Today's News

  • BPU debates loyalty issue

    Board of Public Utilities Vice Chair David Powell, who initiated the board’s first self-evaluation, opened a recent meeting to discuss the self-evaluation’s findings with a question that had been overlooked in October: Do board members support the organization publicly?
    Board member Andrew Fraser suggested, “If we work harder to have unanimous votes and build consensus, then it will be less likely for members not to support the positions of the board.”
    Fraser acknowledged that consensus would have to be worked toward during the meeting, since the New Mexico Open Meetings Act prevents private conversations about board business between members.
    “We’re sort of handcuffed on our efforts to communicate with each other because of trying to bend over backwards for this Open Meetings Act,” member Stephen McLin said. “I’m not trying to bring that into discredit. We don’t want back door meetings in secret. That’s not a good thing. So how do we communicate with one another?”
    Powell turned the conversation toward what he viewed as the real issue, which is how those in the minority behave once a vote has been taken.
    He suggested that it was appropriate for board members to voice their opinion and seek public input beforehand, but not afterward.

  • Andersen has surgery in Nov.

    Former Los Alamos resident and First Lt. Micah Andersen underwent plastic surgery Nov. 5.
    Andersen is U.S. Army veteran who was wounded by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in June 2013.
    Since that time, his father, Jay “Skip” Andersen has given the community periodic updates on his son’s status. He said he’s been on bed rest since the Nov. 5 operation, but it’s been none too comfortable for him.
    “He has to lay on his sides and stomach for all this time,” Skip Andersen said. “This is aggravating and trying Micah’s patience to stay down 22 to 23 hours a day. But in the long run it will help him sit up and walk with less pain.”
    He has another surgery coming up soon and will again be on bed rest until April.
    Lt. Andersen has a young son, also named Jay, who is growing up quickly. According to Skip Andersen, Jay “loves having his Dad at home. He’s been enjoying the Cowboy Christmas” and even got to kiss a horse.
    It has been a long road to recovery for Andersen, who has undergone more than 90 surgeries since being wounded.
    Skip Andersen said Lt. Andersen has received much support, letters, packages and Facebook messages during his recovery, which has helped the family considerably.

  • First LEGO League awards advancement to 3 teams

    The Atomic Flying Pickles were given the Champion’s Award at last weekend’s Los Alamos Qualifier for the First LEGO League.
    The qualifier was Dec. 20 at Brousseau Gymnasium at Los Alamos Middle School. In all, three competing teams advanced from the qualifier.
    Among those advancing in the FLL competition — in which teams build robot Lego models designed to perform various tasks — were the Atomic Flying Pickles, the Glamorous Gals and the Radioactive Fireflies.
    For the top honor, the Atomic Flying Pickles’ entry was the “total package,” according to the press release announcing the winners, which included robot design, robot performance and exhibiting the core values of the league.
    The three advancing teams all split awards at the competition.
    The Glamorous Gals were picked first by judges for exhibiting the core values. “This team was super enthusiastic and really had fun,” said the judges’ summary. “They work through their problems with song. Their glamorous apparel doesn’t cover the sparkle of their gracious professionalism.”

  • Biodidact has a scientific mission

    Prisca Tiasse won $500 at the Los Alamos Venture Accelerator’s Elevator Pitch Competition earlier this year.
    After winning the “First-Timer” award, she has continued to raise funds for her business.
    Her business, Biodidact, offers hands-on workshops that teach biotechnology concepts.
    The day after Tiasse won the award, she showed how fun it is to get creative with science with her “Extract your Own DNA” workshop at this year’s ScienceFest. Judging by the dozens of kids and parents who swarmed her booth, Tiasse had one of the most popular exhibits at the festival.
    “I was overwhelmed and very surprised at how many people were interested in my DNA extraction booth. It was non-stop,” Tiasse said. Everyone who came to her ScienceFest booth got to make a necklace with tiny vials of their own DNA.
    The activity was so popular that she gave an encore event earlier this month at the Diamond Mix Co-Work Space in the Pueblo Complex. The DNA Extraction workshops were free events to help raise money for Tiasse’s Kickstarter campaign, which will raise money for pipettes, laboratory equipment and arts and crafts equipment for students.

