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Environment

PEEC: Photographing Solar Eclipse Tuesday Aug. 1

on July 26, 2017 - 11:28am
Learn how to safely photograph one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights. Photo by Fraser Goff
 
PEEC News:
 
Want to make this year’s solar eclipse an experience to remember?
 
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, come to the Los Alamos Nature Center for an overview of the upcoming eclipse, followed by a fascinating photography tutorial.
 
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear from Rick Wallace and Fraser Goff about eclipse geometry, safe solar viewing, and more.

Interior Not Top-Heavy Enough To Relieve Field

on July 26, 2017 - 11:16am
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
 
DOI News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has repeatedly said he wants to fill growing staff shortfalls in national parks and refuges by moving employees from headquarters and regional offices to “front line” field positions.
 
But figures obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) indicate that there are not enough bodies in these agencies’ rear echelons to fill the gaps.
 
PEER looked at staffing in the National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) in 2007, late in George W.

DOE, Industry, Community Representatives To Join 2017 National Cleanup Workshop

on July 26, 2017 - 10:04am
DOE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Senior DOE officials, industry executives and community representatives from across the U.S. are set to participate in the 2017 National Cleanup Workshop, scheduled for Sept. 13-14 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia.
 
Planned participants include:
  • Jim Owendoff, Acting Assistant Energy Secretary for EM
  • Roger Jarrell, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy for EM
  • Stacy Charboneau, EM Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Field Operations
  • Ralph Holland, EM Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Project Management

Weekly Fishing Report: July 26

on July 26, 2017 - 9:50am
By GEORGE MORSE 
Sports and Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
The best stream fishing right now is in the upper Chama River above El Vado Lake.
 
The streamflows are holding up well so far this summer and have been above normal. About the only real drawback right now is that sometimes afternoon thunderstorms can muddy the water. The Chama River below El Vado Dam has also been fishing well and streamflows there have been at a very fishable 300 cubic-feet- per-second during the week. The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is still very murky and the fishing has been slow.
 
The streamflows

2017’s Best & Worst Places To Rent In America – WalletHub Study

on July 26, 2017 - 6:37am
WALLETHUB News:
 
With moving season reaching its peak and the number of severely cost-burdened renters declining from a record 11.4 million to 11.1 million today, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017’s Best & Worst Places to Rent in America.

To help prospective renters get the most bang for their buck, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 largest U.S. cities based on 21 key indicators of rental attractiveness and quality of life. The data set ranges from historical rental-price changes to cost of living to job market.

 
 
Best Cities for Renters
 

NMED To Administer $18 Million In Volkswagen Smog Device Software Settlement Funds

on July 26, 2017 - 4:22am
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE ― The state of New Mexico is slated to receive approximately $18 million in settlement funds following resolution of the Volkswagen smog device emissions scandal.  
 
The scandal involved embedded software in more than 500,000 vehicles' electronics that allowed Volkswagen’s cars to emit up to 40 times the legally allowed amount of nitrogen oxide while appearing in tests to be within the limit. 
 
The New Mexico Environment Department is named as the state’s lead agency for disbursing the approximately $18 million in settlement funds, most likely for projects that

Letter To The Editor: Pearce And Infrastructure Bill

on July 26, 2017 - 3:54am
By EDWARD BIRNBAUM
Los Alamos

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce claims, in a recent Los Alamos Daily Post news release (link), that his vote for H.R. 2910 is a vote for reducing the bureaucracy associated with approving construction of oil and gas pipelines. However, the dissent expressed by the Ranking Member on the Committee that considered this legislation, Frank Pallone, Jr., and the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Energy, Bobby L. Rush, summarized some important problems associated with the bill, which were ignored in Rep. Pearce's statement, as quoted below.

"H.R.

Letter To The Editor: Dangers Of Allowing Cats Outside

on July 26, 2017 - 3:11am
By TERESA CHAGRIN
Animal Care & Control Specialist
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Norfolk, VA

The recent case of rabies in a bat who was caught by a cat near Espanola is a reminder about the dangers that allowing cats outdoors poses to wildlife, humans, and the cats themselves (“Child cuddles rabid bat” link).

