Today's News

  • School counselors appeal for help

    A group of elementary school counselors have made an appeal to the Los Alamos School Board, asking them for funds to help them do more of what they do best – counsel students.
    The appeal was made during an update Jan. 12 of their progress of transferring from their current counseling system to the “ASCA” (American School Counselors Association) model. According to Chamisa Elementary School Counselor Michaelangelo Lobato, the ASCA model favors more counseling time with individual students and less time doing paperwork and other clerical duties.
    Lobato led the presentation to the school board, saying one of their goals is to get to the ASCA’s model of spending 40 percent of their time providing services directly to their students in the form of classroom lessons, group sessions and one-on-one counseling.
    Currently, as a group, the five counselors calculated they are dedicating about 21 percent of their time actually counseling kids, either as a group or individually.
    Included in that clerical time is helping with testing, especially in the month of March.
    “I think we would all like testing removed from our plate,” said Piñon Elementary School Counselor Ellen Cort. “A lot of it is clerical work, scheduling, organizing. That takes a long time,” she said.

  • Valles Caldera gets national parks grant

    Northern New Mexico’s congressional delegation has just announced that the Valles Caldera National Preserve was one of 63 national parks to be awarded a National Park Service Centennial Challenge Program grant.
    “This was the first NPS funding project that we applied for as the Valles Caldera National Preserve under the Park Service, so we’re really excited to get it,” said VCNP Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos. “And I think it’s a demonstration that now that the Valles Caldera is part of a larger network, there are opportunities to leverage that and get some additional resources to support our programs that we have here.”
    The preserve officially became part of national park system on Oct. 1, 2015, after 15 years as a national trust under the auspices of the U.S. Forest Service.
    Nationwide, NPS Centennial Projects are improving visitor services, supporting outreach to new audiences and strengthening partnerships to reinvigorate national parks and forge connections to new communities. The program – which was designed to leverage public funding with private funding – is supported through a $15 million congressional appropriation and nearly $33 million in matching funds from dozens of partner organizations.

  • Police find man in car blacked out on heroin

    Police found a 28-year-old Los Alamos man unconscious in his vehicle on Diamond Drive and Orange Street Monday.
    Zachary P. Keller was allegedly found behind the wheel of his 2003 Nissan Altima passed out, according to a court report. Officers investigating the scene allegedly found several needles, a metal spoon and “black tar” heroin in his passenger seat. According to police, Keller’s car was undamaged and did not appear to be in an accident.
    Keller allegedly told police that he injected himself with one-tenth of a gram of black-tar heroin on his way home from a friend’s house.
    “Mr. Keller stated that he could not remember much after that until he was being evaluated by emergency responders at the scene. He also told police that it had been 17 days since he used.
    After Keller’s evaluation, he was transported to the Los Alamos County Detention Center. He is due to appear in Los Alamos Magistrate Court Feb. 9 for a preliminary examination.
    Keller has been charged with possession of a controlled substance (heroin), possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs.
    Because of prior convictions for driving while intoxicated, Keller could spend up to three years in prison and pay $7,000 in fines.

  • Lobos face Boise in top-3 Mountain West battle

    The University of New Mexico men's basketball team (12-8, 5-2 MW) will travel to Boise, Idaho Saturday (Jan. 30) to face the Boise State Broncos (15-6, 6-2 MW) at 3 p.m on ESPN3.
    The Lobos and Broncos are slated to battle for sole possession of second place in the Mountain West Conference. The Lobos are starting a big three-game stretch, with a chance to get a win back against UNLV at home Tuesday, followed by a road game at 8-0 in conference San Diego State. New Mexico has built some momentum going into Saturday, with back-to-back wins over San Jose State, 83-64, and Air Force, 84-55.

  • Storm on its way to Pajarito

    February is typically the snowiest month of the year, and Pajarito Mountain looks like it will begin the month with a storm that's expected to peak on Monday.
    Snow is in Pajarito Mountain's forecast for the next few days. The National Weather Service is reporting a 50 percent chance the mountain will get fresh snow tonight (Jan. 30). On Sunday, the probability increases to 70 percent. It hits 90 percent Monday and then goes down to 70 percent Monday night and there's 50 percent chance the mountain will get more snow Tuesday.
    The ski area has received 78 inches so far this season, enabling it to open almost all of its terrain, including the runs under the Townsight lift for the first time since the 2010 season. In 2011, the Las Conchas fire burned the top terminal of the area, as well as several acres along the eastern edge.
    Pajarito plans on spinning the Townsight lift every Saturday and Sunday for the rest of the season.
    The ski area also has events planned for the first three weekends of February.
    On Feb. 5-7, K2 Women's Weekend will take place, featuring on-hill clinics, demos, a silent auction and a Blizzard of AAAHHs dance party.
    The event benefits the Anita Salas Memorial Fund.
    Also taking place during the K2 Women's Weekend is a Beer and Bands event on Feb. 6.

