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Los Alamos County Council Honors Kevin Smith

on December 4, 2012 - 8:22pm

Los Alamos County Councilor Vincent Chiravalle, right, on behalf of the Council, presents Los Alamos Site Office Manager Kevin W. Smith with a gift of a framed photograph of aspen trees by Leslie Bucklin in recognition of his service to the County. The DOE/NNSA recently announced that Smith will be departing Los Alamos in January to become the manager of the Office of River Protection.

BREAKING NEWS: Police Capture Burglary Suspects

on December 4, 2012 - 2:56pm

Skylar B. Smith. Courtesy/LAPD
By Carol A. Clark
Los Alamos Daily Poswt

Detectives from the Los Alamos Police Department's Investigations Division, working in conjunction with the Albuquerque Police Department’s Auto Theft Division, have apprehended a man suspected in the recent rash of auto burglaries in Los Alamos.

Skylar B. Smith, 20, of Rio Rancho, who previously lived in Los Alamos, was arrested Monday, Dec. 1 on a Los Alamos warrant for auto burglary and theft of credit cards. 

Coady Richards. Courtesy/LAPD

Smith's arrest comes after a lengthy

County Offers Free Luminaria Sand

on December 4, 2012 - 12:02pm


Each year, the Los Alamos County Pavement Division provides free luminaria sand as a courtesy to residents.

Sand is now available at these locations:

  • Overlook Park – in south Parking Lot
  • Urban Park – in 42nd St. Parking Area
  • Sullivan Field – west side of Parking Lot
  • Barranca Mesa – at the end of Barranca Rd @ Navajo
  • North Mesa – at the north end of Soccer Field Parking Lot

Residents are asked to limit the amount of sand taken to the amount needed for their holiday luminarias.

Craig Martin Addresses Post-Las Conchas Fire Trail Rehabilitation Dec. 12

on December 4, 2012 - 11:50am

Members of the Youth Conservation Corps re-route a section of the Valle Canyon Trail. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Come to PEEC from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12 to get an update on the status of post-Las Conchas Fire trail rehabilitation from Open Space and Trails Specialist Craig Martin.

Craig Martin

Craig Martin began his career in Los Alamos as a freelance writer.  He has written many books and magazine articles on local outdoor recreation and history, including a wonderful, comprehensive guide to trails in and around Los Alamos and White Rock. 

This book in particular should be on

Special Library Winterfest Afternoon This Sunday

on December 4, 2012 - 10:22am

New Library Manager Steven Thomas

The community is invited to join Mesa Public Library 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 for an exhibit opening, author talk and to welcome new Library Manager Steven Thomas.

The afternoon event begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Upstairs Meeting Rooms with Authors Speak guest Chris Wilson.

This talk is followed at 2:30 p.m. with the Plazas of New Mexico Exhibit opening reception in the Upstairs Art Gallery.

A welcome reception caps off the afternoon from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. for new Los Alamos County Library System Manager Steven Thomas in the Upstairs Rotunda.


Transportation Board Meets Dec. 6

on December 4, 2012 - 7:21am


Transportation Board meets at 5:30 p.m., Dec. 6 in the Public Works Conference Room at 2101 Trinity Dr. Suite A2.

The meeting is open to the public.


I. Call to Order

II. Public Comment (for items not on the agenda)

III. Approval of Transportation Board Minutes

A. Oct. 18, 2012

IV. New Business

A. Canyoncito Montessori School Traffic Control Plan

V. Old Business

A. Continued Discussion: 2030 Challenge for Planning, Adopting Building and Transportation Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Standards

VI. Staff Report

A. NM502 / Trinity Design Update



DWI Planning Council Meets Dec. 11

on December 4, 2012 - 6:58am


The Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council Meeting is scheduled to meet at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 11 in the Los Alamos Police Department Training Room, 2500 Trinity Dr. 

The meeting is open to the public.


Call to Order
II. Approval of minutes from previous meeting: 11/15/2012
(Minutes are available upon request. Please contact the Los Alamos Police Department Records Division @ or 663-1741.
III. Presentation from Department of Finance (DFA) Representative
IV. New Business
V. Next Meeting Scheduled for Jan. 10, 2013
VI. Adjourn Meeting


Brief Power Outage Today on DP Road

on December 3, 2012 - 6:53pm

DPU News:

A brief power outage affected approximately 50 Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities’ customers this morning.

Beginning at 11:10 a.m., electricity was lost to businesses on the south side of Trinity Drive from 15th Street to the end of DP Road after a high voltage switch did not fully engage when placed back in service.

DPU electric linemen responded and restored power within 15 minutes.

The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) operates the county-owned electric, gas, water & wastewater systems under the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utilities.

The Board meets at


Property Tax Due Date Coming Up

on December 3, 2012 - 12:02pm


Los Alamos County property tax bills for 2012 were mailed to property owners on the first of November.

The first half installment becomes delinquent after Monday, Dec. 10. Payment must either be made in person by 5 p.m. Dec. 10 at the 311 Customer Care Center or postmarked by midnight that same day to avoid late payment penalty and interest charges. 

The 311 Customer Care Center is located at 150 Central Park Square and open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Payments should be mailed to P.O.


Police Chief on Sick Leave

on December 1, 2012 - 3:03pm

Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy is out of the office on sick leave.

Deputy Police Chief Randy Foster is Acting Police Chief until Torpy returns.

Pet of the Week: Mo the Cat

on December 1, 2012 - 8:08am

Mo snoozes in her cozy nook at the Los Alamos Animal Shelter waiting for adoption. Courtesy/FOS

FOS News:

Mo is a very soft 3-year-old female cat surrendered for adoption with her feline friend Ralphie.

Neither cat cares for dogs or boisterous children. Mo and Ralphie are now circulating in the cat room and enjoy the attention of volunteers.

The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 505-662-8179, has a large selection of on-site pets available for adoption.

Additional pets are living off-campus in foster homes until someone adopts them.

Visit the Friends of the Shelter website:

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