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Los Alamos

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Crashes mar morning commute

Traffic was a mess this morning for commuters heading into Los Alamos from off the hill.

LAPD captain Randy Foster said there were two separate non-injury crashes — one on the main hill and the other by the airport. Foster said they were both likely rear-end crashes.

Foster said the first crash occurred at 7:32 a.m. near the airport and the two vehicles involved were a white Honda Civic and a black SUV.

Foster said the second crash occurred at 8:01 a.m. at the top of the main hill and two vehicles involved were — you guessed it — a white Honda Civic and a black SUV.

Traffic was moving slowly by the airport by 8:20 a.m. although it was backed up down the hill.    .    

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Be There 09-05-12

Today
Mesa Public Library presents Game Night from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Bring your games or play theirs. For all ages.
 
Monica Witt, Utilities and Institutional Facilities Energy manager at LANL will give a talk at 7 p.m. in upstairs meeting rooms 2 and 3 at Mesa Public Library. Witt has worked at LANL for 10 years in the environmental and energy management fields. She is responsible for implementing projects to reduce energy and water to meet the lab’s sustainability goals. She will discuss the federal sustainability requirements and what LANL is working on to meet energy, water and greenhouse gas reduction goals. The program is co-sponsored by the Sierra Club and the Los Alamos Sustainability Network.

Thursday
The Los Alamos Farmers Market will be from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Mesa Public Library.

The Mesa Public Library Free Film Series presents “The Descendants,” (R), at 6:30 p.m.

Bird Banding Talk at PEEC by local birder Dave Yeamans. Learn how scientists use banding methods to track and study birds around the world. See photos, hear stories and watch movies of ornithologists at work. 7 p.m. Free. No registration required. Visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org for more information.

Friday

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Weeks tops Tuesday's pace race as top predictor

Bob Weeks was only 3 seconds off his prediction at Tuesday’s pace race.
There were many good predictions in the weekly Tuesday pace race in Pajarito Acres.  There were 28 people who competed.  The course was a fairly-flat 1-mile paved-loop mainly on Estante Way.
One could run any number of loops but with a requested predicted time of 45 minutes or less.  All distances from 1 to 5 miles were done.  Most did 1 or 3 miles.
The fastest for 1 mile were Duncan Fuehne (6:49), Sue Kinkead and Lynn Kluegel (both 13:43).  The faster 3-mile runners were Roxana Candia (23:47) and Zach Media (23:48). Nikol Strother and Ted Romero both did 5 miles in 37:13.
The differences between predicted and actual times were adjusted by distance to 3 miles.  The better predictors (with their distances and adjusted delta times, in seconds) were Bob Weeks (1 mi, 9 s), Zach Media (3, 12), Karen Thorn (4, 16), Roxana Candia (3,17), Inez Ross (1, 24), James Clifford (3, 26), Roy Cope (1, 30), Duncan Fuehne (1, 33), and David Kratzer (5, 37).
Next Tuesday’s Pace Race will start near 4710 Quemazon off North Road.  For more information, please call 672-1639.

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Natural gas outage affects 1,000 at North Mesa -- updated

More than 1,000 Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities’ customers on North Mesa lost natural gas just before noon Wednesday.

Gas construction work in the Kwage Mesa area, specifically a pipeline tie-in, unexpectedly depressurized the gas line feeding the North Mesa neighborhood.

Efforts to restore gas service began Wednesday afternoon.  DPU employees went door-to-door to shut off gas valves to each and every North Mesa customer, pressurize the gas lines, and then revisit each home to turn gas back on and relight appliances.  As of Thursday morning, gas was restored to half of the affected homes. 

Door tags are being left for customers that are not home when crews attempt to turn natural gas back on.    Those customers are encouraged to call the 311 Customer Care Center at 662-8333 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.  After 5 p.m. customers should call Police Dispatch at 662-8222.

DPU Officials advise that employees are responding to customers as quickly as possible.  However, due to the volume of residences affected, DPU personnel are not able to provide a definitive time of arrival. 

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Dems open party headquarters

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Police Beat 9-4-12

Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

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August 23

10:34 a.m. –– A 54-year-old Los Alamos man recently filed a complaint with police that someone fraudulently used his credit card. Police are still investigating.

9:04 p.m. ­­­­–– A 46-year-old Los Alamos man was arrested on a magistrate court warrant on N.M. 4.

August 24

2:40 p.m. –– A 48-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police she was the victim of fraud. The amount taken was between $250 and below $20,000. Police are still investigating.

August 25

10:25 p.m. –– Jason Willis, 32, of Los Alamos was arrested for burglarizing a house, larceny, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance and aggravated driving while intoxicated in the 100 block of Rover Boulevard.

