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Hilltalkers Excel at National Tournament

on July 1, 2013 - 3:35pm

Members of the Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers. Photo by Margo Batha

Speech and debate awards announced. Photo by Margo Batha

LAPS News:

Seven Los Alamos High School speech and debate students traveled to the National Forensic League National Tournament June 16-21 in Birmingham, Ala.

The group consisted of Daniel Ahrens, Antonia Batha, Sam Baty, Ali Berl, Naftali Burakovsky, Katie Haynes and Jessie Zhao. Margo Batha and Janet Newton, who coach the speech and debate team, stated this was the Hilltalkers “most successful national tournament since 2003.”

Katie Haynes competed in six

Luján Addresses Doubling of Student Loan Rates

on July 1, 2013 - 12:39pm

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján


WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District released the following statement today on the doubling of interest rates on federal student loans.

"As of today, the interest rates on all new federal student loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, adding thousands of dollars to the cost of a college education for millions of young adults.

Mountain Lion Visits Backyard Habitat in Los Alamos

on July 1, 2013 - 12:13pm

A mountain lion drinks water from a local backyard habitat. Over the last year, Hari Viswanathan setup a camera trap to observe the critters visiting his parent's pond on Barranca Mesa in Los Alamos. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) took notice of the amazing variety of wildlife visiting Selvi Viswanathan's NWF Certified Backyard Habitat and asked Hari to write an article about it. Here is the article that describes the history of Selvi's Certified Backyard Habitat, with links to certifying your own yard, and preventing problematic wildlife encounters:

NM Governor Addresses Arizona Firefighter Deaths

on July 1, 2013 - 11:56am



Albuquerque - New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez released the following statement this morning about the tragic deaths of Arizona Hotshot Firefighters this weekend in the Yarnell Hill Fire in Central Arizona:


"I was saddened to hear the news about the deaths of 19 wildland firefighters in Arizona, members of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, based in Prescott. They were killed when the wind suddenly shifted as they fought the fast-moving Yarnell Hill Fire, sparked by lightning.


"For New Mexicans, this news hits especially close to home because just a few short weeks ago,

NNSA Announces Selection of Centers of Excellence for Academic Computational Science Partnerships

on July 1, 2013 - 9:25am

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced the selection of its six new centers of excellence whose primary focus will be on the emerging field of predictive science.

Six universities were selected either as a Multidisciplinary Simulation Center (MSC) or as a Single-Discipline Center (SDC). The MSCs will receive $3.2 million and the SDCs will receive $1.6 million each year for five years under NNSA’s Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program II (PSAAP II) agreement. The six universities include:

  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City,

Congressional Delegation Seeks to Help New Mexicans with Genetic Brain Disorder

on July 1, 2013 - 9:11am
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The New Mexico Congressional Delegation has introduced legislation to expand needed research, treatment and education efforts related to Cerebral Cavernous Malformation (CCM), a relatively unknown disorder of the brain and spinal cord more common among New Mexico Hispanics than any other group.
The Cavernous Angioma Research and Treatment Act would build upon an existing network of clinical and research labs to increase coordination, information sharing and awareness about the disease for both professional and patient education.

Bandelier Weekly Nightwalks in Frijoles Canyon Begin July 5

on July 1, 2013 - 8:01am

Frijoles Canyon. Courtesy/NPS


Starting Friday, July 5, Bandelier National Monument will be offering the popular Nightwalks each week (weather permitting) until the end of August.
"The Nightwalk is a very beautiful, timeless, and unusual experience, walking silently with a ranger in the dark in Frijoles Canyon" Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott said. "We encourage visitors to take the Main Loop Trail in the daytime to learn about the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived here, and then come back in the evening to see their homes in a very different way."
Numbers of

Los Alamos Gymnastics Coach Loui Janecky Elected to National Board

on June 30, 2013 - 8:38am

Louise (Loui) Janecky. Courtesy photo


Louise Janecky, known as Loui by the gymnastics families of Los Alamos, has been elected by acclamation to the USAGymnastics’ newly formed National Xcel Committee.

