Today's News

  • Update 03-28-13

    Ribbon cutting

    The Zia Realty Group, 1460 Trinity Dr., Suite 1, will hold a ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. today with food, drinks and entertainment.

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    Art board

    The Los Alamos County Art in Public Places Board will hold its regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. today at the Mesa Library.

    NCRTD adds buses

    The North Central Regional Transit District will add additional buses along its Española to Chimayó route to accommodate people making the annual pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayó on Good Friday. Two ADA accessible buses will run on a continuous loop throughout the day from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (the first bus begins at 8 a.m. and the second at 8:30) departing from the RTD stop on the north side of the Big Rock Phillips 66 station in front of the Santa Claran Hotel.

  • 'Wildfire 2013' set for Saturday

    As wildfire season begins, residents are urged to attend an informational event called “Wildfire 2013” on Saturday, March 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fuller Lodge.
    The event is sponsored by the Los Alamos Fire Department, in partnership with several local agencies:
    • National Park Service
    • U.S. Forest Service
    • Valles Caldera National
    • Los Alamos National
    • Los Alamos County Emergency Management
    • National Weather Service
    • Interagency Wildfire
    Management Team
    Other displays and information
    • Sand table demonstration of the 2011 Las Conchas Fire presented by LANL Emergency Management
    • An opportunity to register your cell phone and e-mail addresses with Los Alamos County Emergency Management for emergency notifications from the county
    • Information on Defensible Space, Fire Wise and Ready, Set, Go! Programs – learn how to make your home defendable in the event of a wildfire
    • Information from Bandelier, USFS and the Valles Calderas National Preserve on what is accessible and plans for the upcoming months for hiking, camping, and activities in their respective areas

  • Former LANB trust officer sentenced for bank fraud

    Deborah Gayle Wood, 56, currently a resident of Grove, Okla., was sentenced Tuesday to eight months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for her bank fraud conviction.

    Wood also was ordered to pay $4,390.93 in restitution and a $10,000.00 fine.

    Wood pled guilty in Dec. 2011 to a felony charge of bank fraud. In her plea agreement, Wood admitted that, from 2004 to 2005, while she was employed as a trust officer by the Los Alamos National Bank, she defrauded the bank on numerous occasions by obtaining reimbursement for personal expenditures that she falsely represented as expenditures made on behalf of a bank trust account client.

    Wood also admitted using a bank credit card issued in the client’s name on numerous occasions to make personal purchases that she falsely represented as expenses made on behalf of the client.

    Court filings reflect that, between 2003 and 2006, Wood was the trust officer for the trust account of an elderly client suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. As trust officer, Wood’s responsibilities included making sure that the client’s living expenses were provided for and that her bills were paid in a timely manner.

  • Rotary Club lands defibrillator for Fuller Lodge

    For Karen Brandt, the recent ribbon cutting celebrating the Fuller Lodge’s first in-house defibrillator was only fitting.

    “It’s an amazing feeling to think that we are finally moving forward,” Brandt said.

    On June 12, 1983, Karen Brandt experienced probably the best and worst moments of her life all in one day at Fuller Lodge. Her father, Clifford Nilsson, died at her wedding reception at the Fuller Lodge those many years ago.

    “Hopefully, no one else will have to experience this type of tragedy,” she added.

    Brandt also told of her brother, who had a “widow maker” type of event a few years ago when a piece of artery plaque came off and got stuck in his heart, nearly killing the otherwise healthy man a few years ago. While he’s alive and perfectly fine today, it’s because he had immediate care, said Brandt.

    Knowing about her story, Brandt’s friend and Rotary Club President Linda Hull started a Rotary Club campaign a few years ago to put a defibrillator in the lodge that anyone can use if someone is experiencing cardiac arrest.

  • Smith fails to appear

    An arrest warrant has been issued for Jake Smith, a former Los Alamos restaurateur and Santa Fe Realtor, after he failed to appear for arraignment on two misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty Monday in the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe.

    The grand jury indictment, which was handed down March 13, charges that Smith “negligently mistreated, injured, killed without lawful justification or tormented an animal or abandoned or failed to provide necessary sustenance to an animal under his custody or control, contrary to NMSA 1978, Section 30-18-1.”

    Juan Valencia from the Santa Fe County District Attorney’s office said, “I can confirm that Mr. Smith did not appear for his arraignment. I understand that the Judge issued a warrant for his failure to appear. Once arrested, he will be brought before the Court and arraigned and the matter of bond will be argued.”

    Santa Fe police spokesperson Celina Westervelt said, “We have not been able to track him down. We hear he may be in California. This is a case we are eager to prosecute.”

