Today's News

  • Tamale takedown: Traveler carried 450 illegal pork tamales

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The contraband was carefully wrapped in corn husks and concealed in the luggage of a traveler when authorities moved in for a tamale takedown at Los Angeles International Airport.

    The search by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents turned up 450 pork tamales individually packaged in plastic bags.

    "Although tamales are a popular holiday tradition, foreign meat products can carry serious animal diseases," said Anne Maricich, CBP acting director of field operations in Los Angeles.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Wednesday the customs form filed by the traveler from Mexico acknowledged the person was carrying food but had lied when asked if there was any meat.

    Tamales contain cornmeal, meat or other fillings cooked in husks or leaves.

    The tamales seized Nov. 2 at the airport were destroyed under CBP supervision. The traveler was assessed a $1,000 civil penalty for commercial activity with the intent to distribute.

    During fiscal year 2014, CBP agriculture specialists nationwide issued 75,330 civil violations and intercepted more than 1.6 million animal by-product, meat and plant/soil quarantine products.

  • Chamber breakfast focuses on county sign code

    UPDATE: This meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday at 7:30 a.m.

  • United Way partner spotlight – YMCA

    The ultimate goal of United Way of Northern New Mexico is to positively impact members of the community who are in need of assistance. UWNNM does not do that directly but through grants it provides to community partners to fund programs focused on education, financial stability and health.
    But sometimes, through its partners, UWNNM hears individual stories about how programs funded through community donations to United Way have made a difference in someone’s life.
    One such story came from “Kathy” (a pseudonym to protect privacy), whose family that received assistance through the YMCA scholarship program.
    “The YMCA provides scholarships for families that otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in programs that they offer,” said UWNNM Program and Marketing Coordinator Jeremy Varela.
    “This particular story about the YMCA had to do with domestic violence as well, and how a family had to start from scratch, basically. Some people find their help within families or whatever. These particular people actually found their help within YMCA. They were able to get back on their feet through the YMCA’s help.
    “I would never expect somebody to get that kind of help from the YMCA and their programs.”
    This is Kathy’s story in her own words.

  • United Way LANL campaign ends Friday

    United Way of Northern New Mexico Executive Director Kristy Ortega wrote the following appeal to donors.
    “The United Way of Northern New Mexico is approximately one quarter of the way to the amount asked for by nonprofits in our community and we need your help.
    “Last year, because of investments to the UWNNM Community Action Fund, our neighbor ‘Kathy’ was able to change her life and the life of her family for the better. She is just one example of the over 10,000 people you helped.
    “If you are an employee of Los Alamos National Laboratory, please do not forget to log in to your Oracle to make your pledge.  We are grateful to LANS/LANL for their continued Community Investment in UWNNM and to their employees for being the heroes through contributions to the UWNNM Community Action Fund.
    “If you are able, we ask you to give.  Contributions can be made online at unitedwaynnm.org, or you can find pledge envelopes at the following locations:
    •Los Alamos National Bank
    •Fusion Multisport
    •Ruby K’s Bagel Café
    “And a reminder, pledges of $100 or more get entered into the drawing for the Helicopter Rides courtesy of Classic Air Medical.
    “Thank you for your continued support!”

  • Chamber Business Breakfast rescheduled to Thursday

    The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast which was canceled Tuesday has been rescheduled for 7:30-9:30 a.m. Thursday. The breakfast meeting is focused on providing constructive input for sign code matters in the community. On Thursday, business owners and managers are invited to enjoy breakfast, catered by the Rosebud Café, and then roll up their sleeves to review specific sections of the code.
    Attendees will be divided into small groups, each assigned a small section of the code to discuss and develop suggestions for how it might be more business friendly. The use of banners, feather signs, monument signs, commercial flags and electronic signs are all regulated. Permanent signs must be safely mounted on the building façade to protect the public from hazardous conditions that result from signs that are structurally unsafe.
    The county revised the sign code in 2012. Since that time, the establishment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, the transfer of the ski hill to private ownership and the transition of the Valles Caldera to the National Park Service has created an opportunity for new tourism-related businesses. The development planning for A-19 and the Village in White Rock have reached the point where signage should be considered.

  • Governor takes aim at drunk drivers

    Gov. Susana Martinez on Tuesday unveiled a series of powerful TV ads to fight drunk driving on the state’s roads and highways.
    These ads feature New Mexico State Police officers sharing their personal stories of coming face-to-face with the real and horrible consequences of drunk driving, witnessing the devastating fatal crashes and having to inform families that their loved ones have been killed. To see these ads, visit endwi.com.
    “Our police officers are often the first on the scene. They see firsthand ... the horror when someone decides to take the wheel after drinking,” Martinez said.
    —Staff Report

  • Lunch with Leader to host State Senator Wirth

    The Los Alamos League of Women Voters will have their monthly Lunch with a Leader at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday at Mesa Public Library.  State Senator Peter Wirth will lead a discussion of money in politics. The topic is one of the positions the League is studying.  

  • Board OKs mail ballot election

    Los Alamos School Board has passed a resolution that will clear the way for a mail ballot election in January.
    The election will give residents the chance to continue taxing residents 3.26 mills for every $1,000 of net taxable property, residential and non-residential.
    If residents approve the tax, it will continue through 2021. The election will be Jan. 26, 2016. The last day voters can register for this special election is Dec. 29.
    Before the vote was taken, Superintendent of Schools Kurt Steinhaus explained to the board that the school district uses the funds for athletic and music equipment as well as other things.
    “Our activity buses are purchased with House Bill 33 funds and … House Bill 33 also plays in a major in school major projects and lastly it’s used to purchase technology equipment in our schools,” Steinhaus said.
    The levy of 3.246 mills for every $1,000 has remained at the same level since 2006, according to Daniel Allsup, an advisor to the district,
    “It is not a property tax increase, it will just remain at the current level, if approved tonight and then approved by voters,” he told the board.
    Even though property values took a hit this year, a member of Allsup’s financial team told the board that they are actually looking at a slight increase for 2015.

  • Today in history Nov. 19
  • State official: Feds’ estimate on Los Alamos Lab cleanup too low

    POJOAQUE — Cleaning up radioactive and hazardous waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory will cost far more than the $1.2 billion estimate made by the federal Department of Energy, according to a top New Mexico official.
    The Department of Energy’s cost projection is “far too low” and “a bare minimum,” state Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said at a meeting of the Los Alamos National Laboratory citizens advisory board on Thursday.
    The laboratory is expected to receive $181 million for environmental cleanup in the next federal budget, the Albuquerque Journal reported
    Flynn called on everyone involved to “have an honest conversation about the extent of the problem” as the state and Department of Energy work on revising a 2005 agreement that said the cleanup should be finished by this year. That didn’t come close to happening.
    The cleanup of the 40-square-mile site involves waste that dates back to the 1940s Manhattan Project.
    Flynn said he wants to move beyond the investigation and characterization of waste at the Los Alamos lab. Instead, his department wants to see a series of discrete campaigns to attack various cleanup problems, prioritized based on factors like the risk to people or the environment and available funding.