Today's News

  • Rules for predatory lenders must reflect letter, spirit of law

    An elderly woman got a small loan from a storefront lender and couldn’t understand why she could never manage to pay off the loan even though she made payments.

    Leonard Gorman, executive director of the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, explained the basics of principal and interest and renewal language in the loan agreement. Once she understood, she cried inconsolably.

    Last year, when the Legislature finally reformed laws governing storefront lenders – also called predatory lenders or payday lenders – there was a sense of accomplishment that they had dispatched a nagging problem after years of complaints.

    A recent hearing in Gallup made it clear there’s still work to do. Gorman blamed the lenders’ deliberately confusing communications for financial burdens on Navajos, but the small lenders trap Indian and non-Indian people alike.

    This is one reason New Mexico is poor. Thousands of people can’t get out from under these debts with their spiraling interest rates, so they don’t participate fully in the economy.

  • Central Avenue Accident
  • Community Calendar 5-25-18

    Feature Film: National Parks Adventure
at 2 p.m. at the Nature center. Watch the most critically acclaimed giant screen film of the year on our new planetarium projector. This film is brought to Los Alamos by our sponsors: CB Fox, Metzger’s Hardware, and the Delle Foundation with additional funding from the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.

    White Rock Artist Market from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the White Rock Visitor Center, 15 NM 4, in White Rock.
    Nature Yoga and Trail Run
from 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga with Christa Tyson at the nature center, where you have a great view of nature. Optional: Arrive at 10:30 a.m. to join Christa for a pre-yoga run. Admission: yoga or run for $7/$5 for members; yoga and run for $12/$8 for members.
    The Los Alamos Community Winds will present a commemorative Memorial Day Concert at 1 p.m. Monday on the lawn at Fuller Lodge. Patriotic selections, as well as fun tunes and medleys for the entire family, will performed. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch and enjoy some great music.

  • Memorial Day Events

    LA Community Winds to host concert

    The Los Alamos Community Winds will present a commemorative Memorial Day Concert at 1 p.m. Monday on the lawn at Fuller Lodge.
    Patriotic selections, as well as fun tunes and medleys for the entire family, will performed. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch and enjoy some great music.
    Please note that this is a change from the original posted time and place.

    Memorial Day Ceremony set for Monday

    The community is invited to the Memorial Day Celebration to be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Guaje Pines Cemetery in Los Alamos.
    A lunch will follow the ceremony at the American Legion Post 90 at 1325 Trinity Drive.

  • Council votes to exit coal-fire agreement

    The Los Alamos County Council, acting on the Department of Public Utilities’ recent recommendation to the Board of Public Utilities, voted Tuesday night to authorize the utilities manager to notify the San Juan Project participants of the county’s intentions to exit the station at the end of the current project participation agreement in 2022.

    In the mid-1980s Los Alamos County entered into a plant participation agreement with eight other owners of the San Juan Generating Station, a coal-fired plant in the Farmington area.

    Four of the owners voluntarily exited the plant with a penalty in December 2017, after an agreement was reached with the State of New Mexico and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to shut down two of the four units to meet a regional haze rule.

    The remaining owners, one of which is Los Alamos, negotiated a new coal supply agreement with San Juan Coal Company, the fuel provider to the plant. As part of the new coal supply agreement, San Juan Coal requires notice by June 30 from the owners of their intent to either exit or remain in the plant after the 2022 expiration of the plant participation agreement.

    During the BPU’s May 16 meeting, the DPU recommended letting the county’s contract for a three-percent ownership share expire in 2022.

  • Morrison brings practicality to county council race

    Tim Morrison is a big fan of Los Alamos and has been since moving with his family from Idaho to the Secret City when he was 5 years old.

    “It is a nice community. It’s a safe place,” he said. “It’s got good amenities and good access to nature. It’s friendly and it’s fun.”

    But Morrison, 40, has seen some negative trends within Los Alamos County over the years, trends he hopes to reverse as a member of the county council.

    “The reason I decided to run for county council is because the business community in Los Alamos is smaller than it was 40 years ago, and I think that’s a fixable problem,” he said. “Back then we weren’t getting as much tax revenue because of the lab and there were more businesses. I think we’re just not working at the right things.”

