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Today's News

  • Caldera board sets date for meeting

    The Valles Caldera Trust Board of Trustees will conduct a meeting in public  from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Spa, in Albuquerque.
    The meeting agenda will include a year-end budget update for Fiscal Year 2012, a report on the state of the preserve, a presentation on restoration and stewardship projects, and a review of the 2012 livestock program and public visitation. Public comments will be heard after the last report with adjournment scheduled immediately thereafter. Links to the agenda and map to the Embassy Suites are posted on the Trust’s website at ow.ly/fAS1L.
    The Board of the Valles Caldera Trust conducts all decision-making meetings in public. The President of the United States appoints Board of Trustee members. Current members are: Dr. Raymond Loretto, Jemez Pueblo; Dr. Melissa Savage, Santa Fe; Virgil Trujillo, Abiquiu;  Dr. Ken Smith, Sewanee, Tenn.; Kent Salazar, Albuquerque; Karyn Stockdale, Santa Fe; Jason Lott, superintendent, Bandelier National Monument and Maria Garcia, supervisor of the Santa Fe National Forest.

  • Update 11-28-12

    School board meets

    The Los Alamos Public Schools Board of Education will meet for a work session at 5:30 p.m. today at Aspen Elementary School.

    Call for entries

    Photo entries are being accepted until Dec. 9 for the 2013 edition of Los Alamos Life. The award-winning, full color glossy magazine features the best of photography done by local residents. Send your high resolution digital images to info@lamonitor.com.

    Calendar

    To kick off its 50th anniversary celebration next year, the Los Alamos Monitor will distribute a commemorative 2013 calendar Sunday Dec. 9. Look for it inside your newspaper.

    County Council

    Idea Factory: Contribute your ideas about the Pajarito Plateau. Join PEEC as they discuss key messages and stories about the Pajarito Plateau. 6:30 p.m. Thursday Free. For more information or to register, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460.

    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.

  • Cobalt could replace precious metals as industrial catalyst

    Cobalt, a relatively common mineral, may hold promise as an industrial catalyst with potential applications in such energy-related technologies as the production of biofuels and the reduction of carbon dioxide.
    That is, provided the cobalt is captured in a complex molecule so it mimics the precious metals that normally serve this industrial role.
    In work published Nov. 26 in the international edition of the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists report the possibility of replacing the normally used noble metal catalysts with cobalt.
    Catalysts are the parallel of the Philosopher’s Stone for chemistry. They cannot change lead to gold, but they do transform one chemical substance into another, while remaining unchanged themselves. Perhaps the most familiar example of catalysis comes from automobile exhaust systems that change toxic fumes into more benign gases, but catalysts are also integral to thousands of industrial, synthetic and renewable energy processes where they accelerate or optimize a mind-boggling array of chemical reactions.
    It’s not an exaggeration to say that without catalysts, there would be no modern industry.

  • 'Unauthorized visitors' spur SOC firings

    More details have emerged concerning the five members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory security force that were terminated two weeks ago for the improper use of the live fire shooting range located at Technical Area 72.

    The lab security force is called Securing Our Country or SOC.

    The lab was asked if it could provide any more background about what the inappropriate conduct was and it responded, “Unauthorized visitors were allowed access to the shooting range and allowed to operate a variety of firearms.”

    The lab said the incident was discovered when it received information from an anonymous source, that was then verified by LANL and SOC.

    As far as the contract between the lab and SOC and whether there would be any further action or otherwise, the response was, “The inquiry is ongoing and we will determine what further actions are needed, if any.”

    The lab said it is not identifying the guards involved because it is a personnel action and that it would not characterize the relationships between the involved parties who were on the shooting range.

    NNSA spokesperson Josh McConaha said, “We’ve been closely involved with LANL as they have investigated the incident and taken corrective action.”

  • LAHS staff: 'We're here for you'

    Counselors have been on hand at Los Alamos High School and middle school since Monday, and they will continue to be available as students and faculty mourn the passing of Nikolas Ventura-Arencon. His funeral was Wednesday morning at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

    Ventura-Arencon, 14, and a freshman at LAHS, was killed in a car accident on N.M. 4 last week.

    Since the accident, LAHS has been taking an active role in making sure students who knew Ventura-Arencon get the help they need to deal with the sudden death.

    Guidance Counselors Prentice Chatfield, Danielle Straate, Enid Burgess and Cindy Black have been visiting classes and talking with students about Ventura-Arencon.

    “We’ve had different reactions as any group of students would,” Straate said. “Some don’t react, some are crying, it’s very individualized.”

    Though events like this don’t happen frequently, the staff does have specialized training to help students deal with what has happened.

  • Council funds LAPS DP Road project

    In a move that reaffirms the Los Alamos County Council’s determination to backstop local schools, the council voted unanimously to approve a request from the Los Alamos Public Schools for financial support to develop its A-15 tract along DP Road.