USAGymnastics, the national governing body for gymnastics, is addressing the nation’s need for a competitive gymnastics program that goes beyond the traditional Junior Olympic (JO) Program. The traditional linear JO program has consisted of compulsory routines in Levels 1-6; and optional, individually choreographed routines in Levels 7-10.

The U.S.

Udall Stands Up for N.M. in Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

on June 29, 2013 - 7:55am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

WASHINGTON –U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., joined the Senate Appropriations Committee in approving a bill that includes significant support for important New Mexico installations and programs, including Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and New Mexico water projects Thursday.

The bill includes record-level base funding for waste cleanup at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and significant funding levels for WIPP operations and maintenance.

Three Funding Opportunities in Engineering Research

on June 28, 2013 - 8:21am

NIST News:

Funding opportunities for research in the areas of disaster-resilient buildings and communities, sustainable construction and manufacturing, and "smart" firefighting have been announced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST.)

NIST anticipates selecting one project on each topic and awarding about $300,000 per project. Electronic applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, July 25, 2013. The deadline for paper applications is 5 p.m., Eastern Time, July 25, 2013.

NIST's Engineering Laboratory seeks proposals in the following areas:

Luján: With Only a Few Days Left until Interest Rates Double on Student Loans, It’s Time for Congress to Act

on June 28, 2013 - 7:43am


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District voted today to bring up legislation to address the increase in interest rates on student loans that is scheduled to occur on July 1.

With only five days to go until rates double, Luján joined with all his Democratic colleagues in an attempt to immediately bring legislation to the floor that would freeze rates at 3.4 percent for the next two years. Not one Republican voted with Democrats to bring up the legislation, blocking the effort.

“House Republicans have passed a bill that is a

Thompson Ridge Fire 95 Percent Contained ... 3 Percent Sustained High Intensity Burn

on June 27, 2013 - 10:15am

Initial Burn Severity Map for Thompson Ridge Fire. Courtesy/BAER

JEMEZ SPRINGS – Thompson Ridge BAER specialists recently completed their field surveys and are finalizing their analysis and findings.

The hydrologists and soils scientists finished their modeling for predicted post-fire water run-off and erosion levels.

The BAER team identified critical values-at-risk and is finalizing their recommended emergency stabilization actions and treatments for these values that will be included in their BAER assessment report along with their data, analysis, and findings.

Bandelier Hosting July 4 Naturalization Ceremony

on June 26, 2013 - 11:38am


Last year's July 4 Naturalization Ceremony at Bandelier. Photo by Salvador Zapien/ 


July 4th is traditionally the day when Americans celebrate our freedom and independence.

This year, building on the success of last year's ceremony, Bandelier National Monument is proud to partner with the United States Citizenship and Naturalization Services to host a naturalization ceremony.

Fifteen candidates, after years of fulfilling their requirements, will be taking their oath and becoming the newest citizens of the United States.

Udall Statement on Supreme Court Decision on Defense of Marriage Act

on June 26, 2013 - 10:06am
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall today issued the following statement the Supreme Court's decision to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):
"Today's ruling by the Supreme Court reflects the growing progress made for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals around the country. Striking down the Defense of Marriage Act is a victory for thousands of loving, committed families who have been denied equality under the law for too long and will now be rightly treated as the full and equal citizens they are.
"I was proud to support legislation

Senate Appropriations Passes $148 Million for NM Military Construction Projects

on June 25, 2013 - 8:34am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced Monday that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved funding for essential military construction projects for New Mexico's Air Force bases and provisions to improve veteran care.

"Our nation's military readiness relies on the quality of our people, their equipment, and our facilities.

