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Letter to the Editor: We Have a Wonderful Opportunity at this Cross Road for UNM-LA ... I Would Like to be a Part of the Solution

on January 27, 2013 - 10:15am
By Michelle Hall
President, Science Education Solutions
Los Alamos

Our college, UNM-LA as we most often refer to it, has met or exceeded each of 10 metrics set by the state for two-year colleges for many years running.

It ranks first in the state in four of the 10 metrics (New Mexico Association of Community Colleges Annual Report, 2012.)

For example, of the two-year colleges in the state, UNM-LA had the highest percentage of students (92.7 percent) who obtained employment or continued their education at a four-year school upon completion of their studies at UNM-LA.

It is a gem in the

Seeking Applicants for VFW 'Scout of the Year Scholarship'

on January 27, 2013 - 6:31am

VFW News:

Your local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8874 is seeking a Scout to compete for this year's "VFW Scout of the Year Scholarship."

This is a program that provides a $5,000 scholarship award, and which several of the local Scouts would be very competitive.

WHO CAN ENTER: Scouts who are registered, active members of a Boy or Girl Scout Troop, Venturing Crew, or a Sea Scout Ship who have received the Eagle Scout Award, Girl Scout Gold Award, Venture Silver Award or Sea Scout Quartermaster Award.
Scouts must be 15 years of age and have demonstrated practical citizenship in school,

Rotary Club Student of the Month is Caitlin Haynes

on January 26, 2013 - 7:39am


Caitlin (“Katie”) Haynes, a senior at Los Alamos High School (LAHS), was recently honored as Rotary Student of the Month for January.

Haynes is the daughter of Karen and Don Haynes and older sister of Trip Haynes. Haynes is an active member of the LAHS Hilltalker Speech and Debate Team, an award-winning club, and has served as a team captain for three years.

Active on the national debate circuit, she has won awards at some of the most competitive tournaments in the country.

Atomic City Children's Theater Brings Home Gold!

on January 25, 2013 - 9:51am

Atomic City Children's Theater (ACCT) students, staff and parents from Los Alamos traveled to Atlanta, Ga., last weekend and brought home the "Excellence in Ensemble Work" award. Courtesy/ACCT

ACCT News:

Seventeen Atomic City Children's Theater (ACCT) students and nine staff and parents from Los Alamos traveled to Atlanta, Ga., over the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend to attend the 2013 Junior Theater Festival (JTF) and brought home the gold.

The young actors received the "Excellence in Ensemble Work" award.

In addition to winning this award, two Los Alamos students were selected for the

State Statute Dictates School Bond Elections

on January 25, 2013 - 9:26am

Staff report
Recent Letters to the Editor published in the Los Alamos Daily Post discussed why Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) did not save money by holding its bond election together with last November's general election.
It turns that LAPS had no choice in the matter because state law forbids combining the two elections.

Article 18 of the New Mexico State Statute regarding General Obligation Bonds of School Districts states, "mail ballot elections shall be used exclusively for voting in those elections specified in Section 1-23-3 NMSA 1978 and shall not be used in connection with


Letter to the Editor: School Bond - No Conspiracy ... Just Good Business Sense

on January 24, 2013 - 11:24am
By Mike Lippiatt
Los Alamos

While I am elated that Peter Heimdahl voted for the school bond, I am in total disagreement with his conspiracy theory about its timing.

One of the main reasons the bond is now coming up is because the old bond is being paid off and a new bond is needed ... and although we will not see lower taxes ... we also will not see our taxes increase.

Why? ... because the old bond retires and the new bond kicks in. So, taxes won't go down if approved but they won't go up either. Does that make sense?

We retire one debt, and in a timely manner, start a new debt - tit

What's That Bird?

on January 24, 2013 - 8:14am

A Cooper's Hawk in flight. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

What is that bird? Need help figuring out what you're seeing in the backyard, on the trail, or soaring overhead?

The community is invited to attend a presentation on birds from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12 at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, 3540 Orange St.

Bird expert Dave Yeamans will discuss backyard winter birds seen flying around the Los Alamos area during the one hour program with time available afterward for sharing problematic bird IDs, bird feeding discussions and ideas and general birding information.

Yeamans' program

Accelerate Program Helps Students Transition to Career

on January 24, 2013 - 7:16am

Accelerate Program News:

ESPANOLA – On Feb. 8, students earning 2-year business and technical degrees in six northern New Mexico colleges will have an opportunity to practice using skills vital to finding a job, contributing to an organization, and establishing a career.

