Today's News

  • Community Calendar 2-3-17

    February Night Sky Show from 7-8 p.m. at the Nature Center. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.

    The Jemez Thrift Shop at 13 Sherwood Blvd. in White Rock will have its Bag Sale from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Mesa Public Library book fair from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the library, 2400 Central Ave. Several local authors will have books available for purchase.

     The Jemez Thrift Shop at 13 Sherwood Blvd. in White Rock will have its Bag Sale from 9 a.m.-noon. (The thrift shop closes at noon on bag day Saturdays.)
    Española Valley and Los Alamos for a Super Bowl fundraiser at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Pajarito Brew Pub. Kickoff is scheduled for local time. If your team did not make it to the Big Game, drown your disappointment with one of 30 beers on tap or 52 in the bottle. Pajarito Brew Pub General Manager Patrick Mockler-Wood has agreed to donate 10 percent of the proceeds to Habitat for Humanity on all food and drink orders during the game.

    Feature Film: “We are Stars” at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.

  • Skating through the week
  • Today in history Feb. 3
  • League invites public to League Day at the Legislature Feb. 9

    Each year, the League of Women Voters of New Mexico sponsors a Day at the state Legislature, where interested citizens hear talks on legislative issues and visit the State House (the Roundhouse) for committee hearings and visiting their legislators.
    This year the group will meet at the State Land Office on Old Santa Fe Trail from 10:30 a.m.-noon Feb. 9 to hear two speakers.  
    Veronica Garcia, Superintendent of Santa Fe Schools, will discuss education funding; Julianna Koob, from Planned Parenthood, will speak about reproductive rights issues.
    After lunch the group will go to the Roundhouse, where they will observe committee hearings, visit our legislators, or tour this remarkable building and its outstanding art collection.  Leaguers can citizens find their way and will have information on what events are on the calendar for that day.
    To carpool or join groups, contact Becky Shankland at rebecca.shankland@gmail.com, 412-0776, or 672-9106.  Detailed information is available at lwvlosalamos.org/newsletters/February [1] 2017.

  • No injuries in eco station incident

    Los Alamos Police Department, Los Alamos Fire Department and a team from Los Alamos National Laboratory trained in handling hazardous materials responded to the Los Alamos Eco Station on East Jemez Road Jan. 27 following a report of a radiation incident.
    A Los Alamos County waste truck set off the radiation monitor at the entrance of station, according to fire officials.
    A trace of Iodine 131, and isotope was found inside the truck, according to Los Alamos Fire Department Deputy Chief Steve Dewald Thursday.
    Iodine 131 is found in kitty litter and medical waste, Dewald said. The half-life of the isotope is 57 days.
    The source was separated and the truck cleared of contamination after several hours.
    No one was harmed in the incident. Truck crews were checked for exposure and came up negative.

  • Science fair set for this weekend

    Los Alamos County youth will showcase their ingenuity and research skills at the Los Alamos Public Schools County Science and Engineering Fair this weekend. The fair – cancelled due to snow on Jan. 21 – is rescheduled for Saturday.
    Saturday’s fair is the first step toward qualifying for regional, state and international competition. The county’s top award-winners will move on to regional competition in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and from there hope to go on to compete in state finals at New Mexico Tech in Socorro.
    Six students from state competition and two from each region move on to the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, which bills itself as “the world’s largest international pre-college science competition.”
    Approximately 1,700 high school students from more 75 countries, regions and territories compete for approximately $4 million in prizes at that event.
    “So it’s a real honor for our kids to be there. For at least the last 12 years I know that we’ve had students qualify for it,” Coordinator Dawn Brown said.  
    Brown believes Los Alamos has been competing for at least 30 to 40 years. She works with someone at Los Alamos National Laboratory who entered as a child. This year she expects to see between 230 and 250 entries.

