Today's News

  • County expands free public wifi to downtown area

    Los Alamos County has expanded its free public wifi system in time for this weekend’s ScienceFest.

    Residents and visitors can now access free wifi at Ashley Pond Park, Fuller Lodge, including the eastern Fuller Lodge Lawn area, and the library overflow lot, used by the weekly Farmers Market on Thursdays.

    “As we begin to enhance the visitor experience with more digital technology or apps for our historic district, having free WiFi was given a high priority in our immediate goals to promote the new park,” said Linda Matteson, assistant to the county manager and project manager for the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park. “By using this public WiFi and the Los Alamos: Secret City of the Manhattan Project app, visitors should be able to take a virtual tour of this area in downtown Los Alamos that will allow them to step back in time and experience Los Alamos as it appeared during the days of the Manhattan Project.”

    The permanent service will remain in place after ScienceFest, and is an expansion of the county-provided wifi service at the library and Municipal Building.

    The cost to design and install the service was about $150,000 and was approved by County Council in May 2016 as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

  • NNSA releases LANL contract bid details

    The National Nuclear Security Administration released a draft request for proposals late Wednesday for the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s management and operations contract.

    Main criteria includes past performance, the resumes of key personnel and small business participation.

    "The contractor shall, with the highest degree of vision, quality, integrity, efficiency, and technical excellence, maintain a strong, multi-disciplinary scientific and engineering capability and technical depth that is responsive to scientific issues of national importance in addition to national security responsibilities, including broadly based programs in such areas as the environment, national infrastructure, health, energy, economic and industrial competitiveness, and science education to achieve the mission,”  a statement in the RFP said.

    Los Alamos National Security, the group that currently manages the lab, has a $2.2 billion management and operations contract that ends in 2018. LANS LLC is made up of a consortium of private and public companies, including Bechtel National, INC., BWXT Government Group, Inc., the University of California and URS.

    The Department of Energy decided in 2015 to put the contract out to bid after LANS failed to meet performance goals set by the DOE.

  • Council OK's waste fee hike

    Los Alamos County Council voted six to one Tuesday night to increase waste disposal and recycling fees by an average of $3 for some of the services the county offers.

    For residents and businesses, the monthly $22 fee will increase to $25. Dumpster collection service will increase from $121.22 to $125.

    The new fee structure was based on recommendations from Environmental Services staff and the Environmental Sustainability Board.

    The fee increase will go into effect immediately.

    The increase will close a chronic $300,000 average deficit in the Environmental Services budget, which Environmental Services officials said is due to escalating disposal and recycling costs. The fee increase will total $326,000.

    Read Friday’s Los Alamos Monitor for more on this story.


  • Jemez Pueblo ready for Bear Paw Quilt Show

    The Jemez Mountains Bear Paw Quilt Guild invites the community to their annual Quilt Show.
    Come see a dazzling display of quilts, including the Patriotic Fallen Warrior Quilts given to New Mexico families that have lost a soldier in the Middle East.
    A selection of quilts and handmade items will also be available for sale (cash only).
    Admission is free. The event takes place July 21-23. Friday and Saturday the show will run 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. On Sunday, the show will run 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. It takes place at the Walatowa Visitor Center, 7413 Hwy 4.

  • PEEC offers drawing class with local artist Lisa Coddington

    Artist and instructor Lisa Coddington is returning to teach a one-day workshop on drawing using botanical and natural subjects at the Los Alamos Nature Center on July 20. This class, made possible by Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), is great for all skill levels. The workshop will run from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Register to learn techniques for creating realistic, still life, and nature-inspired art.

    Participants will explore pencil techniques that portray plants and animals. With easy to understand demonstrations and master artist examples, Lisa will work to reinforce confidence in creating dimensional, summer-themed subjects. Her next class will take place on July 27th and will feature painting and watercolor techniques.

    Coddington earned her Master of Art in Illustration at Syracuse University. She has illustrated a children’s book and has received commissions by regional and national firms for her artwork and art instruction. Her whimsical characters have been licensed for ornaments and are also featured on greeting cards.

