Today's News

  • Regulator warns of long, costly cleanup at Los Alamos lab

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico's top environmental regulator says it could take the federal government another decade and more than $4 billion to clean up the hazardous waste and contamination remaining at one of the nation's premier nuclear weapons laboratories.

    Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn provided the estimate Wednesday to state lawmakers as he outlined proposed changes to a consent order that guides cleanup at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    It's been more than a decade since New Mexico and the U.S. Energy Department first signed the order. Flynn told lawmakers that it's time to move from investigating contaminated sites at the northern New Mexico lab to doing real work.

    "Everyone is very eager to move forward and I think the priorities of the department as well as the communities are all in line," Flynn said. "We want to accelerate cleanup and we want to try to leverage more funding for cleanup. How we get there, there are differences of opinion, but I think we all share those same goals."

    The Environment Department is reviewing roughly 30 public comments received over the last 60 days, but it's unclear when a final decision on the order will be made.

  • Mesa Library to show ‘A River Runs Through It’ Thursday

    Special to the Monitor

  • Early voting jump this year

    With four-and-a-half days of early voting remaining in this year’s primary election cycle, early voter turnout already surpasses that of 2012
    As of 11:53 a.m. Tuesday, in-person voting totaled 1,440. An additional 81 absentee ballots have been turned in, with 107 outstanding.
    In 2012, early voting and absentee ballots totaled 1,260. Election Day turnout was 1,913. The off-year election in 2014 totaled 1,092 early voters.
    Voter registration is also up slightly for this time of year, compared to 2012, but down from that in 2014. The total number of registered voters as of Tuesday was 13,476. It was at 13,218 in 2012 and at 13,768 in 2014.
    Only 10,006 of those registered voters are eligible to vote in the primary. Since New Mexico has a closed primary system and only Democratic and Republican parties have contested races, the 2,905 voters who declined to state party affiliation and the 565 who registered for other parties cannot participate.
    Another interesting aspect of this year’s registration number is that the balance of Democratic to Republican voters has shifted. For the first time since 1987, the number of registered Democrats exceeds Republicans.

  • Bears spotted roaming LA

    Los Alamos County residents have reported several bear sightings recently, two of them in residential backyards on Barranca Mesa, and one near the Los Alamos National Bank.
    No one was hurt in the incidents.
    It’s not known if they are one in the same bear, but one thing is for certain – it’s definitely the time of season for bear sightings, according to Los Alamos Police Department spokesman Cmdr. Preston Ballew.
    Bears are often seen this time of year, and residents should be aware of their presence. Ballew said.
    “They are now coming out of hibernation, and I would assume that they are now trying to find something to eat,” Ballew said.
    Residents can minimize encounters with bears if they bring in their trashcans and bird feeders. Doing so would allow the bears to move off in search of more natural food sources, he said.
    Lance Cherry, the chief of education information at the New Mexico Game and Fish Department, said the bears people are most likely seeing are black bears. Though the bears people are seeing range from cinnamon to dark brown, they are still considered black bears.

  • P and Z moving toward sign code changes

    At its April 27 meeting, the Los Alamos Planning and Zoning Commission asked staff to draft an ordinance adopting some of the business community’s suggestions for improving the sign code.
    Other suggestions met with some opposition.
    “The tweaks to the sign code would give the businesses a set of tools to visually switch up their exterior promotional marketing, to keep it fresh, to make their locations visible to the local consumers as well as tourists and it better allows them to communicate their messages in targeted formats,” said Chamber of Commerce Manager Nancy Partridge, who presented the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation’s (LACDC) proposal, drafted after discussions with the business community and the county’s Community Development Department (CDD).
    The commission liked LACDC’s suggestions regarding new business banners, banner announcements and hours of operation signs, but wanted input from other groups on the issue of feather banners and vending machines.
    The current code for both new business and temporary banners allows a banner to be displayed for 30 days two times a calendar year.
    The proposal for the new ordinance differentiates between those two banner types.

