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Senators Murkowski, Heinrich Introduce Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act

on February 10, 2015 - 5:48am

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski

U.S. SENATE News:

  • Bill Aims To Enhance Opportunities For Hunters, Anglers, Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., have introduced the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2015.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

Access to public lands is the number one issue for America's sportsmen and women.

SFNF Waives Fees Presidents Day Weekend

on February 9, 2015 - 3:13pm

Santa Fe National Forest. Courtesy/SFNF

SFNF News:

SANTA FEThe Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) will waive fees at many recreation sites and amenities over the Presidents Day weekend Feb. 14-16. 

Fees at all national forests and grasslands will be waived at many day-use sites, such as picnic grounds and developed trailheads, in cooperation with other federal agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Day-use fees will be waived at all standard amenity fee sites operated by the Santa Fe National Forest. 

Remaining fee waiver dates in 2015:

  • June 13, National Get Outdoors

Representative Files Legislation To Allow Adjunct Teachers To Teach In New Mexico

on February 9, 2015 - 2:33pm

Rep. Conrad James

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Rep. Conrad James announced today that he has filed legislation that will allow industry professionals to teach part time in the classroom without having to go back to college to receive their teaching degree.

This will allow experts in their respective fields to share their knowledge with students.

“Every classroom deserves a good teacher,” James said. “With this bill, not only will we be able to recruit more teachers – we can bring industry experts into the classroom where they can pass on their wealth of knowledge and experience directly to the

Udall And Heinrich To Visit Los Alamos To Celebrate Passage Of Manhattan Project National Historical Park

on February 9, 2015 - 11:20am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

LA HISTORICAL SOCIETY News:

The community is invited to join Sen. Tom Udall and Sen. Martin Heinrich 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday in the Mesa Public Library upstairs rotunda for a special reception and chance to thank them for all of the work they did to ensure passage of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

U.S. Sen.Martin Heinrich

At 3:30 p.m., the senators will participate in a short program to talk about the importance of the park and its importance to Los Alamos.

NMSA Welcomes Guest Artist Kathleen Hill

on February 9, 2015 - 9:40am

 
NMSA News:
 
SANTA FE – Feb. 12, 13 and 14, the New Mexico School for the Arts (NMSA) Music Department will host Violist and Conductor Kathleen Hill to present master classes to NMSA students.
 
The master classes, 2-6 p.m. Thursday, 2-5 p.m. Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday will take place at New Mexico School for the Arts, 275 E. Alameda in Santa Fe, and are free and open to the public.
 
Kathleen Hill was born in Wisconsin where she began her early music training on viola. At a young age, she moved to Albuquerque, where she graduated from Sandia High School.

Bandelier Celebrates 99 Years Wednesday

on February 9, 2015 - 9:26am

Old entrance sign for Bandelier. Courtesy/NPS

BANDELIER News:

Bandelier National Monument has two special events this week including the park's 99th anniversary Wednesday and three fee-free days over the Presidents Day weekend, Feb. 14, 15 and 16.

Feb. 11, 1916, then-President Woodrow Wilson used the power provided to him by the Antiquities Act to authorize a little-known, remote area in a little-known, remote state to be protected as Bandelier National Monument.

2015 NMAA Winter State Championship Information

on February 9, 2015 - 9:25am

NMAA News:

ALBUQUERQUEThe New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) has announced the following information regarding the upcoming 2015 Winter State Championships:

Swimming and Diving
Official Championship Name: Streamline Swimstore State Swimming and Diving Championships presented by Farmers Insurance Group
Tickets: Adults: $8, Students/Seniors: $5
Championship Location: Albuquerque Academy
Championship Dates: Feb. 20-21
Live Video Stream: Championships - http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/channels/new-mexico
Championship Results: Results will be posted at www.nmact.org by 7 p.m., Feb. 21

Wrestling

New Mexico Entrepreneurs Invited To Give Ski Lift Elevator Pitch For Chance At $10,000 Grand Prize

on February 9, 2015 - 8:55am

BUSINESS News:

SANTA FE – A select few New Mexico entrepreneurs get the chance of a lifetime on a ski lift. These entrepreneurs will get 15 minutes riding up a chairlift at Taos Ski Valley to convince an investor that their idea is the next big thing. One start-up business owner will receive the grand prize of $10,000.

The elevator-pitch style contest, called the ABQid Ski Lift Pitch Contest (www.skiliftpitch.com), is the first of its kind in New Mexico.

Merger Creates Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region

on February 9, 2015 - 8:07am

BBBS News:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern New Mexico merged in January 2015 to become Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region.

The two nonprofit organizations dedicated to ensuring that New Mexico youth achieve success in life are now more capable than ever in meeting their goals.

It's a new name, but the impact remains: starting incredible one-to-one relationships built on trust and friendship that can blossom into a future of unlimited potential.

