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Today's News

  • 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.

  • DOE highlights from Obama's new budget

     

    2013 Budget Highlights for DOE regarding nuclear programs

    • The Administration proposes $7.6 billion for Weapons Activities, an in crease of $363 million or 5 percent above the 2012 enacted level, to maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent as described in the Ad- ministration’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) of 2010. This Budget meets the goals of the NPR by continuing nuclear weapon life extension programs—such as upgrades to the W76 and B61 nuclear weapons—by improving and replacing aging facilities —such as increasing investments in funding for the Uranium Processing Facility— and by sustaining the existing stockpile through underlying science, surveillance, and other sup- port programs.

    • The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Department of Defense are reducing and stretching out the schedule of several weapons life extension programs and are re- structuring plans for maintaining plutonium capabilities. As a result, the 2013 Budget provides $372 million less for Weapons Activities than the Administration projected in last year’s request and reported to the Congress in the “Section 1251 Report” on nuclear weapons plans.

  • Grandson of Enola Gay pilot to give lecture

    Col. Paul Tibbets IV, grandson of Enola Gay pilot Paul W. Tibbets Jr., talks about his grandfather and his experiences as a U.S. Air Force pilot flying B-1 and B-2 bombers during a talk at 5:30 p.m., April 10 at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Bradbury Science Museum.
    The talk is part of Los Alamos’ 70th anniversary lecture series.
    Paul Tibbets IV is commander of the Air Force Inspection Agency at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, a post he has been assigned since July 2011. The agency provides independent inspection, evaluation and analysis to advance continuous improvement of mission effectiveness at all Air Force levels.
    Tibbets IV’s grandfather, the late Brigadier General Paul Tibbets Jr., piloted the Enola Gay B-29 airplane from which the first atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945. Tibbets died in 2007 at age 92.
    Tibbets IV received his Air Force commission in 1989. He has flown combat missions in southwest Asia, the Balkans and Afghanistan and has more than 3,800 flying hours. Paul Tibbets IV and his team of senior officers visited the laboratory in spring 2012 to share their stewardship and operational experience concerning the Air Force’s nuclear weapons systems with LANL designers and engineers.

  • Update 04-05-13

    Fundraiser

    The Los Alamos Women’s Golf Association will hold its annual fundraiser from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Ridge Park Clubhouse, 505 Oppenheimer.

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    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will hold budget hearings beginning at 7 p.m. April 15 in council chambers.

    County web page

    As part of the upcoming move to the new Municipal Building, the County’s Information Management staff will be bringing down the server that hosts the County’s losalamosnm.us webpage. The server will be down at 5 p.m. on Friday and the webpage will be temporarily unavailable for a few hours while the server is physically moved to its new location in the new building.

  • A night of culture

    Chamisa and Piñon Elementary schools worked with the LAPS Foundation to host a multicultural event on Thursday night. The community turned out to support the event which featured art, dance food and more

  • County modifies bus routes

    Public Works Director Philo Shelton rolled out a modified Atomic City Transit schedule at Wednesday’s Transportation Board meeting. The revised routes and schedules allow for greater utilization of grant money, while officials hope to provide better service for riders.

    Budget reductions prompted an evaluation of the system and revealed several avenues for improvement. Once council approves a new budget in April, transit staff plans to move quickly to implement the changes, which should go into effect by the end of May.

    “One of the things we looked at was grant eligibility for various routes, and we found that for route 2, which is partnered with the NCRTD (North Central Regional Transit District), we were not able to be fully reimbursed for that grant given the hours of operation and how it connected,” Shelton said.

    The new schedule combines routes 2 and 5, eliminating the Pajarito Acres segment of route 5. The Pajarito route averages only six people per day. Eliminating that and combining the two routes increases frequency to every 30 minutes throughout the day and every 15 minutes during peak periods. Riders in Pajarito Acres may utilize Dial-a-Ride service or catch the route 2 bus at the White Rock Visitor Center.

