• Charter issue regarding utilities

    A fundamental question in the Los Alamos charter regarding utilities pertains to the issue of who is in charge in the event that the County Council and the Board of Public Utilities arrive at a policy or management impasse.
    At present the BPU has authority over the County’s Utilities Department while the council has the legal responsibility for all county operations including utilities and is answerable to the voters. Clearly authority and responsibility should be joined or there is no accountability.
    There are legal liability issues at stake, not just sensible management and leadership.
    Council does appoint the members of the BPU to five year staggered terms, but otherwise has little authority or control over the members actions or performance. It has been asserted that council’s power over the utilities purse strings gives council ultimate control, but that cannot address time urgent issues and in any case the options available to council are minimal.
    Any effort to deny funding for the DPU would have a negative effect on consumers, not the Board or Utilities Department Manager. Such action would make no sense.
    Both the first and second Charter Review Committees examined several alternatives to join responsibility and authority recognizing that council is legally responsible.

  • Hilltalkers give thanks

    The Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers and the Los Alamos Middle School Hawktalkers would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported our recent local event.
    The 51st annual speech and debate tournament was a huge success.
    More than 250 competitors representing 13 schools from Zuni, Farmington and Albuquerque traveled to compete in the two-day event. Special thanks to the Rotary Club, the Pajarito Masonic Lodge, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Vecinos program, the League of Women Voters, the Toastmasters of Los Alamos, Betty Ehart Senior Center, KRSN, Los Alamos Monitor and the parents and friends of the Hilltalkers and Hawktalkers teams.
    This educational opportunity would not have been possible without the generous support of community members and organizations.
    The next opportunity for volunteer judges will be at the state tournament to be March 6-8 at the Santa Fe Courtyard Marriott. We welcome your participation. Contact team coach Margo Batha at 663-2651 or m.batha@laschools.net to sign up to volunteer as a judge.
    If you are interested in making a donation to the speech and debate program, the annual United Way pledge drive is currently underway. The Hilltalkers are eligible to receive tax-deductible donations and matching funds through the LANL designation program.

  • Save Amtrak in New Mexico

    There is a threat that unless the states of Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico share funding to repair the rails, the route of the Southwest Chief Amtrak train, will be re-routed south, eliminating passenger access for towns between Newton, Kansas and Albuquerque!
    Whoa New Mexico! Lamy is the Gateway to Santa Fe, and Raton is the Boy and Girl Scouts’ access to the National Scout Camp at Philmont, plus the terminal for the Amtrak bus connecting passengers to Denver and the California Zephyr.
    And the route of the Chief has the most scenic part of the Chicago/Los Angeles trip. Have you seen the narrow Apache Canyon, the flag and monument for the Civil War Battlefield of Glorieta Pass? Have you seen the views and wildlife at Raton Pass, which is the highest point on the entire route, or the herds of antelope near Wagon Mound and the old Casteneda Harvey House at Las Vegas, N.M.?
    And perhaps most important, the present train route parallels the Santa Fe Trail, the historic covered wagon route that for almost 60 years was a road of commerce linking the Midwest to the foreign territory of Mexico. During summer weekends, volunteers from the Park Service board at La Junta, Colorado and give a narrative from the observation car of the Chief, explaining Trail sites along the way as far as Albuquerque.

  • Come support hunger walk

    The CROP Hunger Walk and Turkey Trot is like many events in town — it takes many people to make it a successful event. Our organizational committee includes Cynthia Biddlecomb as Publicity Chair, Wendee Brunish as treasurer, Jeanne Butler as LA Cares representative and deliverer of baked goods to business sponsors, Elisa Enriquez as co-coordinator and committee motivator and T-shirt chair, Ted Williams as race details chair, Lynn Wysocki-Smith as co-coordinator and business sponsor fundraiser and baker and race day volunteer chair.
    Additionally, we have many “team captains” and other volunteers including Lynn Finnegan at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church, Joyce and Emily Rybarcyk at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Louise Mendius at White Rock United Baptist Church, Vince Chiravalle at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Rosmarie Frederickson and June Gladney and Linda Burns from LA Cares, Jim Stein of Jim Stein Photograph for his exceptional photographic skills during our race, Stan Kosiewicz as superb master of ceremonies. 
    Without these behind the scenes workers to help coordinate race details before the race and on the day of the event, we would not be able to hold this excellent family activity. 

