Recapping the 2018 Legislative Session

Fred, Kristina, Othiamba, and Susan


Think New Mexico’s legislation to encourage school districts and charter schools to maximize the percentage of their budgets that they spend in the classroom was introduced by a terrific team of bipartisan sponsors, led by Representative Larry Larrañaga (R-Albuquerque), ranking Republican on the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, and Representative Bobby Gonzales (D-Taos), a retired school superintendent. House Bill 180 also aimed to make it easier to get more dollars to the classroom by reducing unnecessary administrative paperwork. (Read our guest editorial about the bill.)

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Flu Still Widespread Across New Mexico but has Peaked


The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reports that although flu activity remains widespread across the state, it appears activity overall in New Mexico has peaked and will likely continue to gradually decrease for the remainder of the season which is expected to be several more weeks.

As of February 16, 2018, NMDOH reports 28 season-to-date flu outbreaks in long-term care facilitates, thirty-four flu-related deaths, all in adults, and 100 pneumonia-related deaths.

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Talk by Kristen Honig: Photographing Wildfires


Photo Kristen Honig.

On Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. Kristen Honig will discuss her observations, show her photographs, and give you a behind the scenes look at what it is like to be a wildfire photographer. Honig’s wildfire photos have been recognized by National Geographic and featured in numerous magazines and publications, including Popular ScienceOutside MagazineHigh Country NewsWildland Firefighter MagazineFire Management Today, and in the novel On the Burning Edge. This special presentation at the Los Alamos Nature Center is free and made possible thanks to the Los Alamos Photo Club and the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC).Continue reading

IAIA Artist-in-Residence Workshops: Christa Cassano and Wayne Nez Gaussoin


Friday, February 23,  9:30 a.m. – 12 noon and 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 2nd floor MoCNA Project Lab

Join IAIA Artist-in-Residence Wayne Nez Gaussoin (Navajo/Picuris Pueblo) in a jewelry workshop from 9:30am-12noon. Gaussoin will discuss his practice and participants will be guided through a creative process with the artist. This event is limited to 10 participants with a fee of $10 for materials.

Join IAIA Artist-in-Residence Christa Cassano (Confederated Tribes of Colville, Arrow Lakes Band) in a drawing workshop from 2-3:30pm. Cassano, will discuss her practice and participants will create a self-portrait of either hands, feet or face with the guidance of the artist. This event is limited to 15 participants with a fee of $10 for materials.

Bandelier Hosting Great Backyard Bird Count, Friday, February 16

By Chris Judson


Photo NPS

Bandelier staff and visitors will be looking for birds during the Great Backyard Bird Count on Friday, February 16.

This weekend, February 16-19, will be the 2018 Great Backyard Bird Count, which in 2018 is part of the Year of the Bird. Anyone who would like to participate can watch birds at home or come out to three locations at Bandelier National Monument – or both!  Sightings become part of observations to help track population density, health, and movements of birds worldwide.

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Sandoval County Hosts First Marketing Workshop for Home Office-Based Entrepreneurs

 Melissa Perez, Sandoval County Public Information Officer


Sandoval County’s Office of Business Development and Tourism is working to help local businesses thrive by hosting the first marketing workshop for home office-based entrepreneurs on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the El Zocalo Event Center from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Participation in the workshop is free and will be paid for with funds from a $10,000 grant received through the State of New Mexico Economic Development Department. The Feb. 28 workshop, with a presentation by Director of Marketing and Communications Tiffany Avery, from Sandoval Economic Alliance, will focus on how home office-based entrepreneurs can develop a custom business marketing plan. Specifically, the workshop will focus on the following topics:

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New Mexico Has Critical Public Health Issue

Sharon Kayne, Communications Director


A national report released last night by Child Trends using data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, shows New Mexico has some of the highest rates of children suffering from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). ACEs are traumatic childhood events, and include suffering abuse and neglect, living with someone who has an untreated mental illness, the death of a parent, and living in extreme economic insecurity.

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Trump and Zinke Propose Gutting Methane Pollution Safeguard

By Camilla Feibelman, Rio Grande Chapter Director


The methane cloud that hangs over our heads.

Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a proposal to gut a key safeguard that would limit methane pollution from oil and gas drilling operations. This is the first major air rule proposal to come out of the Trump administration.

