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Column By UNM President: Higher Education Fundamental to Los Alamos

on September 5, 2013 - 2:18pm

Higher Education Fundamental to Los Alamos

By Robert G. Frank

UNM President

As the President of New Mexico’s flagship institution, I am proud to have a branch campus in Los Alamos, located in the heart of a premier science and technology community and home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

UNM Los Alamos (UNM-LA) has been serving Los Alamos and northern New Mexico since 1980 by preparing talented students to continue their academic journey at UNM’s main campus in Albuquerque.

Town Hall Features Hilltalkers Debating UNM-LA Mil Levy

on September 5, 2013 - 12:30pm
Members of the Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers Debate Team took on the UNM-LA Mil Levy question during a Town Hall event at the college Aug. 29. Photo by Vint Miller
Hilltalkers debate the UNM-LA mil levy question at a Aug. 29 Town Hall. Photo by Vint Miller
Staff Report
Members of the Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers debated the UNM-LA Mil Levy question during a Town Hall meeting Aug. 29, sponsored by the League of Women Voters.
Community members attended the event at the UM-LA Lecture Hall. Dr.

CommUnity University Day at UNM-LA Saturday

on September 5, 2013 - 8:52am

Image by Vint Miller

UNM-LA News:

UNM-Los Alamos and Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) together 
with local businesses and organizations invite the public to attend CommUnity University Day Saturday, Sept. 7.

The event is 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at UNM-LA. Cost to attend is $10 per person with lunch available for purchase.

Included are 50 minute sessions on a wide variety of topics taught by representatives from community organizations. There also will be exhibits and booths hosted by community partners. 

Topics include:

  • Art History: A Virtual Tour
  • Artistic Pumpkin Carving
  • Bridge
  • Bubbles:

Letter to the Editor: UNM-LA Needs to be Part of Dynamic Future

on September 5, 2013 - 7:59am
Los Alamos

Dear Los Alamos citizens:

After being away from Los Alamos all summer, the progress in our town comes across as really impressive. Work on the Trinity Site seems really serious. 

David Griggs of the county staff, gave me my first tour of the new County Municipal Building. I haven't had time to look closely at the pond redevelopment project, but it is good to see it moving ahead. It is also good to see a real building growing at the golf course that also will provide a large space and kitchen facility for the community to use for special occasions. 

When these

PEEC Offers Rare Chance to Explore Buckman Cave

on September 5, 2013 - 7:40am

A caver explores Buckman Cave during a PEEC trip. Courtesy photo

PEEC News:

For those who seek an adventure this fall, look no further than the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) caving trip to explore Buckman Cave in Diablo Canyon.

Buckman Cave is an elusive spelunking spot outside of Santa Fe. Few locals know about it. Local outdoorsman and adventure guide Tony Hinojosa will lead the PEEC day trip Sunday, Sept 22.

The group will meet at 8 a.m. at PEEC and return by 5 p.m. The length of time in the cave will be approximately three to four hours.

Atomic City Children’s Theater to Hold Auditions

on September 5, 2013 - 7:26am

Los Alamos students at the Junior Theatre Festival 2012. Courtesy photo

ACCT News:

Atomic City Children’s Theater (ACCT), the Los Alamos Public Schools’ award winning after-school theater program, announces auditions for their Junior Theater Festival (JTF) field trip to Atlanta, Ga.

Auditions are 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 and open to all students in the Los Alamos or White Rock area. Students wishing to participate in the field trip should come to the Mountain Elementary School gym. Registration begins at noon.

JTF activities begin with an adjudicated performance.

PEEC Amateur Naturalist: Mud Is Important

on September 4, 2013 - 7:34am
Deeply mindful of mud.Photo by Michele Altherr
PEEC Amateur Naturalist: Mud Is Important
By Robert Dryja

Particular thanks to Michele Altherr and the Nature Odyssey

“Holmes, I have been thinking about our little expedition the other week to observe harvester ants. You quite clearly already knew that the ants built their nest entrance to face to the east or the south. I, on the other hand, needed to look at nest after nest before realizing what direction the entrances faced. How did you know so quickly what was going on?” 

Holmes paused for several moments, thinking deeply and creating

PEEC Sponsors Mushroom Hike

on September 4, 2013 - 7:27am

PEEC News:

With all the rain in the area lately, crops of mushrooms have popped up all around.

Join PEEC and members of the New Mexico Mycological Society (NMMS) for a free mushroom walk at Pajarito Ski Hill at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8. Participants should meet at PEEC at 9:30 a.m. to carpool to the Pajarito Ski Area. Four experts from the Mycological Society will be on hand to identify and interpret the different mushrooms growing after the wet summer.

