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Local Bus Slides Into Ditch

on December 20, 2012 - 8:22am

An Atomic City Transit bus slid into a ditch at about 10.30 a.m. Wednesday during snowfall as it traveled the first main left turn going up toward the Ski Hill. No injuries were reported. Photo by J. Roberts

Photo by J. Roberts

Photo by J. Roberts

Nature Center Hours During Holidays

on December 20, 2012 - 8:14am

A Stellers Jay seen Dec. 13 in a backyard on Barranca Mesa. Photo by Marion Stelts

PEEC News:

The nature center at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, 3540 Orange St., will be open during the holiday week, so bring your out-of-town guests:

Dec. 18-22 - Open regular hours
Dec. 24-25 - Closed
Dec. 26-29 - Open regular hours
Dec. 31-Jan 1 Closed
Jan. 2 onward - Open regular hours


Note: Regular hours are Tues-Friday noon-4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - For information, visit

TOTH Invites Community to Christmas Service

on December 20, 2012 - 8:01am

Photo by TK Thompson/

TOTH News:

Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church warmly invites the community to its Christmas Eve Family Communion service. The service will include a musical celebration of Christmas, performed by the younger members of the church, at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24 in the sanctuary of Trinity on the Hill, 3900 Trinity Dr.

Some 15 elementary and middle school aged youth will perform “Archangel Gabriel’s Awesome Adventure,” a musical fantasy by Beth Merrill and Allan Robert Petker. 

The composers created this musical from a simple question: if angels are sweet

I-25 SB Lanes at Old Pecos Trail Closed Saturday Morning

on December 20, 2012 - 7:57am


The New Mexico Department of Transportation will be closing I-25 southbound lanes at Old Pecos Trail in Santa Fe early Saturday morning, Dec. 22.

The lanes will be closed at 3 a.m. to allow workers to erect a large overhead sign structure at the St. Francis Drive interchange and by 5 a.m. should be re-opened.

During the closure, southbound I-25 traffic will be detoured onto Rabbit Road and then directed back to the Interstate at St. Francis Drive.

Northbound I-25 traffic will not be affected by the closure.

Don’t Let a D.W.I. Crash Your Holidays

on December 20, 2012 - 7:49am


SANTA FE – The holidays are here and that means celebrations and parties, many of which include punched up eggnog, champagne and even hot toddies. 

While we’re not saying don’t enjoy yourself, we are saying do NOT get behind the wheel of a car after enjoying these or any other alcoholic beverages. Not even one.

Most people assume the standard breath/blood alcohol content for a D.W.I.

Beauty is in Simplicity for Newly Discovered 'Quantum Spin Liquid'

on December 20, 2012 - 7:41am

This image depicts magnetic effects within Herbertsmithite crystals, where green regions represent higher scattering of neutrons from NIST's Multi-Angle Crystal Spectrometer (MACS). Scans of typical highly-ordered magnetic materials show only isolated spots of green, while disordered materials show uniform color over the entire sample. The in-between nature of this data shows some order within the disorder, implying the unusual magnetic effects within a spin liquid. Courtesy/NIST

NIST News:

A research team including scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Letter to the Editor: Oh, What To Do ...

on December 20, 2012 - 7:39am
By JJ Maier
Los Alamos

This is a mental health crisis brought to the front by an horrific tragedy.

We must undo the damage done by the Reagan and subsequent administrations/congresses when they eliminated the mental health help/care we were providing to people in need.

Because this is such a complex and mea culpa issue, the media and many short-sighted folks will try to make it a gun issue, which is way simpler.

Take away all guns and mentally sick folks will use knives and rocks. Please, let’s get this runaway train on the right track at least. Thank You!



Los Alamos Chiropractors Celebrate Season

on December 20, 2012 - 7:38am
Los Alamos chiropractors gathered Wednesday for lunch at the Dixie Girl Restaurant on Central Avenue from left, Dr. Merry McIntyre, Dr. Gary Storkin, Dr. Nancy Savoia and seated Dr. Kim Lazarus dined, chatted and celebrated the holiday season. Courtesy photo

UNM-LA Honoring Jeannette Wallace Jan. 13

on December 20, 2012 - 7:37am

The community is invited to attend a ceremony at UNM-Los Alamos to pay tribute to the memory of Jeannette O. Wallace with the dedication of the college's newest lecture hall in her name in honor of her long service to the Los Alamos community and tireless commitment to education. The event is set for 12:30-2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13 with the dedication at 1 p.m. at the UNM-LA campus, 4000 University Dr.

