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Today's News

  • Community Calendar 5-31-17

    THURSDAY
    Drawing and Painting Natural Forms from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Nature Center.
Enjoy botanical drawing and watercolor with Santa Fe artist Lisa Coddington. Cost is $24 for members, $30 for non-members. More information at peecnature.org.

    Free movie night at 6:30 p.m. at Mesa Public Library. “Two Days, One Night” (PG-13, 2014, subtitled), or “Deux Jours, Une Nuit,” has been well-recognized by critics and audiences for acting, directing and overall excellence. All screenings are screened thanks to the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries.

    Join the Los Alamos History Museum for History on Tap at 5:30 p.m. at the UnQuarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square for an engaging discussion about the Soviet side of the Cold War with Samantha Lippard.
    FRIDAY
    June Night Sky Show at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center.
at Discover and identify objects visible in our night sky this month, and enjoy their beauty from our planetarium. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.
    SATURDAY
    Bird Walk: Upper Water Canyon from 7 a.m.-noon at the Nature Center.
Join Joe Fitzgibbon on a walk through a mosaic of burned and unburned areas in Water Canyon. Free for members, $5/non-member. More information at peecnature.org.

  • Assets in Action: Time to say farewell to many

    This is a life-changing week for so many and even though time passes quickly, it has been a long road.

    The Los Alamos High School class of 2017 will cross the stage Saturday, marking an end to high school, but the beginning of life long dreams that lie just ahead.

    It is bitter sweet to see the students leave realm of the Topper hallways, but head on to so many great possibilities. It is important to mark the occasion, take more photos than you could possibly need and just enjoy the time.

    You may bite your tongue to stop the floodgates of tears that lurk just behind those sunglasses. Don’t worry though, that can all catch up with you again if plans include another life change yet again in August or September.

    There are many that will retire as the school year comes to a close, too. There are teachers and elementary and middle school counselors and one principal, too. While there isn’t enough space to talk in depth about them all, there are two that I would like to highlight.

    Lt. Commander Wes Shumaker and LAHS Principal Brad Parker will retire from Los Alamos Public Schools this year.

    Why do I take the time to talk about only two when there are so many others? Perhaps it is because we come off the Memorial Day weekend and salute those that have given all.

  • Tuesdays at the Pond series returns June 6

    The summer series “Tuesdays at the Pond” will be returning to the Ashley Pond stage every Tuesday night at 7 p.m., beginning June 6 at Ashley Pond.
    This year’s summer entertainment series will feature a wide variety of musical acts, and there promises to be something for everyone.
    Performances will range from a professional wind ensemble to an R&B artist, a folk rock group to a big brass band, and everything in between.
    The following acts will be part of the excitement from June to August:
    June 6: The Bus Tapes
    June 13: Zoltan and the Fortune Tellers
    June 20: Marcos Cavalcante
    June 27: Roaring Jelly
    July 11: TBD
    July 18: Ronnie Bell
    July 25: Los Alamos Community Winds
    Aug. 1: The Hill Stompers
    Aug. 8: TBD
    To view an up-to-date Tuesdays at the Pond schedule, as well as get more information about each band, listen to samples of their work, and other details on the Los Alamos Creative District, visit creativelosalamos.com.

  • ‘Halos’ found on Mars widen time frame for potential life

    SUBMITTED TO THE MONITOR

  • Memorial Day celebration honors those who ‘gave all’

    Not even threatening storm clouds looming in the distance could stop the hundred or so people wanting to pay their respects at Los Alamos’ annual Memorial Day event. Things went off without a hitch Monday in an event that featured a flyover by the Los Alamos Civil Air Patrol, state and county proclamations, rifle salutes from the Navy JROTC, a bagpipes rendition of “Amazing Grace” by Ethan Aulews, and other happenings.

    For others, the main event was just honoring their loved ones, dead and living, who served.

    Barbara Buchen came out to honor her husband, John.

    “It means honoring those who have served our country, especially those that have died,” Buchen said. Her husband served in the Navy in World War II as a radar trainer at Navy Pier in Chicago, located on the shore of Lake Michigan. “He used to joke that no Japanese subs got through on Lake Michigan,” Buchen said. 

    Held at Guaje Pines Cemetery every year by the Knights of Columbus, this year’s speaker was
    U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Pryor “Doc” Dougherty.

    Dougherty spent 30 years in the Army, where he served three tours in Vietnam and tours in Somalia, Germany and Korea.

    Dougherty’s talk was about resolve, focus and God.

