Local News

  • Paint truck removed from Bandelier

    Sometime last Friday, San Bar Construction, the owner of a truck hauling traffic paint that ran off a cliff in late September, sent a contractor to N.M. 4 in the Jemez Mountains to retrieve the truck and clean up the damage.

    According to Bandelier National Monument Ranger Scott Ryan, a contractor took most of the day to remove the truck, bringing it down in pieces, instead of trying to bring it all down at once.

    The contractor, Southwest Structural Services Inc., of Santa Fe., used some innovative techniques to remove the 1998 International flatbed truck from the mountainside.

    “The way we planned it, I’d say removing the truck went about 99.9 percent to plan,” said company president Steven Duran.

    What his company did was mostly use a system of cables and sleds to remove the two-ton truck and the rest of the debris. Duran said the most difficult maneuver was to remove the trailer, which had a forklift on the back of it.

    “By means of the cable, we literally flipped it,” Duran said. “We flipped it 90 degrees to point down the mountain, then we flipped the forklift back on its tires and things went pretty well from there.”

    Southwest then went about moving the actual truck very carefully.

  • Five SOC employees fired

    Five members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory security force were terminated last week for the improper use of the live fire shooting range located at Technical Area 72, according to a statement released by the lab Wednesday.

    The lab security force is called Securing Our Country or SOC.

    The statement went on to say, “After a swift but preliminary inquiry, it was concluded that inappropriate behavior warranted the termination of five protective force firing range personnel. The laboratory will continue to determine involvement by others, including laboratory personnel.

    “Although the inquiry concluded this was not a safety or security risk, the laboratory takes this kind of inappropriate behavior very seriously.

    “The laboratory does not tolerate unauthorized use of our facilities or equipment. We hold ourselves and our contractors to the highest possible standards of behavior.”

    Lab officials declined to discuss what the nature of the behavior was that resulted in the terminations.

  • In Calif., Push for Turkeys As Pets, Not Food
  • Today in History for November 21st
  • 10 things to know for Wednesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about Wednesday:


    A diplomatic push gains steam but airstrikes and rocket attacks between both sides continues.


    Momentum may be building, but no one expects the pill to be sold without a prescription soon.


    Bernanke says solving the crisis would help cut unemployment and strengthen growth.


    The maker of Twinkies fails to reach deal with second biggest union, so company will continue liquidation plan.


  • Holiday shopping gears up

    Many residents took advantage of Saturday’s Arts and Crafts Fair at Crossroads Bible Church to get some early Christmas shopping done.

  • Update 11-20-12

    Special Section

    Look for “The Spirit of Giving” special section in Thursday’s Los Alamos Monitor. The publication will be packed with information to help you shop smarter, not harder.

    Trash collection

    In observance of Thanksgiving, there will be no trash or recycling collection on Thursday or Friday. If Thursday or Friday is your normal pickup day put out trash and recycling by 8 a.m. Wednesday for collection. 

    Office closed

    The Los Alamos Monitor office will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving Day, Thursday. Normal office hours will resume Friday.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Nov. 27  in council chambers.

    Library Board

    The Los Alamos County Library Board holds regular meetings the first Monday of each month (excluding holidays) at 5:30 p.m. in the Mesa Public Library Board Room or at White Rock Branch Library. The next meeting is Dec. 3.

  • NNSA completes initial steps

    The National Nuclear Security Administration has announced that it recently completed two milestones toward production of early plutonium oxide feedstock for its Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility.

    In its second year of production, NNSA exceeded the FY 2012 goal of 200 kilograms of plutonium oxide production by disassembling nuclear weapons pits and converting them into plutonium oxide at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    NNSA also initiated operations at H-Canyon and HB-Line at the Savannah River Site to begin plutonium oxide production. The oxide production at both LANL and SRS provides the initial feedstock for the MOX facility and demonstrates the first steps towards permanent plutonium disposition.

    “The progress achieved at LANL and SRS in support of plutonium disposition demonstrates the benefits of utilizing existing facilities in support of NNSA’s efforts to eliminate surplus weapons plutonium,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “Feedstock for the MOX facility represents a critical component of the U.S. plutonium disposition strategy and will enable the U.S. to meet international nonproliferation commitments while advancing President Obama’s goal of permanently reducing the number of nuclear weapons across the globe.”

  • Planner says Los Alamos has 'good bones'

    Whether it is through his work or in his spare time, Dan Osborn believes in giving back to the community. He is looking forward to doing that as associate planner for the Los Alamos Community and Economic Development Department.  

    “It’s always exciting to come into a community and be able to hear what the community wants,” Osborn said. “One of the best parts of being an urban planner is getting to hear and understand how the community sees itself and then working to provide the tools to the community through the planning process to create that community.

    “It’s one of the things that make urban planning so special. It’s why I went into this position. It’s a way to serve and give back and to work with the community to provide what it wants from an urban design standpoint.”

    Osborn started with the county Oct. 15. He brings nine years of experience in the public sector, working his way up from planning tech to planner II for the City of Westminster, Colo., during his eight years there and spending an additional year as planner II for Jefferson County, Colo.

    During his time in Westminster, Osborn helped develop both commercial and residential design guidelines and standards and worked with redevelopment of older parts of the city.

  • Smith set to leave LASO

    Kevin Smith will leave his post as Los Alamos Site Office manager and will become the manager of the Office of River Protection in January, the Department of Energy announced in a release Tuesday.

    The ORP position came open when DOE also announced that Scott Samuelson, manager of the Office of River Protection, will leave EM in January, to return to NNSA, where he previously worked from the date it was formed in 2000.

    “Scott and Kevin are key senior executives in the Department of Energy,” said Undersecretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “I have asked Scott and Kevin to take on these new roles in order to align the talent we have with some of our toughest challenges. EM and NNSA have a lot to learn from each other, and Scott and Kevin are well-prepared to help us tackle these issues in the years to come.”

    The moves will become effective Dec. 30.

    Juan Griego, currently deputy manager of LASO, will serve as the acting LASO manager upon Smith’s departure.