Previous News Highlights 2013

 

Tuesday December 31, 2013

Dennis Trujillo, The executive director of the Valles Caldera Trust, announced he is retiring effective January 4.  His last day will be Jan. 3, marking the end of nearly four decades of public service.

Trujillo says he feels fortunate that his career has centered on public lands and the conservation of natural resources.

Trujillo worked more than 25 years for the U.S. Forest Service until he was appointed manager of the Valles Caldera National Preserve in 2002. After a brief stint as interim director, he was elevated to the permanent post in March 2012.

Trujillo helped guide the development of a strategic management plan, revised the livestock grazing program and led the preserve through the Las Conchas and Thompson Ridge fires.

 

Monday December 30, 2013

According to the Los Alamos Monitor, A ground breaking outreach program is being launched this winter at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in Los Alamos which organizers, Director Of the Native Nations Sports Ambassador Program, David Vosburgh and Founder Jean Cornell working along with Suzy Chaffee of Native American Olympic Team Foundation hope will make it possible for more Native American youth and their chaperones to enjoy skiing and snowboarding.
Olympic ski icon and 1971-73 World Freestyle Champion Suzy “Chapstick” Chaffee will help launch the Pueblo ski program on Saturday, Jan. 4.
School groups of 20 to 70 (including chaperones) from any of New Mexico’s 19 pueblos are invited for a special weekday learn-to-ski program at Pajarito Mountain which provides rental equipment, lift tickets, and two-hour lessons for $25 total
This tribal ski outreach is facilitated by the Native American Olympic Team Foundation (NAOTF.org), co-founded by Chaffee in 1996 in Telluride, Colo.

 

Friday December 27, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports from December 18 to 25

Six were arrested on magistrate court warrants
One was arrested for DWI.
One was arrested for battery.
One was arrested for battery against a household member.
One was arrested for aggravated assault.
One was arrested for trafficking a controlled substance.
One was arrested for violating a protection order.
One was arrested for criminal trespassing.
There were 3 reports of larceny.
There was a report of burglary from a vehicle or other structure.
There was a report of child abuse.
There was a report of criminal trespassing.
There was a report of criminal damage to property.
There were 2 reports of an animal at large.
An animal was impounded for biting.

 

Thursday December 26, 2013
Noteworthy science achievements for 2013 from Los Alamos National Laboratory were as diverse as the scientific disciplines necessary for sustaining the institution’s national security mission; they included a ringside seat for the birth of a black hole, novel strategies for an HIV vaccine, sobering insights into the ravages of climate change, a dip into Mars’s watery past, clever processes for extracting energy from biomass, and a fleeting snapshot of the mysterious mechanisms that possibly power Earth’s radiation belts, among other discoveries.
1) The range of Los Alamos research on HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is significant, from groundbreaking vaccine concepts that are about to move into human trials, to computer modeling approaches to better understand how the virus moves through different populations. The Laboratory has long maintained the national HIV research database, in addition to the original research, and this year millions of readers worldwide had the chance to learn more.
2) ChemCam, the laser-wielding rock-sampler aboard the Curiosity rover, continues to prove its worth in NASA’s ongoing mission to determine the habitability of Mars. Already delivering more than 100,000 laser blasts since landing on Mars a year and a half ago, ChemCam has shown scientists that the Martian surface was once home to lakes and running streams, and that the planet’s rusty dust still contains enough water to possibly sustain future astronauts. With at least another year ahead in the mission, who knows what other secrets ChemCam and the other nine instruments aboard Curiosity will reveal as the SUV-sized science laboratory lumbers toward the towering Mount Sharp?

 

Wednesday December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! Stop and pause, Enjoy your blessings.

 

Tuesday December 24, 2013

 NMDOT continues work on U.S. 84/285 just north of Pojoaque between mile markers 182.4 and 183.2. The scope of the project includes new bridge construction with new on and off ramps, new roadway lighting, and pavement reconstruction for 0.72 miles within Santa Fe County.
Paving operations have been completed and US 84/285 traffic will now travel on the reconstructed US 84/285 mainlines under the new overpass bridge. The interchange has been substantially completed; however, final tie-ins to the ramps and cross road will be completed in the spring of 2014 when weather conditions permit. The bridge will be closed to traffic.
Access to the US 84/285 east and west frontage road will be provided as described below:
• The residents on the west frontage road will continue to use the newly constructed west frontage road and southbound on-ramp to access southbound US 84/285.
• Residents living in the Arroyo Seco area, along the east frontage road will continue to use CR 88 to get onto southbound US 84/285, and residents living along the west frontage road will continue to use Boneyard Road to access their homes.
• Motorists are advised that double fine zones are in effect.
The project was placed on winter suspension on December 6, 2013. The contractor will resume construction operations on March 24, 2014 with anticipated completion in June of 2014.

 

Monday December 23, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports from December 12 to December 18.

Two were arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant

One was arrested for larceny over $500 and less that $2500.

Three juveniles were arrested for minor in procession, referred to the JPO and released to parents.

One juvenile was arrested for possession on marijuana, referred to the JPO and released to parents.

One juvenile was arrested for evading a police officer, referred to the JPO and released to parents.

There was a report of trafficking a controlled substance

There were 3 reports of larceny.

There was a report of improper handling of fire setting.

There were 2 reports of an animal at large.

One animal was impounded for biting.

There was an accident with injuries at the corner of Diamond and canyon.

 

Friday December 20, 2013

Tonight at 6pm we will bring you the Los Alamos High School girl's varsity basketball game and at 8:15 we will bring you the varsity hockey game. These will be the last 2 sportscasts of 2013.

 

Thursday December 19, 2013
Nearly $2 million has been pledged by Los Alamos National Laboratory employees to United Way and other eligible nonprofit programs during the Laboratory’s 2014 Employee Giving Campaign. Los Alamos National Security, LLC, which manages and operates the Laboratory for the National Nuclear Security Administration, plans to prorate its $1 million match among the selected nonprofit organizations, bringing the total donation to nearly $3 million. Laboratory employee contributions will fund a wide range of programs offered by eligible nonprofit organizations.

 

Wednesday December 18, 2013
Los Alamos Monitor Publisher Keven Todd has announced that he will step down from the post at the end of the year.
With more than three decades in the publishing business, Todd said that he and his wife Jarda will be relocating to Dover, Del., where he will become publisher of the Dover Post and Gatehouse Media’s Delaware holdings which include five other newspapers and a monthly shopper along with affiliated digital operations.
Landmark Community Newspapers, the parent company of the Los Alamos Monitor, has launched a national search for Todd’s successor. The company is seeking a strong, business-minded publisher to meet the needs of the community, advertisers and readers. Anyone interested in pursuing the opportunity should visit the Job Opportunities section at lcni.com.

 

Tuesday December 17, 2013

Last Saturday morning two people shattered nearly two dozen windows and several glass doors at the Pojoaque Valley High School. The vandalism spree will cost 20-25 thousand dollars in replacement glass and doors plus the labor to install them.

The vandals broke 21 double-paned windows and six glass doors and a few windows at the broadcast booth at the baseball field.

Maintenance crews covered the broken windows with plywood boards. A spokeswoman with Pojoaque Valley Schools said classes started at their normal times Monday.

Anyone with potential leads is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 986-2490. Pacheco also said Crime Stoppers, which can be reached at 955-5050, has offered a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case. The sheriff’s department has offered a $500 reward as well.

 

Monday December 16, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports December 5 through 11

One was arrested on a district court warrant
One was arrested on a magistrate court warrant
One was arrested on a municipal court warrant.
One was arrested on a felony warrant from another jurisdiction.
One was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant from another jurisdiction.
One was arrested for aggravated assault
One was summoned for battery.
One was summoned for shoplifting. .
There were 2 reports of larceny.
There was a report of a run away.
There was 2 accidents without injuries
There was one accident with injuries
There were 4 reports of an animal at large.

 

Friday December 13, 2013
Los Alamos Public Schools will choose a recipient through an open nomination process. The nominee should be a person in the Los Alamos School District who has made a significant difference to student achievement during 2013. Nomination applications are available on the school district website, from School Board members, or by calling the district office (663-2230). To be considered for this award the nomination must be returned to the district office by close of business day on February 11, 2014. The selection for the 2014 Achievement Award winner will be announced at the March 11, 2014 School Board meeting.
The annual award seeks to promote enhancement of student achievement and to focus the School Board on efforts to improve student achievement. The 2014 winner will be recognized by the Los Alamos Public Schools Board in March 2014 and presented a plaque provided by the New Mexico School Board Association.

 

Thursday  December 12, 2013

Los Alamos County and LAPD employee Brian Schamber reached a settlement agreement on December 10, 2013.

Schamber had been evaluated by the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas, NM in December 2012 before being released and cleared for active duty as a police officer by a psychiatrist. Following his release, Schamber had continued to be employed by the County but working from home after stating that, because he had been evaluated at a mental health institution, he was now prohibited by federal law from carrying a firearm. Los Alamos County disagreed, and requested that Schamber return to active patrol duty. In May, the County filed a request for declaratory judgment in federal court, asking the judge to rule that there was no federal prohibition against Schamber working as a police officer and carrying a gun.  The parties stipulated to a judgment that supported the County’s position. The settlement addresses a tort claim notice filed earlier this year by Schamber for $25 million, as well as a counter claim Schamber made against the County Council in July regarding a violation of civil and constitutional rights for an unspecified amount of compensation.

The County was represented in the settlement by Attorney James Sullivan (Brennan & Sullivan) and the New Mexico Self-Insurer’s Fund, an insurance pool of New Mexico municipalities and other political subdivisions, including the County, through an arrangement with the New Mexico Municipal League. Under the agreement, Schamber has agreed to resign from the County effective Dec. 15, 2013 and to surrender his state law enforcement certification. The New Mexico Self-Insurer’s Fund will pay $600,000 to Schamber. Of that amount, the County will pay $200,000.

The County agreed to the settlement in the sole interest of economic costs, including the time and expense of litigation, but denies any fault or wrongdoing.

 

Wednesday December 11, 2013

The American Red Cross urges residents to take extra precautions with cooking and decorating
around the holidays. The Red Cross has some simple steps everyone can follow to prevent home fires around the holidays:
Holiday Entertaining
• Test your smoke alarms.
• Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a
reminder that the stove or oven is on.
• Enforce a “kid-free zone” in the cooking area and make children stay at least three feet away from the stove.
• Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove, oven or any appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
• Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
• Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department to receive
training on the proper use of extinguishers.
Holiday Decorating
• Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
• Keep children, pets and decorations away from lit candles.
• Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no
more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read
manufacturer’s instructions for the number of LED strands to connect. Some strings of lights are
only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
• Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
• Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

 

Tuesday December 10, 2013

According to the Los Alamos Monitor the victims from the plane crash on Sunday have been identified. A woman from Harmony, Minn. has confirmed that her fiancé was one of the victims in Sunday’s plane crash. Darla Reynolds said Monday that the man’s name is Mike Fjetland, 51, a successful and prominent Minnesota businessman. She told The Los Alamos Monitor that the last text he sent to her was on Sunday morning. It said he was about to take off from the Los Alamos County Airport to fly to Chandler Arizona.
With Fjetland was his longtime friend and business partner, Kevin Burrs of Corwith, Iowa. Susan Burrs, Kevin's wife, later confirmed to the Los Alamos Monitor that crash authorities contacted her earlier about her husband.
Reynolds said when Fjetland did not call her at the prescribed time, she had a family friend who was also an experienced pilot, help in trying to track him down. That’s when they came across an article about the early Sunday plane crash just south of LA Airport on LAMonitor.com.
The plane crashed around 8:15 a.m., about one mile south of the Los Alamos County Airport in Omega Canyon, on land that is owned by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
The National Transportation Safety Board has since taken over the crash site, and investigators are due at the site today to start their examination of what caused the crash.
According to sources at the Federal Aviation Administration, Fjetland was flying a Husky A-1C-200, manufactured by Aviat Aircraft. It was built in 2012, and was powered by a Lycoming 10-360-A1D6 engine.

 

Monday December 9, 2013

 A high-pressure ridge on the west coast of the United States steered three significant low-pressure systems over New Mexico during November. These three storms brought cooler than normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation to Los Alamos and White Rock. The average high temperature was 3oF below normal in Los Alamos and White Rock. Overnight low temperatures were 1oF below normal in Los Alamos and normal in White Rock.

The three storms brought 2.03 in. and 1.67 in. of precipitation to Los Alamos and White Rock, respectively. Both totals are twice the 30-yr average values for November. The two storms during the first half of November produced one-half of the month’s precipitation. The third storm was a large low-pressure system that moved very slowly across New Mexico over the course of 4 days. This storm started as rain on November 21, but changed to snow on the morning of the 22nd. A total of 8.5 in. of snow was recorded during this storm.

For 2013, Los Alamos has received 20.29 in. of precipitation, or 13% above normal. White Rock has received 16.37 in. of precipitation, or 23% above normal.

 

Sunday December 8, 2013

The Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) has completed its investigation at the site of a single engine plane crash that occurred at approximately 8:10 a.m. today on Canyon Rim Trail just south of the Los Alamos Airport. Los Alamos Fire and Police Department have secured the crash site in preparation for the FAA investigators that are scheduled to arrive tomorrow.
The Canyon Rim Trail is closed due to the accident. No information is available for release yet about the number of passengers, pilot of the plane, tail number or make of the plane. A fire at the scene of the crash was extinguished.

 

Friday December 6, 2013

US Senator Tom Udall will present two New Mexico scientists with Outstanding Achievement Awards in Mentored Research on Friday   at the NMC’s Biological Laboratory and Greenhouse.  Dr. Sangeeta Negi of the New Mexico Consortium (NMC) will be recognized for achieving a two-fold increase in bio-mass productivity in algae, and Loreen Lamoureux, a graduate student at the University of New Mexico (UNM), will be recognized for her work on rapid e-coli detection methods.

 

NMC Associate Research Scientist Sangeeta Negi works on improving biomass productivity in algae, a critical factor in making algae a viable feedstock for bio-fuels. Negi has developed methods to manipulate the size of the light-harvesting antenna in algae, achieving two-fold improvements in photosynthetic efficiency in algal cultures and corresponding increases in biomass productivity.

 

This is the largest increase in biomass productivity achieved to date for engineered algal strains. NMSU will carry out the first outdoor cultivation trials with these improved algal strains in 2014. This technology could improve water use efficiency and biomass productivity substantially in other crops as well.

                                                                                                                                

UNM student Loreen Lamoureux works on a USDA funded project to develop techniques to rapidly detect e-coli in the meat food supply. This collaboration involving researchers from UNM, the University of Nebraska (UN), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the NMC seeks to detect e-coli contamination early in the meat packing process in order to prevent e-coli outbreaks.

 

Thursday  December 5, 2013

According to the Los Alamos Monitor, Los Alamos Police Commander Preston Ballew was charged with two counts of illegal hunting or fishing and one count of illegal vehicle travel during a hunting trip in Otero County.

According to N.M. Department of Game and Fish Officer Jason Kline, Ballew is being charged as an accessory to his son’s unlawful taking of a bull elk.

The Ballews were stopped by Kline, 581 feet off N.M. 13 N.M. Hwy 6563, Nov. 21 shortly after 5:15 p.m. by Kline.

According to NM Game and Fish, the illegal hunting charges together carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. He is due to be arraigned in Alamogordo Magistrate Court Dec. 10.

Ballew directed inquiries about the case to his attorney Gary Mitchell of Ruidoso. Police Chief Dino Sgambellone said Ballew remains on the job.

 

Wednesday December 4, 2013
Tuit Construction will be working Wednesday through Friday on San Ildefonso South west of the Hawk Drive intersection in North Mesa. In support of the middle school construction and to increase fire protection, Tuit will cut-in a new 12-inch water main that will cross San Ildefonso. While no customer water shut-offs are anticipated, motorists can expect some delays.
Scheduled work includes:
• From 8 am to 9 pm San Ildefonso will be reduced to a single lane just west of Hawk Drive intersection as crews install and cut-in the 12-inch water line.
• The open lane will shift on San Ildefonso as the work zone moves across the road.
• Flaggers will alternate east and west bound traffic on the shifting open lane.
• No water shut-offs are scheduled.

The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities reminds motorists to use caution when driving through the work zone. Questions may be directed to the County at 505-662-8333 or by email at dpu@lacnm.us.

 

Tuesday December 3, 2013

Here are the lowlights from the police reports 11/21 through 11/27.

One was arrested on a magistrate court warrant.
One was arrested on a municipal court warrant.
One was arrested for aggravated battery.
One was arrested for shoplifting.
One was arrested for criminal trespassing.
one was arrested for receiving stolen property.
One was summoned on the charge of battery.
There was a report of Harassment
There was a report of criminal damage to property.
There was a report of arson.
There was a report of fraudulent use of a credit card.
There was a report of fraud.
The was an accident without injuries at 15th and Deacon, on state road 4, & 15th and Trinity.
There was an accident with injuries at Central and Knecht.

 

Monday December 2, 2013

The laboratory’s annual food drive ended on Tuesday with Take a turkey to work day
• Almost 400 boxes of food were collected from Lab employees.
• 417 frozen turkeys were donated by Lab employees.
All the food items and frozen turkeys were delivered to partners in Northern New Mexico, including LA Cares in time for traditional Thanksgiving meals.

Holiday Drive part of LANL's Season of Giving
Los Alamos national Laboratory Employees can help children and seniors in Northern New Mexico have a brighter holiday by participating in the annual holiday gift tag program. Gifts purchased by LANL employees will be distributed to partner social service agencies in time for Christmas. The holiday gift drive is part of LANL's Season of Giving initiative.
Employees and organizations can obtain holiday gift tags from the Community Programs Office by writing to seasonofgiving@lanl.gov with the subject line Holiday Drive gift tags.
Community Programs staff will process requests and make arrangements for tags to be picked up and signed for at the Community Programs Office. Gifts should be wrapped and the tag securely adhered to the gift. Wrapped gifts should be dropped by noon, Dec. 17.
Los Alamos residents can drop off wrapped gifts at the Community Programs Office, 1619 Central Ave., in downtown Los Alamos.

 

Friday November 29, 2013

Enrolled veterans of the New Mexico VA Health Care System with legal questions on civil matters will have an opportunity to receive free consultation with licensed New Mexico attorneys and other legal professionals on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque. The Civil Justice Clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the medical center’s Spinal Cord Injury conference room (Bldg. 45), which can be accessed from the first floor of the main hospital building (Bldg. 41).

This clinic offers free legal advice about topics such as consumer rights, bankruptcy, landlord-tenant issues, foreclosure and employment. Veterans also may bring their questions regarding family law, including divorce, child support, custody and visitation. Veterans are encouraged to bring with them any documents relating to their legal issues.

 

Thursday November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

Wednesday November 27, 2013
The Legislative Land Grant Committee endorsed a bill last week that appropriates over one million dollars to clean up solid waste, liquid waste and hazardous waste on land grants throughout the state. The bill is sponsored by our State Senator Richard C. Martinez (D- 5- Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe).

Land grants were originally made to individuals and communities for the purpose of settlement by the Spanish and Mexican governments. Today many New Mexican ranchers use them to help sustain their herds during the grazing season.

Tuesday November 26, 2013
Tonight we will bring you the girl's basketball game against St Michael's live from Griffith Gym. If you can, go support the Hilltopper Girl's in person. The estimated start time for the varsity game is 7pm

 

Monday November 25, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports November 14 to November 20th.
One was arrested on multiple magistrate bench court warrants
Four were arrested on magistrate bench warrants
One was arrested for child abuse.
One was arrested for possession of marijuana
One was arrested for shoplifting.
One was arrested for DWI
One was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.
One was summoned for forgery.
There was a report of criminal damage to property.
There was a report of harassment.
There were 2 unattended deaths.
There was an accident without injuries at Timber Ridge and Trinity.
There were 3 reports of animals at large

 

Friday, November 22, 2013

As winter approaches, Los Alamos Public Schools anticipates days when weather will present a challenge for school transportation either because of ice, snow, or both. These will be the days when school is delayed, cancelled, or dismissed early. The decision to close school or delay the start of school will be made by 5:30 A.M. in order to notify bus drivers, school employees, and parents in a timely manner. The announcement will be made via the media of television, radio, and websites.

 Major local network television stations will be contacted when a decision to delay, close, or to dismiss early is made. Information about the decision can be viewed in the scrolling banner that runs along the bottom of the TV screen. Local media including KRSN (FM 107.1 and AM 1490) radio station, Los Alamos Monitor, and LA Daily Post will also be contacted. Information about the status of school will be available on the school district’s information line (663-2223) and on the district website: laschools.net. Each school may also place the information on their info line.

 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Here are the Winter Driving Safety Tips

• Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions
• Maintain at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice
• Watch carefully for snow removal equipment and stay at least 200 feet back if you are behind a snow plow
• Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as they tend to freeze first
• If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction then straighten your vehicle

 

Wednesday  November 20, 2013

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are investigating the complex relationships between the spread of the HIV virus in a population (epidemiology) and the actual, rapid evolution of the virus (phylogenetics) within each patient’s body.
The team models the uninfected population using traditional differential equations on the computer; this is done for computational speed, because an agent-based component is much more demanding. Once a person is infected, he/she becomes an “agent” in computer modeling terms, and the model starts following their behavior individually, as well as the viral HIV evolution within the person.
This new modeling approach distinguishes between susceptible and infected individuals to capture the full infection history, including contact tracing data for infected individuals. The uninfected individuals are modeled at a population level and stratified by transmission risk and social group. The social network in this model forms – and can change – during the simulation. Thus, the model is much more realistic than traditional models.

 

Tuesday November 19, 2013

Sound Wall between Tewa Loop & Airport Road continues to move forward .
Staff has presented the project concept to the Arts in Public Places Board with the Board deferring any art consideration until the project is completed.
Because the current design of the wall is between eight and nine feet in height in many areas and Code allows a maximum fence/wall height of six feet, a Zoning Code waiver was required and was granted by the Board of Adjustment on November 4, 2013.
The consultant is working on a rendering of the wall and landscape plan, which was requested by the residents. The County Parks staff is working on landscape plans.
Design of the project will be completed once the rendering and landscape plans have been finished and the residents have had an opportunity to review the material.
A maintenance agreement is being developed between Los Alamos County and the New Mexico Department of Transportation. Once this agreement is in place, the design documents will be released for construction bid.
Staff currently anticipates that construction will begin in the spring of 2014.

 

Monday  November 18, 2013

The Los Alamos Business Recycler of the Year award is granted to one business in town annually that excels in their implementation and promotion of the three R's of waste management: reduce, reuse and recycle, Businesses are nominated by residents and then the Environmental Sustainability Board (ESB) narrows down the entries to the top three. The three finalists competing for the 2013 crown are CB Fox , Los Alamos Cooperative Market, and the Los Alamos Monitor . Visit the Los Alamos County Environmental Services webpage to vote. Voting closes Friday November 22.
The public vote will hold the most weight in determining the winner at 50% and the ESB vote and staff vote will each account for 25%. The winner will be announced at the Los Alamos County Chamber of Commerce Golden Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, November 30th.

 

Friday November 15. 2013
Over the past few weeks, Los Alamos Police Detectives have been working on a Computer Crimes case involving over $50,000 that was illegally transferred from a victim at Los Alamos National Bank. Detectives have already made two arrests associated with this case.
Fernando Rodriguez Jr., 31 of Los Alamos Charged with 5 counts of 3rd degree felony, Computer Access with intent to defraud or embezzle & 1 count of 2nd degree felony Computer Access with intent to defraud or embezzle Rodriguez is being held on a no bond
Ryan Roller, 31 of Santa Clara Pueblo Charged with 3rd Degree felony Conspiracy Roller has already posted bond
Detectives were notified Monday, November 4th when Roller attempted to make a large cash withdrawal. “I want to thank LANB for catching this issue quickly, they are always good about getting us involved early enough where we can begin our investigation quickly to make arrests and seize money and evidence” “not just in this case but the previous check forgeries that were coming in a few weeks ago, LANB staff members are very good at spotting suspicious behavior” said Detective Sergeant Oliver Morris.
This case is a part of a larger inter-state-scheme. “Our arrested suspects did not initiate this case. This is a part of a larger criminal enterprise initiated on the east coast.” said Sgt. Morris.
LAPD will be following up on suspect(s) and working with the appropriate agencies to further this investigation.
Sgt. Morris commented, “We are still working on how victim(s) are being hacked, but as a reminder, whenever you receive emails from what appears to be your financial institution asking you to update your bank account information, you should not click on any link. Customers should always visit their bank’s secure site to make changes and contact the Bank with any suspicious emails or phone calls they receive and they should always verify who is contacting them"

 

Thursday November 14, 2013
County traffic crews are finishing up striping operations on Canyon Road between 9th Street and 15th Street. Striping on 15th Street will begin on Thursday, November 14, 2013. Work will include County crews laying out the striping design, followed by roadway paint application. During this work, motorists will see a slow moving striping machine followed by shadow vehicles.
Please note that the purpose of the shadow vehicles is to allow enough time for the fresh paint to dry before traffic is allowed on the new paint. Please do not cut in front of the shadow vehicles. Work will be delayed in case of precipitation or insufficient temperatures.

 

Wednesday November 13, 2013
Los Alamos Public Schools is one of 477 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 4th Annual AP® District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP® course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. Since 2011, Los Alamos Public Schools has increased the number of students participating in AP while improving the number of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher.

 

Tuesday November 12, 2013

On Tuesday, Oct. 29th, the Council adopted an ordinance to restructure the natural gas rate as recommended by the Dept. of Public Utilities and their board. The new rate includes a service charge, a fixed cost per term to cover distribution costs and a pass-through cost per term (DPU's actual cost for gas). To see how this is calculated and how it affects your bill, visit the DPU Rates pages: These pages will be updated every month. DPU will calculate the new rate monthly, beginning with your November utility bill.


Monday November 11, 2013

The Los Alamos’ Community Veterans Day Ceremony

The Veterans of Foreign Wars at 1793 Deacon Street will host this years VETERANS DAY celebration beginning at 11:00 am. The public is invited and the ceremony and lunch will be free to the public. This year’s guest speaker will be retired US Air Force Colonel Edmond Keith. The Invocation and Benediction will be delivered by Reverend Glenn Jones, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church of Los Alamos. For additional information contact the VFW Post Commander, Roger Anaya, 670-6717.

 

Friday November 8, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports October 31 through November 6th.

Three were arrested on magistrate court warrants.

Two were arrested on a district court warrant.

On was arrested on felony warrant form another jurisdiction.

One was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant from another jurisdiction.

One was arrested on a municipal court warrant.

One was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. 

One was arrested for distribution of a controlled substance.

One was arrested for shoplifting.

One was arrested for larceny over $20,000

One was arrested for possession of marijuana.

One was cited for petty larceny.

One juvenile was cited for aggravated battery and referred to the JPO

Two juveniles were cited for battery and referred to the JPO.

One juvenile was arrested for battery and referred to adult court

Two juveniles were cited for criminal damage to property and referred to the JPO.

There was a report of intimidating a witness.

There were 2 reports of forgery.

There was a report of fraudulent use of a credit card.

There was a report an assault on a health care professional.

There was a report of larceny.

There was a report of criminal trespassing.

There were 4 reports of animals at large.

One animal was impounded for biting.

 

Thursday November 7, 2013
The Boy’s soccer team won their quarterfinal match today in the state tournament. After 100 minutes of scoreless soccer, they prevailed in the shootout by a score of 4-3. Why to go goalie Chris Parker!!! They will play in the semi final game tomorrow at 10:30 and we will bring you all the action here on KRSN. We are the home for Hilltopper sports!!

 

Wednesday November 6, 2013

On November 1st at about 6:30 pm an Officer with the Los Alamos Police Department took a report of a lost SOC (contract physical security force for LANL) handgun. This weapon became missing during an inventory check earlier in the day. The Los Alamos Police Department is investigating this incident and is working closely with LANL, DOE and SOC to locate and identify how this weapon became missing. Any persons with knowledge on the whereabouts of the missing weapon or who may be involved is encouraged to call the Los Alamos Police Department (505-662-8222).

If you are having an issue with a Federal Agency, join Senator Udall’s staff for the next Udall Serving YoU in Los Alamos tomorrow Wednesday, November 6, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., in the Betty Ehart Senior Center upper conference room.
For more information, contact (505) 988-6511.

 

In honor of those that serve and have served in the United States military, national park units around the country, will be offering everyone fee-free entry during the Veterans Day weekend. The fee free designation applies to the entire weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, November 9-11. Visitors who arrive on November 9, 10 or 11 will be allowed to enter the park free of charge. Those who plan to enter (or re-enter) the park after November 11 will be charged the regular entrance fee.
Active duty members of the U.S. Military and their dependents can also pick up a free Annual Pass. Those wishing to obtain a pass must show a current, valid military identification card. More information about this free annual pass is available at www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm.

 

Tuesday November 5, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports October 24 through 30.

Three were arrested on district court warrants.
One was arrested on a felony warrant from another jurisdiction.
Four were arrested on a magistrate court warrants.
Two were arrested for battery against a household member.
One was summoned for receiving stolen property.
Two were arrested for committing larceny of less than $250.
One was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.
One was arrested for conspiracy.
One was arrested for driving on a revoked or suspended license.
One was arrested for display of registration violation.
One was arrested for possession of marijuana.
One was arrested for driving under the influence of an intoxicating liquid.
One was arrested for resisting and evading an officer.
One was summoned for striking a fixed object or property with a car without reporting it.
A juvenile was summoned and referred to the JPO for receiving stolen property.
There was a report of conspiracy.
There was a report of tampering with a vehicle.
There were 3 reports of criminal damage to property.
There was a report of larceny.
There was a report of breaking and entering.
There was a report of embezzlement.
There was a report of animal at large.
There was an accident on canyon road without injuries.
There was an accident on Trinity Drive without injuries.
There was an accident on East Jemez road without injuries.

 

Monday November 4, 2013

New Mexico drivers are now paying an average of $3.11 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, according to the AAA New Mexico Weekend Gas Watch. That price is six cents less than last week and 38 cents less than one year ago. The average in the Land of Enchantment is also 17 cents less per gallon than the national average of $3.28.


Friday November 2, 2013

In October, the Los Alamos Historical Society announced that it had received an extremely generous gift from Clay and Dorothy Perkins: $530,000 to purchase and restore the Hans Bethe House on Bathtub Row. The Bethe House located at 1350 Bathtub Row is next door to the Oppenheimer House, which was donated to the LAHS by Helene and Gerry Suydam under a living trust agreement. Nobel Laureates Hans Bethe and Edwin McMillan both lived in the house during the Manhattan Project.
The Los Alamos Historical Society will use the Bethe House to interpret the history of Los Alamos during the Cold War. The new interpretative center will be named the Harold Agnew Cold War Museum in honor of Harold Agnew, the Manhattan Project veteran and the third director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Director (1970-1979) who passed away on September 29, 2013. Agnew and Perkins were good friends. When Perkins first told Agnew of his forthcoming donation, Agnew responded laconically. But upon seeing a photograph of the Bethe House, he exclaimed, I stayed there a lot! The museum will be a terrific way to honor Agnew and the people who worked at Los Alamos during the Cold War.


Thursday November 1, 2013

The last of the portables at Aspen Elementary have been sited and are ready for students and staff. To facilitate the move of classrooms into the portables, on Thursday, October 31st, Friday, November 1st, and Monday, November 4th Aspen students will NOT have school. On those days staff will be completing the move into the portable classrooms. The last day of school this week for Aspen students was Wednesday, October 30th. Aspen students should plan on returning to school on Tuesday, November 2nd at the normal start time.

Wednesday October  30, 2013
The County Council held a meeting last night. They voted for the new historic preservation ordinance. They approved Dino Sgambellone as the next police chief. They approved additional expenditure for county employee insurance. They appointed 3 people to the arts in public places board.

 

Tuesday October 29, 2013

The New Mexico Consortium (NMC) is pleased to announce the aurora monitoring project, Aurorasaurus, has been awarded support by The National Science Foundation’s INSPIRE program. Aurorasaurus.org provides a real-time Google map of auroral visibility from multiple sources including user contributions, filtered social media Tweets, weather, and auroral oval predictions from the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.
Dr. Elizabeth MacDonald, an NMC Affiliate Research Scientist and LANL Staff Scientist, leads this citizen science research project.
According to Dr. MacDonald, accurately predicting space weather is a space physics top goal.
The current maximum solar cycle is the first with social media and the opportunity exists for using volunteered geographic information from distributed human observers to provide a way for the public to experience the extremes of space weather. Aurorasaurus.org will be among the very first tools to predict the extent of rare scientific events in real-time.
Please visit aurorasaurus.org, for more information


Monday October 28, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports October 17 through the 23rd.
One was arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating liquid.
Four were arrested on a magistrate court warrants
Three were arrested on a district court warrants.
Two were arrested on a felony warrants from another jurisdiction.
One was arrested for unlawful use of a license.
One was arrested for the possession of drug paraphernalia.
One was arrested for aggravated battery against a household member.
Two juveniles were cited for graffiti charges and referred to the JPO.
One juvenile was arrested on a warrant from another jurisdiction and referred to CYFD
One juvenile was cited possession of paraphernalia and referred to the JPO.
There was a report of forgery
There was a report of fraud.
There was a report of identity theft.
There was a report of distributing marijuana.
There was a report of a burglary.
There were 2 reports of larceny.
There was a report of unlawful use of a telephone.
There was a report of trafficking controlled substances.
There was a report of trafficking a controlled substance in a school zone.
One animal was impounded for biting.

 

Friday October 25, 2013

Tonight is Trick or Treat on Central Avenue from 4 to 6:30pm. You can begin at the medical center trick or treating from 3-5pm. There will be a performance on Central Avenue by the High Flyers and the New Mexico Dance Theater. The Halloweiner Parade starts at Ashley Pond at 5:30.
The High Tech Halloween at Bradbury Science Museum is from 4-7pmn featuring weird science. The YMCA's climbing wall is free from 6-8pm. The LAHS Topper Football game begins at 7pm on Sullivan Field.

 

Thursday October 24, 2013

NMDOT continues work on U.S. 84/285 just north of Pojoaque between mile markers 182.4 and 183.2. The scope of the project includes new bridge construction with new on and off ramps, new roadway lighting, and pavement reconstruction for 0.72 miles within Santa Fe County.
There will be a switch in traffic on Thursday afternoon, October 24, 2013. The northbound U.S. 84/285 traffic will be taken off of the northbound on and off ramps and placed on the newly constructed southbound U.S. 84/285 lanes, travelling in a northbound direction through the project limits. Northbound traffic will return to the existing NB U.S. 84/285 lanes at the north end of the project.
The slip ramp to the east frontage road will be closed for approximately two weeks. Travelers can access the east frontage road at CR 88 (La Pueblo Road).
The posted speed limit is 35 mph through the work zone. Motorists’ speed is being monitored by the New Mexico State Police.
NMDOT urges motorists to proceed through the area with caution, observe traffic control signing, and reduce speed to posted limits. For information on other construction and maintenance projects, visit the NMDOT road advisory website at NMRoads.com.


Wednesday October 23, 2013
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced that it has awarded 18 Sustainability Awards for innovation and excellence to its national laboratories and sites.
Awards won by Los Alamos National Laboratory included.
• Exceptional Service/Sustainability Champion: Sustainability is in His DNA: Dr. Dennis Hjeresen.
Recognizes a demonstrated history of exemplary performance in leading implementation of sustainable practices while reflecting a comprehensive approach to energy and environmental management through innovative strategies, practices and outreach.
• Greenhouse Gas Scope 3: Tracer Forensic Incident Response Exercise (FIRE) Virtual Workshop.
Recognizes site greenhouse gas reduction strategies and management approaches that address Scope 3 emissions. The approach exceeds targets in the Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan and emphasizes a holistic approach to greenhouse gas management, including teleworking and other emissions-saving measures.
• Change Agent: Andrew Erickson.
Recognizes an individual who takes the initiative to foster behavior change in the immediate work environment. Recognition focuses on efforts that advance one or more of the goals identified in the site’s Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan.
• Innovation and Holistic Approach: Energy Management and Experimentation at the National Security and Sciences Building (NSSB). (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

Recognizes innovative methods and cross-disciplinary research at the site level to support sustainability goal attainment.

 

Tuesday October 22, 2013

Here are the lowlight of the police reports October 10 through 16th.

Three were arrested on misdemeanor warrants from another jurisdiction

Three were arrested on magistrate court bench warrants

Two were arrested for trafficking controlled substances.

One was summoned for battery.

One was summoned for criminal trespassing.

One was summoned for illegal camping. 

One was arrested for theft of a credit card.

One was arrested for battery against a household member.

One was arrested for possession of more than an ounce of marijuana

One was arrested for possession of less that an ounce of marijuana.

One was arrested for assault on a police officer and again for battery on a police officer..

There was a report of aggravated indecent exposure

There was a report of criminal sexual penetration of a child age 13-18.

There was a report of larceny over $2500.

There was report of larceny over $500.

There was a report of larceny of $250.

There were 2 reports of criminal damage to property.

There was a burglary to a house.

There was a report of fraud.

There was a report of battery.

There was a report of receiving stolen property.

There were 3 reports of animal at large.

 

Monday October 21, 2013

The Los Alamos Police Department has recently become aware of numerous cases where outgoing mail containing checks in residential mailboxes have been stolen. The checks are then altered by the suspect, and cashed at local financial institutions. We are aware of mail that has been stolen in White Rock, Espanola and Santa Fe. Although the Department is currently working on leads in these cases, we urge community members to place outgoing mail into large post office mail drops or pay bills online. If you have been a victim in a similar case please notify Detective Paige Early at 662-8274 or call dispatch at 662-8222 to speak to an officer. As always, please call the police department to report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood.

 

Friday  October  18, 2013
 Congratulations to Los Alamos high school students and staff. LAHS placed second in the 4A class of the Director’s Club for the 2012-2013 school year. The award shows excellence in academics, activities, and athletics. The award is presented by the New Mexico Athletic Association.

 

Thursday October 17, 2013
The government shutdown is over and the nation will be able to borrow more money to pay its bills, thanks to action by Congress on Wednesday night.
The House voted 285-144 to pass legislation that funds the federal government through Jan. 15 and raises the nation's debt ceiling through Feb. 7. The Senate passed the bill earlier in the night on an 81-18 vote.
President Barack Obama signed the bill when it arrived on his desk.
The shutdown began Oct. 1, after previous legislation funding the government expired and a dispute over defunding or delaying health care reform kept Congress from enacting a new funding bill.
By the time Congress ended the shutdown, the need for funding the government had merged with the need to raise the government's $16.7 trillion borrowing limit. The Treasury Department said Congress needed to raise this debt ceiling by Thursday in order to avoid the possibility of the government not having enough money to pay all of its bills. That scenario could have led to the government defaulting on its debt, which could have wreaked havoc in financial markets and raised interest rates for everyone.

 

Wednesday October 16, 2013

On Friday the Los Alamos National Laboratory will close unless Congress can find a compromise to reopen the federal government. With the lab being the 6th largest employer in the state and the major economic driver for northern New Mexico, Los Alamos County and the surrounding communities will feel the effect of the closure swiftly and quickly. Businesses in Los Alamos are bracing for a large reduction in business, Los Alamos County is bracing for less gross receipts tax, and the surrounding areas are anticipating the same for their communities. Local financial institutions are offering programs to assist furloughed workers. Groups that help people facing turmoil are anticipating a higher demand for their services. Annually, LANL is responsible for $1.05 billion in employee compensation and benefits and has an economic impact of $4.38 million a day. The lab will retain a security force and some workers to maintain the safety and security of the lab. Everyone else will be furloughed.

 

Tuesday October 15, 2013

Los Alamos National Bank announced the hiring of Thomas (Tom) M. Lilly as chief credit officer this week.
Lilly brings more than 25 years of community banking financial management experience overseeing credit administration, underwriting, loan operations and collections for several Mid-Western regional banks.
Lilly will oversee all credit administration of LANB and will lead the lending and credit operations in assuring strong asset quality and effective credit risk management.
Upon accepting the position, Lilly said, “I’m excited to work for a community bank with the stature of LANB. I want to ensure that LANB continues to be an active and effective lender in the communities it serves.”
Lilly has served on a number of non-profit boards in Milwaukee, Wisconsin including the American Cancer Society, the Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House. He is particularly interested in serving the needs of children in the community.

