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Letter to the Editor: Boot Camp a Valuable Experience

on November 30, 2012 - 3:17pm
New Councilors attend County Governance Boot Camp from left, Steven Girrens, Pete Sheehey, Kirsten Henderson and Rick Reiss. Courtesy photo
By Steven Girrens
Los Alamos Councilor-Elect

This past week our newest Councilor Rick Reiss and Councilors-Elect Kristin Henderson, Pete Sheehey and myself spent two-and-a-half days at a County Governance Boot Camp in Albuquerque.

Though no physical training, close order drills or snap inspections were involved, we were indoctrinated to several aspects of county commissioner service including roles and responsibilities, ethics and professionalism,

Radio Install Underway on Local Water Towers

on November 29, 2012 - 3:35pm

Workers from Advanced Communications and Electronics in Albuquerque are attaching two high speed microwave communication radios, one radio each to the Barranca Mesa tower and the Hawks tower on North Mesa to connect to the remainder of the  REDI-Net  network. Work is expected to be completed next week. Photo by Greg Kendall/

Photo by Greg Kendall/



County's Janet Bettinger Retires

on November 29, 2012 - 2:41pm

Retiring Department of Public Utilities Assistant Manager-Administration Janet Bettinger with DPU Manager John Arrowsmith at Fuller Lodge Wednesday. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

By Carol A. Clark

Janet Bettinger went to work for Los Alamos County as a student intern in the finance department when she was 18 years old.

"I always said I would retire when I was 46 and that seemed so old," Bettinger said at her farewell party at Fuller Lodge Wednesday. "Now I'm 46 and it doesn't seem so old."

Bettinger moved over to the Department of Public Utilities in 1989 as a customer service

Councilor Rick Reiss Heads For Boot Camp

on November 28, 2012 - 9:50am

Newly appointed Councilor Rick Reiss leaves this morning for 'County Governance Boot Camp.'  Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Staff Report

The Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved funding to send newly appointed Councilor Rick Reiss to the New Mexico Association of Counties' "County Governance Boot Camp" at the Sheraton Uptown Hotel in Albuquerque today through Friday. The cost for the boot camp is $145.

The three-day boot camp is administrered through New Mexico EDGE (Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the Public Sector), which is an umbrella organization


Petition to Expand Sheriff's Duties Falls Short

on November 28, 2012 - 9:07am
Sheriff Marco Lucero addressing Council earlier this year. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Staff Report
The Los Alamos County Council Tuesday night approved the certification that the required 1,327 signatures were not obtained by the due date of Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 to change the County Charter to expand the duties of the Los Alamos County Sheriff.
The Sheriff's Office currently is responsible for the service of legal process from various courts and court support services and maintains the County's Sex Offender Registry.
Fifteen percent of the registered voters voting

Council Approves Artwork For Animal Shelter

on November 28, 2012 - 8:27am

During Tuesday night's meeting, Councilors unanimously approved recommendations from the Art in Public Places Board to purchase a roof-top sculpture, two large acrylic murals and two smaller pieces to decorate the Los Alamos Animal Shelter at 226 East Road. The roof-top sculpture by artist Carrie Quade, illustrated here, will cost $8,500 plus installation charges. The pair of murals and two smaller pieces all painted by artist Melissa Bartlett will cost $2,500 a pair and $400 a pair respectively. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

This 30 X 40 inch canine mural by Melissa Bartlett will

Council Approves $51,700 for School Project

on November 27, 2012 - 7:43pm

County Council voted 7-0 this evening to approve $51,700 in financial support for Los Alamos Public Schools to improve A-15, a seven-acre parcel of land it owns on DP Road, which will generate future income for the schools. The money will come from a fund of more than $1 million that the County set aside to help the schools. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

