Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico’
Federal officials Thursday confirmed a leak of nuclear waste at a southeastern New Mexico repository, but it could be weeks before workers can safely access the underground dump to determine what happened…
The DOE on Saturday announced that it had shuttered operations in response to an underground radiation sensor. But it wasn’t until Wednesday night that DOE confirmed that radiation had also been released above ground, about a half mile from the plant. And it wasn’t until a Thursday press conference that Jose Franco, manager of the DOE’s Carlsbad Field Office, confirmed publicly that readings from the monitors matched materials from the waste that is stored there, indicating a leak…
Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said…”We will demand that federal officials share information with the public in real time. That’s the reason we are here…”
Flynn…said, “Events like this should never occur. From the state’s perspective, one event is far too many. Our primary concern continues to be public safety.”
“Even though the levels detected are very low,” he said, “radiation is simply not supposed to be released outside the building.”
The DOE is calmly issuing updates containing soothing noises. Carefully, cautiously, they’re working most of all to keep anyone from noticing they haven’t the slightest idea what is going on.
Thursday night they said they’d soon be able to identify the source of the leak of plutonium and americium — in about three weeks when they believe they’ll be able to re-enter the facility.
UPDATE: Thirteen employees of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant were exposed to radiation – americium-241 – according to test results taken the day a radiation leak was detected at the nuclear waste repository.
Next up? WIPP will have to test any employees who worked the same area – the following day.
A dead body found rotting in a freezer has Hobbs Police investigating. KOB Eyewitness News 4 talked to neighbors who said they noticed something was wrong.
Officers arrived at the abandoned house Tuesday night after a call about the stench. Neighbors said they could smell it inside their homes.
“It was a really strong stench; really, really strong. I’ve never smelled that before, and I would never want to smell it again ever,” said Camille Franco…
“Upon arrival, they located an unidentified body and the body was sent to Albuquerque for autopsy,” said Officer Mike Stone of the Hobbs Police Department.
Police could not identify the gender or identification of the body, leaving a whole lot of questions and not a lot of answers.
“For somebody to be in a freezer, and I mean for somebody to actually do something like that. No, that scares me, that frightens me. I’m actually really wanting to lock up my house more,” said Franco. “Like they say, you might think you might know your neighbors, but you never know.”
Hobbs police said they are waiting for the autopsy results to figure out the cause of death.
This was published back in September. The final results of the autopsy were published, today. Local newspapers haven’t caught up, yet; so, I don’t know if they identified the body. UPDATE: Everett Willford was his name. 22 years old.
According to 30 seconds of TV coverage, apparently, the dude overdosed on meth. With severe hot flashes, he must have climbed into the freezer to cool off. He didn’t freeze to death. It was the meth that killed him.
Somewhere along the timeline, the power was cut off to the abandoned house. Decomposition followed.
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a major power supplier in China, has accelerated the development of green energy as it recorded higher installed capacity in 2013.
Statistics with the Xinjiang branch of the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) showed that by 2013, the combined installed capacity of wind power, hydropower and solar power stations exceeded 1,368 million KW, accounting for about one third of all installed capacity in Xinjiang….
A project to connect the Xinjiang power grid to the northwest China grid was launched in 2010 to transmit Xinjiang’s redundant electric power to other parts of the country. The money made from this is used for developing Xinjiang.
The SGCC Xinjiang branch has put an average annual investment of 500 million yuan towards green energy projects.
Total installed capacity is expected to reach 6,048 million KW by the end of 2014, and that of green power will exceed 2,200 million KW.
While this wee post may seem a bit foreign to many of my readers you have to understand I live in a part of the United States with many parallels to Xinjiang.
Aside from some historic political differences, the natural landscape is often similar. As is the potential. It’s been 20 or 30 years since the New Mexico state engineer’s office determined we had sufficient resources to be a net exporter of wind-generated electricity. We are equally capable of filling state needs and then exporting solar-generated electricity.
The technology for each of these alternatives has improved and become more cost effective over the decades – while the state, local power utilities and the federal government have accomplished little more than a sampling of what might be if they were as serious about non-polluting power generation as they all are about the crap coal mined and burned in the Four Corners.
Fourteen marijuana plants and seven years later, a New Mexico high court has overturned a lower court opinion and ruled that a police helicopter search operation in rural Taos County was illegal and unconstitutional.
The subject of that search, who said he had the 14 plants for personal use to smoke to alleviate physical ailments, was elated when contacted on Friday.
“It has been a lesson in the slow progress of the legal system … I’m happy that justice was served,” said Norman Davis, now 78.
Davis’ home was one of several checked out during a 2006 operation dubbed “Operation Yerba Buena” – a joint State Police, National Guard, and state Game and Fish effort that was targeting marijuana plantations in the sparsely populated Carson area…
Davis had his privacy jarred when, on a summer day as he was sitting on his sofa and feeling a bit out of sorts, he “heard this helicopter overhead.
“It was loud. Very loud,” Davis said at the time. “And I looked out the window and see these guys hovering over me.” The drug raid by the New Mexico State Police, using National Guard helicopters, involved six or seven officers armed with semiautomatic weapons and at least five police vehicles…
“We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law” – Justice Chavez, New Mexico Supreme Court, December 19, 2013
This news just broke: The New Mexico Supreme Court affirms that our state constitution affirms the right to marry for same-sex couples!
