Today's News

  • Officials shutter Santa Fe National Forest

    With the July 4th holiday just days away, officials have decided to make efforts to eliminate the possibility of human-caused forest fires by barring access to a popular tourist attraction beginning Monday.

    The entire Santa Fe National Forest will be closed to public entry effective Monday at 8 a.m. The only exception to the closure is the Rio Chama Scenic River corridor which will remain open to the public, with Stage II fire restrictions. The accessible area along the Rio Chama includes 100-feet from both sides of the river starting at the north end of the river at the Coyote and Cuba Ranger District Boundary downstream to the southeastern boundary near Forest Service Road 151.

  • Heat win NBA Championship

    LeBron James and the Miami Heat remain atop the NBA, and not even a proud push from the San Antonio Spurs could knock them down.

    James led the Heat to their second straight NBA title, scoring 37 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a 95-88 victory Thursday night in a tense Game 7 of the NBA Finals that lived up to its billing.

    Winning the title they needed to validate the best season in franchise history — and perhaps the three-superstar system they used to build it — the Heat won the second straight thriller in the NBA's first championship series to go the distance since 2010.

  • Stocks Tumble After Fed Signals Changes
  • Coalition presses D.C. for dollars

    The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities announced today that it is leading a 13-member delegation to Washington, D.C. to push for more cleanup funding for Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The group will meet with members of the New Mexico Congressional Delegation, as well as top officials at the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration to press for increased federal funding to continue environmental remediation across northern New Mexico.

    “This type of work is incredibly important for the Regional Coalition and our effort has already had a direct impact through the millions of additional dollars LANL received for cleanup funding this year,” said Santa Fe Mayor David Coss, Chairman of the Regional Coalition. “Without this funding, we would have been even further away from the amount of cleanup dollars that we need for our communities and we could have seen a loss of up to 140 jobs.”

    The Regional Coalition is advocating for at least $255 million in FY14 to maintain ongoing environmental management efforts at LANL.

    The Regional Coalition will likely have a receptive audience when talking with the state’s Congressional delegation.

  • Novel cellulose structure requires fewer enzymes to process

    Improved methods for breaking down cellulose nanofibers are central to cost-effective biofuel production and the subject of new research from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC).
    Scientists are investigating the unique properties of crystalline cellulose nanofibers to develop chemical pretreatments and designer enzymes for biofuel production from cellulosic-or non-food-plant derived biomass.
    “Cellulose is laid out in plant cell walls as crystalline nanofibers, like steel reinforcements embedded in concrete columns,” says GLBRC’s Shishir Chundawat. “The key to cheaper biofuel production is to unravel these tightly packed nanofibers more efficiently into soluble sugars using fewer enzymes.”
    An article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests-counter-intuitively-that increased binding of enzymes to cellulose polymers doesn’t always lead to faster breakdown into simple sugars. In fact, Chundawat’s research team found that using novel biomass pretreatments to convert cellulose to a unique crystalline structure called cellulose III reduced native enzyme binding while increasing sugar yields by as much as five times.

  • Update 06-20-13

    Bridge club

     Members of the Los Alamos Duplicate Bridge Club are offering free bridge lessons for students in grades fourth-12th. Classes are from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Friday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center downstairs conference room.

    Have a news tip?

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

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilites will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Municipal Building.


    The Environmental Sustainability Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the community building training room.

    No fireworks

    The Fire Marshal has recommended that the fireworks restrictions continue another 30 days, due to continued extremely dry conditions in Los Alamos County. The extension of the proclamation that would extend from June 24 through July 25 will go to council at their meeting on June 25. 

  • UNM-LA begins 2 mil-levy campaign

    Coming to a dinner table or civic club near you: a conversation about taxes and education, courtesy of the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos.

    UNM-LA hosted a kickoff event on campus Wednesday for community leaders as well as faculty in an effort to get the word out about UNM-LA’s proposed, 2 mil tax increase. The tax increase is due to go to voters on a ballot this fall and the election is scheduled for Sept. 17.

    During the event, college officials emphasized to their respective audiences how important it is that the increase passes and why the additional funds are necessary.

    “I hope they take away from this a clear understanding as to why we need the funding the tax levy will bring,” said Campus Executive Director Dr. Cedric Page following the presentation.

    Steven Boerigter, the chairman of UNM-LA’s Advisory Board, was blunt in his assessment that he shared with community leaders who gathered for the presentation. “UNM-LA is in trouble,” he said. “State funding has gone down, costs are going up, we need as a community of Los Alamos, we believe we need to step up to the table.”

  • Excavation Underway At Ashley Pond

    The County’s contractor, RMCI, began excavation of Ashley Pond this week. Last week, all remaining ducks were gathered and transported to facilities at the county’s Pajarito Cliffs Site, where they will remain until the project is completed. Care of the ducks is being provided by the Duck Buddies, a local group. The pond was drained and fish removed by the end of the day on Saturday. Approximately 60 fish, some 24inches long, were removed and taken to the Eco-Station. The county announced last week that the pond would not be re-stocked in November; however, this is incorrect. The pond will be restocked using a special “fish recipe” to safely re-introduce aquatic life into the pond that is beneficial to its operation, as well as providing an attraction. The types of fish include sunfish, catfish, bass and trout. Some of the fish will be stocked this fall, with others being added in the spring, as conditions for cold and warm water ponds and the type of fish that can be introduced may vary from season to season.

  • DOE Stockpile Report: Lab workforce to stabilize

    The Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration unveiled its 2014 Stockpile Stewardship Management Plan, and in so doing it revealed some of its plans for the Los Alamos National Laboratory and provided a forecast for the LANL workforce in the next five years.

    A big part of the NNSA plan was the issue of the aging nuclear security enterprise.

    And the report revealed the thinking behind deferring the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility for five or more years.

    The report reads, “This deferral is only possible by leveraging previous investments such as the new radiological laboratory for analytical chemistry; conducting the plutonium characterization work at LANL and possibly other available laboratories, as necessary; and accelerating plans to process, package, and ship excess special nuclear material out of the plutonium facility at LANL.

  • Be There 06-20-13

    All members of the Republican Party, and central committee are invited to attend the monthly meeting at 7 p.m. in room 612 on the UNM-LA Campus.

    Wildflower Walk with PEEC. 5:30 p.m. Chick Keller leads participants on an easy hike to learn the names of local wildflowers. Plant lists provided. Meet at PEEC to carpool to the trailhead. Free. For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

    White Rock Family Friendly Film Series. “ParaNorman,” 7 p.m. at the White Rock Town Hall.

    Tickets go on sale at CB Fox for the Summertime Coffee House. An evening of chamber music with desserts. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., music begins at 8:15 p.m., July 20 at Fuller Lodge Featured musicians are: Kay Newnam, violin, Joel Becktell, cello, Anthony Maroudas, piano.

    Members of the Los Alamos Duplicate Bridge Club are offering free bridge lessons for students in grades fourth-12th. Classes also will be 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Betty Ehart Senior Center downstairs conference room. These classes will take place once a week until further notice. For more information, call Earle Marie Hanson at 672-9576.