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Today's News

  • Prosthetic Legs Help Mexican Dog Recover
  • Today in History for Jan. 13th
  • Armstrong to Admit Doping in Oprah Interview
  • Lab received NNSA waiver

    There is more to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s 2012 performance evaluation of the Los Alamos National Laboratory than meets the eye.

    According to documents obtained by the Los Alamos Monitor, the lab received a one-time waiver from the NNSA fee determining official — principal deputy administrator Neile Miller.

    In a letter from former Los Alamos Site Office head Kevin Smith to Miller, the award term (one-year contract extension) originally was not granted. But at the bottom of the letter, the no is scratched out with a notation, “Yes. Contingent on LANS letter attached.”

    That LANS letter was written by DOE Senior Procurement Executive Joseph Waddell to lab director Charlie McMillan, dated on Dec. 7. The letter stated that Los Alamos National Security had been granted a waiver for the FY-12 NNSA fee by the Fee Determining Official (Miller).

    According to the letter, LANS met two of the three criteria but earned less than 80 percent overall at-risk fees.

  • Legislators talk issues as session looms

    Three of Los Alamos County’s representatives to the Round House stopped by Fuller Lodge this week to talk with residents about their goals for the upcoming legislative session that gets underway Tuesday.

    Rep.-Elect Stephanie Garcia Richard D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Rio Arriba Counties
    Garcia Richard was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives in November. She teaches third grade in the Pojoaque School District, so it was no surprise then, that Richard told the audience she’d be their champion for education reform. However, she also tempered her enthusiasm with a dose of reality, by telling those on hand that it may take some time to get things done.

    “... You may put your heart and soul into something, but it may take a few sessions to get there,” she said. “... I know that I’m starting out with a lot of idealism and enthusiasm, but hopefully, by the time we meet again I will still have some left.”

    Education
    One thing Garcia Richard wants to reform is the teacher evaluation system, taking the emphasis off of testing and having it rely more on student surveys and peer review.

  • Fledgling firm helps launch NM business

    As David Blivin and his wife Jamai were considering moving to New Mexico to be near Jamai’s family, Blivin met Los Alamos National Bank CEO Bill Enloe and Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation Executive Director Kevin Holsapple. When Enloe and Holsapple learned of Blivin’s previous career in venture capital, they suggested there might be a niche he could fill.

    “Capital is always an issue in New Mexico with technology businesses and Dave focuses on startups, which is always the most difficult stage to get funded because of the higher risk,” Enloe said. “With very few funds in the area, we felt this type of approach would be a success. There is not much competition and not a lot of companies getting funded.”

    Blivin did some research and agreed that a void existed for venture capital firms dedicated to tech commercialization within the Southwest region. Those with ideas ripe for product development generally move to other parts of the country to be near capital resources.

    LANB and the LACDC invested in Blivin’s own startup, the Cottonwood Technology Group, while he provided the sweat equity to build the company.

  • Flu blitzes New Mexico

    SANTA FE (AP) — The flu has walloped New Mexico with an early one-two punch and health officials are urging people to get vaccinated against the illness.

    Dr. Joan Baumbach, an epidemiologist in the New Mexico Department of Health, said Friday the flu has hit New Mexico earlier and harder than last year.

    “This is an unusually early flu season,” she said.

    Medical providers report they’re seeing 7 percent of their patients with flu-like illnesses, according to department. That’s higher than the national average and is up from 3 percent in New Mexico at this time last year. New Mexico peaked at 3.7 percent in late February and March last year.

    There have been 88 New Mexicans hospitalized so far. That compares with two cases at this time last year, according to Baumbach.

    There have been no confirmed deaths from flu so far.

    The department doesn’t track every flu case statewide, but it collects information from counties representing more than half of the population.

    Of the hospitalizations, 55 are in Bernalillo County — the state’s largest county, which is home to the city of Albuquerque.

  • Update 01-13-13

    Coalition meeting

    The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities will hold its business meeting from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Friday at the Ohkay Casino Conference Center.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will hold a work session at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the White Rock Fire Station No. 3.

    Kiwanis

    Kiwanis meets each Tuesday, noon to 1 p.m., at the Masonic Temple, on Sage, near the intersection of 15th and Canyon. On Jan. 15, Becky Wechsler Oertel, daughter of the late Jay Wechsler, will speak on the long-term effects of fire in the forest.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the DPU Conference Room at 170 Central Park Square.
     

  • Misrepresenting the NRA

    Mr. Pawlak’s recent column demonstrates a common approach to gun control among those of a utopian pacifist persuasion and others who cannot accept that there really are evil people in the world that will kill with a gun, a knife, a baseball bat, a car or any other tool they can get their hands on.
    That approach is simple, when they can’t argue the facts or logic; they resort to name-calling, insults, derision, and worst of all exaggeration and misrepresentation.
    Let’s start with Mr. Pawlak’s blatantly dishonest exaggeration and misrepresentation. The NRA did not recommend that we:
    “Convert public schools to firearms depots.”
    “Arm all the teachers with guns.”
    “Patrol the hallways with a few mercenaries.”
    “Have a couple of Humvees equipped with Browning .50 cal machine guns ride protective circles around the school playground.”
    What Wayne LaPierre and Asa Hutchinson of the NRA did recommend can be read by anyone honest enough to seek out the truth at nraschoolshield.com.
    You can see for yourself that the actual transcript of the December 21, 2012 press conference and The National School Shield program doesn’t resemble Mr. Pawlak’s assertions at all.

  • Slow start to snow season

    The first water supply forecast for 2013 reflects both a slow start to the 2012-2013 snow accumulation season, as well as a storm track that has only intermittently targeted the New Mexico mountain regions so far this winter.
    A dry autumn coupled with the late start to winter weather conditions add up to a disappointing early runoff forecast for New Mexico.
    Forecast flows for the Rio Grande include 47 percent of normal into Cochiti Lake and 37 percent at Elephant Butte Lake. Other Rio Grande Basin reservoir forecast inflows range from 64 percent of normal at El Vado Lake to 41 percent of normal at Jemez Canyon Reservoir.
    Inflow to Santa Rosa Lake is expected to be 39 percent of normal while in the San Juan Basin, Navajo Reservoir is expecting 62 percent of normal inflow.
    Precipitation across New Mexico during December 2012 ranged from well below normal in the southeast plains to above normal in the north central mountains and the far northwest. Water Year 2013 precipitation, October through December 2012, was well below normal across the southern two thirds of New Mexico and below normal in the northern third of the state.