Today's News

  • Animal Shelter 11-25-12

    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of onsite 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.
    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.
    ThreeBorder Collie puppies (Reggie, Fly and Romper) — Border Collie puppy siblings, six-months-old. Neutered/spayed and up-to-date on shots. Responding very well to soclialization by shelter volunteers and guidance from other shelter dogs.

  • News for Retirees 11-25-12

    Nov. 25-Dec. 1
    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
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Chicken strips
    7 p.m.        Ballroom dancing
    8:45 a.m.    Variety training
    10 a.m.    Low vision/hearing group
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Fish (lemon cod)
    1 p.m.        Bingo
    1:30 p.m.    Friends meeting
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.    Table tennis

    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: Beer cheese soup
    1:15 p.m.    Socrates Café
    1:30 p.m.    Daytime duplicate bridge
    1:30 p.m.    Tire pressure check


  • Make holiday eco crafts

    Pajarito Environmental Education Center invites students in grades K-4 to come to their annual Holiday Eco Crafts event from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 5.
    There, kids can hand-make gifts out of natural and recycled materials for everyone on their list.
    Gifts to make will include pinecone fire-starters, recycled notebooks, cornhusk dolls, tree cookie ornaments, rock carvings and more.
    Plenty of materials will be available to make gifts for parents, grandparents and brothers and sisters.
     There will also be recycled wrapping paper and cards on hand, so kids can wrap their gifts and address them to the recipients before they head home.  
    Parents are welcome to stay during the class, or to leave kids at PEEC and enjoy a few hours of kid-free shopping.
    PEEC’s own shop also has some holiday gift ideas, including stocking stuffers and animal adoptions.  
    The class costs $15 or $12 for PEEC members. Register in advance at PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460 or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

  • Two chances to share ideas

    Visit Pajarito Environmental Education Center from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday or from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 1, to contribute ideas about the natural qualities of the Pajarito Plateau.
    PEEC would like to know what aspects of local nature they should showcase, and public input is desired.
    PEEC volunteers, board and staff are working to create an interpretive plan.
    When completed, the interpretive plan will answer questions like: What should a nature center in Los Alamos say and show? What are the key messages should it send to visitors and residents? What activities will best address those key messages?  What will it mean to the community it represents?
    PEEC wants to hear stories about the natural area and learn from the people of Los Alamos, exactly what they think of when asked to describe the Pajarito Plateau.
    This input will help PEEC’s interpretive planning committee write a plan that reflects what is important to the community.
    The events will start with a presentation on PEEC’s mission and vision.
    Then, participants will join in an interactive idea-generation activity and have a chance to vote on the natural qualities they like to see addressed by PEEC.  
    Those ideas will, in turn, help PEEC create a plan to strengthen people’s connection with the natural world around them.

  • Teachers, friends remember teen killed in car accident

    The last time classmate Maya Martinez saw her friend Nikolas Rian Ventura-Arencón, was Tuesday on a double-date with her boyfriend, Ventura-Arencón and his girlfriend, Divine Fellers, when they went to see the “Breaking Dawn” movie.

    The next day, Ventura-Arencón died in a head-on collision on N.M. 4. He was the only fatality in the two-car accident, which injured three other people, including his mother and Fellers. As of Friday, Fellers remained hospitalized in stable condition at UNM Hospital in Albuquerque.

    “He was always there for his friends, and he would never say anything bad about anybody,” Martinez said at a Friday memorial for her late friend. The memorial was at the “The Rock” in White Rock, on the corner of Rover Boulevard and N.M. 4. Friends, teachers, parents and even people who didn’t even know him too well, gathered to pay their respects and to perhaps write something on the Rock, now a makeshift memorial.

    An obituary posted by a local funeral home describes Ventura-Arencón as a Denver Broncos football fan who played all sports. He enjoyed skateboarding, wake-boarding, snowboarding, riding motorcycles, fishing and camping. Ventura-Arencón was a member of Los Alamos High School NJROTC and especially loved shooting and drill competitions.

  • Lab to pursue fix in botched security system

    Los Alamos National Security, LLC, is bringing in outside counsel to help it deal with the botched construction of a security upgrade at the lab.

    Originally, the system was supposed to cost $213 million, but cost overruns have jacked the project up to $254 million, according to a memo written by Lab Director Charlie McMillan, to employees.

    The National Nuclear Security Administration is holding LANS, LLC accountable for the projected $41 million in cost overruns.

