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Local News

  • CRC discusses oversight issues

    The focus of Tuesday night’s Charter Review Committee (CRC) meeting was the balance between autonomy and oversight for the utility board and utilities manager.
    A proposed change to the charter would allow the Los Alamos County Council to override any board decision regarding the manager, including compensation or other contractual items, and could remove the utilities manager by a 6-1 vote. At present, the council’s only power is to have an up or down vote on board recommendations.
    Those opposed to the change fear it has the potential for political interference with the utilities board and department. Morrie Pongratz was the sole subcommittee member opposing the change. Pongratz reiterated points he had made in a written statement. These were:

  • Hotel Eklund volunteers pack cookies

    Volunteers at the Hotel Eklund in Clayton compiled 800 cookie packets last week for firefighters battling the Las Conchas Fire fighters. Christian Church of Los Alamos volunteers delivered the cookie packets and 450 other desserts to Hill Diner for distribution to the firefighters.
    Contributions from Clayton included baked goods from the Rabbit Ear Restaurant, Issac’s Hardware and the Kokopelli Best Western motel.
    Packaged cookies arrived from the Ranch Market and the Hotel Eklund kitchen staff provided 350 raspberry shortcakes.

     

  • Update 07-14-11

    CRC meeting
    Charter Review Committee will discuss the status of the Sheriff’s Office at a public meeting 5:30-7 p.m. Monday in council chambers.

    Missing pets?
    Residents whose pets may have gotten lost during the fire and evacuation are being asked to contact Animal Control through the Police Dispatch Center at 662-8222.

    Kiwanis talk
    Denise Lane and other volunteers will present their experience feeding thousands during the fire from noon-1 p.m., Tuesday at the Kiwanis Club at the Masonic Temple. 

    DPU meeting
    The Board of Public Utiliies will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the DPU Conference Room at 170 Central Park Square.

    Broadband

  • Rancher: Fire could have been averted

    The state’s largest wildfire might have been averted if the caretaker of a private ranch had been around the day a dead tree was blown onto a power line, igniting the blaze that went on to threaten the nation’s premier nuclear facility and thousands of homes.

    “If there had been someone to attend to it when the power line got hit, there would have been no fire,” Albuquerque real estate agent Roger Cox, who owns a ranch that straddles the ignition zone, told the Santa Fe New Mexican. “It would have been a small burn, but there wouldn’t be a big fire.”

  • Manhattan Project Park under consideration

    U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is recommending that Congress establish a national historical park to commemorate the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb.

    Salazar says the development of the atomic bomb in multiple locations across the United States is an important story.

    Salazar said, “The secret development of the atomic bomb in multiple locations across the United States is an important story and one of the most transformative events in our nation’s history.”  

    The National Park Service conducted a special resource study on several Manhattan Project sites for possible inclusion in the National Park System.

    The study was released to Congress this week.

  • Serving comfort to callers

    Thousands of telephone calls were involved in the interaction between Los Alamos County’s 311 Customer Care Center and community members during the Las Conchas Fire evacuation and repopulation.

    “Collectively, we fielded 3,253 calls and put in more than 500 hours between Monday, June 27, and Monday, July 4,” said Business Operation Manager Karen Kendall of the Department of Public Utilities, which is responsible for the Call Center.

    Kendall and other DPU officials stepped in to help field the record number of calls.

  • Permitting process streamlined

    The Los Alamos County Council has made streamlining and simplifying the commercial building permit process a priority. Community Development Department (CDD) staff has been working on this goal since May. Steve Brugger, acting community development director and Chris Williams, building safety division manager presented the first 60-day progress report to council at Tuesday’s meeting.

    Three major components have been instituted so far.

    The CDD has created application packages for commercial permits that include descriptions of the eight basic steps – including a flowchart of those steps – along with detailed documentation and inspection requirements, required forms, a schedule of permit fees and contact numbers.

  • Judge declares mistrial in Clemens case

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The judge declared a mistrial Thursday in baseball star Roger Clemens' perjury trial after prosecutors showed jurors evidence that the judge had ruled out of bounds.

    U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said Clemens could not be assured a fair trial after prosecutors showed jurors evidence against his orders in the second day of testimony.

    Walton scheduled a Sept. 2 hearing to determine whether to hold a new trial. He told jurors he was sorry to have wasted their time and spent so much taxpayer money, only to call off the case.

  • County continues mitigation efforts

     The county’s pavement crews continue to work this week in Los Alamos Canyon to install barriers around the Los Alamos Ice Rink. Their efforts are all part of post-wildfire emergency actions being taken immediately to protect the facility, should rainfall expected from the onset of monsoons endanger the canyon because of the severely burned watershed as a result of the Las Conchas wildfire.
    At this time, Los Alamos Canyon is the primary canyon of concern for the County, because the watershed above the canyon was so severely damaged.

  • BAER teams assess fire damage

    On Tuesday, watershed specialists and a Dam Safety Specialist visited Santa Clara Canyon to assess the stability of Santa Clara’s most western dam. Initial assessments indicate there could be a dam failure due to the hardening coat being removed and not replaced after damage from previous wildfires.
    Five fence lines were cut and removed at creek crossings to allow debris to flow freely without causing additional damages to streambeds. All concrete barriers at the Santa Clara Pueblo have been placed, and by Friday, all sandbagging efforts should be completed. Historic debris flows have been examined to understand potential flow patterns. Today the watershed group will be in Rio Del Oso canyon collecting data.