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Bill Introduced to Empower School Districts to Reform Failing Charter Schools

on February 15, 2013 - 6:32am

Rep. Nate Cote


SANTA FE - Rep. Nate Cote (D-Doña Ana, Otero-53), has introduced House Bill 453, which will empower school boards to establish corrective action for district charter schools with unsatisfactory audit findings.

HD 453 establishes a process for school districts to make recommendations for reform of charter schools following special or annual audits.

If following a second audit it is determined that the failings of the charter school have not been corrected, school districts would have the ability to transfer charters to the state.

Currently school districts


Pile Burning at Bandelier Today

on February 14, 2013 - 2:29pm

 Bandelier News:
Weather permitting, the fire crew at Bandelier National Monument is planning a pile burn to be done today. The pile of wood debris is located in the park gravelyard, a fenced, cleared area near the park entrance along NM Hwy 4.  
The burn is planned to begin about 9 a.m. and be finished by the end of the day. Although there will be only a relatively small amount of smoke, it may be visible from a wide area since the gravelyard is located on the top of the mesa.
Information about other park events and ongoing activities is available by visiting the Bandelier National

Los Alamos Sheriff Addresses Gun Debate

on February 14, 2013 - 12:48pm

Los Alamos Sheriff Marco Lucero in his downtown office Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Los Alamos Daily Post

During an interview Wednesday in his downtown office, Los Alamos County Sheriff Marco Lucero participated in a Q&A with the Los Alamos Daily Post on gun issues plaguing the state and the nation:


Los Alamos Daily Post: President Obama has issued a series of Executive Orders designed to regulate firearms across the country. New Mexico House Bill 114 would have prohibited the enforcement of any new federal firearm laws that infringe on

Udall Hosts NM’s MVD Express at Senate Meeting on Job Creation

on February 14, 2013 - 7:05am

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. meets with Janice Lucero, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of MVD Express. Courtesy photo


WASHINGTON, D.C. – New Mexico small business leader Janice Lucero of Albuquerque was the guest of U.S. Sen. Tom Udall at a Capitol Hill discussion on best practices creating jobs and strengthening America’s economy.

Lucero is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of MVD Express, a public-private partnership with the State of New Mexico that provides high-quality, efficient motor vehicle services throughout 11 locations in the state.


Gun Show Loophole Bill Wins Approval in the House

on February 13, 2013 - 3:32pm


SANTA FE House Bill 77 the “Firearms Transfer Act” has passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 43 to 26. 

HB 77 requires anyone who sells a firearm at a Gun Show to conduct a background check. It also includes a component for submitting mental health adjudication information to the FBI. 

HB 77 survived an attempted amendment by Rep. Bill Rehm to change the reporting requirements. Debate on the floor lasted almost two hours.

It began with the support of Rep. Nate Gentry (R-Bernalillo-30) who helped to draft the mental health component.


NMDOHH Reports Two Pediatric Influenza Deaths

on February 13, 2013 - 3:14pm


Flu Activity Continues Statewide

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health announced today that a 2-year-old girl from McKinley County and 15-year-old boy from Torrance County died from influenza-related illnesses in the past month.

Since Oct. 1, 2012, the Department of Health has identified 89 pneumonia and influenza-related deaths. Last flu season, the Department identified one influenza-related pediatric death.

“It is still important and not too late to get vaccinated, as flu is likely to continue to circulate in New Mexico for some weeks,” said State Epidemiologist

Public Open House for N.M. 502–Trinity Drive Transportation Improvement Project

on February 13, 2013 - 8:53am



Public Open House

The Federal Highway Administration and New Mexico Department of Transportation announce an open house on the N.M. 502–Trinity Drive Transportation Improvement Project.

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 20

Time: 5-8 p.m. Open House

Location: Council Chambers, Los Alamos Community Building, 475 20th St.

Project Summary: During the past decade, the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) has developed and evaluated several alternatives to reconstruct Trinity Drive (NM 502) from Knecht Street (Beginning of Project or BOP) to Tewa Loop (End of


Officials Brief Council on RDC and REDI Initiative

on February 12, 2013 - 8:05pm

REDI Program Manager Eric Vasquez, center, and RDC Executive Director Kathy Keith present an annual update on their organization including a briefing on the general mission and the REDI (Regional Economic Development Initiative) initiative to County Council. Los Alamos County's Economic Vitality Administrator Greg Fisher looks on at left. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Staff Report

The Regional Development Corporation (RDC) is a private non-profit, 501 (c) 3, Economic Development Organization (EDO) whose primary service area is Northern New Mexico (NNM).