The Accelerate program is partnering with local and regional human resource directors and hiring managers to host a one day workshop for graduating students entitled “From Classroom to Career – A Dress Rehearsal.”  

Accelerate, a program of the Regional Development Corporation in conjunction with six northern New Mexico

Letter to the Editor: School Bond Timing Questioned

on January 23, 2013 - 4:51pm
Peter Heimdahl
Los Alamos

This letter is not intended as a pro or con for the School Bond Vote, but a disclosure of information that the pro bond contingent has neglected to make public.

According to the County Clerk’s Office, the cost of this special election to taxpayers is approximately $30,000.

The Los Alamos Public Schools administration could have saved taxpayers a large sum of money by holding this election on the same date as the general November 2012 election, but opted not to.

Why? It is a common strategy throughout the U.S.

Intellus Training Begins Jan. 28 at UNM-LA

on January 23, 2013 - 12:06pm

Letter to the Editor: Approving School Bond is Good Investment for Future

on January 23, 2013 - 11:12am
By Pete Sheehey
Los Alamos County Councilor

I ask the citizens of Los Alamos to join me in voting "yes" in the 2013 Los Alamos Public Schools bond election.

These are challenging times for our local and national economy, but we can still afford to pay for the most important things for our community, such as good schools.

Passing the 2013 bond will not increase property tax rates; it will maintain them at the level set in 2009. The school board and administration have done a good job of planning and prioritizing how this money will be spent; see details at

If we

Dr. Anastasia Steffen Discusses Forest Fire Effects on Obsidian Artifacts in the Jemez Mountains

on January 23, 2013 - 8:57am
During Tuesday's presentation at PEEC, Dr. Anastasia Steffen explains that patterns in the fracture face determine whether an obsidian rock fracture was caused by fire or man. Photo by TK Thompson/
PEEC Co-founder and board member Becky Shankland addresses the audience at Tuesday's talk. Photo by TK Thompson/
Staff Report:
Dr. Anastasia Steffen of the Valles Caldera National Preserve presented a night Tuesday evening at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in Los Alamos.
The topic of her talk was the effects of forest fires on the

Dr. Paul Bauer Featured Speaker at Jan. 26 Los Alamos Geological Society Banquet

on January 23, 2013 - 8:34am

LAGS News:

Dr. Paul Bauer of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources is the featured speaker for the Los Alamos Geological Society's 2013 Banquet.

The community is invited to attend the event, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Christian Church, 92 East Road, and at 7 p.m., Bauer will present his talk.

Titled “Down the Rio Grande: A Paddler’s Perspective of Rocks and Rapids,” Bauer’s presentation is a geo-photo-journey down the northern Rio Grande, with an emphasis on the river hydrogeology and the evolution of the sublime landscape.

It will include some

Los Alamos County Science Fair Draws 319 Students

on January 23, 2013 - 7:57am
Los Alamos students at the 2012 Regional Science Fair. Courtesy photo.

LAPS News:

The annual Los Alamos County Science Fair will take place Saturday, Jan. 26 in the Los Alamos High School Commons Area and between 1-3 p.m., the public is invited to view the projects.

Los Alamos Public Schools and home school students and teachers in grades K-12 will display projects in 4-5th grade individual elementary, K-6 grade elementary class, 6-8 grade junior division and 9-12 grade senior division.

The elementary projects are divided into three categories: Physical, Earth and Life Sciences.

Bartlett Shares Color and Design Secrets

on January 19, 2013 - 9:52am
'The Three Amigos' by Los Alamos Artist Melissa Bartlett. Photo by Mandy Marksteiner
Bartlett Shares Color and Design Secrets 
By Mandy Marksteiner
Do you ever wonder what makes a painting interesting enough to buy? There’s always something about the piece that is especially attractive, whether it is the way the images are balanced or the way the color of the sky contrasts with the color of the rocks.
How do they do that?
Starting next week, Melissa Bartlett answers that question during her class at the Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery.