August 26

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Business: Three stations are now part of Giant Convenience chain

Talking fuel pumps new to LA

By Arin McKenna

If the normally quiet pumps at your favorite gas station have started spouting advertisements at you recently, chances are the station is one of three locations now under longterm lease to Western Refining.

In an agreement signed June 6, Western Refining acquired longterm leases from Polk Oil on 12 stations throughout Northern New Mexico. The Chevron on Trinity Drive, the Shell station on Diamond Drive and the Conoco Quik Stop in White Rock are part of that group.

Although Western Refining operates 222 stores throughout New Mexico, Arizona, Southern Colorado and West Texas — known as Giant Convenience Centers — this is the company’s first venture into Los Alamos County.

“The transition has gone well,” said Gary Hanson, vice president of corporate communications. “We’ve completed rebranding and the office systems have been converted. And we’re very pleased with the performance of those stations.”

“Our retail stores help us as a business. They give us an outlet for the oil and gas we produce at our refineries. So it’s good to add these stores to our mix,” Hanson continued. The company has refineries in El Paso and Gallup.

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Seven vie to replace Selvage

By Arin McKenna

Seven Los Alamos county residents have submitted letters of interest in the council seat vacated by Ron Selvage earlier this month. They are Edward Birnbaum, John Bliss, Stephen Boerigter, Andrea Cunningham, Phillip Kunsberg, Ralph Phelps and Rick Reiss.

Council will hold a special session at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 to select a replacement. The successful candidate will hold the seat for the remainder of Selvage’s term, which expires Dec. 13, 2014.

Follow the Los Alamos Monitor for more on the candidates.

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Severed line causes power outage

At approximately10 a.m. Monday morning a contractor severed an underground electric line while removing a section of sidewalk, leaving businesses on the south side of Trinity from 20th to the end DP Road without power for a brief period of time.

Electric line crews with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities responded and rerouted power around the damaged section to restore power in less than 30 minutes. Permanent repairs will be scheduled in the near future.

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ChemCam laser analyses yield clean, clear results

 

 Members of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover ChemCam team, including Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists, squeezed in a little extra target practice after zapping the first fist-sized rock that was placed in the laser’s crosshairs last weekend.

Much to the delight of the scientific team, the laser instrument has fired nearly 500 shots so far that have produced strong, clear data about the composition of the Martian surface.

“The spectrum we have received back from Curiosity is as good as anything we looked at on Earth,” said Los Alamos National Laboratory planetary scientist Roger Wiens, Principal Investigator of the ChemCam Team. “The entire MSL team was very excited about this and we popped a little champagne.”

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Heavy storms expected today

By Associated Press

The National Weather Service said a strong weather system is expected to bring heavy thunderstorms to western New Mexico and flash flooding is possible.

The system is moving into the state after hammering much of Arizona early Thursday. It is expected to reach the state Thursday afternoon and bring the heaviest rain to western parts of the state. Up to three inches of rain could fall per hour from some of the heaviest storm cells.

A flash flood watch has been issued for most areas west of the Rio Grande Valley and the mountains of Lincoln County. Such warnings mean flooding is possible but not imminent. Los Alamos County and the Jemez Mountains are under such a warning.

Areas below forests burned in recent fires are most prone to major flooding. Drivers should avoid washes and arroyos when storms are nearby.

 

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Flash Flood Watch remains in effect

FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING...

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* A PORTION OF NORTH AND CENTRAL NEW MEXICO... INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS... CHUSKA MOUNTAINS... FAR NORTHWEST HIGHLANDS... JEMEZ MOUNTAINS... NORTHWEST HIGHLANDS... NORTHWEST PLATEAU... SAN FRANCISCO RIVER VALLEY... SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS... SOUTH CENTRAL MOUNTAINS... SOUTHWEST MOUNTAINS... WEST CENTRAL HIGHLANDS... WEST CENTRAL MOUNTAINS AND WEST CENTRAL PLATEAU.

* THROUGH THIS EVENING

* SUBSTANTIAL ATMOSPHERIC MOISTURE CONTINUES PLACE OVER WESTERN NEW MEXICO TODAY... AS WELL AS A GOOD PORTION OF CENTRAL NEW MEXICO. AN UPPER LEVEL LOW PRESSURE TROUGH ALOFT STILL LIES WEST OF THE STATE AND WILL MOVE EAST INTO THE STATE TONIGHT. THIS SHOULD AID IN ADDITIONAL SCATTERED AND POSSIBLY NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS TO ERUPT WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR LOCALIZED AREAS OF HEAVY RAINFALL. THE DEGREE OF HEAVY RAIN POTENTIAL HOWEVER HAS DIMINISHED A LITTLE IN AREAS NEAR AND WEST OF THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE... BUT WITH EARLIER MORNING RAINFALL AND ADDITIONAL AFTERNOON DEVELOPMENT THERE IS STILL SUFFICIENT HEAVY RAIN RISK TO WARRANT THE CONTINUATION OF THE WATCH. STORMS SHOULD DRIFT TO THE EAST AND NORTHEAST THROUGH THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING... AND WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING RAINFALL RATES BETWEEN AN INCH AND TWO AND A HALF INCHES PER HOUR.