  • LA Farmers Market
  • Fun in the mud

    Los Alamos County Parks and Recreation hosted its Mud Fest Volleyball Tournament last weekend at North Mesa Park.

    A total of 10 teams made up of at least three male and three female participants took to the mud pits for games that followed the general rules of normal volleyball with one major exception.

    “You’re in super thick, knee-high mud that you have to jump in, dive in and slide around in,” said Justin Ramsey, the captain of the Urbanites team, which he organized.

    Ramsey said that although it can be quite difficult to move around in the thick mud, he enjoys being able to dive around all over the court without the risk of injury.

    “You definitely get pretty dirty out there,” Ramsey said. He has now participated in two of these tournaments, though this was his first year as a captain.

    Movement was so difficult in the mud pits, in fact, that participants were encouraged to wrap duct tape around their shoes so there wouldn’t be a risk of losing them in the mud during matches.  

    Although the tournament was set up as a double-elimination, round-robin format leading up to a championship round, Mother Nature had other ideas.

  • Birth of atomic bomb explored through dance, art, poetry

    This Sunday will mark the 71st anniversary of the Trinity Test, the first test  of an actual nuclear weapon. The test took place in the Jornada Del Muerto Desert near Alamogordo, New Mexico.

    At Fuller Lodge this weekend, the birth of the atomic bomb will be remembered in an hour and a half, thought-provoking performance that will include poetry by former Los Alamos native Allison Cobb, art by Japanese artist Yukiyo Kawano and dance by Butoh dancer Meshi Chavez. Stephen Miller and Lisa DeGrace will be providing the music and visual effects.

    The performance will actually center around the Aug. 9 bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, when the plutonium “Fat Man” bomb was dropped. Kawano created a replica of the Fat Man bomb from World War II era kimonos sewn together with Kawano’s hair. She has grandparents that survived the Hiroshima bombing on Aug. 6. The kimonos came from a shop owned by one of her grandmothers.

    The event is sponsored in part by the LA History museum.

    “When viewed together, the multiple perspectives from Los Alamos and Japan creates a more holistic history than what can be understood from only one point of view,” LA History Museum Director Judith Stauber said. 

  • Assets in Action: Find way to have fun and build memories

    I am loving summer, I hope you are too.

    I love the way things slow down, even though lately I haven’t seemed to get anything extra done.

    I hope you plan to participate in the Los Alamos County 100 Aha Moments photo contest. If you aren’t much of a contest participant, but like taking photographs, give it a try and support a new idea.

    Check out the County’s Instagram page, shoot a photo of your own and post it with the #100AHAMoments. The number sign for our young generation is called a “Hashtag,” and while I try not to be judgmental someone actually named their child that about a year ago. He isn’t reading yet and the family doesn’t live here, so I feel safe in sharing the story.

    I am not an Instagram kinda person, but I may give it a whirl as I do like to photograph almost anything.

    Last weekend I photographed a lot of local activities as we try and take advantage of all fun, free things while our company is visiting.

    This is an excellent time to just relax with some fun, new summer television shows too.

  • Trinity Drive may reopen today

    Trinity Drive between 751 Trinity Drive and 4th Street is expected to reopen by today, according to county officials.
    County officials closed off the road and began repairs July 5, after discovering a bowl-like impression in the westbound lane of the avenue.

    According to Traffic and Streets Manager Dan Erickson the impression appeared almost overnight.

    “It settled very quickly. In less than 24 hours, it settled over a foot and that’s when we made the decision to close westbound Trinity because it was getting dangerous,” Erickson said.

    When county workers opened up the pavement and investigated, they discovered a 10-inch clay sewer main that serviced businesses along Trinity Drive since the 1950s had broken. The main crossed the avenue.  Workers then decided to dig a 30-foot wide hole to keep the sides from falling in on workers as they repaired it, and to entirely replace the main. The hole ended up being 12 to 15 feet deep.

    The repair is expected to cost between $25,000 and $30,000.

    Crews of 12 to 15 people were working on it at any time from 12 to 16 hours a day, including weekends.  Asphalt to repair the road was brought in from Santa Fe.