Today's News

  • Lunch with Leader to host State Senator Wirth

    The Los Alamos League of Women Voters will have their monthly Lunch with a Leader at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday at Mesa Public Library.  State Senator Peter Wirth will lead a discussion of money in politics. The topic is one of the positions the League is studying.  

  • Board OKs mail ballot election

    Los Alamos School Board has passed a resolution that will clear the way for a mail ballot election in January.
    The election will give residents the chance to continue taxing residents 3.26 mills for every $1,000 of net taxable property, residential and non-residential.
    If residents approve the tax, it will continue through 2021. The election will be Jan. 26, 2016. The last day voters can register for this special election is Dec. 29.
    Before the vote was taken, Superintendent of Schools Kurt Steinhaus explained to the board that the school district uses the funds for athletic and music equipment as well as other things.
    “Our activity buses are purchased with House Bill 33 funds and … House Bill 33 also plays in a major in school major projects and lastly it’s used to purchase technology equipment in our schools,” Steinhaus said.
    The levy of 3.246 mills for every $1,000 has remained at the same level since 2006, according to Daniel Allsup, an advisor to the district,
    “It is not a property tax increase, it will just remain at the current level, if approved tonight and then approved by voters,” he told the board.
    Even though property values took a hit this year, a member of Allsup’s financial team told the board that they are actually looking at a slight increase for 2015.

  • Today in history Nov. 19
  • State official: Feds’ estimate on Los Alamos Lab cleanup too low

    POJOAQUE — Cleaning up radioactive and hazardous waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory will cost far more than the $1.2 billion estimate made by the federal Department of Energy, according to a top New Mexico official.
    The Department of Energy’s cost projection is “far too low” and “a bare minimum,” state Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said at a meeting of the Los Alamos National Laboratory citizens advisory board on Thursday.
    The laboratory is expected to receive $181 million for environmental cleanup in the next federal budget, the Albuquerque Journal reported
    Flynn called on everyone involved to “have an honest conversation about the extent of the problem” as the state and Department of Energy work on revising a 2005 agreement that said the cleanup should be finished by this year. That didn’t come close to happening.
    The cleanup of the 40-square-mile site involves waste that dates back to the 1940s Manhattan Project.
    Flynn said he wants to move beyond the investigation and characterization of waste at the Los Alamos lab. Instead, his department wants to see a series of discrete campaigns to attack various cleanup problems, prioritized based on factors like the risk to people or the environment and available funding.

  • United Way community partner spotlight − YMCA

    The ultimate goal of United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) is to positively impact members of the community who are in need of assistance. UWNNM does not do that directly but through grants it provides to community partners to fund programs focused on education, financial stability and health.
    But sometimes, through its partners, UWNNM hears individual stories about how programs funded through community donations to United Way have made a difference in someone’s life.
    One such story came from “Kathy” (a pseudonym to protect privacy), whose family that received assistance through the YMCA scholarship program.
    “The YMCA provides scholarships for families that otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in programs that they offer,” said UWNNM Program and Marketing Coordinator Jeremy Varela.
    “This particular story about the YMCA had to do with domestic violence as well, and how a family had to start from scratch, basically. Some people find their help within families or whatever. These particular people actually found their help within YMCA. They were able to get back on their feet through the YMCA’s help.
    “I would never expect somebody to get that kind of help from the YMCA and their programs.”
    This is Kathy’s story in her own words.

  • United Way LANL campaign ends Friday

    United Way of Northern New Mexico Executive Director Kristy Ortega wrote the following appeal to donors.
    “The United Way of Northern New Mexico is approximately one quarter of the way to the amount asked for by non-profits in our community and we need your help.
    “Last year, because of investments to the UWNNM Community Action Fund, our neighbor Kathy was able to change her life and the life of her family for the better. She is just one example of the over 10,000 people you helped.
    “If you are an employee of Los Alamos National Laboratory, please do not forget to log in to your Oracle to make your pledge. We are grateful to LANS/LANL for their continued Community Investment in UWNNM and to their employees for being the heroes through contributions to the UWNNM Community Action Fund.
    “If you are able, we ask you to give. Contributions can be made online at unitedwaynnm.org, or you can find pledge envelopes at the following locations:
    • Los Alamos National Bank
    • Fusion Multisport
    • Ruby K's Bagel Café
    “And a reminder, pledges of $100 or more get entered into the drawing for the Helicopter Rides courtesy of Classic Air Medical.
    “Thank you for your continued support!”
    The LANL United Way campaign ends Nov. 20.

