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Today's News

  • Parker takes the helm at Barranca

    The Barranca Elementary Bobcats will start the year with a new leader at the helm: Bradley Parker.
    Parker has been in education since 1990, working as a teacher at Santa Fe High School and Los Alamos Middle School. He holds degrees from West Virginia University and the University of New Mexico.
    Parker has been an administrator since 1996, serving in school administration at the Pre-K to 12 levels in Santa Fe, Rio Rancho and Jemez Valley. He also served his administrative internship at Mountain Elementary.
    “For three years I was at the Public Education Department in the Priority Schools Bureau and the Career Technical Workforce Education Bureau,” Parker said. “I have been lucky to work for some great folks!”
    Prior to entering the world of education, he was a professional Naval Officer finishing his career as a Reserve Officer and retiring at the rank of Commander (O-5). He was stationed mostly in the United States, but his favorite duty station was Pearl Harbor, where both of his children were born.
    Parker and wife Cindy have been married for 30 years. They have two sons, Ben and Adam, both Eagle Scouts and college graduates.
    This summer you may have found him fishing, camping and canoeing. When time doesn’t permit for those things he likes to play the guitar.

  • On the Docket 07-31-13

    The information pertaining to these cases was derived from the dockets of the Los Alamos Municipal and Magistrate Courts.
    July 24

    Gilbert Coriz was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the posted speed limit. He was fined $50 and ordered to pay $46 in court costs.

    Doan N. Nguyen was found guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the posted speed limit. He was fined $50 and ordered to pay $46 in court costs.
    July 25

    Roy M. Goeller was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failure to use seatbelts. He was fined $50 and ordered to pay $46 in court costs.

    Nicolas Castano was found guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the posted speed limit. He was fined $50 and ordered to pay $46 in court costs.

  • Update 07-31-13

    Fuller Lodge

    The main portion of Fuller Lodge will be closed to the general public from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30 to allow for extensive work to occur in, under and above the Pajarito Room. The North Wing (Historical Society) and South Wing (Art Center and classes) and the 1st floor of the West Wing will remain open. Entry will be allowed into the main lobby of Fuller Lodge and the North Wing. The Pajarito Room and all of the 2nd floor meeting rooms in the main lodge (Throne and Zia Rooms) will be closed during this time.

    DWI meeting

    Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council Meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at 2500 Trinity Drive, Suite A.

    Free film

    Mesa Public Library Free Film Series. The Spanish Prisoner, written and directed by David Mamet. 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the upstairs meeting room.

    Performance

    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at White Rock Baptist Church.  

  • New pay option for student fees implemented

    Forget the lines and checks getting lost in the mail ­— earlier this summer, the Los Alamos Board of Education cleared the way for high school students and their parents to pay lab and other student fees like they probably do with many other things these days, online.

    Principal Sandra Warnock said the old way meant parents would have to pay all those fees during registration.

    “This way, they can pay before beforehand, so registration will be a little bit more streamlined for them,” she said.

    By Thursday, students should have already received their registration packets and fee information through the mail, according to Warnock. Once they get their total, they just simply have to go online to powerschool.laschools.net/public/home.html and follow PayPal’s gold and blue buttons. Students who do pay prior to registration will need to bring the receipt.

    “Paying ahead of registration day will be a huge timesaver for parents and their students. The most important thing to remember, however, is for the student or parent to bring the payment receipt with them to registration,” a statement in a school announcement about the new pay option said.

    Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gene Schmidt said implementing the new option was all about convenience for students and parents.

  • Officials eye nuke materials

    Just about everybody’s heard the old saw, “Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”

    So when is 98.34 percent not good enough?

    Apparently, it’s not good enough when it comes to accounting for the inventory of nuclear weapons materials.

    A Department of Energy manual (Nuclear Material Control and Accountability) mandates that facilities score at least 99 percent.

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory was off by .66 percent but the latest DOE Inspector General report said the lab has taken steps to correct the deficiencies.

    The latest report read, “Our inspection revealed that Los Alamos continued to experience problems with the accountability of certain nuclear materials controlled under its MC&A Program. Specifically, our testing of 15 MBAs (Material Balance Area) revealed instances in which nuclear materials were not maintained in the correct location, properly labeled or correctly identified in the Los Alamos MC&A (Material Control and Accountability) database.”

  • Protecting The Historic District

    Burned Area Emergency Response teams were on the move last week in Valles Caldera National Monument to remediate flooding from the Thompson Ridge fire. The preserve’s historic district got much of the attention.

    “Everything we’re doing here is pretty much aimed at protecting the structures, and the whole area within this historic district,” said Cultural Resources Coordinator Ana Steffen.

