Today's News

  • Home Efficiency Expo Oct. 24 in Los Alamos

    Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities is hosting a Home Efficiency Expo Oct. 24. The event will be at the Golf Course Community Building at 4244 Diamond Drive and is free to the public.  Homeowners and renters alike are invited to drop in between 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
    According to DPU’s Conservation Coordinator Christine Chavez, “the purpose of the Expo is to assist our community to lower their utility bills by bringing organizations, vendors and customers all together in one place where they can learn how to make homes more water and energy efficient.”
    Attendees can expect to learn about upgrades and retrofits that can be implemented to improve water efficiencies in landscapes, including better technologies in utilizing gray water. On the energy side, customers will discover the latest in window and lighting efficiencies and receive free energy efficiency kits and LED lightbulbs. Representatives from the solar industry will be available as well.  
    For more information, call the Department of Public Utilities at 662-8333.

  • Policy makes Plan B now more accessible to American Indian women

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The federal Indian Health Service has finalized a policy that makes emergency contraception more accessible to American Indian and Alaska Native women.
    The written policy released this week requires the morning-after pill to be available to women of any age over the counter at IHS-run facilities, no questions asked. That’s in line with a 2013 U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision to lift age limits and make the medication available without a prescription.
    Women’s health advocates had pushed for a written policy for years, saying verbal directives to IHS area directors in 2012 and 2013 to improve timely access to the pill for women 17 years and older could be rescinded at any time.
    “This is a very important victory for Native women but also all women in this country, for something like this to occur in a federal agency during this time when there’s so much control by the opposition, by the right-wing,” Charon Asetoyer, director of the Lake Andes, South Dakota-based Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center, said Friday. “We really have to look at this through a human rights lens that we are not being denied what other women have access to.”

  • The woman behind the county’s reliable IT

    Laura Gonzales − who came to the county 15 years ago to manage what was then the Information Technology Division (now the Information Management Division) − is retiring next week.
    During a class at the start of her tenure, Gonzales was asked to draw pictures describing her current situation and her vision of where she wanted to be.
    “And I drew a picture of a firefighter with a hose putting out a fire, and I drew a picture of Smokey Bear, because only he could prevent forest fires, and that is where I wanted to be,” Gonzales said.
    Gonzales’ initial technology assessment revealed aging and failing infrastructure. The system was down about three weeks a year then, and that only accounted for daytime outages when the system was monitored – from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, although departments such as fire and police operated 24/7, and many services such as recreational facilities operated after hours.
    Because Gonzales was the only one who would pick up her phone, everyone called her when they had a problem after hours.
    Gonzales tackled those issues head on.
    “We’ve actually put in place automated monitoring, so we generally knew our systems were down before anybody else did, which helped us to bring them back up most of the time before anybody would notice,” Gonzales said.

  • Court Docket 10-16-15

    Oct. 7

    Helen A. Boorman was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to yield or stop at a sign. She was fined $50 and $65 in court costs.

    Luann Sewright was found guilty of failing to yield or stop at a sign. Defendant was fined $50 and $65 in court costs.

    Oct. 8
    Samuel L. Pearson pleaded no contest to failing to show up for a court appointment and failing to pay court costs and/or fines. He was fined $50 and $130 in court costs.

    William Gilson pleaded no contest to failing to display a valid, registration plate. He was fined $25 and $65 in court costs.

    Vanessa Urquidi-Quintero pleaded no contest for failing to have a proper driver’s license. She was fined $150 and $65 in court costs.

    Robert I Tapia pleaded no contest for failing to display a valid, registration plate. Defendant was fined $25 and $65 in court costs.

    Rita J. Henins was found guilty of failing to yield or stop at a sign. She received a deferred sentence until Dec. 6. The other sentence was defensive driving school. She must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Ernestine V. Aguirree was found guilty of speeding 6-10 mph over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and $65 in court costs.

  • ‘Alternate reality’ has roots in history

    WGN America’s popular series “Manhattan” premiers its second season at 7 p.m. MDT Tuesday. The Los Alamos Historical Society again will host weekly viewing parties of “Manhattan” at Time Out Pizza, with question and answer sessions afterward.
    The Los Alamos Monitor decided to ask some of those questions directly of the show’s historical consultant, Alex Wellerstein. Wellerstein loves ferreting out little known facts about the Manhattan Project for writers to incorporate into this fictionalized account of the project.
    “This is sort of in an alternate reality. It’s a different timeline. It’s not meant to be documentary. It’s meant to be fictional. I think they try to make that pretty clear,” Wellerstein said.
    “And it’s about taking the elements that actually existed in that time period and sometimes dialing it up a bit. You dial it up to 10 or 11, when in reality that element was only a five or a six. It’s usually not going from zero to 11, which would make it too absurd. It wouldn’t be believable.”
    Wellerstein addressed one of the elements that rub many people the wrong way: the “cloak and dagger” depiction of the military.

