Today's News

  • Moratorium decision expected soon

    The Los Alamos County Council will consider a 60-day moratorium on nuisance code enforcement for residents Tuesday.

    Council will also introduce two related ordinances at the meeting. One ordinance proposes to codify the expansion of the response time residents will have to answer a violation notice from the county from two days to two weeks.

    “That’s going to be for weeds, RVs, just about anything, except for matters of egregious health and safety,” Helen Milenski said.

    Milenski, who is also running for a county council seat, is one of the residents involved in reforming the county’s nuisance code. Milenski, along with resident Heather Ortega, formed a group called Citizens in Action in an effort to reform the Los Alamos County Development Office’s enforcement of the town’s nuisance codes.

    Many residents thought the county was being too heavy handed in their approach when it came to residential property violations.

    Citizens in Action was responsible for having the three items brought before council after a year of negotiation and community activism.

  • NFL owners approve simplified catch language

    Maybe it’s too late for Jesse James and the Steelers or Zach Miller and the Bears.

    No matter, the NFL has a simplified catch rule designed to eliminate confusion — and, the league hopes, controversy — about receptions.

    Team owners unanimously approved the new language Tuesday, with basically three elements defining a catch:

    —having control of the ball;

    —getting two feet down or another body part;

    —making a football move, such as taking a third step or extending the ball.

    “We wanted to simplify and provide clarity,” Pittsburgh coach and longtime competition committee member Mike Tomlin said. “It was time to do so after we got caught up in language that didn’t do that. The language was obscure and confusing.”

    The committee cited overturned receptions by tight ends James and Miller last season among the dozens of plays they reviewed “dozens of times,” according to committee chairman Rick McKay, president of the Atlanta Falcons.

    The James call was particularly impactful because the Steelers wound up losing to New England in a December game that determined home-field advantage for the playoffs. The Patriots got it and wound up in the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh lost its first postseason game to Jacksonville.

  • NMSU basketball star earns national honors

    New Mexico State senior forward Jemerrio Jones was named an Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention on Wednesday, and became just the fifth Aggie men’s basketball player to earn AP All-America accolades.

    Jones also became the ninth Aggie player to earn All-America status ever and the third-straight NM State player to achieve AP All-America Honorable Mention status. The Memphis, Tenn., product joins James Moore (2003), Daniel Mullings (2014), Pascal Siakam (2016) and Ian Baker (2017) as the only players to have earned AP All-America honors.

    The reigning WAC Player of the Year finished his senior season averaging 11.0 points, 13.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists. The 13.2 boards per game this year was good for second-most in the nation while his 450 total rebounds leads all players in the NCAA heading into the Final Four. In addition, his 9.50 defensive rebounds per game topped all Division I players while his 3.74 offensive rebounds per game is good for 10th-best in the country.

    His 21 double-doubles tied him for sixth-most in the NCAA while his lone triple-double tied him for third. Jones then became just the third Aggie to record a triple-double when he posted 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against Eastern New Mexico.

  • Five LAHS basketball players named All-District

    Though basketball season may have been a disappointment for the teams at Los Alamos High School, several individuals on the teams have earned honors for being All-District performers.

    Two girls and three boys from LAHS earned All-District honors in District 2-5A. A total of 18 girls and 17 boys were honored across the district, which includes Española Valley, Capital, Del Norte and Albuquerque Academy.

    For the girls, Becca Green and Natalie Gallegos were named first team all-district performers. The duo provided a mismatch for the Hilltoppers in nearly every game throughout the season, and continued to improve as the season moved along.

    At times, both showed an ability to overpower opponents on the offensive end of the floor, and an ability to shut down inside scoring threats on defense, picking up blocks and defensive rebounds.

    Green and Gallegos are both only sophomores this year and should continue to improve as they move through high school.

    The boys were honored with three second-team all-district recipients: Michael Naranjo, Ramon Roybal and Antonio Trujillo. All three were seniors this season.

  • State environment dept. to fine LANL for hazardous waste violations

    The New Mexico Environment Department is expected to fine the Los Alamos
National Laboratory for exceeding state and federal time limits for storing
 hazardous waste. 

    “Specifically, LANL had stored (two) hazardous waste containers over the
 90-day storage time limit in central accumulation storage areas, and had
 stored (three) hazardous waste containers over the 1-year storage time 
limit in permitted units,” Hazardous Waste Bureau Chief John Kieling said
 in a March 15 letter to LANL officials.

    With the 90-day storage time limit violation, NMED claims the lab stored 
two containers full of hazardous waste 20 days past the 90-day time limit
 before notifying NMED.

    Penalties for each violation could be as much as
 $10,000 a day for non compliance of New Mexico’s Hazardous Waste Management
regulations and of the Resource Conversation and Recovery Act Hazardous
 Waste Operating Permit at Technical Area 55.

