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Community Building Gets Springtime Makeover

on April 2, 2012 - 7:57am

The County landscaped the front grounds of the Community Building at 20th Street and Central Avenue with new plants, stones and a bench in time for spring. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Muni Building Crane Sparkles in Saturday Night's Sky

on April 1, 2012 - 8:26am

The 250-foot crane in operation during the day this week at the Municipal Building Complex construction site is strung with lights that give the neighborhood quite an evening sparkle. This shot was taken with a 20 second exposure, f7.1, ISO 220, Nikon D5000, from the north side of Iris Street midway between 9th and 15th streets. Photo by George Chandler

In this shot, the conjunction with Venus and Jupiter was just about more than an old physicist could stand. It was taken with a 30 second exposure at f7.1, ISO 280, Nikon D5000, from 9th Street just north of Central Avenue.

Appeals Court Upholds Constitutionality of Tax Lightning Law

on March 31, 2012 - 7:26am

County Assessor JoAnn Johnson with Chief Deputy Assessor Joaquin Valdez. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

By Carol A. Clark

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has upheld the constitutionality of a state law that can result in sharply increased tax assessments for homes that change ownership – a practice known as “tax lightning.”

“This doesn’t affect us at all in Los Alamos because we have followed State Statute 73621.2 for the past 10 years,” said Los Alamos County Chief Deputy Assessor Joaquin Valdez.


County Signs Ground Lease and Developer Agreement for Trinity Site

on March 30, 2012 - 6:04pm

County News:

It's a deal!

Los Alamos County Administrator Harry Burgess announced this morning that the County has executed the ground lease and developer agreement with Los Alamos Trinity LP for the property known as the “Trinity Site.”

The property is located just south of Trinity Drive and Mari Mac Plaza on the eastern edge of Los Alamos.

A slight modification to the agreement was made Thursday after a final meeting with the developer, North American Development Group (NADG.)

The change will add up to 90 days during the feasibility period for the developer to consider their


Sunday Pancake Breakfast to Benefit Los Alamos Friends of the Shelter

on March 30, 2012 - 10:28am

Shelter News:

Courtesy Photo

Join friends and neighbors from 7-11 a.m. Sunday at the Los Alamos Posse Shack Lodge, 650 North Mesa Road.

Enjoy a delicious breakfast and have some fun – all to benefit the animals at the Los Alamos Animal Shelter.

Meet new furry friends at the shelter’s mobile adoption and get some unconditional love at the Doggy Kissing Booth – kisses are $1.

Also, breakfast goers can take the opportunity to bid on a $250 value photography package donated by Don Taylor's Photography.

All proceeds from Sunday’s event go to benefit animals at the shelter.


Municipal Building Construction Gets Exciting as Tall Crane Begins to Operate

on March 30, 2012 - 12:48am

Construction on the new Municipal Building Complex on Central Avenue is beginning to take shape. Photo by Alan Kirk

Photo by Alan Kirk

Photo by Alan Kirk

First Megawatt of Photovoltaic System Installation Nears Completion

on March 29, 2012 - 9:45pm

The first megawatt of the photovoltaic system installation on the County's former landfill nears completion as seen from a vantage point on Camp May Road. This portion of the photovoltaic system is funded by Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Organization (NEDO) and supports the collaborative Demonstration Smart Grid project. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Photo by Carol A. Clark/



Settlement Reached with Sierra Club Regarding San Juan Generating Station

on March 28, 2012 - 10:07pm

County News:

Courtesy Photo

PNM, BHP Billiton’s San Juan Coal Company and the Sierra Club have filed a settlement that would result in an additional, larger groundwater recovery system adjacent to the San Juan Generating Station and the San Juan Coal Mine near Waterflow, N.M.

Filed today with the United States District Court for New Mexico, the settlement needs court approval for the system to be constructed.

Los Alamos owns 2 percent of the San Juan Generating Station (or 7.2 percent of Unit 4) and thus will bear 2 percent of the cost, estimated to be about $200,000.

Under the


Community Water Tank to be Repainted

on March 28, 2012 - 9:37pm


County News:

Drainage, lead abatement, repairs and repainting of the community water tank above 47th Street and Trinity Drive begins Thursday, according to officials at the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities.

