Today's News

  • County needs real plan

    The Comprehensive Plan was completed in 1987. By now, even the updates are outdated.
    An effort to rewrite the whole plan in the early 2000s produced only a Vision Statement and Policy Plan, adopted in 2005, that is now cited by the Community and Economic Development Department (CEDD) as “the Comprehensive Plan.”
    This is 19 pages of aspirational platitudes that are so vague and ambiguous that they are useless to anyone attempting to satisfy the requirements of applications for permits and rezoning, or anyone attempting to defend their neighborhood against one of these applications.
    You’d think at least the county attorney would notice a problem here (not to mention the obsolescence of the Development Code — another story for another day).
    My neighborhood experienced the consequences of this ad hoc plan first-hand last year when University of New Mexico-Los Alamos applied to redevelop the apartments on 9th Street. The CEDD worked with UNM-LA to develop a proposal to the council for joint funding of the project, then it coordinated with UNM-LA’s Denver developer to plan for a non-conforming oversize structure and then it attempted to fast-track a rezoning through the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) using the policy plan as the justification.

  • Jaguar habitat getting sued

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The setting aside of hundreds of square miles in New Mexico as critical habitat for the endangered jaguar was an “unlawful, arbitrary and capricious” action by federal authorities and needs to be overturned, a new lawsuit said.
    In court papers filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, Farm and Livestock Bureau, the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association and New Mexico Federal Lands Council said the decision by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to set aside land for the cat places unnecessary regulations on landowners.
    In addition, the designation of the critical habitat violates the Endangered Species Act because the area “was not occupied when the jaguar was listed as an endangered species,” the lawsuit said.
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Lesli Gray said the agency couldn’t comment on pending litigation.
    The lawsuit seeks attorneys’ fees and for a federal judge to overturn the critical habitat designation.
    In March 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set aside nearly 1,200 square miles along the U.S.-Mexico border as habitat essential for the conservation of the jaguar. Federal officials acknowledged last year when they made the designation that no female jaguars or breeding had been documented in the U.S. in more than 50 years.

  • On The Docket 5-21-15

    May 13

    Hongwu Xu was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to yield or stop at a sign. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Thomas J. Grab pled guilty at the time of traffic stop to speeding six to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    May 14

    Stanley E. Hayes pled no contest in the Los Alamos Municipal Court to failing to display a current, valid registration plate. Defendant was fined $25 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Ron J. Salazar pled guilty at the time of traffic stop to speeding six to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    James Mercer-Smith pled guilty at the time of traffic stop to speeding six to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Monique Ruiz pled no contest in the Los Alamos Municipal Court to driving with a suspended or revoked license. Defendant was fined $100 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Michael Soto was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to obey a traffic signal. Defendant was given community service and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    May 18

  • Snake Safety Tips

    More Tips from Mike Wyant

    • Walk in areas where the ground is clear so you can see where you walk with your feet or reach with your hands
    • Use a walking stick to rustle shrubs alongside the trail to alert snakes of your presence.
    • Wear protective clothing such as long pants and hiking boots. Pit vipers (crotalidae) have heat sensors to detect the body heat of other animals and are especially sensitive to bare skin.
    • Wear gloves when moving rocks and brush.
    •Watch where you step. Never put your feet or hands into places you cannot see.

    If you do get bit:

  • Update 5-21-15

    Plant Sale

    There will be a Second Chance Plant Sale Saturday at 811 Tiffany Court on North Mesa. The sale, which is hosted by the Los Alamos Garden Club, will be from 8 a.m.-noon.
    Proceeds will go to benefit Los Alamos High School Scholarships.

    Artists Market

    There will be an Artist Market Saturday at the visitor center in White Rock. The market will run from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 661-4836.

    Science Museum

    The Bradbury Science Museum will have a special presentation Friday, “Exploring the Solar System.” The event will be part of the Los Alamos Creative District’s Fourth Fridays initiative. The presentation will be from 4-6 p.m. at the museum.

