News Highlights 2019


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Thursday April 18, 2019

UNM-Los Alamos (UNM-LA), in conjunction with The University of New Mexico, is transitioning to the new state Common Course Numbering (CCN) system beginning Fall 2019 semester. All higher education institutions in New Mexico will share the same CCNs for most of the 100 and 200-level courses, to ease transfers between higher education schools and encourage students to complete higher degrees.

Prior to the new statewide CCN system, the curriculum of required courses (such as English 110) has varied at different colleges, and credits have not always transferred between colleges. When a student transferred, if some credits were not accepted at the new college, the student might have been required to take a similarly labeled course with a different curriculum, adding time and tuition to the completion of a degree. 

The statewide CCN project aligned courses across institutions of higher learning by subject matter on the basis of student learning outcomes identified by educators. Most 100- and 200-level courses received four-digit common course numbers and subject codes. These courses now have the same prefix, number, course name, course description, and student learning outcomes.

In the Fall course listings for UNM-LA, there are some courses with their original three-digit course numbers, and some courses with their new four-digit CCN. Over the next year, UNM will continue transitioning courses to the CCN system.

The transition to the Common Course Numbering system will not change current degree requirements; only that required classes may have a new course name or number.

Summer and fall semester courses are now listed online. UNM-LA registration is open.

Print copies of the UNM-LA Summer/Fall 2019 course schedule will be mailed to all local residences later this month.

 

Wednesday April 17, 2019

National History Day students from Los Alamos High School and Los Alamos Middle School competed at the University of New Mexico Saturday to determine whose projects will represent our state in the national NHD competition. Eleven students from LAHS and two students from LAMS advanced from the regional NHD competitions in January to compete in the state contest held April 6. 

Individual students and groups chose their own topics based on this year’s theme “Triumph and Tragedy.” After researching primary and secondary sources related to their topic, students presented their research by creating one of five possible projects: a performance, a documentary film, a research paper, an exhibit or a website. 

LAHS junior, Abby Beus, placed second for the state with her research paper on the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Abby was further honored with a special prize for the best project related to western history. She will be representing LAHS at the NHD national competition from June 10-13, 2019 at the University of Maryland.

LAMS students Kaya Loy and Mikalh Adams will by joining Abby at the National NHD competition. Kaya produced a website on the forced removal of people of the Cherokee Nation from their homes in the southeastern United States; her project earned special recognition from the Western Trails Association. Mikalh performed a lively, one-man drama depicting Gavrilo Princip assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand leading to World War I. Both Kaya and Mikalh placed second in New Mexico for their categories. 

 

Tuesday April 16, 2019

—The LANL Foundation and Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund (LAESF) advisory committee have recently made changes in a scholarship category that funds higher learning for Northern New Mexico residents. 

The newly renamed Career Pathways Scholarship, formerly called the Regional College/Returning Student (RCRS) Scholarship for nontraditional students, will continue to provide $1500 awards for two-year degrees, certifications and trades but now no longer requires applicants to have a gap in formal education.

Current high school seniors and anyone who has earned a high school diploma or GED/High School Equivalency (HSE) may apply for a Career Pathways Scholarship to help fund an associate’s degree or professional certification. Funds are available for any field of study, but preference may be given to STEM pathways.

Career Pathways Scholarships are renewable for a second year and a total of $3000 without the need to reapply, as long as certain criteria are met. 

As with all LANL Foundation/LAESF scholarships, students must be a resident of the Northern New Mexico seven-county area that includes Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe or Taos. Funding may be applied to any accredited post-secondary educational institution, in or out of state.

Applications are currently accepted online at www.lanlfoundation.org/scholarships. The deadline to apply is May 31, 2019. A yearly second round of applications is accepted in fall.

 

Monday April 15, 2019

Weather permitting, Traffic and Streets Division crews will continue to patch potholes on Diamond Drive on Monday and Tuesday. Work will focus on the Diamond southbound lane between Trinity and Canyon (in front of the Lemon Lot) during non-peak commuter hours. Because of the confined roadway, work will require temporary turning lane closures using flagging operations to provide safe passage and turning movements through these intersections. Motorists should expect a moving single lane closure on Diamond as work proceeds. Please slow down, watch for road crews, and use extra caution when approaching these busy intersections at Trinity, Canyon and Diamond.

 

Friday April 12, 2019

This year's Egg Splash at the Aquatic Center will be held on Saturday. This is a very popular annual event featuring hundreds of floating eggs in the pool. Lots of fun for the entire family, but limited to 150 participants, so buy your tickets in advance at the Aquatic Center! limited to participating ages of 16 and under. Event begins at 1 p.m. by age group.  It is also a warm water weekend so the water toys will be up from 10-5 on Saturday and Sunday 1-5. 

 

Thursday April 11, 2019

This morning, Los Alamos Fire Department (LAFD) was proud to present station 4-B Shift with a Phoenix award. The Phoenix Award, which began in January of 2017, is awarded to personnel that have been involved in calls where the patient suffered a cardiac arrest, was resuscitated and returned home from the hospital.

LAFD responders dedicate themselves to the community of Los Alamos and train for cardiac events nearly ten times as often as an average fire department. Due to their efforts, a member of our community is alive and well and home with their family, “a phoenix rising from the ashes.” It takes a team approach to save a life, and there is no doubt that Station 4 provides just that.

LAFD would like to thank the following responders:

Captain Gerard Coriz

Driver Paramedic Van Leimer

Firefighter Paramedic Dylan Mahoney

Firefighter Paramedic Dustin Rogers

Firefighter Randall Robles

Firefighter Joshua Urban

Firefighter Shannon Evans

 

Wednesday April 10, 2019

Students representing Los Alamos Public Schools received over 30 special awards and placed in almost every category at the New Mexico State Science Fair held at New Mexico Tech last weekend. Los Alamos High School took three of the five Grand Award in the Senior Division, and Los Alamos Middle School garnered one of two Grand Awards in the Junior Division.

LAPS will also be represented at the International Science and Engineering Fair in May. Heading to Phoenix, AZ will be:

 

             Robert Strauss: Grand Award, Physical Science

             Karin Ebey: Grand Award, Life Science

             Charles Strauss: Grand Award, Life Science

             Lillian Petersen and Garyk Brixi: Regional Grand Award

 

 

Tuesday April 9, 2019

It’s almost time to round up the kids and get ready for school. All Los Alamos Elementary Schools will host Kindergarten Round-Up on Wednesday, April 10.

Children who will turn five by September 1, 2019 are eligible to enroll in kindergarten for the 2019-2020 school year, and are invited to attend Kindergarten Round-Up with their parents. This is the first step in the pre-registration process, and gives families an idea of what to expect for kindergarten.

At the Round-Up, prospective students and parents will get to meet kindergarten teachers, principals, school nurses, school counselors and other key school personnel. The future kindergartners will get to visit a kindergarten classroom and explore what its all about.

Parents are encouraged to call the school they are zoned for to ask questions regarding Kindergarten Round-Up.  Go to http://laschools.net/home/registration/ for more information about kindergarten enrollment and to check out the school boundary maps.

 

Monday April 8. 2019

Registration for the New Mexico PreK program at Los Alamos Public Schools opens on Wednesday, April 10 at 8:00 a.m.

There are two half-day programs available (AM or PM, 3 hours each) located at Piñon Elementary School in White Rock. Enrollment for the NM PreK program is by lottery.

To participate in this program, your child must:

·   be 4 years old on or before August 31, 2019,

·   reside in Los Alamos County (this program is not eligible for open enrollment).

If your child lives within the Piñon school zone, bus transportation will be available. Parents of students who reside outside of the school zone must transport their child to school.

To apply for the NM PreK program, complete the 2019-20 New Student application, which is found under “Registration” on the LAPS homepage (laschools.net). Select the NM Pre-K tab. You will then be able to select grade level PK and your program preference.