  • Swimmers qualify for state ahead of district meet

    As the Los Alamos swimming and diving teams prepare for this weekend's District 1 championships, several of the athletes have already secured a spot at the state championships with qualifying times.
    For the rest of the team, the district championships, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Santa Fe's Genoveva Chavez Community Center, will be the last chance to earn a spot at the state meet.
    The Hilltopper girls, however, already have at least one swimmer in every event that's qualified for state.
    Sarah Lott has led Los Alamos' charge by qualifying in six individual events. Lott's highest state seed so far is in the 100-yard freestyle. Lott's time of 52.21 seconds is the No. 3 fastest seed time. The University of Utah commit has also qualified for state in the 50 free (fourth, 24.11), the 200 free (fourth, 1:56.76), the 200 individual medley (ninth, 2:17.82), the100 butterfly (fifth, 1:00.70) and the 500 free (eighth, 5:22.64).
    Several other Hilltopper girls have qualified in those events and some others, as well.
    Also qualified in the 200 free are Kaitlynn Bennett (17th, 2:03.51) and Isabelle Runde (25th, 2:05.90).

  • Climate change lecture series starts

    Rapid changes in our climate are affecting people and ecosystems in the Southwest and around the world, and there is a lot we can do. Dr. Chick Keller will introduce climate science and lead a discussion about how we how we can move forward at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Nature Center planetarium. This talk is part of a lecture series on climate change.
    Keller has spent about 25 years studying climate change and interacting with the leading scientists in the field. He has written several review articles trying to make sense of the hundreds of scientific papers on aspects of the subject.
    PEEC’s Climate Change Lecture Series:
    • Feb. 16: Effects of the Southwest with Keller
    • March 1: The Future of New Mexico’s Pikas with Marie Westover
    • March 15: TBD
    • March 29: Understanding the Impact of Drought, Wildfire, and Infestation with Dr. Richard Middleton.
    • April 13: Where Do We Go from Here with Dr. Cathy Wilson and Dr. Keller at the Bradbury Science Museum.
    These lectures will be at the Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, except the April 13th event. They are free to attend, and no registration is required.

  • Recreation reservation software now online

    Los Alamos County’s Community Services Division has announced the roll out of the second phase of the public interface for its new recreation reservation software WebTrac on Feb. 1.
    The new website is user-friendly and allows customers to explore and sign up for recreation activities from home. Phase I was rolled out in November.
     As of Monday, patrons will have access to information and availability for camping and vendor permits; parks, pavilions and shelters; fields, courts and arenas and indoor facilities. Users can also place reservations for parks, pavilions and shelters as well as camping and vendor permits.
    Access the website at https.web2.vermontsystems.com/wbwsc/nmlosalamoswt.wsc/splash.html or via the link from the recreation page of the county’s website at losalamosnm.us.

  • Tech Trek summer camp deadline is Sunday

    Seventh-grade science and math teachers in New Mexico are encouraged to nominate up to five students for Tech Trek, an exciting week-long summer camp focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The program is coming to the campus of New Mexico Tech in Socorro from June 19-25. Cherie Burch is the camp director.
    The deadline for nominations is Sunday. After being nominated, students complete an application and interview process before final selections are made in early April. Cost for the camp is $50 per student, as the program is funded by AAUW, a national organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, and by New Mexico businesses and individuals.
    The Tech Trek summer camp is sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), nationally and in New Mexico. It builds on AAUW’s research report “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” which demonstrates that camps like Tech Trek improve girls’ interests in STEM.  
    Forty-eight to 60 girls will be selected from New Mexico to attend the camp, where they will gain first-hand knowledge of real-world applications of STEM, in a fun-filled, hands-on college environment. More information can be found at TechTrek-NM.aauw.net.

  • Community Calendar 1-29-16

    Los Alamos Little Theatre presents “Once A Ponzi Time” at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar. Sly Investments and double-dealing abound in this hilarious madcap comedy. Tickets are available at CB Fox, BrownPaperTickets.com or at the door half an hour before curtain time. For more information, visit lalt.org.

    Fourth Friday Fractals at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Be mesmerized by this award-winning fractal show every fourth Friday by the Fractal Foundation. Journey into the never-ending world of fractals as a full-dome show featuring original music. 7:00 p.m. Suitable for ages 4 and up. $10 for adults, $8 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    Feature Film: “Sea Monsters, A Prehistoric Adventure” at 2 p.m. See prehistoric sea creatures come to life and follow fossil hunters to remote locations as they excavate the remains of some of the most awe-inspiring creatures of all time. Suitable for ages 4 and up. $6 per adult, $4 per child.