 

Monday  October 14, 2013

The impact in northern New Mexico will be huge when Los Alamos National Laboratory shuts down by the end of business day on October 18 due the government shutdown.
The University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research did a study in 2011 that said the lab injected $1.6 billion into the northern New Mexico economy in 2009, which resulted in 11,200 direct jobs. That equals an economic impact of $4.38 million a day. Of those jobs, 8,700 employees are on LANL’s payroll.
LANL is the sixth-largest employer in New Mexico. All of its revenue is provided by the federal government. Annually, study said, LANL is responsible for $1.05 billion in employee compensation and benefits.

 

Friday October 11, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports October 3 through the 9.

Six were arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant

Two were arrested on a district court warrants.
One was arrested for battery on a household member.

One was arrested for criminal damage to property.

There were 2 reports of burglary.

There was a report of fraudulent signing of a credit card.

There was a report of defrauding an innkeeper.

There is a report of graffiti.

There was an unattended death.

There were 3 reports of an animal at large.

There was an accident with injuries on state road 4 on Saturday.

There was an accident on east Jemez road with out injuries on Wednesday.

 

Thursday October 10, 2013

The Los Alamos National Laboratory and all other NNSA associated labs and sites have been directed to transition to closure. LANL will complete the transition by the end of business Friday October 18.
Without a resolution to the budget impasse all operations will end except those necessary to maintain safety.
The lab is preparing a list of safety and security operations that will continue with a list of personnel that work through the closure. All other employees will be placed on unpaid furlough starting Monday October 21 until the lab can reopen.


Wednesday October 9, 2013

Los Alamos County Administrator Harry Burgess announced that Dino Sgambellone has accepted his offer to be the next Police Chief of Los Alamos County. His first day in the office will be Tuesday, Nov. 12. Sgambellone was selected from the top five finalists who traveled to Los Alamos last month to interview for the position. He is currently the Police Chief in Mansfield, Ohio.
''I am very pleased that Dino will be our next Police Chief,'' Burgess said, ''We look forward to welcoming him and his family to Los Alamos next month.''
Because the Police Chief is a department director position, Sgambellone’s hiring is contingent upon County Council approval at their meeting on Oct. 29.

 

Tuesday October 8, 2013

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 3223, legislation that ensures furloughed federal employees retroactively receive their pay.
He also urged Congress to also support contract employees at the national laboratories. In the past, DOE has sought to treat lab employees the same as federal
employees. This legislation sets the precedent for how those employees will be treated. We are sending the message that DOE should certify back pay for lab employees as an allowable cost, so they will be made whole if they are furloughed.
He wrote a letter to Energy Secretary Moniz stating in part.
It is my understanding that the Department of Energy can certify to the labs that it is an “allowable cost” for them to use their appropriated dollars to compensate their employees for back pay due to any furloughs caused by a shutdown. I urge you to certify as soon as possible that back pay will be allowable upon the restoration of government functions. The employees of our nation’s national laboratories deserve to know that they will be fully compensated for their service to our nation.


Monday October 7, 2013

The Pentagon announced Saturday that it would order almost all of its 350,000 civilian employees furloughed by the government shutdown back to work this week.
Pentagon officials said more than 90 percent of its furloughed employees are expected to return to work, under a decision made by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the workers are needed to support the readiness of the military. The action, supported by members of both parties, will leave about 450,000 of the federal government’s 2.1 million civilian employees on furlough.
In a rare Saturday session, Congress also took steps to relieve the financial concerns of workers who are facing a government shutdown. The Republican-led House unanimously passed a bill that would offer them full pay for the time they are not at their jobs during the shutdown.
Democrats who control the Senate said they would pass the bill early next week, and President Barack Obama has said he would sign it.
Under a law passed by Congress just before the government shuttered last week, active duty military personnel and civilian Pentagon workers on the job will receive paychecks on time.
Other federal workers — whether on furlough or on the job — will see their paychecks delayed until the government shutdown ends, squeezing workers without a financial cushion.

 

Friday  October 4, 2013
Here are the lowlights of the Los Alamos police reports September 26 through October 2
Two were arrested on a district court warrants
One was arrested on a magistrate court warrant
Two were arrested on a magistrate court bench warrants
One was arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating liquid
One was arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating aggravate
One was arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked license
One was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant from another jurisdiction
One was arrested for resisting/evading/obstructing an officer
Two were cited for defrauding an innkeeper
A juvenile was arrested for aggravated battery released to parents and referred to the JPO
Four juveniles were cited for negligent use of explosives and referred to the JPO.
Two juveniles were cited for possession of an imitation controlled substance and referred to the JPO.
There was a report of false imprisonment.
There was a report of battery against a household member
There were 2 reports of criminal sexual contact forced or coercion
There was a report of burglary from a vehicle or other structure.
There was a report of larceny.
There was a report of fraud.
One animal was impounded for biting
There were 6 reports of animal at large

 

Thursday October  3, 2012

County Administrator Harry Burgess announced this morning that he has extended an offer to Dino Sgambellone to be the next Police Chief of Los Alamos County.
“We had an excellent pool of candidates,” Burgess said, “All five of the top candidates who were in Los Alamos two weeks ago for interviews were well-qualified to be the next Police Chief.” Burgess said he intends to finalize the offer within the next few days. The next step would be Council approval of the candidate, possibly as soon as the upcoming Council meeting on Tuesday evening. Sgambellone met with the management team of the Police Department earlier this morning. “Dino is here with his family visiting Los Alamos, exploring our community as they carefully consider this opportunity,” said Burgess. He asked that local media respect the Sgambellone family’s privacy as they weigh their decision.“I know that residents are anxious to hear this news – the Police Chief is an active and important member of our community – and I hope to be able to make an announcement very soon,” Burgess said.

 

Wednesday  October 2, 2013

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan remembered Harold Agnew as a national treasure who transformed the Laboratory into what it is in the 21st century. Agnew died at home on Sunday, Sept. 29, his family announced.
He was the third director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, succeeding Robert Oppenheimer and Norris Bradbury. He served from 1970 to 1979.
During the Manhattan Project, Agnew came to Los Alamos as a graduate student. He was a scientific observer on the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, Japan – the first-ever use of an atomic bomb in war.
After World War II, Agnew completed his graduate studies under Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago and returned to Los Alamos to work in the Weapons Nuclear Engineering division, where he stayed until he became Laboratory director.
Under Agnew's directorship, Los Alamos developed an underground nuclear test containment program, completed the Clinton P. Anderson Meson Physics Facility, acquired the first Cray supercomputer, and trained the first ever class of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors.
He is credited with developing fail-safe methods for nuclear weapons that are still used today.
Following his career at Los Alamos, Agnew became president and CEO of General Atomics, a position he held until 1985. He chaired the General Advisory Committee of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and served as a science advisor to the White House from 1982 to 1989.


Tuesday October 1, 2013

Here is New Mexico Watchdog’s assessment of the effect of the federal government shutdown on the state.
The good news about a possible government shutdown? It won’t affect the vast majority of people in New Mexico, even most state employees.
National Park Service: All 11 of New Mexico’s park and monuments under the NPS would close.
State parks: Officials with New Mexico State Parks don’t anticipate any impacts.
Military bases: This sector will be hardest hit.
While active duty military personnel at New Mexico’s bases are not expected to be affected, civilian workers at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, Holloman AFB outside Alamogordo, Cannon AFB outside Clovis and the White Sands Missile Range — under the U.S. Army and U.S. Department of Defense — will definitely feel the pinch.
White Sands Missile Range says nearly all of the 2,700 civilian employees will be furloughed.
420 civilians at Holloman not listed as “essential” face furloughs, on a day-to-day basis.
At Cannon, more than 400 civilians are furloughed as a result of a government shutdown
About half of the 2,000 civilian workforce at Kirtland will face furloughs.
National laboratories: Los Alamos and Sandia are two of the biggest employers in the state, but it appears their workers are safe for now.
Mail delivery: No effect.
Social Security and Medicare checks: No effect.
Money for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Enrique Knell, spokesman for Gov. Susana Martinez, said, for now, the state anticipates having reserve balances that could be used to cover many social welfare programs.
U.S. Forest Service: A memo from the U.S. Department of Agriculture said essential services, such as forest fire-fighting and response to emergencies and disasters. This may mean the closing of parts of such popular hiking areas as the Carson, Santa Fe and Cibola national forests.
The potential shutdown highlights a larger issue: How New Mexico’s economy has, for so long, been reliant on federal dollars.
More than 40 percent of the state’s land is held by the federal government, which provides more than a quarter of the state’s jobs.
In 2005, the federal government spent $2.03 on New Mexico for every dollar in tax revenue collected from the state — the highest rate in the country.

 

Monday September 30, 2013
The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation is interested in funding innovative ideas that augment the basic curriculum from licensed teachers in the district. The Fall Great Ideas Grant application is due October 9, 2013 by 1pm and will be awarded by December 2013. Grant winners must implement their proposed projects and submit a follow-up report by May 2014. For additional information, visit their website at www.lapsfoundation.com.

 

Friday September 27, 2013

Recent heavy rainfall in the Española Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest has required the Caja del Rio area to be temporarily closed to all motor vehicle use. This restriction is necessary to prevent further resource damage, especially to area roads and adjacent grasslands, which can easily rut. Often, wet roads lead to vehicles stuck in axle-deep mud. Because driving on these roads results in habitat destruction, excessive erosion, and unacceptable road damage, keeping the area closed until drier weather is the best protection.
The Caja del Rio restricted area covers that portion of the Santa Fe National Forest bordered by State and private land, the Rio Grande, Canada Ancha, Cochiti Pueblo, San Ildefonso Pueblo and the Bureau of Land Management.
Effective today through an official closure order, motor vehicles are not allowed:
· on Forest Road 24 or any Forest Service secondary roads in the restricted area;
· off National Forest System roads in the restricted area; or
· on trails in the restricted area.
The public can access the restricted area on foot, mountain bike and on horseback. The duration of the closure order will be based on weather conditions. For information on all Santa Fe National Forest closure orders and restrictions, please visit our website at: www.fs.usda.gov/santafe

        

Thursday September 26, 2013

The Santa Fe National Forest is conducting a prescribed fire today in the Borrego Mesa area, approximately 2 miles east of Cordova, NM, and 3 miles south of Truchas, NM. Smoke may be visible from Santa Fe, Tesuque, Truchas, Cordova, Penasco and El Rito. Firefighters may continue this burn over the next few weeks as conditions allow. Smoke may continue to be visible through the coming weeks. The goal is to incrementally treat 260 acres of hazardous fuels to improve forest health.
Fall provides good prescribed burning conditions—warm days, cool nights and good ventilation for smoke. Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest plan to use this time to conduct several prescribed fires across the forest to reduce hazardous fuels, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce overcrowding of vegetation.
Prior to actual ignition, fire managers will be considering many factors including: fuel moisture levels, current and projected weather forecasts, fire personnel resources available, and air quality.
All prescribed burning is coordinated with NM Air Quality Bureau. For more information about this prescribed fire, please call the Española Ranger District at 505-753-7331

 

Wednesday September 25, 2013

Los Alamos K-12 schools are the beneficiaries of a $43,060 donation from Smith’s Food & Drug Store, a result of participation in the grocers’ Earn & Learn rewards program. A check presentation to each school will be held on Wednesday, September 25 at 3:00 pm at the Smith’s Food & Drug Store at 535 Central Avenue in Los Alamos. More than 20 Los Alamos schools benefiting from the program including: Barranca Mesa Elementary $5,809; Mountain Elementary $5,689; Los Alamos High School $5,604; Los Alamos Middle School $5,193; and Aspen Elementary $4,630 to name a few. The annual donation from Smith’s is unrestricted and participating schools may select the most appropriate use of the gift. Schools have used the funds to support reading programs, field trips, purchasing computer equipment and funding basic instructional needs.


Tuesday September 24, 2013
Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities Officials reported that power was fully restored on Monday to the many customers who lost electricity following Sunday's storm.
High wind, rain and lightning caused multiple outages Sunday evening throughout the Los Alamos town site. DPU electric lineman worked around the clock until Monday morning.
Reported Sunday at 7:10 PM, crews responded to an outage in the 35 and 38 Street neighborhood and repaired a blown fuse. Power was restored to the 60 affected customers by 7:23 PM.
A downed power line was reported that same evening at 9:40 PM at the Pajarito Ski Hill affecting the ski hill and radio towers. Linemen spliced wires until early Monday morning, restoring power by 4 AM.
In the Loma Linda neighborhood, a felled tree broke a utility pole cross arm at 9:40 PM Sunday. Difficult working conditions associated with mud, required crews to shut power off to 90 customers to safely make repairs. Power was restored to customers in Loma Linda, Terry Lane and horse stable by Monday 4 AM.
Downed communication lines were reported on 35th Street in the Western area. To make the area safe, DPU crews hoisted the communications lines up and out of the way.

 

Monday September 23, 2013
The Santa Fe National is planning on doing a prescribed fire on the Coyote Ranger District within the next 7 days.

Mesa Camino Prescribed Fire
The Mesa Camino prescribed fire will be 12 miles northwest of the Coyote Ranger Station. Smoke may be visible from Ghost Ranch, Canjilon, El Rito, Coyote, Youngsville, Abiquiu and possibly Espanola. Total planned acres to burn is 300-500 but 50-100 are planned for each day as conditions allow.

Gallina WUI Prescribed Fire
The Gallina Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) prescribed fire will be 8 miles northwest of the community of Coyote and 1 mile south of the community of Gallina, NM. Avoid using Forest Road 76 due to potential smoke impacts. Smoke may also be visible from Gallina, Coyote, Youngsville, Lindrith, Regina, Llaves, Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, and possibly Canjilon. Total planned acres to burn is 3,500 but 50-100 are planned for each day as conditions allow

 

Friday September 20, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports September 12 through 18.
Four were arrested on a magistrate court bench warrants.
One was summoned to appear before the judge on a charge of battery against a household member.
One was arrested for conspiracy.
One was arrested for producing false evidence of a title.
Two were arrested for larceny for the same event.
There a report of fraudulent use of a credit card.
There was a report of child abuse.
There was report of assault.
There was a report of a burglary
There was a report of larceny.
An animal was impounded for biting.
There were 2 reports of animal at large.

 

Thursday September 19, 2013

The recent floods in our canyons have caused extensive damage with the price tag to repair the assorted mess over 5 million dollars.
Los Alamos Reservoir
The reservoir has filled with silt and debris from the recent floods and the access road has washed out and the underlying waterline exposed and damaged.
Estimated cost to repair:
• Dredging $1,500,000
• Road Repair/Reconstruction $750,000
• Waterline Repair/Replacement $150,000
• Total $2,400,000
In Guaje Canyon the road to our fresh water wells washed out in many places and exposed our water line. It is estimated to take over 2 million dollars to repair the access.


Wednesday September 18, 2013

The votes were counted last night concerning the mail in election for the mil levy increase to support UNM-LA.
The initiative failed by a vote of 2908 votes against the tax increase to 2662 for the mil levy increase. UNM-LA will not receive an increase in community support.

 

Tuesday September 17. 2013
Thursday morning, September 19, unless there is another flood in the meantime, the Frijoles Canyon area of Bandelier National Monument will re-open after being closed for a week. Vvisitors will finally be able to catch the shuttle bus in White Rock and see the results of the recent record-breaking rains.
On Monday the Bandelier staff had their first chance to deal with what had happened during flooding over the weekend. It quickly became apparent that it would be some days before it would be safe to welcome visitors into the canyon, the park's main visitor area. Cleanup of mud and debris was begun, but assessment showed that there would also be long-term effects of the three episodes of high water that had passed through.
Throughout the floods and closures, other parts of the park were not affected and have been open and there to be enjoyed. Juniper Campground and the Tsankawi section are available, along with the Burnt Mesa, Tyuonyi Overlook, and Cerro Grande Trails. The park backcountry is open for hikers, but use will require extra caution, as there may be downed or falling trees, fallen rocks, and trails that are deeply eroded or hard to find. Until Frijoles Canyon re-opens, trails that provide access into the closed area, including the Frey Trail, are not available.


Monday September 16, 2013

Here are the low lights of the police reports from September 4 to 11.

One was arrested on a municipal court warrant

One was arrested on a magistrate court warrant

One was arrested for a warrant from another jurisdiction. 

One was arrested for operated a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating liquid.

Two were arrested for DWI

One was Arrested on charge of: Operating a vehicle under the influence of

One was arrested for shoplifting.

One was arrested for assault by a prisoner

One was arrested for the unlawful taking of a vehicle.

There were 3 reports of larceny on Central avenue.

There were 3 more reports of larceny.

There was a report of an unauthorized use of a credit card.

There were 2 reports of assault

There were 2  reports of an animal at large.

An animal was impounded for biting.

 

Friday September 13, 2013

Bandelier National Monument experienced two large flood events, one late afternoon Thursday September 12 and the other the morning of Friday September 13. Flooding in Frijoles Canyon prompted Superintendent Jason Lott to close the monument for the safety of visitors due to debris on trails and the potential for flooding throughout the weekend. Bandelier staff will begin clean-up efforts as soon as rains subside and hope to re-open the monument by Monday September 16.
This morning, heavy rains caused flash flooding more severe than any recent flooding the monument has received since 2011. Rain gauges in the upper part of Frijoles Canyon measured 11 feet at peak and water soon rushed into the visitor center parking lot, taking out signs and trash cans in its path. The historic district in Frijoles Canyon, including the Civilian Conservation Corps buildings and Visitor Center, were not damaged. Although sandbags and jersey barriers protected the buildings, trails in Frijoles Canyon are covered in debris. Visitors should expect to see flood damage to trails when the canyon re-opens Monday (weather dependent)

 

Thursday September 12, 2013

Yesterday the secretary of Education Hanna Skandera visited the Los Alamos High School to help celebrate the success of education in the Los Alamos Public schools. She made remarks along with Jim Hall, president of the school board, and Kurt Steinhaus from LANL community programs office.  All emphasized the successes of our school system were created by working together as parents, school employees, and volunteers.

 

Wednesday September 11, 2013
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added the Jemez Mountain salamander to the federal endangered species list Tuesday, ensuring that its habitat must be protected.
For New Mexico herpetologist Charlie Painter, who has championed the little salamander for more than two dozen years, the listing was long awaited and deeply welcome. “That’s really great news,” said Painter of the state Department of Game and Fish.
The federal agency listed recreation — camping, off-road vehicles and mountain biking — among the threats to the salamander’s already limited mountain habitat.
The listing could help Santa Fe National Forest defend an existing plan that limits off-road vehicle use in the Jemez Mountains, which has been challenged by off-road enthusiasts.
The slender salamander is found only in the Jemez Mountains in portions of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Sandoval counties.
The agency’s ruling is effective Oct. 10, and a designation of critical habitat for the salamander is expected soon.

 

Tuesday September 10, 2013

The south eastbound lane on Trinity Drive is closed between Knecht and DP Road. Expect congestion and plan for delays, especially during the evening commute. Alternate routes are recommended. This work will continue through November 2013.


Monday, September 9, 2013
Following a full week of intense searching by a multitude of agency personnel as well as hundreds of volunteers, Token Adams’s body was located and recovered. At 10:30 Saturday night , following a half-day of investigation, Token was escorted in a procession of Engines and Law Enforcement into Jemez Springs. He was given one final tour through the Jemez Ranger District compound as district employees, family and friends lined the driveway to welcome Token back to the fire shop one final time.
Sunday evening a candlelight vigil was held in Jemez Springs Park hosted by areas churches.
A memorial service has been scheduled as follows:
Thursday, September 12th, 2013 at 10:00 am at
Calvary of Albuquerque.
To get further information about the service for Token Adams, please go to www.danielsfuneral.com
Token was an Engine Captain for the last 1 ½ years working on Jemez Ranger District .He was a wildland firefighter for 10 years including previous experience as a hotshot.
Token is survived by his wife, Heidi, a 3 year old son, Tristan, his mother, a brother and sister. Token’s wife Heidi is expecting their second child. He is also survived
 by his Forest Service family and the entire wildland firefighter community.

 

Friday September 6, 2013

Tonight there is a Los Alamos Summer concert at Rover park in White Rock with a great double header . At 7pm the Los Alamos Big Band will perform. At 8:40 the Renegade Mountain band will perform. Many of us heard them during the county fair and they are back to entertain us again. It is Los Alamos Credit Unions co-op community night

                     

Tonight we will bring you the opening home football game against Farmington. All the play by play action begins at 7pm. The pregame show begins at 6:15.

 

Thursday September 5, 2013

The Department of Game and Fish is seeking individuals interested in serving as advisors to the Habitat Stamp Program. As volunteers, advisors review
habitat plans, prioritize habitat improvement proposals and forward their recommendations to the Department.
Each year since 1990, all anglers, hunters and trappers who use U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management lands must purchase a Habitat Stamp. The Habitat Stamp Program then uses the $5 fee for on-the-ground habitat improvements.    Citizen advisors are involved in every aspect of the program to help determine which habitats are most in need of improvement. Citizens who represent sporting and nonsporting conservation interests, along with public-land grazing permittee interests, meet each winter to provide input to and review habitat conservation plans. They reconvene in the spring to prioritize habitat proposals. Advisors serve three-year terms.
The State Game Commission will appoint 35 citizens at its meeting Nov. 14 in Taos.
Participation is completely voluntary.
To volunteer to serve and to learn more information about the program, please visit the Habitat Stamp Program page on the Department website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us

 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) continues work on U.S. 84/285 just north of Pojoaque between mile markers 182.4 and 183.2. The scope of the project includes new bridge construction with new on and off ramps, new roadway lighting, and pavement reconstruction for 0.72 miles within Santa Fe County.
On September 3, the northbound traffic on U.S. 84/285 will be detoured onto the newly constructed northbound off ramp and northbound on ramp. The traffic switch will detour travelers off of the main line of U.S. 84/285 during construction of the new bridge deck and placement of bridge girders.
There will continue to be lane closures on the northbound and southbound lanes between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The lane closures will be removed at the end of each workday, opening up two lanes of traffic in each direction.
The posted speed limit is 35 mph. Motorists’ speed is being monitored by the New Mexico State Police.
Drivers are asked to use caution, observe temporary traffic control signing, watch for construction personnel, and reduce speed to the posted limits.

 

Tuesday September 3, 2013

Last week, Los Alamos County received a lawsuit and related order from First Judicial District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson compelling the Clerk’s office to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses, or appear before her in court on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. to explain why the licenses are not being issued. As previously stated on Friday, I consider this to be a matter of great importance, not only to Los Alamos County, but to all County Clerks in New Mexico, as I have already indicated by my support in joining all of the other Clerks in the New Mexico Association of Counties’ request for the State Supreme Court to provide procedural guidance on how we should proceed.
I have weighed my options carefully over the holiday weekend in reaching a decision. First, as Clerk, I am required to uphold the laws of the State of New Mexico. I based my denial of a license last week on the actual language contained in the statutes. The statements contained on the marriage license that is issued by the Clerk’s office, as set forth in State law, requires a male and female or bride and groom applicant. I respect and value the rights of each person to be treated as equally and fairly as an individual as our Constitution states. Clearly, the marriage license in State statute has not been updated since 1961. It does not work for same sex couples, and that is a matter for the legislature to fix, not a Clerk and not a District Judge. A marriage license is a legally binding, permanent record signed by both applicants. Because the license issue has not previously been addressed in any of the other court proceedings, I have decided to appear before Judge Raphaelson tomorrow at 10 a.m. in Los Alamos to state my concern about the outdated and deficient forms. The County Attorney has filed our answer to the writ of mandamus we received last week, and I will let that document address each of the concerns specifically without further comment. In fact, because I will be appearing in court, it would not be appropriate for me to give any further comments to the media prior to Wednesday morning.
However, I do want to say in closing that this is a legislative problem; forms enacted as state statutes should be changed by the appropriate legislative body, which is our state legislature. I urge the State Supreme Court to take up this matter quickly and to provide guidance to all County Clerks throughout the State. Piecemeal litigation in courts across New Mexico is not good governance. County Clerks need a comprehensive and clear answer from the State of New Mexico addressing this issue. We all need to be issuing the same marriage license, and following the same laws.

 

Friday August 30, 2013
Statement from Sharon Stover, Los Alamos County Clerk:
Late this morning, Los Alamos County received a complete package of documentation regarding a recent lawsuit filed against Los Alamos County and related order from First Judicial District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson for the Clerk’s office to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Judge Rafaelson’s order stated that I should begin issuing the licenses or appear before her in court on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. to explain why the licenses are not being issued. I consider this to be a matter of great importance, not only to Los Alamos County, but to all County Clerks in New Mexico, as I have already indicated by my support in joining all of the other Clerks in the New Mexico Association of Counties’ request for the State Supreme Court to provide procedural guidance on how we should proceed. It requires my careful thought and consideration for everyone involved. I have not had adequate time yet to review the documentation we just received with our County Attorney, and thus I am not ready to make a statement to media about whether or not I will comply with Judge Rafaelson’s request at this time. I do plan to review the lawsuit and court order on Tuesday, confer with the Attorney and then make my decision. I will issue a statement to media on Tuesday regarding my decision no later than 4:00 p.m. Thank you for your understanding and patience as I evaluate my options and weigh my decision carefully over the next few days.

 

Thursday August 29, 2013
The ballots have been mailed for the UNM-LA mil levy election. Watch for them in the mail. Read the directions and vote by 7pm September 17. You may mail them or hand carry them to the county clerks office. Follow the directions and remember to sign your ballot or it will not count.

Wednesday August 28, 2013
At approximately 12:30 this afternoon (August 28, 2013) Los Alamos Police Department personnel responded to 25 Bonito Place where the resident was found deceased. The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator is treating the event as an apparent suicide.
No other information is available from the Los Alamos Police Department at this time.

 

Tuesday August 27, 2013
The Los Alamos Public Schools Board met in special session on Monday, August 26, 2013 to take action on a proclamation to honor Marilyn Fabry.
Ms. Fabry was recognized for her 19 years of dedicated service as a teacher at Los  Alamos High School. The Board invites students, staff and community in celebrating Tuesday, August 27, 2013 as Marilyn Fabry Day.

 Tonight there is a county council meeting at 7pm in the chambers at the municipal building. It will include financial review of fiscal year '13, a discussion of the non-potable water master plan, consideration of approval of changes to multi departmental fees, and more! You can attend, watch it on PAC 8 or stream it on your computer.

 

Monday August 26, 2013
Canyon road should be paved by now. Contractor will then be adjusting manhole and valve collars to match the grade of the new pavement. Expect minor flagging operations when this work is occurring. Once new concrete is placed, the manhole and valve areas will remain coned off until the fresh concrete has cured. Rim Road at Canyon will continue to be closed for placement of concrete at this intersection. Rim should reopen on September 3rd. All other Canyon Road intersections should be open by end of today Monday, August 26th

 

Friday  August 23, 2013
Police are offering a $500 reward for the arrest and/or conviction of the person or persons who defaced a Methodist Church in White Rock.
According to Los Alamos Police Det. Oliver Morris, ever since the graffiti attack happened they’ve been looking for the perpetrators.
Sometime over the weekend of Aug. 10 and 11 vandal(s) sprayed graffiti all over the church’s walls. The graffiti was obscene and satanic in nature. Their tag sign is “Snyp3” and so far police have few leads, though the case remains active.
“Snype3” also allegedly tagged an electrical box behind Chamisa Elementary as well as a nearby culvert, in the vicinity of Aragon Avenue and Lejano Avenue.
Also sprayed on signs in and near the culvert was the moniker “Atomic Kings.”
Police believe the same paint that was used at the church matches the type that was used in the culvert.
According to the Los Alamos Police Department’s public information officer, Preston Ballew, LAPD has not linked the graffiti in White Rock to any gang activity, and has not yet linked the graffiti to another incident that happened in Los Alamos to a Zia Realty truck a few weeks ago.
The reward money comes from a special fund set up by the police department. If you have any information, call Det. Morris at his office at 662-8281.

 

Thursday August 22,2013
The Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation (LACDC) Board of Directors announced their support of the proposed mil levy increase designed to fund programs at The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos.
The 2-mil operational increase, scheduled for vote by September 17, will boost UNM-LA’s ability to produce science, technology, engineering, and math students that are vital to our unique local economy. LACDC recognizes UNM-LA’s impact on the community at large that is showcased by a wide range of benefits including its partnership with Los Alamos High School to provide dual-credit, exceptional programs in fire-science, and numerous continuing education options.
Additionally, resources for local businesses would be supported by the funds – directly in line with LACDC’s goals to support a thriving local economy.
As one of the major employers in the community, with 183 full and part-time employees, LACDC sees value in working toward sustainable fiscal support of our community college.
LACDC encourages those seeking more information about the mil levy and its possible impact on the community of Los Alamos to visit ourcommunityourcollege.com.

 

Wednesday  August 21, 2013
The Los Alamos County Council had a work session last night which lasted to nearly midnight. The San Juan Chama water project took up most of the discussion. It was concluded that the San Juan Water rights should be pursued in some manner. This may take several years while we explore and argue over the options. The fact we need a replacement well in the next year or so should be pursued by drilling a new conventional replacement well in a current well field.

The gas rates were also discussed. The utility department wants to create a partially variable rate. It was accepted as a good idea with a couple of little corrections. It will be brought back to council as a motion in a couple of months.

 

Tuesday August 20, 2013

Police Chief Wayne Torpy will officially retire on Friday, August 23rd, and the search for a new Police Chief is in progress. The position posting closed on July 26. The County received 40 applications for the position, of which 26 applicants met the minimum qualifications. The County Administrator will select up to five finalists. The top candidates will travel to Los Alamos for in-person interviews and a special “meet the finalists” reception with the public in Council Chambers on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. The County will have three different panels – one senior management, one LAPD and one community panel – who will conduct all day interviews with the finalists on Sept. 13. It’s expected that the County Administrator will extend an offer to the successful candidate before the end of September.

 

Monday August 19, 2013
Large trucks hauling dirt and building materials will be coming up and down the Main Hill Road (NM502/Trinity) for the next 30-45 days, Mon - Sat. during daytime hours. Trucks are currently expected to make 70-100 trips per day to the Smith's Marketplace site. Motorists are advised to plan ahead to be 5 to 6 minutes earlier if they are using the Main Hill Road. For the near future motorists may want to select alternative routes such as East Jemez Road. Please Like www.facebook.com/DPU1968 for continued updates on the traffic impacts associated with Smith’s MarketPlace.

 

Friday August 16, 2013
Erin Kirk was named the female Athlete of the Year by the Los Alamos Sports Association. She was awarded a plaque and a T-shirt to recognize her as the top female athlete of the 2012-2013 school year. She played in 3 sports: volleyball, basketball, and softball.
Arnaldo Ortiz was named the male athlete of the 2012-2013 school year and also got a plaque and t-shirt. He played four sports: football, wrestling, hockey, and track and field.
The Los Alamos Sports Association consists of the local sports reporters from the Los Alamos Monitor and KRSN

 

Thursday August 15, 2013
Here are the lowlights of the Los Alamos police reports August 7- August 14.
One was arrested for DWI.
One was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.
Three were arrested on a municipal court warrants
One was arrested on a magistrate court warrant.
One was arrested for criminal trespassing.
A juvenile was arrested on the charge of forgery, referred to the JPO and released to parent
A juvenile was arrested on the charge of aggravated assault, referred to the JPO and released to parent.
There was an accident with injuries at the corner of Trinity and Diamond Monday night.
There was a report of larceny.
There were 6 reports of property damage.
There was a report of forgery.
There was an attempted suicide.
The was a report of identity theft.
There were 8 reports of animal at large.
One animal was impounded for biting.

Wednesday August 14, 2013
Camp May is open to the public following renovations to picnic areas, camp sites and a new amphitheater. The new amphitheater features a concrete stage with aluminum bench seating. Improvements to picnic and camping areas included the installation of 21 new picnic tables and 17 new fire rings on new concrete slabs, along with bear-proof trash containers. There are four picnic/day use areas and 14 campsites that can be reserved at the Aquatic Center. Four of the campsites are suitable for recreational vehicles no longer than 25’ with the rest of the sites available for tent camping.

 

Tuesday August 13, 2013
This year’s Los Alamos National Laboratory Employees’ Scholarship Fund broke past fundraising records, raising a total of $563,827. Of that, 601 LANL employees, visiting scientists and friends of the Lab contributed $313,000. Los Alamos National Security, LLC. provided a $250,000 match.
Nan Sauer, Associate Director for Chemistry, Life and Earth Science at the Lab and chair of the campaign, said this exceeded the Scholarship Advisory Committees’ goal of $300,000 from employees. Laboratory employees contributed $273,300 to the campaign last year.
Scholarship awards went to 73 students in a seven-county region. Winners received their checks, ranging from $20,000 to $1,000 at a recent ceremony at the LANL Foundation office courtyard in Española.
Now, in its 15th year, the scholarship program has awarded more than $3.7 million to students in the Northern New Mexico counties it serves.

 

Monday August 12, 2013

Western Area Phase 1 street work update.
43rd Street remains closed to through traffic on both sides of Trinity. Water service tie-ins will occur on 43rd north of Trinity. Once these water service tie-ins are completed, the contractor will move to 44th Street, which will then be closed to through traffic for the installation of the water line main.

The current lane closure and flagging operation at Fairway and 43rd may continue into this week due to weather delays; work in this area includes storm drain structure installation and curb & gutter placement followed by subgrade preparation and base course placement.

On 43rd and 45th north of Trinity the contractor will begin preparation for curb and drive pad placements possibly before the end of the week. Driveway access will be maintained until the formwork is placed. Residents will be given 48 hour notification when driveways will be temporarily out of service to allow the concrete to cure.

Access to residences as well as services such as mail delivery, emergency services, and trash and recycling collection will be maintained. Residents are asked to maximize use of off-street parking. Any necessary on-street parking should be away from the active work zones. Work hours are Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. with possible weekend work if necessary.


Friday August 9, 2013

It is Friday and this is the Los Alamos County Fair and Rodeo weekend. Today, you can view fair exhibits beginning at 5 pm at Mesa Public Library. Tonight, the Los Alamos Summer Concert Series presents the Austin, Texas country/country rock band, James Hyland and the Joint Chiefs at Ashley Pond. The show starts at 7pm, it is free, and you should bring your lawn chairs.
There is open roping at Brewer Area at 7:30.
Saturday is the craft fair on Fuller Lodge lawn, the festival at Ashley Pond, the fair exhibits in the library, and the parade goes up Central at 10 am. Cheer for the KRSN covered wagon.
At Saturday’s County Fair beginning at 11 am, right after the Parade, Smith’s is sponsoring the live music at the Pond with the country dance band Renegade Mountain Band. They come from Los Alamos and are very good.
The rodeo starts at 2 pm.
The Cowboy Dinner and Dance starts at 5 pm. Dinner is smoked salmon and prime rib and features music by The Rifters.

 

Thursday August 8, 2013

Los Alamos Middle School Fall Sports Registration is CANCELLED!!
The registration night originally scheduled for August 8th from 5:30-7:30 pm at the LAMS gym has been cancelled. Access to the LAMS gym is not allowed at this time due to construction. All fall athletes should plan to be at the first day of practice on August 12th with paperwork in hand. Stay tuned to the Team Pages of the LAPS Athletic website for specific information about your sport.

 

Wednesday August 7, 2013

July’s Weather Highlights.
Measurable precipitation was recorded somewhere in Los Alamos County every day from July 2nd to the 10th. Beginning on July 10th, a more typical monsoon pattern with southern winds bringing moisture up from Mexico, set in and has continued through July.
Los Alamos received 3.71 inches (132% of normal) and White Rock received 2.85 inches of precipitation (144% of normal) for the month. The Los Alamos monthly total was heavily influenced by a single storm: 1.62 inches of precipitation fell at the LANL TA-06 station in 90 minutes on July 12th. Ninety percent of the 1.62 inches fell in 45 minutes! For Los Alamos, this is a 1-hour rainfall rate that will occur every 10–25 years. For the month, locations south of Los Alamos Canyon fared better than locations to the north: the LANL station at TA-53 received only 1.56 inches and the North Community station received 2.31 inches.
Los Alamos has received 6.30 inches of precipitation for 2013 through the end of June, or 64% of normal. The year 2013 is now the 8th driest year on record through the end of July.. White Rock precipitation through July is 4.50 inches, or 63% of normal.
Temperatures were close to normal for July in Los Alamos and White Rock. Each location had an average daily high temperature of 1 to 2 °F below normal and overnight low temperatures of 1 °F above normal. Daily low high temperature records were set in Los Alamos and White Rock on July 15th. Overcast skies, light rain, and breezy conditions resulted in a high temperature in Los Alamos of only 63 °F, breaking the previous record of 65 °F, set in 1952. Similar conditions were observed in White Rock; the temperature only reached 66 °F, breaking the previous daily record of 77 °F, set in 1974.
National Weather Service climate forecasters predict the monsoon to continue to be active in New Mexico, with above-average chance of precipitation for August.

 

Tuesday August 6, 2013
The Valles Caldera rehabilitation efforts for the Thompson Ridge fire are in full swing. Helicopters are dropping barley seed in the burned area of Redondo Peak. About 397 acres of steep slopes in the Deer, Mormon, and Freelove canyons were seeded, according to John Barksdale, incident commander for the federal interagency Burned Area Emergency Response team that’s been working in the Valles Caldera. No straw mulch will be laid on top of the seeds because it is so late in the monsoon season. Barley seed germinates quickly and will put down roots to help hold down soil in areas where all of the vegetation was burned. Wildlife will like the barley. In addition to seeding, crews have protected historic structures in the Valles Caldera with sandbags and are working to improve drainage away from the buildings. They have also cut burned trees along roads that had posed a hazard. Others are building sediment catchment basins out of logs to prevent artifacts such as pottery shards and obsidian tips from washing off of archaeological sites in the preserve.

 

Monday August 5, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports July 24 through the 31st.

One was arrested for a magistrate court bench warrant.
One was arrested for battery on a police officer.
One was arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license
One was arrested for a misdemeanor warrant from another jurisdiction.
One was sited for possession of drug paraphernalia
One was arrested for shoplifting.
A juvenile was arrested for forgery, referred to the JPO and released to parent.
There was a report of assault.
The was a report of fraud.
There was a report of larceny.
There was a report of graffiti along Trinity Drive.
Two animals were impounded for biting.
There were 5 reports of animal at large.

 

Friday August 2, 2013

The Los Alamos Police Department is investigating a series of taggings or graffiti along Trinity Drive Wednesday.
Vandals hit the Shriners Lodge, 1407 Trinity Drive, Elks Lodge, 1600 Trinity Drive, the Zia Realty truck parked behind the Shriners and some transformers located near the Shell Station, 2591 Trinity Drive.
Acting police chief Phil Taylor said Thursday morning it was an active investigation and there were no suspects.
The owner of the truck is Zia Realty’s James Chrobocinski and he announced Thursday that he is offering a reward leading to the arrest of the people responsible.

 

Thursday August 1, 2013
The United Way of Northern New Mexico has used money from the community action fund to replace the tables stolen from the San Martin de Porres Soup kitchen earlier this summer. The 40+ tables are used for fund raising events to keep the kitchen open. The community action fund is created with money donated to the United Way of Northern new Mexico without designating a receiving charity. The community action fund also provides money for competitive grants nonprofits receive throughout their service area.


Wednesday July 31, 2013
Stable Fire-170 acres
Although little rainfall has fallen over the fire area, higher humidity has decreased fire behavior significantly on the Stable fire, located approximately 4 miles west/northwest of Jemez Springs. A drying trend is expected this week which will give firefighters an opportunity to conduct burnout operations on the west side of the fire to anchor the fire to containment lines. This low intensity burn is expected to slowly consume fuels on the forest floor. You may see a significant increase in smoke over the next three days from the burnout operation.


Tuesday July 30, 2013

Los Alamos Public Schools announces its participation in free and reduced price meals served under the National School Lunch Program(s) at the five elementary schools. Please call June Gladney, Food Service Manager, at 505-663-2238 with questions. Applications for the program will be sent home with each elementary age student at the start of the school year. Students who were qualified last year will be qualified for the first two weeks of school, but parents will have to submit new paperwork for the new year.

Monday July 29, 2013

Final Update: Granite Mountain Hot Shot Memorial Fund
The County shipped the banner and wired the funds to the United Way in Prescott, AZ last week - we're proud to report that LAFD took in contributions totaling about $27,250 for the families of the 19 fallen firefighters. THANKS to all those who gave so generously to the memorial fund!

