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Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Appoints Shannon Pinto To Late Grandfather’s New Mexico Senate Seat

on July 23, 2019 - 5:57am
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed Shannon Pinto to the Senate seat left vacant after the May death of her grandfather, Navajo Code Talker and New Mexico icon Sen. John Pinto.
 
Sen. Pinto will serve the remainder of her grandfather’s term in Senate District 3. She was nominated to fill the vacancy by the San Juan County Commission.
 
Pinto, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, is an educator, having worked as both a middle school and high school math teacher in Tohatchi, N.M.

Gutierrez Named New Mexico MainStreet Director

on July 22, 2019 - 3:11pm

New Mexico MainStreet Daniel J. Gutierrez

NMEDD News:

SANTA FE – Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes has named Daniel J. Gutierrez, a cultural anthropologist who has been working in economic development for over a decade, as director of the New Mexico MainStreet program.

Gutierrez has been involved in New Mexico MainStreet since 2014 and worked closely with Rich Williams, the former program director who retired in April. Gutierrez now assumes the responsibilities permanently.

“Daniel brings a passion for community building to the MainStreet program,” said Cabinet

Congress Moves To Permanently Protect Two National Treasures From Uranium, Oil, Gas Development

on July 22, 2019 - 2:53pm
NWF News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress has taken an important step toward permanently protecting two national treasures in the American West.
 
The House Natural Resources Committee approved H.R. 1373, the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act, which will withdraw a million acres from future mining of uranium and minerals around the Grand Canyon.
 
It also passed H.R. 2181, the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, which protects Chaco Canyon from oil and gas development.
 
“These bills will protect wildlife in two of the country’s most cherished landscapes.

Following House Passage, Heinrich And Rounds Urge Swift Senate Action To Permanently Repeal Cadillac Tax

on July 22, 2019 - 12:57pm
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), the bipartisan leads of Senate legislation to permanently repeal the ‘Cadillac Tax,’ applauded the House of Representatives’ passage of the measure.
 
They also called on the Senate to quickly take up their bill so it can be signed into law.
 
“Eliminating this onerous tax on employees' health coverage will protect important benefits for workers and ensure that businesses and families get a fair deal,” Heinrich said.

New Mexico Unemployment Rate 4.9 Percent In June

on July 22, 2019 - 8:40am
NMDWS News:
 
New Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in June 2019, down from 5.0 percent in May 2019 and up from 4.8 percent in the previous year.
 
The national unemployment rate in June was 3.7 percent, up from 3.6 percent in May 2019 and down from 4.0 percent in June 2018.
 
Total nonagricultural payroll employment grew by 15,200 jobs, or 1.8 percent, between June 2018 and June 2019. Most aggregate gains came from the private sector, which was up 13,900 jobs, or 2.1 percent. The public sector was up 1,300 jobs, or 0.7 percent.

Legislatively-Mandated, One-Time District Realignment For Elected Offices Happening Today, July 22

on July 22, 2019 - 8:33am
Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and her staff will conduct the legislatively-mandated, one-time realignment of certain elected office districts at 10 a.m. today.
 
The process is open to the public and media and will take place at the State Capitol in Santa Fe in addition to being live-streamed on the Legislature’s website.
 
This process, mandated by the passage of House Bill 407 during the 2019 Legislative Session, will consist of the Secretary of State’s Office conducting a one-time renumbering of

Governor Comments After Ernestine Romero Funeral

on July 21, 2019 - 9:53am
From the Office of the Governor:
 
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Saturday attended the funeral of Ernestine Romero, also known as Ernestine Saucedo, the Public Education Department employee and popular local vocalist who was tragically killed July 11 outside the Jerry Apodaca Building in Santa Fe.
 
The governor issued the following statement after the service:
 
“The outpouring of love in the wake of this tragedy has been remarkable,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “In their grief, those who knew Ernestine have honored her memory beautifully.

Letter To The Editor: I Am Sorry To Disagree But...

on July 21, 2019 - 8:20am
By TERRY GOLDMAN
Los Alamos

As always, I am sorry to disagree with the intelligent and thoughtful David Izraelevitz, but this time I am quite sure that his conclusion is wrong: The Rump is not a racist; he is far worse than that. The Rump is an unprincipled opportunist who is willing to appeal to any prejudice: racism, sexism, xenophobia, in order to advance his status.