  • Strategic vs. tweaked

    “County Council tweaks Strategic Leadership Plan”
     Question: If the plan is “Strategic,” why does it need to be “tweaked?”
     If it needs to be “tweaked,” shouldn’t it be called the Strategic-ish Leadership Plan?
    Just wondering.
     R.D. Little
     Los Alamos

  • Realtor gives thanks

    Thank you for the article acknowledging our 18th year in business.  We are honored to have earned the business and friendship of so many Los Alamos County home-buyers and sellers.
    I am truly fortunate to work with a crew of 13 outstanding Realtors and two amazing office administrators who are so deeply involved in our community.
    Together we have over 164 years of combined Realtor experience and over 264 years of combined Los Alamos residency!
    We are deeply committed to this community.  As individuals and as an office, we support the United Way, Gordon’s Concerts, the YMCA, Kiwanis, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Los Alamos County Council, the Los Alamos Medical Center, PEEC, Leadership Los Alamos, UNM-LA, LAPS, the Los Alamos Historic Society and a number of County Boards and Commissions.
    We are your neighbors and friends, and have worked to sell over 1,984 homes in the last 10 years — just over 72 percent of all homes sold in Los Alamos and White Rock.
    We love Los Alamos, and look forward to 18 more years of serving you.
    Thanks again for the write-up.
    Kendra Henning
    Qualifying Broker/Owner
    RE/MAX of Los Alamos

  • Letters to the Editor 11-14-13


    Saying goodbye
    to Santaniello’s

    After more than 20 years serving the Los Alamos and surrounding communities, Santaniello’s Plumbing and Heating, LLC is announcing that they are closing their business. 

    Pat and Lori Santaniello wish to thank all their loyal customers who have helped their business thrive in this beautiful town. They have seen many changes in Los Alamos and are proud to have supported the community and to have helped rebuild after the Cerro Grande fire. 

    Pat and Lori are looking forward to moving to their new home and relocating their business to Texas to be closer to family and watching Pat slow down after all those years of plumbing.

    Thank you Los Alamos for blessing us while we have lived here in Los Alamos.

  • Fly New Mexico Airlines

    I recently flew New Mexico Airlines from Los Alamos to Albuquerque and it was a wonderful experience.
    The pilots were courteous, the service was great and convenient and the views were spectacular.
    Please consider flying and supporting New Mexico Airlines.
    Save time and money considering gas, parking, hotel and food fees. Parking at the Los Alamos airport is free. The flight is $49, tax included, with a flying time of 20 minutes, right up to the back door of the Albuquerque International Sunport.
    It was the best plane trip I have had in a while.

    Annette Fox
    Los Alamos 

  • Public art a diverse subject

    At the county council working session on Tuesday night much of the discussion addressed two widely diverse viewpoints. Some speakers addressed the goal of having public art attract visitors and visitor dollars.
    Alternatively, some spoke to the question of how public art might serve the local community, entertaining us and our children, educating us about our history and perhaps even providing fodder for thought.
    It was clear that many citizens have invested many hours working on how to best achieve those goals.
    I would like to encourage members of the county council and Art in Public Places Board, while they further debate how to allocate the limited funds available for public art, to consider the very generous offer on the part of Ed Grothus’ family.
    For those who have forgotten, before he passed away Ed Grothus commissioned a dramatic large-scale stone sculpture. The work consists of two white granite obelisks standing on black granite bases and topped with black granite spheres. The assembled obelisks would stand almost 40 feet tall.
    Inscribed on the bases in 15 languages is text condemning the nuclear weapons defense work that has been done here at the lab in the decades since 1943. Many in the community find the inscribed message decidedly offensive.

  • Citizen concern saves life

    Accolades and kudos should be awarded to Bertha Romero and Gina Garcia of the Smart Set.
    When a client/friend who lives alone failed to appear for an appointment and didn’t answer her phone, they were concerned enough to call 911. The client had suffered a stroke. Because of their concern, the client received the medical attention needed to avert more serious damage from the stroke. Thank you Bertha and Gina.
    Joy Drake
    Los Alamos