The lottery will be conducted on June 3, 2019, and parents will be notified by June 15, 2019. Students who are not chosen in the lottery will be placed on a waiting list.

The program is in session for three hours per day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday during the school year. Students are not in attendance on Wednesdays which are used for staff planning, training and parent meetings. There is a maximum enrollment in each four-year-old program contingent upon state funding, so applications are part of a lottery process. There is no cost to parents for students selected to attend.

 

Friday April 5, 2019

The Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization is pleased to announce that the Executive Director Search Committee has selected Bernadette Lauritzen, from a pool of four good candidates.

Lauritzen arrived in Los Alamos in 1994 with husband Chad, who came to work for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, at LANSCE.

She started in the community as the News Director for KRSN AM 1490 and went on to grow the Maternal and Child Health Council into the Community Health Council after the Cerro Grande fire, which still operates today.

Lauritzen brought the work of the 40 Developmental Assets, from the Search Institute through a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, coordinated a grant for former LAPS Superintendent, Dr. Eugene Schmidt, garnering the 2012 recognition of, “One of the 100 Best Communities for Young People,” and created the Community Asset Awards.

Lauritzen will replace the current Executive Director, Linda Boncella, who will be moving with husband Jim, for his position at Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Lauritzen begins work on May 1st.

 

Thursday April 4, 2019

On March 15th, the County Council was informed that Probate Judge Anne Nobile would resign effective June 1, 2019. Nobile was elected to the position in the November 2018 General Election.  

The County Council is responsible for filling the vacancy left by Nobile’s resignation. Based on the past approach for appointment of a Probate Judge, Council has asked the County Manager to advertise for letters of interest, to be submitted to the Council for consideration. The successful applicant would finish Nobile’s term, which will end December 31, 2022.

Consideration and appointment of a new Probate Judge has been placed on the Council’s May 7 Council meeting agenda (6:00 p.m., Council Chambers). A call for letters of interest is now open and letters are due to the County Manager no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30. 

Interested applicants are asked to submit a one- or two-page letter indicating why they would be interested in serving as Probate Judge. Under State law, any qualified person over the age of 18 who is a resident of Los Alamos County may serve. Letters of interest should be mailed or hand-delivered to County Manager Harry Burgess, Los Alamos County Municipal Building, 1000 Central Avenue, Suite 350, Los Alamos, NM 87544 by the deadline. Candidates who submit a letter will be expected to attend the May 7 Council meeting to respond to questions from the Council about their letter and qualifications.

 

Wednesday April 3, 2019

The Los Alamos Historical Society is excited to announce that the popular Atomic Film Series returns this year with three films. These atomic-themed films will be shown with a suggested donation of $5 in historic Fuller Lodge, Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Grab some fresh-popped popcorn in the lobby and then settle in for a great movie you won’t see anywhere else. This series fosters discussion about the ways we continue to live with atomic legacies.

The theme for this year’s series is the consequences of radioactivity. The series opens with a dark comedy on April 10, continues with a documentary as part of ScienceFest on July 10, and concludes with a monster movie on October 30 in time for Halloween. Together, the films explore the real and imagined ways that radioactivity affects our world and our lives.

 Learn more about the Atomic Film Series at the Historical Society’s website, losalamoshistory.org. All three films will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Pajarito Room of Fuller Lodge, 2132 Central Avenue.

 

Tuesday April 2, 2019

The Los Alamos County Assessor’s Office mailed out the 2019 Notice of Values (NOV) on Friday, March 29, 2019, for the current tax year.  The envelope in which the NOV is enclosed includes, in red lettering, “IMPORTANT – PROPERTY TAX BILL ENCLOSED”.  Please disregard this text. The information enclosed is the NOV, not a property tax bill. 

The information in the NOV is your property assessment information for Tax Year 2019, and will be used to determine your property tax bill, which will be mailed by November 1, 2019.

The second half payment of your 2018 property tax bill, mailed on November 1 of 2018, is due no later than May 10, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

We apologize for the inconvenience or confusion this may have caused.

 

Monday April 1, 2019

At Los Alamos Public Schools, student and staff safety comes first. Barranca Mesa will be the first school to practice the state-required off site evacuation drill to evaluate our preparedness in the event of an emergency. We will conduct this exercise in an effort to prepare all LAPS schools for successful reunification with parents.

The reunification exercise will be from 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on April 3 at First Baptist Church located at 2200 Diamond Drive.

The purpose of this exercise is to

             improve our communication skills and ability to assure student safety,

             quickly reunify students with families,

             learn more about our district’s preparedness when it comes to unexpected events and coordinating with supporting agencies,

             and identify areas of strengths and areas of weakness.

Los Alamos County Traffic and Streets division will be assisting in this reunification exercise by closing off the right lane (easternmost lane) on Diamond Drive (northbound) starting at Urban and ending at 39th  Street. This lane drop will allow parents/participants to park on the street and pick up their children. The left lane will remain open to traffic. Please be aware of and obey all traffic control devices, proceed slowly through this special event zone and be mindful of the traffic and pedestrians.

For questions, please contact Barranca Principal Gina Terrazas at 663-2727 or v.terrazas@laschools.net.

 

Friday March 29, 2019

The annual Fair and Rodeo Queen’s Court competition will occur on Saturday, April 13, 2019. The Queen’s Competition is a long-standing Los Alamos County tradition which selects young ladies with an equestrian background and people skills to represent Los Alamos County all summer in promoting the Los Alamos County Fair and Rodeo locally and regionally.

Interested candidates must be a Los Alamos County resident, or attend the Los Alamos Public Schools, and must be between the ages of 10 – 25 by September 1, 2019. Contestants can register for one of three categories: Queen (Ages 17 – 25), Princess (Ages 14 – 16), or Sweetheart (Ages 10 -13). Registration materials can be picked up at the Walkup Aquatic Center Front Desk or downloaded from the website at www.losalamosnm.us/rec.

Entries must be received by Wednesday, April 10 at 5:00PM at the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division’s Administrative offices at the Aquatic Center. For additional information please contact the PROS Division at 505-662-8170 or lacrec@lacnm.us.

 

Thursday March 28, 2019

The public is invited to travel around the world in two hours during the 8th annual Multicultural Fair at Chamisa Elementary School on April 3. The event begins at 5:00 pm. Presented jointly by Chamisa Elementary and Piñon Elementary Schools, the fair offers attendees the opportunity to celebrate the cultural diversity in our community through dance, music, crafts and food tastings.

Students receive a passport to visit the many countries represented at the fair. This year will feature Brazil, Chile, China, Ethiopia, Germany, Honduras, India, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. There will also be presentations on New Mexico historical sites, San Ildefonso and Zia Puebleos, the Sikh community, and the Basque Country Euskadi.

There will also be performances by the Bhangra Dance Troupe, Albuquerque & Four Corners Pipes & Drums, Dala Bollywood Dancers, Brady Stokes on the ukulele, the Chamisa Chimes, and the combined Chamisa and Piñon Choirs.

Third grade students from both schools will dance with the Mariachi Sonidos Del Monte. The combined

Chamisa and Piñon staff along with principals Suzanne Lynne and Ivanna Austell will perform a

Hawaiian dance to “You Are My Sunshine” to end the show.

The event is organized by Renee Mitsunaga, Chamisa art teacher, and Stephanie Rittner, Piñon art

teacher, along with English Language Learner teachers Jessica Dixon and Maryam Bordbari.

In addition to the different countries being on display, there will also be information on international

service programs at the schools, including the African Library projects and the African Clean Water

fundraiser. The Piñon Student Council will be accepting donations of canned foods for the Los Alamos

Food Pantry. This event is free and open to the public.


