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Today's News

  • Cooking up a merit badge

    About 14 Junior Girl Scouts gathered at the Posse Shack Friday evening to work on attaining a Simple Meals merit badge. Private chef and caterer Jarda Belmonte volunteered to help the girls from White Rock Troop 10020 whip up a taco dinner

  • Driver arrested in State Road 4 crash

    Nina Roybal, 46, of Santa Fe was arrested by Santa Fe Sherrif’s Deputy Julie York Friday shortly after Roybal rolled her Toyota 4Runner on Main Hill Road (N.M. 502). After being treated for minor injuries at the scene, Roybal was administered a series of field sobriety tests by York, which she failed.

  • Voters to weigh in on Charter proposals

    Nearly three years of work by the Charter Review Committee will be put to the test during the general election. Charter amendments for initiative, referendum, recall of elected officials and the process for future charter amendments are on the ballot for voters to decide.

    All four ballot questions relate to citizen participation in government.

    The initiative process allows voters to propose an ordinance through the petition process, while a referendum uses the petition process to repeal an ordinance enacted by council. If sufficient signatures are collected, the question must be placed before the voters.

    The proposed changes are summarized in the ballot questions. To read the actual ordinances with the proposed changes, go to losalamosnm.us. The ordinances are published in legislative format, which uses underlining to highlight new material and strikethroughs to show what was deleted. The full ordinances are lengthy and require a fair amount of time to read them, so county staff recommends advance research.

    The Charter amendment page also contains a voter guide that was mailed to every residence on Sept. 26, a brief analysis of the proposed changes with arguments for and against, the CRC final report as well as subcommittee reports and meeting minutes. The League of Women voters vetted the voter guide before it was sent out.

  • Debate on Charter amendments unabated

    A few of the proposed Charter amendments are substantive changes and that has sparked a heated debate between those supporting the changes and those opposed.

    Substantive changes include reducing the amount of time to collect signatures for an initiative petition from 180 days to 90 days, increasing the number of signatures required for a referendum petition to 15 percent of the arithmetic mean of the two previous general elections and clarification of subjects excluded from the initiative process.

    Initiative petitions currently require 15 percent of votes cast in the most recent general election. The new amendment also uses the arithmetic mean of the two previous general elections.

    The CRC researched other New Mexico communities and tried to bring the county’s initiative and referendum requirements more in line with the norm. Santa Fe requires 33 1/2 percent of votes in the previous municipal election with 10 percent from each of the council districts. Albuquerque requires 20 percent of the arithmetic mean of the past five municipal elections.

    The Los Alamos Governmental Review Initiative (lagri.org) has led the fight against the more substantive changes, going so far as to circulate a petition seeking to remove those questions from the ballot. LAGRI was unable to collect sufficient signatures for that petition.

  • Crucial election awaits voters

    Voters in Los Alamos County have some interesting decisions to make.

    That’s putting it lightly.

    Not only will they cast their votes for president, there is a key U.S. Senate race between Republican Heather Wilson and Democrat Martin Heinrich.

    That race has been earmarked as one of the key races in the country and it could tilt Senate control either way.

    Democratic House incumbent Ben Ray Luján, who is ahead in most polls, is facing off against Republican challenger Jefferson Byrd.

    Despite all the craziness surrounding the national scene, the local election has had its fair share of fireworks.

    That can especially be said for the State House District 43 race between incumbent Republican Jim Hall and Democratic challenger Stephanie Garcia Richard.

    The race may be pivotal to which party takes control of the State House.

    Political groups free from campaign finance restrictions are pouring millions of dollars into New Mexico’s legislative races that will determine who gains control in the House and Senate.

    They have been especially prevalent in the contentious House 43 bid, as there have been numerous attack ads flooding the airwaves and mailboxes by outside parties who back both candidates. Both Hall and Garcia Richard have condemned those tactics.

