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Today's News

  • School Board tackles LAMS gas line issue

    The Los Alamos School Board voted Thursday to have a construction firm tear up all the old sections of a gas line currently underneath the middle school campus.

    The gas line, which is about 1,000-feet long and runs from the northern end of the middle school campus to the southern end, had been threatening the $18 million construction project since Monday when construction crews accidentally ruptured the line. Though no gas has run through the line since Monday, air pressure tests on the line have revealed multiple leaks.

    “It was very easy to build consensus on this,” Los Alamos Public Schools Board President Kevin Honnell said. “When you find something that’s already a problem and it’s only going to get worse over time, now is the time to fix it. After all, you’re building an entirely new school.”

    Board member Melanie McKinley, who represents White Rock, said it just makes sense to her.

    “I was confused as to why they didn’t replace this entire aging infrastructure when they first started construction,” McKinley said. “To me, it seemed an easy decision to make. When you’re in there doing all this work, you replace all of it.”

    It’s estimated the cost to replace all the existing lines will be about $20,000.

  • Plan B would require $800M

    A little more information has trickled out concerning the Los Alamos National Security LLC’s proposal for plutonium sustainment without the help of a new Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility.

    This is better known as Plan B when it comes to the CMRR project.

    NNSA and the Obama administration have made it known they want to defer the project for five years and the House and Senate appropriators on the Energy and Water committees agreed, zeroing out funding for the project.
    Defense committees, though, have pushed funding for the project in their budget proposals.

    It’s likely nothing will be decided until after the election and if that is the case the lab will continue to run on a Continuing Resoluation.

    In the meantime, NNSA and lab officials are ironing out details for Plan B as part of its plutonium strategy.

  • Los Alamos researchers study climate change

    SANTA FE (AP) — For a plant physiologist whose research points to a looming disaster in the world as we know it, Nate G. McDowell is a surprisingly upbeat guy.

    “I’m excited. This is such an awesome project,” said McDowell, a Los Alamos National laboratory staff scientist, as he gave a tour of his latest research site near Bandelier National Monument.

    In a way, McDowell’s getting to do what he loved as a boy growing up in Washington state’s Olympic rainforest — run around in the woods. Only now, his play has evolved into critical research modeling the death of New Mexico pinons and junipers as temperatures climb and drought deepens.

    McDowell steps inside one of the cylindrical plexiglass and steel chambers near two of the trees he’s likely to kill in his research. It is blisteringly hot inside already at 9:30 a.m. He confesses to loving trees, “dead or alive.”

    “I do think about that (killing trees),” McDowell said, acknowledging a twinge of guilt now and then. “But we have to kill the trees to understand how they die. Not a lot of them, just a few.”

  • Update 08-26-12

    Gun Show

    The 14th annual Los Alamos Sportsman’s Club Gun Show will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Pueblo Gym.

    Fashion workshop

    Internationally recognized recycled fashion designer Nancy Judd from Recycle Runway will host this workshop on creating recycled fashion geared towards beginners. The workshop will be from 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Fuller Lodge Art Center.

    FAN Club

    The Los Alamos Visiting Nurses will be hosting the August FAN club in the historic Scout lodge, the site of their new hospice and offices at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

    Meeting

    P.E.O. Chapter AK will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at the home of Vicki Biggs, 524 Brighton Dr. Co-hostess will be Wendy Swanson. Program to be presented by Betty Robertson.

    County councilor

    The Los Alamos County Council is seeking Letters of Interest to fill the unexpired term of Councilor Ron Selvage.  Letters of interest must be received no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday and submitted to Harry Burgess, County Administrator, 133 Central Park Square, Los Alamos, N.M. 87544.

