https://www.lamonitor.com/todaysnews/rss.xml en Mason: Off to a ‘pretty good start’ https://www.lamonitor.com/content/mason-%E2%80%98pretty-good-start%E2%80%99 <img src="https://www.lamonitor.com/sites/www.lamonitor.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/cropped_thomas_mason_pic.jpg" alt="Dr. Thomas Mason, director-designee for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, visited the Los Alamos Monitor on Monday after meeting with lab employees. " title="Dr. Thomas Mason, director-designee for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, visited the Los Alamos Monitor on Monday after meeting with lab employees. " align="left" hspace="6" width="64" height="85" /><p> Taxes and transition were among the topics addressed by Los Alamos National Laboratory Director-Designee Thomas Mason Monday during his visit to the Secret City.</p> <p> Mason, who was at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for 19 years &ndash; 10 as its director &ndash; made the Monitor his first stop after meeting with LANL employees earlier in the morning as part of the transition process that will see Triad National Security, LLC, take full management control of the lab by Nov. 1.</p> <p> &ldquo;So far I think we&rsquo;re off to a pretty good start,&rdquo; Mason said. &ldquo;We got the notice to proceed on July 3 that said transition starts on July 5. That gave us a couple of days to book our plane tickets and get out here for last Monday. Then we jumped right in and began getting ourselves oriented.&rdquo;</p> <p> Mason said there was a lot of legwork that had already been done by the time he arrived in Los Alamos.</p> ScienceFest loaded with experiments https://www.lamonitor.com/content/sciencefest-loaded-experiments <img src="https://www.lamonitor.com/sites/www.lamonitor.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/oppie_contest_2.jpg" alt="The Oppie Lookalike Contest Saturday brought back memories of the days of the Manhattan Project and drew a few competitors to Fuller Lodge during ScienceFest The winner was Xavier McTeigue, who will be a senior next year at Los Alamos High School. He took home a selfie drone. " title="The Oppie Lookalike Contest Saturday brought back memories of the days of the Manhattan Project and drew a few competitors to Fuller Lodge during ScienceFest The winner was Xavier McTeigue, who will be a senior next year at Los Alamos High School. He took home a selfie drone. " align="left" hspace="6" width="127" height="85" /><p> This year&rsquo;s ScienceFest seemed to have more experiments going on than ever before, much to the delight of parents and their kids.</p> <p> On Saturday, the five-day festival&rsquo;s Discovery Day, thousands flocked to exhibits at Ashley Pond Park, Bradbury Science Museum and Fuller Lodge to see what was happening.</p> <p> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s all hands on, so they can play with all the stuff,&rdquo; said Jacob Aldersebaes, who was heading to Ashley Pond Park to stop by the large number of booths set up at the park with his son Sebastian, 4, and Sebastian&rsquo;s friend Felix. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not like a museum where you have to stand behind glass or a rope. Here, they can actually play with it.&rdquo;</p> <p> And play they did.</p> <p> At the Bradbury Science Museum booth, Ada Mjolsness, 7, was hooking wires to a small motor that she powered with a hand crank as mom and dad watched.</p> <p> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an amazing event. We&rsquo;re shocked at how many things there are to do,&rdquo; said Ada&rsquo;s mother, Lora. &ldquo;They can actually, touch, feel and experiment. To me that&rsquo;s the key to getting kids interested in science. It&rsquo;s about teaching them what an experiment actually is and noting the results of it.&rdquo;</p> Fleur de Lys makes it official Saturday https://www.lamonitor.com/content/fleur-de-lys-makes-it-official-saturday <img src="https://www.lamonitor.com/sites/www.lamonitor.