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Among Our Distant Cousins: An Extinct Pig-Turtle With Tusks

on February 23, 2017 - 5:01pm
Christian Kammerer is a paleontologist at the Museum fur Naturkunde (Museum of Natural History) in Berlin, studies mass extinctions and the ancestors of mammals. The photo was taken with a timer in the Paleontological Institute in Moscow while he was examining fossils of mammal-related ancestors from the Ural Mountains. Courtesy photo
 
Artist’s recreation of Bulbasaurus by M. Celeskey. Courtesy image

By ROGER SNODGRASS
Los Alamos Daily Post

Naturalists worry about endangered species and the threat of a sixth great extinction in the contemporary world, which some fear might sweep our own

World Futures: What Do We Need? STUFF - Infinite Recycling

on February 23, 2017 - 4:58pm

By ANDY ANDREWS
Los Alamos World Futures Institute

In our world today there is much concern about recycling of materials that have been assembled with energy to create something for use by humanity.  

Referring to the Plass table shown in column 2, note that decay and respiration add CO2 to the atmosphere. It can be argued that this is essentially the recycling of organic, carbon-based materials readying them for reconstruction via photosynthesis. Essentially solar recycling of formerly living materials – it is organic.

But what about non-organic materials?

State Senate Unanimously Confirms Butch Tongate Secretary Of New Mexico Environment Department

on February 23, 2017 - 4:51pm
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE — Secretary Designate Butch Tongate has been confirmed unanimously by the Senate as Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department.
 
Tongate, who has worked at the Environment Department since 1993, was appointed Deputy Secretary in 2011.
 
“I’m proud to have Butch lead this department, which is so important to present and future generations of New Mexicans,” Gov. Susana Martinez said.

Professor Emerita Denise Fort: How Can U.S. Retain Scientific Leadership In Environmental Protection?

on February 23, 2017 - 7:27am
By DENISE D. FORT
Professor Emerita UNM School of Law
Former director, NM Environmental Improvement Division
 
The upheaval in Washington, D.C. that is occurring now has one surprising objective - the discrediting of scientists. Science is under attack in numerous ways.
 
The assertion that climate change is a Chinese hoax was bad enough. Now the Administration has nominated a climate denier to head the EPA, taken down web pages that inform the public about agency work, and threatened to slash funding at EPA.
 
The threat comes from the Congress as well; 114 representatives have

Daily Postcard: Dramatic Scene At Nightfall

on February 23, 2017 - 6:53am

Daily Postcard: A dramatic picture emerges Wednesday as night falls on Los Alamos. Photo by Carl Newton

LANL: Science Versus ‘Horatio Alger Myth’

on February 22, 2017 - 9:43am

LANL News:
  • Physicists use condensed matter theory to explore whether personal initiative can overcome frustration and create more equality

In a new study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have taken a condensed matter physics concept usually applied to the way substances such as ice freeze, called “frustration,” and applied it to a simple social network model of frustrated components. They show that inequality of wealth can emerge spontaneously and more equality can be gained by pure initiative.

It’s a computer-modeling exploration of the

Heinrich Rallies For Wind Power

on February 21, 2017 - 5:48pm
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, joined energy leaders to advocate for wind power and showcase New Mexico’s potential to be at the epicenter of America's clean energy economy.
 
The event, organized by the American Wind Energy Association, emphasized the economic power of wind. Last year, wind energy passed hydro as the nation’s leading source of renewable energy. Wind energy is also the nation's fourth-largest electricity generation source.
 
In his

Ice Rink Closes For Season At 5 p.m. Today

on February 21, 2017 - 3:20pm

Illustration of a meltng ice rink. Courtesy image

COUNTY News:

Due to the warm and sunny weather of late, the Los Alamos County Ice Rink is closing today for the season.

Public skating will run until 5 p.m. today and then the 2016-2017 Ice Rink season will be over. Staff will be working at the Rink over the next couple of weeks taking out the ice and preparing the facility for spring and summer activities.