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ECA peer exchange tackles environmental issues

By Arin McKenna

The Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) had a peer exchange in Los Alamos last week. It was the first time ECA has met here in more than five years.

The main topic of discussion was environmental management (EM), although other issues of concern to the participants were also discussed in length.

Seth Kirshenberg, executive director of ECA, began a series of panel discussions Thursday with a summary of current issues.

Kirshenberg reported that Congress is expected to pass a six month continuing resolution until a new budget is passed, with provisions that could impact DOE communities.

The main concern was a new limitation that prevents agencies from moving money around. In the past, Department of Energy Environmental Management (DOE-EM) had considerable flexibility in directing money to the most urgent environmental cleanup needs at each site.

"The bottom line is, we don't have that flexibility to move money between the major control elements if the CR passes as it is today," Kirshenberg said.

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Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through this evening

FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING...

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* A PORTION OF NORTH AND CENTRAL NEW MEXICO... INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS... CHUSKA MOUNTAINS... FAR NORTHWEST HIGHLANDS... JEMEZ MOUNTAINS... NORTHWEST HIGHLANDS... NORTHWEST PLATEAU... SAN FRANCISCO RIVER VALLEY... SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS... SOUTH CENTRAL MOUNTAINS... SOUTHWEST MOUNTAINS... WEST CENTRAL HIGHLANDS... WEST CENTRAL MOUNTAINS AND WEST CENTRAL PLATEAU.

* THROUGH THIS EVENING

* DEEP AND RICH AMOUNTS OF ATMOSPHERIC MOISTURE WILL BE OVER MUCH OF WESTERN... AND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL... NEW MEXICO THROUGH AT LEAST TONIGHT. WITH INCREASING ATMOSPHERIC INSTABILITY THIS AFTERNOON SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY ERUPT WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR LOCALIZED AREAS OF HEAVY RAINFALL. STORMS WILL DRIFT TO THE EAST AND NORTHEAST AT 10 TO 15 MPH THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING AND WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING RAINFALL RATES BETWEEN AND INCH AND A HALF AND 3 INCHES PER HOUR.

* LOCALIZED FLASH FLOODING OF STREAMS... ARROYOS... DRY CREEK BEDS AND LOW WATER CROSSINGS WILL BE POSSIBLE FROM HEAVY RAINFALL. THE LAS CONCHAS... WHITEWATER BALDY... LITTLE BEAR... AND WHITE BURN SCARS WILL BE ESPECIALLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO FLASH FLOODING THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

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Flood Advisory until 5 p.m.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ALBUQUERQUE HAS ISSUED AN

* ARROYO AND SMALL STREAM FLOOD ADVISORY FOR... NORTHERN LOS ALAMOS COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL NEW MEXICO SOUTHEASTERN RIO ARRIBA COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL NEW MEXICO NORTHEASTERN SANDOVAL COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL NEW MEXICO NORTHWESTERN SANTA FE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL NEW MEXICO

* UNTIL 500 PM MDT

* AT 254 PM MDT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED HEAVY RAIN OVER SANTA CLARA CANYON. RADAR ESTIMATES AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE AROUND ONE HALF INCH OF RAIN HAS FALLEN WITH THESE STORMS IN LESS THAN 1 HOUR. THIS ACTIVITY IS MOVING QUICKLY EAST DOWN SANTA CLARA CANYON AROUND 20 MPH... THEREFORE THE FLOOD THREAT IS EXPECTED TO BE MINOR AT THIS TIME.

* STRONG FLOWS AND HIGH WATER LEVELS ARE EXPECTED IN ARROYOS... SMALL STREAMS AND OVER LOW WATER CROSSINGS. RAPID RUNOFF CAN ALSO BE EXPECTED IMMEDIATELY OVER AND DOWNSTREAM FROM WILDFIRE BURN SCARS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

RUNOFF FROM RAINFALL WILL CAUSE ELEVATED WATER LEVELS WITHIN VULNERABLE DRAINAGES IN AND DOWNSTREAM OF THE LAS CONCHAS FIRE BURN AREA.

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