Local News

  • Capital projects on the chopping block

    The Los Alamos County Council will have a discussion during its Feb. 19 meeting to decide which capital projects approved for design and construction in May 2012 will move forward or be deferred.
    The 7 p.m. meeting in council chambers was moved from a work session in White Rock to a regular session in Los Alamos so that the session can be televised.
    Due to budget shortfalls, council gave the staff budget guidance on Jan. 29 to defer up to $12.5 million in capital project costs and delay projects up to four years for some of these eight approved projects:
    Los Alamos County Administrator Harry Burgess released information about the upcoming Council discussion regarding capital projects.
    The only projects that will be considered for deferral are the eight projects approved in May 2012. They are:
    • Ashley Pond Park
    • Teen Center
    • Nature Center
    • Eastern Area Sound
    • Golf Course improvements
    • White Rock Civic Center (as modified)
    • Canyon Rim Trail and Ice Rink improvements.
    The purpose of the discussion is budgetary— projects will not be revisited during this meeting for a reduction/change in scope of work.  

  • Self-sufficiency fund has more wins than losses

    When the topic of the Self-Sufficiency Fund (now renamed as the Economic Vitality Fund) comes up, a common perception seems to be that the fund’s investments have been money down the drain. However a closer look at the fund’s successes and failures would appear to contradict that assessment.
    The Self-Sufficiency Fund was created when the United States Congress decided that the Department of Energy should stop making yearly assistance payments to the county to compensate for the loss of property taxes and gross receipts taxes the county would normally receive from an entity the size of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Sen. Pete Domenici argued for a one-time payment large enough to help the county invest in projects that would create a revenue base in years to come. Congress approved a transfer of $22.6 million from the DOE to the county for that purpose in the early 1990s.
    Some of the fund was transferred to the Airport, Fire and Water Funds to finance initial improvements associated with assuming operation of those systems from DOE.
    Other expenditures built foundations for economic development, such as preparing the Trinity Site and other land transfer projects for development.
    A large portion of the fund lay dormant and earning interest for several years as the county assessed how to use it most effectively.

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  • Assistant Superintendent Dean announces retirement

    Assistant Superintendent of Schools Paula Dean announced her retirement today.

    Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gene Schmidt said in a written statement that he accepted her retirement this morning with “great reluctance.”

    Schmidt also congratulated her on her career in Los Alamos, and credited her for actively promoting academic achievement for the district’s students and professional development among the teachers and staff. Schmidt also credited her with playing a leading role in helping the Los Alamos Public School District achieve district wide accreditation.

    Though she announced her retirement, she will still continue on the job through the school year, Schmidt said in his statement.

    Dean started her career with LAPS as the Director of Curriculum and Development, and according to Schmidt her familiarity and skill in implementing  the state’s “Common Core” curriculum (CC is a program that develops deeper understanding of the concepts behind English and Math), has been recognized by the state. She then became principal of Barranca Mesa Elementary for four years before becoming Assistant Superintendent for the past three years.

    More details on this developing story will be posted on LAMonitor.com.

  • Raw: Medal of Honor's Son Steals Show

    The son of Medal of Honor recipient was the pre-program entertainment before President Barack Obama awarded Medal of Honor to his father, Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha.

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