Today's News

  • Centennial Celebration
  • LAPS gets ‘A’ on report card

    The Los Alamos Public School District aced its report card for 2016-2017, according to a score issued recently by the state Public Education Department.

    The district received an overall score of “A,” which includes scoring in areas of accountability, achievement, post-secondary success and other benchmarks set by the PED.

    All but two schools in Los Alamos received individual “A” scores in the annual report under the category of accountability.

    “Parents, students and staff deserve a pat on the back, a high-five, and congratulations,” Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus said on Thursday.

    The district’s middle school received a “D” in the accountability area of the report, and the district’s Topper Academy – for ninth graders, received a “B” in the area of accountability.

    The middle school’s grade reflects certain aspects of the PED’s scoring system that is unclear, Steinhaus said.

    “We’ve asked (PED) to release their algorithms, we would like to know how they calculate it, but they haven’t released it,” Steinhaus said.

  • LAPS board to discuss start time, privacy of immigrant students

    The school board will review the community’s reactions to discussions about changing the start time for Los Alamos High School students during its meeting Tuesday.

    Results of a survey on the school district’s website shows 115 members of the public indicated they were against changing the start time, while 101 said they would support it.

    The school board will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Board Room at 2101 Trinity Drive. The Board Room is housed in a building across the parking lot from the district’s main office building.

    Several other subjects are on the agenda, including a review of the board’s draft regulation intended to protect the privacy of immigrant students.

    Other items include a proposal to transfer property owned by the school district to the Los Alamos County for a gymnasium and an update on recent visits and reviews by AdvancED. AdvancED is an accreditation organization.

    The board is also slated to discuss involvement of its members in a local initiative for a charter middle school.
    Students, staff, parents and other community members participated in several discussions facilitated by the public policy organization, New Mexico First, regarding the high school’s start time.

  • Celebrating Native American culture with ‘Rock Your Mocs Day’

    Jessica “Jaylyn” Atsye didn’t realize she had started a worldwide movement. She just wanted to wear moccasins with her friends.

    Now, seven years later, her idea of “Rock Your Mocs Day” has exploded from a Facebook page into a worldwide celebration of Native American and indigenous culture.

    “It was like a blessing in disguise you could say,” Atsye, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, said.

    The 25-year-old recently moved back to New Mexico from Montana, and now has more than 22,000 followers from all over the world.

    The New Mexico House of Representatives and the mayor of Santa Fe declared Wednesday “Rock Your Mocs Day” and an official event will be held at the State Capitol in Santa Fe. The event will feature remarks from Mayor Javier Gonzales, Tesuque Pueblo Governor Mark Mitchell, and State Rep. Derrick J. Lente. 

    The speeches will be followed by a performance from the Acoma Pueblo Enchantment Dancers, a meet and greet with Atsye, a puppet play by the Institute of American Indian Arts students, a moccasin making demonstration, and much more. 

  • University of Texas regents postpone LANL bid proposal

    The University of Texas System regents postponed a vote Thursday on submitting a bid to manage and operate Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The surprise move would not immediately stop the university from working toward potentially bidding on the lab contract, according to a university official.

    The regents discussed the matter in a closed-door session earlier that day, but made the decision in a meeting Thursday without giving a reason.

    Deputy Chancellor David Daniel told the Los Alamos Monitor Friday the bid process would continue.

    “The University of Texas System team continues to work diligently on a potential bid to operate Los Alamos National Laboratory, and looks forward to sharing its work with the UT System Board of Regents at the scheduled meeting ‪November 27,” he said in a written statement.

    The university system had approved $4.5 million in university funds to pursue the bid. They are among the educational and business institutions expected to bid on the National Nuclear Security Administration management and operations request for proposals recently released.

    Bids are due by Dec. 11. The university regents are expected to meet again Nov. 27 to vote again on the bid proposal.

  • Below average snow expected in LA area

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory Climate Prediction Center predicts La Niña conditions during the fall and winter will result in below-average snowfall this winter in Los Alamos.

    The center also predicts above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation from November through January in the area, according to LANL meteorologist David Bruggeman.

