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Today's News

  • New details emerge in April 29 brush fire

    According to a witness at the scene, a brush fire that broke out near the Ponderosa Pines Apartments April 29 could have been a lot worse.

    Though the Los Alamos County Fire Department was fast to respond, there were two people already at the scene using a garden hose, a shovel and whatever other tools they had available to put the fire out.

    The second witness to arrive was leaving the Mesa Public Library when he saw the smoke.

    “I looked down and saw a lot of smoke and thought ‘that isn’t right,’” he said.

    The second witness and another person arrived at about the same time and proceeded to try to put the fire out.

    While the other person had a shovel, the second grabbed a bucket to find some water. Finding none, he used the bucket’s bottom to help stamp out the fire.

    According to the second witness, they had it about 80 to 90 percent controlled by the time the fire department arrived.

    “If we wouldn’t have been there, that place would’ve probably went up,” he said.

    It was still tough going, though.

    “The more we would stamp, the more it would start up someplace else,” the witness said.

  • Libertarian Party targets legal pot, no state tax

    Behind their campaign for marijuana legalization, direct funding for public education and abolishment of state and federal taxes, there is a philosophy that Libertarian Party members think will appeal to the disenfranchised.

    According to A. Blair Dunn, Libertarian candidate for New Mexico attorney general, the Libertarian Party’s basic party line is to stay out of the daily lives of citizens.

    “The core beliefs all Libertarians share is that the proper role of  government is not to interfere in everybody’s daily lives,” Dunn said.

    “That means lowering the financial burden that the government places on individuals and lowering the amount of personal burden that the government places on the lives of individuals.”

    Legalization of marijuana, giving parents more control over funding for their children’s education, and abolishing the current federal and state and local tax systems in favor of a consumption-based tax system are the issues the New Mexico Libertarian Party will be campaigning for in this year’s election.

  • Libertarians hash out campaign strategy

    The Libertarian Party of New Mexico met with former Libertarian presidential candidate and New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson Saturday to hash out strategy and get some real world perspective on what it’s like running for office.

    “Gary’s perspective is that of someone who has actually run. It’s unique. He also has a lot of experience in government, fundraising and politics”, New Mexico Libertarian Party Chair Chris Luchini, of Los Alamos, said. “Most of our candidates don’t have experience as elected officials or candidates.”

    Luchini is running for Los Alamos County Sheriff.

    Johnson said Saturday that judging from his own experiences, the candidates had a fight on their hands when it comes to going up against the Democrats and Republicans.
    Johnson was a guest of the first Libertarian Party Retreat, which was held at The Lodge in Santa Fe.

    He told those gathered that their races were not going to be pretty, especially if they were running a statewide race or for Congress.

    Johnson, who was a presidential candidate in 2016 against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, said it was tough competing with candidates that had more money and could afford to hire consultants skilled at manipulating what people see on the internet.

  • Secret City app, Manhattan Project National Park hit snags

    Reports of the demise of an app that enhances the Manhattan Project National Historical Park experience are greatly exaggerated.

    While it’s true the app is not running at 100 percent, it is still operational and able to provide additional information to visitors taking part in the park’s walking tour of the 16 sites in Los Alamos that played integral parts in the Manhattan Project.

    The app is called “Los Alamos: The Secret City of the Manhattan Project,” and was created by Los Alamos National Laboratory’s VISIBLE Team. It was made available to the public in June 2016.
    The app was created mainly as a companion piece to the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which was designated by Congress in 2015.

    Even though many of the sites from the Manhattan Project are gone or have been radically transformed, visitors using the app could simply point their phones at the signs around town that mark where the sites were and that site’s information would appear on their phone looking as it did in the early 1940s.

    The app also contained a scavenger-hunt type game, as well as basic information about the sites for those on the walking tour.

    The app has received more bad reviews than good on the Apple App Store, as well as an overall 2.4 rating (out of five).

  • US officials to decide future of nuclear weapons work

    By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The federal agency that oversees the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile is expected this week to release a report on the best site option for the United States as it looks to ramp up production of the plutonium cores that trigger nuclear warheads.

    At stake are hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars in federal funding that would be needed to either revamp existing buildings or construct new factories to support the work.

    New Mexico's U.S. senators have been pushing to keep the work at Los Alamos National Laboratory — the once-secret city in northern New Mexico where the atomic bomb was developed decades ago as part of the Manhattan Project. The other option would be to move it to it to the U.S. Energy Department's Savannah River Site in South Carolina, which formerly produced components for the nation's nuclear weapons cache.

    Shuttered since the mid-20th century, work at the Savannah River Site since then has been primarily focused on cleanup and storage.

    The mission of producing the cores has been based at Los Alamos for years but none have been produced since 2011 as the lab has been dogged by a string of safety lapses and concerns about a lack of accountability.

