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Today's News

  • Council to mull codifying sheriff’s role July 26

    The Los Alamos County Council will consider on July 26 a resident’s petition to write the duties of the Los Alamos County Sheriff and the Los Alamos County Police Department into the County Charter.

    Petitioner Greg White requested the council action Tuesday at a regular council meeting. White said by adding language to the County Charter, it would end the perennial argument the community seems to have about whether to have a sheriff.

    White noted that for at least the last 48 years, voters have considered the issue seven times.

    The seventh vote occurred last year, after County Council transfered nearly all sheriff services to the Los Alamos Police Department, including process serving. The council also removed the sheriff’s administrative and deputy sheriff staff.

    They also voted to reduce the office’s budget to $15,000.

    However, county voters decided to restore the office.

  • Teachers discuss Barranca design

    Barranca Mesa Elementary School staff and community met Tuesday evening in an intimate, informal setting to once again review the proposed schematic designs for renovation.

    Similar to the community meeting on June 27, the purpose was to review the design options and receive feedback, but without the architects in attendance this time.

    Some attendees appeared at the last meeting, but many teachers were hearing and seeing this information for the first time.

    Those in attendance were Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus and multiple Los Alamos Public School board members. Barranca Principal Virginia Terrazas was also there to help answer teachers’ questions.

    Herb McLean, Construction Manager for the district, went over the two designs along with the pros and cons of each. He stressed to the group to look at the meeting as preliminary idea gathering.

    “We’re not asking you to decide, just to get comments,” said McLean. “We just want to make sure we get everyone’s questions answered.”

    He then went over the two different layouts; one is a single story option and the other is a two-story floor plan. With either plan, construction will take about 16 months, roughly from March 2018 through August 2019, and Barranca will gain almost 10,000 square feet after renovations.

  • Police Beat 7-16-17

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    July 4
    11:21 p.m. — Garrett Eckhart, 36, of Los Alamos was arrested for disorderly conduct, resisting or evading an officer and battery upon a peace officer.

    11:29 p.m. — LAPD arrested an individual for driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

    July 5
    1:39 a.m. — Phillip Swazo, 28, of Santa Fe was arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs, open container and failure to display a valid registration plate.

    3:34 a.m. — Sherry Lynn Francisco, 57, of Harper, Texas was arrested for driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs.

    5:35 a.m. — Los Alamos Police reported found property.

    10 a.m. — LAPD cited an individual on Kwage Mesa Trail for an animal at large.

    1:54 p.m. — Los Alamos Police reported a license plate was removed from a parked vehicle.

  • On the Docket 7-16-17

    May 23
    Scott Newman was found guilty of failing to follow the regulations of weed, brush piles, refuse and rubbish. Sentence was deferred until July 21.

    Michelle Kirsh was found guilty of failing to stop/yield at a traffic sign. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    May 24
    Robert Ward was found guilty of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Ronny Lujan was fined $50 for passing in a no passing zone and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    May 25
    David Nicholaeff pleaded no contest to speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Damian Andres Vasquez pleaded no contest to speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit and also failure to provide a proper operator’s/chauffeur’s license. Defendant was sentenced to community service, defensive driving school and community service. The sentence was deferred until July 23.

    Juan Carlos Hernandez-Carmona pleaded no contest to speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit and also failure to provide a proper operator’s/chauffeur’s license. The sentence was deferred until July 23.

  • 3 N.M. congressional delegates sponsor bill to repeal Trump’s election commission

    U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham touted a bicameral bill they introduced Friday to repeal President Donald Trump’s election commission order that they said especially intimidated “people of color.”

    “The bill is supported by more than 90 members of Congress, including every Democratic Senator of color,” according to the joint press release issued by the three New Mexico congressional members Friday.

    “The right to vote is one of the most sacred and fundamental rights in our democracy,” Udall said. “President Trump’s voter suppression commission is nothing more than a cynical and shameful attempt to intimidate voters – particularly people of color – delegitimize our electoral process, and discourage participation in government.