The flip-flops are especially informative: The Rump recants under pressure so he can claim innocence of the charges, but flops back to reassure his prejudiced supporter that he is only saying what he must to get the

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Appoints Seven New Interstate Stream Commission Members

on July 20, 2019 - 6:04am
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday appointed seven new members to the Interstate Stream Commission and re-appointed an eighth.
 
“Our water is our most precious natural resource,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “These individuals are tasked with upholding the people’s trust and providing for a sustainable future of that resource. My expectation is their diverse knowledge and expertise will serve New Mexicans well.”
 
Per state statute, the governor’s appointees must be representative of diverse major irrigation districts or sections

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich Advances Legislation To Establish Tech-Transfer Maturation Program

on July 19, 2019 - 9:17am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. Senate News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 19, 2019) - U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) has advanced legislation to authorize an Energy Technology Maturation Program at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to facilitate successful commercialization of laboratory-developed energy technologies and boost regional, technology-driven economic impact.

Senator Heinrich introduced the Energy Technology Maturation Program Act of 2019 (S. 1286) earlier this year, and on Tuesday, the bill was reported by a voice vote during a markup in the U.S.

Members Of Congress, Senators Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral STOP Act To Safeguard Tribal Items

on July 19, 2019 - 8:20am
CONGRESSIONAL News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. Thursday, U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), Don Young (R-Alaska), and Tom Cole (R-Okla.) reintroduced the bipartisan Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act, a bill to prohibit the exporting of sacred Native American items and increase penalties for stealing and illegally trafficking tribal cultural patrimony.
 
U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M), the lead author of the legislation, and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced the companion bill in the Senate.
 
“I am proud to

RSF: Hong Kong Journalists Association Deplores ‘One Of The Worst Years’ Of Press Freedom

on July 19, 2019 - 7:40am
In its annual report, the Hong Kong Journalists Association deplores ‘one of the worst years’ of press freedom since the former British colony’s handover to China. Photo by /AFP
 
RSF News:
 
In its annual report published July 7, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) deplores “one of the worst years” of press freedom since the former British colony’s handover to China.
 
In the report, the HKJA raises concerns about the future of press freedom in the former British colony.

PEC Hears Pitch For Local Polaris Charter School

on July 18, 2019 - 9:13pm
LAPS Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus gives his presentation on the concerns about the proposed charter school at Tuesday’s School Board Meeting. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
 
The Polaris team answers questions posed by the Public Education Commission at the Community Input Meeting Tuesday at UNM-LA. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
 
By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post

A proposed new charter school for Los Alamos, Polaris Charter School, was the subject of a Community Input Meeting conducted by the New Mexico Public Education

Udall, Heinrich, Luján Recognize LANL Contributions To State Economy, Employment

on July 18, 2019 - 10:37am

Los Alamos National Laboratory. Courtesy/LANL

 

CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION News:

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) commended findings from an independent economic-impact analysis released Tuesday, which found that Los Alamos National Laboratory is responsible for creating 24,169 jobs in New Mexico.

 

The Economic Impact report, developed by the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), found that the Los Alamos National Laboratory contributes $3.1 billion to the states’

An Open Book: Science And Humanity

on July 18, 2019 - 9:17am
By DAVID IZRAELEVTIZ
Los Alamos
 
Last Saturday was ScienceFest Discovery Day, and it was certainly a discovery Saturday for me. I missed the prior Friday night concert (more about that later), but I wanted to make sure to walk around on Saturday and get a feel for what this ever-improving Los Alamos signature event was all about. I saw loads of kids doing hands-on science experiments or safely peering through telescopes at the Sun.

AFT Joins National Campaign To Tax Rich

on July 17, 2019 - 6:08pm
From the Albuquerque Teachers Federation:

ALBUQUERQUE — The Albuquerque Teachers Federation released today the following message:

We owe billions to students of color, low-income students, and students with disabilities.

For more than 40 years, Title 1 and IDEA have been underfunded. In just the last decade, they have been underfunded by more than $580 billion. It’s time to pay our debt! It’s time to Fund our Future! It’s time the rich paid their fair share.

As part of The American Federation of Teachers’ (AFT) campaign to Fund our Future, the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF) is

Udall Statement On BLM Relocation Proposal

on July 17, 2019 - 5:36pm
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), the ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the Department of the Interior’s budget, released the following statement Tuesday on the Trump Interior Department’s proposal to reorganize the Bureau of Land Management, including to relocate hundreds of staff and move the agency’s official headquarters to Grand Junction, Colo.:
 
“The Interior Department has not made a convincing argument for why such a relocation is necessary or in the best interests of the Bureau of Land

Secretary Of State Releases Amendment To Campaign Finance Rule; Announces Public Input Process

on July 17, 2019 - 5:59am
SOS Maggie Toulouse Oliver
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver released Tuesday a draft amendment to the state’s Campaign Finance Rule and announced a public hearing in the state’s capital to gather community input about the draft amendment.
 