  • Los Alamos lab running out of storage for nuclear waste

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Los Alamos National Laboratory has only a narrow time frame before it runs out of room to store its nuclear waste.

    The lab's radioactive transuranic waste is supposed to be sent to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, but that site was shut down last year after the underground storage area was contaminated, reported the Albuquerque Journal. Transuranic waste can include items like protective boots and gloves, machinery and sludge.

    A Los Alamos waste drum at WIPP popped open because it contained an incorrectly packed mix of combustible materials, creating an estimated half-billion dollars of clean up work. The state Environment Department fined the lab $36.6 million for the accident and DOE cut its fee to the lab's contract operator by 90 percent.

    The Los Alamos lab is expected to reach its maximum waste storage capacity sometime in the federal fiscal year that begins in fall 2016, according to a report from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

    The storage facility was initially slated to reopen in March 2016. This summer, however, the U.S. Department of Energy said safety concerns and equipment setbacks delayed the opening indefinitely.

  • ‘Living Legend,’ war hero Hudson passes

    Bill Hudson, a Los Alamos man who was responsible for founding at least three Los Alamos institutions, passed this weekend. He was 90 years old.
    Though many have said his involvement in the community had a lot to do with making the “civilian” side of Los Alamos into the town it is today, he was humble about it.
    In August, Hudson penned an open letter to the community thanking Los Alamos for giving him a lot as well.
    “I want to say ‘thank you Los Alamos’ for being such a wonderful community with your awareness of the importance of learning, intellectualism, the fine arts, athletics, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, (Los Alamos) Little League, the county fair and for encouraging our young horse enthusiasts,” he said in his letter. “...I thank you for being the community you are. It is wonderful to have been a part of it all.”
    According to the man himself, he was involved in starting at least two athletic programs in Los Alamos as well as a credit union for teachers.
    He was one of the founding members of the Los Alamos Schools Credit Union, which was started with a little more than $300 60 years ago. Today, the credit union has about $16 million in assets and 1,100 members, as well as its own credit card.

  • Hilltoppers ready to hit the mat Friday

    The Los Alamos wrestling team will begin its season with a busy stretch of days, starting Friday in a home dual and then heading down to Los Lunas for a dual-meet tournament Saturday.
    “We’re eager to get out there and wrestle someone who’s not one of our teammates and see where we need to improve,” Los Alamos head coach James Hatt said.
    Hatt moved from Provo, Utah, where he coached at West Lake High School, to take the head coach job here. Hatt, however, has some Los Alamos connections. His sister lives here and he also coached with a Los Alamos alumnus, Trevor Schramm, in Utah.
    Now he’s helping the ’Toppers prepare for the year.
    “We’re definitely working hard,” Hatt said. “We’ve had tough practices. The guys that are sticking around are getting better.”
    A trio of seniors will lead the team this season — captains Lane Saunders, Chris Romero and Damien Sundby. Saunders is already a two-time state champion. He beat Goddard’s Israel Villa in overtime to capture the 182-pound championship last year. Sundby also returns with state experience, competing last year at 138 pounds. Senior Hungjoo Kim is also competing this year.

  • LA girls blow by Pojoaque

    The Los Alamos girls' basketball team had several players step up Saturday to help it blow by Pojoaque, 76-46, and improve to 2-0 on the season.
    "I'm pretty excited about this whole group of girls," Los Alamos head coach Nestor Trujillo said. "They're playing loose and confident and they're having fun. They aren't nervous before the game and it shows."
    The 'Toppers jumped all over Pojoaque early in the game, shutting down the Elkettes' attack while sinking buckets at the other side of the court.
    "The defense was key," coach Trujillo said. "If we continue to play at that level it will equate to easy, early offense for us."
    The coach said Elena Abeyta did well defensively, pressuring Pojoaque's guards to limit their attack. "That was real vital to the success of everybody else," coach Trujillo said.
    Sophia Roybal also "played one of her best games on both sides of the court," coach Trujillo said. "She had a phenomenal game."
    After winning the first quarter 22-13, Los Alamos limited Pojoaque to 4 second-quarter points to take a 41-17 lead into halftime.
    While Los Alamos' defense was shutting Pojoaque down, its offense got production from all over the place.

  • News for Retirees Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2015

    Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2015
    For information, call the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) at 662-8920, the White Rock Senior Center (WRSC) at 672-2034 and “Day Out” (adult day care, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 661-0081. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. for lunches.
    Betty Ehart

    8:45 a.m.        Cardio
    10 a.m.        NO Senior Civic Discussion             Group
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Sweet ‘n’ Sour pork
    1 p.m.        Pinochle
    6 p.m.        Argentine Tango dancing
    7 p.m.         Ballroom dancing
    8:45 a.m.        Variety training
    10 a.m.        Computer users group
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Lemon cod
    1:30 p.m.        Party Bridge
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.        Table tennis
    8:30 a.m.        LAVA Quilters