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Local News

  • Today in History for March 8th
  • Forest Service may let more fires burn

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After coming in $400 million over budget following last year's busy fire season, the Forest Service is altering its approach and may let more fires burn instead of attacking every one.

    The move, quietly made in a letter late last month by Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, brings the agency more in line with the National Parks Service and back to what it had done until last year. It also answers critics who said the agency wasted money and endangered firefighters by battling fires in remote areas that posed little or no danger to property or critical habitat.

    Tidwell played down the change, saying it's simply an "evolution of the science and the expertise" that has led to more emphasis on pre-fire planning and managed burns, which involve purposely setting fires to eliminate dead trees and other fuels that could help a wildfire quickly spread.

    "We have to be able to structure (fire management) this way to help all of us," Tidwell told The Associated Press. "So that we're thinking about the right things when we make these decisions."

  • After filibuster, Senate confirms Brennan as CIA director

     

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate confirmed John Brennan to be CIA director Thursday after the Obama administration bowed to demands from Republicans blocking the nomination and stated explicitly there are limits on the president's power to use drones against U.S. terror suspects on American soil.

    The vote was 63-34 and came just hours after Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, held the floor past midnight in an old-style filibuster of the nomination to extract an answer from the administration.

    Still, Brennan won some GOP support. Thirteen Republicans voted with 49 Democrats and one independent to give Brennan, who has been President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, the top job at the nation's spy agency. He will replace Michael Morell, the CIA's deputy director who has been acting director since David Petraeus resigned in November after acknowledging an affair with his biographer.

    The confirmation vote came moments after Democrats prevailed in a vote ending the filibuster, 81-16.

    In a series of fast-moving events, by Senate standards, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a one-paragraph letter to Paul, who had commanded the floor for nearly 13 hours on Wednesday and into Thursday.

  • Manhattan Project agent Safferstein dies at 92

    NEW YORK (AP) — Nathan Safferstein was barely 21 when circumstances suddenly propelled him from his job as a supermarket manager into the stealth world of a counterintelligence agent on the project that produced the atomic bomb.

    A customer at the Connecticut market had told her brother — an Army intelligence commander — about a bright young prospect. Soon, paperwork was filled out, recommendations made.

    Wartime security being paramount, Safferstein eavesdropped on phone calls of scientists and engineers in Los Alamos, N.M., to make sure no Manhattan Project secrets were leaked, and delivered bomb-making uranium and top-secret messages. He also scrawled his signature on the first A-bomb, called "Little Boy," dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945. A second bomb leveled Nagasaki on Aug. 9, and Japan surrendered six days later.

  • Facebook: Major Newsfeed Change Coming for Users
  • Power outage on North Mesa

    An underground termination was the cause of Tuesday afternoon’s outage that lasted just under two hours and affected a portion of North Mesa.
    Reported at 2:05 p.m., approximately one-third of the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities’ customers were without power on San Ildefonso Road beginning at and including the Del Norte/Del Sol neighborhoods and continuing east out to Big Rock Loop. DPU’s electric line crew repaired the cable and restored electricity by 3:50 p.m.    

  • Update 03-07-13

    Fundraiser

    The Los Alamos High School Speech and Debate team is selling Yankee Candles to raise money for the Hilltalkers Speech and Debate team. The fundraiser finishes on Friday. If interested in purchasing a candle, contact Mrs. Batha at m.batha@laschools.net.

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    Talk

    Grace Brill, who specializes in market intelligence (market research for small businesses and entrepreneurs) and Springboard (expert coaching for companies facing a strategic decision), will present the various services that Los Alamos Connect provides to growth-oriented businesses at the Thursday brown bag lunch at The Hive. The brown-bag lunch will start at 11:30 a.m. and the presentation will start at noon.  There is never a charge for the brown bag lunches.

    DWI meeting

    The Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. March 14 in the Los Alamos Police Department Training Room, 2500 Trinity Dr., Suite A.

  • Deep roots for LA's first church

    Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

    Once upon a time, the local movie house was the only place in Los Alamos to worship and celebrate religion.
    In the spring of 1944, services would be offered by clergy “on the Hill,” with the addition of a local Sunday school class and nursery.

    One hundred people attended the first gathering and a small group of women began the effort, which has resulted in the United Church of Los Alamos.

    Former United Church of Los Alamos Rev. Jay Dee Conrad, came to the United Church in February of 1993 and in 2002, wrote a book titled, “The A-Maz-ing United Church of Los Alamos.”

    According to Conrad’s book, in 1947, an old Army chapel became available after the closure of the Bruns Military Hospital in Santa Fe, at the end of the war.

    Dedicated in May 1947, the chapel was used by three faiths: Catholic, Jewish and Protestant. That chapel still serves as the main building of the United Church of Los Alamos today.

  • Last chance to rate conservation options

     

    The Los Alamos County Sustainability and Energy and Water Conservation Plans are nearing completion, but residents have one last chance to vote on their preferred methods of conservation. Information is posted on the county's Open Forum, including links to the plans and a survey to prioritize various strategies. The survey closes at 5 p.m. Friday.

    The survey consists of seven options each for water conservation, energy conservation and waste/recycling. The strategies were developed through public input from a sustainability forum held in November 2011, an eight-person advisory board on water and energy conservation and the Environmental Sustainability Board and the Board of Public Utilities.

    Department of Public Utilities Conservation Coordinator Christine Chavez wanted a wide range of opinions on the advisory board, so it included citizens who were "not keen on conservation."

    "I thought it would be better to gather that input beforehand," Chavez said. "And I think it was an effective strategy, because if there were any misconceptions they were cleared up then and not later."

    Chavez called the committee a "guiding force" in the development of the DPU plan. She also plans to get their input on the final document.

  • Feds look to ship Wash. radioactive waste to NM

    RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — Removing radioactive waste from underground tanks at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site has proven to be technologically vexing for years, and recent word that six tanks are leaking has only added pressure to the efforts to empty them.

    A proposal to ship some of that waste to New Mexico to ultimately stem the leaks earned approval from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who called it the right step for south-central Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the state and the nation.

    The proposal still requires approval from the two states, and Congress still must approve funding, but Inslee said he will push lawmakers to fully pay for the proposal, saying "every single dollar of it is justified."

    Federal officials announced Wednesday a proposal to ship some 3 million gallons of radioactive waste from Hanford for disposal in a massive repository — called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant — near Carlsbad, N.M., where radioactive materials are buried in rooms excavated in vast salt beds nearly a half-mile underground.