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Today's News

  • Celebrating the community garden

    A small “barn-raising” will be held 4-6 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Los Alamos Cooperative Market, 95 Entrada Dr., in conjunction with a national State Farm Youth Advisory Board grant award presentation.
    Youth and adult volunteers are welcome to assist with the construction and decoration of a small hoop house at the Co-op, which is a partnering satellite location for the funded community garden project.
    The State Farm Youth Advisory Board awarded a $96,250 grant to the Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board in support of an educational and outreach community garden.
    The JJAB has contracted The Family YMCA to deliver the grant’s education and food-assistance objectives throughout the next year.
    This is the second award by the State Farm Youth Advisory Board to the JJAB for their Los Alamos Youth Food Project. The funding has provided seed money in order to mobilize middle and high school youth in support of sustainable healthy eating.
    Youth and adult volunteers can paint and decorate the hoop-house from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 23. The hoop house will be used for winter planting and spring seedling starters. State Farm representatives will also present a commemorative check to JJAB officials at 4:30 p.m.

  • Gustafson is Rotary student of the month

    Janali Gustafson, a senior at Los Alamos High School was recently honored as Rotary Student of the Month for September. Gustafson is the daughter of Sarah and John Gustafson and the sister of Elena and Nathaniel.
    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, extracurricular activities and in particular, their service to the community.
    Community service has been an important part of Gustafson’s four years at LAHS.  Since her freshman year, she has been a member of Los Alamos Youth Leadership.
    With her interest in establishing positive relationships between elementary school students and high school students, she organized Wild Day, a Saturday of recreational activities for elementary school students and also LAYL’s largest community service project.
    Through the high school’s Environmental Club, Gustafson has also helped coordinate projects designed to motivate the community to adopt a greener lifestyle.  

  • Prescribed burn set for today

    Beginning Wednesday, if conditions are favorable, fire managers plan to begin the 7,300-acre San Juan prescribed burn, located three to five miles northeast of Jemez Springs.
    Approximately 2,500 acres are expected to be treated each day. Prescribed burning is the managed application of fire to wild land fuels (woody material) under specified conditions, within predetermined boundaries in an effort to reduce hazardous fuels, provide community protection and restore forest health.
    • The burn area is located three to five miles northeast of the Jemez Springs and four to eight miles northwest of the community of Ponderosa.
    • During the three to five-day burning period, 7,300 acres of hazardous fuels will be treated with hand and aerial ignitions. Approximately 2,500 acres are expected to be treated each day.
    • Larger blocks will be treated over a five day period, which will increase daily smoke volume, but will decrease the number of days smoke is in the air.
    • Ignitions will not exceed more than five days. After ignitions are complete, residual smoke will be visible for a few days.

  • Update 10-17-12

    Council forum

    The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce and the Los Alamos Monitor will host a county council candidate forum at 6 p.m. Thursday at UNM-LA Building 5 Lecture Hall. The forum will focus on business and economic development issues facing LA. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

    Trail dedication

    Residents are invited to attend the dedication ceremony for the new Satch Cowan Trail at 11 a.m. Monday at the trailhead near the existing Quemazon Trail in Western Area. 

    CRC committee

    Members of Charter Review Committee will be available at the Farmer’s Market to answer questions.  Join them between
    9:30-11:30 a.m. Committee members plan to meet with voters at the Farmer’s Market every Thursday between now and the day of the election.

    LDRD Day

    LANL will host its annual Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Day at 9:20 a.m. Tuesday at Buffalo Thunder Casino and Resort.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will hold its regular monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. today at the DPU Conference Room at 170 Central Park Square.

  • Los Alamos County hires attorney and planner

    Two staff members joined the county Monday.

    Kathryn (Katie) Thwaits was hired to fill a new junior attorney position and Daniel Osborn joined the Community and Economic Development Department as an associate planner.

    Thwaits has a law degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, Calif. She has worked with the New Mexico State Personnel Office since 2009, where she provided legal counsel to the director’s office and other cabinet level executive staff.

    Thwaits spent three years prior to that as deputy district attorney for the First Judicial District Attorney’s office. Her position included managing both personnel and the office caseload in addition to her own caseload averaging 175 felony cases at any given time.

    While serving in the Española District Attorney’s office, Thwaits volunteered with the Rio Arriba DWI program, the DWI Planning Council and the DWI Task Force. She also helped develop and launch Española’s first post-prom party.

