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Today's News

  • LAHS school supply wish list

    The Los Alamos High School ’Topper Parent Organization is for parents who would like to be involved, to help ensure the best possible educational experience at LAHS. For more information about the TPO, visit laschools.net/LAHS/committeesandorganizations/tpo.
    One of the ongoing activities of the LAHS TPO is to present a list of items requested by LAHS staff to meet or enhance educational needs. Parents, community groups and individuals are encouraged to donate.
    Drop off items at the LAHS front office with a note indicating which department and to whom you would like the donation directed.  
    The following items have been requested:
     
    All departments
    and staff
    • Kleenex

    Attendance/bookkeeping, attention:
    Maire O’Neill
    • Kleenex (12)

    Biology, attention: Stephanie Mitchell
    • Kleenex
    • Stapler
    • Electronic pencil
    sharpener
    • Dry erase markers
    • Construction paper
    • Plastic rulers (10)
    • Dish drying rack
    and mat for cleaning lab
    equipment

    Chemistry, attention: Rachel Cowan
    • Kleenex
    • Re-fillable scotch tape
    dispensers (2 or 3)
    • Wide clear packaging

  • State short of money for general election costs

    SANTA FE (AP) — Unexpected general election costs have created a $1.4 million hole in the secretary of state’s budget, but the financial squeeze won’t prevent New Mexicans from casting ballots in November, according to New Mexico’s top elections official.
    Secretary of State Dianna Duran came up empty-handed Tuesday in asking the state Board of Finance for emergency funding for the $1.4 million costs of leased equipment that will print ballots at about 180 “voting convenience centers” in 15 counties. Those allow voters to go to a consolidated polling location most convenient to them rather than their traditional precinct-based voting site.
    Duran said after the meeting that she will ask the Legislature next year to cover the additional election costs and will negotiate with vendors, if necessary, to wait on their payments.
    A 2011 law allowed counties to establish the new voting locations but the state must pay for systems to print paper ballots on demand. Duran said Bernalillo County, which includes the city of Albuquerque, has agreed to share in the costs of equipment used there.

  • Local Courts: On the Docket 09-20-12

    Heather Philips was found guilty by the Los Alamos Magistrate Court of disorderly conduct; the charge was originally battery against a household member.
    Wilson was ordered to pay $73 in court fees and undergo supervised probation for 182 days.
    Conditions of probation include: Avoiding arrest during her probation period and complying with all court-ordered conditions of probation. Philips was also ordered not to possess or consume alcohol or enter an establishment where liquor is served. She also can’t possess a firearm, or any other type of weapon or destructive device.
    Philips must also meet with her probation officer within seven days and maintain contact.

  • Prescribed burn at Valles Caldera next week

    The Valles Caldera Trust will implement a prescribed burn project that will begin Monday and possibly run through Wednesday if weather and associated conditions permit.
    The prescribed burn will be on the Valles Caldera National Preserve, south of N.M. 4 near mile marker 30.
    Because of the location and elevation, smoke from the burn will be visible from all directions coming into the Jemez Mountains area.
    The burn is the final stage of a project to reduce fire hazard and improve forest health. The area has been thinned and most of the wood by-products were removed or previously burned.
    This pretreatment will allow safe use of low intensity fire to clean up residual slash and remove ponderosa pine seedlings that sprouted since the thinning.
    The parameters for implementing a prescribed burn are based upon specific assessments, agency guidelines and safety protocols.
    Managers continuously monitor weather conditions during a burn including wind, temperature, and relative humidity. Fuel quantity and moisture are also measured.
    Smoke will be visible and is expected to have variable affects on neighboring communities including Ponderosa, La Cueva, Sierra Los Pinos, Jemez Pueblo and areas near N.M. 4. Communities along U.S. 550 including San Ysidro, Zia Pueblo, Bernalillo and Rio Rancho may also be affected.

  • ACT going strong

    Public Works Director Philo Shelton had some good news for the county council regarding Atomic City Transit (ACT).
    The Los Alamos County system was ranked number one out of 24 rural New Mexico transit systems in the 2012 New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) Transit and Rail Division annual review.
    Since the system was created in October 2007 it has had more than 2 million one-way passengers. ACT operates 12 fixed routes and is projected to have nearly 600,000 one-way trips by the end of the year, up 100,000 from last year.
    The Bandelier shuttle accounts for most of that bump. In the first three months of operation this year, the shuttle has provided nearly 70,000 one-way passengers.
    The county’s general fund accounts for only 30 percent of ACT’s budget. The North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD) Regional GRT provides 26 percent, 41 percent comes from grants and the Bandelier National Monument contribution toward the Bandelier shuttle is three percent of the overall budget.

