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Today's News

  • Time is right to consider smart tools for pipelines

    Politics leads the nation in constant fights for and against new pipelines. So why do so few partisans on either side sing out for smart tools on pipelines?
    No matter how you view pipelines, President Donald Trump has timely chances to change the old ways.
    “Smart tools” is a broad term for the steady stream of 21st century devices with computer chips that continuously inspect, analyze and report on the state of health of almost everything. Smart tools are known to business and industry for saving costs and improving the reliability of products and operations. Smart tools are used in fields as diverse as health care, farming, manufacturing, home security systems and maintenance of infrastructure.
    To maintain public safety, smart tools yield rapid, routine knowledge of the health of large civil structures, such as tall buildings, bridges, aircraft and pipelines. Over the years, this field evolved into a speciality with its own name – Structural Health Monitoring (SHM).
    SHM has a rich history. The discipline of SHM has an international society of its own with its own technical journal. The 10th International Workshop on SHM was held in 2015 at Stanford University. Princeton offers a graduate course in SHM. Researchers at the national laboratory in town work on SHM.

  • Winter storm warning until 8 p.m.

    The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Jemez Mountains that remains in effect until 8 p.m. this evening. Expect snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches in the upper Rio Grande valley and six to 12 inches at elevations above 8000 feet, with locally greater amounts over the peaks and along west facing slopes of the southwest mountains.
    Snow will persist today before tapering off early this evening. West winds strengthening to 25 to 40 mph with occasional gusts from 35 to 55 mph. the stronger winds will occur over ridge tops and exposed areas. Cold enough for snow at all locations.
    Roads will become snow packed and icy with reduced visibility in snow and blowing snow. Areas of blowing and drifting snow are expected with significant visibility restriction at times. Travel will become difficult or impossible at high elevations above 8000 feet.
    Precautionary/preparedness actions: A winter storm warning for heavy snow and blowing snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. strong winds are likely. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel... keep an extra flashlight... food... and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
    More information:

  • Science Fair canceled

    Los Alamos Public Schools has announced that today's Los Alamos Science Fair and all Saturday classes are cancelled.

  • Prep girls basketball: LA drops 2-5A opener at Del Norte

    The start of district play didn’t seem like the start of a new season for the Los Alamos girls basketball team.
    Some of the same problems that hindered the Hilltoppers during non-district made an appearance in their 45-29 District 2-5A opening loss to Del Norte on Wednesday in Albuquerque. Los Alamos fell to 5-14 overall and loss a district opener for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
    “It’s all going to depend on how much fight they got in them,” Los Alamos coach Josh Archuleta said. “I pulled my seniors aside and I told them... ‘It’s up to you girls on what legacy you’re going to leave. If you’re going to go out there and give a performance like that, then I’ll invest the time with the underclassmen.’”  
    In non-district play, the Hilltoppers struggled offensively but were kept in games by their intensity on the defensive end. The same scenario played out early in Wednesday’s game. Los Alamos didn’t score until the 2:15 mark of the first quarter but its defense kept Del Norte (10-7 overall, 1-0 District 2-5A) from pulling away early on.
    The Knight opened up a 10-4 lead before Elena Abeyta’s layup with eight seconds remaining cut Del Norte’s first quarter lead to 10-6.

  • Dogpaddling in the economic toilet bowl

    Grants Mayor Martin Hicks told a legislative interim committee last summer that the only remaining coal mine had laid off 150 people, the population has dropped to 8,500 from 18,500 when he was growing up in the town, and there are 22 empty buildings on the main drag.
    But Cibola County has some possibilities in tourism and logging.
    On the East Side, tiny Anton Chico has an old school building with a functional gym and kitchen that could be used to house small businesses. And the economic development group would like to take over a meat processing company, but the processor’s building is held by the bank. The organization needs help to enter e-commerce and find markets for area farm products.
    All either town needs from the state is a little help – money and knowhow.
    And so it goes.
    We may continue to dogpaddle in the economic toilet bowl, but in pretty much any community in the state, there are possibilities. And, surprisingly, hope.
    So what do we hear from our leaders?
    The state’s chief executive offers a package of get-tough DWI bills. And in testy language, she defended her budget and picked a fight with the Legislative Finance Committee over their budget.

