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Today's News

  • Council to mull codifying sheriff’s role July 26

    The Los Alamos County Council will consider on July 26 a resident’s petition to write the duties of the Los Alamos County Sheriff and the Los Alamos County Police Department into the County Charter.

    Petitioner Greg White requested the council action Tuesday at a regular council meeting. White said by adding language to the County Charter, it would end the perennial argument the community seems to have about whether to have a sheriff.

    White noted that for at least the last 48 years, voters have considered the issue seven times.

    The seventh vote occurred last year, after County Council transfered nearly all sheriff services to the Los Alamos Police Department, including process serving. The council also removed the sheriff’s administrative and deputy sheriff staff.

    They also voted to reduce the office’s budget to $15,000.

    However, county voters decided to restore the office.

  • Taco Troubles: Man threatens to get gun over wrong order at Rigoberto’s

    Los Alamos resident Lex Norman Deines, 48, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon at Central Park Square.

    Around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. Jemuel Montoya was dispatched to Rigoberto’s Taco Shop for a male individual that was being loud and disorderly.

    Montoya arrived on the scene and found Deines at the counter being argumentative with workers behind the counter. While standing next to Deines, Montoya said he noticed a strong scent of liquor emitting from his person.

    Deines began to be aggressive with the workers, making the patrons very uncomfortable. When Montoya moved closer, Deines noticed the police officer and reportedly said, “Oh, it’s come to this.”

    Montoya spoke with Deines outside the restaurant to get a sense of the situation. Apparently, Deine’s food order was wrong and the restaurant employees would not change it.

    Montoya spoke with one of the employees, who told the officer that Deines threatened to retrieve a gun out of his car if he did not get what he wanted.

  • County responds to IPRA complaint

    Los Alamos County is seeking to dismiss a complaint from Patrick Brenner and Lisa Brenner, who are suing the county and County Custodian of Records Barb Ricci, claiming violations of the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.

    “Defendants reasonably assessed and responded to all requests by plaintiff Patrick Brenner as required by IPRA,” the response said.

    On July 7, the county filed an answer to their complaint and also filed a motion to dismiss Lisa Brenner from the case. Lisa is Patrick’s mother.

    The Brenners are accusing the county of withholding emails sent out by some council members on May 15.
    According to the defendant’s lawyer A. Blair Dunn, the county was required to supply the emails requested, including those from private addresses, by May 31.

    On May 25, Ricci sent an email to Patrick Brenner indicating that the case had been closed.

    “They closed the case before the May 31 deadline. That closure of my request was an improper denial at that point,” Patrick Brenner said. “They improperly denied my request by closing my request early.”

    On that day, Patrick Brenner sent out an email to County Council criticizing some of them for their alleged support of a $20 million bond voters were to vote on May 23.

  • LAHS coaches, players to lead tennis clinic

    Registration is now open for the Los Alamos Tennis Clinic, which will be Aug. 7-11.

    The clinic is open to kids between the ages of 4 and 15.

    It will take place on the Mesa Tennis Courts, located behind Sullivan Field.

    Los Alamos High School boy’s tennis coach Lloyd Wilton has been running clinics like this one for the past three years, and has seen good participation each time.

    Two years ago, there were about 80 participants, while around 70 kids took part last year.

    Wilton said he expects similar participation this year.

    Another clinic was in June, with around 40 kids participating. Wilton expects around 40 new kids to take part in the August camp.

    LAHS coaches and members of the LAHS tennis teams lead the instruction.

    In fact, assisting with these clinics is required for all members of the tennis teams, according to Wilton.

    “It’s a really great opportunity for the kids to teach what they learn in their own practices, and it’s great for us coaches to see what still needs to get worked on,” he said.

    Kids between the ages of  4 and 8 will be on the tennis courts from 4:30-5:30 p.m. each day, while kids between the ages of 9-15 are on the courts from 5:45-6:45 p.m.

  • Residents lose power Sunday night
  • Los Alamos County fire to end Stage 1 fire restrictions today

    Los Alamos County Fire Department will lift Stage 1 fire restrictions at noon today.

    Recent rain and milder temperatures have produced a decrease in the fire danger for Los Alamos County.

    The stricter fire restrictions were based on dry conditions and higher-than-normal temperatures. Several criteria are utilized to determine when to impose or lift fire restrictions, which include current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources.

    The arrival of monsoonal moisture has eased the dry conditions that led to restrictions and decreased fire danger to moderate, according to the county.