School Officials Brief Council on DP Road Project

on November 27, 2012 - 7:30pm

Los Alamos Public Schools Assets Manager Joan Ahlers, LAPS Chief Financial Officer John Wolfe, center, and Deputy County Administrator/Chief Financial Officer Steven Lynne brief Council on a request by the schools for financial support in the amount of $51,000 for a Capital Improvement Project for A-15, a seven-acre parcel of land on DP Road. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Local Officials and Residents Gather in Council Chambers

on November 27, 2012 - 6:56pm

Council Chambers is a hub of activity moments before tonight's County Council meeting gets underway. Local resident Peggy Prendergast, foreground, commends County Administrator Harry Burgess, council members and others for the efficiency with which road work has been carried out of late. She also praised the Department of Public Utilities on its new billing format with its graph and other new features. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

on November 27, 2012 - 4:47pm

Now that Thanksgiving is over, County workers were out in today's nearly spring-like weather adding holiday decorations to the light poles along Central Avenue. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Seeing Double on Canyon Road

on November 27, 2012 - 4:31pm

The County is installing new roadway signs on Canyon Road and hadn't quite removed the old sign when this photograph was snapped. Photo by Fran Stovall

Today's Closed Council Session Has Been Cancelled

on November 27, 2012 - 9:15am


The Los Alamos County Council has cancelled its closed session previously scheduled from 5:30-7 p.m. today, Nov. 27.

Today's regular County Council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers in the Community Building at 20th Street and Central Avenue.


Jack Richardson to Address SanJuan/Chama Utilization Project

on November 27, 2012 - 6:00am

Test drilling in 2002. Photo by Tim Glasco/DPU


The public is invited to hear a talk on the SanJuan/Chama Utilization Project at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 in the upstairs meeting rooms at Mesa Public Library.

Project Manager Jack Richardson of the SanJuan/Chama Utilization Project will address Los Alamos County's plans to divert the water from the San Juan/Chama for use in Los Alamos.

The event is a joint presentation by the Sierra Club and League of Women Voters.

Winter Weather Preparedness Tips

on November 26, 2012 - 5:42am

Courtesy photo


BEFORE the storm:

  • Be familiar with winter storm warning messages.
  • Service snow removal equipment and have rock salt on hand to melt ice on walkways and kitty litter to generate temporary traction.
  • Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.

Winterize your home:

  • Insulate walls and attic.
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
  • Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.

Have safe emergency heating equipment available:

  • Fireplace with ample supply of wood.
  • Small, well-vented, wood, coal, or camp stove with

Council Holding Closed / Regular Meetings Tuesday

on November 25, 2012 - 6:58am


The Los Alamos County Council will hold a closed session from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27 in the conference room of the Community Building at 20th Street and Central Avenue.

The Council will follow the closed session with a regular meeting at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers that is open to the media and public.

Also, pursuant to a request from Council, the previously scheduled Dec. 11 Council Work Session in White Rock has been changed to be a Regular Council Meeting in Council Chambers at the Community Building in Los Alamos.


Pet of the Week: Shyloh the Mixed Breed

on November 24, 2012 - 8:33am

Shyloh. Courtesy/FOS

FOS News:

Pet of the Week: Shyloh is having a hard time understanding why he's still at the shelter.

This mixed breed is pretty much the perfect dog ... confident, affectionate, friendly, housebroken and he enjoys the company of children and other dogs.

Stop by and take Shyloh over to the dog park after which you probably won't be able to resist taking him home.

The Los Alamos Animal Shelter at 226 East Road, (505) 662-8179, has a great selection of on-site adoptable pets and others off-campus in foster homes.

Visit the Friends of the Shelter website

Los Alamos Police Increase Patrols For Holidays

on November 21, 2012 - 7:33am

A local police officer patrols the streets of Los Alamos. Courtesy/LAPD

LAPD News:

An increased number of Los Alamos police officers will be out in force patrolling the streets of Los Alamos County beginning today and continuing throughout the holidays.  

Police will be on the lookout for drivers operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They encourage resident to immediately report drivers suspected of being under the influence to 662-8222.

The officers also will be watching for anyone attempting to burglarize vehicles, businesses or homes in the area.

Additional bike

Miracle Kitten Survives Sub-freezing Temperatures

on November 21, 2012 - 7:20am
Milly survived sub-freezing temperatures. Courtesy/FOS
By Sally Wilkins
President of Friends of the Shelter

On a recent cold Sunday afternoon with temperatures sliding to sub-freezing for the night, a small kitten was found at the Los Alamos land fill.

