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Today's News

  • Water main break closes one lane on Trinity

     

     

    Eastbound traffic was reduced to one lane on Trinity Drive in the vicinity of 37th Street following a water main break Wednesday.  

    The break was reported Tuesday evening around 8 p.m. In frigid temperatures, gas, water and sewer crews with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities worked through the night and into the early morning to dig up the 12-inch line and complete repairs by 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. No customers lost water service.   

    With the assistance of Los Alamos County’s Roads and Streets division, backfilling and patching the road were completed before for the evening rush hour. Traffic controls were removed at approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday.  

  • County survey results now available

     

    Los Alamos County’s bi-annual citizen survey results are now available for the public to review on the news page of the county’s website at losalamosnm.us and LAMonitor.com. 

    In addition, copies for public review are available at the 311 Customer Care Center located at 150 Central Park Square or at the reference desk of either public library.

    The firm under contract to conduct the county’s survey was CRC and Associates, LLC.  They randomly selected approximately 400 county residents to participate in a 20-minute phone survey or street interview. 

    The survey included a variety of questions about county programs and services, community needs, quality of life, media and information resources, openness and transparency of government, economic development and housing needs. 

  • Hiroshima mayor condemns NNSA test

    The National Nuclear Security Administration announced that Pollux, a subcritical experiment, was successfully conducted last week at its Nevada National Security Site.

    The experiment, conducted by staff from NNSS, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, gathered scientific data that will provide crucial information to maintain the safety and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons.

    “Challenging subcritical experiments maintain our capabilities to ensure that we can support a safe, secure and effective stockpile without having to conduct underground testing,”NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino said. “I applaud the work done by the men and women who worked to make this experiment successful. Experiments such as this help deliver President Obama’s nuclear security agenda.”

    According to the news website Xinhua, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui condemned the United States for conducting a subcritical nuclear test at an underground test site in Nevada.

    As the mayor of the city which suffered the world’s first nuclear bombing in World War II, Matsui said the test is against the global efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.

  • NMSBA recognizes LANL scientists

     Two Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have been recognized for their efforts to help the development of small businesses in state.

    Harshini Mukundan of the Physical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy group and Mark E. Smith of the Chemical Diagnostics and Engineering group received Principal Investigator Excellence Awards from the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program for assisting several New Mexico small businesses.

    Los Alamos National Security, LLC, the NMSBA and Northern New Mexico Connect sponsored the recognition event.

    Mukundan was recognized for the assistance she provided to small businesses on two separate projects; bovine tuberculosis detection and better diagnostics for traumatic brain injury.

  • Musicians prepare to pay the piper

    The Los Alamos Board of Education recently approved a measure that would allow the schools to charge a rental fee to outside musical groups looking to use instruments from the high school. 

    For $50 a semester, musicians from the Los Alamos Community Winds and the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra can rent the high school’s larger instruments for rehearsals, saving musicians the effort of moving their own instruments back and forth to their rehearsal space and other logistical problems. Instruments that fit the category include timpani, bass drums, gongs, xylophones, vibraphones and other percussion instruments.

    According to Kim Lettellier, the school system’s music staff team leader, one reason for the fee is to be fair to the students who are also renting instruments from the school. Students that rent from the district pay $100 during the school year and $50 for the summer. The money goes into a special fund set aside for repairs.

    “It didn’t seem quite fair to me that we expected the students to pay something, but we didn’t expect these outside groups to pay something,” Lettellier said.

  • Luján warns of fiscal cliff impact on labs

    Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District sent a letter to Congressional leaders Wednesday, urging them to resolve the fiscal cliff in a manner that prevents damaging funding cuts to the national laboratories, including Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories.

    In the letter, Luján highlights the important role these labs have played in providing cutting-edge research and innovation for applications ranging from national security to the Mars rover and renewable energy.  

    He expresses his concerns that deep budget cuts due to sequestration will threaten the vitality of the labs and their capability to fulfill their scientific and security missions.

    In addition, Luján announced that he has joined the new House Science and National Labs Caucus as a co-chair, partnering with Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) and Alan Nunnelle (R-Miss.), who will also co-chair the bipartisan group.  

  • Reservoir reconstruction

     

    The Board of Public Utilities toured the Los Alamos Reservoir reconstruction on Wednesday. The estimated completion date for the project is mid-March, 2013. 


  • Revenue losses hit hard

    Like a one-two punch to the fiscal gut, county officials have been left reeling in efforts to shore up a budget that’s just been hammered.

    Los Alamos County Council’s mid-year budget review at the end of January will be anything but routine. Two unexpected revenue losses have staff scrambling to address both short-term and long-term implications. 

    Despite ongoing conversations with the lab and efforts to prepare for a downturn in federal spending, no one anticipated the news coming from Los Alamos National Laboratory in November. 

    LANL’s fiscal year ends in September. County Administrator Harry Burgess said that the largest expenditures traditionally come in that final month. But the report that posted Nov. 15 was shocking for county officials.

    “When we logged on the state’s reporting website, we learned that not only was it a decrease, but it was a significant decrease,” Burgess said. 

    “The spending for the lab was approximately $3 million less for the month of September this year than it was one year prior. There have been fluctuations over time, but this was a greater amount than we’d seen before.”

  • Celtic Christmas showdown

    The Celtic Christmas Showdown concerts this weekend features two Texas
    State Celtic-Dulcimer Champions, vying to see which musician can out-perform the other.  
    The concert will feature Celtic aires, Christmas carols and Appalachian blues.
    The Celtic Christmas Showdown concert tour opened last weekend at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame with a benefit concert for the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences.  The tour continued to Springfield, Mo. with a benefit concert for the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks.
    The Celtic dulcimer is a stringed instrument, held on the lap and picked or strummed.  Celtic immigrants to Appalachia more than 200 years ago, invented the dulcimer.
    Wendy Songe, from Oklahoma, won the 2012 Texas State Dulcimer Championship and New Mexico’s Jonathan Dowell won that contest in 2008.  Both of these musicians are also winners of the Southern Regional Championship, Dowell in 2007 and Songe in 2012.  
    The concert will unite these two musicians in a friendly mock competition. Tessa Dowell performing pennywhistle and bodhran (Irish drum), will join the duo.
    Together, these musicians call themselves Dually Noted. The Dually Noted Celtic Christmas Showdown CD with more than 50 minutes of aires andcarols, will be available at the concerts and online at wendysonge.com.

  • Take a bit of Chimayó home for the holidays

    Chimayó is best known for red chile and El Santuario de Chimayó, but a group of local artists is hoping to soon be included in that list.
    Joan and Lowlow Medina, along with their daughters Anamaria and Marisol, will be part of a holiday art show at the their gallery from 6-8 p.m. Friday.  
    Along with the Medina family, Fernando Bimonte, Alfredo Baca, Charles Medina and Sharon Candelario will also show their work.
    The Medinas are no strangers to the art world. In fact, Joan and their daughters were part of the “Her Legacy” art show at the Bond House Museum in Española in March.
    Joan and Lowlow have been doing art for 30 years as a couple and got their start on a different kind of media — and what some might consider an unconventional way.
    “Lowlow and I started by painting murals on cars. He did murals on walls and on wood or canvas, then he got me into painting on canvas, too,” Joan said of their artistic beginnings.
    The couple’s children were exposed to art at early ages.
    “My two daughters stated at the age of three. Now Ana is 17 and Marisol is eight,” Joan said.