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Museum Of Indian Arts & Culture Remains Closed Due To Emergency Repairs ... Reopens March 3

on February 26, 2017 - 7:09am

MUSEUM News:

SANTA FE—The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC) on Museum Hill in Santa Fe remains closed due to emergency repairs. The museum will reopen to the public at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 3.

The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is located on Museum Hill the Museum of Arts & Culture at 710 Camino Lejo off of Old Santa Fe Trail. As the 19th century closed, one of the Southwest's major "attractions" were its vibrant Native American cultures.

In response to unsystematic collecting by Eastern museums, anthropologist Edgar

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Independent Electoral Redistricting Commission ... Down But Not Out

on February 26, 2017 - 6:55am

At a hearing Thursday of the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee, Rep. Carl Trujillo and Heather Ferguson of Common Cause propose a constitutional amendment to reform a beleaguered legislative redistricting process in New Mexico. Photo by Roger Snodgrass/ladailypost.com

 

By ROGER SNODGRASS
Los Alamos Daily Post

SANTA FE -- Electoral redistricting has long been a problem in New Mexico.

Study: Los Alamos County Tops List Of Most Paycheck Friendly Places In New Mexico

on February 26, 2017 - 6:34am
SmartAsset News:
 
Who doesn’t love payday? The influx of cash makes people ecstatic. SmartAsset, a financial technology company, set out to find the most paycheck friendly places in New Mexico, and Los Alamos County tops the list:
 
Rank
County
Semi-Monthly Paycheck
Purchasing Power
Unemployment Rate
Income Growth
Paycheck Friendliness Index
1
Los Alamos
$1,618
3.22x
4.8%
1.1%
63.94
2
De Baca
$1,618
1.27x
5.2%
6.4%
51.63
3
Lea
$1,618
1.85x
9.7%
5.2%
50.67
4
Eddy
$1,618
1.70x
6.7%
2.9%
49.80
5
Catron
$1,618
1.31x
7.0%
5.3%
48.72
6
Curry
$1,618
1.38x
5.5%
1.9%
46.99
7
Sandoval 
$1,618
1.80x
7.1%
0.1%
46.96
8
Santa Fe
$1,618
1.59x
5.5%
0.0%
46.67
9

LANL GRT Bill Unanimously Passes First Committee

on February 25, 2017 - 10:32pm

Dist. 43  Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard and Los Alamos County Councilor Pete Sheehey present HB 332 to the House Business and Industry Committee. Courtesy photo

STATE News:

A bill strongly supported by Los Alamos County that would remove the gross receipts tax exemptions from any non-profit organization who would administer the prime contract of any national laboratory in the state cleared its first committee Wednesday with a unanimous Do Pass vote by the House Business and Industry Committee.

House Bill 332, sponsored by Los Alamos area Rep.

Bill To Make Drug Companies Negotiate Lower Prices Passes Key Committee On Bipartisan, Unanimous Vote

on February 25, 2017 - 8:04am

STATE News:
  • SB 354 Could Save State $100 Million

SANTA FE – Legislation to save taxpayers millions of dollars by requiring the State to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices has passed the Senate Public Affairs Committee by a bipartisan, unanimous vote. 

Senate Bill 354, ‘Interagency Pharmaceutical Purchasing Council’, would require that all state agencies and state benefit providers who purchase prescription drugs negotiate for bulk purchasing discounts.

FBI: Man Wearing Walmart Vest And Rag On His Head Robs Albuquerque Bank

on February 25, 2017 - 7:12am

FBI News:

A man wearing a blue Walmart vest and a rag on his head robbed a northeast Albuquerque bank Tuesday, Feb. 21.

The suspect was described as a black man in his mid-20s, approximately 5'10” tall, with a slender to medium build. He wore a blue Walmart vest over a white T-shirt, a black rag on his head, blue jeans and dark shoes.

Witnesses said the suspect entered BBVA Compass Bank at approximately 1:08 p.m. at 3500 Candelaria Blvd. NE. He presented a demand note to a teller and made verbal threats.

House Passes Bill To Consolidate Local Elections

on February 25, 2017 - 6:45am

STATE News:

SANTA FE – The New Mexico House of Representatives passed House Bill 174, a bill to consolidate all local elections to the same day.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Paul Bandy (R-San Juan) and Rep. Jim Smith (R-Bernalillo, Sandoval and Santa Fe) as well as Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Bernalillo).

House Bill 174, known as the Local Election Act, would create a uniform process for local elections and require that those elections be held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday of November in odd numbered years. It would apply to elections for:

  • School Districts;
  • Community

HJM 4: Shining Light On State Infrastructure Projects; Examining Capital Outlay Structure Passes House

on February 24, 2017 - 10:35pm
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE The New Mexico House of Representatives passed House Joint Memorial 4 (HJM 4), which calls for the creation of a new interim committee that would accomplish two goals:
  • Shine a light on all state infrastructure projects to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently on these endeavors; and
  • Examine state’s capital outlay structure and propose recommendations on how to improve it.
 
