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Today's News

  • Sign removed due to permitting issue

    Last week, the new Smiths Fuel Station, which opened Tuesday, had a fancy new sign to greet visitors.
    During the ribbon cutting Tuesday, it was noticeably absent.
    Los Alamos County Transportation manager Nancy Talley provided the following explanation for the removal of the sign.
    “Primarily there were two issues with the sign; they did not have a sign permit to install the sign per the county’s development code and they installed it in the sight visibility triangle which caused a traffic safety hazard,“ Talley said.
    “The sign was removed because it was causing sight visibility problems for vehicles trying to exit Knecht Street onto Trinity Drive. Yesterday I met with the contractor and a couple of Smith’s representatives and helped them field spot an appropriate location to install the sign once they obtain the appropriate sign permit.”
    The Los Alamos Monitor printed a photo of the sign when it was still in place last week and a Smith’s executive quipped Tuesday that he went out and bought five or six newspapers as a keepsake.

  • Asset teams sustain LA infrastructure

    As the county’s aging infrastructure reaches or exceeds its “useful life,” the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities walks a fine line between extending its lifespan and replacing it completely.
    “Our objective is to get as much life out of the assets as we reasonably can. We’re not simply going in and replacing infrastructure because it’s 40 years old, if it could potentially be useable for 100 years,” DPU Manager John Arrowsmith said.
    DPU has developed a systematic and unusual approach for dealing with a dilemma many communities are facing.
    The solution centers around seven asset management teams, each comprised of engineers, operations people and financial staff. The teams were created several years ago to continually assess the state of the infrastructure and prioritize capital projects for replacement.
    “I’ve been involved with the capital planning for 10 years now, and I think it’s a pretty thorough job,” Deputy Utilities Manager of Engineering James Alarid said. “We’ve spent a lot of effort on condition assessments of our infrastructure. We look at the risk of certain things and then prioritize based on that.”

  • Candidates spar at forum

    A woman’s right to choose, strengthening New Mexico’s economy, developing alternative energy and investing in public education were just some of the questions lobbed at candidates for the District 43 House seat during a forum Thursday night.
    White Rock Baptist Church served as the backdrop for the forum, which was organized by the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos and was moderated by the league’s president, Barbara Calef.
    The candidates for the 43rd District seat, Republican Jim Hall and Democratic challenger Stephanie Garcia Richard, however, seemed to handle the questions with ease and even seemed to somewhat agree on a few issues.
    When one resident asked about how was the best way to update the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s mission, Hall said though New Mexico is “suffering from a deficit of senior leadership” in Washington at the moment, he had no doubt that with time, the lab will modernize its mission into more peaceful and scientific endeavors. “But its main mission will always be to safeguard America’s nuclear stockpile,” Hall said.

  • LA makes good showing against No. 1 team in country

    It was an opportunity not many people get, but the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team took advantage of it Thursday night.

    The Strongsville, Ohio, Mustangs, traveling through northern New Mexico this week, wanted to take in some local sights and sounds, as well as play some soccer.

    Strongsville, however, is not just a bunch of ordinary tourists. It so happens to be the No. 1-ranked team prep team in the country.

    Thursday, it dropped in for a visit to Sullivan Field to take on the Hilltoppers, one of the premier teams in the area.

    Strongsville is a suburb of Cleveland and the Mustangs make annual treks to various places across the country. This year’s trip just happened to be through the area.

    In the offseason, Mustangs’ head coach Jon Felton got in touch with girls soccer organizers in Taos and asked if his team could drop by for a visit. From Taos, Felton was connected with Hilltopper head coach Jiri Kubicek, who jumped at the chance for his team to host an elite program such as Strongsville.

    In Thursday’s contest, the Hilltoppers had a solid showing, keeping pace with the Mustangs for most of the way despite having to play most of the contest a man down after drawing a first half red card.

