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Local News

  • Lightning causes power outages

    Lightning damaged two electric overhead wires at the intersection of Trinity and Diamond Drive late Tuesday afternoon. Approximately 700 Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities customers lost power when the two wires blew.
    Boundaries of the outage included the ski hill, Western Area, Denver Steels, and neighborhoods around the Los Alamos High School. Additionally, several small sporadic outages due to Tuesday’s storm were also reported on Chamisa, Andanada, Barranca and Urban streets.
    DPU’s electric line crews responded, made repairs, and restored power to the ski hill and Western Area by 4:46 p.m., Denver Steels area by 6:10 p.m., and all other neighborhoods by 7:20 p.m.
     

  • Update 08-21-13

    Town Hall

    The League of Women Voters and UNM-LA invite the public to attend a Town Hall meeting 7-8 p.m., Aug. 29 at UNM-LA Lecture Hall, room 230. The Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers debate team will present pros and cons of the mil levy election question, followed by a presentation by Dr. Cindy Rooney, the new Dean of Instruction for UNM-LA.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will meet at 5:30 tonight at 1000 Central Ave., Room 110.

    LANL exercise

    Los Alamos National Laboratory is conducting an emergency-preparedness exercise Thursday. It is only an exercise. The lab routinely conducts emergency exercises to test the preparedness of emergency response and other LANL personnel who would respond to an actual emergency. During the exercise, employees should be aware of possible increased emergency vehicle traffic on some LANL roads in the Technical Area 3 area. “Exercise in Progress” signs will be placed in affected areas. Those with any questions should contact Monique Sanchez of the Emergency Operations Division at 665-7547.

    Reception

    The public is invited to a reception Friday wishing Police Chief Wayne Torpy farewell as he retires from county service. The reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Justice Center. 

  • Update 08-21-13

    Town Hall

    The League of Women Voters and UNM-LA invite the public to attend a Town Hall meeting 7-8 p.m., Aug. 29 at UNM-LA Lecture Hall, room 230. The Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers debate team will present pros and cons of the mil levy election question, followed by a presentation by Dr. Cindy Rooney, the new Dean of Instruction for UNM-LA.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will meet at 5:30 tonight at 1000 Central Ave., Room 110.

    LANL exercise

    Los Alamos National Laboratory is conducting an emergency-preparedness exercise Thursday. It is only an exercise. The lab routinely conducts emergency exercises to test the preparedness of emergency response and other LANL personnel who would respond to an actual emergency. During the exercise, employees should be aware of possible increased emergency vehicle traffic on some LANL roads in the Technical Area 3 area. “Exercise in Progress” signs will be placed in affected areas. Those with any questions should contact Monique Sanchez of the Emergency Operations Division at 665-7547.

    Reception

    The public is invited to a reception Friday wishing Police Chief Wayne Torpy farewell as he retires from county service. The reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Justice Center. 

  • Update 08-21-13

    Town Hall

    The League of Women Voters and UNM-LA invite the public to attend a Town Hall meeting 7-8 p.m., Aug. 29 at UNM-LA Lecture Hall, room 230. The Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers debate team will present pros and cons of the mil levy election question, followed by a presentation by Dr. Cindy Rooney, the new Dean of Instruction for UNM-LA.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will meet at 5:30 tonight at 1000 Central Ave., Room 110.

    LANL exercise

    Los Alamos National Laboratory is conducting an emergency-preparedness exercise Thursday. It is only an exercise. The lab routinely conducts emergency exercises to test the preparedness of emergency response and other LANL personnel who would respond to an actual emergency. During the exercise, employees should be aware of possible increased emergency vehicle traffic on some LANL roads in the Technical Area 3 area. “Exercise in Progress” signs will be placed in affected areas. Those with any questions should contact Monique Sanchez of the Emergency Operations Division at 665-7547.

    Reception

    The public is invited to a reception Friday wishing Police Chief Wayne Torpy farewell as he retires from county service. The reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Justice Center. 

  • Update 08-21-13

    Town Hall

    The League of Women Voters and UNM-LA invite the public to attend a Town Hall meeting 7-8 p.m., Aug. 29 at UNM-LA Lecture Hall, room 230. The Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers debate team will present pros and cons of the mil levy election question, followed by a presentation by Dr. Cindy Rooney, the new Dean of Instruction for UNM-LA.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will meet at 5:30 tonight at 1000 Central Ave., Room 110.

    LANL exercise

    Los Alamos National Laboratory is conducting an emergency-preparedness exercise Thursday. It is only an exercise. The lab routinely conducts emergency exercises to test the preparedness of emergency response and other LANL personnel who would respond to an actual emergency. During the exercise, employees should be aware of possible increased emergency vehicle traffic on some LANL roads in the Technical Area 3 area. “Exercise in Progress” signs will be placed in affected areas. Those with any questions should contact Monique Sanchez of the Emergency Operations Division at 665-7547.

    Reception

    The public is invited to a reception Friday wishing Police Chief Wayne Torpy farewell as he retires from county service. The reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Justice Center. 

