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Today's News

  • Perraglio named county CFO

    Helen Perraglio will be the new county chief financial officer, replacing Joe D’Anna who will retire in July. Helen joined the County a little less than five years ago, after working for Santa Fe County where she was the Accounting Oversight and Financial Reporting Manager.
    Perraglio is also a Certified Public Accountant with an extensive background in governmental accounting, reporting and auditing. She is currently the deputy chief financial officer.
    Deputy County Manager Steve Lynne said this morning that he was delighted that Helen has accepted the position.
    “Helen has done great work at the County since she joined us and I know that she will continue to add tremendous value to the Finance division and the entire County in this new position,” he said.
    Helen will move into her new position on Monday to begin the CFO transition process with D’Anna and will be earning a yearly salary of $124,224.

  • Sheriff to request $355,000 for FY2018

    Los Alamos County Sheriff Marco Lucero wants the County Council to give him a $355,000 budget when it meets in June to talk about reinstating the office’s services that were lost when the council debated eliminating the sheriff’s office last year.
    In 2016, the sheriff’s office was reduced to an annual budget of $15,000 when those services were transferred to the Los Alamos Police Department.
    In the meantime, the cash-strapped sheriff’s office was given temporary relief Wednesday. County Council voted to give Lucero $1,500 to make it to the end of the fiscal year.
    Lucero requested the funds after his account bottomed out. Lucero said he will be using the money to travel for a trial and sentencing at a sex offender trial in Farmington, training ammunition to keep up his certification, and to attend a sheriff’s conference at an Association of Counties meeting.

  • DPU on track to raise water rates

    The Department of Public Utilities made it clear Wednesday that it is set on an 8-percent water rate hike for fiscal year 2018.
    “The actual rate portion, we’re making that clear… of any of the foreseeably rational, reasonable plans we come up with, they all involve an 8-percent increase this coming fiscal year,” said DPU Manager Tim Glasco to the board. “That’s why we’d like to proceed with a rate hearing on the proposed ordinance for fiscal year ‘18,” he said. “Additional to that is alright, what do we do in the out years (post increase). Because, let’s face it, there’s a lot of options, there’s a lot of things that can change between now and the out years. The one constant we don’t want to wait on is improving that cash situation with an 8-percent increase.”
    Whether or not the increase goes through will initially be up to BPU with County Council giving final approval sometime this summer.
    Regardless of what the council ultimately decides, the DPU Wednesday presented several options of how the BPU could structure the increase to help consumers while at the same time help the DPU build its cash reserves up enough to stay solvent while maintaining and replacing aging infrastructure.

  • UNM-LA holds 36th graduation convocation

    The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos held its 36th annual Graduation Convocation on May 12 at the Crossroads Bible Church in Los Alamos, granting awards to some of the 97 students who collectively earned 116 degrees.

    There was a capacity crowd of more than 450 friends and family members celebrating with the 67 students who participated in the commencement.

    UNM-LA CEO Dr. Cindy Rooney led the convocation, celebrating the achievements of students and faculty. This year, Rooney led the procession of faculty and graduates into the auditorium carrying the UNM-LA mace.

    A mace, a traditional symbol of university scholarship and integrity, is used by higher education institutions for special ceremonial occasions to signify the importance of the event and the conformation of the academic process.

    The UNM-LA mace, new this year, was designed and built by Advisory Board member Pat Soran, with a UNM-LA symbol produced by Skip Canfield, a UNM-LA instructor.

  • Leadership Los Alamos celebrates graduates of ‘best class ever’

    Pajarito Ski Lodge hosted a graduation ceremony May 12 for Leadership Los Alamos. The graduating class of 2016-17 consisted of 26 Los Alamos locals who completed the nine-month long program and lovingly referred to themselves as the “Best Class Ever.”

    Leadership Los Alamos started in 2003 as a non-profit organization that focuses on finding and building leaders within the community.

    It is a unique opportunity for individuals who live or work in Los Alamos and are committed to assuming roles of responsibility in civic, charitable, and governmental organizations in the region.

