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Today's News

  • 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.

  • Another look at medical marijuana

    Marijuana could be a cure for drug addiction.  That’s right: a cure.  Maybe.
    This was one fascinating revelation from a recent presentation on the opioid epidemic.  
    In fairness to the speaker, the statement about marijuana was a minor point in a generally grim presentation about the growing problem of addiction to and death from prescription opioid drugs. The emphasis on marijuana is mine.
    The speaker was Scott Goold, an economist who recently trained as a Community Addiction Recovery Specialist with Project Echo, a University of New Mexico medical education program.  Project Echo provides specialty training and expertise to health care professionals throughout the state via distance learning.
    The news about prescription pain medication keeps getting worse.  According to Goold, the problem is, in part, that opioid medications are really effective at relieving pain.  Someone recovering from an injury might want help with pain for several weeks.  But it takes only about two weeks for physical dependence to occur.  People with injuries can become addicted to these drugs while doing what seems perfectly reasonable.   

  • Tuesday's prep basketball scores

    Boys basketball

    Atrisco Heritage 63, Belen 43

    Bernalillo 79, Los Lunas 76

    Bosque School 56, Pecos 42

    Capital 53, Manzano 46

    Carlsbad 58, Goddard 51

    Cleveland 50, Onate 40

    Cliff 76, Cobre 37

    Deming 84, Hot Springs 20

    EP El Dorado, Texas 66, Mayfield 51

    Fabens, Texas 68, Centennial High School 62

    Floyd 55, Elida 46

    Hope Christian 63, West Mesa 43

    La Cueva 64, Volcano Vista 62

    Las Cruces 74, EP Chapin, Texas 62

    Lubbock Monterey, Texas 70, Lovington 49

    NMMI 64, Gateway Christian 38

    Rio Grande 64, Santa Fe 51

    Rio Rancho 72, Espanola Valley 71

    Sandia 79, Albuquerque Academy 41

    Sandia Prep 62, Del Norte 59

    Santa Teresa 52, Clint Mountain View, Texas 26

    St. Pius 60, Gallup 56

    Valencia 51, Socorro 50

    Valley 46, Cibola 33

     

    Girls basketball

    Albuquerque High 47, Capital 35

    Carlsbad 47, Goddard 31

    Centennial High School 67, Fabens, Texas 43

    Cleveland 50, Onate 46

    Clovis 50, Amarillo Palo Duro, Texas 46, OT

    Corona 70, Cloudcroft 46

    Coronado 54, Monte del Sol 45

    Espanola Valley 71, Taos 60