Today's News

  • Smith’s set to open Wednesday

    New Mexico’s first Smith’s Marketplace is scheduled to open Wednesday in Los Alamos.
    Festivities begin at 7:30 a.m., with music and children’s activities such as face painting and balloon animals. The ribbon cutting ceremony is at 7:45 a.m. and doors will open by 8 a.m.
    “This is the culmination of so much planning and work from the community’s standpoint, certainly from our store development standpoint, and it’s just so rewarding to be able to open the store finally, to be able to serve our Los Alamos customers,” said Marsha Gilford, vice president of public affairs at Smith’s Food & Drug. Smith’s is a division of the Kroger Co.
    The first 300 people at the store will receive coupons for breakfast items. Smith’s will also hold three raffles throughout the day for iPad giveaways.
    Activities will continue all day, with a mariachi band and a DJ onsite from noon to 6 p.m. There will be food sampling throughout the store, in particular at the Murray’s Cheese Shop and the deli.
    Murray’s Cheese, the oldest cheese shop in New York City, offers a selection of specialty items, including crackers, dried fruit and an olive and antipasto bar. Murray’s is also opening a grilled cheese counter.

  • Reports detail Area G troubles

    The Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Report site reports have added some insight to what was happening at Area G in relation to the radiological leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad the past couple of months.
    On the week of June 6, LANL management announced it will not complete the 3706 Campaign on schedule and is working to relocate all remaining campaign wastes (i.e., combustible and dispersible forms) into Dome 230 for storage under fire suppression. In addition, Area G management suspended all legacy transuranic waste repackaging, treatment, and remediation activities.
    This suspension excludes drum venting, replacement of degraded components, non-destructive assay, and similar actions that improve the safety posture. That week, Area G personnel conducted a tabletop exercise involving the nitrate wastes that resulted in the identification of several important improvements. Area G and Chemistry Division personnel have also initiated development of a “safing” process to treat the nitrate salt wastes using a water addition followed by eventual cementation.
    NMED spokesman Jim Winchester said “all of the consequences of the missed Framework Agreement deadline are yet to be determined. “

  • Outdoor learning at Chamisa

    Chamisa is the first school to get one, and others may soon follow.
    Thanks to a $10,000 grant provided by the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation, Chamisa Elementary School recently set up its first outdoor classroom, a geodesic structure located just behind the main building.
    The school’s principal, Debbie Smith, is sure the school will get multiple uses out of it for years to come. Ecology, alternative energy, Earth sciences, biology, and botany are just some of the planned uses for the building, she said.
    The grant to build the impressive-looking structure came through the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation. According to Joanna Gillespie, the grant was a result of a donation from the Ed and Betty Rynd estate.
    “One of the things we elected to do with the funds as a way to honor them was to name an outdoor classroom at each of the seven schools after them,” Gillespie said. “They were a couple that was very dedicated to community service and education. Those are values that the foundation also holds dear, and we thought this was a good way to honor their memory.”
    Chamisa, as will the other schools, had some leeway as to the classroom’s design and function.

  • Update 07-13-14

    Lunch With a Leader

    The League of Women Voter’s invites the community to attend the monthly Lunch with a Leader that will feature Los Alamos’ new police chief, Chief Dino Sgambellone. The event is 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday at the Mesa Public Library.

    Brown Bag Lecture

    Dr. Mary Neu, senior advisor to the principal associated director for the weapons program at LANL. Noon Wednesday at the Bradbury Science Museum. Admission is free.


    Tuesdays at the Pond Series. Musical performance by Wise Fool. 7 p.m. at Ashley Pond. Sponsored by the Los Alamos Creative District. For more information, visit creativelosalamos.org.


    Kiwanis meets from noon to 1 p.m. each Tuesday in Kelly Hall at Trinity On The Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Drive. Lio Castro will speak on Jemez House Thrift Shop in White Rock.


    The meeting of the Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board has been cancelled because of summer travel. Then next meeting will be 6 p.m. Aug. 20 in the conference room, Pajarito Cliffs Site, Building 1. The public is welcome to attend.  

