Today's News

  • Ask Fr. John: Exploring Orthodoxy

    Is Orthodoxy “religious” or “spiritual?”

    Part 2

    “We know that the law is spiritual.” Rom. 7:14
    What? Again, Orthodox have a completely different usage of the word “religion” than the modern understanding. “Religion” as a concept has been tainted in the West, due to major abuses and to teaching falsities as the “ancient faith.” These days spirituality tends to be about freedom to do what one wants with regards to “goodness” “virtue” and “higher power.” So-called “religion” is oversimplified into oppressive dogma, rules, and doing “stuff.” It has become a synonym for “rules” or “law.” Naturally many prefer the “spiritual” and reject so-called “religion.”
    In Paul’s statement above, we see that “religion,” is actually spiritual. We say that religion is actually good, but only when it is spiritual. Classically, “religion” is part of spirituality and spirituality is part of “religion.” Making them separate concepts is foreign in Eastern Christianity.

  • Infrastructure projects get a boost

    The Tribal Infrastructure Board, created in 2005 by the Tribal Infrastructure Act, recently awarded more than $13 million to 28 tribal infrastructure projects.
    With the signing of intergovernmental agreements, those projects can now commence.
    The Tribal Infrastructure Act, recognizing that many of New Mexico’s tribal communities lack basic infrastructure resulting in poor social, health and economic conditions in tribal communities, created the Tribal Infrastructure Project Fund.
    During the 2010 session, the State Legislature passed a law that annually allocates 5 percent of the Senior Severance Tax Bonding Capacity to the Fund.
    Of the total $13,207,965 awarded for Fiscal Year ’12, the Pueblo of Santa Clara received the largest award, more than $1.6 million, for wastewater collection system improvements.
    The 28 projects funded were split evenly between 14 planning and 14 design/construction projects. Of the 22 tribes, nations, and pueblos in New Mexico, the board approved awards to 16 tribal nations.
    The board evaluates and scores each project proposal that is submitted to ensure that critical need is established.
    This year’s round of funding, which is administered by the State of New Mexico Indian Affairs Department (“IAD”), increased significantly as the 2010 law took effect.

  • Lower temperatures expected this weekend

    Los Alamos County could be in for its first freeze this weekend.
    According to the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, a cold front is expected to hit Friday and the effects may last all weekend.
    The NWS forecast: The initial cold front pushed through much of the eastern plains today generating gusty northeast winds, some clouds, and noticeably cooler temperatures.
    “We now await a much stronger cold front later Friday into Saturday. Highs Saturday will struggle to reach the low/mid 40s across the northeast quarter, and many locations of North Central/North East and colder locales of central New Mexico will likely experience their first freeze of the season Saturday night.
    In addition, gusty winds are expected and there is a slight chance of precipitation.
    The cold front will sweep south and west and gusty east canyon winds will start after midnight Friday.
    On Saturday, there will be significantly cooler temperatures with gusts of 35 mph. Freezing temperatures can be expected in the north valleys.
    As the cold front rolls out Sunday, wind gusts will increase to above 40 mph. Temperatures will remain cool in the western part of the state but will rebound in the eastern part.

  • Work on covered arena gets underway

    Construction of the new Multi-Purpose Covered Arena will get underway Monday. Paul Parker Construction will install utilities to the site, which includes the installation of an 8-inch water main and electricity. The installation of the water main will involve closing the BMX track near Brewer Arena from Oct. 8-26.
    Richardson and Richardson Inc., will perform earthwork, site work and construction of the 200-foot by 75-foot pre-manufactured metal building, with site work beginning Oct. 15.
    The contractors are required to abide by the county noise ordinance, which limits the hours of operation from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.  Additionally, the contractor has been directed to take special care to eliminate dust from the construction site.
    A project website has been established to provide updates. Residents can visit losalamosnm.us under “Projects.”  The project website will be updated whenever new information becomes available.  


  • Operation Hilltopper set for Monday

    Emergency first response organizations in Los Alamos County have, for the past year, been training their personnel, polishing their plans and tweaking their equipment in a comprehensive effort aimed at preparing to deal with a scenario that nobody hopes will ever arise – an active shooter loose at a school.

    Operation Hilltopper, scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Monday, is a full-scale exercise designed to test police, fire, emergency medical support, Los Alamos Medical Center and Los Alamos High School personnel and their abilities to adequately respond to just such an event.

     Toward that end, the Los Alamos County Office of Emergency Management is letting residents living in the vicinity of Los Alamos High School know that on the day of the exercise, from 8 a.m. to noon Monday they will see a significant number of emergency vehicles around the high school and the hospital.

    In addition, observers are likely to hear gunshots (only blanks, no live ammunition will be used) and even the screams of actors portraying victims. 

