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Today's News

  • Hazmat Challenge returning to LANL

    A dozen hazardous materials response teams from New Mexico, Missouri and Nebraska will test their skills in a series of graded, timed exercises at the 19th annual Hazmat Challenge July 27-31 at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    “The challenge provides hazardous materials responders the opportunity to test their skills, share best practices with other response agencies and learn new techniques through realistic hazardous materials release scenarios in a safe, non-hazardous environment,” said Chris Rittner of the laboratory’s Security and Emergency Operations Division.
    Held at Los Alamos’ Technical Areas 16 and 49, the event requires participants to respond to simulated hazardous materials emergencies involving an aircraft, clandestine laboratories, various modes of transportation, industrial piping scenarios, a simulated radiological release and a confined space event.
    The finale of the Hazmat Challenge is a skills-based obstacle course.
    Teams are graded and earn points based on their ability to perform response skills through a 10-station obstacle course while using fully encapsulating personal protective equipment.
    LANL began the Hazmat Challenge in 1996 as a way to hone the skills of its own hazmat team members.

  • County, contractor assessing pavement

    The second phase of pavement surveys is beginning around Los Alamos County using a falling weight deflectometer.
    The county entered into a contract with IMS Infrastructure Management Services to perform pavement and assessed management services for country roadways. The first phase of pavement data was completely collected in late June using a van-mounted device called a laser road surface tester.
    The falling weight deflectometer (FWD) is a device that provides nondestructive testing to assess pavement conditions, according to Los Alamos County. Data collected will be used to determine pavement strength, load transfer capabilities and identify properties of the base and subgrade.
    IMS has subcontracted FWD work to Ground Engineering of Colorado.
    According to the county, the survey and study that will follow will help determine the types of road maintenance the county requires. It will also assist in the planning and prioritization for the Roadway Capital Improvements Program.
    Questions or concerns about the project may be directed to the Public Works Department at 662-8150 or LACPW at lacnm.us.

  • Travel Channel show features Los Alamos

    Los Alamos has been in the limelight lately, or, more accurately, the town’s past.
    With the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb’s creation, Los Alamos is getting plenty of attention nationwide.
    The Travel Channel’s television program, “Time Traveling with Brian Unger,” explores the history of Los Alamos and the creation of the weapon in a segment of the next episode, “Billy the Kid and Atomic History.” The show airs today on the Travel Channel. Check local listings for exact time.
    Two months ago, Unger and his crew of 12 spent about a week in New Mexico for the episode.
    “New Mexico is such a vast space, we did a lot of driving and stayed at many different hotels,” Unger said. He adds he was very moved by the experience. “It’s hard to look at a town like Los Alamos and not look at it’s past. It has a history that changed the world.”
    The episode covers the development in Los Alamos to the test at the Trinity Site at White Sands. While in town, Unger and his crew were guided by the Los Alamos Historical Society with tours of Bathtub Row and the home of J. Robert Oppenheimer.
    “You can see the transformation,” Unger said. “It was a town that was operating in code.”

  • Talkin' Tourism

    Governor Susana Martinez paid a visit to the Los Alamos Nature Center today to spread the word that New Mexico has continued its upward climb in the tourism industry, thanks to its “New Mexico True” campaign. According to the recent poll by Longwood International of 6,000 people on their perceptions of New Mexico as a ‘good place to live, start a career, attend college or retire,” and the polls were favorable.

  • Council gets behind budget proposal

    At Tuesday’s work session, Los Alamos County Council member Susan O’Leary presented her plan for implementing a new budget review process.
    The current budget review process was established in 2003, after an assessment by a Budget Process Advisory Committee comprised of councilors, board members, citizens and staff.
    Council adopted the committee’s suggestions for implementing many of the practices recommended by the National Advisory Council Budget On State And Local Budgeting. That organization has recognized the county with its Distinguished Budget Presentation 23 years running.
    The format — called a Departmental Budgeting approach — is required by state statute and to conform to audit requirements.
    “This isn’t about changing that process, because I imagine that process needs to happen not only because our county manager needs to know how to allocate money by department, just like any organization, but there are probably requirements for state and federal legislation that requires a department based budget,” O’Leary said. “I think the question is whether the department-based format is one that allows the council to do our best with our responsibility of approving how tax dollars are spent.”

  • Be There calendar 7-23-15

    Today
    Downtown Dogs is a weekly walking group. All dogs and their humans are invited to walk from Pet Pangaea, 158 Central Park Square for a stroll around Downtown Los Alamos. 7 p.m. Come prepared with a standard leash, no longer than 6 feet.

