Today's News

  • Ohkay Owingeh seeks help to preserve its adobe homes

    Los Alamos Monitor

    Ohkay Owingeh resident Lourdes Little stood on the wooden floor of Fuller Lodge Wednesday, the rain patted against the glass and wood of the historic building and tears began to fill her eyes as the memories of her father’s words poured out.

    “I can still hear him talking about it. He used to say ‘You kids. This house was given to you by Mother Earth,’” Little began as she retold the story of her father’s words to her and her 11 brothers and sisters from many years ago.

    The house she described had one bedroom the children shared. They had one kitchen. Their mother and father lived in the other room of the small adobe house on the Pueblo.

    “I told my dad – we all did – ‘What do you mean Mother Earth made this home?’ and he said, ‘Well, think about it. You’ve seen us build our extra rooms if we need it. If we need extra rooms, where did we go? We went to the river, and we asked the Rio Grande River. Why? Because that’s where we got the rocks to start building the foundation,’” Little said.

  • Court orders N.M. secretary of state to enact 10 bills while awaiting appeal

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's secretary of state says 10 bills have been enacted into law after a court found that vetoes by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez were invalid.

    Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said Thursday that a state district court judge denied a request to block the bills while the governor prepares an appeal.

    Members of the Democrat-led Legislature say Martinez either failed to indicate the reason why she vetoed the bills or missed a three-day deadline. Those veto requirements are designed to help lawmakers respond to the governor's concerns and to keep the Legislature operating efficiently.

    If left standing, the newly enacted laws open the way for industrial hemp research programs and allow high school students to count computer science classes toward core math credits needed for graduation.

  • Wounded Scalise returns to Capitol to bipartisan cheers

    Wounded Scalise returns to Capitol to bipartisan cheers
    By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — To bipartisan hugs, tears and a roaring standing ovation, a hobbling House Republican Whip Steve Scalise returned to the House on Thursday, more than three months after a gunman sprayed fire at a baseball practice and left the lawmaker fighting for his life.

    "You have no idea how great this feels to be back here at work in the people's House," the 51-year old Louisianan said to a chamber packed with lawmakers, including senators who crossed the Capitol to welcome him back.

    Scalise limped into the chamber on crutches and wearing sneakers, smiling broadly and blowing kisses in his first public appearance since the June 14 shooting. In an extraordinary gesture, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., presided and ordered members to sit in their chairs to listen to Scalise's remarks.

    "Our prayers have been answered," Ryan said.

    The moment marked a departure from the bitter divisions that have dominated Congress this year between two parties locked in combat over President Donald Trump and the GOP agenda.

    "It does show the warm side of Congress that very few people get to see," Scalise said.

  • Arts Council to host Evening of Arts and Culture Oct. 13

    The Los Alamos Arts Council and Los Alamos County and many arts groups in the area will celebrate National Month of Arts and Culture with an Evening of Arts and Culture Oct. 13.

    The three-hour tour of the Arts District will be from 6-9 p.m. and include performers, artists, poets and others. There will be short programs in nine venues within the Arts District.

    Patrons can pick up a program card – a guide to who is doing what, where and when – from an information booth at Fuller Lodge, or at any of the nine venues, then walk to each venue enjoying the arts diversity of Los Alamos.

    This will be a way to celebrate local arts creativity and cultural diversity. There is no admission fee to experience the Evening of Arts and Culture, thanks to the generous support of all participating groups and the sponsors.

  • Last wildflower walk of year

    Join Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s Jemez Mountain Herbarium curator Chick Keller at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 2 for an easy walk to identify local wildflower species. It is free to attend the last Wildflower Walk of the season, and no advance registration is required.

    You won’t want to miss the last Wildflower Walk of the year.

    Participants receive a plant list that, along with instruction from Keller, will help them learn how to identify the late blooming wildflowers in Los Alamos.

    The group will meet at 5:30 p.m. at the Los Alamos Nature Center, located at 2600 Canyon Road, to carpool to the trailhead.

    For more information, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 662-0460.

  • No fee day Saturday at Bandelier Nat’l Park

    Enjoy Bandelier - And Other Public Lands - With No Entrance Fee on National Public Lands Day
    Often just known as National Public Lands Day is generally billled as the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

    On this day, thousands of people do volunteer work such as trail maintenance and litter pickup, while others make a special point of taking the day to enjoy the public lands that belong to everyone. To celebrate this special day, many federal lands, and some state parks as well, offer free admission. 

