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DEA Publishing Final Rule Rescheduling Hydrocodone Combination Products

on August 22, 2014 - 9:02am

DEA News:

U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will publish in the Federal Register the Final Rule moving hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from Schedule III to the more-restrictive Schedule II, as recommended by the Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and as supported by the DEA’s own evaluation of relevant data Aug. 22.

The Federal Register has made the Final Rule available for preview on its website at http://go.usa.gov/mc8d. This Final Rule imposes the regulatory controls and sanctions applicable to Schedule II

Former Los Alamos National Laboratory Worker Sentenced for Violating Atomic Energy Act Violations

on August 21, 2014 - 11:35am

Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni and Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni. Courtesy photo

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE—The Justice Department today announced that a former contract employee at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) was sentenced this morning for conspiring to violate the Atomic Energy Act by communicating classified nuclear weapons data to a person believed to be a Venezuelan government official, and making false statements to the FBI.

Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, 71, of Los Alamos was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William P.

Energy Department Invests $67 Million to Advance Nuclear Technology

on August 20, 2014 - 11:30am

DOE News:

WASHINGTON – Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and the Administration’s efforts to expand clean energy innovation, the Energy Department announced today nearly $67 million in nuclear energy research and infrastructure enhancement awards.

Eighty-three projects were selected from across the country based on their potential to create scientific breakthroughs that both help strengthen the nation’s energy security and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Department’s support for cutting-edge nuclear science and engineering across our universities, national

WIPP Modifies Underground Entry Requirements

on August 20, 2014 - 10:08am

WIPP News:

Entries into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) underground facility are becoming more frequent, a sign that recovery efforts are progressing.

Recently, radiological control personnel began conducting the surveys and sampling necessary to reclassify areas in the underground facility from areas of potential airborne contamination to radiological buffer areas. A buffer area is an uncontaminated area immediately adjacent to the contaminated area and is usually located at the exit or entrance point of the contamination zone.

The initial areas being surveyed, sampled and

U.S. Ranks Second in Installed Capacity in the World in Wind Energy

on August 18, 2014 - 9:00am

DOE News:

The U.S. continues to be a global leader in wind energy, ranking second in installed capacity in the world, according to two reports released by the Department of Energy.

Wind power is a key component of the nation’s all-of-the-above strategy to reduce carbon pollution, diversify our energy economy, and bring innovative technologies on line. With increasing wind energy generation and decreasing prices of wind energy technologies, the U.S. wind energy market remains strong and the U.S.

Video: DOE Secretary at Special WIPP Town Hall Meeting

on August 17, 2014 - 11:48am

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Sen. Tom Udall, Sen. Martin Heinrich, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce and New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn visited Carlsbad earlier this week, participating in a town hall meeting and an all-employee meeting at the WIPP site. They also toured the above ground portions of the WIPP facility. Photos and a link to a video of the town hall meeting can be viewed at http://www.wipp.energy.gov/wipprecovery/photo_video.html. PrintScreen photo/WIPP video

PrintScreen photo/WIPP video

DOE Secretary Addresses Employees At WIPP

on August 13, 2014 - 10:12am

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz addresses employees Tuesday at WIPP. Also on hand were DOE Deputy Under Secretary David M. Klaus for Management and Performance, second from left, and U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

This week, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz visited Carlsbad to tour the site and see firsthand the recovery efforts underway at the WIPP facility. In addition to meeting with local officials, Moniz spoke to area residents about WIPP recovery efforts at a town hall meeting, which also included Sen. Tom Udall, Sen.

Udall, Heinrich Host Energy Secretary at WIPP

on August 12, 2014 - 4:31pm

U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich host Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at WIPP. Courtesy photo
CARLSBAD - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for an "all hands" employee meeting and surface tour of the site. Moniz and the senators also attended a townhall with Carlsbad residents on Monday evening.
 
WIPP operations have been halted since the radiation release at WIPP earlier this year. Following the release, Udall, Heinrich and U.S. Rep.

NM Congressional Delegation Calls For Increased Oversight of State's Human Services Department; Greater Access To Behavioral Health Services

on August 12, 2014 - 7:51am

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell

STATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham wrote a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell requesting increased oversight of New Mexico Human Services Department to ensure New Mexicans in greatest need of behavioral health services are able to access care. 