Direct questions to the PROS Administrative Offices at 505.662.8170.

Daily Postcard: Sun Sets On Upper Frijoles Canyon

on February 21, 2017 - 6:52am

Daily Postcard: Thick cloud cover forms a smooth backdrop to the setting sun Saturday evening looking across upper Frijoles Canyon toward Peralta Ridge. Photo by Marc Bailey

Nature Center Planetarium Line-up For Feb. 24-26

on February 20, 2017 - 7:54am

PEEC News:

How do we know the Universe is expanding and how long ago the Universe began? Dr. Rick Wallace will lead a discussion and exploration of the age of the Universe and distances between galaxies, Friday, Feb. 24.

This journey starts at 7 p.m. in the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium and is the second show in a series about astronomical measurements.

Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25 and 26, Mysteries of the Unseen World, a film that uncovers what is normally too fast, too slow, too small or outside the visible spectrum, will play at 2 p.m. in the planetarium.

For more

Daily Postcard: Sunrise Breaks Through Low Clouds

on February 20, 2017 - 6:45am

Daily Postcard: Sun begins to appear through low lying clouds this morning in White Rock. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Daily Postcard: Sunrise Lights Up Los Alamos

on February 18, 2017 - 6:03am

Daily Postcard: Friday's Sunrise sends a fiery glow across the Los Alamos sky. Photo by Marc Bailey

It's Not Dust, It's Not Smoke, It's Allergy Season!

on February 17, 2017 - 5:59am

Juniper tree pollen explosions Feb. 10 near Nogal, NM. Photo by Hollis Fuchs

Photo by Hollis Fuchs

Photo by Hollis Fuchs

Sipapu Ski Resort Hosts Popular Family Event

on February 16, 2017 - 10:12pm
Courtesy/Sipapu Ski Resort
 
SKI News:
 
VADITO   Sipapu Ski Resort hosts its annual President’s Day weekend celebration, February Fun Fest! 
 
It’s Sipapu’s most popular free family event, Feb. 18-20, which includes a giant snow castle, costume contest and parade, mountain-wide treasure hunt, games, prizes and more!
 
“February Fun Fest and our trademark snow castle is just another way that Sipapu shows its commitment to families. It’s a free event that our founding family, the Bolanders, started years ago.

House Committee Shuts Window On Solar

on February 16, 2017 - 3:50pm
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE House Republicans voted Thursday against House Bill 193 in the House Business and Industry Committee along a partisan 5-5 vote.
 
HB 193 would have made permanent and expanded New Mexico’s investment in solar energy, creating jobs and diversifying the state’s economy at a time when its over reliance on oil and gas has left us in a deep financial crisis.

WIPP Releases Preliminary Shipping Estimates

on February 16, 2017 - 3:33pm
WIPP News:
 
The Department of Energy (DOE) has developed estimates for the resumption of shipments of transuranic (TRU) waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) over the next 12 months. 
 
Shipments are expected to be made during that time from Idaho, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, the Savannah River Site, and Waste Control Specialists.
 
Shipments of TRU waste from generator sites across the U.S. are expected to commence in April.

Council Approves Brush & Bulk Collection Changes

on February 16, 2017 - 9:47am

From left, Environmental Sustainability Board Chair John Bliss, Environmental Services Manager Angelica Gurule and Public Works Director Philo Shelton answer Council questions about the board's recommendation for the brush and bulk collection program during Tuesday's meeting. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com

 

By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post

During its meeting Tuesday night, the Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved changing the way brush and bulk items are collected in this community.

Council approved the Environmental Sustainability Board's (ESB)

Legislation To Add Solar Power On State Buildings Passes Key Senate Committee

on February 16, 2017 - 7:22am
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  The Senate Conservation Committee Feb. 14 voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 227, a bill that would require the State to utilize solar power on its 750 buildings so long as it would “provide a net savings on utility costs and not require any upfront costs.” Sen. Jeff Steinborn (D- 36-Dona Ana), the sponsor of SB 227, said the move would be a huge win-win opportunity for the state of New Mexico.
 