Wednesday March 27 2019

Los Alamos County has been recognized as No. 2 nationally in the latest Healthiest Communities survey published by U.S. News & World Report. The County was also ranked No. 2 in the Peer Group Ranking, Urban High-Performing Category.

Douglas County, Colorado is the No. 1 community in the second annual U.S. News rankings of the Healthiest Communities in America.

Healthiest Communities is an interactive platform developed by U.S. News & World Report, in collaboration with the Aetna Foundation. Accompanied by news, analysis and in-depth reporting, the platform features rankings drawn from an examination of nearly 3,000 counties and county equivalents on 81 metrics across 10 categories. Population health and equity are the most highly weighted factors in the methodology, followed closely by education and economy. Data were gathered and analyzed by the University of Missouri Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems (CARES).


Tuesday March 26, 2019

The Los Alamos Public School’s Board met for a work session on Thursday, March 21 in the library at Chamisa Elementary School. This was the first work session presided over by the new board president, Ellen Ben-Naim.

 

The evening began with the board recognizing the Los Alamos High School ProStart program. The ProStart® program is a two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the culinary and management skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Students Haley Adams-Brown, Tiana Lopez, Alexandra Pittman and Weston Soenke, along with their teacher Rebecca Jones, recently participated in the New Mexico ProStart Invitational in Albuquerque where they received excellent reviews and placed in the top ten.

The board also recognized Bailey McVay, a 5th grader at Mountain Elementary, who recently “went under the razor again” to raise awareness about childhood cancer and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Chamisa principal Suzanne Lynne provided an update to the board on student test scores and the implementation of several new programs at the school, including Number Sense, Number Talks and Imagine Math.

The board approved the Public Schools Cost of Construction (PSCOC)  School Security Projects Funding Application for 2019-2020 in the amount of $944,292. The application requests funding for improved security systems, including security cameras, handheld radios and perimeter fencing, at the school sites. Both the state and the district would fund the projects.


Monday March 25, 2019

Traffic crews will be patching potholes on Diamond next week, starting on Monday. Work will begin near Trinity and Canyon and proceed to the San Ildefonso roundabout in the northbound lanes. Motorists should expect a moving single lane closure indicated by a digital arrow board. Please slow down in the work zone and follow all temporary construction signage. It is anticipated work will be completed by Friday March 29th - weather dependent.


Friday March 22, 2019

After the wind storm last week many residents have been left with broken trees branches. Los Alamos County Environmental Services is offering a complimentary collection service to help collect broken tree branches and brush debris from affected residents. If you experienced hardship due to the wind storm and would like to request a complimentary pick up contact Environmental Services at 662-8163 or by email at solidwaste@lacnm.us.

The special complimentary brush collection will begin March 27th and end on April 10th.

Special Guidelines:

             Registration is required. Collections will not be made without an appointment to set up a scheduled day for collection.

             Fee: $0

             Normal household trash will not be removed.

             Set out bulky items no later than 8:00 a.m. on your scheduled day.

             Place bulky item piles within four (4) feet of the curb. Do not block side walk.

             Do not place brush material in front of parked cars, near fences, trees, mailboxes, beneath overhead wires, low-hanging tree limbs, or on top of water meters.

             Do not place items curbside prior to 48 hours before the scheduled day.

             Keep large bulky limbs and logs separate from smaller brush material. This will help us process the material more easily.

Alternative Disposal Options:

             Bring your materials to the Eco Station – each resident with trash service has 12 free loads annually.

             Rent a roll-off container for construction and demolition projects, call the Eco Station 662-8163.


Thursday March 21, 2019

Pinon Elementary School fifth-grader Ariela Rittner has been notified by the National Geographic Society that she is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee New Mexico State Competition. The contest will be at NDI in Albuquerque on March 29. This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which  is now in its 31st year. School GeoBees were held in schools with fourth-through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took an online qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the State GeoBees.

This year, National Geographic increased the prize money for all State GeoBees. State champions will receive a medal, $1,000 in cash and other prizes, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Championship to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 19-22

Wednesday March 20, 2019

Los Alamos County is currently accepting applications until April 11 to fill one position on the Board of Public Utilities (BPU).  Comprising five voting members, the BPU governs the Department of Public Utilities (DPU), The selected individual will fill a position to be vacated on July 1 due to an expiring term.  Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 11. 

Interested parties can complete the online application at https://rebrand.ly/BPUApplication. 

Members of the BPU work together with the DPU to serve and represent the interests of the community.  BPU meetings are held every third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m.

To qualify for consideration, interested applicants must be 18 years or older, be a resident of Los Alamos County for a minimum of one year prior to appointment, be registered to vote, not hold public office nor be an employee of the County government, and not conduct any business with the DPU except as a consumer. 


Tuesday March 19, 2019

Los Alamos (UNM-LA) student Rique Fernandez has been invited to attend a computer coding workshop in the Netherlands. Along with nine other students from Albuquerque, Espanola, and the Navajo Nation, Fernandez is traveling to Rotterdam March 16 - March 24 to participate in Cyberheros, a “hackathon” event produced by Cyberworkplace, an organization which provides cyber security and teaches coding skills to youth.

Fernandez will be attending the event with Cultivating Coders, a nonprofit group that provides computer science and coding curriculum to rural high schools. Between her junior and senior years at Espanola Valley High School, Fernandez attended the Cultivating Coders 8-week summer program. The students studied coding and website skills, working on laptops which they were allowed to take home at the end of the program.

Fernandez attended the course in the summer of 2017, then in December 2018, the president of Cultivating Coders, Charles Ashley III, invited her to participate in this workshop in Rotterdam.

The workshop will introduce participants to CSI-type investigations. Sightseeing and touring are built into the agenda as well. Fernandez refers to this all-expense paid trip as “a blessing.”

Cybersecurity is an area of increasing national concern. UNM-LA developed a cybersecurity program in 2013 with funds from a National Science Foundation grant. Enrollment in the program continues to grow.


Monday March 18, 2019

Here is the Associated press summary of this year’s legislative session.  The New Mexico Legislature adjourned noon on Saturday by law, closing this year’s 60-day legislative session.

The governor will have until April 5 to act on approved bills.

General fund spending for the coming fiscal year would jump by $700 million — mostly for education — to $7 billion. Infrastructure spending spread across three bills would exceed $1.3 billion.

Pay increases of 6 percent are slated for school staff and at least 4 percent for all state workers.

A 15 percent raise is in store for many statewide elected officials, starting with those who take office in 2020.

One sweeping educational reforms bill would boost spending to at-risk students by more than $100 million, extend the school year or teacher training by 10 days at schools statewide and offer most elementary schools the opportunity to add five weeks to the school year. Minimum teacher pay would rise by as much as 12 percent.

Legislators endorsed bills to determine what services for Native American students are needed to close any gaps in academic performance.

A bill that would raise income tax on high income earners and offer a larger family tax credit was approved.

Taxes would increase on auto, cigarette and internet sales.

Election-related measures that cleared the Legislature include a same-day voter registration. New Mexico would join a compact with other states to elect the U.S. president according to the national popular vote, though more allied states still are needed.

Several successful bills would write consumer protections into law to ensure insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and provide contraceptive coverage at no cost over premiums.

E-cigarettes were added to the state’s clean indoor air act, limiting where they can be consumed in public.

The House and Senate agreed to raise the state’s hourly minimum wage— a gradual rise from $7.50 to $9 next year and $12 by 2023. The Legislature moved to overrule local governments that enacted right-to-work ordinances that interfere with union fees and membership.

Lawmakers  approved a bill to decriminalize possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana in quantities of a half-ounce (14 grams) or less. Violations would trigger civil fines akin to traffic citations.