    “We would also like to give residents an advanced heads-up regarding possible traffic delays, especially at the Canyon/Diamond intersection while this exercise is taking place,” the county said in its press release. 

  • Update 10-05-12

    Night in Italy

    Tickets are available for “A Night in Italy” fundraiser for Assets in Action. The event takes place Oct. 20 at the Hilltop House Hotel. Tickets are $40 each and proceeds benefit youth development programs. Additional information is available by calling 661-4846 or by email at AssetsInAction.info.

    Parks and Rec

    The Parks and Recreation Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center. The board meets monthly. More information can be obtained by calling 662-8173.

    Elk festival

    The Valles Caldera will hold its annual event Oct. 6-14 with the headquarters at the Visitor Center. Daily festival activities will include elk viewing, elk education booths and various demonstration booths. This event is free and open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 for a work session at the White Rock Fire Station No. 3.

    Scottish dance

    The Scottish Country Dance will be from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Monday at Fuller Lodge.

  • No 'wow' factor in San Juan water project

    Los Alamos County Council heard details about the Department of Public Utilities plan to tap into the county's San Juan/Chama water rights at Tuesday's meeting. Cost was only one factor in selecting a preferred alternative.

    Robert Fowlie, project manager for CDM Smith, and Kelly Collins, principal and senior environmental scientist, gave details on the feasibility study they conducted for the county. Fowlie praised DPU's efforts.

    "It was quite a pleasure to work with an engaged client with a highly qualified staff of engineers. This is not always the case,” Fowlie said.

    In fact, the preferred alternative the county will pursue came about during a brainstorming session with staffers.

    The 2010 feasibility study was initiated to explore the possibility of sharing resources with San Ildefonso Pueblo or Santa Fe, two options that had opened up after a 2004 study had been conducted.

    The 2004 study recommended using either collector wells or raised bores to collect shallow ground water near the Rio Grande. The "wow" factor for engineers was tunneling through the mesa to pump water to White Rock.

  • Packed house at Fuller Lodge

    It’s one of the most highly attended candidate forums every election and this one was no exception. It was a packed house at the Fuller Lodge Thursday as about 200 residents attended the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos candidate forum.

    In attendance were candidates for county clerk Sharon Stover (R) and Nathan Hjeim (D) as well as county council candidates Peter Sheehey (D); Michael Redondo (D); and Kristin Henderson (D);  Marc Clay (R); Vincent Chiravalle (R) and Steven Girrens (R).

    The audience also had a chance to hear representatives talk for and against proposed amendments to the charter.
    Margaret Calef, president of the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos, thought the event went well.

    “I thought it was very good; a nice variety of questions and interesting answers,” she said.

    She also added that with this forum, candidates from both parties seemed to be on the same page regarding the larger issues.

    “There seemed to be a lot consensus on how to move the county forward,” Calef said.

    The section of the forum that featured the candidates for county council seemed to be the most lively as many of the issues discussed would impact Los Alamos directly.

  • NNSA pursues PF-4 scrutiny

    The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board and the National Nuclear Security Administration have been going back and forth regarding the seismic integrity of LANL’s Plutonium Facility.

    In a letter to DNFSB Chairman Peter Winokur from NNSA's top security official, DOE Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman, he tells Winokur the NNSA and LANL have been working methodically to evaluate PF-4 to understand how the facility would perform if subjected to an earthquake.,

    “This effort has already resulted in several structural improvements to assure the safe operations of PF-4. As part of a deliberative process outlined in national consensus codes and standards, NNSA and LANL have progressed from relatively simple calculations and modeling approaches to more sophisticated methods (referred to as static nonlinear pushover analysis), to provide additional detail and confidence that we have identified all the facility structural elements that require upgrading.

    "The initial results of the nonlinear pushover analysis are complete and have undergone an independent peer review. The final report thoroughly/documenting the methodology and the results will be issued as soon as the peer review comments are addressed,” Poneman wrote.

  • Southwestern U.S. trees face rising drought stress, mortality

    Combine the tree ring growth record with historic information, climate records and computer model projections of future climate trends, and it paints a grim picture for the future of trees in the southwestern United States.
    That’s the word from a team of scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Arizona and several other partner organizations.
    Described in a paper published in Nature Climage Change. “Temperature as a potent driver of regional forest drought stress and tree mortality,” the team concluded that in the warmer and drier Southwest of the near future, widespread tree mortality will cause forest and species distributions to change substantially.
    The researchers aligned about 13,000 tree core samples with known temperature and moisture data, further blending in known historic events such as documented mega droughts that drove the ancient pueblo indians out of longtime settlements such as Mesa Verde, Colo.