Local News

  • School bond passes 4,283 to 1,784

    The taxpayers of Los Alamos have voted to let the Los Alamos Public School System spend another $20 million in general obligation bonds, according to the County Clerk's Office.

    The unofficial ballot count was 4,283 to 1,784. The money will allow continued construction and renovation to go on at the Los Alamos Middle School as well as allow planned renovations and construction take place at Aspen Elementary over the next five years. Other priorities will be design plans for new music and choral facilities at Los Alamos High School, completing the Los Alamos Middle School courtyard, as well as design plans for the new Middle School gym.

    At the beginning of January, 13,826 ballots went out to the public and only 6,186 came back, but that was enough to overcome the apathy. Of the 6,186, ballots, 6,067 were validated as of Tuesday night.

    Many residents today braving the cold to shop at Smith’s had much to say about the bond vote.

    “I voted ‘yes,’” resident John Roberts said. “I voted ‘yes’ because it was going to be spent on school facilities.”

    Others didn’t seem to be aware they got a ballot in the mail, while others said they did but they never bothered to vote.

  • School district fights back at vandalism


    Officials will conduct a special meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Suite 5 near the school administration building at 2075 Trinity Drive with the Los Alamos School Board to discuss recent vandalism at Piñon Elementary.

    The aim is to get the board to approve a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

    The vandals apparently struck Jan. 25, spray-painting the front of the school with “vulgar and inappropriate words and phrases,” LAPS Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt said in a written statement.

    “As a community, we should not put up with this senseless disregard and marring of our public property,” Schmidt said.

    The district is asking anyone who has information about the incident to call the police at 662-8222. Anonymity will be respected.

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  • Update 01-29-13

    Brisket night

    The LAHS NJROTC will host brisket night from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday at the Posse Lodge. A $10 donation includes barbecue pork, potato salad, baked beans, corn, a cookie and drink. Proceeds go toward competition travel.

    LALT deadline

    The deadline for receiving proposals for plays to be performed in the 2013-14 Los Alamos Little Theatre season is Thursday. Visit lalt.org for instructions.

    County Council

    There will be a County Council meeting at 7 p.m. today in council chambers.

    Pancake breakfast

    The Los Alamos Sheriff’s Posse Lodge will hold a pancake breakfast from 7-11 a.m. Feb. 3 at the Posse Lodge, 650 North Mesa Road. The cost is $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 10 and younger.

    Garden club

    The Summit Garden Club will meet, with guest Kimberly Tanner speaking on the topic of “Starting plants from seed, in a very, very small space.” Visitors welcome. For more information, call Nancy Nunnelly at 662-4950.

  • Gun restrictions stall in legislative panel

    SANTA FE (AP) — A proposal requiring criminal background checks of people buying firearms from private sellers stalled Monday in the Legislature.
    The measure failed on an 8-8 vote in the House Judiciary Committee, with one Democrat joining Republicans in opposing it.
    However, supporters hope to revive the measure.
    Rep. Miguel Garcia, an Albuquerque Democrat who sponsored the bill, said he and others will consider revamping the bill and then try to bring it up for another vote later.
    The debate over the gun legislation comes a month after a Connecticut school shooting that claimed 26 lives.
    Federal law requires background checks for sales by licensed dealers in stores or at gun shows. However, the law doesn’t cover firearm sales between private individuals, whether at a gun show or someone’s home.
    Garcia’s proposal would have required background checks of private gun sales, including at gun shows.

  • Fourth time's a charm

    Los Alamos has seen three attempts to bring commercial air service to the county fail since the Department of Energy stopped subsidizing air service in 1995. Airport Manager Peter Soderquist has no intention of letting a fourth attempt meet the same fate.

    Soderquist, who conducted extensive research before even floating the idea of trying again to the Los Alamos County Council, has detailed a plan that includes right-sized aircraft, scheduling that corresponds with key flights at the Albuquerque International Sunport and fares that compete with other means of transportation.

    Soderquist plans to highlight the differences between this venture and earlier ones when he brings the contract for a new carrier before council Feb. 12.

    Two key issues that caused earlier airlines to fail have been addressed in the contract Soderquist is working out with New Mexico Airlines, which presented the most promising response to the county’s Request for Proposals.

    One key element is utilizing right-sized aircraft. Mesa Airlines, the second failed attempt, had an operating cost of $1,600 an hour due to the size of the aircraft. Mesa had a cancellation rate of 20 percent, largely due to the high price of flights.

  • Hagel supports nuclear arms cuts, then elimination

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Chuck Hagel, the likely next secretary of defense, would be the first to enter the Pentagon as a public advocate for sharply reducing the number of U.S. nuclear weapons, possibly without equivalent cuts by Russia. He supports an international movement called Global Zero that favors eliminating all nuclear weapons.

    That puts him outside the orthodoxy embraced by many of his fellow Republicans but inside a widening circle of national security thinkers — including President Barack Obama — who believe nuclear weapons are becoming more a liability than an asset, less relevant to 21st century security threats like terrorism.

    "Sen. Hagel certainly would bring to office a more ambitious view on nuclear reductions than his predecessors," said Steven Pifer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "While he would likely take a less dramatic position in office, it might not be a bad thing to have a secretary of defense question what nuclear deterrence requires today."

  • Confirming NKorean N-test almost impossible

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea appears all set to detonate an atomic device, but confirming the explosion when it takes place will be virtually impossible for outsiders, specialists said Tuesday.

    The best indication of a test will be seismic tremors and abnormal radiation in the air, but even that can be masked if North Korea wants to. In all likelihood the first word of the test will come from Pyongyang itself, just as it happened when the country conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

    Last week, North Korea warned a third nuclear test is planned to protest toughened international sanctions meant to punish it for firing a long-range rocket in December. The world sees the launch a ballistic missile test banned by the U.N. while Pyongyang says it only shot a satellite aboard the rocket into orbit as part of a peaceful space development program.

    The U.S., South Korea and their allies pressed the North to scrap its nuclear test plans, saying that will only worsen the country's decades-old international isolation.

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