Letter to the Editor: HB 41 Will Hurt Kids And Educators

on February 8, 2015 - 11:58am
By CARRIE APGAR
Los Alamos

It's time to do your research and be heard.

Below is an email that I sent to Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard. If you agree with my stand on this very important issue, now is the time to contact our New Mexico Legislators and let them know how you feel.

Hello Rep. Garcia Richard,

I, as a tax-payer and mother of three children, two of whom are out of the public school system (thank God), must voice my opinion regarding the upcoming proposal of HB41.

Have you read this ridiculous proposal? If not, here is the Bill in it's entirety.

Hanna Skandera is an embarrassment

Bill To Improve Lobbyist Disclosure Goes To House Committee Monday

on February 8, 2015 - 10:23am

Rep. Jeff Steinborn

STATE News:

Rep. Jeff Steinborn’s, D-Doña Ana, HB 155 will be heard 1:30 p.m. Monday by the House Regulatory and Public Affairs Committee in Room 315 at the Roundhouse. The bill will improve the process by which lobbyists and their employers disclose their spending, the issues on which they are lobbying, and their campaign contributions.

In 2013, there were approximately six lobbyists for every one of New Mexico’s 112 legislators.

Governor Discusses Graduation Rates, Truancy And Dropout Prevention Efforts

on February 8, 2015 - 9:45am

Gov. Susana Martinez

STATE News:

  • Class of 2014 Graduation Rate Was 68.5 percent

Santa Fe — The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) has announced that the graduation rate for the Class of 2014 was 68.5 percent.

This statewide rate represents a small drop from the 2013 rate of 70 percent, but remains 5.5 percentage points higher than the graduation rate from four years ago.

“Teachers tell me all the time that we know which students are most at-risk of dropping out, so we need to do more to get them the help and attention they need to keep them in the classroom.

Transparency Bills Aim At Dark Money

on February 8, 2015 - 7:30am

Image/CCNM

STATE News:

Rep. Jim Smith, R-Bernalillo, Sandoval and Santa Fe and Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, introduced HB 278 and SB 384 to adapt the state’s campaign reporting act to new trends in state and national campaigns including the formation of independent groups whose donors often are anonymous.

The bills also will bring New Mexico’s election code into compliance with recent court decisions. Smith said that the influence of independent expenditures, often called “dark money,” is growing dramatically and is drowning out the voices of everyday New Mexicans.

“Everyone deserves

Luján Joins Bipartisan Effort To Improve Privacy Protections For Electronic Communications

on February 6, 2015 - 3:39pm

Rep. Ben Ray Luján

CONGRESSIONAL News:

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., announced today that he has joined in a bipartisan effort to update and improve privacy protections for electronic communications.

Luján and more than 230 members of the House introduced legislation to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which has not been updated since 1986 despite substantial changes in technology.

“In the nearly 30 years since ECPA was written we have seen amazing technological progress that has brought us new tools to communicate.

House Education Committee Endorses Legislation To Reward New Mexico’s Best And Brightest Teachers

on February 6, 2015 - 11:21am

STATE News:

SANTA FE – On a vote of 7-6, the House Education Committee this morning passed HB 76, legislation sponsored by Rep. Dennis Roch, R-Logan, to allow New Mexico’s best teachers to advance through the ranks faster.

Doing so will reward outstanding teachers with a higher salary much sooner.

“We need to do a better job rewarding New Mexico’s best and brightest teachers,” Roch said. “By allowing them to progress through the career pathway faster, we can reward them with higher pay and thereby encourage them to remain in the profession.”

Roch’s legislation would allow “highly

Conservation Voters New Mexico Honors House Leader Brian Egolf With 2015 Luminaria Award

on February 6, 2015 - 10:31am

Rep. Brian Egolf has a 100 percent lifetime score on CVNM’s Conservation Scorecard. Courtesy photo 

STATE News:

SANTA FE—House Democratic Leader Brian Egolf has been selected by Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) to receive the 2015 Luminaria Award.

Egolf will be honored Feb. 10 at CVNM’s 9th annual legislative reception, "for his bold leadership in protecting New Mexico’s land, air, water and healthy communities."

“House Democratic Leader Brian Egolf has represented his district’s conservation values since day one as state representative for District 47. It is a distinct honor to

Los Alamos Hilltalkers Seek Judges, Food Donations For State Speech And Debate Tournament Feb. 26-28

on February 6, 2015 - 9:01am

Hilltalkers Speech and Debate Team. Courtesy/LAHS

LAMS Hawktalkers Speech and Debate Team. Courtesy/LAMS

LAHS News:

Judges are needed for the upcoming New Mexico State Speech and Debate Tournament in which more than 350 students from all corners of the state will converge on Los Alamos to fight for state titles

The Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers, Los Alamos Middle School Hawktalkers and Jemez Home School speech and debate teams are hosting the tournament schduled for 3-9:30 p.m. Feb 26 at LAHS, 3-9:30 p.m. Feb. 27 and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 28 at LAMS.

