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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

Column: No Tax Rate Increase Means No Tax Rate Increase

on January 16, 2013 - 6:50am
By Dr. Gene Schmidt
Superintendent of Schools

Your YES Vote Means NO Tax Increase. Los Alamos voters received mail-in ballots this past week, which seeks voter approval of a $20 million Bond. If passed, Bond 2013 provides construction funding for Aspen Elementary School and for much-needed upgrades and repairs to school facilities. Bond information provided to the community states passage of the bond will not increase your tax rate. Yes, you heard right. Approval of the $20 million bond will not increase tax rates.

UNM-LA and Los Alamos Daily Post to Co-Host College Board Forum

on January 15, 2013 - 8:57am

Staff Report

UNM-Los Alamos and the Los Alamos Daily Post will co-host a "UNM-LA Advisory Board Candidates Forum" on the college campus later this month.

The public is invited to attend the forum, which will feature Position 1 incumbent Ron Dolin and challenger Michelle Hall in the only position contested among the three seats coming up in this year's race.

The forum will take place 7-8 p.m., Wednesday, Jan 30 in Building 2, Room 230 at UNM-LA.

Below, candidates share brief details of why they decided to either seek reelection or run for the first time to serve on the UNM-LA Advisory

UNM-LA Dedicates Jeannette O. Wallace Hall

on January 14, 2013 - 9:52am

UNM-LA Executive Director Cedric Page, left, applauds as Terry Wallace and his sister Janice Wallace Parra cut the ribbon on the wall plaque at the front of Jeanette O. Wallace Hall. Wallace's wife, Michele Hall, left, and niece Caitlin Parra, and off camera Sheryl (Wallace) Crabtree and her daughter Nicole Crabtree look on. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Terry Wallace speaks to the crowd gathered to honor his mother, Rep. Jeannette Wallace, featured on the film behind him, during the dedication of Jeannette O. Wallace Hall Sunday. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

By Bonnie

Letter to the Editor: Let's Walk the Walk and Vote Yes for School Bond

on January 12, 2013 - 12:32pm
By Stephanie Garcia Richard
State Representative, Dist. 43

In the next few weeks we in Los Alamos have a choice; vote to keep our schools as they are or vote to make them better.

As the mother of two daughters attending Los Alamos Public Schools, it will come as no surprise that I am voting for the school bond.

But there are many reasons for all of us in White Rock and Los Alamos to vote in favor of this bond.

Los Alamos is known around New Mexico as having the highest quality schools for educating our children.

Michelle Hall Garners Top Geophysical Education Award

on January 12, 2013 - 9:17am

Michelle Hall of Los Alamos with Michael McFadden, President of the American Geophysical Union at an awards ceremony last month in San Francisco at which Hall was honored. Courtesy photo


By Carol A. Clark

Michelle Hall of Los Alamos received the 2012 American Geophysical Union Excellence in Geophysical Education Award during a special honors ceremony Dec. 5 in San Francisco.

Hall is a geophysicist and science educator who is married to Terry Wallace, Principal Associate Director of Global Security at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Hall was recognized and honored by the AGU for her

Los Alamos High School Hosts High Tea Sunday

on January 12, 2013 - 9:16am

John Wolfe, LAPS Chief Financial Officer, practices pouring tea for June Gladney, right, and Regina Mertz in anticipation of the Los Alamos High School open house 'High Tea' from 2-4 p.m. Sundary, Jan. 13. The open house features a variety of teas, coffee and cocoa and plenty of cookies to tempt the appetities of tour participants. High school students will lead the tours of the school. Musical groups, including an Aspen Elementary School youth choir will be on hand to perform.

School Bond Ballot is in the Mail

on January 12, 2013 - 8:05am

Los Alamos School Board President Kevin Honnell checks his bond ballot one more time before putting it in the mail. The school district is asking the community for vote on a $20 million bond that would fund the rebuilding necessary at Aspen Elementary School and provide much needed funding for upgrades to utilities and maintenance to other schools in the district. To ensure that your vote counts, ballots must be returned by Jan. 29. If the bond is approved, the State of New Mexico will provide an additional $5.4 million in matching funds for the construction of Aspen Elementary School.

LAPS Receives Top Audit Rating

on January 12, 2013 - 7:44am

School Board President Kevin Honnell


LAPS Receives Top Audit Rating
By Kirsten Laskey

The Los Alamos Public Schools Board of Education received a bit of good news during its regular meeting Tuesday – the recent audit gave the district an unqualified opinion, which is the best rating that could be received.

Vice President Dawn Venhaus

“The audit went very well this year,” said J.J. Griego of Griego Professional Services, which performed the audit.

He added there were no new findings. “That’s an incredible feat.”

Board Secretary Melanie McKinley

Still, Board President Kevin Honnell


Community Invited to UNM-LA Dedication of Jeannette O. Wallace Lecture Hall Sunday

on January 10, 2013 - 6:31am


UNM-LA News:

The community is invited to pay tribute to the memory of longtime Legislator Jeannette O. Wallace from 12:30-2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13 in room 505 (Building 5) at UNM-Los Alamos.

In honor of her long service to the Los Alamos community and tireless commitment to education, the faculty and staff of UNM-Los Alamos are privileged to dedicate UNM-LA’s newest lecture hall in her name. The dedication will take place at 1 p.m.

The long time community leader died from illness in April 2011. She was serving her 11th term as a New Mexico State Representative, which she had

Local Scientist Competing in 3,000-Mile Race

on January 9, 2013 - 9:54am

Lisa Dougherty participating last November in the 24 Hour World Time Trial Championships in Coachella Valley, Calif., finished 2nd among the women, one 16-mile loop behind six-time Race Across AMerica (RAAM) winner Seana Hogan. Courtesy photo

By Carol A. Clark

Local athlete Lisa Dougherty is a Ph.D. materials scientist, Project Management Professional and Certified Quality Engineer working full-time as an engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL.)

In November, she qualified to participate in the 3,000 mile non-stop Race Across AMerica - RAAM. She will start in Oceanside, Calif.,

Spaghetti For Everyone 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday!

on January 9, 2013 - 9:52am


The community is invited to attend the Los Alamos High School Swim Team's Annual Fundraising Spaghetti Dinner.

The dinner is 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11 at the Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church.

Tickets are $5 a person - children 8 & under are $3/plate. The dinner includes spaghetti (both a meat sauce and a non-meat sauce will be available), salad, garlic bread, dessert and a drink.

Tickets can be purchased in advance from any high school swimmer or at the door.