 

Friday July 26, 2013
Here are the lowlights of the police report July 17 through 24.
One was arrested on charge of: Operating a vehicle under the influence and aggravated intoxication.
One was arrested on charge of: Assault, Attempted Battery.
One was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant.
One was arrested for indecent exposure.
One was arrested for possession of paraphernalia.
There was a report of criminal sexual penetration.
There were 2 reports of burglary from a vehicle or other structure.
There were 2 reports of fraud.
There was a report of harassment.
There were 2 reports of criminal damage to property.
There was a report of unreasonable animal noise.
There were 4 reports of animal at large.

Thursday July 25, 2013

As reported by the Rio Grande Sun, The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, better known as the DEA, hopes to have a new trick up its sleeve to stem narcotics related crime in Northern New Mexico but officials said they need the public’s help. The trick is a new anonymous text messaging system: anyone can text ''drugs'' or the Spanish ''drogas'' to TIP 411 or, 847-411, and then the details of what they’ve observed. The message goes through a system set up by a private company to keep the texter anonymous. The texts, in English or Spanish, go directly to a DEA agent. If the tip is the kind that requires immediate attention, say, a drug deal going down that night, the DEA will notify local law enforcement.
The program has already been running in Albuquerque for a year and in El Paso, Texas, for 2 1/2 years and has generated 360 leads.

 

Wednesday July 24, 2013

There are a variety of fires burning in the Santa Fe National forest caused by lightening.

The Stable Fire on the Jemez Ranger District is approximately 80 acres.  Due to the fire growth more smoke was visible today in the Jemez Springs area.  The fire is located near Stable Mesa approximately 1.5 miles east of Forest Road 376.  Firefighters are engaged in suppressing this fire.

The Borrego Fire northeast of Ponderosa on the Jemez Ranger District is approximately 11 acres and 0% contained.  This fire is in monitor status. 

The Jaroso Fire remains at 11,149 acres and 75% contained.  No fire activity is being detected due to recent rainfall.

The Golondrino Fire on the Coyote Ranger District is now 240 acres and 0% contained.  This fire is in monitor status.  Creeping with some isolated torching has been observed although recent heavy rains have decreased fire activity.

The Lupita Fire on the Coyote Ranger District remains at approximately 20 acres and 0% contained.  This fire is in monitor status. No growth was detected today due to rainfall.

 

 

Thompson Ridge Fire FINAL UPDATE: Fire is 100% Controlled

 

Acres:  23,965                                      Start date:  May 31, 2013

Cause:  Downed powerline                    Location:  Valles Caldera National Preserve, NM

Containment: 100 percent                   

Control: 100 percent                           

 

Summary: Since fire officials declared containment Monday, July first, there has been neither new fire growth nor significant smoke within the perimeter of the Thompson Ridge Fire. Substantial rainfall within the perimeter has contributed to the suppression of the fire. Therefore fire officials have declared the Thompson Ridge Fire 100 percent controlled and 100 percent contained. Valles Caldera fire officials will continue periodic aerial and lookout tower monitoring until the fire is officially declared extinguished. This is the final update of the Thompson Ridge Fire which is now inactive.

 

Tuesday July 23, 2013

The Valles Caldera Trust is asking for public input as we continue our efforts to establish a comprehensive strategy for future public access on the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The trust is preparing a Transportation Recreation and Suitability Study (TRSS) to develop the permanent transportation and recreation infrastructure beyond the future visitor center. A critical piece of that study is to acquire public feedback on several topics related to transportation, recreation, and infrastructure development.
The public can provide input from July 23 through September 23 using a simple online comment form. Input at this time will help us to focus the TRSS on topics most important to the public.
For information on the TRSS and access to the online comment form, go to the Valles Caldera Trust website at www.vallescaldera.gov. Select “Get Involved” and “Stewardship” or contact Recreation Planner and Project Leader, Dave Davis at 505-661-3333 or stewardship@vallescaldera.gov.

 

Monday July 22, 2013

The groundbreaking for the Smith’s Marketplace store is set for Tuesday, July 23 at the Trinity Site - County and School district officials will join representatives from Smith's and Kroger at 2:00 p.m., when they'll grab a shovel and officially "turn some dirt" kicking off the build out of the Smith's Marketplace.

 

Friday July 19, 2013

Over the past few weeks, constant monsoon moisture has decreased fire danger from extreme to low. Effective tomorrow at 8 a.m., current Stage I fire restrictions blanketing the Forest will be lifted. Areas of the forest affected by the Tres Lagunas, Thompson Ridge and Jaroso fires will remain closed for public safety.

 

Thursday July 18, 2013

A report from the Santa Fe New Mexican:

Brian Schamber is a Los Alamos police officer who suffers from bipolar disorder. Last December, his commanders forced him to go to the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas, N.M., where he involuntarily stayed for 10 days before he was released and cleared for active duty as a police officer by a police-contracted psychiatrist.

In the seven months since his release, Schamber has returned to work, though he has been working from home, doing work that doesn’t require him to carry a gun. Today, both Schamber and the Los Alamos Police Department agree that Schamber is fit to be back on regular duty — gun and all.

 “He was cleared,” Jamie Sullivan, a lawyer representing Los Alamos County, said Wednesday. “We think he is a very good law enforcement officer.”

But Schamber’s lawyer, John Day, said his client can’t go back to patrol duty because of a federal law that prohibits him from possessing a firearm because he was committed to a mental institution.

The matter now is in federal court. Los Alamos County filed an action in May asking a federal judge to rule that there’s no federal prohibition against Schamber working as a police officer.

Schamber this week filed a countersuit asking for compensatory damages, including loss of earnings, loss of benefits, loss of promotional opportunities, loss of career and lost earning capacity. He also is asking for punitive damages. There is no specific dollar amount listed in the countersuit.

According to court documents, this is what happened:

Schamber, who was hired by the Los Alamos police in 2010, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in June 2012. Both sides in the case agree that bipolar disorder does not disqualify someone from being a certified officer in New Mexico. He also was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

For the next several weeks, Schamber was prescribed various medications to treat his condition.

In early October he was cleared to return to full duty.

In November, police Chief Wayne Torpy suffered a stroke and took extended medical leave . Captain Randy Foster became acting chief.

Schamber claims that Foster and acting Deputy Chief Scott Mills began harassing and intimidating him.

On Dec. 21, Foster and Mills learned that Schamber had an appointment with Española psychiatrist Gregory Baca. According to the county’s court action, at that appointment Schamber asked Baca “why it seemed like I was evil and always had thoughts of harming other people.”

Sometime that day, Baca sent an email to Foster saying Schamber should not have a gun. Foster later told Schamber t0 surrender his gun and ordered him to go to the Los Alamos Medical Center. He was admitted to the hospital but was determined to be no threat to himself or others. However, after speaking to Foster and Baca, the hospital reversed that evaluation.

The next day, Schamber was in his car with his wife. He was pulled over by a fellow Los Alamos officer. “During the stop, Mr. Schamber was forcibly removed from his car, handcuffed, arrested, placed in a patrol car and involuntarily taken back to the Los Alamos Medical Center,” the countersuit says.

At the hospital he was “forcibly restrained against his will, sedated against his will, administered medications against his will, and stripped of his clothes,” the countersuit says. A doctor there signed a “Physician’s Certificate for Involuntary Commitment.” He was taken by ambulance to the state hospital in Las Vegas, where he stayed for 10 days.

Dr. Susan Cave, who examined Schamber for the Los Alamos Police Department, cleared him to go back to regular duty. On Feb. 14, Cave stated that “[i]t appears there were a lot of misstatements and reports to medical staff both in Los Alamos and [the state hospital] that later did not bear out to be correct. There is no evidence that [Schamber] was psychotic in December 2012 or since.”

Schamber claims he was threatened by Foster and Mills, and that his home had been searched by police while he was in Las Vegas. Foster in January tried to get Schamber decertified by the state Law Enforcement Academy Board. That action still is pending, Day said.

Foster was fired in June after an internal investigation over what had happened to Schamber, the countersuit says.

 

 

Wednesday July 17, 2013

Los Alamos National Laboratory, at the direction of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Field Office, will restrict access on Pajarito Road to only laboratory badge holders effective Monday, Aug. 12.
This means that laboratory personnel and subcontractors will no longer be able to ''vouch'' for non-laboratory personnel such as family members.
''Our laboratory and security access procedures are continually reviewed and updated to ensure we provide a secure working environment for our employees and visitors,'' said Michael Lansing, the laboratory’s Associate Director for Security and Safeguards. ''Entry to the Pajarito Corridor provides access to our most sensitive areas and now is restricted to those with a valid reason and badge to enter this area.''
Pajarito Road has been access controlled for several years. Only individuals who have federal or Laboratory issued badges can travel this road, which traverses through several Laboratory technical areas and intersects with N.M. 4 on the east end and Diamond Drive on the west end near the main Technical Area 3.
The laboratory and the Los Alamos Field Office of the NNSA are in the process of notifying local government and school officials, about the planned changes to access on Pajarito Road.

 

Tuesday July 16, 2013

Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) awarded $340,000 to nine local businesses this year to help them grow and develop in Northern New Mexico. The grant awards are under the auspices of LANS’ Venture Acceleration Fund and coordinated by the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Technology Transfer Division. LANS invested $315,000 while Los Alamos County invested $25,000.
Awards were given to four companies in Santa Fe, two in Los Alamos, two in Rio Rancho, and one in Moriarty. Venture Acceleration Fund recipients for 2013 are:
•Aerolenz, LLC, Santa Fe: insulated aerogel skylights.
• Awesome Harvest, LLC, Santa Fe: cloth growing pots.
• PlanitMapper, LLC, Santa Fe: app used for outdoor activities.
• Seamless Medical Systems, LLC, Santa Fe: electronic medical record keeping system for medical offices.
• GeoEnergy Monitoring Systems, Inc., Los Alamos: seismo-acoustic system to monitor seismic activity.
• SportXast of Los Alamos, Los Alamos: mobile app for sports broadcasting.
• Customizabooks, Rio Rancho: digital publishing house for children’s books.
• NuAira, Inc., Rio Rancho: power-assisted bicycles.
•Titan Aerospace, Moriarty: solar-powered aircraft manufacturing.
The fund was originally created to commercialize technologies developed at the Lab but now includes all types of businesses in every stage of development.

 

Monday July 15, 2013

The State Education department has released the school report cards for the 2012-2013 school year. Los Alamos Public Schools received the following grades: The High School, an A. It received an A last year. The Junior High school received a B. It received a B last year. Barranca Elementary received a B down from an A last year. Aspen received an A up from a B last year and Mountain received a C this year down from an A last year. Piñon and Chamisa both received a B this year. Piñon was down from a A last year, but Chamisa was unchanged. All school received an A for how well their currents students achieved the grade appropriate achievement levels. All received some bonus points for how well they engaged parents in educations, reduced truancy and promoted extracurricular activities. We will be talking with Superintendent Schmidt later this month for further explanation of the grading process. 

 

Friday July 12, 2013

The Santa Fe National Forest has lifted forest closure and moved into Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. That means campfires are allowed only in developed campgrounds. There will be some areas that will remain closed due to impacts from wildfires and potential flooding.
The following areas will be closed from June 30, 2013, to September 30, 2013 due to potential flood impacts from the Thompson Ridge Fire:
•         East Fork River Corridor – Beginning at the southern boundary of the Valles Caldera and ending at the confluence with the San Antonio River at Battleship Rock, the corridor is defined as being one quarter mile from the ordinary high water mark on each bank of the East Fork Jemez River.
•         East Fork Trail, Forest Trail 137 beginning at Las Conchas Trailhead and ending at the Battleship Rock Trailhead parking area
•         Forest Trail 121 (beginning at NM Highway 4 and ending at the East Fork Jemez River)
•         Las Conchas Picnic and Fishing Area
•         Las Conchas Trailhead
•         East Fork Trailhead
•         Jemez Falls Trailhead
•         Battleship Rock Trailhead Parking Area
•         La Cueva Picnic Area
•         Spence Hot Spring Parking Area and Forest Trail 130.

Fenton Lake State Park has reopened.

The Valles Caldera National Preserve has resumed fishing and other selected recreation activities. All visitors must check in at the Valle Grande Staging Area accessible through the main entrance on NM Highway 4. Only a few of the recreational activities were impacted by the Thompson Ridge Fire.

For more information on available activities and programs at the Valles Caldera, call 866-382-5537 or go to www.vallescaldera.gov.


Fire Restrictions at Bandelier National Monument will be lowered to Level I this weekend. As of 8 AM today , campfires will be permitted in the fire grills in Juniper Campground. The campground and all the park trails have been open all along, including overnight backpacking in the Bandelier Wilderness. Backpackers are permitted to camp on the mesa tops.

 

Thursday July 11, 2013
Governor Martinez has issued an executive order for flags to be flown at half-staff from sunrise, July 10, 2013, to sundown July 12, 2013 in honor and mourning of Governor David Francis Cargo.

 

Wednesday July 10, 2013

The county will relax fire restrictions from Stage II to Stage I, effective at 8 a.m. today. The County has been under Stage II restrictions since June 25 due to extreme fire danger.
The relaxation of fire restrictions is based upon:
Local weather improvement, including:
• Recent regular rainfall
• The local seven-day forecast, which reflects continued rain and cloud cover
• Rising humidity values in the weather
Fuel condition improvements, including:
• Reduction in fire danger level, from Extreme to Moderate
• Reduction in ignition potential, from 100 percent to 50 percent
• Increase in the dead fuel moistures to double-digit levels
Daily fire occurrence situation
• The number of lightning-caused fire starts remains steady; however, large fire potential is down
• Adequate fire resources are available
When the County returns to Stage I Fire restrictions on Wednesday, the following actions will be allowed
Building, maintaining or using an open fire within developed campsites (concrete pad with metal fire ring); metal grills using charcoal or propane are acceptable on North Mesa campgrounds, at Overlook Park and at any park within Los Alamos County.
• Smoking is allowed within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3-feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

The Sale or use of certain fireworks restrictions cited in a proclamation passed by the Council on June 25th remain in effect.

 

Tuesday July 9, 2013

Los Alamos National Laboratory, which broke its waste shipping records in 2012, has exceeded last year’s record with three months left to go in fiscal year 2013.
During the past nine months, Los Alamos shipped 1,074 cubic meters of transuranic (TRU) and mixed low-level waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and other approved waste disposal facilities, exceeding last year’s record of 920 cubic meters. The effort is part of an agreement between the New Mexico Environment Department and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and Office of Environmental Management to remove 3,706 cubic meters of TRU waste stored aboveground at Area G, the Laboratory’s waste storage facility, by June 30, 2014. The accelerated removal campaign is in its second year, with a goal to remove 2,600 cubic meters of waste by September 30, 2013. Since the campaign began, Los Alamos has removed 1,994 cubic meters of waste.

 

Monday July 8, 2013

Jackie Cooke, a recent graduate of Los Alamos High School, traveled to Washington, DC as part of a national student delegation to meet with Senators Udall and Heinrich as well as Congressman Lujan. In conversations with the US Senators and Congressman, Cooke championed the causes of public education. Among a variety of educational policy topics discussed were how schools could be transformed through technology and the impact of sequestration. She also encouraged New Mexico’s legislators to fully fund special education and allow more flexibility and decision making at the local level. This marked the second year that Cooke traveled to Washington, DC to discuss educational issues with New Mexico’s congressional delegation. Los Alamos’ youngest educational policy wonk plans to attend New Mexico State University to major in electrical engineering or science. She credits her participation on the Los Alamos High School robotics team for her interest in engineering.

 

Friday July 5, 2013

Forest Remains Closed This Holiday Weekend

SANTA FE, NM; JULY 4, 2013—“The Santa Fe National Forest will remain closed to public access through the 4th of July weekend,” announced Forest Supervisor Maria T. Garcia. The isolated rain showers received over the past week have helped to reduce fire danger and forest officials are considering which parts of the Santa Fe National Forest will be safe to open next week. “Rainfall and a decrease in fires, does not mean the forest will reopen unless all conditions are safe,” she added.

 

After the Forest reopens, fire emergency closures will remain in effect for the protection of public health and safety in those areas affected by the Tres Lagunas, Thompson Ridge, and Jaroso fires. Post-fire work continues in the fire affected areas and there is still a concern of flash flooding in many areas downslope of burned areas. 

 

Several years of drought, have left our public lands parched and vulnerable to wildfire.  Though summer rain showers are welcomed, they are accompanied by lightning and some of these lightning strikes have resulted in ten new fire starts. These fires were suppressed quickly and most of them were less than an acre in size.

 

The Tres Lagunas Fire—10,219 acres; Thompson Ridge Fire—23,965 acres; and the Jaroso Fire—11,141 acres are now in the post-fire rehabilitation stage.

 

Please call your local ranger station for the latest information on Santa Fe National Forest re-opening.

 

Santa Fe National Forest (505) 438-5300 | http://www.fs.usda.Gov./santafe

Coyote Ranger District (575) 638-5526

Cuba Ranger District (575) 289-3264

Jemez Ranger District (575) 829-3535

Pecos Ranger Station (505) 757-6121

Las Vegas Ranger Station (505) 425-3534

Española Ranger Station (505) 753-7331

Los Alamos Satellite Office (505) 667-5120

 

Thursday July, 4, 2013
Our studio will be closed today but the radio plays on. The LA County Summer Concert Series will be at the July 4th Kiwanis Fireworks Spectacular at Overlook Park in White Rock.
Festivities include a Battle of the Bands. Here's the schedule:
3:00 Boo Koo- a Los Alamos roots-reggae-Americana and rock band. Scott Beguin- drums and percussion, Peter Young –guitar/vocals, Greg Mechels on bass
3:30PM State Road Four- Classic rock & blues from Los Alamos Guy Raper-lead guitar, Jonathan Dowell-dulcimer, Eddie Padilla-drums, Kent Scarborough-Bass, Ronda Jones- fiddle
4:00 Higher Ground Bluegrass - bluegrass and folk from Northern NM. Fred Bolton guitar/vocals, Dave Devlin-mandolin & dobro, Pat Mahoney fiddle/vocals Laura Leach Bass/vocals, Duke Weddington banjo/vocals
4:30PM Triple Trouble – a Los Alamos band of lovers of Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble & other blues/rock bands, Eric Tylor vocals, Eunsung Park guitar, Kent Scarborough Bass, Eddie Padilla drums
5:00PM Skydivers
5:10 till 5:30 Syzygy a harder rock band from Los Alamos-- Michelangelo Lobato on guitar/vocals--- Daniel Yamada guitar/vocals--- Kile Ulenbrock on drums--- Dave Hemsing on bass
5:30-6:45 LA Community Winds under the direction of Ted Vives
6:45 Announce winner of Battle of the Bands and encore song by them. Awards to bands--- $300 for first, $200 for second, $100 for third
7:10 till Fireworks with announcements as needed Eddy & the Nomads--Classic rock of 50's, 60's and 70's by Los Alamos' favorite band
9:10 FIREWORKS
It’s happening at overlook park in White Rock and atomic city transit will be shuttling people so you can avoid the traffic.. Buses will run from Sullivan Field to Overlook Park every 30 minutes from 1:30pm to 4pm and every 10 minutes from 4pm to 8:20pm. A White Rock Circulator will also run between Piñon Elementary and Overlook Park from 1:30pm to 8:20pm. Return trips from Overlook Park will begin right after the fireworks with the last bus leaving Overlook at 11:00pm.

 

Wednesday July 3, 2013

Livability.com has named the Top 10 Small Towns 2013, With one of the highest concentrations of Ph.D. holders in the nation, Los Alamos, NM, stands out as the ''smartest'' small town. Innovative education, health and recreational programs have earned the city and surrounding county national recognition, including such titles as ''healthiest'' and ''wealthiest'' places in America. The city's location atop the Pajarito Plateau, near the Jemez Mountains, not only provides breathtaking views but gives residents easy access to high-altitude sports such as mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing and hiking.
Top 10 Small Towns 2013:
1. Dickinson, ND
2. Oxford, MS
3. Rock Springs, WY
4. Oak Harbor, WA
5. Brookings, SD
6. Los Alamos, NM
7. Alexandria, MN
8. Traverse City, MI
9. West Plains, MO
10.Cambridge, MD

 

Tuesday July 2, 2013

Seven Los Alamos High School speech and debate students traveled to the National Forensic League National Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama. The group consisted of Daniel Ahrens, Antonia Batha, Sam Baty, Ali Berl, Naftali Burakovsky, Katie Haynes, and Jessie Zhao. Margo Batha and Janet Newton, who coach the speech and debate team, stated this was the Hilltalkers ''most successful national tournament since 2003.''Katie Haynes competed in six preliminary rounds and advanced through nine rounds to earn a 40th place ranking out of 277 students in the Lincoln Douglas debate category. Final results for the rest of the team included Antonia Batha/Jessie Zhao (110th of 297 in Public Forum), Sam Baty/Naftali Burakovsky (65th of 210 in Policy Debate), Ali Berl (70th of 277 in Public Forum), and Daniel Ahrens (65th of 280 in Congressional Debate). Janet Newton earned her first Diamond Coach Award at the tournament in recognition for her excellence and longevity in the activity. The National Forensic League is viewed as the national honor society for secondary and middle school speech and debate in the United States. Over 3,000 students competed in this year’s event. This marked the 31st consecutive year that the Hilltalkers sent students to the tournament.

 

Monday July 1, 2013

The Standards Based Assessment Test results for the state of New Mexico are now available. 80.2%  percentage of all student tested in the Los Alamos Public School system were proficient or above in reading skills for their grade level.  74.5% were proficient in math at their grade level.  81.1% of our students were proficient in science.

The results for the individuals schools and grades are also available.  Contact Los Alamos Public schools for more results.

 

Friday June 28, 2013

Bandelier is hosting the Second Annual Naturalization Ceremony on The 4th of July. July 4th is traditionally the day when Americans celebrate our freedom and independence. This year, building on the success of last year's ceremony, Bandelier National Monument is proud to partner with the United States Citizenship and Naturalization Services to host a naturalization ceremony. Fifteen candidates, after years of fulfilling their requirements, will be taking their oath and becoming the newest citizens of the United States. Superintendent Jason Lott will be the keynote speaker, along with speeches by Harry Burgess, Los Alamos County Administrator, and a representative from the office of United States Senator Martin Heinrich. We are pleased to have Eagle Scouts from Troop 129 to parade the colors, and the Rotary Club will provide refreshments. Like last year, Atomic City Transit is supporting the event by providing a bus specially for the participants. The event begins at 11:00 AM. This ceremony is not only for new citizens; we encourage the public to attend and take this opportunity to reaffirm your personal values as a citizen of this great nation. Please catch the free park shuttles at the Visitor Center in White Rock and enjoy a relaxed scenic ride to Bandelier. For more information, call the Bandelier Visitor Center at 505-672-3861 x 517.

 

Thursday June 27, 2013

On Sunday, June 16, a hungry, thirsty and frightened bear cub was searching for the mother he lost during the Thompson Ridge Fire on the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Firefighters working the line came across the cub a day earlier and decided to add him to their monitoring duties. They watched from a distance as he climbed trees and scampered in and out of the tall grass. But when it became obvious a mother-cub reunion would not come in time to save the toddler’s life his buddies on the fire line called for help. New Mexico Game and Fish Department was summoned to collect the cub and transported him to Espanola where he was placed in the capable hands of Dr. Kathleen Ramsay DVM. The cub had first and second degree burns on his left rear foot and a second degree burn over his left eye” detailed Dr. Ramsay; however, there was one major complication that required additional TLC. ''He wasn’t weaned.'' Dr. Ramsay immediately began bottle feeding the bear which lasted for several days. Then one day he pushed the bottle away and began eating solid food. During the first week under Dr. Ramsay’s care, the cub has packed on a hefty 1.5 lbs. and now tips the scales a whopping 6.4 lbs.

 

Wednesday June 26, 2013

The first of four classroom portables that are destined for Aspen Elementary arrived in Los Alamos yesterday. A second portable will arrive from Clovis today. A third portables will arrive on Friday and the fourth on Monday. The portables will be dropped off at the high school parking lot until next Monday or Tuesday when all four will be moved to the Aspen Elementary campus. A total of four portables will arrive from Clovis, New Mexico. These classroom portables will be added to the eight portables that will be moved from the middle school construction when construction is completed on that school later this year. Already, two classroom portables were moved from the middle school to Aspen. Aspen’s portable campus will consist of eighteen portables and will become the temporary school for Aspen’s 400 students and staff until spring of 2015. Residents of the Aspen neighborhood, who live along 38th Street, are asked to move their vehicles off the road next Monday and Tuesday to make it easier for movers to transport the portable to the campus.

 

Tuesday June 25, 2013

Los Alamos High School garnered national attention this past week when the Washington Post added LAHS to their 2013 ''America’s Most Challenging High School'' list. Earlier in the year, US News & World Report and Newsweek included Los Alamos in their top 1000 high schools lists for 2013. Jay Mathews, creator of the Challenge Index and education columnist for the Washington Post stated, ''I have been rating the most challenging schools in the country since 1998. This is by far the oldest national rating of our best schools, and the only one that focuses on how hard schools are working to raise achievement of all students, rather than how high their average test scores are. I congratulate the students, teachers and administrators of Los Alamos for creating a school environment that is both exciting and enriching. Please keep it up.'' Mathews added Los Alamos ''is one of the strongest high schools in America.''

 

Monday June 24, 2013

The Fenton Lake State Park will remain closed to the public until further notice. The Santa Fe National Forest will be going into closure beginning Monday, June 24 at 8am and the Valles Calera will remain under closure. The exceptions to these closures are the Rio Chama Scenic River which will remain open to the public under fire restrictions and the Valle Grande staging area of the Valles Caldera. Beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, Stage III Fire Restrictions are in effect for Bandelier National Monument and will remain in effect until further notice. This restriction is a result of high fire danger, low fuel moistures, and regional fire preparedness level. For Bandelier National Monument, Stage III Fire Restrictions only add a prohibition on camping in the canyon bottom zones in Bandelier’s backcountry. Other Stage II Restrictions still in effect are prohibition on the use of campfires or charcoal grills - gas grills may be used - and all outdoor smoking with the exception of inside vehicles or in the designated smoking area in the parking island in Frijoles Canyon. Stage III Fire Restrictions will not result in Bandelier trail closures at this time. The United States Forest Service will close Forest Road 289 limiting access to some trailheads in Bandelier. Bandelier staff has chosen to prohibit camping in canyon bottoms because these areas have high fuel loads due to nearby water sources. Visitors can still camp on the mesa tops in the backcountry.

 

Friday June 21, 2013

The entire Santa Fe National Forest will be closed to public entry effective Monday, June 24, 2013 at 8 a.m. The only exception to the closure is the Rio Chama Scenic River corridor which will remain open to the public, with Stage II fire restrictions. National Forest System Lands I 00-feet from both sides of the Rio Chama Scenic River starting at the north end of the river at the Forest Boundary downstream to Christ of the Desert Monastery; between Forest Road 151 and the River downstream to Big Eddy; and from there Forest Road 151 only to Santa Fe National Forest Boundary.

 

Valles Caldera is also closed to public entry except for the Valle Grande Staging area and gift shop.  Stage II fire restrictions apply on areas exempted by the Order

 

Thursday June 20, 2013

With the ever fluctuating gas prices, Atomic City Transit will join with other public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the eighth annual National Dump the Pump Day today.  This year’s slogan is: "Dump the Pump. Save Money. Ride Transit.”

 

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the 2013 National Dump the Pump Day encourages people to ride public transportation and save money instead of driving a car. Started in June 2006 when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes that public transportation is a great travel option that also helps people save money. Saving money is on everyone’s mind and public transportation is the quickest way to beat high gas prices. According to the latest APTA Transit Savings Report, individuals in a two-person household can save an average of $9,700 annually by downsizing to one car. Please visit Atomic City Transit on the web at www.atomiccitytransit.com or at www.facebook.com/AtomicCityTransit to learn more; click on the link to the “Fuel Savings Calculator” to see how much money you can save by using transit. Feel free to call Atomic City Dispatch at 661-RIDE if you need assistance planning your ride!

 

Wednesday June 19, 2013

The New Mexico Department of Transportation, state police and New Mexico Motor Transportation Police will work together to coordinate the transport of a 910,000-pound transformer for Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative Inc. The transformer will be driven on a 20-foot by 20-foot trailer from Kewa Pueblo to Chili, north of Española, beginning Tuesday. It will arrive at its final destination Wednesday. The transport trailer will take up two lanes along the route and will travel at speeds varying from 5 to 30 mph.

The transport will begin at 9 p.m. Tuesday at the New Mexico Rail Runner’s Kewa Pueblo Station. The trailer will continue northbound on I-25 onto N.M. 599, U.S. 84/285 and N.M. 502 until 5:30 a.m. Intersections along N.M. 599 and N.M. 502 will be temporarily closed to allow the trailer to pass through. It will then be removed from travel lanes to avoid impacting morning commuters. (so you may see it on your commute into work on the side road)The transport will resume at 9 a.m. on N.M. 502 heading westbound to N.M. 30, ,(THE Los Alamos Highway)  then northbound into Española. Drivers in the opposite direction along N.M. 30 will be detoured around the transformer. Intersections along this route will be closed as it passes through. (so if you are heading to Espanola this morning you may be delayed by this)The trailer will continue northbound on U.S. 84/285 through Española to the Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative on U.S. 84, approximately seven miles north of the U.S. 285 junction. Intersections along U.S. 84/285 in Española will be temporarily closed to allow the trailer to pass through.

Notifications and closures will be posted and updated on the New Mexico Department of Transportation road and travel advisory website at nmroads.com.

 

Tuesday June 18, 2013

Wayne Torpy, Los Alamos’ police chief for eight years, announced his retirement Monday afternoon in a short phone call to the Los Alamos Monitor. Torpy who suffered a stroke several months ago and then later underwent open heart surgery, cited the after effects of his medical ordeal as the reason behind his decision retire.

Torpy characterized the decision to retire as “the hardest decision I made in my life.”

Torpy plans to stay on through the summer, and though he has not set a specific date yet, he believes his last day on the job will come some time in the fall.

Torpy said he was willing and able to help County Administrator Harry Burgess to find a replacement if he needed his help. It is not known when the county will begin a search for a new chief.

 

Monday June 17, 2013

Los Alamos Airport (LAM) has adjusted three of its flights to better serve customers on the trip to/from Albuquerque's Sunport. It costs $49 each way with a flight time of about 20 minutes Visit www.flylosalamos.com/  to learn more.

 

Friday June 14, 2013

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall has been named the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee.

Udall was named the new Chairman by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the full Appropriations Committee. He succeeds Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who passed away on June 3, 2013. The Subcommittee recommends and oversees annual funding for financial-related agencies including the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Internal Revenue Service. It also has jurisdiction over several key agencies that have a direct impact on New Mexico, including:

 

- The Small Business Administration (SBA), which supports entrepreneurs and small businesses with outreach and loans, and also provides loans following federally-declared disasters.

 

- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has jurisdiction over telecommunications and broadband matters.

 

- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which helps ensure competition in broad sectors of the economy and helps protect consumers from false advertising and business practices.

 

- The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which provides funding for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas nationwide and to New Mexico.

 

- The Federal Election Commission (FEC), with jurisdiction over federal campaign finance laws.

 

- The General Services Administration (GSA), which manages federal properties in New Mexico and around the nation.

 

Thursday June 13, 2013

The County’s contractor, RMCI, will begin moving on to Ashley The project superintendent will be moving onto the site with a construction trailer this week. Residents will notice that the water level in Ashley Pond continues to drop, as the contractor works to lower and empty the pond for the renovation work to get underway.  A tentative date for initial excavation is June 18. Efforts to catch the ducks will continue. The geese and two ducks captured last week are residing at the County’s Pajarito Cliffs Site, and will be cared for by Duck Buddies this summer.  Irrigation heads on the pond’s perimeter have been removed and all salvageable plants have been transplanted to sites around town. Park crews will begin fish removal  depending on the water level. Several citizens asked last week about the fish in the pond and their future. The dominate fish species in Ashley Pond is cold water carp. They are a major pollutant in the pond. It would not be appropriate for the County to give away sick fish to the public, transport them elsewhere or offer them for any other uses. The fish will be removed from the pond by nets, placed in bags and taken to the Eco-station for disposal.

 

Wednesday June 12, 2013

Acres:  22,852                                    Start date:  May 31, 2013

Cause:  Downed power line                 Location:  Valles Caldera National Preserve, NM

Containment: 50 percent                      Fuels:  Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine

Terrain:  Steep, rugged                         Resources: 20 crews, 48 engines, 34 water tenders, 6 dozers

Total personnel:  991                           Available air support:  3 air tankers, 6 helicopters

 

 Last night crews experienced minimal fire behavior through the night. The majority of activity involved patrolling on the northeast edge of the fire and continued mop up operations south towards the Headquarters District. Crews continued mop up on the flanks of the spot fire on South Mountain checking for hot spots within the perimeter. Today, firefighters will continue to patrol the perimeter and seek out hot spots within the interior. New hotspots may have appeared in the evening as larger column collapsed and could potentially drop embers on previously cleared areas. This morning’s briefing included a moment of silence for 28-year-old United States Forest Service Firefighter Luke Sheehy who was killed yesterday on a wild land fire incident in the Modoc National Forest in California when a section of a falling tree fatality injured him. The personnel on the Thompson Ridge Fire were reminded that our primary objective is the safety of the public and the firefighters on this incident, and to remain focused on safety throughout the day. All points of entry to the Valles Caldera National Preserve are closed to public access due to fire activity.  The Fenton Lake State Park is also closed to the public.

 

Tuesday June 11, 2013

The North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD) will sponsor a series of public meetings to get feedback and service enhancement suggestions from its riders. A meeting for Los Alamos riders will be held in Los Alamos at Fuller Lodge on Tuesday June 11, 2013 at 6:30pm. The NCRTD is inviting the public to express their thoughts on route and service enhancements, and how to best meet their needs. Light refreshments will be available.

 

Monday June 10, 2013

Thompson Ridge Fire

 Acres:  21,089                                   Start date:  May 31, 2013

Cause: Downed power line                  Location:  Valles Caldera National Preserve, NM

Containment: 40 percent                      Fuels:  Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine

Terrain:  Steep, rugged                         Resources: 21 crews, 49 engines, 31 water tenders, 4 dozers

Total personnel:  1,014                        Available air support:  3 air tankers, 6 helicopters

  Following a full day of preparations on the ground and continuous attack from the air with heavy helicopters, firefighters were prepared to go on the offensive.

 Firefighters worked through the night taking advantage of the favorable window of opportunity. The night shift crews conducted an aggressive direct attack on the fire on southeastern side at South Mountain. Their calculated risk paid off, and the forward progress of the fire has been stopped. With the southeastern fire perimeters being held at nearly a mile from Highway 4, fire officials have reopened NM Highway 4. As a safety reminder, all are advised to take extra caution in the area due to the continued heavy volume of fire related traffic. 

 

Saturday June 8, 2013

Chamberfest is today from 10-2 and  KRSN and Flowers by Gillian will be there. Come visit our booth. It’s across from the car show. 

 

Friday June 7, 2013

Come one, come all to Overlook park baseball Virchow field this Saturday, June 8th at 2:00 pm to watch a fabulous game of Little League Juniors (13/14 year olds) baseball.  Our Los Alamos/White Rock “Dbacks” team is undefeated so far this season.  These boys give it their all and then some.  It’s a thrill to be part of the excitement. They would love to see the community fill the stands.  Come, experience the fun and cheer them on as one of them slides into home plate for the winning score! 

 

Thursday June 6, 2013

Yesterday and last night, lower temperatures and slightly higher humidity created more favorable conditions on the fire. The west perimeter control line showed no heat last night. The north perimeter control line had burnout operations throughout the night extending east to Valles Caldera (VC) Road 02. The east control line continues to be prepared and improved along VC Road 02 south to the Valles Caldera Headquarters Historic District. The south control line along VC Road 02 will continue to be prepared and improved while monitoring the Redondo Peak south facing slopes. Today, the most activity is anticipated in the northeast portion of the interior, with some portions of the north interior filling in isolated pockets of fuels. An evacuation order remains in effect for Thompson Ridge, Rancho de la Cueva and Elk Valley.

 

Wednesday June 5, 2013

Thompson Ridge Fire Update: Yesterday’s weather was once again the driving force for extreme fire behavior. This erratic behavior continued until 3:00 a.m. this morning on the east side of the fire close to the Valles Caldera Headquarters Historic District. Fire remains active northeast of the headquarters. At the top of Redondo Peak, firefighting efforts were able to protect the cultural site. The west side of the fire remains secure with minimal fire behavior. Firefighters improved fireline along the northwest side of the fire. They conducted burnout operations, removing fuels to widen the fireline. Along the southern end of the fire, firefighters continued to improve line. Today, the fire will remain active as dry, warm and windy conditions will occur in the morning hours. The possibility of scattered thunderstorms east of the fire may reduce fire behavior as humidity increases. This could assist firefighters as they reinforce firelines and contain spot fires. An evacuation order remains in effect for Thompson Ridge, Rancho de la Cueva and Elk Valley.

 

Tuesday June 4, 2013

Thompson Ridge Fire Update: Today firefighters again expect extreme fire behavior due to the continued warm weather, windy conditions and low humidity.  Ground crews will have their work cut out for them as they work to strengthen containment lines and protect structures at risk.  Smoke plumes may start around noon today due to winds driving the fire.  Smoke will continue to impact surrounding communities.  Similar conditions can be expected for the next couple of days.

A public meeting is scheduled tonight for the Thompson Ridge Fire beginning at 7:45 p.m.  The meeting will be held at the Madonna Parish Hall in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, located off of Highway 4, between mile markers 15 and 16.   New Mexico Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez will be in attendance.

 

Monday June 3, 2013

Mesa Public Library Safety Improvements:
Construction continues at the Mesa Public Library. The roadway in front of the library remains closed between the two library parking lots. Due to the condition of the paving in the closed section of the road, paving this section has been added to the project. Paving may begin as early as this week and should be completed within two days. Handicapped parking access remains at the Senior Center and is accessible from Bathtub Row. Pedestrians are urged to use the provided pedestrian pathways and to watch for construction activity, especially when the paving operation begins.

 

Saturday June 1, 2013

Fire spread has slowed now that temperatures have decreased and winds have slowed. Fire remains active, however. The fire has burned onto Valles Caldera property. Crews continue to work to suppress the Thompson Ridge Fire, burning in grass and timber, Some spot fires have been detected on Redondo Peak . State Forestry, Sandoval County
VFDs and SFS engines and crews are on scene. The fire is approximately 650-800 acres, running in oak brush and Ponderosa Pine. Evacuations in the area of Thompson Ridge took place this afternoon by Sandoval County emergency management and law enforcement.

 

Friday May 31, 2013

Construction has started on Aspen Elementary School. As of June 5th the entire campus will be CLOSED to all public and staff. As part of the classroom addition and main office remodel LAPS has deemed the campus closed. This is for the safety and welfare of the pubic and staff and includes the entire campus, building, parking lot, soccer field and playground. Please assist us in the construction process and eliminate any and all visits to Aspen Elementary until the campus is reopened in late July.

 

Thursday May 30, 2013

Three Los Alamos High Schools students recently competed in the 2013 INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona. Holly Erickson, Coleman Kendrick and David Murphy competed against 1,400 students from 70 countries, provinces and states for  three million dollars in prizes and awards.  All three LAHS students earned Grand Award Places during the ISEF Awards Ceremony on Friday May 17th.

Holly Catherine Erickson’s Project Titled;  An Advanced Biomimetic Hand Using Additive Manufacturing received a Second Place Award in the Engineering: Materials and Bio-Engineering category. Holly received a $1,500 cash award

 

Coleman J. Kendrick’s Project titled; N-Body Simulation of Saturn's Ring Structure. Received a Third Place Award in Physics & Astronomy. Cole received a $1,000 cash award.

 

David Patrick Murphy’s , Project Titled; The Effects of Vorticity on Vortex Formation and Morphology received a Fourth Place Award in Earth & Planetary Science. Murphy received a $500.00 cash award.

