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Today's News

  • Update 09-25-12

    CMRR meeting

    A CMRR Project Update public meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. today at Fuller Lodge.

    Court closed

    The Los Alamos Municipal Court Clerk’s Office will be closed Sept. 26-28 for staff to attend training. Payments due during this period may be mailed to Los Alamos Municipal Court, 2500 Trinity Dr., Ste. C, Los Alamos, N.M. 87544 or some payments may be paid online at citepayusa.com.

    School board

    The Los Alamos Public Schools Board of Education will meet for a work session at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Speech Theater at Los Alamos High School.

    P&Z meeting

    The Los Alamos Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in council chambers.

    Grand opening

    The County of Los Alamos will host a grand opening ceremony for the new White Rock Visitor Center at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

  • Monsoon ends after dismal rain year

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico’s summer monsoon season began with promise but has now ended with disappointing amounts of rainfall across much of the state.
    National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Frazier tells the Santa Fe New Mexican that all the ingredients needed to bring normal summer rains to the state’s mountains and plains just never developed this year. Instead, the main moisture plume stayed to the west in Arizona and California.
    The upper elevations in the central and northern mountains had some of the best rains, but the moisture rarely dropped down into the valleys around Santa Fe or Albuquerque. The far western portions of the state fared best, with near normal precipitation.
    Most of the state received from 40 percent to 80 percent of the 30-year rolling average, with the statewide average at 60 percent of normal. Through August, the state has endured its fifth-driest year on record.
    Saturday marked the autumn equinox, when the hours of daylight and darkness are equal, and also signals a continued dry spell at least into October, Frazier said.
    “In Northern New Mexico, the average winter starts in late October,” Frazier said.

  • Veteran cops call it a career

    It was all smiles and tears Monday as friends and family attended the retirement party of  the Los Alamos Police Department’s Cpl. Doug Ehler and Deputy Chief Kevin Purtymun. LAPD Chief Wayne Torpy presided over a short award ceremony where he presented each officer with a shadow box containing the medals, ranks and commendations they each accumulated during their careers.

  • DPU conducts gas leak survey

    The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities is conducting its regular annual maintenance survey of the natural gas distribution system.
    “Every year, as required by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, we walk the gas lines comprising the county’s distribution network, to detect and repair gas leaks of any size,” said Deputy Utilities Manager for Gas, Water and Sewer Timothy Glasco.
    The DPU’s contractor, Fitzgerald and Associates can be seen beginning Wednesday in Los Alamos and White Rock as follows: the southern part of Los Alamos town site, (Eastern Area, Western Area, Denver Steel) in White Rock throughout Pajarito Acres, commercial areas and schools. The leak detection survey is slated for completion the week of Oct. 5.
    Gas leak detection begins at the customer’s gas meter and then proceeds toward the larger gas lines. If a leak of any size is detected, it is immediately marked for investigation and subsequent remediation by DPU’s Gas Water and Sewer (GWS) field crews. 
    As always, in the event of a hissing sound or natural gas odor, the DPU reminds citizens to call 311 or 662-8333 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday or 5662-8222 after hours.

  • Truck accident cleanup expected to erase scars

    If things go as planned, the paint truck and the mess created by it should be a memory by late October or early November.

    According to Rod Torrez, a public information officer with Bandelier National Monument, the area where a paint truck landed after going off a cliff into the park from N.M. 4 will be cleaned up soon.

    “We have already talked to a number of contracting companies about taking it out of here and we’ve just about reached a decision,” Torrez said.

    Another big step has already been cleared; getting someone to pay for it. Although it’s not clear yet exactly whose fault the accident was, San Bar, the owner of the truck, has agreed to pay for the damages and cost of the clean-up through its insurance.

    According to Torrez, clean-up can’t happen fast enough. The truck, which was carrying about 800 gallons of yellow and white road striping paint when it went over the side of the road, spilled its visually garish cargo all over the side of the mountain, making it look like someone spilled the contents of a giant egg onto the otherwise natural and pristine landscape of Bandelier.

    “It’s definitely an eyesore,” Torrez said. “You can see it from the entrance of the park.”

    Fortunately, according to Torrez, an eyesore is all it seems to be.

  • Religion creeps back in

    As a kid, I remember my parents discussing whether they could vote for a Roman Catholic, John F. Kennedy. It was a hot topic at the time. They liked Kennedy and did vote for him. After that the issue of a candidate’s religion seemed to wane, at our dinner table and nationally.
    In this campaign, some have had to think about whether they could vote for a Mormon, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. It appeared to be a lesser issue, compared to the front-page issues.
    Then a friend forwarded the photograph of a crusader demanding that a large number of groups “repent and believe in Jesus.” Here’s a portion of the list: “homos, druggies, gangsters, feminists, Mormons, Buddhists, Catholics, wife beaters, New Agers, Democrats, environmentalists, racists, government recipients, Jehovah’s Witnesses, perverts, loud mouth women, liberals and sports nuts.”
    My, my. So, in some circles it’s still a hot topic.
    Rob Nikolewski, of Capitol Report New Mexico, recently pilloried a couple of national magazines for religious bigotry in their coverage of Romney, and rightly so. To my knowledge, we haven’t seen anything similar in New Mexico. We’re pretty tolerant here, but part of the story is our history.

