Today's News

  • Luján speaks out on sequestration

    Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement on the negative impact that the arbitrary cuts of sequestration are having on New Mexico.
    “While the full effect of the sequester is still coming into focus, it is apparent that New Mexico is already feeling the negative impacts of these arbitrary spending cuts. At a time when too many families are already struggling to get by or find work, these deep spending cuts are only going to make this situation worse.
    “In recent days we have learned that workers at
    Bandelier National Park will face furloughs, and today the FAA announced that towers at Santa Fe Municipal Airport and Double Eagle II Airport in Albuquerque will be closed due to the sequester’s spending cuts. New Mexico workers who are going to see their hours reduced and paychecks cut are going to feel the pain of these spending cuts.

  • LANL’s Melton to head W. Va. Capitol agency

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — An official at the Los Alamos National Laboratory will oversee the West Virginia Capitol and other state buildings.
    Administration Secretary Ross Taylor announced Gregory Melton as the new director of the General Services Division on Monday. Melton starts April 1.
    A West Virginia native, Melton has been a maintenance manager and group leader at Los Alamos. The New Mexico complex is 36 square miles with more than 1,200 buildings and 8 million square feet of facility space.
    General Services oversees the state Capitol building and its campus as well as other state government buildings around West Virginia.
    Melton is a West Virginia University graduate and a former U.S. Air Force officer. He succeeds David Oliverio, who helped oversee a major turnaround at General Services before his departure earlier this month.

  • Police Beat 03-26-13

    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.

    March 14

    2:09 a.m. — Moses Salazar, 27, of Los Alamos, was arrested on a charge of criminal damage to property and battery against a household member in the 3900 block of Alabama Avenue.

    March 15

    3:52 p.m. — A 20-year old Los Alamos woman reported to police she was the victim of a larceny (over $500, less than $2,500) in the 900 block of San Ildefonso Road.

    March 16

    3:30 p.m. — Tyler Jones, 27, of Los Alamos, was cited for committing a larceny (over $500 less than $2,500) in the 900 block of San Ildefonso Road.

    8:45 p.m. — Police arrested a 17-year-old Los Alamos teen for speeding, possession of marijuana (less than one ounce) and possession of drug paraphernalia in the 3700 block of East Jemez Road. She was released to her parents and referred to juvenile authorities.

    3 a.m. — Christopher McKenzie, 32, of Santa Fe, was arrested on a charge of battery against a household member in the 3300 block of Canyon Road.

  • 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.