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Today's News

  • Speeds reduced next week

    Los Alamos County staff has been working with the New Mexico Department of Transportation to have N.M. 502 speed limits reduced in the Eastern Area. This is the first step in a plan to address residents’ complaints about sound levels.

    NMDOT performed a speed study and recommended reducing the speed limit to 40 mph along the airport and to 35 mph at Airport Road.

    The county received notification yesterday that the plan has been approved. New traffic signs should be installed by the end of next week.  

    Once the speed limit changes have been in place a month or so to allow drivers to adjust, staff will check sound levels to determine additional sound mitigation measures.

    At Tuesday’s council meeting, residents expressed concerns that a new study will delay the construction of a sound wall.

    Public Works Director Philo Shelton responded that there could be a small delay in the projected start date, but he anticipates the sound wall will be completed by the end of the 2013 construction season.
    Eastern Area resident Sue Pope asked that construction vehicles for the Trinity Site project be required to use the truck route to reduce noise levels.

  • N.M. 502 slogs forward

    The saga of N.M. 502 continues.

    The Los Alamos County Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday to adopt a new plan for road improvements that meets New Mexico Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration criteria.

    The plan revises one adopted by council in February that failed to meet NMDOT and FHWA approval, risking $3.8 million in State Transportation Improvement Program funds earmarked for the project.
    Councilor Geoff Rodgers made the motion to approve the proposal, which passed 6-1, with Councilor Vincent Chiravalle opposed.

    “We have to achieve a balance and that balance is probably going to satisfy no one. And the balance that’s been presented is the best that we’re going to get within the constraints that we face with the threat of losing the federal funding to at least fix part of this project,” Rodgers said.

    The compromise integrates a plan proposed by NMDOT in 2007 with the option approved in February. Council had rejected the 2007 plan because it failed to adequately address the concerns of residential neighborhoods and the county’s desire for a more community-oriented, multi-modal approach to road design.

  • NASA weighs in on apocalypse debate

    SANTA FE – This is the month the world is supposed to end. Doomsday prophets have been predicting it for centuries – at least since the ancient Sumerians who thought a planet was headed toward Earth. But for some reason December 2012 has become a very popular target.
    So popular, in fact, that NASA has found it necessary to explain that the world as we know it will not end any time soon. It will not end because of the Mayan calendar, a polar shift, a meteor, a solar storm, a super nova, planetary alignment or a reversal in the rotation of the earth.
    The most popular dates for The End are Dec. 21-25. Most popular of all is Dec. 21, possibly because it also is the winter solstice. There likely are predictions for today, 12-12-12; possibly because it is the last time this century that such a duplication of numbers is possible.
    Personally I align with the group that considers such dates lucky. County clerks reported that 11-11-11 was a favorite day for obtaining marriage licenses. We’ll have extra reason to celebrate the beginning of a new year because we will have once again averted The Apocalypse.
    NASA even ventured into dangerous philosophical territory by declaring that the world has been getting along just fine for more than four billion years and that credible scientists see no threat associated with 2012.

  • Pension solutions demand compromise

    We know that New Mexico’s two biggest public retirement systems are sliding toward insolvency. The Educational Retirement Board is looking into a $5.9 billion abyss between its assets and the benefits it will have to pay. The Public Employee Retirement Association faces an even bigger gap of $6.2 billion.
    Those numbers will probably get bigger as new information comes out.
    To find solutions, the Legislature in 2011 created the interim legislative Investments and Pensions Oversight Committee, chaired by Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup. It dutifully heard testimony and introduced bills, but there was little consensus. Curiously, the PERA didn’t even offer a plan.
    “I can’t figure out why people don’t want to fix the problem today instead of every single year kicking it down the road because at some point we’re going to be in so much trouble. That’s my biggest fight,” Muñoz said during the last session.
    Lately, we’ve seen a greater sense of urgency and real momentum. The news is that the committee and unions have approved plans from both the ERB and PERA.

  • Be There 12-12-12

    Today
    The Hilltopper Alumni Society’s holiday social will be from 4-7 p.m. at Dixie Girl, 1789 Central Ave. This is an opportunity for graduates of Los Alamos High School to mix and mingle. There will be a brief introduction to the Alumni Society’s first project; converting the senior photos that once hung in the halls of Los Alamos High School to digital files. All Hilltopper Alumni are welcome to attend and enjoy complimentary appetizers and drinks available for purchase. The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation is sponsoring this event.

    The Los Alamos Community of Atheists will host a December discussion from 6:30-8 p.m. at Mesa Public Library, meeting room 3. All are welcome. For more information, send email losalamoscommunityofatheists@gmail.com.

    Post-Las Conchas Trail Rehabilitation Update. Craig Martin will give an update about the status of many trails impacted by post-fire floods in the summer of 2011. Come hear the latest in trail statuses, work that has been done since the fire and plans for 2013. 7 p.m. at PEEC. Free. No registration required. Visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460 or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org for more information.
    Thursday
    The holiday Farmers Market will be at Fuller Lodge.

