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Today's News

  • Lightning causes brief power outage at LANL, townsite

        Lightning causes brief power outage

    Wednesday’s thunderstorm caused the power to go out for about 10 minutes in the Los Alamos town site and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    Lightning struck a transmission pole on LANL property and that affected the town site and LANL facilities.

    LANL spokesman Kevin Roark said power was out at TA-3 and that email and Internet service was interrupted.

    The lab statement read, “Power was knocked out for 9 minutes yesterday throughout TA-3, LANSCE, and the entire townsite.  The problem occurred due to a lightning strike on a

    substation that initiated a protective relay, cutting power.

    “E-mail and Internet service was out for a few hours, and the Lab's computing resources went offline.  Everything was restored to normal operations by the end of the work day.  As a normal response, the lab is investigating to assure that all electrical safety systems worked properly.

    The power outage also knocked out the county 311 customer service center, but DPU posted information on its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

     

    DPU releases report

    The Los Alamos Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) released their Performance Report

  • Update 08-16-12

    No CIP Thursday

    The CIP Evaluation and Oversight Committee will not meet today. They plan to meet with County Administrator Harry Burgess in a special committee meeting at 5:15 p.m. Aug. 23 in Council Chambers. This will be the only agenda item for the meeting. The public is welcome to attend.

    Triathlon time

    The Los Alamos County Triathlon will take place at 7 a.m. Saturday, beginning at the Aquatic Center.

    Groundbreaking

    The public is invited to join the county council for the groundbreaking event for the new Golf Course Community Building at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 24, at the building site. Refreshments will be served.

    Regional coalition

    The Regional Coalition Business meeting will be at 9 a.m. Friday at the Rio Arriba County Chambers in Española.

    Board meeting

    The Environmental Sustainability Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. today in the Community Building Training Room.

  • Retiring officer plans to stay close to home

    Cpl. Doug Ehler, a police officer with the Los Alamos Police Department, has one thing he’s wanted to do when he retires this December. “I just want to spend some quality time with my family,” he said.

    Beyond that, Ehler, who has been with LAPD for 21 years, isn’t sure what he wants to do for a second career. All he knows is that he still loves his hometown of Los Alamos.

    “I’m definitely going to stay here for awhile, it’s my community,” he said.

    LAPD Chief Wayne Torpy described Ehler as the kind of officer that was a rare combination of personal insight and professionalism when it came to doing his duty as an officer with the Los Alamos Police Department.“I think Doug’s strongest contribution has been his relationships within the LAPD and with the community at large,” Torpy said. “He’s very patient and thoughtful.”

    Like every officer who’s been with the LAPD for a long time, Ehler has escorted U.S. presidents, had many confrontations with the local wildlife and rushed to the scene of some major car wrecks on Los Alamos’ curvy mountain roads. However, the Cerro Grande Fire is where Ehler hangs his hat.

  • Another day dawns in LA

    A new day begins in Los Alamos this morning with a brilliant sunrise to the east.

  • Lab weighs in on safety infractions

    According to a weekly Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board memorandum, lab director Charlie McMillan provided a final response to a September 2011 NNSA Site Office letter regarding criticality safety infractions last month.

  • Clerk debate continues

    At Tuesday’s work session, the Los Alamos County Council waived its usual rules regarding public comment to encourage a lively debate about the county clerk’s duties and compensation and whether the charter should be changed to make the clerk an appointed rather than an elected position.

    The conversation was sparked by the Charter Review Committee’s (CRC) recommendations.

    Council Chair Sharon Stover, who is running for county clerk in the coming election, recused herself. County Clerk Janet Foster and former County Clerk Mary Pat Kraemer provided feedback.

    In the current charter, the clerk is an elected, part-time position. At present, compensation is set at $6,000 per year.
    The CRC’s report reads:

    “Council has historically set the salary for the position of the clerk at a token level. Consequently, clerks since the establishment of the office have viewed the position of clerk as either token or part-time.

  • Let's hate success now

    Absent any traditional success on any front over the past three-plus years, President Obama has decided to make success a bad word. Not just a bad word, success is becoming tantamount to a pathological disorder.
    By “traditional success,” of course, I’m using such archaic standards as creating jobs, generating opportunity, developing strong foreign presence, maintaining a strong national defense, cutting the deficit, reducing our national debt. Things that apparently went out of fashion with the phrase: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
    Those were Obama’s words, proclaimed, curiously enough, five days prior to Nov. 4, 2008.  And now, with our economy still teetering on the edge of collapse, unemployment still over 8 percent (and that isn’t “real” unemployment, which some estimates place in the surreal upper teens), gasoline prices at record levels and still climbing, and our deficit and debt still rising, Obama has decided to make class warfare the center piece of his campaign.

  • No hope for redistricting

    SANTA FE — So the cost of redistricting the U.S. House, state legislature and the state Public Regulation Commission this year was over $8 million. Some of us had predicted $10 million so we got off easy considering what a litigious, polarized, uncooperative, out-to-get-each-other society we have these days.
    The call has gone out for an independent redistricting commission appointed by the public. Forgeddaboutit. That would take politicians of good will. It ain’t gonna happen.
    Yes, some states have independent redistricting commissions. Those are states with initiative and referendum provisions written into their constitutions.
    The story is that Congress wouldn’t allow initiative or referendum in New Mexico’s constitution because it didn’t want laws “made in the street.” They trusted only the governor and Legislature. Too bad they can’t see how that’s been working out.
    Congress did trust Arizonians to make laws in the street.  But they trusted Arizonians. They were whiter, more southern, less Catholic and spoke mainly English. So Arizonians passed an independent redistricting commission back in their good government days a decade or so ago.

  • Off The Hill 08-16-12

    Art openings

    Zane Bennett Contemporary Art will host an opening reception for “Message from La Habana: Six Contemporary Cuban Artists,” from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 31 at 435 S. Guadalupe St. For more information, visit zanebennettgallery.com.

    Art exhbits

    Zane Bennett Contemporary Art announces three exhibitions during Indian Market week by three Native American artists: new contemporary fine art jewelry by Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird; clay sculpture and photos by Virgil Ortiz, “Venutian Soldiers” and paintings by David Johns, “Abstracted Landscapes.” The exhibits will be up for Ortiz and Johns today; and for Johnson and Bird on Friday. Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is located at 435 S. Guadalupe St. For more information, visit zanebennettgallery.com.

    Auditions

    Auditions for The Adobe Theatre’s production of “The Jewel in the Manuscript,” a drama by Rosemary Zibart, will be from 9 a.m.-noon and from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at The Adobe Theatre. Callbacks will be from 7-10 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call Director Brian Hansen at 505-637-4032 or email hansenbk@earthlink.net.

    Benefits

  • Best Sellers 08-16-12

    The Los Alamos Monitor  has the inside scoop on what locals are reading. Otowi Station issued a current list of  popular books for Los Alamos readers.

    1. “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate,”
    Jacqueline Kelly
    2. “Los Alamos Trails,” Craig Martin*
    3. “The Making of the Atomic Bomb,”
    Richard Rhodes
    4. “American Prometheus,” Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin
    5. “The Green Glass Sea,” Ellen Klages
    6. “Wonder,” R.J. Palacio
    7. “They Say/I Say: the Moves That Matter in Academic Writing,” Gerald Graff
    8. “Mason, a New Mexico Hero,” Caroline Mason
    9. “Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area,” Northern New Mexico Sierra Club
    10. “Roads to the Past ... ” Dick and Kathryn Huelster
    * Denotes local or regional author