Prescriptions for opioids beyond four days would be accompanied by an overdose antidote drug and a written warning about the potential for addiction. Lawmakers endorsed greater immunity for people who may implicate themselves in crimes by seeking overdose treatment for themselves or others.

An ambitious proposal to decommission a major coal-fired power plant, the San Juan Generating Station, and ramp up the production of renewable electricity won legislative approval. The bill sets aggressive new quotas for renewable energy production, going so far as to require publicly regulated utilities to produce all of their electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045.

Another bill aims to create profit incentives for electrical utilities to pursue conservation and energy efficiency by breaking the link between utility sales and profits.

New Mexico oilfield regulators would recover authority to directly levy civil fines against well operators who fail to properly maintain equipment or spill waste.

Lujan Grisham has signed legislation to expand background checks to private, person-to-person gun sales. That legislation exempts transactions between relatives and doesn’t apply when people share weapons at shooting clubs or while hunting.

The Legislature approved another bill designed to ensure that firearms are relinquished by people who have been ordered to stay away from domestic violence victims. Teachers would not be able to carry firearms at schools under a bill that sets gun protocols for contract security employees and campus police.

Lujan Grisham has signed a bill to create a new agency devoted to early childhood education. She plans to create an outdoor recreation division modeled after Colorado’s.

The state will establish an independent state ethics commission for complaints about the conduct of public officials.

Lawmakers have passed several bills to reform the state’s criminal justice system with measures aimed at improving ex-convicts’ chances at obtaining employment, treatment and other services.  Private employers would be prohibited from asking on initial job applications about people’s criminal histories, although prior arrests or convictions could be discussed later in the hiring process.

An “expungement” bill would allow people to have certain arrests or convictions removed from their records — with a judge’s approval after a certain period of time passes and depending on the crime..

The Legislature sent a bill to the governor that would ban contests to see who can shoot and kill the most coyotes.


Friday March 15, 2019

Atomic City Transit will be running a St Patrick’s Day Buzz bus on Saturday night from 6pm to 12:30 am.  Reservations are now being accepted.  Call 661-ride  that’s 661-7433.   Don’t drive drunk.


Thursday March 14, 2019

Due to an extremely high volume of downed trees that continue to fall and pose a severe public safety risk as a result of yesterday’s high winds event, LAPD will continue to keep SR 4 westbound from West Jemez Rd (at the LANL “back gate”) until further notice. Access eastbound on SR4 at West Jemez Rd at the back gate remains open to Bandelier and White Rock. LAPD successfully extracted several motorists on SR4 earlier today when multiple tree-fall events occurred, clearing a path to trapped cars that were traveling on the highway. Sandoval County officials have already closed SR4 at Hwy 126 (the turn off to Fenton Lake). This section of SR4 from the intersection at West Jemez Road is too dangerous for travel until the high wind event passes. Gusts up to 75 mph were observed along this stretch of highway yesterday afternoon, bringing down additional trees and blocking the road, making it impossible and treacherous for personnel and heavy duty road equipment to continue working to keep the road cleared. High winds with gusts of at least 55 mph are expected into the early morning hours. Time will then be needed to re-enter the road and re-start tree-clearing activities tomorrow.

NM DOT advised us St Rd 4 will remain closed until New Mexico State Police opens it. DOT also stated they will not send crews into the Jemez until today.


Wednesday March 13, 2019

The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) invites regional businesses to participate in the 6th Annual UNM-LA Job Fair from 1:00-4:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 2. Businesses have the opportunity to meet and interview potential applicants for current and upcoming job openings at this event, and distribute information about other employment opportunities such as seasonal work or internships.

UNM-LA students, local high school students, and the greater northern New Mexico community are all invited to attend this event. At the 2018 UNM-LA Job Fair, 27 businesses met with over 100 potential employees. Many attendees were community members interested in finding a position or making a career change. Each year, businesses who have found new employees through the job fair.

This year, the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce is collaborating with UNM-Los Alamos to present the Job Fair. Chamber members are especially encouraged to participate.

There is no registration fee to participate, and the college will provide a table. To reserve a space, contact Grace Willerton, Student Success Associate, at 505-663-3402 or email her at gwillert@unm.edu.


Tuesday March 12, 2019

Los Alamos Retirement Community (LARC) and the Los Alamos Community Foundation (LACF) have teamed to initiate a permanent endowment fund to support the long-term financial health of nursing and assisted living options in our community.

Los Alamos Retirement Community (LARC) is an independent, not-for-profit community organization that manages the Sombrillo Nursing and Rehabilitation Center as well as Aspen Ridge Lodge-- a state-of-the-art assisted living facility overlooking the majestic Pueblo Canyon.

The Los Alamos Community Foundation was created in 2015 to promote development of permanent, prudently invested funds to support local organizations such as LARC, as well as to provide local philanthropically-minded residents opportunities to make a permanent impact in support of Los Alamos nonprofits.

Information about making contributions to the LARC Endowment Fund can be found in the LACF website, losalamoscf.org/index.php/donate/. If donating by check, please write “LARC Endowment Fund” in the check memo field.


Monday March 11, 2019

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill Friday to drastically expand mandatory background checks on firearms sales in New Mexico.

The governor commended the bill’s Democratic sponsors, students and other gun-reform advocates who pushed for the law, saying it would enhance public safety in a state that FBI statistics say has one of the nation’s highest violent crime rates.

The law will close a loophole for firearms sales in New Mexico by requiring background checks to be conducted on people who want to purchase from vendors online, at gun shows and other venues where sellers may not have a federal license.

More than 20 states have similar restrictions for sales on at least some private firearms sales, according to the Brady Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for expanding gun control laws nationwide.


Friday March 8, 2019

Cooler than normal temperatures occurred most of February. Itwas the coldest February since 2010. Storm systems moving

through the area in the middle of the month contributed to thecooler temperatures. Low maximum temperature records were

broken in Los Alamos on February 18 and 19, with hightemperatures of only 22 and 21 degrees, respectively. This February ended five consecutive Februaries with above-average temperatures.

Precipitation and snowfall continue to be above average. A warmer storm brought rain on February 14 and then more

widespread snow storms came from February 18 through 22. The snowpack for northern New Mexico mountains is at or above normal with the Jemez Mountains at 100% of normal and Sangre de Cristo Mountains at 102% of

normal. Shown below, Los Alamos County is currently in a Severe

Drought, which is an improvement after Los Alamos County was in an Exceptional Drought to start the year.


Thursday March 7, 2019

Here is an update on the Barranca School Construction project.  The roof is 85% complete, the first floor pathways and rough in is 90% complete, and the second floor pathways and rough in is 75% complete. The exterior wall sheathing is also 85% complete.  Work on the electrical rough in has also started. the project is about two weeks behind due to the snowstorms but should be caught up in the next few months.


Wednesday March 6, 2019
Effective immediately, Valles Caldera National Preserve will begin restricting vehicle access along the preserve’s main entrance road. Due to warming temperatures, melting snow is impacting road conditions and high water levels on the East Fork Jemez River are threatening to overtop the road. Visitors may still access the preserve on-foot via the Coyote Call and Valle Grande trailheads, and through access points at pull-outs along NM-4.
Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and mountain biking are permitted. Park rangers will be stationed at the preserve main entrance to answer questions and provide information.
Visitors are advised to use extreme caution while recreating in lower portions of the Valle Grande as snow continues to melt forming deep ponds and hidden sinks. While recreational access is still encouraged, there will be no public restroom facilities and visitors are advised to plan accordingly.

Tuesday March 5, 2019

– New Mexico Department of Transportation and Star Paving Company will begin roadway reconstruction on NM 502 from mile post 1.257 to mile post 2.053 in Los Alamos.  The contractor will begin construction and preparation for detour paving on March 18th.

Starting March 18 – NM 502 will be reduced to one lane in each direction.  Motorists can expect minor delays from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday and short duration temporary closures during non-peak hours at the east end of the project in the existing 2-lane section of the roadway using flagging operation. 

