13 White Male Republicans Make an Offer

By R.W.

The government has just announced a scheme to make cuts to health programs for the poor and middle classes, and give huge tax reductions for the wealthy. It proposes to dramatically cut and restructure Medicaid and eventually lead to another 23 million Americans to lose any health insurance whatsoever. This will allow to finance a broad tax cut for the rich with billions of dollars pulled from Medicaid.

The biggest tax cut is to individuals earning more than $200,000 a year or to married couples with combined incomes of more than $250,000 and applies mostly to the taxation of investment income. This tax is repealed retroactively, to return to rich families tax money they paid over the last year.

Continue reading

El Cajete Fire is contained at 96 percent.

Joshua Szopinski


There are still 359 personnel on the site. They consist of 3 Type 1 Crews, 4 Type 2 crews, assisted by 14 engines, 1 dozer, 4 water tenders, 2 Type 1 helicopters, 2 Type 2 helicopters, and 1 Type 3 helicopter

On Thursday, June 22, California Team 3 will transition to a Type 3 organization that will patrol the fire. As containment objectives are met, some crews and overhead are being demobilized or re-assigned to other incidents.

Currently crews on the fireline anticipate minimal fire activity. They continue mop-up and fire suppression repair, working to remove signs of suppression activity and prevent erosion.

Continue reading

Stargazing and Free Camping at Bandelier 

By Chris Judson


This Friday and Saturday, June 23-24, will be a great opportunity to get out, go camping at Bandelier, and take a good look at the starry heavens, as the park celebrates their Third Annual Night Sky Fiesta and also the Great American Campout.

For the Night Sky Fiesta, visitors will have the chance to do both daylight and nighttime astronomy. From 10 AM-2 PM on Friday and Saturday, astronomy volunteers will have solar scopes set up on the back porch of the Visitor Center.  These special telescopes have powerful filters that allow observers to safely look directly at the sun.

Continue reading

Public Meeting on New Bridge Reconstruction in Jemez Springs


The New Mexico Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting to obtain input on the proposed NM Highway 4 bridge reconstruction project. This concerns the bridge located at the northern end of the village, just past the Jemez District Ranger Station and before Soda Dam, at mile marker 19.

The meeting will be held in the Madonna Hall, 0040 Legion Drive, Jemez Springs, today (Wednesday, June 21, 2017) from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Continue reading

Cajete Fire Burn Area Closed to the Public until July 31

The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) today issued a closure order for the approximately 1,400 acres on the Jemez Ranger District burned by the Cajete Fire.  The restricted area includes:

  • all lands, roads and trails within the fire perimeter (depicted on the closure map),
  • Trail #137 between the last bridge coming from the Las Conchas Trailhead (before the trail ascends) and the East Fork Trailhead, and
  • segments of Forest Road (FR) 270 south of the fire and FR 4G, 4GA and 4GB on the northwestern point of the burned area.

Continue reading

Nukes and  Marshmallows

By R.W.

Last year, for the third year in a row, the Energy Department and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board listed the possibility of an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction (criticality) in our neighboring town of Los Alamos as one of the most pressing problems facing the nuclear weapons program.

In a field of zero tolerance for mistakes, the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) appears to be performing a high risk act at great cost not just to its employees, as in the possibility offered above, but also to neighboring communities, the country’s taxpayers and possibly to the whole planet. We in the Jemez are one of those neighboring communities, and liable to be among the first to suffer the consequences of the culture of neglect that pervades the lab. There is no emergency notification system for all of us that live in the backyard of the lab, we need to be prepared for surprises, but it would at least be nice to know what these might be.

Continue reading

More Abandoned Campfires in Santa Fe National Forest

There will be another community meeting tonight at 6 p.m. June 18, 2017 at the Jemez Mountain Baptist Church, 6 Riverview Court, La Cueva, NM. to give the community latest information on the El Cajete Fire.

It has been determined the fire was started by an abandoned campfire. The carelessness of these campers has disrupted peoples’ lives, cost the taxpayer millions of dollars and endangered the lives of hundreds of firefighters. Three more abandoned campfires that needed the attention of fire crews in the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) were reported on the New Mexico Fire Information site. This is happening as smoke billows over the mountains and over 300 firefighters battle the nearby 1.367 El Cajete blaze.

Continue reading

El Cajete Fire 55 Percent Contained

Yesterday, at 6:00 p.m. the Santa Fe National Forest issued the following update on the El Cajete Fire:

Location:  The fire is burning in the Jemez Ranger District on the Santa Fe National Forest, on both sides of NM Highway 4 along the southern boundary of the Valles Caldera National Preserve.  The Cajete Fire started approximately one mile northeast of Vallecitos de los Indios.  The fire area runs along the East Fork of the Jemez River and is to the west of the burn scars from the 2011 Las Conchas Fire and the 2013 Thompson Ridge Fire.