In 2013, HSD suspended Medicaid payments to 15 nonprofit behavioral health providers due to so-called "credible allegations of fraud." This led to the closure and

American Actor/Comedian Robin Williams Has Died

on August 12, 2014 - 6:28am

Robin Williams 1951-2014. Courtesy/robinwilliams.com

Staff Report:

Actor and comedian Robin Williams died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63 and according to authorities, had been battling severe depression for some time.

Williams rose to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy. He went on to establish a successful career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting and earned an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Good Will Hunting.

Born: July 21, 1951, Chicago, IL

Died: Aug. 11, 2014, Tiburon, Calif.

Children: Zelda Rae Williams,

Tags: 

FDA Authorizes Use of Unapproved Ebola Virus Test

on August 11, 2014 - 8:24am

2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa - Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Courtesy/CDC

HSNW News:

As Ebola continues to spread throughout West Africa, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the use of an unapproved Ebola virus test developed by the Department of Defense for use in individuals, including U.S. military personnel and responders, who may be at risk of infection because of their work with individuals who might have the virus.

“Specifically, the test is intended for use in individuals with signs and symptoms of infection with Ebola Zaire virus, who are at

DOE's Lab Accreditation Program Assesses WIPP

on August 9, 2014 - 7:18am

WIPP News:

The U.S. Department of Energy Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP) recently conducted an assessment of the WIPP external dosimetry program.

The external dosimetry program is responsible for measuring and tracking external dose received from ionizing radiation. The purpose of the assessment was to assure routine practices comply with required criteria set forth by DOELAP. The three main kinds of ionizing radiation are alpha particles (internal hazard), beta particles and gamma rays.

The overall assessment resulted in no deficiencies, three concerns and four observations,

Udall, Energy Secretary Discuss Technology Transfer and Economic Development Aug. 11

on August 8, 2014 - 10:10am

U.S. SENATE News:

ALBUQUERQUE - Monday, Aug. 11, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will visit HT Micro in Albuquerque, a business that exemplifies the successful transfer of technology from New Mexico's national labs into the marketplace.
 
HT Micro is a leading manufacturer of ultra miniature switches, sensors and precision components. Udall and Moniz will tour the company's facility, and meet with its founder, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Todd Christenson to discuss the importance of technology transfer and economic development in New Mexico. 
 

Two Sandia Researchers Win Nation’s Most Prestigious 'Early Career' Awards

on August 8, 2014 - 7:29am

Recipients of the PECASE. Courtesy/whitehouse.gov

SNL News:

Of eight DOE researchers selected to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), two were researchers at Sandia National Laboratories.

The awards, presented at a White House ceremony in mid-December, are the U.S. government’s most prestigious commendation for scientists and engineers at early stages in their career. PECASE winners — this year, there were 67 — receive up to five years of funding from their agency to advance their research.

Sandia researchers Wei Pan and Bert Debusschere were

A Measure of Worth?

on August 6, 2014 - 9:41am
By KELLEY BAER, IBCLC, RLC, LCCE
Pajarito Lactation  

True confession. I fed my babies formula - at least for a little while.

There. It's out in the open. And guess what? I feel no shame. 

It's World Breastfeeding Week and the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force, Los Alamos Chapter, is highlighting community support for breastfeeding. However, sometimes highlighting an issue can trigger strong emotions.  

World Breastfeeding Week, including the Ban the Bags campaign, is meant to protect and promote breastfeeding as a healthy choice for mom and baby.

DOE Secretary Visits WIPP Aug. 12

on August 6, 2014 - 8:18am
Sec. Moniz. Courtesy/wikipedia.com
 
STATE News:
 
Energy Sec. Ernest Moniz will host several meetings on the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) and visit the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad this month.
 
Friday, Aug. 8, Moniz will join other federal and local officials, including Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx for two public meetings to receive public input on the QER, an administration-wide effort to make recommendations regarding key infrastructure needed for transmission, storage and distribution of energy.
 
In Chicago, the discussion will focus on rail, truck and barge

USDA Increasing Investment Opportunities In Rural America For Private Entities

on August 6, 2014 - 8:11am

USDA News:

Recently the White House Rural Council, chaired by the United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, announced the creation of a new U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund to allow private entities to invest in rural infrastructure projects across the nation. 

