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Thompson Ridge Fire Behavior Expected To Be Moderate Today

on June 13, 2013 - 10:02am

The Thompson Ridge Fire at the Valles Caldera. Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,946; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 60 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 16 crews, 42 engines, 33 water tenders, 5 dozers; Total personnel: 885 and Available air support: 3 air tankers, 6 helicopters.

Firefighters took advantage of favorable conditions to conduct burnout operations along the containment line on the southwest flank of the fire

Udall Calls for Independent Probe Into NSA Data Collection

on June 13, 2013 - 7:58am

U.S. SENATE:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) today led a bipartisan call for an independent investigation into the National Security Agency’s (NSA) phone records and data collection programs by a key privacy and civil liberties panel originally recommended by the 9/11 Commission and strengthened through Udall’s efforts in the House of Representatives.
 
Udall sent a bipartisan letter to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, asking it to “make it an urgent priority to investigate the programs mentioned above and determine whether they (1) are conducted within the

NM Delegation Introduces Bill to Strengthen STEM Fields

on June 13, 2013 - 7:56am
Sen. Tom Udall
 
CONGRESSIONAL News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, along with Reps. Ben Ray Luján, Michelle Lujan Grisham and Steve Pearce announced Wednesday that they have introduced a bill to strengthen the nation's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and training programs in New Mexico and the U.S.
 
The STEM Support for Teachers in Education and Mentoring (STEM²) Act includes a package of initiatives designed to improve student interest and performance in STEM skills.

Thompson Ridge Fire: Today's Aerial Operations Success Allows Firefighters To Go Direct Tonight With Hand Ignition

on June 12, 2013 - 9:20pm

Thompson Ridge Fire. Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust

Thompson Ridge Fire Evening Update

Acres: 22,900; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 60 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 16 crews, 42 engines, 33 water tenders, 5 dozers; Total personnel: 885 and Available air support: 3 air tankers, 6 helicopters.

Weather so often dictates what we do and how we do it.

Thompson Ridge Fire Map Shows 981 Acres Burned Tuesday

on June 12, 2013 - 11:29am

Thompson Ridge Fire progression map showing the 981 acres that burned Tuesday at the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

Udall Encouraged by Vote to Begin Comprehensive Immigration Reform Debate

on June 12, 2013 - 8:09am

WASHINGTON, D.C.–U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) issued the following statement Tuesday after voting to begin debate on the comprehensive immigration reform legislation, S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act:
"I was very encouraged with the strong, bipartisan vote to restart the debate on comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. Senate.
 
"We still have a long way to go before immigration reform becomes law, and as it progresses in the Senate I will be looking to make sure it supports New Mexico's interests as a border state.

Bandelier Seeks Public Comment on Draft Transportation Alternatives

on June 11, 2013 - 4:08pm

Atomic City Transit shuttle bus picking up passengers recently at the Bandelier National Monument Visitor Center. Courtesy/BNM

 

BANDELIER News:

The National Park Service (NPS) is preparing a Transportation Plan/Environmental Assessment (plan/EA) to improve transportation conditions in Bandelier National Monument.

More than three decades of studies and workshops have documented transportation and congestion management challenges in Bandelier National Monument, including traffic congestion at the monument entrance and a lack of adequate parking in Frijoles Canyon.

U.S. Chimpanzees May Be Recognized as ‘Endangered’

on June 11, 2013 - 12:31pm

Flo, 55, is is the eldest surviving chimp in Alamogordo. Courtesy photo

APNM News:

Proposed Rule Affirms Public Outcry and New Mexico Leadership for Chimps

ALBUQUERQUE – The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service today released a proposed rule to classify all chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) as endangered.

Under the Endangered Species Act, this would end the current ‘split-listing’ which allows chimps in captivity in the United States to be sold and bred for use in biomedical research, the entertainment industry, and the exotic pet trade.

“This long-awaited ruling shows the intrinsic value of

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50th Anniversary of Equal Pay Act: New Mexico Women Make 79 Cents For Every Dollar Men Earn

on June 11, 2013 - 11:25am

Women overall and across ethnic lines continue to earn less than men. Courtesy/U.S. Census

CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District is calling for Congressional action to help close the remaining wage gap between men and women.