  • Davis to be sentenced for sex with minor

    Christopher Davis, 24, has been summoned to the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe on July 6 before Judge Mary Marlowe Summer to be sentenced on four charges of sex with a minor.

    Davis was arrested on June 17, 2014. He pleaded guilty in February to criminal sexual penetration of a child between the ages of 13 and 16, which is a fourth-degree felony.

    The incidents occurred on or between April 20 to May 19 in the county of Los Alamos.

    According to Special Agent Jay Ratliff, a law enforcement officer with the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, the case began when the sheriff’s office in Anoka County, Minnesota. Officers there investigated a report of a sexual assault of a 14-year-old female.

    As a result of the investigation, the police recovered a cell phone and internet conversations between the young girl and an adult male identified as Davis.

    Davis was living in Los Alamos at the time. Anoka County then involved the New Mexico Attorney General’s office in furthering the investigation. After Ratliff picked Davis up in Los Alamos on a search warrant, Davis then admitted to sexual encounters with two local under aged girls, according to police.

  • LANL to start work on abandoned wells

    Plans are underway by the Los Alamos National Laboratory to head off a potential threat to an aquifer that lies mostly under Mortandad Canyon.

    The plans call for the  filling and capping of 26 abandoned testing wells in Los Alamos Canyon, Sandia Canyon, Mortandad Canyon, Pajarito Canyon and Tech Area 35. 

    The wells were drilled in from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. Most of the wells were drilled to test for contaminants in the water and soil.

    Some of the wells sit near known sources of contamination the lab is remediating. By filling and capping the wells, LANL seeks to prevent any further contamination to the area.

    “These wells are now over 40 years old and most are no longer used,” according to a report on the wells in Los Alamos Canyon. “Because these wells may provide a pathway for contamination to move to the alluvial and perched groundwater, the unused wells should be plugged and abandoned.”

    Depths vary from 12 feet to 120 feet and their diameters varied between two and six inches.

    LANL has submitted five plans to the New Mexico Environment Department on how its contractors will proceed. The first step of the plan is to conduct field work this June to see what’s going to be involved.

  • New Mexico lawmakers express relief at budget compromise

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers expressed relief Tuesday that a budget agreement has been reached to restore funding to public colleges and universities and shore up state finances for the upcoming fiscal year that starts on July 1.

    Legislators converged on the state Capitol after a three-day recess to complete special legislative session. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez last Friday vetoed proposed tax increases and agreed instead to use severance tax bonds to shore up the state's finances.

    The budget compromise appears likely to quiet a months-long feud between Martinez and the Democrat-led Legislature over how to resolve a budget crisis from a significant drop in state revenue linked to the downturn in the oil sector and a weak state economy.

    Martinez rejected several tax hikes, while vetoing $745 million in annual general fund spending to state universities, community colleges and specialty schools.

    "The one thing that was most important was restoring higher education funding," said Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming.

    New Mexico's state government is expected to finish the coming fiscal year with about $24 million in reserves under legislation signed last week by the governor, state analysts said Tuesday.

  • New access points to make hunting simpler

    By opening up an additional 141 access points for sportsmen across New Mexico, the State Land Office hopes to make the hunting experience more simple and convenient in the coming seasons.

    State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn said that his goal in opening the additional access points is to make the hunting experience more enjoyable for the people of New Mexico.

    “We just want to make the hunting experience better,” Dunn told The Monitor Tuesday.

    Between privately owned land, state trust lands, government-owned land, as well as Indian reservations, knowing where hunting was allowed and when you had crossed over into a restricted area had been like looking at a checker board.

    By opening up these new access points for the sportsmen, Dunn hopes that it will be more like a landscape approach, and easier to understand, rather than being bound by “unreasonable legal restrictions.”

    One of the goals of this is to decrease the number of trespassing issues from hunters who were simply unaware of where they were and were not allowed to partake in their sport of choice.

    In addition to hunting, these access points will also benefit people wishing to fish, as well as campers in the state.

  • Sandia Labs reportedly creates mobile app to test for Zika

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Scientists and researchers at the federal government's largest national laboratory have developed an app and mobile device they say can detect Zika.
    The New Mexico-based Sandia National Laboratories says the new app connects to a smartphone-controlled, battery-operated diagnostic device to identify Zika, dengue, and chikungunya within 30 minutes.
    Traditional testing for the mosquito-borne viruses often requires a laboratory and long waits. Officials say the cost for that testing can run $20,000 and make it out of reach for rural clinics in developing countries where the viruses thrive.
    But Sandia scientists say their new device weighs under a pound and costs as little as $100.
    The Sandia team describes its rapid-testing prototype in the journal Scientific Reports .