The good Samaritans brought the nearly dead kitten to the police department. Friends of the Shelter volunteers were contacted, and the kitten was transported to the Emergency Clinic in Santa Fe.

Diann Mills drove and Mary Timmers held the nearly frozen kitten next to her body trying to keep it warm.

Los Alamos County Eco Station Closed

on November 20, 2012 - 8:16am


The Eco Station, also known as the County landfill, will be closed Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 23 in observance of Thanksgiving.

The Overlook Convenience Center located in White Rock also will be closed.


North Pole Workshop/Luminaria Walk Dec. 9 at Stables

on November 20, 2012 - 7:29am



North Pole Workshop & Luminaria Walk – Start an annual holiday tradition at the North Mesa stables.

Join the Los Alamos County Recreation Division, members of the Posse Lodge, Pony Club, and Stable Owners Association as they create a fun holiday event for all ages 5-7 p.m., Dec. 9, for the North Pole Workshop & Luminaria Walk.

The event includes professional digital photographs with Santa and his elves, warm drinks, light refreshments and a holiday craft.

Dress warmly, wear your walking shoes and enjoy the North Pole Workshop & Luminaria Walk.

P&Z Approves Hospice Site Plan with Conditions

on November 19, 2012 - 9:39am

Planning and Zoning Commissioners in Council Chambers Wednesday, Nov. 14 from left, Vice Chair Anne Nobile, Chair Fred Roach, Commissioner Avivah Smith-Nelson, Commissioner Pete Sheehey and Commissioner Cathy Mockler. Commissioners Ralph Phelps, Deborah Gill and David Sherrill were absent. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Staff Report

Planning and Zoning Commissioners on Nov. 14 considered a request for approval of an amendment to a site plan for the Los Alamos Visiting Nurses (LAVNS) Hospice Campus Site Plan to be located at 2202 Canyon Dr.

Architect Doug Cook representing LAVNS

Library Catalog Offline Nov. 27 for Software Upgrade

on November 19, 2012 - 9:06am


The Los Alamos County Library System online catalog will be unavailable to patrons 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Though patrons may not notice a big difference, the planned upgrade to the integrated library system software will increase efficiency for librarians’ behind-the-scenes tasks.

While the system is unavailable patrons will not be able to use any online services: they will not be able to search for books, make requests, check their account, or use the downloadable e books and audio books services.

However, patrons are still encouraged to visit either library to

No Trash or Recycling Pick-up Thursday or Friday

on November 19, 2012 - 8:01am


In observance of Thanksgiving, there will be no trash or recycling collection Thursday Nov. 22 or Friday, Nov. 23.

If Thursday or Friday is your normal pickup day, put out trash and recycling by 8 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 for collection.


‘WinterFest’ Kicks Off Holiday Fun Dec. 7-9

on November 17, 2012 - 9:41am

An elaborate Neapolitan presepio. Courtesy/


Winterfest 2012 begins Friday, Dec. 7 and runs through Sunday, Dec. 9.

WinterFest begins with the 19th annual Los Alamos Crèche Show, held annually on the first weekend of December.

“Crèches,” or nativity scenes featuring the Christ child, are prominently displayed by Los Alamos residents for all to see.

Because Los Alamos’ residents come from all over the world, there is always a myriad of beautiful crèches on display.

The show takes place 2-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 and again 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 at the

Pet of the Week: Ralphie the Cat

on November 17, 2012 - 8:19am


Ralphie, 3, is a DSH spayed, female tabby/tortie, given for adoption with her friend Mo.

Shy at first, Ralphie has come out of her shell and now lets shelter volunteers pet and admire her, however, she reportedly does not care for dogs.

The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, (505) 662-8179, has a great selection of on-site adoptable pets waiting for a home. Others reside off-campus in foster homes.

"Thank you, Los Alamos! We have had a really good week for cat adoptions," said Sylvia of Friends of the Shelter.