    The program starts with an orientation and continues with seven all-day sessions that each focus on a different civic-oriented topic or issue.

    Chair-Elect Brian D’Andrea began the ceremony by reiterating the ultimate mission behind LLA and the privilege to recognize those who committed to Leadership Los Alamos.

    “Most fundamentally, it is to inspire engagement within the community and hopefully leadership positions or leadership roles,” D’Andrea said.

    He noted that LLA is a mix of introductions into the community but also an inspiration to lead.

  • New furnace installed at Barranca Mesa pool

    The venerable Barranca Mesa Pool will be half a century old next year in 2018. As the old lady is getting older one or the other pool element has to be replaced to keep the old pool young for all its young patrons.
    Two furnaces heat the pool water to a comfortable temperature of 83 degrees, so that swimmers as well as bathers can enjoy the water.
    The the first furnace was replaced four years ago, and now No. 2 was falling apart and had to be replaced.
    “I was surprised to find out that the replacement was much smaller than its predecessor,” said Jorg Jansen, manager of the pool. “Modern technology made this possible and at the same time increasing the heating capacity to 900,000 BTU/hr. What an achievement! And what a sight seeing the furnace dangling in the air as the crane operator lowered it very slowly in its resting place.”
    They are ready to open the pool on Memorial Day weekend on at noon May 27.
    Come and join the fun! If you are not yet a member of the Barranca Mesa Pool Association become one before the fun season begins by contacting president2017@barrancapool.com.

  • VP Pence avoids political fray surrounding him

    BY KEN THOMAS AND CATHERINE LUCEY
    Associated Press

  • Meet Topper Freshman Academy candidates

    The community will get a chance to meet the two candidates for Topper Freshman Academy Principal on Monday in the Speech Theater.
    The position became available after the academy’s principal, Carter Payne, was selected as the new principal at Los Alamos High School. Payne will start as principal at LAHS July 1.
    To meet candidates for the Topper Freshman Academy, visit the Speech Theater at these times:
    • 5:30 p.m.: Jill Gonzales is the principal of Piñon Elementary School at Los Alamos Public Schools.  She has 10 years of administrative experience, which also includes Assistant principal of Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista, California.  Her teaching experience includes US History and AVID at the High School and served as an Educational Advisor and Activities Director in Redondo Beach, CA.  Jill received a Bachelor of the Arts in Political Science from the University of California and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from California State University.

  • Senior center play touches on aging issues

    The Los Alamos Little Theater performed a short, 10-minute play on Wednesday at the Los Alamos Senior Center called “Dead Right,” written by Elaine Jarvik.
    Director Pat Beck welcomed everyone to their theater and introduced the actors to the audience. She explained that this performance was a partnership between the Los Alamos Little Theatre, the senior centers and local playwright Robert Benjamin. “It’s not only a short play that you get to enjoy, but also a discussion with me and the actors,” said Beck. She explained that this staged reading touches on issues relating to aging and then briefly set the scene: “This play is about a couple who are having breakfast and reading the paper.”

  • Sarah von Sternberg is new schools, public safety reporter

    Sarah von Sternberg has joined the Los Alamos Monitor as the new education and public safety reporter.

    Sarah is from Spring, Texas, and graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2014 with a bachelor’s of arts degree in English. After moving to Austin shortly after, she landed an administrative job working for Travis County’s installment of the Head Start program.

    “That was my first job out of college and I am immensely grateful for everything I learned there,” she said.

    After living in Austin for two years, Sarah got married and promptly moved to New Mexico for her husband’s employment at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She applied for a mailroom position at the Monitor but was happy to learn they had a reporter position available.

    “I knew this would be a great opportunity for me. I’m so happy to be putting the skills I learned in school to good use,” she said.

    As far as activities outside of work, Sarah said, “My husband and I take full advantage of the town’s beautiful and countless trails.”

    She also has a cat named Oppie, named after, Robert Oppenheimer, a huge piece of the town’s history.