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Local News

  • DOE land transfers move forward

    National Nuclear Security Administration Los Alamos Site Office Manager Kevin Smith updated the Los Alamos County Council on the status of land transfers from the Department of Energy (DOE) to the county, Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) and the Pueblo of San Ildefonso.

    The Lands Conveyance and Transfer Project went into effect in 1997 and is set to expire in 2022. Initial analysis identified approximately 4,500 acres of land to be transferred.

    Nineteen of 32 tracts have already been conveyed, with 15 of those going to the county, two to LAPS and two to San Ildefonso.

    One tract of 320 acres has been withdrawn to create a protective boundary for DOE facilities. Nine tracts containing 1,733 acres remains to be transferred, one each for LAPS and San Ildefonso and the rest earmarked for the county.

    “It’s a very meticulous, very defined process of ensuring that we have the property completely in a safe and stable and appropriate condition to be transferred,” Smith said. “If things continue as they are today, we’re hopeful we’ll be able to transfer 1,400 acres this year.”

  • Council OKs LACDC deal

    Nearly two months after it was due for renewal, council approved a contract with the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation (LACDC) for operating the visitor centers by a 6-0 vote.

    The contract was originally delayed by a crowded council schedule. Then on July 10, Los Alamos County Councilor Mike Wismer challenged the contract, insisting that it should require more outreach to high altitude sports events and other groups visiting Los Alamos. The contract adhered to the Request for Proposals (RFP) the county issued and was similar to previous contracts.

    Council directed staff to re-draft the contract “to further clarify contract expectations and performance regarding partnership activities associated with recreational and formal competitive events held in Los Alamos” and later approved a two-month interim contract with LACDC.

    The contract was rewritten to put greater emphasis on duties that “leverage partnerships to promote extended visitor stays,” with specific attention paid to event marketing. The new contract includes specifics about LACDC’s outreach to event coordinators and participants, what will be included on the web page and makes distributing welcome signs for an event one of its duties.  

  • Public scoping for Bandelier transportation plan

     The National Park Service has initiated the process to complete a Transportation Plan/Environmental Assessment to improve transportation conditions at Bandelier National Monument.

    Over three decades, a number of studies and workshops have documented transportation and congestion management challenges at Bandelier National Monument, including traffic congestion at the park entrance and a lack of adequate parking in Frijoles Canyon. Recent fires and flooding have reduced available parking in Frijoles Canyon, creating more challenges to transportation at the park.

  • As Storm Nears, Tampa May Evacuate RNC

    The mayor of Tampa, Florida, says public safety will trump politics if Tropical Storm Isaac threatens the city during the Republican National Convention next week.

  • ECA peer exchange tackles environmental issues

    The Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) had a peer exchange in Los Alamos last week. It was the first time ECA has met here in more than five years.

    The main topic of discussion was environmental management (EM), although other issues of concern to the participants were also discussed in length.

    Seth Kirshenberg, executive director of ECA, began a series of panel discussions Thursday with a summary of current issues.

    Kirshenberg reported that Congress is expected to pass a six month continuing resolution until a new budget is passed, with provisions that could impact DOE communities.

    The main concern was a new limitation that prevents agencies from moving money around. In the past, Department of Energy Environmental Management (DOE-EM) had considerable flexibility in directing money to the most urgent environmental cleanup needs at each site.

    "The bottom line is, we don't have that flexibility to move money between the major control elements if the CR passes as it is today," Kirshenberg said.

  • Public hearing held on nuke fuel disposal

     Anti-nuclear activists are questioning a proposal to ship more plutonium to New Mexico.

    Several activists lined up Tuesday evening in Los Alamos for the first in a series of public hearings on how best to dispose of surplus plutonium from the nation's nuclear weapons program.

    One plan being studied by the Department of Energy calls for the shipment of 7 metric tons — or what one activist estimates is enough to power nearly 3,000 warheads — to Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Savannah River site in South Carolina for processing into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors.

    The plan also calls for another 6 tons of surplus plutonium to be disposed of at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, N.M.

  • Family Wants More Answers About Handcuffed Death

    Chavis Carter's family hasn't accepted the official explanation for his death: that he was on meth when he fatally shot himself while his hands were cuffed behind him in the backseat of a patrol car in Arkansas.

  • Today in History for August 22nd
  • Unheard MLK audio found in attic--Video Extra

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Stephon Tull was looking through dusty old boxes in his father's attic in Chattanooga a few months ago when he stumbled onto something startling: an audio reel labeled, "Dr. King interview, Dec. 21, 1960."

    He wasn't sure what he had until he borrowed a friend's reel-to-reel player and listened to the recording of his father interviewing Martin Luther King Jr. for a book project that never came to fruition. In clear audio, King discusses the importance of the civil rights movement, his definition of nonviolence and how a recent trip of his to Africa informed his views. Tull said the recording had been in the attic for years, and he wasn't sure who other than his father may have heard it.

    "No words can describe. I couldn't believe it," he told The Associated Press this week in a phone interview from his home in Chattanooga. "I found ... a lost part of history."

  • Update 08-21-12

    Public hearing

    A public hearing on Draft Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement  is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today at the Holiday Inn Express in Los Alamos.

    Authors Speak

    Author Vaunda Nelson will discuss her award-winning book “Bad News for Outlaws: the Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal” at 7 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Library.

    Groundbreaking

    The public is invited to join the county council for the groundbreaking event for the new Golf Course Community Building at 11:30 a.m. Friday, at the building site. Refreshments will be served.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. today in council chambers.

    Dedication

    The Arts in Public Places will host a statue dedication at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Justice Center courtyard.