Local News

  • CMRR meeting

    Steve Fong of the Los Alamos Site Office takes questions during a semi-annual Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility update meeting at Fuller Lodge Wednesday night. With the decision to defer the project for five years, there was talk about the future of this meeting, which was set up as part of a 2005 settlement between DOE/LANL and a network of community groups. Details of the meeting will be reported in Friday’s Los Alamos Monitor.

  • State off to yet another dry start

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico saw little measureable moisture during the first three months of the year, and with less water coursing through the state’s rivers, farmers are beginning to feel the pinch again this year as they scramble to find ways of watering tens of thousands of acres of cropland.

    Forecasters with the National Weather Service and state and federal officials addressed the lack of moisture during a regular drought meeting Wednesday in Albuquerque.

    This is nothing new for a state that has seen more dry starts than wet ones for the last 12 years. So far this year, forecasters said New Mexico has seen less than half of its normal precipitation. Last year, it was even worse.

  • Army cutworm moths invade NM

    New Mexico is being invaded — by moths.

    And Los Alamos County is no exception.

    “We had such a mild winter that the army cutworms fared well over the winter,” said Carlos Valdez, the program director for the New Mexico State University Los Alamos County Cooperative Extension. “They were out in force earlier this spring and people were bringing in the cutworms.”

    Valdez said the worms are “gregarious feeders who like grasses.”

    The results of the worms are the moths and they “don’t feed on anything,” Valdez said. They are mainly interested in mating and they are basically a nuisance.

  • In Other Business...

    National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)/Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Director Juan Griego updated council on preparations for the conveyance of Rendija Canyon property to Los Alamos County.

    The 884-acre parcel is scheduled for conveyance April 15, 2013. The “Poor Man’s” Shooting Range could delay the transfer.

    A 4-acre area of the canyon has been used as an illegal shooting range. Trash dumping is also a problem, with everything from computers to an abandoned truck deposited on the site. There is a possibility of significant environmental damage, including lead leached from used bullet casings.

    Attempts to restrict the site have been unsuccessful. Fences and gates are continually vandalized.

  • Trinity Site contract revision tabled

    During Tuesday’s council meeting, Councilor Vincent Chiravalle promoted an ordinance that would have rewritten the Trinity Site contract to give 100 percent of the revenues to Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS).

    Councilors voted 6-1 to table the ordinance, concerned about possible impacts to the still tenuous contract between the county, North American Development Group (NADG) and Smith’s Marketplace.

    The original contract allocates 52 percent of initial lease revenues to LAPS, increasing to 62 percent over 10 years.  The balance of the revenue goes to the county as rent on property leased to LAPS at the Pajarito Cliffs Site.

  • Inspector General presses for answers on certain lab costs

    The Office of Inspector General issued a report this week which looks into the questioned, unresolved and potentially unallowable costs that have been incurred by the Los Alamos National Laboratory during FY 2008 and 2009.

    The report claims it has identified $2 million in questioned and unresolved costs claimed by Los Alamos during those fiscal years.

    “We also identified more than $437 million in FYs 2008 and 2009 and prior year subcontract costs that were unresolved pending audit or review by Los Alamos’ Internal Audit. Finally we noted other concerns that need to be addressed to ensure that only allowable costs are claimed and reimbursed to Los Alamos,” the report stated.

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  • ViDEO: Supreme Court Hints OK on Ariz. Immigration Law

    Bucking the Obama administration, Supreme Court justices seemed to find little trouble Wednesday with major parts of Arizona's tough immigration law that require police to check the legal status of people they stop for other reasons.

  • Video: LANL prepares for fire season