Today's News

  • Ahlers passionate about selling Los Alamos

    Los Alamos County’s new economic development administrator calls herself a “cheerleader” for Los Alamos.
    Joanie Ahlers joined county staff just 15 days ago, but she and her husband Gary moved to Los Alamos with their four children — Madison, Jordan, Gregory and Sienna — 16 years ago.
    “I am a Los Alamos fan. I think it’s a great place to live. We have great people, one of the most amazing climates, lots of things for kids to do, outside activities. All of my children played three varsity sports through high school,” Ahlers said. “So I think it’s a great family town. Now we just need to work a little bit more on improving our quality of life.”
    Ahlers’ primary background is in development and construction. Among other things, she and her husband have done commercial real estate development for the state of New Mexico.
    Ahlers hired on as Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) assets manager about five years ago, working to increase the schools’ supplemental revenue stream through managing their lease assets.

  • DWI planning council seeks greater community presence

    Los Alamos DWI Planning Council (DWI-PC) has heard the voice of the community and using the results from a community survey to drive some of its current projects.
    “The DWI Planning Council has been working diligently over the past year to develop new marketing materials and have a greater presence in the community to raise DWI awareness,” said Kirsten Bell, the DWI Coordinator. “The group has hosted tables at the Farmer’s Market, summer concerts at Ashley Pond, the health fair, county customer service fair and Red Ribbon Week activities at Los Alamos Middle School and Los Alamos High School.”
    December highlighted DWI Awareness Week across the state with the Los Alamos County Council issuing a proclamation and the program hosting a poster contest.
    The plans for 2016 aren’t over yet, with free transportation available to the community for one of the biggest celebratory weekends of the year. The DWI-PC along with Atomic City Transit has teamed up to offer free rides and some artistic education from the youth.
    At 7 a.m. Thursday, ACT will begin taking reservations to schedule free rides Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 starting at 6 p.m. Reservations will be taken for free service by calling 661-RIDE (7433).

  • School Board mulls starting school later

    By this time next year, there’s a real possibility that Los Alamos’ middle and high school students could be getting up a little later to go to school.
    The group of high school administrators and teachers assigned to the task, the “High School Schedule Work Group” is still working out the details, but based on discussions and studies the group has completed, school start times could be pushed up by as much as 50 minutes to an hour.
    Topper Freshman Academy Principal Carter Payne, who is also a member of the group, presented the group’s progress toward instituting later start times to the Los Alamos School Board.
    The group’s next step is to reach out to the public through surveys and community input. That could start as soon as March or April. The group has another meeting with the school board in January or February where it will present more data.
    During discussion about the proposed times, School Board Member Matt Williams wanted to know how the 50 minute shift in time would affect caregivers and parents having to come home around 3 p.m. instead of 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.
    “Right now they can get home around 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. but to get home by 3 p.m. or so is very difficult for people in that position,” Williams said.

  • Lab answers lawsuit

    Los Alamos Security LLC has responded to lawsuit by  former Los Alamos National Laboratory executive John Tapia.   
    “Following a comprehensive, two-month investigation by the laboratory into allegations of multiple policy violations, John Tapia was presented with the findings and opted to resign in lieu of termination,” a spokesman for the laboratory said.  “We are confident that we will prevail in the law.”
    The spokesman would not say what those policy violations were.
    Attorneys for LANS also filed a response in court Tuesday.
    “The LANS defendants deny the allegation … that Mr. Tapia was ‘forced to resign’ and admit that because Mr. Tapia resigned in lieu of termination for cause based on misconduct, Mr. Tapia could not seek employment with LANS, be granted a LANL access badge or work on laboratory property under contract with another employer,” LANS attorneys said.  

  • Council approves recreation bond projects

    More than 100 people showed up at Tuesday’s Los Alamos County Council meeting to weigh in on which projects would be included in the 2017 recreation bond.
    Those participants included many of the county’s youth teams involved with various sports. During an hour of public comments, both individuals and teams made one last plea for why the projects they supported are necessary.
    Council then debated how to proceed.
    Dekker/Perich/Sabatini (DPS), the consultants hired to scope the projects, had estimated that all seven projects — a splash pad at Piñon Park, a multigenerational pool, golf course improvements, ice rink improvements, improvements to the Overlook Park ball fields, additional tennis courts and a combined recreation center/indoor ice rink — would cost $35,058,300.
    Council had only allotted $27 million for the projects: $7 million from Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds coupled with a $20-million bond to be placed before voters for approval next May.
    Deputy County Manager Steven Lynne presented some reassuring numbers at the beginning of the meeting.

