.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Today's News

  • Thwaits looks to serve her community

    Los Alamos’ new assistant county attorney Kathryn Thwaits has wanted to work for the county since she moved here six years ago.

    Thwaits worked as an intern for the City of San Diego, Calif. and as a law clerk for San Diego County, as she was pursuing her law degree at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law (completed in 2006) and discovered she really enjoyed working for local government.

    “I live in Los Alamos and my husband James Thwaits, works for the Los Alamos Fire Department,” she said. “So my first goal was to get in with the county. And six years later, I did.”

    After moving to New Mexico, Thwaits was hired as deputy district attorney for the First Judicial District Attorney’s office, serving Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Rio Arriba counties. There, she managed the Española/Rio Arriba office, including all personnel and the office caseload. Thwaits also managed a personal caseload averaging 175 felony cases at any given time.

    While serving in that position, she volunteered with the Rio Arriba DWI program, the DWI Planning Council and the DWI Task Force. She helped develop and launch Española’s first inaugural post-prom party.

  • LANL names 2012 Fellows

    Three members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory scientific staff are being honored with appointment as Laboratory Fellows for 2012.

    The new Los Alamos Fellows include Charles Farrar,  Steven Elliott and Mikhail Shashkov.

    The committee ranked a collection of nominations on the basis of:
    •  Sustained, high-level achievements in programs of importance to the laboratory;
    • A fundamental or important discovery that has led to widespread use;
    • Having become a recognized authority in the field, including outside recognition and an outstanding record of publications.

    “Chuck, Steven and Mikhail have made exceptional contributions in their fields and to national security,” Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan said. “To be honored by their peers is a testament to their work. I congratulate the 2012 Laboratory Fellows and thank them for their service.”

    Farrar, of the Los Alamos National Security Education Center, is one of the preeminent structural health monitoring pioneers in the world.

  • Paint truck removed from Bandelier

    Sometime last Friday, San Bar Construction, the owner of a truck hauling traffic paint that ran off a cliff in late September, sent a contractor to N.M. 4 in the Jemez Mountains to retrieve the truck and clean up the damage.

    According to Bandelier National Monument Ranger Scott Ryan, a contractor took most of the day to remove the truck, bringing it down in pieces, instead of trying to bring it all down at once.

    The contractor, Southwest Structural Services Inc., of Santa Fe., used some innovative techniques to remove the 1998 International flatbed truck from the mountainside.

    “The way we planned it, I’d say removing the truck went about 99.9 percent to plan,” said company president Steven Duran.

    What his company did was mostly use a system of cables and sleds to remove the two-ton truck and the rest of the debris. Duran said the most difficult maneuver was to remove the trailer, which had a forklift on the back of it.

    “By means of the cable, we literally flipped it,” Duran said. “We flipped it 90 degrees to point down the mountain, then we flipped the forklift back on its tires and things went pretty well from there.”

    Southwest then went about moving the actual truck very carefully.

  • Five SOC employees fired

    Five members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory security force were terminated last week for the improper use of the live fire shooting range located at Technical Area 72, according to a statement released by the lab Wednesday.

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

    The statement went on to say, “After a swift but preliminary inquiry, it was concluded that inappropriate behavior warranted the termination of five protective force firing range personnel. The laboratory will continue to determine involvement by others, including laboratory personnel.

    “Although the inquiry concluded this was not a safety or security risk, the laboratory takes this kind of inappropriate behavior very seriously.

    “The laboratory does not tolerate unauthorized use of our facilities or equipment. We hold ourselves and our contractors to the highest possible standards of behavior.”

    Lab officials declined to discuss what the nature of the behavior was that resulted in the terminations.

  • Be There 11-21-12

    Thursday
    The Family YMCA will hold a Thanksgiving Day Zumba class from 9-10 a.m. in the Y gymnasium. The Y is closed for all other activities. Ages 13 and older. Free to the public.
    Nov. 26
    P.E.O. Chapter AK will meet at 7 p.m. at the home of Barbara deNevers. Karla Crane will act as co-hostess. The program will be a report of the projects.
    Nov. 27
    Friends of the Senior Centers  has purchased a new film for the Vision Challenged. The public is invited to the first showing of “Going Blind, Going Forward.” Families and caregivers are especially encouraged to attend at 10 a.m. at the Betty Ehart Senior Center in the classroom. The program is free and lasts 80 minutes. More information is available by calling 662-8920.