    LAPS requested $51,700 to bring water and electricity to the parcel to make it attractive as lease property or for a land swap. LAPS Assets Manager Joan Ahlers estimates the improvements to the property will yield $5,400 to potentially $35,000 a year in additional revenue for the district.

    Leasing is one of the few options schools have for raising income for operational costs and salaries without reducing their share of the state’s funding formula.

    Likewise, capital improvements are one of the county’s few means of benefiting the schools without affecting that formula.

    The request is in alignment with council’s 2008 resolution to provide financial support for public schools. Deputy County Administrator/Chief Financial Officer Steven Lynne also noted that the county has a placeholder of $1.5 million within the Capital Improvement Project Fund for public schools partnership projects, which will serve as the pool of funds for the grant.

  • Be There 11-28-12

    Today
    The Los Alamos Community of Atheists will host a discussion 6:30-8 p.m. in Meeting Room 1 of the Mesa Public Library. This month’s discussion will focus on the New Age movement and its role in society. For more information, contact them at losalamoscommunityofatheists@gmail.com. All are welcome.
    Thursday
    Idea Factory: Contribute your ideas about the Pajarito Plateau. Join PEEC as they discuss key messages and stories about the Pajarito Plateau. Your ideas will help them create a plan to strengthen people’s connection with the natural world. 6:30 p.m. Free. For more information or to register, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460 or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

    In celebration of the New Mexico Centennial, the senior center has offered monthly cultural/ historical trips in the state. To bring all this history together, historian John Ramsay will give a talk  focusing on “Turmoil Involving New Mexico Boundaries 1719-1930s.” Ramsay brings a wealth of to his favorite subject of historical maps. His illustrated talk is free and open to the public. Welcoming coffee at 9:30 a.m. and the talk is at 10 a.m. at the BESC, in the classroom.  
    Friday

  • Thank You 11-28-12

    First, a big thank you to all the citizens of Los Alamos County who gave generously to the recent Letter Carrier-Boy Scout Fall Food Drive Nov. 17.
    An estimated 18,000 lbs. of food and supplies were collected with about 1,000 pounds sent to the San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen in Española.
    The remainder was donated to LA Cares, for local monthly distribution to those in need within our community.  
    The Atomic City Letter Carriers (NALC-4112) and their volunteers worked long and hard, performing the triple duties of delivering flyers, picking-up food and all while performing their regular duties of delivering your mail.
    Many volunteers from LA Cares and other organizations and individuals worked hard preparing, sorting, transporting and storing all the donations.
    LA Cares distributes food boxes monthly throughout the year, so please call 661-8015 if you can help with these distributions or are in need of food assistance.
    In addition, every Los Alamos and White Rock BSA unit in the Northern New Mexico District participated for two- to three-hour shifts (some scouts worked much longer), including Cub Scout Packs 20, 22, 27, 222, 229, 326, 422; Boy Scout Troops 22, 71, 122, 129, 222, and 422; and co-ed Venture Scout Post 20.

  • Recognize a community assset

    The annual Community Asset Awards search is underway and the Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and Chamber of Commerce want to know who you think stands out for 2012.
    The Community Assets Awards strives to recognize the things people do — in and around Los Alamos — to make the community or the world a better place.
    “I love that the Community Asset Awards honor those unsung heroes, those people who are not looking for praise or attention, but just do good things for the community because they enjoy doing them,” said Katy Korkos, Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Member Services Director. “ I love it that people who have a good idea and follow through with it are honored.”
    Each year, people of every age and background are nominated to receive recognition, with a youth and an adult recognized to receive the Director’s Choice Award and someone who will receive the Spirit of the West Award.
    The Spirit of the West Award was created to honor former Los Alamos County Councilor and Leadership Los Alamos alumni Jim West. Before his passing away, West knew the award was created, in his honor.

  • State keeps struggling with disappointment

    SANTA FE – New Mexico’s once-famed Spaceport America, the only purpose-built spaceport in the world, has lost its luster. No longer does it have two of the planet’s best pitchmen, Sir Richardson Branson and Gov. Bill Richardson, promoting it.
    Richardson is gone and Branson is entertaining offers from other states and nations. The United Arab Emirates has purchased a big chunk of Virgin Galactic and has an agreement to build a spaceport in that country.
    Meanwhile New Mexico has a new governor who began her term saying private money should finance the remainder of the spaceport and now has warmed to the point she is saying she would like to take a space ride and she will sign any future appropriations the Legislature passes.
    But Gov. Susana Martinez is not out promoting our spaceport to aerospace companies around the nation and world. The only proposal she really has put a hip into is an effort to deny driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
    Martinez has gone all out with that effort, including spending PAC money and getting involved in legislative races. She says it will make us safer but it certainly doesn’t attract jobs or improve our lagging economy.