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Local News

  • LA Research Park: a success story that could be replicated

    One argument for the Los Alamos County Council’s decision last week to appoint Councilor David Izraelevitz and County Administrator Harry Burgess to the Las Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation board was the success of the Los Alamos Research Park. The development was presented as an example of what can be accomplished through mutual cooperation.

    In a letter supporting more active county participation in the LACDC, Board Chair David Horpedahl wrote, “The LACDC believes the Research Park project to be the most significant and most successful economic development project that has been undertaken by Los Alamos County to date.”

    “It was the lab and county working together, in this case led by our organization, to try to create something that had never really existed in this town, and that was high quality, commercially operated space for science and technology activities,” LACDC Executive Director Kevin Holsapple said.

    The Los Alamos Research Park was the first large-scale economic development project supported by the county. Council awarded the project $800,000 in grant money, plus additional debt financing.

    The LACDC leveraged that money to assemble more than $17 million in additional investment from outside the county, a 21:1 ratio.

  • Project endures 'Tuff' battle

    A construction contractor in charge of renovating the Los Alamos Middle School is currently wrapping up dealing with an 11-foot layer of “tuff” (pronounced “toof”) that was not apparent in preliminary drilling surveys.

    In clearing ground for a building at the site, the contractor McCarthy Construction, came across a layer of pumice-like material, wrecking a few drill bits as well as racking up a tab of roughly $300,000 to take it out.

    “We have the best intentions when we start into a project; then there are unknowns,” said Bob Gorrell, director of New Mexico’s Public School Finance Authority. “This is one that is really tough, because it’s expensive.”

    Gorrell gave the news to the Los Alamos Board of Education during a recent progress report on the matter. The PSFA partners with school districts in funding and managing school construction projects.

    “There may have been less expensive ways to excavate it in my opinion, like blasting, because that is what you do with a material like that when you’re trying to cut costs,” Gorrell said. “But that probably would not have worked in that neighborhood,” he said.

    Fortunately, the PSFA is going to assume most of those costs, according to Gorrell.

  • LANL assesses nukes

    The Annual Assessment process of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile is the authoritative method for the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration to evaluate the safety, reliability, performance and military effectiveness of the nuclear weapons stockpile, and it is a principal factor in the country’s ability to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent without nuclear explosive testing.

    In 1995, President Clinton established an annual reporting and certification requirement that ensures the nation’s nuclear weapons remain safe and reliable without underground nuclear explosive testing. Subsequently, Congress enacted into law the requirement for annual stockpile assessments in Section 3141 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003.

    The Directors of the three DOE nuclear weapons laboratories — Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories  — are required to complete annual assessments of the safety, reliability and performance of each weapon type in the nuclear weapons stockpile.

    LANL spokesman Fred DeSousa said the assessments are categorized as classified information.

  • Santa Fe to get new bowling alley

    SANTA FE (AP) — A plan to a build lounge-style venue with a video-game arcade and eight-lane bowling facility on the top floor of a building in the Santa Fe Railyard would return the sport to the state capital for the first time since 2008.
    Railyard developer Allen Branch says the new 20,000-square-foot entertainment business also will feature food reminiscent of what was served at the Estrada Room, a dark, smoky annex to the old Coronado Lanes bowling alley. Coronado Lanes was a hot spot for decades before closing in the 1980s.
    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the owners of the Holiday Bowl and Leisure Bowl in Albuquerque will run Ringside Bowl Bar and Grub as their third venue.
    Branch said he’s excited that bowling will return to Santa Fe, saying he frequented the old Coronado lanes as a boy.
    “It was a big hangout,” said Branch, who recalled going with his mother to league bowling events, as well as meeting with friends to play Donkey Kong in Coronado’s heyday.
    “And now bowling is coming back,” he said. “They are called bowling lounges. It’s not bowling alleys anymore. There are not 100 lanes. There are eight lanes. The food is upscale. It’s really a different vibe.”