  • Orioles hold on in ALDS, force Game 5

    NEW YORK (AP) — Just maybe the Baltimore Orioles' remarkable run into October is not so improbable after all.

    Seventeen wins in extra innings, 31 victories in one-run games. Staving off elimination from the postseason twice already.

    They've done all that, and might not be done yet.

    Bouncing back from a demoralizing defeat, the Orioles beat the New York Yankees 2-1 in, yep, 13 innings on J.J. Hardy's double in Game 4 of the division series Thursday night.

    Now they get a chance to prove one more time that they're unflappable, in a winner-take-all Game 5 Friday.

    "All these extra-inning games, all these close games. Obviously, it's fitting with the types of games we played all year," closer Jim Johnson said.

    On Thursday they played past midnight, winning a test of wills with the high-priced Yankees for a chance at a spot in the AL championship series against Detroit.

    Game 1 winner CC Sabathia was set to pitch the deciding game for the Yankees against Jason Hammel.

    "It's time to go," Sabathia said. "This is a one-game playoff, and this is what we play for. We're here in the Bronx at home, and like I said, I'll be excited and ready to go."

  • 10 things to know for Friday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:

    1. DEBATE NIGHT FOR VP CANDIDATES

    Biden, Ryan seek to advance the cause of their tickets in a close race for the presidency — and avoid gaffes.

    2. HEZBOLLAH SAYS IT SENT DRONE OVER ISRAEL

    Israeli warplanes shot down the unmanned plane, but the infiltration marked a rare breach of the tightly guarded airspace.

    3. CDC LOCATES MOST PEOPLE AT RISK IN MENINGITIS OUTBREAK

    But federal officials warn that patients will need to keep watch for symptoms of the deadly infection for months.

    4. VIDEO SHOWS NAKED STUDENT WITH OPEN ARMS BEFORE HE'S SHOT

    Police say Gil Collar was acting aggressively, but lawyer for his family says the footage shows the shooting wasn't justified.

  • Today in History for October 12th
  • Mailing a letter will cost another penny next year

    WASHINGTON (AP) — It'll cost another penny to mail a letter next year.

    The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service said Thursday that it will raise postage rates on Jan. 27, including a 1-cent increase in the cost of first-class mail to 46 cents.

    It also will introduce a new global "forever" stamp, allowing customers to mail first-class letters anywhere in the world for one set price of $1.10. Currently, the prices vary depending on the international destination, with letters to Canada and Mexico costing 85 cents.

    Under the law, the post office cannot raise stamp prices more than the rate of inflation, or 2.6 percent, unless it gets special permission. The post office, which expects to lose a record $15 billion this year, has asked Congress to give it new authority to raise prices by 5 cents, but lawmakers have failed to act.

    The mail agency also will increase rates on its shipping services, such as priority mail, by an average of 4 percent.

  • Resident: Prostitution Arrest Rocks Maine Town

    People in the upscale Maine beach town of Kennebunk are waiting anxiously as police prepare to release the names of clients of Zumba instructor Alexis Wright who also allegedly worked as a prostitute.

     

     

  • Putting the public first when it comes to public information

    Some years ago, I was present at a Legislative Finance Committee meeting in Silver City. Legislative committees hold some meetings each year outside Santa Fe, to help make government more accessible to citizens around the state.
    Attending the meeting were committee staff plus the usual suspects, state officials and lobbyists. Following committees around the state was part of their job.
     They could have been back in Santa Fe for all the difference the location made. Not a soul from the local community was in attendance, until a dozen or so senior citizens walked in, chaperoned by a staff member of their retirement home.
    The secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration was testifying. As is customary, he was facing the committee, had his back to the audience, and was talking in technical language about technical matters.
     To these visitors, he could have been speaking Klingon. The committee chair never acknowledged the visitors either or changed procedure in any way to accommodate them. They sat in bewildered silence.
    Various state boards and commissions also tramp around the state with their professional followers in tow. Local residents have a chance to participate, or at least watch and say howdy, but rarely do.