Bingaman, Udall Seek Answers on REAL ID

on December 20, 2012 - 7:36am
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall today asked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide New Mexicans with immediate assurances that their travel plans early in the new year will not be disrupted by a federal law governing drivers' licenses.
While the senators support strengthening the standards governing IDs, they are concerned that as many as 38 states - including New Mexico - will not be able to meet the Jan. 15, 2013 deadline to comply with the law.
DHS has previously told the senators that New Mexico drivers' license holders will still be able to

Los Alamos Friends Throws First Christmas Party

on December 20, 2012 - 7:35am


The new social group in town, "Los Alamos Friends," is throwing their first Christmas Party 2-4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 23, and it is open to the general public.

Seating is limited, so you must RSVP quickly to reserve a spot and please bring a treat to share with about 20 people.

The host is Beau Gerard, "The Bike Doctor" at 3711 Trinity Dr, in Los Alamos. Beau "Baruch" Gerard has generously opened his home to Los Alamos Friends and the community at large, where he will be playing Christmas Carols.

In addition to being the town's "bike doc," he is a concert pianist


United Way Thanks Supporters as Campaign Thermometer Rises

on December 20, 2012 - 7:35am

United Way of Northern New Mexico Campaign Chairs Gene and Wendy Schmidt, left, and Executive Director Kristy Ortega raise the campaign fundraising thermometer Tuesday. Courtesy/UWNNM


United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) raises its campaign thermometer to $500,000, Tuesday and donations are still being counted.

United Way thanks community members and small businesses of Los Alamos and Rio Arriba Counties, as well as LANL employees and LANS for their investment in this year’s campaign fundraiser.

Dr. Gene and Wendy Schmidt led the fundraising this year as Campaign Chairs.


Community Invited to Celebrate New Local Business

on December 20, 2012 - 7:34am

Abe Dispennette


Abe Dispennette invites the community to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony at his new business, Abe Dispennette State Farm Insurance Agency.

The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event at 3 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 3 at Abe Dispennette State Farm Insurance Agency, 1362 Trinity Drive Suite B.


Blue Window Bistro Offers New Year’s Eve Pre-Party Dinner

on December 20, 2012 - 7:33am

The Blue Window Bistro in Los Alamos will host a 5-course New Year’s Eve dinner from 5-9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31. Reservations are required.

A special menu will be served, including three appetizer choices, 3 entrée choices and a complimentary glass of champagne for $60 per person.

First Course

  • Blue Corn Blinis with Smoked Salmon
  • Oysters Trio
  • Maple Glazed Boneless Quail
  • Vegetarian Tasting

Second Course

  • Lobster Bisque
  • Pomegranate and Roquefort Salad


  • Lemon Sorbet

Fourth Course

  • East and West Seafood Platter
  • Red Chile Marinated Lamb Chops
  • Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast
  • Duo of Black Angus

Twelve Holiday Fire Horrors

on December 20, 2012 - 7:32am
The holiday season is the time of year when most people are thinking about shopping for gifts, office parties and spending time with family and friends.
Sadly, this is also the time when home fires peak. Approximately one-third of home fires and home fire deaths occur during December, January and February.
State Farm® reminds consumers that the potential for a home fire is highest during the winter months.
A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that nearly 50 percent of Americans age 23 and over increased their chances of a home fire because

Udall Issues Statement on Speaker Ben Luján

on December 20, 2012 - 7:30am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall issued the following statement on the death of longtime New Mexico House Speaker Ben Luján Wednesday:
"Our state lost a great leader, and a great friend, yesterday with the passing of Speaker Ben Luján. For over four decades, Ben was a tireless advocate for the people of New Mexico. Ben was a dedicated public servant, and even a devastating illness could not deter him from the job he had committed to do. He remained steadfast in his service to the people of our state, and he was an inspiration to all who knew him.
"Ben came of age in the Great Depression.

DPU Restores Power to North Mesa

on December 20, 2012 - 12:55am

DPU News:

Field reports indicate that a power outage affecting North Mesa impacted 1/3rd of customers in and between the Del Norte neighborhoods eastward to the Tsikimu Village neighborhoods.

Power was uninterrupted to the remaining areas of North Mesa.

