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Local News

  • N.M. delegation weighs in on Syria

    There was plenty of reaction Tuesday night to President Obama’s speech on Syria.

    Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, repeated his call for the United States to use diplomatic, economic and political pressure to ensure Russia and Syria keep their commitment to surrender Syria’s chemical weapons to the international community for destruction.

    “The single greatest reason Bashar al-Assad has been able to remain in power is that he is receiving support from outside governments, including Russia. I have consistently said that the only viable solution is to bring international pressure on Russia and other governments aiding Assad to force them to do the right thing. While we must take a ‘trust-but-verify’ approach, the developments of the last two days are evidence that an international diplomatic solution is still possible — and military strikes are not the only option. I am pleased to see that the president and some of my colleagues who have argued for imminent military strikes are now calling for time to pursue diplomatic options.

  • County council accepts CRC report on DPU

    The Los Alamos County council voted unanimously to accept the Charter Review Committee’s report on Charter sections governing the Department of Public Utilities during its meeting Tuesday night.

    The motion also directed staff to place the report on the agenda after council has time to review it and the Board of Public Utilities has submitted a response.

    The review committee was tasked with three objectives: evaluating accountability and liability issues, considering whether changes are required to the current profit arrangement between DPU and the county and recommending a process for adding a utility.

    For the most part, the council asked committee Chair Susan O’Leary for clarification, but some councilors identified issues they would like to address when the report comes back before the council.

    CRC recommended several changes regarding accountability and liability issues, including a process for dispute resolution between BPU and council. The process would apply only to items which council has the power to remand back to the board, such as setting budget, rates, and the hiring of the utility manager.

  • Chief prospects discuss careers

    Fourth in a series

    Police chief candidate Philip Smith, 49, brings not only policing experience but experience as a county administrator.
    As chief of police for the Town of Alton, N.H., from 2007–2009, Smith faced similar challenges to those facing the Los Alamos Police Department today. The entire command staff had either been fired or forced to resign when he came on board.

    “Morale was low; no one wanted to join the department. They were hurting. They didn’t have the men to cover the shifts,” Smith said. “When I was done, we had a waiting list for hires, including people from other command staffs.”

    Smith described how he transformed the department, starting with “doing some homework.”

    “You have to get in contact with some of the stakeholders in the community and find out what their issues are, so you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, and you’re not going to cause more damage.

    “Once you’re done with the history, then you meet with your internal people and see what you have for talent and personnel, and then you put a plan together for where you want to be.”

    Smith worked to create a team environment and get everyone on board, something he believes Los Alamos’ small force would respond well to.

  • Bear enters home on Barranca Mesa

    At first, El Nido Street resident Elly Edelmann thought the noises of someone walking around her kitchen was her elderly father-in-law coming for a lunchtime visit. But when she opened her kitchen door, she at first saw nothing.

    Then, the black bear that had been making regular visits to her backyard lately stood up on its hind legs from behind her kitchen island, placing its front paws on her stove.

    She turned around, left the kitchen and locked the door behind her. Apparently, the bear was just as surprised to see her as well.

    “She then went out the same way she came in,” Edelmann said, pointing to the dining room window. “Usually I close every window, but for some reason I left it open.”

    The bear did not make much of a mess, but it did totally knock out the window screen, crumpling it beyond repair.

    However, as for the inside, the police and media that came to visit her Tuesday made more of a mess with their muddy shoes, but she was glad to see the police, as well as fish and game personnel.

    They told her the bear probably comes by to sample the neighbor’s nectar feeders left out for the hummingbirds, but when it finds nothing, comes over to see what she has. They also discovered the bear had been actually trying to get in on other occasions.

  • Raw: Bomb Hits Benghazi on Attack Anniversary

    A car bomb struck the foreign ministry branch in Benghazi, Libya on the anniversary of an attack on the U.S. consulate that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans as well as the 2001 terror attacks in the United States.

  • 9/11 Anniversary Marked With Somber Tributes
  • Today in History for September 11th
  • Obama: The US Military 'Does Not Do Pinpricks'

    President Obama responded to critics of a limited strike on Syria saying the United States military 'does not do pinpricks', and that other non-military interventions in the country have failed so far.

  • Heinrich supports strike on Syria

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich says he’ll vote for a Senate resolution authorizing U.S. military action in Syria.
    The first-term Democrat says he doesn’t support sending American troops into Syria but says it’s essential to deter the regime of Bashar al-Assad from again using poison gas.
    Heinrich acknowledges that his decision runs counter to the positions of many of his closest supporters but he says he’s convinced it is the right decision.
    Heinrich disclosed his decision in a letter to constituents.
    Here is a portion of the letter.
    The last week has been the most difficult I have experienced in my more than eight years in public office. What I share with you now will not win me any popularity awards, and some of you may well never forgive me for my decision today. All I ask is that you read this entire letter and seek to understand how I came to make this decision.

  • Update 09-10-13

    Lunch

    Anyone interested in attending Lunch with a Leader, scheduled for 11:45 a.m. Sept. 17 at Mesa Public Library, and would like to order lunch from the Co-op, call Karyl Ann Armbruster at 661-6605 by Sunday.

    County Council

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

    Guest Speaker

    Secretary of Education-Designate Hanna Skandera will speak at a community dinner at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Los Alamos Research Park Conference Center, Room 203-A, 4200 W. Jemez Road. The dinner is sponsored by the Los Alamos Republican Party. Public is welcome. Admission is $50 per person/$95 per couple. Reservations may be made by calling Lawry Mann, 662-4590, or Bill McKerley, 505-331-3686.

    Police finalists

    Members of the public are invited to meet the top five police chief finalists at 6 p.m. Thursday in council chambers. The candidates being considered: Roy Melnick, Donnie Perry, Bill Press, Dino Sgambellone and Philip Smith.

    Farmers Market

    County councilors will host a booth at the Farmers Market on Thursday.