Today's News

  • Update 12-05-12

    Book sale

    Scholastic books are for sale at The Family YMCA from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily through Thursday. The public is welcome to come to the Y and shop. Partial proceeds will benefit the Y’s annual campaign that supports scholarships for those needing financial assistance.


    To kick off its 50th anniversary celebration next year, the Los Alamos Monitor will distribute a commemorative 2013 calendar Sunday Dec. 9. Look for it inside your newspaper.

    Sponsor a family

    The Family YMCA is sponsoring four families for the holidays and welcomes the community to participate by taking part in the Giving Tree. For more information call the Y at 662-3100.

    DWI council

    The Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council will meet at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 11 at the Los Alamos Police Department Training Room, 2500 Trinity Dr., Suite A.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185.

  • Luminaria sand now available

    Each year, the Los Alamos County Pavement division provides free luminaria sand as a courtesy to residents.  Sand is now available at these locations:
    Overlook Park — in south parking lot
    Urban Park — in 42nd St. parking area
    Sullivan Field — west side of parking lot
    Barranca Mesa — at the end of Barranca Road at Navajo
    North Mesa — at the north end of soccer field parking lot
    Residents are asked to limit the amount of sand taken to the amount needed for their holiday luminarias.

  • Property tax bill deadline looms

    Los Alamos County property tax bills for 2012 were mailed to property owners Nov. 1.
    The first half installment becomes delinquent after Dec. 10. Payment must either be made in person at the 311 Customer Care Center by 5 p.m. Dec. 10 or postmarked by midnight that same day, to avoid late payment penalty and interest charges.
    The 311 Customer Care Center is located at 150 Central Park Square and open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
    Payments should be mailed to P.O. Box 99, Los Alamos, N.M.  87544.  
    Payments are also accepted through a property tax lockbox at Los Alamos National Bank.

  • Regional Coalition launches website

    The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities announced that it has launched a new website at regionalcoalition.org.
    As part of the Regional Coalition’s goal to increase transparency, the website includes the latest information regarding Regional Coalition Board members, meeting notices and minutes and news related to the Regional Coalition.
    It also has a sign-up feature where community members can be added to the Regional Coalition’s information distribution list.
     “We are excited to launch the new website to ensure that our communities are informed and engaged with the work of the Coalition and look forward to continued community input and support as we move forward,” said Santa Fe Mayor David Coss, Chair of the Regional Coalition.
     The Regional Coalition’s Board of Directors includes one representative from eight local government jurisdictions surrounding the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  • LAPD adds two new officers to roster

    The Los Alamos County Police Department recently added two new officers to its force, one of which was valedictorian of the graduating class.

    After ceremonies at the Santa Fe Police Academy last Thursday, officers James Keane and Adele Girmendonk were sworn in as LAPD’s newest officers Friday and began their 13-week, on-the-job training over the weekend, patrolling the streets of Los Alamos with their trainers/partners.

    “I’m having a great time taking everything I learned at the academy and applying it here in the streets,” Girmendonk said. “It’s been a very good experience.”

    Girmendonk added that a lot of the credit goes to her field-training officer.

    “I’ve really enjoyed working with my FTO, he’s been super and really knowledgeable and that really helps,” she said.

    Girmendonk decided to go into police work out of a genuine desire to serve her community and to somehow apply her experience in disaster management to her current job.

    “I feel like I had a lot to be grateful for in my life,” she said. “I just wanted to give back to my community and to feel like I’m helping society in some way.”

    Keane was in the same graduating class with Girmendonk and said he feels the same way.

  • Sheriff Lucero's charter amendment petition fails

    A Charter amendment petition that would have allowed sheriff officers who successfully completed Law Enforcement Academy training to assume peace keeping duties was certified insufficient by council last Tuesday.

    Sheriff Marco Lucero, who initiated the petition, submitted 377 of the 1,327 required signatures. The petition was circulated from May 2 to Oct. 29, with an additional two weeks allowed to correct the insufficiency. No additional signatures were collected during that period.

