Today's News

  • Trash to gas a topic in LA

    As part of its ongoing exploration into greener options for processing trash, the Los Alamos County Environmental Sustainability Board heard a presentation by Oswaldo Galarza of Alternative Industry Resources Global on technology for turning trash into natural gas or electricity.
    According to Galarza, several countries around the world are converting 100 percent of their waste into energy. His presentation highlighted operations of an A.I.R. Global facility in Aruba, which uses three reactors to provide 100 percent green energy to the country. Aruba has ordered three more turbines to process more waste.
    “When I say waste, that’s anything that comes into a landfill − tires, paper, cardboard, plastics − everything that has a BTU value can be processed for an energy source,” Galarza said.
    Metal, glass and construction materials are the exceptions. Those are sorted out before the trash begins its journey on conveyor belts through the system.
    The trash is shredded, then sent to drying units, which remove moisture so it can gasify more efficiently. Excess heat from the gasification process is diverted to the driers for that purpose. The waste is then compressed to achieve even greater efficiency.

  • Halloween festivities set for downtown

    With just days before Trick or Treat on Main Street, kids and parents – along with adults – no doubt are putting final touches on Halloween costumes.
    Trick or Treat on Main Street is from 4-6:30 p.m. Friday in downtown Los Alamos. Thousands are expected to bring their children to trick or treat. About 4,000 attended last year’s event.
    A Halloween Night Hike is planned as a pre-Halloween adventure in the woods behind the nature center.
    Local trails will be traversed under the cover of darkness. Participants may bring a light or buy one at the gift shop.
    The event is free for adults, $5 for children. Register at peecnature.org. For more information, go to peecnature.org.
    Also downtown as part of Friday’s festivities, visitors can stop by the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Bradbury Science Museum’s annual High Tech Halloween  from 4-6:30 p.m.
    High Tech Halloween is held in conjunction with Trick-or-Trick on Main Street downtown.
    Attendees can observe demonstrations of a vacuum chamber, a simulated chain reaction and a show involving lights and optics. There’s also creepy, crawly things in Critter Alley, a pumpkin glow and scary music.
    There is no cost to attend High Tech Halloween. The museum is at 15th Street and Central Avenue.

  • Attorney contend utilities’ negligence led to wildfire

    BERNALILLO, (AP) — Two electric utility companies did nothing to prevent one of the largest fires in New Mexico recorded history and later showed no remorse, an attorney for more than 300 plaintiffs told jurors Tuesday.
    In closing arguments, plaintiffs’ attorney Tom Tosdal said the Las Conchas Fire could have been averted had Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative Inc. responded to potential dangers by doing inspections and managing potentially hazardous vegetation along its power lines.
    The Las Conchas Fire started in 2011 when an aspen tree fell onto a power line that stretched through national forest land in the Jemez Mountains.
    Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative operated and maintained the line. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Inc. provides the cooperative with electricity and is also named as a defendant.
    “The only thing Jemez Mountains Electric and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association have done is avoid responsibility,” Tosdal said.
    During the trial, defense attorney Al Green pointed to numerous photographs of the aspen tree, saying it would have been difficult for utility linemen and contract workers to spot it as a hazard given that it still had green leaves and was on private land outside of the right of way.

  • Group challenges restoration plan in Jemez Mountains

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A plan to restore about 170 square miles of overgrown forest in northern New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains is drawing criticism from one environmental group.
    WildEarth Guardians has filed a formal objection to the plan by the Santa Fe National Forest. The group contends some of the activities would cause more harm than good.
    The group pointed to the construction and reconstruction of 120 miles of road to access timber, saying soil and water quality would be affected.
    WildEarth Guardians also claims the project violates federal environmental laws, regulations and policies.
    Forest officials say the Southwest Jemez Mountains Landscape Restoration aims to make forest more resilient to wildfire and other large-scale disturbances. The long-term project calls for a mix of logging, prescribed fire and other activities.

  • Police Beat 10-28-15

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    Oct. 18
    9:30 a.m. — Ezekiel Jaramillo, 18 of Los Alamos was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of drug paraphernalia at Diamond Drive in Los Alamos.   
    5:51 p.m. — Report of shoplifting of $250 to $2,500 at Trinity Drive in Los Alamos.
    8:38 p.m. — Angel Vigil, 24, of Medanales, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting between $250 and $2,500 in merchandise at the 750 block of Trinity Drive in Los Alamos.
    8:42 p.m. — Jesse Gallegos, 23, of Medanales, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting $250 to $2,500 in merchandise at the 750 block of Trinity Drive in Los Alamos.
    8:45 p.m. — Deanna Moya, 25, of Rio Chama, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting of $250 to $2,500 at the 750 block of Trinity Drive in Los Alamos.
    8:25 p.m. — A 32-year-old female was a victim of a non-injury accident at East Jemez Road on State Highway 4 in Los Alamos.

