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Today's News

  • Residents: keep schools open

    As decision time gets closer and closer about where to apply the next bond funding for school reconstruction, an information session was recently held in White Rock to address some rumors about what may happen to White Rock’s two elementary schools, Piñon and Chamisa.
    With Los Alamos School Board Vice President Matt Williams presiding, residents wanted to know if the school board was going to close one of the schools due to declining enrollment, or perhaps consolidate the two schools into one for the same reason.
    The answer, for now at least, is neither.
    Williams did most of the talking at the session, which was held inside the Chamisa Elementary School’s gymnasium.
    The first thing he did was help the audience members catch up by letting them know what the board was doing in the past months. Using information from three major sources, which included the board’s 20-Year Facilities Plan, budget figures, and other documents, Williams briefed audience members on what the present situation is in regards to both schools and how the board and the district arrived at those figures.

  • Today in history April 23
  • Departments get tentative approval

    The Los Alamos County Council began the process of tentatively approving departmental budgets on Tuesday.
    Those budgets will not be finalized until council reviews and approves the entire budget with the changes they have incorporated, which is scheduled to happen next Tuesday. But some of the proposed budgets, such as those of the county council and municipal court, sailed through approval without fanfare.
    For others, such as the county manager’s office budget, consensus was only reached after considerable debate and weighing of substitute motions.
    The combination of the complexity of the county manager’s office along with various councilor priorities made that discussion one of the longest agenda items Tuesday. Communications and public relations, human resources, budget and performance and risk management all come under that umbrella.
    The manager’s office also oversees the county’s Progress through Partnering program, which funds contributions to the North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD), the Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) and the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities.
    Four proposed budget changes came into play for that department.

  • MATCH program will help young readers

    There is an innovative educational mentoring program in Los Alamos that could help children with reading efficiency.
    MATCH New Mexico is a program where college students come together with at-risk children in the third grade. The name of the program is “mind the reading gap” and its goal is to aid in a child’s future and give an equal chance of success for every child in New Mexico.
    A fundraiser for the program is from noon-3 p.m. April 26 at the Inn and Spa at Loretto, 211 Old Santa Fe Trail in downtown Santa Fe.
    Tickets are $30, which includes valet parking, entertainment and all activities.
    Tickets are available online through EventBrite.com. Search for “Mind the Reading Gap.”
    “The fundraiser is very important to the program and we want to get the word out,” said Betty Scannapieco, who is in charge of community outreach. “The point is to raise awareness and support to aid our society to change.”
    There will be a silent and live auction during the luncheon fundraiser.
    MATCH stands for Mentoring and Tutoring Create Hope.
    Working with college students, the third grader will be guided with one-on-one mentoring throughout the program.

  • Hope 4 Hope

    Los Alamos Elks Lodge 2083 held a fundraiser dinner for well-known Los Alamos resident and former Los Alamos Monitor sales representative Hope Wagner Jaramillo last week to help her with travel expenses as she fights an undisclosed illness. Jaramillo, right, stops for a photo with past Elks Lodge 2083’s Exalted Ruler, Lisa Harris and Tonya Sprouse-Mullins.
    To help Jaramillo in her fight, residents are welcome to donate at gofundme.com/hope4hope.

  • Update 4-22-15

    GOP meeting

    The Republican Party of Los Alamos will host its biennial organization convention at 7 p.m. Thursday at UNM-Los Alamos. All registered Republicans are invited to attend. Call Robert Gibson at 662-3159 for more information.

    Docent training

    The Los Alamos Historical Society will host History Docent Training from 3-4 p.m. Thursday at the Hans Bethe house, 1350 Bathtub Row. Anyone interested in volunteering as a docent is invited to attend.

    Budget hearings

    The Los Alamos County budget hearings for FY16 will continue Monday in council chambers. Meeting time is scheduled for 6 p.m.

    School board

    The Los Alamos School Board will hold a board meeting and work session Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be at Chamisa Elementary School in White Rock.

    APP board

    The Arts In Public Places Board will meet at the municipal building Thursday. Meeting time is 5:30 p.m.

    Shred Day

    The Pajarito Environmental Education Center will host a “shred day” at the Reel Deal Theater Saturday. A shred truck will be parked in the theater parking lot for those wishing to destroy CDs, video tapes, microfiche and other types of fabrics and plastics. For more information, call Sandra West at 695-2579.

  • State Briefs 4-22-15

    Heinrich introduces transmission legislation

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Federal regulators would have narrow authority to approve new electric transmission lines in certain circumstances under a measure introduced in Congress.
    U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich says his bill would ensure that transmission projects get timely regulatory approvals. The New Mexico Democrat says that’s critical, especially when multiple jurisdictions are involved.
    Under an order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, transmission providers must participate in a regional planning process and develop methods for allocating the costs of a new regional transmission facility among those who will use or benefit from it.
    Heinrich’s bill would require developers of new priority regional transmission projects to first seek approval from local or state authorities. If approval doesn’t come within a year, the bill would allow FERC to step in and provide backstop authority.

    Universities, health center participate in obesity project

  • At the Fish Pond

    Ashley Pond got restocked with fish Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Fish, the company which is contracted with the county to provide fish to the pond, made the delivery and county workers dropped buckets of fish into the water. The fish species included catfish, bluegills, bass and minnows.

  • PNM defends plans for San Juan plant

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico’s largest electric provider is defending its plan to replace power from part of an aging coal-fired plant with a mix of coal, natural gas, nuclear and solar generation.
    Critics, including environmentalists and consumer advocates, counter that the plan isn’t in the best interest of ratepayers.
    Public Service Co. of New Mexico said Monday in a filing with state regulators that rejecting the plan could jeopardize the continued operation of the San Juan Generating Station and end up costing customers more.
    The utility’s objections follow the recommendation last week of a hearing examiner who suggested the plan not be approved by the Public Regulation Commission unless changes are made. The examiner cited uncertainty surrounding the ownership makeup of the plant and the lack of a coal-supply contract beyond 2017.
    It could be another month before a final vote is taken.
    Two units at the San Juan plant are scheduled to close in 2017 under an agreement with federal and state officials to curb haze-causing pollution.

  • Budget cuts, tax hikes discussed

    During the first of four nights of budget hearings, Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess and Deputy County Manager/Chief Financial Officer Steven Lynne presented the county council with an overview of significant items in the proposed budget.
    The proposed FY2016 budget calls for $191,827,341 in expenditures, a one-percent reduction over last year’s General Fund budget. It also calls for reinstatement of 2.25 mills in property taxes, which would net $1.5 million in additional revenues.
    Burgess drew council’s attention to several key elements of the proposed budget before giving an overview of various departmental budgets.
    Several areas require increased expenditures in FY2016. Those include an increase in the county’s share of Fire Cooperative Agreement costs, higher insurance costs and electric rates and an estimated three-percent rise in inflation.
    New operating costs for the golf course community center, the nature center — which opens Wednesday — and the teen center scheduled to open later this year must also be factored in.
    The budget includes a three-percent increase for staffing and salary needs. The bulk of that increase is for implementation of a revised salary plan, which will require salary adjustments for some of the county’s employees.