Start Date: June 15, 2017     Cause: Abandoned campfire    Size: 1,315 acres     Containment: 55%

Continue reading

Public Meeting on the Cajete Fire Tonight in La Cueva.

Fire Information


New Mexico Wildfire Update for the Cajete Fire.
6/17/17, 11:40 AM

There will be a public meeting on the Cajete Fire tonight in La Cueva.

When:  6 p.m. today, Saturday, June 17, 2017

Where:  Jemez Mountain Baptist Church in La Cueva.  (The address is 6 Riverview Ct, Jemez Springs, NM 87025 but the Church is in La Cueva.)

The fire is currently 1,315 acres. Evacuations remain in place for several communities, including Ruby Holt Plat, Los Griegos and Sierra de Los Pinos.

Updates will be posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at NMFireInfo.com and the New Mexico State Forestry Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NewMexicoStateForestry/

Jemez Fire Slowing but Extent of Blaze Increased to 1,315 Acres     

By R.W.

Photo R.W.

Most of the blaze so far has affected lower level growth, just as in the Pino fire of 2014, shown above, and not been a high intensity crown-top fire.


It is still early to tell, but the El Cajete Fire seems to have run into a dead end with burn scars around it, not that much new fuel to feed on and is showing first signs of slowing down.  If the wind does not change direction and pick up too much, the acreage that is currently ablaze might mark most of the extent of this fire.

Continue reading


By R.W.

Mountain Fish.

When I hear the Jemez speak their amazing sounding language I can rarely separate a single word from the flow, let alone catch any of the meaning of what is being said. I have once or twice been coached, by bored Jemez looking for distraction, to utter simple greetings or pronounce the odd name place, only to have my attempts greeted with either puzzlement or total amusement.

Continue reading

El Cajete Fire Continues to Burn

By R.W.

Photo R.W.

The wind has changed direction from overnight, but otherwise no notable improvements in the behavior of the El Cajete Fire has been observed, with 0 percent of the over 700 acre blaze contained. The good news is that no human casualties or damage to property have been reported, with firefighters taking measures to save structures in the path of the flames. They have been conducting back burns between the fire and people’s homes to create protection zones.

Air temperatures are high, and humidity levels low; forecasts call for these conditions to continue into the foreseeable future, leaving no option but “full suppression” for the fire on part of the firefighting crews. The fire continue to head in a southeasterly direction, just as it was yesterday. Also, just as through most of the day yesterday, NM Highway 4 remains closed from its intersection with  NM Highway 126, above which, on the stretch leading to Valle Grande, the worst fire conditions are occurring.

Continue reading

El Cajete Fire Still Spreading

By R.W.

Photo R.W.

Heavy smoke drifted down into the Jemez Valley overnight and early this Friday morning.

With the first light of dawn fire crews are back at the El Cajete Fire site. At the moment the fire is reported to have reached the area just west of previous devastation caused by the 2011 Las Conchas Fire, taking out yet another still unburned area of the Jemez Mountain forests. At last report the fire was still 0 percent contained, at about 700 acres and drifting in a southeasterly direction. About 200 hundred people have been evacuated from the area and about 300 structures are considered to be at risk. Thick smoke drifted down the Jemez Valley overnight and into this morning.

Continue reading

Forest Fire in the Jemez, Highway 4 Closed, Evacuations Taking Place

Update: Julie Anne Overton of the Santa Fe National Forest reports that the Cajete Fire is spreading fast and had reached 600 acres by 6 p.m. About 300 structures, mostly homes, are at risk. The blaze is still about 20 miles from Los Alamos, but burn scars from previous fires in the area may keep it from hitting the city.

 Communities along N.M. 4 are still being evacuated, including Los Griegos, Sierra los Pinos and Ruby Hole. Visitors and employees of the Valles Caldera National Preserve west of Los Alamos were also being evacuated.

State Police have closed N.M. 4 between N.M. 126 and  N.M. 501 and it is expected to remain closed through the night.

This map courtesy of . The moving east surrounded by old burn scars but, there is still timber to feed on.

Smoke was first reported to Santa Fe Dispatch at 10:47 a.m. So far the fire, now called the Cajete Fire, is 0 percent contained, estimated at 100 acres, spreading  fast and moving to the east with high growth potential affecting mostly ponderosa pine with some mixed conifer and aspen on the north slopes.

Continue reading

IAIA Poet James Thomas Stevens Reaches Out to Inmates of New Mexico State Penitentiary

By Eric Davis



Roseanna Andrade and poet Jose Gamez in the MRU library at PNM

Five Incarcerated Poets Have their Works Displayed on the IAIA Campus.