  • Trump: US must 'greatly strengthen' nuclear capability

    PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday abruptly called for the United States to "greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability" until the rest of the world "comes to its senses" regarding nuclear weapons.

    Trump made the statement on Twitter and did not expand on the actions he wants the U.S. to take or on the issues he sees around the world. His comments came one day after meeting with incoming White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    Trump's transition website says he "recognizes the uniquely catastrophic threats posed by nuclear weapons and cyberattacks," adding that he will modernize the nuclear arsenal "to ensure it continues to be an effective deterrent." Beyond that, he has offered few specifics, either as a candidate or during the transition.

    Trump's vanquished campaign rival Hillary Clinton repeatedly cast the Republican as too erratic and unpredictable to have control of the nation's nuclear arsenal. Ten former nuclear missile launch operators also wrote that Trump lacks the temperament, judgment and diplomatic skill to avoid nuclear war.

  • Winter storm warning through noon Friday

    The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning that remains in effect until noon Friday. Expect now accumulations of 10 to 20 inches above 9000 feet. Lesser amounts are forecast below 9000 feet.
    Snow will develop in the higher terrain this morning and continue heavy at times through Friday morning. Snow will mix with rain below 9000 feet this afternoon before changing back to snow early tonight. Winds will be from the southwest at 10 to 20 mph Thursday, becoming west 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph Friday morning.
    Snow levels will affect all locations this morning then rising to near 9000 feet this afternoon and falling to all areas again tonight.
    Very heavy wet snow in the higher terrain may result in downed tree limbs and power lines. Travel impacts are not expected to be too significant except for higher mountain passes and roads near ski resort locations.
    Precautionary/preparedness actions: a winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. only travel in an emergency. If you must travel... keep an extra flashlight... food... and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
    More information

  • Continue to enjoy holiday festivities

    This week, I am full of it. The, “it,” is holiday tips and shameless self-promotion. 

    So for the first time since I can remember, we walk school right up to Christmas Eve. If like many you have been Winterfesting, Nut Crackering or a variety of other holiday things, you might be a little behind.

    If that means you have holiday shopping scheduled for Friday night and Saturday, plan ahead now. You can divide and conquer, send someone to the movies with everyone while the other shops. Then switch up at lunch and one takes everyone for lunch while the number two swoops around on their own.

    If you are going out, head out with an open mind, an open heart and realizing that everyone is in the same boat if they are shopping too.

    Sustenance is key to success and in some small part sanity. Take a small cooler or lunch bag with some ice packs and several drinks. Bottled water always keeps well and a box of granola bars hidden in the back seat may save the day and some cash in your wallet and snack in between stops.

    No matter what your age, use the facilities before you leave at least every other location. Then snow, storm or traffic snarl will not keep you from your appointed rounds.

  • Community Calendar


     Astronomy Show: Sun and Winter Solstice from 7-7:45 p.m. at the Nature Center. Join us to learn about the solstice and our Sun. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.


    The Los Alamos Golf Course golf shop will be closed starting today through Jan. 3. 


    Jemez Thrift Shop will be closed.



    PEEC is closed today. Regular hours resume Dec. 26.


    The Los Alamos Golf Course will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 


    The four state museums in Santa Fe will close at noon today. 


    Jemez Thrift Shop will be closed.



    PEEC is closed today. Regular hours resume 


    The Los Alamos Golf Course will be closed with normal hours resuming on Dec. 26. 



    No Kiwanis meeting and no newsletter.


  • United World College scatters alumni across the world

    MONTEZUMA—A warm and sunny December day in this international enclave suburb of Las Vegas had 237 teenagers beavering away at their studies. From the road, N.M. 65, the students and the roughly 100 adult staff supporting their academic work were invisible. 

    Their main building, the approximately125-year-old Montezuma Castle, gets attention as it rises four stories above the trees, plus towers, with spectacular Queen Anne design. 

    The students disperse a few days later for winter break. If everyone goes home, it would be to 75 countries. 

    Discrete signs on the road say, “United World College.” 

    New Mexico’s college president carousel brought new leaders to four institutions during 2016. Victoria Mora came to United World College after 24 years at St. John’s College in Santa Fe. St. John’s also has a new president, Mark Roosevelt. (The other 2016 newbies are Stephen Wells at New Mexico Tech and Richard Bailey at Northern New Mexico.)