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Local News

  • New McDonald’s features more tech, less wait

    The first things you notice about the newly opened McDonald’s on Trinity Drive are the computer screens, the game tables, the big screen TVs, the music and the waiters.
    The new restaurant now displays its menu on computer screens that are kept up-to-date through “BEAM,” a gaming service the fast food chain is subscribed to.
    The Los Alamos store is one of 500 throughout the world that has the system. The Los Alamos restaurant has two special tables set aside for gameplay. The free video games are provided through the internet into a special project mounted in the restaurant’s ceiling. The projector projects the games onto the table’s service at the customer’s request.
    The BEAM service keeps track of what people are playing so they’ll only have the most popular games available.
    “Every month, they monitor the amount of play on them. They will look at the game with the least amount, take it out and replace it with a new game,” Larry Lane, Garza Family McDonald’s’ director of operations said. “They project down onto the table and they come through the internet. They are also interactive, so you can touch and play with them.”
    The restaurant’s big screen TVs will run family-friendly channels all day, including sports.

  • History museum reopens today

    After being closed for renovations for more than a year, the Los Alamos History Museum reopened its doors at 10 a.m. this morning, unveiling entirely new exhibits and the new Harold Agnew Cold War Galleries at the Hans Bethe House.
    The original museum – now known as the “Guest Cottage” – underwent major renovations and infrastructure upgrades as part of the Fuller Lodge renovation project. The structures are owned by Los Alamos County.
    Redesigned galleries form the backdrop for entirely new exhibits, paid for by a $1.2 million dollar investment by the Los Alamos Historical Society (LAHS).
    Despite all the changes, the focus is still on the museum’s primary mission: telling the stories of the people of Los Alamos.
    “The Bradbury tells the science stories, we tell the people stories,” said LAHS Executive Director Heather McClenahan.

  • Today in history Dec. 29
  • GOP State House speaker retiring, Democrat to take over

    SANTA FE (AP) — Republican House speaker Don Tripp announced Wednesday that he will retire from the Legislature as he passes his leadership post to a Democrat in January.

    The 70-year-old jewelry maker and GOP stalwart has served in the Legislature since 1999, stepping into the top leadership slot in the House of Representatives in 2015 after Republicans won control of the chamber for the first time in six decades.

    In November elections, Democrats reclaimed control of the House and extended their majority in the Senate. Santa Fe Democrat Brian Egolf has been nominated by Democratic colleagues as the next speaker, pending confirmation by the full House.

    From his jewelry store in Socorro, Tripp said he will retire Jan. 17 on the first day of the legislative session as he hands over the ceremonial gavel to Egolf.

    Republican Gov. Susana Martinez will name a successor to fill Tripp's legislative seat through the next general election in 2018, based on suggestions from county commissioners in Tripp's district. The district spans Socorro, Valencia and Catron counties.

  • Pig and Fig to host wine dinner with Tablas Creek Vineyard Jan. 10

    The Pig and Fig Cafe will host a wine tasting dinner with exclusive pairings from Tablas Creek Vineyard (tablascreek.com), an organic estate vineyard located on a 1,600-foot elevation site in the Paso Robles Wine Country in California.
    The dinner will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 10.
    The Pig and Fig is a cafe located at 35 Rover Blvd., White Rock. The cafe specializes in gourmet comfort food and traditional French style desserts.
    Chef Laura Crucet Hamilton is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where she studied cuisine, pastry, bakery, wine and restaurant operations. She is the co-author of several cookbooks.
    While working at Houston’s acclaimed Rainbow Lodge, she was nominated three times as the best pastry chef in Houston. Then in 2004, when she was working as the executive pastry chef at Vic and Anthony’s, she was once again nominated as the best pastry chef in Houston. She taught cooking classes at Sur La Table, Brennan’s and throughout the Southwest. She is the creator of many of the sweet and savory dishes that are served at Pajarito Brewpub and Grille.

