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Today's News

  • DisrupTech brings dreams to light

    Scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory brought their ideas out into the light – some for the first time – at the laboratory’s fourth DisrupTech conference Thursday.

    “DisrupTech is about staff members being able to translate their technology to investors, entrepreneurs and industry,” Mariann Johnston, the communications director for the Richard P. Feynman Center said. 

    The Feynman Center, New Mexico Startup Factor, and New Mexico Angels hosted the event.

    In a small conference room at the Cottonwood on the Green, 11 scientists presented ideas on how to get rid of antimicrobial agents, how to grow living muscle and neurons on chip, a way to accurately and quickly test food for pathogens, and other interesting ideas.

    In the audience were the entrepreneurs, corporate sponsors, leaders and investors who might be able to help them get their ideas off the ground.

    Vi Schweiker was at the conference to see if there was an idea she would like to invest in.

    “One thing I like about living in Los Alamos is all the interesting scientific presentations we get to go to, and I also thought I might be interested in getting to venture capital, and this seemed like a good starting point,” Schweiker said.

  • PARCC results list LAPS in top 4 in 2 categories

    Los Alamos Public Schools ranked among the top four school districts in the state for both math and English language arts proficiency based on results released Thursday by the New Mexico Public Education Department.

    The results were part of the state’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) initiative.

    Los Alamos was third overall in math proficiency with a 50.1 percent rating behind Roy Municipal Schools (63.3 percent) and Des Moines Municipal Schools (57.8).

    Among the 89 school districts (not including state charters), these were the only three to have PARCC math proficiency rates of at least 50 percent.

    The district finished fourth overall in English language arts proficiency with a 57.4 percent ranking behind Des Moines Municipal Schools (64.6); Cloudcroft Municipal Schools (62.0); and Melrose Public Schools (58.4).

    “We are pleased that LAPS students are showing progress in math and reading and can see there is still room for improvement,” said Los Alamos Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus. “Our next step is to analyze the data, set student achievement goals for the year and develop plans for continuous improvement.”

  • Forecasters: Slow-moving storms may result in flash floods

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Forecasters warn that slow-moving storms will cause the potential for flash flooding across western and central New Mexico during afternoons and evenings through this weekend.

    The National Weather Service says the danger is highest downstream of wildfire burn scars such as along U.S. 64 between Ute Park and Cimarron and in urban locations such as the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas.

    According to forecasters, the most common period for heavy rainfall will likely occur between 1-8 p.m. and expected thunderstorms' slow movement will be capable of producing rainfall rates of up to 2 inches per hour.
     

  • New Mexico students score higher on reading, math tests

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Less than a third of all New Mexico students are proficient when it comes to reading and math. But state education officials said Thursday that the latest test scores show efforts to raise the bar and support teachers are paying off as thousands more students performed better on their annual assessments.

    The new numbers released by the Public Education Department show more than 31 percent of students tested this spring are proficient or better in reading and more than 21 percent are proficient or better in math.

    That marked jumps of around 2 percentage points from the previous year, and the gains are even more notable than in 2015, when students first began taking the standardized assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.

    Public Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski said the improvements shown by New Mexico students are a decade in the making as the state first adopted higher reading and math standards under the previous administration. The bar was raised again when Gov. Susana Martinez's administration began administering the annual assessments.

  • Jemez business open after weekend rain

    Business owners relying on visitors to the Santa Fe National Forest are breathing sighs of relief after forest officials announced the forest is now open again. 

    On Saturday, Santa Fe National Forest officials announced that they were opening the forest to visitors. The forest was closed June 1 due to heightened fire hazard conditions. 

    Chris Blecha, manager of Amanda’s Jemez Mountain Country Store in Jemez Springs, said things were looking a little bleak for a while. During the closure, he and store owner Ray Anderson estimated store business decreased by 80 percent.

    “Closing it of course was dramatic,” Blecha said. 

    However, Blecha said Anderson was prepared.

    “This wasn’t his first rodeo, he anticipated some challenges, but now that the forest is opening, we’re pretty excited to be back into business,” Blecha said.

  • ScienceFest Event Schedule

    Wednesday
    • 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.: Atomic City Van Tours. Register online. Leave from the Bradbury Science Museum.
    • 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.: Los Alamos Historical Society Guided Walking Tour, registration and departure from the Los Alamos History Museum Shop.
    • 6:30 p.m.: “DNA Barcoding: How to ID Organisms” with the Los Alamos Makers at the Nature Center.
    After Dark Movie In The Park, “Meet the Robinsons,” at Ashley Pond Park.