    “LAFD thanks all of our residents and visitors who adhered to the Stage 1 restrictions to help us reduce the fire danger during the recent high fire danger conditions,” said Jeff Wetteland, LAFD fire marshal. “Even though the Stage 1 restrictions are being rescinded, we encourage everyone to remain vigilant and continue to use caution with campfires or activities that can result in a wildland fire.”

    Campfires will be allowed on private property and at the Camp May camping areas in an approved fire ring/burn container with the surrounding areas free of vegetation. However, a water supply must be available, preferably a garden hose or buckets of water.

  • Will global warming change Native American religious practices?

    The Colorado River, one of the longest rivers in the United States, is gradually shrinking. This is partly a result of overuse by municipalities and seasonal drought. The other reason is global warming.

    The decline in the river reservoir will have serious implications for large U.S. cities, such as Los Angeles, that depend on the Colorado River as their water source. In addition, this will also have an impact on the Native American tribes who view the Colorado River as sacred to their religions.

    As Ka-Voka Jackson, a member of the Hualapai tribe and a graduate student working to address climate change on the Colorado River and restoring native plant species along its banks, stated, “The Colorado River is so sacred not just to my tribe, but to so many others.”

    As a scholar of Native American religions and the environment, I understand how indigenous people’s religions and sacred places are closely tied to their landscape. For the past 100 years, indigenous peoples have been forced to adapt to changes in their environments and modify their religious rituals in the United States. The U.S. government made certain Native American religious practices illegal in the 19th and early 20th century. Although these policies have since been rescinded, they led to changes in many indigenous practices.  

  • Summer volleyball camp to take place at LAHS

    The 2017 Los Alamos Summer Volleyball Camp will take place the next two weeks inside the Auxiliary Gym at Los Alamos High School.

    The camp is open to elementary and middle school students. No previous volleyball experience is required.

    “Our goal is to help improve their skills and get them interested in playing more volleyball,” Diana Stokes, the head volleyball coach at LAHS, said.

    Instruction will be led by the high school coaching staff, as well as members of both the JV and Varsity teams.

    The camp will be run Monday-Thursday, and July 24-27.

    Activities are tailored to the experience level of the players to reinforce fundamental serving, passing, hitting and defensive skills.  

    The camps introduce new players to the game and challenge players with previous experience.

    Elementary students will be in the gym from 3-4 p.m., while the middle school students will receive instruction from 4:30-6 p.m.

    For elementary students, the camp will cost $35 for one week, and $60 for both weeks.

    The middle school camp will cost $40 for one week, and $70 for both weeks.

    Participants can register either at the door on the first day of the camp, or online at sites.google.com/laschools.net/hilltoppervolleyball/home.

  • Aquatomics dominate final regular season meet

    In their final meet before the state championships, several members of the Los Alamos Aquatomics dominated the competition, proving they are ready for the state’s biggest stage.

    The 2017 Duke Last Chance Meet provided swimmers from around the state a final opportunity to record times that would qualify them for the state championship meet.

    Swimmers that had already qualified for the state meet had an opportunity to either improve their times, or simply stay in shape leading up to the biggest competition of the summer season.

    Unlike all other swim meets throughout the season, swimmers competed as individuals rather than as a team.

    No points were awarded to teams, and no awards were handed out. Swimmers were not broken up into age groups for competition, either.

    This was simply an opportunity for swimmers to compete against pre-determined state qualifying times in a time-trial format.

    Many members of the Aquatomics made the trip to Albuquerque for the meet, and four of them walked away with state-qualifying times.

    The top performers for the Aqautomics were Alex and Ian Jaegers, Ming Lo and Konstantin Nelson.

    All four were already qualified for the state competition before the event, but it offered them an opportunity to see how a high-level meet would be run.

  • Kiwanis Club of LA supports family nights at Nature Center

     The Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos has once again renewed their support of Family Nights at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Because of Kiwanis, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center can continue to offer Family Nights for free every second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. throughout the year.

    This program offers families a chance to spend time together after work, enjoying stories, games, songs, and, in the summer, s’mores around the campfire. Family Nights are led by Melissa Mackey, children’s librarian at Mesa Public Library.

    “The Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos has felt it a privilege to sponsor Family Nights at the nature center. Our support of Family Nights affords special satisfaction to us as it provides kids the opportunity to combine learning with fun,” said Chuck Kooshian, president of the Kiwanis.

    In addition to PEEC’s Family Night program, The Kiwanis Club supports a variety of events through financial sponsorship and volunteering. Many people associate the club with the Fourth of July fireworks display in White Rock, but their reach extends beyond the Pajarito Plateau.