Today's News

  • Espinoza supports transparency; opponent skirts campaign limits

    Dist. 59, House of Representatives, Candidate for Secretary of State

  • Espinoza’s false attacks cover up ties to corruption, extremism

    Candidate for Secretary of State

  • I encourage everyone to vote in favor of Question 1

    I am voting for county Question No. 1, to eliminate the office of sheriff in Los Alamos. I encourage everyone who believes in good government, strong public safety, and reduction of unnecessary risk, to do the same.
    Typically, a sheriff provides law enforcement in county, or rural, areas. The sheriff position in Los Alamos has no law enforcement duties, and Los Alamos has no county – only, or rural, land. All of the county land in Los Alamos is incorporated into the municipality of Los Alamos. There is not a square inch of just-county land for a sheriff in Los Alamos to stand on.
    Los Alamos became a municipal government in the 1960s. The County of Los Alamos had already been created  as a legal entity in 1949. When the Federal Government decided to no longer run Los Alamos as a Federal scientific base, in the 1960s, all of the county land was wholly incorporated into the municipality of Los Alamos.  Los Alamos remains the only city-county entity in New Mexico.
    While debating their preferred from of government, Los Alamos citizens got to choose who would provide law enforcement - a professional law enforcement agency (a police department), an elected sheriff, or both.

  • Subsidizing the cheese business

    Before you bite into your next green chile cheeseburger, pause for a moment to consider the importance of that chunk of cheese, not just to the taste of your burger but to our local economy.
    With 150 dairies averaging more than 2,000 cows each, New Mexico ranks ninth in the nation for milk production and fifth for cheese. The average New Mexico dairy ships 44 million pounds of milk a year worth nearly $6 million. Much of it goes to Southwest Cheeses in Clovis, which employs 300 people to turn 3.8 billion pounds of milk into 388 million pounds of cheese annually.
    According to NMSU’s Ag Science Center, dairy is the number one agricultural employer in the state, providing 12,524 jobs paying $600 million a year in wages. In 2014, the average dairy farm worker earned $47,811, compared to the state’s average mean wage of $42,230. At $1.5 billion, dairy is about tied with beef cattle for economic impact and together the two rival the oil and gas industry.
    But while it’s a big business, it’s not a particularly lucrative one. A milk cow eats 100 pounds of hay and grain every day. In return she produces six to seven gallons of milk. Dairy farmers live on the difference between the cost of her feed and the price of her milk, usually expressed as the cost vs. price per hundredweight of milk.

  • N.M. Senate leader focuses on budget, not crime bills

    SANTA FE  — New Mexico lawmakers grappled Thursday with how to address a major shortfall in revenues during the final hours before a special legislative session convenes, with no clear political pact yet for rewriting the state budget.
    Republican Gov. Susana Martinez called for the start of a special session today to resolve a stalemate with Democrats over how to fix the budget, and has added weighty criminal justice measures to the agenda – including a bill to reinstate the death penalty for convicted killers of police, children and corrections officers.
    Lawmakers at the helm of the Democratic-controlled Senate have criticized Martinez for not providing a detailed budget proposal, and gave indications that anti-crime initiatives may take a back seat to addressing a gaping budget deficit.

  • Council OKs water rate hike

    Customers will be seeing a 10-percent rate increase in their water bills. The Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved the new rate Tuesday.
    The rate hike addresses shortfalls created by a combination of reduced consumption and the high costs for maintaining the system.
    “We still have a very large and very complex water system with some aging infrastructure, so we still have to maintain that. The size and complexity of the system has not reduced any because of the reduced water sales,” Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Deputy Utilities Manager for Finance and Administration Robert Westervelt told council.
    Westervelt countered the notion that decreased sales are due to the tiered water rate and rate increase implemented in 2014. He illustrated how water consumption has decreased steadily since 2003, which he attributed to water conservation and sharply reduced usage at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
    According to Westervelt, cooler weather and consistent rainfall throughout the irrigation season has also contributed to reduced sales in recent years. He pointed to 2013, a year in which most of the rainfall fell during one brief period. Drought conditions during the rest of the year resulted in high water sales.

  • Defense Secretary Carter wraps up tour of LANL

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter wrapped up his visit to New Mexico Wednesday with a four-hour tour of the Los Alamos National Laboratory with Lab Director Charlie McMillan.
    One of the main stops on his tour was “Plutonium Facility 4,” the country’s only plutonium science, technology and manufacturing center. Carter observed operations in the pit casting area of the facility, where molten plutonium is molded and shaped to fit inside nuclear weapons.
    At the end of his tour, Carter expressed his thanks and appreciation for the LANL employees who made the plutonium cores and other nuclear weapon components.
    “A strong plutonium science and manufacturing capability is essential to the U.S. nuclear deterrent and cannot be underestimated,” Carter said. “I want to express my sincere appreciation for the difficult and vitally important work done at Los Alamos to help assure the development, assessment and security of the nuclear triad.”
    McMillan, who also accompanied Carter on his tour was glad Carter was able to make the trip to Los Alamos National Laboratory, according to LANL’s website.

  • LA students rank high in bullying, dating violence

    A state survey released Wednesday revealed that sexual dating violence, suicide ideation and bullying among Los Alamos students is higher than the state average.
    The statistics for sexual dating violence shows that Los Alamos ranks seven points higher than the state average of 9.2 percent.
    In 2013, the sexual violence question was added to the survey to distinguish it from other acts of physical violence. It includes “any coercion of a sexual nature.” That includes kissing, touching or being physically forced to have sexual intercourse.
    Los Alamos students that seriously considered suicide is five points higher than the state average of 16.5 percent.
    The survey also noted that incidents of bullying at school were 8.2 percentage points higher than the state average of 18.4 percent. Incidents of electronic bullying, students harassing each other through social media and other platforms of communication, was three points higher than the state average of 13.7 percent.  
    The survey, “The New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey” was done as part of a nationwide monitoring system of the nation’s youth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Prep football: ’Toppers eye .500 against Demons

    Staring district play on a two-game winning streak and with a .500 record would be huge for the Los Alamos football team.
    Only Santa Fe High stands in the way of the Hilltoppers accomplishing that. Both teams will square off at 7 p.m. tonight at Ivan Head Stadium in Santa Fe.
    After last week’s 50-14 win at Gallup, Los Alamos now stands at 2-3 on the season.
    The Demons are 0-4 so far this season, and have been outscored 148-52.
    Los Alamos will look to exploit the Santa Fe secondary, which has allowed numerous big plays in the first four weeks. The Hilltoppers will attempt to do that by using the dual-threat ability of quarterback Nick Quartieri, and the physicality of fullback Dylan Irish.
    Quartieri leads Los Alamos with 13 rushing touchdowns this season. He’s also thrown four touchdown passes.
    The Hilltoppers defense had one of its best performances last week, and the Demons haven’t had much success at the quarterback position.
    Senior Adrian Blea is expected to start for Sant Fe at quarteback on Friday. Blea’s best performance of the season came against Taos, when he threw for 125 yards a two touchdowns. Blea has also thrown seven interceptions this season.
    Dominik Barela has also seen some time under center for the Demons. But, he to has been turnover prone.

  • Residents welcome to view county info

    Residents are invited to stop by the Municipal Building lobby from 1-3 p.m.  Oct. 5 to view a variety of information about county services, programs and events.
    The county is hosting the event as part of its “customer service week” activities from Oct. 3-7. The week is sponsored by the Department of Public Utilities’ Customer Care Center.
    Refreshments will be served and county staff will be on hand to answer questions.