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Today's News

  • In Brief 11-14-12

    Police: Man break bank’s windows, calls 911

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Police say an Albuquerque man fed up with his bank went to the extreme when he broke out the bank’s windows and then called police on himself.
    KOAT-TV reports that Charles Scribner reported his crime last week shortly after smashing the windows to a Bank of America in Southeast Albuquerque.
    According to the police report, Scribner told police Bank of America had “sold him out” and he became enraged. Scribner admitted he broke out the front doors, shattered a window next to the inner doors and smashed an upper window.
    Authorities say Scribner told a 911 operator to have police come arrest him because he didn’t want to have to keep breaking windows.
    He was later charged with criminal damage.

    Court rejects union vote appeal

    LAS VEGAS — A federal appeals court has flatly rejected a Las Vegas hospital’s effort to nullify a union authorization vote it has been fighting since 2007.
    The opinion by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., rejected all of Alta Vista Regional Hospital’s arguments for throwing out the election results and calls its efforts stalling tactics.

  • Highlights of new sign code

    The most significant change to the new sign ordinance is codifying sign permits by “Sign Areas” rather than zoning districts. With this approach, the sign code is based on the context of surrounding land uses, road dynamics and ambiance. These five areas can be applied to any new developments in the future.

    Area 1: all residential areas.
    Area 2: Pajarito Acres area, which includes some incidental or accessory commercial uses.
    Area 3: Central Avenue: Designated as a low speed vehicle/pedestrian environment.
    Area 4: Trinity Drive, N.M.502 and Diamond, areas primarily geared toward vehicular traffic by commuters and locals familiar with the area.
    Area 5: SR4, areas with higher speeds and a high concentration of out-of-town visitors.
    A summary of the changes in the staff report reads:
    1. The draft completely reorganizes the sign code article with the intent to make it easier to read and find specific regulations.
    2.  It removes ambiguous language to allow faster, simpler and more accurate administration of the code.
    3.  It adds illustrations and more thorough definitions and requirements.
    4.  It expands the number and type of signs that can be installed without a permit; for example commercial window signs meeting standards for total window coverage

  • Update 11-14-12

    ESB meeting

    The Environmental Sustainability Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Community Building Training Room.

    JJAB

    The Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board will hold its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. today at the Pajarito Cliffs Site Building No. 1 on Camino Entrada Road.

    Arts fair

    The Los Alamos Arts Council will hold its holiday arts and  crafts fair at 9 a.m. Saturday at Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Round. The fair runs until 3:30 p.m.

    Ashley Pond

    An informational meeting to show the public the 90 percent Final Design Plans for Ashley Pond Park renovations will be at 5:30 p.m. today at Fuller Lodge.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will hold a public hearing on a proposed sewer rate increase and restructuring at 5:30 p.m. today at 170 Central Park Square.

  • White Rock's The Hive in danger of closing

    Council turned down a citizens’ petition requesting $36,000 for The Hive to sustain its operations through February 2013, due to state law prohibiting the county from providing financial assistance to non-public agencies.

    The petition also requested that council direct county staff to develop an expanded grant application for The Hive’s continued operations.

    County Resolution No. 10-18 does provide for financial assistance to non-public agencies that provide a service that council feels it should provide to its citizens.

    Since The Hive’s services may qualify for funding under that provision, council unanimously approved a motion directing staff to investigate the matter with the petitioners and “return to council with information, options and/or recommendations as soon as practicable.”

    The Hive may also qualify for Local Economic Development Act grants.

    The assistance may come too late to save The Hive. Stewart David Jones said that without funding, The Hive will be forced to close its doors at the end of this month.
    For more on this developing story, read Thursday’s Los Alamos Monitor.
    In other business:

    • Council also certified the canvassing committee results for the 2012 General Election.

  • Council OKs new sign ordinance

    Los Alamos County has been trying to revise its sign code ever since a 2006 signage survey revealed widespread dissatisfaction with the ordinance, netting responses such as “too restrictive and too cumbersome.”

    After years of working and reworking by the Community Development Department (now the Community and Economic Development Department) and the Planning and Zoning Commission, numerous public meetings and delays to address legal concerns, council voted unanimously Tuesday to repeal the old ordinance and adopt a new one.

    CEDD Principal Planner Gary Leikness came armed with three large binders holding the history of the new ordinance when he presented to council, but he kept his introductory remarks succinct.

    Since council had thoroughly discussed most of the proposed changes during its August work session, much of the discussion centered on two late developments.

    Los Alamos Public Schools requested that the code governing schools be changed from “… may have one freestanding sign per location” to “… may have one freestanding sign per street frontage” to assure that schools could be identified from every direction.

    Smith’s Food and Drug Centers requested a change to the freestanding signage restrictions for Area 4 (Trinity Drive).

  • Rachel's Club Making a Difference

    Whether it’s a hand up, a hand out or just a hand, students in Los Alamos Middle School’s Friends of Rachel Club have been setting an example by using their hands for good.