  • Water is life: Protect Rio Grande del Norte

    There is a well-known saying in the southwest: “Agua es vida,” or “water is life.” This isn’t just a reference to our limited supplies, but also to the cultural, spiritual and economic significance of water to our way of life.
    As the owner of a rafting company in Northern New Mexico, water is indeed my life. I take tourists and residents whitewater rafting, camping and fishing while exposing them to the culture, natural beauty and majesty that makes Northern Mexico so special. That’s why I support efforts underway to protect the Rio Grande Gorge as part of a potential Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area. But it is also why I was pleased to hear President Obama had designated a new national monument in Colorado recently.
    Chimney Rock west of Pagosa Springs isn’t a vital water resource. Instead, its ancient pueblos are held sacred by Native Americans. I’m hoping that if the President is willing to act to recognize and protect the important cultural significance of Chimney Rock, he’ll also act to protect the Rio Grande del Norte, which is sacred to us.
    Here in Northern New Mexico, families have irrigated from acequias for hundreds of years. We grow chiles, corn and apples.
     We rely on water from the Rio Grande to feed our families, but also to feed our souls.

  • NFL upholds disputed touchdown

    NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has upheld the Seahawks’ 14-12 win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.
    The league said in a statement Tuesday that Seattle’s last-second touchdown pass should not have been overturned.
    The NFL says Seahawks receiver Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch, which would have clinched a Packers victory, but that cannot be reviewed by instant replay.
    The replacement officials ruled on the field that Tate had simultaneous possession with Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, which counts as a reception. The NFL says that once that happened, the referee was correct that no indisputable visual evidence existed on review to overturn the touchdown call.
    On the final play, Russell Wilson heaved a 24-yard pass into a scrum in the end zone. Tate and Jennings both got their hands on the ball, though the Packers insisted Jennings had clear possession for a game-ending interception.

  • Hilltopper C team boys win big at Socorro Stampede Saturday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys C team cross country squad just missed a perfect score at Saturday’s Socorro Stampede.
    The Hilltopper boys finished with 17 team points, two points away from a perfect 15. Aaron Roybal, followed by Cameron Staples, Greg Ahlers and John Valdiviez swept the top four spots for Los Alamos, as it easily topped runner-up Rio Rancho.
    Also at Saturday’s race. Los Alamos’ girls C team finished second behind Cleveland. Hilltopper Anna Wermer was the top individual finisher in that race.
    Here are Los Alamos’ results from the Socorro Stampede:

    Girls

    Team scores

    1. Cleveland, 23; 2. Los Alamos, 36; 3. Rio Rancho, 85.

    Individual results

    1. Anna Wermer, 22:06; 4. Haley Butler-Moore, 24:05; 8. Morgan Apperson, 24:53; 11. Sara Stubben, 25:15; 12. Rachel Wallstrom, 25:15; 13. Elise Koskelo, 25:37; 16. Alexandria Chavarria, 26:31; 17. Marcela Mas, 26:35; 19. Chloe Keilers, 26:43; 23. Grace Kim, 27:09. 25. Katie Bowman, 28:12; 29. Dana Crooks, 28:42; 30. Chelsea Chalacombe, 28:55; 31. Rory Cooley, 29:20; 32. Hannah Morgan, 31:00; 36. Miranda Honnell, 33:05; 38. Lauren Fugate, 34:01; 39. Marissa Salazar, 34:35; 41. Roxanne Lopez, 37:21; 43. Morgan Trujillo, 44:26.

    Boys

    Team scores

  • LA teams open district play

    Both the Hilltopper boys and girls soccer teams open District 2-4A play this afternoon when they travel to Bernalillo.
    The Hilltoppers will face Bernalillo’s Spartans in a doubleheader. The boys game is scheduled for 4 p.m. and the girls game will start at 6 p.m.
    Los Alamos’ girls, who have won five straight district titles, not having lost a single district game during that time, will again be the team to beat in 2-4A this season. Going in, it would seem only Santa Fe, which Los Alamos faces Saturday at home and Oct. 16 in Santa Fe, has any real hope of ending the Hilltoppers’ streak of district victories.
    The Hilltopper girls (8-1) won five straight contests against stiff competition heading into tonight’s game.
    Los Alamos’ boys, meanwhile, won’t be going into the 2-4A season as the defending champs. That title belongs to Capital, which topped Los Alamos in the 2011 regular season finale and won the 2-4A title by goal differential.
    The Hilltoppers (6-5) have struggled, winning just one of their last five contests. Most recently, they were nipped at Rio Rancho by the Rams, 2-1.
    Capital (6-2) has a 19-7 goals for-goals against margin, but hasn’t played the toughest of competition during the nondistrict season.