RDC was incorporated in

Senators Reintroduce Measure to Make Valles Caldera a National Park

on February 12, 2013 - 3:28pm
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich reintroduced legislation today to transfer the management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the National Park Service (NPS.).
Udall and retired Sen. Jeff Bingaman first introduced this legislation in 2010 in light of inconsistent funding, the need for infrastructure improvements and concerns that the Preserve would not achieve financial self-sustainability by 2015, as directed by the Valles Caldera Preservation Act of 2000.
"Millions of years in the making, the Valles Caldera is a natural wonder, rich

State Farm Invests $20K in Area Youth

on February 12, 2013 - 6:42am
Teens work on a project at the Española YMCA Teen Center. Courtesy/YMCA 

YMCA News:

Española –The Española YMCA Teen Center received a $20,000 grant from State Farm Saturday during the Y’s annual Red and Black Ball in Los Alamos.

Local State Farm agents Lou Santoro and Abe Dispennette presented the award to Family YMCA Executive Director Linda Daly on behalf of the company’s regional Good Neighbor Citizenship program.

The grant will fund educational programming, skill-building classes and recreational activities in support of keeping an underserved population engaged in learning and

Udall Meets With Secretary of Defense Nominee

on February 12, 2013 - 6:29am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall meets with Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel Feb. 11. Courtesy/Udall's Office



WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., Monday issued the following statement after a meeting with Secretary of Defense nominee, Sen. Chuck Hagel:
“My meeting today with Senator Chuck Hagel was very useful. We had the opportunity to touch on a variety of issues facing our country and how New Mexico contributes to the strength of our national security.
“Senator Hagel conveyed that if confirmed, he will be committed to keeping safe, reliable and secure

'Gun Show Loophole' Bill Headed to House Floor

on February 12, 2013 - 6:27am


Courtesy photo


  • HB77 Bypasses House Appropriation and Finance Committee

SANTA FE – House Bill 77, the “Firearms Transfer Act” is picking up steam after winning bi-partisan approval 13-3 in the House Judiciary Committee Friday.

HB 77 sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia, D-Bernalillo was headed to the House Appropriation and Finance Committee (HAFC), but Monday Chairman Henry “Kiki” Saavedra, D-Bernalillo asked to have the bill withdrawn from HAFC saying it didn’t have a fiscal impact.

House Bill 77 will now be placed on the Temporary Calendar, and is scheduled to be debated on


State House Highlights: Feb. 4-8

on February 12, 2013 - 6:26am

State House Highlights:

       On the Floor

  • The House Judiciary Committee substitute for House Bill 74, sponsored by Rep. Roberto Gonzales (D-Taos-42), was introduced for third reading on the floor. The bill seeks to preserve affordable housing by amending the Affordable Housing Act, and provides for enforcement of the act and penalties for violation of the act. It passed 67-0, and will move to the Senate.
  • House Joint Memorial 25 as amended, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Thomson (D-Bernalillo-24), was introduced for third reading on the floor.

Garcia Richard Enters Amendment to Limit Class Sizes

on February 12, 2013 - 6:22am

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval and Santa Fe counties, has entered an amendment to the New Mexico Constitution to limit class sizes in public schools:


51st legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2013


Stephanie Garcia Richard




NM Senators Seek U.S. Attorney Applicants

on February 11, 2013 - 11:43am
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich are accepting applications for the position of United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico.
President Obama nominated current U.S. Attorney Kenneth Gonzales to a federal court judgeship Jan. 4, 2013.
Upon Gonzales’ confirmation by the Senate, the position of U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico will become vacant.
In accordance with their constitutional responsibility to provide advice and consent with respect to federal appointments, Udall and Heinrich will recommend a short

Bandelier is Your Backyard!

on February 9, 2013 - 7:36am

The overall winner in the 2012 GBBC photo contest features this Cedar Waxwing. Photo by Ben Thomas, Georgia


Come visit Bandelier for the 16 annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), Feb. 15-18.

After 15 years of success in North America, GBBC is now global. In 2013, anyone, from anywhere on earth, can participate by visiting or and reporting the kinds and numbers of birds they see during the annual count.

During the 2012 count, participants reported 17.4 million bird observations on 104,000 checklists.