    Thursday
    Morning Tours
    • Manhattan Project National Historical
    Park Public Tours leave from the Bradbury Science Museum. Registration is required in advance for limited tour slots; visit the ScienceFest website for details on current availability.
    • 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Atomic City Van Tours register online. Leave from the Bradbury Science Museum.
    • 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.: Los Alamos Historical Society Guided Walking Tour, registration and departure from the Los Alamos History Museum Shop.
    • 11:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.: Fourth Annual DisrupTech at Cottonwood on the Greens.
    • 5:30 p.m. Science On Tap: The Devil is in the Detonators – Shaping Explosions at Unquarked Wine Room.
    • 7 p.m.: Suds & Shows: “Back to the Future” movie at the Nature Center. Sponsored by Taylor Martinez, Re/Max First

    Friday
    Morning Tours
    Manhattan Project National Historical

  • ScienceFest offers full slate of events

     A full schedule of events is planned for this year’s Los Alamos ScienceFest, which begins today and wraps up Sunday afternoon.

    Events set for today are Atomic City Van Tours, that begin at 10:30 a.m. and take tour goers from the Bradbury Science Museum to locations around Los Alamos to locations in the community that were spawned by the secret Manhattan Project during WW II, and peek at today’s Los Alamos National Laboratory. Tours will also be given Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    Los Alamos Historical Society will provide a Guided Walking Tour, which starts at 11 a.m. today, of Homestead-era sites around Los Alamos. Tours will also be given Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And a Movie in the Park will start at 8 p.m. and feature “Meet the Robinsons,” rated G. The movie is free.

    “Our staff is so excited to be a part of this signature community event and we hope (everyone will) join us for some of the activities we have planned for the week,” said Rachel Landman, marketing manager for Pajarito Environmental Education Center.

  • Ceremony a reminder of freedoms we enjoy

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a citizen of these United States.

    I’ve been a United States citizen for 56 years and six months now. I took the easy way into citizenship. I was born at Dunklin County Memorial Hospital in Kennett, Mo., the same Missouri boot heel hospital that helped facilitate rock singer Sheryl Crow’s entry into the world.

    I’ve been trying to put together a reunion celebration, but she doesn’t answer my calls.

    While I entered into my citizenship the easy way, I understand many current citizens did not, a point that was driven home to me last week at the naturalization ceremony held on the Fourth of July at Bandelier National Monument.

    That day 15 applicants from 11 different countries went through the ceremony to become United States citizens, the culmination of years of hard work. And patience.

    I don’t know all of their stories, but I know just enough to know it wasn’t an easy process. The waiting period itself for most is five years, but that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of what many went through to claim their citizenship.

  • Panel to discuss Oppenheimer

    As part of an ongoing focus on the history of the atomic age, Recursos de Santa Fe will present a program exploring the long and tangled history of the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer as scientific head of the Manhattan Project and the subsequent loss of his security clearance, barring him from the Los Alamos National Laboratory he founded and led.

    The discussion will be at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 8, the anniversary of the atomic bomb drop on Nagasaki. It will be in the La Terrazza Ballroom at La Fonda Hotel.

    Speakers will include Dr. Gregg Herken, who has written extensively on Oppenheimer and has uncovered new information about Oppenheimer’s life in the 1930s; John E. Haynes, expert on the Venona project, which decrypted messages of KGB agents to their operatives in the United States; and legal expert Jim Fitzpatrick, who has worked on getting Oppenheimer’s clearance restored, with no success to date. 

    Valerie Plame, former CIA agent and author on espionage, will moderate the discussion.

  • LA Cares prepares for monthly food distribution at market

    LA Cares will be at the Los Alamos Farmers’ Market Thursday in preparation for this month’s distribution of items from its food pantry to residents of Los Alamos County.

    The organization, which is an independent entity subsisting solely on volunteer help and donations, distributes food once a month for clients. This month’s distribution days are Thursday night and Friday.

    While food boxes are prepared for clients of LA Cares to pick up at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church (BELC), arrangements can be made for deliveries to homebound clients.

    The organization has plenty of volunteer opportunities during this week’s distribution. Beginning Thursday morning, from 10-11:30 a.m., representatives said they need a strong person, preferably one with access to a pickup truck, to move flats of canned goods and other large items from the LA Cares storage sites in Los Alamos to BELC on North Road.

    Volunteers are needed Thursday between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to help pack food boxes with canned goods and other items at BELC; from 3:45-5 p.m. to help inventory and move heavy flats and boxes to the storage closet; and from 6-8 p.m. to help facilitate distribution of the food boxes at BELC.