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Udall, Heinrich Secure Historic New Mexico Conservation Wins In Public Lands Package

on February 14, 2019 - 10:43am
WASHINGTON, D.C. Tuesday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich voted to pass the Natural Resources Management Act, a historic bipartisan public lands package that includes several New Mexico conservation priorities championed by Udall and Heinrich, including landmark legislation to permanently authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), along with three major bills to establish wilderness within the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks (OMDP) National Monument and Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.
The historic package of over 100 land and water

Letter To The Editor: Comments On Politics...

on February 14, 2019 - 10:18am
Los Alamos

Mark Twain is quoted as saying: Lies, damned lies and statistics! Some of our NM political figures are trying hard to replace the last with 'politics'.

Rep. James Townsend complains that the "rocket docket" bills are not being sufficiently vetted by committees and more reviews are required. Yet these bills were passed by substantial bipartisan majorities before being vetoed by the previous Governor.
So the complaint is window-dressing (to use a polite term) to make it appear that Republicans are doing something to protect New Mexicans when actually they are

Legislative Roundup: Feb. 14

on February 14, 2019 - 8:35am
Katherine Sanchez, left, and Carol Nelson, both lobbyists for the Sierra Club, speak Wednesday in the Capitol Rotunda with Scott Bol of the New Mexico Wildlife Center about a rescued redtailed hawk that serves as an educational ambassador for the Española-based wildlife rehabilitation center. Photo by Luis Sánchez Saturno/The New Mexican
A rescued redtailed hawk that serves as an educational ambassador for New Mexico Wildlife Center in Española makes a visit to the state Capitol Wednesday. Photo by Luis Sánchez Saturno/The New Mexican
SFNM News:
Days remaining in session: 30

Schmidt: Let Me Introduce Myself...

on February 14, 2019 - 8:32am
Los Alamos County Councilor

As the newest member of County Council, I want to introduce myself to those of you whom I haven’t yet met. 

I am excited to have the opportunity to represent the people of Los Alamos and serve as a public official.

I began my professional career in public affairs working for the International Affairs Division of the Niigata Prefecture, a region of Japan comparable in population to the state of New Mexico. I presently teach fourth grade at Barranca Mesa Elementary and previously taught eighth grade in my home state of Wisconsin.

In my daily

Head2Head: Who Do You Trust?

on February 14, 2019 - 8:29am
Los Alamos Daily Post

One of the most powerful factors pushing polarization is, of course, the rise of social media. People follow pages or people that reflect their own politics and then get “news” from them in their feed. If most of your friends agree with your politics, they’re weighing in and sharing things with you that you’re inclined to accept as true.

This is fine as far as it goes, but sometimes friends and other sources you’re inclined to trust, re-tweet questionable information. You trust THEM, so you trust what they sent you.

County Council Seeks Feedback On 2019 Priorities

on February 14, 2019 - 8:27am
Los Alamos County Council discussing its 2019 Strategic Leadership Plan Tuesday night in Council Chambers. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/
The Los Alamos County Council is seeking community feedback about the 2019 Strategic Leadership Plan unanimously adopted Feb. 12 at the Council meeting. Seven priorities have been identified as focus areas this year:
Increasing the amount and types of housing options. 
This includes a variety of housing options for all segments of the community, from affordable, entry level, and live-work housing to new options for those

Secretary Of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver On Passage Of Campaign Finance Bill By New Mexico State Senate

on February 14, 2019 - 8:24am
Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver
SANTA FE Wednesday, the New Mexico State Senate passed an important bill on the Senate floor that will improve transparency in our campaign finance system.
Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate today 36-6 and, if it becomes law, will create clearer and more robust reporting requirements for money spent trying to influence our elections in New Mexico.
“In the post-Citizens United era when bigger and bigger amounts of money are being spent to influence our elections, New Mexicans deserve the strongest and most transparent

Letter To The Editor: Knee Jerk Reaction Against President Trump ... Happy With Outcome?

on February 14, 2019 - 7:56am
White Rock
The State’s, and for that matter, the County’s knee jerk reaction against President Trump, swept Democrats into office. Are you happy with the outcome?
The Legislative bills now being railroaded through include:
1). A 53% increase in tax when you buy a new or used car and register it;
2). A 12% increase in personal income tax;
3). A 32% increase in personal income tax for higher income families (over $200 K);
4). A movement to eliminate the 3% per year allowable increase in property tax;
5). A 10 cent per gallon gasoline tax;
6). A requirement that

LAPS Notice Of Possible Quorum Feb. 18

on February 14, 2019 - 7:43am

AHF: Learning From Hiroshima And Nagasaki

on February 13, 2019 - 9:11am

Paper cranes. Courtesy/AHF

Atomic Heritage Foundation News:

The Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the 7,700 members of the Mayors for Peace urge that the world remember the devastation and suffering caused by the world’s first atomic bombings. Their goal is both timely and urgent.

