Today's News

  • Former LA star creates her own award

    Between the end-of-year awards handed out by Los Alamos High School and other local entities, Madison Ahlers felt like there was a void.
    And being the Coast Guard Academy student-athlete she is, Ahlers decided to step up and do something about it herself.
    This year, Ahlers unveiled the award she created, the Iron Athlete Award. The award goes to the top graduating 3-sport athlete from Los Alamos High School.
    The inaugural Iron Athlete Award winner was longtime Hilltopper standout Amy Neal. Neal, who will be attending the University of Tennessee to play women’s soccer in the fall, competed in soccer, diving and track for Los Alamos in 2012-13.
    The award winners get their names engraved on a plaque hanging outside the LAHS athletic office as well as a cash prize which is partially funded by Ahlers herself.
    Ahlers, who is currently on assignment through the Coast Guard Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said she had two motivations to start the Iron Athlete Award. First, she felt athletic participation numbers have been slipping at the prep level and wanted to do more to encourage participation at LAHS.
    The other was that she wanted students to experience the benefits of participating.

  • Sports Briefs 06-09-13

    Splash N Dash returns this month

    The Splash N Dash series, which is hosted by Triatomics Multisport Club, will return June 26.
    The series is designed for those interested in training for the Los Alamos Triathlon, which is scheduled for Aug. 17.
    Participants can choose either a 400-yard swim and 5K run or 200-yard swim and 3K run. All Splash N Dash events start at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.
    Registration for each Splash N Dash is done about 30 minutes prior to the start at the aquatic center. There is no fee for participation but registration will be limited to the first 75 entrants.
    More information can be obtained by calling Amy Regan at 672-3623 or by visiting the club’s website, triatomics.org.

    Registration for soccer camp ends Monday

    The Los Alamos High School boys soccer team is hosting the second session of summer soccer camp for boys and girls ages 3-9.
    The session will run from June 17-21 at Rover Park in White Rock.
    Registration for the session is due by Monday.
    Price for participation is $35.
    More information can be found by visiting laschools.net/athletics or calling Marsha Parker at 672-1558.

    Water aerobics classes are Monday, Wednesday

  • Upward trend continues for governor

     SANTA FE – Gov. Susana Martinez’s popularity is still climbing. A recent poll by Survey USA shows her at 66 percent popularity. The polling group isn’t one of the best in the nation but it seems to show a continued upward trend in the governor’s popularity.
    It is difficult to pinpoint the source of that popularity. The state’s economy is the only one in the area not to be recovering. More people are leaving the state than arriving. And there seems to be a general acceptance of federal cuts in budget and personnel without much complaining.
    Gov. Martinez was able to push through the 2013 Legislature a last-minute measure to cut business taxes. Then we were told the numbers on which the measure was sold were faulty. The cuts were supposed to keep businesses from leaving but so far those businesses have not been identified.
    The oil boom in the Hobbs area is the one bright spot in the economy. Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Two will bring us some notoriety when it finally gets off the ground.
    Sir Richard Branson says that will be Christmas but he has been pushing back the date for five years. And the space travel won’t bring in much money right away.

  • New steps pursue vital remedies

    A good idea is a precious seed. Yet a good idea is useless without more good ideas for spreading it where it can grow.
    Regulatory engineering is a good idea that showed up here in 2011. Six or eight subsequent columns added weight to the idea.
    Today I report on how the concept is being taken to places that can use it.
    “Regulatory engineering” – my term – is applying a familiar discipline to the regulatory field. Graduates in the speciality would engineer systems and tools that make regulating cheaper, faster and better. In a word, the aim is efficiency.
    Engineers increase the efficiency of everything they work on, from mines to automobiles to computer systems, all of which are constantly improved.
    The same commitment is needed in regulatory systems.
    Better methods and new tools abound when the focus goes beyond “strict rules vs. lax rules.” That polemic is just one element among many parts in an overall system that was designed piecemeal, and shows the disconnects.
    The public forum debates symptoms, but neglects the remedies used for such ills. Problems do not always originate where they surface. Indeed, a systems analysis often finds they do not.
    Regulatory engineers are the means to efficient system designs.
    The concept has found some good ground for ideas.

  • Film crews work around wildfires

    The Valles Caldera National Preserve is considered one of the natural jewels of northern New Mexico, with its expansive meadows, mountain vistas and famous elk herds. It draws thousands of visitors each year and serves as the backdrop for the opening scene of A&E Network’s television series “Longmire.”

    Now, hundreds of firefighters have replaced the film crews.

    They’re trying to slow a wildfire that has charred more than 28 square miles of the picturesque property in just one week.

    The Thompson Ridge Fire, sparked by a downed power line on May 30, has blackened the western side of the 89,000-acre preserve and came close to the preserve’s historic cabins and barns. Crews saved the buildings.

    On the other side of the Santa Fe National Forest, crews were battling the Tres Lagunas Fire, which was burned more than 15 square miles north of Pecos.