  • Church gets major renovations

    The United Church of Los Alamos, 2525 Canyon Road, is embarking on an ambitious $2.4 million renovation project.  
    Work is being done to most of the campus, including the Christian Education Building, sanctuary, thrift shop and parking lots. Currently, the education building is having an elevator and atrium installed.
    “We had a successful campaign earlier this year that has allowed us to proceed with this renovation project ($2.4 million project),” said David Elton of the United Church.
    “This began with a visioning group that met in 2009. It was determined that The United Church needed to improve accessibility to our buildings. However, it grew into a larger project to also enhance facilities and unify the entire campus.
    “The theme for the project is ‘Building A Way for Everyone.’
    “Along with providing improved accessibility for members and friends, we wanted to also improve our facilities for the many groups and organizations who meet here each week, including Canyoncito Montessori.”
    Elton said schedules are being juggled but there should be no disruption to weekly services, children and youth programs, classes and other meetings.
    The United Church of Los Alamos is a multi-denomination congregation that was chartered in 1947.

  • Clarification 08-26-12

    In the restaurant inspections in the Aug. 9 Los Alamos Monitor, the wholesale permit for Knapp’s Wraps in White Rock was being discontinued by the owner because the USDA Inspection Process to get approved takes too long. Knapp’s Wraps, however, remains open for business, the owner said.

  • A hail of a day

    A hail storm hit the Jemez Mountains last weekend, covering the ground, making it appear that a light snow fell on the area.

  • State Briefs 08-26-12

    2-year-old on life support after Albuquerque crash

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A 2-year-old boy has a broken neck and is on life support following a crash in Albuquerque involving a suspected drunken driver.
    Albuquerque police spokesman officer Robert Gibbs says Vincente Griego was in a car seat in the back of a car being driven by 21-year-old Jonathan Griego early Saturday when it was struck from behind by a pickup.
    The truck sped away, hitting another car before it was stopped by police following a brief chase. Gibbs says officers arrested 20-year-old Mariano Salaz, Jr., of Cuba. Gibbs says he was intoxicated and was charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident.
    Gibbs says the little boy had a broken neck and bleeding on the brain despite being in his car seat.

    40 percent of seniors still need graduation test

    ALBUQUERQUE AP) — More than 40 percent of New Mexico’s high school seniors still need to pass the state’s exit exam if they are to earn their diplomas.
    This is the first school year that students must pass the test to earn their diploma. Those who don’t pass or meet alternate standards will get a certificate of completion.

  • PEEC offers two new Nature Clubs for kids

    Pajarito Environmental Education Center is offering two new clubs for kids in grades kindergarten through third: “Nature Detectives” for grade K-1, and “Outdoor Explorers” for grades 2-3. The clubs will begin Sept. 4 and run every Tuesday from 3:45-5:15 p.m., through Nov. 27. Angelique Harshman and Beth Cortright will teach the clubs.
    PEEC’s Nature Clubs are a way to help children connect with the outdoors. Members will investigate local animals and plants and connect with the wild side of the Pajarito Plateau through a variety of activities. Because the clubs are targeted to just two grade levels each, activities will be more age-appropriate than before. Club members hike in the canyon, do science experiments and get in-depth with nature.
    Harshman is an environmental educator with more than 15 years of experience working with kids from preschool to high school age. Cortright is a biologist with a specialty in entomology and has worked with many PEEC programs, including field trips and summer camps.  

  • Learn about wolves Thursday

    Elke Duerr of the Web of Life Foundation comes to Pajarito Environmental Education Center at 6:30 p.m. Thursday for an interactive presentation about wolves in the Southwest.
    This presentation will be suitable for all ages and will include hands-on activities and documentary film footage.  The talk is free and open to the public.
    Duerr will provide facts about wolves in the state and hands-on experiences from her “wolf trunk.” The audience will be able to see wolf tracks and fur and learn about how researchers radio collar a wolf to track its movements. Participants will be able to howl with wolves on tape and listen to stories of wolf encounters.  
    Duerr will also show footage and stills from her film work about the Mexican Gray Wolves. She will discuss humans’ relationship to the wolf and why we want wolves to remain a part of the wilderness and cultural heritage.
    The Web Of Life Foundation is dedicated to a healthy coexistence between wilderness and civilization, the reconnection of humans to the natural world and the recovery of endangered plant and animal species.
    Come to PEEC to learn about the importance of wolves in the ecosystem. For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.