    The petition was Lucero’s most recent attempt to obtain law enforcement duties for the sheriff’s office. He had proposed this amendment during the Charter Review Committee discussions about the role of sheriff.

    The charter reads “The Council shall establish as a department of the County, a Police Department to be charged with conserving the peace and enforcing the laws of the State and the ordinances of the County. The Sheriff shall have those powers and duties assigned to sheriffs by state statutes, including the powers of a peace officer, but the Sheriff shall not duplicate or perform those duties in this Charter or by ordinance or resolution assigned or delegated to the County’s Police Department.”

  • Would-be shoplifter doesn't get too far

    Artists may seem like peace-loving folk, but as one Los Alamos resident found out the hard way, if you steal from them, they will hunt you down as relentlessly as the toughest bounty hunter.

    That seemed to be what happened Nov. 28 when alleged shoplifter, Melissa Carpenter, decided to help herself to items on display at the Fuller Lodge Art Center. She made off with numerous pieces, according to a Los Alamos Police Department report.

    Taken were a denim bag, a decorated rock, a dog necklace and agate turquoise necklaces, mosaic turquoise earrings, a lapis sterling ring, turquoise sterling ring, turquoise butterfly earrings, epoxy earrings, fingerless gloves designed for texting, a ring box, a ring dish, a small plate, two purses, a scarf and a turquoise money clip. The items were all worth about $969.03 with tax, according to the police report.

    Among the purloined items were some that an art show volunteer, Deborah Stone-Richard, created herself. When she observed Carpenter acting strangely and then noticed that there were many items missing after she left, she notified police and then went looking for Carpenter herself.

  • Slip Sliding Away

    Riki Bayers, 19, (back to camera) hugs her friend Rachael Hayward, 18.
    Hayward said she was driving up N.M. 502 West toward Los Alamos, when the transmission and the brakes in her Dodge Caravan minivan simultaneously failed, leaving the distraught teen rolling backwards down the Main Hill. She said there was no choice but to use the canyon wall to stop her descent.

  • LANS to pay $10 million

    The first step was taken Tuesday to resolve the cost overrun issue with the Nuclear Material Safeguards and Security Upgrade Project at TA-55.

    The National Nuclear Security Administration and Los Alamos National Security, LLC, the managing and operating contractor of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, have reached an agreement on how to move forward with the project.

    According to the joint statement issued late in the day Tuesday, the settlement agreement, reached in partnership between NNSA and the LANS Board of Governors, resolves LANS’ accountability for potentially unallowable costs incurred on the project to date and sets a path forward for completion of the project.

    Under the agreement, LANS, LLC will pay the government $10 million in non-reimbursable, non-taxpayer funds to settle project costs deemed potentially unallowable by the NNSA, and work with its subcontractors to develop plans to restart work at NMSSUP as efficiently and economically as possible.

    A revised estimate of the total project cost, which includes savings from this agreement, is due to NNSA by Dec. 10. NNSA has agreed to resume funding the NMSSUP project no later than Dec.14.

  • Where are the state’s New Deal art treasures?

    SANTA FE – What’s the deal with New Mexico’s New Deal art? We have a whole lot of it – and should have even more.
    Back during the Great Depression, from 1933 to 1943, the U.S. government had some honking big jobs programs. You’ve probably heard of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration. There also were programs to employ thousands of artists nationwide. Being a favorite spot for artists, New Mexico had a big share of those programs.
    In New Mexico, a committee of well-known artists was chosen to travel the state interviewing artists and inspecting their art.
    The artists chosen produced murals, paintings, photographs, furniture, dishes, wrought iron fixtures, copper items, weavings and other decorative items.
    The pieces were not purchased. The artists were paid a regular weekly salary, depending on their level of expertise, to produce more art. Since the artists worked for the government, their work belonged to the government.
    It was placed in public buildings throughout the state.
    Almost every school building had at least one piece of art. In addition, art was placed in all manner of other public buildings, including court houses, libraries, post offices, county and municipal buildings and universities.