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Senators: WIPP's Missed Inspections 'Unacceptable'

on August 5, 2014 - 8:47am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced Monday that the Department of Labor has responded to their March request for an explanation detailing why the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) failed to conduct legally required regular safety inspections at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

The senators asked for the information after an investigation into a February truck fire at WIPP revealed that MSHA had done only two inspections during the three years before the accident.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

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Sen. Al Franken Attends Democratic Campaign Headquarters Opening Event in Santa Fe Saturday

on August 4, 2014 - 9:52am
Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard of Los Alamos introduces Sen. Tom Udall to a crowd of several hundred at Saturday's opening of the Democratic Campaign Headquarters in Santa Fe.
Photo by Brad Storey
 
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., addresses the crowd at the opening of Democratic Campaign Headquarters office Saturday in Santa Fe office. Photo by Brad Storey

Sen. Tom Udall speaks to the crowd at Saturday's event in Santa Fe. Photo by Brad Storey

Sen. Al Franken with Public Education Commission candidate Karyl Ann Armbruster of Los Alamos at the opening of  the Democratic Headquarters Saturday

Heinrich on CIA's Redactions in Interrogation Study

on August 4, 2014 - 9:11am

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on the CIA's redactions to the executive summary of the Committee's study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program.

"I was disappointed to learn of the CIA's extensive use of redactions on the Committee's executive summary. Redactions are supposed to remove names or anything that could compromise sources and methods, not to undermine the source material so that it is impossible to understand.

Heinrich Votes to Reform VA System

on August 4, 2014 - 8:23am

Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. released the following statement Thursday after voting to pass the Conference Report for the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act.

The proposal, cosponsored by Heinrich, will improve veterans' access to health care services and address serious systemic problems facing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

"I'm pleased we were able to work together and pass a bipartisan compromise that addresses the chronic mismanagement and systemic problems facing VA facilities

Anti-Nuke Group Gathers To Remember Hiroshima

on August 3, 2014 - 9:02am

Father John Dear of Santa Fe Pax Christi speaks to the group of about 40 people gathered at Ashley Pond Saturday to remember Hiroshima. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

 

By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

Father John Dear and members of Pax Christi spent 30 minutes sitting in silence Saturday on the grass at Ashley Pond Park in remembrance of the Aug. 6 atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 69 years ago.

“We gathered to remember Hiroshima and to repent for the sins of nuclear weapons and beg

LAMC 'Bans the Bag' in Support of Breastfeeding

on August 3, 2014 - 8:40am
By CATHLEEN HEWLETT-MASSER, RNC-OB, IBCLC, CCE,
Northern New Mexico Women's Health, Obstetrical Nurse

In support of breastfeeding the nursing staff at Los Alamos Medical Center’s (LAMC) Women’s Health and Childbirth Center no longer distribute formula company diaper bags as discharge gifts to new families.

Numerous studies over the last 20 years demonstrate that distribution of free diaper discharge bags, gifted to hospitals at no cost by formula companies, decrease exclusive breastfeeding rates.

Heinrich: It's Irresponsible To Believe Refugee Crisis Will Fix Itself

on August 3, 2014 - 8:15am

Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

 

 U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a leading voice in addressing the current Central American refugee crisis on the southern border and staunch advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, voted Thursday in favor of S.2648, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act.

 

The bill failed on a procedural vote that would have allowed it to get a final up or down vote. 

"Inaction is not a viable solution to this incredibly serious problem. It is absolutely irresponsible to believe that this humanitarian crisis will somehow fix itself.

Udall: VA Reform Bill Improves NM Veterans Care

on August 3, 2014 - 8:08am

Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall joined the Senate Thursday in approving a bipartisan measure to reform veterans' care and begin to restore accountability and transparency at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in New Mexico and across the country.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill, which passed by a vote of 91-3, earlier this week. It now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it into law. 

The bill will address barriers that have led to long wait times for doctors' appointments by allowing veterans to get care outside the VA system if

NIST: Hazard Lurks Beneath Many Gas Stations

on August 2, 2014 - 8:01am

Optical micrographs of severe corrosion on steel alloy samples exposed to ethanol and acetic acid vapors - conditions typical of underground gas storage tanks - after 355 hours, 643 hours and 932 hours. Courtesy/NIST

NIST News:

A hidden hazard lurks beneath many of the roughly 156,000 gas stations across the United States.