Following drainage of the community water tank, which serves the southern portion of the downtown area, the “Twin” tank located a few hundred feet northward will be put into service for the downtown area between and around Oppenheimer, 9th Street and Central Avenue southward past Trinity Drive.

Businesses and residents of these areas may notice a slight decrease


'CodeRED' Emergency Notification System to Ring Local Phones Thursday

on March 28, 2012 - 8:42pm

County News:

Los Alamos County will conduct a test of its CodeRED emergency notification system at approximately 2 p.m. Thursday  March 29.

The County contracted with Emergency Communications Network to license its CodeRED high-speed notification solution in November of last year.

The CodeRED system provides County officials the ability to quickly deliver messages to targeted areas or the entire County.

Philmont Taylor

“We ‘sort of’ tested the system last week for the HAZMAT incident on DP Road,” said Phil Taylor, Los Alamos County’s Emergency Management Specialist, “but that


Council Supports State Implementation Plan for San Juan Plant

on March 28, 2012 - 7:21pm

Courtesy Photo

By Carol A. Clark

Los Alamos County Council voted 5-2 to approve a resolution supporting New Mexico’s proposed State Implementation Plan in lieu of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Federal Implementation Plan for reducing regional haze from the San Juan Generating Station near Farmington.

The federal plan requires Selective Catalytic Reduction Technology to be installed at all four of the plant’s coal-fired electric generating units at what PNM’s consulting engineer estimates a cost of $750,000,000.

Los Alamos County owns a 7.2 percent share of unit 4, which meets


Homestead Tour Dedication

on March 28, 2012 - 2:31pm

The dedication of the Los Alamos Homestead Tour, May 18th, 2012, 2 PM at the Romero Cabin, Fuller Lodge North Lawn. Reception and Tour to Follow.


DPU's Abiquiu Hydroelectric Facility Earns Engineering Excellence Award

on March 27, 2012 - 10:33pm


The Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities Abiquiu Hydroelectric Facility received another award for the low flow turbine project.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) New Mexico awarded the Engineering Excellence Award in the “Energy” category to AECOM for its engineering design work on the low flow project.

An award banquet is set to take place at the Sandia Hotel and Casino April 6.

Workers install a 3 mw turbine in a blue spiral case in the power house at the Abiquiu Hydroelectric Facility owned and operated by the Los

Community Broadband Network - Wireless Option is Under Discussion at Council Meeting

on March 27, 2012 - 9:51pm

Acting Administrative Service Director Laura Gonzales and County IT Project Manager Estevan Gonzales are presenting to County Council a Community Broadband Network wireless option, which could add up to $190,000 to the project, and are asking direction from council. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Council Recognizes Los Alamos Police Department

on March 27, 2012 - 9:30pm

Police Chief Wayne Torpy, center, and Deputy Police Chief Kevin Purtymun accept on behalf of the Los Alamos Police Department the Department of Defense recognition as a "Patriotic Employer" award presented by County Councilor Michael Wismer at tonight's County Council meeting. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ 

Council Unanimously Approves Annual County Assessor Property Valuation and Maintenance Plan

on March 27, 2012 - 9:12pm

Los Alamos County Assessor JoAnn Johnson and Chief Deputy Assessor Joaquin Valdez presented the department’s annual Property Valuation and Maintenance Plan to councilors at tonight’s county council meeting currently underway in Council Chambers. Council unanimously approved the plan. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

County Council Passes Substitute Motion Supporting State's Plan Regarding San Juan Power Generation Plant

on March 27, 2012 - 8:53pm

Department of Public Utilities Manager John Arrowsmith presented information to the Los Alamos County Council a few moments ago. Council heard public comment before passing a substitute motion supporting the state's implementation plan asking EPA for a stay of inforcement regarding the San Juan Power Generation Plant. Check back for more details on tonight's county council meeting taking place now in Council Chambers. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

County Animal Shelter Offers 2 for 1 Cat Deal

on March 27, 2012 - 7:12am

Allie the cat is up for adoption at the local animal shelter. Courtesy Photo

County Animal Shelter News:

All cats are on sale – “two for the price of one” – at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter, so if you can’t make up your mind, don’t worry, take them both home.