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/flueropening.jpg" alt="County officials and Fleur de Lys staff broke out the smiles Saturday as Fleur de Lys co-owners Marcel and Stephanie Remillieux cut the ribbon at the official opening. Fleur de Lys is a French tearoom and grocery store located at 1460 Trinity Drive, Suite No. 1 Los Alamos. " title="County officials and Fleur de Lys staff broke out the smiles Saturday as Fleur de Lys co-owners Marcel and Stephanie Remillieux cut the ribbon at the official opening. Fleur de Lys is a French tearoom and grocery store located at 1460 Trinity Drive, Suite No. 1 Los Alamos. " align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> Patrons snacked on lemony macarons painted as uranium yellowcake, crackers spread with French p&acirc;t&eacute;s and drank champagne and pastis French summer drink, as County Councilor Antonio Maggiore welcomed the owners of Fleur de Lys to Los Alamos Saturday.</p> <p> The French tearoom and grocery store has actually been open for six months, but owners Marcel and Stephanie Remillieux wanted to make sure everything was in place before the official grand opening.</p> <p> With ScienceFest happening throughout Los Alamos and the fact that in France Saturday was Bastille Day, which is French National Day, the Remillieuxs thought it would be a perfect time to celebrate.</p> <p> Also, Marcel Remillieux said, they wanted to make sure everything was in place inside the store. Since Fleur de Lys opened in February, the Remillieuxs have added a counter and dining space to their store and learned to make pastries, adding many more items to the menu. Those items include crepes, sandwiches, quiches and home baked croissants.</p> <p> When they first opened, they relied on a French pastry shop in Santa Fe to supply product, but since then the community has reached out to help them grow and become even more popular.</p> Electric car show brings spark of ingenuity to ScienceFest https://www.lamonitor.com/content/electric-car-show-brings-spark-ingenuity-sciencefest <img src="https://www.lamonitor.com/sites/www.lamonitor.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/edited_electric_caqr.jpg" alt="Jim Redman poses by his 1981 Jet Electra Van at the Electric Vehicle Show Saturday. " title="Jim Redman poses by his 1981 Jet Electra Van at the Electric Vehicle Show Saturday. " align="left" hspace="6" width="64" height="85" /><p> BY ISAAC FASON<br /> lanews@lamonitor.com</p> <p> The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities hosted an electric vehicle show Saturday at the Nature Center as a part of Los Alamos ScienceFest.</p> <p> The show contained a wide range of electric vehicles, including a 2018 Tesla 3, a 2015 Nissan Leaf, a 2018 Chevrolet Volt, a 2013 Toyota RAV4 and many more.</p> <p> The vehicle that possibly stood out the most among the sleek modern vehicles, however, was a 1981 Jet Electra Van owned by Jim Redman.</p> <p> Redman has owned the vehicle for &ldquo;about 4-5 years, I bought it from a guy up in Taos,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p> In terms of everyday utility, the van is not as reliable compared to the more modern cars at the show.</p> <p> &ldquo;This is just a fun vehicle, a classic vehicle to drive around,&rdquo; said Redman. &ldquo;I would like to drive it more but there&rsquo;s always a project with it. Mostly I like to use it for driving around town, going grocery shopping, something like that.&rdquo;</p> <p> Even though the van is not Redman&rsquo;s primary vehicle, many people in Los Alamos have seen it.</p> <p> &ldquo;I drive this usually in the parades, so it is fairly well known around town and I was invited to come show it off today,&rdquo; Redman said on his involvement in the show.</p> New Mexico AG seeks to void Hispanic land grant transfer https://www.lamonitor.com/content/new-mexico-ag-seeks-void-hispanic-land-grant-transfer <p> ALBUQUERQUE (AP) &mdash; New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is seeking to void a 2003 land transfer from a historical Hispanic land grant on grounds it was illegal.</p> <p> Balderas announced Wednesday his office has filed a complaint against the Colorado-based nonprofit group Al Frente de Lucha over a title transfer of property belonging to La Merced de Los Pueblos de Tierra Amarilla in northern New Mexico.</p> <p> La Merced de Los Pueblos de Tierra Amarilla land grant was established in 1831 by Mexico to encourage ranchers to settle in the New Mexico territory. The Spanish government also made similar grants before 1821.</p> <p> A 2016 state audit found the La Merced board approved the sale of assets without board approval.</p> <p> Al Frente de Lucha did not immediately return an email from The Associated Press.