IAIA Associate Professor of Creative Writing James Thomas Stevens (Akwesasne Mohawk), recently contacted IAIA alumna Roseanna Andrade (Mexica/Nahua) ’16, to participate in one of IAIA’s community outreach programs — the collection of poems that are posted on the IAIA Health and Wellness Trail. As the poetry instructor in the Creative Writing Program, Stevens is responsible for collecting original poems from invited groups and posting them in wooden display posts along the IAIA Health and Wellness trail, utilized by IAIA students, staff, faculty, and members of the surrounding community. In the past, works from IAIA undergrad writers, graduate students, and students from local Native high schools were utilized; but Stevens recognized that not all writers come from educational institutions. In an effort to reach out to other groups, he wrote to Andrade and requested poems for display on the trail from April 1, 2017 through August 1 2017.

Continue reading

From Palestine to New Mexico: Connecting Environment, Science, Human Rights and Peace

By Alan Wagman


Albuquerque Jewish Voice for Peace and Friends of Sabeel ABQ invite you to hear from Palestinian scientist, environmental activist, agitator, and conflict resolution specialist, Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh on Tuesday, June 21, at 7:00 pm., at Nahalat Shalom, 3606 Rio Grande NW, Albuquerque.

Drawing from his experience as a Professor at Bethlehem University and the Director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History, Dr. Qumsiyeh will speak on the connections between science and peace, environmental justice and human rights, climate and conflict resolution, Israel and Palestine.

For more information, contact Albuquerque@jvp.org.

Another Rough Weekend on the Jemez Ranger District and Vandalism at the Gilman Tunnels

By Julie Anne Overton


The Gilman Tunnels.

Sometimes called the Albuquerque metropolitan area’s “backyard” because of its proximity to the state’s largest city, the Jemez Ranger District on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) hosts thousands of visitors on any given weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

Unfortunately, a small minority of those visitors can cause huge problems for the forest.

Continue reading

History Museum Explores Turn-of-the-Century Syria in a Post-ISIS World

By Jennifer Padilla



As Syria’s ongoing civil war, staggering death toll, and displacement of thousands of refugees threatens to destroy Syrian culture, the Palace of the Governors will display seven albums of photographs of historic sites in Syria taken between 1899 and 1909. Entitled Syria: Cultural Patrimony Under Threat, the exhibition will include multi-functional information kiosks with insights into Syrian people and culture. The exhibition opens Friday, June 23 and runs through December 2017.

Continue reading

Red Flag Warning Due to Strong Wind and Low Humidity

Another day, another flag.

The National Weather Service warns that a classic mid June break-down of the upper level ridge pattern is shaping up for today and tomorrow (whatever that means). Humidity is expected to be low and wind speeds high.

The red flag warning started  10 a.m. this morning and will continue  to 9  p.m.  Monday.

The forecast calls for the high pressure to continue to dominate the region today, bringing with it dry, windy, and unseasonably warm conditions for most of New Mexico. Temperatures will begin to cool slightly on Tuesday as an upper level weather system moves through. Temperatures are expected to return to above normal by Thursday and remain there through the remainder of the week.

Any kind of outdoor burning is not recommended. There is no moisture in the forecast for the Jemez area over the next few days.

New Mexico Department of Health Launches Awareness Campaign to Prevent Spread of Zika Virus

Yesterday, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announced the launch of a summer campaign to educate the public about Zika virus prevention. The campaign focuses on providing information to pregnant women and their partners who may be considering travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.

The prevention efforts are being supported by television and radio spots throughout New Mexico as well as billboards and movie theater advertising.

Continue reading

Initiative to Prevent Drone Incursions over Wildland Fires

Building on recent initiatives to prevent privately operated Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones) from interfering with Federal, State, and local wildland firefighting activity, the Department of the Interior announced today that it is expanding and enhancing its wildfire location data-sharing program for 2017. The new service being offered is called “Current Wildland Fires” and is accessible through the Geoplatform ArcGIS Online Organization.

Continue reading

Skandera Quits

Hanna Skandera.


New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera is stepping down from her post as New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) Secretary. In a statement she said:  “It has been such a privilege to be part of Gov. Martinez’s team in the fight to lift up our students and schools. The results we’re seeing in New Mexico show what can happen when we choose to embrace reform and put kids first.”

During her tenure as PED Secretary New Mexico slipped in the quality of education tables from 37th to 49th in the nation.

Continue reading

Dogs Welcome on Santa Fe NF, But Owners Have Responsibilities

By Julie Anne Overton


Last week, a visitor to the Santa Fe National Forest was resting on a rock by the trail after hiking up Tesuque Peak Road from the Aspen Vista Picnic Site.  His idyllic afternoon took a turn for the worse when an 80-pound pit bull – running free – charged him with teeth bared.  The hiker had the wherewithal to thrust his walking stick between his face and the dog’s jaws.  Then the dog took another try, knocking the 74-year-old 150-pound man off the rock.

Continue reading