    Thwaits husband James, also works for the county with the Los Alamos Fire Department.

  • Rowan gets five years in double stabbing case

    It’s been a long time coming, but Daniel Rowan finally had his day in Los Alamos District Court Oct. 10. Rowan, 35, was sentenced to five years at the Los Lunas Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison.

    Rowan was arrested in July 2011 for stabbing two people during an altercation at a Los Alamos apartment complex.

    According to Rowan’s ex-girlfriend, Alysia Dahlby, who met him through a friend while he was still in jail for the July incident, Rowan walked into an ambush at the apartment complex and was trying to defend himself against 10 people who she said were attacking him.

    Apparently, the court did not agree.

    The charges were two counts of aggravated bodily harm; one count of aggravated assault; and one count of tampering with evidence. Two of those charges, the count of aggravated assault and tampering with evidence were dismissed.

    According to earlier reports, Rowan wounded two people during the melee. Another ex-girlfriend of Rowan’s, Britney Gutierrez, 28, was slashed across three knuckles on one of her hands and an Ian Cornelius, 25, was stabbed numerous times and had to be airlifted to a hospital in Santa Fe.

    Dahlby said Rowan indicated to her he is OK with his sentence and just wants to do his time without causing any waves.

  • Planes sustain hail damage

    The planes sitting out at the airport in the pleasant Los Alamos sunshine may look nice, but looks can be deceiving.

    Many are damaged beyond repair due to last week’s hail storm, according to some of their owners. Though the hail last week didn’t shatter any windows or cave in any roofs at the airport, many of the planes’ thin metal surfaces suffered hundreds of dings and divots, making many of the aircraft a risk to fly.

    “Every plane was damaged, one way or another,” Los Alamos Airport Manager Peter Soderquist said.

    Soderquist said 17 or 18 airplanes were damaged in the storm that was so strong out by the airport, there were particular spots where the hail, measured to be about an inch in diameter that accumulated in two-foot drifts.

    “It was pretty intense,” he said.

    Dan Gabel, the press secretary for the Los Alamos Civil Air Patrol, estimated his Piper “Cherokee D” airplane sustained at least $18,000 worth of damage during the storm.

    “I’m sure it’s going to be more than that because this time, the damage is far worse,” Gabel said, noting Los Alamos endured a similar hail storm about three years ago.

  • LAPD pitches career plan

    During this year’s budget hearings, County Administrator Harry Burgess contended that the county needs to develop standards for issuing merit raises, arguing that the current system for awarding raises is completely subjective.

    The Los Alamos Police Department wants to take the subjectivity out of its system and give every officer a chance to improve their compensation by meeting set performance criteria.

    LAPD Chief Wayne Torpy and acting Deputy Chief Randy Foster presented a Master Career Plan to council during a work session Tuesday.

    The plan would reward employees for work experience, performance, education and professional achievements. The plan also allows every officer to advance yearly through a well-defined system of pay for performance criteria that demonstrate “value added” to the community.

    Torpy first defined the need for such a system.

    The county invests $77,000 in an officer during the first year, during which a rookie undergoes 10 months of training: six months of police academy training and an additional 12-16 weeks of field training.

    “So we’re paying them for a year before the citizens are seeing the service for which we trained them,” Torpy said.

  • VIDEO: County Council candidates come out for League of Women voters forum

    County Council candidates come out for League of Women voters forum.

  • A stance on PRC reform

    Toward the end of your ballot in this coming election is an opportunity to professionalize and streamline New Mexico’s dysfunctional Public Regulation Commission (PRC) by voting in favor of Constitutional Amendments 2, 3 and 4.  
    This matters because no local, state or federal government agency directly affects more New Mexicans on a daily basis than the PRC.
    In addition to approving the prices New Mexicans pay for electricity, natural gas, water, and landline telephone service, the PRC also regulates every type of insurance — ranging from auto, property, life, and title insurance to health insurance. The PRC controls the cost and service of motor carriers (including taxis, moving vans, buses, shuttles, ambulances, and tow trucks); processes corporate registrations; regulates oil, natural gas, and hazardous liquid pipelines; and even oversees the State Fire Marshal’s office and ski lift inspections.   
    As a result, the PRC has the broadest regulatory power of any state agency in the nation, yet the qualifications required of the five PRC commissioners are surprisingly low for such a powerful position. PRC commissioners are only required to be: 1) at least 18 years of age; 2) residents of the state for at least one year; and 3) not convicted felons. That is it.