The proposal effectively eliminates a standard put forth by the Obama administration requiring oil and gas companies operating on public lands to limit methane pollution. Methane is a greenhouse gas which is linked to increased levels of asthma and other public health impacts and is 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide during the time it remains in the atmosphere.

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“Soup to Nuts” Food Tax Dead but “Deceptive Lottery Bill Must Die”

Fred, Kristina, Othiamba, and Susan


Good news: the more than 1,600 emails that New Mexicans sent to legislators and the governor made an impact. The bill to bring back the food tax on a wide variety of groceries (literally including soup to nuts) was tabled in the Senate Corporations Committee. (Read the Albuquerque Journal coverage here.)

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“Snatchers” to film its Second and Third Season in New Mexico


The digital series “Snatchers,” produced by Stage 13, a division of Warner Bros. Digital Networks, and streamed on Verizon’s go90 media brand, will begin principal photography in early February through mid-March in Albuquerque.

“We’re proud to welcome “Snatchers” to New Mexico as part of our growing platform of web-based series’,” said New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis. “New Mexico’s powerful incentive, robust film infrastructure and incredible natural beauty make us a perfect fit for these productions, as we continue diversifying our economy.”

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Bandelier Celebrates February of Year of the Bird: Great Backyard Bird Count

By Chris Judson


Photo NPS

Sandhill Cranes.

Join Bandelier in February as the park continues to celebrate the Year of the Bird!  This year is the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. Throughout 2018, we will be joining National Geographic, the Audubon Society and numerous other organizations around the country in recognizing this milestone by celebrating the Year of the Bird.

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Guided Eight-Mile Hike in White Rock Canyon

By Sandra West


Photo Paul Arendt

Thunderbird Rock.

Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC).PEEK offers a challenging hike in White Rock Canyon to see petroglyphs, springs, and the beauty of White Rock Canyon in the winter. On Saturday, February 17, Paul Arendt will lead an eight-mile loop hike connecting the Red Dot Trail to the Blue Dot Trail. This rugged, outing will start at 9 a.m., and it will take the group about six hours to complete the loop. Space is limited, and registration is required for this hike, organized by PEEC.

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Early Childhood Constitutional Amendment Passes NM House of Representatives

Jessa Cowdrey, Public Policy Advocate


St. Joseph’s Children congratulates the New Mexico House of Representatives for passing HJR1, the Early Childhood Constitutional Amendment.

Our State Representatives understand the deep plight of our children and they have taken bold action to make systemic change for the betterment of our state. Today, the State Representatives have shown a deep respect for the voters of New Mexico by passing this Constitutional Amendment.

Our State Representatives believe that this proposal to improve child well-being is worth a public debate. We now encourage the State Senate to pass HJR1 so it can indeed go to the voters. The status quo is unacceptable and we can enact change by updating the distribution formula of the Land Grant Permanent Fund to support the science behind brain development, that learning begins at birth.

Investing in our children is a responsible approach to ensure the success of children today and tomorrow.

Native Student Success Vital to New Mexico’s Future: We Must Do Better

By Representative Derrick Lente, (D-Sandia Pueblo)

Rep. Derrick Lente

Although New Mexico has the fourth largest Native American population in the country, services for Native students remain significantly low. Across the state, Native students continue to fall behind and lack the necessary resources to succeed.

Last year, the legislature passed my bill to ensure Native students have the support to succeed with bipartisan support, but Governor Martinez vetoed it.

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This Time Last Year; The Pronghorns Are back



Image ScienceBlogs

Eclectic animal, the Pronghorn, here with all its derived parts explained.

(This was first posted February 5, 2017)

40 or so Pronghorns  are being reintroduced to their historic rangeland along the Interstate-25 corridor between Albuquerque and Santa Fe on Santa Ana Pueblo reservation land, within the daily track of many travelers from the Jemez to lands beyond our nook. The Pueblo tribal council looks forward to establishing a sustainable population over the coming years.

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Looking Back & Moving Forward: The Northern Region of New Mexico Historic Sites

By Matthew Barbour


Photo Patrick Moore.

Jemez Historic Site Light Among the Ruins.


The Northern Region of New Mexico Historic Sites includes: Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites. Coronado Historic Site was opened preserve the ancient village of Kuaua and to interpret the Coronado Expedition, while Jemez was established to preserve and interpret San Jose de los Jemez Mission and Giusewa Pueblo. They are two of the five original State Monuments established in 1935, the others being Abo, Quarai, and Pecos. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the State Register of Cultural Properties. On October 16, 2012, Jemez Historic Site was also designated a National Historic Landmark.

