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Local News

  • Bill to ban traps on public lands stalls

    BY ANDREW OXFORD
    The New Mexican

  • Fiddle fundraiser a success

    The Fancy Fiddle Fundraiser Saturday at Fuller Lodge drew more than 120 people, according to organizers.
    All of the more than 40 decorated violins, violas, cellos and basses were won, according to Joanna Gillespie, executive director of the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation.
    Proceeds from Saturday’s auction will benefit the Los Alamos Public Schools orchestra program. The instruments were older instruments that were used by the school and painted by local artists.
    The foundation will total the final amount donated from the auction today.

  • SpaceX aborts approach to space station, delivery delayed

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A navigation error forced SpaceX to delay its shipment to the International Space Station on Wednesday, following an otherwise smooth flight from NASA's historic moon pad.
    SpaceX's supply ship, the Dragon, was less than a mile from the orbiting outpost when a problem cropped up in the GPS system. The approach was aborted, and the Dragon backed away. NASA said neither the station nor its six-person crew was in any danger, and another attempt would be made Thursday.
    "As a pilot it is sometimes better to accelerate and circle around than attempt a difficult landing," French astronaut Thomas Pesquet said in a tweet from the space station. "Same in space — we'll be ready tomorrow!"
    Just a few hours earlier, Russia successfully launched a cargo ship from Kazakhstan, its first since a failed launch in December.
    SpaceX launched the Dragon capsule Sunday from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A, out of action since NASA's space shuttle program ended in 2011. It's the same spot where astronauts flew to the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s. SpaceX has a 20-year lease with NASA for 39A; besides launching station cargo from there, the company hopes to send up astronauts as early as next year.

  • Chandler joins LANL coalition

    Los Alamos County Council member Chris Chandler will be the county’s representative on the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities.
    Chandler replaces former Council representative Kristin Henderson, who served on the board for about a year.
    The coalition is currently in Washington D.C. with several other commission members attending the Energy Communities Alliance meeting to discuss issues concerning the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Those issues include the upcoming management and operations contract switch for LANL and ongoing environmental cleanup efforts of certain LANL sites.
    “I think it’s a very important thing to work with our fellow communities who have a relationship with the lab,” Chandler said. “Obviously, Rio Arriba County, Española, Santa Fe, all have issues associated with the lab, as does Los Alamos. When we can find common ground, I think we are a stronger force when we’re dealing with the Department of Energy and the laboratory.”

  • Regional Coalition in DC to meet with officials

    By the time the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities returns from its Washington, D.C. fact-finding trip Friday, members hope to have some answers from New Mexico’s Congressional representatives about the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Tops on its list will be to find out how much progress has been made in LANL’s transition to a new management and operations contract.
    The coalition will also seek clarity on a variety of other issues, such as Los Alamos County’s portion of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.
    Congress approved the creation of the park last year. RCLC Executive Director Andrea Romero is hoping Congress approves funding to help strengthen communication and collaboration with the national park’s three separate parts. The park also includes sites in Hanford, Washington and Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
    “We are looking at appropriated funds for the development process and the collaboration process,” Romero said. “Cohesion between the three sites is what we’re looking for.”  
    The coalition would also like to find out more information about how the park will be ultimately funded.

  • DPU eyes utility rate hikes

    The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities plans to ask the Board of Public Utilities for an 8 percent increase in the water rate and an 8 percent increase in the sewer rate at the March 15 meeting.
    If the board approves the request, then the request will go to the county council to be introduced, and then a public hearing on the issue will be scheduled for a future meeting, according to Julie Williams-Hill, DPU spokeswoman.  
    The funds raised by the increase would help pay for the rebuild of the White Rock Water Resource Recovery Facility, Williams-Hill said.
    The BPU meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. March 15.
    The DPU supplies drinking water to more than 7,000 customers in White Rock, Los Alamos, Bandelier National Monument and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  • Fire treatment planned for Jemez district

    Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct a prescribed burn on the Joaquin fuelwood unit on the Jemez Ranger District. Ignitions could begin as early as Friday, if conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, are favorable.  
    Members of the public have helped clean up the 80-acre unit to prepare it for treatment. The Joaquin fuelwood unit is at the intersection of Forest Roads (FRs) 376 and 488 for approximately one mile to the north.
    The Joaquin fuelwood unit prescribed burn is designed to remove dead forest fuels, provide community protection and promote forest health.  Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
    Smoke from the Joaquin fuelwood unit prescribed burn may be visible from NM State Highway 4, US Route 550, the Pueblos of Jemez and Zia, and the communities of San Ysidro and Gilman.
    Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures.  Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at nmtracking.org/fire.

  • LAHS Science Bowl team advances to nationals

    Last weekend, a team of science students from Los Alamos High School beat out 23 other teams from across the region to earn a spot in the annual National Science Bowl Competition.
    Principal Brad Parker was proud of his students and their team coaches.
    “To me this speaks to the hard work that team coaches Kathy and Stephen Boerigter, the students and their parents have put out. As usual, our science bowl kids have brought great credit upon Los Alamos High School.  Can’t wait to see how they will do at nationals!” Parker said.
    In the last rounds of the regional competition, LAHS dominated the top two slots.
    LAHS Science Bowl Team One advanced to the top of the regional competition by beating out their fellow teammates on Team Two.
    LAHS has won the regional competition seven times out of the past eight years.
    The winning team will now go on to the national competition in Washington, D.C., which takes place April 27 through May 1.
    The regional competition was held this weekend at Albuquerque’s Highland High School. Team One was coached by Kathy Boerigter and Team Two was coached by her husband Stephen Boerigter. Kathy teaches science at LAHS and Stephen is employed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  • Nuclear reactors to power space exploration

    BY DASARI V. RAO, PATRICK MCCLURE AND DAVID I. POSTON
    Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Today in history Feb. 21