  • Update 08-21-13

    Town Hall

    The League of Women Voters and UNM-LA invite the public to attend a Town Hall meeting 7-8 p.m., Aug. 29 at UNM-LA Lecture Hall, room 230. The Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers debate team will present pros and cons of the mil levy election question, followed by a presentation by Dr. Cindy Rooney, the new Dean of Instruction for UNM-LA.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will meet at 5:30 tonight at 1000 Central Ave., Room 110.

    LANL exercise

    Los Alamos National Laboratory is conducting an emergency-preparedness exercise Thursday. It is only an exercise. The lab routinely conducts emergency exercises to test the preparedness of emergency response and other LANL personnel who would respond to an actual emergency. During the exercise, employees should be aware of possible increased emergency vehicle traffic on some LANL roads in the Technical Area 3 area. “Exercise in Progress” signs will be placed in affected areas. Those with any questions should contact Monique Sanchez of the Emergency Operations Division at 665-7547.

    Reception

    The public is invited to a reception Friday wishing Police Chief Wayne Torpy farewell as he retires from county service. The reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Justice Center. 

  • Update 08-21-13

    Town Hall

    The League of Women Voters and UNM-LA invite the public to attend a Town Hall meeting 7-8 p.m., Aug. 29 at UNM-LA Lecture Hall, room 230. The Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers debate team will present pros and cons of the mil levy election question, followed by a presentation by Dr. Cindy Rooney, the new Dean of Instruction for UNM-LA.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will meet at 5:30 tonight at 1000 Central Ave., Room 110.

    LANL exercise

    Los Alamos National Laboratory is conducting an emergency-preparedness exercise Thursday. It is only an exercise. The lab routinely conducts emergency exercises to test the preparedness of emergency response and other LANL personnel who would respond to an actual emergency. During the exercise, employees should be aware of possible increased emergency vehicle traffic on some LANL roads in the Technical Area 3 area. “Exercise in Progress” signs will be placed in affected areas. Those with any questions should contact Monique Sanchez of the Emergency Operations Division at 665-7547.

    Reception

    The public is invited to a reception Friday wishing Police Chief Wayne Torpy farewell as he retires from county service. The reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Justice Center. 

  • Relay For Life begins Friday

    Relay For Life, a weekend to celebrate the lives of those touched by cancer, will kick off Friday night.
    “We are celebrating the lives of cancer survivors and their caregivers,” Alan Wadlinger said, who is one of the coordinators of the yearly event.
    The evening begins with a free survivor dinner, 5 p.m. at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.
    The Hill Stompers will lead the survivors in a victory lap around the park near Ashley Pond. In previous years, the lap was around the pond but due to construction, the celebrators will utilize the entire area. The laps will begin at 6:30 p.m. The relay teams will continue until 10 p.m., then there will be the lighting of the Luminarias. Each bag that is lit bears the name of a person taken by the disease.
    The event is in conjunction with the Gordon’s Summer Concert Series, during which bluegrass artist Claire Lynch will take the stage at 7 p.m.
    Other activities include a S’mores Party fundraiser, yard sale and other activities to raise money for the cause.
    There will be a Birdhouse Silent Auction from 6-9 p.m. Several local artists contributed to the auction, but if there is a must-have birdhouse, it can be bought ahead of time for $100 at Village Arts on DP Road.

  • Council reviews gas rate plan

    At Tuesday’s work session, council also heard the Board of Public Utilities’ annual report and discussed the Department of Public Utilities’ plan to change the gas rate structure from a fixed rate-charge to a combination of fixed-rate for controllable expenditures and a variable rate for the actual cost of gas.
    Councilors were concerned that a sharp increase in the cost of gas could negatively affect customers.
    DPU Manager John Arrowsmith and Deputy Utilities Manager for Finance and Administration Robert Westervelt argued that increases tend to happen gradually, giving consumers time to adjust. They also noted that DPU would have to raise rates if that happened in order not to run a deficit, but the process would be delayed by the time it took to obtain council approval.
    The trend in recent years has been toward lower gas costs, and customers would actually save money by paying the current price without a built in cushion to cover fluxuations.
    DPU was directed to add a sunset clause to the ordinance so council can reevaluate its affects and to add a cap which would trigger council approval if gas costs rose beyond that point.
    The revised ordinance will have to come before BPU for approval before returning to council.

  • Wells get more scrutiny

    The San Juan/Chama Water Project was the major topic of discussion during a five-hour Los Alamos County Council meeting Tuesday. Most councilors reached consensus that building infrastructure to secure the county’s water rights was critical, but directed the Department of Public Utilities to explore additional options for developing the project.

    DPU Senior Engineer Jack Richardson briefed council on why the San Juan/Chama water rights should be secured and why — despite protests by nearby residents — Alternative 5 (digging one to three wells in White Rock) is still considered the best alternative.

    Attorneys then weighed in on the legal issues.

    “Even though the county’s contract with the federal government is not listed as a perpetual contract, it probably is a perpetual right once the county finishes its payoff in a couple of years,” said County Attorney Rebecca Ehler.

    Ehler admitted there was some risk of losing the rights, but based on federal agency postures and a court ruling regarding the Rio Grande silvery minnow, “The county’s right is pretty secure at this point. It’s a risk I’d be willing to bet on,” Ehler told councilors.