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Local News

  • N.M. 502 plan to get revisions

    The Los Alamos County Public Works department will present a revised plan for N.M. 502 improvements to council at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 in council chambers.

    A plan approved by council last February was bounced by the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration after traffic studies determined that the Level of Service for side streets Arroyo Lane and Sombrillo Court would not meet minimum standards.

    The NMDOT and FHWA are requiring that N.M. 502 be increased to four lanes through that area to address the issue.

    Staff has been negotiating with the agencies to find alternatives, since area residents argued against widening the road. The county’s argument that a “context sensitive solution” was needed has been rejected.

    If the county does not revise the design to meet NMDOT and FHWA requirements, the county risks losing nearly $4 million in federal funds earmarked for the project.

    Staff is also proposing a two-phase project for the area.

  • DPU structure gets scrutiny

    The Charter Review Committee’s intensive examination of the county charter revealed a major flaw in charter sections addressing the Department of Public Utilities and its board.

    At Tuesday’s council meeting, County Attorney Rebecca Ehler summarized the problem.

    “State law prescribes responsibility and liability for municipalities; and H class counties, of which Los Alamos is the only one, is included in that definition of municipalities.

    “The responsibility for what goes on in a municipality rests solely with this council. And by law you can’t delegate your liability that way to any other organization. We don’t want our government passing on its responsibility to organizations we can’t hold accountable as voters.

    “Under the current system of our charter, you’ve not been given oversight. So if there is an operational infirmity, you can be held liable ultimately, but you don’t have the ability to direct the operations to correct whatever that infirmity might be.”

    Under the current charter, the DPU is virtually autonomous. The manager reports to the Board of Public Utilities, not the county administrator. Council’s only oversight is its ability to appoint board members and approve all budgetary issues.

  • Raw: Powerful Earthquake Hits Japan
  • Today in History for December 7th
  • 10 things to know for Friday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about Friday:

    1. EGYPT'S PRESIDENT DIGS IN HIS HEELS

    Morsi takes an uncompromising stand in a nationally televised address, while protesters plan another big rally Friday in Tahrir Square.

    2. ELECTION DIDN'T COME CHEAP

    Finance reports show that the U.S. presidential campaign cost more than $2 billion — a spending record.

    3. MAKING MARIJUANA LEGAL MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE EASY PART

    Now Washington state faces a raft of tough questions — how to create a legal-weed market, how to keep the drug away from teens.

    4. HOW ASSAD IS MAINTAINING HIS GRIP ON DAMASCUS

    A massive security clampdown includes a big increase in checkpoints and blast walls, and the deployment of army tanks.

  • Official: 'Confident' Bodies Are 2 Iowa Cousins

    Authorities say they're 'confident' bodies found in an isolated wildlife area are those of two young Iowa cousins who disappeared while riding their bikes last summer.

  • Pearl Harbor survivor helps identify unknown dead


    HONOLULU (AP) — Ray Emory could not accept that more than one quarter of the 2,400 Americans who died at Pearl Harbor were buried, unidentified, in a volcanic crater.

    And so he set out to restore names to the dead.

    Emory, a survivor of the attack, doggedly scoured decades-old documents to piece together who was who. He pushed, and sometimes badgered, the government into relabeling more than 300 gravestones with the ship names of the deceased. And he lobbied for forensic scientists to exhume the skeletons of those who might be identified.

    On Friday, the 71-year anniversary of the Japanese attack, the Navy and National Park Service will honor the 91-year-old former sailor for his determination to have Pearl Harbor remembered, and remembered accurately.

  • Demolition time

    Workers continue to tear down the enclosures on TA-21 on DP Road.

  • Update 12-06-12

    Book sale

    Scholastic books are for sale at The Family YMCA from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily through today. The public is welcome to come to the Y and shop. Partial proceeds will benefit the Y’s annual campaign that supports scholarships for those needing financial assistance.

    Calendar

    To kick off its 50th anniversary celebration next year, the Los Alamos Monitor will distribute a commemorative 2013 calendar Sunday Dec. 9. Look for it inside your newspaper.

    Sponsor a family

    The Family YMCA is sponsoring four families for the holidays and welcomes the community to participate by taking part in the Giving Tree. For more information call the Y at 662-3100.

    DWI Council

    The Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council will meet at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 11 at the Los Alamos Police Department Training Room, 2500 Trinity Dr., Suite A.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185.

  • Council calls for code of ethics

    The Los Alamos County Council met Tuesday in hopes of concluding three years of work by the Charter Review Committee.

    But discomfort on the part of some councilors with the CRC’s recommendations, along with the impending turnover on the council, prompted a call for further study of some issues and the delay of others.

    Council did take action on the CRC’s recommendation for the establishment of a code of ethics.

    The committee had recommended a charter amendment requiring the establishment of a code of ethics. Councilors asked County Attorney Rebecca Ehler if establishing a code of ethics required a change to the Charter.

    “You could do this through ordinance, and it is more flexible that way,” Ehler said. “Having clear ethics in your charter makes it more difficult to change and be responsive to changing ethical standards, but it also gives it a more elevated status.”

    Assistant County Attorney Daniel Gonzales reported on a memo he had completed in September 2011 comparing the county’s ethics standards with the Governmental Conduct Act of 2011.