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Today's News

  • High winds cancel opening launch at Balloon Fiesta

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A mass launch of balloons at the kickoff of an annual hot-air balloon festival in New Mexico has been cancelled because of high winds.

    Hundreds of hot-air balloons were expected to rise into the sky early Saturday morning at the 41st Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

    The Albuquerque Journal reports the launch was delayed from 5:45 a.m. and then cancelled at 7 a.m. Groans and sighs could be heard from the launch field as a public address announcer passed on the news.

    Winds were at about 30 mph at 1,000 feet and well above safety limits.

    The nine-day event drew slightly more than 700,000 spectators last year

  • Cone Zone 10-06-12

    NMDOT mill and overlay on N.M. 502 continues
    N.M. 502 (Main Hill) to Los Alamos will be closed from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday and weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., while the NMDOT completes milling and paving operations.
    If necessary, work will continue between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Oct. 13. Work is occurring from east of East Gate Drive to the Bayo Canyon access road. Access to De Colores and the East Gate Industrial Park will be maintained from the town site.
    Weather permitting, the project should be complete by Oct. 14. Motorists should use N.M. 4/East Jemez Road truck route.
    Contact: Kenny Gallegos, NMDOT District 5 Area Maintenance supervisor at 505-660-7866.

    Public Works projects:
    Eastern Area 2 concrete, P\paving and utility project — Phase 1
    Fifth Street between Myrtle and Canyon remains closed.
    Work continues on Myrtle between 9th Street and 15th Street. This section of Myrtle is closed to through traffic with flagging operations during the day and two-way traffic at night.
    Canyon Road is paved between Manhattan Loop east to the middle of the Myrtle Green. Paving from the middle of Myrtle Green and 9th Street will occur this week.
    Minor delays should be expected. All through traffic on the above streets are advised to seek alternate routes.

  • Teens attack bus stop

    Police responded to a bizarre vandalism incident recently involving a group of teens and a bus stop on San Ildefonso Road.

    According to the police report, a group of teens all dressed in black, including facemasks descended upon an Atomic Transit bus stop at San Ildefonso road and proceeded to smash the glass panels in.

    One of the teens climbed on top of the shelter and cracked one of the windows while another smashed a panel from the other side, according to a witness at the scene.

    But just as quickly as they appeared, the masked teens quickly vanished back into the surrounding neighborhood and haven’t been seen since.

    “I canvassed the neighborhood in the surrounding area in an attempt to locate them. I was unable to locate anyone matching the description given,” the responding officer said in a report about the incident.

    “We are not actively looking because we haven’t identified any suspects, but if we do get any information, we will be sure to follow up on it,” said Los Alamos Police Department’s Capt. Randy Foster.

    — Tristram DeRoma

  • Update 10-06-12

    Night in Italy

    Tickets are available for “A Night in Italy” fundraiser for Assets in Action. The event takes place Oct. 20 at the Hilltop House Hotel. Tickets are $40 each and proceeds benefit youth development programs. Additional information is available by calling 661-4846 or by email at AssetsInAction.info.

    Parks and Rec

    The Parks and Recreation Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center. The board meets monthly. More information can be obtained by calling 662-8173.

    Elk festival

    The Valles Caldera will hold its annual event through Oct. 14 with the headquarters at the Visitor Center. Daily festival activities will include elk viewing, elk education booths and various demonstration booths. This event is free and open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 for a work session at the White Rock Fire Station No. 3.

    Scottish dance

    The Scottish Country Dance will be from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Monday at Fuller Lodge.

  • Education comes to forefront

    The House District 43 candidates — Republican Jim Hall and Democratic challenger Stephanie Garcia Richard have some definitive thoughts when it comes to education.

    During his career, Hall has spent eight years on the school board and Garcia Richard has been a teacher in Pojoaque school system for more than 10 years.

    The two will take part in the first of two debates Thursday in a forum sponsored by the League of Women’s Voters of White Rock. The forum begins at 7 p.m. at the White Rock Baptist Church. The second is scheduled for Santa Fe the following week.

    Both Hall and Garcia Richard agree there is a crisis in education.

    “We are at the bottom of too many good lists and at the top of too many bad ones.   There is no single answer, but we can make progress if everyone — parents, teachers, administrators, board members, legislators, and students — focuses on student achievement,” Hall said. “I believe student achievement comes from well trained, highly motivated teachers maximizing their time with students with strong support from parents and administrators.”

    Garcia Richard reiterated that education is one of her top priorities.

  • Operation Hilltopper set for Monday

    Emergency first response organizations in Los Alamos County have, for the past year, been training their personnel, polishing their plans and tweaking their equipment in a comprehensive effort aimed at preparing to deal with a scenario that nobody hopes will ever arise — an active shooter loose at a school.