  • Thank You 12-12-12

    On behalf of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos, I would like to thank the members of the Los Alamos Garden Club for their generous donation in support of the Los Alamos High School Memorial Garden, a project to which Rotary has devoted three years of planning and fundraising.  
    Doris Jackson, a member of the Garden Club and an accomplished floral designer, presented the check to Skip King, committee chair for the Memorial Garden project, at a recent Rotary meeting.
    The dedication for the Memorial Garden, to which the community is cordially invited, is currently scheduled to take place Dec. 20.
    Again, Rotary thanks the Los Alamos Garden Club for its thoughtful donation and kind support of this meaningful addition to the Los Alamos landscape.
    Sincerely,

    Linda Hull, president
    Rotary Club of
    Los Alamos

    The Los Alamos Garden Club wants to thank the Los Alamos National Bank for allowing them to hold their annual wreath sale in the bank lobby on Nov. 30.  We also thank the Los Alamos residents who supported the sale.
    The proceeds from the sale support the club’s scholarship fund.

    Thanks,

    Sally Warner,
    first vice president, LAGC

  • Batha named student of the month

       Toni Batha, a senior at Los Alamos High School, was recently honored as Rotary Student of the Month for November.  Batha is the daughter of Margo and Steve and sister of Benjamin Batha.
       The Rotary Club of Los Alamos selects one student each month of the school year to honor as 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.
       An accomplished member of the LAHS Hilltalker Speech and Debate Team, Batha has served the award-winning club for five years, coordinating community service projects and team practices, mentoring new members and organizing three statewide tournaments.
    Significantly, Batha is one of several Hilltalkers who successfully established a speech and debate team at Los Alamos Middle School.
      Teen Court, a peer-to-peer counseling sentencing program for teens in Los Alamos County, has also benefited from Batha’s volunteer service.  
    She has served in capacities as judge, jury monitor, defender and prosecutor and has also worked with parents, teens and LAHS staff to provide a plan to address truancy issues.

  • Assets in Action: Happy holidays

    This week, I have elected to continue promoting the efforts of youth is our community, through shopping.
    That’s right, many upcoming holidays, parties, vacations and events during this month lend themselves to gift giving.
    There is a strategy in place that says if you spend 66 of your holiday dollars locally, it will benefit the local economy and small businesses immensely.
    I’m going to take that idea one step further and ask if you can support the business of a local youth, too.
    The Small Business Development Center works annually to help young entrepreneurs start their own businesses and get their name out in public.
    Perhaps you would like to buy a hand made cross, a hand knitted scarf or portraits from a young photographer? If so, have I got a plan for you.
    Local youth like Leia Roach, Elise Koskelo, Derek Selvage, Esperanza Tapia and more have taken the time and weathered the process to become Youth Business Grant recipients.
    Need something cool for the teen in your life? Roach, of Mush Crafts, is happy to get crafty and provide you with a cool gift, at a hot price. Your tech-savvy skills should drive you to etsy.com/shop/mushcrafts.  

  • Tuesday's prep basketball scores

    Boys Basketball

    Atrisco Heritage 69, Del Norte 55

    Bloomfield 59, Navajo Prep 35

    Centennial High School 60, Hot Springs 17

    Dexter 61, Lovington 53

    Eldorado 60, Highland 32

    Espanola Valley 71, West Las Vegas 57

    Goddard 65, Portales 63

    La Cueva 105, Rio Grande 82

    La Cueva 105, Rio Grande 82

    Laguna-Acoma 89, Rehoboth 38

    Los Lunas 63, Santa Fe Indian 39

    Rio Rancho 75, Gallup 64

    Ruidoso 60, Artesia 56

    Santa Fe Prep 46, Escalante 37

    Santa Teresa 52, Alamogordo 42

    Shiprock 67, Aztec 43

    Silver 39, Chaparral 38

    St. Pius 55, Grants 35

    Tohajilee 72, Evangel Christian 36

    Valley 56, Valencia 29

    Girls Basketball

    Aztec 52, Cortez, Colo. 22

    Centennial High School 56, Hot Springs 27

    Cleveland 52, Piedra Vista 45

    Clovis 63, Lovington 39

    Goddard 52, Alamogordo 47

    Hobbs 49, Lubbock Estacado, Texas 43

    La Cueva 62, Rio Grande 33

    Laguna-Acoma 54, Rehoboth 31

    Las Cruces 76, EP Parkland, Texas 27

  • Tigers, Trojans will take on Hilltoppers at tourney

    Both the Los Alamos Hilltopper basketball teams will compete in one of the toughest tournaments of the regular season starting Thursday.

    The Joe Armijo Invitational, hosted by Albuquerque Academy, gets going Thursday morning. The bracketed tournament includes some of the top boys and girls teams from the Albuquerque area.

    In the opening round, both Hilltopper teams could be tested. The Hilltopper girls will take on Los Lunas at 1:15 p.m. while boys will play the Las Cruces Mayfield Trojans at 4:45 p.m.

    Mayfield (3-4) is something of an unknown quantity at this point. Of their seven games played on the season, the Trojans have faced just one from New Mexico, Chaparral. The other six have been from the El Paso, Texas, area.

    The Trojans qualified for the Class 5A tournament last year with a 16-14 record but were bounced out in the first round by Eldorado.

    Neither Mayfield nor Los Alamos have been exactly blowing up any scoreboards this year. Los Alamos is averaging just 37 points scored per game while Mayfield has managed 43.6 points per contest.

    Los Alamos' girls down low will have a tough test Thursday as well. Los Lunas' Teige Zeller, who led the Grants Pirates to grabbing the No. 1 seed in last year's Class 4A playoffs, transferred to Los Lunas in the offseason.