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Udall, Heinrich, Luján Welcome Interior Department Announcement On Sabinoso Wilderness Access

on August 9, 2017 - 4:28pm

CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján welcomed an announcement from the Department of the Interior (DOI) that Secretary Ryan Zinke intends to finalize the process to consider whether to accept the donation of 3,595 acres, known as the Rimrock Rose Ranch, that are adjacent to Sabinoso Wilderness in New Mexico to be included as part of the wilderness.

Last year, the Wilderness Land Trust purchased the Rimrock Rose Ranch in order to donate the land to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) so it can be added to the

AG Balderas Announces $113,000 Nationwide Insurance Data Breach Settlement

on August 9, 2017 - 4:05pm
Attorney General Hector Balderas
 
AG News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Attorney General Hector Balderas announced today that his office, along with the attorneys general of 32 States, have reached a settlement with the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and its subsidiary, Allied Property & Casualty Insurance Company (collectively “Nationwide”), concerning an October 2012 data breach.
 
Over 10,000 New Mexicans were affected and New Mexico will be receiving $113,705.06 from the settlement.

DOI Repeals Defective Federal Mineral Valuation Rule

on August 9, 2017 - 10:09am
DOI News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  To create more workable oil, gas and mineral valuation regulations and avoid costly litigation, the Department of the Interior announced the repeal of the Consolidated Federal Oil and Gas and Federal and Indian Coal Valuation Reform Rule (Valuation Rule) which had created confusion and uncertainty regarding how companies report and pay royalties on energy and other mineral resources from federal onshore and offshore areas and American Indian lands.
 
The repeal of the Valuation Rule, published today in the Federal Register and effective on September 6, 2017,

Letter To The Editor: Three Ideas, Two Concerns On Rec Projects

on August 8, 2017 - 4:23pm
By LISA BRENNER
Los Alamos

Dear County Councilors,

 

With the upcoming discussion tonight of the continued want for recreational projects in Los Alamos I have three suggestions:
 
1)  Any LANL contract could incorporate an item from the bidder toward community development. LANL is just as interested in attracting the best and the brightest and, if it's true that adding recreational facilities will accomplish this, then it's appropriate for them to have some skin in the game.  It is not a "punishment" as I've heard a Councilor say, but an honor and smart business.
 
2)  Some thought

Los Alamos Historic Preservation Advisory Board Accepting Applications For Board Vacancy

on August 8, 2017 - 3:57pm

HPAB News:

The Los Alamos Historic Preservation Advisory Board (HPAB) is accepting applications for one vacancy on the Board. Applicants must be Los Alamos residents. HPAB terms are for three years.

The next 36 months will be an exciting time as the Historic Preservation Advisory Board develops the Fuller Lodge Interpretive Plan. In addition, the Board will review the Historic Preservation Ordinance and Historic designations.

Previously known as the Fuller Lodge Historic Districts Advisory Board, the Board was successful in advising the capital improvement projects division on the following

Councilors Set To Host Booth At Saturday’s Fair

on August 8, 2017 - 3:50pm

COUNTY News: 

The Los Alamos County Council will host a booth during the County Fair Saturday at Ashley Pond Park.

The booth will open after the parade ends at approximately 10:45 a.m., and residents are invited to stop by and chat until 2 p.m. with Councilors about any comments, concerns or questions.

Staff from the Community Development Department will be on hand to answer questions and to demonstrate their new Citizen Portal software, and there will be information on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, the citizen/business/organization-based Discoveries Action Team, and

District Attorney Marco Serna Visits Los Alamos

on August 8, 2017 - 2:56pm
First Judicial District Attorney Marco P. Serna was in town today and met with reporter Maire O'Neill who covers the cops and courts beat for the Los Alamos Daily Post. Following the meeting, District Attorney Serna met with the news team in the Los Alamos Daily Post world headquarters at 1247 Central Ave. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Letter To The Editor: About That Rec Bond Issue

on August 8, 2017 - 8:29am
By DELIA CRUZ-MURPHY
Los Alamos

As a parent, I have already lived through not having a: splash pad, a rec pool, or improvements to the ice rink. When it comes down to it you get creative with things to do with your kid(s) when living in Los Alamos.