    Judge Stephen Pfeiffer of the First Judicial District Court for the County of Santa Fe also issued a warrant for his arrest on March 13. A cash bond of $5,000 was set. The warrant stated that Smith had to appear at 10:30 a.m. Monday.

  • Be There 03-28-13

    Club Anime will meet from 4-5 p.m. at Mesa Public Library. Club Anime is for ages 13-19. Come watch some anime and enjoy ramen with other snacks.

    Birds of Eastern Australia and Tasmania Through a Visitor’s Lens. Wildlife biologist Stephen Fettig will present the birds he photographed during a three-week trip through New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania. 7 p.m. Free. No registration required. Visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org for more information.

  • LLA taking applications

    Leadership Los Alamos was founded in 2003 with the recognition that the future of Los Alamos is directly dependent upon the quality and contributions of its leaders.
    The LLA program offers an education that makes participants more effective leaders with a deeper knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing our community.
    The LLA Board of Directors is now accepting applications for the class of 2013-14. They cordially invite you to apply and become a part of their vision:
    “Leadership Los Alamos identifies, enlightens and encourages leaders of diverse backgrounds, occupations and cultures for the purpose of broadening the understanding of our community and enhancing the quality of leadership.”
    In 2013, the LLA program will offer an exciting updated curriculum, new alumni continuing education and social/networking activities and a greater focus on leadership skills training. The program is nine months in duration beginning with a leadership orientation and retreat, followed by one full-day educational session per month. Program session topics include:
    • Cultural issues
    • Economic development
    • Local government
    • Nonprofit/community organizations
    • Education
    • Youth
    • Environment

  • The grocery store

    Years ago, a small family-owned grocery store at the north end of Taos was known for having the best meat in town.
    The meat was always laid out on fresh butcher paper in immaculately clean, glass-fronted display cases.
    It was never pre-wrapped. You got to select exactly the piece you wanted, wrapped freshly for you by an employee, usually a member of the family. I bought most of my meat there, confident that it was clean and unspoiled.
    One of the owners told me about new government regulations requiring expensive refrigeration equipment they couldn’t afford.
    The equipment was intended to keep meat safe, but this store took good care of its meat without the extra equipment or the regulations. He asked, was this a move by the big supermarket chains to drive small family stores like theirs out of business?
    I didn’t think so. I reasoned that the chains wouldn’t mind, and might even welcome, a uniform set of rules.
    The rules would provide guidance to store managers, give them a standard, and probably also give direction to the equipment manufacturers.

  • 40 years on, Vietnam troop withdrawal remembered

    Forty years ago, soldiers returning from Vietnam were advised to change into civilian clothes on their flights home so that they wouldn't be accosted by angry protesters at the airport. For a Vietnamese businessman who helped the U.S. government, a rising sense of panic set in as the last combat troops left the country on March 29, 1973 and he began to contemplate what he'd do next. A young North Vietnamese soldier who heard about the withdrawal felt emboldened to continue his push on the battlefields of southern Vietnam.

    While the fall of Saigon two years later — with its indelible images of frantic helicopter evacuations — is remembered as the final day of the Vietnam War, Friday marks an anniversary that holds greater meaning for many who fought, protested or otherwise lived the war. Since then, they've embarked on careers, raised families and in many cases counseled a younger generation emerging from two other faraway wars.

    Many veterans are encouraged by changes they see. The U.S. has a volunteer military these days, not a draft, and the troops coming home aren't derided for their service. People know what PTSD stands for. And they're insisting that the government take care of soldiers suffering from it and other legacy injuries from Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • NM among national leaders in people moving away

    Revised federal numbers show a few new jobs appearing in New Mexico during 2012. Original reports were of seven consecutive months of losses starting in June.
    The losses followed ten months of slight gains. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the seasonally unadjusted wage job total for January was 793,600. The 3,500 job increase from January 2012 was 0.46 percent.
    Reviewing sector performance leaves one wondering about the source of the job growth. Only two sectors showed an increase that might not be a rounding error.
    Leisure and hospitality added 2,000 jobs, or 2.4 percent, over the year for a total of 84,000 jobs. The 1,500 job increase in financial activities brought the sector to 33,800 jobs. The increase was 4.6 percent.
    New Mexicans’ response to the slightly increasing job totals in 2011 and 2012 was acceleration of what began a year earlier, to leave the state.
    The decision to move, to “migrate” in the Census world, is significant and driven by economics, the long term opportunity to work and provide for the family. Pretty sunsets, rich culture, dry climate, even taxes, all are factors in our personal location decisions, but none pay the bills or educate the children.