 

 

Wednesday May 29, 2013

Bill Wadt has been elected president of the Board of Directors of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation. He succeeds Liddie Martinez, Director of the Community and Economic Development Division of SOC Los Alamos, who continues to serve on the Executive Committee. Wadt is chair-elect of Quality New Mexico and becomes president of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation in July.

 

Other officers are:

·Richard Marquez, LANL Executive Director on the senior executive management team at the Lab, vice president.

·Wayne Kennedy, former Senior Vice President of the University of California, treasurer.

·Ginger Richardson, Vice President for Education and Institutional Outreach at the Santa Fe Institute, secretary.

The LANL Foundation started in 1997 and invests in education in a seven-county region, runs First Born programs for parents with children up to three years and awards scholarships to Northern New Mexico youth.

 

Tuesday May 28, 2013

Camp May Closed till Mid-Summer

No picnics or overnight camping, please! The Parks division is making some renovations and improvements at this popular spot near Los Alamos, including the installation of new amphitheater benches and picnic tables. Access to Santa Fe National Forest remains open from the Ski Hill parking lot. Work should be done by the middle of July

 

Monday May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

 

Sunday May 26,2013

This afternoon a little after 3:00 a Ford Ranger traveling toward the mesas on Diamond Drive lost control in front of the Baptist Church drove down the side walk with one wheel on the side walk and one wheel in the gutter and then plummeted into the school canyon through the fence, down the cliff to rest on the bottom of the canyon. There was a single male occupant, Matthew Weinman,  who was transported to the hospital with nonlife threatening injuries. Two tow trucks hauled the truck out of the canyon along about 5:30. Check our Facebook page for pictures.  He was high at the time and was arrested for DUI.   It is an ongoing investigation.

 

Saturday May 25, 2013

Yesterday,  Long time resident Steve Stoddard passed away.  He will be missed by many.

 

May 24, 2013
Here are the lowlights of the police reports May 16 through May 22

One was arrested for aggravated assault against a household member with a deadly weapon, extreme cruelty to animals, harassment.

One was arrested on a municipal court warrant

One was arrested on a magistrate court bench  warrant

One was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.

Three  were cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

One was a cited for possession of marijuana

A juvenile was referred to the JPPO for carrying a  weapon onto the middle school property.

A juvenile was referred to the JPPO for running away.

A juvenile was referred to the JPPO for possession of marijuana

There was a report of battery against a household member.

There was a report of larceny.

There was a report of a burglary

There was a report of shoplifting.

There was a report of graffiti

.There was a report of criminal damage to property. 

An animal was impounded for biting

There were 3 reports of animal at large 

 

May 23, 2013
Yesterday afternoon, a freak wind tore part of the Barranca Elementary School Gymnasium roof off. No one was injured. Debris fell into the courtyard and some cars in the parking lot were damaged. Teachers evacuated the school and kept our children safe. They performed as true professionals. Superintendent Gene Schmidt announced that classes are canceled Thursday and Friday at Barranca Mesa Elementary School. That means the Y After School Program at Barranca is canceled too.

May 22, 2013
Students from the Los Alamos Public Schools won eleven awards at the recent statewide National History Day (NHD) contest, and eight of those students are going to the national contest in the nation’s capital next month.

The state winning students are:

● Sophomores Kimberly Pestovich, Yamira Dejesus, and Kaylen Pocaterra, who won

first place for their senior group exhibit on “Building the Railroad: A Vehicle to

Opportunity and Success”

● Senior Emily McClenahan, who won first place with her senior individual documentary,

“Dress Rehearsal For Hell: The Meridian Campaign, a Turning Point in History and

Modern Warfare”

● Sophomore Anne Scripsick, who won second place with her senior individual exhibit on “Fighting The Speckled Monster” about the small pox vaccine

● 7th graders Ruby Selvage and Kathryn McClenahan, who won first place in junior

group performance for “Atomic Age Act II: The Russian Atomic Bomb”

● 7th grader Miriam Wallstrom, who won second place in junior individual website for her project, “The 13th Amendment: Free At Last”

The students will travel to the University of Maryland and compete against students from around the country June 1013 at the national NHD contest.

NHD is a highly regarded academic program for elementary and secondary school students. Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide participate in NHD. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites. The theme this year is: Turning Points in History.

 

May 21, 2013
KRSN has won awards once again with the 2013 New Mexico Broadcaster Association.

Gene Mortensen has won the sports play by play award for his coverage of volleyball.

Rosalie Heller has one for her Excursions in Classical Music Program.  Congratulations to both of them. We are proud to have them a part of our community radio station team. 

 

May 20, 2013
Here are the lowlights from the latest police reports.
One was arrested for driving on roadway laned for traffic and driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
One was arrested on charge of  DUI, driving on a suspended or revoked license, open container, procession of a controlled substance .
One was Arrested on charge of careless driving, aggravated DWI, bodily injury, minor in possession of alcohol, no insurance . Also in this incident One Arrested on charge of: parties to a crime and one juvenile Arrested on charge of minor in possession of alcohol. One was Arrested on charge of careless driving and aggravated DUI. 
One was arrested on charge of   DUI,  driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
Two were arrested on magistrate court bench warrants  
One was Arrested on charge of possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

One was cited for  tail lamps and possession of drug paraphernalia
There were 2 reports of larceny.
There was a report of graffiti
There was a report of extreme cruelty to animals
There was a report of criminal damage to property.
There was report of possession of marijuana
There was a report of a runaway.

 

May 17, 2013
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed physicist Ernest Moniz as the new Secretary of Energy, the head of the Department of Energy, which oversees New Mexico’s national labs. Moniz, who is replacing Steven Chu, was a Massachusetts Institute of Technology physics professor. He gained high marks in confirmation hearings for his goals to increase both shale oil production and renewable energy resources.

 

May 16, 2013
The FBI, Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, and Pojoaque Tribal Police Department are looking for a woman who robbed a Wells Fargo bank branch in the Pueblo of Pojoaque on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 14, 2013. The suspect is described as a Native American or Hispanic female, approximately 5’3” tall, with a medium to heavy

build. She wore sunglasses, a black and white bandana around her head, a white surgical mask over her face, blue gloves, a dark hooded sweatshirt, light colored pants, and dark shoes. The suspect may have acne scars on her face. Witnesses say the suspect entered the bank on 3 W. Gutierrez St. (Santa Fe mailing address) at approximately 2:13

p.m. She showed a handgun and demanded a teller put money in a white bag the suspect was holding. The suspect left the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.

She may have fled in a white, crew-cab GM or Chevrolet pickup truck last seen heading eastbound into a residential area.

Bank robbery is punishable by a 20-year prison sentence for each offense, and the penalty increases if a dangerous weapon is used in the commission of the crime.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Albuquerque FBI Office at (505) 889-1300 (24 hours) or Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office at (505) 428-3720

 

May 15, 2013
Los Alamos scientists advance biomass fuel production
While producing renewable energy from waste plant material could help reduce our country’s dependence on oil, challenges include the development of processes that avoid high pressures and temperatures that, in turn, make such processing expensive. Work by Laboratory scientists and collaborators could reduce such constraints and make cellulose—the most common organic compound on the planet—usable for energy production. Carbohydrates (sugars) possess inherently low energy densities. The researchers have found a way to increase the carbon content within the biomass molecules to make them suitable for high-energy-density fuel production.
Ultimately, the work demonstrates that molecules available from non-food-based biomass could provide a feasible way to produce gasoline and diesel fuels. This is important because the use of non-food-based sources for the work (such as agricultural wastes and switch grass) eliminates competition for land and crops that are used for nourishment.
Next steps for the researchers include work to scale up the laboratory experiments toward production levels and a search for technology-transfer partners. Several patents on the work have  been filed.
The Laboratory Directed Research and Development program funded the work.

May 14, 2013

Today, Los Alamos National Laboratory announced that for the first time, irradiated uranium fuel has been recycled and reused for molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) production, with virtually no losses in Mo-99 yields or uranium recovery. This demonstrates the viability of the separation process, as well as the potential for environmentally- and cost-friendly fuel recycling. Medical isotope production technology has advanced now that scientists have made key advances in separating Mo-99 from an irradiated, low-enriched uranium (LEU) solution.

Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) is the most commonly used medical isotope today, accounting for about 50,000 medical imaging procedures daily in the United States. Tc-99m is derived from the parent isotope Mo-99, predominantly produced from the fission of uranium-235 in highly enriched uranium targets (HEU) in aging foreign reactors.
By creating a system to create Mo-99 using the low-enriched uranium Los Alamos National laboratory researches  can lower operating costs and minimize waste generation.

Monday  May 13, 2013
Mesa Public Library Safety Improvements:
The roadway in front of the library is closed between the two library parking lots. Handicapped parking access is being moved to the Senior Center next week to allow the contractor to begin work on the north side of the work area. Handicapped parking at the Senior Center is accessible from Bathtub Row. Appropriate signage will be placed as soon at the handicap parking locations change. Pedestrians are urged to use the provided pedestrian pathways and to watch for construction activity.

 

Friday  May 10, 2013
Letter carriers in Los Alamos  and in thousands of cities and towns across the country will collect donations for local food banks while making their rounds on  Saturday.

Postal customers can participate in the 21st annual food drive by the National Association of Letter Carriers by placing a box, bag or can of nonperishable food next to their mailbox before their letter carrier delivers mail.

Thursday  May 9, 2013

Yesterday  Governor Susana Martinez toured Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Technical Area 54 to inspect progress on the 3706 TRU Waste Campaign. The project to remove all 3,706 Cubic Meters of above ground transuranic (TRU) waste from the lab site by June 30, 2014 has been a top priority for Governor Martinez. Following the tour, the Governor met up with media at LANL’s RANT facility to talk to contract workers involved with the 3706 TRU Waste Campaign. The Governor will call on U.S. Senate and House Appropriators to approve the $40 million budget realignment to ensure contract workers stay on the

job at LANL. The budget realignment recommendation was the result of many groups working together,. In 2005, the New Mexico Environment Department and the Department of Energy (DOE) entered into a Consent Order to determine the extent of environmental contamination at the lab, identify corrective

measures for clean-up, and implement those measures. In January of 2012,

DOE officials took the unprecedented step of admitting to the public that they would NOT be able to meet the deadlines mandated by the Consent Order. After working to revise a clean-up schedule that would allow the highest risk projects to be completed first, Governor Martinez and DOE entered into a Framework Agreement to prioritize the clean-up of above-ground TRU Waste and to ensure storm runoff from LANL would not affect local drinking water systems.

Last Friday, the DOE recommended to U.S. Senate and House Appropriators that $40 million of federal funds be realigned to go towards LANL environmental clean-up.

Wednesday  May 8, 2013

The statewide fire restrictions begin today. They will prohibit the use of fireworks, campfires and other open fires. Smoking will only be allowed in buildings, on paved surfaces or in vehicles with ashtrays.

Officials say the restrictions will apply on all non-municipal, non-federal and non-tribal lands in New Mexico and will remain in effect until rescinded.

 

Tuesday May 7, 2013

Springtime in the Rockies certainly arrived in Los Alamos in April . It was alternately windy, hot, and, on one day, snowy.  Wind gusts greater than 40 mph were recorded on 8 days in Los Alamos and on 4 days in White Rock.  The highest gusts were recorded on April 16th with 55 mph in Los Alamos and 50 mph in White Rock.  With the ongoing drought conditions in New Mexico, these winds suspended large amounts of dust into the air, resulting in poor visibility during much of the month. 

A series of midlatitude storms passed just to the north of New Mexico during the month, resulting in a pattern of several days with temperatures above average followed by several days below average.  Daytime high temperatures were 2 °F higher than average in Los Alamos and White Rock.  Overnight low temperatures were about average.   Both Los Alamos and White Rock came to within 2 °F and 1 °F of tying the all-time April high temperatures, 80 °F and 84 °F, respectively. 

Only one warm wet snowstorm on April 9 brought significant precipitation.  April precipitation for Los Alamos, 0.61”, was 57% of normal and White Rock received a scant 0.10” of precipitation, only 12% of normal.  For the year, Los Alamos has received 1.72” of precipitation, or 42% of normal.  White Rock has received 0.64” of precipitation, or 21% of normal. 

 

Monday May 6, 2013

The cadets of the Los Alamos NJROTC competed at the State Drill and Fitness Competition in Farmington New Mexico on April 27 against 27 other schools. The cadets won awards for performance and professionalism.

The awards were; first place: male and female color guard regulation; second place: unarmed inspection, unarmed drill inspection and female color guard inspection; third place: overall fitness, male color guard inspection and regulation and fifth place: unarmed regulation drill.

 Individual awards went to Jordi Kandarian, second place male overall fitness   Rosa Durrer, third place female  overall fitness ;  Jordan Parker, third place 800 run; Diego Diaz, fifth place pull ups.

                                                                         

Friday May 3, 2013

Beginning Friday May 3, the Alcove House site at Bandelier National Monument has reopened.  Monument staff closed Alcove House on Wednesday, April 10 due to concerns over the structural stability of the archaeological site.  The reconstructed kiva in Alcove House remains closed until further notice.  Visitors must follow closure guidelines for their safety.  The public should expect another closure in late fall 2013, when crews will repair the cracks in the walls of the structure.  

A few weeks ago staff from Bandelier's Vanishing Treasures division were conducting an assessment of the site for future stabilization work, when they discovered that the kiva was showing significant signs of deterioration since they last examined it.  The walls of the kiva had loosened and the structure was exhibiting the effects of severe erosion.  

 Perched at the edge of a cliff, the equivalent of 14 stories above the floor of Frijoles Canyon, the Alcove House site is known for its breathtaking scenery as well as the series of ladders and stairs visitors must climb to reach.

 

Thursday May 2, 2013

The Los Alamos Police Department conducted its bi-annual DEA prescription drug take back initiative last Saturday, April 27th.

Police officers conducted two location sites for the first time this year, one at Los Alamos Medical Center and a second one in White Rock at the public library parking lot.  The total weight of collected drugs was 332 pounds. 

"This is the most we have collected thus far and this continues to be a successful program with community support. I was approached by many seniors in White Rock that stated they were grateful for the second location site because it can sometimes be difficult for them to make arrangements to drive up to Los Alamos,” LAPD Detective Sergeant Oliver Morris said. 

The ability to staff the second post came from utilizing the Police Department’s new Community Impact Unit comprised of Sgt. Jeremy Duran, Cpl. Oliver McCartney, and Ofc. Robert Girmendonk.  The Investigations division, comprised of Sgt. Oliver Morris, Det. Paige Early, and Det. Daniel Roberts, staffed the Los Alamos post. 

 

Wednesday May 1, 2013

A pest control contractor says that two small male cougars have been spotted near Arizona Ave. in North Community. They are likely on the trail of a female. The big cats are most likely to attack around dusk, and they attack from behind. So, look behind you now and then if you have to be outside at dusk. He also said some coyotes have been seen in packs. Small animals and children are at risk from coyotes.  This seems like a typical drought pattern: hunger brings wildlife into town.

 

Tuesday April 30, 2012
Ann Stewart has been named the Hilltopper girls basketball coach.  She has been in that position since the middle of the basketball season when she took over because Tara Logan quit.

 

Monday April 29, 2013

Here are the low lights of the police reports April 18 through the 24th

One was arrested for possession of less than an ounce of Marijuana

One was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant 

One was arrested for battery on a household member.

One was cited for shoplifting a the Jemez house thrift store.

One minor was arrested for drug paraphernalia and was released to parents and referred to the JPO.

One minor was arrested for minor in possession and was released to parents and referred to the JPO.

One minor was arrested for battery on an household member, released to parents and referred to the JPO. 

There was a report of aggravated burglary (armed—2nd degree felony)

The was a report of possession of drug paraphernalia.

There was a report of burglary from a vehicle or other structure

There was a report of larceny over $500 and under $2500.

There was a report of battery.

The were 5 reports of animal at large.

 There was a report of failure to display rabies tags

There was an unattended death.

 

Friday April 26,2013

 Los Alamos High School received “Silver Medal” ranking in 2013 as one of America’s Best High Schools in an announcement by US News & World Report on April 24, 2013. From a review of 21,035 U.S. public high schools, Los Alamos ranked 556th in the nation. Los Alamos ranking was up significantly from the 2012 “Silver Medal” ranking of 638th .

 Rankings of high schools are largely determined by participation in Advanced Placement courses. This past year, 49 percent of the 1,124 Los Alamos High School students enrolled in AP courses. Other academic indicators used in the ranking are College Readiness Index, Math Proficiency, Reading Proficiency, and Student/Teacher Ratio.

 

Thursday April 25, 2013
Seventy-three students from seven Northern New Mexico counties are recipients of this year’s scholarships through the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund.

Funding for the scholarships comes from $411,500 in donations from Los Alamos National Laboratory employees and Los Alamos National Security, LLC.

Los Alamos High School senior Kevin Gao, Micaela Lucero of St. Michael’s High and Danielle Harrier of Pojoaque High School share this year’s gold scholarship, which provide $5,000 in financial assistance annually for four years.

Five students will receive $2,500 annual, four-year silver scholarships: Aaron Bao and Paulina Majewska of Los Alamos High School; Anna Finck of West Las Vegas High School; Kimberly Nguyen of Rio Rancho High School; and Victoria Gomez of Las Vegas Robertson High School; Gomez also received a $1,000 Phil Barker Memorial Scholarship.

Seven students will receive $2,500 annual four-year Domenici scholarships named after former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (R-N.M.): Dalton Smith of Los Alamos High School; Chantel Rivera of Mora High School; Monica Abeyta of Escalante High School; Gregory Medina of West Las Vegas High School; Cary Thomas of Cuba High School; Isaac Green of Desert Academy; and Andrew Mascareñas of Questa High School.

Christy Lovato of Española Valley High School and Sarah Pyatt of Taos High School received $10,000 Endowed Leadership scholarships created by former Laboratory Director John Browne.

In addition, 24 students received $1,000 Regional College/Returning Student scholarships.

The Laboratory’s 2013 scholarship drive begins May 1. Donations to the fund will be used to award scholarships in 2014.

The Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund program began in 1998 and is administered by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation. Since its inception, more than 725 scholarships have been awarded, and Laboratory employees have donated more than $3 million to the fund.

 

Wednesday April 24, 2013

Northern New Mexicans who want to return to college for a certificate or two-year degree program are eligible for $1,000 from the Regional College/Returning Student program of the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund.

Applications must be submitted online at www.lanlfoundation.org before June 17.

Awards are aimed at students returning to college after an absence due to business, military or personal reasons. Candidates from Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, San Miguel, Taos and Sandoval counties are eligible and must show they have been accepted for a certification or two-year degree program from an accredited regional college.

Students who already have received the scholarship may reapply. Funding for the fund is from contributions by LANL employees with a match from Los Alamos National Security LLC.

 

Tuesday April 23, 2013

A trio of Albuquerque La Cueva High School students – two who are siblings – took the prize in the 23rd New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge for their research project that used statistical analysis to identify and analyze topics in human language.

The team, Ari Echt-Wilson, Eli Echt-Wilson, and Justin Sanchez also won the CHECS Teamwork and Cray High Performance Computing awards for their project, “Learning and Analyzing Topics in Human Language.

Los Alamos High School freshman Cole Kendrick took second place for his computer simulation project of Saturn’s ring structure. Kendrick, who won the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge’s top prize in 2011 as a seventh-grade student, also received the Technical Poster Award, the Visualization prize from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and the Professional Presentation Award.

La Cueva High’s Alexandra Porter received third place for her project “Simulation of Approximate Computing Applied to Numerical Methods.” Porter was part of a La Cueva High team that took last year’s third prize.

All the finalist teams received plaques for their school, a large banner suitable for hanging at their schools and other gifts.

 

Monday April 22, 2013

According to the Los Alamos Monitor   Zeynep Unal, a Turkish-born special education teacher who has been employed by the Los Alamos Public Schools since 2005, is suing the district for violations of the New Mexico Human Rights Act, defamation and breach of contract.
The suit claims that Unal continues to suffer from loss of income, severe emotional distress, anxiety, humiliation, embarrassment and the violation of her federal and state statutory rights.
Los Alamos Public Schools, the Los Alamos Public Schools School Board, Aspen Elementary School principal Kathryn Vandenkieboom and superintendent Gene Schmidt are named as defendants in the case.  She is now a GATE teacher at Mountain School.

Friday April 19, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports April 11 through April 17

One was arrested for  aggravated DWI and roadways lined for traffic

One was arrested for aggravated DWI and open container.

One was arrested for  DUI and roadways lined for traffic, driving with a suspended or revoked license no insurance or registration.

One was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphilia .

One was arrested for assault against a household member and resisting or evading arrest.

Two were arrested on a magistrate court warrant

Three  were  arrested for a misdemeanor warrant from another jurisdiction

Two minors age 18 and 19 were cited for minors in procession of alcohol.

12 minors under the  age of 18 were cited for minor in possession of alcohol. Released to parents, and referred to the JPO. 

There were 3 reports of larceny

There was a report of shoplifting at Smith’s.

There were 3 reports of criminal damage to property

There were 2 reports of graffiti.

There was a report of an animal at large

 

Thursday April 18, 2013

Participation in the Mesa Smart Meter Study continues to grow this week as the final April 28 deadline nears, reported officials at the Los Alamos Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU).  Project collaborators are recruiting the final residents of North and Barranca Mesa to join this important local demand response study which will have global implications.  The DPU, Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Kyoto University researchers, and Toshiba are working together to measure electric usage behavior in response to pricing signals, called “demand response.”

The study is open to any residence in North Mesa and Barranca Mesa, with two weeks left to sign up.  Recruitment for the study, which has garnered more than 500 participants so far, will close April 28 and study activities will be completed in February of 2014.  It is completely separate from a household’s electric bill, and there is no cost to participate.  The intake survey for the Mesa Smart Meter Study can be completed in 5 minutes and may be taken at:  https://www.rmrsurveys2.com/LosAlamos.  A follow up mailing in May will let participants know of further details, including their study grouping

Wednesday April 17, 2013

Los Alamos Police Department received a report of a suspicious package this morning at about 9:40 at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  LAPD bomb team and LANL Hazardous Devices team responded to examine the item.  At about 11:40 the joint LAPD/LANL team concluded that the item was not dangerous and an all clear was issued. During that time period travel are the laboratory was restricted. 

 

Tuesday April 16, 2013

According to the Monitor UNM-LA officially received permission Tuesday from the university’s Board of Regents to go ahead with its plans to ask the residents of Los Alamos  for a 2-mil increase in property taxes in September for the university. 

There has been a 38% decline in revenue from the state and a 14% increase in enrollment over the past 5 years which has led to the need for more local support.

UNM-LA is a “collaborative partner with the school district” and there has been an increase in the number of high school students taking dual credits with the university. UNM-LA has created new kinds of career and technical classes.

The Los Alamos Committee for Higher Education is putting together a fundraising committee as well as a strategy to reach the community through speaking engagements and advertisements. 

Monday  April 15, 2013

Here’s the police reports from April 4 through April 10

Two were arrested on municipal court warrants

One was arrested for driving on suspended or revoked driver’s license and a municipal court warrant.

One was arrested for aggravated assault and battery on a household member

One was arrested for minor in possession of alcohol ,  contributing to the delinquency of a minor and improper handling of fire.

One was written a citation for possession of marijuana

A citation was written for unreasonable animal noise after 2 complaints about unreasonable animal noise.

A juvenile was charged with aggravated assault on a family member.

There was a report of fraud.

There was a report of identity theft.

There was a report of criminal damage to property

There was a burglary from a house

There were 2  reports  of larceny.

There was a report of child abuse.

There a report of custodial interference.

Two  were  a victim of biting and the animal was impounded

There were 2  reports  of an animal at large.

 

Friday April 12, 2013

The National Park Service has closed the Alcove House Site at Bandelier National monument due to concerns over the structural stability of the archeological site and exhibit. Historic masonry repairs dating to the 1930s have developed a network of cracks. In recent days, masonry at this location has become dislodged, raising concern for visitor safety. The National Park Service is actively engaged in planning repairs for the site.

On Wednesday, April 10, staff from Bandelier’s Vanishing Treasures division was conducting an assessment of the site for future stabilization work, when they discovered that the Kiva structure was showing significant signs of deterioration since they last examined it. Masonry had become loosened and the structure was being undercut. Perched at the edge of a niche in a cliff the equivalent of 14 stories above the floor of Frijoles Canyon, the Alcove House Kiva is known for its precarious setting, as well as the breathtaking series of ladders and stairs visitors must climb to reach it. Because of its popularity and its location staff returned to the site on Thursday to make further assessments, and recommended closure. Alcove house will be closed until the site can be stabilized, likely for many months.

Thursday April 11, 2013

The new municipal  building is nearly completed! The County expects building occupancy permits within the week. The move schedule has been finalized for staff to start moving into the new building in May.

County staff are working hard as they prepare to move to minimize disruptions to customer service and keep services up and running. Please note that the staff may have limited phone and computer services on the actual day of the physical move and the day after the physical move. The County Clerk and the County Assessor will have a temporary office with limited services the day of their move, located in the new municipal building in the Boards and Commissions Room (Room 110) on the first floor, next to the new Council Chambers.

The 311 Customer Care Center will be one of the very last service areas to move to the new building; therefore, they will be your best resource to call (3-1-1 from a land line or 505-662-8333 from a cell phone) if you are wondering if any of the departments below are moving, have already moved, or if you need them to relay a general question or messages to staff. Within each department, at least one staff member has been designated to have a cell phone and to be available to take questions during the move. Within the new building, signage in the lobby will show you where the new departments are located

 

 

Wednesday April 10, 2013

The United Way of Northern New Mexico is accepting grant proposals for the distribution of the United Ways community action fund for 2013. There is about 500,000 dollars available.

To apply for a (UWNNM) grant, organizations must meet all of the following criteria:

·      Nonprofit 501(c)(3) status

·      Serving Los Alamos and/or Rio Arriba counties

·      Impact one of the four focus areas: Nurturing Children & Youth, Strengthening Families, Improving Health & Healing, Enriching the Lives of our Seniors

·      Administrative costs must be less than 25 percent of total organizational budget (Administrative cost is calculated based on the sum of management and general expenses and fundraising expenses as a percentage of total revenue.)

Applications are due April 29. for more information visit their website www.UnitedWayNNM.org

Tuesday April 9, 2013

As reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Glenwood Development Co. representative Jeffery Kost has said he’s “excited” about the prospect of opening a Family Dollar store in Pojoaque, but not everyone shares his enthusiasm.

Some area residents complain that the discount chain will bring traffic, light pollution and unfair competition for area businesses

Developers have  requested county approval to demolish the former Al’s Liquor building northeast of the intersection of U.S. 84/285 and N.M. 503, and replace it with an 8,320-square-foot building and signs large enough to require variances from a county ordinance.

The public will have a chance to express their concerns today, April 9, when Santa Fe County will hold a public hearing on the proposed development and two variances — one that would allow the parking lot to be built in front of the store instead of behind it and another that would allow a sign larger than permitted by law.

The hearing is on the commission’s April 9 agenda for a meeting in the Commission Chambers at 102 Grant Ave. The public hearing portion of the meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

 

Monday April 8, 2013

The Española Ranger District will be taking reservations for April 12 and 13; and April 19 and 20, weather dependent. Volunteers will be asked to work in teams of two to plant approximately 222 one-year-old trees per acre for 56 acres. Hours will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information on volunteering, contact Jennifer Saublette, District Volunteer Coordinator, at 505-753-7331.

 

Friday April 5, 2013

Here are the police reports for the week of March 28 to April 3rd.

One was arrested for DUI, criminal damage to property and evading an officer

One was arrested for DUI, failure to yield, possession of drug paraphernalia, no proof of insurance

One was arrested for battery on a household member and criminal damage to household property

One was arrested for shoplifting a t Smith’s.

There was a report of a runaway who was returned to parents and referred to the JPO.

There was report of desecration of a church at the immaculate heart of Mary catholic church.

There was a report of fraud.

There was a report of identity theft

There was a report of burglary from a vehicle or other structure.

There was a report of criminal damage to property.

There was a report of unreasonable animal noise

 

Thursday April 4, 2013

The Valles Caldera Trust 2012 State of the Preserve Report details the journey of an overused, exhausted landscape to its improved condition and provides a peek at the road ahead. The report, released Thursday, is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures unique to the trust, and provides baseline data which aids the strategic management of the preserve. However, the report also points out that some of the resources Congress believed would contribute to financial self-sufficiency were either overestimated or emerged as liabilities for the “Experiment in Public Land Management”.

The 2012 report recounts how the trust employed science-based adaptive management from 2002-2012 to restore the landscape, establish land use policies and expand opportunities for public access and revenue generation. Adaptive management allows the trust to institute a new program, monitor the implemented changes, and adjust the program, based on the assessment data.

This scientific process was applied to livestock grazing which historically hosted up to 9000 head of cattle grazing on an open range and impacted stream riparian areas. The trust dramatically reduced stocking levels by 95 percent and moved livestock into fenced, upland pastures away from streams, which helped restore stressed riparian areas.

The livestock program is now host to several New Mexico State University extension studies, from which local cattle growers benefit and students from across the nation participate. Information is continually collected on forage, soil moisture, climate and other sources to support a sustainable program that is adjusted annually. In addition, the livestock program recovers all operational costs, and actually returns a modest profit to the trust.

The report provides detailed analysis of cost recovery which now is almost 29 percent of annual appropriations, but covers almost 100 percent of public programs including general recreation, fishing and hunting, and livestock grazing.

The complete 2012 State of the Preserve Report is posted on the Valles Caldera website

 

Wednesday April 3, 2013

 March is often a month with wet snowy storms, but during March 2013, only two storms reached Los Alamos and White Rock, and only one brought a small amount of precipitation. With a lack of winter storms impacting our area, temperatures were above average. The average high temperature in Los Alamos was 55.5 °F, 4 degrees above normal, and the average low temperature was 29.7 °F, 2 degrees above normal. In White Rock, the average high temperatures was 59.7 °F, 4 degrees above normal, and the average low temperature was 26.1 °F, 0.5 degrees below normal.

The absence of storms produced record high daytime temperatures for both Los Alamos and White Rock on March 15th. The daytime high in Los Alamos was 71 °F, breaking the previous record of 67 °F set in 2007. The daytime high in White Rock was 76 °F, breaking the previous record of 72 °F also set in 2007. The second storm to hit New Mexico in March produced record low daily temperatures. The overnight low temperature in White Rock on March 24th was 8 °F, smashing the previous record of 19 °F set in 1974. The overnight low in White Rock on March 25th was 13 °F, smashing the previous record of 19 °F set in 1969. However, none of these high or low temperatures exceeded the all-time high and low temperatures for the month of March in Los Alamos or White Rock.

Total precipitation (rain and melted snow) was 0.14 inches in Los Alamos (12% of normal) and 0.15 inches in White Rock (15% of normal). Precipitation for 2013 is 37% of normal in Los Alamos and 24% of normal in White Rock.

 

Tuesday April 2, 2013

The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) will move forward with plans to develop a roundabout at the NM 502-Trinity Drive/Central Avenue intersection in Los Alamos. A roundabout will improve traffic flow and safety at this intersection.  Under the revised proposed alternative, NM 502-Trinity Drive will be converted to two eastbound lanes along the entire corridor with currently planned construction of these two lanes ending just east of Arroyo Lane. Two westbound lanes will be constructed from Tewa Loop to Central Avenue and D.P. Road to Knecht Street. Two pedestrian crossings with HAWK pedestrian beacons will be installed along NM 502 between Canyon Road and Tewa Loop. The HAWK signal, also known as High Intensity Activated Crosswalk, includes red and yellow lights for drivers, has countdown signals for pedestrians, and offers an opportunity to improve pedestrian safety. Sidewalks will be constructed in areas lacking sidewalks and areas where existing sidewalks do not meet current standards. Construction will begin in

the summer of 2014.

 

Monday April 1, 2013

Here is the police report March 21 through March 27

One was arrested for aggravated battery

One was arrested for a magistrate court bench warrant.

One was arrested for a municipal court bench warrant.

One was arrested for criminal damage to property

One juvenile was arrested for carrying a weapon at school and was released to parents and referred to the JPO.

There were 3  reports of criminal damage to property.

There was fraudulent use of a credit card

There was an unattended death.

There was a report of animal at large.

There was a report of unwanted animals.


Friday March 29, 2013

As thousands of pilgrims prepare for their journey to El Santuario de Chimayo in Santa Fe County, state, local, and federal emergency response agencies are preparing for their arrival. Twenty-six entities, following the National Incident Management System, have collaborated to help prepare for and respond to any potential disaster in the area.

Laws and regulations will be enforced to help protect the safety of pilgrims and motorists.

Motorists are advised that parking on Juan Medina Road in Chimayo will not be allowed and violators may be cited and their vehicles towed. The regulation against roadside vending will also be enforced. Because of the extreme fire danger, no open burning is permitted and everyone should be careful in their disposal of cigarette butts and matches.

A rest area will be provided for pilgrims on the evening of Thursday, March 28 and all day Friday, March 29. Rio Arriba County will have the La Arboleda Community Center located at 694 State Road 76 serve as a resting point for pilgrims walking to the Santuario.

 

 Thursday March 28, 2013

As of June 14, public bodies in New Mexico will be required to post their meeting agendas three days in advance, thanks to House Bill 21  signed  by Gov. Susana Martinez.
The law applies to city councils, county commissions, school boards and all other public bodies subject to the Open Meetings Act. (The current requirement is 24 hours.)
The proposal was supported by the Foundation for Open Government, Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, the New Mexico Press Association and Conservation Voters New Mexico.
Existing law already waives notice requirements for emergencies; to prevent abuse under the new measure, House Bill 21 requires that an explanation of the emergency circumstances be forwarded to the Attorney General's office.

Wednesday March 27, 2013

The LANL quarterly community breakfast was held at Okay Wingah  event center yesterday morning. 
Lab director Charlie MacMillan told a large audience that the laboratory had been doing its due diligence to keep its budget under control.  The continuing sequestration may reduce the budget by another 110 million dollars but the lab was in stable shape.  It was continuing to scrutinize large purchases and hiring personnel but both were continuing  in a prudent manner.  Although the quantity of procurements is down, the lab is still spending money in Northern New Mexico.
The laboratory is meeting it consent goals that it set with the State of New Mexico concerning removing legacy waste from laboratory property.  They had already reached the 1st quarter’s goal and there are still 5 days left in the month. 
                                                    
There was a county council meeting held last night.  It was decided that graffiti should be cleaned up and if a home owner or agent would not do it, the county would and bill the responsible person including an additional surcharge.
The idea to more a council meeting to Friday morning was tabled by its sponsor Kristen Henderson.
The teen centers new location of in the community building after the county moves to the new muni building was approved with a price tag of around 4 million dollars.

Tuesday March 26, 2013
The Hilltalkers took 24 team members to the District Qualifying Tournament at Albuquerque Academy last Thursday through Saturday, where seven Hilltalkers qualified to the national debate tournament, to be held in Birmingham, Alabama in the middle of June. The team also won the district tournament debate sweepstakes award, taking 4 of 7 available debate qualification positions and defeating 81 pairs or individuals from 18 schools around the state to earn their spots.

 

Monday March 25, 2013
On March 4, the Community Services Department welcomed its newest division manager: Kim Gabaldon, who is Los Alamos County’s first Social Services Manager. Kim comes to us from the State of New Mexico, where she served as the Native American Liaison for the Behavioral Health Services Division for the last

five years. Kim will be taking over the management of the Health Care Assistance Program, which will be transitioning from the Office of Management and Budget to Community Services over the next few months. She will also be coordinating the Community Health Council and managing existing social services contracts, and identifying needs that can be met with new or different contracts. Kim’s arrival has already taken the county several steps closer to coordinating County services from a single location.

 

Friday March 22, 2013

Here are the police reports from March 13 to March 20.

One was arrested on criminal damage to property and battery against a household member.

One was arrested on aggravated battery and criminal damage to property.

One was arrested for battery against a household member.

One was arrested on a felony warrant from another jurisdiction.

One was summons and cited for larceny over $500 and under $2500.

Two were arrested on municipal court warrants.

One was arrested for speeding and DUI.

One was arrested for DWI and accidental property damage.

A juvenile was arrested for speeding, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, released to parents and referred to the JPO.

One was cited for trespassing at the high school.

There was a report of identity theft.

There were 4  reports of an animal at large

There was one report of unreasonable animal noise.

Thursday March 21, 2013

Los Alamos National Laboratory is conducting an emergency-preparedness exercise on Thursday (March 21)It is only an exercise. The Lab routinely conducts emergency exercises to test the preparedness of emergency response and other LANL personnel who would respond to an actual emergency.
The majority of the exercise is on LANL property and shouldn't affect the public. Signs will be placed outside the Los Alamos Medical Center alerting the public that an exercise is under way. LANL employees in affected facilities will be notified before the exercise begins and when it is completed. Los Alamos County also has been notified of the emergency exercise.
Emergency vehicles participating in the exercise may use flashing lights but no sirens.

 

Wednesday March 20, 2013
Measurements from two recent aerial flyovers to determine the presence of background and man-made radioactivity brought good news for Los Alamos County and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The radiological surveys, conducted in August 2011 and June 2012, found that radioisotopes and their associated exposure rates are consistent with those expected from normal background radiation.

The 2011 survey focused on the White Rock community and Los Alamos National Laboratory, over which a specially equipped helicopter from Nevada’s Remote Sensing Lab flew approximately 150 feet above ground to gather radiological data.

The 2012 survey concentrated on the Los Alamos town site. That survey gathered data from 300 feet above the ground in order to limit noise to residents and animals, specifically the horses on North Mesa.  Measurements taken from the flyover are equivalent to measurements taken from 1 meter above ground.

The survey provided valuable data in several areas. First, the information updates a radiological survey conducted in 1994. Secondly, the survey showed the Las Conchas fire from 2011 did not impact background radiation levels. It also provides additional confirmation that the Rendija Canyon area remains at natural background radiation levels.  There is an area north of Rendija Canyon under evaluation for return to public use.

 

Tuesday March 19, 2013

 On March 13, 2013, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) took final administrative action on a Class 2 permit modification request to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Hazardous Waste Facility Permit. NMED has approved the modification with changes regarding the mandatory testing of all mixed waste containers. NMED did an extensive review of the proposed changes on waste analysis plan waste characterization methods. As a result, NMED included modified language that would require sampling when necessary and appropriate rather than systematic and mandatory testing.

Historical data shows that additional information gained by chemical sampling has not changed a waste stream disposal decision for the waste stream that was sampled. In addition, waste sampling and analysis work is intrusive and risky. Minimizing opening the mixed waste containers in order to minimize the risk of exposure to workers is important.

 

Monday March 18, 2013

The legislative session ended with state lawmakers successfully tackling numerous challenges facing the state, and the session ended in suspense. A compromise tax cut was passed by both chambers with one minute to spare. It is on its way to the Governor’s office.

In the final minutes of the 60-day session, a compromise bill to encourage corporations to expand their operations in New Mexico passed the legislature. The bill that created  addresses a number of items including restoring the TV show tax credit that was just limited to that industry. The governor had vetoed a previous bill with the TV show tax credit because she said she had not received a rate tax cut for all corporations.

The provisions of the TV show tax credit were amended into the corporate tax cut in the final minutes of the session. The Corporate Tax rate would be reduced from 7.6% to 5.9% over a five year phase- in. The tax savings would be over $8 million for the first year to over $80 million in tax savings the fifth year.

Three important fixes to better address the insolvency of public funds passed both chambers and are on their way to the governor’s office. A fix to the unemployment insurance fund also passed both chambers.

The State Senate passed a balanced state budget. The budget is being sent to the governor for her action. Highlights of the budget that will operate state government in fiscal 2014 include:

Overall operating budget:

· $5.9 billion state spending plan

· $246 million increase in state spending

· 4.4% increase from this year’s level

· The largest budget item is Public Education K-12:  $2.57 billion to Public Education,

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Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration has reached an agreement for the BNSF Railway Co. to pull the plug on a never-completed purchase of about 180 miles of track, and the company will refund $5 million fronted by the state for the line by Bill Richardson.

The governor made the announcement early Saturday after the Legislature approved a proposal offering a tax break to BNSF on locomotive fuel if the company makes investments to upgrade its rail infrastructure. The measure will extend similar tax treatment that previously was granted to the Union Pacific Corp.

The administration doesn’t want the track from Lamy, to the Colorado border. The state estimated it would need to spend $8 million a year just for maintenance and routine improvements of the track.

