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Today's News

  • 'Unauthorized visitors' spur SOC firings

    More details have emerged concerning the five members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory security force that were terminated two weeks ago for the improper use of the live fire shooting range located at Technical Area 72.

    The lab security force is called Securing Our Country or SOC.

    The lab was asked if it could provide any more background about what the inappropriate conduct was and it responded, “Unauthorized visitors were allowed access to the shooting range and allowed to operate a variety of firearms.”

    The lab said the incident was discovered when it received information from an anonymous source, that was then verified by LANL and SOC.

    As far as the contract between the lab and SOC and whether there would be any further action or otherwise, the response was, “The inquiry is ongoing and we will determine what further actions are needed, if any.”

    The lab said it is not identifying the guards involved because it is a personnel action and that it would not characterize the relationships between the involved parties who were on the shooting range.

    NNSA spokesperson Josh McConaha said, “We’ve been closely involved with LANL as they have investigated the incident and taken corrective action.”

  • LAHS staff: 'We're here for you'

    Counselors have been on hand at Los Alamos High School and middle school since Monday, and they will continue to be available as students and faculty mourn the passing of Nikolas Ventura-Arencon. His funeral was Wednesday morning at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

    Ventura-Arencon, 14, and a freshman at LAHS, was killed in a car accident on N.M. 4 last week.

    Since the accident, LAHS has been taking an active role in making sure students who knew Ventura-Arencon get the help they need to deal with the sudden death.

    Guidance Counselors Prentice Chatfield, Danielle Straate, Enid Burgess and Cindy Black have been visiting classes and talking with students about Ventura-Arencon.

    “We’ve had different reactions as any group of students would,” Straate said. “Some don’t react, some are crying, it’s very individualized.”

    Though events like this don’t happen frequently, the staff does have specialized training to help students deal with what has happened.

  • Council funds LAPS DP Road project

    In a move that reaffirms the Los Alamos County Council’s determination to backstop local schools, the council voted unanimously to approve a request from the Los Alamos Public Schools for financial support to develop its A-15 tract along DP Road.

    LAPS requested $51,700 to bring water and electricity to the parcel to make it attractive as lease property or for a land swap. LAPS Assets Manager Joan Ahlers estimates the improvements to the property will yield $5,400 to potentially $35,000 a year in additional revenue for the district.

    Leasing is one of the few options schools have for raising income for operational costs and salaries without reducing their share of the state’s funding formula.

    Likewise, capital improvements are one of the county’s few means of benefiting the schools without affecting that formula.

    The request is in alignment with council’s 2008 resolution to provide financial support for public schools. Deputy County Administrator/Chief Financial Officer Steven Lynne also noted that the county has a placeholder of $1.5 million within the Capital Improvement Project Fund for public schools partnership projects, which will serve as the pool of funds for the grant.

  • Be There 11-28-12

    Today
    The Los Alamos Community of Atheists will host a discussion 6:30-8 p.m. in Meeting Room 1 of the Mesa Public Library. This month’s discussion will focus on the New Age movement and its role in society. For more information, contact them at losalamoscommunityofatheists@gmail.com. All are welcome.
    Thursday
    Idea Factory: Contribute your ideas about the Pajarito Plateau. Join PEEC as they discuss key messages and stories about the Pajarito Plateau. Your ideas will help them create a plan to strengthen people’s connection with the natural world. 6:30 p.m. Free. For more information or to register, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460 or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

    In celebration of the New Mexico Centennial, the senior center has offered monthly cultural/ historical trips in the state. To bring all this history together, historian John Ramsay will give a talk  focusing on “Turmoil Involving New Mexico Boundaries 1719-1930s.” Ramsay brings a wealth of to his favorite subject of historical maps. His illustrated talk is free and open to the public. Welcoming coffee at 9:30 a.m. and the talk is at 10 a.m. at the BESC, in the classroom.  
    Friday

  • Thank You 11-28-12

    First, a big thank you to all the citizens of Los Alamos County who gave generously to the recent Letter Carrier-Boy Scout Fall Food Drive Nov. 17.
    An estimated 18,000 lbs. of food and supplies were collected with about 1,000 pounds sent to the San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen in Española.
    The remainder was donated to LA Cares, for local monthly distribution to those in need within our community.  
    The Atomic City Letter Carriers (NALC-4112) and their volunteers worked long and hard, performing the triple duties of delivering flyers, picking-up food and all while performing their regular duties of delivering your mail.
    Many volunteers from LA Cares and other organizations and individuals worked hard preparing, sorting, transporting and storing all the donations.
    LA Cares distributes food boxes monthly throughout the year, so please call 661-8015 if you can help with these distributions or are in need of food assistance.
    In addition, every Los Alamos and White Rock BSA unit in the Northern New Mexico District participated for two- to three-hour shifts (some scouts worked much longer), including Cub Scout Packs 20, 22, 27, 222, 229, 326, 422; Boy Scout Troops 22, 71, 122, 129, 222, and 422; and co-ed Venture Scout Post 20.

