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Senate Appropriations Passes $148 Million for NM Military Construction Projects

on June 25, 2013 - 8:34am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced Monday that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved funding for essential military construction projects for New Mexico's Air Force bases and provisions to improve veteran care.

"Our nation's military readiness relies on the quality of our people, their equipment, and our facilities.

Thompson Ridge Fire Update

on June 25, 2013 - 7:41am

Smoldering Areas of the Thompson Ridge Fire. Courtesy U.S. Forest Service

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,937; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed power line; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 90 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 3 crews, 6 engines, 5 water tenders, 1 dozer; Total personnel: 170 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: Acreage on the Thompson Ridge Fire increased by 18 acres according to last night’s infra-red flight.

Los Alamos Soldier Injured in Afghanistan

on June 24, 2013 - 9:09am

Micah Jay Andersen of Los Alamos during a ceremony in Afghanistan in which he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. Courtesy photo

COMMUNITY News:

On June 1, 2013, First Lieutenant Micah Jay Andersen formerly of Los Alamos was severely injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) while leading his platoon on a mission near Kandahar Afghanistan. 

Andersen lost both legs above the knees. One soldier was killed and six others injured in the attack that included multiple IEDs. Andersen was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored

Udall Meets With Local Supporters

on June 24, 2013 - 7:21am

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., shown here with Los Alamos resident Karyl Ann Armbruster and Dist. 46 Rep. Carl Trujillo, answered questions during a gathering at a Santa Fe home Sunday on topics such as national security, the immigration bill and Syria asked by a group of supporters from Los Alamos and Santa Fe. Courtesy photo

Great Back Yard Campers View the Moon

on June 23, 2013 - 7:55am

Jim Foxx is helping kids look through a telescope at Saturday's Great Back Yard Campout at Overlook Park in White Rock. Photo by Katy Korkos

Thompson Ridge Fire: Today Marks Entire Week With No Perimeter Growth

on June 21, 2013 - 12:29pm

Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,903; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed power line; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 90 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 3 crews, 6 engines, 4 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 174 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: Today marks an entire week with no new perimeter growth in the fire. Most of the activity continues to be within the interior of the fire where unburned fuels continue to smolder and burn.

Udall Pushes for Immigration Reform

on June 21, 2013 - 9:52am

Senator Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a speech on the Senate floor Thursday, U.S. Sen. Tom highlighted the Senate's imperative to pass a long term, comprehensive solution to fix our nation's immigration system and improve New Mexico's border security.

"Immigration reform has to be comprehensive, that is the reality of any long-term solution," Udall said. "It is also a reality that such reform will not be perfect, will not satisfy everyone in every case. That’s what compromise means, that’s what bipartisan effort requires.

Today's Weather May Create Smoke Plumes From Thompson Ridge Fire

on June 20, 2013 - 10:59am

Smoke plume from the Thompson Ridge Fire June 8 looking west from Los Alamos toward the Jemez. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,903; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed power line; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 90 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 4 crews, 11 engines, 4 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 235 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: There has been no new perimeter growth in several days.

Great American Backyard Campout Saturday at Bandelier

on June 20, 2013 - 9:53am
Juniper Campground at Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy/NPS

BANDELIER News:

Thousands of people around the nation will gather to take part in a one-night event called the "Great American Backyard Campout" Saturday, June 22. 

Join the staff at Bandelier National Monument for food and fun activities 6-9 p.m. at Juniper Campground. Visitors are encouraged to camp in Juniper Campground or arrive just to participate in the event. 

Activities include:

  • 6-7 p.m. – Did you say free food? Hot dogs, chips and beverages will be grilled by monument staff and offered free of charge.

No Perimeter Growth on Thompson Ridge Fire Overnight

on June 19, 2013 - 11:14am

Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera

Thompson Ridge Fire News:

Acres: 23,903; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed power line; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 90 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 6 crews, 11 engines, 5 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 276 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: There was no new perimeter growth yesterday as unburned fuels within the interior continued to smolder and burn. Today crews will continue mop up, patrol and rehab on all divisions of the fire.

Udall Introduces Constitutional Amendment on Campaign Finance Reform

on June 19, 2013 - 7:38am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall today introduced a constitutional amendment that would restore authority back to Congress, individual states and the American people to regulate campaign finance.
 
The constitutional amendment would reverse dangerous Supreme Court decisions like Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United and rein in the unprecedented flood of secret money in the campaign finance system.

Thompson Ridge Fire 90 Percent Contained as 41 Miles of Hose Reeled In

on June 18, 2013 - 10:36am

Valles Caldera National Preserve. Courtesy photo

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,903; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed power line; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 90 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 2 crews, 5 engines, 6 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 339 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: Today at 6 a.m., the Arizona Central West Zone Incident Management Team completed a seamless transition of the fire to the Albuquerque Zone Type III Incident Management Team.

Central West Team

USDA Celebrates National Small Business Week

on June 18, 2013 - 8:16am

USDA Celebrates National Small Business Week

  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announces $4.7 million in additional investment for rural small businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today kicked off National Small Business Week by highlighting USDA’s actions to help rural small businesses create jobs, get access to capital and spur economic growth.