Cynthia C. Kelly, founder and president of the Atomic Heritage Foundation (AHF), is traveling in Japan to interview Mayor Kazumi Matsui, president of Mayors for Peace, Thursday in Hiroshima. She also will interview Mayor Tomihisa Taue of Nagasaki Feb.

Letter To The Editor: A Reply...

on February 13, 2019 - 7:49am
Los Alamos
Mr. Burke’s letter was very strange to me (link). There were 10 candidates that were all qualified to fill Christine Chandler’s County Council seat for different reasons. All had different backgrounds, and a differing perspective of how the county needed to position itself for the future. I was surprised by the decision, but I don’t think there was a bad choice to be made.
Mr. Burke’s letter is not good optics for him or the Republican Party. While he is certainly entitled to his own opinion, there is a time and a place to air it.

Rep. Gail Armstrong Proposes Tax Break For Senior Citizens In New Mexico

on February 13, 2019 - 7:20am
Rep. Gail Armstrong
SANTA FE New Mexico’s Senior Citizens deserve a tax break and they would receive one under a new measure proposed by Rep. Gail Armstrong (R-Magdalena).
House Bill 477 (HB 477) would allow senior citizens to claim up to $24,000 in Social Security Income without being forced to pay state taxes. If passed, HB 477 could mean a tax break of hundreds of dollars every year for senior citizens on a fixed income.
“Our senior citizens deserve a break,” Rep. Armstrong said.

Legislative Women Cross Party Lines To Form Caucus

on February 13, 2019 - 7:18am
The newly formed Women's Caucus is comprised of members from both sides of the aisle and both the House and Senate and includes Rep. Christine Chandler of Los Alamos, 5th from right. Courtesy photo
SANTA FE Tuesday, the New Mexico Legislative Women’s Caucus, comprised of women from both sides of the aisle, held a press conference to announce their bipartisan, bicameral leadership.
The Women’s Caucus elected Co-Chairs, Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Kelly K. Fajardo (R-Los Lunas), Co-Vice Chairs Rep. Gail Armstrong (R-Magdalena) and Rep.

Senate Passes SB47 – Historic Win For Public Lands

on February 13, 2019 - 7:08am
TRCP News:
WASHINGTON, D.C — Leading conservation organizations and hunting and fishing groups are celebrating Senate passage of a critical public lands bill, which would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund and support other important conservation programs.
43 groups recently called on the Senate to vote on the bipartisan legislation (S.47) that was negotiated by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) last Congress.
“Today’s vote sends a strong message that we can find consensus in our support for our public lands,” said Whit

Legislative Roundup: Feb. 13

on February 13, 2019 - 7:00am
Brooklyn Valencia, left, and Mercedes Strong dance a sevillanas Tuesday in the Rotunda of the state Capitol. Lawmakers from the House of Representatives and the Senate held a joint session to honor Hispanic Culture Day at the Capitol, which included some dance and musical events. Robert Nott/The New Mexican
By The New Mexican
Days remaining in session: 32
Round 3 for coyotes: Hunters, trappers and landowners in New Mexico can kill as many coyotes as they want, anytime they want. Like skunks, coyotes are an unprotected fur-bearer.
A bipartisan group of state legislators wants to alter this

Background Check For Firearms Act Passes House

on February 12, 2019 - 6:30pm
SANTA FE House Bill 8, the “Background Check for Firearms Act,”  sponsored by Rep. Debra M. Sariñana (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque), has passed the House of Representatives.
House Bill 8 would require background checks when conducting sales of a firearm.
“We must do all we can to prevent gun violence,” Rep. Debbie Sariñana (D-Albuquerque) said. “I have been personally impacted by gun violence, and have seen the way gun violence affects our children and our communities.

‘Student Loan Bill Of Rights’ Passes Committee

on February 12, 2019 - 9:57am
House Democrats News: News:
SANTA FE Monday, the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee passed a bill to enact a “Student Loan Bill of Rights” to protect student loan borrowers from exploitation.
House Bill 172, sponsored by Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil (D-Albuquerque), requires student loan servicers to register and obtain a state license.
“This legislation cracks down on student loan service providers that prey on students.

