Today's News

  • High Flyers win state championships

    Five High Flyers gymnasts won state championship titles and 11 others placed either second or third in the New Mexico USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic Championships this month. The five first place winners included Lauren Evenhus, Level 2 uneven bars, floor exercise and all-around champion, River Irving, Level 3 vault champion, Anna Kirkland, Level 4 vault champion, Gianna Rolfe, Level 2 vault champion, and Siena Rolfe, Level 5 balance beam champion. In total, 34 gymnasts competed for High Flyers in the March state championships in Levels 2 through 6. Competing in Level 6, Gianna Benelli won third place on floor exercise. Sarah Worley placed fifth on floor exercise and seventh all-around.

    In Level 5 competition, Siena Rolfe placed second on uneven bars and was second all-around, Sarah Newman took second on balance beam, and Megan Martinez placed third on vault, balance beam, floor exercise, and all-around.  

    Elaina Irving placed fourth on balance beam and was fifth all-around, while Emily Smith finished in sixth place.

    Four gymnasts competed in the Level 4 championships. In addition to her first place win on vault, Anna Kirkland placed second on balance beam, third on uneven bars, and was second all-around. Mairen Hoch placed third on vault.  

  • LAHS softball dominates Del Norte

     If Wednesday’s District 2-5A opener is any indication, the Los Alamos High School softball team is in good shape to make a return to the state playoffs. 

    Facing Del Norte High School at Overlook Park, the Hilltoppers dominated, winning 20-0 and ending the game via the mercy rule after three innings. 

    Del Norte entered the game struggling, losing consecutive games to Albuquerque High And Valley, giving up 15 runs in both games and only managing to score one run combined. 

    Those struggles carried over for the Knights against LAHS, as the Hilltoppers jumped on top 6-0 in the first inning. 

    The first six batters of the game all reached for LAHS, including four walks, all of which came around to score. Jordan Jaramillo picked up the first big hit of the game for the Hilltoppers, as she doubled to score 3 runs. 

    Already holding a commanding lead entering the second inning, LAHS never took the foot off the gas.

    The first seven batters of the second inning all reached base and scored, including doubles by Jordan Jaramillo, Terri Jaramillo and Reyna Lucero. 

  • Hilltoppers win district opener over Knights

    Thanks to an outstanding pitching performance by Arthur Steinkmap and Antonio Gonzales, and production throughout the lineup, the Los Alamos High School baseball dominated its district opener, taking down Del Norte High School 15-5. 

    There was a slight delay at the beginning of Thursday’s game, as the Knights’ bus broke down on the way to Bomber Field. The game was originally scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., but Del Norte did not arrive until 3:55 p.m. 

    After an abbreviated warm-up period, the game got underway at 4:25 p.m. 

    Steinkamp mowed through the Knights’ order for the first three innings, allowing only one base runner while striking out four batters. 

    On offense, LAHS remained patient, while facing a pitcher who was dealing with control issues. 

    The Hilltoppers drew four walks in the first inning and scored 2 runs, and then repeated it in the second inning, drawing three walks and scoring 2 more runs to make the score 4-0 Hilltoppers. 

    LAHS busted the game open in the third inning, scoring 5 runs. 

  • Fishing season begins in New Mexico, new licenses required

    SANTA FE (AP) — Fishing season started Sunday in New Mexico and state wildlife managers are reminding anglers they'll need to purchase a new license.

    The season runs from April 1 to March 31, 2019.

    Fishing licenses cost $25 for state residents, and most anglers are required to purchase a $4 state habitat management and access validation stamp as well.

    Those who plan to fish on Bureau of Land Management or national forest lands will need a $5 federal habitat stamp.

    Children under the age of 12 don't need a license, and anglers age 70 and older qualify for a free license. Resident active and military veterans qualify for free or discounted licenses.

    Licenses can be purchased online or at Game and Fish Department offices and license vendors statewide.

  • Carbon Free Power Project to be discussed by BPU, Council April 10

    Utilities Manager, Department of Public Utilities

    On April 10, the Board of Public Utilities and the County Council will convene to consider approval of a Power Sales Contract (PSC) with the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) organization, to continue our participation in the Carbon Free Power Project. This will be the world’s first small modular nuclear reactor power generation plant.

    Located in Idaho, this 600MW facility is scheduled to be operational by 2027. Over the past four years, a fatal flaw analysis was conducted and the project was discussed at numerous meetings with the public, BPU and County Council.

    Now is the time to decide if we continue in the project or withdraw, prior to the development of a combined operating licensing application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  

    Why is the county interested in this nuclear generating plant project, and why now?  

  • Regulation was a tug-of-war before the dawn of history

    The battle of regulation – pitting powers outside ourselves against desires inside ourselves – began with the first glimmer of society. Railing against regulation continues to be popular. Today, patterned gripes are printed on tee shirts and sold online. The Babel of regulation grows from there and clutters the news.

