Today's News

  • On the Docket: Local Courts 06-19-13

    June 11

    Joe Archuleta was found guilty in Los Alamos Magistrate Court on two counts of aggravated battery. He was ordered by the court to pay $126 in court fees and undergo a year of supervised probation.
    Probation conditions include:
    Defendant will obey all laws and not be arrested, indicted, charged or convicted of any other offense. Defendant will comply with all court ordered conditions of probation.
    Defendant shall make restitution as ordered. The defendant will pay restitution to the court for the victims up to $300 per victim. Defendant will continue VA treatment, six months weekly, as well as anger management classes.
    Defendant shall not possess or consume alcohol or enter a liquor establishment. Shall not possess a firearm, destructive device or weapon.

    June 12

    Kathrine Lea was found guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court of driving without insurance. She was fined $200 and ordered to pay $46 in court costs.

    Michael Barkhudarov was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of stopping, standing or parking restricted or prohibited on certain streets.
    He was fined $50.

    Keith Stephens was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. He was fined $75 and ordered to pay $46 in court costs.
    June 13

  • Update 06-19-13

    Camp May closed

    Due to construction, Camp May is closed to overnight camping and picnicking until further notice. Construction is estimated to be completed by mid-July. Access to the Santa Fe National Forest remains open from the Ski Hill parking lot.

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    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilites will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Municipal Building.


    The Environmental Sustainability Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the community building training room.


    The County Council will meet at 7 p.m. June 25 in the Municipal Building.


    The DPU Charter Review Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Fuller Lodge. 

  • Board reviews public art proposals

    The Arts in Public Places Board appears to have its work cut out for it as it reviews proposals submitted during its Open Call for Art. The board received approximately 35 submissions and suggestions for artwork around the county.

    “First of all I was really excited,” said APPB Chair Carolyn Bossert. “I think all of the proposals–except the one for a million dollars–were great.” Jack Ox made the $1 million proposal for “Ursonate,” a sound visualization painting that was shown at the Mesa Public Library.

    The review began at APPB’s regular meeting last week with a look at 15 individual artists’ submissions. As the board discussed outdoor sculptural pieces, some of the criteria the pieces will be judged by began to emerge.

    “Something that was important to me was if it said anything about Los Alamos,” said Vice-Chair Ken Nebel. Based on the dialogue regarding specific pieces, several board members shared that standard.

    Board members were also concerned with diversifying the county’s collection. Several pieces were tentatively rejected because they were too similar to work already in the collection.

  • County commute

    County administrator Harry Burgess begins his commute home recently as he leaves the parking lot of the Municipal Building.

  • Officials name new Barranca principal

    Barranca Mesa Elementary School has a new principal, the Los Alamos School District announced Wednesday.
    Bradford M. Parker will take over the position in the upcoming school year, replacing Pam Miller.

    Andrea Determan, fourth grade teacher and Committee Chair of the interview committee noted that, “we were impressed with his qualifications and experience and are excited and happy to have him become a member of our school community.”

    Parker comes to Barranca Mesa Elementary with 17 years of administrative experience at all levels in New Mexico Schools. From 2008 until recently, he served as the principal of Jemez Valley Elementary, Middle, and High Schools.

    Jemez Valley Elementary under his leadership was named a “School on the Rise” by the Public Education Department in 2009. Jemez Valley Elementary made Adequate Yearly Progress in 2009 and 2010, meeting the criteria for successful schools established by the State of New Mexico and the No Child Left Behind Act.

    Parker has most recently been the principal of Jemez Valley High. He is a retired full commander in the Naval Reserve and has a record of leadership.

  • BAER work begins on fires

    A handful of wildfires has charred nearly 100 square miles of dry, rugged terrain around New Mexico since the end of May.

    The largest fire, the 39-square-mile Silver Fire, was still raging in the Gila National Forest on Tuesday, but teams of scientists have already started scouring scorched areas in an effort to assess the damage and prepare for the post-fire threats of erosion and flooding.

    The teams are looking at the severity of the burns, damage to the soil and possible effects to streams, roads, wildlife habitat and private property.

    Rain has already brought rocks, dirt and charred debris down from some of the mountainsides burned by the Tres Lagunas Fire north of Pecos.

    “This is part of nature — fires are part of nature and rains are part of nature,” said Beth Mitchell, a specialist with the Burned Area Emergency Response team assigned to the fire. “The truth is as much as we all work together and do the very best we possibly can, there’s no way we can completely stop the effects of the rains in the fire areas.”

  • Barranca Elementary roof a wakeup call

    When the roof of Barranca Mesa Elementary School’s gym blew off in May, school officials looked at the incident as a wake-up call. A recent investigation has caused the district and the board to ask some hard questions about building codes and climate change.

    At a recent meeting District Assets manager Joan Ahlers reminded the board that not only has building code changed since most of the roofs in the district were installed (25 to 30 years ago) but so has the weather.

    “With Barranca and Piñon, in light of the most recent wind event we’ve had, the question raised if the roofs were properly installed. The roofs were installed properly, but they were installed over 25 to 30 years ago... However they are no longer up to code so they all probably need to be replaced,” Ahlers said. “...For example, uplift in this part of the country was never really considered very heavily, uplift was only considered in areas of the country that had hurricanes and tornadoes.”

    In recent wind incidents involving roof damage, students were not present. At Barranca, that incident happened on a Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday is a half-day at Barranca.

    After some discussions with the district building superintendent Jeff Sargent, Ahlers noted that at least seven roofs need to be replaced.

  • Be There 06-19-13

    Mountaineers June meeting. 7:30 p.m. in the Great Room at Fuller Lodge. Momo Vuyisich will present photographs taken on a month-long camping trip through Australia and New Zealand.

    Artwork by Richard Swenson. An ongoing exhibit during regular business hours at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, the second floor lobby. For more information call Peggy Pendergast at 412-7223.
    Los Alamos Farmers Market. 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Los Alamos Library parking lot. Check out the new vendors.

    Members of the Los Alamos Duplicate Bridge Club are offering free bridge lessons for students in grades fourth-12th. Classes are from 10:45 a.m. to noon at the White Rock Library. Classes also will be 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Friday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center downstairs conference room. For more information, call Earle Marie Hanson at 672-9576.

    Green Hour Family Hike with PEEC. 9 a.m. Meet at local trailheads for meandering hikes where kids set the pace and decide the activities. Free. Public can join PEEC’s Family Nature Yahoo Group (groups.yahoo.com/group/peecfamilynature/) to learn where to meet each week, or check PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

  • Summer concerts still going strong

    Warren Hood Band played on June 7 and Lightin’ Malcolm performed on June 14. Next up Homemade Jamz‘ Blues Band; Contemporary electric blues from Tupelo, Miss., play at Pajarito Mountain on Friday.

  • Limit overreach through shield law

    The nation learned in May that the Justice Department secretly obtained the phone records of more than 100 Associated Press reporters and monitored Fox News reporter James Rosen’s personal email and cell phone records, branding him a “possible co-conspirator” in a classified leak case for asking questions to a government source.
    These revelations sent shockwaves throughout newsrooms nationwide. Reporters can no longer assure their sources that interviews will remain confidential because there is no way to tell whether the government is listening. This attack on journalism reaches far beyond hardworking journalists and their sources. Make no mistake: The ultimate victims are the millions of Americans who rely on investigative journalism to inform them about their communities. When the government creates a chilling effect in newsrooms, it keeps important news away from the American public.