The hazard is corrosion in parts of underground gas storage tanks—corrosion that could result in failures, leaks and contamination of groundwater, a source of drinking water.

Heinrich On Failure To Pass Bill To Protect Jobs

on August 2, 2014 - 7:53am

Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. released the following statement Wednesday after S. 2569, the Bring Jobs Home Act, failed to overcome a procedural hurdle that requires 60 votes, with a vote of 54 to 42.

 The bill, supported by Heinrich, would protect and promote U.S. job growth by ending a tax incentive for moving jobs overseas and creating a new tax incentive for bringing jobs back to the U.S.

"We shouldn't reward companies that ship jobs overseas with special tax breaks. To most people, that's just common sense.

Heinrich on Confirmed CIA Spying on Senate Panel

on August 1, 2014 - 11:20am

CIA Director John Brennan apologized today for the actions of some agents. Courtesy/wikipedia.com

U.S. SENATE News:

"The Senate Intelligence Committee oversees the CIA, not the other way around." U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the U.S.

Los Alamos Laser Selected For 2020 Mars Mission

on August 1, 2014 - 9:41am

Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • New ‘SuperCam’ instrument adds capabilities to successful ChemCam

NASA announced Thursday that laser technology originally developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory has been selected for its new Mars mission in 2020.

“We are extremely excited to be going to Mars again,” said Los Alamos National Laboratory planetary scientist Roger Wiens, Principal Investigator of the newly selected SuperCam team and current principal investigator of the Curiosity Rover’s ChemCam Team.

Energy Department Conditionally Authorizes Oregon LNG to Export Liquefied Natural Gas

on August 1, 2014 - 9:25am

DOE News:

The Energy Department announced Thursday that it has conditionally authorized LNG Development Co., LLC (Oregon LNG) to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, from the Oregon LNG Terminal in Warrenton, Ore.

The Oregon LNG application was next in the order of precedence and review of the application was initiated before the Department issued the recent proposed procedural change. Subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval, the facility is conditionally authorized

Heinrich Calls For Action: Central American Refugee Crisis, Broken Immigration System

on August 1, 2014 - 9:22am

Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., delivered remarks on the Senate Floor Wednesday calling for action on the current Central American Refugee Crisis and the bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill that passed more than a year ago.

In his speech, Heinrich emphasized the need to pass the Senate's Emergency Supplemental Funding Bill, a proposal introduced by Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., that includes $2.73 billion to help stem the current Central American refugee crisis.

Heinrich also called for action on the Senate's

USDA Extends Deadline for Livestock, Honeybees, Farm-Raised Fish Program Emergency Assistance

on August 1, 2014 - 9:07am

USDA News:

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia announced today that the enrollment deadline for the 2012 and 2013 Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) has been extended to Aug. 15.

Originally, program sign-up was scheduled to end Aug. 1.

 The new deadline gives livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish producers who experienced losses because of disease, adverse weather, wildfires or colony collapse disorder between Oct. 1, 2011 and Sept.

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Luján on House Republicans Suing President Obama

on July 31, 2014 - 11:21am

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján

CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Ben Ray Luján D-N.M. released the following statement after House Republicans moved forward with legislation supporting a lawsuit against the President rather than addressing critical issues facing the country.

"Today House Republicans hit a new low with their frivolous lawsuit against President Obama.

Udall Disappointed in Filibuster of Bill to Protect New Mexico Jobs

on July 31, 2014 - 9:58am

Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall issued the following statement after Republicans blocked the Bring Jobs Home Act, which he supported to protect and create jobs in New Mexico and across the nation by offering incentives for companies that insource jobs and eliminating a tax loophole that benefits companies moving offshore: 

"Today, we had an opportunity to do right by workers in New Mexico and across the country by moving forward on legislation to help build up communities and create jobs right here at home.

DOE Shares Steps For Modernizing Natural Gas Infrastructure

on July 31, 2014 - 9:48am

DOE News:

Building on the President’s Climate Action Plan, the White House and the Department of Energy hosted the fifth in a series of meetings on reducing methane emissions from natural gas systems.