    Morrison, who is running as a Democrat, is a graduate of Los Alamos High School and then the University of New Mexico. He currently is the general manager of the Los Alamos Co-op. He previously worked at La Montañita Coop in Albuquerque before coming back to Los Alamos in 2011 as the front-end manager for the co-op.

    Near the end of 2014 he moved overseas for about a year, returning to Los Alamos to help the co-op.

  • Misaligned drum prompts brief evacuation at WIPP

    CARLSBAD (AP) — The U.S. government's only underground nuclear waste repository was briefly evacuated after a drum of waste was found to be misaligned inside its packaging.

    The contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico activated its emergency operations center after the discovery was made Thursday night.

    The Carlsbad Current Argus reported that officials determined conditions were stable and no radiation was released. The emergency operations center was deactivated three hours later.

    Shipments to the repository resumed in 2017 following a nearly three-year closure that stemmed from a radiation release by a container of waste that was improperly treated at Los Alamos National Laboratory before being shipped to the repository.

    That previous incident highlighted safety and security concerns at both the lab and repository and resulted in a costly recovery.

  • Big Horn sheep population increases in LA County

    A herd of big horn sheep in Cochiti Canyon is expanding into Bandelier National Monument and other parts of Los Alamos County, according to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

    The sheep were originally part of a herd transferred from Wheeler Peak in 2014.

    The Game and Fish Department started the project with 45 sheep. The sheep were moved because the 2011 Las Conchas Fire severely damaged the herd’s habitat.

    The herd started with 35 females and 10 males, and through the years sheep from other herds in New Mexico were added to vary the DNA. The herd now numbers between 105 and 115.

    “We have ewes in Bandelier National Monument, ewes on Los Alamos National Laboratory property as well, so we’re getting expansion of the population like we hoped, the department’s Wildlife Division Chief Steven Liley reported to the department’s Game Commission Tuesday.

    The commission held its meeting at the Holiday Express Inn at Entrada Business Park in Los Alamos.

    According to Liley, even though ewes have been spotted near Bandelier, most of the population is preferring the bordering Santa Fe National forest, which could be good news for hunters in a few years.

  • Tourism group mulls move of Los Alamos Visitors Center

    The newly-formed Tourism Implementation Task Force wasted no time Wednesday picking out its first project – relocating the Los Alamos Visitors Center from it’s present location, the Central Park Square Shopping Center.

    The relocation of the visitors center will ultimately be up to Los Alamos County Council, but it will be the task force’s job to present the council with a scope of options and locations.

    Acting Chairwoman Linda Matteson said Design Workshop, the consultancy the county had worked with to revamp its tourism and economic development program, strongly suggested relocating the center.

    “Almost from day one, they said that’s not a good spot,” Matteson told the commission. “It’s a perfectly lovely building, a perfectly lovely space, but they said it was in a place where people don’t expect to see a visitor’s center.”

    The members of the task force agreed to put the project on the next meeting’s agenda, which will be at noon June 5 in Room 330 of the County Municipal Building.

    Task force member and Los Alamos History Museum Executive Director Heather McClenahan thought the visitors center should be graded on such factors as visibility, accessibility and parking.

  • Democratic candidate for governor wants pay for lawmakers

    SANTA FE (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jeff Apodaca says he wants New Mexico lawmakers to become paid politicians to help eliminate financial conflicts of interest between their legislative duties and outside careers.

    Apodaca said Thursday that he supports reforms to provide state legislators with a full-time salary and lengthen legislative sessions that currently last 60 days or less.

    Limited safeguards against self-enrichment in the nation's only unsalaried legislature are under scrutiny in the wake of a corruption trial against a former state Sen. Phil Griego.

    Apodaca is calling attention to state contracts for a high-risk insurance pool that went to a consulting company co-founded by primary election opponent Michelle Lujan Grisham and her campaign treasure, state Rep. Deborah Armstrong. Lujan Grisham, a U.S. congresswoman, says she divested from Delta Consulting last year.