Today's News

  • Pension solutions demand compromise

    We know that New Mexico’s two biggest public retirement systems are sliding toward insolvency. The Educational Retirement Board is looking into a $5.9 billion abyss between its assets and the benefits it will have to pay. The Public Employee Retirement Association faces an even bigger gap of $6.2 billion.
    Those numbers will probably get bigger as new information comes out.
    To find solutions, the Legislature in 2011 created the interim legislative Investments and Pensions Oversight Committee, chaired by Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup. It dutifully heard testimony and introduced bills, but there was little consensus. Curiously, the PERA didn’t even offer a plan.
    “I can’t figure out why people don’t want to fix the problem today instead of every single year kicking it down the road because at some point we’re going to be in so much trouble. That’s my biggest fight,” Muñoz said during the last session.
    Lately, we’ve seen a greater sense of urgency and real momentum. The news is that the committee and unions have approved plans from both the ERB and PERA.

  • Be There 12-12-12

    The Hilltopper Alumni Society’s holiday social will be from 4-7 p.m. at Dixie Girl, 1789 Central Ave. This is an opportunity for graduates of Los Alamos High School to mix and mingle. There will be a brief introduction to the Alumni Society’s first project; converting the senior photos that once hung in the halls of Los Alamos High School to digital files. All Hilltopper Alumni are welcome to attend and enjoy complimentary appetizers and drinks available for purchase. The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation is sponsoring this event.

    The Los Alamos Community of Atheists will host a December discussion from 6:30-8 p.m. at Mesa Public Library, meeting room 3. All are welcome. For more information, send email losalamoscommunityofatheists@gmail.com.

    Post-Las Conchas Trail Rehabilitation Update. Craig Martin will give an update about the status of many trails impacted by post-fire floods in the summer of 2011. Come hear the latest in trail statuses, work that has been done since the fire and plans for 2013. 7 p.m. at PEEC. Free. No registration required. Visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460 or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org for more information.
    The holiday Farmers Market will be at Fuller Lodge.

  • Thank You 12-12-12

    On behalf of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos, I would like to thank the members of the Los Alamos Garden Club for their generous donation in support of the Los Alamos High School Memorial Garden, a project to which Rotary has devoted three years of planning and fundraising.  
    Doris Jackson, a member of the Garden Club and an accomplished floral designer, presented the check to Skip King, committee chair for the Memorial Garden project, at a recent Rotary meeting.
    The dedication for the Memorial Garden, to which the community is cordially invited, is currently scheduled to take place Dec. 20.
    Again, Rotary thanks the Los Alamos Garden Club for its thoughtful donation and kind support of this meaningful addition to the Los Alamos landscape.

    Linda Hull, president
    Rotary Club of
    Los Alamos

    The Los Alamos Garden Club wants to thank the Los Alamos National Bank for allowing them to hold their annual wreath sale in the bank lobby on Nov. 30.  We also thank the Los Alamos residents who supported the sale.
    The proceeds from the sale support the club’s scholarship fund.


    Sally Warner,
    first vice president, LAGC

  • Batha named student of the month

       Toni Batha, a senior at Los Alamos High School, was recently honored as Rotary Student of the Month for November.  Batha is the daughter of Margo and Steve and sister of Benjamin Batha.
       The Rotary Club of Los Alamos selects one student each month of the school year to honor as Student of the Month.
    In addition to high school seniors, high school juniors are now eligible for the recognition. Students are nominated by their teachers and chosen on the basis of their academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, and, in particular, their service to the community.
       An accomplished member of the LAHS Hilltalker Speech and Debate Team, Batha has served the award-winning club for five years, coordinating community service projects and team practices, mentoring new members and organizing three statewide tournaments.
    Significantly, Batha is one of several Hilltalkers who successfully established a speech and debate team at Los Alamos Middle School.
      Teen Court, a peer-to-peer counseling sentencing program for teens in Los Alamos County, has also benefited from Batha’s volunteer service.  
    She has served in capacities as judge, jury monitor, defender and prosecutor and has also worked with parents, teens and LAHS staff to provide a plan to address truancy issues.

  • Assets in Action: Happy holidays

    This week, I have elected to continue promoting the efforts of youth is our community, through shopping.
    That’s right, many upcoming holidays, parties, vacations and events during this month lend themselves to gift giving.
    There is a strategy in place that says if you spend 66 of your holiday dollars locally, it will benefit the local economy and small businesses immensely.
    I’m going to take that idea one step further and ask if you can support the business of a local youth, too.
    The Small Business Development Center works annually to help young entrepreneurs start their own businesses and get their name out in public.
    Perhaps you would like to buy a hand made cross, a hand knitted scarf or portraits from a young photographer? If so, have I got a plan for you.
    Local youth like Leia Roach, Elise Koskelo, Derek Selvage, Esperanza Tapia and more have taken the time and weathered the process to become Youth Business Grant recipients.
    Need something cool for the teen in your life? Roach, of Mush Crafts, is happy to get crafty and provide you with a cool gift, at a hot price. Your tech-savvy skills should drive you to etsy.com/shop/mushcrafts.  

