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Local News

  • Forest Service to plant trees in burn scar

    The U.S. Forest Service has plans to plant trees this spring in an area burned by the 2011 Las Conchas blaze.
    Forest officials say the exact dates depend on weather, soil moisture and temperatures, but they’re aiming for the middle of April for volunteers to help with the tree planting effort.
    They say a 56-acre area at the base of Pajarito Ski Hill will be planted with Douglas Fir trees.
    The effort will be part of a larger planting initiative that will cover about 2,000 acres and involve almost 500,000 trees.
    The trees were ordered the fall of 2011 following the Las Conchas fire. Local seed stock was germinated the following spring and now the trees are about a year old and ready to be planted.
    The Forest Service will take volunteer reservations of 30 to 50 people each day.  Tree planting will involve a provided Dibble tool to create a shallow hole to place the baby tree and soil plug to a precise depth. Netting may be used to cover the tree so that elk do not eat it.  Required hard hats will be provided, however volunteers must provide their own boots, gloves, long pants, long-sleeve shirts and safety glasses.

  • Golf course construction

    Though budget cutbacks have delayed work on the golf course itself, construction at the Los Alamos County Golf Course has begun in earnest on the Los Alamos community building and clubhouse.

  • State Senate postpones vote on Skandera

     

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Senate panel still hasn't voted on whether to confirm Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera to the cabinet-level position she's held the past two years.

    The Senate Rules Committee members questioned Skandera for three hours during a Saturday hearing but no vote was taken.

    Senate GOP Leader Stuart Ingle of Portales complained that the confirmation process was being prolonged for political purposes by Skandera's critics.

    A week ago, the committee listened to seven hours of public testimony about Skandera's appointment by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

    It's possible that Skandera could continue to languish without a vote by the 42-member Senate, and that would allow her to remain on the job.

    If the Senate rejects Skandera, she will be ousted from her post running the Public Education Department.

  • Legislature winds down

     

    It’s been a rather contentious first session for Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba) as the state legislature winds down toward a conclusion Saturday.

    She found herself in the middle of the immigrant driver’s license bill debate and was accused by the Republicans and governor’s office of changing her stance on the bill.

    The bill, HB 606. was tabled Saturday after a 9-9 tie vote in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

    Garcia Richard joined the Republicans in voting against the tabling motion. 

    Garcia Richard again voted with committee Republicans in voting in favor of passing the bill out of committee, but the vote failed to pass with the votes once again tied. 

    “I have been deeply concerned by Gov. (Susana) Martinez’s persistent actions to politicize this issue. I believed the bill deserved another opportunity to be heard in order to allow additional time for a real compromise, which is why I initially voted to blast the bill out of committee,” Garcia Richard said Saturday.

  • Treasure hunter found safe

    Hiker-turned treasure hunter Chanon Thompson is apparently back home in Carrollton Texas, resting after a harrowing ordeal in Bandelier National Monument. 

    Thompson, 33, apparently got lost in the rugged wilderness and had to spend one night alone in the park huddled under rocks in below-freezing temperatures last Friday. But that’s not because people weren’t looking for her.

    A call from her concerned boyfriend who reported her missing touched off a massive search and rescue effort Friday that included a large area of the park as well as other areas she might be. 

    Crews also had searched for her along the Rio Grande near the Falls Trail and in Bandelier’s backcountry.  

    The Bandelier Monument staff was working with New Mexico Search and Rescue under unified command.  The search involved dog teams, technical rescue, the Los Alamos Police Department, Los Alamos Fire Department and three aircraft. 

  • Today in History for March 9th
  • After Tsunami, Japan Struggles to Recover
  • Morris selected for Leadership New Mexico

    Leadership New Mexico has selected Oliver Morris, detective sergeant for the Los Alamos Police Department, to be a part of the 22 participants in the 2012-2013 Local Government Leadership Program. Their first session will be Friday through Sunday in Santa Fe.
    The Local Government Leadership Program is a partnership between the New Mexico Association of Counties, the New Mexico Municipal League, the New Mexico School Boards Association and Leadership New Mexico. These groups provide a unique educational experience to county and municipal officials, school boards and regional councils of governments. In addition to the Local Government Leadership Program, Leadership New Mexico’s other programs include the Core Program and the Connect New Mexico Program.

  • Update 03-08-13

    Grand opening

    The construction of the new Multi-Purpose Covered Arena is now complete. Grand opening is set for 4 p.m. March 22 at Brewer Arena. Join the Los Alamos County Council as they host the Grand Opening Event.

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    Fish fry

     It is Fish Fry time again at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall from 5-7 p.m. today. The dinners are sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and proceed will benefit Nuestros Pequeños Orphanage in Honduras and other charities. Adult plates are $10 and have two pieces of cod, with coleslaw, and rice or French fries, plus a drink and dessert. Children may have one piece of fish or a grilled cheese sandwich with all the rest for $7 a plate.

    DWI meeting

    The Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. March 14 in the Los Alamos Police Department Training Room, 2500 Trinity Dr., Suite A.

    Council meeting

    The Los Alamos County Council will hold a work session at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the White Rock Fire Station No. 3. The discussion will likely focus on the business plan for the proposed Community Broadband Network.

  • Suit challenges aboriginal title to Valles Caldera

    Second in a two-part series

    In the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the Jemez Pueblo lawsuit to reclaim tribal lands in Valles Caldera National Preserve, the government asserts that earlier land claims litigation divested the pueblo of its aboriginal title.

    “Since around the beginning of the last century, popular understanding of Indian land rights has been based upon a political and cultural assumption that somehow or other all aboriginal Indian titles outside of BIA recognized reservation boundaries as somehow or other ‘taken,’” said Attorney Tom Luebben, who is representing Jemez Pueblo.

    The government argument leans heavily on a claim that Jemez lost its aboriginal title in 1860 when Congress settled a claim by heirs of Luis Maria Cabeza de Baca by awarding them 500,000 acres within the New Mexico Territory. The Federal Land Department approved the 99,289-acre Baca Location No. 1, including the Valles Caldera, as part of that acreage.