    A community lab for everyone

  • Helping Out

    The Department of Public Utilities again adopted a needy family for Christmas, doing so through the Alpha Zeta chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, an international women’s service organization. This year’s family, a mother with three children, received not only Christmas presents but a $200 gift card to Smith’s. Along with that, employees were also able to donate another $45 to the Interfaith Homeless Shelter in Santa Fe and $50 for a Christmas family adopted by another county department.
    Joann Gentry and Lisa Romero coordinate collecting money and purchasing gifts that meet the adopted family’s specific wish list. Andrew Alarid, Naomi Maestas, Julie Williams-Hill, Lisa Romero, Joann Gentry, Tracey Alarid, Jaime Kephart and Maxine Montoya wrapped the presents.
    In this photo, Romero, Naomi Maestas, Gentry and Jaime Kephart place the wrapped gifts for the family under the tree at DPU.

  • On The Docket 12-26-14

    Michael Krone was found guilty by the Los Alamos Magistrate Court of driving while under the influence of liquor and/or drugs (.08 or above, first offense). The original charge was aggravated driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor/any drugs (refusal of testing, first offense)
    Defendant was ordered to pay $241 in court costs. Defendant was also ordered to serve three months in the Los Alamos County Detention Center with three months suspended, with a total of no jail time. Defendant must also perform community service and undergo 364 days of supervised probation.
    Probation conditions are: obeying all laws and not be arrested or convicted of any other offense while on probation. Defendant will comply with all conditions of probation. Defendant will also enter and participate in all alcohol and drug screening programs. Defendant shall also participate and complete DWI school within 90 days. The defendant shall also enter and successfully complete the Victim Impact program within 90 days.
    The defendant shall also obtain an ignition interlock license and have ignition interlock devices installed on all cars defendant will be driving for one year.

  • Update 12-26-14

    State of County

    County Manager Harry Burgess delivering the State of the County address at the Chamber of Commerce Breakfast meeting Jan. 15. Tickets are $15. Register on the Chamber website events page.

    County Council

    The next scheduled Los Alamos County Council meeting is 7 p.m. Jan. 6 in council chambers.


    A regular meeting of Los Alamos County’s transportation board is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 8 in council chambers.

    Trash collection

    Los Alamos County will pick up curbside trash Wednesday for those customers whose regularly scheduled collection day is Jan. 1.

    Big Band dance

    The annual Big Band after Christmas Dance. 7:30-10:30 p.m. Monday at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road. Free to the public however donations are accepted. Proceeds go to help the IHM youth group.

    Ken Burns film

    Mesa Public Library will present “The Dust Bowl,” a film by Ken Burns, Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

  • LANL employees give back to the community

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation has had a busy year, but took a little time to celebrate last week as some of those who benefit from its work stopped by.
    The LANL Community Programs Office hosted an open house, an annual affair, for northern New Mexico residents and others who wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
    “We like to look at ourselves as a way to reach the community,” said Carole Rutten, deputy director at the CPO. “This has special meaning to us, building morale.”
    On the day of the open house, those stopping by included some of the direct beneficiaries of LANL’s generosity. That included the Ohkay Owingeh’s Boys and Girls Club, which sent a delegation to collect toys and other holiday donations to the kids the club serves.
    “This fulfilled a lot of wishes for us,” said club representative Maggie David.
    The club, located on the reservation, includes about 60 kids between the ages of 5 and 13, many of them who were in need this holiday season.
    Immediately following their pick-up at the CPO, members of the Ohkay Owingeh club were already preparing a Christmas celebration to distribute the donated gifts.

  • Today in history Dec. 26
  • BPU looks to make changes

    First of a series