Moving Arts Española Gala Draws Mayors; Lab Officials

on February 12, 2019 - 9:18am

Welcoming 80 guests to the annual Moving Arts Española fundraising gala are Executive/School Director and Co-founder Salvador Ruiz-Esquivel, right, and his partner Artistic Director/Co-founder Roger Montoya Feb. 2 at Los Luceros Ranch north of Española near the village of Alcalde. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

The gala was a joyful event attended by Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Thom Mason, center, and Northern New Mexico College President Rick Bailey, third from left, who introduced Mason to educators including Española Superintendent of Schools Bobbie Gutierrez, left,

Letter To The Editor: County Council – (Sigh!) More of the Same

on February 12, 2019 - 7:56am
2018 County Council Candidate
In case you missed the January 29 County Council meeting, there was an agenda item to fill the Council seat vacated by Christine Chandler.
On Jan. 15, there was one applicant for the seat. By the deadline of Jan. 24, there were 10. The list of applicants included enthusiastic citizens, small business owners, candidates that ran in the last election, a professional engineer with a history as a professional electrician, an international negotiator that served on the Planning and Zoning Commission and another with an MBA and tons of experience.

‘It’s Frustrating Being A Republican This Year’

on February 12, 2019 - 7:00am
State Rep. Rebecca Dow, R-Truth or Consequences, speaks Thursday on the House floor. With far fewer Republicans in the House this year and little chance of getting measures passed on their own, Dow says, ‘I’m encouraging folks on those things they feel are really important to call the Democrat representatives and ask them to vote according to New Mexico constituents, not just a party platform.’ Photo by Luis Sánchez Saturno/The New Mexican
Lonely guy: State Rep.

Legislative Roundup: Feb. 12

on February 12, 2019 - 5:54am
Anne Hanika-Ortiz walks along the painting-lined Annex Walkway Monday leading to the Capitol.. The Roundhouse and adjoining annex are home to the New Mexico Capitol Art Collection, which consists of 650 pieces by New Mexican artists including ceramics, photography, textiles and paintings. Photo by Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican
A mixed-media artwork titled "Mogollon Lion" by Linda Brewer was on display Monday in the Annex Walkway at the Capitol.

Debate Begins On Details Of New Ethics Commission

on February 12, 2019 - 5:53am
Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales
New Mexico voters spoke, overwhelmingly backing a constitutional amendment last year to create an independent ethics commission.
Now, it is up to lawmakers to decide exactly how the commission will work.
Democrats in the state House of Representatives on Monday put forward the first plan of the legislative session for setting up the ethics panel, proposing a board that would work with broad secrecy.
Confidentiality provisions immediately raised concerns from some of the biggest proponents of creating the

‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Bill Advances To House Floor

on February 12, 2019 - 5:29am
Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Thomson
SANTA FE The House Education Committee has passed a bill to add consent language to the state’s sexual education curriculum.
House Bill 133, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson (D-Albuquerque), would require public schools and public post-secondary educational institutions to adopt policies and procedures addressing affirmative consent and prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
According to the 2017 New Mexico Youth Risk & Resilience Survey of New Mexico high school students, 8

New Mexico State Senate Unanimously Confirms Jen Paul Schroer Cabinet Secretary For Tourism Department

on February 11, 2019 - 5:08pm

Jen Paul Schroer


Today the New Mexico State Senate unanimously confirmed Jen Paul Schroer as the Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Tourism Department.

The Senate complimented Secretary Schroer on her dedication and expertise in growing tourism and regional economies in the state as well as commending her background in uniting tourism and hospitality industry partners, in both private and public sector, to position the Land of Enchantment as a top destination for venturesome travelers.

“We are going to take New Mexico True to the next level,” Secretary Schroer said, “Working

New Mexico State Senate Unanimously Confirms Human Services Department Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D.

on February 11, 2019 - 4:49pm

David R. Scrase, M.D.

SANTA FE  – The New Mexico State Senate unanimously confirmed David R. Scrase, M.D. today as Secretary of the Human Services Department.

“Dr. Scrase is an effective leader, and knows all facets of the Human Services Department, especially the Medicaid program and I am honored to carry his nomination,” Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino said during today’s Senate confirmation. “The Governor has made a terrific nomination in Dr. Scrase to head the Human Services Department.”

Gov.  Michelle Lujan Grisham appointed Secretary Scrase Dec. 15, 2018.

“Secretary Scrase is showing