"When the Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963, women earned 59 cents for every dollar earned by men. Now, women in New Mexico make 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, a discrepancy which affects not only women, but their families as well.

Thompson Ridge Fire Update - June 11

on June 11, 2013 - 9:11am

Smoke from the Thompson Ridge Fire looking west over Ashley Pond Monday evening. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Thompson Ridge Fire Update

Acres: 21,871; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 50 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 20 crews, 49 engines, 32 water tenders, 5 dozers; Total personnel: 1,003 and Available air support: 3 air tankers, 6 helicopters.

Very active fire behavior was observed yesterday within the perimeter and will continue today due to

New Mexico’s Mike Sather Appointed to Malcolm Baldrige Judges’ Panel

on June 11, 2013 - 6:52am

QNM News:

ALBUQUERQUE – Dr. Mike Sather, Director of the VA Cooperative Studies Program Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center in Albuquerque, was appointed for a three year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the Judges’ Panel for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. 

The appointment was effective March of 2013. The Panel of twelve judges meet three times during the award cycle to discuss the Award process, select Award applications to receive site visits and, ultimately, recommend Award recipients to the Secretary of Commerce.

Dr.

Forward Progress of Thompson Ridge Fire at South Mountain Stopped - N.M. 4 Reopens

on June 10, 2013 - 2:48pm

Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust

Photo depicts surface fire of which the low intensity removes excess fuels, preserving the crowns of the trees. Monsoon season will yield a new crop of grass. Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera

Thompson Ridge FIre Update

Acres: 21,089; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 40 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 21 crews, 49 engines, 31 water tenders, 4 dozers; Total personnel: 1,014 and Available air support: 3 air tankers, 6

N.M. 4 Closed at SR 126 to SR 501 Junction

on June 9, 2013 - 11:39am
Smoke from the Thompson Ridge Fire visible driving west from Pojoaque early Saturday evening. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
 
Thompson Ridge Fire Update
June 9, 2013

Acres: 20,687; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 40 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 21 crews, 52 engines, 35 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 1,023  and Available air support: 3 air tankers, 6 helicopters.

Summary: Fire intensity increased significantly along the slopes just west

Udall and Heinrich: Prevent Fires From Downed Power Lines

on June 7, 2013 - 11:14am

Downed power line illustration. Courtesy photo

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C.Following news that recent fires in New Mexico were caused by downed power lines, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich are encouraging cooperation between utility companies and federal agencies to keep trees away from power lines and reduce the risk of wildfires.
 
Downed power lines have caused several wildfires, including the Tres Lagunas and Thompson Ridge fires currently burning in northern New Mexico.
 
In letters to the U.S.

Thompson Ridge Fire Burning on Redondo Peak Thursday

on June 7, 2013 - 10:57am

The Thompson Ridge Fire burning on Redondo Peak just west of Los Alamos taken after sunset Thursday, June 6. Photo by Momo Vuyisich/WildWestGallery.com

Thomas Ridge Fire Images on the Valles Caldera

on June 7, 2013 - 10:48am

Spot fires from the Thompson Ridge Fire at Headquarters Wednesday evening at the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Photo by Jim ODonnell

An Air Crane passes Headquarters with a fresh load of water from the Jemez River. Photo by Jim ODonnell

A closeup of the understory burn from the Thompson Ridge Fire Wednesday at the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Photo by Jim ODonnell

An Air Crane siphons water from the Jemez River. Photo by Jim ODonnell

A healthy underbrush burn on the west side of the Valle Wednesday. Photo by Jim ODonnell

 

Udall: Americans Deserve More Transparency on Phone Record Collection

on June 6, 2013 - 9:18pm
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall released the following statement today on news reports that government agencies have collected extensive information on Americans' phone records:
 
"The news that the government issued a blanket order for Americans' phone records is deeply disturbing and exactly why I voted against the Patriot Act in 2001. It's also why I have opposed reauthorization of similar provisions without adding civil liberties protections - protections that require agencies to explain specifically what information it thinks it needs to see and why.
 
"Left

House Passes Luján Amendment to Increase Funding for Wildfire Preparedness and Preventative Measures

on June 6, 2013 - 11:05am

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District offered an amendment late last night to the Fiscal Year 2014 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act to increase funding for grant programs that help communities prepare for wildfires.