Every progressive organization in New Mexico, everyone who fights for constitutional protection, economic freedom and protections under the law for every citizen in New Mexico is out on the streets celebrating. My emailbox is filled with folks who worked to press this case. The chimes of freedom ring throughout New Mexico even if the churches of official New Mexico are silent.
Folks who support freedom in New Mexico are fortunate in that many of our elected officials supported this struggle. With the exception of the sole Republican in New Mexico’s delegation to Congress support has been solid. Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham will be at celebrations throughout the state tonight. They’re posting congratulations at various social media sites and I for one will be spending a bit of time, this afternoon, wending my way through to “liking” each one of them.
Here’s a link to the official proclamation from the State Supreme Court.
A state safety agency recommended fines totaling $559,000 against the state’s Forestry Division on Wednesday, saying the agency wrongly put the protection of “structures and pastureland” ahead of the safety of firefighters battling a wildfire in Central Arizona last summer, including 19 who died while trapped by the flames on a mountain.
The report said the forestry division kept the firefighters on the mountains even after commanders realized they could not control the flames burning through parched, thick chaparral along the western edge of the old gold-mining village of Yarnell, 80 miles northwest of Phoenix
In a report, inspectors for the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health said the actions resulted in “multiple instances of firefighters being unnecessarily and unreasonably exposed to the deadly hazards of wildland firefighting.”
The report…also faulted the team running firefighting operations on June 30, when the 19 firefighters died, for being understaffed…
…The report cited several additional problems. Members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots — the 19 who died and their lookout, Brendan McDonough, who escaped — were tired, having just returned from fighting two fires. The report indicated that exhaustion could have affected their judgment.
Brave, brave firefighters, well remembered in New Mexico. The fires they had just returned from fighting – before this tragedy – were here. They did themselves proud.
No, you can’t say the same about Arizona bureaucrats who considered them expendable.
Earlier this week, voters in Albuquerque voted down a city-wide measure that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks, by a ten-point margin. According to voter data analyzed by ProgressNowNM, the pro-choice side has women to thank for it.
“Eleven thousand more women–almost three times more women than men, in terms of additional turnout–came out in the municipal abortion election than did in the general six weeks earlier,” said Patrick Davis, the group’s executive director…
The result also showed that Latino voters, including Latina women, weren’t swayed by the anti-abortion arguments. They make up nearly half of the city’s population, and ban supporters had pinned their hopes on Catholic and evangelical Latinos. Opponents of the ban have pointed out that their coalition included two groups led by Latinas, Young Women United and Strong Families New Mexico.
Although not all public polling shows a gender gap on abortion, the team behind Virginia governor-elect Terry McAuliffe has said the issue helped account for a 9-point gender gap in his favor earlier this month. He won 59% of voters who said abortion was their top issue.
The anti-abortiion rights crowd is still working hard trying to snatch victory from their defeat. Democracy can be a tough solution for losers who think God is on their side and that’s all they need. Perish the thought that voters pay attention to science, constitutional law and civil liberties in an election.
The anti-science, anti-civil rights coalition of religious true believers and right-wing organizers from around the country have failed. Their attempt to kickoff a shutdown battle against pro-choice women’s rights came down to failure by 10 percentage points. A spread that is at least as great as national averages – perhaps foreshadowing another step forward in the whole range of civil rights changes happening in the United States.
Nutballs from Operation Rescue moved to Albuquerque, setting up a field headquarters away from their bastion in Kansas here in New Mexico. Fortunately, though we have our own native crew of religious crazies, we also have a much larger number of religious folks, atheists, ordinary who-gives-a-damn citizens who resent attempts to shut down civil liberties in the name of superstition over science.
No need to refresh the realities of the issue. Just a chance to congratulate the citizens of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who turned out more voters in this special election than came out to re-elect a popular Republican mayor a few weeks ago.
With 49 of 50 polling places reporting, AGAINST 55% – 45% FOR limiting the right to choose an abortion.
Descanso honors “Breaking Bad” character Walter White – courtesy of Michelle Valdez-Browning
“Breaking Bad” fans continue to honor Walter White.
North Valley resident Michelle Valdez-Browning and her brother, Marc Valdez, and son Aaron Browning made a descanso near the Nazi compound where White passed away in the show. (A descanso is a roadside memorial that commemorates a site where a person died. They are seen along roads in New Mexico.)
Valdez-Browning says her brother was part of the locations crew who helped scout the various areas…“He put his heart and soul into finding the right places,” she says.
Once the show aired, the trio decided to pay tribute to White and put the descanso in front of the area…The location is near Second and Los Ranchos Road NW.
In case you want to be among the hundreds who continue to visit Albuquerque to pay their respects.
Arrested and too drunk to stand
US authorities say an immigrant suspected of entering the country illegally attempted to make his journey hiding in a shipment of red chile while carrying a bottle of tequila to fortify himself.
US customs and border protection officers working at a New Mexico border checkpoint said the man was discovered on Thursday face down among a commercial load of chile.
Columbus port director Robert Reza said next to the “highly intoxicated” 35-year-old was a bottle of the national liquor.
The man, who authorities described as a Mexican national, told agents that he climbed into the commercial hopper while it was being staged in Mexico. He got into the truckload of chile in hopes of catching a ride to Chicago…
Agents said he got less than 100 metres into New Mexico before he was discovered. He would be sent back over the border, officials said.
Here in New Mexico we actually have an official state question: “Red or green?”
Ours comes down on the side of ripe and the answer is “red”.
A truckload to admire – excepting the drunk passed out