Today's News

  • Assets in Action: Teachers continue to give maximum effort

    I write my column this week as just a mom, just a parent or caregiver like many of you.
    If you don’t really keep up with the news, last week our teachers, kind of got a punch in the gut. I dare to say two rounds of it, to be honest.
    Round one was the data release of teacher evaluations. The snippets that we hear about here and there are not really enough to allow the average bear to really understand what all of the fuss is about. It may even come across as people just not wanting to be evaluated, but if you could hear some of the tales, it is a slap in the face to good educators.
    There is not enough column space for me to explain what is involved in a teacher evaluation, how wrong they can be and how illogical it all sounds when talking about an educational system. As a town that thrives on data, the hypothesis is clearly not supported by the experiment, as the analysis of the data does not allow one to draw conclusions possibly allowing results that may not align partially or at all with the data.
    How’s that for the layman’s explanation?
    Now for round two of the fight. Last week, staff heard they were not allowed to miss more than three days during the school year without suffering more related to evaluations.

  • Garcia Richard, Stover respond to voters

    Contenders for New Mexico House District 43, Democratic incumbent Stephanie Garcia Richard and Republican challenger Sharon Stover, answered voters’ questions at the Oct. 6 League of Women Voters of Los Alamos (LWVLA) candidate forum.
    The first question was whether the candidates would support a 20-week abortion ban.
    “I feel that it is a woman’s choice, between her God and her doctor,” Stover responded. “In terms of a 20-week abortion ban, I think after a certain point, we all value the sanctity of life, and that is something that I would consider. I would like to look at what the entire bill says, but I do believe life is precious and we need to save it.”
    “I have never supported any restrictions on a woman’s right to choose, a woman’s access to her health care,” Garcia Richard said. “I believe those decisions should be between the woman and her doctor. I don’t think the state has any business interfering in that decision.”

  • DOE completes legacy waste cleanup at 4 sites in LA Canyon

    Four toxic waste sites located on the south rim of Los Alamos Canyon have been cleaned of toxic waste, according to the Department of Energy and the Environmental Management Field Office.
    The sites, located on the south-facing side of the canyon, contained surface deposits of waste leftover from the Manhattan Project.
    “Removing contaminated soil from these four sites represents an important step in our cleanup efforts around the Los Alamos Townsite,” EM-LA Manager Doug Hintze said.
    The DOE reported Oct. 6 it had removed about 133 cubic yards of soil from the site, where it was screened and packaged it for transport to a waste disposal site in Utah.
    The waste was located adjacent to DOE property, and was accessed through private land located along the north rim of the canyon.
    The cleanup began in June and was carried out by private subcontractor TerranearPMC.
    The project was part of the 2016 Compliance Order of Consent that was recently finalized by the DOE, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s management contractor, Los Alamos National Security LLC, and the New Mexico Environment Department.
    The DOE is planning to clean the last sites on the south rim in 2017. The DOE reported the project was done “under budget and ahead of schedule.”

  • Leonora Curtin Wetland hosts ephemeral sculpture exhibit

    Strolling through the 35-acre Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve when the cottonwoods are turning golden and fall is in the air is a pleasure in and of itself. But the preserve holds a special draw this October as it hosts its second biennial, “Wilderness Acts 2016.”
    The show is curated by Axle Contemporary, whose co-founders Jerry Wellman and Matthew Chase-Daniel proposed celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act in 2014 with an exhibit at the wetlands.
    “This is one of my favorite places in the area. I used to take my daughter here all the time when she was little. And a lot of people didn’t really know this place,” Wellman said. “Although it’s not exactly wilderness, it’s pretty wild, and the wetlands are a pretty important place to preserve. So it just kind of dovetailed into this notion, and we wanted to invite artists to experience it and to re-express it artistically.”
    “We really enjoy Axle doing projects with other organizations,” Chase-Daniel said. “We’re always happy to mix it up and do art projects, especially with non-arts organizations.”
    The first “Wilderness Acts” was very successful.

  • Prep football: Defense leads ’Toppers past Academy

    Going into Friday’s game against Albuquerque Academy, Los Alamos head football coach Garett Williams said his team needed to key in on the Chargers single-wing offense.
    But Academy appeared to confuse itself more in the Hilltoppers 44-7 win at Sullivan Field. Los Alamos stifled the Chargers offense in route to improving to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in District 2-5A.
    The Hilltoppers finished with 463 yards of total offense. Quarterback Nick Quartieri tallied a season-high 245 passing yards, while rushing for 61 yards. Senior Aaron Waller rushed for a game-high 72 yards, while senior Travis Gonzales finished with three receptions and 131 receiving yards for the Hilltoppers.
    Los Alamos didn’t waste anytime, scoring on its first play from scrimmage. Quartieri found Kevin Maresca for an 80-yard touchdown to give the Hilltoppers an early 7-0 lead.
    Down 14-0 in the second quarter, Academy’s Clay Crosby rushed for a 23-yard touchdown to get within seven. But that was as close as the Chargers got.
    On the Hilltoppers ensuing possession, a four play, 80-yard scoring drive was capped off by a 27-yard touchdown run by Quartieri. With three minutes left in the first half, Quartieri and Gonzales connected for an 82-yard touchdown that gave Los Alamos a 30-7 halftime lead.

