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Local News

  • DOE to start toxic waste cleanup at LA Canyon

    Department of Energy contractors will start removing toxic contaminated soil along the south-facing slopes of Los Alamos Canyon next week, as part of a program to clean up legacy waste sites in Los Alamos.
    The contaminated soil is mostly leftover from the Manhattan Project and early Cold War research activities from 1943–1965.
    Work is scheduled to begin on the canyon’s south-facing slopes near the location of the former Los Alamos Inn, which was located at 2201 Trinity Ave, near the Los Alamos Medical Center. The contaminated soils will be shipped from the site at 2201 Trinity Ave., near the Los Alamos Medical Center, and temporarily stored at Tech Area 21. The soils will be moved to a more permanent area once tested.
    Los Alamos National Security LLC and subcontractor TerranearPMC will perform the clean up. The work will include five sites in a one-acre area. About 125 cubic yards of soil is scheduled to be moved.
    One site contains arsenic and the other four contain Plutonium 2399240. The sites are within or directly adjacent to DOE property.

  • Nobile appointed probate judge

    Los Alamos County Council appointed Anne Nobile Tuesday to complete the term of probate judge through Dec. 31.
    The office was vacated when Bill McKerley resigned the position on May 20, after learning that he could not hold a leadership position with the Republican Party of Los Alamos while in office.
    Nobile was one of the candidates who vied for the position when McKerley was appointed in January.
    Vice Chair Susan O’Leary and Councilor Kristin Henderson joined the meeting by phone. Although her connection was lost later in the session, O’Leary was able to join six other councilors in voting for Nobile (candidate Abe Dispennette received one vote).
    Nobile has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for six years and two years on the Board of Adjustment.
    Over the course of 22 years, she has also volunteered at Los Alamos Public Schools libraries, religion classes, Girl Scouts and with the Affordable Housing Program.
    “The expectation must be that all visitors to the probate judge’s office receive excellent customer service and have their concerns addressed…Consideration should be given to the bereaved who are personally visiting our office, where being a friend maybe the highest calling.” Nobile said in her opening statement.

  • Wildlife officials hunt for bear that killed mountain-biker

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife officials set traps, installed wilderness cameras and scouted the woods by helicopter Thursday for the bear that attacked and killed a U.S. Forest Service employee as he rode a mountain bike along a trail outside Glacier National Park.

    Brad Treat, 38, was knocked off his bike Wednesday after he another rider apparently surprised the bear — a grizzly, according to initial and still-unconfirmed accounts — in the Flathead National Forest, authorities said. The other rider, whose name was not released, went to get help and was not hurt.

    Bears that attack humans are killed if it is found that they displayed predatory behavior, such as stalking the person, or consumed their victim.

    In this case, officials said is too soon to say what will be done to the bear if it is found. They are trying to determine if it was a mother with cubs, whether it was protecting a food cache nearby or whether it simply reacted to the surprise appearance of the bikers, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim said.

    "One of the things that is key to all this is whether it was a predatory act," Aasheim said. "I don't think there's any sense that this was predatory."

  • Today in history June 30
  • Road closures today for Model Ts

    Motorists should expect road closures around Los Alamos for a special visiting tour of Model Ts today.
    There will be about 85 1909-27 Model T Fords and about 200 people touring around Los Alamos County.
    The group will depart from Buffalo Thunder Resort at various times in the morning, passing through White Rock on their way to Bandelier National Monument.
    From about 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Model Ts will travel from Bandelier to the Back Gate and then along West Jemez Road, through the back security gate and past the main security gates before turning onto Diamond Drive and going to Fuller Lodge.
    From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Model Ts will park in the reserved east parking lot of the library (the “Farmers’ Market” lot), and along Central, which will be closed between 20th Street and the Justice Center driveway.
    From about 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. the Model Ts will be poking their way (5-25 mph) down the Main Hill Road. Commuters who want join are welcome to do so. Others needing to get off the Hill faster are advised to take the Truck Route or Pajarito Road.

