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Today's News

  • NASA to abandon trapped rover Spirit 


    LOS ANGELES — Spirit, the scrappy robot geologist that captivated the world with its antics on Mars before getting stuck in a sand trap, is about to meet its end after six productive years.
    Spirit has been incommunicado for more than a year despite daily calls by NASA. The cause of Spirit’s silence may never be known, but it’s likely the bitter Martian winter damaged its electronics, preventing the six-wheel rover from waking up.
    The space agency tried every trick to listen for Spirit to no avail. Project manager John Callas of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said the last commands will be sent up Wednesday. Though orbiting spacecraft will continue to listen through the end of May, chances are slim that Spirit will respond.

  • State Briefs 05-25-11

    Lawmakers suing over line-item vetoes
     
    SANTA FE — Lawmakers are going to court to challenge line-item vetoes by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, including her rejection of higher taxes on businesses to shore up the state’s unemployment compensation fund.
    At issue are constitutional questions about the powers of the governor and Legislature.
    Democratic Rep. Mimi Stewart of Albuquerque says two lawsuits are to be filed Wednesday with the state Supreme Court.
    The governor vetoed a tax increase on businesses but left provisions in the same bill to reduce jobless benefits.
    A line-item veto is allowed only with an appropriation bill, and lawmakers say the unemployment bill didn’t allocate money for programs.

  • Seen at the Scene: Kite Festival

    The Kite Festival was last weekend at Overlook Park in White Rock. Attendees had the choice of purchasing ready-to-fly kites, or making their own. Adults staffed the kite hospital to help with repairs.

  • Update 05-25-11

    No trash collection
    No trash or recycling collection May 30. If Monday is your normal trash day, put trash out by 8 a.m. Wednesday June 1.

    DPU meeting
    The Board of Public Utilities will have its regular meeting at 5:30 today at the DPU Conference Room at 170 Central Park Square.

    Authors Speak
    The Authors Speak Series, featuring Demetria Martinez and scheduled for Thursday at the Mesa Library, has been canceled.

    Farmers market
    Several Los Alamos County Councilors will be at the Farmer’s Market 9:30-11:30 a.m. Thursday to visit with citizens about current projects and issues.

  • High winds cause power problems

    Gusty and erratic winds up to 45 mph caused contacts between trees and electric lines resulting in power outages Tuesday.
    The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities electric line crews were dispatched following initial reports of intermittent, power blinks at North and Barranca Mesas at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday. A Ponderosa pine, falling against the overhead power lines at El Gancho Street on Barranca Mesa, caused the fault, which was repaired by 4:45 p.m. when continuous power was restored to North and Barranca Mesas.
    Power also was lost in the Aspen School neighborhood at 4:15 p.m. A tree near 34th Street area had contacted a line, which crews quickly fixed; prior to leaving for the El Gancho site.

  • Maggiore gets NNSA post at LA Site Office

    Longtime New Mexico environmental advocate Pete Maggiore joined the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Site Office this week as Deputy Assistant Manager for the Environmental Projects Office.
    Maggiore, a Certified Professional Geologist with a masters degree in geology, brings more than 28 years of experience in environmental management, hydrogeology and geology.
    From July 1998 through August 2002, he served as Secretary for the New Mexico Environment Department.
    “Pete’s experience and insight into environmental management - from the field and as a regulator – adds a valuable element to our environmental program,” said LASO Manager Kevin Smith, “and we are very glad he is joining our team.”

  • Proponents Speak Out For CMRR

    The second of four Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement public meetings take place in Los Alamos Tuesday and brought out the proponents as well as some activists.

    The CMRR Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is currently out for public comment. The study describes the possible environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the proposed action.

    Ray Baca, the executive director for the New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council, was the first to talk and he said he represented construction workers, including the 800 that work for the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  • LANL's Girrens and Beard take lead roles

    Director Michael Anastasio has announced that Steven P. Girrens is the new associate director for engineering at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    “Steve is skilled at leading virtually all facets of engineering,” Anastasio said in a news release. “Whether it is preliminary design, analysis, computational modeling, commercialization or the transition to manufacturing, Steve has done it all.”

    Girrens began working at LANL right out of college in January 1979.

    “I’m enthused by the possibilities because my career at Los Alamos has taught me that the ultimate engineering challenge is enabling scientific discovery,” he said of his promotion.

  • Trinity Drive showdown

    Close to 200 people packed council chambers and overflowed into the alcove and an adjacent meeting room in the Community Building last night to debate two petitions with opposing viewpoints on proposed modifications being studied for Trinity Drive.

    At issue is a plan under consideration to reduce Trinity Drive to two lanes and replace stoplights with up to eight roundabouts. The price tag for which could reach $40 million.

    Local residents Joyce Cady and William Mead presented the county council with citizen petitions. Cady’s presentation stressed the negative impact on commuters, as well as the hazards roundabouts pose to bicyclists and pedestrians, especially the deaf or visually impaired.

  • Board actions questioned

    The LAPS Board ultimately decides which community organizations can rent the Duane W. Smith Auditorium (DWSA) and what these organizations can perform. This is reasonable.
    The board should not, for example, allow performances that go against the LAPS policy on temporary/long-term use of school facilities (1330-3270), which states that school facilities such as the theater are for the educational benefit of the people of Los Alamos and that “district buildings and facilities should be available, subject to reasonable conditions, to ... organizations for activities that foster the educational, cultural .... or social development of the community.