Today's News

  • 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. 

  • LA County tourism grows by 10 percent

    New Mexico Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Latham held a news conference Thursday at Fuller Lodge. Latham and Gov. Susana Martinez were on a whistlestop tour across the state to promote tourism in the state. Latham said in Los Alamos County, visitor spending grew by 10.6 percent last year, making it one of the highest reports of spending in the state. That translated to $34.2 million spent by visitors to Los Alamos County last year.

  • LAFD dedicates center to Capt. Lujan

    Relatives of the late Percy Lujan came from near and far Wednesday to see the Los Alamos Fire Department’s Practical Learning Center dedicated in his memory. 

    Capt. Lujan joined the Los Alamos Fire Department  in 1976 and retired from the department Dec. 31 1996. He went on to have a career in aircraft fire and rescue. He was also an instructor at the New Mexico Fire Academy, and also served as the Chimayo Fire Department’s chief during his long career. Lujan died on Oct. 3, 2003. His wife, Josie Lujan, came to see the LAFD Training Center, located on 132 DP Road, dedicated to him.

    “I’m so honored, so humbled and so appreciative,” she said. “The appreciation of my husband’s work… he was so dedicated. Firefighting was his first love.”  

    His daughter, Mary Rose Montalvo, also traveled to the event from Alcalde. She said she was grateful that Lujan’s grandchildren got to see the center dedicated and to see how respected he was by his peers and former colleagues.