  • DOE awards oversight grant

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a grant for an estimated $1.6 million to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED).
    The five-year grant funds an agreement for NMED to conduct non-regulatory environmental oversight and monitoring to evaluate activities conducted at DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad.   
    NMED evaluates DOE activities related to WIPP’s environmental monitoring and cleanup.  This award is made in accordance with the Department of Energy Organization Act, Public Law 95-91.
    The DOE WIPP facility is designed to safely isolate defense-generated transuranic (TRU) waste from people and the environment. Waste temporarily stored at sites around the country is shipped to WIPP and permanently disposed in rooms mined out of an ancient salt formation 2,150 feet below the surface.  
    WIPP began waste disposal operations in 1999.  The facility is located 26 miles outside of Carlsbad.

  • Update 09-20-12

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will hold a special session to discuss the Trinity Site at 7 p.m. Monday in council chambers.

    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.

    No court

    The Los Alamos Magistrate Court will not have a Judge for the week of Sept. 17-21 due to the annual Magistrate Judge’s conference. The court hours will be 8 a.m.-3 p.m. that week.

    P&Z meeting

    The Los Alamos Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in council chambers.

    ESB meeting

    The Environmental Sustainability Board will hold its regular monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. today at the community building training room.

  • Bandelier looking for public input

    The National Park Service at Bandelier National Monument is developing a Transportation Plan/ Environmental Assessment to improve transportation conditions in Bandelier National Monument.
    The public and interested agencies are encouraged to attend one of two open house workshops on Monday or Tuesday to learn about the Plan/EA and comment early in the planning process. Attendees will learn about the current status of this effort, and park staff will be there to answer questions.
    The first will be from 5-7 p.m. Monday at the White Rock Town Hall, 139 Longview, with a second open house from noon-2 p.m. Tuesday at Fuller Lodge.
    The National Park Service is in the scoping phase of the project and needs and encourages public input during this initial comment period.  These comments are crucial to defining the issues and concerns to be addressed.
    The public will have a second opportunity to comment on the plan/EA after it is released, tentatively in the fall of 2013.

  • Driver in truck crash going to recover

    Frank Maes was driving the hairpin turn of N.M. 4 at mile marker 49 when things started going wrong.

    Before he knew it, he and his International flatbed truck, loaded with 2,000 gallons of yellow and white striping paint, were plunging over the side of a steep mountain pass.

    Maes was lucky.

    In fact, soon after his truck, or what was left of it, came to a stop 200 feet below in the Bandelier National Forest, Maes, 51, of Willard, who had been on the job for three months according to his co-workers, got out of his cab and started crawling back up the mountainside.

    “As he was going over, he told me he thought he was going to die,” Maes’ wife Karen said. “But something … I think angels were watching him.”

    According to Karen, Maes suffered no internal injuries or broken bones, just a laceration on his calf, a massive bruise on one of his hips and a sprained ankle.

    Maes was on his way down the mountain Tuesday morning to rendezvous with the rest of his crew when the accident happened. His mission was to deliver the load of paint to the crew.

    “He just ran out of brakes, he said he had no more brakes,” Karen said.

    Soon after he got out of the cab, a passing motorist noticed Maes and called police.

  • State House rivals talk Smart Grid

    House District 43 candidates Stephanie Garcia Richard (D) and Jim Hall (R) weighed in Tuesday on Monday’s Smart House project.

    The $53 million smart grid project was developed by scientists in New Mexico and Japan. Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization is working with Los Alamos County and Los Alamos National Laboratory on the project.

    It includes a solar photovoltaic array at the county’s capped landfill, a battery storage system, and a smart house and energy management system that will serve Los Alamos residents.

    “The Southwest has abundant sunlight and has the potential to generate enough power to meet the nation’s needs; however, storage and distribution are the key elements that will make this source viable,” Garcia Richard said. “Future development using the research capabilities of LANL, applied research demonstrated by the Japanese and production, manufacturing and construction will result in jobs for New Mexicans. We have seen the cost of PV dramatically reduced.

    Now using the information gained from the NEDO project New Mexico could lead the nation in solar energy production, storage and ‘smart grid’ design. The opportunities are enormous. Is the state up to the task?”