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Today's News

  • Storms drench West Coast

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A soaking storm swept into Southern California, causing several mudslides, flooding streets and cutting power to tens of thousands Friday after lashing the rest of the state with much-needed rain.
    Despite the storm’s intense arrival, no major disasters were reported in Los Angeles and the surrounding sprawl of cities. Experts say California needs many more such storms to pull out of a drought that has lasted three years.
    Of particular concern were hillsides, stripped bare by wildfires, that loom over some neighborhoods. Though the fast-moving storm was projected to clear out east and reach Nevada and Arizona later in the day, the risk remained that sodden topsoil no longer held in place by roots could give way.
    In one area, a debris flow brushed aside barriers set up on the slope and surrounded about a dozen homes with silt, sticks, roots and rocks as large as a couch, piling up to the roofline in several backyards.
    One of the homes is owned by former Congressman Elton Gallegly.
    “There’s a lot of memories there” he told KTTV-TV, gesturing to the now-inaccessible house.
    A homeowners association in Camarillo, about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, hired a construction crew to move debris — but the muck buried one of the earth movers.

  • Penguin Painting

    Local hockey player and fan, Cameron Meadows, puts brush to glass canvas as he paints a hockey-playing penguin on a door leading to his patio.

  • Update 12-12-14

    Swearing in

    The public is invited to the official swearing-in ceremony for incoming officials. That ceremony will take place Dec. 19 in council chambers. It will begin at 3 p.m. Officials being sworn in include councilors David Izraelevitz, Susan O’Leary, Rick Reiss and James Chrobocinski, assessor Ken Milder, magistrate judge Pat Casados, municipal judge Alan Kirk, probate judge Christine Chandler and sheriff Marco Lucero.

    Arts and Crafts

    The Knigts of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair is scheduled from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road. Breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase.

    County Council

    The next scheduled meeting of the Los Alamos County Council is at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the municipal building.

    Luminaria sand

    Los Alamos County’s Traffic and Streets division is again providing free sand to residents for making luminarias.
    Sand for luminarias — also called farolitos — is available at the following locations around Los Alamos County:

  • Council adopts legislative agenda

    Here is what Los Alamos County Council adopted Tuesday night in its vote for the FY 2015 State Legislative Agenda:

    Support

    a. Legislation supporting Los Alamos County’s application for capital outlay funding to develop senior/affordable housing infrastructure.
    b. Legislation that enhances affordable housing programs.
    c. Funding for MainStreet/Arts and Cultural District programming and other statewide economic development initiatives.
    d. Legislation that allows the use of State General Funds for bridging the gap within the Safety Net Care pool.
    e. Legislation supporting changes to the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) that would broaden the utility of the Act.
    f. Consensus legislative priorities of NMAC and NMML.

    Monitor

    a. Any changes to municipal revenue legislation, such as proposals for local governments to “swap” GRT distribution for State income tax distribution.
    b. Other legislation directly affecting Los Alamos County and/or its ability to serve its citizens.
    c. Legislation in support of Community Health Council funding.

    Oppose

  • Spending bill gets through House

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Swapping crisis for compromise, the House narrowly approved $1.1 trillion in government-wide spending Thursday night after President Barack Obama and Republicans joined forces to override Democratic complaints that the bill would also ease bank regulations imposed after the economy’s near-collapse in 2008.
    The 219-206 vote cleared the way for a final showdown in the Senate on the bill — the last major measure of a two-year Congress far better known for gridlock than for bipartisan achievement.
    Hours before the vote, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi delivered a rare public rebuke to Obama, saying she was “enormously disappointed” he had decided to embrace legislation that she described as an attempt at blackmail by Republicans.
    The White House stated its own objections to the bank-related proposal and other portions of the bill in a written statement.
    Even so, officials said Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both telephoned Democrats to secure the votes needed for passage, and the president stepped away from a White House Christmas party reception line to make last-minute calls.

  • First draft of superintendent flyer released

    The Los Alamos School Board recently took a huge step in its search for a new superintendent. It published and released a prototype flyer to the public on what it’s looking for in a superintendent, and what candidates for the job can expect from the district.
    Some of those requirements include the following:

    • “Inspires trust, self-confidence and models high standards of integrity and personal performance with the ability to develop and communicate a vision of quality education for the future to the board, staff and community,” read the first requirement for the job in the pamphlet. The second requirement was about management style and inclusiveness:

    • “Has knowledge of and successful experience in sound fiscal practices and management of district resources, including appropriate participation of others in planning and decision-making.”

  • Council nixes ski hill service

    On Tuesday, the Los Alamos County Council rejected the idea of providing shuttle service to the Pajarito Mountain Ski Hill from December through March.
    Discussion on this item began at council’s Nov. 14 meeting, when only six councilors were present. Councilor Pete Sheehey, who had asked staff to prepare some options for providing the service, moved that the topic be tabled until all councilors were present.
    “This is one thing we can do to encourage the success of the new management of the ski area, and I still think that’s true even though they’re not going to be making snow so their hours aren’t going to be as long,” Sheehey said on Tuesday.
    The four alternatives presented by Public Works Director Philo Shelton were as follows:

  • Getting Reactions

    A Japanese TV crew, representing Tokyo Broadcast System, was on Central Avenue Thursday afternoon asking residents for their opinions about the proposed Manhattan Project National Park. The park has been proposed to honor World War II era work, which culminated in the bombing of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Senate vote on the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the proposal for the park, was scheduled for this afternoon in Washington D.C.

  • Airline service is grounded

    New Mexico Airlines, which provides service to and from Los Alamos Airport and the Sunport in Albuquerque, is currently not running any flights in the state.
    The airline, which has a contract with the county to provide service, and is subsidized by the county, stated in an email to Los Alamos County that it was suspending service indefinitely.
    It’s unclear exactly what the airline or the county is planning to do to resolve the situation.
    Officials from Pacific Wings, which operates New Mexico Airlines, however, told public works director Philo Shelton it had contacted customers about rescheduling flights.
    “We cannot speak on behalf of Pacific Wings, or New Mexico Airlines. It would be inappropriate for us to comment on their operations or efforts in contacting customers,” Shelton said in a press release from the county. “However, we will say that we are concerned and are evaluating our options, should we need to take a different course of action with our contract for service, so that we are prepared if this situation is not corrected in the near future.”
    New Mexico Airlines began flights between Los Alamos and Albuquerque in April 2013. The airline has a contract with the county that runs through June 2015.

  • Bible Answers: Differences between nativity story and Bible tale

    “What is the difference between the familiar Christmas story and the information the Bible gives?”

    Throughout the years Christians have tended to “fill in the blanks,” which surround the biblical account of the nativity. The reasons for this are many, not the least of which is that the birth narratives are scant at best.
    Appearing in only two of the four gospels, the stories do make reference to angels, bringing messages to Zacharias, Joseph, Mary and the shepherds (Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:11ff; 1:26ff; 2:8ff). There is a journey to Bethlehem, Joseph traveling with an expectant Mary. A birth, (swaddling) cloths and a manger appear in one brief verse (Luke 2:7). Shepherds did come running to find the baby of which the angels had told them.
    There is, however, no mention of a donkey as a means of transportation. The story does not document a stable (the barn is inferred from the use of a manger for a bed.) There is no account of animals in the nursery of the newborn baby — this is a sentimental picture of the manger scene created by our imagination.
    Many manger scenes add three “wise men,” magi (astrologers, astronomers . . . ?) from the east (Matt. 2:1-12). The timing of their visit may not have occurred at the same time as the birth.