Cats who roam outdoors are exposed to a variety of dangerous contagious diseases that are also transmissible to humans, including rabies, plague, tularemia, and toxoplasmosis.

Update On Tuesday's Earthquake In Los Alamos

on July 26, 2017 - 3:11am

Staff Report

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s seismic network detected an extremely small earthquake at 10:32 a.m. Tuesday, according to spokesman Kevin Roark. The event did not have any impact on Laboratory operations and there were no reports of anyone feeling the earthquake on Laboratory property, he said.

“A Laboratory seismologist has calculated a preliminary ‘signal duration’ magnitude of 1.5 at a location about two kilometers west-northwest of the northwestern edge of the town of Los Alamos and at a depth less than one kilometer,” Roark said.

Small Earthquake Felt In Los Alamos

on July 25, 2017 - 12:39pm

Staff Report

Seismometers at Los Alamos National Laboratory recorded a small earthquake at around 10:23 a.m. today in the Los Alamos area, according to seismologist Peter Roberts. No information on the magnitude or the intensity of the quake will be available for two to three hours, Roberts said.

Roberts and his colleagues are gathering "felt reports" and have asked the community to email them describing what they felt as well as what time and at what street address they felt the activity. Emails may be sent to rekelley@lanl.gov or proberts@lanl.gov.

Residents are commenting on social

Bear And Cubs Spotted Near 35th And Arizona Today

on July 25, 2017 - 7:40am

This bear and her cubs were spotted at 6 a.m. today at 35th Street and Arizona Avenue. Photo by Stan Bodenstein

This bear and her cubs were spotted trying to reach bird seed at 6 a.m. today at 35th Street and Arizona Avenue. Photo by Stan Bodenstein

ESB Members Get The Dirt On Compost

on July 25, 2017 - 7:27am
Wastewater Treatment Plant Supervisor Jennifer Baca shows a pile of compost to County Councilor Pete Sheehey during a tour Environmental Sustainability Board members took July 20. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com 
 
Superintendent Jeff Ayers, far back, shows a piece of machinery that handles bio solids and squeezes out water from the solids. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com 
 
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
 

The composting operation at the wastewater treatment plant in Pueblo Canyon is not just environmentally friendly, it is

Daily Postcard: Quemazon Sky Resembles Painting

on July 25, 2017 - 7:07am

Daily Postcard: The evening sky looks like a painting in Quemazon. Photo by Dino Sgambellone

Child Cuddles Rabid Bat

on July 24, 2017 - 9:46pm

A 6-year-old girl holds a bat that a cat brought into her grandmother’s house. She cuddled and kissed it on its head and the bat was later found to be infected with rabies. She is undergoing treatment. Courtesy/Valley Daily Post
 
Staff Report
Valley Daily Post
  •  Cats, Bats and Rabies: What NOT to do When You Find a Bat 

Tiki is a beautiful young cat who lives 15 minutes north of Espanola and loves to go outside. He is colored like a Siamese but his soft hair and broad head make him stand out in the crowd. 

Early Thursday morning, a week ago Tiki went inside after a short time outside

Bear Spotted Peering Into Trash Bin On 46th Street

on July 24, 2017 - 8:38pm

This bear wandered over to a neighbor's trash bin at about 7:30 p.m. today on 46th Street and stood up to take a look inside. He appeared to hear the clicking of a phone camera and left the scene. Photo by Wendy Lott

Cow Fire Update: July 24

on July 24, 2017 - 8:29pm

SFNF News:

The Cow Fire on the Pecos Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest started by lightening striking a tree about 6 miles northeast of the village of Pecos near Cow Creek.

Current Situation: When the tree that was hit by lightning fell, fire started creeping slowly down the slopes. Since July 18, it has been backing up and burning through grasses and heavy fuels on the ground. 

The strategy is to let the Cow Fire treat those heavy fuels to mitigate the risk of future high-intensity wildfire.

NNSA Conducts Aerial Radiation Assessment Survey

on July 24, 2017 - 9:03am
NNSA News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration’s (DOE/NNSA) conducted a low-altitude helicopter flight over portions of the Arlington, Va., area July 22 to measure naturally occurring background radiation.
 