This project will improve NM 502 through Los Alamos between Kneckt Street and Tewa Loop for a total project length of 0.8 miles. This project will include roadway reconstruction, earthwork, curb and gutter, sidewalk, concrete retaining walls, storm drain, landscaping, permanent signing, lighting, traffic signalizations, and utilities.  The project will also replace the existing intersection at NM 502 and Central Avenue with a roundabout to improve traffic flow through Los Alamos. 

The project cost is $10.8 million. This is a 350 working day project.  Project is anticipated to be completed winter of 2020; weather permitting. Star Paving Company out of Albuquerque, New Mexico is the contractor for the project. 

Traffic Advisories and updates on this project will be posted on the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s road conditions website, http://nmroads.com/.
The NMDOT would like to thank you for your patience during this roadway improvement project.


Monday March 4, 2019

The White Rock Complex Senior Meal Center will be closed from March 18th through March 31st for a kitchen upgrade project. The Meal Center will be re-open again on April 1st.

Proposed improvements include installing a new larger cook and hold oven, grill, heavy duty sink disposers, washer/dryer and larger chefs work table. Electrical, plumbing and gas lines are also being re-worked to connect to the new equipment. These improvements will increase the capacity of the kitchen, allow for cooking, and processing meals that have been handled in the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Meal deliveries in White Rock will continue as normal. Seniors who usually dine at the center can go to the Betty Ehart Center in Los Alamos.

This project is funded by a grant from the State Aging & Long-Term Services Department (ALTSD) in the amount of $90,600 to improve the capacity and quality of the meals served to the Seniors in the White Rock area.


Friday March 1, 2019

Weather Permitting, contract work to patch potholes on Diamond Drive will begin on Monday March 4th.  Motorists should expect a moving single lane closure indicated by a digital arrow board.  Please slowdown in the work zone and follow all temporary construction signage.  It is anticipated work will be completed by Friday March 8th.


Thursday February 28, 2019

Los Alamos County is partnering with Los Alamos Public Schools to host LAHS Physical Education swimming curriculum at the Walkup Aquatic Center from March 4th to the 21st, Monday - Friday.  The main pool will be set-up short course for the duration of this program.

Students will learn Water Safety Skills; i.e. Reach, Throw, Don't go; Community CPR, Learn-to-Swim and Conditioning. .

Please note while the students are participating in this program pool space will be limited and locker rooms will be very busy 15 minutes prior to and after each session.


Wednesday  February 27, 2019

The Incorporated County of Los Alamos, New Mexico, through the Los Alamos Police Department, has received federal funding to promote community awareness of crime victims’ rights and services during the April 7 to 13, 2019 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.  The funding will be used to place victim resource directories, in the form of rack cards, on Atomic City Transit buses, and New Mexico Park and Ride buses, as part of a Community Awareness Project in Los Alamos County and surrounding communities.  A slide show will run on several Atomic City Transit buses in the downtown area, and an audio promotion of victims’ rights will run on all Atomic City Transit buses. The funding comes from the U. S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) through the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators (NAVAA).

The theme for 2019 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “Honoring Our Past.  Creating Hope for the Future.”      

The Incorporated County of Los Alamos/Los Alamos Police Department, was one of the 92 projects recommended by NAVAA and selected for funding by OVC for 2019 from the 200 applications that were submitted nationwide.

For additional information about 2019 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week activities or about victims’ rights and services in Los Alamos County, neighboring communities, and nationwide, please contact the Los Alamos County Victim Assistant at (505) 663-3511.


Tuesday February 26, 2019

Weather permitting, Parker Construction, under contract with Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities, will close a section of Arizona east of 45 St. at the unpaved water tank access road.  Crews will repair a waterline. The utility work will occur for two days, beginning Wednesday, Feb. 27 through Thursday, Feb. 28.  Traffic control devices to close the section of road will be erected each morning at 8:30 and removed each afternoon by 4. 

Access will be maintained to all homes.  Properties west of the construction zone will be detoured to 45 St. and properties east of the construction zone will be detoured to 36 St.  Drivers are urged to observe the speed limit and traffic control signs

Monday February 25, 2019

Officials with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities indicate that they discovered an error on some utility bills generated on Feb. 14.  Billing cycles 13 and 14 in the northeastern section of White Rock had an error in the calculation that converts natural gas consumption into therms. This resulted in higher reported use and the customer was overcharged.  DPU is fixing the error and will mail corrected bills to those customers next week. 

According to Deputy Utilities Manager Robert Westervelt, the heat content factor was incorrect on those two billing cycles and therefore did not accurately calculate customers’ gas consumption to therms. Customers’ natural gas meters are positive displacement meters which measure in 100 cubic feet (CCF). DPU converts the CCF into therms using two factors: Elevation and Heat Content. Unlike the elevation factor which is constant, the heat content factor is variable.



Friday February 22, 2019

February is American Heart Health Month. Each year more than 790,000 Americans have a heart attack and nearly 15% will die as a result. A heart attack happens when the blood supply to the heart is reduced or cut off. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart.

Time is a critical component to surviving a cardiac event, with every moment that passes, the chances of survival diminish tremendously. Moments count during a cardiac event. The amount of heart muscle damaged is directly proportionate to the amount of time it takes to restore blood flow to the heart. During a cardiac arrest, every second that passes without high-quality CPR and the use of an AED reduces the likelihood of survival.

The Los Alamos Fire Department invites the community on Thursday February 28th from  5:00 pm to 7:00 pm for Hands-Only CPR/AED Training, Glucose Screening and Blood Pressure Testing. The training will take place at the Los Alamos Fire Department Training Room at 999 Central Ave. Suite 300 Floor, Los Alamos, NM 87544.

Learn to save a life in 20 minutes!



Wednesday February 20, 2019
This year’s U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will be coming from northern New Mexico.
U.S. Forest Service officials announced Tuesday that a tree will be cut from the Carson National Forest just outside of Taos.
The chosen tree will be displayed on the Capitol’s west lawn next December.
The state will also send along 70 smaller companion trees to adorn other government buildings in Washington.
Forest rangers say communities across New Mexico will be invited to help hand-make ornaments for the tree throughout the year.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says it is an honor for the state to be represented in this way.


Tuesday February 19, 2019
Weather delays and closures for today.

Los Alamos Public Schools are closed

UNM-LA is  closed.

County is on a two hour opening delay due to the snow storm.    

Los Alamos National Laboratory is closed.


Thursday February 14, 2019
The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at 1000 Central Ave., to consider a proposed ordinance to increase water rates by 6.25 percent. If approved, the proposed ordinance will be introduced to the Los Alamos County Council to be scheduled for a second public hearing in March or April. Council will consider adoption of the ordinance at that time.
Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) seeks to increase wholesale, non-potable and retail water rates to recover costs necessary to maintain reliable water services to Los Alamos County and establish a cash reserve in accordance with the 2015 Financial Policy. A copy of the ordinance is available on the county website at and at the Customer Care Center located at 1000 Central Ave., Suite 130, Los Alamos, NM.
Specifically, DPU is requesting that the price for wholesale water be increased from $3.42 to $3.63 per 1,000 gallons and the monthly service charge be adjusted from $643.90 to $684.14. Non-potable water that is sold for irrigation purposes to Los Alamos County and the Los Alamos Public Schools, would see an increase from $2.50 to $2.66 per 1,000 gallons.
DPU is also asking to raise the monthly service fee and drinking water rates for retail customers (including residential, commercial, county and schools).
Peak season tiered rates apply only to residential and multi-family customers and are in effect from May 1 through September 30. DPU seeks to adjust the tier one rate from $4.98 to $5.29 per 1,000 gallons for both residential and multi-family customers. The tier two rate would increase from $5.29 to $5.62 per 1,000 gallons for residential customers, and $5.23 to $5.56 per 1,000 gallons for multi-family customers. Tier 3 rates increase from $6.32 to $6.72 per 1,000 gallons for residential customers, and from $5.35 to $5.68 per 1,000 gallons for multi-family customers.
For example, a residential customer who consumes 5,000 gallons would see the water bill increase from $34.32 to $36.46.
The public is invited to attend and provide public comment to the BPU at the Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 meeting held in Council Chambers at 1000 Central Ave., Los Alamos, at 5:30 p.m. For additional information, contact the Customer Care Center at 505.662-8333 or by email at CustomerCare@lacnm.us