  • Locals react to Iran deal withdrawal

    In an 11 minute speech Tuesday from the White House, President Donald Trump dismantled the United States’ 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, calling Iran “the leading state sponsor of terror,” and that the deal with Iran created under the Obama Administration was “defective at it’s core.”

    Dr. Siegfried Hecker, a former Los Alamos National Laboratory director and senior fellow with the Center for International Security and Cooperation, told the Stanford News Service Tuesday that in spite of Trump’s announcement, there’s still a chance Iran will honor the deal – with or without U.S. approval.

    “I don’t see Iran making a mad dash for nuclear weapons to respond to the U.S. withdrawal,” Hecker told the Stanford News Service. “The country has too much to lose. Tehran could decide to keep the essence of the deal with the other countries and isolate the U.S. It may find that it will get adequate sanctions relief from the other countries in spite of U.S. pressure. That may be sufficient for Iran to continue to honor its nuclear deal commitments for now.”

    T. Douglas Reilly, a retired Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist who worked at the lab for 38 years, was devastated by the news Tuesday.

  • Sexual misconduct investigation sought against lawmaker

    SANTA FE (AP) — Allegations by a political lobbyist that she was sexually harassed by a state lawmaker were referred to a subcommittee of lawmakers and outside council for investigation on Tuesday.

    Former lobbyist and animal welfare activist Laura Bonar went public last week in an open letter with allegations that she was sexually harassed on multiple occasions by Democratic Rep. Carl Trujillo as they worked together on legislation in 2013 and 2014.

    Trujillo says the allegations are lies and has cast blame on political opponents. The Santa Fe-area legislator could not immediately be reached for comment. Bonar has urged Trujillo to resign.

    After her attorney submitted the letter as a formal complaint on Tuesday, leading House lawmakers and an independent attorney determined that further investigation was needed. Raul Burciaga, director of the Legislature's legal office, said four state lawmakers — two Democrats and two Republicans — and outside counsel will conduct the investigation.

    In her complaint, Bonar said she was propositioned and touched inappropriately and that Trujillo later shut her out of the legislative process in 2014 when she rejected his advances. Later, Bonar switched from her job as a lobbyist for Animal Protection Voters to an administrative position with the organization.

  • How Google aims to make your gadgets smarter with AI

    By RYAN NAKASHIMA and MAE ANDERSON, AP Technology Writers

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google put the spotlight on its artificial intelligence smarts at its annual developers conference Tuesday, announcing new consumer features imbued with machine learning.

    Many of the updates have a practical bent, designed to ease tasks such as composing emails, making lists, navigating city streets and lessening the digital distractions that have increasingly addled people's lives as a result of previous tech industry innovations.

    One of the biggest crowd-pleasers for the thousands of software developers who gathered at the outdoor conference was an augmented reality feature on Google Maps that helps people get walking directions. Users will be able to follow arrows — or possibly a cartoon-like creature — that appear on a camera view showing the actual street in front of them.

    Some new features for Android phones also aim to improve people's digital well-being, including a new "shush" mode that automatically turns on the "Do Not Disturb" function if someone flips their phone face down on a table. And "Wind Down Mode" will fade the screen to greyscale at a designated bedtime to help users disconnect before bed.

  • Trump decides to exit nuclear accord with Iran

    By CATHERINE LUCEY and JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the landmark nuclear accord with Iran on Tuesday, abruptly restoring harsh sanctions in the most consequential foreign policy action of his presidency. He declared he was making the world safer, but he also deepened his isolation on the world stage and revived doubts about American credibility.

    The 2015 agreement, which was negotiated by the Obama administration and included Germany, France and Britain, had lifted most U.S. and international economic sanctions against Iran. In exchange, Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program, making it impossible to produce a bomb and establishing rigorous inspections.

    But Trump, a severe critic of the deal dating back to his presidential campaign, said in a televised address from the White House that it was "defective at its core."

    U.S. allies in Europe had tried to keep him in and lamented his move to abandon it. Iran's leader ominously warned his country might "start enriching uranium more than before."

    The sanctions seek to punish Iran for its nuclear program by limiting its ability to sell oil or do business overseas, affecting a wide range of Iranian economic sectors and individuals.

  • Pet of the Week 5-6-18

    If you meet Sid, a Bombay-American Shorthair cat at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter, you have to keep a secret from him. He thinks he’s a black panther.

    But in reality, Sid is like most cats at the animal shelter – very friendly and in desperate need of a forever home.
    He’s a bit of a big boy, too, for a 9-month old.

    Another thing people should know about him is that he’s never really had a forever home. Los Alamos County Shelter volunteers received him from the Animal Welfare Coalition of Northeastern New Mexico. Sid had been at the coalition shelter from the age of 7 weeks old.

    It’s a bit of a mystery too, since volunteers say he’s very friendly toward humans (including children), other cats and dogs.

    Sid likes to sleep in small spaces. Sid has been micro chipped, and has been vaccinated and is disease free.

    For more information, call the shelter at 662-8179 or email at police-psa@lacnm.us.