    Technical Area 55 is houses LANL’s plutonium processing facilities.

  • Explore colorful rock specimens on a hike in the Rio Puerco

    Would you like to see colorful rock specimens on a special geology hike? Join the Pajarito Environmental Education Center and geology enthusiast Patrick Rowe for a special half-day hike in the Rio Puerco near Los Lunas. This hike will take place on April 7 with the group meeting in Los Lunas at 9 a.m.

    Space is limited and registration is required.

    The Rio Puerco is a tributary of the Rio Grande and carries rocks and sediments from formations that range in age from Precambrian to Quaternary.

    Expect to see a wide array of very colorful rock specimens, including: red and yellow jasper, agate, petrified wood, striped quartzite, basalt, obsidian, gypsum, limestone with fossils and travertine.

    Patrick Rowe is the vice president for field trips for the Los Alamos Geological Society and is a project engineer for Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    His father was a geologist and he has been involved in rock collecting for more than 40 years and has been leading geologic field trips for PEEC for the last few years.

  • Assets in action: Sometimes we have to relinquish the control

    I was so proud last weekend of the youth of our nation standing up to let their voices be heard, it was indeed heard by the entire world.

    We need to make that a possibility for every youth. As adults, we need to teach children how and when to speak up so, to have the impact they want or the outcome they desire.

    As adults, we may get too anxious to make our point or feel like the place and time just never arrives. There is a time and a place, sometimes we just have to relinquish the control and take the ride.

    When does this wisdom come? I’m not sure it is the same for everyone. Some are just born or happen to be in the right place, at the right time. Some have to be forged if you will, pushed and pulled, even if they don’t understand why, especially when things are so easy. Are you willing to put in the work?

    You see, as you read this column, I am on the final eve of my 49th year. I turn 50 and while that is child’s play in this town, it is a pretty big number. My brother Nick likes to say, it is the 21st anniversary of our 29th birthday.

  • Two landowners, two philosophies, one wildfire risk problem

    “Look, I am from Nebraska and I bought this vacation place for the trees.  If it burns down, I will take my insurance money and buy another place in the trees.”

    This is what a homeowner in La Cueva said about the dog-haired tinderbox where his well-oiled, all-wood cabin rests. 

    Next to him live full-time residents, Ben, a recent retiree, his wife Sharon, and their dog. Their attitude is the exact opposite. They enthusiastically thin trees around their home, protect firewood in a shed, store fuels such as gasoline well away from the house, prepare evacuation plans, and sign up for the county’s Code Red alert system.  Everything they own is in their property and insurance money cannot replace it. One of their biggest worries is their part-time Nebraskan neighbor, who does nothing but let fuels accumulate.

    These people exemplify one of the intractable dichotomies facing those of us who work to mitigate wildfire danger: The wildfire-risk tolerance varies tremendously depending on whether a property is a vacation cabin or a full-time abode. Of course, not all property owners can be classified into these two extreme positions, but the correlations are evident to any observer.

  • How to have a successful walk to Chimayó

    Every year, many Los Alamos residents renew their special bond they have with Jesus Christ by making the Good Friday pilgrimage to Santuario de Chimayó. When they arrive, they may take a sample of sanctified dirt that is thought to have healing powers.

    At 6:30 a.m. Friday, pilgrims will gather in the parking lots of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Los Alamos and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in White Rock.

    From there, carpools will take them to the parking lot of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Pojoaque. From there they will walk the 11-13 miles to the Santuario de Chimayó.

    The McLaughlin family has helped organize the Los Alamos part of the walk for many years, starting with late resident Karen McLaughlin. McLaughlin, was a religious program director at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church who passed away in 2002, started organizing the walk for church youth in 1980.

    “During that time, she was looking to get teens involved in things that would kindle their thought process and be a positive influence,” her husband Tom McLaughlin said.

    Tom McLaughlin and his children have since taken over organizing the walk in Los Alamos.

  • Apartment developers make the rounds in LA

    A developer held a meet-and-greet session March 22 at Cottonwood on the Greens Restaurant in Los Alamos, mainly to answer questions from the public about a new proposal for an apartment complex on Trinity Drive.

    The developer, LAH Investors LLC, could fill a spot south of Trinity and 35th Street once occupied by a Department of Energy Los Alamos Area Office. 

    If approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, the complex will feature about 150 units on 12 acres just off of Trinity Drive.

    “It was very helpful that the developer, architect and county staff were on hand to answer any and all questions. The developer will take feedback they received at the meeting and try to incorporate it into the finished design,” Los Alamos County Economic Development Administrator Joan Ahlers said. “They are working diligently to get the site testing completed and financing in place, so that they can begin the actual design and construction documents required to get site plan approval and building permits.”

    LAH Investors LLC plans to submit an application to Planning and Zoning for site plan approval.