Today's News

  • Bandelier sites could be destroyed

    The park manager at Bandelier National Monument is planning to re-open portions of a trail that was closed in the 1950s in order to protect archaeological sites.
    The reasons for this new trail project are ostensibly stated as a safety concern due to the possibility of flash floods in the canyon floor and to provide visitors with additional archeological remains to explore.
    No one can fault the National Park Service for wanting to develop trails that provide reasonable access to our public lands. This is something we all want in our parks. However, any new developments or changes need to be done thoughtfully and carefully to ensure that our actions do not destroy the very treasures we are trying to preserve.
    Unfortunately this trail project will result in damage to and destruction of the archaeological sites that Bandelier National Monument was created to protect.
    Archaeologists from neighboring agencies and institutions including the Santa Fe National Forest, the State of New Mexico, San Ildefonso Pueblo and the National Park Service toured the proposed project area in late 2013.
    The unanimous concerns were that caves and associated archaeological remains would be permanently damaged by the proposed trail access.

  • Today in history July 15
  • Hilltop House under new ownership

    If all goes as planned, Los Alamos will have another lodging option before the end of the year.
    The new owners of Hilltop House have plans to renovate the property and reopen it.
    The hotel was purchased by Atomic City Investments, a subsidiary of Texas Capital Partners. The partnership also owns Sipapu Ski Resort, Purgatory Ski Resort in Durango, Colo., and is working on purchasing Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff, Arizona.
    “We believe this investment in that city will bring a strong synergy, particularly with our linking of Durango, Snowbowl and Sipapu,” said Kuzi Mutsiwegota, one of TCP’s partners.
    “We just feel that we’re going to have a seasonal pass product that will allow people to come visit Los Alamos more, and having some lodging was pretty important to us.”
    Mutsiwegota acknowledge that the hotel is in need of significant work.
    “We need to work through some of the code requirements and assess some of those realities as far as getting it open.” Mutsiwegota said. “But we anticipate that it will be operating at some point before ski season.”

  • Mixed reactions on Iranian deal

    VIENNA (AP) — Iran, the United States and other world powers struck a historic deal Tuesday to curb Iranian nuclear programs in an agreement aimed at easing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran in the volatile Middle East. In exchange, Iran will get billions of dollars in relief from crushing international sanctions.
    The accord, reached after long, fractious negotiations, marks a dramatic break from decades of animosity between the United States and Iran, countries that have called each other the “leading state sponsor of terrorism” and “the Great Satan.”
    “This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction,” President Barack Obama declared at the White House in remarks that were carried live on Iranian state television. “We should seize it.”
    In Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said “a new chapter” had begun in his nation’s relations with the world. He maintained that Iran had never sought to build a bomb, an assertion the U.S. and its partners have long disputed.
    Beyond the hopeful proclamations from the U.S., Iran and other parties to the talks, there is deep skepticism of the deal among U.S. lawmakers and Iranian hardliners.

  • Circus In Town

    Members of Wise Fool New Mexico performed circus acts for last week’s Tuesday at the Pond event, with the help of some volunteers in the audience. Tonight’s presentation will feature the Los Alamos Community Winds, which will play at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the Pond is a presentation of the Los Alamos Creative District and will continue through Aug. 11.

  • Update 7-14-15

    Nature Center

    Bob Myers, founder of the American International Rattlesnake Museum in Albuquerque, will be at the Los Alamos Nature Center to answer health and safety questions about snake bites, teach snake identification and share reptile stories. He’ll also have live snakes on hand to demonstrate proper handling. The presentation will start at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.


    The Board of Public Utilities will have a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in council chambers.

    County Council

    Los Alamos County Council will have a work session July 21 at White Rock Fire Station No. 3. It will be at 7 p.m.

    Mental Health

    Trinity On The Hill Episcopal Church will host Mental First Aid training Wednesday. The all-day training session will start at 8:30 a.m. Participants will learn about potential risk factors and warning signs of mental health disorders and mental disorder prevalence. For information, email cynthiab@latoth.org.