  • Recognize a community assset

    The annual Community Asset Awards search is underway and the Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and Chamber of Commerce want to know who you think stands out for 2012.
    The Community Assets Awards strives to recognize the things people do — in and around Los Alamos — to make the community or the world a better place.
    “I love that the Community Asset Awards honor those unsung heroes, those people who are not looking for praise or attention, but just do good things for the community because they enjoy doing them,” said Katy Korkos, Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Member Services Director. “ I love it that people who have a good idea and follow through with it are honored.”
    Each year, people of every age and background are nominated to receive recognition, with a youth and an adult recognized to receive the Director’s Choice Award and someone who will receive the Spirit of the West Award.
    The Spirit of the West Award was created to honor former Los Alamos County Councilor and Leadership Los Alamos alumni Jim West. Before his passing away, West knew the award was created, in his honor.

  • State keeps struggling with disappointment

    SANTA FE – New Mexico’s once-famed Spaceport America, the only purpose-built spaceport in the world, has lost its luster. No longer does it have two of the planet’s best pitchmen, Sir Richardson Branson and Gov. Bill Richardson, promoting it.
    Richardson is gone and Branson is entertaining offers from other states and nations. The United Arab Emirates has purchased a big chunk of Virgin Galactic and has an agreement to build a spaceport in that country.
    Meanwhile New Mexico has a new governor who began her term saying private money should finance the remainder of the spaceport and now has warmed to the point she is saying she would like to take a space ride and she will sign any future appropriations the Legislature passes.
    But Gov. Susana Martinez is not out promoting our spaceport to aerospace companies around the nation and world. The only proposal she really has put a hip into is an effort to deny driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
    Martinez has gone all out with that effort, including spending PAC money and getting involved in legislative races. She says it will make us safer but it certainly doesn’t attract jobs or improve our lagging economy.

  • Udall right in middle of filibuster reform

    Reform of the U.S. Senate’s infamous filibuster rule could well be the first order of business when the nation’s 113th Congress convenes on the third day of the new year, 2013.
    At least that is what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been saying and it should be welcome news to New Mexico’s Democratic Sen. Tom Udall, a leading proponent of filibuster reform.
    Almost two years ago, on Jan. 5, 2011, Udall went to the Senate floor with a series of proposals to alter that chamber’s antiquated rules of procedure, including the filibuster.
    “Here in the Senate,” he said, “open, honest debate has been replaced with secret backroom deals and partisan gridlock…up-or-down votes, sometimes even debate on important issues, have been unreasonably delayed or blocked entirely at the whim of a single senator.”
    Udall’s proposed reforms two years ago were co-sponsored by Udall, Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) but they came to naught after Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) shook hands in a “gentlemen’s agreement” that Senate Republicans would not abuse the filibuster.

  • Spoof on NKorean Leader Hailed As Real News
  • Hall ballot includes Clemens and Bonds

    NEW YORK (AP) — Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa are listed on the baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the first time, setting up an election sure to become a referendum on the Steroids Era.
    The 37-player ballot was announced Wednesday.
    More than 600 longtime members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will vote through next month. Candidates need 75 percent for induction, and the results will be announced Jan. 9.
    Bonds is the all-time home run champion with 762 and won a record seven MVP awards. Clemens set a record with seven Cy Young trophies and Sosa hit 609 homers. The voters will now decide whether drug allegations that tainted their huge numbers should keep them out of Cooperstown.
    Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling are among the 24 first-time eligibles. Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines are the top holdover candidates.
    The upcoming election is certain to fuel the most polarizing Hall discussion since career hits leader Pete Rose’s betting troubles put him on baseball’s permanently ineligible list, barring him from the BBWAA ballot.
    While many continued to debate whether Rose should be enshrined, it was moot because there is currently no way he can be considered.