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Today's News

  • Who can fix political gridlock? Poll favors Romney

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Just about everybody agrees Washington is a gridlocked mess. But who's the man to fix it? After two years of brawling and brinkmanship between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans, more voters trust Mitt Romney to break the stalemate, an Associated Press-GfK poll shows.

    Romney's message — a vote for Obama is a vote for more gridlock — seems to be getting through. Almost half of likely voters, 47 percent, think the Republican challenger would be better at ending the logjam, compared with 37 percent for Obama.

    With the race charging into its final week, Romney is pushing that idea. He increasingly portrays himself as a get-things-done, work-with-everybody pragmatist, in hopes of convincing independent voters that he can overcome Washington's bitter partisanship. The AP-GfK poll shows the race in a virtual dead heat, with Romney at 47 percent to Obama's 45 percent, a difference within the margin of sampling error.

  • Raw: N.J. Gov. Meets With Sandy Victims
  • Local Courts: On the Docket 10-31-12

    Oct. 25

    Heather Riggs was found guilty in Los Alamos Magistrate Court of failure to yield of way to an oncoming vehicle.
    Riggs was ordered to pay $61 in court costs in addition to receiving a deferred sentence of a month’s probation, after which upon successful completion of the probation, the charge will be dismissed.
    Conditions of probation are the defendant shall notify the court of any address change within 48 hours and the defendant shall obey all local, state and federal laws while on probation.

    Juan Nester Vigil was found guilty in Los Alamos Magistrate Court of disorderly conduct.  Vigil was ordered to pay $73 in court fees and undergo six months of supervised probation.
    Conditions of probation are the defendant will obey all laws and not be arrested, indicted, charged or convicted of any other offense while on probation.
    Defendant will comply with all court ordered conditions of probation. Defendant shall not consume alcohol or enter any establishment serving alcohol. Defendant shall not possess a firearm or other weapon or destructive device and the defendant shall maintain contact with the probation officer.
    Oct. 30

  • Update 10-31-12

    Library board

    The Library Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at the White Rock Branch Library.

    Parks and Rec

    The Parks and Recreation Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Larry Walkup Aquatic Center.

    Chamber breakfast

    The topic will be LANL’s Recently Implemented Cost-Model pricing system that could impact its subcontractors. LANL officials will deliver presentations about these changes and answer questions. The event will be from 7:30-9 a.m. Thursday at UNM-LA Lecture Hall, Bldg. 2.

    Teen Center update

    An update about the Teen Center will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in council chambers.

    Meet Me at Mesa

    Meet Me at the Mesa begins at 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Mesa Library. The program makes the arts accessible to people with dementia.

  • IG scrutinizes management challenges at DOE

    The Department of Energy Inspector General released a report last week illustrating the management challenges at DOE.

    Inspector General Gregory Friedman wrote that “based on the results of our body of work over the last year, we have concluded that the list of management challenges for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 should remain largely consistent with that of the previous year. While positive strides have been made in a number of areas, many of the department’s most significant management challenges are not amenable to immediate resolution.

    Those management challenges include:
    • Operational efficiency and cost savings
    • Contract and financial assistance award management
    • Cyber security
    • Energy supply
    • Environmental cleanup
    • Human capital management
    • Nuclear waste disposal
    • Safeguards and security
    • Stockpile stewardship

    Friedman said the IG’s office has also developed a “watch list,” which came up after the recent events at the Y-12 National Security Complex where three trespassers gained access to a classified area. They defaced the building and they were not interrupted by any of the security measures in place.

  • Oversight committee to steer Creative District

    The Los Alamos Creative District is one step closer to becoming a functional reality. Council gave unanimous approval to both the charter and the membership of a new Creative District Advisory Committee during its meeting Tuesday.

    The major point of contention during discussions was the make-up and size of the committee.

    The charter proposed by staff called for a 12-member board comprised of one person each representing arts, culture, history, science/technology, hospitality, the Art in Public Places Advisory Board, the Fuller Lodge Historic District Advisory Board, the Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Board, the Library Board and three members representing the public-at-large.

    Thirteen members of the public had applied for the new board.

    Councilors had several objections to requiring representation from the boards.

    Councilor David Izraelevitz was concerned that board members would be unable to serve the two years specified in the charter due to expiring terms on their boards.

    Councilor Mike Wismer pointed out that the charter called for the boards to nominate those members. Although members of the APPAB and FLHDAB had submitted applications, no recommendations had been submitted by the boards.

  • NMED agrees to end Chromium settlement

    The New Mexico Environment Department agreed Monday to terminate the Chromium Settlement Agreement that has been in place with Los Alamos National Laboratory since 2007.

    “NMED has reviewed the Agreement and concludes that the terms of the Agreement have been met,” the notification letter dated Oct. 30 from David Martin, secretary of NMED reads.

    In the notification, Martin recaps some of the benchmarks that led up to the termination, chiefly that LANL has “created a publicly accessible database containing information related to the presence and concentrations of contaminants in environmental media (Agreement Item 28).”

    Furthermore, Martin stipulates that lab officials “will maintain, and continue to update, the database in accordance with Section III.Z of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Compliance Order on Consent Dated March 1, 2005 as modified on October 29, 2012 (Agreement Item 29).”

    In conclusion, the letter from Martin said, “NMED hereby terminates the Settlement Agreement and Final Order HWB 07-27 (CO).”

    In 2007, NMED reached a settlement with LANL over the lab’s failure to report chromium contamination in a monitoring well. The department said the lab paid a $251,870 penalty as part of the settlement.

  • Police seek cyber predator

    Los Alamos Police are actively trying to find the true identity of a person who tried to blackmail a 13-year-old Los Alamos girl over some nude photos she sent to the suspect.

    According to Officer Oliver McCartney, LAPD subpoenaed Internet giant Yahoo to see if there is a real name and address attached to a Yahoo email address the suspect allegedly used.

    “We’ve been monitoring things since the crime occurred, but unfortunately, the Internet allows you to be anyone you want to be,” McCartney said. McCartney noted there was a female identity attached to the instant messaging Kik identity. “We’re waiting to see if there was any name attached to the email, but it could be from anybody, anywhere in the world,” McCartney said.

    It all started when the girl started using an instant messaging application called Kik to text her friends with. At some point, she befriended a stranger who she thought was another girl.

    The suspect then started to flatter her, telling the victim she could be a model. Eventually, the suspect persuaded the victim to send “her” nude pictures of herself, even though the victim told “her” she was only 13-years-old. The victim complied.

  • Ski season kickoff

    Skiers are preparing for the upcoming ski season and were buying, selling and bartering at the annual Ski Swap. The Ski Swap was at the Los Alamos Middle School. The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures mostly in the normal to above-normal range for the winter of 2012-13 around the north central New Mexico area

  • Judges needed for La Loma Debate Tourney

    The Hilltalkers are seeking volunteer judges for the 50th annual Speech and Debate tournament Friday and Saturday. This year, the tournament will be at Los Alamos High School.  
    If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, feel free to call coaches Janet Newton or Toni Batha at 663-2651 or 663-2540 or email Batha at m.batha@laschools.net, Newton at j.newton@laschools.net or judge coordinator Katie Haynes, at katie.haynes@comcast.net. Make sure to provide your contact information.
    Individual Events include Humorous Interpretation (HI), Dramatic Interpretation (DI), Extemporaneous Speaking (Extemp), Duo Interpretation (Duo), Duet Improvisation (Duet), Original Oratory (OO), Expository Speaking (Expos) and Oral Interpretation (OI).
    Debate Events include Policy Debate (CX), Lincoln-Douglas Debate (LD), and Public Forum Debate (PF).