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Local News

  • Seismic scenarios simulated

    Details emerged from a weekly site office report last month about a series of tabletop exercises that dealt with a possible seismic event at Los Alamos.

    According to the March 1 report, LANL conducted a series of four tabletop emergency exercises at the emergency operations center to evaluate and pre-plan site actions in response to a significant seismic event at Los Alamos.

    Participation from LANL and local, state, and federal agencies included approximately 60 personnel. These personnel represented senior field office and LANL management, Los Alamos Fire and Police Departments, local Tribal Organizations, New Mexico National Guard, New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Los Alamos Medical Center, and others.

  • School board grapples with construction uncertainty

    Despite the best assurances from McCarthy Construction, the Los Alamos School Board is still not ready to commit to moving the portable classrooms or even some of them until McCarthy presents a solid contingency plan May 9 on what it’s going to do if the Los Alamos Middle School isn’t ready by Aug. 9

    “We updated the schedule last week and we showed an Aug. 9 completion date,” said Mike Horn, McCarthy’s project manager for the middle school. He also said they have some extra days left in the schedule, and the only problem that might come up is that there could be a problem concerning paperwork with one of the subcontractors in charge of stucco. 

    “It looks like they are going to be able to provide worker’s comp. That being said, I don’t have a certificate in hand yet. That’s our biggest hurdle,” Horn said.

  • Los Alamos air service begins Monday

    There was a buzz of enthusiasm among a small group gathered at the Los Alamos Airport Friday to view the 9-passenger Cessna Caravan that New Mexico Airlines will use to fly to and from the Albuquerque Sunport starrting on Monday.

    "This is a great deal," Allen Schmiedick said. "It is going to be at least as cheap as it would be to drive to Albuquerque and park a car. I can't imagine anybody not taking advantage of it."

    Schmiedick–who had just stepped off of a short flight over Los Alamos–was as excited about the views as he was about the boon to travelers. With good reason: the vistas of the Pajarito Plateau from a cruising altitude of 8,500 feet are probably worth the price of the ticket. One resident said he would pay just to go on a joy ride if the airline offered it.

    Chief Pilot Dave Jones introduced the gathering to features of the aircraft and flew the first flight. When two crews from Los Alamos Fire Station No. 6 arrived to get training on key elements for quick response, such as how to gain access to the engine or unload passengers, Jones reassured onlookers that the Caravan has a 99.8 percent reliability rating.

  • Benefits of crowdfunding

     

    Crowdfunding” is a way that startups can raise money to get a project or enterprise off the ground without company founders having to surrender ownership, secure a loan or approach foundations for elusive grants.

    Earlier incarnations of the practice didn’t have the advantage of instant access to a global fan base that can grow exponentially through social media. The Internet created that access, and crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter.com and IndieGoGo.com created platforms where people could pitch their projects.

    Aqua Research, a resident company in the BioScience Center incubator in Albuquerque, is using IndieGoGo to raise $50,000 by May 10 to finance production of its H2gO water purifier, which can turn up to five gallons of unsafe water at a time into potable water using a solar-powered rechargeable cell-phone battery.

  • Finding wellness through rough times

    After the Las Conchas fire of 2011, chiropractor Kim Lazarus’ future looked bleak. But two years later with help from the Los Alamos Small Business Center, she is getting back on track.

    Lazarus has been a licensed chiropractor for 10 years in the Los Alamos area, but lost her business after the Las Conchas fire.

    During the evacuation, many of the practitioners who shared office space, moved out and went their separate ways. She said she found herself alone with no place to go. Then she turned to the business center, wanting to open her own space.

    “The experience forced me to downsize and start over,” she said.

    Lazarus’ new business specializes in nonsurgical weight loss procedures involving lasers, detox body wraps, nutritional recommendations and a unique relaxation technique for brain balancing. She also offers other wellness practices to her patients. Her office is located at 190 Central Park Square. 

  • 4 face charges in NM meth bust

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State and federal authorities say four people are facing charges following a two-month investigation into a drug trafficking ring.

    Authorities with a regional drug enforcement task force say large amounts of methamphetamine were being trafficked in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties.

    This week's bust netted officers almost a pound of meth that was valued at $12,000, along with an ounce of cocaine, two stolen handguns and more than $4,200 in cash.

    The investigation also turned up evidence related to several property crime cases in Santa Fe.

    Authorities identified those facing charges as 38-year-old Christopher Candelaria of Albuquerque and Santa Fe residents 34-year-old Regina Cole, 30-year-old Justin Jameson and 31-year-old Angelo Rotunno.

  • Earlier Sunday liquor sales among bill signings

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Among the bills signed by Gov. Susana Martinez on Friday:

    —Allow bars and restaurants to begin serving alcohol at 11 a.m. on Sunday, instead of noon. A Sunday noon starting time remains for package liquor purchased at grocery stores and other locations for off-premise consumption.

    —Allow counties to increase the salaries of their elected officials by as much as 15 percent. A salary cap is raised for officials such as sheriff, treasurer and assessor. County commissioners must decide whether to provide a pay increase, however.

    —Require coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders for health insurance plans for public employees and retired government workers. A 2009 law mandated coverage for autism in group health plans in private industry, but not the insurance plans for state and local government workers and educators.

    —Prohibit public and private universities from requesting social media passwords from student applicants, and employers can't ask for those passwords from job seekers.

    —Relax state regulation of rural telephone companies and cooperatives, including allowing automatic rate increases in some cases.

    —Allow all municipalities and counties to impose a lodging tax to finance convention or civic centers.

  • Today in History April 6
  • Portrait commemorates Los Alamos anniversary

    A heartfelt dedication took place at the Betty Ehart Senior Center on Friday afternoon for the unveiling of a portrait of General Leslie Groves, who played a crucial role in the Manhattan Project. 

    In conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Los Alamos Historical Society has agreed to house and honor one of the key players in the development of the atomic bomb.

    Members of LANL and historians attended the event and spoke about how the labs have held an important role in the world, the Los Alamos community and the future as a whole. 

    “The last 70 years have mattered, but the next 70 years is what matters more,” Council chair Geoff Rodgers said. “This gift will remind of us of our past.”

  • Martinez signs N.M. budget

     SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's state workers and educators are in line for their first across-the-board pay increase in four years under a nearly $5.9 billion state budget signed into law Friday by Gov. Susana Martinez.

    The governor used her line-item veto powers to trim less than $2 million from next year's spending in the budget, but she left intact provisions that allocate about $33 million for 1 percent salary increases for public employees, including school workers, in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

    Martinez faced a Friday deadline for signings and vetoing bills passed by the Legislature.