  • Agency hits lab with fines -- updated

     

    The New Mexico Environment Department sent a letter to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, stating it plans to fine the lab $21,333.

    NMED conducted a hazardous waste compliance evaluation and based on that inspection, it issued a notice of violation, dated March 1.

    According to the letter, the NMED is proposing to assess a civil penalty of $21,333 to settle the violations alleged in the notice.

    NMED spokesman Jim Winchester said the state entity would not comment on the proposed fine.

    Lab spokesman Fred DeSousa said in a statement, ““The Notice of Violation (NOV) resulted from an April 2012 state inspection and all of the conditions have since been corrected.  Although the conditions presented no immediate risk to people or the environment and did not involve a release of hazardous waste, we take very seriously all of the requirements under our permit and the regulations.  In addition, the Laboratory has implemented a number of corrective actions to improve our compliance, including training and  strengthening our internal processes and procedures.  We are in discussions with the Environment Department regarding resolution of the NOV.”

  • Rover 1 lands on D.P. Road

    Owner Patricia Lind opened Rover 1 Doggy Daycare in hopes of providing a convenient, safe and happy place for local dogs to stay and play.

    She recognized the need in Los Alamos, especially for commuting laboratory employees, to have doggy daycare facilties close to work. That and her lifelong love for dogs, led to the opening of Rover 1 just last October.

    Although the business is relatively new, the concept of caring for canines in need has always been a passion for Lind. She spent five years working with the New Mexico Shar Pei Rescue, and continues to donate her time to local shelters. In fact, Lind says that “shelter animals are the best,” offering shelter dogs, from any shelter, 50 percent off their first visit to Rover 1.

    The facility is spacious, clean and bright, encouraging exercise and play, as well as, comfort and quiet. It also features a small outdoor area where canine clients can soak up some sunshine or take care of business. There are plenty of toys, fresh water and comfortable beds also strategically situated throughout.

  • First phase of Aspen school construction begins in May

    A $1.3 million utilities project marks the first phase of a $12.4 million renovation of Aspen Elementary School.

    The Los Alamos Board of Education recently approved the opening stage designed to get the construction started. The project will include permanent installation of water lines as well as sewer, gas and electric lines. The new utilities will first be used for the incoming portable classrooms, which will be located on the school’s soccer field.

    The project is set to begin this May, according to school officials.

    Probably the most complex part of the construction will be the installation of the water lines. According to Los Alamos Fire Marshal Brian Nickerson and other county officials who had input on the project, the lines are mainly needed to bring Aspen up to current fire code.

    One line will come in from the south, the other the north. The southern one is designed to feed the school’s new fire suppression system as well as a new fire hydrant that will be located in back of the gym. Officials said that line will not come through neighbor’s property, as it will come through a wooded area before hitting school property.

  • Bliss on tap

    “Ignorance is bliss,” they say. Well, if this is really true, we have a lot of happy people in this world.
     When using a credit card at a grocery store last month, the clerk handed it back and said she couldn’t accept it because it wasn’t signed. That was very responsible on her part. Cards are signed to provide security.
     So I took out a pen and signed the card. Then she accepted it and ran it through for the purchase.
    Ah yes, I do love security procedures.
    A few weeks ago, we celebrated Pi Day. I was telling someone about how one can estimate pi by tossing rods across a set of parallel lines and counting the percentage of times they cross the lines. I then mentioned how the Otowi bookstore did this last year by having children toss hot dogs across a grid.
    The man asked me, “So, is that how they compute pi?”
    Uh, yeah. Yes, that’s right. They do it with hot dogs. Lots of hot dogs.
    Like I said. A lot of very happy people out there.
    Rudolph Zallinger’s classic picture of the ascent of man shows an early primate walking, standing more and more erect, his head lifting ever higher toward the heavens. My theory is that as man’s head was elevated, the increased altitude reduced the oxygen level to the brain.