Local News

  • Deep roots for LA's first church

    Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

    Once upon a time, the local movie house was the only place in Los Alamos to worship and celebrate religion.
    In the spring of 1944, services would be offered by clergy “on the Hill,” with the addition of a local Sunday school class and nursery.

    One hundred people attended the first gathering and a small group of women began the effort, which has resulted in the United Church of Los Alamos.

    Former United Church of Los Alamos Rev. Jay Dee Conrad, came to the United Church in February of 1993 and in 2002, wrote a book titled, “The A-Maz-ing United Church of Los Alamos.”

    According to Conrad’s book, in 1947, an old Army chapel became available after the closure of the Bruns Military Hospital in Santa Fe, at the end of the war.

    Dedicated in May 1947, the chapel was used by three faiths: Catholic, Jewish and Protestant. That chapel still serves as the main building of the United Church of Los Alamos today.

  • Last chance to rate conservation options


    The Los Alamos County Sustainability and Energy and Water Conservation Plans are nearing completion, but residents have one last chance to vote on their preferred methods of conservation. Information is posted on the county's Open Forum, including links to the plans and a survey to prioritize various strategies. The survey closes at 5 p.m. Friday.

    The survey consists of seven options each for water conservation, energy conservation and waste/recycling. The strategies were developed through public input from a sustainability forum held in November 2011, an eight-person advisory board on water and energy conservation and the Environmental Sustainability Board and the Board of Public Utilities.

    Department of Public Utilities Conservation Coordinator Christine Chavez wanted a wide range of opinions on the advisory board, so it included citizens who were "not keen on conservation."

    "I thought it would be better to gather that input beforehand," Chavez said. "And I think it was an effective strategy, because if there were any misconceptions they were cleared up then and not later."

    Chavez called the committee a "guiding force" in the development of the DPU plan. She also plans to get their input on the final document.

  • Feds look to ship Wash. radioactive waste to NM

    RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — Removing radioactive waste from underground tanks at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site has proven to be technologically vexing for years, and recent word that six tanks are leaking has only added pressure to the efforts to empty them.

    A proposal to ship some of that waste to New Mexico to ultimately stem the leaks earned approval from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who called it the right step for south-central Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the state and the nation.

    The proposal still requires approval from the two states, and Congress still must approve funding, but Inslee said he will push lawmakers to fully pay for the proposal, saying "every single dollar of it is justified."

    Federal officials announced Wednesday a proposal to ship some 3 million gallons of radioactive waste from Hanford for disposal in a massive repository — called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant — near Carlsbad, N.M., where radioactive materials are buried in rooms excavated in vast salt beds nearly a half-mile underground.

  • Furious over sanctions, NKorea vows to nuke US

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Thursday vowed to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States, amplifying its threatening rhetoric hours ahead of a vote by U.N. diplomats on whether to level new sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test.

    An unidentified spokesman for Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said the North will exercise its right for "a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors" because Washington is pushing to start a nuclear war against the North.

    Although North Korea boasts of nuclear bombs and pre-emptive strikes, it is not thought to have mastered the ability to produce a warhead small enough to put on a missile capable of reaching the U.S. It is believed to have enough nuclear fuel, however, for several crude nuclear devices.

  • Today in History for March 7th
  • Governor's office calls out Garcia Richard on immigrant drivers license vote

    Several Democrats broke party ranks on Wednesday in supporting a Republican-led attempt to advance legislation to stop New Mexico from issuing driver's licenses to most immigrants who illegally came to the country.

    All 32 Republicans supported the parliamentary maneuver and were joined on three separate votes by Democratic Reps. Mary Helen Garcia of Las Cruces, Dona Irwin of Deming and Sandra Jeff of Crownpoint.

    Freshman Democrat Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba) broke party ranks on the first vote and supported moving a stalled license proposal to another committee. However, she joined Democrats in opposing similar efforts to bypass two other committees.

    Freshman Democrat Christine Trujillo of Albuquerque voted with Republicans once, but said she had made a mistake and hit the wrong button in the electronic voting system.

    The Governor’s office called out Garcia Richard Wednesday night.

    Gov. Susana Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell said in a prepared statement, “We're pleased that this important compromise legislation advanced beyond two committees that were intent on keeping it from an up or down vote on the House floor.

  • Raw: Thousands of Sharks Swim Down Fla. Coast

    WPTV in Florida reports beaches in the Palm Beach area are closed, because thousands of sharks are swimming off the coast. NOTE: Video is silent.

  • Y opens second facility

    In support of expanding health opportunities to the community, The Family YMCA will celebrate the grand opening of a second facility, the YMCA Express, 140 Central Park Square, March 11.
    Community members are invited to try classes for free throughout the day, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. The day includes equipment and new class demonstrations, an open house lunch from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and a ribbon cutting at 12:30 p.m.
    “The new facility allows the Y to meet the increased demands for class space and equipment,” YMCA CEO Linda Daly said. “More individuals are turning to the Y for support in their quest for a healthier lifestyle and the YMCA Express helps us meet their needs, from the first time exerciser to elite athletes.”
    In support of new classes and parents working out at the main facility, the Y has also expanded the free child watch hours for member parents.
    Child watch now runs from 8:30 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday and from 5-7:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
    Fitness director Melanie Chapman said the new space will allow the Y to offer many new, cutting-edge opportunities, including the TRX Suspension Training System that uses a participant’s body weight and gravity to create a challenging workout.
    Free TRX intro classes are being offered the week of March 4-8 and require advance registration.

  • Charter committee created

    It is back to the drawing board for review of Los Alamos County Charter sections that relate to the Department of Public Utilities.
    Tuesday, the county council approved a new five person committee to review DPU’s oversight and accountability to council, whether it would be possible and advisable for profits to be returned to DPU, possibly for use by other utilities, and whether to incorporate additional utilities into DPU’s responsibilities.
    The previous council rejected the Charter Review Committee’s recommendation for oversight and accountability, which would have allowed council to remove any or all board members without cause by a supermajority of 5-2. The previous council agreed that councilors must have more oversight, since they bear ultimate liability for DPU’s actions, and proposed appointing an ad hoc committee to study the issue.
    The CRC made no recommendations regarding the issue of returning profits to the DPU. Those profits are currently directed to the general fund. In view of its recent approval of a significant sewer rate increase to pay for infrastructure, council wants to explore other alternatives, such as using profits from one utility to subsidize costs in another. The current charter prohibits that.

  • Update 03-06-13

    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.

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    Grace Brill, who specializes in market intelligence (market research for small businesses and entrepreneurs) and Springboard (expert coaching for companies facing a strategic decision), will present the various services that Los Alamos Connect provides to growth-oriented businesses at the Thursday brown bag lunch at The Hive. The brown-bag lunch will start at 11:30 a.m. and the presentation will start at noon.  There is never a charge for the brown bag lunches.

    Assets in Action

    Assets In Action will cure culinary sparks at the Teen Center at 3:15 p.m., Thursday making desserts with students to promote community partners as spring nears.

    Master Gardeners

    The March meeting of the Los Alamos Master Gardeners will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at the White Rock Town Hall. Discussion will be plans for the Hope Garden.