Officials from NNSA announced that the radiation assessment covers approximately three square miles. A twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter, operated by the Remote Sensing Laboratory Aerial Measuring System from Joint Base Andrews, was equipped with radiation sensing technology.
 
The helicopter flew in a grid pattern over the

Public Notice: Class 3 Permit Modification Request And Public Meeting, Settlement Agreement 10-01251

on July 24, 2017 - 8:26am

Public Notice:

Class 3 Permit Modification Request and Public Meeting, Settlement Agreement 10-01251

Los Alamos National Laboratory Hazardous Waste Facility Permit, EPA ID No. NM0890010515

Activity: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), have submitted a Class 3 permit modification request to modify the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Hazardous Waste Facility Permit.

NOAA’s Climate.Gov: Natural Wetlands, Tropical Agriculture Cause Methane Increases, Not Oil And Gas

on July 24, 2017 - 7:59am
Courtesy/NOAA
 
NOAA News:
 
“Agricultural and wetland emissions” from the planet’s tropical areas, not oil and gas activities in the United States, are more than likely responsible for a post-2007 global increase in methane levels, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate.gov.
 
But regulating or mitigating those methane sources could be difficult or impossible.
 
“Both of the likely contenders for the recent increase in emissions could be tricky to mitigate,” wrote Climate.gov’s Rebecca Lindsey and Michon Scott.

Bear Spotted Relaxing In Los Alamos Neighborhood

on July 23, 2017 - 12:55pm

This bear spotted Wednesday relaxing in the grass at a residence in the Chamisa Street area is the same bear that tore apart a suet feeder last month in that same neighborhood. Photo by Don DuBois

SFNF Update: Peggy Fire On Jemez Ranger District

on July 23, 2017 - 9:15am

SFNF News:

Here is the latest update on the Peggy Fire burning on the Peggy Mesa, approximately two miles northwest of the Gilman Tunnels on the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest:

Start Date: July 18, 2017

Cause: Lightning struck a single standing dead tree. The fire subsequently spread into surrounding dead and down timber and brush.

Size: 147 acres

Location: Peggy Mesa, approximately 2 miles northwest of the Gilman Tunnels on the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest

Vegetation: Piñon pines, juniper, ponderosa pine and oak scrub brush

Current

Scenes From Valles Caldera Birthday Bash Saturday

on July 23, 2017 - 8:18am

 

The Valles Caldera National Preserve wore all her finery for her Birthday Bash Saturday. The Preserve celebrated its 17th birthday and 10-year partnership with Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, the preserve’s official friends group. Photo by Maire O'Neill/ladailypost.com

A volunteer from Hawks Aloft holds a Western screech owl at Saturday's Valles Caldera Birthday Bash. Photo by Maire O'Neill/ladailypost.com

Board members of Los Amigos de Valles Caldera gather for Saturday's ribbon cutting for their new store.

NNSA Spearheads International Effort To Convert Ghana Reactor To Low Enriched Uranium Fuel

on July 23, 2017 - 7:51am
NNSA in Washington, D.C. Courtesy/NNSA
 
NNSA News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  A team of experts from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, the International Atomic Energy Agency, China and Ghana completed the conversion of Ghana’s GHARR-1 Miniature Neutron Source Reactor from highly enriched uranium to low enriched uranium fuel July 13.
 
These reactor conversions allow important research to continue while enabling the removal and disposal of HEU fuel, eliminating the risk that this weapons-usable material could be stolen or diverted for malevolent use. 

DOE Renews WIPP CSG Cooperative Agreement

on July 23, 2017 - 7:16am
DOE News:
 
CARLSBAD  The Department of Energy's Carlsbad Field Office renewed a cooperative agreement with the Council of State Governments (CSG) - Midwestern Region for oversight of transportation of transuranic waste through Midwestern states to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).
 
The cooperative agreement is for five-years with an estimated cost of approximately $1.4 million.
 
Through the cooperative agreement DOE provides funding to the CSG- Midwestern Region to address issues of common concern among the Midwestern states to include transportation of radioactive TRU waste

Opera And Rainbows

on July 22, 2017 - 7:48am

A pre-opera shower and rainbow show delighted patrons Friday evening before the performance of Lucia de Lammermoor. Photo by Nancy Ann Hibbs

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