Today's News

  • Chandler keys in on neighborhoods, comp plan

    Editor’s note: This is the first in a series profiling candidates running for local and state offices.

    When Los Alamos County Council candidate Chris Chandler talks about neighborhoods and the comprehensive plan, she is really talking about community.
    “My goal is insuring that actions taken in the next four years essentially preserve the quality of life and the nature of the community,” Chandler said. “So that is why I’ve been highlighting this concept of neighborhoods, because I think that’s the key to ensuring that the community values are preserved.”
    The Los Alamos Monitor asked Chandler to elaborate on her concerns. One of her main issues involves actions taken by the Los Alamos Community Development Department (CDD) that she believes negatively impacts neighborhoods.
    Chandler provided three examples to support her point.
    “We became aware of the fact that county staff has chosen to reinterpret the code with respect to single-family neighborhoods. And what they have chosen to do – over objections of some neighbors – is to apply an odd definition of the term ‘family’ to include any collection of five people, whether or not they have any sort of relationship or connection with one another at all,” Chandler said.  

  • County gets emergency mobile pet shelter

    The Los Alamos Office of Emergency Manager now has a mobile pet shelter, to be used during evacuations.
    Part of a grant the county received was used to purchase a $23,000 trailer to be used as a mobile pet shelter.
    “Hopefully, individuals will be able to take their pets with them, but in the event that we do have pets that are left behind, it’s a way to shelter them, get them into the kennels and the trailer off the hill (out of Los Alamos County),” said Emergency Commander Beverley Simpson.
    The trailer will be stocked with three different sizes of kennels to accommodate extra-large, medium and small pets, which can include cats, dogs and other types of pets.
    The trailer will also be used as a way to reunite owners with their pets during the evacuation. Simpson said the OEM sees the mobile shelter being parked next to an emergency shelter where evacuees can enjoy easy access and provide comfort and food for their pets during an evacuation.
    The OEM is now looking for people to staff the mobile animal shelter and to help out with related duties. Though many of those positions will be filled with Public Service Aides and police officers from the Los Alamos Police Department, the OEM is also looking for residents to help.

  • Sheriff may fight county on move to eliminate office

    County council has removed the Los Alamos County sheriff’s process-serving duties, but the decision may not stand for long.
    Sheriff Marco Lucero said that he didn’t think this was a “done deal.”
    “You may see something at some point. I’m not going to cower into a corner,” he told the Los Alamos Monitor.
    He pointed to New Mexico state statute 4-41-14, which stipulates only the sheriff’s office has the responsibility to serve and execute “all process, writs and orders directed to him by the judges of the magistrate courts.”
    That includes criminal drunk driving processes ordered by municipal judges.
    “Those duties, by state law, are allocated to the sheriff’s office and his deputies,” Lucero said. “We are going to do our best to protect the office of the sheriff and do what is our duty, and what’s dictated by state law.”
    Los Alamos County Council voted 4-1 May 24 to transfer process-serving duties to the Los Alamos Police Department, which removed a significant part of the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Office duties.

  • Parks plans to cut back on herbicide use

    Los Alamos County’s Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division Manager Chris Wilson updated the Parks and Recreation Board on his plans to address citizens’ concerns regarding herbicide spraying for parks, the golf course, sidewalks, roadside right-of-ways, medians, airport facilities and parking lots.
    Wilson and his staff, along with concerned citizens, have been researching literature on herbicides and how other communities are addressing the issue. He outlined revisions to the Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPMP).
    “It’s a broad topic, and we’re going to hold ourselves to the Integrated Pest Management that we’re practicing, and through our review feel that it is a strong program,” Wilson said. “And yet, I feel there are some things that we can work on that will speak to the concern of pesticide control.”
    The top priority will be building healthy turf.
    “Healthy turf is our best defense,” Wilson said. “If the turf is in good shape and we spend our time and money on making that able to withstand weed encroachment, that’s the best thing we can do.”
    The division plans to reduce boom spraying of entire turf areas, which has traditionally been applied both spring and fall.

  • New Mexico vigils held, eyed for nightclub shooting victims

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico residents are holding candlelight vigils around the state in the wake of the Orlando shootings that killed 50 people in the worst mass shooting in modern American history.

    From Las Cruces to Albuquerque, mourners gathered to honor the victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub. The shooting occurring during Pride celebrations in many cities across the country.

    Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales announced on Facebook that the state's Capitol would hold a public event honoring the victims on Monday.

    At President Obama's request, Gov. Susana Martinez ordered flags in New Mexico to be lowered to half-staff until Thursday.

  • Main Hill Road open after collision

    The Main Hill Road is now open. The road was closed earlier due to a car crash. A woman in the crash received minor injuries. She was the only one injured in the crash after car she was driving, a white, four-door Kia Sedan, hit the westbound guardrail near Anderson Overlook. The road was closed briefly between the Santa Fe County line near Los Alamos and the entrance to White Rock. 

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    Guest Columnist

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  • Prescribed burn scheduled for Wednesday at Pajarito Ski Area

    The Los Alamos Fire Department, weather permitting, is scheduled to conduct a prescribed burn at the Pajarito Ski Area Wednesday.
    The burn is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and end around 2 p.m.
    The LAFD plans to burn a three-acre meadow, with a fireline constructed around the area. Traffic should not be affected. Smoke will also be visible from Española, Santa Clara and Santa Fe. The smoke from the burn will also be seen from State Highways 502 and 285.
    Fire officials expect some smoke to affect Los Alamos, depending on wind direction. The LAFD advises residents with respiratory conditions to avoid the area and stay indoors. For those residents with respiratory conditions, the LAFD recommended visiting nmtracking.org/fire for information and tips.
    Wildland Division Chief Ramon Garcia said the prescribed burn will also be a training exercise for LAFD firefighters.
    “This is going to give us an opportunity to train in a supervised, safe environment,” Garcia said.

  • No glitches in primary elections

    According to Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover, the community seems pleased with how primary elections were run this year.
    Stover and her staff have heard positive feedback on the new polling location at the White Rock Library and the decision to move the municipal building vote center from the boards and commissions room to council chambers. A candidate thanked Stover for providing screens with scrolling results on election night and citizens have praised both poll workers and the clerk’s office staff.
    “First and foremost, we need to thank and recognize the 42 poll workers that worked throughout those 28 days of early voting and also on Election Day. They spent about 300 hours doing that,” Stover said. “And I’ve heard this at the grocery store and talking to people, they were dedicated, friendly and extremely helpful to each individual voter.”
    Stover cited one example of the extra effort the poll workers take. During early voting, someone with a disability was unable to get into the polling station.
    “So someone from both parties – because you have to have party balance – went out there and the person voted their ballot in the car,” Stover said. “They really go out of their way to make sure that we get every voter – as much as we can – to vote.”