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Today's News

  • Council approves air service agreement

    By a narrow 4-3 margin, Los Alamos County Council voted Tuesday to approve an agreement with Boutique Air to bring air service back to Los Alamos.
    Boutique Air currently offers scheduled air service in New Mexico from Clovis to Dallas-Fort Worth, from Silver City to Albuquerque and from Carlsbad to both Dallas-Fort Worth and Albuquerque. 
    The airline flies the Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, a single engine, turboprop, pressurized aircraft originally designed for executive travel. Councilor James Chrobocinski compared the aircraft to the Cessna Caravan flown by New Mexico Airlines, the company which provided service from April 2013 to January 2015.
    “The last plane would have been a ’79 VW bus and this is a brand new Cadillac,” Chrobocinski said.
    The planes travel 100 mph faster than the Caravans. The higher speed combined with the increased comfort of a pressurized cabin — Caravans are not pressurized — opens the option for flights to Denver.
    Boutique requires that all pilots be qualified to fly in Instrument Meteorological Conditions, which means they can fly in reduced visibility conditions. Many of New Mexico Airlines’ cancellations were due to pilots who were not IMC qualified.

  • Draft of agreement for park is released

    The National Park Service and the Department of Energy are looking for public feedback on a drafted proposal on how to manage the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park.
    Public comment is open on the proposal from now until Aug. 28.
    The two entities will jointly manage the MPNHP, which was established late last year as part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, passed by both congressional houses and signed by President Obama.
    The park will include parts of three national laboratories, including Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    One of the main goals of the current draft, according to the two agencies, is “to identify the facilities and areas under the DOE’s administrative jurisdiction that will initially be included,” in the MPNHP.
    The current draft of the proposal doesn’t deal with the management of the park, nor does it identify where the park’s headquarters might be located, a subject that’s been a sticking point. Los Alamos residents have identified possible site for the park’s headquarters around the county, while Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which is also involved, has a letter-writing campaign directed at lawmakers to try to persuade them that it is the best choice for the headquarters.

  • Hotel interior gets vandalized

    The Hilltop House Hotel, closed since March 2013, was broken into and vandalized to the tune of more than $75,000 in damages to the property recently.
    Los Alamos police believe the damage was done by groups of teens repeatedly breaking into the building, starting possibly as early as this past spring.
    Police were alerted to the situation when realtors from Zia Realty filed a complaint with the Los Alamos Police Department last month.
    Wildlife and video cameras were set up in various parts of the building and police were able to identify and arrest 14 suspects damaging and vandalizing the inside of the building. The suspects’ ages are between 12 and 14.
    According to police, the teenagers even destroyed a rooftop lighting assembly worth $10,000.
    During interviews with the suspects, many of the kids confessed to doing even more damage to the property, which included throwing televisions down staircases, destroying microwave ovens, breaking chairs, shattering mirrors and spray painting graffiti on the interior walls. Other kids admitted to smashing glass doors and scattering key cards all over the floor of the lobby, as well as expelling the contents of the building’s fire extinguishers in the rooms and halls of the building.

  • Be There calendar 7-29-15

    Today
    Green Hour Hikes with PEEC. Meet at local trailheads for meandering hikes where kids set the pace and decide the activities. Some days you’ll hike far, others you’ll stop and play at an interesting spot. 9:30 a.m. Free. All ages. Check PEEC’s website for trailhead meeting points. For more information, losalamosnature.org.

    The local chapter of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets every Wednesday at the White Rock Presbyterian Church, 310 Rover Blvd. Confidential weight in begins at 9 a.m. The meeting starts at 9:45 a.m. The first visit is free. Membership is open to people at least 7 years old. For more information, contact whiterocktops@gmail.com.

    Game Night: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Mesa Public Library in the Upstairs Rotunda.

    Summer Family Evenings: Treasure! Sponsored by Del Norte Credit Union. Follow treasure maps and learn to geocache! The Family YMCA’s Youth Earth Service Corps lead this fun wrap-up to Summer Family Evenings. $5 per family/free for member families. 6:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. All ages. More information at losalamosnature.org.

    (This) Ability: Trisha Ebbert. Through Aug. 1 at the Portal Gallery.
    Thursday
    Los Alamos Farmers Market. 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library parking lot.

  • End of an era for Bear Camp

    After more than a 20 year run, Bear Camp is saying farewell following the 2015 season. The reason is the program has experienced declining numbers for the last five years, according to Dianne Marquez, recreation programs manager with the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division.
    “It’s been a great run of over 20 years of Bear Camp at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink, but 2015 is the last summer this wonderful program will be offered by the county,” a recent press release stated, which Marquez said disappointed some parents and kids, but for the most part the closing was understood. “When we started this program back in the 1990s, we were the only game in town,” Marquez said. With the addition of many other camps in the region over the years, the county reviewed the program and decided it was no longer cost effective to continue.
    It began with a purpose to fill a gap in summer childcare services, but now many other camps have come to Los Alamos and there are several more summer camp activities to choose from.
    Marquez has been there from the beginning along with her predecessor Annie Pyburn, whom she worked with for many years.

