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Local News

  • Update 08-15-12

    No CIP Thursday

    The CIP Evaluation and Oversight Committee will not meet Thursday. They plan to meet with County Administrator Harry Burgess in a special committee meeting at 5:15 p.m. Aug. 23 in Council Chambers. This will be the only agenda item for the meeting. The public is welcome to attend.

    Triathlon time

    The Los Alamos County Triathlon will take place at 7 a.m. Saturday, beginning at the Aquatic Center.

    Groundbreaking

    The public is invited to join the county council for the groundbreaking event for the new Golf Course Community Building at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 24, at the building site. Refreshments will be served.

    Regional coalition

    The Regional Coalition Business meeting will be at 9 a.m. Friday at the Rio Arriba County Courthouse.

    Board meeting

    The Environmental Sustainability Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Community Building Training Room.

  • Sign code change inches closer

    Attempts to update and simplify the county’s sign code began in 2005. After years of contention and delays, Community and Economic Development Department (CEDD) Principal Planner Gary Leikness is optimistic about the possibility of having a new code by the end of the year.

    Leikness presented his draft revision to a group of business and retail owners Monday night and to the Los Alamos County Council at Tuesday’s work session. The county attorney’s office is also reviewing the draft. Although specific elements of the code were debated, reaction overall was positive.

    Two core changes to the code garnered support.

    “The heart of it is a matrix that explains what’s allowed and what’s not. In the current code it’s broken out into three or four different tables, and it gets confusing,” Leikness said.  “What we’re shooting for there is to dramatically simplify the permitting process. I think this draft will help staff understand the code better when they apply it and, hopefully, it will be easier for the general public and the property owner when they apply for a sign permit.”

  • Tree trimming begins Monday in LA, WR

     Preventing power outages and unsafe fire hazards by trimming trees too close to power lines is a safety and reliability priority for the Los Alamos Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU). The DPU has engaged Allied Tree Service to trim around the overhead power lines in White Rock and Los Alamos starting Monday.

    The tree trimming project is anticipated to last 2‐3 months with work beginning at the Ski Hill, then moving to White Rock, then the Los Alamos town site. The tree trimming is necessary to prevent trees from coming into contact with power lines and touching un‐insulated wires which can lead to power outages.

    The DPU will make every attempt to notify nearby affected residents and businesses one week in advance of tree trimming work in their area. Trimming will occur within designated utility easements and the DPU asks the public to allow the trimming crews to access these areas.

     For more information contact Deputy Utility Manager for Electric Distribution Rafael De La Torre (rafael.delatorre@lacnm.us) or Michael Salazar (Michael.salazar@lacnm.us) or call the 311 Customer Care Center at 662‐8333.    

  • US government launches new immigration program

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Young illegal aliens are scrambling to get passports and other records in order as the Homeland Security Department starts accepting applications to allow them to avoid deportation and get work permits.

    Homeland Security announced the details Tuesday of what documents illegal aliens would need to prove that they are eligible for the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The announcement came a day before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was set to begin letting people apply for the program.

    Hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens potentially could benefit from the program, which President Barack Obama announced in June. The program is beginning just months before what promises to be a tight contest for the White House in which the Hispanic vote may play an important role.

    Obama has come under fire from Hispanic voters and others who say he hasn't fulfilled a previous campaign promise to overhaul the nation's immigration laws. The policy change could stop deportations for more than 1 million young illegal aliens who would have qualified for the failed DREAM Act, formally the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, which Obama has supported in the past.

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  • NM firefighter hurt battling Ore. blaze

    GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Residents of about 30 rural homes outside Lakeview were urged to evacuate Tuesday as a lightning-sparked wildfire continued to spread through timber and rangeland, crossing the border into California.

    Some residents of the mix of vacation and year-round homes around Drews Reservoir have chosen to stay, complicating the job of firefighters, said fire spokeswoman Renee Snyder. Flames were within hundreds of yards of some homes, where structural fire teams were stationed to protect them.

    Residents of a dozen homes on the west side of Goose Lake near the California border were also advised to leave, she said.

    Started by lightning, the Barry Point fire has burned 48 square miles of national forest and private lands, and has now moved south into California on the Modoc National Forest. It was 25 percent contained, and firefighters hoped to have it fully contained by Aug. 23.

  • Kintzer gains spot on governing board

    Norman J. Pattiz, chairman of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) and Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), has named Donald J. Kintzer as an Independent Governor on the LLNS and LANS Boards of Governors. The LLCs manage Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif. and Los Alamos National Laboratory, respectively, for the U.S. Department of Energy. The appointments take effect Sept. 1. Kintzer assumes the positions previously held by Nicholas G. Moore who is stepping down effective Aug. 31.

    Kintzer also has been appointed chair of the LANS/LLNS Boards of Governors’ Ethics and Audit Committee effective Sept. 1. The Ethics and Audit Committee serves in an advisory role to the boards on the integrity of financial reporting, policy compliance, and ethical business practices.

  • LAPS welcomes new teachers