“Just last year, our State Auditor’s Office produced a report showing approximately $1.8 billion in taxpayer money that was earmarked for infrastructure projects around the

Letter To The Editor: House Bill 50 ... Just To Clarify

on February 24, 2017 - 10:27pm
By KHALIL SPENCER
Los Alamos

I just want to clarify a couple things in response to Jody Benson's letter as well as thank her for her engagement on the topic (link).

I did not say that we should reject House Bill 50. What I said was the original and present wording was problematic. There is still plenty of time in this legislative session to find some common ground on this
bill and amend it so it has bipartisan and gun owner support.

To excerpt from my own essay (link), what I said was "...provisions in the bill put onerous constraints on temporary transfers and casual sales between law abiding

Annual Benefit Basketball Game Helps New Mexicans

on February 24, 2017 - 3:25pm
Check presentation. Courtesy photo
 
SPORTS News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE ― The New Mexico Senate “Lobos” tip off against the House of Representatives “Aggies” on Wednesday, March 1, at Santa Fe High School.
 
The hotly-contested game is a fun event for those on the court, on the bench and in the stands. But everyone knows that the real opponent is cancer.
 
The annual game is an important source of private donations for The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center. Over the past six years, it has raised more than $100,000.
 
“The proceeds help us to deliver the cutting-edge,

NMVC On Indiscriminate Immigrant Raids

on February 24, 2017 - 7:25am
NMVC News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE — James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement regarding the recent immigration raids in southern New Mexico:
 
“We are disturbed at the news of immigration raids in southern New Mexico and urge immigration officials to keep the best interests of all of our children and families at heart going forward.
 
“As a nation built on ingenuity, America can craft common-sense reforms to our immigration system that improve our economy and keep us safe while maintaining our American values of inclusion and equality of

Agencies Collaborate To Promote Brain Health

on February 24, 2017 - 7:11am
 
HEALTH News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  The New Mexico Department of Health, Public Health Division and the Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter have announced they are collaborating to educate New Mexicans on maintaining a healthy brain. 
 
The Alzheimer’s Association, NM Chapter and the NM Department of Health, now agree that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by making key lifestyle changes.
 
“The research on cognitive decline with aging, and how it relates to Alzheimer's Disease, is ongoing.

Governor Signs Emergency Funding For Courts

on February 23, 2017 - 5:05pm

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Today Gov. Susana Martinez signed into law House Bill 261 sponsored by Rep. Nate Gentry (R-Bernalillo) and Rep. Zachary Cook (R-Lincoln and Otero), House Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Bernalillo).

The new law appropriates critical emergency funding for New Mexico’s judiciary system by providing $80,000 to the Supreme Court and $1.6 million to the Administrative Office of the Courts’ Jury and Witness fund to prevent anticipated FY 2017 budget shortfalls in those entities.

“Justice Charles Daniels alerted us to the grave funding

State Senate Unanimously Confirms Butch Tongate Secretary Of New Mexico Environment Department

on February 23, 2017 - 4:51pm
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE — Secretary Designate Butch Tongate has been confirmed unanimously by the Senate as Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department.
 
Tongate, who has worked at the Environment Department since 1993, was appointed Deputy Secretary in 2011.
 
“I’m proud to have Butch lead this department, which is so important to present and future generations of New Mexicans,” Gov. Susana Martinez said.

Scam Alert: Calls Threatening IRS ‘Criminal Lawsuit’ Hit New Mexico

on February 23, 2017 - 4:48pm
Attorney General Hector Balderas
 
AG News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a Scam Alert Feb. 21, in response to a new scam hitting New Mexico that threatens a ‘criminal lawsuit’ by the IRS if the caller’s message is not returned.
 
The digitized voice in the recording claims to be Officer Edward Jonathon calling from the legal department of the Internal Revenue Service and leaves a call back number along with his threats. Scams of this nature are meant to intimidate and trick New Mexicans into giving up their personal and financial information to the scammers.

Bills To Attract, Retain Good Teachers Pass House

on February 23, 2017 - 4:43pm
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  Tuesday, two bills that aim to ensure New Mexico attracts and retains good teachers by improving teacher evaluations and recognizing teacher skill and competency passed the House.
 
Rep. Debra Sariñana’s (D-Albuquerque) bill, HB 163, makes teacher evaluations more fair by ensuring a teacher’s evaluation is not disproportionately affected by students who have too many absences. The second bill introduced by Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton’s (D-Albuquerque), HB 124, provides a three-tier framework for teachers to advance to level II and level III licensure.
 