The program will begin with some introductory comments from the NMMS experts, and then the participants will be divided equally into

UNM-LA Mil Levy Ballots Continue at Steady Pace

on September 3, 2013 - 3:32pm

Los Alamos County Chief Deputy Clerk Sheryl Nichols said late this morning that her office has been receiving a steady flow of ballots for the UNM-LA mil levy election following the holiday weekend. Ballots must physically arrive in the Clerk's Office by 7 p.m., Sept. 17 to be counted. Dr. Cindy Rooney, Dean of Instruction at UNM-LA will speak at this month's Chamber Business Breakfast about the funding situation at the college and how the local campus can better serve businesses. The talk is 7:30-9 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 5 at the UNM-LA Lecture Hall in the Student Services Building.

Los Alamos Pilot Takes Belgium Exchange Student on Flight

on September 2, 2013 - 7:31am

Los Alamos Rotarian Gary Derosier of First National Bank of Santa Fe pilots his own plane and Aug. 28 took Belgium exchange student Thomas Routiaux on a flight around the area. Photo by Lisa Harris

Gary Derosier, left, and Thomas Routiaux prepare to board the plane for their morning flight. Photo by Lisa Harris

Staff Report

When Belgium exchange student Thomas Routiaux spoke to the Los Alamos Rotary Club recently, a member asked him "what can we do for you?" Routiaux asked members to take him with them to gain new experiences.

"How would you like to take a plane ride," said Rotarian Gary

NM Public Education Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera to Speak at Los Alamos Community Dinner

on September 1, 2013 - 9:10am

GOP News:

The Los Alamos Republican Party is sponsoring a community dinner emphasizing public education in New Mexico.

New Mexico Public Education Department Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera is the guest speaker for the event set for 6 p.m., Sept. 11 in the large conference room at the Los Alamos Research Park, 4200 West Jemez Road.

Skandera has served as a senior policy advisor and deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Education. During former President George W.

Join These Community Members in Supporting UNM-LA

on August 31, 2013 - 10:47am

UNM-LA News:

The UNM-LA special election ballots were delivered this week to registered voters. As a mail-in election, there will not be a polling location and every voter must return their ballot to the County Clerk’s Office by 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17. We encourage you to carefully consider the question and exercise your vote.

The following community members invite you to join them in supporting UNM-LA by voting yes!

Marv & Rosemary Alme

Karyl Ann Armbruster

John Arrowsmith

Ellen Ben-Naim

Fran Berting

Alan Bishop

Judy Bjarke-McKenzie

Steve & Kathy Boerigter

Nona Bowman

Art Brown

Harry Burgess

Letter to the Editor: Open Letter to Middle School Parents

on August 30, 2013 - 8:06am
By  Dr. Gene Schmidt
LAPS Superintendent

I am pleased to share the exciting news that middle school students and staff will move into their new school on Tuesday, Sept. 17. In sharing this wonderful and long anticipated news, I begin by thanking voters for approving the 2009 construction bond that funded our beautiful new school.

I also thank taxpayers throughout New Mexico for providing an additional $5.2 million in Public School Capital Outlay Council matching funds. But most of all, I thank our community for its patience during the construction of the building.

Explore Red Rocks and Jemez Pueblo Culture Sept. 7

on August 30, 2013 - 7:59am
Hikers explore red rock country at Jemez Pueblo. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

When taking the “back road” from Albuquerque to Los Alamos through the Jemez mountains, stunning red rocks appear as if out of nowhere, on Jemez Pueblo land.

On a guided hike organized by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) Saturday, Sept. 7, there is the opportunity to explore these rock formations and learn about the history and culture of the Jemez people who have lived there for centuries.

Mary Pecos, a guide at the Walatowa Visitor Center, will lead the group on a 1.5 mile hike through the

Middle School Students Begin Calendar Countdown

on August 30, 2013 - 7:53am

Los Alamos Middle School students Sophia Sivils and Aidan Beevers meet with school staff to plan the move into their new school. Courtesy photo

LAPS News:

Sophia Sivils and Aidan Beevers, both members of the Los Alamos Middle School Student Council, point to Sept. 17 as the targeted day to move into their new school.

“Stating it’s time to get the move going,” the students met with LAMS Principal Rex Kilburn, Assistant Superintendent Gerry Washburn and Bond and Construction Coordinator, Herb McLean to plan the calendar countdown for the move into the new middle school.

“Students are really


UNM-LA Mil Levy Ballots Pour Into Clerk's Office

on August 29, 2013 - 7:00pm

Senior Deputy Clerk Adrianna Ortiz, left, and County Clerk Sharon Stover today looked over hundreds of ballots that have poured into the Los Alamos County Clerk's Office since mailed out to registered voters Monday for the UNM-LA mil levy. The Clerk's Office mailed out 13,831 ballots and 650 have been returned of which three were unsigned. The postmaster returned 200 as undeliverable. Ballots must be physically received in the County Clerk’s Office by 7 p.m., Sept. 17 to be counted. Postmarked envelopes do not count. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Governor Announces Stipends for Teachers

on August 29, 2013 - 9:35am

  • Up to 400 Teachers Could Earn Additional $5000

SANTA FE – Gov. Susana Martinez announced Wednesday that a new education reform initiative will pay 400 New Mexico teachers an additional $5,000 to work with students in struggling schools or to help students earn Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

The first step in the initiative will reward 100 teachers who agree to move from a school with a grade of an A or B to a school with a D or F grade. Teachers must commit to a minimum of two years at the struggling school in order to receive the stipend.