Wednesday February 13, 2019
Los Alamos Public Schools will open the online Open Enrollment Application process for the 2019-20 school year on Monday, March 4, 2019 at 8:00 am.
The Open Enrollment Application process for 2019-20 will differ from previous years. This year, there will be no requirement to complete the Open Enrollment Application in person. The application will be available online and may be completed on a smartphone or computer.
If you do not have access to a smartphone or computer, or if you need additional assistance, you may go to the LAPS Central Office to complete your application. The Central Office building is located at 2075 Trinity Dr. and opens at 8:00 a.m. Mon-Fri.
The Open Enrollment Application is for:
• any student who lives outside of Los Alamos County, and who was not enrolled as an approved out-of-district student during the 2018-19 school year;
• any student who attended an LAPS school during the 2018-19 school year, but has moved out of district in the past 12 months;
• any Elementary student who resides in Los Alamos County, but has moved to a different Elementary school zone.

Tuesday February 12, 2019
Los Alamos National Laboratory, in collaboration with the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Los Alamos Field Office and the National Park Service, will offer public tours of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park on April 5.
Registration for the event is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The day will consist of four tours of 25 people each, each lasting three hours.
The LANL event complements the April 6 Trinity Site Open House located on the northern portion of White Sands Missile Range near San Antonio, N.M.
Participants will see the Pond Cabin, which served as an office for Emilio Segrè’s Radioactivity Group studying plutonium, a battleship bunker used to protect equipment and staff during implosion design explosives testing, and the Slotin Building, site of Louis Slotin’s criticality accident.
Members of the public are invited to register for the tours on Event Brite beginning Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. LANL tour participants must be 18 years old, U.S. Citizens, and provide proof of citizenship at the tour check in.
Future tour opportunities will be announced throughout the year.

Monday February 11, 2019
Today, Los Alamos Public Schools will kick off their school bus safety campaign. This campaign will encourage drivers in Los Alamos to be extra vigilant and stop when the stop arm is extended.
Running the stop arm and flashing red lights of a school bus is not only against the law, it also endangers the safety of students getting on and off the bus. Over the next few weeks, LAPS will be promoting bus safety in our schools and across the community. Los Alamos County has is presenting a proclamation to LAPS on Monday naming the week of Feb. 11-15, 2019 as “School Bus Safety Week.”
Since the beginning of the school year, and even the start of the new semester, LAPS bus drivers have reported an increasing number of cars, throughout Los Alamos County, driving through the stop arm and flashing red lights of LAPS school buses. Last semester, 65+ cars ran a bus stop arm; in the past month alone, 20+ cars have driven through a bus stop arm.
In Los Alamos County, the penalty for running a school bus stop arm is, at minimum, a $265 fine and 6 points off your driver's license.
Each and every driver can do their part by remembering school bus safety rules and tips.
• First, drive slowly and look for children waiting at the bus stop, walking or riding their bicycles to school.
• Second, know what the flashing lights indicate. A red flashing light with the extended stop arm means traffic is required to stop, even in both directions of a two-lane road. Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is preparing to stop, so proceed with caution.
• Finally, follow all school zone speed limits, look for students in crosswalks and never pass a bus on the outside of a turn.
If you have any questions about school bus stops or school bus safety, please contact the Transportation Department at 663-2255.

Thursday February 7, 2019
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday ordered all state flags lowered to half-staff to honor and recognize the memory of Rep. Henry “Kiki” Saavedra, who died Sunday, Jan. 27.
State flags will be lowered from sundown Wednesday through sundown Friday, Feb. 8, as part of a public day of mourning across the state.

Tuesday February 5, 2019
Starting Wed. 2/6/19 Kelly Cable of NM will be working in the shoulder and sidewalk area on the north side of Trinity Dr. The sidewalk will be closed between 7th. St and 20th St. All drive lanes to remain open. Work should be completed by Friday 2/8/19.

Monday February 4, 2019
To take advantage of favorable conditions, to include fuel moisture levels, air quality, and weather forecasts, fire managers on the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) expect to begin ignitions on piles between February 4 and February 14 to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire.
Weather permitting, crews plan to treat up to 475 acres of piles located three to eight miles northeast of Jemez Springs.
The piles will be burned as three different operations. The Pino West piles are located approximately five miles northeast of Jemez Springs along the north end of Forest Road 10, and will be up to 260 acres. The Vallecitos piles are located about three to eight miles northeast of Jemez Springs, one mile southwest of Vallecitos de los Indios, north of Cat and San Juan Mesas on Forest Road 135 west of Forest Road 10, and will be up to 75 acres. The Joaquin piles area is located 6.5 miles north of Gilman, just south of Porter Landing and will be up to 140 acres.
Smoke may be visible from Jemez Pueblo, Jemez Springs, Highway 4, Thompson Ridge, Sierra Los Pinos, Ponderosa and La Cueva.

Friday February 1, 2019
The LANL Foundation is now accepting applications for $2500 education and community outreach grants. The deadline for submission in the first of two yearly grantmaking cycles is February 15, 2019.
Two types of grants are offered to nonprofit organizations, schools or education programs. Education Outreach Grants directly support public school children in grades K–12. Community Outreach Grants meet the Foundation’s mission and vision of innovative programming, collaboration and advocacy for lifelong learning but need not be tied directly to K–12 public education. Early childhood and adult learning programs and some community events fall within the category of community funding.
Public school districts, nonprofit New Mexico educational institutions, IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) organizations, government agencies, and Pueblo/Tribal communities may be eligible to receive grants and must serve one or more of the seven Northern New Mexico counties of Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, or Taos.
Grantees have one full year to spend the money and submit a final report to the LANL Foundation.
Application form, instructions and additional information may be found at www.lanlfoundation.org/grants, in addition to the list of 2018 grant recipients.

Thursday January 31, 2019
Members of the Animal Shelter Ad Hoc Committee have created a survey to collect community feedback on the local shelter. It is located on the county website. Click on the open government tab and then open forum to find the survey. The committee will use the survey results to shape their recommendations for moving forward with a list of action items that might be considered for implementation - the deadline for comments is Feb. 13.

Wednesday January 30, 2019
Los Alamos County Traffic and Streets division will be striping Diamond Drive on Thursday, January 31, 2019.
Work will commence at approximately 10:30 am and begin at the Omega Bridge and work toward the Round-a-bout at San Ildefonso Rd. They will head back to the Omega Bridge. They will only be striping the center white line and certain areas with yellow paint.
Please note the paint will take longer to dry with the colder weather temperature. Please be advised, try not to cross on the striping with your vehicles. The paint will be disrupted and may get on your vehicle and mark up other sections of the road.
Please keep a safe distance from the crew and painting equipment and follow all traffic control devices for your safety and those working this project.

