Today's News

  • Utilities squeeze out extra dollars

    A new technical whizbang called E-911 was being introduced by the phone company. It was baloney, the senator told me. E-911 was going to be a new way for emergency responders to know exactly where a phone call was coming from. When a call came to a 911 call center, a message would pop up automatically showing the phone number, which could then be linked to an address.
    This was 1991 or so. The phone company, US West in those days, was asking the state for approval to add 50 cents to everyone’s phone bill to cover the cost. The senator told me the technology had been developed anyway, and the 50 cents was pure profit to the phone company.  The increase was approved.
    Caller-ID was introduced shortly afterwards, making the same technology available to everyone (for a much heftier price than 50 cents), demonstrating that the senator was probably right. The technology was there. But E-911 succeeded in squeezing more money out of you and me.

  • Community, lab talk security

    Officials whose job it is to oversee security in the community, the schools and at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, met to discuss security measures in wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

    Meant to be the first in a series of meetings, the main topic of the meeting was assessing what successful security measures the Los Alamos Public School system is doing now and how it might be improved.

    The first part of the meeting was a review of the district-wide plan by LAPS Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt. The plan, which is not available to the public, details how law enforcement and the schools should deal with a “shooter” type scenario, as well as all other kinds of emergency and disaster scenarios. However, Schmidt urged decision makers at the meeting to concentrate on the shooter scenario.

    “The real intent of this is to have you tell us should we be thinking about this or that as part of your own safety plan,”

    Schmidt said to the school principals and other school officials who attended the meeting.

    The review also included a live feed of a security camera system from one of the elementary schools and how it works, as well as how police would react to an “active shooter.”

  • Program has waiting list

    Even with support from the LANL Foundation and New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department, the Los Alamos First Born® program has 11 parents on its waiting list. The local program has launched a campaign to raise $20,000 by March.

    Contributions can be made to the Los Alamos Medical Center Auxiliary, attention First Born®, 3917 West Road, Los Alamos, 87544. For more information, contact director Patty Worth at 661-9224.


  • Residents rate county services

    The 2012 Los Alamos Community Survey indicates an overall satisfaction with county services and the quality of life in Los Alamos remains high, with only a few areas of relative dissatisfaction.

    The average rating for quality of life was 3.3 on a four point scale, with 87.3 percent of those responding rating it either “excellent” (37.3 percent) or “good” (53.0 percent). Overall rating for county services was also a 3.3.

    The survey, which had 420 respondents, is conducted every two years. The overall data for the entire sample is accurate to plus or minus 4.7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

    One significant change this year is that CRC and Associates, LLC, which conducted the survey, was able to reach more of the younger demographic.

    “We were able to capture a very well balanced demographic to population figures, which tended to give us more information from younger populations,” CRC President Chris Cordova said. “In my business, it’s been harder and harder over the years to get younger people to do surveys. So this year we used a mixed methodology that included phone surveys, but it also included Internet surveys so that we could get a younger demographic and make sure our survey was balanced.”

  • APS awards fellowships to LANL scientists

    Ten scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are being inducted into the ranks of fellowship in the American Physical Society for 2012.

    The criterion for election as an APS Fellow involves exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise; such as performing outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education.

    Fellowship is an honor signifying recognition by professional peers. APS represents more than 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world.

    “In our fields, the respect of one’s peers is a most valuable reward,” Los Alamos Director Charlie McMillan said. “I congratulate this year’s inductees. They again show the depth of talent here at the laboratory and we’re proud to call them colleagues.”

  • Update 12-25-12

    Monitor closed

    The Los Alamos Monitor office will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

    No blue bus service

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

    Holiday dance

    The Los Alamos Big Band will present their annual Christmas Dance from 7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Thursday at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road. Admission is free.

    Christmas photos

    Send us your best photo from Christmas Day to be published later in the week for a Christmas in LA feature. Email your digital photos to info@lamonitor.com along with a brief description, names and ages of those pictured. Submit only one photo per household, please.

    Have a news tip?

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

  • Forest gets new deputy supervisor

     Joe Norrell is the new deputy forest supervisor for the Santa Fe National Forest. Norrell brings 14 years of federal service experience to the Forest Service and the local community.
    He chose Santa Fe due to the challenges of working on complex issues with people that have a rich history and strong connection to the land.
    Norrell, who grew up in Alaska, attributes his career and passion for the outdoors to his parents. His father was a professor at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, which helped afford the time to take him and his sisters on many camping, hiking and fishing trips during the summer months.
    He listened to his mother who worked for the Alaska State Legislature talk about politics and how the decisions made by the legislature would impact people, which influenced him to consider a career in public service.
    He attended Montana State University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public administration. Beginning in 1998, Norrell worked for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources as a temporary research assistant and three years for Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens in Washington, D.C. as a staff assistant on the Committee on Appropriations. Two of those years he spent working on the Interior and Natural Resources Subcommittee.

  • Elks collect toys for girls and boys

    The Elks Lodge set up an Angel Tree and worked with the Immaculate Heart Catholic church in Pojoaque and St. Vincent de Paul to provide gift packages for needy children. Pictured, left to right: Dave Williams, kneeling; Natalie Dimitruck (project chair); Jim Hay, Reine Williams, Mike Johnson, Holly Brown, Mark Sandoval, Trish Sandoval, Dick Bjarke.

  • Assets in Action: Good deeds abound

    This week, so many nice things have taken place — and I would like to highlight a few.
    On Thursday, the employees of Los Alamos Medical Center were asked to take part in a Day of Compassion. They were to tell a fellow employee something they appreciate about them.
    What a wonderful idea for someone to try at their workplace.
    Warren Tidwell began a Facebook page to do 26 acts of kindness, one for every student and teacher killed in the tragic event.
    NBC’s Ann Curry decided to bring attention to the acts of kindness and it continues to gain steam and bring some degree of meaning to a senseless act.
    One local teacher decided to do 26 random acts of kindness. She purchased a handmade cross and presented it to one of her students who is dealing with cancer.
    She stopped by the house of another local youth and donated $20 to the teen who will be taking a trip, to improve the lives of those less fortunate.
    Many continue to make get well cards for a local youth injured in a car accident and for local Police Chief Wayne Torpy. If you haven’t had a chance to contribute, there’s still time.
    Many nominated local residents for the Community Asset Awards. The ages of those nominated range from 13-83. We will provide more information on that during the coming weeks.

  • Zhao is student of the month

    Jessie Zhao, a senior at Los Alamos High School, was recently honored as Rotary Student of the Month for December.
    Zhao is the daughter of Shaoping Chu and Xinxin Zhao and sister of William and Steven Zhao.
    The Rotary Club of Los Alamos selects one student each month of the school year to honor as a Student of the Month.
    In addition to high school seniors, high school juniors are now eligible for the recognition.
    Students are nominated by their teachers and chosen on the basis of their academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, and in particular, their service to the community.
    Zhao is an active member of the LAHS Hilltalker Speech and Debate Team, an award-winning club, and currently serves as team president. In addition, she is a member of the National Honor Society and Key Club, and a youth leader for Café Scientifique, organizing lectures for teens to explore the latest ideas in science and technology.
    In her junior year, Zhao volunteered at the White Rock Branch Library as an assistant in the youth summer reading program, and earlier this year, she began serving as a junior volunteer at the Los Alamos Medical Center, where she is a nurse assistant in the intensive care and surgical units.