Thompson Ridge Fire Update

on June 25, 2013 - 7:41am

Smoldering Areas of the Thompson Ridge Fire. Courtesy U.S. Forest Service

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,937; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed power line; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 90 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 3 crews, 6 engines, 5 water tenders, 1 dozer; Total personnel: 170 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: Acreage on the Thompson Ridge Fire increased by 18 acres according to last night’s infra-red flight.

Los Alamos Soldier Injured in Afghanistan

on June 24, 2013 - 9:09am

Micah Jay Andersen of Los Alamos during a ceremony in Afghanistan in which he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. Courtesy photo


On June 1, 2013, First Lieutenant Micah Jay Andersen formerly of Los Alamos was severely injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) while leading his platoon on a mission near Kandahar Afghanistan. 

Andersen lost both legs above the knees. One soldier was killed and six others injured in the attack that included multiple IEDs. Andersen was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored

Udall Meets With Local Supporters

on June 24, 2013 - 7:21am

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., shown here with Los Alamos resident Karyl Ann Armbruster and Dist. 46 Rep. Carl Trujillo, answered questions during a gathering at a Santa Fe home Sunday on topics such as national security, the immigration bill and Syria asked by a group of supporters from Los Alamos and Santa Fe. Courtesy photo

Great Back Yard Campers View the Moon

on June 23, 2013 - 7:55am

Jim Foxx is helping kids look through a telescope at Saturday's Great Back Yard Campout at Overlook Park in White Rock. Photo by Katy Korkos

Thompson Ridge Fire: Today Marks Entire Week With No Perimeter Growth

on June 21, 2013 - 12:29pm

Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,903; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed power line; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 90 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 3 crews, 6 engines, 4 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 174 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: Today marks an entire week with no new perimeter growth in the fire. Most of the activity continues to be within the interior of the fire where unburned fuels continue to smolder and burn.

Udall Pushes for Immigration Reform

on June 21, 2013 - 9:52am

Senator Tom Udall


WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a speech on the Senate floor Thursday, U.S. Sen. Tom highlighted the Senate's imperative to pass a long term, comprehensive solution to fix our nation's immigration system and improve New Mexico's border security.

"Immigration reform has to be comprehensive, that is the reality of any long-term solution," Udall said. "It is also a reality that such reform will not be perfect, will not satisfy everyone in every case. That’s what compromise means, that’s what bipartisan effort requires.

Today's Weather May Create Smoke Plumes From Thompson Ridge Fire

on June 20, 2013 - 10:59am

Smoke plume from the Thompson Ridge Fire June 8 looking west from Los Alamos toward the Jemez. Photo by Leland Lehman/

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,903; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed power line; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 90 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 4 crews, 11 engines, 4 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 235 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: There has been no new perimeter growth in several days.

Great American Backyard Campout Saturday at Bandelier

on June 20, 2013 - 9:53am
Juniper Campground at Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy/NPS


Thousands of people around the nation will gather to take part in a one-night event called the "Great American Backyard Campout" Saturday, June 22. 

Join the staff at Bandelier National Monument for food and fun activities 6-9 p.m. at Juniper Campground. Visitors are encouraged to camp in Juniper Campground or arrive just to participate in the event. 

Activities include:

  • 6-7 p.m. – Did you say free food? Hot dogs, chips and beverages will be grilled by monument staff and offered free of charge.

No Perimeter Growth on Thompson Ridge Fire Overnight

on June 19, 2013 - 11:14am

Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera

Thompson Ridge Fire News:

Acres: 23,903; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed power line; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 90 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 6 crews, 11 engines, 5 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 276 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: There was no new perimeter growth yesterday as unburned fuels within the interior continued to smolder and burn. Today crews will continue mop up, patrol and rehab on all divisions of the fire.

Udall Introduces Constitutional Amendment on Campaign Finance Reform

on June 19, 2013 - 7:38am
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall today introduced a constitutional amendment that would restore authority back to Congress, individual states and the American people to regulate campaign finance.
The constitutional amendment would reverse dangerous Supreme Court decisions like Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United and rein in the unprecedented flood of secret money in the campaign finance system.