Local News

  • Congressman questions plutonium plan

    Last week, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to the Department of Energy questioning the value of the Department’s plan to convert surplus weapons-grade plutonium into Mixed-Oxide Fuel that could be used in nuclear power plants.

    Markey said the project is over budget, raises non-proliferation concerns, lacks even a single customer for the MOX fuel, and is far more expensive than disposing of the material as waste.

    “The government’s plutonium plan is a pluperfect disaster,” Markey said. “It is over budget, riddled with delays and problems, and is producing a product that no one wants.  And all to produce $2 billion worth of reactor fuel at a cost of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars and damage to our global non-proliferation efforts.”

    Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) also weighed in on the issue.

  • Garcia Richard has busy first week

    It was a whirlwind first week for rookie State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Sandoval, Santa Fe and Rio Arriba).

    The legislative session opened last Tuesday and the first order of business for Garcia Richard was casting her first vote.

    “I was moved and proud to cast my first vote as the new legislator from District 43 for W. Ken Martinez as Speaker of the House. Speaker Martinez is the former Majority Floor Leader and has always been a kind and good mentor to me.

    And although I will dearly miss Speaker Ben Luján and wish I had the opportunity to serve with him, I think Speaker Martinez will serve the Legislature and New Mexico well as our leader in the upcoming session,” she said.
    Garcia Richard also received her committee assignments. The rookie legislator was assigned to the House Appropriation and Finance Committee and the House Education Committee, “two committees that will be crucial for Los Alamos —especially when considering the school funding formula,” Garcia Richard said.

    Garcia Richard then co-sponsored her first bill — education funding.

    “This is the bill that funds all the public schools in New Mexico,” she said. “I am very happy my committee assignments allow me to help guide that bill as it is crafted and amended.

  • County preps for cyberattacks

    First in a series

    Recent news cycles have been filled with reports of increasing cyberattacks against the United States infrastructure — energy, water, communications and transportation sectors — that the government is ill-prepared to deal with.

    According to RT.com, the ICS-CERT Monitor — a newsletter published by Homeland Security Department’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team — reported that United States government cyber experts confirm that attacks waged against America’s essential sectors rose 52 percent in 2012. The report also notes that the number of qualified personnel able to respond to these attacks is inadequate.

    “Over the course of my career, these kinds of attacks have gotten more and more sophisticated,” said former Los Alamos resident Brian Zaugg. Zaugg is senior director of IT security for Applied Micro, a semi-conductor chip design company, who also spent seven years working for defense contractor Raypheon.

    “A long time ago, it was destructive, but it was just pranks. Today it’s an organized, highly coordinated kind of thing, where it’s either nations or criminal organizations that have much more organized goals and the attacks get more and more sophisticated and try to do more specific things.”

  • Media Circus As Goat Appears in Court

    A Sydney judge ruled Wednesday that neither a goat nor his owner could be found guilty of vandalism over an August incident when Gary decided to snack on a flowerbed outside a city museum.

  • Norway cheese fire shuts down road tunnel

    OSLO, Norway (AP) — A road tunnel in northern Norway will be shut for several weeks after a 27-ton truckload of sweet goat's milk cheese caught fire.

    Regional traffic department chief Geir Joergensen says flames engulfed the tunnel last week and gases from the melting, brown load hindered firefighters. It took four days to put it out.

    The driver was not hurt and no other vehicles were in the 3.6-kilometer (2.2-mile) tunnel at the time.

    Joergensen said Wednesday that the tunnel near the small Arctic municipality of Tysfjord, some 1,350 kilometers (840 miles) north of the capital, Oslo, likely will be closed for two more weeks.

    Goat's milk cheese, a sweet delicacy with a high sugar and fat content, is an essential part of many Norwegians' daily diet.

  • Today in History for January 23rd
  • NM high school graduation rate was 67.3 percent

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The federal government reports that New Mexico's graduation rate for the 2009-2010 was 67.3 percent. That's below the national average of 78.2 percent.

    The so-called "average freshman graduation rates" indicate the percentage of 9th graders who go on to graduate within four years.

    The rates are being reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education.

    States' rates ranged from 57.8 percent in Nevada at the low end to 91.4 percent in Vermont at the high end.

  • Exit Polls: Netanyahu, Allies Win Israeli Vote
  • Update 1-22-13

    Guild meeting

    The Los Alamos Piecemakers Quilt Guild meeting will be at 7 p.m. today in the side room at White Rock Baptist Church.

    Boy Scouts

    The Los Alamos Boy Scout Museum Society Inc. will hold a community-wide meeting at 7 p.m. today in the upstairs meeting room, over the Fabulous 50s restaurant, at the American Legion Post 90.

    PEEC talk

    Come to PEEC to learn the links between obsidian deposits, archaeology, and forest fires from Dr. Anastasia Steffen, at 7 p.m. today.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185.

    Ice rink closure

    The Los Alamos County Ice Rink will close one hour early on Feb. 15 to accommodate a private group.  Public skating will be from 1:45-6 p.m. Contact the Ice Rink at 662-4500 with any additional questions.

    Authors Speak

    Mesa Public Library’s Authors Speak Series kicks off a brand new group of authors in the monthly series, at 7 p.m. Thursday with Santa Fe’s Poet Laureate Jon David. 

  • A muni building in search of a name

    The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Executive Director Cedric Page is fully supportive of a motion introduced by Los Alamos County Councilor Frances Berting to name the new municipal building for late New Mexico State Representative Jeannette O. Wallace. The county is currently seeking public comment on the proposal.

    “I think the more we acknowledge the contributions of Rep. Wallace and others in the future, the better. We really need to personalize some of our facilities. I’m very supportive of her (Berting’s) efforts to have the community weigh in on that,” Page said.

    “It’s part of that inclusiveness. You have to put the question out there for people to really reflect on and decide whether that building is worthy of that individual who was a significant contributor to this county. I think they’ll find there’s support in the community for taking that step.”

    Under the guidelines of county code, County Administrator Harry Burgess is currently selecting a committee to hear public comment and make a recommendation to council.

    A few people have already weighed in on the idea. One suggested naming the building after former County Administrator Max Baker. However, county code stipulates that an individual must be deceased at least six months and Baker is still alive.