    Los Alamos and White Rock received near-average precipitation for October and the area continues to measure near average for the year. Los Alamos measured about 1 degree above average for maximum, minimum and mean temperature for October, Bruggeman said.

    “The slightly above-average temperatures were a result of high-pressure systems near the state,” Bruggeman said.
    All of the precipitation measured in Los Alamos happened during the first week of October. High-pressure systems kept the area dry for remainder of the month.

  • Veterans feted at annual pancake breakfast at Chamisa Elementary

    Area veterans were treated to breakfast Thursday at Chamisa Elementary in White Rock, an annual event where youngsters get an opportunity to learn more about the military service of their relatives and neighbors.

    “It’s delightful,” said Jim Nesmith, a veteran of the Vietnam War.

    Veterans Day is Saturday.

    The cafeteria teemed with children, parents, staff and veterans before school began Thursday morning. They enjoyed a nearly endless stream of warm pancakes and bacon, juice and coffee, along with a color guard presentation of the flags and a pledge of allegiance.

    “We are so grateful they are here to put a face on service,” said Jenny Lambson, of Chamisa’s Parent-Teacher Organization, who worked on the line dishing up pancakes.

    While veterans and uniformed scouts ate for free, others paid $5 each. Profits from the annual event goes to the VFW No. 8874 in Los Alamos, said Lambson.

    D.J. Luscher, a den leader for local Webolos Pack 20, was keeping an eye on members of his den while appreciating the service of veterans.

  • Locals question LA’s median home price

    Not so fast, Forbes.

    Locals expressed some doubts over Los Alamos County’s recent listing as sixth on the magazine’s “Top 10 Richest Counties” in the United States, in particular the $535,000 figure listed as the median home price here in 2016.

    The median price of a home sold in Los Alamos in the past 12 months is nearly half that.

    Since New Mexico doesn’t require disclosure of the final selling price of real estate as a public record, a median price for a home anywhere in the Land of Enchantment is going to be somewhat speculative, according to Los Alamos County Assessor Ken Milder.

    However, licensed realtors have access to the final sales price and compile the numbers in a database – called the multiple listing service or MLS – that can provide a closer idea of home sales, prices, and to a certain extent, the market.

    Chris Ortega, owner and broker at Re/Max real estate company in Los Alamos, said in an email that the median price of a home sold in Los Alamos in the last 12 months was $281,250. That’s up from the median home price at the same point in the year last year – which was $258,500, Ortega wrote.

    There have been 356 home sales in Los Alamos in the past 12 months, he wrote.

  • ‘A loss of freedom’

    Citizens in Action, a group of residents looking to reform Los Alamos County’s nuisance ordinance told Los Alamos County Council Tuesday the ordinance is taking away the small-town sense of community.

    Many have complained that the ordinance, which was designed to promote beauty and eliminate safety hazards, is too heavy handed when it comes to residential properties, where enforcement officers are quick to write up frequent notices for minor infractions, yet they claim the same officers overlook more egregious offenses being committed by businesses and commercial development.

    One of the group’s leaders, Heather Ortega, said many residents told them the ordinance made them feel they no longer have control over their own property.

    “There’s a feeling of a loss of freedom… to have things and to do things in their private yards,” Ortega said. “Be it gardening, various flowers, strollers, bikes, toys, campers parked in their driveway, project vehicle cars, woodworking, landscaping choices, yard decor and people are very worried about their paint choices.”

    For the past year, Citizens in Action has been gathering data, and seeking opinions from residents and county officials on how they can all make the nuisance ordinance more balanced and fair.

  • 3 Santa Fe High students arrested over threatening letter

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Authorities say three Santa Fe High School students have been arrested for a letter that described plans for a school shooting.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports that the students told Santa Fe police that the letter as a joke.

    Santa Fe Public Schools spokesman Jeff Gephart says students found the letter Tuesday and notified school officials.

    The Journal says the letter had a list of student and teachers names that were intended "targets."

    It also reportedly included a map of the school showing where the shootings would take place and noting the best location in the school to kill.