    New Mexico’s Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver has refused to comply with the Presidential Advisory Commission’s request to share sensitive voter roll data.

  • Bandelier senior pass price to increase

    Then Senior Pass is a lifetime pass that gives people who are 62 or over, and citizens or permanent residents of the United States, lifetime access to more than 2,000 federal sites and parks nationwide, administered by the National Park Service and five other federal agencies. The pass can be used at sites managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    The price of a Senior Pass has been only $10 ever since 1994, and that price will still be good through Aug. 27. However, starting Aug. 28, the price of the Lifetime Senior Pass will increase to $80, which is the same as the price for the one-year pass available to persons not yet 62.

    Those eligible for the Senior Pass can buy an Annual Senior Pass each year for $20, and on the fourth year turn in their annual passes for a lifetime one. Golden Age or Senior Passes purchased before Aug. 28 will continue to be honored for the lifetime of the pass holder. More information is available at nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm.

    For those wishing to buy a Senior Pass for $10 before Aug. 28, they can be found at national parks or other Federal recreation areas that charge an entrance or standard amenity (day use) fee.

  • NNSA releases draft RFP for LANL contract

    A draft request for proposals released by the National Nuclear Security Thursday shows the government has lowered the performance fee for prospective bidders to 1 percent of approximately $2 billion contract to operate Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The lower fee could be a turn-off for some for-profit companies and could mean less money for Los Alamos County, in terms of gross-receipts taxes.

    Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Executive Director Andrea Romeo remarked that the 1 percent performance fee is a marked change from the current management and operations contract, held by Los Alamos National Security, of 3 percent of the contract.

    “With a smaller fee the GRT (gross receipts tax) could be greatly affected based on any tax they pay on any fee,” Romero said.

    Romero noted that would be a 2 percent decrease in GRT on what is generally an annual $2 billion contract.

    Since the fee threshold is smaller, Romero said this could also impact how many for-profit companies apply for the contract.

    If a non-profit is awarded the contract, it could spell even more trouble for Los Alamos County and other counties in the region, since non-profits are exempt from paying gross receipts tax in New Mexico.

  • Residents lose power Sunday night
  • New exhibit ‘Secret Pass’ opens today

    The Bradbury Science Museum will open three new exhibits and a video as part of a new 360-degree, multisensory experience called “Manhattan on the Mesa.”

    The exhibits will be dedicated at a public opening today from 4-6 p.m.

    The new exhibits focus on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park properties in Los Alamos that are “behind the fence,” or in secure areas that are off-limits to the general public, according to Museum Director Linda Deck.

    This exhibit, which was funded by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, is a way to experience the historic Technical Areas without actually visiting each one.

    For example, the Gun Site, located in TA-8, was used to conduct tests on the gun-assembled weapon designs known as Little Boy and Thin Man.

    V-Site, located in TA-16, supported the first assembly work related to the Fat Man weapon design. It was also used to assemble the high-explosive sphere for the Trinity device, known as the “Gadget.”

    Battleship Bunker, in TA-18, supported implosion diagnostic tests for Fat Man. These historical sites and more will be explored in depth within Manhattan on the Mesa.

  • A compromise on the LA sheriff’s office

    BY PETE SHEEHEY
    Los Alamos County Councilor

    The County Council will consider the role of the Sheriff in Los Alamos in a Special Session Wednesday, July 26 at 6 pm at the LA Municipal Building.  After a contentious campaign, Los Alamos voted last November to keep an elected Sheriff.

    I believe a majority on Council now accepts that our citizens want a functional Sheriff’s Office. I am proposing a Resolution (losalamosnm.us/UserFiles/Servers/Server_6435726/File/20170726_Resolution%2017-08_Sheriff.pdf) to return a reasonable set of duties to the Sheriff’s Office.  This resolution is a compromise that acknowledges the wishes of the majority to preserve a functional elected sheriff’s office, while respecting the concerns of those who voted to eliminate the office.