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Today's News

  • Unthinkable foursome heading to Houston

    Even in the unpredictable, anything-goes world of March Madness, this is a Final Four nobody saw coming.

    Kentucky, Connecticut, Butler and Virginia Commonwealth — the improbable, the implausible, the unthinkable and the downright unimaginable.

    In one game in Houston next Saturday, No. 4 seed Kentucky will play No. 3 Connecticut — not a completely absurd thought as a Final Four matchup, though hardly a popular pick given their up-and-down regular seasons.

  • Radiation in Mass. rainwater likely from Japan

    BOSTON (AP) — Health officials said Sunday that one sample of Massachusetts rainwater has registered very low concentrations of radiation, most likely from the Japanese nuclear power plant damaged earlier this month by an earthquake and tsunami.

    John Auerbach, the Massachusetts commissioner of public health, said that radioiodine-131 found in the sample — one of more than 100 that have been taken around the country — has a short life of only eight days. He said the drinking water supply in the state was unaffected and officials do not expect any health concerns.

    Nevada and other Western states also have reported minuscule amounts of radiation, but scientists say those presented no health risks.

  • More obstacles impede crews in Japan nuke crisis--video extra

    TOKYO (AP) — Mounting problems, including badly miscalculated radiation figures and inadequate storage tanks for huge amounts of contaminated water, stymied emergency workers Sunday as they struggled to nudge Japan's stricken nuclear complex back from the edge of disaster.

    Workers are attempting to remove the radioactive water from the tsunami-ravaged nuclear compound and restart the regular cooling systems for the dangerously hot fuel.

    The day began with company officials reporting that radiation in leaking water in the Unit 2 reactor was 10 million times above normal, a spike that forced employees to flee the unit. The day ended with officials saying the huge figure had been miscalculated and offering apologies.

  • Successful roundabout example exists

    As an author published in the area of traffic safety and a former Transportation Board member, I would feel remiss in not pointing out numerous errors in Joel Williams Thursday “ViewPoint.”
    What has surprised me in the discussion of local roundabouts is the obvious, successful, example that already exists.  I was a Transportation Board member when the alternatives for the intersection at North Mesa and San Ildefonso were discussed.  

  • Taking melodramatic media to task

    In Japan’s recent devastating earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant structures remarkably survived the 9.0 quake intact, but suffered major damage when the tsunami destroyed external electrical transmission.
    It also topped the seawall and inundated the backup diesel generators that power pumps for cooling water to the cores and adjacent spent fuel storage pools.
    It is a severe loss of coolant event. The frantic reporting is reminiscent of Three Mile Island – inflated and misinterpreted.
    It is hard to separate the facts from the assertions and the media are not helping, but with each passing day more information relevant to the outcome emerges and the hand wringing of previous days lessens.

  • LAPS to buy Trinity complex

    The Los Alamos Board of Education took a big step Friday in its quest to buy its own building.

    Although there still are details to be worked out, the school board passed a resolution 3-1 to move ahead with purchasing the complex at 2075 and 2101 Trinity Drive and assuming the accompanying leases.

    The lone dissenting vote came from school board president Melanie McKinley.

    “I just don’t want to spend any money right now,” McKinley said after the meeting. “I respect my colleagues for making the decision they did. They want to get rid of the lease payments.”

    School superintendent Gene Schmidt, meanwhile, was happy with the vote.

  • Wallace Discusses Voting Record

    Rep. Jeannette Wallace has been a staunch Republican for decades. She represents Los Alamos, Sandoval and Santa Fe counties.
    During the 2011 regular 60-day legislative session, which ended March 19, Wallace broke party lines and voted with the Democrats on several bills.
    “My district is not a Republican district – I’m serving three counties, which are mostly Democrat,” she said. “I’m surrounded by Democrats in the house. I’ve always made a practice of voting on the issue, not along party lines.”
    Wallace was the sole Republican in the house to vote yes on the budget –  General Appropriation of 2011 HB-2, which passed the house 35-34.

  • ‘Spies Beneath Berlin’

    Last week, Los Alamos resident Eugene Kovalenko and his wife, Birgitta, traveled to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri where Kovalenko participated in a documentary film.
    It’s no ordinary film.
    It was about a spy tunnel that the American CIA and British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) built in the 1950s beneath the Soviet sector in Berlin where three top secret Soviet and East German communication cables were buried.

  • First female VP candidate Ferraro dies at 75 


    BOSTON — Geraldine Ferraro, who in 1984 became the first woman vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket, died Saturday in Boston, a family spokeswoman said.
    Ferraro died at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was being treated for blood cancer. She died just before 10 a.m. EDT, said Amanda Fuchs Miller, a family friend who worked for Ferraro in her 1998 Senate bid and was acting as a spokeswoman for the family.
    A three-term congresswoman from the New York City borough of Queens, Ferraro catapulted to national prominence in 1984 when she was chosen by presidential nominee Walter Mondale to join his ticket against incumbents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

  • Youth Mobilizers have fun at the Y

    In the late 1970s, the Village People sang loudly and proudly about how fun it is to stay at the Y.M.C.A. Today, teens don’t have the option of “staying” at the Y, but there are plenty of activities to keep them busy at the Y. In addition, some have decided to take it one step further by working at the Y.
    Those who have lived in the small community that is Los Alamos for a while, have probably heard the term, “youth mobilizer.” But those who aren’t familiar with the group have most likely been confused about what it means.