  • Science on Tap to discuss quantum cryptography Thursday

    As computers get faster for us all, they’re also getting faster for those who want to steal your information. As a result, even advanced encryption systems are getting easier and easier to break. Only a giant leap forward will help stem this loss of information.
    Through years of hard work, such a breakthrough has now taken place at the Lab. As a result, this research has led to a license with the private sector to commercialize the innovative technology.
    Raymond Newell, with the Quantum Communications team, will be at the next Science on Tap from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday at UnQuarked.
    After a short, informal introduction to the topic of quantum cryptography, attendees are invited to ask questions, share perspectives and leave the event with an idea of why this research could revolutionize how data are kept safe.
    Sponsored by the Los Alamos Creative District and hosted by the Bradbury Science Museum, the series begins with an informal 10-15 minute lecture followed by a lively group discussion.

  • State official: DOE estimate on Los Alamos cleanup too low

    POJOAQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico official says cleaning up radioactive and hazardous waste at Los Alamos will cost far more than the $1.2 billion estimate by the federal Department of Energy.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports that state Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said at a public meeting Thursday that the DOE's cost projection is "far too low" and called for the state and federal governments to have an honest conversation about the issue.

    Even with the DOE's estimate, the Los Alamos National Laboratory is expected to receive $181,000 for environmental remediation in the next federal budget. That means the lab wouldn't be cleaned up for many decades.

    The state and DOE are revising a 2005 agreement that said the cleanup should be finished by this year. That didn't come close to happening.

  • Festivals will have trees and chocolate

    The most scrumptious event of the season, the Festival of Chocolate, is at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.
    The event also launches the annual Festival of Trees. Both events benefit the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Center and Champions of Youth Ambitions.
    There will be no need for anyone to sit with a shotgun and say “back off from the chocolate and nobody gets hurt” at Saturday’s event. There should be enough chocolaty treats to satisfy even the most hardcore addict.
    Contributors include SFE, the lunch vendor for Los Alamos Public Schools, and Papa Murphy’s.
    Senior center chefs will make chocolate flan, Queen of Sheba cake, chocolate cupcakes, malted whiskey truffles and, of course, Mike Mason’s mouthwatering hot chocolate.
    Aspen Ridge Lodge chef Carlos Aragon is offering pecan brownies, chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate chip cookies.
    Liz Paez of the Los Alamos Medical Center is baking a flourless chocolate cake, and caterer Peggy Pendergast is providing chocolate mocha cheesecake. Mihaela Popa-Simil’s contributions are chocolate pecans and ginger chocolate fudge.
    My Blue Heaven will provide music again this year.

  • Police Beat 11-13-15

    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.

    Nov. 4
    5:52 p.m. — A 71-year-old Los Alamos man told police he was the victim of a larceny (less than $250) at Pecos Drive.
    7:18 p.m. — Joshua Lucero, 19, of Española was arrested on a charge of shoplifting (less than $500) at Central Park Square.
    11:24 p.m. — Rowan Cantua, 18, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of distribution of a controlled substance (marijuana) at Diamond and Sandia drives.
    11:42 p.m. — Eric Tavera-Perez, 21, of Los Alamos was arrested through a magistrate court bench warrant at Sandia and Trinity drives.
    Nov. 5
    6:59 a.m. — Police reported that a 56-year-old Los Alamos woman was the victim of an accident with injuries at Mesita Del Buey and Pajarito Road.
    7:30 a.m. —Police reported that a 33-year-old Los Alamos woman was the victim of an accident with injuries at Diamond and Sandia drives.