  • 10 ways to become financially independent

    After the 2008 economic crisis, many people assumed they would never be able to reach true financial independence — the ability to live comfortably off one’s savings and investments with no debt whatsoever.
    However, individuals willing to use their time horizon to plan and adjust their spending, savings and investment behaviors might just find financial independence is possible. Here are 10 ideas to get started.
    1. Visualize first, then plan. Start by considering what your vision of financial independence actually looks like — and then get a reality check. Qualified financial experts can examine your current financial circumstances, listen to what financial independence means to you and help you craft a plan. The path to financial independence may be considerably different at age 20 than it is at age 50. The more time you have to save and invest generally produces a better outcome. But at any age, start with a realistic picture of your options.
    2. Budget. Budgeting — the process of tracking income, subtracting expenses and deciding how to divert the difference to your goals each month — is the essential first task of personal finance. If you haven’t learned to budget, you need to do so.

  • The first nuclear fallout was in N.M.

    Part 2 of 2

    For days after the first atomic test on July 16, 1945, a powdery ash floated from the sky, coating everything in the Tularosa Basin, including cattle and crops. Then it rained, washing the stuff into wells and water sources.
    Ranchers noticed that their cattle turned white or partially white. Family pets similarly exposed had partially white coats. A rancher said his beard stopped growing for a few months, when it began growing again, it was white.
    Locals visited Trinity Site, walked around the cavity left behind, picked up the green glass that was sand before the blast, and looked at the twisted remains of the tower that suspended the bomb.
    Immediately after the blast, as a red haze descended, scientists and military personnel scrambled to evacuate.
    North of Trinity Site, men waited with vehicles to evacuate civilians, but radiation readings indicated they were safe, so far as they knew then.
    Photographs taken two months later show Manhattan Project leader J. Robert Oppenheimer and other scientists, unprotected, examining the tower’s remnants.
    Today, knowing what we know, it’s surprising how casual everyone was. It was the world’s first nuclear fallout, and New Mexico was the recipient.

  • Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz and Biggio ready to enter Hall

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Three dominated on the mound, the other excelled at three positions up the middle. Together, pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and multi-talented Craig Biggio left a remarkable imprint on baseball.
    Playing through an era tainted by steroids and dominated by offense — compliments of bulked-up sluggers, a smaller strike zone and smaller ballparks — the trio of pitchers combined for 735 wins, 11,113 strikeouts and nine Cy Young Awards. And the indefatigable Biggio became the only player in major league history with at least 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, 400 stolen bases and 250 home runs while being asked to play four positions in his 20-year career.
    All four, elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January, will be inducted Sunday in Cooperstown.
    "I don't condone anybody doing anything bad as far as cheating the game," said Martinez, who joins former Giants right-hander Juan Marichal (1983) as the only natives of the Dominican Republic elected to the hall. "How did I feel pitching in the juice era? I wouldn't want it any other way. For me, there's no crying. I mean, as far as the way I did compete, I know I did it right. I did it the right way."

  • Brady vows to fight on; Kraft says he regrets not doing so

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady vowed on Wednesday to fight his four-game "Deflategate" suspension, and team owner Robert Kraft opened training camp by saying he continues to "believe and unequivocally support" the three-time Super Bowl MVP.
    "It is completely incomprehensible to me that the league continues to take steps to disparage one of its all-time great players, and a man for whom I have the utmost respect," Kraft said. "I was wrong to put my faith in the league."
    Taking the podium a day after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Brady's suspension, Kraft said he didn't fight the team's penalty — a $1 million fine and the loss of two draft picks — because he thought the league would go easy on the star quarterback.
    Now, he said, he regrets his decision.
    "I have come to the conclusion that this was never about doing what was fair and just," Kraft said, apologizing to fans and to Brady. "I truly believe that what I did in May ... would make it much easier for the league to exonerate Tom Brady. Unfortunately, I was wrong."
    The NFL Players Association said later Wednesday that it will file a lawsuit in federal court in Minnesota challenging the punishment.

  • Isotopes score four in ninth to beat Salt Lake

    After giving up the lead in the top of the ninth, the resilient Albuquerque Isotopes (47-57) scored four runs in the bottom of the inning for a 7-6 walk-off victory against the Salt Lake Bees (41-63) Tuesday night at Isotopes Park.
    After four consecutive singles to begin the inning, Tim Smalling scored the winning run on a passed ball.
    The first eight innings of the game were tightly contested.
    After Albuquerque jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a Tommy Murphy two-out RBI single in the first, Salt Lake took a 2-1 lead with two runs in the fifth inning.
    The Isotopes and Bees traded runs in the sixth before the ’Topes were able to tie it at three in the seventh inning on a Brock Bond double.
    The ninth inning, however, provided all the fireworks for the night. Salt Lake plated a trio of runs in the final frame, highlighted by a two-run homer.
    Kyle Parker, Tommy Murphy, Roger Bernadina and Smalling recorded four straight singles to begin the ninth and cut the Isotopes deficit to 6-5.
    Bond then stepped in and picked up his third hit of the night, an RBI single to tie the game at six.
    With runners on first and third, the second pitch to Rafael Ynoa escaped the catcher, giving Albuquerque a 7-6 victory.