“HB

Common Cause Gerrymander Report Out As HJR 3 Redistricting Goes To Committee

on February 23, 2017 - 4:37pm
CCNM News:
 
A constitutional amendment to establish an independent redistricting commission will be heard in a House committee Thursday, just as Common Cause New Mexico releases Restoring Voter Choice: How Citizen-Led Redistricting Can End the Manipulation of Our Elections, a report about the 2016 election completed by Common Cause nationally.
 
New Mexico is cited as one of eight states where the outcome of the election—and the composition of the legislature—was already determined before any votes were cast.
 
Approximately 62% of legislative races in New Mexico were uncontested,

Los Alamos School Board Extends Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus' Contract Maximum Allowed By Law

on February 23, 2017 - 10:02am

Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus

 

By KIRSTEN LASKEY

Los Alamos Daily Post

 

The Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) Board of Education unanimously renewed Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus’ contract for three more years, which is the maximum amount of time allowed by state law.

 

The decision to extend the contract occurred during the Feb. 14 regular school board meeting. In addition to extending his contract, the board offered Steinhaus a raise identical to the amount offered to all other staff.

NM House Passes Revenue And Budget Bills

on February 23, 2017 - 9:38am

STATE News:

SANTA Fe Wednesday evening, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed both a new revenue package and a budget for fiscal year 2018. Taken together, the two bills will allow New Mexico to have a balanced budget and raise cash reserves to a respectable 3.2 percent.
 

HB 202 comprised of a package of provisions to raise new money for the state to mitigate and avoid further devastating cuts to education, Medicaid, and other critical areas. Budget predictions from the nonpartisan Legislative Finance Committee project a $120 to $125 million hole for fiscal year 2018.

The new

NNSA: W88 ALT 370 Program Reaches Milestone

on February 23, 2017 - 9:10am

NNSA News:

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) officially authorized the start of the production engineering phase for the W88 Alteration (Alt) 370 program Feb. 22.

The alteration of the W88 nuclear warhead is part of NNSA’s multi-faceted strategy to ensure the American nuclear arsenal continues to be safe, secure, and effective. 

“Thanks to a team of talented scientists and engineers, we reached this important milestone in the W88 Alt 370 program on schedule,” said NNSA Administrator Lt. Gen. Frank G.

Letter To The Editor: Straight Scoop On HB50

on February 23, 2017 - 8:07am
By JOHN N. HORNE
Los Alamos

Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard of Los Alamos is up to those old tired political tricks again. In order to bolster support for HB50, Ms. Garcia Richard jumped at the opportunity to have her picture taken with a shooting victim and then imply her bill will solve all the world’s ills regarding gun violence.

The fact of the matter is there is nothing in HB50 that would’ve had any bearing on the (Former U.S. Rep. Gabby) Giffords' shooting.

Professor Emerita Denise Fort: How Can U.S. Retain Scientific Leadership In Environmental Protection?

on February 23, 2017 - 7:27am
By DENISE D. FORT
Professor Emerita UNM School of Law
Former director, NM Environmental Improvement Division
 
The upheaval in Washington, D.C. that is occurring now has one surprising objective - the discrediting of scientists. Science is under attack in numerous ways.
 
The assertion that climate change is a Chinese hoax was bad enough. Now the Administration has nominated a climate denier to head the EPA, taken down web pages that inform the public about agency work, and threatened to slash funding at EPA.
 
The threat comes from the Congress as well; 114 representatives have

Update On Pursuit Of USS Los Alamos

on February 22, 2017 - 11:00pm

James Nesmith testifying Dec. 15, 2015 to Los Alamos County Council. Courtesy photo

COMMUNITY News:

On Dec. 15, 2015, the Los Alamos County Council unanimously passed and adopted a resolution endorsing the naming of a United States Navy Submarine as the U.S.S. Los Alamos. 

That was the beginning of an intensive yearlong effort by the USS Los Alamos Commissioning Committee to gather documentation from across the state substantiating the wide spread support for our effort.

In that year, memorials were passed by both houses of the State legislature, and letters of support were obtained from

Councilor Rick Reiss At Regional Coalition Of LANL Communities Meeting In Washington, D.C.

on February 22, 2017 - 5:00pm

From left, Santa Fe City Councilor Peter Ives, Los Alamos County Councilor Rick Reiss and Santa Fe County Commissioner Robert Anaya at today's Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Federal Legislative Agenda meetings in Washington, D.C.Courtesy photo

Udall On Trump's Plans For Mass Deportation

on February 22, 2017 - 2:05pm
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall released the following statement in response to recently released memos from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security establishing new guidelines for carrying out President Trump’s immigration orders:
 
"President Trump’s guidelines amount to a plan to begin mass deportations. These plans are unrealistic, inhumane, bad for the economy, and an extremely inefficient use of already thin resources.

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