    Last month, NNSA spokesman Josh McConaha said in a statement, “The performance on this project has been unacceptable and we will hold LANS fully accountable for all costs.  

    “We take our responsibility to protect taxpayer dollars seriously and we will use all the tools available to correct the situation.”

    According to the trade journal Nuclear Weapons and Materials Monitor, LANS hired attorneys to help the lab pursue claims against subcontractors that did the work on the security system.

    There are reports that the cost overruns could be paid for by money that had been earmarked for the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility or the bonus that LANS, LLC receives for running the lab.

  • New library manager balances skills with passion

    Steven Thomas, the newly hired library manager, was not planning on leaving his position as assistant director of the Washington County Library System in Arkansas.

    “I really wasn’t out on the job market, but my wife and I had four or five places in the country that we always knew we wanted to live over and above everywhere else, and this was one,” said Thomas, who had vacationed in the area several times.

    “When this opened up, it was just a perfect job at this point in my career. I’ve been assistant director at three libraries that, like here, were kind of model libraries in their part of the world. So we were just delighted, and couldn’t possibly be more excited to be here. We weren’t just hunting for jobs: it was very much this specific job and this specific place.”

    Thomas said that he and his wife Lisa Caldwell, were attracted to three things in particular.

    “It’s the combination of the arts, music, film, mostly in Santa Fe, but really all around and in Los Alamos, as well. The quality of that is very high for the size of the community,” Thomas said.

  • Student receives volunteer award

    She originally volunteered just to serve others and perhaps learn a little about cardiology, but Los Alamos High School student Kerry Song actually came away with a little something more for her efforts.

    Song, who signed up to volunteer in the Los Alamos Medical Center’s Physical Therapy and Cardiac Rehabilitation unit, recently received the New Mexico Hospital Association’s Junior Volunteer of the Year Award. She received the award for work she did at the hospital during the summer of 2011 and recently received her award.

    According to Song’s supervisor, Kathryn Garela, it didn’t take long for her to trust Song’s judgment.

    “I quickly caught on to the fact that she was very organized,” Garela said. “The second or third thing I asked her to do was organize the storage room, because I knew she’d be wonderful at it.” Other duties Song performed included delivering mail and filing, tasks she was equally good at.

    “She is definitely a self-starter,” Garela said.

    And of course, LAMC was quick to reward her for her hard work and dedication. Occasionally, Garela would arrange to have Song observe in the hospital’s cardiology wing.

  • Update 11-25-12

    P.E.O. Chapter AK

    P.E.O. Chapter AK will meet at 7 p.m. Nov. 26 at the home of Barbara deNevers. Karla Crane will act as co-hostess. The program will be a report of the projects.

    Film screening

    Friends of the Senior Centers  has purchased a new film for the Vision Challenged. The public is invited to the first showing of “Going Blind, Going Forward.” 10 a.m. Nov. 27  at the Betty Ehart Senior Center in the classroom. More information is available by calling 662-8920.


    Ward L. Hawkins, LANL program manager for Nuclear Testing Limitations, will speak at 7 p.m. Nov. 27.  in Room 311 in the Education Building at the United Church, 2525 Canyon Road.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Nov. 27  in council chambers.

    Library Board

    The Los Alamos County Library Board holds regular meetings the first Monday of each month (excluding holidays) at 5:30 p.m. in the Mesa Public Library Board Room or at White Rock Branch Library. The next meeting is Dec. 3.

  • Sandia Lab manager dies in Florida boating accident

    MIAMI (AP) — A diver from New Mexico who died in a Thanksgiving Day boating accident was a manager at one of the nation’s leading research laboratories who was in Florida for a holiday dive trip with her nephew, authorities said Friday.

    The Broward County Medical Examiner ruled Friday that Nina Poppelsdorf, 54, drowned after Thursday when a large wave flipped over a 45-foot catamaran carrying her and nearly two-dozen others.

    The Sandia Park, N.M., woman died at a hospital after the Coral Princess capsized, said Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella. Witnesses said the boat was approaching the Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach when a wave 8 to 10 feet high flipped the twin-hulled craft.

    Poppelsdorf was in Florida with her nephew, who is from Pennsylvania.

    “They just went on this fun trip together to just do dives,” Moschella said. “So this is especially tragic that it was on Thanksgiving and it ended in tragedy.”

    Poppelsdorf was a senior manager of the radiation protection, industrial hygiene and safety center at Sandia National Laboratories, lab spokeswoman Heather Clark said. She was hired in August 1992 at the lab, a federal research and development center.