Local News

  • The Hunt Is On

    Young Easter egg hunters start their quest at the Elks’ annual Easter egg hunt at Ashley Pond Saturday.

  • Santa Fe forest is now 100

    Santa Fe National Forest is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and is seeking the public’s help for its celebration.
    SFNF was established April 6, 1915, the day the Jemez Forest Reserve west of Santa Fe and the Pecos Forest Reserve east of Santa Fe were merged.
    Officials are asking the public to share its ideas of how residents are planning on celebrating the 100th anniversary and are interested in hearing stories about the SFNF. Those that would like to contribute may do so by sending email to sfnfpao@fs.fed.us. or filling in the feedback form on the SFNF website, fs.usda.gov/santafe.

  • Budget includes property tax hike

    Although the proposed FY2016 budget for Los Alamos County is one percent higher than in FY2015, county departments plan to continue their efforts to control expenditures in the face of decreased revenues.
    Total revenues in FY2016 are projected to be $187.3 million compared to $191.6 million in the FY2015 adopted budget.
    The good news is that general fund revenues are expected to increase by $0.8 million — 1 percent higher than in FY2015 — for a total of $57.6 million.
    Part of that increase is due to a proposal to raise property tax. During budget discussions earlier this year, council tentatively approved reinstating $1.5 million in property taxes, which had been reduced at the height of gross receipts taxes (GRTs) collections 5 years ago. The proposal is to increase property taxes by 2.25 mills.
    Additional revenues from the property tax will be offset by a projected $0.8 million decrease in GRT due to reduced spending by Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Over the past five fiscal years, GRT collections have fallen by 29 percent, with the greatest impact on the General Fund.

  • Today in history April 7
  • Today in history April 6
  • Today in history April 5
  • Today in history April 4
  • Records: SFPD ignoring city’s pot ordinance

    SANTA FE (AP) — Police in New Mexico’s capital appear to be largely ignoring a new city ordinance that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana, according to records.
    Dozens of police reports show that Santa Fe officers since November have been filing cases only under state statute in Magistrate Court. Those cases involve possession of an ounce or less of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia.
    Since Nov. 5, when the last verifiable citation was issued under the city ordinance, there have been more than 70 charges under the state statute.
    After the Santa Fe council voted last summer to adopt the new ordinance, officers were given discretion to issue citations under either municipal or state law.
    “I understand that it’s an option,” City Councilor Joseph Maestas told the Albuquerque Journal. “But it’s troubling to me that policy hasn’t been fully accepted to the degree of full implementation.”
    Those charged under state law face a criminal petty misdemeanor — punishable by up to 15 days in jail and fines up to $100 — that remains on a person’s record.
    Under the city’s ordinance, offenders are charged with a civil violation subject to a maximum $25 fine.

  • Multi-institutional project to study climate change’s effect on tropical forests

    Tropical forests play a major role in the planet’s carbon cycle, but there are large uncertainties over how they will respond over the next 100 years as the planet’s climate warms.
    An expansive new project called Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments-Tropics, or NGEE-Tropics, aims to bring the future of tropical forests into much clearer focus.
    “Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists are playing a major role in the project, specifically in relation to quantifying, understanding, and modeling drought impacts on tropical forests, and improving the next-generation of models” said scientist Nate McDowell, project leader of the Los Alamos components.
    The project’s goal is the development of a model that represents how tropical forests interact with Earth’s climate in much greater ecological detail than ever before. This will help scientists explore, more accurately than is possible today, how rising temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, increasing greenhouse gas levels and other natural and human-induced changes affect tropical forests’ influence on Earth’s climate.
    Scientists know less about the flux of carbon, water and energy between tropical forests and the atmosphere than about most other biomes. These processes are also poorly represented in climate models.

  • The ‘Cookie lady’ Eyster deemed a Living Treasure

    Editor’s Note: The newest members of the Los Alamos Living Treasures are being highlighted Wednesday, Thursday and today in the Los Alamos Monitor.

    Joyce Eyster is the “Cookie Lady,” the quintessential good neighbor.
    “Cookies always open the doors.”
    Caring, unassuming, good-natured, never overstaying her presence, her welcome to harried newcomers has been likened to “gentle rain on a parched leaf.”  “I go say hello and introduce myself and tell where services are available that they might like. I take cookies, that always works.”
    With lively eyes and curly hair, 94-year-old Joyce was born on March 13, 1921, into a Minnesota farming family. Her parents built up their farm from a single shed in a field.
    “My father had two mules and a plow and seeds; he weeded sunflowers by hand. It was a real good childhood. I walked to school, about a mile and half away, It got 20-30 below in winter,” she said.
    Joyce attended college in Michigan. Returning to Minnesota, she married Eugene Eyster in January 1942, just a month after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor — the two had met in their teens at a church picnic.
    The wedding day temperature was 30 degrees below zero. Flowers froze on their way to the church.