He also announced the selection of recipients for USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grants. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty.

“Small businesses are the

Udall on Syria: Intervening in Another Middle Eastern Civil War Not in U.S. Interests

on June 18, 2013 - 7:08am
Sen. Tom Udall
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Monday urged those pushing for military intervention to answer three basic questions before rushing into a Middle Eastern civil war in Syria.
 
To watch video of Udall’s speech, click here.
 
Below are Udall’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
 
Like many others, I am deeply disturbed by the current situation in Syria. The appalling atrocities. The tragic loss of human life. The reported use of chemical weapons.

Thompson Ridge Fire: Minimal Activity Expected Today as Crews Continue Rehab, Mop Up, Perimeter Patrol

on June 17, 2013 - 9:48am

Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,903; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline: Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 80 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 7 crews, 12 engines, 12 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 526 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: For the third consecutive day, fire activity was restricted to unburned fuels within the interior where a total of four acres have burned since Friday.

NM Delegation Introduces Bill to Improve Tribal Education

on June 17, 2013 - 8:46am

CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON– Friday, June 14, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, along with Reps. Ben Ray Luján, Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Steve Pearce announced they have introduced legislation to improve tribal education and preserve Native American language in schools.

Graduation rates for American Indians and Alaska Natives are less than 50 percent – lower than the graduation rates for all other ethnic groups in the United States.

Isolated Thunderstorms Shower Thompson Ridge Fire Overnight - Now 80 Percent Contained - Allowing Some Crews To Return Home

on June 16, 2013 - 9:42am

Smoldering from the Thompson Ridge Fire remains visible on the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 23,903; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 80 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 8 crews, 22 engines, 17 water tenders, 2 dozers; Total personnel: 602 and Available air support: 3 helicopters.

Summary: Last night interior fuel continued to burn but no new growth or interior runs were observed.

No New Growth On Thompson Ridge Fire Overnight

on June 15, 2013 - 12:57pm

The sun sets Friday looking west from the Summer Concert at Ashley Pond toward the direction of the Thompson Ridge Fire. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Thompson Ridge Fire

Acres: 24,032; Start date: May 31, 2013; Cause: Downed powerline; Location: Valles Caldera National Preserve; Containment: 75 percent; Fuels: Mixed conifer and Ponderosa pine; Terrain: Steep, rugged; Resources: 13 crews, 29 engines, 29 water tenders, 3 dozers; Total personnel: 763 and Available air support: 5 helicopters.

Summary: Last night fire activity was minimal, and there was no new growth on the fire.

Udall Named Chair of Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee

on June 15, 2013 - 11:32am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.

U.S. Senate News:

WASHINGTON, D.C.– U.S. Sen. Tom Udall has been named Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee.

Udall was named the new to lead the subcommittee by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Chair of the full Appropriations Committee. He succeeds Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who passed away June 3, 2013.

“As Chairman I look forward to the responsibility of ensuring taxpayers dollars are spent wisely and the interests of hardworking families in New Mexico are protected,” Udall said.

College Students Attend Los Alamos Dynamics Summer School at LANL

on June 14, 2013 - 12:05pm

Katy Korkos of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce discusses local businesses and details the many activities available in town  for college students gathered at Tuesday's day-long orientation at the Los Alamos Research Park. The students are participating in the LANL/UCSD Los Alamos Dynamics Summer School Engineering Institute. During Tuesday's orientation, the students heard from a variety of speakers including LANL's Associate Director of Engineering Steve Girrens who welcomed them to the Laboratory. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

College students from across the country are

Learn to Backpack at Bandelier

on June 14, 2013 - 7:36am

Bandelier Backcountry. Photo by Sally King/BNM

BANDELIER News:

Join Bandelier staff and the Los Alamos Mountaineers for the second annual Introduction to Backpacking course.

This three part course will be offered Tuesday June 18, Thursday June 27, and Saturday and Sunday July 20 and 21. We encourage anyone who wants to experience Bandelier’s backcountry beyond day hikes to attend. Both beginner backpackers and those with experience are welcome to participate in this exciting event.

Tuesday, June 18: The Los Alamos Mountaineers and Bandelier staff will offer a presentation uncovering the basics

Thompson Ridge Fire 75 Percent Contained

on June 13, 2013 - 9:28pm

Valles Caldera. Photo by Kristen Honig/Valles Caldera Trust

Thompson Ridge Fire

The Thompson Ridge Fire is now 75 percent contained. The fire started May 31, 2013.

It is burning on the Valles Caldera National Preserve about two miles northeast of La Cueva.

The fire is in steep rugged terrain and is burning mixed conifer and ponderosa pine. The Arizona Central West Zone Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Bea Day, assumed management responsibility for the fire Sunday June 2, 2013.

Information

Incident TypeWildfire
CauseHuman
Date of OriginFriday May 31, 2013 approx. 2 p.m.

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.

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