“By harnessing our abundant solar resources on state buildings, we would not only save taxpayers potentially millions of dollars of utility costs over time, but also

Help Sought For Care Of Injured Red-tailed Hawks

on February 16, 2017 - 6:48am

Red-tailed hawks. Courtesy/LEWF

LEWF News:

Cottonwood Rehab is in need of help from the Los Alamos community for the care of four injured red-tailed hawks that arrived at Cottonwood Rehab in the last three weeks.

Dr. Kathleen Ramsay is caring for two of the hawks at her home under intensive care. The other two hawks have graduated to outdoor cages. The cost of rehabbing these raptors is around $15/day for food and medication. With a normal rehab time table of about three months, Cottonwood Rehab needs $1,000 to $1,500 to get these hawks back into the wild.

To help, visit

LANL Hosts Public Meeting At Fuller Lodge March 8

on February 15, 2017 - 4:12pm

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory will hold a public meeting 5:30-7:30 p.m., March 8 at Fuller Lodge, 2132 Central Ave., in Los Alamos.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide information on a hazardous waste permit modification request to add storage units at Technical Area 55 at the Laboratory.

The proposed permit modification is available for public review weekdays 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the New Mexico Environment Department – Hazardous Waste Bureau, 2905 Rodeo Park Drive East, Building 1, in Santa Fe.

Copies also are available at the Los Alamos Hardcopy Public Reading Room 9

Two Guided Snowshoe Hikes In VCNP This Month

on February 15, 2017 - 7:06am
In January, snowshoers visited a historic building and observed the elegant frozen landscape in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Photo by Jonathan Creel
 
PEEC News:
 
The Valles Caldera is coated in snow and open for people to explore its frozen beauty.
 
Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is working with the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VALL) to offer educational, family-friendly, hikes this winter.
 
The next hike is 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, and will be led by a VALL ranger and a PEEC representative.

Ice Melts As Season Draws To Close At Local Rink

on February 14, 2017 - 4:47pm

As the days grow warmer the ice is beginning to melt at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink. This happens each year around this time explains Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division Manager Chris Wilson. The rink typically closes for the season near the Presidents Day weekend or the week after. 'The user groups work with us very well this time of year. It is always safety first certainly, and sometimes we reschedule activities for later in the day as needed,' Wilson said. Photo by James Chrobocinski

Los Alamos ice rink. Photo by James Chrobocinski

Los Alamos ice rink.

History Of Cosmic Distance Measurements And Black Holes At Nature Center Planetarium This Weekend

on February 14, 2017 - 10:36am
 
PEEC News:
 
How do we know how far away the Sun is, or the stars?
 
Dr. Paul Arendt will discuss answers to this and other questions and explore the history of cosmic distance at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 17, in the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium.
 
This is the first show in a two-part series exploring the cosmic distance scale and the age of the Universe. The second show in this series is the following Friday, Feb. 24, where Dr. Rick Wallace continue the journey started by Dr. Paul Arendt in a show called Aging the Universe.
 
The film Black Holes will take attendees on a

Environmental Sustainability Board Presents Brush/Bulk Recommendations To Council 6 p.m. Today

on February 14, 2017 - 6:52am

COUNTY News:

The Environmental Sustainability Board is presenting its recommendation for the Brush/Bulk Item quarterly collection program to the Los Alamos County Council at the 6 p.m. Council meeting today in Council Chambers.

The members of the ESB and staff from Los Alamos County Environmental Services spent more than a year collecting data and community input to put this proposal together for the County Council to review.

The intent of this plan is to satisfy the challenges presented to the ESB board, while addressing concerns about the current program and its future.

The meeting is

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