Letter To The Editor: Election Results Matter

on August 8, 2017 - 8:28am
By KHALIL SPENCER
Los Alamos
 
I'm a little surprised that Megan Fox thinks the 47 percent to 53 percent vote against the Rec. bond was not really a defeat (link). Six percentage points matter. To put it in perspective, Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in the NM popular vote 48 percent to 40 percent. By Ms. Fox's logic, it would be "a little bit of a stretch" to say that Ms. Clinton won NM's electoral votes.
 
As far as the Rec Bond, it was defeated, period. What that means is no bond issue for these projects, a narrow question.

Letter To The Editor: No Means No

on August 8, 2017 - 8:01am
By GRAHAM MARK
Los Alamos
 
Dear Council,
 
Please do not continue planning or funding county projects that were voted down in the last election. Incredibly, the “No” vote is being re-interpreted by believers in alternative facts to mean “OK.” Funding was one issue in that election, and financing seems the only issue being considered today, as if that's all that matters. But there are other things in life than money—for example, representative democracy.
 
You, the council, should not get to override the voting population. The county as a whole spoke last fall.

Letter To The Editor: Follow Up On Rec Projects Issue

on August 8, 2017 - 7:41am
By ROBERT PELAK
Los Alamos
 
In recent letters to the Los Alamos Daily Post, Joyce Anderson, Stephanie Nakhleh and Megan Fox have each suggested that a subset of the recreation bond projects should be undertaken despite the rejection by the public of the bond needed to finance them. They each offer slightly different interpretations on the meaning of the "no" vote. Did it mean that people only wanted one or some but not all of the projects? Did they want none of the projects because of the increase in future maintenance costs? Did they just not want to finance the projects with a bond?

Letter To The Editor: Timing Of Proposal Divisive

on August 8, 2017 - 7:30am
By ELLEN WALTON
Los Alamos

 

The recent defeated recreation bond issue and subsequent proposal by Councilors O’Leary and Chrobocinski to go ahead with some of the projects in that bond has become unnecessarily divisive. It is impossible for anyone to interpret exactly what that bond election said about the voters’ view on each project. The outcome of the vote on the ballot issue presented to us said that we reject a tax increase to fund a large group of recreation projects.

 

We also know that the bond issue for the proposed leisure pool or now alternatively named multi-generational pool

Possible Quorum Notice: Members Of Los Alamos School Board May Attend All Staff Picnic Friday

on August 7, 2017 - 3:03pm

LAPS News:

Members of the Los Alamos School Board may attend the Los Alamos Public Schools All Staff Picnic at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11 at Urban Park.

A quorum may be present, however, no action will be taken. 

Letter To The Editor: Responsible Local Government Listens To Their Voters

on August 7, 2017 - 2:26pm
By MEGAN FOX
Los Alamos

I’d like to weigh in from the “other side” on this Rec Bond topic.

To say the Rec Bond was “defeated” last year is a bit of a stretch. It was nearly a tie, 47 percent of those who voted were in favor of proceeding with all Rec Bond projects and the associated costs, and 53 percent of those who voted were opposed, for a variety of reasons. Many of those who opposed were in favor of improving or building some of the proposed Rec Bond projects, but were opposed to the huge bundle of all the projects together.

Some voters who voted against the Rec Bond were in favor of

Letter To The Editor: Clearing Up Confusion On Rec Projects

on August 7, 2017 - 1:52pm
By STEPHANIE NAKHLEH
Los Alamos

Recent letters to the editor reveal some confusion about the results of the May 2017 Rec Bond election. To be clear, the Rec Bond question was whether to raise property taxes to proceed with five recreation projects. By a narrow vote, the town declined to support a property-tax increase. However, many citizens—those who voted for the bond and quite a few who voted against it—made it very clear that they want to see individual projects move forward.