    Community Winds

    The Los Alamos Community Winds will present a Memorial Day Concert. 2 p.m. Monday on the Fuller Lodge lawn.

    Co-Op Market

    The Los Alamos Cooperative Market will have its farmers market Saturday on Entrada Road. The market will run from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.


    Bandelier National Monument will have a Night Sky Program Saturday at the Juniper Campground Amphitheater. It will take place at 8 p.m., weather permitting.

    Concert Series

  • Paul: GOP is willing to change

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul reaches out in his most direct way yet to African-Americans in a new book that highlights his libertarian policies on government surveillance, the economy and criminal justice reform.
    “My party has let the bond it once enjoyed with minorities fray to the point that it is near beyond repair,” the Kentucky senator writes in “Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America,” set to be released later this month. He continued, “My Republican Party, the Republican Party I hope to lead to the White House, is willing to change.”
    Paul, 52, has made reaching out to African-Americans a centerpiece of his political brand as he embarks on his 2016 campaign for president. More than a decade has passed since the Republican Party last won a presidential contest, due in part to the GOP’s struggle with minority voters, a growing segment of the population that has overwhelmingly favored Democrats in recent years.

  • For Everyone To See

    Los Alamos High School. hosted its annual student art show Thursday at the Duane Smith Auditorium. More than 100 pieces of art were on display in several different mediums, including photography, drawing and sculpture.

  • Beer co-op will pop open May 29

    Bathtub Row Brewing, the new brewing cooperative, will open its doors May 29 at Central Park Square.
    The co-op, which is reportedly only the fourth such endeavor in the country, will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon May 29.
    Along with the ribbon-cutting, the grand opening will include music, food and the release of several new beers.
    The festivities are scheduled to continue through May 30 starting at 3 p.m. Co-op members said that the public is invited to attend next weekend’s events.
    According to a press release from the co-op, members will “aim to educate the public about the art and science of brewing,” as well as run a business-friendly and environmentally-friendly establishment.

  • Couple expresses gratitude for help

    The couple that lost their home on North Mesa to a fire last week is doing better and the two wanted nothing more than to express their gratitude to Los Alamos.
    Nat and Vicki Farnham were burned out of their house Friday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
    Vicki Farnham said Wednesday the house is virtually a total loss, but the important thing for them is they and their three dogs escaped.
    Since that time, Farnham said the outpouring from the community has been nothing short of incredible.
    “I can’t even begin to tell you how many people have been so wonderful,” she said.
    Currently, the Farnhams are in Albuquerque. As of Wednesday afternoon, Nat Farnham was at the University of New Mexico Hospital, although he is scheduled to be released in short order.
    Nat spent several days in the UNM burn ward. Nat was pulled from the fire out of a window by a neighbor of the Farnhams and one of the first Los Alamos Police Department officers on-scene last week — Vicki made it out of the home under her own power.
    It was a neighbor that made an immediate call to 911 to get emergency crews to the scene. The fast action of that neighbor likely played a role in keeping the fire from spreading to the nearby houses.

  • Community weighs in on future of preserve

    The dining hall at the Betty Ehart Senior Center was packed earlier last week with more than 100 residents wanting to weigh in on how the Valles Caldera National Preserve will be managed by the National Park Service.
    Legislation passed by the United States Congress in December transferred management of the VCNP from a board of trustees operating under the National Forest Service to NPS. During the transition, the trust will continue to manage daily operations — under NPS guidance — until Sept. 30.
    NPS is seeking public input as it formulates a management plan for the preserve. The enabling legislation allots three years for that process.
    “This is just another chapter in the evolution of the protection of this very special place,” NPS Acting Superintendent Charles Strickfaden said. “We’re spending time and money and energy to make sure that we know what the public wants. We’re not preordained. We’re not presuming that we know what you want.”
    Strickfaden and Valles Caldera Trust Executive Director Jorge Silva-Bañuelos, assisted by facilitator Lucy Moore, conducted listening sessions in Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque last week. All three sessions had high turnout, with approximately 150 people in Albuquerque and 100 at each of the other two venues.