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Bandelier's Tom Betts Wins Highest National Park Service Ranger Award

on July 5, 2014 - 2:04pm

From left, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, Bandelier Chief Ranger Tom Betts with Yount Award, Bett's son Drew, wife Beth, daughter Dana and mother Kathy. Courtesy/NPS


Bandelier National Monument Chief Ranger Tom Betts, a 32-year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), has been named the 2013 recipient of the Harry Yount National Park Ranger Award.

The honor, bestowed at a ceremony June 25 in Washington, D.C., is the NPS’s highest accolade for excellence in the art and science of rangering.

Betts, who grew up in national parks as a park ranger’s son, became

New Mexico's Lujan Grisham Proposes National Homeowners Bill of Rights

on July 5, 2014 - 8:13am

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham


U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M.-01, last week introduced the National Homeowners Bill of Rights Act of 2014 (NHBOR), which will help protect homeowners and ensure working-class families can benefit from the housing recovery.

“This legislation gives homeowners the necessary resources to protect their rights,” Lujan Grisham said.

Lujan Grisham Marks 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act

on July 4, 2014 - 7:16am

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham


U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M.-01, marked the 50th anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act July 2 by calling on Congress to pass an update to the landmark legislation, the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.   

“It could be argued that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the most significant law in this nation’s history, and today’s anniversary is a time to remember the debt all of us owe to all of the courageous leaders of the civil rights movement,” Lujan Grisham said.

New Mexico One of Five States Receiving $1.7 Million in FEMA Fire Preparedness Grants

on July 2, 2014 - 8:30am

FEMA News:

Fire departments in five states, including New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas have been awarded more than $1.69 million in preparedness grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

In New Mexico, the grant totals $84,093 and covers the cost of firefighting equipment and wellness and fitness equipment for the City of Alamogordo Fire Department.

A grant awarded in Arkansas totals $36,100 and pays for an air quality control device for a fire truck for the Gravel Ridge Fire Department.

Bandelier Hosts 3rd Naturalization Ceremony July 4

on July 1, 2014 - 7:53am
Last year's naturalization ceremony. Courtesy/NPS
July 4th is traditionally the day when Americans celebrate our freedom and independence. This year, building on the success of the last two years’ events, Bandelier National Monument is proud to partner with the United States Citizenship and Naturalization Services to host a naturalization ceremony at the park.
Fifteen candidates from 12 countries, after working for years to fulfill their requirements, will be taking the oath and becoming the newest citizens of the United States.

Beginning at 11 a.m., Bandelier Superintendent

Udall: Supreme Court Wrong to Put Corporate Interests Ahead of Women's Health

on July 1, 2014 - 6:53am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall


U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to protect corporate interests while rolling back women’s access to contraception:

“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong. The Court's ruling in Hobby Lobby is a step backward for women’s health and another disturbing decision in which the justices put corporate interests ahead of American citizens. Nearly every woman in the United States will use birth control at some point in her life.

Scientists Say Tall, Wide Walls Will Calm Tornado Alley

on June 30, 2014 - 9:06am

Researchers uncover a surprising way of neutralizing tornado threat. Courtesy/

HSWN News:

In the United States, most devastating tornadoes occur in Tornado Alley, which is a strip of land between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains, including most American Midwest states.

In 2013, there were 811 confirmed tornadoes in the United States, 57 in Europe, and 3 in China. Among 811 tornadoes in the United States, most, especially the most devastating ones, occurred in Tornado Alley.

Scientists say that building three 300 meter high and 50 meter wide walls, at the cost

LANL: Scientists Ignite Aluminum Water Mix

on June 30, 2014 - 7:51am

LANL chemist Bryce Tappan ignites a small quantity of aluminum nanoparticle water mixture.  In open air, the compound burns like a Fourth of July sparkler.  Courtesy/LANL

When dry, aluminum nanoparticles look like simple dark gray dust. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Combustion mechanism of aluminum nanoparticles and water published in prestigious German chemistry journal

Don't worry, that beer can you’re holding is not going to spontaneously burst into flames, but under the right circumstances aluminum does catch fire, and the exact mechanism that governs how, has long been a mystery.