    All humans are born with a dislike for regulation, which stays with us. The need for regulation is no less persistent, as is clear in history’s timeline of regulation.

    An early form of regulating was sticks and stones. In due course, this beginning evolved into peer pressure within small groups and hence to tribal customs among clans.

    The world grew more crowded and regulatory themes began to spread among the tendrils of religion. Religious teachings have long sought to restrict damaging deeds, using a potent mixture of fire and brimstone to promote self-responsibility. The Pilgrims enlisted religion as a regulatory aid to succeed in their Plymouth ventures. Laxity is perilous.

    In today’s crowds that have little else in common, people mostly look to a government to be the chief enforcer. This choice is expensive in many ways. It starts bureaucracy, which inspires catchy gripes that sell well on tee shirts.

  • County plans for flat budget for FY2019

    The county released a budget guide for its proposed fiscal year 2019 budget Friday, a budget characterized by flat budgets in many categories. In it, the county has projected smaller increases over last year’s fiscal year 2018 budget.

    The county proposes $188 million in expenditures for fiscal year 2019, a decrease in expenditures from the adopted 2018 budget’s $200.9 million in expenditures.

    According to the county’s budget guide, revenues for the fiscal year 2019 General Fund are expected to increase by $1.27 million, for a projected $61.1 million fiscal year 2019 General Fund.  

    Increases in the gross receipts tax, grants and other factors are the main drivers behind the general fund increase, according to the county’s budget guide.

    The county has taken a conservative approach to the proposed fiscal year 2019 budget, because the Los Alamos National Laboratory this year may soon be operated by a non-profit contractor.

    New Mexico tax statutes exempt non-profits from the state’s gross receipts tax, which means the millions of dollars in revenue the county annually receives from the gross receipts tax derived from activities at the Los Alamos National Laboratory may no longer be collected.

  • Drought expands across SW US

    Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE — Drought is tightening its grip across a wide swath of the American Southwest as farmers, ranchers and water managers throughout the region brace for what’s expected to be more warm and dry weather through the spring.

    A federal drought map released Thursday shows dry conditions intensifying across northern New Mexico and into southwestern Arizona. Every square mile of Nevada and Utah also are affected by at least some level of dryness.

    On the southern high plains, Oklahoma is ground zero for the worst drought conditions in the United States.

    The exceptional drought in the Panhandle — an area dominated by agriculture — has more than doubled in size. Many farmers rely on precipitation to help water their crops as pumping groundwater is the only other option.

    “We’re in the irrigation period and it really would be fantastic to get some precipitation out in those areas,” said Cole Perryman of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

    Crop conditions around the region are declining as extreme drought spans from Kansas and Oklahoma to California. In New Mexico, about three-quarters of the winter wheat crop is in poor to very poor condition as meaningful moisture has been scarce since last fall.

  • Barranca Mesa construction expected to begin in June

    Construction on Barranca Mesa Elementary School is scheduled to begin June 4 whether the state’s Public School Capital Outlay Council decides to give the Los Alamos Public School any additional funding or not.

    District representatives traveled to Santa Fe on March 15 to make an out-of-cycle request for an award of funds to help finance the construction. Even though their request was turned down, the PSCOC apparently left the door open for an award during its April meeting.

    “We got on the agenda, they read our letter and the council is not looking to award an out-of-cycle request at this time,” said LAPS Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Lisa Montoya, who was among those attending the PSCOC meeting in Santa Fe. “But they did encourage us to apply for the funding in the regular cycle. The PSCOC indicated they may come alongside us and fund us in tandem.”

    Later this month the PSCOC will set funding eligibility for the disbursement of the $82.3 million it will be awarding in November to districts in the state.

    LAPS isn’t waiting to see if it will receive any financial help for this project.

  • IN THE LAB: Overcoming the ‘space factor’

    With Erin Quinn, Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Whenever an instrument is sent into space, worries abound. As if the launch were not risky enough (with the threat of explosion on the launch pad or the extreme vibrations shaking parts loose), a host of other threats emerge once the spacecraft safely reaches orbit. Extreme temperatures and high radiation levels can easily damage parts and result in malfunction. Then there is the satellite’s great distance from Earth. If there is a problem, it cannot be recalled for a quick fix. So, it is critical that everything work properly before it makes its dramatic ascension into space.

    That is where software developers like Erin Quinn come in. Quinn works in Space Data Science and Systems group on the ground support equipment for the Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System (SABRS), one of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s satellite-borne treaty-monitoring payloads. More than 50 years ago, Los Alamos and the forerunner to the Department of Energy supported the first satellites to detect nuclear explosions in the atmosphere or space. This early capability was an essential element in the first treaty that regulated nuclear weapons tests. The first SABRS payload was launched in 2012 and SABRS-2 was successfully launched after that.