Local News

  • LAHS students go the extra mile


    First of all, congratulations to the Los Alamos High School Hilltopper cheerleaders, who brought home a third place trophy from Albuquerque this weekend.

    The Spirit of Hope Challenege, raised money for cancer and the Hilltopper ladies came in third place out of 16 teams. I’m told it is their first trophy, how wonderful!

    This week, this column will appear as if it is about wrestling, but it really is a column about empowerment, community values youth and support.

    Last week, I mentioned how the Hilltopper team organized a last-minute fundraiser when learning a former wrestler and opponent that had recently been diagnosed with cancer.

  • Guns and our country


    Nobody’s going to take your guns away. Realistically, that’s impossible. Government’s not trying to, and nobody in a responsible position is saying it should. There are too many guns and – face facts – too many places to hide them.

    House Bill 77, sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia, D-Albuquerque, to close the so-called gun show loophole, was limited to sales and distribution. As a practical matter, it would be absurd to think government could disarm our citizens -- just as absurd as thinking we could deport 12 million illegal residents or stop all the illegal drugs. 

    Some news reports talk about a “ban” on certain types of guns, without clarifying what the “ban” bans (dangerously careless reporting, I think). There is no serious proposal to confiscate existing guns, although some gun-rights purists believe all gun-control legislation is a first step down that slippery slope. 

  • Chile is more than agriculture


    The standard economic numbers provide little help understanding the reality of the New Mexico economy. 

    We have manufacturing, but manufacturing of what? Gross domestic product figures give some insight. The GDP reports the money, the value added in each industry. Manufacturing generates 7 percent of the money produced here with, the DWS job figures say, 4 percent of the wage jobs. The secret is that computer and electronic manufacturing is responsible for 69 percent of the value of manufacturing products. Much of that comes from the Intel plant in Rio Rancho.

    Then there is printing, a “manufacturing industry” but mostly serving the same primary sector support function as do dry cleaners.

    Let’s try some logic. 

  • Bandelier sets dates for bird count


    After 15 years in North America, the Great Backyard Bird Count is now global.  In 2013, anyone, from anywhere on Earth, can participate by visiting ebird.com or birdcount.org and reporting the kinds and numbers of birds they see during the 16th annual count.

    Bandelier National Monument will participate with activities Feb. 15-18.

    During the 2012 count, participants reported 17.4 million bird observations on 104,000 checklists. In northern states, Snowy Owls thrilled many participants when these striking birds-of-prey ventured south from the Arctic in record numbers.

  • On The Docket 02-13-13


    Feb. 6


    Douglas A. Plummer was found guilty through Citepay of driving six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit, and failing to pay the citation. He was fined $100 and ordered to pay $92 in service fees.


    Richard B. Rothrock was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. He was fined $75 and ordered to pay $46 in fines.


  • Statewide crash drill set for Los Alamos


    The Los Alamos Composite Squadron and Civil Air Patrol will host a statewide emergency exercise Saturday, starting early in the morning.

    According to squadron leader Maj. Annette Peters, the exercise will involve 10 patrols from across the state and two operation centers. One center will be located at the Los Alamos Airport and the other will be at the Crossroads Bible Church.

    “Each month, we have a practice search and rescue exercise, and for the first time this year we are actually having it in Los Alamos,” Peters said.

    Most residents probably won’t notice, but North Mesa residents and residents located around the airport probably will, since the search area will include places north, including Los Alamos, Santa Clara and the Valdes Caldera.

  • Valles Caldera legislation reintroduced

    U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have reintroduced legislation to transfer the management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the National Park Service. 

    Udall and retired Sen. Jeff Bingaman first introduced this legislation in 2010 in light of inconsistent funding, the need for infrastructure improvements and concerns that the Preserve would not achieve financial self-sustainability by 2015, as directed by the Valles Caldera Preservation Act of 2000. 

    “Millions of years in the making, the Valles Caldera is a natural wonder, rich in geology, ecology and culture,” Udall said. “With its vast grass-filled valleys, forested hillsides and numerous volcanic peaks, the caldera means a great deal to the surrounding communities and tribes. Incorporating this landscape into the National Park Service will preserve its resources and allow for public enjoyment by future generations. Additionally, I want to applaud the years of work that the Board of Trustees and Preserve employees have invested in caring for this unmatched natural resource.”

  • Passing the baton
  • Obama light on nuclear specifics

    President Obama was light on the details when it came to reducing the country’s nuclear stockpile.

    In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama said, “we will engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals, and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands — because our ability to influence others depends on our willingness to lead.”

    Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) wanted to hear more about the White House’s plans in regards to the nuclear issue.

    “Moving forward, one area that we must hear more about from the president is his goal of reducing our nation’s nuclear weapon stockpile, Luján said. “It will be critical to examine the details of this plan to determine its impact on New Mexico; however, I believe Los Alamos National Laboratory has an important role to play in achieving this goal and in maintaining and ensuring the safety of a smaller nuclear deterrent.”

    NNSA spokesperson Josh McConaha released a fact sheet Tuesday night in regards to nuclear disarmament.

    The fact sheet first addressed the process that is used.

  • Council OKs air service

    In a unanimous decision, county council approved a service agreement with New Mexico Airlines for commercial air service between Los Alamos and Albuquerque and ratified grant funding that will subsidize the service for nearly three years. 

    In 2012, council approved an earmark of $150,000 from the Economic Development Fund to attract commercial air service. Council Chair Geoff Rodgers praised Airport Manager Peter Soderquist for obtaining grant funding that reduces the county’s contribution for subsidizing the service from an estimated $143,707 to $28,000. 

    “I want to thank everybody that’s worked to bring that cost down. If we can get scheduled air service in this community for a cost to the county of $28,000, you’ve done a marvelous job. I wish you nothing but success, and I certainly plan to use this,” Rodgers said. 

    The county’s cost was defrayed by two grants and a contribution, totaling $312,000.

    They included:

    •$272,000 Small Community Air Service Development Program Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation

    •$25,000 from an Associated New Mexico Department of Transportation Air Service Assistance Program Grant