Additionally, 300

Letter to the Editor: NO! to the Mil Tax Increase

on August 29, 2013 - 9:20am
Los Alamos

Every year, one organization or another posts the day of the year that we all work to just to pay our taxes. With the proposed Mil Tax, property owners can add another two days of work to that date to pay the Mil Tax increase. That’s two days you work and pay taxes on that income, just to send the rest to your local government in the form of another tax. I, for one, am tired of government organizations overspending and otherwise mismanaging their monies and then putting their hand in my pocket to make up for it.

The University of New Mexico has many channels for

PEEC Offers Reptile and Amphibian Guide

on August 29, 2013 - 7:31am

'Reptiles and Amphibians of the Pajarito Plateau' is PEEC's latest publication. Courtsey photo

PEEC News:

As you are out enjoying your hike or walk around the neighborhood, a medium-sized lizard skirts your path and disappears under a rock. Was it a Tree Lizard, or more likely, the common Eastern Fence Lizard?

Learn how to identify the salamanders, frogs, toads, lizards and snakes found around Los Alamos in the Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s newest publication, “Reptiles and Amphibians of the Pajarito Plateau.” The booklet was written by Jennifer Macke and Garth Tietjen and is

New Season of Teen Café Scientifique NM Launches Sept. 5!

on August 28, 2013 - 12:06pm
Students learn about robotics from LANL post doc Steve Anton during a Café last year. Courtesy photo 
Courtesy photo 
Teen Café Scientifique New Mexico is launching its first program of the season at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5 at the Los Alamos Research Park, 4200 West Jemez Road. The program is free and open to all teens.
Dr. Steven Brumby of Los Alamos National Laboratory, who studies neuroscience models for computer vision and develops computer codes to simulate vision, will present "Can You See Me Now? Teaching Computers to See."
The program begins with a

Public Art Installation,'The Power of Code,' Unveiled at UNM-LA

on August 28, 2013 - 8:57am
UNM-LA faculty, staff and community members gather before the ribbon cutting ceremony for 'The Power of Code,' the new public art project on the UNM-LA campus. Photo by Vint Miller
Santa Fe artist Nicolas Gadbois cuts the ribbon on his new public art piece, 'The Power of Code' at the UNM-LA campus Tuesday. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon


It’s been nearly eight years in the making, but The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) finally dedicated the new public art piece, The Power of Code, Tuesday at a gathering of students, staff and community members on the UNM-LA

Letter to the Editor: Support a Community Treasure

on August 28, 2013 - 8:47am
Democratic Party of Los Alamos County

The Democratic Party of Los Alamos County joins Chairman Gibson and other local Republicans in support of the UNM-LA Mil Levy.

When I graduated from high school in upstate New York, I chose to attend the local community college for my first two years. Classmates came back from their far flung institutions with exciting tales of huge lecture halls and the anonymity of being at a large school. More than a few returned prematurely from their college experiences, not yet ready for such dramatic changes.

In contrast, my experience

Letter to the Editor: Look at UNM-LA Tax Proposal on Its Own Merits

on August 28, 2013 - 8:12am
Republican Party of Los Alamos

Los Alamos voters have a rare opportunity to consider a tax increase proposal that actually has sound justification, the UNM-LA mil levy increase.

No community owes more to education nor values it more highly than ours. UNM-LA is an important local educational resource. It does its job well. Its graduation and job placement rates far exceed state averages.

UNM-LA’s operating mil levy has not increased since its founding 30 years ago. Alone, that is not a valid argument for the proposed hike.

Los Alamos Rotary Sponsors Student From Belgium

on August 28, 2013 - 8:05am

Thomas Routiaux is a Los Alamos Rotary Club exchange student from Belgium attending Los Alamos High School this year. Routiaux gave a presentation to the Rotary Club Tuesday at the Dixie Girl Restaurant about his life in Neupré, Liege, Belgium. Since its founding 47 years ago, the Los Alamos Rotary Club has sponsored 44 foreign exchange students and 50 outbound students from Los Alamos. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Belgium exchange student Thomas Routiaux describes his life back home and told Rotary Club members Tuesday that he likes to eat just about all foods but does not care

Students and Staff Honor Beloved Teacher Marilyn Fabry

on August 28, 2013 - 8:04am
Students and school staff  walked to Los Alamos High School math teacher Marilyn Fabry's house to honor her and to support her in her fight against cancer on Marilyn Fabry Day, Tuesday, Aug. 27. They wore Fabry's favorite color, orange. Courtesy photo
Students and staff recognized Marilyn Fabry's 38 year teaching career and 19 years of service with the Los Alamos School District during Tuesday's event. Courtesy photo

LAPS News:

Los Alamos School Board President Jim Hall and School Board Vice-President Judy Bjarke-McKenzie joined with students and staff Tuesday in meeting with high