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Today's News

  • Animal Shelter 11-18-12

    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of on site adoptable pets waiting for their forever home.
    Come find a companion that will give you unconditional love. Be sure to visit lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting and donating.
    All adoptable pets are spayed or neutered, have their shots and are micro chipped. Visitor guides: Between 4-6 p.m. Friday, volunteers will be at the shelter to give potential adopters personal introductions to the adoptable animals.
    DOGS
    Autumn — This spayed female is one of those rare breeds that doesn’t come around very often — a New Mexico Brown Dog. She is housebroken and leash-trained, just don’t try to force her to be friends with any dog smaller than her.
    Axle — Don’t let those sad-looking eyes fool you. Axle is a playful and affectionate neutered male. The shelter temperament testers describe this Pit-mix as a “total sweetheart.” He would love a family that appreciates big, sloppy dog kisses.  
    Ciera — Spayed female Shepherd-cross who likes to get to know her human associates before she shares her story with them.

  • News for Retirees 11-18-12

    Nov. 18-24
    For information, call the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) at 662-8920, the White Rock Senior Center (WRSC) at 662-8200 and “Day Out” (adult day care, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 661-0081. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. for daily lunches.

    Betty Ehart
    MONDAY
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio
    10 a.m.        Advisory Council and LARSO Board meeting
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Barbecue beef sandwich
    12:30-3:30 p.m.    Flu shots available for seniors
    7 p.m.        Ballroom dancing
    TUESDAY
    8:30 a.m.    Mac users
    8:45 a.m.    Variety training
    10 a.m.    Computer users group
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Sweet ‘n sour pork
    11:30 a.m.    Open enrollment
    1 p.m.        Bingo
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.    Table tennis

    WEDNESDAY
    8:30 a.m.    RSVP quilters
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio plus exercise
    10:45 a.m.    Music with Ruth
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Fish (tilapia)

  • Valles Caldera announces winter schedule

    Snowshoeing, cross country skiing and sleigh rides highlight a full calendar of winter activities announced by the Valles Caldera National Preserve.  
    The schedule also includes two free snowshoeing and skiing access days. Winter hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the Valle Grande Staging Area.
    An expanded holiday schedule will run every day from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 26 through Jan. New this season, the preserve will remain open for the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, Jan. 21 and for President’s Day, Feb. 18.  
     Skiing and snowshoeing open the season on Dec. 7, weather permitting. Fees are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62 years and older), $8 for youth (5-15 years) while kids four and younger are free. Five-day passes are available for $40 per adult and $32 for seniors and youth.
    Reservations are not required but all must check in and depart from the Valle Grande staging area. Also, the Valle Grande Trail, Coyote Call Trail and the surrounding area on the south side of N.M. 4 will remain open every day for hiking, skiing and snowshoeing free of charge.

  • Update 11-18-12

    Special Section

    Look for “The Spirit of Giving” special section in Thursday’s Los Alamos Monitor. The publication will be packed with information to help you shop smarter, not harder.

    Trash collection

    In observance of Thanksgiving, there will be no trash or recycling collection on Nov. 22 or Nov. 23. If Thursday or Friday is your normal pickup day put out trash and recycling by 8 a.m. Nov. 21 for collection. 

    Office closed

    The Los Alamos Monitor office will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving Day, Thursday. Normal office hours will resume Friday.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Nov. 27  in council chambers.

    Library board

    The Los Alamos County Library Board holds regular meetings the first Monday of each month (excluding holidays) at 5:30 p.m. in the Mesa Public Library Board Room or at White Rock Branch Library. The next meeting is Dec. 3.

  • WIPP appeal filed against NMED

    Southwest Research and Information Center and Margaret Elizabeth Richards filed a Notice of Appeal in the New Mexico Court of Appeals against the New Mexico Environment Department decision of Nov. 1, to allow “hot” Remote-Handled transuranic nuclear waste in shielded containers to come to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

    The appellants and approximately 200 individuals argue that the request to modify the state’s WIPP permit be subject to a public hearing because of the dangers posed by RH waste, the technical complexity of handling RH waste at WIPP and the substantial public interest in the request.

    NMED approved the Department of Energy request although the state agency had in December 2011 and January 2012 rejected virtually the same request.

    “SRIC feels that the permit request was incomplete and did not adequately address the real reason that DOE wants shielded containers — there is not enough space for RH waste because of the way the facility has been mismanaged. State law requires a public hearing, but since NMED rubberstamped the request, we have no choice but to sue,” said Don Hancock of SRIC.

