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Today's News

  • NMDOT prepares for pilgrimage

    The New Mexico Department of Transportation’s District Five maintenance and construction crews are preparing safe walking areas along various New Mexico highways for the annual Good Friday Pilgrimage to the El Santuario de Chimayó.
    To further enhance the safety for this event, the department has asked law enforcement agencies to assist in the enforcement of a state law that prohibits encroachments, including concession or roadside stands, along state highway right of way.
    “This event has been a tradition for many generations and the New Mexico Department of Transportation is working together with local, state, federal and tribal entities to provide a safe walking area for this year’s event,” said District Five Engineer Miguel Gabaldon. “The department is requesting that walkers and motorists exercise extreme caution so that everyone is able to safely participate in the annual pilgrimage.”
    The NMDOT Cuyamungue and Alcalde maintenance crews have swept the typical routes to the Santuario, conducted shoulder erosion repairs and cleared debris and litter from the roadways to create safe walking areas.
    Beginning today through Good Friday, crews will continue to work around the clock to provide the various accommodations as they have in previous pilgrimages:

  • Schmidt's contract OKd

    The Los Alamos School Board officially approved Tuesday Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gene Schmidt’s contract during a regular school board meeting yesterday, giving him a three percent raise in salary.
    Starting July 1, Schmidt’s salary will be $149,185.20, an increase from his current salary of $144,840.00.
    According to Human Resources Manager and Assistant Superintendent Gerry Washburn, Schmidt will also have the same benefits package as the other employees of the school district, which include 20 days of leave.
    The contract is for one year, starting July 1 and ending June 30, 2015.
    It’s expected that at the end of this contract, Schmidt will step down and the board will already have a successor lined up.
    According to the Los Alamos School Board’s president, Judy Bjarke McKenzie, the board has already begun the search process of looking for Schmidt’s replacement, saying they are already in the process of forming a search committee.
    About a month and a half ago, it seemed liked this year would be Schmidt’s last with the Los Alamos Public Schools, as Schmidt and the board seemed to have had a falling out over key issues.

  • Plutonium strategy comes to forefront

    Los Alamos National Laboratory director Charlie McMillan was in Washington last week to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.
    McMillan provided an update on recent Los Alamos technical and scientific achievements; the proposed plutonium strategy under evaluation in numerous national security circles; and, Los Alamos budget realities that pose challenges to meeting our mission requirements.
    The following came from the Senate website and this was McMillan’s written testimony to the subcommittee.
    After citing the lab’s accomplishments in the past year, McMillan turned his attention to an alternative plutonium strategy.
    McMillan reminded the subcommittee that he had outlined the structure of an alternative strategy after it was determined the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement‐Nuclear Facility (CMRR‐NF) would be scrapped for the time being.
    “Over the past year, we have worked hard to turn these ideas into a plan,” McMillan said. “The strategy proposes a three‐phased approach. The phased approach is designed to manage both safety and programmatic risk in the near, mid- and longer-term timeframe and to address risks in the timeworn Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) Facility and Plutonium Facility (PF‐4) respectively.

  • Supercomputing challenge set for Monday

    More than 250 New Mexico students and their teachers will be at Los Alamos National Laboratory Monday and Tuesday for the 24th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge expo and awards ceremony.
    “The goal of the year-long competition is to increase knowledge of science and computing, expose students and teachers to computers and applied mathematics, and instill enthusiasm for science in middle- and high-school students, their families and communities,” said David Kratzer of the laboratory’s High Performance Computer Systems group and LANL’s coordinator of the Supercomputing Challenge.
    About 70 teams of students from elementary, middle, and high school are expected at the event.
    While at the laboratory, students will present their projects and take part in tours, talks and demonstrations with laboratory scientists.
    Student projects will be recognized during an awards ceremony from 9 a.m. to noon, April 22 at the Church of Christ Auditorium, 2323 Diamond Drive in Los Alamos.
    More than $40,000 in scholarships will be awarded to student participants, along with many plaques and cash awards.
    The Challenge is project-based learning geared to teaching a wide range of skills: research, writing, teamwork, time management, oral presentations and computer programming.