Tuesday January 29, 2019
Students and parents are invited to attend AP Night at Los Alamos High School on Thursday, January 31 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm in the IMC (school library). Attendees will be able to meet with teachers and students to learn more about specific Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors course offerings at LAHS, as well as the dual credit programs offered at the high school. In addition representatives from UNM-LA and Northern New Mexico will be available to discuss dual credit and other college level courses.
AP Night attendees are asked to park in the Sullivan field lot since Future Topper Night is also being held the same evening.
All LAHS students must take an AP class, an Honors class, an online class, or a dual credit class to fulfill a graduation requirement. LAHS currently offers 7 Honors courses, 25 AP courses, and several dual credit classes.
Advanced Placement Program (AP) courses are college-level courses offered in high school. At the end of the course, students are required to take the AP exam in order to be eligible to earn a weighted grade.
Taking an AP class and earning a qualifying score on the exam may also help a student advance and avoid required introductory classes. Students are able to move in to upper level classes. Most importantly, taking an AP course builds the skills that students will need to succeed in college.
LAHS has received an AP District Honor Roll Award, becoming the first school district in New Mexico to receive this national award. Last year 341 students were enrolled in AP courses at LAHS, and took 613 AP exams in May.

Monday January 28, 2019
Allison Amrani, a 6th grader at Mountain Elementary School, was named the 2019 District Spelling Bee Champion. She will represent Los Alamos County at the State Spelling Bee in March.
Linhtet Htoon, a 6th grader at Pinon Elementary, garnered second place and James Ito, a 5th grader representing Chamisa Elementary, placed third.
Chamisa Elementary hosted the 18 contestants representing all five elementary schools and the middle school. They included four 4th graders, four 5th graders, seven 6th graders and three 8th graders.

Friday January 25, 2019
The New Mexico Supreme Court has provided new legal guidance on when police are justified to enter a private residence without a warrant.
In a ruling Thursday, the court found that authorities did not violate a Farmington man’s constitutional right to privacy by entering an unlocked apartment without a warrant to check on the residents inside.
At issue was whether an officer’s decision to enter the apartment was reasonable under the emergency assistance doctrine, which allows warrantless entry to aid injured occupants or to protect them from harm.
The officer heard an infant’s cries and another child hollering after a neighbor reported hearing a loud thumping noise. Inside, the officer found two intoxicated people passed out on the floor with an infant and two other young children in the room.


Thursday January 24, 2019
Senior Fire & Life Safety Coordinator Stephen Rinaldi was honored recently with an appointment to serve on a Technical Committee tasked with the revision of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations. The process to serve on one of the NFPA’s committees is a competitive selection process, with dozens of applications submitted each year by fire investigators and subject matter experts internationally. NFPA Technical Committees serve as the principal consensus bodies responsible for developing and updating all NFPA guides, standards and codes, which are revised and updated every three to five years. The process involves extensive research, experience and technical expertise from Committee members, along with several opportunities for public input and review. Updating NFPA standards can take as much as two years to complete the rigorous process.
Technical Committees are appointed by the NFPA Standards Council and typically consist of no more than 30 voting members representing a balance of interests. Appointment to a Technical Committee is based on such factors as technical expertise, professional standing, commitment to public safety, and the ability to bring to the table the point of view of a category of interested people or groups. Each Technical Committee is constituted so as to contain a balance of affected interests, and the Committee must reach a consensus in order to take action on an item.
Rinaldi has been active in promoting fire and life safety throughout his career, with over 20 years of service in public safety or related fields. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer program, and joined Los Alamos County in 2015. Rinaldi currently serves as a board member of the New Mexico International Association of Arson Investigators, and helps organize State conferences that promote on-going opportunities for training, continuous improvement of processes and procedures, and leadership in the field of Fire & Life Safety.

Wednesday January 23, 2019
Jan. 22-27 is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, a national health observance linking teens to science-based facts to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs.
In today’s society, it’s easy for teens to learn about drugs and alcohol from a variety of sources: the internet, social media, TV, movies, music or from friends. National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® offers the scientific facts to counteract the myths.
Research on the effects drugs have on the brain is used to develop prevention and recovery programs that are essential in helping individuals break from addiction. According to Merriam-Webster, addiction is broadly defined as the “persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.” Addiction is considered a brain disorder because it adversely changes the functioning of important brain circuits; these changes can even linger after an individual has stopped taking drugs. Addiction is similar to other diseases in that it can disrupt the normal, healthy functioning of an organ in the body, it can have serious harmful effects, and most importantly, it is preventable and treatable.
Los Alamos Public Schools is focused on the well-being of our students and the Healthy Schools Initiative is using this scientific evidence to help educate teens and parents about the dangers of substance misuse. In order to dispel the myths, LAPS will tackle commonly misused substances like alcohol, prescription drugs, marijuana and vaping. Check out LAPS on Facebook and Instagram (@discoverlaps) each day this week for more information on these topics.

Tuesday January 22, 2019
—Los Alamos National Laboratory’s average annual total impact on economic output across New Mexico from 2015 to 2017 was $3.1 billion, according to preliminary independent research from the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.
More than 55 percent of the $756 million the Laboratory spent on goods and services in the 2018 fiscal year went to New Mexico businesses, up from 45 percent in 2017.
To further boost procurement to regional businesses, the Laboratory is doubling from 5 percent to 10 percent the local price preference given to contract bids from businesses based in the seven counties surrounding the Lab -- with an additional preference for qualifying pueblo businesses.
In addition, the Laboratory is establishing a new Office of Partnerships and Pipeline to stimulate new industry partnerships and high tech start-ups and to engage the workforce of the future.
Economic impact statistics:
Of the more than $756 million in goods and services procured by the Laboratory in the 2018 fiscal year, 55 percent went to New Mexico businesses.
The contracts awarded to New Mexico small businesses in FY2018 totaled $269 million—up from $262 million in 2017.
The Laboratory employed 11,743 people in 2018—up 660 from 2017. Forty-five percent of the workforce

Monday January 21, 2019
It is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  No Live Shows.

Friday January 18, 2019
Los Alamos County Traffic & Streets division staff would like to remind motorists to be on the look out for potholes that are developing in the days following several back to back winter storms. As snow begins to melt off of roadways, the potholes are exposed in the pavement.
“Until the hot mix plant re-opens this Spring, and we see much warmer temperatures return that are needed for the hot mix to be an effective patch, we are going to continue to be in a reactive mode to fix only the worst potholes with a temporary solution,” said Dan Erickson, Traffic and Streets Division Manager.
If tomorrow’s snow forecast falls short in the volume of snow that is expected to be received, alleviating the need for the entire focus to be on snow removal, crews expect to be out patching the worst of the holes on Trinity and Diamond Drive with a bagged patching mix that is a temporary substitute until hot mix is available.
Erickson said the difficulty in making any kind of fix to the potholes is that wet, cold conditions make it difficult for the mix to “stick” to the hole and may not be effective. Shallow potholes are not a good candidate for the mix because it typically will not adhere to shallow surfaces.
Erickson encouraged drivers to be careful and try to avoid potholes, as it may still be several weeks before all of them can be addressed. Work will occur on the busiest thoroughfares and only as a lower priority to snow removal, he said.

Thursday January 17, 2019
New Mexico Speaker of the House Brian Egolf announced the committee assignments for all 17 standing and procedural committees in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Representative Christine Chandler has been assigned the House Judiciary Committee, the House Taxation and Revenue Committee and Enrolling and Engrossing Committee.

Wednesday January 16, 2019
The Los Alamos County Council is seeking Letters of Interest from those interested in filling the unexpired term of Councilor Christine Chandler, who ended her term with Council upon election as the House District 43 representative. Her term will expire December 31, 2020.
Applicants must be a registered voter and resident of Los Alamos County, and cannot be employed by the County. They should submit a letter of interest explaining their background, experience and why they are interested in the position. Letters of interest must be received no later than Thursday, January 24th at 5:00 p.m. The letter should be submitted to Harry Burgess, County Manager, 1000 Central Ave, Suite 350, Los Alamos, NM 87544. It can also be e-mailed by the deadline to lacmanager@lacnm.us.
Any individual submitting a Letter of Interest must attend the Council meeting on Tuesday, January 29th at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, and be prepared to respond to questions from Councilors. The Council expects to interview applicants and then make their selection that evening.

