Today's News

  • School board recognizes Schmidt

    At Tuesday’s Los Alamos School Board meeting, the board honored outgoing superintendent Gene Schmidt for his service to the community.
    Schmidt received a plaque for his efforts.
    “Los Alamos Public Schools recognizes Dr. Gene Schmidt for his dedication to the quality of education as superintendent of schools from 2009 to 2015,” read an inscription on the plaque.
    After accepting his award, Schmidt, in turn, honored his colleagues and staff that helped him carry out the programs and goals he implemented during his time as superintendent at Los Alamos Public Schools. He also acknowledged his successor, Kurt Steinhaus.
    “Anything that’s accomplished, is accomplished in partnership,” Schmidt said. “These are wonderful colleagues and as Dr. Steinhaus takes over, he can look forward to working with a wonderful board. I applaud the boards that I’ve worked with, and I also applaud all of the staff and administrators. These things don’t happen without the dedication and excellence our educators and staff have given.”

  • SOC may have work stoppage

    A potential work stoppage by the company that is charged with providing security at Los Alamos National Laboratory may be looming.
    SOC-Los Alamos, the protective force contractor, is currently tied up with its union in a labor dispute, lab officials announced Wednesday after being contacted by the Los Alamos Monitor.
    Lab spokesperson Kevin Roark said LANL is currently in the process of recruiting a “security police officer augmentation force” to patrol LANL property in the event of strike and work interruption. That force would be comprised of current LANL employees who are trained and certified to act as protective force officers.
    The augmentation force could be called into action on April 25 if the labor negotiations aren’t resolved.
    Several messages left for SOC LLC, the parent company of SOC-Los Alamos, weren’t returned as of press time.
    LANS is not involved in the current negotiations between the SOC and the International Guards Union of America, Local 69.
    Roark said SOC-Los Alamos and the National Nuclear Security Administration have been working together to build the augmentation force, if needed.

  • DOE issues WIPP report

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (EM) released the Accident Investigation Board (AIB) Phase II Report related to the Feb. 14, 2014, radiological event at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.
    The AIB completed an exhaustive investigation at WIPP and Los Alamos National Laboratory to examine the cause of the radiological release at WIPP and identify managerial controls and safety measures necessary to prevent or minimize the probability or severity of a recurrence of this type of accident. Based on post-event chemical, radiological, and fire forensic analyses, the AIB concluded that the release was caused by an exothermic reaction involving the mixture of organic materials and nitrate salts in one drum that was processed at LANL in December 2013. The Board also concluded that an underground salt haul truck fire that occurred at WIPP on Feb. 5, 2014, did not cause or contribute to the radiological release event. The AIB’s findings identify shortcomings within both contractor and federal processes at LANL, WIPP, EM, and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

  • Bandelier plans events for National Park Week

    All over the country, units of the National Park Service will be celebrating National Park Week, starting Saturday and continuing through April 26.
    The week will begin with fee free days this weekend, with no entrance fees being charged at Bandelier National Monument and other park areas nationwide.
    Everyone is invited to the Visitor Center theater at 4:30 p.m. Saturday to see all the entries for the Bandelier Centennial logo contest and the winner is announced.
    Saturday is also National Junior Ranger Day, when kids and adults will have an opportunity to do a special scavenger hunt in and around the Visitor Center, as well as the regular Junior Ranger booklet that is available throughout the year. On fee free days throughout the year the park bookstore offers a 15 percent discount throughout the store, and the Bandelier Trading Company gift shop offers 10 percent off on selected items.
    During the week, craftspeople from local pueblos will be demonstrating their work on the porch behind the Visitor Center, and some will also have items for sale.
    Saturday and Sunday, the Lovato family from Santo Domingo Pueblo will be showing traditional jewelry and also the making of turkey feather blankets.

  • Restaurant Inspections 4-16-15

    White Rock
    The Rosebud Café, 35 Rover Blvd., Suite G
    Date Inspected: March 20
    Violations: None
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.
    Santa Fe
    Harry’s Roadhouse, 9613 Old Las Vegas Hwy
    Date Inspected: March 3
    Violations: All high-risk violations corrected.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. Follow up from previous inspection. No follow up required.

    Vinaigrette, 709 Don Cubero Alley
    Date Inspected: March 9
    Violations: One high-risk violation. Hot food items are not being cooled down properly before refrigeration. Two moderate-risk violations. AdvantEdge refrigerator door areas are messy. Bulk food containers are not labeled. Two low-risk violations. The walls by the hand sink in the employee restroom are cracked. Boxes of paper towels were stored on the floor in the employee restroom.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. Follow up required on March 18.