    “It isn’t that this is a particularly risky flood area or prone to flooding, it’s that we’re going to get flooding and debris flows all over the place from this fire and we can only protect a few places. And this is where the trust has chosen to concentrate its efforts.”

    The historic structures, some nearly 100 years old, are especially vulnerable because they have no foundations. Even as little as two feet of water could knock the buildings over.

    Steffen pointed out two debris floes from the Las Conchas fire across the valley and said, “There are huge boulders, full sized trees and each one is a kilometer long and a kilometer wide.

  • Survey: What LA wants

    It has been at least 10 years since the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation (LACDC) last conducted a survey about what Los Alamos residents want in retail and dining options.

    So Dave Fox, owner of CB Fox Department Store, suggested it was time for an update.

    “The amount of chatter about the state of the local stores, even without regard to Smith’s coming, had reached enough of a pitch that I said, ‘why don’t we do a survey and find out what people want that some of the remaining stores can sell?’, which is a natural thing to think if you’re a retailer and living with that all the time, as we are,” Fox said. “So we suggested that it might be timely to do a survey and find out what’s wanted that can’t be had.”

    The LACDC ran with the idea, conducting an extensive online survey during the month of April.

    “LACDC decided to take on the mission and just really find out what Los Alamos wants in terms of dining and shopping options, and comparing that to what we have here and what they would like to see,” said Katie Stavert, business advisor for Los Alamos Business Assistance Services.

  • With investments, diversifying is key

    Ever wonder why Mom and Pop stores sell wildly unrelated products side by side, like umbrellas and sunglasses, or Halloween candy and screwdrivers? Customers probably would never buy these items on the same shopping trip, right?
    That’s exactly the point. By diversifying their product offerings, vendors reduce the risk of losing sales on any given day, since people don’t usually buy umbrellas on sunny days, or sunglasses when it rains.
    The same diversification principle also applies in the investment world, where it’s referred to as asset allocation.
    By spreading your assets across different investment classes (stock mutual funds, bonds, money market securities, real estate, cash, etc.), if one category tanks temporarily you may be at least partially protected by others.
    You must weigh several factors when determining how best to allocate your assets:
    Risk tolerance. This refers to your appetite for risking the loss of some or all of your original investment in exchange for greater potential rewards.
    Although higher-risk investments (like stocks) are potentially more profitable over the long haul, they’re also at greater risk for short-term losses.

  • More to space tourism than Spaceport

    Virgin Galactic now has 610 paying customers and has banked $70 million in deposits, but most of us will probably never be among the first tourists departing from Spaceport America. But it’s entirely possible that we’ll join the throngs already visiting the Spaceport, or even wander into the two planned visitor centers.
    We can enjoy more down-to-earth space tourism.
    But first, a look at the science taking off from the spaceport.
    UP Aerospace recently launched a rocket for NASA, which landed at White Sands Missile Range. Called SpaceLoft, the rocket carried seven payloads with scientific experiments designed by NASA and other agencies, as well as private industry, plus experiments from New Mexico students. The company, which has had six other launches at the Spaceport, has a $4.7 million contract to do seven more of these flights under NASA’s new program to shift space exploration to private industry with the end of the shuttle program.
    Also aboard SpaceLoft were the ashes of the deceased who wanted a space burial, and Celestis Inc. is happy to accommodate those wishes. One of those paying customers was the late mayor of Hatch, Judd Nordyke, who was a longtime spaceport supporter.

  • Girls soccer is first to start fall 2013 season for LA

    Although the weather is still balmy, the fall is fast approaching and local prep athletes are well aware of it.
    The start of the fall 2013 season at Los Alamos High School is ramping up with the first contests of the scholastic year now less than a calendar month away.
    Preparations for the 2013 fall season for most athletics at Los Alamos began right at the start of summer vacation, or in some cases, before school got out in May.
    However, the first official day of practice for high school football is Aug. 5, as set by the New Mexico Activities Association, the governing body of most interscholastic athletics. The other prep sports officially begin Aug. 12.
    As is the case most years, the Hilltopper girls soccer team will be the first to open its season. Los Alamos will take on longtime foe Farmington Aug. 24 at Sullivan Field.
    Hilltopper head coach Jiri Kubicek, despite being one of the longest tenured head coaches in the history of the school, said it’s sometimes tough to predict exactly what spot the team will be starting from.
    “Hopefully, we don’t come in totally out of shape,” he said. “We have our first game two weeks after we start practicing. Hopefully nobody gets hurt when we get into practice. We’ll be OK.”