2013 FIRST Robotic Project Gets Underway

on January 18, 2013 - 10:10am
Steve Anton discusses the robotics project schedule in which the team must design, build, debug and learn to operate their robot by Feb. 19. Photo by TK Thompson/
Heads start spinning with ideas as soon as the 2013 rules presentation ended at UNM-LA earlier this month. Photo by TK Thompson/

Staff Report

Students and mentors held a kickoff meeting of the 2013 FIRST Robotic Project in Los Alamos Jan. 5, where they learned the rules for the competition, which include 45 days to design, build, program, debug and learn to operate their robot.

Los Alamos Team 4153,

Cameras Sought for Local Photography Students

on January 18, 2013 - 9:26am

Light painting long exposure. Photo by Los Alamos High School student Erin Kober.

LAHS News:

The Los Alamos High School Photography Department still teaches the art of black and white photography and film and is in need of 35mm SLR film cameras.

These camera donations will help students learn about the art of photography and gain an appreciation for the process. The donations are tax deductable.

Contact Brittany Felton at to donate a camera for the students. 

Back-lit trees. Photo by Los Alamos High School student Gabriel Montoya

Surrealism deer, created by

Panel Analyzes Reaction to Gov.'s State of State Address

on January 18, 2013 - 7:33am

Speaker of the House Ken Martinez

NM PBS News:

This week on NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS, the Line opinion panel will analyze reaction to Gov. Susana Martinez’s State of the State Address.

Then, the group digs into education proposals as it asks where lawmakers can get the most policy bang for their buck.

NMIF gauges the Democratic response to the governor’s agenda with two “IN FOCUS” segments. Newly elected Speaker of the House Ken Martinez sits down together with Senate Majority Floor Leader Michael Sanchez to talk about the upcoming session.


Letter to the Editor: Voting Yes for School Bond Makes Sense

on January 17, 2013 - 12:12pm
By Kathryn E. Thomas
Retired LAPS Assistant Superintendent

My name is Kate Thomas, and I resigned in 2010 from Los Alamos Public Schools as Assistant Superintendent. Since then I have worked closely in different situations related to the schools. 

I have been involved in education for 42 years, either as a teacher or an administrator. I am writing this letter to strongly urge Los Alamos voters to vote “Yes” to continue the funding of school renovation in our school district.

Learning is a complex activity, which supremely tests students’ motivation and physical condition.

UNM-LA Faces 8 Percent Budget Shortfall

on January 16, 2013 - 11:47am

UNM-LA Advisory Board members meet Monday evening with college administrators and staff. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/

By Bonnie J. Gordon

UNM-Los Alamos faces a budget shortfall of $290,000 for fiscal year 2012-2013, reported UNM-LA Campus Resources Director Lisa Wismer at the Jan. 14 meeting of the UNM-LA Advisory Board. 

The campus will attempt to institute an 8 percent budget cut, although, “I don’t think we can pull back 8 percent," Wismer said.

Wismer pointed to three cost areas that had major negative impacts on the budget: 

  • The one-time bonus (approximately $1,100

Garcia Richard Signs Education Appropriation Bill

on January 16, 2013 - 8:16am

At the start of the 2013 60-day session Tuesday, newly elected Dist. 43 State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard at her desk on the House Floor signs the education appropriation bill to fund New Mexico schools in 2013-14. Garcia Richard was named to serve on the House Appropriations Committee and is cosponsoring this funding bill. Photo by Garcia Richard's daughter, Elia Vasquez

Old Boiler Caused Cold Classrooms at Aspen

on January 16, 2013 - 7:48am

Ms. Morey's students at Aspen Elementary School recently performed a reader's theater of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Courtesy/LAPS

Staff Report

Speculation that the thermostat at Aspen Elementary School was shut off over night and on weekends turns out to be false and not the reason for frigid temperatures in classrooms earlier this week.

The culprit is the 60-year-old boiler straining under the extended blast of below freezing weather plaguing the area.

"This is yet another reason we are hoping to pass the bond so that we can get a better heating system for that school with the new


Dr. Anastasia Steffen Presents Talk at PEEC

on January 16, 2013 - 7:17am

Dr. Anastasia Steffen examining an archaeological site post-burn. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Come to PEEC from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 to learn about how archaeologists study ancient sites in the wake of forest fires. 

Dr. Anastasia Steffen will give a hands-on introduction to archaeological obsidian analyses and an overview of current projects underway at the VCNP.

The large forest fires of the last few decades have burned a much of the eastern Jemez Mountains including about one third of the Valles Caldera. 

Culminating with the recent Las Conchas Fire, this spate of wildfires