    Ward L. Hawkins, LANL program manager for Nuclear Testing Limitations, will speak on “CTBT On-Site Inspection: The Final Verification Measure.” The presentation will provide general background information on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and a detailed description of the On-Site Inspection verification regime. The talk will be given at an open meeting of the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security at 7 p.m. in Room 311 in the Education Building at the United Church, 2525 Canyon Road.
    Nov. 28

  • Library’s online services to be offline

    The Los Alamos County Library System online catalog will be unavailable to patrons from 8 a.m.-noon Nov. 27, for a system catalog software update.
    Though patrons may not notice a big difference, the planned upgrade to the integrated library system software will increase efficiency for librarians’ behind the scenes tasks, according to Mesa Public Library’s Carol Meine.
    While the system is unavailable, patrons will not be able to use any online services. They will not be able to search for books, make requests, check their account or use the downloadable e-books and audio books services.
    However, patrons are still encouraged to visit either library to browse and, if they bring along their library card, library staff can check in and check out books. However, even the librarians won’t be able to look up patron account information.
    For more information, contact libweb@lacnm.us or call 662-8253.

  • Christmas trees galore

    A variety of trees and wreaths were on display during the annual Festival of Trees Nov. 17 at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. A silent auction was held, during which trees could be bid on.

  • Stavert receives achievement award

    Pfc. Casey Stavert of Los Alamos received a Meritorious Mast for academic performance from the United States Marine Corps during his graduation ceremony from the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, Calif.  
    Stavert was raised in Los Alamos and graduated from LAHS in 2008. The award reads, “You consistently performed your duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner by scoring higher on the written tests and on the performance evaluations than any of your peers, making you the academic leader for the company with an overall average of 96.0%.”
    The company consisted of approximately 450 graduates from around the country.
    In addition to the award, Stavert was invited to a private lunch with the commanding officer of the Marine Corps Training Battalion, to discuss positive and negative aspects of his training and his future career in the Marine Corps.  
    Stavert is continuing his training program at the U.S. Navy Air Station at Pensacola, Fla., and is being trained as an expeditionary airfield support technician.

  • Make sure to cut your holiday expenses

    The closer the holidays loom, the less time harried families have to buy gifts, plan seasonal events and make travel arrangements. Unfortunately, when time is at a premium and you’re forced to make last-minute decisions, it’s usually your budget that suffers.
    As an occasional procrastinator myself, let me share a few tips I’ve picked up over the years that can help take the expense – and stress – out of holiday planning:
    Before you start shopping, calculate how much you can afford to spend on the holidays as a portion of your overall budget. If your finances are in good shape, spend no more than 1.5 percent of your annual income. But if you’re deeply in debt, can’t meet your regular monthly expenses or don’t have an emergency fund, this isn’t the time to rack up additional debt.
    Once you determine an overall amount, tally up expected holiday-related expenses including gifts, decorations, new clothes and accessories, giftwrap, cards, postage, special meals and year-end gratuities. Don’t forget travel-related expenses if you plan to leave town, and try to recall unanticipated expenses from last year.
    If you’re looking for ways to cut back, consider:

  • Collaboration still works for Coalition

    In 1997 three people got together – one rancher and two Sierra Club activists, who were fed up with the warfare between their two groups. They began to talk about the health of the land, about doing things differently, about working together.
    This unlikely combination formed the Santa Fe-based Quivira Coalition, and at its tenth conference in mid-November, it was still talking about doing things differently and working together. But some goals and partners have changed. The coalition’s 15-plus years have had their ups and downs, but it has demonstrated that collaboration, even in these polarized times, is still possible.
    Quivira’s second event in 1997 was at founding member Jim Winder’s Double Lightning ranch between Hatch and Deming. Winder had restored the watershed on his place and adopted new management practices. The environmentalists were skeptical, the ranchers thought he was crazy, and neither group would speak to the other.
    “I made more money this year than I ever have before,” Winder said. A couple of ranchers began listening. A few years later, a drought management workshop drew ranchers from around New Mexico and southern Colorado.