Local News

  • All about checks and balances

    Editor, Los Alamos Monitor:

    “Checks and balances” is the phrase that describes the web of interactions among the branches of a government that provides for limiting governmental excess by the separation of powers into legislative, executive, and judicial sectors.  For example in the first instance, the federal government, the legislature passes laws but those laws can only be enforced by the executive and interpreted by the judicial, the legislature can remove judges or presidents and controls their budgets but is itself greatly constrained by being bifurcated.  And so on.  In the extreme these checks and balances can and do produce gridlock so moderation is necessary.

    Recently it has been alleged that the municipal government of Los Alamos operates without adequate checks and balances because there is no separation of powers similar to the federal system.  This naïve allegation has been used to justify the assertion that the referendum and initiative powers enshrined in our charter are essential to prevent municipal excess, and must be as easy as possible to exercise.  In this letter I want to describe the separation of powers in Los Alamos and some of the intricate, three-dimensional web of checks and balances within which the county government operates.

  • Man Dies After Live Roach-eating Contest in Fla.
  • Ex-NFL Cheerleader Pleads Guilty to Student Sex
  • Today in History for October 9th
  • Skydiver's supersonic jump prep underway

    ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A weather hold that threatened to cancel extreme athlete and skydiver Felix Baumgartner's death-defying, 23-mile free fall into the southeastern New Mexico desert was lifted Tuesday morning and crews began laying out his balloon.

    The planned early morning launch had been delayed by high winds. But just before 9 a.m., the winds calmed and the team decided to proceed with plans to make the flight, a process that would take about two hours.

    The 43-year-old former military parachutist from Austria plans to take off in a 55-story, ultra-thin and easy-to-tear helium balloon that will take him into the stratosphere for the jump. He hopes it will make him the first skydiver to break the sound barrier and shatter three other world records.

  • Einstein 'God Letter' Up for Auction
  • Power, phones down at Monitor offices

    Shortly after 1 p.m. Monday, Department of Public Utilities crews working to repair a water leak on DP Road inadvertently took down an electrical transformer knocking out power and phones to the Los Alamos Monitor offices.

    Crews at the scene could not give a firm time when power would be restored.

    Email is being monitored remotely in the interim, so if you have an urgent news or advertising situation please send that to info@lamonitor.com and it will be channeled to the appropriate party.

    Power was restored about 4 p.m. and business operations are scheduled to return to normal Tuesday morning.

  • Wedding Brawl Breaks Out at Philly Hotel
  • 10 things to know for Tuesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday (times in EDT):


    Both campaigns acknowledge the Republican's strong turn in last week's debate had an impact, but Democrats hope a get-out-the-vote program will turn the election in their favor.


    The ex-Penn State assistant coach and some of the victims he was convicted of molesting are expected to speak at the hearing.


  • Today in History for October 8th