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Heinrich: FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act Lacks Privacy Reforms

on October 25, 2017 - 5:22am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, voted Tuesday against advancing the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017. The bill passed the committee by a vote of 12-3.

"I strongly support the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and specifically section 702 to gather intelligence on foreign targets. That is exactly why FISA was written in the first place and collecting the communications of foreign targets is without controversy.

U. S. Senators Udall, Heinrich Cosponsor USA RIGHTS Act To Reform Secretive Warrantless Spy Program

on October 24, 2017 - 3:46pm

U.S. SENATE News:
  • Bill Reforms FISA Sec. 702 to Protect Americans' Security and Liberties, Reduce Secret Law and Focus Spy Program on Foreign Threats

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced bipartisan legislation they are cosponsoring that reforms a sweeping, secretive government spying program to protect the constitutional rights of Americans, while giving intelligence agencies authority to target foreign terrorists, criminals, and other overseas intelligence targets.

The USA RIGHTS Act reforms Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence

Los Alamos County Assessor’s Office: State Evaluation Finds 100 Percent Compliance

on October 24, 2017 - 3:25pm

The dream team at the Los Alamos County Assessor’s Office, from left, Assessor Ken Milder, Chief Deputy Assessor Joaquin Valdez, Appraiser Marty Martinez, Chief Appraiser Lucas Fresquez, Assessment Specialist Nerio Gurule, Senior Assessment Specialist Betty Martinez and Appraiser Apprentice Curtis Valencia. Courtesy photo

 

COUNTY News:

Each year, the New Mexico Property Tax Division conducts a performance evaluation of every County Assessor’s Office in the state.

LAHS Girls Soccer Hosts Grants In 1st Round Of 2017 NMAA State Soccer Championships Saturday

on October 24, 2017 - 3:05pm

SPORTS News:

The Los Alamos High School Girls Soccer team will now host Grants in the 1st round of the 2017 NMAA State Soccer Championships.

The game kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 at Sullivan Field.

Tickets are $5 for adults. No passes will be accepted.

State Police Traffic Stop Leads To Arrest Of Two Felons

on October 24, 2017 - 7:45am
Amhad Williams
 
NMSP News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  At 9 a.m. Oct. 12, 2017 a New Mexico State Police officer conducted a traffic stop on a gold Lexus at Central and Alcazar. 
 
As the officer turned around to initiate the traffic stop, the Lexus drove away quickly. The vehicle abruptly stopped at a nearby apartment complex.  

 

Tevin King

 
The driver and the passenger of the Lexus exited the vehicle and walked towards an upstairs apartment. The driver was later identified as Tevin King, 24, of Albuquerque, and the passenger was identified as Amhad Williams, 27, of Albuquerque.

Senate Passes Udall-Heinrich Amendment Directing Congress To Provide Mandatory Full Funding For PILT

on October 23, 2017 - 4:05pm
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate approved an amendment by U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich Oct. 19 that directs Congress to fully and permanently fund the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which helps local governments in New Mexico and across the West pay for critical services like schools, police, and roads.
 
The amendment to the Republicans’ Fiscal Year 2018 budget resolution passed 58 to 41 and was the only amendment offered by a Democrat to pass on a roll-call vote.
 
New Mexico is the third-highest recipient of PILT payments in the

Study: Noncompliance Hobbles Comprehensive Background Check Policy For Private Gun Sales

on October 23, 2017 - 10:40am

Courtesy/gunlocker.com

HSNW News:

Of the three states that recently expanded comprehensive background check (CBC) policies to include all gun transfers, including those among private parties, only Delaware showed an overall increase in firearm background checks. Washington and Colorado had no changes, which the study authors say suggests that compliance and enforcement were incomplete.

The study, which posted online in Injury Prevention, is believed to be the first to assess the association between CBC policy enactment and changes in background-check rates.

Gallinas Watershed Prescribed Burn Resumes

on October 23, 2017 - 8:47am
SFNF News:
 
SANTA FE  Fire managers hope to resume the prescribed burn in the Gallinas Watershed on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District next week, perhaps as early as Tuesday, Oct. 24. 
 
The decision to burn on Tuesday will be dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, weather forecasts and available resources. 
 
The Gallinas Canyon prescribed burn is designed to improve and protect the Gallinas Watershed, the primary water source for the City of Las Vegas, by reducing the risk for high-severity wildfire.

FBI: Man In Construction Vest Robs Anthony Bank

on October 23, 2017 - 8:47am
FBI News:
 
The FBI is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the man who robbed a bank Thursday, Oct. 19 in Anthony.
 
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male wearing a yellow construction vest, black hooded sweatshirt, jeans, and a black baseball cap with a San Francisco 49ers logo. He had a bandana on his face and carried a black bag.
 