  • Bandelier plans activities for Fourth of July weekend

    The Fourth of July weekend promises to be full of exciting activities in Bandelier National Monument, with activities of all kinds.
    The activities begin Thursday, when the Candelaria family from San Felipe Pueblo will demonstrate traditional pottery making behind the Visitor Center. Other activities will include solarscope and binocular viewing in that area. 
    A Night Sky Program at the Juniper Campground amphitheater opens with an astronomy talk at 8:30 p.m., followed by celestial viewing with giant telescopes.
    On Friday, the Candelarias will again demonstrate pottery behind the Visitor Center, and that evening is the first Night Walk of the summer. 
    This is a silent walk among the Pueblo sites in Frijoles Canyon in the dark, evoking a feeling of what life might have been like there for the Ancestral Pueblo people. Space is limited, so signups are required; call the Visitor Center at 672-3861, ext. 517.  Nightwalks will be offered on Friday nights throughout July and August.
    At Bandelier’s new NPS neighbor, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in downtown Los Alamos, Friday will also be the first of daily ranger talks on the Manhattan Project. They will meet at 1:30 p.m. at the temporary History Museum on 20th Street by Ashley Pond.

  • Anonymous tips help solve criminal incidents

    Tips reported to the Los Alamos County Crime Stoppers are proving to be effective.
    The Los Alamos Police Department has successfully solved multiple criminal incidents that were reported to the department’s Criminal Investigations Section. LAPD is hoping to continue the success of community members reporting on criminal activity.
    “LAPD would like to thank the local media and the public for their assistance related to these incidents,” LAPD Commander Oliver Morris said. “These tips show that the citizens, job-holders, and visitors in our area wish to assist the Los Alamos Police Department in our mission to provide quality pro-active law enforcement services to help keep our community safe and hold those accountable who choose to commit crime in our area.”
    Among the type of cases that were solved this year due to anonymous crime tips are shoplifting and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.
    Twenty-three year-old Raymond Green of Española, 38-year-old Concha Herrera of Truchas and 49-year-old Elias Gallegos of Española were charged or had warrants due to shoplifting cases. Crystal Padilla, 33, of Santa Fe, and 39-year-old Antonio Lopez, of Santa Fe, were charged or had warrants issued due to unlawful taking of motor vehicle cases.

  • Captured cubs in rehabilitation

    Staff and wire reports

  • Housing and schools are Girrens’ main issues

    Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series profiling candidates running for local and state offices.

    Los Alamos County Councilor Steve Girrens, who is running for reelection in November, wants to focus his energy on housing and schools.
    “In my mind, the big thing is getting housing developments going, or something that helps get that moving,” Girrens said.
    Girrens sees several areas ripe for that type of development, including the Department of Energy (DOE) A-8 land transfer site at the start of DP Road. The south side of Trinity Drive is also on Girrens’ radar, including another DOE site near the Los Alamos Medical Center.
    “That’s a pristine place. I would love to see condos or a high-density high-rise, right on the canyon,” Girrens said. “It would be an outstanding thing. Like another Oppenheimer apartments. Something big. Something that takes as much advantage of the canyon location as possible. They’re building all kinds of cool stuff in the cities, in Denver and places. What can we start doing on the south side of Trinity? What makes sense to do there?”

  • White Rock pots get finishing touches

    According to former Arts in Public Places Board (APPB) Chair Steve Foltyn, the project to install large cement replicas of San Ildefonso pottery along N.M. 4 in White Rock has gone like clockwork.
    Foltyn – who spearheaded the project – told the Los Alamos Monitor the cement forms were delivered on budget and ahead of schedule, and that the San Ildefonso potters who painted the pots also finished on budget and ahead of schedule.
    But every project has its challenges, and APPB is working with county staff and contractors to work out the last few kinks.
    The biggest challenge is installing a replica of a Maria Martinez black-on-black plate on the west side of the White Rock Visitor Center.
    Some cracks in the cement were discovered when the plate was stood up, but Benny Duran – who created the cement forms – assured the county there is nothing to worry about.
    The bigger issue is stabilizing the eight-foot diameter plate against the wind. According to Foltyn, Duran had envisioned it attached to the visitor center, but issues such as the stone tile façade on the building makes that problematic.