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Today's News

  • Be There 12-19-12


    Thursday
    The holiday Farmers Market will be at Fuller Lodge.
    Friday
     Los Alamos Chapter 63, Order of Eastern Star, is selling fruitcakes, apricot pecan and pineapple pecan cakes, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. in the lobby of Los Alamos National Bank. Contact Judy Goldie, 662-3797 or goldienm@comcast.net; Nina Laird, 662-7580; or Betty Robertson, 662-5185, for more information.
    Saturday
    The Los Alamos Little Theatre hosts “The Truth About Santa,” (PG-13) a melodrama about troubles at the North Pole, performed by the Southwest Rural Theatre Project. The show will be at 7:30 p.m. Admission is by donation.
    Dec. 24
    There will be a living nativity staged in the United Church parking lot at 5 p.m. Greet the holy family, the shepards and kings and pet the stable animals. There will also be a candlelight service at 4 p.m. and one at 11 p.m. with the Christmas choir and communion will be served.
    Dec. 27

  • YAC gets donations

    The Youth Activity Center recently acquired a new air hockey table and a new popcorn machine. The air hockey table was donated to the Los Alamos Youth Activity Center by James and Darlene Potter for Marie Koss Potter Warsaw, in memory of her grandson Gregory James Potter.
    James and Darlene also donated a new popcorn machine in memory of their son Gregory James Potter. Greg worked at the Youth Activity Center prior to his passing in 2003.

  • Apply now for LANL Foundation scholarships

     Northern New Mexico students aiming to pursue four-year college degrees are eligible for tuition help ranging from $1,000 to $30,000 from the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund.
    Scholarships will be announced in March for the next school year. The deadline for applications is Jan. 22.
    The fund, which has awarded $3.3 million since 1998, is administered by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation. Funding comes from donations by LANL employees, contractors and a matching amount from Los Alamos National Security, LLC.
    Awards are based on academic performance, leadership potential, critical thinking skills and career goals. Financial need, diversity and regional representation are also part of the selection process.
    Students interested in scientific or other careers may be linked with internships at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Eligible students must live in Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Taos, San Miguel, Sandoval or Mora counties.
    Requirements and applications are online at lanlfoundation.org.

  • Local Courts: On the Docket 12-19-12

    Dec. 13

    James Martinez was found guilty in Los Alamos Magistrate Court for use or possession of drug paraphernalia.
    Martinez was ordered to pay a $50 fine as well as $148 in court costs. He was also assigned a year of supervised probation.
    Conditions of probation include obeying all laws and not be arrested or convicted of any other offense while on probation. Defendant will comply with all conditions of probation.
    The defendant shall not enter an establishment that buys or sells alcohol. Defendant shall into possess a firearm, destructive device or weapon. Defendant must meet with probation officer within seven days and maintain contact.
    Defendant must also pay $25 a month in probation fees, with payment being made to the municipal court. The defendant must also pay Los Alamos County Probation Officer Linda Peña $25 a month in probation fees and submit to random urinalysis tests.

    Andrew Hitson was found guilty in Los Alamos Magistrate Court of two counts of assault and attempted battery.
    He was ordered to pay $126 in court fees and undergo 182 days of supervised probation.
    Conditions of probation include obeying all laws and not be arrested or convicted of any other offense while on probation. Defendant will comply with all conditions of probation.

  • Update 12-19-12

    Swearing in

    The public is invited to attend the official swearing in ceremony for newly elected officials at 10 a.m. Friday in the Municipal Courtroom of the Justice Center. A reception with light refreshments will follow in the lobby of the Justice Center.

    No blue bus service

    The NCRTD blue buses will not be in service Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. For more information call toll free 1-866-206-0754, or visit ridethebluebus.com.

    ESB meeting

    The Environmental Sustainability Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Community Building Training Room.

    LANL cancels sale

    The monthly surplus property sale at LANL scheduled for Thursday has been canceled because of weather and snow in Los Alamos this week. Weather permitting, the next regularly scheduled surplus property sale is Jan. 17, 2013.

    Have a news tip?

