Local News

  • Obama light on nuclear specifics

    President Obama was light on the details when it came to reducing the country’s nuclear stockpile.

    In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama said, “we will engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals, and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands — because our ability to influence others depends on our willingness to lead.”

    Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) wanted to hear more about the White House’s plans in regards to the nuclear issue.

    “Moving forward, one area that we must hear more about from the president is his goal of reducing our nation’s nuclear weapon stockpile, Luján said. “It will be critical to examine the details of this plan to determine its impact on New Mexico; however, I believe Los Alamos National Laboratory has an important role to play in achieving this goal and in maintaining and ensuring the safety of a smaller nuclear deterrent.”

    NNSA spokesperson Josh McConaha released a fact sheet Tuesday night in regards to nuclear disarmament.

    The fact sheet first addressed the process that is used.

  • Council OKs air service

    In a unanimous decision, county council approved a service agreement with New Mexico Airlines for commercial air service between Los Alamos and Albuquerque and ratified grant funding that will subsidize the service for nearly three years. 

    In 2012, council approved an earmark of $150,000 from the Economic Development Fund to attract commercial air service. Council Chair Geoff Rodgers praised Airport Manager Peter Soderquist for obtaining grant funding that reduces the county’s contribution for subsidizing the service from an estimated $143,707 to $28,000. 

    “I want to thank everybody that’s worked to bring that cost down. If we can get scheduled air service in this community for a cost to the county of $28,000, you’ve done a marvelous job. I wish you nothing but success, and I certainly plan to use this,” Rodgers said. 

    The county’s cost was defrayed by two grants and a contribution, totaling $312,000.

    They included:

    •$272,000 Small Community Air Service Development Program Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation

    •$25,000 from an Associated New Mexico Department of Transportation Air Service Assistance Program Grant

  • Raw: Mardi Gras Revelers Dance Into Lent
  • Gloomy Weather Can't Stop Mardi Gras
  • Charred body found in rubble of burned Big Bear cabin

    BIG BEAR, Calif. (AP) — The extraordinary manhunt for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of three murders converged Tuesday on a mountain cabin where he was believed to have barricaded himself inside, engaged in a shootout that killed a deputy and then never emerged as the home went up in flames.

    A single gunshot was heard from within, and a charred body was found inside.

    If the man inside proves to be Christopher Dorner, the search for the most wanted man in America over the last week would have ended the way he had expected — death, with the police pursuing him.

  • DPU employees honored by state

    Three Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities employees garnered “Outstanding Operator of the Year” awards from the New Mexico Water and Wastewater Association.
    Pipefitter Jeff Romero of the Gas, Water, Sewer Division earned “Water Distribution System Operator of the Year,” Senior Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Jennifer Baca earned “Wastewater Operator of the Year” in the Laboratory Technician category while Senior Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Chris Lopez earned “Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year.”
    GWS Shop Supervisor and newly-elected NMWWA President David Gomez presented the award plaques to his fellow DPU associates at the January 30 awards banquet in Las Cruces, citing their outstanding performance and dedication.
    The NMWAA is a non-profit scientific and educational organization, which promotes proper design, construction, operation, performance evaluation, and management of water and wastewater utilities.

  • Update 02-12-13

    Bandelier burn

    Weather permitting, the fire crew at Bandelier National Monument is planning a pile burn to be done at 9 a.m. Wednesday.  The pile of wood debris is near the park entrance along N.M. 4

    Council meeting

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. today in council chambers.

    Parks and Rec

    The Parks and Recreation Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.

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    Shrove Tuesday

    Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Dr., invites the community to a Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) pancake supper, from 5:30-7 p.m. today. Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $4 for children, $8 for adults and $20 for a family.

    Birthday celebration

    Chamisa Elementary will celebrate its 45th birthday with two events Wednesday. The first, at 11:30 a.m., will include cupcakes and sixth graders selling jewelry, baked goods and fruit. The evening event will be a community potluck at 6 p.m., with a dessert contest.  

  • Capital projects on the chopping block

    The Los Alamos County Council will have a discussion during its Feb. 19 meeting to decide which capital projects approved for design and construction in May 2012 will move forward or be deferred.
    The 7 p.m. meeting in council chambers was moved from a work session in White Rock to a regular session in Los Alamos so that the session can be televised.
    Due to budget shortfalls, council gave the staff budget guidance on Jan. 29 to defer up to $12.5 million in capital project costs and delay projects up to four years for some of these eight approved projects:
    Los Alamos County Administrator Harry Burgess released information about the upcoming Council discussion regarding capital projects.
    The only projects that will be considered for deferral are the eight projects approved in May 2012. They are:
    • Ashley Pond Park
    • Teen Center
    • Nature Center
    • Eastern Area Sound
    • Golf Course improvements
    • White Rock Civic Center (as modified)
    • Canyon Rim Trail and Ice Rink improvements.
    The purpose of the discussion is budgetary— projects will not be revisited during this meeting for a reduction/change in scope of work.  

  • Self-sufficiency fund has more wins than losses

    When the topic of the Self-Sufficiency Fund (now renamed as the Economic Vitality Fund) comes up, a common perception seems to be that the fund’s investments have been money down the drain. However a closer look at the fund’s successes and failures would appear to contradict that assessment.
    The Self-Sufficiency Fund was created when the United States Congress decided that the Department of Energy should stop making yearly assistance payments to the county to compensate for the loss of property taxes and gross receipts taxes the county would normally receive from an entity the size of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Sen. Pete Domenici argued for a one-time payment large enough to help the county invest in projects that would create a revenue base in years to come. Congress approved a transfer of $22.6 million from the DOE to the county for that purpose in the early 1990s.
    Some of the fund was transferred to the Airport, Fire and Water Funds to finance initial improvements associated with assuming operation of those systems from DOE.
    Other expenditures built foundations for economic development, such as preparing the Trinity Site and other land transfer projects for development.
    A large portion of the fund lay dormant and earning interest for several years as the county assessed how to use it most effectively.

  • Today in History for Tuesday, February 12th