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Today's News

  • 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    One tract of 320 acres has been withdrawn to create a protective boundary for DOE facilities.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.

  • Scrimmages set for Saturday

    While most Los Alamos High School sports aren’t officially getting their seasons started just yet, there will be plenty of them in action Saturday.
    The fall 2011 season for most teams gets going next week, but Saturday the Los Alamos football, volleyball and cross country teams will all be involved in preseason events.
    The Hilltopper football team, which is coming off a 2011 postseason appearance, its first in three years, will travel to Bloomfield for a preseason scrimmage. The Hilltoppers, who have several key offensive and defensive players returning this season, topped Bloomfield during the 2011 regular season, winning in a nail-biter, 21-20.
    Closer to home, the Los Alamos volleyball team will take part in the Española Valley Jamboree preseason scrimmage. That scrimmage will be hosted by the Hilltoppers’ arch-rivals, the Española Valley Sundevils.
    That scrimmage is scheduled to start at 8 a.m.
    In cross country, both the Hilltopper boys and girls teams will be at La Cueva for a preseason scrimmage. The Hilltoppers and Bears regularly meet in the preseason in Albuquerque.

  • As Storm Nears, Tampa May Evacuate RNC

    The mayor of Tampa, Florida, says public safety will trump politics if Tropical Storm Isaac threatens the city during the Republican National Convention next week.

  • New system streamlines to build profits

    In today’s ultracompetitive environment, businesses need to get their product or service to customers faster than ever. Shorter delivery times aren’t just good for customer satisfaction; the longer it takes to get a product from the order desk to the customer, the longer the business waits to be paid.
    Meanwhile, the company has its own bills to pay, including loan interest and materials invoices. The briefer an order is in production, the better. Knowing this, savvy companies implement lean manufacturing techniques to periodically evaluate their product flow and processes – and adjust as necessary for maximum efficiency.
    Keeping it simple
    Companies can sometimes cut production time and eliminate waste by carefully studying how products and paperwork flow through office and manufacturing processes. New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership, or New Mexico MEP, helps businesses refine this flow. The nonprofit organization conducts workshops around the state, one of which – on the 5S System – aims to help businesses improve workplace organization and standardization. The 5S System is just one tool New Mexico MEP uses when assisting businesses with company-wide transformation toward efficiency.

  • CRC: How it all got started

    With the election on the horizon, most are aware of the fact that there will be four questions on the ballot that relate to potential changes to the Charter for the County of Los Alamos.  Specifically, the questions for consideration for the November 2012 election deal with the provisions for Initiative, Referendum and Recall.  
    I believe it would be helpful to provide a little background on why the Charter Review Committee was formed and outline exactly what the council tasked the committee to do.  In 2009, amid an environment where  a variety of questions surfaced about the Charter and the home rule powers of government, the council-manager form of government,  the ability of citizens to understand and use the initiative  and referendum provisions, the need for elected sheriff and clerk positions and validity of the system of  partisan balance on Boards and Commissions.

  • ECA peer exchange tackles environmental issues

    The Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) had a peer exchange in Los Alamos last week. It was the first time ECA has met here in more than five years.

    The main topic of discussion was environmental management (EM), although other issues of concern to the participants were also discussed in length.

    Seth Kirshenberg, executive director of ECA, began a series of panel discussions Thursday with a summary of current issues.

    Kirshenberg reported that Congress is expected to pass a six month continuing resolution until a new budget is passed, with provisions that could impact DOE communities.

    The main concern was a new limitation that prevents agencies from moving money around. In the past, Department of Energy Environmental Management (DOE-EM) had considerable flexibility in directing money to the most urgent environmental cleanup needs at each site.

    "The bottom line is, we don't have that flexibility to move money between the major control elements if the CR passes as it is today," Kirshenberg said.