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Today's News

  • Today in history July 15
  • T-Board OKs new 2M bus schedule

    The Los Alamos County Transportation Board unanimously approved a new schedule for the 2M Atomic City Transit (ACT) route to White Rock at its July 7 meeting.
    The change will extend the route all the way to the transit center, addressing one of the main complaints from riders after the new ACT schedule was implemented in January.
    The route will now loop counterclockwise via Grand Canyon Drive and Meadow Lane. However, the 2T route will continue to serve Sherwood and run bidirectional in that area.
    ACT, a division of the Public Works Department, based its recommendations on responses to a rider survey and an Open Forum survey on the county website, available at losalamosnm.us/gov/Pages/PublicCommentForum.aspx#peak_democracy.
    The division received 198 survey responses. Of those, 91 respondents listed this route adjustment as their number one choice, with 74 identifying it as their second choice. An option to combine the 2M/2T routes received 81 first choice responses and 78 second choice votes. Only 38 people listed keeping the route as it is now as their first or second choice.
    Survey takers wanted bidirectional service continued in White Rock, with 33.4 percent identifying that as very important and 36.3 percent calling it somewhat important.

  • School board decreases fees for nonprofits

    The Los Alamos School Board voted Tuesday to charge nonprofits a $5-an-hour monitor fee instead of the proposed $15.30 an hour by the Los Alamos Public Schools.
    The compromise was led by LASB Vice President Jenny McCumber.
    “I would vote that we approve the policy as presented, but clarify that instead of the $15.30-per-hour cost going to the nonprofit organization, that we would just charge them $5 per hour,” she said at the board meeting.
    The board voted in a policy that will introduce actual, paid building monitors for when community groups and organizations are using the district’s facilities, such as a school gym or the Duane W. Smith Auditorium.
    For profits will still have to pay $15.30 an hour for a monitor.
    The policy was proposed by LAPS Chief Operations Officer Joan Ahlers in May, after a series of incidents on school grounds made it clear that an official monitor hired by the school was needed.
    Before the policy, it was up to each organization to assign its own monitor, but that method proved inconsistent as the number of lockouts, vandalism and accidents started to accumulate.

  • Gov. Martinez sets her own agenda at GOP convention

    SANTA FE (AP) — A testy and guarded relationship between Donald Trump and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez shows little sign of change as she and other GOP delegates make their way to the Republican National Convention next week in Cleveland.

    Martinez was withholding her endorsement of Trump as of Friday even as she leads her state's 24-member delegation to the convention, where — shy of a rebellion and last-minute rule changes — she and the others are obligated by New Mexico's primary election results to cast their first-round ballots for Trump.

    In declining to endorse Trump, Martinez also will stay clear of the speaker's podium and the full public spotlight of the convention. That won't stop Martinez from working the aisles and backrooms in her role as a second-term governor and chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association, a major fundraising arm dedicated to the election of GOP governors across the country.

    Martinez spokesman Chris Sanchez indicated in an email that the governor will be busy offstage touting recent reforms to New Mexico and holding a series of meetings with other governors and leaders.

  • Knecht Street closed the next two nights

    To prepare for the paving of Knecht Street next week, the contractor will be working under a full closure from Trinity to the south both Friday and Saturday between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Knecht Street will be open to traffic during the day. Next week Knecht Street will be open to through traffic. The contractor will be paving on Tuesday and concrete work is ongoing.

  • Pedestrian bridge installed at reservoir

    The installation of a 120-foot pedestrian bridge at the Los Alamos Canyon Reservoir has caused a flurry of Facebook speculation about reopening the reservoir for recreation, but residents will have to be patient awhile longer.
    The Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities installed the bridge Wednesday.
    “There’s always a lot of passion for the reservoir in this community, and they’re always eager to put it back into use,” said James Alarid, deputy utilities manager for the engineering division.
    Long-time Los Alamites have fond memories of fishing and picnicking at the reservoir, which has been closed since shortly after the 2000 Cerro Grande fire. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Forest Service (NFS) closed the area due to safety concerns resulting from the fire’s aftermath.
    NFS owns the land in that area and DOE owned the dam and reservoir at that time.
    DOE transferred the dam and reservoir to the county shortly after Cerro Grande. That placed the dam under the jurisdiction of the State of New Mexico, which required the State Engineer Office to complete a detailed analysis of capacity and stability, including storm event modeling. The analysis called for a redesign of the dam, which was approved in 2009.

  • On the ‘GO’

    Ask almost any child or adult in Los Alamos and they will talk about their latest encounters with Bulbasaurs by Ashley Pond, Metapods on Canyon Rim Trail or a Grimer out behind Fuller Lodge.
    The county is overrun by the creatures, and local Pokémon hunters couldn’t be happier.
    “Pokémon GO” is the latest offering from mobile game development company Niantic Labs.
    In the game, players use their smartphone’s camera, GPS capabilities, augmented reality and mapping technology to hunt for “Pokémon.”
    Pokémon are imaginary characters from the popular computer game, Japanese anime TV series and movie franchise of the same name. There are 151 of them to catch in Pokémon Go.
    The game was released in early July. For the last few days, Ashley Pond Park, the grounds of Fuller Lodge, and other spots in Los Alamos County, including the extensive trail system, have been inundated with hundreds of kids and adults hunting for the elusive Pokémon.
    Most of the hunters have been showing up on the grounds of Fuller Lodge and at Ashley Pond Park.
    Tuesday night, some 50 to 100 young people descended on those two places in search of their prey.

  • Obama condemns 'horrific' truck attack in France

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is condemning what he says "appears to be a horrific terrorist attack" in Nice, France.

    Obama says, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed."

    Noting that the attack occurred on Bastille Day, Obama is praising "the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world."

    The White House released Obama's statement a few hours after a truck drove onto the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch fireworks late Thursday. The president of the Nice region says at least 60 people have been killed.

    Obama is offering French officials "any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice."

  • Exploding propane tanks hinder reporting of wildfire damage

    TIMBERON (AP) — Exploding propane tanks Thursday kept firefighters from confirming the extent of damage in and around a southern New Mexico mountain village of Timberon where authorities said a wildfire apparently burned multiple homes.

    Firefighters' operations also were hindered by downed power lines in the area, according to state officials.

    There are no reported injuries, the fire's cause hadn't been determined and there was no estimate when the fire would be contained.

    The blaze led Gov. Susana Martinez to activate the state's emergency operations center to help coordinate the response. Federal officials approved her request for funds to help cover the cost of firefighting efforts.

    Martinez was briefed by incident commanders Thursday after flying over the fire, which had charred nearly half of a square mile.

    "Sadly, the fire may have already destroyed more than a dozen homes, and many more are at risk," she said. "I ask New Mexicans to join me in praying for the residents of Timberon."

  • Taos Ski Valley announces new CEO

    Taos Ski Valley  announced Thursday that resort industry veteran David Norden has been appointed chief executive officer and will begin work July 25.
    “Taos Ski Valley is evolving into a multi-season resort destination, and as such the executive responsibilities are expanding,” said Taos Ski Valley board member Peter Talty. “David brings superb industry expertise to the ski valley, which will be critical as we prepare for the launch of The Blake hotel this winter and expand our on-mountain opportunities.”
    Norden will oversee all existing Taos Ski Valley resort operations including The Blake, a new slopeside hotel, which is slated to open this winter. Current CEO Gordon Briner will transition to chief operating officer and oversee the ski valley’s core revenue departments including ticketing, the snow sports school, food and beverage, retail and rentals. He will also play a role in planning expanded summer programming that will develop over the next few years.