<br /> &nbsp;</p> Authorities probing cyber attack against city of Alamogordo https://www.lamonitor.com/content/authorities-probing-cyber-attack-against-city-alamogordo <p> ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) &mdash; Authorities are investigating a possible cyber attack against the city of Alamogordo.</p> <p> The<em> Alamogordo Daily News</em> reports Alamogordo City Administration discovered that the city&#39;s finance department was the victim of the fraudulent emails after city finance employees were misled by official looking emails from a contractor.</p> <p> Officials say the fraudulent emails asked to make changes to account information that led to payments being redirected to a fraudulent vendor account.</p> <p> City Attorney Petria Schreiber says no resident&#39;s information was compromised or given out.</p> <p> Schreiber says city officials turned over the case to the police department, FBI and IRS.<br /> &nbsp;</p> County mulls budget options as Triad takes reins https://www.lamonitor.com/content/county-mulls-budget-options-triad-takes-reins <img src="https://www.lamonitor.com/sites/www.lamonitor.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/burgess__2.jpg" alt="County Manager Harry Burgess" title="County Manager Harry Burgess" align="left" hspace="6" width="57" height="85" /><p> Los Alamos County officials are hoping for the best but have already started preparing for the worst where the tax status of new Los Alamos National Laboratory management group Triad National Security, LLC, is concerned.</p> <p> Triad, after a four-month transition period, will take over full management and operational responsibility of LANL on Nov. 1.</p> <p> In the meantime, the county is still awaiting word on whether or not Triad will manage as a for-profit or not-for-profit entity, which will have a direct impact on the Los Alamos County budget following the transition period.</p> <p> Wednesday night, the county council met in special session to begin discussions on what, if any, items could be cut out of the budget in the event of a not-for-profit filing. The discussion contained a lot of speculation since the county has not yet received a solid indication of the tax status.</p> <p> &ldquo;We initially thought we would have more information by this date because it was after the notice to proceed was to be issued,&rdquo; said County Manager Harry Burgess. &ldquo;We&rsquo;d been told we would received that information once the notice had been issued and that&rsquo;s what we were banking on when we scheduled this meeting.&rdquo;</p> Public gets first tour Manhattan Project sites https://www.lamonitor.com/content/public-gets-first-tour-manhattan-project-sites <img src="https://www.lamonitor.com/sites/www.lamonitor.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/battleship_bunker1.jpg" alt="Built in 1944, the Battleship Bunker supported implosion diagnostic tests for the Fat Man bomb. The building is known as a battleship building because the bunker’s west end is bow-shaped and shielded with a steel plate. " title="Built in 1944, the Battleship Bunker supported implosion diagnostic tests for the Fat Man bomb. The building is known as a battleship building because the bunker’s west end is bow-shaped and shielded with a steel plate. " align="left" hspace="6" width="109" height="85" /><p> Submitted to the Monitor</p> <p> The U. S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration&rsquo;s Los Alamos Field Office and Los Alamos National Laboratory partnered with the U. S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, for a pilot tour of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Los Alamos Thursday and Friday as part of&nbsp; ScienceFest.</p> <p> &ldquo;I believe today&rsquo;s tour provided a meaningful experience to all the participants and we look forward to planning the next one,&rdquo; said Steve Goodrum, NNSA Los Alamos field office manager.</p> <p> The tours featured a visit to the Pond Cabin, which served as an office for Emilio Segr&egrave;&rsquo;s Radioactivity Group studying plutonium; a battleship bunker used to protect equipment and staff during implosion design explosives testing, and the Slotin Building, site of Louis Slotin&rsquo;s criticality accident.</p> <p> The sites became accessible to the public through guided tours. The sites are &ldquo;behind the fence,&rdquo; or on secure government property that is otherwise not accessible without security clearance.</p> <p> About 100 members of the public from around the nation were able to participate in the tours, which are the first of their kind at Los Alamos.</p>