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Letter to the Editor: Vote Yes on Special Mail-In Ballot General Obligation Bond Jan. 29, 2013

on December 8, 2012 - 9:00am

By Los Alamos Public School District


What: School Bond Vote

When: Jan. 29, 2013

How: Mail-In Ballot

Why: Important For Our Future!

On Jan. 29, 2013, the voters of Los Alamos County will have the opportunity to build a brighter future for students with their vote on an all-mailed ballot for a $20 million construction bond that will not raise the tax rate. The upcoming bond will fund the replacement of the academic wing of Aspen Elementary School.

The bond will also fund a variety of infrastructure costs such as new sewer and water lines for several schools.


Letter to the Editor: LAPS Bond Won't Increase Property Taxes

on December 7, 2012 - 11:14am
Former school board member Ken Johnson points to dry rot at Aspen Elementary School. Courtesy photo
By Morrie Pongratz
Former School Board Member
Former County Councilor

In January we have an opportunity to make Los Alamos more inviting to the young families who are essential to the future of LANL (and Los Alamos.)

On May 10, 2007, I attended the first meeting of the Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) Facility Planning Committee (FPC.) The school board had asked me, Larry Goen, Al Moelenback, Stan Primak and Grant Stewart to serve with two board members and LAPS staff with the goal of


Hilltopper Alumni Society Holiday Social is Dec. 12

on December 7, 2012 - 10:13am

 LAPSF News:

The Hilltopper Alumni Society’s first ever holiday social will be held from 4-7 p.m. Dec. 12 at Dixie Girl, 1789 Central Ave.

This is an opportunity for graduates of Los Alamos High School to mix and mingle. There will be a brief introduction to the Alumni Society’s first project; converting the senior photos that once hung in the halls of Los Alamos High School to digital files.

All Hilltopper Alumni are welcome to attend and enjoy complimentary appetizers with drinks available for purchase.

This event is sponsored by Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation. Courtesy/LAPSF 

Los Alamos Student Slated for National Math Contest

on December 6, 2012 - 1:02pm

Alex Wang. Courtesy photo

LAHS News:

PROVIDENCE, RI - Alex Wang, a sophomore at Los Alamos High School, is one of 10 students nationwide selected to compete for $10,000 in the 2013 national "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician" 9:30-11 a.m. (Pacific) Jan. 10 in the San Diego Convention Center.

The competition will be broadcast live:

Fast Facts about Wang: He is one of two sophomores to qualify for the 2013 national "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician." In addition to being good in math, Wang loves to debate.

Column: Building Better Schools ... Building Brighter Futures

on December 6, 2012 - 11:41am
By Dr. Gene Schmidt, superintendent
Los Alamos Public Schools                   

On Jan. 29, 2013, the voters of Los Alamos County will have the opportunity to build a brighter future for students with their vote on an all-mailed ballot for a $20 million construction bond that would not raise the tax rate.

The upcoming bond will fund the replacement of the academic wing of Aspen Elementary School.

The bond will also fund a variety of infrastructure costs such as new sewer and water lines for several schools.

Topper Band to Perform at Disneyland

on December 6, 2012 - 11:18am

Los Alamos High School Marching Band. Courtesy/LAHS

By Maire O'Neill

The Los Alamos High School Topper Band has been selected to perform at Disneyland in a coveted spot in the "Mainstreet USA" parade on Sunday, April 7, 2013, Director of Bands Zane Meek said.

Bands are selected by audition to perform in the parade. Additionally, the band will be working with Disney musicians and clinicians in a "Soundtrack Session" where they will learn what it is to record a music track for a movie scene.

"What a great honor it is to be chosen for this event," Meek said.

New Mexico Awarded $25 Million in Race to Top Funds

on December 6, 2012 - 8:56am

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan

DEA News:

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District highlighted today $25 million in "Race to the Top" funds that New Mexico will receive to improve education in the state.

The grant from the Department of Education is part of the "Early Learning Challenge" that focuses on improving early learning and development programs for young children by supporting states’ efforts to:

· increase the number and percentage of low-income and disadvantaged children in each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are enrolled in

Second Edition of 'Los Alamos Place Names' Is Here

on December 5, 2012 - 9:32am

Author Craig Martin

Book News:


Trinity Drive. Peggy Sue Bridge. Bathtub Row. The history of Los Alamos is written it the names given to locations around town.