    This year in New Mexico, volunteer opportunities are as diverse as trail work projects on the Santa Fe and Lincoln National Forests (U.S. Forest Service), tagging monarch butterflies at the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and work projects on the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (Bureau of Land Management) and at Cochiti Lake (Army Corps of Engineers).

    At Bandelier National Monument (National Park Service), no work projects are planned this year, and the emphasis is on exploring and enjoying this treasured part of the Jemez Mountains. No entrance fees will be collected that day. The bookstore will have everything on 15-percent discount.

  • Wanted: 1 million people to study genes, habits and health

    WASHINGTON — In a quest to end cookie-cutter health care, U.S. researchers are getting ready to recruit more than 1 million people for an unprecedented study to learn how our genes, environments and lifestyles interact – and to finally customize ways to prevent and treat disease.

    Why does one sibling get sick but not another? Why does a drug cure one patient but only cause nasty side effects in the next?

    Finding out is a tall order. Today, diseases typically are treated based on what worked best in short studies of a few hundred or thousand patients.

    “We depend on the average, the one-size-fits-all approach because it’s the best we’ve got,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

    That’s changing: The NIH’s massive “All Of Us” project will push what’s called precision medicine, using traits that make us unique in learning to forecast health and treat disease. Partly it’s genetics. What genes do you harbor that raise your risk of, say, heart disease or Type 2 diabetes or various cancers?

  • Opera on the Rocks to present Mozart Seraglio

    Love, romance, action and science fiction collide Saturday at Bandelier National Monument’s annual Opera on the Rocks event. Held at the Juniper Campground Amphitheater, this year’s presentation will be excerpts from Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio,” done Star Trek style.

    “Though the opera’s trappings may be out of this world, Mozart’s memorable melodies remain intact. You really don’t have to be a Star Trek fan or an opera fan. As long as you enjoy a good laugh and some impressive singing, you’re going to have a really good time,” said the Pacific Opera Project, the original creator of the concept.

    Los Alamos’ own opera guild, Opera Alta, will be staging the event Saturday, with all the characters singing in German.

    Those looking to go can still purchase tickets at guildsofsfo.org. Those attending are encouraged to bring a jacket, warm clothing and dress as their favorite Star Trek character. Campers at the site are welcome to see the production too, ticket or no ticket. Food vendors include Sirphey, and beverages from Santa Fe Cider Works, Velarde and Gruet Winder and Black Mesa Winery.

    The opening act with by drumming by renowned musician Cochiti Pueblo resident Arnold Herrera.

  • Ohkay Owingeh seeks outside help with housing project

    Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo is seeking private donations to help it finish a revitalization project that has already breathed new life into the heart of the community.

    The $11.5 million housing project started 12 years ago. The Pueblo spent 12 years and $8 million in federal funding to restore 34 dilapidated houses on its four central plazas. The pueblo has 15 more houses to restore, and this time its looking to neighboring communities for help.

    The houses fell into disrepair after families began moving to the outskirts of the Pueblo and into more modern government housing.

    “Some people left the more traditional, older adobe homes around the plazas and moved into nice, new HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Housing,” Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority Development Officer Leslie Colley said.

    According to Colley, it was around 2005 that Executive Director Tomasita Duran decided to do put some resources together to rebuild the homes.

    While 34 of the homes have been completed and occupied, they need help raising $3.5 million to complete the last 15.

    The Pueblo will give a presentation at Fuller Lodge Wednesday to make Los Alamos County residents aware of the project, and how residents can help them through a New Mexico tax-credit program.

  • NNSA says LANL workers faced no danger in latest incident

    The National Nuclear Security Administration, the federal agency that oversees the Los Alamos National Laboratory, said the workers casting a plutonium pit were not in any danger of causing a nuclear chain reaction when they violated safety rules governing the casting process.

    The public was not in danger either.

    The incident happened on Aug. 17. According to a report on the incident by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, workers casting a plutonium pit failed to accurately document the movement of the pit, causing the pit to be moved into an area where there was already plutonium present, putting the amount of plutonium allowed in a certain area over the safety limit.

    Five days later, when workers moved the pit, they discovered the error, and moved other nuclear material  “for product quality and security” according to the report. According to established training criteria, they were instead supposed to declare a potential change in procedure.

    Lab management informed the NNSA field office of the incident and the actions taken. Management informed NNSA officials that they disqualified the workers involved and introduced new rules and procedures. The new rules require that all movements of nuclear material be authorized through the casting room group leader.