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Today's News

  • Bandelier hosts Winter Solstice Sunrise walk

    Sunday is Winter Solstice. All over the world, people have kept track of the passing of the seasons with markers built into such things as structures, stones and the horizon.
    At Bandelier, there are several places that may mark the position of the sun on dates including the solstices and equinoxes.
    One of them is the entryway to Tyuonyi, the large pueblo in Frijoles Canyon.
    It will be the annual ranger-guided walk to watch as the sun rises over the canyon walls and casts shadows in alignment with Tyuonyi’s entry walls. 
    There is no way to be sure that the pueblo was built that way on purpose, but Winter Solstice is an important date to many cultures. 
    In the northern hemisphere, it is the day that the sun turns back northward and days begin to lengthen, promising the return of warm days and growing crops.
    The walk begins from the front of the Visitor Center at 7:15 a.m. and lasts about an hour; the trail is level and paved, and only about 400 yards each way. 
    No sign-ups are required.  Participants should dress warmly, in layers and with warm shoes. If the sky is overcast, the walk will be rescheduled for the next day. 
    For more information call the Visitor Center at 672-3861, ext. 517. 

  • What is PNM thinking?

    New Mexicans breathed a sigh of relief last year in hearing that PNM would be closing down two of the dirtiest coal-fired plants in the nation.
    Those two generators at the San Juan Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico are responsible for six million tons of carbon pollution in our skies every year, not to mention other pollutants like mercury, sulfur dioxides, etc.
    Unfortunately, our relief was short-lived. PNM has a backward plan to make up for its loss of generating capacity from closing half of the San Juan coal plant. Rather than making an investment in clean, abundant solar and wind power, PNM has stuck with what it knows best — dirty, expensive and dangerous coal and nuclear generators.
    PNM proposes to derive more than 40 percent of its total generating capacity from coal through 2053! In addition, it will increase its use of nuclear power (created at the Palo Verde site in Arizona) to 30 percent, while getting less than 4 percent from solar and no new wind.
    At a time when the rest of the world is in a race to develop the most efficient technologies to lead the world into a cleaner and prosperous energy future, the powers at PNM are stuck trying to extract every bit of profit from coal and nuclear.

  • Money management could ease personal spending woes

    A recent story from the Washington Post described Black Friday, and all the news coverage of that shopping extravaganza, as a spectacle of the poor performing for the entertainment of the rest of us.
    The writer likened Black Friday to “The Hunger Games,” the science fiction movie series. In that story line, the provinces that lost a war are forced to send their best young people to a competition where they are televised as they hunt and kill each other, for the amusement of the pampered dilettantes of the winning country.
    The story suggested people of higher income don’t have to bother with the frantic bargain hunting of Black Friday. Only poor people will fight each other for cheap television sets and video games.
    None of the news coverage I saw reported how much of that Black Friday shopping was done to purchase necessities, how much was spent for things not really needed, or how much was spent with borrowed money that the borrowers couldn’t afford to pay back.
    A few days earlier, the financial website Wallethub reported that New Mexico ranks third highest nationally in the amount of money individuals spend compared to their earnings.

  • Today in history Dec. 18
  • Winter weather advisory continues through 11 p.m.

    A winter weather advisory remains in effect for the area until 11 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
    Snow accumulations are predicted of up to 3 inches above 7,500 feet and possibly even more accumulation at 8,500 feet and above.
    Travelers are warned that low-visibility conditions may also exist in the area.
    For road conditions, call 800-432-4269 or visit nmroads.com.

  • Surplus sale canceled

    Los Alamos National Laboratory's monthly surplus property sale which was scheduled for Thursday has been cancelled. Weather permitting, the next scheduled surplus property sale is Jan.15.

  • Police dept. honors its top performers of year

    The Los Alamos Police Department hosted its first awards banquet Saturday at Fuller Lodge to honor employees for their performance and service to the community.
    A total of 35 awards were handed out for those displaying outstanding customer service and initiative. Awards included recognition for developing programs to assist the homeless and victims of domestic violence, locating lost and injured hikers, solving several crime sprees, and maintaining excellence in various administrative duties.
    Further, LAPD recognized eight employees in seven different categories at the banquet for being the best in their fields for the year.
    Chief Dino Sgambellone, who handed out awards, said it was important to recognize those who went “above and beyond” while performing day-to-day operations.

    Here are the top awards given at the LAPD banquet:

    Civilian of the Year

    Connie Salazar, senior office specialist

    Public Service Aide of the Year

    Tom Beyer

    Detention Office of the Year

    David Bradshaw

    Dispatcher of the Year

    Angela Cordova

    Detective of the Year

    Ben Hinrichs

    Officer of the Year

    David Boe

    Supervisor of the Year

    Kate Stoddard, consolidated dispatch center and Sgt. Oliver Morris

  • On The Docket 12-17-14

    Dec. 11

    Natalia Friedland was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of improper stopping, starting or turning of a vehicle. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Delbert P. Martinez pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to failing to appear in court and for not properly displaying a current, valid registration plate. He was fined $50 and ordered to pay $130 in court costs.

    Raquel M. Am pled no contest in the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Sentencing deferred until Feb. 8. Defendant was also sentenced to defensive driving school. Defendant was also ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Zachary Sanchez was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and was ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Dec. 12

    Carl E. Johnson was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and was ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Dec. 15

    Nicolle L. Gonzales was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding in a school zone one to five miles an hour over the limit.

  • Update 12-17-14

    Service

    Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 2390 North Road will host a candelight service at 7 p.m. Thursday. For more information visit bethluth.com.

    SFNF offices

    All Santa Fe National Forest offices will be closed for the holidays on Christmas day and the following day, as well as New Year’s Day. For information, contact Forest Headquarters at 505-438-5300.

    Skate with Santa

    Los Alamos County is sponsoring its Skate with Santa, which is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at the county’s ice rink. Call 662-4500 for more information.

    Enforcement

    Los Alamos Police Department will be conducting traffic enforcement, focusing on accident-related violations to include seatbelt enforcement for the holidays. Officers will also be on the lookout for impaired drivers this holiday season. To report potentially impaired drivers, dial #DWI, or #394 or call LAPD directly at 662-8222. Motorists are asked to allow extra time to get to and from destinations.

    Farmers Market

    A Holiday Farmers Market is scheduled for Thursday. It will run from. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Fuller Lodge.

  • Study: E-Cigarettes are catching on with teenagers

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Electronic cigarettes have surpassed traditional smoking in popularity among teens, the government’s annual drug use survey finds.
    Even as tobacco smoking by teens dropped to new lows, use of e-cigarettes reached levels that surprised researchers. The findings marked the survey’s first attempt to measure the use of e-cigarettes by people that young.
    Nearly 9 percent of eighth-graders said they’d used an e-cigarette in the previous month, while just 4 percent reported smoking a traditional cigarette, said the report released by the National Institutes of Health.
    Use increased with age: Some 16 percent of 10th-graders had tried an e-cigarette in the past month, and 17 percent of high school seniors. Regular smoking continued inching down, to 7 percent of 10th-graders and 14 percent of 12th-graders.
    “I worry that the tremendous progress that we’ve made over the last almost two decades in smoking could be reversed on us by the introduction of e-cigarettes,” said University of Michigan professor Lloyd Johnston, who leads the annual Monitoring the Future survey of more than 41,000 students.