As of 12:05 midnight today, Dec. 20, power has been restored to all customers. Permanent repairs will be underway later today - Thursday, Dec. 20.


Money IQ: Small Business Loans

on December 19, 2012 - 10:49am
Money IQ
By Al Hernandez
Small Business Loans

The challenges of obtaining a small business loan continue to frustrate budding entrepreneurs and as well as established small business owners alike.

Small business loans are generally defined as those seeking credit of $1 million or less. Financial institutions are less likely to lend in today’s environment and the reasons are many - a still weak but slowly improving economy, tightened bank underwriting standards, ever changing bank regulations, and or increased fear or skepticism with lending to newer firms or start-up businesses.

Community Invited to Friday Vigil

on December 19, 2012 - 10:39am


The Los Alamos High School Student Council has organized a special candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting.

The memorial will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 at Ashley Pond Park. Members of the community are asked to bring their own candle to the memorial.

Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt and youth advocate and local resident Morrie Pongratz will be guest speakers, followed by a moment of silence and remembrance by candlelight around the pond.

Residents are asked to join in and honor the children,

A Chat With Pet Pangaea Owner Cyndi Wells

on December 19, 2012 - 10:31am

Pet Pangaea owner Cyndi Wells with customers Sarah and John Gustafson's dog Isabelle. Courtesy photo

By Greg Kendall

Cyndi Wells is the owner of Pet Pangaea. Wells started Pet Pangaea in early 2005. Since that time, Wells has been searching for a location to build a store. Recently, I sat down with Wells and discussed the state of small business ownership in Los Alamos. 

Wells came to Los Alamos in 2000 for a post doctorial position at Los Alamos National Laboratory and became a technical staff member. She has a PhD in Chemistry.

Wells is married to Mike Warren.

School Board and College Board Candidates Surface

on December 19, 2012 - 9:37am

Two candidates turned out Tuesday morning to file in the County Clerk's Office for the two vacancies coming on the Los Alamos Board of Education. Rep. Jim Hall, right, is representing the Pinon Elementary School District and Matt Williams is representing the Chamisa Elementary School District. Chief Deputy Clark Sheryl Nichols explained that because both districts are uncontested, polling places will not need to be set up for the February election. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

County Councilor Mike Wismer, center, arrived at the County Clerk's Office Tuesday morning and began

Co-op Surpasses $3 Million in Sales

on December 19, 2012 - 9:35am

Co-op Board Member Nancy Savoia and General Manager Steve Watts. Courtesy Photo


The Los Alamos Co-op Market has announced that on Dec. 16, it reached another major milestone with year-to-date sales exceeding $3 million.

The Co-op opened March 2, 2011 and has grown to 1,703 members with approximately 75 percent of the sales being from its member-owners.

The Co-op is open to all whether they are a member or not.

"This is a most exciting milestone for our Co-op," said founding board president and current board member Nancy Savoia. "It is quite gratifying to see


County Bids Three Councilors Farewell

on December 19, 2012 - 9:21am

Los Alamos County Council Chair Sharon Stover embraces Councilor Mike Wismer in the final moments of their time together on Council during Tuesday night's last Council meeting of the year. Stover, Wismer and Councilor Vincent Chiravalle officially leave office Dec. 31. Council Vice Chair Geoff Rodgers looks on at right. The remaining County Councilors and County Board and Commission members and Staff formally recognize the outgoning Councilors' service and thanked them for their dedication to the community.

OBITUARY: Frank A. Ortega 1948 - Dec. 11, 2012

on December 19, 2012 - 8:40am

Frank A. Ortega 1948 - Dec. 11, 2012

Frank A. Ortega, 64, a resident of Los Alamos passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. 

Mr. Ortega was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, sportsman and avid weight lifter.

He was a lifetime member of the NRA. He retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory in April of 2012. Upon retirement, he spent his time with his grandchildren; the loves of his life.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Pedro and Siprianita Ortega. Mr.

Council Adopts 2013 Federal Agenda

on December 19, 2012 - 8:35am
In its final meeting together because three members leave office Dec. 31, the Los Alamos County Council voted 7-0 to adopt the 2013 Los Alamos County Federal Agenda. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Staff Report
Los Alamos County Council voted unanamously to adopt the 2013 (FY 2014) Los Alamos County Federal Agenda. The County has many important relationships with the federal government. It regulates a variety of aspects of County functions.
The County must continuously work to understand, comply with, and provide input to federal laws and regulations that impact its