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Today's News

  • Water restored on Orange, Nickel

    About 50 residents on Orange and Nickel Streets were temporarily without water this morning as the county carried out part of a planned pipe connection to Los Alamos High School from 36th Street. Water was restored around 11 a.m. this morning. 

  • DOE responds to new WIPP leak theory

    The Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office of the Department of Energy responded this week to a former Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist’s alternate theory about what caused a 2014 radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad.
    The DOE is standing by its initial analysis of what happened to cause the rupture of a barrel of transuranic waste Feb. 14, 2014.
    “The overarching conclusion of the technical assessment team was that specific chemical contents inside one particular drum, in combination with physical configuration of the materials led to a chemical reaction that breached the drum,” said Steve Horak, a communications specialist with the DOE Environmental Management Field Office in Los Alamos.  “A separate DOE board of experts and an independent expert board confirmed these results and we see no reason to question them now.”
    The DOE concluded that the barrel was packed with an organic kitty litter, that when combined with the contents inside the barrel, set off a reaction that eventually blew the lid of the barrel and spread the waste throughout the room, an underground, salt-lined chamber. The chamber has since been closed off and shut down along with the rest of the plant.

  • Rep. Lujan visits Los Alamos

    U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-Dist. 3) spent Friday afternoon touring the Los Alamos Nature Center, the Los Alamos Teen Center and visiting National Park Service representatives at Manhattan Project National Historical Park visitor center.
    Lujan spent most of his time listening and asking questions of Pajarito Environmental Education Center Executive Director Katy Watson, teen center Director Sylvan Sierra Argo and MPNHP Interim Director Charles Strickfaden.
    Lujan had a difficult time tearing himself away from the nature center. He was fascinated by the 3-D topo map and accompanying Los Alamos Trails App, which helps visitors navigate local trails. He approached the terrariums and aquarium holding native species of fauna and fish with the enthusiasm of a youngster.
    “I love what you’ve done here. What a great vision to have when you were putting this all together,” Lujan told Watson.
    Lujan lingered in the observation room, watching birds feeding in the wildlife area outside the window and pouring over photos of bears and other wildlife caught on camera at night.
    “You could just come and sit here for days,” Lujan said.

  • New season, same expectations for LAHS football

    The Los Alamos football team hasn’t experienced a winning season since 2012, but head coach Garett Williams expects the same thing from his team that he’s been preaching since day one.
     Williams is entering his seventh season as the Hilltoppers head coach. And going into the 2016 campaign, Williams and his coaching staff are focusing on developing the character and bond of a Los Alamos football team that hasn’t tasted a playoff victory since 2008.
     “My biggest expectation right now has nothing to do with football,” Williams said. “Our biggest expectation for this group is to come together as a brotherhood. And to learn that if they commit to something bigger than themselves, all the wins and that stuff will be taken care of.”
     Williams said he wanted his teams to be a foundation on how the Los Alamos community recognizes hard work, especially in the sport of football.    
    “We want this town to see our kids working hard and coming out of this program with character and learning how to sacrifice for each other,” Williams said. “We have a bunch of great kids right now that are working unbelievably hard. We’re pretty thin on numbers right now so we’re trying to keep our kids healthy.”

  • Brewer Arena set to host county rodeo

    It’s county fair and rodeo season in New Mexico, and Los Alamos will add to the statewide festivities this weekend.
    The annual Los Alamos County Fair is set for Friday through Sunday. Among the county fair events is the Los Alamos County Open Rodeo, which is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. The rodeo Saturday is from 2-5 p.m., and on Sunday it’s scheduled for 1-3 p.m.
    Locals and visitors annually make there way to Brewer Arena to compete for cash prizes and buckles in various traditional rodeo events.
    This year’s events include mutton bustin’ (for ages 6 and under), novice bull riding, calf roping, chute doggin’, girl’s breakaway roping, Jr. street riding, ribbon roping, cowboy bronc riding, draw pot team roping, eight and under barrels, open barrels, rescue race, open bull riding and open team roping.
    Limited late entries will be accepted until one hour before the start of an event. Late entries include a $5 fee. All event participants must sign a liability waiver.
    Shelby Michel, the rodeo princess, and Janie Michel, the rodeo sweetheart will make up this year’s County Fair and Rodeo Queen’s Court.