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

  • Students organize Sandy Hook vigil

    The Los Alamos High School Student Council has organized a candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. The memorial will be at 5 p.m. Friday at Ashley Pond.
    Members of the community are asked to bring their own candle to the memorial. LAPS Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt and youth advocate and local resident Morrie Pongratz, will be guest speakers, followed by a moment of silence and remembrance by candlelight around the pond.
    Residents are asked to join in and honor the children, teachers and administration staff who lost their lives in the tragedy one week ago in Newtown, Conn.
    Los Alamos High School Junior Soumyo Lahiri-Gupta approached the county on behalf of the student council earlier this week, requesting assistance in booking the pond as the location.
     The county administrator and county council endorsed the student council’s request during Tuesday night’s council meeting and members of the council plan to attend Friday evening’s memorial.

    Monitor Staff Report

  • Hall, Williams gain school board slots

    Los Alamos residents Jim Hall and Matt Williams officially became the replacements for current Los Alamos Board of Education members Melanie McKinley and Board Vice President Dawn Venhaus.

    The two longtime Los Alamos residents were the only candidates to come forward and register before the deadline to do so Tuesday.

    According to the New Mexico School Board Association, Hall and Williams will begin their terms March 1, 2013.

    For Williams, seeking a seat on the board was not a hard decision to make.

    “I’ve had lots of people asking me and influencing me to run,” he said. “Feeling the obligation to run and wanting to run are two different things.”

    One person who influenced him was current school board member McKinley, who will not seek another term. According to Williams, he thinks the reason McKinley urged him to run is because he’s “pretty level-headed and logical, and I’ve been putting in my time learning about the school district and its programs.”

    Williams said there aren’t any particular issues he’s looking at specifically, just to look after his district, the home of Chamisa Elementary. Acknowledging the rumors that his district might be split up at some point, he said his only issue at this point is to keep his district intact.

  • Council sets legislative agenda

    During its final meeting in 2012, the Los Alamos County Council addressed just two key items: setting the legislative agenda for 2013 and making two appointments to the board of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation.

    The state agenda includes promoting legislation that supports affordable housing, funding for MainStreet programming and health care policy and finance legislation.

    Capital outlay legislation is also on the state agenda this year. The county has submitted its entire capital outlay budget as required. The top five priorities are the public safety radio system,  sewer collection system drops, A-19 affordable housing infrastructure, the White Rock Wastewater Treatment Plant plan and environmental assessment, and kitchen facilities for the White Rock Senior Center.

    The county’s lobbyist Scott Scanland will also monitor any changes to municipal revenue legislation, such as proposals for local governments to “swap” GRT distribution for state income tax distribution and any changes to Sole Community Provider legislation.

  • Claims, risks shadow 'new' state revenue

    A fair amount of “new” money — $282 million — will flow to state government’s general fund during the budget year starting July 1, 2013.
    From state government economic wizards, “caution” is the word for considering uses of that money. “New money” means the difference between revenue expected during the coming budget year and current year spending.
    State revenue looks like around $5.7 billion for this budget year (FY 13) and $5.9 billion in FY 14, Legislative Finance Committee Director David Abbey, told the recent New Mexico Tax Research Institute conference in Albuquerque.
    Much of the good revenue news comes from oil and gas, said Tom Clifford, Department of Finance and Administration secretary. New technology has meant sharp increases in oil production the past few years, Abbey said.
    Caution about using the new money starts with a quarter of it — $72 million — being already claimed to replenish money used to balance the state budget in past bad years.

  • Real ID act likely to be high on agenda

    Over the past few weeks, several community members have contacted me about the REAL ID Act and a looming Jan. 15 deadline. The primary concern is that New Mexico is currently not in compliance with the REAL ID Act.
     This means New Mexicans may not be able to use their drivers’ licenses to board commercial airlines after Jan. 15. If this occurs, it could have alarming effects on our state and community. Public concern over this issue has been heightened by recent news stories and statements from public officials.
    First, let me provide some basic background information. The REAL ID Act was crafted under the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and signed into law in 2005. It stipulates that for state issued IDs to be accepted by Federal entities, the IDs must meet several new security provisions. In accordance with the law and a 2008 Department of Homeland Security guideline on compliance, New Mexico has adopted a number of these changes.
    We are still out of compliance on a few points. The most well known area of non-compliance is a provision that permits undocumented residents to obtain a driver’s license. Residents of New Mexico can currently obtain a driver’s license without a Social Security Number if they can prove their identity with other documents.