    Pizza Centro Inc., 3470 Zafarano Dr.
    Date Inspected: March 10
    Violations: One moderate-risk violation. One of the bulk food containers. One low-risk violation. The walls surrounding the three-compartment sink are stained, cracked and some areas have holes.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

  • Community office gives an update

    On Friday, the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities heard on update on the Los Alamos National Security (LANS) Community Commitment Plan (CCP) from Community Programs Office Deputy Director Carole Rutten.
    Rutten’s presentation highlighted last year’s accomplishments.
    Funding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs is a major priority for CCP funding.
    Last year, 60 STEM programs received $74 million, impacting more than 4,000 students and 341 teachers. Those programs were either coordinated by LANL or sponsored through other partners.
    Two of the most successful programs were RoboRAVE, a robotics competition in its second year, and the Math and Science Academy.
    This year’s RoboRAVE competition drew 1,480 students competing in 85 teams. Only 35 teams competed the first year.
    The Math and Science Academy — a three-year program that helps teachers better understand and deliver math and science to their students−has graduated 1,440 participants.
    The CCP also offers regional business support. In 2014, program results included:

  • Bush: ’16 decision to come shortly

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Jeb Bush said Thursday he will make up his mind “in relatively short order” whether to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016.
    The former Florida governor will be in New Hampshire this weekend to speak at town hall-style meetings at two businesses and at a GOP event. He will also attend a night event called Politics and Pies and a morning event called Politics and Eggs, he said.
    “Typical day in New Hampshire, apparently,” Bush told reporters Thursday in Jackson, where he attended a bill signing ceremony with Republican Gov. Phil Bryant.
    Bush said he’s not concerned that several other hopefuls are ahead of him in launching their campaigns.
    “I’m on a journey to kind of measure support,” Bush said. “Other people’s processes are not really that relevant to me. I’ll make up my mind in relatively short order. I’m excited about just the possibility of being in a position to consider it.”
    He said his family supports his exploration of a presidential bid.

  • Update 4-16-15

    Wild Day

    Los Alamos Youth Leadership will have its annual Wild Day program from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Los Alamos High School’s Griffith Gymnasium Saturday. Visit losalamosjjab.com for info.


    The fourth annual Fiesta de la Primavera is scheduled for Sunday. It will be at 3 p.m. at Fuller Lodge’s Pajarito Room. It will feature a Spanish music and dance concert with acts from around northern New Mexico. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children 12 and under.


    A “thank you” reception for Gene and Wendy Schmidt is scheduled for April 28. The event will be at Fuller Lodge from 4-6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.


    The Ethos Percussion Group will perform Sunday at the Duane Smith Auditorium. The performance is hosted by the Los Alamos Concert Association. Event time is 4 p.m. Tickets are $35.

    Dive-In Movie

    The Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center will host a Dive-In Movie Friday. The movie will be “Big Hero 6.” Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie will start at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are on sale. Call 662-8173 for details.

    Run For Her Life

  • State Briefs 4-16-15

    New manager appointed to lead troubled nuke waste dump

    CARLSBAD (AP) — A nuclear expert from Idaho has been named the new president and project manager of the company that oversees the federal government’s troubled nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico.
    Nuclear Waste Partnership announced the change Thursday, saying Philip Breidenbach will replace Bob McQuinn next week.
    McQuinn came on board in 2014 shortly after a radiation release forced the indefinite closure of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and stalled the cleanup of Cold War-era waste at facilities around the country.
    McQuinn was among those who developed a recovery plan for WIPP and implemented corrective actions over the past year.
    Breidenbach comes from the Idaho National Laboratory where he served as head of nuclear operations at the Materials and Fuels Complex. He also worked at Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

    Gains cited from Albuquerque
    Public Schools truancy program

  • Clinton will travel to New Hampshire

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton will make her first trip as a presidential candidate to the early voting state of New Hampshire next week.
    The Clinton campaign said the former secretary of state will participate in small events Monday and Tuesday, including roundtables with students and small-business employees. She will also hold private meetings with elected officials and activists. The campaign did not provide more specifics of her schedule.
    Clinton announced her second White House run Sunday before traveling to Iowa, where she held similar small-scale events.
    Clinton won the New Hampshire primary in 2008 after placing third in the Iowa caucuses, jumpstarting a lengthy and bruising Democratic nomination contest won by Barack Obama on his way to the presidency.
    The Clintons have long been popular in New Hampshire, where Bill Clinton’s second-place finish in the 1992 primary helped propel him to the nomination and the White House.
    Hillary Clinton last visited New Hampshire in November to stump for Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Gov. Maggie Hassan. Her New Hampshire operation is drawing heavily from Shaheen’s reelection team, with the senator’s campaign manager, Mike Vlacich, serving as Clinton’s New Hampshire state director.