Today Marks Anniversary of Granite Mountain Tragedy

on June 30, 2014 - 7:38am

Staff Report

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona, which killed 19 “hotshot” firefighters. This summer, the interagency wildland fire community will mark the one-year anniversary of the Yarnell Hill Fire accident and the 20-year anniversary of the South Canyon Fire accident of July 6, 1994.

Although these accidents were separated in time by 19 years, they are bound together by several tragic commonalities.

SSCI’s Cybersecurity Bill Would Chill News Reporting

on June 29, 2014 - 10:44am

NNA News:

By RICK BLUM / The Sunshine in Government Initiative

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014 (CISA), released as a draft by Chairman Dianne Feinstein June 17 and soon to be considered by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, would threaten the flow of accurate news and information to the public and policymakers.

The bill would allow government agencies to collect, without a warrant or other traditional legal process, journalists’ phone and other records if the government considers the journalists or their sources threats to the security of information stored on

WIPP: Plans Ongoing to Evaluate All Drums in Panel 7, Room 7

on June 29, 2014 - 10:17am

WIPP has created a mock-up of Room 7 to test various 'reach' tools. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

As the investigation into the cause of the Feb. 14 radiological release continues, WIPP teams are working to create a system to examine all containers in Panel 7, Room 7. To date, visual inspection of the room's 24 rows of
waste containers has been limited to rows 15 to 24.

Workers are evaluating several different systems that would allow recovery teams to obtain video imaging, thermography, and sampling data on the waste containers in rows 1-14 – those that are the furthest back in the room.

Udall Secures Resources for N.M. Wildfire Prevention, Border Security, FLETC in DHS Appropriations Bill

on June 28, 2014 - 8:08am

Sen. Tom Udall


U.S. Sen. Tom Udall joined the Appropriations Committee June 26 in approving a bill that provides critical Fiscal Year 2015 funding to protect New Mexico’s border, ensure our ports of entry operate smoothly and address the use of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Artesia to detain women and children in removal proceedings.

Udall also included an amendment that would help New Mexico communities prevent serious wildfires.

Heinrich on Immigration Reform: A Year of Inaction

on June 28, 2014 - 7:33am

Sen. Martin Heinrich


U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., released the following statement June 27 calling on House Republicans to act on the Senate bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate one year ago:

"After a vigorous public debate last year, the Senate passed a common-sense proposal to reform our country's immigration policies.

DOE Launches Micro-grid 2014 MVP Challenge

on June 27, 2014 - 8:38am

DOE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Micro-grid 2014 MVP Challenge, a competition to support resiliency and adaptation in communities across America.

The Challenge will recognize local organizations that have adopted successful grid strategies that are able to continue providing vital public services during power disruptions caused by severe weather and other events. As part of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan, the competition advances the President’s commitment to helping the nation prepare for the impacts of climate change. 


Senate Votes to Improve Training & Education for New Mexico Workers, Job Seekers

on June 27, 2014 - 8:29am

Sen. Tom Udall


U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. joined the Senate in voting 95-3 to pass a bipartisan bill that will help New Mexico workers get updated workforce and skills training to better enable them to compete for new jobs and career advancement.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which is expected to pass the U.S. House of Representatives soon, will also help employers find the qualified workers they need to grow and expand their businesses.

"This bill is a critical investment in New Mexico’s workforce,” Udall said.

DOE Project Captures Million-plus Metric Tons of CO2

on June 27, 2014 - 8:25am
DOE News:
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., has announced a major milestone: successfully capturing more than one million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the hydrogen-production facility in Port Arthur, Texas.
Using an innovative technology called vacuum swing adsorption, the project captures more than 90 percent of the CO2 from the product stream of two commercial-scale steam methane reformers that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere.
In addition to the secure storage, captured carbon from the project will

Heinrich Votes For Bill To Improve NM Workforce Programs

on June 27, 2014 - 7:57am

Sen. Martin Heinrich


Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., voted to pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a bipartisan bill to improve existing federal workforce development programs in New Mexico.

