Today's News

  • Assets in Action: Many opportunities to share holiday spirit

    There are several great community events taking place this weekend and into next week, so as we begin to kick off the holiday season, whatever your holiday, I hope you can participate in at least one.
    The Los Alamos High School Child Development Class is hosting a community wide drive to receive donations of hats, mittens, scarves and even some snack items for school kids in need, in and around our community. The collection locations include the high school, middle school, Chamisa Elementary and both senior center locations.
    Those nifty knitters at the senior centers have already knitted more than two-dozen hats for the terrific teen project. The big collection ends on Monday so they can add to the thankfulness of Thanksgiving.
    As you should know, Nov. 22 is the big Smith’s Marketplace, Boy Scout, Cub Scout food drive. Our faithful mail carriers, with the help of those trusty scouts and the pleasant people at Smith’s will be collecting, bagging picking up and delivering your items to LA Cares.
    I might ask that you take the time to consider your donations and about who is receiving them. Families could use nutritious and delicious snacks to fill lunch pails or kick off a good breakfast with fun cereals or warm oatmeal.

  • Mountaineers to discuss climb on highest U.S. peak

    At the November meeting of the Los Alamos Mountaineers, Josh Payne will provide a first-hand account of his 22 days on the Denali, also known as Mt. McKinley, as he and a partner tackled a path to the summit that very few of those drawn to the mountain attempt.
    Mt. McKinley is the highest peak in North America, more than 20,000 feet tall, with temperatures framed by its proximity to the Arctic Circle, winds that can top 10 miles per hour, and an unforgiving landscape of glaciers and crevasses, Denali is a siren song to adventurers and mountaineers.
    The meeting will be 7 p.m. Wednesday at Fuller Lodge. In addition to Payne’s talk, “Degenerate States of Euphoria in the Valley of Death,” the meeting offers refreshments, reports on recent and upcoming trips, safety tips drawn from outdoor adventures and more. The meeting is open to any interested members of the public, as well as club members.
    “In my talk I will tell the story of our climb,” Payne said. “From the highest highs to the lowest lows there were many different paths to euphoric moments on that mountain.”

  • Slow movement for enforcing solar power PART 2

    This is part 2 of 2

    The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has put on hold plans for a new 1 MW solar array for Los Alamos County, and there has been slow and inadequate movement in the adoption of solar PV for new and existing Los Alamos County buildings.  
    A full 8.2MWh (megawatt hour) battery storage system is already in place — as described in the county’s “Los Alamos Smart Community” publication, one that would provide stable, clean power at a rate of 25 to 50 percent on a residential neighborhood of 1,600 homes. This technology has not been utilized to its full potential yet, and it seems that the DPU is willing to put up an air of being progressive and “smart” while actually moving in the opposite direction.
    According to Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Manager Tim Glasco, solar power generated from Los Alamos County residents is “a completely uncontrolled source of power coming into our system that we don’t know when it’s going to come in, we don’t know how much is going to come in, and that wreaks havoc with the quality of power, with the scheduling of power, with reliability.”

  • New banking: Coping with big-guy regulations

    Banks used to be the business center of smaller communities. Churches took care of religion. The café across from the courthouse handled politics. Crossover existed. Bankers attended church. Churches did banking. Everyone got coffee.
    Those were the days of yore.
    As of June 30, the two biggest of our 63 banks, the local versions of Wells Fargo and Bank of America, both little pieces of much bigger institutions, controlled nearly 40 percent of the New Mexico deposits. The numbers come from the FDIC, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
    The portion of deposits held by banks with more than 5 percent of the state’s total has dropped. In 2000, Wells, B of A and First Security (which bought First National in 1993) claimed 45.6 percent of the deposits.
    Another clue to banking change lies in B of A’s main New Mexico office in Albuquerque. The lobby has places for nine tellers, “stations” as bankers call them. On May 30 five of the stations had computers with four of those five staffed during the noon hour.
    Those unneeded teller stations may have something to do with the disappearance of another “old banking” practice. The story from an Albuquerque businessman illustrates.