Tuesday January 15, 2019
New Mexico State Parks is offering free day use to furloughed federal workers during the government shutdown. Statewide, there are 34 parks which provide great recreational opportunities and educational programs and events for visitors and families. Furloughed federal workers will need to provide federal identification to State Park staff for free day use admission.

Monday January 14, 2019
UNM-LA is on a 2 hour delay due to the snow.
Due to weather conditions, Los Alamos National Laboratory will be on a delayed start today. Employees should report to work between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Betty Ehart Senior Center in Los Alamos will be on a two hour delay opening at 10:00 on Monday due to weather conditions.
The Los Alamos Public Schools are on a two-hour delay for Monday January 14, 2019.
• School buses will arrive two hours later than the usual pickup time, depending upon road conditions.
• School start times:
o High School - 9:50 am
o Mid School - 10:00 am
o Elementary schools - 10:20 am


Friday January 11, 2019
Zia Credit Union has activated their member assistance programs for members impacted by the government shutdown.
While most of our members in the local area are not impacted by the shutdown, we do have some members who work for departments that are affected such as the National Parks and Forest Service.
Zia CU is prepared to help members who are not receiving their normal payroll during the government shutdown with the following assistance programs. 60-day loan payment due date extensions, waiver of early withdrawal penalties on withdrawals up to $10,000 from a Certificate of Deposit, low-rate signature loan for members who have a current direct deposit of their affected government payroll.

Thursday January 10, 2019
The Los Alamos Public School’s Board met for a regular school board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8; here are the highlights of what was discussed.
To begin, the board recognized teachers who received their National Board Certifications, including Rebecca Cabildo, Kate Hovey, Britt Williams and Janelle Maestas. Los Alamos High School Teacher Katie Lake helped support these staff through the writing process. The National Board Certification is designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.
Next, the school board previewed a new all-employee resource center located in Suite O across from the LAPS Administration Building. The resource center, recently named “The SOURCE,” is a one-stop shop for all LAPS employees that offers tools for a variety of activities such as exercising, printing posters, hosting a meeting, viewing instructional materials and more.
Learning Systems Director Kathryn Vandenkieboom presented a proposal for the 2019 Summer Institute: professional development classes that staff can attend with a per diem incentive. Through these classes, teachers and staff are able to learn new skills and knowledge, and share experiences and insights. While external speakers are hired as needed, LAPS also draws upon local expertise to teach classes.

Wednesday January 9, 2019
EM’s legacy cleanup contractor at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) earned approximately 83 percent of the fee available during its five-month performance evaluation period in fiscal 2018, according to a recently released scorecard.
Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos (N3B) received more than $2.4 million of the $2.9 million fee available for the period of April 30, 2018 through Sept. 30, 2018.
EM releases information relating to contractor fee payments — earned by completing the work called for in their contracts — to further transparency in its cleanup program.
N3B’s performance for the Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Contract’s fiscal 2018 period was evaluated for quality, schedule, cost control, regulatory compliance, and management.
The contractor realized two significant accomplishments during the period — successfully restarting and operating the chromium interim measure and completing readiness for mobile loading at Technical Area 54’s (TA-54) Area G. The chromium interim measure involves pumping and injection to control the advancement and to shrink the footprint of a plume located beneath Sandia and Mortandad canyons at LANL.
TA-54 is LANL's waste management area. Area G is a site within TA-54 where LANL’s transuranic and low-level waste is stored, characterized, remediated, and shipped offsite. With mobile loading capabilities at Area G, N3B is able to ship waste to EM’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.


Tuesday  January 8. 2019
Los Alamos County is continuing its snow and ice control efforts due to the past severe snow events. As a recap, when a snow event is greater than 6”, the top priority is to keep major arterials and collector streets plowed before moving on to residential streets as outlined in the Los Alamos County Snow & Ice Control Plan. The County has many narrow residential streets which makes plowing efforts difficult since there is physically no space to put the snow. This issue is exacerbated by the parking of vehicles on one or both sides of the street. Crews have made at least one pass on all residential streets; however, many requests have been received for additional plowing. Crews will widen streets as resources allow, but this effort will likely cause more windrows next to parked vehicles, driveways and parking spaces. With the previous in mind, County and contract crews are now focusing on removal operations on the narrower residential streets throughout the County using motor graders, loaders, snow blowers and dump trucks. It is anticipated that this effort will continue around the clock until snow has been removed or warmer temperatures allow for ample snow storage in place. At this time the County asks residents for their help by moving vehicles parked on the street when the snow removal operation commences in their neighborhood. It is also requested that residents exercise caution and patience around snow removal operations. This will help speed up the removal efforts and allow crews to service more streets.

Monday January 7, 2019

Guzman Construction Solutions, the contractor for the new homes being built for Mirador on Parcel A-19 just north of SR4 near the Visitor Center in White Rock, will begin work this afternoon for utility tie-ins for the subdivision. The work requires the closure of the west entrance leading into the White Rock Visitor Center overflow parking lot. Initial work involves potholing the area to locate existing utilities and to determine the quantity of rock excavation required in order to place the utility lines in the area. Work is being initiated at this point to avoid impacting the Visitor Center later this spring when tourism increases. The closure into the overflow lot will be in place through the end of February. The County will be coordinating with the contractor for safety and signage for travelers in this area along SR4.

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Friday January 4, 2019
Christmas Tree Recycling:
Collection won’t start until next week. Environmental Services is asking residents not to put trees curbside before it begins Jan. 8 because if the community gets another storm Saturday and Sunday, the discarded tree may be frozen to the ground, making it tough for crews to collect them; the process is manual collection not automated.
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Thursday January 3, 2019
Los Alamos National Laboratory is closed today. UNM-LA is closed today.
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With the LANL announcement to remain closed tomorrow (Thursday) Atomic City Transit will not offer peak bus service tomorrow - but bus routes will be back up and running otherwise. This will allow ACT employees to continue shoveling out bus stops and shelters tomorrow.
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Christmas Tree Recycling:
Collection won’t start until next week. Environmental Services is asking residents not to put trees curbside before it begins Jan. 8 because if the community gets another storm Saturday and Sunday, the discarded tree may be frozen to the ground, making it tough for crews to collect them; the process is manual collection not automated.


Wednesday January 2, 2019
In light yesterday’s heavy snowfall, County Manager Harry Burgess announced that non-essential County facilities will remain closed Wednesday, Jan. 2 in order to provide snow clearing crews the opportunity to continue to address main, collector and residential streets throughout the County.
County recreational facilities will be closed, including the Libraries, Ice Rink, Golf Course and Aquatic Center. Other County services inside the Municipal Building for the Customer Care Center/Dept. of Public Utilities, Clerk, Assessor, HR, Finance, Community Development and Community Services Administration are also going to be closed on Wednesday. Public safety and road crews will remain active tomorrow to respond to emergencies and continue snow removal.
Both Visitor Centers in White Rock and Los Alamos will be closed tomorrow. Residents are encouraged to visit other contractor websites for hours of operation for such amenities as the Nature Center, Fuller Lodge Art Center, and other offices throughout the County.
Burgess said the highest priority tomorrow will be for Traffic Division crews to clear and remove snow from roadways in anticipation of re-opening on Thursday, Jan. 3.
the County's public transit system, Atomic City Transit, will not run fixed routes, but Dial-A-Ride will be available by calling 661-RIDE. Trash/recycle services in Los Alamos are suspended on Wednesday in Los Alamos but expected to proceed for the White Rock Community. Please do not put your trash out in Los Alamos as it makes snow removal harder.