  • Stamp dedication at Bandelier Thursday

    The U.S. Postal Service will hold a First-Day-of-Issue Dedication Ceremony for the National Parks Forever Stamps at the Bandelier National Monument visitor center at 11 a.m. Thursday.
    Bandelier was one of 16 national parks chosen for the stamp series honoring the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The NPS system includes 411 national lands.
    Representatives of the U.S. Postal Service and local park officials will be on hand for the unveiling, and stamp booklets will be for sale.

  • ‘This is our moment’

    Los Alamos saw another class of high schoolers off into the world Saturday as 253 students, their friends and family crowded into Griffith Gymnasium to share the last two hours together.
    Between the opening color guard ceremony and the ceremonial tossing of the caps, guest speakers spoke about how important it was to savor every moment, follow their dreams, and to be the change they want to see in the world.  
    “Ultimately, today is a celebration,” said graduate Faith Montano. ”It is a culmination of 13 years of hard work. Class of 2016, after all of the long nights, all of the homework and practices, all of the school dances after all of the tests, quizzes and projects, and after rejoicing in all these beautiful things these years have had to offer and surviving all of the obstacles we’ve faced, we’re finally sitting here.
    “This is our moment. Let it sink in. Celebrate your classmates, your victories, and your classmates, and yourself,” she said.
    High school senior Eric Leith then inspired his fellow graduates with his story of how he went from being more interested in shooting paper balls into wastebaskets and texting, to finding his love for writing during his four years at Los Alamos High School.

  • The games go on: ’Toppers head to all-star games

    All of the state championships have been decided, but there are still a handful of contests to be played.
    The top teams have proven themselves, but now the games turn into regional battles. Does the North or South have a tougher crop of seniors?
    On June 10, five of the eight Class 5A/6A North/South All-Star classics will be played.
    Los Alamos will be represented in three of them that weekend and one more in July.
    Two ‘Toppers scored spots on the North all-star baseball team. Connor Mang and Lane Saunders will both represent the North in the 5A/6A series.
    The baseball teams will play one game at 7:30 p.m. June 10 and then play twice more June 11.
    The baseball series is taking place at Apodaca Park in Las Cruces.
    Ashlynn Trujillo will represent Los Alamos in the 5A/6A all-star basketball game. That contest will take place at 7:30 p.m. June 10 at the Santa Ana Star Center, following the 1A/2A all-star game.
    Michelle Alexander will also represent the North in the all-star tennis classic June 10 and 11. One unique thing about the tennis all-star classic is that boys and girls play together on the same team, unlike the high school season where they usually compete at the same tournaments, but on separate teams.

  • Thomson throws shutout, UNM moves on in winner's bracket

    ALBUQUERQUE — The University of New Mexico baseball team (36-21) earned a victory in the first game of the Mountain West Conference Championship Thursday, defeating the Nevada Wolf Pack (34-23), 3-0.
    The Lobos received a career-best pitching performance from senior left-hander Colton Thomson (7-3), as he threw his first-ever complete game, a three-hit shutout over the Wolf Pack. He collected a career-high tying 11 strikeouts and walked one. His 122 total pitches thrown marked the most in his Lobo career.

  • Trujillo receives garden club scholarship; two tours June 6

    The Summit Garden Club is pleased to announce Ashlynn Trujillo as the recipient of the $500 2016 Jim and Pat Edmonds Memorial Scholarship. Trujillo plans to attend New Mexico Highlands University as a biology major and pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine.
    The Summit Garden Club has been awarding annual scholarships since 1972 to support a graduating senior in his/her pursuit of higher education.
    Trujillo and her mother will be attending the next Summit Garden Club monthly meeting at 1:30 p.m. June 6, at the home of Shirley Carter: 690 Camino Encantado, Los Alamos.
    The program will be a tour of two member’s gardens. After touring the Carter garden, the group will move on to 860 Camino Encantado, to tour the garden of Freda McCormick. After the tour, refreshments will be served, followed by the business meeting.
    Non-members are invited to join the club for the tour and if desiring more information on the Summit Garden Club, all are invited to stay for refreshments and the business meeting. Anyone with questions can call Doris Thielemann at 672-9291.