  • Volunteers needed for Relay for Life

    Volunteers are being recruited for the 2013 event planning committee for the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event Relay For Life of Los Alamos.
    Dedicated volunteers are needed with skills and talents in the areas of communication, marketing, sales, technology, training, motivation, photography, creativity and organization.
    Relay For Life is a fundraiser that allows participants from all walks of life — including patients, medical support staff, corporations, civic organizations, churches and community volunteers — to celebrate the lives of those who have faced cancer, remember loved ones lost to cancer and fight back against the disease.
    “Relay For Life is a community owned, volunteer-driven event that is about awareness and the progress made against cancer,” said Gloria Martinez, Relay For Life manager.  “Individuals who are willing to give their time and energy to this exciting event, as a volunteer or participant, have made a commitment to fight back against this disease and let the community know that you can beat cancer.”
    Relay For Life is a family oriented, team event where participants walk around a track relay-style overnight.

  • Heart Smart Poster Contest Winners

    Heart Smart Poster Contest Winners

    The Family YMCA and Los Alamos Heart Council co-sponsored a Heart Smart Poster Contest for children in grades K-6th.
    Posters were judged on originality and the healthy message it depicted, winning posters were displayed at the Los Alamos Health Fair. The following children won prizes for their posters:

    Kindergarten through third grade

    First place: Heidi and Wendy Sheppard
    Second place: Sarah Taylor
    Third place: Ryan Worley
    Fourth place: John Worley

    Fourth through sixth grade

    First place: Sarah Worley
    Second place: Eliana Rodriguez
    Third place: Paulina Burnside
    Fourth place: Maarla Duffield

  • Celebrate Veterans Day with the Legion

    This year’s Veterans Day community celebration will be at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at the American Legion Post 90, 1325 Trinity Dr. All veterans, their families and friends, as well as the general public are invited to attend. The local theme is “Honoring the Vietnam Veteran.”
    More than three million men and women served in Vietnam and more than 58,000 made the ultimate sacrifice.
    Veterans Day is a national holiday to thank and honor the 23 million living veterans that have honorably served their country in both wartime and peacetime. There are currently 1.4 million Americans serving in the U.S. military with thousands currently deployed overseas, many in harm’s way.   
    This year’s guest of honor and speaker will be Major Dave Carver, USMC (ret).
    Carver served more than 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a Los Alamos resident and Los Alamos National Laboratory employee. He served in a variety of positions in a long and distinguished career. Carver was wounded four times in action in Vietnam serving as a radioman in an infantry company.
    Deacon Michael Irving, from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church of Los Alamos, will deliver the invocation and benediction.

  • A chocolate lover’s dream

    Tickets to a land of chocolate are available for $20, from the Betty Ehart Senior Center — and the trip is scheduled for Nov. 10.
    The annual Festival of Chocolate will be from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. to benefit local senior and youth programs.
    The Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization and Champions of Youth Ambitions have teamed together for the fundraiser.
    “We could not do this event without volunteers,” said Pauline Powell Schneider, LARSO director. “The seniors who come that night to serve, welcome and support the event; people we work with regularly, like Los Alamos Retirement Community and the Medical Center, are very supportive of the event and they have kitchens with creative chefs who are happy to donate chocolate treats for our festival.”
    Through the efforts of Los Alamos MainStreet and a variety of local business, the long-term tradition of the Festival of Chocolate will kick off a weeklong event called, The Festival of Trees.
    Holiday trees, available by silent auction are unveiled annually during the Festival of Chocolate, when the bid sheets officially go up and Chef Michael Mason’s homemade hot cocoa begins to pour.

  • Learn about photo processing with the LAAUG

    For several years, the Los Alamos Photography Club has offered a place for photography enthusiasts to not only learn more about photo techniques, but to also hone their skills.  
    Now, there’s another group that will help photographers take the next step and learn about Adobe products and digital photo processing. The Adobe Users Group, founded by Doug Coombs and Kenneth Hanson, will focus on the program Adobe Lightroom, as well as Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop elements.
    The group is currently accepting new members and will meet from 7-9 p.m. at the Fuller Lodge Art Center, the first Tuesday of every month, with the first meeting scheduled for Nov. 6. There is no charge to join the group.
    Coombs said putting the group together is a joint effort between the Los Alamos Photography Club and the Los Alamos Adobe Users Group.
    Although the two groups focus on photography and photo techniques, Coombs wants everyone to know that they are separate.
    “The (photo) club is more software agnostic. We focus on how to do photos and print photos,” Coombs said. Despite the fact that his time will now be divided amongst the two groups, he said that the photo club still intends to host the annual photo show.