The origins of those names and many more are discussed in the long-awaited second edition of Place Names of Los Alamos by local author Craig Martin.

“The first edition has been out of print since 2002 and I’ve been promising the Los Alamos Historical Society an update since 2005, so it’s about time,” Martin said.

The book chronicles the stories behind about 500 names, and the second edition includes two dozen new places that

LAHS Staff Receives Royal Feast

on December 5, 2012 - 7:55am


By Maire O'Neill

Los Alamos High School staff was treated to a magnificent feast for lunch on Friday catered by members of the Topper Parent Organization (TPO.)

Some 30 parents prepared everything from posole to some delicious, decadent chocolate mousse concoction containing fudge and Heath bars. Several parents were on hand to set up the luncheon and serve the staff.

PTO president Janine Tulenko has been involved in her son Jack’s schools as a parent volunteer since he was in second grade at Aspen Elementary School.

LAHS Students Tapped for All State Concert Ensembles

on December 4, 2012 - 9:24am

LAHS Marching Band. Courtesy/LAHS

By Maire O'Neill

Seventeen Los Alamos High School band students have been selected for participation or as alternates for the 2013 All State Concert Ensembles.

Some 1,000 entrants from around the state competed to perform at the all-state clinic and conference in Albuquerque Jan. 9-12, 2013.

Students selected were: Aaron Bao, Brandon Cullinan, Daniel Dahl, Eleanor Devlin Daniel Dunning, Sally Grindstaff, Kathy Lestone, Madeline Margevicius, Becky Mehlin, Alice Shao, Louisa Singleton, Breanna Sehorn, Alex Swart, Jamie Tarantello, Justine Yang, Nicholas

Bandelier Screening 'Canes of Power' Dec. 4

on December 3, 2012 - 3:11pm

This is an 11th-hour announcement, but all Bandelier National Monument employees and the general public are invited to Bandelier National Monument Visitor Center for a screening of "Canes of Power."

"Canes of Power" is a documentary about the governors' canes given to the Pueblos by President Abe Lincoln.

Cochiti Pueblo Lt. Gov. Michael Pecos will present the screening at 2 p.m. for those who gather in the Visitor Center Auditorium.

With the recent big screen production on Lincoln, there has been increased interest in these canes, which have

Con Alma Awards $20K to Espanola Teen Center

on December 3, 2012 - 12:23pm
Courtesy photo

YMCA News:

Española – Con Alma’s Northern New Mexico Health Grant Group has awarded $20,000 to the Española YMCA Teen Center in support of student achievement and to address risky behaviors.

Los Alamos Family YMCA Executive Director Linda Daly said NNMHGG’s award signifies a commitment to improving health outcomes for youth in northern New Mexico.

“Multi-agency partnering within communities is proving to be one of the most effective means of improving educational outcomes for youth and thus positively affect their health outcomes,” Daly said.

Was Hurricane Sandy New Storm Breed?

on December 3, 2012 - 9:39am

'Inside the Megastorm' takes viewers moment by moment through Hurricane Sandy, its impacts and the future of storm protection. Through first person accounts from those who survived, and from experts and scientists, 'Inside the Megastorm' gives scientific context to a new breed of storms. Courtesy/PBS

PBS News:

Was Hurricane Sandy a freak combination of weather systems? Or are hurricanes increasing in intensity due to warming climate?

Learn more at this month's New Mexico PBS Science Café: “Inside the Megastorm.”

This Science Café will be held 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Los

LADOC Teaches Kids Dog Ownership Skills

on December 3, 2012 - 8:02am

Kayleen Lederman demonstrates 'jump' in agility with her dog Owen. Courtesy/LADOC


This fall Los Alamos Dog Obedience Club (LADOC) has been offering a special class called the paRENT Free Club or "RENT" free club for children.

Local youth were instructed in responsible dog ownership and how to train their dogs in the class especially designed for them.

Parents of youth attending the paRENT Free Club arrived at the end to watch a demonstration of what their child and dog learned each week.

Saturday, Dec.

Nominations Sought for PBS Teacher Innovators

on December 1, 2012 - 2:05pm

PBS News:

Attention New Mexico teachers - New Mexico PBS, Ch. 5.1 invites you to enter the PBS Teacher Innovator Competition.