The amendment was mandated by the passage of Senate Bill 3 during the 2019 New Mexico Legislative Session, which directed the Secretary of State to promulgate rules in order to implement the changes to the Campaign Reporting Act (“the Act”) contained in Senate Bill 3. 
 
“The proposed amendment to the

New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf Selected For National Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship

on July 16, 2019 - 4:58pm

Speaker Brian Egolf

NM Legislature News:

SANTA FE – Speaker of the House of Representatives Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) has been selected for the national Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership.

The program will bring together elected officials who have shown exceptional leadership and the ability to work across party lines.

Speaker Egolf was nominated for the Fellowship by Tobias Read, the State Treasurer of Oregon, and is one of only 24 elected political “rising stars” from around the country to be chosen.

“Speaker Egolf has been a long-time champion for New Mexico

Maggie Toulouse Oliver: It’s Time to Abolish ICE

on July 16, 2019 - 10:10am

From the Maggie Toulouse Oliver For Senate Campaign:
  • Agency Created to Fight Terrorism Now Creates Terror in U.S.

SANTA FE -- New Mexico Secretary of State and candidate for U.S. Senate Maggie Toulouse Oliver called today for the federal government to do away with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency saying that it has overstepped its original mission and is actually undermining safety and stability in American communities.
 

“It’s time to abolish ICE,” Toulouse Oliver said. “ICE was created to stop terrorism and keep Americans safe.

Udall, Heinrich: $1 Million Grant For Veterans Housing

on July 16, 2019 - 6:57am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Monday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) have announced that the New Mexico Affordable Housing Charitable Trust in partnership with New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority will receive a $1 million competitive grant for a Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program.
 
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
 
The U.S.

Luján Calls On Nexstar And AT&T/DirecTV To End Blackout Of News Programs In New Mexico

on July 15, 2019 - 6:24pm

Congressional Delegation News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. House Assistant Speake Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Representatives Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) called on Nexstar and AT&T/DirecTV to restore access to critical news programs in New Mexico as the two companies continue negotiations.

In the letter to Nexstar Chief Executive Officer Perry Sook and AT&T/DirecTV Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson, Luján, Haaland and Torres Small criticized that ongoing negotiations have put their constituents at risk because of a loss of access to KRQE and Fox New

Valerie Plame Off To Strongest Start In New Mexico 3rd Congressional District Race

on July 15, 2019 - 5:52pm

Valerie Plame

From the Valerie Plame For CD3 Campaign:

SANTA FE Valerie Plame announces the strongest fundraising haul in the Democratic primary race for the New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District, according to FEC filings.

Plame reports having raised $236,373.44 and received 3,889 individual donations. Her campaign reports that her average donation was just $60.78. Candidate filings were due today for the 2nd quarter, which covered April 1 to June 30. 

Plame raised the most money for the quarter despite having announced her campaign roughly halfway through the quarter, on May 9.

“I’m

Two Years After Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo’s Death, China Remains World’s Largest Prison Of Journalists

on July 15, 2019 - 5:11pm
Courtesy/RSF
 
RSF News:
 
Two years after the death of Nobel Peace Prize and RSF Award laureate Liu Xiaobo while in detention, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates that China remains the largest prison in the world for defenders of free information.
 
As the world commemorates the second anniversary of the death of Nobel Peace Prize and RSF Award laureate Liu Xiaobo, whose cancer was left untreated in detention, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates that China remains the biggest prison for journalists, with at least 112 of them behind bars.
 
“Despite the international

DEA: Pence Attends $569 Million Cocaine Offload

on July 15, 2019 - 5:10pm
DEA News:
 
CORONADO, Calif. Vice President Mike Pence, Office of National Drug Control Policy Director James W. Carroll, Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon and Vice Admiral Linda Fagan, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, attended a United States Coast Guard drug offload July 11 at Naval Base Coronado.
 
Agents with the DEA, FBI, Customs and Border Protection and the crew of the USCG Cutter Munro offloaded more than 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana, worth a combined estimated $569 million, which was seized in international waters

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