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Today's News

  • Contest aims to cut energy usage

    While the Los Alamos Fire Department’s number one mission has always been to safeguard the lives and property of the people of Los Alamos, the department recently added to its mission another thing it would like to save and protect: energy.
    For the next six months, crews at LAFD stations three, four and six will compete with each other on who can save the most electricity and gas.
    The winning station gets a gourmet meal cooked by County Administrator Harry Burgess and deputy administrators Steven Lynne and Brian Bosshardt. Members of the county’s “Green Team,” headed up by Environmental Services Specialist Tom Nagawiecki will assist.
    Nagawiecki said if the meetings with the stations leading up to the competition were any indication, the competition should be pretty lively.
    “There was definitely some enthusiasm and competition that came out during the launch meetings, which means we should be in for a great competition,” Nagawiecki said in a written statement about the event.
    Nagawiecki also said this was the first time the county is trying the program, an idea they came up with during a brainstorming session on how to reduce the energy usage of county government.

  • Passing the buck

    Local photographer Isaac Chamberlin, 13, captured this image of a young buck, left, near TA-3 last week. A couple of deer were also spotted in the same area.

  • Update 08-22-12

    Gun Show

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

    Authors Speak

    Author Vaunda Nelson will discuss her award-winning book “Bad News for Outlaws: the Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal” at 7 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Library.

    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. Friday, at the building site. Refreshments will be served.

    Hike event

    Terry Foxx and Chris Judson will lead an exploratory hike from Bandelier National Monument Ponderosa Campground area on Saturday. People should meet at Ponderosa campground at 8:30 a.m.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 in council chambers.

  • Astronomer enlightens audience

    Astronomer Alex Filippenko knows his audience. At the Duane Smith Auditorium Monday night, he wowed the crowd with his talk about dark matter, expanding universes and supernovae black holes — and even included a little extra

    “I gave more details tonight and went on longer than I usually do because I wanted to give this much more scientifically literate audience some more of the details,” Filippenko said. “When I give this lecture to a much more generalized audience, I leave out particular things because it confuses them; but I felt like I owed it to this particular audience.”

    But he also brought along his sense of humor, too. At one point during the lecture, he showed a wall of stars on his presentation screen and started to seriously tell the audience that dark matter is what you see between the stars. He then started to count the dark spaces in between the clusters of stars and galaxies before a ripple of laughter in the audience grew louder, signaling the jig was up.

    After that, though, things got serious as he described dark matter as something everyone should be paying attention to, whether award-winning astronomers or not.

  • Coalition adopts bylaws and looks for funding

    The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities adopted a pair of resolutions that will help it better conduct its business at a meeting last week in Española.

    Under the guidance of its new executive director DeAnza Valencia Sapien of the MVM Group, the coalition unanimously approved a resolution establishing the bylaws of the Board of Directors and established standards of reasonable notice to the public for all coalition meetings.

    Valencia Sapien was hoping to announce that the coalition would receive $100,000 in funding from the Department of Energy. “We should have it next month,” she said.

    A presentation was made to the coalition, concerning the radiological environmental monitoring around Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    David Fuehne, LANL’s team leader for environmental radiation protection, said there are 28 stacks continuously monitored and air is monitored at more than 50 AIRNET stations. Analysis is done for radioactive particulates including plutonium, americium, uranium, tritium and metals. Fuehne said more than 30,000 analyses were made in 2010.

    He said extensive wildfire monitoring was done after Cerro Grande, Taos and Las Conchas with more than 9,000 analyses. He also said there was “no-fire-related LANL effects measured at the laboratory perimeter or regional.”

  • DOE land transfers move forward

    National Nuclear Security Administration Los Alamos Site Office Manager Kevin Smith updated the Los Alamos County Council on the status of land transfers from the Department of Energy (DOE) to the county, Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) and the Pueblo of San Ildefonso.

    The Lands Conveyance and Transfer Project went into effect in 1997 and is set to expire in 2022. Initial analysis identified approximately 4,500 acres of land to be transferred.

    Nineteen of 32 tracts have already been conveyed, with 15 of those going to the county, two to LAPS and two to San Ildefonso.

    One tract of 320 acres has been withdrawn to create a protective boundary for DOE facilities. Nine tracts containing 1,733 acres remains to be transferred, one each for LAPS and San Ildefonso and the rest earmarked for the county.

    “It’s a very meticulous, very defined process of ensuring that we have the property completely in a safe and stable and appropriate condition to be transferred,” Smith said. “If things continue as they are today, we’re hopeful we’ll be able to transfer 1,400 acres this year.”

  • Council OKs LACDC deal

    Nearly two months after it was due for renewal, council approved a contract with the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation (LACDC) for operating the visitor centers by a 6-0 vote.

    The contract was originally delayed by a crowded council schedule. Then on July 10, Los Alamos County Councilor Mike Wismer challenged the contract, insisting that it should require more outreach to high altitude sports events and other groups visiting Los Alamos. The contract adhered to the Request for Proposals (RFP) the county issued and was similar to previous contracts.

    Council directed staff to re-draft the contract “to further clarify contract expectations and performance regarding partnership activities associated with recreational and formal competitive events held in Los Alamos” and later approved a two-month interim contract with LACDC.

    The contract was rewritten to put greater emphasis on duties that “leverage partnerships to promote extended visitor stays,” with specific attention paid to event marketing. The new contract includes specifics about LACDC’s outreach to event coordinators and participants, what will be included on the web page and makes distributing welcome signs for an event one of its duties.  

  • Public scoping for Bandelier transportation plan

     The National Park Service has initiated the process to complete a Transportation Plan/Environmental Assessment to improve transportation conditions at Bandelier National Monument.

    Over three decades, a number of studies and workshops have documented transportation and congestion management challenges at Bandelier National Monument, including traffic congestion at the park entrance and a lack of adequate parking in Frijoles Canyon. Recent fires and flooding have reduced available parking in Frijoles Canyon, creating more challenges to transportation at the park.

  • Davie, Lobos looking to turn things around in 2012

    ALBUQUERQUE — Coming off three consecutive one-win seasons and a turbulent era under Mike Locksley that saw the first-time head coach fired in the middle of last season, the University of New Mexico’s football program is struggling to make progress.
    Former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie has been brought in to restore some Lobos luster, but he last walked the sidelines a decade ago, spending the time since as an analyst with ESPN.
    And Davie acknowledged things are far from glowing as New Mexico prepares for the upcoming season.
    “I’m sure every team we play, they’re looking at that schedule and saying, ‘We’re going to beat New Mexico,’ “ he said.
    This despite returning 16 starters on both sides of the ball, among the most in the Mountain West.
    “We don’t care how many players we have back,” Davie said. “Because they haven’t won, so I don’t know that that matters a whole lot. We’re really starting over.”
    The makeover starts with the offense, which will be employing a hybrid, shotgun/option package.

  • Sports Update 08-22-12

    Golf tourney will benefit LA baseball, softball
    The Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball and softball teams will host a fundraising golf tournament Saturday.
    The Diamonds in the Rough tournament is scheduled for a 1 p.m. shotgun start at Los Alamos Golf Course. Price for participation is $80 per player, which includes greens fees, cart and dinner.
    The tournament is a 4-player scramble, blind bogey format. Prizes for top scores and closest to the pin will be awarded.
    For registration or hole sponsorship information, call Jamie Aslin at 699-2320 or Roger Anaya at 670-6717.