Today's News

  • Red Cross offers tips for holidays

    While people are finalizing plans for holiday events and travel, the American Red Cross in New Mexico has tips to help prevent accidents and emergencies.
    “Following a few simple tips can help make the holiday season safe and enjoyable,” said American Red Cross in New Mexico CEO Rahim Balsara.
    Holiday decorations and parties
    • Place Christmas trees at least three feet away from any heat sources and exits. Water the tree daily.
    • Don’t overload electrical outlets and unplug holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
    • Keep candles away from combustible materials and in a place where children and pets can’t get to them.
    • Pick a designated driver when attending a party and provide non-alcoholic beverage options if hosting a party.
    • Keep children and pets away from the stove; turn pot handles in; and turn off burners if leaving the kitchen.
    Holiday travel
    • Make sure vehicles are in good working order before holiday trips. This includes checking tire air pressure and windshield fluid, and cleaning lights and windows.
    • Equip vehicles with an emergency preparedness kit with water, snacks, flashlight, first aid kit and blankets.
    • Check weather and road conditions before traveling.

  • Bandelier rolls out holiday schedule

    With the new snow and holidays coming up, the rangers at Bandelier are looking for people to come and enjoy the park.
    “Winter days can be beautiful in Bandelier,” said Park Superintendent Jason Lott. “Over the holidays with everyone looking for places to go with family and friends, we hope they’ll come on down.”  
    The shuttle buses have ended until next March, so visitors can now drive directly to the Visitor Center area. The Visitor Center, bookstore, gift shop and snack bar are open seven days a week from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and the canyon area is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
    The Frijoles Canyon section of the park is open except for Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, or in case of hazardous weather conditions.
    There will be no Nightwalk this holiday season, but on Dec. 21, the park will offer the annual Winter Solstice Sunrise Walk.
    Local Pueblo people and other groups all over the world built structures that relate to positions of the sun, moon and stars. Winter Solstice is important to many cultures, since it is the shortest day of the year and the point when the days begin to lengthen and promise the return of spring.  
    For anyone standing in the plaza of Tyuonyi Pueblo in Frijoles Canyon on that morning, the entryway walls align with the rising sun.

  • Police Beat 12-18-12

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.
    Dec. 8

    4:45 p.m. — A 71-year-old Los Alamos man reported to police he was the victim of larceny (less than $200) in the 2000 block of 47th Street.
    Dec. 10

    6:45 p.m. — Geraldine Quintana, 58, of Santa Fe, was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI and child abuse in the 3000 block of West Road.

    11:25 p.m. — A 76-year-old Los Alamos man reported to police he was the victim of the fraudulent use of a credit card, as someone attempted to charge $300 to his account.
     Dec. 11

    1:33 p.m. — Martin Dominguez, 37, of Los Alamos was arrested in the 100 block of Central Park Square for an outstanding warrant in another jurisdiction.
    Dec. 12

    8:43 p.m. — Salvador Calderoncintora, 41 of Alcalde was arrested on San Ildefonso Road for an outstanding warrant in another jurisdiction.

  • Update 12-18-12

    Swearing in

    The public is invited to attend the official swearing in ceremony for newly elected officials at 10 a.m. Friday in the Municipal Courtroom of the Justice Center. A reception with light refreshments will follow in the lobby of the Justice Center.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the DPU Conference Room at 170 Central Park Square.

    ESB meeting

    The Environmental Sustainability Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Community Building Training Room.

    LANL cancels sale

    The monthly surplus property sale at LANL scheduled for Thursday has been canceled because of weather and the forecast for possible snow in Los Alamos later this week. Weather permitting, the next regularly scheduled surplus property sale is Jan. 17, 2013.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185.

  • Los Alamos National Lab, NNSA donate $3.1 million

    Los Alamos National Laboratory employees have again demonstrated concern for their communities and those in need by pledging a record $2.13 million to United Way and other eligible nonprofit programs.

    Los Alamos National Security, LLC, which manages and operates the Laboratory for the National Nuclear Security Administration, plans to prorate its $1 million match among the selected nonprofit organizations, bringing the total donation to $3.1 million.

    “I am again touched by the generosity of our employees,” said Los Alamos Director Charlie McMillan. “In a challenging year for the Laboratory, they have come through for Northern New Mexico. It speaks to their pride in where they work and live.”

