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Morning Word: LANL Safety Dance

June 22, 2017, 7:30 am

No, you're unsafe
After the Center for Public Integrity published a report this week calling into question plutonium safety lapses as Los Alamos National Lab, higher-ups at LANL sent out a memo featuring this line: “While there will often be external organizations and individuals which advance a misleading narrative, it is not an accurate reflection of our work.” The lab was banned from plutonium work (building replacement plutonium triggers for existing bombs) in 2013. Lab directors argue they are close to being fully operational.

Monumental remarks
US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke may not have moved mountains with his comments to Sen. Tom Udall during a subcommittee hearing, but he also didn't move boundaries. Zinke told Udall that he saw no reason to reduce the size of newly established national monuments if local residents didn't have a problem with them. The secretary said he'd visit New Mexico to hear about the Rio Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks national monuments.

Railroaded
Imagine this: The year is 2035 and a retired-from-public service Susana Martinez has taken a job at an El Paso law firm. She, like thousands of others who live in Las Cruces, is not fond of the commute to work. So, on the days she has to go into the office, she hops aboard the Trail Runner commuter train between El Paso and Las Cruces. Okay, that scenario might never happen, but the rail line might get built. Presumably with a better name.

Supreme Court decision lifts deadline for some lawsuits against police
The New Mexico Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion this week that the children of a man shot by Albuquerque police officer Kevin Sanchez can sue for damages despite missing the time limit for a wrongful death lawsuit. The children of Mickey Owens didn't file suit against APD until after a Department of Justice report mentioned the killing of their father as unnecessary and indicative of a pattern of excessive force and unconstitutional policing. The case sets precedent for such suits—called loss of consortium claims—across the state.

Bodies of missing hikers found
Investigators think it's quite likely a Texas man and his son died from heat exposure after somehow getting lost in a hike around Carlsbad Caverns. The pair were used to hiking, but hadn't applied for an overnight permit.

Smokey skies
Yesterday was hot and smokey in Santa Fe. While there was a new fire that started Wednesday, it didn't spark until the afternoon and it was down south, near Golden. That's a relatively heavily populated part of the county, and 150 homeowners were asked to leave for their safety, though they've been since allowed to return. The smoke in Santa Fe all day was mostly a result of climatic conditions.

A break
It still looks like we'll get one this weekend, with high temperatures dropping into the 80s and maybe even lower by the start of next week. That's great news, because Santa Fe's airport topped out at 100 degrees yesterday.

Thanks for reading! The Word thinks it's funny how we imagine people we always see in uniform as always being in uniform. Like wouldn't a badge get really uncomfortable if you slept with it on? What if you dribbled ketchup on your medals?

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