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Today's News

  • Update 03-26-13

     P and Z meeting

    The Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in council chambers. Among the topics discussed will be LAPS U-Haul and the New Beginnings Fellowship Church.

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    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will hold a regular session at 7 p.m. today in council chambers. Among the topics discussed will be the graffiti law.

    CRC meeting

    The Department of Public Utilities Charter Review Committee will hold its first meeting from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, in the Community Building’s Training Room. This will primarily be an organizational meeting to appoint a chair and vice-chair and review the scope of work. The public is welcome to attend.

  • Rio Grande del Norte gains designation

    President Barack Obama is designating five new national monuments, using executive authority to protect historic or ecologically significant sites — including one in Delaware sought by Vice President Joe Biden.
    The White House said Obama would make the designations Monday, using the century-old Antiquities Act to protect unique natural and historic landmarks. The sites are Río Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico; First State National Monument in Delaware; Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland; Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio; and San Juan Islands National Monument in Washington State.
    The largest site is Río Grande del Norte in New Mexico, where Obama will designate nearly 240,000 acres for protection. The site includes wildlife habitat valued by hunters and anglers; rafting, camping, and other recreation; and is prized by the region’s Hispanic and tribal groups.
    Advocates say the new monument in New Mexico, to be run by the U.S Bureau of Land Management, will contribute an estimated $15 million a year in economic benefits to the area.

  • Part Two: Rookie legislator reflects on first session

    Second of two parts

    Talk about some of the legislation that you sponsored and the bills and memorials that passed.

  • USS Santa Fe officer visits pueblo

    USS Santa Fe Commander Tim Poe and Senior Chief Juan Gonzalez came to Santa Fe to experience the culture and history of their submarine’s namesake city.

    They left with an unforgettable memory: a taste of a traditional feast day celebration at the San Ildefonso Pueblo home of Elmer and Deborah Torres, replete with a feast day dinner and dances by the Red Turtle Dancers from the Pueblo of Pojoaque.

    “This was more than I expected,” Gonzales said. “The dancers are beautiful, their outfits. It’s probably the biggest honor I’ve ever had, for the family to put the feast on and for the dancers to come out for us.”

    The celebration was Deborah’s idea. She learned of the visit when Rick Carver, Chairman of the USS Santa Fe SSN-763 Committee, visited the Torres’ Than Povi Gallery in Cuyamungue looking for gifts to send home with the officers. She suggested they should have a chance to experience Puebloan life and offered to host the event.

  • How to help Bandelier

    Superintendent Jason Lott laid out several ways people could help Bandelier. Lott suggests:
    • Volunteer: Lott is actively seeking volunteers to man the entrance station and the fire tower, assist in interpretation and provide visitor outreach at special events around the area. Those with specialized skills, such as trained electricians or woodworkers are also in demand.
    • Purchase either a Bandelier Pass or a National Parks Pass at the monument. Proceeds from those sales directly benefit the park.
    • Contribute to Friends of Bandelier. The park welcomes both general contributions and those directed at specific programs such as trail work, the Bandelier Conservation Corps or special programs such as the naturalization ceremony. Donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 1282, Los Alamos, N.M. 87544. Questions may be directed to Dorothy Hoard, 662-2662.

  • Budget ax hits Bandelier

    A scenario is unfolding at Bandelier National Monument that Superintendent Jason Lott hoped to avoid.

    A five percent decrease in the park’s budget due to sequestration is cutting deep. Both the park and the campground remain open, but cutbacks to staffing and programming are likely to impact the visitor experience.

    Many subject-to-furlough employees have received full furloughs. Subject-to-furlough employees are guaranteed at least six months of full-time work, with a minimum two-week furlough each year. Lott has done what he can to mitigate the impact.

    “In every case we tried to minimize furloughs by using program funds and other sources,” Lott said.

    The budget reductions have also affected seasonal employment, which usually swells the workforce by approximately 40 jobs, many of which are filled by locals.

    Lott stressed that permanent full-time employees are not being furloughed, although a hiring freeze has left key positions such as a law enforcement ranger and a facilities manager vacant.

    Staff reductions mean that the visitor center will maintain winter hours, operating from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., restrooms will likely be cleaned once daily instead of two or three times and grounds maintenance and trail work will be reduced.

  • LA girls take second, boys finish third at Robertson meet

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls track and field team held off Rio Rancho for a runner-up finish at the Buddy Robertson Invitational Saturday at Milne Stadium.
    Despite being short-handed Saturday, the Hilltoppers grabbed 83.5 points, a point better than Rio Rancho, a Class 5A school. Eldorado won the girls competition with 93 points.
    On the boys side, Los Alamos finished in third place behind Rio Rancho and Highland. Los Alamos was the only Class 4A entry on the boys side and one of just two 4A teams on the girls side.
    The weather conditions were tough Saturday, with gusting wind and cold temperatures throughout the day.
    Nevertheless, the Hilltoppers persevered.
    For the second week in a row, the Hilltopper boys went 1-2-3 in the 3200 meters, this time with an entirely new lineup. Orion Staples was the winner of the event, finishing in 10:24.96, just a little over one second ahead of Mike Walker, while Daniel Romero was third.
    Nick Hill, Los Alamos’ top finisher in the 3200 last week, was the top finisher in the 1600 Saturday, while Sean Reardon won the 800 meter competition. Skyler McCall earned his first win of the season in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 10 inches.

  • Softball, baseball both in action today

    LA, St. Pius square off in softball

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team will be on the road for a big Class 4A match-up with a longtime rival.
    The Hilltoppers (2-5) will take on the St. Pius X Sartans in Albuquerque.
    So far this season, the Hilltoppers are 1-4 against Class 4A opponents and may not be able to afford a nondistrict loss to another 4A opponent if they have their eye on hosting a first round playoff game.
    The Sartans (4-8) lost four of their first five contests this year, but have won two of their last three outings before being romped 15-4 against Valley at last weekend’s Metro Invitational.
    Los Alamos, meanwhile, shut out Pojoaque Valley 10-0 in its most recent outing last Tuesday. Pitcher Emilee Jones threw six shutout innings and Erin Kirk, in her first appearance of the season, went 3-for-4 at the plate, scoring two runs and driving in a run.
    Today’s game, which is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. will be broadcast on KRSN AM 1490.

    ’Topper baseball team faces Chargers at home

  • Nuclear waste a growing headache for SKorea

    ULSAN, South Korea (AP) — North Korea's weapons program is not the only nuclear headache for South Korea. The country's radioactive waste storage is filling up as its nuclear power industry burgeons, but what South Korea sees as its best solution — reprocessing the spent fuel so it can be used again — faces stiff opposition from its U.S. ally.

    South Korea fired up its first reactor in 1978 and since then the resource poor nation's reliance on atomic energy has steadily grown. It is now the world's fifth-largest nuclear energy producer, operating 23 reactors. But unlike the rapid growth of its nuclear industry, its nuclear waste management plan has been moving at a snail's pace.

    A commission will be launched before this summer to start public discussion on the permanent storage of spent nuclear fuel rods, which must be locked away for tens of thousands of years. Temporary storage for used rods in spent fuel pools at nuclear power plants is more than 70 percent full.

    Undeterred by Japan's Fukushima disaster or recent local safety failings, South Korea plans to boost nuclear to 40 percent of its energy needs with the addition of 11 new reactors by 2024.

  • Today in History March 26