Today's News

  • What the maple trade conveys

     Maple sugar season straddles six weeks in sugaring states when winter turns to spring. The business supplies ample food for thought.
     Harvest traditions evoke homey scenes: the crusty New Englander ... rock-ribbed, spare, silent ... tending his maple woods by one-horse sled. The sap is gathered by the pailful and hauled in vats to the sugar house, where steam rises from the maple sap boiling pans.
    Practiced eyes keep watch as the water boils off to turn some 40 gallons of sap into one gallon of the golden brown syrup. Fresh sap is up to 98% water.
    To sell to wider markets, the business has a few new twists.
    What has grown most is the extent of maple trade, not the annual production. The steps in producing and processing sap are the same as before. And the same as were learned from the Indians ages before that.
     Markets now are more diverse, which requires more knowledge and specification of the steps. Technology has evolved, but not the scale of technology.  
    Collection methods have progressed from catching drips in a pail to pulling sap with high-vacuum to tanks through networks of plastic tubing. More sap is collected with less tending.  
    Water removal designs have added reverse osmosis and heat recovery schemes. Water is removed using less fuel.

  • Maybe rainy day funds be used for education

    SANTA FE — The more things change, the more they stay the same. I was about to write that same introduction for my previous column about simplifying the state’s tax structure because it was a repeat of something I had tried to do 20 years earlier.
    This time the subject is a piece of the land grant permanent fund a group wants to use to improve New Mexico’s education system.
    Many of you remember that little ditty that took place soon after Gov. Bill Richardson took office.
    It was 10 years ago and Gov. Richardson had a huge amount of political capital. He had a big, bold legislative initiative and nearly all of it passed – much even on a bipartisan basis.
    Two of those items were constitutional amendments, which required a public vote at the next November’s election
    One of the bills was to take money out of the permanent to assist in improving public education. The other was to bring the state Department under the governor. It seemed logical since education is about half the state’s budget. And thus, the governor should have control of it.
    Gov. Richardson barnstormed the state campaigning for the two items. The transfer of the state Board of Education passed easily. Voters weren’t accustomed to spending their permanent fund monies. But with Richardson’s help. It passed too.

  • Lobos cruise to a win over Air Force

    Alex Kirk was among three University of New Mexico Lobos to drop in a team-high 14 points in a Mountain West Conference win Wednesday.
    Kirk, Cameron Bairstow and Tony Snell each finished with 14 points as the Lobos earned a decisive win in The Pit.
    The Lobos (20-3 overall, 7-1 in Mountain West) only trailed briefly in the first half, but outscored the Air Force Falcons 42-29 in the first 20 minutes and cruised to an 81-58 win. The Falcons (14-7, 5-3) actually had a chance going into the game to earn a share of the Mountain West lead, but the Lobos’ balanced offensive attack was too much for them to handle.
    The Lobos had five players post double-figures Wednesday. Hugh Greenwood and Kendall Williams combined for 24 points on the night as UNM shot 48.1 percent from the floor.
    Lobo coach Steve Alford, whose team is ranked No. 15 in the nation, said he likes what he’s seen out of the Lobos but knows there is still a lot of basketball left to play.

  • LA to host Sanchez Invite Saturday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team will play host to its biggest event of the season Saturday.
    Los Alamos will take on 10 other teams in the Bryan Sanchez Memorial Invitational. The tournament is scheduled to include some solid teams from around the area.
    Included among those teams are at least three of the Hilltoppers’ District 2-4A opponents, Española Valley, Capital and Bernalillo, something that gives this tournament added importance as it could affect seeding for next week’s district championship tournament.
    “I’d like to see us get a few more head-to-head tiebreakers over our district opponents,” Los Alamos head coach Bob Geyer said.
    Saturday’s tournament is the finale of the Hilltoppers’ regular season. The Hilltoppers are the defending 2-4A champions, but were neck-and-neck with Capital in the teams’ only meeting Jan. 16.
    Los Alamos relies heavily on its middleweights and light-heavyweights for its success. Its lineup between 152-195 pounds of Lane Saunders, Cory Geyer, Arnoldo Ortiz, Brian Geyer and Diego Madrid is among the toughest in the state in that band.

  • NNMCAB OKs recommendations


    The Northern New Mexico Citizens' Advisory Board approved three of four draft recommendations at its meeting last week in Pojoaque.

    According to NNMCAB spokesman William Alexander, recommendations that passed were: 

    • Evaluation of storage options for legacy waste that could result from expansion of the WIPP disposal mission;

    • Budget that is related to technology research and development for site clean-up; and

    • EM-SAAB recommendation that DOE place more emphasis and priority on evaluation of technologies that could make recycling excess materials cost effective.

    The NNMCAB also drafted and approved a recommendation regarding the 33 Shafts that are located at LANL, requesting that DOE address the permanent disposition of the 33 Shafts at Material Disposal Area G.

