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Today's News

  • Update 04-09-13

    BPU meeting

    The regular monthly meeting of the Board of Public Utilities will meet at 5:30 p.m. April 17 in the DPU Conference Room, 170 Central Park Square.

    Have a news tip?

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

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will hold budget hearings beginning at 7 p.m. April 15 in council chambers.

    Trails lecture

    The Historical Society’s annual earth-related lecture will focus on the trails at Bandelier before and after the Las Conchas fire, with speaker Dale Coker. The lecture is at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Fuller Lodge.

    LANL lecture

    Colonel Paul Tibbets, IV, grandson of the Enola Gay’s pilot, will share personal reminisces of his grandfather’s military career. The lecture will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Bradbury Museum.

  • Spring storm brings rain, wind, snow to New Mexico

    A spring storm hit New Mexico Tuesday as rain and a little snow and hail fell in the Los Alamos area.
    It is expected to turn to snow later in the day Forecasters said fire conditions are considered dangerous and that widespread sub-freezing temperatures are expected to follow in the wake of the system Tuesday night.
    Up to 12 inches of snow could accumulate in the northern mountains.
    The storm has so far proved less potent than originally predicted in Colorado because a cold front has been lingering to the north. Wyoming has been hit harder, with over a foot falling in Lander.
    Up to around 10 inches of snow had fallen in Colorado’s mountains by dawn. Another 5 to 10 inches was possible in some locations but final snowfall amounts would vary quite a bit, National Weather Service forecaster Jim Daniels said.
    Up to a foot had been in expected in Denver but forecasters are now calling for around 5 inches.
    The storm has canceled 465 flights at Denver International Airport and deicing was causing departing flights to be delayed by as much as a half hour.
    Blizzard warnings are also in effect from south of Denver to the New Mexico line and in northwestern Colorado. Winds gusting up to 50 mph were expected there.

  • County revamps public works

     

    As part of Los Alamos County’s continuing efforts to streamline operations and reduce the budget, Public Works Director Philo Shelton has put together a significant reorganization in his department.

    The change was precipitated by Tom Roach’s retirement. Roach has been Paving Division Manager for the past 14 years.

    The restructuring will combine the Traffic and Pavement divisions into one division —the Traffic and Streets Division.

    Nancy Talley has been named manager of the new division. Talley has been with Traffic for 23 years, and until the reorganization was manager of that division.

    "This is a good match for me," Talley said. "I enjoy field work. I enjoy a challenge. This is going to be learning something new responsibilities and a new challenge. And I love a good challenge.”

    Talley said the county has wanted to move toward a merging of Traffic and Paving for years.

    "Traffic and Streets have complementary responsibilities, so it's a really good fit for those two to be together," Talley said.

  • Habitat Offers Hope, Help And Houses

    Just down N.M. 30 in Española, a couple of small miracles are taking place.
    A group from Buena Vista Colorado, the Colorado Arkansas River Habitat Volunteers, has come to Espanola to help out the local Española-Los Alamos Habitat for Humanity build two houses.
    Located at 4 and 8 N.M. 30, the group is hard at work putting them up, despite the high winds and bad weather that’s reportedly in the forecast.
    According to Yvonne Maestas, executive director for the local Habitat chapter, the group wouldn’t have it any other way.
    “This is their third year here,” she said. “They’ve been here two years in a row. Last year they went to Santa Fe, but they came back this year because they know we really need their help.”

  • Survey to aid local merchants

    The Los Alamos MainStreet program is encouraging residents to take an
    online survey to help local businesses know what the wants and needs of the public are. The survey is available throughout April.
    All local residents can help the effort by taking the survey at lamainstreet.com/survey. The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and responses are anonymous.
    There is an opportunity for those who complete the survey to enter a drawing for $100 in Chamber Checks in appreciation for their time.
    “We already have data at a high level about the levels of leakage in the various shopping categories,” says Business Advisor Katie Stavert.  “The results of this survey will supplement that with demographic breakdowns and preference information.” 
    Stavert is available to work with businesses on using the available data to better understand the market. 
    “I am hoping that people taking the survey will tell us about their preferences,” says Dave Fox of CB FOX. 
    For more information, contact Katie Stavert at 661-4805, katie@losalamos.org. 

  • Aspen Elementary shines at chess championships

    One hundred and forty chess players gathered in Albuquerque March 30 for the 2013 New Mexico Elementary School State Chess Championships. Four State Champions were crowned – K-6 Individual, K-6 Team, K-3 Individual, K-3 Team; Aspen Elementary won the competition in each of these categories.
    The K-6 Aspen team of Victor Popa Simil, Henry Poston and Dimitri Lopez took first place, followed by TISA Charter School of Taos in second and Manzano Day School of Albuquerque in third.
    The K-3 Aspen team of Phillip Ionkov, Ming Lo, and Andy Corliss took first place, followed by the Albuquerque teams from SY Jackson Elementary and Double Eagle Elementary.
    For individual honors, there was a 3-way tie for state champion in the K-6 division – Victor Popa-Simil (Aspen), Henry Poston (Aspen) and Aaron Lawrence (Montessori of the Rio Grande, Albuquerque).
    Aspen Elementary swept the K-3 individual honors with Phillip Ionkov in first, Ming Lo in second and Andy Corliss in third. The Aspen team is now off to Nashville Tennessee in an attempt to defend their National Championship victory in the Blitz competition a year ago. 

