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Today's News

  • 'Never Forget'
  • 4 houses OK’d for Alabama Avenue

    The Los Alamos Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved a four-lot, four home subdivision at 4134 Alabama Avenue Thursday.

    According to developer and former Los Alamos School Board member Jim Hall, each of the homes will be 2,000 square feet. The four homes will sit on half an acre.

    According to Hall, use of the land fits in with the county’s plan to add more housing to accommodate the increasing amount of hires at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    Ever since the laboratory started hiring about 1,000 employees a day about two years ago, the county had been scrambling to encourage developers to build as much housing as it can to accommodate the new employees. Hall’s development joins three recent projects currently under construction in Los Alamos County. They include the 130-plus Mirador development in White Rock, an affordable housing apartment complex on DP Road and a senior living apartment complex across the street from it.

    The Alabama lot had been empty since the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000.

    Hall told the commission they were able to plan for the four houses on the half-acre of land by building the first floors of the houses into the lots natural slopes.

  • New Mexico developing plans to address ozone pollution

    FARMINGTON (AP) — New Mexico is working on plans to address ozone pollution as a number of counties are pushing the limit set by federal regulators.
     

    The Daily Times reports that a monitor near Navajo Lake in northwestern New Mexico has met the ozone limit of 70 parts per billion set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    San Juan County is one of seven New Mexico counties that meets or exceeds 95% of the national ambient air quality standard for ozone set by the EPA. The others are Eddy, Lea, Dona Ana, Rio Arriba, Sandoval and Valencia counties.

    The state Environment Department recently held a meeting in Farmington to talk about drafting an ozone attainment plan. Other meetings are planned in Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Carlsbad.

    Robert Spillers, an environmental analyst with the state, said one reason the counties are now having ozone readings close to or exceeding standards is because the standards were changed.

    In 2015, the EPA lowered the maximum threshold from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. None of the New Mexico counties exceed the previous 75 parts per billion standard. Spillers said this is the first time he is aware that the state has had to draft ozone attainment plans.

  • Udall offers legislation on methane pollution

    U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) Thursday introduced a co-sponsored bill to protect public health and safety and fight climate change by reducing dangerous leaks from pipelines that release methane and other hazardous gases and pollutants into the air.  

    The Methane Emissions from Transmission Harm American Neighborhoods and the Environment (METHANE) Act would require owners and operators of pipelines and pipeline facilities to use the best available technology to detect and repair leaking pipelines.

    “It defies belief that, despite the widespread availability of 21st century technology, the primary leak detectors for natural gas pipelines are the public’s own eyes and noses. Given the looming threat of climate change and the hazards that leaking pipelines present to our communities in New Mexico and across the country, we can and must do better in the year 2019,” Udall said. “It is also shocking that the Trump administration has recklessly chosen to weaken the minimal methane protections already in place – given that methane is a super-pollutant that is accelerating climate change.

  • Carnegie Library hosts first drag queen story hour

    LAS VEGAS — It was all about acceptance and community at Carnegie Library Aug. 31 at the Drag Queen Story Hour. Queens came from Albuquerque to read to kids stories many are familiar with such as “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Corduroy.” The organizers and hosts of the event had to battle the wind and concerns about the incoming rain led the story time to be cut short. The rest of the time was filled with performances by many of the drag queens. They lip-synched and danced, accepting dollar bills.

    It was the first Drag Queen Story Time in Las Vegas, and according to library manager Zach McNellis, it might be second in the state. McNellis said one of the library’s goals is to be diverse in the programs offered to the community in order to bring it together.

    “It’s worked out really nicely, and I’m real happy with everything — how it’s turned out,” McNellis said.
    McNellis said people come from all over the place, and the event may have been one of the biggest events the library has held.

    The event was hosted by Renee Toya-Bouvier, who admitted that she had been nervous for what might happen. Extra law enforcement was requested.

    “I don’t know what to expect except to have fun with the kids,” Toya-Bouvier said before the event started.

  • Smashing the pumpkin carving record

    The Los Alamos Arts Council is hoping there will be enough residents this October that have five minutes to spare to help them break a world-record pumpkin-carving contest.
    Steve Bublitz, vice president of the Los Alamos Arts Council, is gathering enthusiasm and hoping to sign up local residents for the challenge of breaking the Guinness World Record category for “Most People Carving Pumpkins Simultaneously.” The contest will be held at 2:45 p.m. Oct. 26.
    At the start of an official mark, participants will have five minutes to carve a basic face into the pumpkin. When the time is up, Los Alamos may have one for the record books.
    After the event organizers confirm the new record, pumpkin carvers will then have a chance to embellish their creations, just in time for the Pumpkin Glow that night. The contest will take place in a roped off section of Central Avenue.
    “We can do this!” Bublitz exclaimed during an interview about the contest.
    The previous Guinness pumpkin carving record was set by the Galloping Grace Youth Ranch in Rio Rancho in 2013 for 1,060 pumpkins.

  • Poll finds gov’s approval is up

    The National Education Association of New Mexico hired the research arm of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to conduct a poll to gauge, among other things, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s approval rating.

    The results showed that a majority of respondents – 58% – approved of her performance and 42 percent disapproved.

    The new governor came out near the bottom in a Morning Consult national ranking poll in April with a 41% approval rating. About 33 percent of voters disapproved of her performance. The remaining did not have an opinion or were undecided.

    NEA-New Mexico paid for the poll to ask questions of state residents about what they see are problems in education in the state and what they see might be solutions, according to Charles Goodmacher, spokesman for the NEA-NM.

    The union added in the governor’s approval rating question with the other questions.

    “Since we were doing a statewide poll, we thought we would ask about the governor’s approval ratings,” Goodmacher said.

    Many of the other questions were asked a few years ago, using the same polling firm, Goodmacher said. This will give them a time series, he said.

    The online poll, conducted Aug. 21-28, reportedly asked 500 New Mexican adults questions about education and the governor.

  • Hearing for alleged car thief Friday

    A status hearing for a Mexican national who violated her conditions of release will be held Friday in Los Alamos Magistrate Court, according to court documents.
    The suspect, Nancy Y Enriquez-Portillo, 22, was arrested in Los Alamos at the Smith’s gas station on July 19 for allegedly being in possession of a stolen vehicle.
    On Sept. 9, the Española probation department issued a probation violation report in connection with her July 22 arrest.
    The report said on that day she tested positive for opiates and “benzos.”
    Los Alamos police initially came in contact with Enriquez-Portillo when dispatch received a report of an allegedly drunk driver parked at a gas pump at the Smith’s gas station on Trinity Drive.
    When police ran the license plate of the Toyota Highlander vehicle Enriquez-Portillo was in, the vehicle was listed as stolen out of Santa Fe, according to the police report. Police also reportedly found illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia instruction in Spanish and a forged social security card in the vehicle.

  • Ed secretary greets ‘immense challenge’ with optimism

    BY MORGAN LEE
    The Associated Press

  • NASA scientist returns to McCurdy

    BY KYLE LAND
    Rio Grande Sun