At approximately 11:40 a.m., the suspect entered Bank of the West, located at 300 N. Anthony Dr. He displayed a handgun and demanded money from a teller.

Portion Of Main Trail At Bandelier Closed For Helicopter Operations Oct. 23-27

on October 23, 2017 - 6:34am

BANDELIER News:

Beginning this morning, Oct. 23, and continuing for about four days, parts of the popular Main Loop Trail in Bandelier National Monument will be closed for visitor safety during operations in which a helicopter will be carrying many sling loads of dirt and gravel for a trail project.

From 6 a.m. today through the completion of that part of the work around Oct. 27, the Main Loop Trail will be closed from the northern edge of Tyuonyi Pueblo to the top of the stairs at Long House.

SFCC Halloween Festival Trick-Or-Treating Oct. 26

on October 23, 2017 - 4:47am
SFCC News:
 
SANTA FE  Santa Fe Community College‘s annual Halloween Festival is 3:30-6 p.m. Thursday Oct. 26, on campus at 6401 Richards Ave. in Santa Fe.
 
This safe and fun event includes free trick-or-treating, music, games and more.
 
The campus comes alive with trick-or-treating, spooky decorations, games, face painting and cakewalks – all in the Main Hallway and Campus Center. The SFCC Dental Program will provide free toothbrushes.
 
The afternoon’s activities are sponsored by SFCC’s Student Government AssociationStudent ClubsOffice of Student Development and Conference

Stable Mesa Prescribed Burn Underway

on October 22, 2017 - 9:13am

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – Fire managers on the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest have started operations on the 1,950-acre Stable Mesa prescribed burn, blacklining the perimeter of the treatment area. If conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, are favorable, the expectation is to complete ignitions this weekend.

The Stable Mesa unit is located about 5 miles northwest of Jemez Springs, 8 miles north of Gilman and 6 miles west of La Cueva. 

Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring

Study: 2017’s Most & Least Energy-Efficient States

on October 22, 2017 - 5:43am
WALLETHUB News:
 
Happy National Energy Awareness Month! With New York City recently announcing its three-year plan to uphold the Paris climate accord, the first among nearly 250 U.S. cities that pledged to do so, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017’s Most & Least Energy-Efficient States.

To gauge the financial impact of doing more with less energy — the average American household spends at least $2,000 per year on utilities and another $1,900 on motor fuel and oil — WalletHub’s analysts compared the auto- and home-energy efficiency in 48 U.S.

Law Enforcement Activity Sunday Morning On US 84/285 In Pojoaque Area ... Expect Slow Moving Traffic

on October 21, 2017 - 9:01pm

SFCSO News:

Law enforcement activity between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, will require some lane closures along US 84/285 by mile marker 178 in the Pojoaque area.

Motorists will be able to travel along US 84/285 but traffic may be slowed.

Santa Fe County Sheriff's investigators will be at the scene of last Friday's fatal crash site conducting follow up investigatory work.

All police activity should be completed by 9 a.m. in this area.

Equifax Breach Follow-Up: How Vulnerable Is NM?

on October 21, 2017 - 10:36am
WALLETHUB News:
 
With Equifax losing its $7 million anti-fraud contract with the IRS after a major data breach at the credit bureau exposed the confidential information of more than 145 million American consumers, the free credit-monitoring website WalletHub today released its in-depth analysis identifying 2017’s States Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft & Fraud.

To determine where Americans are most susceptible to such crimes, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across eight key metrics.

Legislative Interim Committee Meetings: Oct. 23-27

on October 21, 2017 - 10:20am

STATE News:

SANTA FE – The following legislative interim committees are scheduled to meet the week of Oct. 23 through Oct. 27:

  • Oct. 23 @ 1 p.m. – Legislative Council (LC), State Capitol, Room 307, Santa Fe
    • Agenda Items: Approval of Minutes; Interim Committee Business; Staff Reports
  • Oct. 24-27 @ 8:30 a.m. – Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) State Capitol, Room 307, Santa Fe
    • Agenda Items: Program Evaluation: Cost drivers in Higher Education and Efforts to Improve Efficiency and Reduce Duplication; Department of Health (665): Preview of FY19 Appropriation Request; New Mexico Corrections

Little Free Library Unveiled In Los Ranchos & Partnering With The New Mexico Book Co-op For Books

on October 21, 2017 - 9:02am
Los Ranchos Mayor Larry Abraham and tv personality/author Carla Aragon unveil the first Little Free Library in Los Ranchos. Courtesy photo
 
RGB News:
 
Los Ranchos Village unveiled the first Little Free Library Oct. 11 at the Los Ranchos Village Council Meeting.
 