  • Manning, Peterson make the Pro Bowl

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson want to cap their sensational comebacks with Super Bowl appearances. For now, they can be proud of Pro Bowl spots.
    So can Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, one of two rookies chosen Wednesday for the Jan. 27 NFL all-star game.
    Manning missed all of the 2011 season with neck and back problems that required several operations. He then signed with Denver as a free agent and has led the Broncos on a 10-game winning streak to take the AFC West.
    ‘’I know there’s great players out there in the NFL, but there’s some great players on this team this year that deserve to go,’’ said Manning, whose 12th Pro Bowl is a record for quarterbacks. He ranks fourth in league passing this year, has thrown 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
    Four other Broncos made the AFC roster: DE Elvis Dumervil, linebacker Von Miller, CB Champ Bailey and tackle Ryan Clady. Bailey’s 12th appearance is a record for defensive backs.
    ‘’My goal has always been to go out and help the team win and play at a high level,’’ Manning added. ‘’Anything that comes along with that, like being honored as a Pro Bowl selection, is very humbling.’’

  • Restaurant Inspections 12-27-12

    The following restaurant inspection reports were provided by the New Mexico Environment Department.

    Española

    Ed’s Big Dawg catering
    Date inspected: Dec. 18
    Violations: Two high-risk violations, one for contaminated equipment — improper washing, rinsing, sanitizing. Equipment must be washed, rinsed, sanitized manually until repaired. One for poor personal hygiene — hand wash sink full of dirty dishware. Three moderate-risk violations, one for contaminated equipment — area near auto dishwasher was dirty. Needs cleaning. One for poor personal hygiene — staff not using hand wash sink if full of dirty dishware. Staff must start washing hands regularly. One for animals/vermin/openings — back door does not seal, potential to allow mice, flies. Three low-risk violations, one for poor personal hygiene — staff in kitchen, including owner/manager not wearing hair restraints. One for floors/walls/ceilings — ceilings/walls dirty. Need cleaning/repair. Very bad shape. One for other — repeat violations will lead to permit downgrade or suspension of permit.

  • Today in History for Dec. 27
  • Planned power outage set for North Mesa Thursday

    Officials with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities announced that weather permitting, a brief power outage is planned for a portion of North Mesa affecting customers east of the Hawk Drive/San Ildefonso intersection (not including the Del Norte and Del Sol). The 10-20 minute outage is planned for 2 p.m. Thursday.
    Electric line crews will reconfigure the three-phase power in these North Mesa neighborhoods to optimize electric loads and reduce possibility for future power outages in the area.  Customers are reminded to shut down or back up computers and other electronic equipment in advance.
     North Mesa is also slated for electric upgrades in fiscal year 2014.  Service upgrades will minimize the duration and extent of unplanned outages.

    From a press release

  • SF National Forest gets new deputy supervisor

    Joe Norrell is the new deputy forest supervisor for the Santa Fe National Forest. Norrell brings 14 years of federal service experience to the Forest Service and the local community.
    He chose Santa Fe due to the challenges of working on complex issues with people that have a rich history and strong connection to the land.
    Norrell, who grew up in Alaska, attributes his career and passion for the outdoors to his parents. His father was a professor at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, which helped afford the time to take him and his sisters on many camping, hiking and fishing trips during the summer months.
    He listened to his mother who worked for the Alaska State Legislature talk about politics and how the decisions made by the legislature would impact people, which influenced him to consider a career in public service.
    He attended Montana State University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public administration. Beginning in 1998, Norrell worked for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources as a temporary research assistant and three years for Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens in Washington, D.C. as a staff assistant on the Committee on Appropriations. Two of those years he spent working on the Interior and Natural Resources Subcommittee.

  • Update 12-26-12

    Monitor closed

    The Los Alamos Monitor office will be closed on New Year’s Day.

    No blue bus service

    The NCRTD blue buses will not be in service New Year’s day. For more information call toll free 1-866-206-0754, or visit ridethebluebus.com.

    Holiday dance

    The Los Alamos Big Band will present its annual Christmas Dance from 7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Thursday at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road. Admission is free.

    Christmas photos

    Send us your best photo from Christmas Day to be published later in the week for a Christmas in LA feature. Email your digital photos to info@lamonitor.com along with a brief description, names and ages of those pictured. Submit only one photo per household, please.

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