Lawmakers Request Strong New NNSA Administrator

on February 9, 2013 - 7:26am


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the New Mexico Congressional Delegation, Sen. Tom Udall, Sen. Martin Heinrich, Rep. Ben Ray Luján and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, are asking President Obama to nominate a candidate to lead the Nuclear National Security Administration (NNSA) who will work with Congress to reform the agency and maintain the highest scientific and technical capabilities at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories.

In a letter to President Obama, the federal lawmakers who represent the two labs say, “The NNSA has recently suffered from a series

Native Women Have Waited Too Long for Justice

on February 8, 2013 - 11:19pm
Courtesy photo
WASHINGTON –In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. Thursday urged the Senate to pass the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with tribal provisions to protect Native American women from domestic abuse.
To watch Udall’s speech, click here.
Since VAWA’s passage, domestic violence has decreased by over 50 percent. Yet, one in three Native women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, and Native women are victims of domestic violence at a disproportionately higher rate.
The VAWA provisions would help tribal courts prosecute domestic

NM House of Representatives Highlights

on February 8, 2013 - 9:49am

Floor of the New Mexico House of Representatives. Courtesy photo


      On The Floor

  • House Bill 308 Space Flight Informed Consent as amended passed the House with unanimous consent. HB308 limits the liability of space flight entities, while also requiring space flight entities to maintain a baseline level of liability insurance. It is the mirror of Senate Bill 240, which has been introduced in the House and is currently being heard in the House Business & Industry Committee. House Bill 308 will now go to the Senate.

LA Federated Republican Women Attend Governor's Tea

on February 8, 2013 - 8:12am
Lt. Gov. John Sanchez addresses members of the Los Alamos Federated Republican Women and others at the annual Governor's Tea Feb. 1 at the Governor's Mansion. Courtesy photo
Ten members and guests of the Los Alamos Federated Republican Women met women from across the state at a visit to the New Mexico Legislature Friday, Feb. 1.
The day began with Secretary of State Dianna Duran welcoming the women at a coffee in Capitol North.
Several women visited the Secretary of State's office and Lt. Gov.

New Mexico Aviation Industry Lands at State Capitol

on February 7, 2013 - 10:03am


SANTA FE - Show your love for aviation at the State Capitol Building on Valentine’s Day and see how it affects jobs, tourism, revenue and mobility for the citizens of New Mexico.

The New Mexico Airport Managers Association, in conjunction with the New Mexico Department of Transportation Aviation Division, will host Aviation Day at The Roundhouse 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb.14 in the West Wing.

Those on hand with displays will include The New Mexico Aviation Aerospace Association, Balloon Fiesta, EMS Services, Recreational Aviation Foundation, Air Care Alliance, Aircraft Owners and


Udall, Heinrich & Luján: Protect Río Grande del Norte

on February 7, 2013 - 9:49am


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Ben Ray Luján, have reintroduced legislation in the Senate and House to protect the Río Grande del Norte in Northern New Mexico, an area comprised of more than 240,000 acres of BLM-managed lands in Taos and Rio Arriba Counties.

Since 2009, the three lawmakers and former Sen. Jeff Bingaman have worked -- with the support of the local communities - to pass legislation to designate the culturally and recreationally significant lands as a National Conservation Area.
"Some of Northern New Mexico's most

Postal Service Plans to Cut Saturday Delivery

on February 7, 2013 - 9:48am


D.C.—U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District released the following statement today following the U.S. Postal Service's announcement that it plans to stop delivering letters and other first-class mail on Saturdays, beginning in August.

"Post offices are a staple of our rural communities and six-day service is a necessary service for New Mexicans to communicate, pay bills, and receive important documents.

The U.S.

Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Meets Feb. 15

on February 7, 2013 - 9:47am


The next meeting of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities is schedule for 9-11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, 501 Halona St., in Santa Fe.

The Coalition is comprised of Los Alamos County, City of Espanola, City of Santa Fe, County of Santa Fe, Town of Taos, County of Taos and the Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh.

The Coalition proactively addresses issues of the neighboring cities, counties and pueblos directly affected by Los Alamos National Laboratory site activities.

By working together, the governments are better poised to define the public

Udall Issues Statement on Sally Jewell's Nomination for Interior Secretary

on February 7, 2013 - 9:46am


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Under consideration for Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., issued the following statement Wednesday after President Obama nominated Sally Jewell:

"Sally Jewell is a unique and exciting pick to head up the Department of the Interior. If confirmed, she would bring to the position an array of skills from her business background in energy development and as the CEO of a wildly successful outdoor outfitter.

"I look forward to meeting with her as she works through the nomination process and learning more about her personal