The idea came from Barbe Awalt, LPD Press/Rio Grande Books and the NM & AZ Book Awards, and Carla Aragon, UNM Press author and TV personality, who had the idea at the same time. Aragon is married to Los Ranchos Board of Trustees member Allen Lewis.

HSD’s Proposed Centennial Care 2.0 Redesign Has Few Strengths And Too Many Flaws

on October 21, 2017 - 7:55am
By BRIAN ETHERIDGE, MD, FAAP
Silver City
 
New Mexico’s Human Services Department (HSD) wants to make changes to its Medicaid program that would not only hurt our state’s children and families, but would also place financial burdens on its healthcare workforce.
 
As both a pediatrician and the president of the New Mexico Pediatric Society, I must voice my concerns. The draft plan open for comments until Nov.

New Mexico House Republicans To Jeff Bezos: We Stand Ready To Partner With Amazon!

on October 20, 2017 - 6:05pm

Minority Floor Leader Nate Gentry

NM HOUSE GOP News:

SANTA FE – Nineteen New Mexico House Republican representatives sent a letter today to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to promote Albuquerque’s bid to host Am

azon’s new North American headquarters.

In their letter, the representatives cited New Mexico’s location, cultural and recreational opportunities, and the presence of two national laboratories as key assets. They also pledged their willingness to work on business-friendly policies, including tax reform, as well as continued support for important state incentive programs such as the Local

Bail Reform: Overdue And More To Do

on October 20, 2017 - 4:36pm
Leo M. Romero
 
SUPREME COURT News:
 
Reforms to New Mexico’s traditional money-based bail system will make our community safer by permitting judges to lock up defendants who are most likely to commit new crimes if released. And the reforms should not be blamed for the increase in crime reported in the press. They became effective just three months ago, on July 1. 
 
Before the reforms, dangerous defendants could buy their way out of jail by paying a bondsman.

Last Call For Nominations: Clean & Beautiful Committee

on October 20, 2017 - 10:04am
NMTD News:
 
SANTA FE  The New Mexico Tourism Department is seeking nominations for the 11-member New Mexico Clean and Beautiful Advisory Committee (“Advisory Committee”).
 
Previously known as the Litter Control Council, the emerging Advisory Committee will participate in the strategic planning, discussion, and execution of the Keep New Mexico True (KNMT) program and New Mexico Clean and Beautiful (NMCB) grant development.
 
All interested candidates should be knowledgeable in the areas of beautification, blight reduction, litter eradication, and waste diversion, but also have relative

Common Cause NM Best In Government Awards

on October 20, 2017 - 9:20am
CCNM News:
 
Common Cause New Mexico will honor elected officials, citizens, student advocates, journalists and good government partners at its annual luncheon at noon, Dec. 2 at the UNM Continuing Education Building, 1634 University Blvd in Albuquerque.
 
The cost of the luncheon is $30, and registration is through act.commoncause.org/nmlunch17 or by calling 323.6399 and leaving your name, phone number and number of tickets.
 
Every year, Common Cause recognizes the contributions of outstanding citizens and elected officials who have made the year a bright one for good government and

PED Tweaks Proposed Science Education Standards

on October 19, 2017 - 5:12pm
Public Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski addresses the crowd during a reception Oct. 10 at the LAPS School Board Meeting Room. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
 
By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post

The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) appeared to backpedal Tuesday on proposed changes to the New Mexico Science Education Standards, which are at odds with the Next Generation Science Standards developed by a consortium of states and the National Academy of Sciences.

New Mexico would be the 19th state to adopt the Standards.

More

FBI: Taos County Rancher Sentenced To Prison For Carjacking Utility Workers On His Ranch

on October 19, 2017 - 6:26am
FBI News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Richard Howieson, 56, of Costilla, was sentenced Oct. 6 in Albuquerque, to a year and a day in prison for his conviction on a federal carjacking charge. Howieson will be on supervised release for two years after completing his prison sentence.
 
The FBI arrested Howieson Oct. 11, 2016, on a three-count indictment charging him with carjacking, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment was superseded Feb.

Homewise Receives $15 Million In Federal Bonds

on October 19, 2017 - 6:17am
NMH News:
 
New Mexico’s Homewise, Inc., a home ownership non-profit, has received a $15 million bond loan to finance and refinance affordable single-family mortgages for New Mexicans. 

The U.S. Department of Treasury issued two guarantees totaling $245 million under the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Bond Guarantee Program.
 
The guarantees were issued on behalf of nine Eligible CDFIs under the fiscal year 2017 round of the program. The CDFI Bond Guarantee Program provides long-term, fixed-rate capital for projects in low-income urban, rural, and Native communities. 

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