Former Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration had paid BNSF about $5 million in 2008 for the rail line as part of a larger deal to obtain track to start the Rail Runner Express commuter service between Santa Fe and Belen.

Martinez said BNSF also will release $50 million in state transportation money that’s held in escrow to cover possible liability in case of an accident involving the commuter rail operation

 

Friday March 15, 2013

Here’s the police reports 3/7 to 3/13

One was arrested for no taillights possession of more than an ounce of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and warrant from another jurisdiction.

One was arrested for criminal sexual penetration and kidnapping.

One was arrested for aggravated battery.

One was arrested for speeding, no insurance and driving on a suspended or revoked license

One was arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked  license possession of paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.

One was arrested on a district court warrant.

A juvenile was arrested for larceny over $500 released to the parents and referred to the JPO.

A juvenile was arrested for procession of paraphernalia released to parents and referred to the JPO.

There was an unattended death of a 16 year old.

One was cited for possession of marijuana

There was a report of a burglary.

There was a report of fraudulent use of a credit card.

There was a report of larceny under $250.

There was a report of unreasonable animal noise.

One was impounded for biting.

 

Thursday March 14, 2013
 A 16-year-old Los Alamos High School student, sophomore Isaac Hayden died Tuesday night and Los Alamos police are investigating the incident as a possible suicide.

The police activity report said a suicide call came in at 8:29 p.m.

Counselors from the high school, mid school, and elementary schools, as well as district psychologists, were available for grief counseling for any student.

Counselors will followed Isaac’s class schedule yesterday and will again today to ensure that grieving students will be comforted.

We extend our deepest sympathy to Isaac’s family and friends.

 

Wednesday March 13, 2013

Last night there was a county council work session in the White Rock Fire Station number 3. First they listened to a report about our county library system.   They discussed moving a county council meeting  to Friday morning at 11am. Next up was a lengthy discussion about broadband services.  It is going to be very costly to retrofit this community with fiber optics and that seems to be a significant point of concern.

 

Tuesday March 12, 2013

The Los Alamos School Board selected Bernadette Lauritzen as their nominee for the 2013 New Mexico School Board’s Excellence in Student Achievement Award. Ms. Lauritzen’s nomination was sent to the New Mexico State School Board Association because she has made a significant impact in student achievement for the Los Alamos schools.  
Not only is Ms. Lauritzen known for her many volunteer hours, she is known for her commitment to promoting student achievement as well. She is active in promotion of Rachel’s Challenge (which deals with bullying in schools), 40 Assets (which remind us of the good things about ourselves), and Cookies and Conversation that connects students to adults in meaningful inter-generational conversations.
She assists Los Alamos Youth Leadership and is very visible supporting the LAHS wrestling team. Locals hear her KRSN radio show, Monday Matters. High school and middle school teachers look forward to her weekly “Hubba Bubba,” which honors staff for their work with students

 

Monday March 11, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports from February 28 to March 6

One was arrested for battery on a household member and interference with communications.

Another was arrested for battery on a household member.

One was arrested on a felony warrant from another jurisdiction

Two  were arrested on a misdemeanor warrant for another jurisdiction.

One was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant.

One was arrested for DUI, no brake lights and obstruction of windshield.

One was arrested for DUI and roadways laned for traffic.

One was arrested for DUI, open container, driving on a revoked or suspended license, roadways laned for traffic.

One was arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked license.

One was arrested for providing alcohol to minors.

One  minor was issued summons  for possession of alcohol,  1 was  summoned for possession of alcohol and drug paraphernalia and 1 was summoned for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and alcohol.

A juvenile was arrested for carrying a weapon on to the high school grounds and was released to parents and referred to the JPO.

One was summoned for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia

One was cited for drug paraphernalia.

One was cited for possession of marijuana. 

One was cited for larceny less than $250.

There was a report of larceny less than  $250.

There  was a report of battery.

There was a report of harassment.

There were 3 reports of animals at large.

There was an unattended death.

Saturday March 9, 2013

A thirty-four year old Texas woman who was missing in Bandelier National Monument this weekend was  found.

On Friday, March 9, Los Alamos County dispatch received a call from a man in Texas reporting his girlfriend was missing. The missing woman arrived at Bandelier National Monument on Thursday March 7, to hike to the Upper Falls on the Falls Trail. The woman called her boyfriend to let him know she reached the waterfall and would return the next day.

On Friday, the woman parked at a gate on Department of Energy Land and hiked down to the Rio Grande and up the Falls Trail. When she reached the waterfall, it began to rain and she decided to head back to her car. It was getting dark as she hiked back and she missed the trail. Realizing, she would have to spend the night she found shelter near a rock. On Saturday, the hiker began re-tracing her steps and was able to find the trail back to her car. It was on the Ancho Canyon Trail around 12:30 pm that she was intercepted by a search and rescue team . The hiker ran out of water but was in good condition when found. She was hydrated and given electrolytes by a medical team. She will be returning home.

 

 

Friday March 8, 2013

Los Alamos National Laboratory has brought a third waste repackaging facility online to increase its capability to process nuclear waste for permanent disposal.

The “375 box line facility” enables Los Alamos to repackage transuranic (TRU) waste stored in large boxes.

Built inside a dome once used to house containers of waste at the Laboratory, the facility is the largest Perma-Con© structure ever constructed. A Perma-Con© is a modular structure typically used for radiological or hazardous containment. Contaminated items such as equipment and protective clothing, used during past operations at Los Alamos, are removed from their containers inside the structure and then are repackaged for shipment to licensed, permanent disposal facilities.

The record-setting structure is 110 feet long by 48 feet wide.

The facility is part of an effort to accelerate removal of 3,706 cubic meters of TRU waste currently stored above ground at Los Alamos. As part of an agreement with the State of New Mexico, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Laboratory have made removing this waste one of their top environmental priorities. In the first year of the accelerated work, Los Alamos shattered its former nuclear waste shipping records, with more than 230 waste shipments resulting in the disposition of 920 cubic meters of TRU waste.

 

Thursday March 7, 2013

This morning our County Administrator Harry Burgess addressed the Chamber of Commerce business breakfast to discuss the state of the county.  He has now been here just over a year and pointed out some of the accomplishments achieved since his arrival.  Now all the administrative positions in the county have been filled ,  no one is acting anymore. 

The budget issues have been addressed for this year and the new budget will be out as required by the end of the month.  It reflects a 10% cut in county, 10% cut in contractors, and they reduced the CIP projects that were to begin this year.

It has been decided there will be no increase in taxes this year but it is on the table for the future—specifically property taxes.

The reservoir dam has been concreted so it should be completed this year.

The muni building is going to be moved into in May.  They are planning to have their first county council meeting there June 25 and a ribbon cutting ceremony June 28. 

The airport will offer air service to Albuquerque 3 times a day beginning April 8.  It will be a 9 passenger plane. The cost is $49 one way

The highway 502 project is moving along slowly.  It is still about 18 months away from turning any dirt.  The only part being worked on is from in front of the Trinity site to the 500 yards east of Arroyo Lane.

 

Wednesday  March 6, 2013

The Santa Fe National Forest is seeking volunteers for tree planting efforts within the 2011 Las Conchas fire burn area near Los Alamos. Exact dates are dependent upon weather, soil moistures and soil temperatures, but possible dates are the Fridays and Saturdays of April 12, 13 and 19, 20.

A 56-acre area around the Nordic Ski Trails at the base of Pajarito Ski Hill within the burn area will be planted with Douglas Fir trees. The effort is part of a larger contracted planting initiative mostly in the Jemez District involving about 2,000 acres and almost half a million trees. Trees were ordered the fall of 2011 right after the Las Conchas fire. Local seed stock was germinated in the spring of 2012. The trees are about one year-old and ready for planting.

The Forest Service will take volunteer reservations of up to 30 to 50 people each day. Tree planting will involve a provided Dibble tool to create a shallow hole to place the baby tree and soil plug to a precise depth. Netting may be used to cover the tree so that it does not get eaten by elk. Required hard hats will be provided, however volunteers must provide their own boots, gloves, long pants, long sleeve shirts, and safety glasses.

Volunteers will be participating under the Southwest Nordic Ski Club Partnership Agreement, which means hours worked will count toward a match of Federal funds to further restore the recreational trails around Los Alamos in the future.

For more information and to sign up as a volunteer, call the Espanola Ranger District at (505) 753-7331, or email Volunteer Coordinator, Jennifer Sublett at jasublett@fs.fed.us.

 

Tuesday March 5, 2013

U.S. researchers, including a trio from Los Alamos National Laboratory, have witnessed the mysterious appearance of a relatively long-lived zone of high-energy electrons stored between Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts.

The Van Allen radiation belts are a pair of donut shaped zones of charged particles that surround Earth and occupy the inner region of our planet’s Magnetosphere. The outer belt contains extremely high-energy electrons, while the inner belt is comprised of energetic protons and electrons. The belts have been studied extensively since the dawn of the Space Age, because the high-energy particles in the outer ring can cripple or disrupt spacecraft. Long-term observation of the belts have hinted that the belts can act as efficient and powerful particle accelerators; the recent observations by the Van Allen Probes  now seem to confirm this. The instrument immediately detected on September 1, the presence of a stable zone of high-energy electrons residing between the belts.

This donut-shaped third ring nestled between the belts existed for nearly a month before being obliterated by a powerful shockwave of particles emanating from center of the solar system.

Such a distinct, long-lasting ring of high-energy electrons had never before been seen by any prior instrument in space or on Earth. The findings suggest that the Van Allen Belts somehow capture and store energetic electrons in a circular path around our home planet, perhaps in much the same way as a cyclotron can capture and store charged particles here on Earth.

 

Monday March 4, 2013
Trinity Site Plans were Approved by P&Z Commission last Wednesday. Smiths/Kroger plans to submit construction drawings to the County in a few weeks. If things stay on schedule, construction will begin this summer on the new Smiths Marketplace.

 

Friday March 1, 2013

Here are the low lights of the police reports February 21 through the 27.

One was arrested for speeding, no insurance; driver must be licensed, distribution of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana,   possession of a controlled substance, open container, possession of drug paraphernalia, and carrying contraband into jail.

One was arrested for DUI

One was arrested for larceny and receiving stolen property

One was arrested for embezzlement

One was summons on the charge of battery.

Three juveniles were referred to the JPO for carrying deadly weapons at the middle school and release to their parents ( 2 separate incidents)

 One juvenile was referred to JPO for burglary to a vehicle or other structure and released to parents.

One was issued a citation for possession of marijuana

One was cited for unreasonable animal noise.

 An animal was impounded for biting.

 There were 4 reports  of an animal at large

 

Thursday February 28, 2013

Corrales based computer hardware and software developer Ideum is celebrating the commercial release

of two software products the company and its backers believe will revolutionize computer human

dialogue. The products — GestureWorks Core and GestureWorks Key — are based on a breakthrough

coding language that can interpret 300 human gestures, giving software and application designers more

accurate ways to communicate with computers in touch screen interactions.

Getting these products to market represents a major milestone for the 14 year old company, which

aspires to lead the industry in developing a comprehensive gesture based “authoring environment” — a

place where users can create websites, interactive hypermedia, micro worlds and simulations.

Two years ago, LANS, through its economic development arm — Los Alamos Connect — awarded Ideum a $100,000 VAF grant to help the

company speed up production of the Core and Key software products.

The computer industry is moving away from remote control devices — for example, the mouse and

keyboard — toward more sophisticated ways for people to exchange information with machines.

Rather than forcing the user to conform to the computer’s narrow

“vocabulary” of recognized gestures, Ideum’s software accommodates the nuances that are a natural

part of human communication. With GestureWorks Core and GestureWorks Key, the computer makes

intelligent assumptions about the user’s intentions — it knows what the user meant to convey even if

the gesture was imperfectly done.

 

Wednesday February 27, 2013

Teen Points gun at Autistic Boy

It looks like an extreme case of bullying caught on tape: A teen points a gun at an autistic boy, threatening to shoot.

The incident was recorded and posted on Facebook before the victim's parents and Los Alamos police got involved.

The video shows just how far teenagers are willing to push the limits.

It was recorded back in January, but no one knew about it until the video was posted online.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 obtained the video and blurred the faces to protect the identity of the minors involved.

The video is somewhat grainy but there is no mistaking a teenage boy pointing a gun at another boy in a red shirt.

"It's f****** loaded," one kid is heard saying.

The father of the child being threatened contacted KOB after the video showed up on Facebook.  He said his 16-year-old son is autistic.

"Watch him, get on your knees, and kiss my shoes," the gunman is heard saying.

The interrogation lasts a few minutes.

The same demand is repeated by others in the room, after hearing what sounds like a gunshot.

"Oh dude, you better f****** kiss his shoe, dude," another kid is heard saying.

"I'm doing this so if you die, I can straight up show that against.. and go to prison...so you better kiss his shoe dude," the kid filming the incident says.

Other kids who are off camera appear to be telling the child in the red shirt what to do, as they watch and keep recording.

"Give me your f****** shoe, no, you have to do, you have to kiss it with him on it, no you better not record it,"

The screen then goes black.

"Muah, there we go."

The teen in the video with the gun has been charged with aggravated assault.

It is not clear if the two other teens in the video have been or will be charged.

The teens are students at Los Alamos High School, but the incident happened at one of their homes.

 

 

Tuesday February 26,2013

 The Forest Service is looking for volunteers to plant 10,000 ponderosa pines and Douglas firs on the Los Alamos side of the burned area. Contract planters will plant many thousands more in areas with difficult access.

The seedlings will arrive in late March. Depending on moisture conditions, here’s the when they hope to plant them:

Friday March 29 and Saturday March 30

Friday April 5 and Saturday April 6

Friday April 12 and Saturday April 13

The goal is to plant about 1,500 seedlings each day. This is roughly 15 teams of 2 volunteers planting 100 seedlings between 8 AM and 2 PM. Those numbers make for a fairly relaxing day where each seedling gets the proper care during the planting process. This is how it was done in 2001 after Cerro Grande and  had about a 45% survival rate.

The plan is to meet at specific locations each of those six days. Planting areas would be defined on a map and with flagging in the planting area. There would be a safety briefing and instructions on proper tree planting techniques to increase the chance of survival. Volunteers would then fan out, plant there seedlings, and be back to the staging area before 2 PM.

Tools (shovels don’t’ work, dibble bars are the tool of choice) are available but limited, so it is important to gage interest in this volunteer project. The willingness of volunteers will determine how many days and how many areas can be planted each day.

It will greatly help planning if there is a rough idea of how many volunteers are interested. If you think you would like to participate in a planting day, please Email Craig Martin at  cmartin@losalamos.com. There will be preliminary plans by the end of the first week in March, and Craig  will directly contact those who are interested.

 

 

Monday February 25, 2013

Last  Saturday was the annual New Mexico Science Bowl event held at Albuquerque Academy. It is sponsored by Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratory and is a jeopardy style competition.  40 schools began the competition  answering questions in different types of science.   The  2 teams in the final round were Los Alamos And Academy. Los Alamos high school won. Players included  high school senior and captain Kevin Gao; senior Aaron Bao; junior Alex Wang; and sophomore Willie Zhao and alternate Alex Stewart. The students have about 6 weeks to prepare for the national competition that takes place in Washington, D.C. in April.

 

Friday February 22, 2013
Here are the lowlights of this week’s police reports February 14 to 20

One was arrested for   DUI, roadways lined for traffic,  expired registration, possession of marijuana and possession  of drug paraphernalia.

One was arrested for battery against a household member.

One was arrested on a municipal court warrant

One was arrested for possession of paraphernalia and criminal trespassing

One was issued a summons on the charge of harassment.

A juvenile was referred to the JPO for shoplifting at Smith’s.

There were 4  reports  of animal at large.

 

Thursday February 21, 2013

New Mexico water managers are planning to study the water quality of the Jemez River watershed. The survey will include the Jemez River from its headwaters in Northern New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains down to the village of San Ysidro.  The river cuts through Valles Caldera National Preserve and Jemez Pueblo land. Officials with the state Environment Department say the survey’s results will be used to gauge water quality, track improvements and identify any impaired stretches along the river or other trouble spots within the watershed. The last intensive study in 2005 turned up arsenic, boron, sediment and temperature issues in some parts of the watershed. At the time, the watershed was among those in New Mexico that were in most urgent need of restoration.

 

Wednesday February 20, 2013
Last night there was a county council meeting to decide which CIP projects would be delayed because of the current budget shortfall.  All the councilors were present including Rick Reiss who was in attendance by phone.  After over 2 hours of discussion, it was decided that the golf course project would be put off for 3 years but be built over a two year period instead of four. The ice rink project would be deferred for 2 years except for the parking lot. That lowered the budget by a bit over 8.5 million dollars which the councilors decided was close enough to the 12 million dollar reduction requested by Harry Burgess.  The vote on the motion was 7-0.


Tuesday February 19, 2013
According to the Los Alamos Monitor,
Ron Selvage owner of the Hilltop House Hotel  said Saturday that he has a buyer for the hotel, which has been in foreclosure proceedings with the Los Alamos National Bank.

Selvage would not reveal the name of the buyer or the purchase price and the transaction is contingent upon a number of factors.

The deal is contingent upon bank approval, an appraisal and a two-thirds vote of agreement from the investors’ group.

If the deal falls through, the hotel will be auctioned off to the highest bidder at 11:45 a.m. on March 6 on the steps of the Los Alamos Justice Center.

According to a legal advertisements that have appeared in the Los Alamos Monitor, Judge Sarah Singleton of the First Judicial District Court of Los Alamos ruled earlier this week that the special master will sell the hotel at public auction for cash or certified funds.

The legal notice indicates the total amount awarded by the judgment to LANB with interest to the date of the sale is $4,531,155.69 plus additional costs and attorney fees. The amount of interest alone to date is $521,785.36.

The Los Alamos National Bank put the wheels in motion to foreclose on the company that owns and manages the Hilltop House Hotel back in October.

Monday February 18, 2013
A Holiday

Friday February 15, 2013
Here are the lowlights of the police reports February 7 through 13

Two were arrested on a variety of charges including but not limited to trafficking controlled substances, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

 One was arrested for DUI.

 One was arrested on a municipal court warrant

 One was arrested for battery against a household member.

 One was cited for improper use of fireworks

 One was summoned for committing larceny of less than $250.

 A juvenile was referred to the JPO because of shop lifting.

 A juvenile was referred to the JPO for resisting and evading a police officer.

 A juvenile was referred to the JPO for possession of drug paraphernalia

 A juvenile was referred to the JPO for possession of marijuana

 A juvenile was referred to the JPO for deriving without a license, possession of drug paraphernalia, and no insurance

 There was a report of criminal damage of to property

 There was a report of larceny of over $ 500.00 but less than $2500

 There was a report of an animal at large.

Thursday February 14, 2013

The Santa Fe National Forest began and finished the 80-acre Guacamalla piles prescribed burn today on the Jemez Ranger District.   The Guacamalla piles prescribed burn location is 4 to 6 miles northeast of the community of Ponderosa.  Smoke will be visible from Ponderosa, Jemez Pueblo, San Ysidro, Zia Pueblo, Bernalillo, Rio Rancho and areas from Interstate 550.

Wednesday February 13, 2013

The Española YMCA Teen Center received s $20,000 grant from State Farm Saturday during the Y’s annual Red and Black Ball in Los Alamos.

 Local State Farm agents Lou Santoro and Abe Dispennette presented the award to Y Executive Director Linda Daly on behalf of the company’s regional Good Neighbor Citizenship program. The grant will fund educational programming, skill-building classes and recreational activities in support of keeping an underserved population engaged in learning and healthy activities.


Tuesday February 12, 2013

LANL researchers and collaborators have made the first demonstration of rapidly switching on and off “slow light” in specially designed metamate­rials at room temperature. Metamaterials are assemblies of multiple individual elements fashioned from conventional microscopic materials arranged in periodic patterns. This work opens the possibility to design novel chip-scale, ultrafast devices for applications in terahertz wireless communications and all-optical computing.


Monday February 11, 2013

Do you know an individual in White Rock or Los Alamos deserving of recognition for his or her commitment to promoting student achievement?  If so, your School Board would like to hear from you.  Between now and February 22, the School Board is accepting nominations for the 2013 New Mexico School Board's Excellence in Student Achievement Award, and one community member from our district will be selected for this honor.
Teachers, community volunteers, staff members, parents, and even students are eligible to be nominated. The sole criterion is that the nominee should have played an important role in impacting student achievement (academic, athletic, extracurricular, or otherwise) in Los Alamos Public Schools.

The nomination process is short and easy and available on the schools website  laschools.net

Completed forms need to be returned to Cathy McAnally, Secretary to the Board.


Friday February 8, 2013

The team led by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers made a major step forward recently towards transforming biomass-derived molecules into fuels.

For more than a century, chemists focused on a “more is better” approach, adding functionality to molecules, not removing it. For this breakthrough, however, researchers applied the opposite strategy and aimed for simplicity, opening up a component of the molecule to make it easier to transform. They perfected a method for “direct-ring opening” of the furan rings, which are made of four carbons and one oxygen atom.

Opening these rings into linear chains is a necessary step in the production of energy-dense fuels, , because these linear chains can then be reduced and deoxygenated into alkanes used in gasoline and diesel fuel. The reaction requires relatively mild conditions using the common reagent hydrochloric acid as a catalyst.

The researchers tested the process on several biomass-derived molecules, and they performed calculations to study the selectivity and mechanism of reaction. This information is key to designing better catalysts and processes for biomass conversion.


Thursday February 7, 2013

The Laboratory recently resumed work on an upgrade to the security system around Technical Area 55. Workers from the Laboratory and four subcontractors will complete construction and commissioning of the critical security project in the September timeframe.

The Nuclear Material Safeguards and Security Upgrade Project  adds fences, cameras, sensors, utility and access buildings, and other systems to the existing security infrastructure around the Lab’s principal plutonium processing facility. The facility and all nuclear material have been and will remain secure during construction.

The next major milestone is expected to be testing of the first sector of the security system in the early spring.

The NNSA and Lab reached a settlement agreement in December that delivers the project at the original (2009) approved baseline. Engineering work restarted immediately.


Wednesday February 6, 2013

There was a school board and UNM LA Advisory board election yesterday.  Turn out was very light because there was only one contested race.  That was Incumbent Ron Dolin against Michelle Hall for the UNM-LA advisory board.   Michelle Hall prevailed.

 So those elected to the  UNM-LA advisory board include Michelle Hall, Micheline  Ann Devaurs and John William Hofman. 

 The 2 school board candidates were unopposed.  Jim Hall and Matt Williams now represent White Rock on the school board.


Tuesday February 5, 2013

The was a bank robbery this afternoon at the Los Alamos National Bank White Rock Branch.  It is being investigated by the Los Alamos Police Department and the FBI.  

The suspect is described as a Hispanic or Native American female in her late 20s or early 30s, approximately 5-feet-4 and weighing about 150 pounds.

She may have a scar or tattoo below her left eye.

The suspect wore a black jacket over a black hoodie and a gray hoodie. She also had on winter gloves. It was not known if she was armed.

Witnesses say the suspect entered the bank shortly before 1:30 p.m. and demanded money from a teller.

The teller gave an undisclosed amount of money to the suspect, who put the money in a plastic grocery bag and left the bank.

Anyone with information about this bank robbery is asked to call the Albuquerque FBI Office at (505) 889-1300 (24 hours) or LAPD, (505) 662-8222.

Because of this and In cooperation with the local police, Both Chamisa and Piñon Elementary School students were held at school until parents/guardians picked them up. This procedure was a safety precaution  while the police  continue their investigation of a bank robbery suspect potentially in the area.


Monday February 4, 2013
The final public hearing for naming the Municipal Bldg. after Jeanette Wallace is set for today, Monday, Feb. 4 in White Rock Town Hall at 5:30 p.m. The naming committee will take action after hearing comments and make a recommendation to Council for or against naming the building after State Representative Jeannette Wallace. If you can’t attend, E-mail your comment today to lacadministrator@lacnm.us

 

Friday February 1, 2013

Here are the lowlights of the police reports from January 24 to January 30.

One was arrested for DUI, open container, and possession of paraphernalia.

One was arrested for DUI, roadway laned for traffic and headlights required

One was arrested for criminal trespassing and possession of paraphernalia

A juvenile was arrested for possession of paraphernalia and was released to parents and referred to the JPO.

A juvenile was arrested for carrying a deadly weapon ( a pocket knife) onto the middle school property and was released to parents and referred to the JPO. 

There were 2 reports of larceny of over $250 and less than $500.

There was a report of larceny of over $500 and less than $2500.

The was a report of criminal damage to property.

There was a report of criminal damage to property at Piñon school (the graffiti incident)

The were 3 reports of unreasonable animal noise.

There were 3 reports of an animal at large

 

Thursday January 31, 2013

Every New Mexican will now have a place to turn to when they or someone they love are experiencing a mental health crisis. Beginning February 1, 2013, the New

Mexico Crisis and Access Line  will be available statewide, helping New Mexicans get access to local help and resources during a mental health crisis. The line will be available

statewide and toll free at 1-855-NMCRISIS (1-855-662-7474). The State is working in collaboration with OptumHealth New Mexico and Protocol to bring the line to New Mexicans. OptumHealth New Mexico is the statewide entity that currently contracts with the state in order to provide behavioral health services to New Mexicans.


Wednesday January 3
0, 2013 
The school bond issue passed as the mail in election concluded yesterday. Bond 2013 allows us to replace the academic wing of Aspen Elementary and to make much needed improvements to schools throughout the district. The bond provides funding that will move the district another step forward in the modernization of all of its facilities as intended by the district’s 20-year facilities plan. The unofficial totals were 4,283 for and 1,784 against.  The district thanks all those who took time to vote and express their opinion.


Tuesday January 29, 2013
Grades K-3 were Cancelled at Chamisa yesterday and today because of water damage to rooms following the recent wet weather. Because safety of students and staff is important, we felt it best to cancel these grades while we thoroughly investigated the water damage to the classrooms.
The classrooms have been toured with the district administration and formalized a plan to make repairs to these classrooms.  The maintenance crew is checking the electrical and mechanical systems for possible water damage. The  insurance carrier has been contacted  to make sure that the classroom environment will be safe from possible mold contamination due to damaged carpet, sheet rock or ceiling tile. 

 Students will begin returning tomorrow on a staggered basis (third grade Wednesday and the Kindergarten through 2nd grade on Thursday). They are relocating those classes within the school on a temporary basis. 

 

Monday January 28, 2013

On Saturday evening, January 25, 2013, Piñon Elementary School was “tagged” by vandals. The graffiti consisted of a number of vulgar and inappropriate words and phrases. As a community, we should not put up with this senseless disregard and marring of our public property. The Los Alamos School Board President, will have a special Board meeting at the Administrative Offices off of Trinity Drive across from Ashley’s Pond on January 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM to discuss the district’s response to vandalism. If you have information about the perpetrators of this tagging, please contact the Los Alamos Police Dispatch line 662-8222. You may remain anonymous

 

Friday January 25, 2013

New Mexico’s four-year high school graduation rate jumped to more than 70 percent in 2012, just a year after federal data showed the state’s 63 percent rate was one of the worst in the nation

In addition to an overall graduation rate spike, state officials reported that graduation rates also increased for Latino and American Indian students and students with disabilities. For example, Latino students had a graduation rate of 68 percent, an eight-point jump from 2011. Meanwhile, Native American students saw a graduation rate of 65 percent and a nine-point increase.

Federal 2010-11 data showed New Mexico with a 63 percent four-year high school graduation rate, one of the worst rates in the nation that year. Only Nevada, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Education rank below New Mexico on the percentage of all students graduating in four years, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The 2010-11 academic year was the first time all states used uniform standards to measure the number of students who graduated.

 

Thursday January 24, 2013

A bad transformer was the cause of last night’s outage on Sioux Street in the North Mesa neighborhood.  Reported at 6:30 p.m., approximately 120 Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities’ customers were without electricity.

DPU’s electric line crew initiated temporary repairs by back feeding electricity to restore power by 9 p.m.   Permanent repairs will continue Thursday, January 24.  Crews will plan a 30 minute outage affecting eight customers, to complete repairs.  Time of this planned outage not yet determined. The remaining Sioux St. customers will experience a brief ten minute outage as the new transformer is tied into the electric distribution system. 

 

Wednesday January 23, 2013

Sixteen Atomic City Children's Theater (ACCT) students and nine staff/parents traveled to Atlanta, GA over the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend to attend the 2013 Junior Theater Festival (JTF) and took home the Excellence in Ensemble Work award.
In addition to winning this award, two students were selected as for the  Junior Theater Festival All-Star musical number that opened the JTF Student Award ceremonies, two were selected to participate in the Broadway Jr. Slam, and one was asked to audition for the Broadway Jr. Choreography DVD!
The  Junior Theater Festival weekend was jammed-packed with adjudicated performances (by Broadway directors, choreographers and performers), workshops a special concert and Q & A with renowned composer Alan Menken and treated to a special performance by the stars of Disney Newsies who flew down especially for the festival.
The ACCT students and adults also attended a special performance of the Blue Man Group in the Fabulous Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta.

 

Tuesday January 22, 2013

A South Valley juvenile boy is in custody facing five first-degree murder charges and three counts of child abuse resulting in death.

Nehemiah Griego, 15, is accused of killing his parents and three siblings Saturday night.

When authorities arrived at the house, they found Griego's mother, father, younger sisters and brother with gunshot wounds to the head.

The 15-year-old was then brought in for questioning by the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department, telling them he understood his rights and did not want an adult or lawyer present during his interview.

 

 

Monday January 21, 2013


Martin Luther King Jr. Day

 

Friday January 18, 2013

Here are the Lowlights of the Police reports January 10-16
One was arrested for criminal trespassing
One was arrested for DUI, careless driving, procession of a controlled substance
A citation issued for no headlights, no insurance, procession of paraphernalia
Two juveniles were arrested for aggravated assault and referred to the JPO.
There was a report of criminal damage to property.
There was a report of fraud
There were 3 reports of larceny
There were 5 reports of animals at large

Thursday January 17, 2013

State government hasn't properly balanced its checkbook for more than six years, and officials in Gov. Susana Martinez's administration are warning lawmakers that New Mexico's cash surplus is from $70 million to $460 million less than what been anticipated .
Officials stress there's no immediate risk of New Mexico being unable to pay its bills because of the problems in the state's computerized accounting system.
However, the state will have a smaller financial cushion in case of unexpected budget problems and less surplus cash to spend on projects such as capital improvements.
At issue is faulty implementation of a computer system in 2006. The accounting system didn't match fund balances shown by state agencies with cash in the state's bank accounts.

 

Wednesday January 16, 2013

Yesterday was the First Day of the NM Legislative Session  It was flowers, fancy dress and friendly banter as lawmakers listened to Gov. Martinez’s address on the first day of the 2013 Legislature. Martinez challenged lawmakers to make some hard decisions on education, energy and the economy. She indicated she is seeking passage of her budget which also has significant investments in healthcare, a boost for tourism and more money for public safety.

Lawmakers took up their own business with leaders picked for both houses. Grants Rep. Ken. Martinez heads up the house and Mary Kay Papen of Las Cruces was elected as the new senate president pro tem.

 

Tuesday January 15, 2013

Los Alamos Public Schools announced Monday afternoon that Hilltopper girls head basketball coach Tarah Logan has resigned her position effective immediately.

Los Alamos athletic director Vicki Nelms made the announcement in a press release. In her resignation, Logan cited family issues as the reason for her departure.

Ann Stewart, a Los Alamos High School graduate and former LAMS assistant coach, who also has assistant coaching experience at the prep level, will take over the duties for the Hilltoppers.

 

Monday January 14, 2013

Sunday afternoon UNM-LA dedicated their new lecture hall as the Jeannette O Wallace Lecture Hall.

Mrs. Wallace had a passion for education and expressed it in her support of education during her tenure at the legislature. Her friends, colleagues, and family were there to speak kind words before the ribbon cutting for the bronze memorial plaque took place .  Her public service began as a Los Alamos County Councilor, continued as a legislative lobbyist and then  our district 43 representative. She was a founding force for Leadership Los Alamos and had been a Kiwanian for over 20 years.

 

Friday January 11, 2013

New Mexico’s reservoir levels, snowpack and stream flow are expected to remain below average, according to the first water-supply forecast of the year released yesterday by the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

If the prediction holds true, it would be the third consecutive dry year for the state.

The average is based on a combination of measurements taken over 30-year periods. The “new normal” was updated this year to include water-supply data from 1981 to 2010.

Both 2011 and 2012 were warmer and drier than normal. In some parts of New Mexico, 2012 was the warmest year since the federal government began tracking measurements.

“Snowpack in the mountains around the Rio Grande basin is at 71 percent of the average, compared to 98 percent at this time last year. Colorado also is reporting much lower snowpacks than usual.

The reservoir storage for the basin, which includes Elephant Butte, is at 559,000 acre-feet, compared to 860,800 acre-feet at this time last year

 

Thursday January 10, 2013
On Wednesday, Los Alamos Municipal Judge Alan Kirk  found six people guilty of refusing to obey police officers and obstructing movement during their Aug. 6 demonstration at the main gate to Los Alamos National Laboratory.The “LANL 6,” sought a jury trial because they believed it would be an opportunity for more public attention. That was
denied because the maximum jail sentence on their crimes could net was 179 days — one day less than the minimum 180 days that would have warranted a jury trial. Each was sentenced to $200 in fines, $82 in court fees, one year unsupervised probation and a $60 probation fee.

 

Wednesday January 9, 2013
There was a county council meeting last night.  Geoff Rodgers was elected chair and David Izraelevitz was elected vice chair. 

Councilor Fran Berting made a request that the new muni building be named after Jeannette Wallace.  The council voted unanimously to create a committee to explore the idea.

 

 Tuesday January 8, 2013

The all-mailed school bond ballot has been sent to registered voters in Los Alamos County yesterday January 7, and must be returned to the County Clerk’s Office by January 29, 2013. The bond does not raise taxes because it serves as a replacement bond for the one approved by voters in 2009. For more information, residents are encouraged to check the School Bond 2013 Information on the districts website at www.laschools.net or contact the Los Alamos Public Schools district office at 663-2230.

 

Monday January 7, 2013
Saturday night was the annual Community Asset Award Presentation.  It began with the presentation of the plaque received by Los Alamos from America’s Promise Alliance and the ING Foundation as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People.  This was the second time the county received the award.  It was followed by the recognition of the nominees for Community asset awards.  The spirit of the west award went to Bill Enloe president of Los Alamos national Bank for the support the community receives from Los Alamos National Bank. 

During the next couple of weeks Department of Utilities contracted telephone surveyors will be calling local residents to ask them about DPU’s customer satisfaction with gas, water, sewer, and electric service as well as 311 Customer Care Center services, the DPU’s outreach and com­munication efforts, the utility bill itself, payment methods offered, and over­all customer service, knowledge and courtesy of our staff.  It should only take about 10 minutes to answer the survey.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ski Pajarito has received seven to nine inches of new snow in the past few days and has opened on Friday the 4rd.

All facilities will be operational. 

Rental, Snowsports, Cafe, etc.  Chair #1, Chair #2, Chair #4 and the Beginners’ Chair will operate.

The trails on the west side that were closed last season (Milt’s Meadow, Ma Bell & Gene’s Choice) will all be available for this season.  On the east side only lower Evershine Ridge (at East Confusion) will be closed due to fire damage.

The mountain reports that the base total is 22 inches.

Lift tickets are $59 per day for adults and $49 for teens and seniors and $35 for children.

 

Thursday January 3, 2013

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Los Alamos National Bank faces the new year under supervision of a federal agency that found “unsafe or unsound banking practices relating to management and board supervision, credit underwriting, credit administration and deficiencies in internal controls.”

Bank President Steve Wells said Wednesday that the problems reflect Northern New Mexico’s lagging commercial real estate market and the fact that Los Alamos National Bank has been one of its largest lenders.

“The bank was deemed by its regulator not to be assessing the risks in its portfolio as accurately and as timely as is necessary,” he said.

Wells said the agreement with the Comptroller of the Currency, reached Nov. 20, requires the bank to improve “the accuracy and risk rating of our loans” by more carefully scrutinizing borrowers’ abilities to repay their loans.

This is at least the second time that New Mexico’s largest locally owned bank has been cited for irregularities by the division of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The last one, instituted in 2010, was lifted April 4.

The agreement did not give specific examples of the problems, but in it, the Los Alamos National Bank board of directors agreed:

• To form a compliance committee made up of at least three directors, of which no more than one can be an employee or a controlling shareholder of the bank.

• To provide “unfettered access to any and all books, documents, images and records.

• Not to pay any dividend or make any capital distribution until it is approved by the assistant deputy comptroller.

• To develop a program to ensure that the risk associated with its loans and other assets is properly reflected and accounted for.

• To take timely action to protect its interest in assets listed by the comptroller as “special mention,” “substandard” or “doubtful.”

• To ensure that the bank obtains current and satisfactory credit information on all loans lacking such information.

• To ensure adherence to written policies and procedures for maintaining an appropriate allowance for loan and lease losses.

• To develop and implement a written plan to strengthen internal controls for the bank’s information technology systems.

• To take steps to ensure bank management corrects each violation of law, rule or regulation cited by the comptroller.

Wells said the comptroller’s criticism does not reflect poorly on the capitalization of Los Alamos National Bank, which has about $1.6 billion in assets and about $160 million in capital — for a capitalization ratio of about 10 percent, which is well above the 6 percent that is considered safe by federal banking regulators.

 

Wednesday January 2, 2013

Legislation to block the "fiscal cliff" has been signed by  President Barack Obama. The bill will avoid, for now, the major tax increases and  government spending cuts that had been scheduled to take effect with the new year.

Final approval came in the House on New Year's Night. The vote was 257 to 167.

The Senate passed the bill less than 24 hours earlier.

The measure raises tax rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples,.

It also extends expiring unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, prevents a cut in fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients and cancels a $900 pay increase due to lawmakers in March.

Another provision is designed to prevent a spike in milk prices.

While the tax package that Congress passed New Year's Day will protect 99 percent of Americans from an income tax increase, most  people  will still end up paying more federal taxes in 2013.

That's because the legislation did not  prevent Social Security payroll tax  reduction from expiring. Households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will face an average tax increase of $579 in 2013 Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will face an average tax increase of $822.

 

 

Monday December 31, 2012

On Dec. 20, the Department of Homeland Security announced that for the foreseeable future, it would continue to accept driver’s licenses from states that had not complied with the real ID act. The announcement was hailed by New Mexico Sens. Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman, Democrats who had sought the extension.

The government said it will publish a new schedule for meeting the new driver’s license standards next fall and begin implementation “at a suitable date thereafter.”

 

Friday December 28, 2012

In 2012 Los Alamos National Laboratory made its scientific mark in a wide variety of areas, and the stories that caught the public’s attention and that of the science community reflect those broad capabilities.

The top Laboratory science story of the year was Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and ChemCam.

Los Alamos played a significant role in the success of the Mars Science Laboratory mission and its six-wheeled wonder, the Curiosity rover. The international team of space explorers involved with the mission is relying in part on an instrument originally developed at Los Alamos called ChemCam, which fires an extremely powerful laser pulse to briefly focus the energy of a million light bulbs onto a pinhead-sized area on targets up to 23 feet away from the rover. ChemCam reads the resultant flash of light to determine the composition of the target, and is part of a suite of 10 instruments aboard the SUV-sized mobile laboratory that is determining the Red Planet habitability.

Los Alamos also has roles in other aspects of the Mars Science Laboratory. The Lab developed crucial aspects of another instrument called CheMin, which uses X-ray diffraction to determine the composition of mineral samples collected and dropped into a funnel on the Curiosity rover.

In addition, Los Alamos provided radioisotope fuel processing and encapsulation for the rover's electrical power generator and heat source, the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG). The generator keeps the rover's battery charged night and day, giving Curiosity the potential of being the longest-operating, farthest-traveling, most-productive Mars surface mission in history

 

Thursday December 27, 2012

Officials with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities announced  that weather permitting, a brief power outage is planned for a portion of North Mesa affecting customers east of the Hawk Drive/San Ildefonso intersection (not including the Del Norte and Del Sol).  The ten to twenty minute outage is planned for Thursday, December 27 at 2 p.m.

Electric line crews will reconfigure the three phase power in these North Mesa neighborhoods to optimize electric loads and reduce possibility for future power outages in the area.  Customers are reminded for shut down or back up computers and other electronic equipment in advance.