  • How to find the right financial advisor

    BY NATHAN SILLIN
    Practical Money

  • Court decision makes small farmers more like small businesses

    Is a small family farm a business, a hobby, a living museum or something else?  
    It’s increasingly clear we can’t have it both ways – business and quaint tradition. The recent state Supreme Court decision on workers’ comp coverage for farms and ranches puts that in sharp relief.
    The court decided the special exemption for farmers and ranchers is unconstitutional. Agricultural employers are now required to buy insurance if they have three or more employees, just like other small businesses. (Construction is an exception, requiring all employers to have coverage.)
    One insurance professional commented to me that he is impatient at the way New Mexico has coddled family farmers. They are running businesses, he said. They should develop budgets like other businesses, make businesslike decisions about who is an employee and treat employees as the laws require.
    That’s what this court decision will force them to do, but we also may be losing a valuable part of our traditional culture. The change will mean more formality and bureaucracy. Probably some family farms will be scared to hire anybody, even when they need help, and some farmers will decide farming is not worth the trouble.  

  • Lynn starts as new principal at Chamisa Elementary

    If the new principal at Chamisa Elementary School looks familiar, there’s a reason. Suzanne Lynn, a Los Alamos resident, spent many years as a teacher and a reading coach with the Los Alamos Public Schools.
    Two years ago, Lynn left to become principal of the La Tierra Montessori School of the Arts and Sciences. The school, a state charter school, is located on the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo in Española.
    Lynn said that job really prepared her for her new job as the principal of Chamisa Elementary.
    She said what was most interesting about the job was the many hats she had to wear.
    Not only was she the principal of the Montessori school, she was also the human resources director, special education director, the bilingual coordinator, the transportation director and the facilities manager for the school.
    “You get this experience you couldn’t get at a regular district school… it was wreally great,” Lynn said.
    Though the school year hasn’t officially started, many of the teachers have stopped by to wish her well and catch up. To Lynn, it’s a lot like coming home.

  • County Fair starts today

    The annual Los Alamos County Fair & Rodeo kicks off this evening, but Mesa Public Library was bustling on Thursday as residents dropped of their handmade arts and crafts for display and judging.
    Volunteers helped register entries in youth and adults categories for clothing, knitting, crochet, needlework, quilts, baked goods, preserved foods, hobbies and crafts, fine arts, photography, horticulture and 4-H projects.
    “It’s not a competition to me,” said Amy Anderson, who brought a machine-appliqued child’s wall hanging. “It’s having someone who’s an expert look at it to let you know the quality of the piece. How did I do in my category?”
    This is Anderson’s third year entering. The brightly colored quilt looked as though it could have stepped out of a child’s picture book.
    “I love making children’s quilts, because the fabric is so cute. It’s just fun fabric,” Anderson said.
    “So that’s all I make. I make child’s quilts or wall hangings for donations, and I give them to Project Linus or Hope Pregnancy (Center). I gave one that I did like this to the UNM Children’s Hospital, and they have it hanging in one of their departments.”

  • Chile roasting season begins around New Mexico

    LAS CRUCES — It’s that time of year again when the smell of fresh roasted green chile permeates the air in New Mexico.
    The roasting has begun in Las Cruces and is expected to continue through mid-October as the green peppers are harvested. Those left hanging will become red chile.
    There has been a noted uptick in recent weeks of activities outside grocery stores as large chile roasters have appeared, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported Thursday. Stores in the Albuquerque area also are setting up for the annual tradition.
    Chile is one of New Mexico’s most famous crops, with annual production being valued around $40 million. This year, farmers in Dona Ana County started the harvest a bit early thanks to transplanted plants that had a head start over those grown from seed.
    Las Cruces resident Diana Muñiz waited Wednesday to have 8 pounds of chile put through the roaster.
    “The smell of it roasting just kind of makes you feel better inside,” she said. “It (chile roasting) is so much a part of who we are, so much of a part of our culture here in Las Cruces.”
    Brazito resident Charlene Tyler, shopping in a nearby store, said she intends to roast chile by herself. Her mother taught her how to roast and peel it years ago and she’s been doing it almost every year.