    Operation Hilltopper, scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Monday, is a full-scale exercise designed to test police, fire, emergency medical support, Los Alamos Medical Center and Los Alamos High School personnel and their abilities to adequately respond to just such an event.

    Toward that end, the Los Alamos County Office of Emergency Management is letting residents living in the vicinity of Los Alamos High School know that on the day of the exercise, from 8 a.m. to noon Monday they will see a significant number of emergency vehicles around the high school and the hospital.

    In addition, observers are likely to hear gunshots (only blanks, no live ammunition will be used) and even the screams of actors portraying victims.

    “We would also like to give residents an advanced heads-up regarding possible traffic delays, especially at the Canyon/Diamond intersection while this exercise is taking place,” the county said in its press release.

  • Opening new doors

    Santana Garcia-Chang and Francisco “Kiko” Rael, formerly of Questa, have a new home: Los Alamos and they love it.

    They also have the seeds of careers at Los Alamos National Laboratory — thanks to a helping hand from a scholarship fund started by lab employees and run by the LANL Foundation.

    Garcia-Chang and Rael hang out with scientists and engineers. Rael enjoys playing pickup soccer at the community field.

    They visit Mesa Public Library and the Fuller Lodge Art Center.

    “Los Alamos feels like a small town that’s tight-knit and ideal for families, and still has cultural things to do,” Garcia-Chang says. “It’s our home.”

    Their days are busy: caring for their toddler son, Javan, working at Los Alamos National Laboratory where she is an intern and he is a full-time contractor and studying for college classes. But their eyes are on the prize of careers in environmental/civil engineering and health physics for radiation protection.

  • NMCF’s removal raises ruckus

    Some activists are none too happy that the New Mexico Community Foundation has been asked by the Department of Energy to relinquish its responsibility as outreach coordinator and database manager of the Intellus NM Project.

    But in the ultimate of ironies, Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group, who has filed two suits against DOE in relation to the CMRR project, oddly lands on the side of the government regarding this issue.

    “We never thought it was a good idea for the New Mexico Community Foundation (NMCF) to undertake the RACER work, and I spent a couple of hours with them about eight years ago trying to talk them out of it,” Mello said. “To our eyes, there was no reason for NMCF to do that work and many strong reasons not to do it. We thought NMCF should stick to its primary mission rather than undertake work for LANL’s operating contractor as an operating foundation on contract.”

    Mello said the RACER program at NMCF set up serious conflicts of interests with NMCF grantees then-current and prospective and the RACER program led to “community meetings” in which NMCF “was used as a forum for NMED and LANL regulatory issues — again inappropriately in our view.”

  • Animal Shelter 10-07-12

    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of on site adoptable pets waiting for their forever home.
    Come find a companion that will give you unconditional love. Be sure to visit lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting and donating.
    All adoptable pets are spayed or neutered, have their shots and are micro chipped. Visitor guides: Between 4-6 p.m. Friday, volunteers will be at the shelter to give potential adopters personal introductions to the adoptable animals.
    DOGS
    Axle — Don’t let those sad-looking eyes fool you. Axle is a playful and affectionate neutered male. The shelter temperament testers describe this Pit-mix as a total sweetheart. He would love a family that appreciates big, sloppy dog kisses.
    Ciera — Spayed female Shepherd-cross who likes to get to know her human associates before she shares her story with them.
    Coqueta — Six-year-old spayed female Retriever/Chow-mix surrendered. Good with adults and gentle children. Has been an outdoor dog.
    Four Border Collie puppies (Desmond, Bones, Reggie and Romper) — Four-months-old, all males. They are pretty shy and the volunteers are working on socialization. Keep watching as they develop into fun, approachable pups.

  • News for Retirees 10-07-12

    Oct. 7-13
    For information, call the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) at 662-8920, the White Rock Senior Center (WRSC) at 662-8200 and “Day Out” (adult day care, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 661-0081. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. for daily lunches.

    Betty Ehart
    MONDAY
    BESC closed in observance of Columbus Day
    TUESDAY
    8:45 a.m.    Variety training
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Fish (lemon pepper cod)
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.    Table tennis

    WEDNESDAY
    8:30 a.m.    RSVP quilters
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio plus exercise
    10:45 a.m.    Music with Ruth
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Chicken and noodles
    1:15 p.m.    Socrates Café
    1:15 p.m.    Alzheimer’s support
    1:30 p.m.    Daytime duplicate bridge
    THURSDAY
    8:45     a.m.    Variety training
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Baked ham
    1:30 p.m.    Tap dancing
    2 p.m.        Ballroom dancing
    6:30 p.m.    Chess