  • Votes trickle in for school elections

    Tuesday is Election Day for the Los Alamos Public (LAPS) School Board and the UNM-Los Alamos Advisory Board elections. Early voting ends at 5 p.m. today.
    Election Manager Gloria Maestas reported that as of Thursday morning 224 absentee ballots had been received, a small number considering that LAPS District 1 has 2,477 eligible voters and District 2 has 5,036.
    The county has 14,152 registered eligible voters who can vote in the UNM-LA election.
    “School board elections, unfortunately, have a lower turnout. But this is the highest number we’ve had in the last two school board elections,” Maestas said.
    Those who want to vote by mail must submit an absentee application, which is available online at or at the clerk’s office on the second floor of the municipal building. Online applications must be filled out and signed, then returned to the clerk’s office in person, emailed to clerks@lacnm.us or faxed to 662-8008.
    The clerk’s office can mail absentee ballots until 5 p.m. today.
    Absentee ballots may be marked in person (in-person early voting) at the clerk’s office until 5 p.m. today. All absentee ballots must be physically in the clerk’s office by 7 p.m. Tuesday.    

  • LAPS ready for state budget cuts

    Officials from the Los Alamos Public Schools estimate legislation signed by Gov. Susana Martinez Wednesday will set the district back about $1 million for school year 2016-17.
    Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus assured district employees that in spite of the shortfall, there will be no teachers or staff employees laid off.
    “We will be looking for savings outside the classroom,” Steinhaus said.
    Some cost saving measures will include relying on local expertise within the district for problem solving, Steinhaus said.
    Steinhaus and the school’s Chief Finance Officer Lisa Montoya saw the $1 million hit coming long before the January legislative session. To avoid a budget deficit, they started planning this year’s current budget with the financial loss in mind.
    “When we started planning the last budget, which was in March of last year, we looked at oil prices, and we knew that oil prices were lower than what the state budget was built on,” Steinhaus said. “We anticipated that we would have to start tightening our belts, so we started to look for savings way back then. You never know. We don’t have a crystal ball, but we planned ahead just in case.”

  • LANL, WIPP officials to discuss shipment restart

    Officials from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Los Alamos field office of Environmental Management will meet next week with officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad to discuss when shipments of transuranic waste from LANL will resume.
    Los Alamos Environmental Management Field Office Manager Doug Hintze revealed a part of the plan at a January meeting of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities.
    The topic of the meeting with WIPP will be about what the shipping process will look like and what the priorities will be. “All I can guarantee is that Pete (Maggiore, NNSA Los Alamos Field Office administrator) and I are going to be fighting for Los Alamos,” Hintze said at the meeting.
    Shipments from the lab to the plant were interrupted in February 2014 when a drum of radioactive waste stored in an underground storage chamber at WIPP leaked waste. After an investigation by the Department of Energy, it was found that the lab packed the drum with an organic kitty litter. Inorganic, clay kitty litter is commonly used in the industry as an absorbent of radioactive waste. The kitty litter used in the exploding drum was organic (wheat based), which caused a chemical reaction inside the barrel which led to an explosion that contaminated much of the storage area at WIPP with radioactive waste.

  • Crime down, DWIs up in LA

    Rape, assault, burglary and larceny in Los Alamos declined substantially in 2016, while crimes like auto theft and arson increased by 100 percent from last year, according to the Los Alamos Police Department’s annual report.
    In 2016, there were three cases of rape, 13 cases of aggravated assault, one case of aggravated robbery, 12 cases of larceny, six cases of auto theft and two cases of arson.
    The most dramatic shift was in drunken driving cases, with DWI cases going up by 24 cases – or 75 percent – in 2016.
    Vehicle accidents decreased by 15.5 percent in 2016.
    The LAPD began publishing quarterly and yearly crime reports in 2014.
    LAPD wanted to highlight the DWI cases because of the dramatic increase and the seriousness of the issue, said LAPD Chief Dino Sgambellone.
    The department is working on ways to identify what times of the year and day DWI crimes are more likely to occur most in an effort to better understand and combat the issue, Sgambellone said Thursday.
    “We’re doing a more substantive analysis using the day, time of the week, age, gender and other forms of data to see if there are any trends that we can devote some prevention and education resources, too,” Sgambellone said.