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Local News

  • Judge vacates fines for protesters

    Each side got its share of justice recently when a group of anti-nuclear activists learned the final outcome of a petition they filed with the Los Alamos Municipal Court.

    Shortly after they were sentenced in January for blocking the road and disobeying a police officer during a demonstration on the corner of Diamond Drive and East Jemez Road in August of last year, the six demonstrators petitioned the court to drop their fines in favor of performing community service. In February, Judge Alan Kirk informed them that the court vacated their fines in exchange for community service hours. That ruling has freed the protesters to work for an organization of their choosing.

    Jeffrey Haas, the attorney for the group dubbed the “LANL Six,” welcomed the change in heart. 

    “It was a result of the defendants’ strong principles that Judge Kirk allowed them to convert their fines to community service with organizations with whom they had political agreement in their own communities.  A good precedent.”

  • A rundown of other Bandelier cutbacks

    • The visitor center will maintain winter hours year-round, closing at 4:30 p.m.

    • Placing a ranger at the White Rock Visitor Center to provide information for visitors waiting for the shuttle cannot be implemented.

    • The number of ranger-led tours will be reduced.

    • Las Conchas fire recovery efforts will be impacted, especially trail repair. “We’re not going to have the trail crews here this summer to work on the trail recovery,” Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott said.

    • Maintenance staff faces furloughs, reducing custodial hours. Lott is channeling their efforts to the visitor center, but restrooms will be cleaned once daily and not touched up during the day. Administrative staff will also be cleaning their offices in addition to their regular duties.

    • Lott may move Night Walks from Wednesday and to Friday, replacing one of the campfire programs that usually occur on Friday and Saturday.

    •As a last resort, campgrounds may have to be closed due to lack of staff to maintain them.

    •Replacing a tower and repairing an antiquated radio system is also on hold.

    • An archival film project will be postponed.  

  • Sequestration could hit Bandelier, impact visitors

    Sequestration is not an abstract concept for Bandelier National Monument Superintendent Jason Lott.

    The possible looming reduction of government spending may be felt by park visitors this season.

    “The fiscal situation is already tight, even before the sequestration. If we indeed do have to take a five percent cut it’s going to cut deep,” Lott said. “Until now, we’ve tried to keep these fiscal impacts away from the public. We have tried to protect opportunities and programs and our mission to provide enjoyment. With sequestration, there will be some public impacts, regrettably.”

    One of Lott’s greatest concerns is search and rescue.

    “We get anywhere from five to 20 of those a year. I don’t have staff coverage, so my ability to respond when we have an SAR is impacted. I have to bring people in and rely more heavily on the state and other resources, which just means it takes longer for us to support those activities,” Lott said.

    “If someone gets hurt in the park, we’re going to have to rely on 911, as opposed to having a staff member on full coverage like we usually have. And we won’t have EMTs always on, although we’ll try to reduce that to times when there’s low visitation.”

  • Today in History for Thursday, February 28th
  • Police detain suspect

    Los Alamos police arrested a juvenile Wednesday morning at Sullivan Field after an eyewitness saw him allegedly pulling on car door handles and entering a vehicle that was not his. The juvenile then ran to the Teen Center across the street where he was apprehended by police. Police said the teen will be charged with burglary and referred to juvenile authorities.

  • Sewer rates set to climb

    The Los Alamos County Council voted 4-2 to approve a significant sewer rate increase following a public hearing Tuesday night.

    Every councilor agreed that the rate increase was needed to replace deteriorating infrastructure, but Council Chair Geoff Rodgers and Councilor Frances Berting opposed the way the rate hike was distributed and the impact it will have on commercial customers. Councilor David Izraelevitz was away on business.

    The Department of Public Utilities evaluated the current rate system, which was based entirely on winter water usage, and found that residential customers were subsidizing commercial customers. Residential consumers place relatively small demands on the infrastructure — which accounts for the major cost in wastewater systems — whether there is one person in a household or six.

    “The system has to be able to handle the largest load that might ever go down to the treatment plant. So some of the large commercial customers can significantly influence that requirement,” said Robert Westervelt, deputy utilities manager for finance and administration for the Department of Public Utilities.

  • Update 02-27-13

    Photo show

    The Los Alamos Photography Club (LAPC) will be hosting its annual photography show for 2013 at the Mesa Public Library from March 4 through March 29.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185.

    Benefit

    There will be a charity benefit for Cindy Geoffrion from 5-9 p.m. Saturday at De Colores. $5 donation at the door, music by Jemez’s Train Wreck Blues Band. A cash bar will be available.

    Authors Speak

    The Authors Speak Series presents Slim Randles, veteran newspaperman and outdoorsman, at 7 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs rotunda.

    Brisket night

     

    The LAHS NJROTC will host its monthly brisket night at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Posse Lodge. The menu includes brisket, potato salad, baked beans, roll, cookie and drink for $10. 

     

    Ice rink closed

     

    Due to the warm weather and unsafe ice conditions, the Ice Rink is officially closed for the season, the county announced Monday.  

  • To Lose Weight, Holly the Housecat Takes a Dip
  • Today in History for February 27th
  • Raw: Amatuer Video of Deadly Egypt Balloon Crash

    Nineteen people were killed in Luxor on Tuesday morning in what could be the deadliest hot air ballooning accident on record.