Following the meeting, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced several new initiatives as DOE’s part of the larger Administration Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.

“By expanding our discussions through these methane roundtables, we have heard from several different groups about the benefits to finding workable solutions to the problem of methane leakage,” Secretary Moniz said.

Heinrich Votes For Highway And Transportation Bill Critical To Keeping New Mexicans On The Job

on July 31, 2014 - 8:46am

I-25 map. Courtesy/wikipedia.com

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., voted Tuesday to pass H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, a bill that will prevent an immediate reduction of nearly $129 million in annual funding for construction on roads, bridges, and transit systems in New Mexico, which will support more than 1,600 jobs in the state. 

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 79 to 18 and now goes back to the House.

"Investments in public transit, paved roads, and other transportation infrastructure are critical to providing the groundwork

Momentum Builds For Heinrich's Bill to Improve Hunting and Fishing Access on Public Lands

on July 31, 2014 - 7:36am

Sen. Martin Heinrich

 

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich's, D-N.M., bill to improve hunting and fishing access on public lands received a key hearing Wednesday in the Public Lands, Forests and Mining Subcommittee.

The Hunt Unrestricted on National Treasures (HUNT) Act, introduced by Heinrich last September, would unlock countless public lands in New Mexico and grow the outdoor recreation economy. Hunters and anglers alone spend more than $465 million per year in New Mexico, and outdoor recreation as a whole contributes $6.1 billion to the state's economy.

"The number one

Heinrich Statement on New VA Secretary

on July 30, 2014 - 8:24am

VA Secretary Robert McDonald. Courtesy/Wikipedia

U.S. SENATE News:

 

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., released the following statement July 29 after voting to confirm Robert McDonald as the next U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA):

"Robert McDonald's military and private sector experience will help him provide the leadership and management needed at the VA. I am confident he will contribute to restoring accountability and transparency at the Department of Veterans Affairs and also hire a well-qualified permanent director at the New Mexico VA Medical Center.

"Addressing the

'Comb on a Chip' Powers New NIST/Caltech Atomic Clock Design

on July 30, 2014 - 8:11am

NIST physicists Scott Diddams, left, and Scott Papp with a prototype atomic clock based on a chip-scale frequency comb. Courtesy/ NIST

NIST News:

Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have demonstrated a new design for an atomic clock that is based on a chip-scale frequency comb, or a microcomb.

The microcomb clock, featured on the cover of the inaugural issue of the new journal Optica, is the first demonstration of all-optical control of the microcomb, and its accurate conversion of optical frequencies

MSHA Issues 52 Citations At WIPP

on July 29, 2014 - 7:54am

WIPP News:

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently inspected the WIPP facility. Since underground access was not available at the time of the visit, inspectors focused on the surface facilities.

Following their inspection, MSHA issued 52 citations for various conditions including general workplace tidiness, exposed electrical wiring and missing safety guards on equipment.

Currently, 49 of the citations have been addressed and corrective actions completed. A list of citations and dispositions can be found at here.

The three outstanding citations are related to missing

Baldrige Foundation Accepting Leadership Award Nominations

on July 28, 2014 - 11:24am

Courtesy/BF

BALDRIGE News:

The Baldrige Foundation is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award. The award is presented annually at the Quest for Excellence conference.

In 2013, Sister Mary Jean Ryan, board chair of SSM Health Care, received the Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award. As former president and CEO of SSM Health Care, Sister Mary Jean led the St. Louis-based organization to become the first health care organization to receive a Baldrige Award in 2002.

Baldrige Foundation Board Chair George Benson said that the leadership award—named for the director

Chikungunya Virus Reaches United States

on July 27, 2014 - 12:37pm

Countries and territories where chikungunya cases have been reported. Courtesy/CDC

Chikungunya virus disease cases reported by state or territory – United States, 2014 (as of July 22, 2014). Courtesy/CDC

CDC News:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been closely following reports of the mosquito-borne chikungunya (chik-un-GUHN-ya) virus, which is transmitted to people by mosquitoes.

The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.

In late 2013, the chikungunya

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