    “I am truly impressed with the level of participation we achieved during this year’s employee giving campaign. The leadership and dedication across the lab in supporting the campaign along with all the special events, really made a difference,” said Paul Henry, Los Alamos’s principal associate director for Capital Projects and this year’s campaign champion.

    “The employees at the Lab should be very proud of the fact that we achieved 21 percent participation and raised more than $3.1 million.”

  • A run at the School Board

    Matt Williams and Jim Hall make it official Tuesday as they register at the County Clerk’s office to run for the school board. Williams’ district includes Chamisa and Hall’s includes Piñon Elementary.

  • Atomic City Transit celebrates five years

    Atomic City Transit quietly marked its five-year anniversary at the end of September. During that time, the transit system has exceeded most expectations.

    When Los Alamos County began operating the bus system in October 2007, ridership was estimated to be between 40,000 and 70,000 a year. ACT expected to increase those numbers to 100,000 a year.

    In the first year, one-way fares surpassed 250,000. Those have increased annually to reach a high of 562,226 fares in 2012. Ridership to date has exceeded 2.1 million.

    ACT now operates five neighborhood fixed routes, a downtown circulator, dial-a-ride paratransit service, five afternoon express routes, special event services and Bandelier and Ski Hill shuttles. Many of the services were implemented sooner than anticipated.

    The transportation division attributes these achievements to a number of factors, including the involvement of the New Mexico Department of Transportation, high gas prices and an environmentally-conscious community.

    Many believe a key element to success was the initial planning for the system. The county hired a consultant to conduct a Transit Feasibility Study that evaluated the existing transit system and the mobility needs and desires of the community. The consultant made recommendations for a transit plan with a five-year implementation strategy.

  • Locals react to massacre

    Friday’s school shooting in Connecticut may have happened on the other side of the country, but emergency and school officials here in Los Alamos seemed to know right away that the event hit too close to home for some residents, especially those with children.

    On Monday, LAPS Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt issued two statements, one to his staff and one to the community at large, about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

    His staff memo emphasized how important it is to be in touch with what the students may be feeling about the event, which due its horrific nature and death toll, was a large part of the 24-hour-a-day news cycle all weekend.

    “It’s very likely that over the course of the day, students will look to adults for support and comfort in their efforts to understand why events like this happen,” Schmidt said in his statement. He also urged staff members to give him a call.

    “Know that I care for each and every one of you,” he said in the statement. “As such, take care of yourselves. If this tragedy strikes you hard, I encourage you to talk with a friend, school counselor or give me a call.”

    Schmidt’s second statement was mainly directed to parents as well as the community-at-large.

  • Safety continues to be LAPS' top priority

    It is important for the community to know that Los Alamos cares very deeply for the safety and security of our students and staff in our schools. To help ensure this safety, school administration works closely with students and staff to be in a state of readiness by practicing a variety of emergency lockdown drills. In addition, the district works closely with Los Alamos County police, fire department, and emergency medical to be in a constant state of readiness. Nevertheless, in view of recent events in Newtown, Conn., the district will conduct a review of our current safety practices this week in an ongoing effort to be prepared for an emergency.
     Some of those reviews have already begun. Members of the Los Alamos Police Department toured Chamisa Elementary to re-familiarize themselves with the school today. I contacted Captain Randy Foster, LA Police Department, to request these walk-throughs of all schools. Captain Foster went on to share that the police will have an increased presence at school sites this week. He states there is no credible threat but his officers were interested in stopping by during the school day and during bus loading times to meet and speak with students, staff, and families.

  • Help on your credit report

    When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, getting into good shape financially ranks right up there with losing weight and eating healthier. All three goals require discipline and planning; and, as you’ve no doubt experienced, it’s not unusual to encounter setbacks along the way.
    Don’t let losing a minor battle here or there convince you to surrender on the bigger war. You’ll probably have more success if you start out taking small steps, learning from your mistakes and gaining momentum as you go.
    Here are a few suggestions for better managing your personal finances in the New Year:
    The first step on the road to financial health is to create a budget you can live with. If you’re new to budgeting or haven’t been successful in the past, start slowly. For a few months write down every cent you spend: mortgage/rent, utilities, food, gas, medical copayments, credit card interest – the works. You’ll be surprised where you money goes.
    At the same time, compare money coming in (income) to money going out (expenses). If you’re just breaking even or losing money each month, you need to boost your income and/or aggressively trim spending. Try these strategies: