Today's News

  • Water Back in the Works

    Randy Smith thought he’d take some flak during the closure of the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center, but he didn’t get nearly as much as he figured he would.
    “I expected a lot more phone calls,” said Smith, the recreation division manager for Los Alamos County. “But there were a lot of people wanting to know the exact details of what was going on.”
    The aquatic center wrapped up the upgrade of its HVAC system and boiler and, because preliminary tests on the new equipment went as well as pool personnel could’ve hoped, the center was reopened this morning.
    Lane swimming began at 6 a.m. sharp and the Walkup center will immediately resume its regular schedule — including a Wacky Wednesday this afternoon for kids getting out early from school.
    The center has been closed to the public since just after the local triathlon events. The county projected the upgrades would be completed in mid-November, but delays pushed the schedule back nearly a month.
    According to Smith, the project cost $1.8 million, which was actually below the county’s projected $2.2 million for completion.
    The aquatic center, of course, features the highest-elevation Olympic-sized pool in the world and attracts international competitive swimmers on a regular basis interested in doing high-elevation training.

  • Council passes chicken ordinance

    The Los Alamos County Council had a packed agenda on Tuesday, which included a public hearing on the Chicken Ordinance, a reconsideration of the county’s branding contract with Atlas Advertising, LLC, and a determination on whether to provide shuttle service to the ski hill this winter.
    Agenda documentation, including the complete Chicken Ordinance, can be found at losalamos.legistar.com.
    Here is a summary of the Los Alamos County Council’s actions Tuesday night. More information will follow in the Los Alamos Monitor later this week.

    Chicken ordinance comes first

    The Chicken Ordinance, which will allow those living in residentially zoned areas to keep backyard chickens, passed unanimously with two amendments.
    The maximum number of chickens allowed was raised from six to 10, and the requirement to have 16 square feet of permeable land area available for each chicken was reduced to 10 square feet.

    “Live Exponentially” gets canceled out

  • Today in history Dec. 10
  • Aquatic Center reopens Wednesday

    Los Alamos County announced this morning that the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center will reopen for public use starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

    The aquatic center had been closed for renovations. Originally, the facility was supposed to reopen in mid-November, but contract work was delayed.

    For questions or other information, call the county's recreation division at 662-8170

  • County Briefs 12-9-14

    Luminaria sand available at several spots around the county

    Los Alamos County’s Traffic and Streets division is again providing free sand for residents for making luminarias.
    Sand for luminarias — also called farolitos — are available at the following locations around Los Alamos County:

    • Overlook Park, south parking lot
    • Urban Park, 42nd Stree parking area
    • Sullivan Field
    • Barranca Road at Navajo Street on Barranca Mesa
    • North Mesa soccer fields

    Residents are asked to limit the amount of sand taken to the amount needed for their holiday decorations.

    Ceremony for newly-elected officials is Dec. 19 at municipal building

    The public is invited to the official swearing-in ceremony for incoming officials. That ceremony will take place Dec. 19 in council chambers.
    It will begin at 3 p.m.
    Officials being sworn in at the ceremony include councilors David Izraelevitz, Susan O’Leary, Rick Reiss and James Chrobocinski, assessor Ken Milder, magistrate judge Pat Casados, municipal judge Alan Kirk, probate judge Christine Chandler and sheriff Marco Lucero.
    A reception with light refreshments will follow the ceremony.

  • Update 12-9-14

    Taxes due

    The first installment of county property taxes are due Wednesday. Payments must be made at the 311 center in the county building by 5 p.m. Wednesday or postmarked by midnight. Payments may also be dropped off at the county’s lockbox at Los Alamos National Bank.

    Mason ceremony

    The Pajarito Lodge 66, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of New Mexico will host an installation of officers ceremony Saturday at its lodge, 15th Street and Canyon. The ceremony is one of the few public ceremonies the group holds. It begins at 2 p.m.

    Parks and Rec

    A regularly scheduled meeting of the Los Alamos County’s Park and Recreation board will take place at noon Thursday in the municipal building.

    BPU quorum

    Los Alamos County notified citizens that a quorum could be present for the Board of Public Utilties at the county’s swearing-in ceremony of elected officials. That ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. Dec. 19. There will be no action taken by the board at that event.


    The Los Alamos Federated Republican Women will have its annual holiday potluck luncheon at noon Thusday at the Los Alamos Church of Christ, All registered Republican women are invited to join. To RSVP, call 662-4001.

  • DA possibly covered for her son

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A New Mexico district attorney who has faced scrutiny for not prosecuting officers linked to Albuquerque police shootings said Monday she is being investigated as part of a bribery case.
    The disclosure by Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg creates even more uncertainty as the city tries to overhaul its police force.
    Brandenburg said she learned that she was being investigated by Albuquerque police after a reporter contacted her last week.
    Citing police documents, the Albuquerque Journal has reported that Brandenburg is suspected of reimbursing burglary victims to protect her son, 26-year-old Justin Koch, who has been implicated in the theft cases.
    The newspaper said Brandenburg contacted victims in two burglaries and a larceny case.
    In the documents, Detective David Nix said police had been investigating Brandenburg for the past year and believed there was probable cause for felony charges against her.
    At a hastily arranged news conference, Brandenburg said she never broke any laws but declined to comment directly when asked if she offered burglary victims any money.
    “That act would be illegal and I said I did not, absolutely, without any hesitation, doubt or question commit any criminal offense,” she said. “I did not do anything wrong.”

  • Cash stolen from charity collection

    They don’t know when or how it went missing, all the owner and the employees of the Manhattan Project restaurant know is the money is gone.
    Sometime last week, someone helped themselves to the Manhattan Project’s “Horses For Heroes” contribution jar. According to restaurant owner Victor Medina, the jar was sitting at the hostess desk when someone discovered all the fives 10s and 20s were missing.
    According to Medina, about $200 was taken.
    “You left all the dollar bills and for this we are thankful, but you took all the $5, $10 & $20s out of the jar at the hostess station located at the front of the restaurant. Please consider returning the money, “ wrote Medina in a letter to the local media.
    Medina, who’s been around horses all his life, said he first got involved with the Horses For Heroes program when they did a presentation at the Rotary Club of Los Alamos. At one point, Medina and some other volunteers went down to the Santa Fe ranch where the HFH program is based and cleared land for them as well as doing other chores.
    Medina and the others also donated tools and other equipment the ranch may need.
    For Medina, a disabled Vietnam veteran, the organization and what its trying to do for veterans just made sense to him.

  • Be There calendar 12-9-14

    Bats in New Mexico. 7 p.m. Join wildlife biologist Justin Stevenson and discover the beautiful and remarkable world of bats. Learn about the biology, ecology and behavior. No advance registration required. Free. For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

    “Sacrifice and Service: The American Military Family.” Exhibit runs daily through Jan. 2 at the upstairs art gallery at Mesa Public Library.  

    Affordable Arts. On display through Jan. 3 at Fuller Lodge Art Center. With 124 artists participating — the vast majority from northern New Mexico and more than 50 Los Alamos artists.
    Holiday Eco Crafts. 1-3 p.m. Drop your children off at PEEC so they can unleash their creativity and make ecologically-friendly gifts. Advance registration required. $20/$16 PEEC members per child. For more information and to register, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

    Game Night: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Mesa Public Library in the Upstairs Rotunda.

  • Open Space Plan nearing completion

    The Los Alamos County Open Space Management Plan, an idea set in motion 15 years ago, is finally coming to fruition.
    The Los Alamos chapters of the Sierra Club and the League of Women Voters sponsored the first public meeting unveiling the proposal last Wednesday.
    The plan, developed by Open Space Specialist Craig Martin, has six main goals, among those creating and maintaining open space, providing environmental and historical protection and retaining the “special character” of open and scenic vistas to retain opportunities for solitude and inspiration.
    Martin stressed that with the exception of a few small parcels, most of this space is already protected by zoning.
    “So for those who think this is essentially a land grab, to take away stuff, there is absolutely nothing being taken away, with maybe a 15-acre exception at the north edge of the golf course,” Martin said.
    The plan also distinguishes between open space and recreational space.
    “Recreational districts are places like the golf course, parks, ball fields: someplace where you need a structure to make something happen,” Martin said.