Some of the most vocal critics of the Rec Bond pleaded with Council to find “a better way” to fund the

Spencer: Is ‘Bombs For Profits’ A Good Model For A Nuclear Weapons Lab?

on August 7, 2017 - 11:31am
By KHALIL SPENCER
Los Alamos

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.” –Dwight Eisenhower

The County Manager and Council Chair have both submitted comments to NNSA regarding the draft solicitation for the LANL M&O Request for Proposals. The letters sent to NNSA can be found in this Daily Post article.

Pearce Applauds Repeal Of ONRR Valuation Rule

on August 7, 2017 - 10:51am
U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce
 
U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released the following statement after the Department of the Interior released a formal notice of their plans to repeal the Obama-era regulation on royalties for coal, natural gas, and oil extracted on federal lands.
 
“The Office of Natural Resource Revenue (ONRR) valuation rule was a direct attack on state’s like New Mexico that rely on the production of energy resources.

Letter To The Editor: Questions On Rec Project Funding

on August 7, 2017 - 10:37am
By JOYCE ANDERSON
Los Alamos
 
In the past few days there has been a lot of uproar here in the Los Alamos Daily Post and on social media about the County Council's efforts to move forward and fund some of the recreation projects that would have been funded had the Rec Bond passed in May.
 
Cries of ignoring the will of the people are hanging in the air this morning as people slug it out on social media, and members of the County Council are being excoriated for their efforts to make much needed improvements to the town.

Secretary Zinke Recommends No Modifications To Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument

on August 7, 2017 - 8:51am
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
 
DOI News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Aug. 4, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced Arizona’s Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument is no longer under review​ and that he will recommend that no modifications be made to the monument.
 
The monument was under review in accordance with President Donald J. Trump’s April 26, 2017, executive order
 
“Today I’m announcing that​ Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument’s review process has concluded and I am recommending no changes be made to the monument​,” ​​Zinke said.

Letter To The Editor: Unfathomable That Council Would Even Consider Proceeding With Rec Projects

on August 7, 2017 - 8:22am
By ROBERT PELAK
Los Alamos
 
Dear Councillors:
 
After the bond for the five recreation projects was defeated in the recent election, it seems unfathomable to me that the County Council should consider proceeding with these projects anyway. It is especially galling to attempt to move forward so soon after the election and to use every last bit of available funding.
 
Going forward risks cementing into people's hearts and minds the belief the Council is deaf to the citizens.

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

on August 7, 2017 - 8:03am
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

Heinrich: Outdoor Recreation Is An Economic Force

on August 7, 2017 - 6:45am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ahead of Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s visit to New Mexico, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), co-chair of the Senate Outdoor Recreation Caucus, highlighted the strength of New Mexico’s outdoor recreation economy.
 
According to a new report released today by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), the outdoor recreation economy directly contributes $9.9 billion in consumer spending annually and employs 99,000 people in New Mexico. 
 
“Outdoor traditions—both new and old—are not only integral to our

Shin: To Councilors James Chrobocinski And Susan O'Leary: Don't Splash Our Cash!

on August 6, 2017 - 2:00pm
By LISA SHIN, President
A Better Way for LA Political Action Committee  

On August 8, 2017, Councilors Chrobocinski and O'Leary will present “Discussion and Possible Action Relating to Proposed Changes to the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Fund.” There will be recommended action on recreation projects for the bond election which failed on May 23, 2017.

The following are my recommended actions:

I strongly recommend that the $13.4 million of CIP funds be used to improve existing facilities: the golf course and softball fields.

Back To School Tax Free Weekend Underway

on August 6, 2017 - 8:26am

STATE News:

ALBUQUERQUE — Gov. Susana Martinez has announced New Mexico’s annual back to school tax-free weekend and encourages families to take part in order to save them money and prepare their children for the upcoming school year.

“Families across the state know how expensive it can be to get kids ready for school, and this is a great way for them to save money,” Martinez said. “Our tax-free weekend can help families make sure that they send their students off to school with everything they need so they’re ready to learn.”

Vendors will not be required to collect gross receipts tax

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