"It is critical now more than ever to equip New Mexicans with the tools they need to compete in today's job market," Heinrich said. "This bill helps update and streamline some of New Mexico's federal workforce development programs, which means more training and education opportunities for job seekers or those looking to sharpen their skills.

New Energy Efficiency Standards for Furnace Fans to Reduce Carbon Pollution, Save on Energy Bills

on June 27, 2014 - 7:37am

DOE News:

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a new energy efficiency standard for furnace fans, the latest of eight finalized standards, and nine proposed standards issued since the Climate Action Plan was announced last year.

These efficiency standards cut carbon pollution and save American families and businesses money by saving energy.

NBA Draft Prospect Alex Kirk Thanks Los Alamos

on June 26, 2014 - 5:18pm
2014 NBA Draft Prospect Alex Kirk expressed his appreciation to the people of Los Alamos during an interview today at the Los Alamos Daily Post. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Los Alamos native Alex Kirk, center, with former Lobos athlete Emmanuel Negedu and his father Los Alamos County Municipal Judge Alan Kirk today outside the Los Alamos Daily Post headquarters on Central Avenue. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos Native Alex Kirk will go down in history as the first player ever to make it to the NBA Draft who

Senators Press Increased Transparency on U.S. Drone Policy

on June 26, 2014 - 4:10pm

From left, Senators Ron Wyden, Martin Heinrich and Mark Udall


U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mark Udall, D-Colo. pressed the Obama administration today for additional transparency on U.S. drone policy, including its interpretations of when it can take lethal action outside of declared war zones and against Americans.

The senators - all members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence - also said the American people have a right to know the "limits and boundaries" of the president's power to take lethal action against them.


Launch of VA Open Burn Pit Registry Helps Veterans Get Needed Care

on June 24, 2014 - 7:28am

Msgt. Jessey Baca


U.S. Sen. Tom Udall welcomed news that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has launched the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, which he was instrumental in creating through bipartisan legislation.

Similar to the Agent Orange and Gulf War registries, the burn pit registry will enable the VA to track service members and veterans exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes from open burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Heinrich Cosponsors Net Neutrality Legislation

on June 24, 2014 - 7:14am

Sen. Martin Heinrich


WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an effort to ensure an open Internet, Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. cosponsored S. 2476, the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, a bill that would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish rules that prohibit preferential treatment or prioritization of Internet traffic.

The legislation would ensure that start-ups and entrepreneurs have access to the marketplace and consumers can access all content on the Internet equally.

"New Mexicans have made it clear that they want to protect net neutrality,"

Luján Writes to DOJ on Veterans Treatment at Albuquerque VA Facility

on June 24, 2014 - 7:07am

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján


U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District wrote a letter Monday to U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney General Eric Holder concerning reports of mismanagement at the Albuquerque Veterans Affairs (VA) facility and mistreatment of veterans.

In the letter, Luján highlights the similarities in problems that have been exposed in Phoenix and in Albuquerque and the fact that DOJ is actively investigating the Phoenix VA facility, and should consider expanding its investigation to Albuquerque if necessary.

Below is the text of the

President Urged to End Bulk Collection of Phone Records

on June 22, 2014 - 8:01am

Sen. Martin Heinrich


WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., urged President Obama to take immediate steps, while Congress works to pass true surveillance reform, to end the ongoing bulk collection of Americans' phone records.

The senators, who all serve on the U.S.

DOE Releases Water-Energy Nexus Report

on June 21, 2014 - 8:36am

DOE News:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a new report that presents an integrated challenge and opportunity around the water-energy nexus for DOE and its partners, and lays the foundation for future efforts.  

Present day water and energy systems are closely intertwined. Water is used in all phases of energy production and electricity generation. Energy is required to extract and deliver clean water for a broad spectrum of human uses. 

Recent developments have focused national attention on the connection between water and energy production.