  • News Briefs 07-13-14

    Chacon agrees to plea deal

    Pamela Chacon, the Smith’s store clerk who was convicted of embezzlement, in May, has worked out a plea deal with the help of her attorney, Bill Snowden.
    Chacon was caught by store management embezzling $554.98 from numerous customers through a simple scheme involving customer’s Smith’s Rewards cards.
    “Ms. Chacon had been refunding customer purchases when they did not use their Smith’s card and keeping the money for herself,” police said in the report.
    When questioned by police, Chacon said she did it to try and catch up on car payments.
    According to Snowden, her deal includes paying back all of the money she stole. Once she completes that, the case against her will be dismissed.

    County to mend fencing at parks

  • SGR heads to D.C.

    This past week, Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba) traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with New Mexico’s federal delegation and discuss LANL funding and NNSA procurement policies. In her meetings with Senators Tom Udall and Martin Henrich and Representatives Ben Ray Lujan, Michelle Lujan Grisham and Steve Pearce, Garcia Richard stressed the region’s concerns that the NNSA is wanting LANL and other NNSA facilities to use the NNSA Supply Chain Management Center (SCMC) for commodity purchases under unequal and non-competitive terms. This NNSA directive bypasses the normal competitive LANL RFP process and drives LANL purchases away from local and regional contractors to out-of-state firms. Garcia Richard asked the Congressional delegation to support a proposal to have NNSA/DOE provide resources and guidelines for a regional business cooperative that will allow New Mexico based contractors to become competitive and participate in the NNSA SCMC procurement system.

  • New environmental services manager brings sustainability background

    The Los Alamos County Environmental Services Division has a new person at the helm. Environmental Services Manger Angelica Gurule came onboard the end of June.
    Gurule has a Bachelors of Science and Environmental Science degree from the University of New Mexico, as well as dual masters in information, science and technology from James Madison University and sustainable environmental resource management from the University of Malta, a study abroad program offered through James Madison.
    “(The Malta program) focused on wastewater, energy, agriculture, beach management–since there are lots of beaches on Malta. So I was able to see from a global perspective how different regions manage their resources, including waste and recyclable material,” Gurule said.
    As a student in Malta, Gurule helped with cleanup events sponsored by the U.S. Embassy (she was shocked to see the lack of consciousness about throwing trash such as cigarette butts on beaches) and on raising awareness about issues like recycling.
    Gurule was employed by Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Environmental-Risk Reduction Office from 2003 through 2012.
    “It’s really at the lab that I gained all my experience and love for sustainability and waste reduction, pollution prevention and environmental stewardship,” Gurule said.

  • Today in history July 12
  • Alleged burglar nabbed

    The long arm of the Los Alamos Police Department recently went all the way to Madisonville, Texas, to get a burglary suspect.
    In this case, that man happened to be suspect Timber Morrow. Police are accusing Morrow of burglarizing the “Smart House” in 2013.
    The Smart House, located at 1925 Trinity Drive, is a testing ground for new energy distribution technology. It’s a collaboration between the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology and Development Organization.
    According to an earlier story that appeared in the Los Alamos Monitor, the house includes two sources of alternative power and is hooked into the LANL’s and NEDO’s larger, experimental “Smart Grid” of photovoltaic cells that is currently supplying approximately 1 megawatt of power to Los Alamos.
    According to that story, “features of the house include passive solar design, its own PV array and storage battery to augment power from the grid, a ‘smart’ meter to indicate usage and power supply available in real time and smart appliances as well as an HVAC system that responds to the amount of power available. Computer systems that allow residents to monitor and control usage are being demonstrated and tested by Kyocera, NEC and Sharp.”

  • LeBron heading back to Cleveland


    CLEVELAND (AP) — If LeBron James was going to win another NBA title, heal broken hearts and continue building his legacy, he knew there was only one place to go.

    To Ohio. Home.

    Four years after he left for Miami, a widely criticized departure that damaged his image and crushed a long-suffering city's championship hopes, James is coming back to play for the Cavaliers to try and end Cleveland's half-century title drought. He's returning to his basketball roots, to the people who know him best to make good on a promise.