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Local News

  • Today in history May 9
  • Union votes 'no confidence' in SOC

    The International Guards Union of America Local 69, which represents security personnel at Los Alamos National Laboratory, announced today its members voted no confidence in SOC.
    SOC-LA (Securing Our Country-Los Alamos) is the company that is contracted with LANL to provide security detail on its campus.
    The IGUA said its 200-plus members had given a unanimous no confidence vote. The vote comes on the heels of representatives walking out of a bargaining meeting with SOC-LA earlier this week, saying the company wasn’t bargaining in good faith.
    “This is not the direction we want to be heading,” said local 69’s business agent Chris Mandril in a statement announcing the vote. “We want to work collaboratively with SOC-LA to come to a fair agreement. However, after SOC-LA mislead our members and broke their promises to the dedicated, hardworking guards at LANL, we had no choice but to walk away from the table and to express our lack of faith in the company’s ability to effectively manage security at Los Alamos National Lab.”
    IGUA and SOC failed to come to an agreement on a new contract late last month, but signed a 60-day extension to continue negotiations and operations at LANL until June.

  • Solid quarterly gains reported

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Rebounding from a dismal start to the year, the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in April, a solid gain that suggested that employers are helping fuel a durable if subpar recovery.
    The job growth helped lower the unemployment rate to 5.4 percent from 5.5 percent in March, the Labor Department said Friday. That is the lowest rate since May 2008, six months into the Great Recession.
    The figures provided some reassurance that the economy is recovering from a harsh winter and other temporary headwinds that likely caused it to shrink in the first three months of the year. Yet the bounce back appears to be falling short of hopes that growth would finally accelerate in 2015 and top 3 percent for the first time in a decade.
    Most analysts foresee the economy growing about 2.5 percent this year, similar to the modest expansion typical of much of the 6-year-old recovery.
    In its report Friday, the government revised sharply down its estimate of March’s job gain to 85,000 from 126,000. In the past three months, employers have added 191,000 positions, a decent total but well below last year’s average of 260,000.
    “Job growth is going from great to good,” said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan Chase.

  • Post office reports $1.5 billion loss

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service on Friday reported a net loss of $1.5 billion during the first three months of this year, noting that while more people are using its shipping and package services, it’s costly to do and revenues from other products have declined.
    The Postal Service is an independent agency that receives no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control. It has asked to end most Saturday deliveries, a request that was blocked by Congress amid opposition by postal unions and others.
    According to its latest financial statement, which covers Jan. 1 through March 31, the Postal Service sent 420 million fewer pieces of mail compared to the same period last year. First-class mail fell by 2.1 percent and standard mail by 1.1 percent. But a 14.4 percent increase in shipping and package volume contributed to a slight uptick — 1.3 percent — in operating revenue.

  • Spying The Spies

    The Los Alamos Historical Museum opened up its new display Tuesday on the Rosenbergs, the notorious couple executed for espionage during the Cold War for passing nuclear secrets to the Soviets.

  • Update 5-8-15

    Open Forum

    Los Alamos County has an open forum question to solicit feedback from those who were unable to attend the May 5 branding meeting. The forum will be open through May 14. Those wanting to give feedback can visit peakdemocracy.com/portals/119/Forum_345/Issue_2727.

    Classics Closer

    Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra will have a free concert at Crossroads Bible Church at 7 p.m. today. A $10 donation is suggested.

    Poultry tour

    The Cooperative Extension Service will host a backyard poultry tour Saturday. It will be for those interested in raising their own poultry. The event will start at 10 a.m. at Mesa Public Library.

    "Avenue Q"

    A performance of “Avenue Q” is scheduled for tonight at the Los Alamos Little Theatre. Showtime is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

    Food drive

    A letter carrier’s food drive is scheduled for Saturday. Members of the local postal service or local Boy Scouts will come by during the day to collected donated food. Those wishing to drop off donations of food may also do so at the local Smith’s locations.

    Queen's Court

  • Night Sky events will start up at Bandelier

    Bandelier National Monument Ranger Geoff Goins will offering night sky programs Saturdays throughout the summer, according to officials at the monument.
    Goins, who has been with Bandelier since September 2014, will set up his high-powered telescope during the night sky programs. In his previous positon at Bryce Canyon National Park, Goins ran a similar program.
    Goins and an associate from Bryce Canyon, Rick Hiestand, will assist with Bandelier’s program.
    The first such event will be at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Juniper Campground Ampitheater. Goins and Hiestand will present an astronomy program followed by viewing celestial objects through their large telescopes, weather permitting.
    “Visitors can enjoy seeing the moons and cloud bands of Jupiter, huge stellar nurseries containing thousands of stars, and the whirling arms of spiral galaxies, as if they were almost at arm’s reach,” Goins said.
    Goins also teaches astronomy at the University of New Mexico-Taos.
    In addition, Bandeiler’s Moonlight Walks will be offered May 30 and June 27. Participation in that program is limited and pre-registration is required. The walks will be on and around the Tyunoyi Overlook Trail.
    To register, participants can call the visitor center at 672-3861 between 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

  • Caldera announces new fee structure

    The Valles Caldera board of trustees announced Thursday a new fee schedule that will roll out May 15 and continue for this summer.
    The entrance fee will be $20 per vehicle and $10 per person when entering the Caldera on foot or bicycle. It will be valid for seven days and cover all self-guided and recreational events including hiking, fishing and biking.
    For the first time, Valles Caldera National Preserve will also honor annual federal lands access passes, including senior and military passes.
    There will also be free entrance days this season, which are scheduled for July 24-26, Aug. 25, Sept. 26 and Nov. 11.
    Also announced Thursday, VCNP will issue 24 vehicle permits each day — 12 of which per day may be reserved in advance — for those wishing to go through the Caldera backcountry in their personal vehicles. Those that are not reserved will be issued on a first come-first served basis.
    VCNP is open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. everyday starting May 15.
    Among its upcoming events, VCNP will host a family fun night May 16, an “Earth Skills Gathering” event June 6 and geology tours June 13, July 5 and Aug. 30.
    The VCNP is an 89,000-acre area located in the Jemez Mountain. It was purchased by the federal government in 2000 and recently was put under the auspices of the National Park Service.

  • Gas leak closes Trinity Drive

    Construction crews working on the Community Building at Trinity Drive and 20th Street hit an unmarked gas line this morning, causing a shutdown of traffic.
    Trinity was closed to vehicles and traffic was diverted to Central Avenue following the accident, which caused a gas leak.
    County crews were out working to fix the leak shortly after the accident occurred this morning.
    Los Alamos Fire Department was sent out to the scene, while police officers directed traffic away from the scene. Some buildings immediately adjacent to the accident scene and others downwind of the scene were evacuated as a precautionary measure.
    No injuries were reported and Trinity Drive was reopened at about 10:40 a.m.

  • Trinity Drive open again

    Trinity Drive is now open again to traffic after being closed following a gas leak in the area.

    The gas leak was reported at Trinity Drive and 20th Street, near the site of construction work going on around the Community Building. Initial reports were a vehicle struck an unmarked line.