Are you an innovative educator? Show us how you inspire your students and you could win a trip to the Henry Ford in Dearborn, Mich. for a weeklong “Innovation Immersion Experience.”

The deadline to enter is Dec. 12.

New Mexico PBS, Ch.5.1 (Albuquerque/Santa Fe), PBS LearningMedia ( and The Henry Ford ( are proud to bring you the third annual PBS Teacher Innovator Awards to recognize innovative PreK-12 classroom educators, media


Pontsettia Pick Up Location Changed!

on December 1, 2012 - 9:45am

The location has changed for the poinsettia pick-up from the student Europe 2013 fundraiser. Poinsettias can be picked up at First Baptist Church until noon today, Dec. 1, instead of Crossroads Bible Church. Students sold 198 poinsettias and 147 bags of coffee, raising more than $2,000 toward this summer's European trip. Photo by Lynn Ovaska

Family YMCA Hosts Scholastic Book Fair

on December 1, 2012 - 9:00am
A little girl kisses Clifford the Big Red Dog during the Los Alamos Family YMCA's Scholastic Book Fair Friday. Photo by Diana Martinez/YMCA

Geronimo Stilton and Clifford the Big Red Dog are ready to pose for photos with children who attended Friday's Scholastic Book Fair hosted by the Los Alamos Family YMCA. Photo by Diana Martinez/YMCA

UNM-LA Hosts Native American Heritage Day

on December 1, 2012 - 7:08am

Eagle Dance and Buffalo Dance were performed at Native American Heritage Day Thursday, Nov. 29 on the UNM-Los Alamos campus. The college hosted the festive event. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon

A young dancer shows off his colorful clothes lined with feathers. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon

Column: School Board Election Slated for Feb. 6, 2013

on November 30, 2012 - 10:01am
By Dr. Gene Schmidt
Los Alamos Superintendent of Schools

It is not too soon to begin thinking about the School Board election slated for Feb. 5, 2013.

Two White Rock positions will be up for election. 

Current Pinon Elementary School Board representative Dawn Venhaus and Chamisa Elementary School Board representative Melanie McKinley announced that they would not seek re-election.

The school district and community is grateful for their years of service on the Board.

To help inform the public about these open Board positions, a special information night is set for 5:30 p.m. Dec.

Meet Local Reptiles and Amphibians Sunday at PEEC

on November 30, 2012 - 9:16am

PEEC News:

Come to PEEC at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 to meet some local reptiles and amphibians you might find on the Pajarito Plateau.

Scott Bulgrin, president of the New Mexico Herpetological Society, will give a presentation on New Mexico Reptiles and Amphibians.

He will also have a few friends with him, including toads, turtles, lizards and snakes.

Bulgrin has lived in New Mexico for the last 13 years. He has extensive experience with herpetofauna and has conducted outreach and education for the Herpetological Society for many years.

This event is free, no registration is required.

Traveling the World

on November 29, 2012 - 11:03am

Jason, Sydney and Kerri Frazier prepare to spend the next two years traveling the world. Photo by Teralene Foxx


By Teralene Foxx
Los Alamos

Our youngest daughter, Kerri  (1991 graduate of Los Alamos High School) and her husband Jason Frazier told us six years ago they were planning on quitting their jobs, selling everything, and sailing around the world when they were in mid-life. 

All I could think of was pirates, large waves and being cramped together on a small boat for days. That is something I could not imagine. 

It certainly did not appeal to me, but it was their lives.

Baldrige in Education: Roots and Reasons for Hope

on November 29, 2012 - 10:19am

By Christine Schaefer

How did a quality awards program originally aimed at helping U.S. manufacturers become more competitive evolve to help school districts and other education institutions improve their performance, too?

Long story, and it starts before 1999, when Congress expanded the eligibility of the Baldrige Awards to health care and education organizations.

In fact, the Baldrige Program began preparing for that expansion in the mid-1990s.

Full Slate of Public Affairs Coverage on Friday's New Mexico In Focus

on November 29, 2012 - 7:33am

"NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS" is back after the holiday with a full slate of public affairs coverage.

Airs this Friday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1 - There is no Sunday repeat this week:

Fred Nathan

• After voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the New Mexico Constitution requiring qualifications for Public Regulation Commissioners, the legislature must now decide on those standards.