  • Community Calendar

    TODAY
    Coffee Conversations from 4-5:15 p.m. today at Smith’s Starbucks in Los Alamos. The community is invited to join a weekly conversation about re-imagining education in Los Alamos. More information at odysseylosalamos.weebly.com or k.holmes@laschools.net.
    THURSDAY
    Rain or shine Los Alamos Farmers Market is every Thursday at Fuller Lodge from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    FRIDAY
    Los Alamos History Museum’s Grand Re-opening at 10 a.m. at Fuller Lodge. See the newly renovated and expanded Los Alamos History Museum campus, 1050 Bathtub Row.
    SATURDAY
    Feature Film: “Exploding Universe” at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Voyage through space and discover explosive events that shaped the Universe. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    JAN. 3
    Kiwanis meeting from noon-1 p.m. in Kelly Hall at Trinity-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Drive. The speaker has not yet been scheduled.
    JAN. 5
    Nature on Tap: Our Local Trails from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Discuss the future of the Los Alamos trail network, including the proposed flow trail. Free. More information at peecnature.org.
    JAN. 6
    January Night Sky Show at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Discover and identify objects visible in our night sky this month, and enjoy their beauty from our planetarium. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. 
    JAN. 7

  • Latest stab at postal reform should include services

    Even in the age of texts and email, we still depend on the post office, and people who live in rural areas need it to work better. That’s the gist of a letter signed by 80 members of Congress, including Sen. Tom Udall, to congressional leaders regarding postal reform legislation.

    The reduction in hours, elimination of overnight service, and longer delivery times have hit rural America especially hard.

    House and Senate bills tackle a disastrous 2006 requirement that the U. S. Postal Service prefund retiree benefits 75 years in advance; the $5.5 billion a year cost is the main source of red ink. The bills would integrate postal workers into Medicare and change the payment schedule to avoid the $5 billion annual payments that add to USPS deficits. The bills call for converting millions of addresses to cluster boxes. Customers could comment if their post office might be closed. This is all according to the website Save the Post Office, edited by a college professor with no ties to USPS; he just likes his small town’s post office.

    The Senate bill puts a five-year moratorium on closing post offices or reducing their hours and a two-year moratorium on closing other postal facilities.  

  • County, community reacts to clinic cutbacks

    Los Alamos County councilors and Los Alamos Health Council members are anxious to speak with the New Mexico Department of Health about its recent decision to further cut hours and services at the Los Alamos health clinic. 

    Among the changes, the state health department transferred its sexually transmitted disease testing and birth control programs 21 miles away to its Española office.

    Los Alamos County Council has asked for a meeting in a letter it sent in October. 

    “We transmitted a letter and requested a meeting,” Los Alamos County Council Chair Rick Reiss said. “We reiterated that we don’t believe they’re encapsulating our needs correctly. We’ve asked for copies of their incident reports.” 

    Reiss said the health department is not correctly using the data it used to justify the reduction in hours and services. 

    The department based its decision on data it received about the number of times the office is used to counsel Los Alamos teens on unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.   

  • Comp plan tops county’s 2016 accomplishments

    Los Alamos County saw some major accomplishments during 2016, one of them years in the making. Those include a new comprehensive plan, a recreation bond package that will go to voters next year and new resources for economic development. These are some of the year’s highlights.

    New comprehensive plan will guide county’s growth

    As Los Alamos County Council Chair Rick Reiss pointed out when council passed the new comprehensive plan, it has been 29 years since the last comprehensive plan was approved in 1987. In the years since, it had become muddled and unwieldy, encompassing a number of other plans encompassing or drawing on a number of other plans and revisions. Planning for a new comprehensive plan was well underway in 2004 when the Cerro Grande fire derailed that effort. 

    Members of the public pushed back when P and Z proposed basing the new comprehensive plan on council’s strategic goals with little public input. They argued that the plan should be based on the community’s vision and urged the commission to conduct extensive public outreach similar to that used in developing the 1987 plan. 

  • In from the cold

    Shoppers at the Dec. 22 Los Alamos Farmer’s Market at Fuller Lodge checked out the fresh, hot apple cider before heading in for more shopping.