    Both fires have blanketed northern New Mexico in smoke for the past week. Fire officials said Friday evening that crews made progress during the day on both fires as they prepared for unfavorable weather — more hot, dry and windy conditions — to arrive over the weekend. They said both blazes were now 40 percent contained and evacuations for both remained in effect.

  • Update 06-09-13


    The Los Alamos County meeting for the NCRTD will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fuller Lodge. The transit district is looking for feedback and service enhancement suggestions from its riders.

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    LANB week

    The Los Alamos National Bank has plans for its 50th anniversary with a week of activities next week at all its branches.
    Activities for the week include:
    Monday: sweepstakes for iPod Nano at all locations
    Tuesday: sweepstakes for iPod Touch at all locations
    Wednesday: free gift and refreshments at all locations
    Thursday: sweepstakes for iPad Mini at all locations
    Friday: sweepstakes for iPad at all locations.


    Kiwanis meets from noon to 1 p.m. each Tuesday. The Tuesday meeting will be at Kelly Hall, Trinity-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Drive. Kiwanis Treasurer Cindy Eaton will share experiences and photos from her recent trip to China.


  • Cone Zone 06-09-13

    Phase 2 of paving project begins

    Eastern Area 2 Concrete, Paving & Utility Project – Phase 2:
    RMCI continues to use a 15-passenger van to transport pedestrians through the Canyon Road construction site. The van circulates every 5 to 7 minutes while RMCI is working, typically 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. depending on the job activity, Monday through Saturday (RMCI will work Saturdays in June). This service for pedestrians will continue until June 28 or when sidewalks are open on both sides of Canyon. Each evening, RMCI will re-establish the pedestrian paths for use.
    The van route starts at 9th Street and Canyon Road continuing north on Canyon, making the Nugget, Opal and Piñon Loops. Pedestrians on Nugget, Opal, and Piñon Loops will be picked up in front of their residence. Additional stops include the Pine Street cul-de-sac and Quartz at 6th Street. The route will end at Canyon and 15th Street. The driver will then turn around and repeat the route in the opposite direction.

    Canyon Road between 15th and Rim Road remains closed; the closure may shift as work progresses. Residential access in the immediate closure area will be provided; all others motorists should seek alternate routes.

  • County staff moves to new headquarters

    County Administrator Harry Burgess was upbeat in his assessment of the move to the new municipal building.

    “All I’ve seen so far are smiles and positive comments, so I think everybody’s really excited about the fact that we’re back together,” Burgess said.

    Community Services Director Charlie Kalogeros-Chattan described the new digs as “homey.”
    Chief Deputy Clerk Sheryl Nichols is looking forward to lightning shows out her window with its view of a tower on DP Road.

    County Attorney Rebecca Ehler is glad to be out of the basement of the community building and loves the “gorgeous views,” but she does have one regret.

    “I have to admit that I miss being able to look across the street and see all the people who stop and get their pictures taken at the Oppenheimer and Groves statues every day. That was always interesting,” Ehler said.

    The move is complete, and the county is definitely open for business in its new headquarters on Central Avenue.

    It’s been a while in the making since the old muni building on a site near Ashley Pond was torn down in 2007 after it was declared unsafe for employees or the public.

    The budget for the new building was set at $25 million, but it came in $1.7 million under that figure.

  • 2,000 firefighters continue to fight NM wildfires

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — More than 2,000 firefighters pressed forward Saturday in battling two large northern New Mexico wildfires as smaller blazes popped up throughout the drought-stricken state, stretching resources and prompting more warnings.

    Officials said both the 29-square-miles Thompson Ridge Fire and the 15-square-mile Tres Lagunas Blaze remained 40 percent contained. The infernos were burning on opposite ends of the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico sending smoke to nearby communities, including Santa Fe.

    Smoke from the wind Thompson Ridge Fire is expected to bring smoke as far south as Albuquerque late Saturday and early Sunday by Solid Savings">thank to winds between the Valles Caldera National Preserve and Albuquerque, city environmental officials said.

    An evacuation order remains in effect for Thompson Ridge, Rancho de la Cueva and Elk Valley.

  • Serena Williams top Sharapova for French Open title


    PARIS (AP) -- Serena Williams won her 16th Grand Slam title and her first French Open championship since 2002 when she beat familiar foil Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday.

    The victory completed the No. 1-ranked Williams' rebound from a shocking loss to 111th-ranked Virginie Razzano in the first round at Roland Garros a year ago. Since that defeat she's 74-3, including titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the London Olympics and the season-ending WTA Championships.

    Williams whacked 10 aces, including three in the final game, to extend her career-best winning streak to 31 matches. She improved to 14-2 against Sharapova, with victories in their past 13 meetings and four of the wins this year.

    At 31, Williams became the oldest woman to win a major title since Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1990 at age 33. Her 11-year gap between Roland Garros titles is the longest for any woman.

    Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam by winning Roland Garros last year.

    In an all-Spanish final Sunday, Rafael Nadal will try to become the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam event when he plays first-time major finalist David Ferrer.