    Oct. 19

  • Feds probe thefts at labs

    The Associated Press

    Federal officials say workers have stolen radioactive materials from Los Alamos National Laboratory multiple times this year.
    Items were taken from an area that stores contaminated materials before they’re shipped elsewhere. A federal court filing says there have been 76 thefts by Los Alamos personnel in 2015.
    An affidavit says lab officials contacted federal investigators on Sept. 30 to say a subcontractor’s employee had stolen items.
    The Los Alamos Police Department had responded to a larceny call the previous day at another technical area, TA-18, where a witness had seen a man throwing items from the trunk of his car into bushes along the roadside. Los Alamos police found a bandsaw, garden hose, Truefit gloves, screwdriver set and conduit, some of them marked “TA-54.”
    The Los Alamos officer immediately notified radioactive control technicians to survey for contamination. Both the individuals and items found were positive for alpha-emitting isotopes, and two individuals at the spot where the items were discovered were taken to the lab’s occupational health clinic for decontamination.
    One individual who was interviewed said some contaminated gloves left in a LANL vehicle the week before had gone missing.

  • Internet customers get higher speeds; local company to drop prices for residential service

    Comcast is increasing Internet speeds with the introduction of a new Performance Pro speed tier of 75 Mbps and Blast! Pro speed tier of 150 Mbps. Some Los Alamos customers may already have noticed the change.
    “It’s available this month,” said Julianne Phares, external affairs manager with Comcast in Albuquerque. “For many customers, it’s already there. It’s a gradual rollout.”
    Phares says the increase benefits businesses with their ability to download and upload more quickly, improving productivity.
    “Everyone wants more speed,” Phares said.
    Customers who subscribe to many popular XFINITY bundles will now receive either Performance Pro, increasing their download speeds from 50 Mbps to 75 Mbps, or Blast! Pro, increasing their speeds from 105 Mbps to 150 Mbps, an increase of nearly 50 percent. Additionally, Comcast is launching a new 250 Mbps Internet speed tier in Albuquerque, Extreme 250, which is available for immediate purchase today.
    For those subscribing to eligible bundles, the new Performance Pro speeds, or Blast! Pro speed tiers will be available by the end of October. The speed increases also are effective in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Farmington later this month and in early November.

  • Police Beat 10-25-15

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons or issued a citation.

    April 28
    8:27 p.m. — A report of shoplifting of $100 or less at Trinity Drive in Los Alamos.
    Oct. 8  
    3:30 p.m. — Officers took a report from someone who claimed to be a victim of someone who engaged in an act for personal financial gain at Trinity Drive in Los Alamos.
    2:02 p.m. — Jordan Redmond, 32, of Los Alamos, was arrested on suspicion of engaging in an act for personal financial gain at the 2500 block of Trinity Drive in Los Alamos.
    Oct. 14
    7:09 a.m. — A 27-year-old male was involved in an accident and sustained injuries at the corner of canyon Road and Diamond Drive in Los Alamos.
    2:38 p.m. — A 29-year-old female of Los Alamos was the victim of battery against a household member.
    3 p.m. — Lenley Salazar, 31, of Los Alamos, was arrested on suspicion of battery against a household member.
    5:07 p.m. — A bomb squad was called out to the corner of Canyon Road and Diamond Drive in Los Alamos.

  • Osprey makes precautionary landing in LA

    Los Alamos Civil Air Patrol members received an early Halloween treat at their Squadron Meeting on Tuesday evening. At 6 p.m., just as the meeting was beginning, a USAF CV-22, better known as an Osprey, made a precautionary landing. The aircraft piloted by Major Matt Shrull and Captain David Rodriquez was flying back to Kirtland AFB from a training flight in Pueblo, Colo.  Due to weather conditions, they elected to land at Los Alamos.

    The Civil Air Patrol safety topic for the meeting was Precautionary Landings, so Major Shrull immediately became the guest speaker. Shrull discussed the factors used in the decision to divert to Los Alamos. While these included night and mountainous conditions, other concerns involved weather effects on their on-board radar and icing conditions if they climbed to higher altitudes.

    After the safety briefing, CAP Squadron members were taken on a tour of the Osprey. The Osprey resumed its flight to Kirtland shortly after 7 p.m.

  • Scarecrow Contest set for Saturday downtown

    Los Alamos Arts Council brings a bit of frightful autumn fun to downtown Los Alamos every year by sponsoring the annual Scarecrow Contest.
    Since 2001, scarecrows made by local businesses, clubs, organizations, schools, families, and individuals have graced the streetlights along Central Avenue during the week before Halloween.
    The registration fee is $10, and we award prizes to the scarecrows for their creativity and seasonal spirit.
    Bring the assembled scarecrow to the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce office at 109 Central Park Square.
    Applicants will be received from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.  Scarecrows will be on display through Nov. 1.