  • Tuesday's prep basketball scores

    Boys Basketball

    Atrisco Heritage 69, Del Norte 55

    Bloomfield 59, Navajo Prep 35

    Centennial High School 60, Hot Springs 17

    Dexter 61, Lovington 53

    Eldorado 60, Highland 32

    Espanola Valley 71, West Las Vegas 57

    Goddard 65, Portales 63

    La Cueva 105, Rio Grande 82

    La Cueva 105, Rio Grande 82

    Laguna-Acoma 89, Rehoboth 38

    Los Lunas 63, Santa Fe Indian 39

    Rio Rancho 75, Gallup 64

    Ruidoso 60, Artesia 56

    Santa Fe Prep 46, Escalante 37

    Santa Teresa 52, Alamogordo 42

    Shiprock 67, Aztec 43

    Silver 39, Chaparral 38

    St. Pius 55, Grants 35

    Tohajilee 72, Evangel Christian 36

    Valley 56, Valencia 29

    Girls Basketball

    Aztec 52, Cortez, Colo. 22

    Centennial High School 56, Hot Springs 27

    Cleveland 52, Piedra Vista 45

    Clovis 63, Lovington 39

    Goddard 52, Alamogordo 47

    Hobbs 49, Lubbock Estacado, Texas 43

    La Cueva 62, Rio Grande 33

    Laguna-Acoma 54, Rehoboth 31

    Las Cruces 76, EP Parkland, Texas 27

  • Tigers, Trojans will take on Hilltoppers at tourney

    Both the Los Alamos Hilltopper basketball teams will compete in one of the toughest tournaments of the regular season starting Thursday.

    The Joe Armijo Invitational, hosted by Albuquerque Academy, gets going Thursday morning. The bracketed tournament includes some of the top boys and girls teams from the Albuquerque area.

    In the opening round, both Hilltopper teams could be tested. The Hilltopper girls will take on Los Lunas at 1:15 p.m. while boys will play the Las Cruces Mayfield Trojans at 4:45 p.m.

    Mayfield (3-4) is something of an unknown quantity at this point. Of their seven games played on the season, the Trojans have faced just one from New Mexico, Chaparral. The other six have been from the El Paso, Texas, area.

    The Trojans qualified for the Class 5A tournament last year with a 16-14 record but were bounced out in the first round by Eldorado.

    Neither Mayfield nor Los Alamos have been exactly blowing up any scoreboards this year. Los Alamos is averaging just 37 points scored per game while Mayfield has managed 43.6 points per contest.

    Los Alamos' girls down low will have a tough test Thursday as well. Los Lunas' Teige Zeller, who led the Grants Pirates to grabbing the No. 1 seed in last year's Class 4A playoffs, transferred to Los Lunas in the offseason.

  • LA falls at Belen, remains winless

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team couldn’t stop a long-range barrage from the Belen Eagles Tuesday night on the road.
    Belen hit 12 3-pointers against Los Alamos’ defense, which struggled to get through screens near the perimeter.
    Los Alamos fell to 0-6 on the year with a tough set of games coming up, falling at Belen 69-47.
    The 47 points scored by the Hilltoppers was actually their best output of the season, but head coach Fil Dominguez said he wasn’t impressed with his team’s defensive performance in its last two outings.
    “Our defense is really porous right now,” he said. “We’re not getting up to the shooters. Our kids need to take their defense personally. We work on defense every day in practice. We look good in practice but that’s not translating to the games.”
    Los Alamos surrendered 66 points against St. Michael’s last Thursday. Tuesday, the Eagles had the hot hands throughout.
    Los Alamos will take part in the very tough Joe Armijo Invitational starting Thursday. It will play Las Cruces Mayfield, a Class 5A team, in the opening round.
    So far this season, Mayfield has played mostly teams from around the El Paso, Texas, area.
    The Armijo Invitational is hosted by Albuquerque Academy.

  • 'Toppers topped by Huskies, 50-37

    In its biggest test of the season so far, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team came out with less than glowing marks.
    The Hilltoppers were held to just 12 points in the second and third quarters, allowing the Hope Christian Huskies to take a big lead heading toward the finish. The Hilltoppers pushed back in the fourth quarter, cutting a 17-point deficit down to nine on two occasions, but the Huskies prevailed 50-37 at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Hope Christian, a formidable Class 3A program, forced 16 Los Alamos turnovers in the first half, using mostly basic defenses mixed in with some full court pressure, and scored 16 points off fast break chances, that extending into the start of the third quarter.
    The loss for the Hilltoppers snapped a three-game winning streak, two of those wins coming against Class 4A opponents.
    Hope (4-1), which already has posted a win over a good Class 5A team, La Cueva, was one of the taller teams Los Alamos has faced this season. Interestingly, its big girls didn’t prove to be much of a factor, especially the 6-foot-1 Leala Longmire, who only played about seven minutes in the contest, struggling with foul trouble throughout.

  • County, NNSA modify fire protection agreement

    The National Nuclear Security Administration and the Los Alamos Fire Department have come to terms on a modified Cooperative Fire Protection Agreement to ensure emergency response capabilities for Los Alamos National Laboratory and Los Alamos County.

    County Administrator Harry Burgess and Kevin Smith, manager of NNSA’s Los Alamos Site Office, signed the agreement last Thursday afternoon.

    The modifications will be in effect for the next nine months, with a renewal agreement targeted for completion in September 2013. The renewal agreement requires Los Alamos County Council approval.

    Under the modified agreement, NNSA provides significant funding for fire department salaries, facilities and major equipment. In exchange, the fire department commits to performance-based standards of emergency response, training, certification, security compliance and specialized hazardous event capabilities.

    The benefit to NNSA is reliable fire protection capability deployed in proximity to its facilities, which are widely scattered around Los Alamos County. The benefit to the county is that homeowners and non-laboratory enterprises are served cost-effectively by an exceptionally capable emergency response system.