 230 at UML-LA – will focus on neighborhoods, density and growth.
    Downtown, redevelopment and economic vitality will be the topic on June 22 at Fuller Lodge.
    The June 29 meeting at White Rock Fire Station No. 3 will look at open space, trails and circulation.
    The primary purpose of the comprehensive plan is to guide the physical planning of the county for the next 20 years.

  • County to update emergency plan

    The county will release an updated, first-draft version of its “All-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan” in August.
    Residents will have an opportunity to comment on and add input to the plan. The emergency plan is what all county agencies, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, county businesses and charitable organizations refer to in times of a natural disaster.
    It covers the assembly, mobilization and coordination of an emergency response to a whole range of natural disasters, including wildfires, floods, earthquakes, incidents at LANL and any other type of disaster that may have a wide impact on the population of Los Alamos. Snowstorms are covered in the plan.
    Emergency Management Manager Beverley Simpson said they are looking to rewrite major parts of the plan, which hasn’t been updated since 2006.
    The first draft of the plan should be completed and available for review and comment by mid-August, Simpson said.
    If you’re prepared for an emergency, then the reaction to the event will be much better,” Simpson said. “It’s about preparedness, so we can respond and recover in a timely manner, making our community more resilient.”
    When the first draft of the plan posted on the website, everyone is free to comment on it as well as add their input. She said.

  • ‘Secret City’ app released

    IPhone users can now walk back in time to experience what life might have been like during the Manhattan Project era in Los Alamos.
    The Los Alamos National Laboratory has created “Los Alamos: The Secret City of The Manhattan Project,” an interactive app now available for download, that takes users through a virtual experience of the creation of the first atomic bomb.
    Not only can users see historic sites as they once were more than 60 years ago, but they can also walk through secure areas that are off-limits to the public.
    The app takes “visitors” on an immersive tour of the LANL, during the dawn of the nuclear era, starting with a meet up in Santa Fe at the lab’s Santa Fe office at 109 East Palace Avenue.
    When app users are handed their clearance papers, they are taken on a historic tour of the original sites and buildings key to the development of the first atomic bomb.
    The virtual visitors then get to meet more people that were key to its development. Along the way, users collect important “documents” and accomplish goals that will give them deeper access to lab facilities by upgrading their security clearance.
    The tour ends in southern New Mexico with the famous Trinity Test.

  • Record turnout for Tuesday’s election

    This year’s primary election saw record turnout.
    A total of 2,253 citizens voted early – up from 1,260 in 2012. The total number of votes cast was 4,500.
    In 2012, early voting and absentee ballots totaled 1,260.  Election day turnout was 1,913. The total number of votes cast were 3,173.
    Primary elections have historically low turnout. Those who show up are generally the most committed voters.
    The Los Alamos Monitor asked some of those citizens what brought them out. For most of them, it was civic duty.
    “I always come out to vote. I feel it’s our earned right, so I always come out to vote,” Yvonne Gonzales said.
    “I always vote,” Sally Sibbitt said. “My parents taught me it was my duty as a citizen, so I always try to.”
    A voter who asked not to be identified said, “I think it’s our obligation as citizens. I’m surprised that people don’t come out to vote. I’ve been in India where they have voter turnout of 85 percent, 90 percent. They really take voting seriously.”