  • Pet Talk: Biting off more than they can chew

    As doting pet owners, we find our dogs’ eager and curious natures utterly irresistible. After all, who can say no those puppy-dog eyes when you open up a bag of new dog treats? However, this endearing characteristic often leads to biting off more of the bone than they can chew. Literally.
    “Fortunately, dogs do not ‘choke’ as often, meaning that they don’t get things lodged in their throat causing them not to be able to breathe,” said Dr. James Barr, assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “Most commonly, they swallow things that are too big to pass and end up stuck in the esophagus, stomach, or intestines.”  
    Although bones and other dog treats typically don’t cause any harm, many dogs will try to swallow them whole. What looks like a bone that will last all week to you may be a quick, after dinner snack to them.
    “The most common thing that causes actual choking are dog treats like rawhides that can be swallowed,” Barr said. “Bones and rawhides to a dog that chews them well pose little threat, but dogs that want to quickly ingest their treats are the ones most likely to get things stuck in their throat. Though it’s too big to swallow, they try anyway.”

  • Letters to the editor

    Boy Scouts to accept
    donations for food bank
    Your local Letter Carriers (NALC-4112) and the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Venture Scouts of Los Alamos County are geared up to help LA Cares Food Bank by collecting, sorting and storing your donations of food and supplies during the Fall Community Food Drive on Nov. 22.
    Did you know that there are dozens of families, many with young children or elderly, who need help to put enough nutritious food on the table every day? So what can you do to help?
    Remember to fill a bag or box with non-perishable food and supplies and leave it by your mailbox by 10 a.m. on Saturday Nov. 22. Soon your letter carrier or a boy scout or adult scout leader will pick it up and take it to be sorted and stored by LA Cares. LA Cares relies on these donations for their monthly distributions.
    Is your cupboard as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s? Then visit your local Smith’s Food and Drug Center in Los Alamos or White Rock where a cub scout will be waiting to accept your donations on Nov. 22 only. If you’re out of town during the food drive, then you can leave non-perishable donations year-round at the Aquatic Center or the Los Alamos County Social Services at 1505 15th St. during regular business hours.
    Need ideas on what to donate? Here are some suggestions:

  • BPU should respect rooftop energy production PART 1

    This is part 1 of 2

    For the past 10 years, local and national trends have been that the price of solar has been sharply declining while cost and risks associated with coal and other fossil fuels are going up as evidenced by closure of half of the San Juan generating facility and a wave of divestiture.
    State and Federal incentives for homeowners and businesses adopting solar energy, including tax credits that can amount to a significant portion of the upfront solar investment have also been a significant driving force behind the rapid adoption of solar.
    In a state that is widely recognized as a natural leader for solar energy, it is stunning that the Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is proposing to slap its residents who operate solar systems with a steep monthly fee of $12/month. At best, this fee is seen as the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) attempt to recover the costs of distribution service. At worst, it penalizes Los Alamos County residents with a fee that does next to nothing to offset DPU operating costs and discourages other homeowners wishing to adopt renewable energy.

  • Lewis & Todd 11-16-14
  • Word on the Street 11-16-14

    Teen Pulse staff writer Rigel Baron asked students, “What are your hobbies and or talents”

  • Teen Center a safe place, despite criticisms

    The teenage years are something all people all have in common: a rocky road to adulthood, with quite a few bumps along the way.
    During this time, a place to relax and hang out is a refuge for teens, and having a safe place to do this, with supervision to guide teens to the destination of adulthood is important.
    Here in Los Alamos, the Los Alamos Teen Center provides that safe place for teens, despite the bad reputation a hub for teen activity often accumulates.
    As noted by the Teen Center staff, those who have an opinion of the teen center are very polarized in their views.
    As one anonymous White Rock teen said, “Isn’t the teen center a druggie hang out?” A non-participant at the teen center, this teen represents one of the two main camps of opinion in the Los Alamos community about LATC. There are those who have experienced the teen center, and those who have not. Los Alamos native and LAPS School Board Vice President Kevin Honnell offers a contrasting voice, calling the teen center “long overdue.” With more than 200 teens visiting each week, the influence of the teen center is a very real concern.
    Often times, teen gathering sites form a bad reputation with adults.