  • Be There 04-09-13

    Today
    The Los Alamos Volunteer Examiner Group will give exams for amateur radio licenses at 6:30 p.m. in the Club Meeting Room at 4017 Arkansas (the Old Fire Barn). Those testing for a new license will need a picture ID or two other forms of ID with name and address on them (utility bill, credit card bill or other) and a test fee of $15, either in cash or a check made out to “ARRL VEC.” Those in attendance will also need to fill in their Social Security number on the form 605 License Application. Those seeking a license upgrade will need the picture ID or two other forms of ID plus the original license and a copy of the license or a valid CSCE (Certificate of Successful Completion of Exam) and a copy of the CSCE, plus the exam fee of $15. Call Bill Boedeker at 662-4220 or email at boedeker@cybermesa.com.
    Wednesday
    Play Reading of “Nana’s Naughty Knickers” by Katherine DiSavino at 7 p.m. in the Los Alamos Little Theatre Green Room. Refreshments will be provided.
    Thursday
    Farmers Market, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Fuller Lodge. Salad greens, kale, chard and spinach; lamb, yak, ungraded eggs and plants; baked goods and body products.

  • Spring break can be a time to change lives

    Ahh Spring break, the time when many get an opportunity to take a break, a brief vacation, or just an opportunity to unwind.
    On Saturday, 45 youth and adults from the United Church of Los Alamos and the Unitarian Church, woke up bright and early to head to Mexico.
    This inter-congregational gathering isn’t for a vacation, but for the chance to work their behinds off.
    The team will build three homes in one week and change the lives of three families forever.
    The start of the trip wasn’t easy as the van nicknamed El Sol, broke down multiple times on the way to Arizona.
    After some very patient travelers arrived at the guest church, a team worked into the night to repair the alternator, before the border crossing the next day.
    Sunday the team crossed the border and set up a camp they would call home for the week. Here culinary caretakers prepared each meal with love.
    Monday was concrete day, as the team poured three home foundations of concrete all mixed by hand in a wheel barrow with a shovel and a lot of determination.
    Today is framing day, when walls take shape and depending on the concrete, may even be put into place.
    Wednesday the pieces go up, the roof goes on and then they will get have their first lunch in the shade, the shade of the home.

  • Forest Service needs reform

    Driving to Ruidoso after the Little Bear Fire last year, we passed a meadow brimming with hay bales about to become mulch on burn-scarred land.
    Up north, Santa Clara Pueblo officials figure it will take $100 million and 100 years to restore Santa Clara Canyon after fire devastated half the watershed.
    The average westerner is relinquishing the notion of our forests as a pristine resource and getting used to the reality of an overgrown, parched and buggy tinder box, dangerous as a warehouse full of old dynamite.
    We don’t lack for solutions. In fact, there are so many loud voices, that’s part of the problem.
    Another is that policy makers don’t recognize that the real cost of these fires goes beyond firefighting.
    Those are two points made by the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for the Elimination of Catastrophic Wildfire.
    Its organizers and supporters are retired forestry professionals and firefighters.
    In a nutshell, the institute sees a federal Forest Service that’s paralyzed by a dense patchwork of conflicting laws, decisions made by political appointees with no experience on the ground, poor morale, under-staffing and budget cuts. The fires grow bigger, and the funding grows smaller.

  • Lotspeich: Three-time owner of Copper Flat

    George Lotspeich may be the only New Mexican to make the cover of “Inc.” magazine. The occasion was July 1981. Lotspeich was CEO of Cobb Resources, a uranium company.
    “Inc.’s” annual list of the fastest growing small pubic companies then tallied the top 100. Cobb Resources was number one with 366,567 percent five-year growth—from $2,993 in 1976 to $11 million in 1980. Though interesting 32 years later, the Inc. list and Lotspeich’s cover appearance are not the concern here.
    Lotspeich has always been in involved in various things—gold and manganese starting in the 1950s, oil, copper, uranium. The Copper Flat property, along N.M. 152, west of I-25, may be the most various in that Cobb owned the property three times and sold it to developers. Twice he got it back. He hopes now to be done. “It’s got a better chance now than it has in a long time,” said. That chance comes from Themac Resources Group Limited of Vancouver, B.C. (http://themacresourcesgroup.com), and Themac’s subsidiary, New Mexico Copper Corp. of Albuquerque.