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Today's News

  • Making Trinity Site work

    One key issue that arose about transferring the Trinity Site lease to Smith’s/Kroger involved whether the grocer could succeed where others had failed.

    Smith’s Vice President of Corporate Development Steven Sorensen responded that Smith’s commitment to moving forward with the 110,000-square-foot Smith’s Marketplace is not contingent on having other tenants. NADG had not conducted any of the studies normally performed in the due diligence period, such as topographical surveys, because they wanted a minimum number of tenants signed on before investing resources.

    “We do have a tremendous sense of excitement at Smith’s on getting this new store going,” Sorensen said.”The more important thing for us is whether the topography works: what’s underneath the ground, what you can’t see. We’ve committed the resources to get the due diligence done, and that will begin immediately.

    “We would estimate the due diligence and all of our design costs probably approach somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million. That’s $1 million with no return to us and no shovel turned in the dirt. That’s our skin in the game.

  • Prescribed burn underway at Valles Caldera

    Commuters traveling home on State Road 4 should expect a slight delay on their way home.
    A controlled burn conducted by the National Park Service  and the Fire Learning Network is predicted to obscure visibility, according to Terry McDermott, Public Affairs Specialist for the Valles Caldera Trust.
    Escort vehicles will be waiting to guide cars through the smoke, according to McDermott.  
    “Traffic may be held up until we get a group of cars to guide through the smoke,” he said.
    The controlled burn will take place south N.M. 4 near mile marker 30, and is expected to continue through Wednesday.             

    Monitor Staff Report

  • United Way Youth Team plans events

    The United Way Youth Team is working to reach their $11,000 fundraising goal for the United Way of Northern New Mexico. The team will host three more events benefiting the United Way Community Action Fund.
    First up will be Atomic City’s Got Talent, a benefit concert showcasing local talent at the Duane Smith Auditorium. The event will be at 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets will be available at the door. Costs is $12.50 for adults; $10 for seniors and students; and $7.50 for children 12 and younger.
    Youth Team Project Manager Soumyo Lahiri-Gupta, who will also be Master of Ceremonies with Jordan Ahlers, and Greg Ahlers is coordinating the event.
    The concert will include the following acts:
    • Rozy Richmond singing
    • The Mezzaluna String Quartet (Caitlin Dahl on cello, Mirelle Naud on viola and Chip Mielke and Irene Gerrish on violin)
    • Lindsay Roach, Nicole Graham, and Akane Dunn from New Mexico Dance Theatre
    • Victor Kim on piano
    • National Dance Institute (United Way Community Partner)
    • Elucidation, a dance group (Aaron Nguyen, Chelsea Challacombe, Alice Shao, Helen Lu, Andrew Li, Dani Prokop, Kate Margevicius, Marika Sinnis, and Jing Xie)
    • And more

  • Police Beat 09-25-12

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.
    Sept. 13
    8:03 a.m. –– A 63-year-old Los Alamos man reported that he was the victim of vandalism that occurred in the 100 block of Central Park Square. Police are still investigating. The damage was found to be less than $1,000.

    8:45 p.m. –– A 19-year-old Los Alamos woman told police that she had been the victim of criminal sexual penetration. Police said the alleged crime occurred in the 1000 block of Mesa Verde Drive.
    Sept. 14

    12:23 a.m. –– Fernando Rodriguez, 30, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. He was arrested at Los Alamos Police Department, 2500 Trinity Drive.

    12:07 a.m. ­­–– A 63-year-old Los Alamos man reported to police he was the victim of assault against a household member. The alleged crime occurred in the 2200 block of 35th Street, according to police.

  • 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.