Legislators Seek To Close Dangerous Loophole

on February 6, 2015 - 8:43am

Rep. Kelly Fajardo

STATE News:

SANTA FE – The New Mexico House of Representatives has passed a bill to close a dangerous loophole that allows child predators, to send pictures of another person’s naked body to anyone younger than 16 years old, without criminal penalties.

“Democrats and Republicans in the House came together to close this dangerous loophole that allows sexual predators to get off the hook,” said Rep. Kelly Fajardo, the bill’s sponsor. “Now it is time for the Senate to act.”

Currently, "predators" who send a picture of "their own" genitalia to a child are punished with a

Project Reach Completes Photographic Work In Room 7, Panel 7

on February 5, 2015 - 2:46pm

Project Reach team members work to obtain video of emplaced waste located in Panel 7, Room 7 where the radiological event occurred. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

Photographic work in support of the Accident Investigation Board (AIB) has been completed in Room 7 Panel 7, the location of the Feb. 14, 2014, radiological event at WIPP.

Using Project Reach, a specially designed and manufactured 90-foot composite boom equipped with high resolution photographic equipment, WIPP employees completed video mapping of all waste stacks and packages in Room 7. Waste in the WIPP underground facility is

IRS Warns Against Erroneously Claiming Tax Credits

on February 5, 2015 - 9:46am

IRS News:

While falsely inflating income on tax returns may seem an enticing way to get tax credits, the reality is the consequences could be extremely costly.

No wonder erroneously claiming tax credits is one of the items on the Internal Revenue Services’ (IRS) “Dirty Dozen” list for the 2015 tax filing season. This scam involves inflating or including income on a tax return that was never earned, either as wages or as self-employment income, usually in order to maximize refundable credits.

Just like falsely claiming an expense or deduction you did not pay, claiming income you did not

Report: Positive Energy Solar State’s Top Installer

on February 5, 2015 - 9:29am

Solar panels. Courtesy/PES

STATE News:

SANTA FE - Using solar tax credit data, the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resource Department (EMNRD) reports that state residents have invested more than $30 million in this energy resource from 2009-2014 and Positive Energy Solar has installed the lion’s share of those residential rooftop panels.

“It’s clear from customer demand that New Mexicans want clean, affordable energy,” Positive Energy Solar CEO Regina Wheeler said. “What’s not clear is whether or not the state will continue to support this growing industry.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall Leads Push To Expand Access To Early Childhood Education

on February 4, 2015 - 11:41am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

  • PRE-K Act Strengthens High-Quality Early Learning Programs Across New Mexico

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced that he has joined several senators in introducing legislation to expand access to high-quality early learning programs for children from birth to age five.

The Providing Resources Early for Kids (PRE-K) Act helps more kids arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed by establishing a federal-state partnership that incentivizes states to improve the quality of their preschool programs and expand to serve more children in

Conservation Voters New Mexico Releases 2015 Legislative Priorities

on February 4, 2015 - 11:17am

CVNM News:

SANTA FE—Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) will be advocating for or against a myriad of bills at the Roundhouse during the 2015 New Mexico legislative session.

CVNM’s legislative priorities are outlined in the first edition of CVNM’s legislative agenda, which covers issues such as air quality, water, energy and climate change, effective government, environmental justice, wildlife and habitat conservation. The agenda is attached and can be found on CVNM's website at www.CVNM.org.

“New Mexicans across the political spectrum care about creating jobs that support healthy

Radioactive Fireflies Take 2nd At State Championship

on February 4, 2015 - 10:18am

Front row from left, Eden Schmierer, Coach Karen Doebling and Natalie Aulwes. Back row from left, Emily Holmes, Eleanor Henderson, Katie Herrmann, Maddie Ovaska and Sophia Mamula. Photo by Brad Henderson

In the Junior FLL Expo, the Atomic Flying Pickle Minions won the 'Against All Odds' award. Their 'Think Tank' project was about learning to ice skate with the Ice Scooter Skating Aid. From left, Magellan Bronson, Joseph Doebling, Timothy Rousculp and Coach Chris Rousculp. Photo by Rita Bronson

FLL News:

The Radioactive Fireflies FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Team won the 2nd place Champion's

Letter to the Editor: Stick To Facts About Right-To-Work

on February 4, 2015 - 9:57am
RODOLFO “RUDY” S. MARTINEZ
Former Member of NM House of Representative
District 39/Dona Ana-Grant-Sierra

As I watch this year’s legislative session, I am concerned with the misinformed claims made by Republican Governor Martinez that have made right-to-work/anti-worker legislation her top priority.  When I think of all the issues we face here in our state in building a healthy economy I am appalled that the Governor will be attacking our working families.

When the governor says right-to-work (RTW) is one of several hurdles New Mexico faces in attempting to become more economically

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