 

Wednesday December 26, 2012

In 2012 Los Alamos National Laboratory made its scientific mark in a wide variety of areas, and the stories that caught the public’s attention and that of the science community reflect those broad capabilities. Top science stories for the year traveled from the canyons of Mars to the high desert forests of New Mexico, from cosmic particles to the structure of proteins and enzymes.

There was significant Climate change and forests/tree mortality research

Combine the tree-ring growth record with historic information, climate records and computer-model projections of future climate trends, and you get a grim picture for the future of trees in the southwestern United States. That’s the word from a team of scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Arizona and several other partner organizations. In a paper published in Nature Climate Change, “Temperature as a potent driver of regional forest drought stress and tree mortality,” the team concluded that in the warmer and drier Southwest of the near future, widespread tree mortality will cause forest and species distributions to change substantially.

Separately, in the world’s two largest drought experiments, both based in New Mexico, Nate McDowell seeks to determine specifically why and where trees are dying. McDowell’s large Los Alamos team is working to create a global monitoring system to determine where trees are dying, in order to improve predictions of future tree mortality. The team wants to determine how the rapid death of these trees—long-term carbon reservoirs—might create a significant new carbon source that could exacerbate the very climate change that’s driving the accelerated pace of forest mortality in the first place.

In a related story, a high-tech computer model called HIGRAD/FIRETEC, the cornerstone of a collaborative effort between the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station and Los Alamos , provides insights that are essential for front-line fire fighters. The team is looking into levels of bark beetle-induced conditions that lead to drastic changes in fire behavior and how variable or erratic the behavior is likely to be.


Monday December 24, 2012

The National Nuclear Security Administration, has directed Los Alamos National Laboratory to increase its security, effective immediately.

Because of this government order, until further notice all vehicles entering government property will be required to stop at the East and West Jemez Road "Vehicle Access Portals" for a vehicle check.  

During the new vehicle checks all drivers will be required to show picture identification before proceeding, and will be asked to vouch for other vehicle occupants. The vehicle stops will be conducted as rapidly as possible to reduce traffic delays.

Motorists traveling through Los Alamos to and from the Pajarito Ski Area, Bandelier National Monument, or the Jemez Mountains are strongly encouraged to use the West Road bypass in Los Alamos to avoid traffic delays.

 

Friday December 21, 2012

In 2012 Los Alamos National Laboratory made its scientific mark in a wide variety of areas, and the stories that caught the public’s attention and that of the science community reflect those broad capabilities. Top science stories for the year traveled from the canyons of Mars to the high desert forests of New Mexico, from cosmic particles to the structure of proteins and enzymes. Computer models of wildfires, and nuclear magnetic resonance signatures of plutonium, it all was fascinating for those following Los Alamos’ science news.

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and ChemCam.

Los Alamos played a significant role in the success of the Mars Science Laboratory mission and its six-wheeled wonder, the Curiosity rover. The international team of space explorers involved with the mission is relying in part on an instrument originally developed at Los Alamos called ChemCam, which fires an extremely powerful laser pulse to briefly focus the energy of a million light bulbs onto a pinhead-sized area on targets up to 23 feet away from the rover. ChemCam reads the resultant flash of light to determine the composition of the target, and is part of a suite of 10 instruments aboard the SUV-sized mobile laboratory that is determining the Red Planet habitability.

Los Alamos also has roles in other aspects of the Mars Science Laboratory. The Lab developed crucial aspects of another instrument called CheMin, which uses X-ray diffraction to determine the composition of mineral samples collected and dropped into a funnel on the Curiosity rover.

In addition, Los Alamos provided radioisotope fuel processing and encapsulation for the rover's electrical power generator and heat source, the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG). The generator keeps the rover's battery charged night and day, giving Curiosity the potential of being the longest-operating, farthest-traveling, most-productive Mars surface mission in history

 

Thursday December 20, 2012

Winter weather is here, and the County would like to remind residents of some important safety considerations for motorists to take in order to make their travel as safe as possible.

 

Motorists are encour­aged to equip their vehicles with chains and/or snow tires and carry a con­tainer of sand and a shovel in their vehicle.  Barrels of sand for public use are placed at locations that historically become icy and slick during storms, including:

 

· San Ildefonso South at both ends of the guardrail

· North Mesa Road east of the roundabout

· Near the end of 37th Street off of Diamond Drive

· At the dead end of Gold Street/Arroyo Lane

· Near the intersection of State Road 4 and Rover in White Rock

· Near the intersection of North Road and Quemazon

· Other locations within Quemazon

 

Streets may be snow-packed and slippery dur­ing winter storms.  Road condition updates will be broadcast on KRSN  when streets become so hazardous that motorists might encounter delays.  It is the responsibility of every motorist to have their vehicle properly equipped and serviced to handle such condi­tions, and to drive their vehicle carefully and courteously during adverse conditions.  During storms, drivers are asked to be alert and courteous to County crews, who will be doing their best to keep the streets open and safe for traveling. Please assist them in this difficult task by yielding to their efforts, and keeping a safe distance away to avoid having vehicles struck by flying sand and salt.

 

Wednesday December 19, 2012

Ten scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are being inducted into the ranks of fellowship in the American Physical Society (APS) for 2012.

The criterion for election as an APS Fellow is exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise; such as performing outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education. Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by professional peers. APS represents more than 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world.

Los Alamos National Laboratory staff members achieving APS Fellowship for 2012 are:

  • William Anderson,  Jonathan C. Boettger,  Vincenzo Cirigliano, James P. Colgan, Juan C. Fernandez, Tom Intrator, Turab Lookman, Karissa Sanbonmatsu, Ivan Vitev, and John M. Wills.

 

Tuesday December 18, 2012

Arroyo Hondo-area residents are being encouraged to test their well water for radionuclides. Radionuclide tests cover a variety of things, including uranium, radon and radium.

Uranium levels exceeding federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards of 30 parts per billion have been found in the area, including in water from the Upper Arroyo Hondo Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association.

According to information from the New Mexico Environment Department, ingestion of uranium can result in cancer and kidney damage.

Uranium in the Arroyo Hondo area comes from naturally occurring, geologic deposits, and radium may also be present.

 

Monday December 17, 2012

Winter is here! Residents are asked to keep the following tips in mind:

                                                                                                                     

Stay informed. Road condition updates, closings and delays will be broadcast on several popular regional TV and radio stations. Tune to local KRSN 1490AM. You can find information about road conditions for State highways by calling 1-800-432-4269 or nmroads.com.  Whenever possible, the County’s webpage will also list any County-related early closings, cancellations or delays (www.losalamosnm.us).

 

Be alert. During winter storms, County crews will be doing their best to keep streets open and safe for traveling - please help by yielding to their efforts and keep a safe distance away so your vehicle will avoid being struck by flying sand and salt.

 

Be prepared. Consider using snow tires and/or chains on your vehicle. It’s helpful to carry a container of sand and shovel in your vehicle, too (the County places barrels of sand near intersections that are notorious for being slippery and icy during storms.)

 

Be patient. In heavy storms, crews will be working to clear primary roads like Diamond, Trinity, Rover Blvd and Grand Canyon first. Sidewalk clearing will be prioritized for those sidewalks that are listed as “safe routes to school”. Parking lots serving major County facilities will be cleared just as quickly as possible. Other streets, sidewalks and lots may take a bit longer to clear.

 

Help where you can. Park in your driveway (or on the shady side of your street). County crews typically plow snow toward the sunny side of the street to speed the melting process. Your cooperation will minimize snow accumulation around your parked vehicle, plus, the snow plows won’t have to maneuver around them. In the event of heavy snowfall, snow will be plowed to both sides of the street.  Remember, plowing operations will likely deposit snow in driveways and on sidewalks. You’re encouraged to keep sidewalks, parking areas, and driveways in a reasonable, passable condition by removing snow & ice. Please pile snow on lawns or vacant spots on your property rather than shoveling it back onto the street.

 

Questions or concerns? Call the County’s Snow Control Center at 662-8397.

 

Friday December 14, 2012

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department has shut down Fairview Liquor Store and Bar in Espanola for serving alcohol to minors, while also warning all alcohol

establishments in New Mexico to follow the law and be vigilant to stop serving liquor to minors and intoxicated individuals this Holiday Season.  In an agreement finalized with the State on Wednesday, Fairview Liquor Store and Bar in Espanola pleaded no contest to two charges of serving alcohol to minors and one charge of selling package liquor after prescribed hours for alcohol sales, and paid $11,000 in fines.  As part of the agreement, Fairview Liquor is required to sell its liquor license within 45 days or have it revoked permanently by the State. Fairview’s liquor license has been suspended and the liquor store has been closed since last July.

 

Thursday December 13, 2012

Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District was named to the House Energy and Commerce Committee today by the Democratic Policy and Steering Committee. Luján, who will be entering his third term in the House of Representatives, will begin serving on the committee at the start of the 113th Congress in January.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) will begin serving on the Senate Committee on Appropriations in the new year. In addition to Appropriations, he will continue serving on the committees on Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works, Indian Affairs and Rules and Administration.

New Mexico’s unemployment rate has fallen to 6.3 percent because its labor force has declined by 1 to 2 percent over the past few years, New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions Secretary Celina Bussey said Wednesday.

The number of people who are receiving unemployment benefits has dropped from 60,000 a month at the height of the recession, to 26,000 today.

 

Wednesday December 12, 2012

The float made by the Los Alamos Medical Center won first place in the Winterfest parade Saturday night.  The parade also had 2 high school marching bands.  LAHS marching band  and Las Vegas high school band traveled here to be in the parade.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommended Tuesday that all first-offender alcohol-impaired drivers be required to install ignition interlocks on their personal vehicles.

Currently, 17 states, including New Mexico, require interlocks for first-time offenders.

New Mexico’s law was a model for other states, and today it has one of the highest rates of interlock installations per capita in the country. It passed its first interlock law in 1999 and since 2005 has required all convicted drunken drivers to install them, if they want to drive legally.

 

Tuesday December 11, 2012

After Jan. 15, New Mexicans will be unable to get on board a plane with only a state driver's license.

New Mexicans will be required to use their passports for identification.

The Real ID Act, signed into law in 2005, will go into affect next year and prohibits the use of a New Mexican driver's license as identification to board an aircraft.

Gov. Susana Martinez is an opponent of the controversial state law allowing undocumented immigrants to receive a New Mexico driver's license.

Governor Martinez  reached out to the Department of Homeland Security, asking for an extension to the deadline.

The governor hopes to extend the deadline so the state legislature will have enough time to possibly repeal the driver's license law

 

Monday December 10, 2012

The area of protection for the lesser prairie chicken in New Mexico is expanding.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and others announced Friday that it has acquired 1,789 acres of land in eastern Chaves County known as lesser prairie chicken habitat.

The BLM had sought the help of the Conservation Fund to acquire land near a special management area for the member of the prairie grouse family.

No taxpayer funds were used for the acquisition.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering formally listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species. The chickens’ range includes parts of New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Nearly 85 percent of its grass and brush-land habitat has been affected by ranching and farming. Most of its habitat is on private land

 

Friday December 7, 2012

Under the soaring cliffs of Frijoles Canyon in Bandelier National Monument, 15 immigrants were sworn in as U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony on the 4th of July.  This past month, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) awarded the Bandelier incident command team the USCIS Directors Award for Partnerships to recognize their work and collaboration with the USCIS in making this event a very special ceremony.

Over a hundred people attended the citizenship ceremony including a representative from Senator Bingaman’s office.  The National Park Service worked with the Boy Scouts, the local opera guild, the Rotary Club, County officials, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to provide a once in a lifetime experience for the new U.S. citizens. 

This was the first citizenship ceremony held in a New Mexico National Park Service site. 

The efforts by Bandelier National Monument and USCIS Albuquerque have forged a new, positive, and continuing relationship between the two federal agencies.  The relationship has truly enhanced the  objective of promoting citizenship and immigrant civic integration and the National Park Service’s mission of encouraging enjoyment and education of public lands for this and future generations.

 

Thursday December 6, 2012

The Lab’s annual employee giving campaign broke two records this year. First, employee contributions totaled more than $2.1 million, surpassing last year's $1.8 million by $300,000. A second record was broken for the Lab’s overall participation rate, which increased from 11 percent to 21 percent.

Paul Henry, Principal Associate Director for Capital Projects and the Lab’s Employee Giving Champion this year, attributes the increases to the following factors:

·                       Direct involvement by top management

·                       The Laboratory Director’s initiative to have Los Alamos National Security, LLC cover administrative fees collected by distribution organizations

·                       The commitment of division-level champions (new this year)

·                       An increase in special events and presentations hosted by Lab organizations

·                       Campaign communications across the Lab, as well as local initiatives such as videos and new posters

·                       The generosity of Lab employees.

 

Wednesday December 5, 2012

A series of break-ins occurred in the area of Camino Medio Nov. 15 and another series within a three-block area of Oppenheimer Drive on  Nov. 20 . The thieves’ would break into a number of cars in a short period of time and then disappear.  

Skylar B. Smith, 20, of Rio Rancho and a prior Los Alamos resident has been arrested on a Los Alamos warrant for burglary and theft of credit cards. His brother  Evan Smith was arrested  on stolen vehicle and stolen firearms charges.  Coady Richards, 32, of Placitas has been arrested on two counts of receiving stolen property and possession of marijuana.

Los Alamos detectives worked with the Sandoval County Sherriff’s office and the Albuquerque police property crimes division to bring results to their investigation.

 

Tuesday December 4, 2012

On Saturday the NJROTC took 42 cadets to compete against 11 other schools from New Mexico and Colorado in the Area 9 West Drill, Academic, and Fitness Championships. They finished as follows:
1st place Academics - 1st place overall Fitness - 1st place Armed Drill - 1st place 16 x 100 relay.
2nd place Unarmed Regulation Drill - 2nd place Unarmed Exhibition Drill - 2nd Place Color Guard - 2nd place Personnel Inspection - 2nd place 8 x 220 relay.
unarmed commander category.
The NJROTC won FIRST PLACE OVERALL at this competition and once again, for the third straight year, earned a spot to compete at the Regional Competition in Kansas City held on February 23rd.

 

Monday December 3, 2012

The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) has initiated a rulemaking that could potentially cap universal service fund (USF) surcharges on landline and wireless phone bills in New Mexico. USF surcharge rates have been trending upward and are currently at 3.45 percent. The proposed rulemaking would cap those rates at 3 percent, while allowing exceptions when necessary to ensure rural communities keep phone services.

The rule also proposes several other changes to the formula used to calculate fund payments, all of which would reduce the amount of the fund and the need for a surcharge.

The state collects about $24 million annually from USF surcharges on landline and wireless phone services, which it pays out as subsidies to Windstream, Century Link and smaller landline phone companies.

USF subsidies and surcharges are required by a law passed by the state legislature in 2005 and must be used to preserve and advance telecom services at affordable rates.

The Department of Public Utilities is currently seeking your feedback on this topic using the County's new "Open Forum" webpage! Public comments will be accepted until January 14, 2013  Go to the county’s webpage to get to open forum. 

 

Friday November 30, 2012

The PRC has started a formal inquiry into whether exorbitant charges billed to certain residential customers of electric utilities under currently-approved utility line extension policies governing upgrades are unreasonable and discriminatory.

Under current utility line extension tariffs, when a homeowner initiates an electric service upgrade, for example, installing refrigerated air conditioning, that can be served within the existing distribution system capacity, there is no charge. But once that capacity is reached, the next customer making a service upgrade request is held solely responsible for paying the costs of upgrading the utility’s transformer or other distribution plant infrastructure. After the unlucky customer pays for the upgrade, subsequent homeowners on the same distribution feeder may upgrade their electric service at no charge.

Part of the PRC’s inquiry will require electric utilities to prove why current line extension policies are not unreasonable and discriminatory, and will ask why the companies should not be required to fund upgrades necessitated by normal load growth through rate base in the same way they pay for power plant additions.

Utilities and PRC staff will also be asked to address other alternatives like allowing costs to be broadly allocated among customers who increase electric service above original standards, creating pay schedules for large assessments, or crediting customers back based on future use by others who will also utilize the upgraded system.

 

Thursday November 29, 2012

New Mexico labor officials say they have cut the unemployment insurance fraud rate over the past year and continue to crack down on improper payments.

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions says the state now leads the nation in reducing improper payments. Between 2011 and 2012, the improper payment rate dropped to under 11 percent.

Gov. Susana Martinez says the progress is a testament to her administration’s commitment to cracking down on fraud and strengthening the system for businesses and workers.

More initiatives are planned next year to keep fraud rates down.

In January, the state will launch a new system under which jobless New Mexicans will be able to apply online for benefits. The system also will help employers by allowing them to electronically submit wage reports as well as pay taxes and track their accounts.

 

Wednesday November 28, 2012

In work published Nov. 26 in the international edition of the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists report the possibility of replacing the normally used noble metal catalysts with cobalt.

Catalysts transform one chemical substance into another while remaining unchanged themselves.  A drawback is that the most effective ones tend to be literally precious. They are the noble metal elements such as platinum, and palladium.  The Los Alamos paper holds out hope that the earth-abundant metal cobalt can serve in place of its pricier relatives.

Cobalt has a propensity to undergo irreversible reactions rather than emerging unchanged. The breakthrough by the Los Alamos team was to capture the cobalt atom in a complex molecule in such a way that it can mimic the reactivity of precious metal catalysts, and do so in a wide range of circumstances.

The findings of the Los Alamos team have major ramifications and suggest that cobalt complexes are rich with possibility for future catalyst development.

The research was funded by the LANL Laboratory Directed Research and Development Early Career program.

 

Tuesday November 27, 2012

Yesterday Governor Susana Martinez announced plans to pursue legislation in the upcoming session that would create a robust statewide “Silver Alert” program. The program would allow New Mexicans to enroll their elderly family members who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and in the event that they go missing, law enforcement agencies would issue a

“Silver Alert” and work through various means to ask the public to help locate the missing person. New Mexico's "Silver Alert" program will be modeled after the successful system implemented in the City of Albuquerque . State legislation will be sponsored in the upcoming legislative session by Representative-elect Paul Pacheco.

 

Monday November 26, 2012

Kevin Smith the manager of the DOE site Office here in Los Alamos will be leaving to take over as manager of DOE's Hanford Office of River Protection at the end of December.

The Energy Department says Smith initially will focus on resolving remaining technical issues at the $12.2 billion vitrification or Waste Treatment Plant.

He'll also work on establishing a new cost and schedule estimate for the plant, as well as managing and retrieving waste from the aging underground tanks.

His replacement has not been announced yet.  Juan Griego, currently Deputy Manager of LASO, will serve as the Acting LASO Manager upon Smith’s departure.

 

Wednesday November 21, 2012

Commendations for exemplary scientific research and leadership have been bestowed upon three Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers, Fernando Garzon, Cristian Batista and Irene Beyerlein, by the Laboratory Fellows organization.

Over the course of a 20-year career at LANL, Fernando Garzon’s efforts in the development of electrochemical sensors have become recognized world-wide, and have received sustained support through a multi-million dollar program from DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program office.

Cristian Batista is a theoretical condensed matter physicist who has made seminal contributions to the understanding of quantum magnetism. Batista has pioneered the discovery and explanation of remarkable, often counterintuitive, quantum states of matter. Batista has published 148 papers, These papers have already been cited by other researchers some 1,900 times.

Irene Beyerlein works at the forefront of several areas of materials science research that are relevant to Los Alamos programs. She has done significant research on multi-scale modeling for dislocation physics and dynamics, providing insights into how materials yield under stress loading. Her work in the area of nanoscale materials and microstructural evolution during severe plastic deformation has lead to advances in our understanding of this class of materials. She has also made considerable progress in the ability to make macroscale predictions of stress-strain response. This research has lead to many important research publications.

The Laboratory Fellows organization was established in 1981 and is made up of technical staff members who have been appointed by the Lab director to the rank of Fellow in recognition of sustained outstanding contributions and exceptional promise for continued professional achievement. The Fellows are limited to 2 percent of the technical staff, who, by charter, may not be members of Laboratory management.

 

Tuesday November 20, 2012

Three distinguished members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory scientific staff are being honored with appointment as Laboratory Fellows for 2012. The committee ranked a collection of nominations on the basis of:

1) Sustained, high-level achievements in programs of importance to the Laboratory;

2) A fundamental or important discovery that has led to widespread use;

3) Having become a recognized authority in the field, including outside recognition and an outstanding record of publications.

The new Los Alamos Fellows are

  •   *Charles Farrar
  •   *Steven Elliott
  •   *Mikhail Shashkov

Charles Farrar, of the Los Alamos National Security Education Center, is one of the preeminent structural health monitoring  pioneers in the world..

Farrar’s 305 publications and over 8,500 citations have made seminal contributions in understanding damage detection for aerospace, civil and mechanical infrastructure and  new concepts in statistical pattern recognition,.

Steven Elliott, of the Physics division’s Neutron Science & Technology group, is a world leader in the physics field of weak interactions, one of the four fundamental forces of nature beside the strong nuclear force, magnetism and gravity. His work has been at the center of the discovery of neutrino mass—one of the most important discoveries in fundamental physics in the past several decades. With over 12,000 citations and as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, his work is recognized the world over.

Mikhail Shashkov, of Computational Physics Division’s Methods and Algorithms group, is a world-recognized leader in and developer of modern ALE methods for high speed, multi-material flows that are the heart of ACS program for NNSA and LANL weapons calculations. His research and methods are extensively used at top research institutions around the world. Since coming to the Laboratory in 1994 from Russia, he has over 250 publications and more than 3400 citations.

 

Monday November 19, 2012

U.S. Senator Tom Udall is inviting New Mexico college students interested in gaining legislative or press relations experience to apply for spring internships in his Washington, D.C., Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Cruces offices. To apply online visit  tomudall.senate.gov/internships.  

Today and Tuesday, if conditions are favorable, fire managers will continue with the Mesa Camino prescribed burn, treating  up to 50-acres per day.

The burn area is located 15 miles northeast of the community of Gallina and 8 miles north of the Coyote Ranger Station.

Santa Fe National Forest offices and various vendors in Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Pecos, and Las Vegas will begin selling personal-use Christmas tree permits for $10 beginning Monday, November 19 through December 24.   Visit the Los Alamos Historical Museum to pick up your permit locally.

 

Friday November 16, 2012

The Atomic Heritage Foundation (AHF) and the Los Alamos Historical Society (LAHS) are launching a new website today, www.ManhattanProjectVoices.org.  Today is the seventieth anniversary of General Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer's search for a site for a research laboratory.

 Stories about living in secret cities erased from the map and working on a top-secret project to make an atomic bomb are now available in video and transcripts on the internet. ManhattanProjectVoices.org is a new website with a great variety of oral histories which provide new insights into this period of history.

 The collection of nearly 30 oral histories is just the beginning. AHF and LAHS hope to add an additional two hundred from their collections and perhaps many more from other Manhattan Project sites. Eventually, the website should provide a rich tapestry of people and perspectives on one of the most significant developments in modern history.

 

Thursday November 15, 2012

Northern New Mexicans wanting tor return to college for a certificate or two-year program are eligible for $1,000 awards from the Los Alamos Employees Scholarship Fund.

Applications must be submitted online to the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation’s Regional College/Returning Student Scholarship Fund at 222.lanlfoundation.org. The deadline is Nov. 26.

The awards go to students returning to a formal education after a break, such as business, the military or personal reasons. Candidates from Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, San Miguel, Taos, Mora and Sandoval counties are eligible and must show that they have been accepted or are pursuing either certification or a two-year degree at an accredited regional college.

A news release said that since the program began in 2011, more than 20 students have been able to return to school. Students who have already received the returning scholar award may reapply.

Funding comes from donations by LANL employees and a matching amount from Los Alamos National Security LLC.

 

Wednesday November 14, 2012

The Middle school  construction has continued onsite at an extremely slow rate due to the rock removal. There have been up to three machines at a time working on rock breaking. This has delayed other trades from starting their work. Midway through the month the concrete in the footings began to be laid. Approximately 50% of the footings are now complete. The stem walls have been formed on the south side and concrete has begun to be poured. McCarthy doesn’t expect to be pouring the main slab until the end of November. This work will be directly affected by the weather.

 McCarthy estimates they are twenty five days behind schedule due to the rock removal issue in the location of the new building. This delay affects the critical path of the project. McCarthy has revised their schedule which shows a completion date of July 8th for the main building. The schedule is aggressive and shows no room for further delays. The concern now is the delays due to winter weather conditions and their accumulative affect on the finish date.

Tuesday November 13, 2012

The need for welders at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Caterpillar Inc. have spurred the creation of two new programs at Santa Fe Community College.

The school is now offering an associate in applied science degree in welding, beginning in the spring semester of 2013. A certificate program in welding will also be offered.

School officials said the new programs are not only due to the local demand, but a nationwide need for qualified welders.

LANL officials said they anticipate the need for welders for construction projects planned for the lab over the next 15 years. Caterpillar officials have also supported the development of the program.

When Caterpillar in Santa Fe purchased the former CleanAIR Systems in 2010, no welding training existed in the community, leading to a gap in qualified employees. Caterpillar soon provided SFCC with funds to support the creation of a welding lab on campus.

 

Friday November 9, 2012

Fewer New Mexicans turned out to vote in the presidential election than four years ago, when New Mexico was considered a battleground swing state and attracted several campaign visits from the presidential candidates.

About 62 percent of registered voters cast ballots in this year’s presidential race, according to unofficial returns. That’s down from nearly 70 percent in 2008, and it’s the lowest turnout rate since the 2000 presidential election, when 61 percent of eligible voters participated..

New Mexico was a highly competitive state in the 2008 and 2004 presidential contests as the Democratic and Republican nominees sought to nail down the state’s electoral votes. The campaigns invested heavily in get-out-the-vote efforts to make sure their supporters went to the polls.

But New Mexico was seen as relatively safe for President Barack Obama in this year’s race, and the Democratic incumbent ended up winning the state by a nearly 10 percentage point margin over Republican Mitt Romney.

The candidates largely ignored New Mexico this year. Romney made one campaign stop in August, stopping in Hobbs to outline his energy plan. Obama visited the state in March to highlight his energy policy.

 

Thursday November 8, 2012

Christine Anderson-Cook of LANL's Statistical Sciences group has received the 2012 William G. Hunter Award from the American Society for Quality–Statistics Division. The award is named and presented annually in honor of the Statistics Division’s founding chair, William G. Hunter.

The award is presented to a person whose qualities mirror those of Hunter. These include substantial contributions to statistical consulting, education for practitioners, integration of statistics with other disciplines, and demonstrated excellence in communication and implementing innovative applied statistical methods.

 

Wednesday November 7, 2012

 The Valles Caldera Trust (Trust) has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed Public Access and Use Plan (PAUP). The plan aims to expand visitor access while preserving the natural and cultural resources of the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

In June of this year the Trust opened a 60 day public comment period on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that featured six public access alternatives. A total of 125 written comments from agencies, pueblos, organizations and individuals were submitted. The DEIS was revised in response to the comments and identifies

Alternative 3A: Entrada del Valle Visitor Center with Primary Access via Shuttle System as the preferred option. The alternative designates a location for a full service visitor center in the southwest corner of the Valle Grande near the entrance of NM Highway 4.

All public comments, responses to comments, errata, changes and additions to the Draft EIS are documented in the appendices of the FEIS.  The FEIS and appendices are available on line at http://ow.ly/f4fp0 .

The appendices are also available at the following public libraries:

·         Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Library

·         Cuba Public Library

·         Espanola Public Library

·         Jemez Pueblo Community Library

·         Jemez Springs Public Library

·         Los Alamos County Library

·         New Mexico State Library

·         Rio Rancho Public Library

·         White Rock Public Library

A 30-day no-action period began November 5, 2012.After the waiting period the preferred alternative will be officially documented in a record of decision.

 

Tuesday November 6, 2012

The bodies of two men were recovered in the Jemez Mountains by rescue workers after dying over the weekend in two separate incidents.

One man, Thomas Ilg, 54, was reported missing Friday morning by his family after he went for a hike near Forest Road 10 and Forest Road 289. Ilg, reportedly a Los Alamos National Lab employee and an experienced hiker, was found Saturday morning by the searchers at the bottom of a cliff, according to state police spokesman Lt. Robert McDonald. “I understand he was an experienced hiker and did these trips all the time,” McDonald said. “I don’t know what happened this time.”

The other man was helping a friend cut trees burned in the 2011 Las Conchas fire on Cochiti Mesa. A cut tree bounced up and knocked the man off a canyon rim, according to Justin Grider, deputy chief of the Los Alamos Fire Department, which was called in to help. The man fell more than 200 feet. Conditions on the canyon face were too dangerous for rescuers to rappel down and Grider called state police for a Black Hawk helicopter to recover the man’s remains. His name had not been released Monday pending notification of family. Grider thought the man was from the nearby Sierra Los Piños and was known in the Los Alamos community.

 

Monday November 5, 2012

Thirteen citizens, business owners and representatives interested in Los Alamos County’s Creative District were appointed to a new Council Advisory Committee at the council meeting on Tuesday evening (Oct. 30). These volunteers will join representatives of cultural and business assets in the designated district to provide guidance and advice to Council and staff regarding the County’s role in the implementation of the Creative District Master Plan. 

The newly appointed members are: Nancy Bartlit, Linda Deck, Marlane Hamilton, Jane Lin, Carolyn Mangeng, Taylor Martinez, Heather McClenahan, Ken Nebel, Peggy Pendergast, Stan Primak, Bill Sellers, Holger Waschinski and Ron Wilkins.

Work will get underway in the coming weeks. County Staff will assist the Committee and facilitate meetings.

 

Friday November 2, 2012

Los Alamos National Laboratory is about to begin demolishing the metal enclosures used to cover the excavation and cleanup of a decades-old waste disposal site at the historic Technical Area 21.

Pre-demolition activities are beginning this week and the work should be completed by the end of March 2013.  The project brings the Laboratory closer to transferring the six-acre tract of land to Los Alamos County.

The metal structures, which resemble airplane hangars, were installed in 2010 to protect workers and the public from exposure to hazardous and radiological contamination while excavating and packaging contaminated debris and soil from Material Disposal Area B, near DP road in Los Alamos.

MDA B was used from 1944 to 1948 as a waste disposal site for Manhattan Project and Cold War-era research and production.  The Laboratory received $212 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to perform environmental remediation work

 

Thursday November 1, 2012

The convoy of PNM workers heading to the east coast is a day ahead of schedule.

The group was expected to arrive in Maryland Wednesday night to help with Sandy recovery efforts.

The convoy of 40 employees was supposed to stop in Memphis, TN Tuesday night. Instead, they drove on to Nashville, TN.

The group drove over 900 miles Tuesday.  Once the crews arrive, they'll help clear downed trees and power lines.

 

Wednesday October 31, 2012

Forty Public Service Company of New Mexico employees left Monday, Oct. 29, for Washington, D.C., to help crews restore power after outages caused by Superstorm Sandy.

The crews include members from across the state. They are driving nine bucket trucks, six line trucks and other utility vehicles to the nation’s capital. They should arrive Thursday, according to the release.

 Crew members expect to provide services such as replacing transformers and repairing downed electrical lines.

PNM is responding to a request to assist PEPCO, a group that normally serves the District of Colombia and parts of Maryland. PNM is a part of the Southeastern Electric Exchange, a group that helps out in areas affected by natural disasters.

Ryan Baca, a PNM spokesman, said the group doesn’t have a set return date. Baca said the longest assignment lasted 28 days, and it happened after Hurricane Ivan hit Florida in 2004.

Tuesday October 30, 2012

According to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions., Two-thirds of the jobs that will be in demand in New Mexico through 2020 will require a high school diploma or less of education.  46 percent of all occupations that will need workers through 2020 will pay $30,000 a year or less, the department said in its monthly report on the state’s economy.

Three quarters of the jobs in demand will pay less than $50,000 a year.  Some occupations and their annual salaries include:

  • Combined food preparation and serving workers, $18,270
  • Personal care aides, $19,200
  • Cashiers, $20,030
  • Waiters and waitresses, $20,800
  • Retail salespersons, $24,540
  • Registered nurses, $66,000
  • General and operations managers, $94,350

 

Monday October 29, 2012

For the past seven years, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Nuclear Security Administration have been working on a $213 million project to enhance the security at Technical Area 55. It was supposed to be completed in June. The multi-million dollar system does not work.

The project was specifically designed to upgrade physical security systems, protection strategies and security requirements in the lab's Technical Area-55, which houses the Plutonium Facility (PF-4).

The delay does not impact the site’s nuclear materials security and the length of the delay has not yet been determined.

Nuclear Weapons and Materials News reported Thursday that fiber optic cable was incorrectly installed which led to some major cost overruns.

The trade publication reported that the fiber optic cables were supposed to be physically separated, but were instead routed together, impacting several key security systems related to the upgrade project. The other issues concerned the perimeter lighting system and a perimeter denial system.

As early as May 2010, the NNSA advised LANS it was concerned that the project would not be completed on schedule or within the cost baseline.

On Sept. 28 of this year, after numerous unsuccessful attempts to obtain an updated estimate to complete the project, the NNSA directed LANS to identify how it  will complete the project within approved project and cost baselines.

On Oct. 17, LANS notified NNSA that the project could not be completed within available funds and requested emergency reprogramming of an undetermined amount.  LANS suspended performance on all five subcontracts and repositioned its own project management personnel to other site work.

NNSA dispatched a forensic team to review the following: Financial status; cost reasonableness; subcontract management; and reporting to NNSA.

The internal NNSA summary said in order to pay for the cost overruns on the project one of the options was to slash the management fee paid to LANS. Last year, that fee was $76 million.

Another option to pay for the cost overruns was that the NNSA notified Congress this week that an emergency reprogramming of funds would be needed to protect the project.

Last month, the NNSA submitted a $120 million request to reprogram funds as a result of the deferral of the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility.

 

Friday October 26, 2012

Rio Arriba County committed $15,000 of support through a contract for teen programming to the Española YMCA Teen Center effective October 1.  The Center, located at 808 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park Road, opened in October of 2007, under an operating contract and with partial funding from the City of Española. The Center serves youth who reside throughout Rio Arriba and northern Santa Fe counties.

To date this year the center is serving 300 individuals as members, and a total of 640 youth that includes youth guests who drop in occasionally. Attendance averages 50 youth per day, with peak days of 80 youth attending. For the last two years in partnership with Española Public Schools, the center has served as a Summer Food Service Program location and provided meals to an additional 80 youth of all ages Monday through Friday.  

 

Thursday October 25,  2012

The Los Alamos school board is planning a mail out election for January 29 2013.  Ballots will be mailed to each qualified, registered elector of the District beginning no earlier than January 2, 2013, along with a notice that there will be no polling place for the election day. The General Obligation Bond Question reads:

Shall the Los Alamos Public School District be authorized to issue up to $20,000,000 of general obligation bonds for the purpose of (1) erecting, remodeling, making additions to and furnishing school buildings, (2) purchasing or improving school grounds, (3) purchasing computer software and hardware for student use in public schools, (4) providing matching funds for capital outlay projects funded pursuant to the Public School Capital Outlay Act, or (5) any combination of these purposes?”

Wednesday October 24, 2012

The Los Alamos Public Schools recently learned the state has awarded four of its schools $138,000. The schools are Los Alamos High School, Piñon Elementary, Barranca Elementary and Mountain Elementary.

LAHS received $65,958.03; Mountain received $26,700.90; Barranca received $23,448.38 and Piñon received $22,283.53.

According to New Mexico’s Public Education Secretary Designate Hanna Skandera, the funds were part of Gov. Susana Martinez’s “Real Accountability, Real Results” legislation to improve the state of New Mexico’s public school system. The law, passed in 2011, is designed to help schools that need improvement as well as reward those that are doing well. One of the key components of the law was assigning each school in New Mexico an easily identifiable letter grade.

The funds will be used to invest directly in the students through either the purchase of educational software, books or other teaching aids that would directly benefit the students.

 

Tuesday October 23, 2012

The National Park Service (NPS) at Bandelier National Monument is developing a Transportation Plan/ Environmental Assessment (plan/EA) to improve transportation conditions in Bandelier National Monument. The public comment period has been extended, and will now close on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

The NPS is in the scoping phase of the project and needs and encourages public input during this initial comment period. These comments are crucial to defining the issues and concerns to be addressed.

 The NPS encourages any concerned person or anyone who has helpful ideas to provide comments and suggestions electronically via the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website:  http://parkplanning.nps.gov/band.

Individuals are also welcome to mail comments directly to the park:  

Park Superintendent

Bandelier National Monument

15 Entrance Road

Los Alamos, NM 87544

 

Monday October 22, 2012

This  week, if conditions are favorable fire managers will continue prescribed burning on the Chaparral prescribed burn, Cuba Ranger District.  The Chaparral prescribed burn is a smaller burn compared to the San Jun Prescribed Burn, therefore less smoke will be emitted. 

·        The burn is located 10 miles northwest of the community of Jemez Springs and south of the Chaparral Girl Scout Camp.

·      During the burning three to four day period 1,350 acres will be treated with hand and aerial ignitions. Up to 500 acres will be treated per day.

·      Smoke from the burn may be visible from La Cueva, Sierra Los Pinos, Jemez Pueblo, San Ysidro, Zia Pueblo, Bernalillo, Rio Rancho, and areas off HWY 4 and HWY 550.

 

Friday October 19, 2012

On Monday, October 15 Los Alamos High School finished in 2nd place for the Director’s Cup.  The New Mexico Activities Association awards a Director’s Cup to the top school and plaques to the 2nd and 3rd place winners.  Los Alamos finished behind Albuquerque Academy for the 2011-12 school year. 

Los Alamos receives points for how each of their sport teams finish in district and state as well as points for Activities that are sponsored by the NMAA.  These activities include: Bowling, Chess, Choir, Concert Band, NMJROTC, Mock Trial, and more.  Los Alamos participates in most of the activities. 

 

Thursday October 18, 2012

Two staff members joined the county Monday.

Kathryn (Katie) Thwaits was hired to fill a new junior attorney position. Thwaits has a law degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, Calif. She has worked with the New Mexico State Personnel Office since 2009, where she provided legal counsel to the director’s office and other cabinet level executive staff.

Thwaits spent three years prior to that as deputy district attorney for the First Judicial District Attorney’s office. Her position included managing both personnel and the office caseload in addition to her own caseload averaging 175 felony cases at any given time.

While serving in the Española District Attorney’s office, Thwaits volunteered with the Rio Arriba DWI program, the DWI Planning Council and the DWI Task Force. She also helped develop and launch Española’s first post-prom party. Thwaits husband James, also works for the county with the Los Alamos Fire Department.

 

Daniel Osborn joined the Community and Economic Development Department as an associate planner.  Osborn recently completed a graduate degree with an emphasis in environmental policy and management at University of Denver. He has been serving as a sustainability intern in the manager’s office for the City of Arvada, Colo., where he worked on projects related to the city’s Energy Star portfolio and a plan to install electric vehicle recharging stations.

 

Wednesday October 17, 2012

New Mexico’s utility regulators today removed an obstacle that had blocked funding for a just-started $64 million broadband project in northern New Mexico.
The five-member commission voted unanimously to remove a requirement in a 2011 rate order that required Kit Carson Electric Cooperative to spin off its broadband business into a company separate from the electric provider.
The Rural Utility  Service , which is overseeing federal stimulus funding to Kit Carson of a $45 million grant and $19 million loan to extend optic broadband service throughout its service area, apparently was not notified of that requirement. When officials discovered it, they froze the broadband funding, saying divestiture might have an “adverse material effect” on the project.
That funding freeze occurred last week, affecting some 100 people already at work on the project and threatening an expected 300 additional jobs down the road, according to a Kit Carson news release.
In the wake of the PRC’s action, the cooperative’s next step will be to confer with Rural Utility Service  officials and convince them to reopen the spigot on the funding.

Tuesday October 16, 2012

Santa Fe Community College announced yesterday it has received a $1.1 million federal grant to create a program to teach at-risk young people green construction skills.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Labor will help 60 disadvantaged young people in Santa Fe County learn those skills while working toward an adult basic education GED certificate.

Students who complete the program will receive certification in green building construction skills and an OSHA-30 construction industry card.