  • Project Prom making dreams possible for youth

    A local group is asking the community to donate gently used or new formal wear, including dresses, suits and accessories, to help teens at Pojoaque Valley Schools enjoy prom.

    Pojoaque Valley Schools, in cooperation with Buffalo Thunder Resort, will collect formal wear for girls and boys from Feb. 1-28. The community can donate the clothing at Buffalo Thunder Resort Players Club, Cities of Gold Players Club and the Buffalo Thunder Hilton front desk.

    Every formal wear donation will be entered into a drawing to win a night stay and dinner for two at Buffalo Thunder Resort.

    For girls, donations can include formal prom-appropriate and semi-formal dresses, bridesmaid or cocktail dresses, matching jewelry, handbags, shawls and accessories, and matching dress shoes of all sizes.

    For boys, donations can include suits, tuxedos and formal wear, gently new or used dress shoes of all sizes, neckties and bowties, cufflinks and handkerchiefs that go with the suit that is donated.

    For information, text 690-1166 or 709-0598, or email pvispac@gmail.com.

  • Prep boys hoops: Knights edge ‘Toppers in 2-5A opener

    Mike Kluk said going into district play on a three-game losing streak had an affect on his Los Alamos boys basketball team.
    The Hilltoppers lost their fourth straight game after dropping Tuesday’s District 2-5A opener 65-62 against Del Norte at Griffith Gym. Los Alamos, which dropped a pair of games last weekend to Artesia and Lovington, fell to 8-10 overall.
    “Mentally they’re just down with four losses in a row and that’s tough. We have to figure out how to break that,” Kluk said. “The last three games before this we turned the ball over way too much. Tonight, we didn’t turn the ball over that much but we couldn’t stop their penetration. We did not take care of business on the defensive end.”
    The Hilltoppers led 39-36 going into the final quarter but the Knights (9-8 overall, 1-0 District 2-5A) began their comeback with a triple from Elijuah Hogan that cut Los Alamos’ lead to 46-44 with six minutes left to play. Vincent Goodman scored the Knights next six points to give them a 50-47 lead.

  • Working together to prevent future accidents at a dangerous intersection

    By Harry Burgess
    Los Alamos County Manager

    I would like to take this opportunity to address safety concerns we have heard recently from the public regarding the intersection of State Road 4 (SR4) and the Truck Route. Over the last few months four serious motor vehicle accidents involving residents have occurred. These accidents typically involved a westbound turn by a motorist from SR4 onto the Truck Route at this signalized intersection. I think we all agree that the situation is dangerous and accidents can happen for a variety of reasons.

    Clearly this intersection backs up in all directions during peak commute times, and this factor played a part in recent accidents. There is personal responsibility on the part of all drivers to be attentive and aware of traffic entering any busy intersection. But there is a role for government with respect to road design as well. 

  • Nature Center to host planetarium shows

     Take a close look at planets in the solar system and beyond with Dr. Rick Wallace at 7 p.m. Friday in the Los Alamos Nature Center planetarium.
    The film “From Earth to the Universe” will let attendees embark on a colorful and inspiring journey through our universe on Saturday and at 2 p.m. Jan. 28 and 29. For more information about these and future planetarium shows, please visit peecnature.org/planetarium or call  662-0460.

  • Administration’s 36 or 37 tax ‘cuts’ include 2 increases

    A Martinez administration mantra is, “We’ve cut taxes 37 times.” This repetition came Dec. 20 at the Tax Research Institute’s Legislative Outlook Conference. The speaker was the governor’s chief of staff Keith Gardner.
    But what exactly are those tax cuts? After a couple of requests spokesman Chris Sanchez provided a list of bill numbers by session date. The list is posted at capitolreportnm.blogspot.com. He did not provide estimated revenue impact, which I requested. I was unable to get the impact from the Legislature’s website, nmlegis.gov.
    Finding the bills is a little tedious, but easy enough.
    Taken as one, the list offers rather less than meets the eye. Repeating “We’ve cut taxes 37 times” is supposed to impress. I’m reminded of governors running for president—Bill Richardson comes to mind—claiming virtue from having balanced the state government budget. Such claims mean nothing; state constitutions require balanced budgets.
    The list showed 36 tax cut bills. The exception was Senate Bill 369 from 2012, which defined a number of terms relating to veterans.