  • LAHS boy’s soccer stuns Academy, girls fall

    With selection Sunday approaching, the Los Alamos boy’s soccer team was in need of a signature win and it got it.
    The Hilltoppers, who improved to 13-5-1 overall and 3-2 in District 2-5A, defeated Albuquerque Academy 1-0 on Saturday in Albuquerque, snapping a nine-game losing streak against the Chargers. Prior to Saturday, Los Alamos’ last win against Academy was in the 2010 Class 4A quarterfinals.
    “We hadn’t had a lot of success against them (Academy) but It was good to know that we could beat them,” Los Alamos coach Ron Blue said. “We’ve known that we had enough to play with them but to win a game like that we needed a full team effort and that’s what they did.”
    Academy (15-3-1 overall, 5-1 District 2-5A) went into Saturday’s game ranked No. 1 in New Mexico by maxpreps.com, and a win away from clinching the District 2-5A title. But, not only did the Hilltoppers extend the district race, they likely solidified at least a top eight seed and a home game for the Class 5A state tournament, and perhaps put themselves back in the top four seed conversation.
    “Obviously some things need to happen,” Blue said. “But, if you look at our strength of schedule and if we could beat Capital, then I think we could be in consideration for a top four seed.”

  • LAHS volleyball falls at Del Norte

    The Los Alamos volleyball team had become accustomed to winning five-set matches, but things didn’t shape as usual this time.
    The Hilltoppers fell to Del Norte 19-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-23,15-12 on Saturday in Albuquerque. Los Alamos fell to 8-9 overall and 3-2 in District 2-5A play, while the Knights improved to 9-6 overall and 3-2 in district.
    The loss ends a three-match winning streak, which included three five-set performances by the Hilltoppers.
    On Saturday, Los Alamos had a 2 sets to 1 lead, and a 17-13 lead in the fourth set, before the Knights went on a seven-point run to get a 20-17 lead. Del Norte ended up winning the set to set-up a decisive fifth set.
    The early stages of the fifth set were highly competitive and both teams were knotted up 6-6. Los Alamos took an 11-10 lead before Del Norte sealed the win with a 5-1 run.
    In the first set, Los Alamos overcame a 17-11 Knights lead and took a 22-18 lead. The Hilltoppers won the set after an Elodie Thelliez block.
    Led by a Mackenzie Alexander block and an Alize Garcia ace, Los Alamos took a 23-20 lead in the third set. A Jessica Moore kill sealed the set for the Hilltoppers.
    Alexander led Los Alamos with 11 kills, while Thelliez tallied six solo blocks and 11 total. Garcia finished with a team-high 26 wins.

  • Prep volleyball: ’Toppers get past Capital in five sets

    For the third-straight match, the Los Alamos volleyball team needed five sets to win a pivotal District 2-5A match.
    The Hilltoppers defeated Capital 25-22, 25-21, 25-27, 23-25, 15-8 on Wednesday in Santa Fe. It was the second-straight match that Los Alamos led 2 sets to 0, and then dropped the next two and eventually sealed the win in the fifth set.
    “We’ve been talking about it and we think that they’re full of energy in the first two games, and then they kind of relax a little too much,” Los Alamos coach Diana Stokes said. “They just lose that edge. But in the fifth game, they just walked all over them.”
    Los Alamos led the fourth set 23-22, before Capital rallied three-straight points to force the decisive fifth set. The fifth set ended up being the least competitive of the night, as the Hilltoppers started the set on a 12-3 run and eventually won it 15-8.
    “I think what they’re starting to see is that they are good and that they can do this,” Stokes said. “I’m just trying to press on them that they need to keep working at it. I had a (junior varsity player) who played outside setter and she ended up getting the nine-straight points for us.”

  • County Council to hold work session on draft Los Alamos County comprehensive plan

    The Los Alamos County Council will hold a work session Tuesday on the draft comprehensive plan.

    The public is invited to the session at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the White Rock Fire Station.

    The Planning and Zoning Commission has worked with staff and consultants to create the plan since the beginning of the year, including a rigorous public engagement process.

    The draft plan can be downloaded at losalamoscountycompplan2016.com.

    The project website also contains information about the planning process.

    The draft plan contains goals, policies and strategies addressing housing, neighborhoods and growth; development, redevelopment and downtown; open space, trails and mobility; planning context covers history and land use; demographics, housing, the Los Alamos National Lab; and economic development, transportation, utilities and open space.

    The future land use map is one of the most important components of the plan.

    The map is a graphic representation of the goals and policies described in the comprehensive plan.

  • Schools, university ‘bond’ over students

    The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos has decided to hold its mill levy election at the same time Los Alamos Public Schools will hold its bond election. 

    The levy will be for one mill, or  $1 per $1,000, of net taxable property value. The funding will go toward the operation, maintenance of UNM-LA and capital improvements. 

    The one mill levy increase would add $33.33 per $100,000 of assessed property value. 

    Ballots are scheduled to be mailed out Dec. 20. The last day to submit or mail ballots to the county clerk’s office will be Jan. 24. 

    About a month ago, LAPS announced that it was going to ask residents to vote for $13 million in bond funding to rebuild Barranca Mesa Elementary School and to take care of other infrastructure issues in the district. 

    The five-member UNM-LA Advisory Board unanimously approved the levy measure during a joint session with the Los Alamos School Board Tuesday. 

    School and university officials said the timeframe made sense since the two schools share many partnerships and goals when it comes to educating the community’s students.