    During the public comment period, the NNMCAB heard comments from Jeanne Green on the PF-4 facility, Green provided the board with a memo from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board from Nov. 23, 2012. Green asked that the board look into providing a recommendation on the PF-4 Facility.

  • LAMC gains accreditation from Joint Commission


    Los Alamos Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in hospitals. The accreditation award recognizes (name of organization)’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards.

    Los Alamos Medical Center (LAMC) underwent a rigorous unannounced on-site survey in October of 2012. A team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated LAMC for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

    "In achieving Joint Commission accreditation, Los Alamos Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients," says Mark Pelletier, R.N., M.S., executive director, Hospital Programs, Accreditation and Certification Services, The Joint Commission. “Accreditation is a voluntary process and I commend (organization) for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

  • This Week on PAC-8, Feb. 8-14

    Views expressed on programs shown on PAC8 do not necessarily reflect the views of the manager, staff, or board.

    Friday, February 8, 2013
    06:00 AM Democracy Now! – Live
    10:00 AM Democracy Now!
    11:00 AM County Council Replay (1-29-13)
    01:00 PM The Power of NO/W
    03:00 PM Future Talk
    03:30 PM European Journal
    04:00 PM Al Jazeera DC Bureau
    05:00 PM 2012 Revere Sand Sculpting Competition
    06:00 PM Democracy Now!
    07:00 PM Los Alamos Historical Society – “Jews in Theory”
    08:00 PM Clear Heart, Clear Mind
    09:00 PM FSTV

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

    Sunday, February 10, 2013
    06:00 AM FSTV
    05:30 PM Key to the Kingdom
    06:00 PM Drawing Men to Christ
    07:00 PM United Church
    08:00 PM That Which Is
    09:00 PM Trinity on the Hill
    12:00 PM Free Speech TV

  • Restaurant Inspections 02-07-13

    The following restaurant inspection reports were provided by the New Mexico Environment Department.


    Valley Superette, 231 S. Riverside Dr.
    Date inspected: Jan. 31
    Violations: Three high-risk violations, two for improper holding — warmer, pork at 120 degrees. Corrected. Food particles/product on display doors and inside needs to be cleaned. One for contaminated equipment — meat product on band saw; meat product in grinder; meat product on slicer. Three moderate-risk violations, one for improper holding — need thermometers inside all refrigerators. One for animals/vermin/openings — restroom needs self-closing device. One for administration — invalid permit posted, expired on June 30, 2012.
    Status of establishment: Approved, follow-up Feb. 10.

    Los Alamos

    Aramark Coffee Kiosk
    Date inspected: Jan. 30
    Violations: One moderate-risk violation for administration — expired permit.
    Status of establishment: Approved, no follow-up required.

  • Skidmore to speak at Fuller Lodge

    The Los Alamos Historical Society will offer its 2012-2013 lecture series, “History and Science,” featuring “The Seven LANL Explosives Fatalities — Technical and Human Perspectives (U),” with guest speaker Cary B. Skidmore, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at Fuller Lodge.
    When the implosion concept came to the Manhattan Project, it brought with it a need to use explosives in a new way. Rather than destroying or breaking apart something, precisely shaped pieces were needed to assemble or create a nuclear critical mass.
    This need spawned the science of high explosives and a series of technological advancements ensued. Unfortunately, three accidents in the late 1950s caused instant death for seven explosives workers at the then Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Lessons were learned from these experiences and improvements were made in the safety of explosives operations. Much of the information associated with these accidents was not available to the families at the time. The openness of more recent years has provided opportunities for the families of the victims to visit the sites and gain some context for the supreme sacrifices that were made.

  • Co-opROCKS! Feb. 16

    The Los Alamos Co-op Market, La Montanita Co-op and Warehouse 21 present Co-opROCKS!, from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Feb. 16.
    This year, Co-opROCKS! presents local DJs, acoustic musicians and bands including DJ Mickey Paws, DJ BotEars, Choking on Air, All the Wrong Reasons, Syzygy, Maddy Boyd, Mohit Dubey, Dogsit Godsit, Jovani Griego, Sammie and Andy, and Mariam Kass. Co-opROCKS! kicks off with workshops between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., which are free and on a first-come, first-served basis.
    Workshops include break dancing, screen-printing, comedy improv, hula-hoop and POI, and adobe brick making.
    In addition, participate in live free form art, vote for the Co-opROCKS! logo, and sample food from La Montanita and the Los Alamos Co-op Market, while enjoying food-related documentaries and learning about like-minded local businesses.
    Co-opROCKS! will showcase Los Alamos talent including Sammie and Andy Hammon, DJ BotEars, DJ Mickey Paws, Syzygy, and graphic design students from Brittany Felton’s class at Los Alamos High School. Other Los Alamos supporters include the Los Alamos Teen Center, whose staff includes Syzygy band members and The Los Alamos Historical Society, who is partnering with Cornerstones to host an adobe brick-making workshop facilitated by Raffi Andonian.