  • Restaurant Inspections 04-17-14

    Santa Fe
    Cloud Cliff Bakery, 1805 Second St.
    Date inspected: March 5
    Violations: Two moderate-risk violations. Roof leaks found. Excess equipment needs to be removed.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Souper Salad, 2428 Cerrillos Road
    Date inspected: March 5
    Violations: Seven high-risk violations. Rodent dropping in display equipment, hot holding unit and inside storage area. Owner cannot safely manage pest control. No sanitizer on dish rags. Hot holding at improper temperature. Water on floor in prep area. Cold holding inadequate and not labeled correctly. Ice buildup in freezer. Ice scoop, can opener and ice machine had food build up and metal shavings. Paint stored in food prep area. No paper towels in restroom. Butter container not cleaned after each use. Two moderate risk violations. Heavy food build up on walls and vents. Grease on vents. Seal on upright freezer is degrated and not proper for freezer. One low-risk violation. Damaged tile throughout facility.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet

     

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.

    The find, announced Thursday, excited planet hunters who have been scouring the Milky Way galaxy for years for potentially habitable places outside our solar system.

    "This is the best case for a habitable planet yet found. The results are absolutely rock solid," University of California, Berkeley astronomer Geoff Marcy, who had no role in the discovery, said in an email.

    The planet was detected by NASA's orbiting Kepler telescope, which examines the heavens for subtle changes in brightness that indicate an orbiting planet is crossing in front of a star. From those changes, scientists can calculate a planet's size and make certain inferences about its makeup.

    The newfound object, dubbed Kepler-186f, circles a red dwarf star 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. A light-year is almost 6 trillion miles.

  • Heinrich on upcoming wildfire season
  • Hunting We Will Go

    Children scramble to gather Easter eggs at the last year’s Los Alamos Elks Lodge #2083 Annual Easter Egg Hunt for the community. This year’s event will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Ashley Pond. There are three age groups: four and under, five to seven, and eight and up. The Easter Bunny and members of the Los Alamos Fire Department will be at the event, as well as the Elks mascot, Elroy the Elk.

  • Update 04-17-14

    GOP meeting

    The Republican Party of Los Alamos will hold its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. today at UNM-LA Room 608. The topic of the meeting will be “Local Issues.”

    Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. today in a special session in council chambers.

    Banquet

    The annual Phi Beta Kappa Los Alamos chapter banquet featuring guest speaker Dr. Doug Dunston and honoring the outstanding 2014 LA High School graduates will be 5:30 p.m. April 27 at Fuller Lodge. There is a deadline for the members who did not receive an invitation as of Wednesday call 672-0249 or 667-8927 if they would like to attend.

    Dem meeting

    The Democratic Party of Los Alamos will have its monthly meeting from 7-8 p.m. today in Building 2 at UNMLA.

    Movie time

    White Rock Family Friendly Film Series. “Smurfs 2,” 6:30 p.m. today at White Rock Town Hall. 

  • BioScience Lab opens at Santa Fe Business Incubator

    The Santa Fe Business Incubator unveiled its new BioScience Lab on Tuesday to a crowd of dignitaries that included Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Ben Ray Luján, (D-N.M.).
    “What’s happening now with the Santa Fe Incubator and the BioScience Lab is a shot of growth, a new opportunity, where it’s not just experts and researchers and entrepreneurs here from Santa Fe, here from New Mexico,” Luján said.
    “It’s from the surrounding states, from cities that aren’t so close to us, that are looking to come here because of the investment that the Business Incubator has made with the support of the Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Administration, an investment in technology that’s not readily available to everyone else.”
    The BioScience Lab is a state-of-the-art cell biology and molecular biology facility designed to encourage, attract and support life science companies in the biotech sector. The lab’s specialized equipment includes bio-safety cabinets, ultra low temperature freezers, an ultracentrifuge, inverted fluorescence microscope and a real-time PCR system.
    Companies will be able to access the facility on a short-term basis, eliminating the need to invest startup capital in expensive equipment.