Ten billion dollars have been pledged to start the Fund and it expects to grow with additional funds. Co Bank, a national cooperative bank serving rural America, is the anchor investor and Capital Peak Asset Management will manage the new fund.

With assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture

Luján: House GOP Wants to Weaken Protections for Kids Fleeing Human Trafficking & Go After DREAMers

on August 5, 2014 - 9:15am

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján

CONGRESSIONAL News:

Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District and first vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) joined members of the House Democratic Leadership and CHC at a press conference in the Capitol. 

Luján discussed House Republicans' attempts to weaken human trafficking laws and DREAMer protections as part of legislation addressing the humanitarian crisis at the border.  Below are his remarks. 

"Yesterday we saw a House Republican conference that was in disarray because Ted Cruz and a sizable number of their members were not

WIC: More Than Milk And Cheese

on August 5, 2014 - 9:04am
By ERICA ARCHULETA, MEd
Santa Fe WIC Supervisor
Los Alamos Breastfeeding Taskforce Member

WIC is an acronym visible throughout America including the aisles of the new Smith’s Marketplace, however it is an acronym that tends to be underestimated or thought of as the milk and cheese program. 

WIC is far more than milk and cheese, and as we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week it is important to recognize the contributions the WIC program has made over the years and continues to make every day to breastfeeding women throughout America, New Mexico and Los Alamos County. 

Formally established

Senators: WIPP's Missed Inspections 'Unacceptable'

on August 5, 2014 - 8:47am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced Monday that the Department of Labor has responded to their March request for an explanation detailing why the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) failed to conduct legally required regular safety inspections at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

The senators asked for the information after an investigation into a February truck fire at WIPP revealed that MSHA had done only two inspections during the three years before the accident.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

A

Sen. Al Franken Attends Democratic Campaign Headquarters Opening Event in Santa Fe Saturday

on August 4, 2014 - 9:52am
Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard of Los Alamos introduces Sen. Tom Udall to a crowd of several hundred at Saturday's opening of the Democratic Campaign Headquarters in Santa Fe.
Photo by Brad Storey
 
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., addresses the crowd at the opening of Democratic Campaign Headquarters office Saturday in Santa Fe office. Photo by Brad Storey

Sen. Tom Udall speaks to the crowd at Saturday's event in Santa Fe. Photo by Brad Storey

Sen. Al Franken with Public Education Commission candidate Karyl Ann Armbruster of Los Alamos at the opening of  the Democratic Headquarters Saturday

Heinrich on CIA's Redactions in Interrogation Study

on August 4, 2014 - 9:11am

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on the CIA's redactions to the executive summary of the Committee's study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program.

"I was disappointed to learn of the CIA's extensive use of redactions on the Committee's executive summary. Redactions are supposed to remove names or anything that could compromise sources and methods, not to undermine the source material so that it is impossible to understand.

Heinrich Votes to Reform VA System

on August 4, 2014 - 8:23am

Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. released the following statement Thursday after voting to pass the Conference Report for the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act.

The proposal, cosponsored by Heinrich, will improve veterans' access to health care services and address serious systemic problems facing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

"I'm pleased we were able to work together and pass a bipartisan compromise that addresses the chronic mismanagement and systemic problems facing VA facilities

Anti-Nuke Group Gathers To Remember Hiroshima

on August 3, 2014 - 9:02am

Father John Dear of Santa Fe Pax Christi speaks to the group of about 40 people gathered at Ashley Pond Saturday to remember Hiroshima. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

 

By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

Father John Dear and members of Pax Christi spent 30 minutes sitting in silence Saturday on the grass at Ashley Pond Park in remembrance of the Aug. 6 atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 69 years ago.

“We gathered to remember Hiroshima and to repent for the sins of nuclear weapons and beg

LAMC 'Bans the Bag' in Support of Breastfeeding

on August 3, 2014 - 8:40am
By CATHLEEN HEWLETT-MASSER, RNC-OB, IBCLC, CCE,
Northern New Mexico Women's Health, Obstetrical Nurse

In support of breastfeeding the nursing staff at Los Alamos Medical Center’s (LAMC) Women’s Health and Childbirth Center no longer distribute formula company diaper bags as discharge gifts to new families.

Numerous studies over the last 20 years demonstrate that distribution of free diaper discharge bags, gifted to hospitals at no cost by formula companies, decrease exclusive breastfeeding rates.

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