    Authors Speak Series. Larry Littlefield, “Wildflowers of the Northern and Central Mountains of New Mexico.” 7 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library upstairs rotunda. Book sales the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.

    (This) Ability: Trisha Ebbert. Through Aug. 1 at the Portal Gallery.
    Friday
    Gentle Hikes with PEEC. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. 8:30 a.m. Free. Adults. Meet at the Nature Center and carpool to the trailhead. losalamosnature.org.

    Fourth Friday Downtown: Under the Microscope. Explore the natural world through the eyes of microscopes. Examine pond water, plants, fiber, pollen and more. 4-6 p.m. at the Bradbury Science Museum.

    Gordon’s Summer Concert Series. Satisfaction: International Rolling Stones Show. Rolling Stones tribute band. 7 p.m. at Ashley Pond. Free. For more information, visit GordonsSummerConcerts.com. Los Alamos National Bank Night.
    Saturday

  • Rummage sale to benefit area programs

    The White Rock Presbyterian Church is hosting a rummage sale and Navajo taco sale on Saturday to benefit one of three missions selected by the Service Ministry Committee of White Rock Presbyterian Church (WRPC).
    The sale goes from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The three missions selected are Julie’s Helpers Navajo Scholarship Fund, Young Life Camp Scholarships and Operation Christmas Child.
    • Julie’s Helpers Navajo Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to Navajo women who plan to return to their community after college to help their people.
    • Los Alamos Young Life Camp Scholarships helps pay for any local youth who desires to attend Lost Canyon Camp in northern Arizona for a week in the summer.
    • Operation Christmas Child is an international program that sends shoeboxes filled with toys, toiletries, school supplies and other gifts to children in need around the world.
    Members and friends of the House of Fellowship (HOF) church will be joining members of WRPC to sell Navajo tacos and fry bread.
    The House of Fellowship is in Bread Springs, about 12 miles south of Gallup. Many of the Navajo in this area live in poverty, without running water or adequate housing. Proceeds from the Navajo taco and fry bread sales will go back to this community to help alleviate the challenges of poverty.

  • Author focuses on wildflowers

    It’s a great year for wildflowers and with all the rain that has fallen on New Mexico this year, wildflowers are emerging in record numbers. The new field guide “Wildflowers of the Northern and Central Mountains of New Mexico: Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, Sandia, and Manzano,” has been published just in time for wildflower enthusiasts to find out more about this year’s bounty.
    Author Larry J. Littlefield is the featured speaker starting at 7 p.m. today at the Mesa Public Library. Littlefield is a professor emeritus of plant pathology at Oklahoma State University. He has been a volunteer with the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center and the trails maintenance crew for the U.S. Forest Service since retiring in Albuquerque in 2005. He co-authored the new book with Pearl M. Burns.
    “This unique reference work describes more than 350 wildflowers and flowering shrubs that grow in New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, Sandia, and Manzano Mountains, as well as neighboring ranges, including the Manzanita, San Pedro, Ortiz and other lower-elevation mountains in central portions of the state.

  • Unwanted pregnancies can be prevented

    Let’s stop unwanted pregnancies! Let’s stop abortions! Real progress has been achieved in Colorado.
    Recent articles in the New York Times, Santa Fe New Mexican and other publications have reported that the birthrate among teenagers in Colorado plummeted by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013 and teenage abortions dropped by 42 percent.
    There was a similar decline in births for another group of particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school.
    The changers were particularly pronounced in the poorest areas of the state where jobs are scarce and unplanned births come often to the young.
    These astonishing results were not the consequence of abstinence curricula, but rather an aggressive outreach program administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
    Using funds from a private grant provided by the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation (named for the billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s late wife), more than 30,000 long-lasting contraceptive devices, such as intrauterine device, known as IUDs, and contraceptive implants, were distributed at 68 family planning clinics across the state.

  • A sense of duty

    A Boy Scout takes an oath to become a Scout, “On my honor I will do my duty to God and my country and to help other people at all times and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” It is as simple as that.
    To become an American Legionnaire, one does not take an oath because one will have already done that when he/she raises their hand and swears to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and to defend our country against all enemies foreign and domestic. One then dons the uniform of the United States of America military service then become a veteran. The motto of the Legion is “For God and Country.”
    Both are very similar as to allegiance in the purpose and goals of each organization.
    The image of The American Legion may be that of a bunch of old men sitting around, drinking beer and swapping war stories. There may be something to that because veterans do drink beer, but the bulk of conversation is not war stories. It is about family, friends and just plain everyday conversation.
    The common bond is not spoken but it is there. Part of that bond is a sense of duty to something more than one’s own self.