 

Monday October 15, 2012

The Valles Caldera National Preserve will begin its fall and winter schedule of operations Monday, October 15th. Normal business hours at the Valle Grande Staging Area will be from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Visitors can access the staging area through the Preserve's main gate, which is

located at mile marker 39.2 along State Highway 4. There is no entrance fee to visit the staging area.

The staging area includes a gift shop, information center, picnic tables and spotting scopes to view elk and other wildlife. From the staging area visitors can also board a van for the Magma to Magpie Tour or access three hiking trails. More information on events and activities can be found at www.vallescaldera.gov

Friday October 12, 2012

Yesterday in Albuquerque federal court, Calvin R. Trujillo, 25, was sentenced to five years of

probation for his conviction on a theft by an employee of a gaming establishment on Indian Land charge. Trujillo also was ordered to pay $25,900 in restitution.

On May 24, 2012, Trujillo pled guilty to a criminal information charging him with theft by an employee of a gambling establishment on Indian Land, under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In his plea agreement, Trujillo admitted that, between November 10, 2010 and December 22, 2010, he stole $25,900 from his employer, the Cities of Gold Casino, a gaming establishment operated by Pojoaque Pueblo and located on Pueblo land.

Trujillo already has served nine-months in tribal custody on tribal larceny charges arising out of the same events leading to the charge in the federal case.

 

Thursday October 11, 2012

The Republican Party of New Mexico sent a letter to the Secretary of State, asking her to investigate Patriot Majority New Mexico for what appear to be violations of the Campaign Practices Act.  Questions have been raised by the lack of information in Patriot Majority New Mexico’s latest general election finance report, notably, a $180,000 contribution from Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters was reported by the union on September 28th but absent from the PAC’s report, filed on October 8th (Reports filed on the 8th were required to reflect all contributions received through October 1st). Additionally, it draws suspicion that while there are radio advertisements currently running from the PAC, they list no expenditures other than $162 in bank fees and other expenses."

As a so-called Super PAC, the independent expenditure group is free from New Mexico’s campaign contribution limits. It can raise and spend money in unlimited amounts, but its expenditures cannot be coordinated with candidates. Typically, the PACs run TV advertisements and send out mailings for or against candidates.

 

Wednesday October 10, 2012

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have used neutron crystallography for the first time to determine the structure of a clinical drug in complex with its human target enzyme. Seeing the detailed structure of the bonded components provides insights into developing more effective drugs with fewer side effects for patients.

The atomic details of drug binding have been largely unknown due to the lack of key information on specific hydrogen atom positions and hydrogen bonding between the drug and its target enzyme. In this research, scientists used a sulfonamide drug that has been used for decades to treat a variety of diseases such as glaucoma, altitude sickness, and epilepsy. When the drug binds with the wrong form of the target enzyme for the disease, it can produce unpleasant side effects in patients.

 

Tuesday October 9, 2012

The Eco-Station reported that, after launching the new glass recycling initiative last weekend, they've already received two tons of glass for processing! They're now busy using the new equipment to crush the glass, which can be used in a variety of projects, including landscaping. Call the Eco-station to find out "when" they may have enough of the crushed glass available for public pick-up (FREE) at 662-8163.

 

Friday October 5, 2012

Los Alamos County has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to select a developer to design and construct a full-service convention center facility in the downtown district of the Los Alamos town site.

Los Alamos County is soliciting a developer to design and construct a business conference facility (8,000-20,000 square feet), to include flexible meeting and event space combined with first-class dining and lodging facilities that will compete favorably with other “Class A” conference and lodging facilities in Northern New Mexico, and provide a local venue for special events—amenities for which there is significant demand in Los Alamos according to a recent market feasibility study conducted earlier this year by Atlanta-based Strategic Advisory Group.

Currently, Los Alamos is losing as much as $4 million in annual Los Alamos conference and lodging business nearby casino resorts as well as to Class A lodging and conference facilities in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, according to representatives from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and other federal agencies and businesses interviewed as part of the study.  The proposed project aims to recapture that business by providing a full-service facility that will serve LANL and its corporate clients and contractors, as well as other discerning short and long-stay guests.

 

Thursday October 4, 2012

New software from Los Alamos National Laboratory called Sequedex uses evolutionary theory to swiftly identify short “reads” of DNA, calling out the specific organisms from which the DNA came and their likely activity.

Sequedex makes it possible for a researcher to analyze data hot off a DNA sequencer using a laptop. “The tool characterizes whole communities of microorganisms such as those in the mouth in a matter of minutes.”

Sequedex works like a web search engine, making exact matches between DNA sequences and a list of “keywords” then placing any hits on the appropriate branch of the Tree of Life. Advantages over current methods include a factor of 250,000 in speed and the ability to work with pieces of DNA as short as 30 bases long.

Data analysis is widely perceived as a bottleneck preventing broader use of DNA sequencing for problem solving. Numerous ways around this bottleneck have been proposed. The Sequedex team was originally tasked with investigating DNA analysis on the Laboratory’s Roadrunner supercomputer, but quickly realized that improvements in the algorithm made having so much hardware unnecessary.

Sequedex was recently announced as one of this years winners of R&D Magazine’s “R&D 100” awards.

 

Wednesday October 3, 2012

After eight years of providing public education and outreach related to environmental monitoring information from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) site, New Mexico Community Foundation  has been asked by the Department of Energy to relinquish its responsibility as outreach coordinator and database manager of the Intellus NM Project.

The Department of Energy (DOE) notified New Mexico Community Foundation on September 18, 2012 that, due to financial constraints and uncertainties in DOE Environmental Management's budget, New Mexico Community Foundation NMCF would no longer be funded to provide training, education and outreach to the public on behalf of Intellus NM. Additionally, LANL and the New Mexico Environment Department  are currently negotiating the closure of the 2007 Settlement Agreement and Stipulated Final Order, also known as the Chromium Settlement, which required LANL to turn their environmental data over to an independent manager. The closure of this agreement allows LANL to manage their data without oversight or involvement from a third-party. 

Intellus NM is a new, Web-based relational database designed to manage environmental data collected in and around the LANL vicinity. It was launched in April 2012 to replace the original environmental database, RACER.

In the absence of third-party involvement in this project, as of October 1, 2012, LANL will assume responsibility for public outreach activities related to Intellus NM, including public trainings. Karen Schultz Paige (intellus@lanl.gov), Intellus Coordinator, has been listed as the LANL contact for inquiries and concerns related to Intellus NM. As of November 1, 2012, New Mexico Community Foundation will transfer the Intellus NM Project Web site to LANL, after which LANL will be solely responsible for the Web site's content

 

Tuesday October 2, 2012

A team of scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Arizona, and several other partner organizations Combined the tree-ring growth record with historic information, climate records and computer-model projections of future climate trends.

By comparing the tree-ring record to climate data collected in the Southwest since the late 1800s, scientists were able to identify two climate variables that can be used to estimate annual regional tree-growth variability with exceptional accuracy. Both variables are related to drought: total winter precipitation and average summer-fall atmospheric evaporative demand. Forest growth is best when total winter precipitation is high and summer-fall atmospheric evaporative demand is low -- that is, not too hot.

Temperature and evaporation dictate whether trees grow fast or slow in the Southwest. They also strongly influence the processes that kill trees, such as bark-beetle outbreaks and wildfires.

We have a solid prediction of future drought conditions from the perspective of the forests. There is no question, southwestern forests are not likely to be growing well in the next few decades.

 

Monday October 1, 2012

Los Alamos County has launched a new on-line public comment forum called “Open Forum”. Open Forum will be moderated by Peak Democracy and is another tool as the County continues its efforts to expand ways that citizens can voice their opinions about a variety of topics.   

County Councilors and County Staff will review comments and incorporate them into the decision-making process. Furthermore, the County aims to empower citizens by providing them information on each issue to enrich online comment and provide more opportunities for citizen interaction and engagement. 

The first topic posted on Open Forum asks: ‘What do you think about the proposed renovations at Ashley Pond Park?’

The new feature can be accessed through the “Open Forum” link on the County’s home page at www.losalamosnm.us – it can be found next to the “Sunshine” icon under Helpful Links. 

Friday September 28, 2012

New Mexico will receive more than $3 million from the U.S. Department of Labor as part of a national initiative to improve unemployment insurance programs.

The grant will help the state prevent, detect and recover improper unemployment insurance benefit payments.

New Mexico will also share in a $2 million grant to improve unemployment insurance program quality and accountability. The state is playing the lead role in a consortium that includes Florida and Massachusetts on that project.

And the state will receive $94,000 to expand its use of re-employment and eligibility assessments for the unemployment insurance program.

Many states, including New Mexico, have found their unemployment insurance programs strained as people lost jobs during the recession. New Mexico’s unemployment insurance program fund balance dropped from $500 million four years ago to $60.6 million as of July.

Thursday September 27, 2012

Two decades ago the last full-scale underground test of a nuclear weapon was conducted by Los Alamos National Laboratory at the Nevada Test Site.

The test, code named “Divider,” was detonated on Sept. 23, 1992 as the last of an eight-test series called “Julin.”

The test had an announced yield less than the equivalent of 20,000 tons of TNT. Divider was the last of 1,030 nuclear tests carried out by the U.S.

Early in September of 1992, Congress adopted the Hatfield-Exon-Levin amendment to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill calling for a nine-month moratorium on nuclear testing.

The Energy and Water bill including the Hatfield-Exon-Levin amendment was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush mandating the nine-month moratorium on full-scale nuclear testing, a mandate that has been extended by every subsequent U.S. President into the present day.

Once the moratorium went into effect there were many high-level discussions about what kind of science program we would build to take care of the stockpile without testing. These discussions led to what was eventually called the Stockpile Stewardship Program.

The Stockpile Stewardship Program carried out by scientists and weapons experts at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Nevada National Security Site (formerly the Nevada Test Site) has significantly advanced the nation’s ability to understand the stockpile without nuclear explosive testing through analysis of legacy data, new data from sub-critical experiments, supercomputer modeling and simulation, and other non-nuclear experiments.

Wednesday September 26, 2012

 The Valles Caldera Trust prescribed burn project on 360 acres south of New Mexico Highway 4 near Mile Marker 30 will continue through today. Smoke from the burn periodically drifts across the highway and reduces visibility. To ensure the safety of the public, fire managers are using pilot cars to escort vehicles through the burn area when conditions warrant. Motorists may experience short delays when driving through the burn area.

The burn is the final stage of a project to reduce fire hazard and improve forest health. The area has been thinned and most of the wood by-products were removed or previously burned. This pretreatment will allow safe use of low intensity fire to clean up residual slash and remove ponderosa pine seedlings that sprouted since the thinning.

Tuesday September 25, 2012

The result of the special Los Alamos County Council meeting last night was to approve the transfer Trinity Site Real Estate Ground Lease and Development Agreement from NADG to Topvalco, Inc., a Kroger related entity. 

This puts Koger in control of all the prime developable commercial real estate on the east side of town.  They already own Mari Mac Shopping Center and now control The Trinity site also.  They are comfortable with managing all of it referencing experience in both the development of new real estate and managing established real estate.  They listed no drug stores or specialty food stores allowed in the Trinity Site development. They would pursue a hair salon or a restaurant chain.  They did not believe that tenants from Mari Mac would move across the street because they would not be able to afford to. 

They assured the council the Smith’s Marketplace would be built unless they found a structural problem with the land.  They did not assure any other stores would be built. They would try but no guarantee.  Their concern was building a new Smith’s . They made it clear that is their focus with other entities secondary. 

Vincent Chiravalle made the motion to accept and Fran Berting seconded.  Geoff Rogers and Mike Wismer voted against it. 

Monday September 24, 2012

There is Special Los Alamos County Council Meeting on Monday to discuss the Trinity Site Revitalization Project - the actual title of the agenda item is: "Consideration of Approval of Assignment & Assumption, Consent, and Lease Modification Agreement related to the Trinity Site Real Estate Ground Lease and Development Agreement, from NA Los Alamos Trinity (NADG) to Topvalco, Inc., a Kroger related entity." The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in Chambers and will be broadcast LIVE on PAC-8, as well as streamed on the County Council webpage.

The contract with NADG  allowed for a six-month feasibility period during which either party could pull out of the agreement. NADG had decided to exercise its option to exit.  It was unhappy with the preleasing efforts.  They wish to transfer the agreement  to  Topvalco, Inc., a Kroger related entity.  The six month feasibility period would start over while Topyalco assessed the potential.  The due diligence period would begin Sept. 25 and all other deadlines would be adjusted accordingly. 

Friday September 21, 2012

Have you ever wondered how many people in Los Alamos have white collar jobs?  There is no official definition of white-collar employment, nor does any government agency keep a precise count.  One of the best approximations is what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calls a "high-level aggregation." It lumps several different types of jobs into a catch-all classification known as "management, business, science and arts occupations," MBSA for short.

Fifty million Americans -- 35.3 percent of the civilian workforce -- fit into this category. Their jobs run the gamut from chief executive officers to professors, engineers to writers, and lawyers to doctors.

Five metropolitan and micropolitan areas in the United States have more than 50 percent of their workforce in the management, business, science and arts occupations. The leading area is Los Alamos, N.M., Two-thirds of the workers in Los Alamos (66.9 percent) hold MBSA jobs.

Also above the halfway mark are Boulder, Colo.; Washington; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Ithaca, N.Y. All are major government or university centers.

Thursday September 20, 2012

On Tuesday morning, a tractor- trailer rig traveling eastbound on NM 4, missed a sharp curve and fell about 200 feet down a steep slope into Bandelier National Monument.  The truck was carrying more than 2000 gallons of highway striping paint which spread over nearly an acre within the park. The truck’s gas tank leaked diesel fuel as well.  The driver was lifted by helicopter to St. Vincent's in Santa Fe. 

Park staff is now in the process of identifying the toxicity of the paint and assessing its impact to the environment.  By Wednesday, the paint had congealed, allowing workers to remove clumps by hand and showing minimal subsurface damage.  The Los Alamos Laboratory Haz-Mat Team minimized the spread of the diesel fuel.

Drivers may experience travel delays on NM4 in the area of the spill during parts of the cleanup operation.

 

Wednesday September 19, 2012

Los Alamos National Laboratory yesterday announced that Jeffrey Mousseau has been hired as the new associate director for Environmental Programs.

Mousseau currently works as a senior project manager for the Laboratory’s transuranic waste disposal program. In his new position, he will oversee this program as well as other key environmental cleanup and monitoring activities.

Mousseau succeeds Michael Graham, who left the Laboratory in August to oversee commercial and government environmental management work for Bechtel National, Inc.

Mousseau has more than 30 years’ experience in the field of nuclear waste management, including 20 years at U.S. Department of Energy sites in Idaho and New Mexico.

Tuesday September 18, 2012

Gov. Susana Martinez, NEDO Chairman Kazuo Furukawa, Toshiba CEO Norio Sasaki and other officials attended Monday's ribbon-cutting ceremony and powering up of a $53 million smart grid project developed by scientists in New Mexico and Japan.

It occurred at the Smart House located on Levy Lane just off Trinity Drive next to the School’s administration building. 
Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization is working with Los Alamos County and Los Alamos National Laboratory on the project.   
It includes a solar photovoltaic array at the county's capped landfill, a battery storage system, a smart house and energy management system that will serve Los Alamos residents.   
Researchers say the projects will demonstrate the viability of smart grid technology and help to establish international standards.
Such technology aims to balance the supply and demand of electricity through digital information that integrates renewable energy sources.

Monday September 17, 2012

Jemez Ranger District will be implementing two prescribed burns; Guacamalla Pile burn located near the Ponderosa Camp Ground and the Vallecitos Broadcast Burn located off of Hwy. 4 nearer to the Valle Caldera SW Corner. These projects will be implemented after September 17, conditions permitting. Due to the location and elevation it will be visible from all directions coming into the Jemez Mountain area. The burns are being implemented to manage hazardous fuels, to provide community protection along with maintaining forest and wildlife health.

This program is a continuation of a fuels reduction program here on the Santa Fe National Forest. There are a total of approximately 43 broadcast acres and 134 acres of piles to be treated. The project will not implement unless the weather supports the burn and resources are available.

            The parameters for implementing a pile burn are based upon specific assessments, agency guidelines and safety protocols.  During this burn, managers continuously monitor weather conditions, including wind, temperature, and relative humidity. Fuel conditions including fuel moisture and the quantity of fuels are also measured. Smoke will be visible and expected to have variable affects to neighboring communities including Ponderosa, La Cueva, Sierra Los Pinos off of State Rd. 4, Jemez Pueblo, San Ysidro, Zia Pueblo, Bernalillo, Rio Rancho and areas off or Interstate 550.

 

Friday September 14, 2012

Fuelwood Permits are now available for Forest Road 266 on the Santa Fe National Forest Jemez Ranger District. 

Note, vehicles are restricted to the roads in the burned area as mentioned on the Closure Order No: 368.

A small portion of F.R. 271, 270B, and 270CBD will be open for fuel wood gathering as well. This area is within the boundaries of the Paliza Burn where we would like to see the fuel removed.  Make sure you understand the location and restriction associated with this permit.

When going for fuelwood remember you must have the permit and affix your load tag to the load before moving from the area.

          Dead trees- known as “snags” are home to many species of wildlife. As a tree dies, each stage of its decomposition plays a vital role in the feeding or housing of certain species. Dozens of species of birds and mammals depend upon snags for shelter, food and rearing offspring. Bats roost and build nursery colonies in exposed crevices. Squirrels nest and store food in natural cavities. Hawks, eagles and osprey nest, roost and hunt from perches atop dead trees. Protect habitat for the wildlife leave some dead trees so they can still call it home.

Thursday September 13, 2012

Congratulations to Los Alamos High School Semifinalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program. 

They are: Aaron Bao, Eric Begnaud, Cary Bronson, Kevin Gao, Janali Gustafson, Nathaniel Hall, Caitlin Haynes, Thomas Henderson, Jack Mockler, Christina Moore, Orli Shlachter, Laura Wendelberger, and Jessie Zhao.

Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 58th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

Wednesday September 12, 2012

Members of the public interested in upcoming improvements planned for Ashley Pond Park are invited to attend a public meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20th at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers (475 20th St.) to review the 30% design plans with Parks Manager Dick McIntyre and the consultant, Sites Southwest LLC. Public comment will be accepted during this meeting.

 

The improvements to Ashley Pond Park are slated for construction beginning in February 2013. Design work will wrap up this winter, with a second public meeting at 90% design set for mid-November. This project has been funded by the County Council as part of the County’s Capital Improvement Program with a project budget of $2.2 million. The changes include improvements to the pond structure that will improve ADA accessibility, enhance water quality and resolve storm water drainage issues, plus construction of new sidewalks and bulkheads around the pond, new landscaping and water features, and a new concert stage at the southeast corner of the pond with the infrastructure for a sound system.

 

To make the necessary improvements, the pond will be closed in February so that it can be drained. Activities in the park for large public events may be contained to the grassy former Municipal Building site or its adjacent concrete apron while construction takes place, which is expected to last six months. The ducks will be relocated by the local group, the Duck Buddies. The County expects to re-open and re-dedicate the pond and park in August 2013, prior to the annual County Fair.

 

Those unable to attend and provide comments on Sept. 20th are asked to visit the project webpage at www.losalamosnm.us – the County will have the 30% design drawings posted the day after the meeting, as well as featuring the design posters at the 311 Customer Care Center (150 Central Park Square). Comments can be e-mailed after the meeting for one week to Project Manager Dick McIntyre at richard.mcintyre@lacnm.us.

Tuesday September 11, 2012

In August, total rainfall for Los Alamos was 1.52”, which is 42% of normal.  White Rock received 1.64”, which is 75% of normal. Rainfall totals for January through August in Los Alamos (5.96”) are 44% of normal.  In White Rock, rainfall totals for January through August (5.54”) are 60% of normal.  Through the end of August, 2012 now ranks as the third driest year on record in Los Alamos, with only 1939 and 2002 recording less precipitation. 

Continuing with the trend for 2012, above-average temperatures were recorded in August for both Los Alamos and White Rock. The average daily high temperature in Los Alamos, 83.4oF, was a whopping 5.4oF above normal, and the overnight low was 56.1oF, 2.5oF above normal.  With rainfall totals closer to normal, temperatures in White Rock were closer to normal.  The average high temperature in White Rock was 83.4oF, 0.7oF above normal, and the average overnight low temperature was 56.1oF, or 2.1oF above normal.   

The National Weather Service predictions for September and for September through November are for above-average temperatures and near-normal precipitation. 

 

Monday September 10, 2012

Rio Arriba County Sheriff's office made the switch to a 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. schedule.

Deputies are now going home at 8:00 p.m., leaving State Police to pick up calls for service overnight.

Sheriff Tommy Rodella said calls for service peak in the afternoon and then drop off around 8:00 p.m.

The Sheriff's Office said the change was made in part because State Police have been ignoring their own calls for service, leaving Rio Arriba County deputies to pick them up. The Sheriff's Office also says State Police have refused to cooperate on a joint 911 program to make things more efficient.

State Police Chief Robert Shilling said police have been concerned about how money would be spent on a joint 911 effort. He said there's also concern that the Sheriff has wanted to pick and choose which agency responds to calls, instead of simply selecting the closest law officer.

But Shilling said State Police are willing to sit down and talk with Sheriff's officials about a joint 911 program.

Shilling was frustrated to hear Sheriff's officials complaining about calls for service, especially when the Sheriff has chosen to close at 8:00 p.m., leaving State Police on their own all night.

He also said people forget that State Police are responsible for three counties in the area.

Rodella said if there is an emergency after 8:00 p.m., and State Police are not available, deputies will be called out to respond.

 

Friday September 7, 2012

The county council held a special meeting last night to fill their vacant position. 

There were seven people who submitted letter of interest for the position.  Each was allowed to give a short statement about their reasons for wanting the position.  Then the council had a round of voting to determine final candidates.   The 3 finalists were Rick Reiss, Ralph Phelps and Stephen Boerigter.  The council asked them questions and took public comment.

 

They voted and Rick Reiss won by a vote of 5 to 1.  He was sworn in by Judge Kirk and became a councilor.  He will serve until December 2014.

Mr. Reiss has lived in Los Alamos 20 years. He has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Airport Board and various ad hoc committees,  He has been a member of the Kiwanis, Los Alamos Community Foundation and Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation.

He owns LA Solutions, a mortgage company,  located at 2101 Trinity Drive.  He helped develop the LA Co-Op building and the Holiday Inn Express. 

 

Thursday September 6, 2012

The county council has a special meeting tonight to interview and fill the vacant seat on the county council.   There are 7 people who have expressed interest in the position.

Andrea Cunningham has been a resident for 20 years and is a team leader of Health Information Management in Occupational Medicine at LANL. She is a member of the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation and a graduate of Leadership Los Alamos.

Edward R. Birnbaum , only recently moved to Los Alamos.  He has a doctorate in inorganic chemistry and spent 24 years at New Mexico State University's Chemistry Department.  He was contracted to work on two nuclear waste remediation projects for Los Alamos National Laboratory.

John L. Bliss has been a resident in Los Alamos County for 15 years.  He was Operational Health Physics group leader at LANL for seven years and continues to serve with two national response teams.  Bliss is on the board of trustees for United Church of Los Alamos.

Phillip Kunsberg returned to Los Alamos seven months ago. He raised his children here during previous residencies. He is the primary owner of Central Park Square and three other commercial properties in Los Alamos.

Ralph L. Phelps served as county councilor from Jan. 2009 through Dec. 2010. He serves on the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Charter Review Committee and was chair of the Northern New Mexico Citizens Advisory Board.

Rick Reiss has lived in Los Alamos 20 years. He has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Airport Board and various ad hoc committees,  He has been a member of the Kiwanis, Los Alamos Community Foundation and Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation.

Stephen Boerigter  moved to Los Alamos in 1993.  He is a Group Level manager at LANL.
Boerigter served as chair during three of his four years on the Parks and Recreation Board, serves on the White Rock Master Plan Implementation Committee and the Environmental Sustainability Board and the UNM-LA board.

The council meeting begins at 7pm in the council chambers of the community building.  It will be broadcast on PAC 8.


Wednesday September 5, 2012

Los Alamos National Laboratory expertise in radiation detection and shielding is poised to help a national team of scientists better understand a mysterious region that can create hazardous space weather near our home planet.

The Helium Oxygen Proton Electron (HOPE) analyzer is one of a suite of instruments that was successfully launched on August 30 as part of the Radiation Belt Storm Probe mission—an effort by NASA and the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory to gain insight into the Sun's influence on Earth and near-Earth space by studying our planet's radiation belt.

The radiation belt—also known as the Van Allen belt is a donut shaped soup of charged particles that surrounds Earth and occupies the inner region of our planet's Magnetosphere. Understanding the radiation belt environment and its variability has extremely important practical applications in the areas of spacecraft operations, spacecraft and spacecraft system design, and mission planning and astronaut safety.

The Los-Alamos-designed HOPE instrument is part of a subset of instruments aboard the craft that will directly measure near-Earth space radiation particles to understand the physical processes that control the acceleration, global distribution, and variability of radiation belt electrons and ions. One of the things that makes HOPE unique is the instrument's ability to measure the more subtle, low-energy particles (electrons, hydrogen, and helium and oxygen ions) while under intense fire from the radiation belts' high-energy particles.


Tuesday September 4, 2012

Tonight at 6:00 PM in the Los Alamos High School lobby, the public is invited to discuss a possible construction bond election that is planned for early 2013.  The question that will be discussed is whether or not the school district should prepare a ballot to issue up to $20,000,000 of general obligation.        
This is an informational meeting to gain public comment. Representatives from the district’s Facilities Strategic Planning Committee will present a detailed report about the current condition of schools and the modernization efforts to existing facilities.

Kevin Powers, the district’s financial adviser, and Duane Brown, the district’s bond attorney, will be available to answer questions about the bond sale process, the proposed all mail ballot process, and how bond sales match with future construction costs. The proposed construction bond will not increase property taxes for Los Alamos residents; rather, the bond will compliment an existing bond that was approved in 2009 and continue the district’s long-range capital improvement plan.


Friday August 31, 2012

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Kristin Omberg was named as an American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow for her contributions to national security as a “technical leader in detecting and mitigating biological threats” and to the American Chemical Society community.

Omberg is the acting division leader of the Decision Applications Division and the Laboratory’s project leader for the Department of Homeland Security’s BioWatch Program. BioWatch is a detection system that monitors for potential airborne bioterror attacks. Her BioWatch team in the Decision Applications Division provides support for test evaluation, field sampling, event reconstruction, and sample management system software. She also has been the principal investigator for research tracking biological agents in the environment.

Thursday August 30, 2012

Los Alamos  National Laboratory physicist George Kyrala, along with researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), is among a team honored with the American Physical Society’s 2012 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research. The team is being recognized for its work on a far-reaching discovery about laser-matter interaction

The research has roots in discoveries from the late 1990s, when physicists noted that laser beams crossing each other’s paths in plasma could exchange energy. This is one of many phenomena known as laser-plasma interaction, in which the plasma created by a laser can interfere with the beam.

 

Over the next 15 years, researchers conducted experiments at the University of Rochester's OMEGA laser and developed new physics models run on supercomputers to better understand the phenomenon. This led to the conclusion that the energy transfer process could be controlled using slight adjustments to the laser beams’ wavelengths, and even be used as a novel tool to tune the implosion symmetry of  targets.

Wednesday August 29, 2012
Update on the gas line at the middle school,  For the past week, our district’s maintenance crews and the County Utility Team have been busy looking for leaks along a forty year old gas line in the construction zone. Our maintenance team uncovered a leak on a line that has been causing the break in service. The pipe work was old and provided a challenge to repair. Our repair plan will be to cut a section of the old line, which was four feet underground and weld in a replacement section. This new section will be inspected by the Construction Industries Division State Inspector. If the test and inspection passes, the gas line should be back online by the end of this week.

Tuesday August 28, 2012
The Laboratory is investigating the inadvertent spread of Technetium 99 by employees and contractors at the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), a multidisciplinary accelerator facility used for both civilian and national security research.  The Laboratory has determined that about a dozen people came into contact with the material, and some tracked small amounts of Technetium 99 off-site.  The contamination poses no danger to the public. 

The type of radiation involved in this case is beta radiation, which comes from low-power, fast-moving electrons that can travel through several feet of air, but are generally stopped by clothing and skin. Beta emitters occur naturally in the environment, and this incident involved approximately the same radiation levels that occur naturally in bricks or stone flooring in the Southwest. Decontamination involves washing with soap and water. So far, based on direct measurements, no exposures to Lab workers or the public pose a health risk.

The Laboratory and Department of Energy RAP teams (Radiological Assistance Program) have been working to survey, assess, and where needed, decontaminate all affected people and property. The teams will ensure that all off-site contamination has been appropriately characterized and remediated.

Some operations at the Lujan Center will be placed on temporary hold until facility cleanup can be completed.

The Laboratory considers all issues of unintended radiological contamination to be serious. The Laboratory will continue to exercise due diligence in all operations involving nuclear materials, and this type of incident warrants our special attention in order to prevent a future occurrence.

 
Monday August 27, 2012

The Los Alamos School Board voted Thursday to have a construction firm tear up all the old sections of a gas line currently underneath the middle school campus.
The gas line, which is about 1,000-feet long, runs from the northern end of the middle school campus to the southern end.  It has not been used since last Monday after the construction crew accidently punctured it.  Tests have been done and the line has multiple leaks.
Now the challenge is how to get it fixed and usable safely in the shortest amount time.  Part of it runs under the portables and the planned bus loop.  Some work may occur over the upcoming 3 day weekend and the line running under the proposed bus loop will be replaced before the bus loop is built.  There are a variety of options available to correct the issue. 
It’s estimated the cost to replace all the existing lines will be about $20,000.


 Friday August 24, 2012

Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Services,  non-profit home health care and hospice agency, is  one step closer to a twenty-year dream of an in-patient hospice care facility in Los Alamos.  The closing documents for a 4.7 acre parcel of land on Canyon Road in Los Alamos were signed on Tuesday. The property, adjacent to the Jewish Center on Canyon Road, houses the former Boy Scout Lodge as well as several acres of beautifully forested canyon views.  LAVNS plans to remodel and move its current offices on Central Avenue to the lodge building.  Fundraising and building plans for The Sanctuary are well under way.  LAVNS will host a Chamber of Commerce F.A.N. club social at the lodge on Wednesday, August 29th, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.  The public is invited

 

Thursday August 23, 2012

Nathan Moody of Los Alamos National Laboratory is among 78 of the nation's brightest young engineers selected for the National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) 18th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium.

Engineers between 30 to 45 who are performing exceptional engineering research and technical work in a variety of disciplines attend the 2-1/2 day event.  The participants -- from industry, academia, and government -- were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations and chosen from approximately 300 applicants.

Moody’s work centers on novel sources of electromagnetic radiation, including new electron sources and accelerating structures for high average current electron beams in a free-electron laser.

His academic degrees are all in electrical engineering. He joined Los Alamos National Laboratory in the fall of 2006.

Wednesday August 22, 2012

Mountain bikers can cruise the Valles Caldera National Preserve under the sun or the night sky on Saturday.

More than 60 miles of roads will be open to mountain bikers of all ages from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mountain bikers can extend their ride until 10 p.m. on the preserve as part of a twilight ride.

Mountain bikers can leave from the Banco Bonito Staging area at mile marker 30 on N.M. 4 or the Valle Grande Staging Area, just past mile marker 39 of N.M. 4. Twilight riders must start at the Valle Grande entrance.

Visitors can register online, or register on the day of the event at Banco Bonito or the Valle Grande. Prices for either the cruise or the twilight rides are $15 for adults, $12 for youth (15 and under) and seniors (62 and above). Youth 5 and under are free.

On check in, riders will sign a waiver, receive a map and a parking pass, and have the opportunity to ask Valles Caldera staff for recommended routes based on their ability. All riders are required to check out when they leave. Helmets are required.

For more information, go to www.vallescaldera.gov.

Tuesday August 21, 2012 

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have observed for the first time how a laser penetrates dense, electron-rich plasma to generate ions. The process has applications for developing next generation particle accelerators and new cancer treatments.

The results  also confirm predictions made more than 60 years ago about the fundamental physics of laser-plasma interaction. Plasmas dense with electrons normally reflect laser light like a mirror. But a strong laser can drive those electrons to near the speed of light, making the plasma transparent and accelerating the plasma ions.

The results will help advance work to control the shape and timing of laser pulses, precision that is necessary for developing next-generation, laser-driven particle accelerators, The researchers have recently been awarded internal laboratory funding from the office of Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) to pursue these applications.

 

Monday August 20, 2012 

Los Alamos County and former employee Diana Stepan reached a settlement agreement on August 1, 2012. The settlement addresses a claim that Stepan had filed last year against the County and former Acting County Administrator Randy Autio after her termination of employment.

The County was represented in the settlement by the New Mexico Self-Insurer’s Fund, an insurance pool of New Mexico municipalities and other political subdivisions, including the County, through an arrangement with the New Mexico Municipal League. Under the agreement, the New Mexico Self-Insurer’s Fund will pay $800,000 to Stepan. The County will pay $175,000 of that settlement, which includes a $25,000 deductible.

 

Friday August 17, 2012

The Los Alamos County Council is seeking Letters of Interest from those interested in filling the unexpired term of Councilor Ron Selvage, who resigned. His term will expire December 31, 2014. 

Applicants must be a registered voter and resident of Los Alamos County, and cannot be employed by the County. They should submit a letter of interest explaining their background, experience and why they are interested in the position. Letters of interest must be received no later than Tuesday, August 28th at 5:00 p.m. The letter should be submitted to Harry Burgess, County Administrator, 133 Central Pk Square, Los Alamos, NM 87544.  

Any individual submitting a Letter of Interest must attend a special Council meeting on Thursday, Sept. 6th at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers, and be prepared to respond to questions from Councilors. The Council expects to interview applicants and then make their selection that evening.

 

Thursday August 16, 2012

Here is an update on the municipal building construction.  

Offsite Work
Iris, Central and 9th Street work is nearly complete with the exception on raising and grouting manhole covers and water valve boxes and the landscaping on Iris is on-going.

Onsite Work
Above ceiling mechanical and electrical installation is nearly complete on all floors.

Exterior framing is on-going.

Interior stud framing is nearly complete on all floors.

Wallboard and insulation installation is on-going.

Roofing activities are on-going.

Installation of store fronts and glazing will start within the next few weeks.

The mechanical rooftop units have been installed.

 

Wednesday August 15, 2012

Today is the first day of school.  The school zones are working, the busses are running,  the children are excited.  Please be careful.  The Middle school can only be accessed from North Road (go straight through the roundabout)  Parents dropping off high school students are encouraged to do so in the Sullivan Field Parking Lot.  Elementary schools will only be in session until noon. 

 

Tuesday August 14, 2012

Yesterday was the breakfast for and opening remarks to the Los Alamos school employees and public in the Dwayne Smith Auditorium.  Opening remarks were made by School Board president Kevin Honnell.  Dr. Gene Schmidt explained the goals for our public schools.  The school system is all about advancing lives and our journey to excellence.  We have the best school system in the state and all of our school s out preformed over 90% of the all other schools.  Each principal received a plaque recognizing their school’s performance.  Future progress toward excellence by our school system must be built on what WE ALREADY HAVE.  The 3 keys for continued excellence are academic success for all, improved teacher training and increasing community involvement.  The programs which are already successful at the high school include the half hour academic time at the end of each day, the credit recovery program, Saturday school and the alternative program.  There are over 50 new employees within the district.  They will change the dynamics of our school system with their new ideas and energy.

Monday, August 13th

 

Today is Senator Jeff Bingaman day.  It was passed by resolution of the Los Alamos County council at the last county council meeting on August 7.  The resolution recognizes Senator Bingaman’s hard work for the Los Alamos area  including the development North Central transit District and funding for new Atomic City Transit Busses. .  He facilitated the land transfer from DOE and the establishment of the county’s self sufficiency funds.  He supported us through the Cerro Grande Fire and the Las Conchas Fire.  He has helped us with our green energy initiatives by helping us with funding for the Abiquiu  Hydroelectric plant and the NEDO smart house project with Japan.  He is retiring this year after 30 years of public service.

 

Jeff Bingaman  was in town this afternoon to speak about the formation of a national park to commemorate the Manhattan National park project which is currently working it way through the house and senate.  He spoke to community leaders on the lawn behind the historical museum.  Jason Lott also spoke of the readiness and preparedness of the national park system to spearhead this project.   Jim Hall spoke of the need to celebrate the science of New Mexico which changed the world.  The creation of the park with bring more tourists to Los Alamos which will help our tax base according to Katy Korkas speaking for the LA Creative District which will benefit with a National Park in our community. 

 

Friday August 10, 2012

The 26,000 customers who rely on Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative for power can expect higher rates to result from negotiations over right-of-way easements, some of which lapsed years ago, for transmission lines that cross the property of eight pueblos and two tribes.  The right-of-way easements with pueblos and tribes,  will amount to payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the various entities involved.

Meanwhile, the cooperative is struggling to stay afloat financially. It has only a month’s worth of cash left in the bank and is in default on $29 million owed to two lenders.

The Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative is facing lawsuits by insurance companies and an expected class action by the Branch Law Firm over the 2011 Las Conchas Fire, which burned dozens of homes and more than 100,000 acres in the Jemez Mountains.

The fire was sparked when a tree fell on a power line owned by the rural cooperative.

The cooperative’s general manager, Wayne Sowell, said Jemez Mountains Electric will argue the tree that fell on the power line had been standing on private land 60 feet away from the power line. Their  easement only extends for 20 feet on either side of the line.

 

Thursday August 9, 2012

The Los Alamos Posse Lodge is on the agenda of the New Mexico  Cultural Properties Review Committee  for their meeting on Friday Aug 10.   The Posse Shack has been a part of North Mesa  since 1956 and current Posse members are seeking its registration on the States historical register.  It will help prevent it from being torn down and will qualify it for low interest loans to help preservation efforts.  The meeting begins at 1pm in Santa Fe in the Bataan Memorial building ,second floor,  and is open to the public.

 

Wednesday August 8, 2012

There was a county council meeting last night in council chambers. August was declared Assets Building month.   Geoff Rogers was elected as the new vice chairman. 

 

There was an extensive discussion about the economic vitality plan.  They plan to use 8 million dollars in the next 3 years to hopefully jump start projects which will then maybe sustain themselves.  Then taxes may go up.

It includes the infrastructure for A-19, funding the commercial flights at the airport, and a hotel conference center of some sort.

The spending was passed.

A motion was made to prioritize the A-19 infrastructure and the A-19 masterplan.

The councilor vacancy will be advertised for letters of interest beginning today to be submitted by August 28.  There will be a special council meeting September 6 to interview the applicants. 

 

Tuesday August 7, 2012

This year, about 40 demonstrators showed up for the protest in Los Alamos to mark the anniversary of the first atomic bomb dropped on Japan. Six protesters were arrested for refusing to stay on the sidewalk during the event.  They attempted to block traffic into LANL.

Those arrested were given several warnings by law enforcement officials prior to their arrest. 

Traffic was backed up yesterday morning because the Los Alamos National Laboratory was open to LANL and Department of Energy badge holders only. Badges were physically checked at the laboratory's vehicle access points. Those without badges were directed around the Laboratory via New Mexico Route 4.

 The lab reopened West Jemez road to all users at 3:30 yesterday afternoon.

 

Monday August 6, 2012

Los Alamos Fire Department Battalion Chief Kelly Sterna has been placed on administrative leave following a report on Saturday morning that he had been arrested in Albuquerque for suspected drunk driving. Sterna was not on duty at the time.

 

“The Los Alamos Fire Department upholds the highest standards and code of conduct for its officers. We understand that the public places their trust in us to behave in a professional, law-abiding manner, both on and off duty,” said Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes this afternoon. “Following our investigation into the situation, we will take appropriate action as needed.”

 

Friday August 3, 2012 

 The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, New Mexico invites the public to a special opening reception for an exhibit showcasing Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) technological contributions with NASA’s Curiosity rover – a six-wheeled mobile science laboratory at the center of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission. The Curiosity rover is scheduled to land on the planet Mars at 11:31 p.m. (MDT) on Sunday, Aug. 5. The Bradbury Science Museum reception begins at 10 p.m. with a live showing of the landing via NASA TV that evening. The event is free and light refreshments will be served.

While waiting for the news about the landing of the Curiosity rover, visitors to the new museum exhibit can learn about LANL technologies on board, view a nearly life-sized three-dimensional stereo poster of Curiosity, and use their iPhone or iPad to interact with it.