    Whether it’s by giving out random “kindness” bags to students they pass in the hallway or by making posters, members of the Friends of Rachel Club are always finding creative ways to carry out their number one mission.

    “We plan ways to keep people aware and informed about bullying and why they shouldn’t do it,” said club member Aubrey Hollon.

    The club’s latest project has become a runaway success; just check the LAMS’ cafeteria wall. The club has recently been raising money by having anyone that wants to, dip their hand in some non-toxic paint and press their palm onto a section of the middle school’s interior cafeteria wall.

    So, why the obsession with hands? According to Rachel’s Club member Esperanza Tapia, the club is an affiliate of the Rachel’s Challenge organization, which was founded by Rachel Scott’s parents shortly after she was killed in 1999 during the Columbine High School massacre.

    Tapia explained that shortly after her death, her parents discovered something behind their late daughter’s dresser that gave them the idea for the foundation.

  • Man wanted for questioning

    Santa Fe police are scheduled to speak with prosecutors this week about filing charges against Jake Smith, a former Santa Fe realtor and Los Alamos restaurateur.

    On Nov. 3, the decomposed bodies of two dogs were taken from Smith’s Santa Fe apartment. Police told the Journal North and Santa Fe New Mexican that the two dogs apparently died of starvation and police said there was no food or water that could be reached by the animals.

    Smith had worked for Barker Realty in Santa Fe before reportedly being fired and worked as a manager at the Hill Diner and the Dixie Girl in Los Alamos, with his mother Denise Lane.

    But right now, Smith is nowhere to be found.

    Santa Fe Police Sgt. Andrea Dobyns told the Journal North that Smith rented an apartment on Pino Road, which is near the Capitol.

    Dobyns said Smith had paid his rent through October, but he had not been seen for about eight weeks. The dogs were eventually found when the landlord called police because he had not seen Smith for close to two months.

    Police have not talked to Smith either.

    Santa Fe police officer David Rael told the Santa Fe New Mexican that the apartment had urine and feces in it, as well as empty wine bottles.

  • Young adults: Avoid these privacy red flags

    Young adults applying for college or preparing to enter the workforce are sometimes shocked to find out that certain behaviors that were either tolerated or ignored when they were younger now fall under closer scrutiny and could actually hurt their advancement possibilities. Among the biggest culprits are oversharing sensitive personal information in public forums and getting extreme tattoos or body art that may not yet be fully acceptable in certain work environments.
    Red flags. It should be common knowledge that many employers perform online profile searches of job or internship candidates. They’ll scour public postings on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube looking for inappropriate content like racy photos or videos, racist remarks or evidence of illegal activities that would rule inappropriate candidates.
    But many people don’t realize that colleges, insurance companies, law enforcement and government agencies sometimes do the same. Thus, an underage student hoping to boost his cool factor by posting photos that show him engaging in drinking games could be disqualified for college admission or even have his scholarship revoked.

  • The droppings of Election 2012

     At first glance, last week’s election might seem to have been pretty much a “status quo” affair.
    President Obama remains in the White House for another four years. Republicans will continue to control the U.S. House of Representatives for at least two more years, whereas a strengthened Democratic majority will prevail in the U.S. Senate.
    In New Mexico, the election left Democrats in control of the Legislature and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez with just two years left on the 4th floor at the Roundhouse unless she seeks a second term.
    The state’s three-member U.S. House delegation still features one Republican and two Democrats, including newly elected lst Dist. Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham, and in the nation’s upper house, New Mexicans will continue to be represented by two Democratic senators.
    Nonetheless, Election 2012 left behind a decidedly changed political landscape in this enchanted land.
    When 1st Dist. Congressman Martin Heinrich becomes Sen. Heinrich with the New Year, he will fill the Senate seat occupied for the past three decades by Democrat Jeff Bingaman. Thirty years accrues a lot of seniority in an institution where seniority matters a great deal.

  • Sports Update 11-14-12

    LA hockey plays Friday at Taos

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey season will have its first game of the 2012-13 season Friday.
    Los Alamos will face the Santa Fe Blue Jackets in New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League play at 7 p.m.
     That game was scheduled to be played in Los Alamos, but due to poor ice conditions at the county’s ice rink, it will be played at the Taos Youth and Family Center.
    The Hilltoppers will play two games this weekend. They will be on the road at Rio Rancho for a 2:15 p.m. Saturday contest.

    Sipapu set to open Saturday

    Sipapu Ski Resort announced that it will open for the season Saturday.
    Sipapu will be the first ski area in New Mexico to open for the 2012-13 ski season. As of this morning, it was reporting only a 5-inch base but will be making snow until Saturday.
    Lift tickets for the weekend are on sale for $20 or less, Ski New Mexico reported. More information about the opening can be found at sipapunm.com.
    Locally, Pajarito Mountain hasn’t yet announced an opening day for the ski season.
    No other ski areas have made announcements for opening dates, either.

    Volleyball playoffs getting underway