Local News

  • New Council votes on filling vacancy

    The county council saw a changing of the guard Tuesday night as councilors elect Vincent Chiravalle, Sharon Stover and Mike Wismer took the reins from Frances Berting, Jim Hall and Ken Milder.


    A new chairman and vice chairman were also elected.


    Councilor Michael Wheeler was elected as chairman, while Mike Wismer was elected as vice chair. Wheeler and Wismer were both voted in unanimously.


    They were also the only nominees for the seats.


  • Preserve invites comments on grazing plans

    Officials of the Valles Caldera National Preserve released their planning document for continued livestock grazing, a subject that has absorbed a great deal of attention during the first seven years of the organization’s existence.


    More precisely, the proposed environmental assessment for “Multiple Use and Sustained Yield of Forage,” identifies key issues and weighs the pluses and minuses for various intensities of livestock grazing.


  • December deluge moistens 2008

    How much snowfall does Los Alamos collect each year? Three feet? Four feet?

    It may surprise you to learn that we get five feet – 58.7 inches to be exact – on average.

    Five feet per year, on average, measured from 1971 through 2000, for the year.

    This December brought 29 inches of snowfall to Los Alamos, which is half the average for the entire season already!

    Expect the other half to be spread out over the remainder of the winter, given the return of mild La Niña conditions which bodes for warmer and dryer months ahead.

  • Snowboarder found alive

    Lost 26 hours in frigid cold and blowing snow on Pajarito Mountain, snowboarder Sebastian Gomez was spotted at 6:30 p.m. Monday by infrared equipment from a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter.


    The 19-year-old from Albuquerque spent the night at Los Alamos Medical Center where he was treated for exposure and is expected to be released today.


  • The power of one: Growing an environmental business

    North Wind, Inc. has grown from a single employee to a staff of 35 in Los Alamos since 2005.


    The once solitary figure who was there at the beginning and who was recently named a senior vice president of the company is Pete Maggiore, former New Mexico environmental secretary under Gov. Gary Johnson.


    “I worked out of the house,” he said of the company’s early days in Los Alamos. “We’ve grown steadily since then.”


  • Airport Basin Project on schedule despite weather

    The Airport Basin Site Project seems to be moving along at a steady pace, despite the recent cold weather and snow that Los Alamos has experienced.


    Guaranteed Maximum Price #3 was approved during the Dec. 16 County Council meeting, however, it did not include the price of asphalt.


    Despite that, Hensel Phelps, county staff and design firm WH Pacific are working to keep the project on schedule and within the approved budget.


  • Teen spending preferences revealed

    Three teens took an idea, persevered all semester and produced an in-depth report detailing the buying trends of local youth.


    Los Alamos High School juniors Emi Weeks, 16, and Josh Dolin, 16 and senior Annie Chroninger, 17, surveyed 899 local youth to ascertain where they get their money, how much they get, where they spend it and on what.


    The teen spending survey show the largest number of teen respondents spend $11-$20 weekly and at the high end, some 80 respondents said they spend an average of $91 a week.


  • Lab and NMED share a rocky road

    While there are indications of an improved relationship between Los Alamos National Laboratory and the New Mexico Environment Department, there are continuing strains as well.

    Some of them are beyond the abilities of the parties themselves to control.

    In the laboratory’s performance evaluation report for this year, the Los Alamos Site Office credits itself and lab environmental management staff for having spent “much time with improving the regulatory relationships.”

  • Roadrunner speeds to the front

    Los Alamos National Laboratory captured top spot in the global supercomputer derby with its new Roadrunner machine by IBM.


    LANL’s computer won the Top500 competition in June, only weeks after it became the first computer in the world to break the petaflop speed barrier. Roadrunner was clocked at slightly more than one quadrillion petaflops, or a million billion floating point operations per second, according to a standard benchmark used by industry.


  • Lab came to terms with a tough year