  • Coalition gets heads-up on D.C.

    Attorney Seth Kirshenberg has his finger on the pulse of Washington.

    The D.C. based attorney has helped Los Alamos County with issues regarding the Department of Energy. And he also is the director of the Energy Communities Alliance of which the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities is a member.

    Kirshenberg was in town Friday to address the coalition and offer it a glimpse in what to expect in Washington now that the election season is over.

    Kirshenberg told the coalition that there are three things it needs to be doing as the New Year approaches.

    He said the coalition needs to plan ahead, identify priorities and understand the environment in Washington.

    “And that is not always easy,” said Kirshenberg, who works at the firm Kutak Rock in Washington.

    Primary issues facing the lame-duck Congress is a possible fiscal cliff where sequestration might take effect if a budget agreement is not in place by the end of the year. Sequestration would trigger mandatory budget cuts of $1.2 trillion and would cause massive financial headaches for DOE facilities including the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  • Report traces the timeline of contamination

    This is the conclusion of a two-part series that began in Friday’s edition.

    A 116-page federal report delves into the background of how the radioactive contamination accident happened at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Neutron Center in August.

    The report traces a timeline back to 2010 at the Luján Center, which is a national facility for defense and civilian research in nuclear and condensed-matter sciences, hosting scientists from national laboratories, universities, industry and international research facilities. One type of experiment conducted there is irradiation of sample materials in a neutron beam.

    The report goes on to state that between 2010 and 2012, Luján Center personnel worked with personnel from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to irradiate samples of powdered praseodymium technetate, neodymium technetate and lutetium technetate.

    Each of the three samples contained Technetium-99 (Tc-99), an intrinsically radioactive isotope that emits low energy beta particles.

    The report concluded that it is difficult to know that a sample canister contains Tc-99 if the canister is not clearly marked and/or labeled. The lutetium technetate sample was later determined to be the source of the contamination in the August 2012 incident.

  • Crave a Twinkie? The price is going up fast online

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twinkies are being sold on the Internet like exquisite delicacies.

    Hours after Twinkie-maker Hostess announced its plans to close its doors forever, people flocked to stores to fill their shopping baskets with boxes of the cream-filled sponge cakes and their sibling snacks — Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Zingers.

    Late Friday and Saturday, the opportunists took to eBay and Craigslist. They began marketing their hoard to whimsical collectors and junk-food lovers for hundreds — and in some cases — thousands of dollars. That's a fat profit margin, when you consider the retail price for a box of 10 Twinkies is roughly $5.

    Greg Edmonds of Sherman, Texas is among those who believe Twinkies are worth more now that Hostess Brands Inc. has closed its bakeries. He lost his job as a sales representative eight months ago, so he is hoping to make some money feeding the appetites of Twinkie fans and connoisseurs

  • Safety Questions Surround School

    At first, Mary Ann Schnedler thought someone might have hit a deer. As headmaster of the Montessori School on Canyon Road since 1978, she’s seen her share of deer strikes.

    However what happened outside her school a couple of weeks ago happened to be a little scarier than a deer strike; someone had come around the curve too fast on Canyon and crashed their car into the student pick-up and drop-off area. No one was hurt, not even the driver, but for Schnedler, that was pretty much the last straw.

    “This certainly was an eye opener,” Schnedler said. “At the time, the parents were unloading their kids. If that car came to rest just a few inches closer, one of our parents or our children would’ve been hit.”

    Compounding the problem, people weren’t even slowing down for the emergency vehicles that were parked trying to offer aid, she said.

    According to Schnedler, the issues have been building for some time. When the school was founded in 1968, the neighborhood was a lot smaller back then. Through the years, however, the neighborhoods surrounding the school have grown up around it, but the signage along the road has not.

  • Board green lights sewer rate hike

    The Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to endorse a plan for increasing sewer rates at a meeting last week.

    The increase is necessary to cover the costs of repairing and replacing the 50- to 60-year-old infrastructure, including the future replacement of the White Rock Wastewater Treatment facility.

    In a statement released prior to the board meeting, Department of Public Utilities Manager John Arrowsmith said, “Los Alamos is fortunate in that our electric, gas, and water rates are much lower than other communities. However, because of Los Alamos’ extremely varied topography, the infrastructure required to provide sewer services to this small community is more expensive.

    “For instance, most communities with less than 20,000 citizens do not need to maintain and operate two wastewater treatment facilities, but this is a necessity for our gravity-fed collection system. Restructuring the sewer rate to a flat fee for our residential customers, more fairly allocates the costs across the board.”