    Dino Night!

    Mesa Public Library will host “Dino Night!” Thursday on the first floor. The event, which starts at 6 p.m., is for ages 6-12. For more information, call 662-8258.

    Chalk Walk

  • Federally protected owls found nesting at lab

    Biologists located a record seven federally threatened Mexican spotted owl chicks on Los Alamos National Laboratory property during nest surveys last month.
    “We’ve never found this many chicks,” said Chuck Hathcock, wildlife biologist with the Environmental Stewardship group at LANL. “It’s encouraging to see successful nests because it’s an indication that our efforts to protect these species are making an impact.”
    Under its Habitat Management Plan, the laboratory protects and manages species that are federally listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, including the Mexican spotted owl and Jemez Mountain salamander.
    The laboratory’s plan was originally approved in 2000 and requires surveillance and protection of endangered species and their habitats. Much of the owls’ primary habitat in the Jemez Mountains was destroyed during the Las Conchas fire in 2011, making the protection of the remaining habitat on LANL property even more crucial.

  • Avoiding Tularemia Exposure

    • Wear gloves while gardening or landscaping, and wash your hands after these activities.

    • Avoid mowing over dead animals when cutting the grass.

    • Do not go barefoot while gardening, mowing or landscaping.

    •Dispose of animal carcasses by using a long-handled shovel and either bury them 2-3 feet deep (if allowed) or double bag them in garbage bags and dispose in the trash.

    • Wear an insect repellent effective against ticks, biting flies and mosquitoes when hiking, camping or working outdoors.

    • Do not drink unpurified water from streams or lakes or allow your pets to drink surface waters.

    • Prevent pets from hunting or eating wild animals. Contact a veterinarian if your pet becomes ill with a high fever and/or swollen lymph nodes.

    For more information, visit cdc.gov/tularemia.

  • LA man infected with tularemia

    Mary Haynes, of Pajarito Acres, suspected a disease might be lurking when she noticed several dead rabbits on and around her property.
    She had suspected a noxious disease that is known to affect rabbits, tularemia, was killing the rabbits.
    “My whole yard is contaminated,” Haynes said. “Every time I see a new rabbit, the next time I see it, it’s dead.”
    Whether it’s that disease that is, in fact, the culprit at the Haynes’ residence hasn’t been determined, the New Mexico Department of Health announced Monday that the disease is in the area.
    Department of Health officials announced a confirmed case of tularemia in a 51-year-old man from Los Alamos County. The announcement from the state said the case was confirmed at the health department’s scientific laboratory division.
    According to the state, the man had been hospitalized and treated, but has since recovered and gone home. It is the first reported human case of the disease in 2015.
    There have been 33 cases of tularemia this year in pets in the Los Alamos, Taos, Santa Fe and Bernalillo county areas. The East Mountain area near Albuquerque, according to news reports, had been hit particularly hard.

  • Classic 1985 film will be played for festival

    One of the top science fiction films of the 1980s will be featured as part of the Movies In the Park Wednesday.
    The 1985 classic, “Back to the Future,” will be screened at Ashley Pond. The movie will start at sundown.
    The film was chosen as part of this week’s ScienceFest event, which gets going Wednesday morning.
    Along with the film, a DeLorean, the stainless steel vehicle that is featured in the movie, is scheduled to make an appearance. However, Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation marketing manager Ryn Hermann said if there is rain Wednesday — which, unfortunately, is predicted — the DeLorean may be a no-show.
    “Back to the Future,” the first of a high-grossing sci-fi trilogy, centers around Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), who works for an eccentric scientist (Christopher Lloyd) who has built a time machine. Marty is accidentally transported to the year 1955 and, due to an accident, may have prevented his own parents from falling in love, threatening his own existence.
    The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump,” “Contact”) and produced by iconic mogul Steven Spielberg.
    Movies in the Park is a summer program sponsored by Los Alamos County’s Parks and Recreation Department. All movies are free.