Museum visitors will find display models of ChemCam – the rock-zapping laser that will help characterize Martian geology, CheMin, which uses X-ray diffraction to determine the composition of mineral samples collected and dropped into a funnel on the Curiosity rover; and simulated radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) – the tiny plutonium canisters that provide heat and power sources that give Curiosity more electricity than  previous-generation rovers .
 
The museum’s TechLab will have a dozen videos and animations about the Curiosity rover from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A scientist from LANL’s Curiosity team will be on hand to talk to visitors during the opening event.

 

Thursday August 2, 2012

Work on the high school bus loop and landscape is moving forward at a quickening pace. New sidewalks are being installed along Smith Auditorium and P-wing. A new drainage system will be installed in the parking lot corner of P-wing and Smith. In addition, the entire parking lot will be seal coated and re-striped.

Landscaping of the high school is also underway. A retaining wall will be built along the sidewalk entrance to the high school. A new drainage system will be installed that carries water away from the IMC building. Carlos Valdez (LA County Extension Horticulturalist) examined a poplar tree on school grounds near Diamond. A forty percent loss of the cambium layer and an infestation of cytospora lead to a decision to remove the tree. In addition, one of the Austrian Pines on the high school campus suffers from an infestation of bark beetles. This tree will be trimmed in the hopes of stopping the infestation.

There will be installation of a new irrigation system and a sod cover will be laid down over the large dirt area in front of the school in mid to late October.

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos will partner with the school district in the landscape design by installing a Memorial Garden to honor the memories of our high school students. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for August 8th at noon to celebrate the path forward on the landscaping of the grounds. The public is invited.

 

 

Wednesday August 1, 2012

The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) hosts 16th annual Hazmat Challenge August 7-10.

Fifteen hazardous materials response teams from New Mexico, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma respond to simulated hazardous materials emergencies such as a rail car, a clandestine laboratory, transportation and industrial piping scenarios, a simulated radiological release, and more. The finale of the Hazmat Challenge is an obstacle course; teams are graded on their response skills.  It happens in Technical Area 49.  It gives the different teams scenarios to practice on in a safe environment to better prepare them for unusual disasters.

 

Tuesday July 31, 2012

Attorney General Gary King says New Mexico receives more than

$250,000 under a national settlement over inflated prescription drug pricing involving drug wholesaler McKesson Corporation.

 

The Attorney General directed his Medicaid Fraud & Elder Abuse Division to assist in the legal settlement against McKesson, one the largest drug wholesalers in the country. The settlement resolves allegations that McKesson violated the Federal False Claims Act and various state false claims acts, by reporting inflated pricing data for a large number of prescription drugs, causing the state’s Medicaid program to overpay for those drugs. Medicaid is funded jointly by the federal government and the States.

The federal government earlier settled the federal portion of this lawsuit; this agreement recovers the state Medicaid share for New Mexico.

 

Monday July 30, 2012

U.S. Senators Tom Udall, Jeff Bingaman and Congressman Ben Ray Luján announced  that more than $11 million in federal assistance relief is being made available for Santa Clara Pueblo following recent flooding in the area. 

 

On July 13th, the New Mexico officials wrote a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, FEMA Administrator William Fugate and Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo Ellen Darcy, asking that federal funding dedicated for flood mitigation and restoration efforts be swiftly released to the tribe. At the time, Santa Clara Pueblo had received only $379,000, a fraction of their requested $31 million. Pueblo Gov. Walter Dasheno had declared another disaster the week of July 16th following new flooding.

 

 

In 2011, the Las Conchas Fire burned significant acreage in and around Santa Clara Pueblo, and severe storms and torrential rains that followed caused retention ponds to fill with debris and sediments. The $11 million grant from FEMA will go towards removing sediment from within the boundaries of the Pueblo, which is 75 percent of that project's projected cost. The funds will be made available in approximately 48 to 72 hours to State of New Mexico administrative agents, who will then distribute the money to the Pueblo

 

Udall visited Santa Clara Pueblo in early July to tour the recovery efforts following the 2011 Las Conchas Fire when monsoon rains began falling. Gov. Dasheno and other pueblo officials took the senator through the pueblo canyon to see ponds that had filled with sediment transferred during recent storms.

 

Friday July 27, 2012

Here is an account of the golf course water leak from Richard Matteson (CGCS)

 

On the 23rd of July, an irrigation leak was detected along Diamond Drive.  At first, I thought this may have been a leak from the potable water system but I determined the leak was indeed from the main line that supplies water to the south side of the golf course.  With the assistance of the county Water Gas and Sewer Department, an excavation was completed to locate the main line and determine where exactly the leak is located.  As of today, it is now determined that the leak is under the road and the following course of action is mapped out.

Monday, July 30th, Brad Parker will begin to excavate on both the north and south sides of Diamond Drive to assure the leak is under the road bed.  If it is discovered on the shoulder of the road, it will be repaired and we will have full irrigation.  If that is not the case, and the leak is deemed to be under the road, we will insert a smaller diameter pipe inside the failed 8” mainline and adapt it to our existing mains.  This is a temporary repair.  A new 12” HDPE main line will be bored under Diamond Drive and then tied into the existing irrigation system on hole 18 and at the pump house.  Typically, a leak of this nature would be repaired within hours and the system restored to full use.  What makes this repair difficult is its location under Diamond Drive.  It has been deemed an emergency project and Parker Construction will be handling the repair at this time.   

How does this impact the golf course?  The holes that are affected by this leak are 1 through 10, 16 through 18, and the driving, putting and chipping ranges. Between now and Monday, we will be watering greens and tees with the 1000 gallon tanker borrowed from the Parks Department.  In addition, Roads and Streets is leaving their 3000 gallon tanker to assist with watering of tees.  Fairway landing areas will be supplemented, if possible, but will begin to show signs of stress.  The roughs will be left alone.  The earliest we could see full use of the system would be Monday if the leak is discovered on the shoulder of Diamond Drive.  If that is not the case, then the temporary main line inserted inside the broken main could take up to a week from July 25,. We intend to keep the golf course in as good a condition as possible regardless of the weather.  Rain, would ease the urgency. However we are going to proceed as quickly as possible. 

I appreciate everyone’s understanding with this unique leak; a simple leak in a difficult location.    Once again this is from Richard Matteson  the golf course (CGCS)

 

Tuesday July 24, 2012

Scientist, Amy J. Clarke, is among the honorees that President Obama named today as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.  This is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers who are early in their independent research careers. Clarke is among 13 U.S. Department of Energy affiliated awardees being recognized for their efforts in a variety of fields – from advances in power electronics for the electric grid to innovations in solar hydrogen production and from work in scientific computation to studies of possible new physics beyond the Standard Model. DOE nominated the awardees and a variety of DOE’s program offices is funding their work.

The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers awards are intended to recognize some of the finest scientists and engineers who, while early in their research careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge during the twenty-first century. The awards foster innovative and far-reaching developments in science and technology, increase awareness of careers in science and engineering, give recognition to the scientific missions of participating agencies, enhance connections between fundamental research and national goals, and highlight the importance of science and technology for the nation's future.

 

Monday July 23, 2012

According to the los Alamos monitor, In a one-paragraph e-mail to the Los Alamos Monitor, Republican candidate Roger Waterman announced he was withdrawing from the county council race Monday.

The statement read: “Due to business and professional issues that have arisen over the last several weeks, I am withdrawing as a candidate for the Los Alamos County Council. I regret disappointing my many supporters. I will be returning any financial support I have received to those who supported me in that manner.”

In the primary, Waterman finished third out of three Republican candidates.
With Waterman's decision not to run, the race is down to five candidates with Republicans Marc Clay and Vince Chiravalle, and Democrats Kristin Henderson, Kenneth Johnson and Pete Sheehey.

 

Friday July 20, 2012

Los Alamos was one of seven school districts and a charter school to new funding from the state’s ‘Reads to Lead’ program Thursday.

 The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) made the notifications this morning and the recipients were among 43 applications for funding received by NMPED.

The recipients will implement new programs focused on literacy from Kindergarten through the third grade starting in the 2012-2013 school year. These new funds will be used in combination with successful efforts in place in many of these districts and be specifically targeted to helping the students who struggle most in reading.

Los Alamos will receive $177,068 from the grant. The grant provides for a K-3 reading coach, extensive professional development for K-3 teachers, and classroom observation training for staff. 

In addition to those recipients, there are five districts receiving provisional approval. However, these districts must still provide further information to meet clearly defined expectations for the program.

They are Espanola, Central Consolidated, Morairty-Edgewood, Lovington and Santa Fe.

 This new funding is part of the $8.5 million signed by Governor Martinez for early reading interventions. The New Mexico ‘Reads to Lead’ program will also fund additional efforts that include:

 $3 million to provide reading assessments for every New Mexico student from Kindergarten through third grade.

$1 million for 14 statewide reading coaches to assist educators.

$1 million for literacy based professional development available to every teacher in the state.

Thursday July 19, 2012

In order to complete the final stages of utility water line work and installation of curb, gutter, drive pads, ramps and sidewalks associated with the new Municipal Complex, the Contractor will close westbound Central Avenue from 9th Street to the new construction site entrances near Knecht Street beginning Thursday, July 19, at 6:30 a.m. Westbound traffic on Central will be detoured onto 9th Street - north to Iris, then west to 15th Street. The southbound lane of 9th Street will be intermittently closed between Iris and Central for curb, paving, utility adjustments and concrete work. Traffic delays should be minimal. Construction is expected to occur over the next two weeks.\

Wednesday July 18, 2012

Governor Susana Martinez toured Santa Clara Pueblo with Governor

Walter Dasheno yesterday to survey the effects of the Monsoon Season this year and the ongoing recovery efforts following last August’s flooding. Following the Las Conchas fire, silt, debris, and hydrophobic soil created increased flood threat conditions in Santa Clara Pueblo and other areas surround the massive burn scar. In late August, the Pueblo of Santa Clara experienced heavy rains followed by debris flow and extensive damage to water control infrastructure and roads on the Pueblo. On June 19, Governor Martinez issued Executive Order 2012-018 which will make $750,000

available to Counties and Pueblos to reimburse the cost of emergency flood preventive measures. On July 12, Governor Dasheno declared a state of emergency to exist on the Pueblo making funds from Executive Order 2012-018 available. The Executive Order will fund sandbag operations, temporary highway barriers, channel clearing, and other emergency flood preventive measures.

Tuesday July 17, 2012

Two Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists are among the team recently funded to explore ways to create the precise immune factors needed for effective vaccines against HIV.

The Duke University-led consortium will largely concentrate on inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies that can prevent HIV-1 infection, as well as on generating protective T-cell and innate immune system responses.

The research funding is provided through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)..

That  last project was directed towards understanding the human immune response to natural HIV infection and to better understand how to approach a vaccine. Los Alamos scientists worked on that grant as well, helping to understand the evolution of the virus at transmission and the dynamics of the early immune response. The new CHAVI-ID grant now will focus on projects that are critical to creating the most effective vaccines for prevention.

Monday July 16, 2012

The New Mexico Finance Authority, which makes billions of dollars in loans for public projects, faked its annual audit that was sent to creditors and investors for 2011, the state auditor said Thursday. The revelation shocked state officials and raised questions about both the potential fallout and what the false document might have been trying to hide. In a press release announcing the findings, Balderas said he was "moving aggressively to determine the full extent of this fraud perpetrated against New Mexico's taxpayers." Balderas said he discovered the fake audit after the NMFA failed to submit its annual review as required by law. He says a fraudulent audit report had been produced for investors and creditors, but the firm that supposedly created that document has confirmed it is not their work. Balderas's office did not release any more information about what might have been misrepresented in the faked audit, and it declined to release its report on the matter because it is under investigation by law enforcement and other entities. The NMFA was created by the Legislature in 1992 as an entity separate from the state to make low cost loans to governments for capital and infrastructure projects. Among the projects funded by the NMFA is New Mexico's Rail Runner commuter train that runs between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.The NMFA is governed by a board of 12 directors, 10 of whom are appointed by the governor and four of whom are cabinet secretaries.

Friday July 13, 2012

Bandelier National Monument Superintendent Jason
Lott has announced that as of Thursday, July 12, 2012, Stage II Fire
Restrictions are no longer in effect for Bandelier National Monument.
These restrictions are reduced to Stage I in light of the increase in
moisture and reduction of fire danger.

Under Stage I fire restrictions, smoking outside of vehicles, open
campfires outside of developed campsites, and fireworks are prohibited.

The use of campfires or charcoal grills is allowed in developed sites only, but not in the backcountry; in addition to vehicles, smoking is allowed in the designated smoking area in the parking island in front of the Administration Building in Frijoles Canyon or in paved areas of Juniper Campground.

 

Bandelier National Monument invites everyone to come to evening activities.

Thursday July 12, 2012

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has lifted all fire restrictions in New Mexico.

The lifting of restrictions comes after more areas in the state recently received rainfall or saw increased humidity levels.

The New Mexico State Forestry Division has lifted its smoking, firework, campfire and open fire restrictions for all New Mexico counties,   The restrictions were imposed on all non-municipal, non-federal and non-tribal lands across New Mexico due to extreme fire danger.

Effective today at 8:00 a.m. the Santa Fe National Forest will go from Stage 2 Fire Restrictions to no fire restrictions forest-wide, to include the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Current monsoon rains and favorable weather forecasts are allowing for the complete lifting of fire restrictions.

 Los Alamos County Fire Department has relaxed its Fire Restrictions to Stage I in Los Alamos County.  

The restrictions on LANL and DOE land have been lifted. 

Forest visitors are still encouraged to use caution with campfires and other sources of ignition.

Wednesday July 11, 2012

Last night the Los Alamos County council met.  The revised White Rock Civic Center plan was approved including building a New Library and renovated Youth Activity Center at Piñon Park; and renovation of current Municipal Complex for an expanded Senior Center

The broadband project was given the go ahead to do a market survey to determine what percentage of the population would plan to use it, how it might be funded, and how much people would be willing to pay for it.

The contract with LACDC  to operate the visitor centers was pulled from the consent agenda for discussion.  It was decided to fund the operation of the visitors center with a short term contract while the long tern contract is revisited and changed to require more outreach and promote town visibility to large groups holding events in Los Alamos

Tuesday July 10, 2012

Los Alamos Public Schools received high marks from the New Mexico Public Education

Department. Four of the seven Los Alamos schools earned “A” grades and three Los Alamos schools earned “B” grades based on information released from New Mexico Public Education Department yesterday.

Schools received the following grades:

·        Aspen Elementary School – B

·        Barranca Mesa Elementary School – A

·        Chamisa Elementary School  – B

·        Los Alamos High School – A

·        Los Alamos Middle School – B

·        Mountain Elementary School – A

·        Piñon Elementary School – A

School report card grades were based on a number of different categories including: performance in math and reading, school growth, growth of the highest performing  students,

Growth of the lowest performing students, graduation rates, opportunity to learn, and bonus points. Los Alamos schools received high marks in all categories except growth of lowest performing students. It will take time to analyze and interpret the data in order to better understand the grades.  When staff returns, instructional teams will be encouraged to review

Data and suggest strategies to improve our strengths and capitalize on our areas of concern.

Monday July 9, 2012

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced this week that the State of New Mexico will be awarded $715,000 to advance energy efficiency in state buildings. The award will expand energy efficiency efforts by the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Energy Conservation and Management Division (ECMD), the General Services Department (GSD), and the New Mexico Finance Authority.

ECMD teamed up with the GSD to present a winning proposal for DOE’s 2012 State Energy Program Competitive Solicitation this past spring. EMNRD’s proposal, called “WISE” (Whole-Building Investments in Sustainable Efficiency), requested $750,000. Awards were given to New Mexico and twelve other states that effectively demonstrated plans for cutting-edge programs that will dramatically increase energy efficiency in public buildings. WISE will be self-sustaining, grow into a statewide program, and include a continuous improvement component.

Friday July 6, 2012

Los Alamos County Fire Department will relax its Fire Restrictions to Stage I in Los Alamos County effective Friday, July 6th at noon.  This relaxation of fire restrictions is based upon:

·      ·     Local weather improvement, including:

o   o       Recent regular rainfall

o   o       The local (7) day forecast that reflects the apparent onset of the monsoon season

·        Rising humidity values in the weather

o       Fuel condition improvements, including:

o       Reduction in Fire Danger Level, from Extreme to High

o       Reduction in Ignition Potential, from 100% to 70%

o       Increase in the Dead Fuel Moistures to double-digit levels.

·        Daily fire occurrence situation.

o       The number of lighting caused starts remains steady; however, large fire potential is down.

o       Adequate fire resources available.

·        Preparedness level

o       The Southwest Area has downgraded the Preparedness Level to III based on predicted reduction in new starts and fire behavior.

           

Effective 7/6/2012 at noon Los Alamos County returns to Stage I Fire Restrictions, which prohibit:

·         -Building, maintaining or using an open fire on all Los Alamos County lands except within developed campsites (concrete pad with metal fire ring), metal grills using charcoal or propane are acceptable on North Mesa campgrounds, at Overlook Park and at any park within Los Alamos County.

·         -Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3-feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

These restrictions will be in effect until the fire danger level is reduced to low.

The Los Alamos County Fire Department continues to work with the U.S. Forest Service, Los Alamos National Laboratory Emergency Management and the U.S. Park Service and will closely monitor local wildfire conditions.  Residents will be advised if/when these conditions change.

Thursday July 5, 2012

New Beginnings Church, across from East Park Pool had a major fire yesterday.  It destroyed the sanctuary.  The 2 story building adjacent to the chapel received heavy smoke damage. There also was an area in the back of the church that burned. It started around 10:30 am and took three hours to declare it was out. It was discovered by children’s pastor of the church.  Since the fire department is located across the street, they responded immediately.  The cause is under investigation and is not immediately apparent.  The state fire marshal has been called in to investigate. 

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Happy Independence Day

Tuesday July 3, 2012

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Site Office (LASO) has upgraded fire restrictions on Department of Energy property to prohibit all outside recreational and off-road driving activities.    

The upgrade to Stage III fire restrictions coincides with that of  Los Alamos National Laboratory. Both organizations imposed Stage II fire restrictions last week, and are now increasing their postures to Stage III.

 The restricted areas include all DOE property, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, within Los Alamos, Sandoval and Santa Fe Counties except areas specifically listed as open: paved parking lots and hard-surfaced roadways.  Prohibited recreational activities include walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Also prohibited is driving off of prepared-surfaced, established roadways and/or parking lots.  DOE Land is closed.  

 LASO informed the Los Alamos Sportsmen’s Club last week of prohibited activities under Stage II restrictions. Under Stage III, the government-leased club prohibits archery and other outside recreation activities on the gun club property.

 It is closed.  

Monday July 2, 2012

On Saturday the Santa Fe National Forest had a field trip though the Paliza Canyon area.  They have a large prescribed burn scheduled for the area next year and were showing the public the details of the whys this needs to occur and how it will help the forest.

 It is part of the large Southwest Jemez Restoration Project which was among 10 nationwide projects chosen for funding by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in August of 2010.  The project is planning to thin trees on 90,000 acres and use prescribed fire on 76,000 acres.  Thinning trees costs over $500 per acres and prescribed burns cost less that $100 an acre. 

 The Paliza Canyon has been chosen for the prescribed burn to prevent a catastrophic fire to this water shed because the town on Ponderosa is at the bottom of the canyon.  It would face consequences like the Dixon Apple Orchard if the mountains above it were to be charred by wildfire.  The Environmental Impact Study has been done along with the prep work of monitoring streams, wildlife and identifying and protecting cultural sites.  There is consensus that something must be done with our overgrown forests to prevent fires like the Las Conchas.  There is a plan to monitor the area for the next 15 years to have an accurate picture of results. 

 They are also working on the EIS and the NEPA paperwork to work on the next section of forest.  The scoping letter should be coming out along about July 12.  We will bring you the news release because it is followed by a 60 day public comment period. 

Friday June 29, 2012

As a result of the region’s high fire potential, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Site Office (LASO) has imposed fire prevention restrictions on the government-leased Sportsmen’s Club property in Los Alamos to match those for the Forest Service, Park Service, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory property.

In a letter to the Sportmen’s Club today, LASO noted that the decision came following a Rendija Canyon site visit to the club and with fire experts from Los Alamos National Security, LLC.  The restrictions apply to the area outside the club building and are effective immediately. They include:

*Smoking is prohibited in all areas, including within vehicles in these areas.

*No discharging a firearm or air rifle or gas guns.

*No operation of any equipment powered by an internal combustion engine off of any paved or hardened surface.

*No off road operation or use of any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.

*No welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame outside of a building.

*Driving off established roadways is restricted to roads improved by pavement, gravel or base course. A two-wheel rut path, fire road or fire break is not considered an established roadway.

*Following any operation that is performed in the area, the person(s) conducting the activity shall be responsible for ensuring that the activity has not caused a fire or hot spot(s). A check of the work areas(s) must be conducted at least 30 minutes following cessation of operations in these areas.

  Further restrictions could be enacted due to the continued and expanding risk of wildfire to the region. Restrictions will stay in place until conditions improve.

Thursday June 28, 2012

 This morning the Los Alamos national laboratory recognized its many employee and retiree volunteers.  2490 people recorded 269,493 volunteer hours into the volunteer match program.  Los Alamos National Security LLC donated over $180,000 to more than 230 501(C)3 organizations  in proportion to the number of hours volunteered to that organization.  The top 2 nonprofit organizations were the Los Alamos Retired and senior’s organization which received a check for 9,950 dollars, the Boy Scouts of America, Great Southwest Council received 6,600 dollars. 

 

Since the Laboratory joined VolunteerMatch in 2007, over 2,500 Los Alamos employees and retirees reported more than 1 million volunteer hours. In 2011, about 270,000 hours of volunteer service were reported through LANL’s Vecinos volunteer program.

 

Wednesday June 27, 2012

Yesterday as a result a much hard work that really began 11 years ago after the Cerro Grande fire, the new interagency fire center groundbreaking ceremony was held at TA 49. The success of last year’s multi-agency coordination during the Las Conchas fire sped the project along and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Bandelier National Monument (BAND), and Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) have partnered to build a 6,400 square foot facility to serve as a joint coordination and response center for fire events.  This new building will significantly enhance the current fire-fighting capacities of all the agencies.

Kevin Smith from the NNSA,  Ray Todd from the National Park Service and Sandy Hurlocker from the Santa Fe National Forest  Espanola district all made statements about how useful this facility has been since the Cerro Grande fire and it was time to give the center a real building instead of 2 trailers and a dirt spot.  It will help fight fires on an ecosystem level instead of by fence line referring to the cooperation that occurs through this interagency collaboration.

 

Tuesday June 26, 2012

Governor Susana Martinez will visit Los Alamos National Laboratory today to mark the one-year anniversary of the Las Conchas Fire as well at the 1,000th shipment of Transuranic (TRU) waste from the lab to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad. In 2011, the Las Conchas Fire consumed more than 156,000 acres of land around Los Alamos and the lab site, making it the largest wildfire in state history at the time. Following the fire, Governor Martinez directed the New Mexico Environment Department to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to prioritize the removal of all above ground TRU waste that remains stored on the lab site. The Martinez administration and federal officials came to an agreement that would remove all above-ground TRU waste from the lab site by the June 2014.

 

Monday June 25, 2012

There were 2 fires in the La Puebla area last night near mile marker 6 on state road 76. The first fire was caused by a car fire and the second one was caused by the blowing wind spreading the first one.   Both caused evacuations but fire crews were able to control both fires before any buildings were lost.     As of midnight, crews have managed to stop the spread of the fires at this time; however they are still actively burning on the interior. Crews will remain on stand by for direct fire suppression where possible and work on mop up and strengthening containment lines throughout the night. Incident Command was hopeful to start letting people back in their homes sometime after midnight Area residents near both fires can expect to see smoke this morning.

The second fire was near some power lines which were damaged and are under repair.  Power may be still off to some customers. 

Friday June 22, 2012

Romero Fire Update

359 acres, 50% contained. Due to extensive work by the fire crews yesterday, much of the fire on the both sides of the Rio Grande River remains secure.  Today, fire crews will continue to improve and reinforce containment lines, mop-up and suppress hot-spots. Rehabilitation work will begin on dozer lines constructed on the fire.  A number of crews and engine resources will be released to return to their home units for reassignment and initial attack.  Fire officials believe continued progress will be made today.

 

Little Bear Fire Update:

Size: approx. 43,232 acres
Containment: 75 %

Summary:  Hold and improve continue to be the watchwords for today.  Very little fire movement was seen because of increased humidity.  The burn out is complete around the Rio Bonito subdivision and Runnel’s Stables.  Significant progress was made regarding mop up and rehabilitation throughout the entire fire.  The public will continue to see smokes and flames within the interior of the fire. This activity will diminish over time

 

Thursday June 21, 2012

On Tuesday, June 19 Bandelier Rangers, with the assistance of National Guard air support, conducted a successful search and rescue operation in the area between Alamo Canyon and Capulin Canyon.

Tuesday morning, Sandoval County 911 Center received a cell call from a group in distress and requesting aid in the backcountry of Bandelier National Monument. Sandoval County provided Bandelier personnel with the call's GPS coordinates, and Bandelier Archaeologist/Rangers Heath Bailey and David Shiffler, who were already in the vicinity, immediately responded.

The parties in distress, including a 15-year-old male, a 48-year-old female and a 79-year-old female, had planned to camp the previous night in Capulin Canyon where there is a water source, but never made it that far.  They had run out of water several hours earlier, and showed signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration. Bailey and Shiffler provided them with water and began a slow 6-mile hike out from Alamo Mesa towards park headquarters with the youth and the two women. As evening approached the elder woman began to show more serious signs of heat exhaustion, and the decision was made to evacuate her via helicopter.

Chief Ranger Tom Betts coordinated the helicopter rescue with New Mexico State Police and the National Guard, and a National Guard Blackhawk helicopter was dispatched to Alamo Canyon. The 78-year-old woman was airlifted directly to UNM Medical Center in Albuquerque in stable condition. Bandelier Rangers Iffy Khan and Paul Weddle hiked in with more provisions for Bailey, Shiffler, and the two remaining hikers. All made it safely to Frijoles Canyon near midnight.

Wednesday June 20, 2012

Power was interrupted to North Mesa beginning at 11:18 a.m. Tuesday when a contractor digging with a high pressure hose and vacuum exposed and breached one wire of three phase direct bury electric line on the east end of North Mesa, according to officials at the Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU). About 250 customers were affected, initially.

To safely work on the damaged underground line, DPU’s electric linemen brought power down to all three phases of underground cable, while inspection and repair work occurred in the trenched area, which increased the number of North Mesa customers affected from 250 to approximately 750.  Power was restored to the area at 4:30 p.m.

Another apparently unrelated power outage, affecting six homes on Tsankawi and the La Mesa mobile home park occurred at about 6 p.m. A different underground line fault was isolated and repaired with power restored by approximately 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday June 19, 2012

Hazardous devices teams from around the Southwest will wrangle their bomb squad robots at the sixth annual Robot Rodeo beginning today at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

The rodeo gets under way at 8 a.m. in Technical Area 49, a remote section of Laboratory property near the entrance to Bandelier National Monument. Eight teams are scheduled to participate in the three-day competition.

“The Robot Rodeo gives bomb squad teams the opportunity to practice and hone their skills in a lively but low-risk setting,” said Chris Ory of LANL’s Emergency Response Group and a member of the Lab’s hazardous devices team.

Teams compete in events and simulations such as:

·      Removing bombs from the inside of aircraft

·      Rescuing injured first responders

·      Navigating obstacle courses

·      Responding to a roadside bombing

·      Operating in smoke-filled buildings

·      Troubleshooting equipment problems

·      Attacking and rendering safe large vehicle bombs

·      ealing with suicide bombers.


Monday June 18, 2012

Beginning Monday, June 18 at 8:00 a.m. the Santa Fe National Forest, Valles Caldera National Preserve, and NM State Game & Fish properties will enter Stage 2 Fire Restrictions due to the potential for extreme fire danger.

 The restrictions apply to all National Forest System lands within the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve.

  Second level (Stage 2) restrictions

The following are not allowed. 

*       Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or stove fire.

*       Smoking.

*       Using fireworks, explosives or other incendiary devices.

*       Operating a chainsaw, or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine, is prohibited.

*       Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order.

*       Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.

*       Possessing or using a motor vehicle off roads on federal lands, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway.

Camp May and North Mesa Picnic Area are completely RESTRICTED from using any open flame - this includes grills, fire rings or pits.

 LAFD will allow use of the on-site (installed) grills at the following County Parks:   Urban Park, Rover Park, Eastgate “Sunrise” Park (the entrance park on NM502 east of Los Alamos near Camino Entrada). OR, visitors can use a Coleman type of propane grill top at any County Park.

In Los Alamos County,  The  sale and use of aerial fireworks and ground audible fireworks including helicopters,  aerial spinners, missile type rockets, stick type rockets, chasers and firecrackers are prohibited for the next thirty (30) days  


Friday June 15, 2012

Beginning Monday, June 18, all vehicles entering Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) Vehicle Access Portal at East Jemez Road must use center lane number 4 between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. weekdays and all day on weekends. All other lanes will be closed during LANL’s non-work hours. During these hours, drivers and bicyclists must stop at the center lane guard post and proceed only upon verbal or hand-signal direction from a LANL protective force officer. Orange traffic safety cones will be used to funnel vehicle traffic into the center lane. All drivers are reminded that the speed limit approaching the Vehicle Access Portal is 15 miles per hour and to merge safely and courteously.

These measures include an increase in random inspections of all vehicles transiting the Laboratory, to include West and East Jemez roads and roadways leading to the main Laboratory administrative area, Technical Area 3.

Write to spp-questions@lanl.gov with questions or for more information.


Thursday,June 14, 2012

Bandelier National Monument Superintendent Jason Lott has announced that effective immediately, Ponderosa Group Campground will be closed for up to ten days, pending capture and removal of a black bear.  Juniper Campground for families, located about 6 miles away, will remain open. At approximately 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12, a black bear swatted at a tent occupied by a sleeping juvenile who was camping with family at Ponderosa Campground. The tent was torn, and the bear’s claws grazed the back of the juvenile’s neck, causing a minor abrasive injury. The family immediately left the campground and National Park Service (NPS) Rangers were informed later that morning.
Starting Wednesday night NPS Rangers will work with State Game and Fish personnel to trap and remove the bear. As a result, Ponderosa Group Campground will be closed for up to ten days.


Wednesday June 13, 2012

Half of White Rock customers serviced by the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities lost electricity briefly Tuesday afternoon.  Power was lost at 4:30 p.m. and restored just 15 minutes later.

A contractor replacing utility poles in the area inadvertently caused the outage.  A jumper burned while the primary riser was being attached to the new pole structure. Work procedures require the overhead protective devices be placed on non-reclosing mode when work is being conducted on live electric lines.  This is to avoid further damage to the electric system and for worker safety.   As a result, when the line was ruptured the circuit tripped.  No one was injured.  

Electric linemen responded and restored power by 4:45 p.m.


Tuesday June 12, 2012

The National Nuclear Security Administration will be completing a high-fidelity aerial survey of Los Alamos town site today and tomorrow, a dual-step project initiated last fall.

Residents may see the silver and blue Bell 412 helicopter make several passes at 150-300 feet above ground over and near the town site to measure for background radiation.

Information from the survey will enhance NNSA’s and Los Alamos County’s understanding of the local environment. Data will be included in the 50-year Environmental Stewardship and Action Plan developed to guide long-term protection of the environment. 

The information will also aid in characterizing the land in Rendija Canyon, scheduled for transfer from the U.S. Department of Energy to Los Alamos County.


Monday June 11, 2012

Dave and Gillian Sutton took home the prestigious honor of Broadcaster of the Year 2012 from the New Mexico Broadcasters association during their convention this weekend.  It is given annually to someone who has done an outstanding job in the broadcasting industry during the preceding year.

The Suttons received the award for their accurate continuous coverage of the Las Conchas fire. They remained in town with their daughter, Michaelle, to keep the community informed about the fast moving fire. Their staff of 2 people, Nancy Coombs and Greg Kendel, came through the roadblocks daily to keep the listeners both on the air and online informed.  Michaelle answered the phone.  County Councilor Mike Wismer acted as a county liaison to establish all avenues of communication.

The Sutton’s other outstanding achievement last year was to install their new antenna on North Mesa. This brings the KRSN AM 1490 radio station back into compliance with all FCC regulations.
The New Mexico Broadcasters Association also recognized Marissa Denbaars’ show, Be Healthy Los Alamos as best Nonsports Talk Show in the small market division and John Whitcomb for the best Sports Talk Show for the small market division. Both are locally produced shows.  Ms. Denbaars’ show airs at 12:10 every Tuesday.  John Witcomb can be heard at 7:30am and 8:30am Monday through Friday.  KRSN congratulates them on their success and thanks them for their time they dedicate to your community radio station.

Friday June 8, 2012

Park and Ride has issued a Rider Alert summarizing additional Blue Route adjustments, tentativley scheduled to begin on June 18. Riders are asked to review the Rider Alert and the Draft Schedule and provide comments by noon on Tuesday, June 12. Comments may be sent to nmparkandride@state.nm.us

In response to input from riders, departure times will be changed on the following runs of the Blue Route:

Los Alamos 20th and Central stop has been re-named Mesa Public Library to more accurately reflect the location.

• The first afternoon bus north-bound from Santa Fe will leave the South Capitol Station at 2:20pm. Other departure times on the run have been adjusted to reflect the change.

• The first afternoon bus south-bound from Los Alamos will depart Mesa Public Library at 3:40pm, LA Medical Center at 3:44pm and from TA-3 at 3:51pm. Other departure times on the run have been adjusted to reflect the change.

• The final pm north-bound bus from Santa Fe will depart South Capitol Station at 4:52pm, and arrive at Pojoaque at 5:37pm and the Mesa Public Library at 6:12pm.

• The next-to-last southbound bus will depart from the Mesa Public Library at 6:12pm, LA Medical Center at 6:16pm and from TA-3 at 6:23pm, and will arrive at South Capitol Station at 7:19am.

Thursday June 7, 2012

The Colorado Peak fire on the Espanola Ranger District is now 269 acres and is about 65% contained.  Dry weather is expected through the weekend with critically low humidity levels. Today’s weather: sunny with no chance of precipitation; max temperature: 88 degrees; relative humidity: 7-12%; wind is expected from the southwest at 4-6 mph, increasing to 7-10 mph in the afternoon. Ventilation is excellent, which means smoke will disperse well.  Firefighters worked through the night to contain the fire. Sparse, patchy fuels and an aggressive fire fight have helped to contain the fire.

A decrease in fire activity has also decreased smoke. Minimal smoke is expected today.

Wednesday June 6, 2012

The Colorado Peak Fire was discovered today.  The fire is located in the Caja del Rio on the Espanola Ranger District between Cochiti and Santa Fe. It is about 320 acres and the cause is unknown and no structures are in threat.  Today residents from north of Albuquerque to Santa Fe will see smoke.  Fuels on the ground are dry due to the lack of moisture and are creating a fair amount of smoke. The Colorado Peak Fire is at 320 acres and moving north.  Air tankers are on the fire while firefighter personnel on ground are trying to work their way to the fire.

The bear springs fire is currently 580 acres with 10% containment. The Paliza Campground is currently closed. Today’s low intensity burnout operation was successfully completed and the fire is doing well.  The fire is expected to back slowly downhill to containment lines.   Firefighters will spend the rest of afternoon holding containment lines and watching for, and putting out spot fires.  Spot fires could start in unburned vegetation from embers.Heli-tankers are available today to drop retardant on spot fires, if necessary.  Smoke is currently visible and from NM 550, NM 4, I-25 and US 285. Transport winds this afternoon will be from the southwest, causing smoke to drift to the northeast towards Los Alamos

Tuesday June 5, 2012

The Los Alamos County Council voted yesterday to appoint Rebecca Ehler as the new County Attorney. Ehler is currently the Legal Advisor at the Department of Public Safety in Alamogordo, NM. She also served as the City Attorney for Alamogordo from 1993-2002, advising the City Council on bond issues, ordinances, contracts, land matters and a water utility. Councilors cited Ehler’s extensive municipal government law experience in Alamogordo, coupled with her public safety experience, as one of the main factors in their decision to offer her the job at the County. The Council approved a tentative contract for Ehler at their meeting. Stover said that Ehler will receive a salary of $136,000 and will be moving to Los Alamos in June, with her first day on the job set for June 18.

The Council complimented Assistant Attorney Brian James in his role as the Acting County Attorney for nearly a year, and thanked him for his dedication and service. James has accepted a job offer as the Town Attorney for Taos.

The council also approved  the County Administrator’s selection of Charlie Kalogeros-Chattan as Community Services Director, The county now has its executive positions all filled for the first time in 2 years.

Monday June 4, 2012

There have been several fires started in Northern New Mexico by lightening as dry thunderstorms rolled through the area this weekend, but the potential spread for the fires is low to moderate and they are being contained.

  One reported and not yet contained is the Bear Springs Fire which   is approximately 40 acres with local Type 4 resources on scene and a Type 3 enroute.. The lightening caused fire is actively running East and is located 6 miles East of Ponderosa and 7 miles North East of Jemez Pueblo in Sandoval County. It is close to the southwestern most point of the Las Conchas burn last summer.   No structures are currently at risk.  Further assessments will be made by air and ground teams as they arrive on scene.   Active fire behavior has been observed with running and spotting.

 A smoke plume emitting grey smoke is visible from Jemez Springs, Jemez Pueblo, San Ysidro, Bernalillo, Cuba, Santa Fe, NM 4, NM 550 and I-25. Smoke is drifting north.  

 

* A fire named Alexis is burning in rough terrain NE of Hondo in Lincoln County.  Fire lines were strengthened yesterday and the fire was held to containment lines.  Full containment is expected shortly. About 750 acres have burned. There are 80 personnel fighting the fire and no structures have been threatened. 

 

*The whitewater baldy complex fire has grown to 255,024 acres and is 18% contained.  Firefighters made good progress on the northeastern portions of the fire.  Firefighters are scouting the area along Gila Mountain Trail and the Middle Fork River for potential control lines. Should extreme fire behavior push the fire to the east, a contingency line is being constructed a safe distance east of the fires edge. Firefighters will strengthen containment lines south of the community of Mogollon. The community of Mogollon will be open to residents and business owners today and open to the public June 6.

Residents should be cautious when driving in the vicinity.

If you are planning to visit the forest, closures and restrictions still are in effect in several areas; please go to the Gila National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/gila for current information or contact the Forest directly at 575-388-8201.

Friday June 1, 2012

Construction Update:

Eastern Area 2 Concrete, Paving & Utility Project - Phase 1 Canyon Rd between East Road (NM502) and the Myrtle Green continues to be closed to through traffic. Residential access to this area will be maintained; however, residents who park on Canyon Road are asked to park off-street or on a nearby side street. Residents can expect flagging operations on Canyon Rd during the day time, and two-way traffic at night. Minor delays may be experienced. Pedestrians must use the provided pedestrian detours. All through traffic must seek alternate routes.
 
RMCI is also working on 15th Street, requiring the closure of 15th Street between Trinity and Deacon, as well as reducing traffic between Deacon and Central to two lanes of traffic to allow for work on the west side of 15th Street. Pedestrians will be detoured around the construction area. Access to area businesses will be maintained.  
 
Starting Monday, June 4, 4th Street between Central and Canyon will be closed to through traffic. Residential access will be maintained.
 
Night work on Central Avenue, associated with the new Municipal Building, between 15th Street and 9th Street started on May 29th, resulting in the full closure of this section of Central. Closure will be effective between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings through Friday mornings ending at 6 a.m. This work also closes Knecht Street to through traffic at Central Avenue (access to the banks will be maintained).

County Pavement crews will begin paving the East Park parking lot on  Monday, June 4. Paving activities will require the park to be closed from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily for approximately two weeks. Activity at the site on Monday will be limited to equipment staging as crews prepare for paving. Paving operations are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, June 5, weather permitting, and should conclude by Wednesday, June 20. The East Park pavilion cannot be reserved for events on weekdays, but will be available for use on the weekends. Temporary access will be provided to the dog park and La Mesa Trail from the Sombrillo parking lot. Park and trail users are asked to use caution in the area during paving operations.