The amendment passed the House with broad bipartisan support by a 287 to 136 vote this morning. Below are Representative Luján's remarks from last night. Click here<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=579fTTs_gLM&feature=youtu.be> to watch Luján's speech.

"Madam Chair, in what has been one of the worst

Luján Encourages DHS to Use National Labs Rather than Build Duplicative Capabilities

on June 6, 2013 - 8:49am

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District spoke on the House floor late last night in an exchange with the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. John Carter, to encourage the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to utilize the national labs rather than waste money on duplicative capabilities.

Rep. John Carter

The exchange occurred during debate on the Fiscal Year 2014 Homeland Security Appropriations Act. Below are their remarks. Click here<

LANL: Metamaterial Flexible Sheets Could Transform Optics

on June 5, 2013 - 12:09pm

Members of the metamaterials team, from left: Nathaniel K. Grady, Hou-Tong Chen, Jane E. Heyes. Courtesy/LANL

(a) Photograph of an ultrathin (72 µm thick) metamaterial sample. (b) Illustration of how the metamaterial redirects an electromagnetic wave, which would not happen for a normal thin film. The structure is not drawn to scale. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • New design flattens bulky optical devices

New ultrathin, planar, lightweight, and broadband polarimetric photonic devices and optics could result from recent research by a team of Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists.

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard Attends National Meeting in Cincinnati

on June 4, 2013 - 10:12am

Los Alamos air service to Albuquerque continues to grow in popularity and Monday's 6:30 a.m. flight was nearly filled to capacity. On Monday's flight was State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, left, who took the early flight on her way to attend a national meeting in Cincinnati for legislators dealing with DOE site cleanup and other nuclear industry related issues. Garcia Richard is a member of the National Conference of State Legislators’ Nuclear Legislative Workgroup. Courtesy photo

FBI Seeking Information in Kidnapping of U.S. Citizen

on June 4, 2013 - 6:49am

FBI News:

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS—Armando Fernandez, Special Agent in Charge of the San Antonio Division of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), whose territory includes Brownsville, Texas, announced that the FBI is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the person(s) responsible for the kidnapping of Armando Torres, III in La Barranca, Tamaulipas, Mexico May 14, 2013.

As reported in the national and international news services, the FBI and Mexican law enforcement agencies have been investigating the May 14, 2013 kidnapping in La Barranca, Tamaulipas, Mexico, of U.S.

Posts Live from Van Cliburn International Piano Competition: Introduction

on June 1, 2013 - 10:07am
Posts Live from Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
By ANN McLaughlin
 
Introduction
On a spring day in 1958, a gangling young man perched atop the back seat of an open Chrysler Imperial as it rolled down 5th Avenue in New York.  Confetti and ticker tape swirled down. People packed the sidewalks and strained to catch a glimpse of him. He was not a visiting head of state, or a military hero, or a sports luminary. He was an American, he was a pianist and he had just won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

The Tchaikovsky Competition was conceived as a demonstration

Column: Valles Caldera Faces Troubled Future

on May 31, 2013 - 9:27am
Column by TOM RIBE
Santa Fe

The beautiful Valles Caldera National Preserve atop the Jemez Mountains faces a troubled future if Congress doesn’t act soon.
 
This vast volcanic wild and beautiful place is often cited by visitors as “national park quality.” The legislation that created the Preserve in 2000 expires in 2020 and if congress does nothing, the Preserve will cease to exist as a protected place and will become general multiple use Forest Service land with no staff and virtually no protection of any kind.

How could this happen?

Navy Mom From White Rock Receives Tiger Wings

on May 29, 2013 - 4:34pm

Juanita Jebbanema (Dr. Jebb) receives her Tiger Wings from her son Petty Ofc. Aban Jebbanema. Courtesy photo

Staff Report

A White Rock mom boards the USS John C. Stennis Aircraft Carrier in Hawaii and the VFA-14 "Tophatters" Squadron, known as the “The Oldest and Boldest” Naval Aviation Squadron, to be with her son as he comes home from an 18 month deployment.

Juanita Jebbanema better known at Los Alamos Public Schools as Dr. Jebb, met up with her son Petty Ofc. Aban Jebbanema from White Rock in Hawaii April 22, as the carrier docked port for a couple of days. 

Dr.

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