Most cats love having a playmate.

This week’s featured pet is a short-haired feline named Allie whose primary color is calico.

Allie, 10, is house-trained, declawed, spayed and up-to date with all her routine shots.

She was given up for adoption when her owner left for college.

Allie seems especially partial to women and


Celebrate National Library Week April 8-14!

on March 26, 2012 - 11:05pm


Bound Under the Influence:  Book Arts by Suzanne Vilmain
40 years of making & collecting books

Mesa Public Library Art Gallery
April 2 through 30
Public Reception
Saturday, April 7  2:00-4:00 PM

Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. Courtesy Photo

Suzanne Vilmain has devoted much of her life to words, first as an English teacher and always as an artist who uses words and text both as the symbols they are and as design elements. In Vilmain’s words:

“I’ve been under the influence of typography and


Progress Rolls Forward at White Rock Visitor Center

on March 26, 2012 - 5:54pm
County News:

A compactor is working on the roadway between the Canada del Buey culvert bridge and N.M. 4. Photo by TK Thompson/

There has been much progress in the White Rock Victor Center site work and most of the underground utilities are almost complete.

Other site work that is on-going includes: placement of drainage drop inlets, corrugated metal piping in Canada for new driveway and on the RV parking areas.

Placement of masonry block for a dumpster enclosure and cistern tank is scheduled to be completed by the end of this week.

A site retaining wall on the North West


DOD Selects Los Alamos Police Department for Recognition as a 'Patriotic Employer'

on March 25, 2012 - 12:40pm

DOD's Freedom Award

County News:

The Los Alamos Police Department has been selected by the Department of Defense as a “Patriotic Employer.”

The chair of the local Employer Support for the Guard & Reserve will present the award to the local police during Tuesday’s County Council meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers.

ESGR is a Department of Defense sponsored program to help guard and reserve members and to honor employers who do the same.

ESGR received 3,236 nominations for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. 

The Freedom Award is the Department of

Steel Starts Going up Monday on Muni Complex

on March 25, 2012 - 7:44am

Courtesy Photo

County News:

Residents and commuters can now see a large crane being constructed on the Municipal Complex building site.

The crane is being used to set the steel beams into place when framing of the building begins Monday.

Work is proceeding to pour the concrete slab foundation; the foundation clearly visible from Central Avenue is the location of the new Council Chambers.

Crews from the Jaynes Corporation and their subcontractors will continue to pour the foundation concurrently with erecting the steel, and will be placing steel for all three stories of the building in as


Budget Hearings Won't Include Individual CIP Projects

on March 24, 2012 - 10:01pm
At Tuesday night's County Council meeting, County Administrator Harry Burgess recommended to the Council that, rather than debate the merits of every CIP project seeking funds for design/construction during budget hearings in April, they instead hold a Special CIP meeting May 15.
Their discussions during budget hearings would stay very high level (for example, discussing how many dollars they wish to put toward all capital projects, but, not specifically attaching dollars to any one particular project), and then they would evaluate the project requests individually at

37th St. Play Lot Renovations Coming Soon

on March 23, 2012 - 11:06pm
County News:
Los Alamos County Parks Manager Dick McIntyre recently held a meeting with local neighborhood residents at the 37th Street Play Lot near Villa Street.
The Play Lot is slated for renovations this Spring.
The following renovations will occur based on community feedback:
  • remove the sand safety zone material in the designated play areas and replace with engineered wood fiber, bringing the safety/fall zone into compliance
  • add a merry-go-around  with fall/safety zone material and borders (similar to the one at Community Park or North Mesa Park)
  • replace the asphalt

Regional Coalition Decries Funding Cuts, Calls on Congress to Restore Full Funding to Protect Jobs and the Environment

on March 23, 2012 - 2:15pm

County News:

Today, the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities held a press conference in which they called on Congress to provide full funding for the Los Alamos National Laboratory to protect jobs and to remediate legacy waste at LANL.

The organization released the following statement:

“Adequate funding is needed to ensure environmental liabilities are addressed. Funding cuts are undermining DOE’s commitment to a safe and timely cleanup.