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Legislation That Would Bring Back the Regressive Food Tax Back on the Table

Fred, Kristina, Othiamba and Susan


As you may have seen in the news (read the coverage in the Santa Fe New Mexican), Senator Cliff Pirtle has introduced Senate Bill 129, which would reimpose the food tax on all groceries other than meat, flour tortillas, and items eligible for WIC, the Women, Infants, and Children supplemental nutrition program.

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The Next Step Plan for Cougar Graduates 2017-2018 Walatowa High Charter School Gear UP Senior Information

Document developed by G. Toya, WHCS Consultant, F. Garcia WHCS Gear Up Coordinator, G Minthorn, WHCS Instructor and Dr. A. Wilkinson-WHCS Executive Director.

The Next Step Plan is a personal, written plan that is developed by each student at the end of grades 8–11 and during the senior year (grade 12). The purpose of the plan is to target the student’s postsecondary interests and set forth the studies he or she will complete during high school in order to be on track for graduation. The student reviews and updates his or her NSP annually, and each year’s plan must explain any differences from the previous year. Quarterly meetings will be scheduled in August, December and May.

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Some Improvement and Some Decline in Child Well-Being as High Rates of Child Poverty Persist

Sharon Kayne, Communications Director


Several indicators of child well-being are showing improvement in New Mexico, but a persistently high rate of children living in poverty continues to cast a pall over the state. That is the overall conclusion in the 2017 New Mexico KIDS COUNT Data Book, released today at 10am at the Roundhouse by New Mexico Voices for Children to coincide with the start of the legislative session.

The theme of this year’s report is “At a Crossroads: Choosing the Path to Child Well-being in New Mexico” to reflect unprecedented changes at the federal level as well as the fact that this year New Mexico voters will elect a new governor because the current one is term-limited.

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Bandelier National Monument Gets Valuable Help from Friends Group

By Chris Judson



Photo NPS

Ever since 1987, the Friends of Bandelier have supported the park, providing funding for projects that couldn’t have been done within Bandelier’s regular budget. With money raised from members all over the country and beyond, through the years these projects have included biological surveys, post-fire recovery studies, handicap ramps for the parking area, campsite upgrades, archeological surveys, mapping ancient trails, pueblo crafts demonstrations, and more.

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Sandoval County Spends $62,000 on a Oil And Gas Study They Do Not Plan To Use?


Mike Neas, PLACITAS RESIDENT,, (505) 269-4261


Why is  Sandoval County spending $62,000 to pay for an oil and gas resource assessment of Sandoval County if it does not plan to use it?

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History Museum and Santa Fe Opera Present New Mexico’s ‘Atomic Histories’


The New Mexico History Museum and the Santa Fe Opera will each feature presentations exploring New Mexico’s Atomic Histories during 2018 and 2019. The History Museum’s Atomic Histories exhibition opens June 3, 2018 and runs through May 2019. The exhibition will highlight American artist Meridel Rubenstein’s artwork including two photo/video/glass/steel installations from the traveling exhibition Critical Mass (1993-97) and “Oppenheimer’s Chair” (1995) commissioned by the first SITE Santa Fe Biennial to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first atomic test.

“To enhance understanding of the legacy of the Manhattan Project, the New Mexico History Museum is developing an interpretive exploration of our state’s atomic history,” said Andrew Wulf, executive director of the New Mexico History Museum.

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O’Keeffe’s Desert Abstraction (Bear Lake) Finds “Forever Home” at the New Mexico Museum of Art


Image result for O’Keeffe’s Desert Abstraction (Bear Lake)

In honor of the New Mexico Museum of Art Centennial year celebration, the Museum of New Mexico Foundation made permanent its long-term loan of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Desert Abstraction (Bear Laketo the Museum. With this move, the 1931 O’Keeffe piece, becomes part of the Museum of Art’s permanent collection.  The painting is currently on display in the Governor’s Residence.

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New Tool Helps Residential Consumers Understand Transactions for Rooftop Solar Energy Systems

By New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas
AG Balderas is seeking comments from the public, consumer protection advocates and industry representatives.
As a component of his consumer protection initiatives, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has released a draft of a powerful tool aimed at helping New Mexico consumers better understand purchasing solar power systems for their homes: Distributed Generation Disclosure Statement.

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December Events at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Brown Bag it with MoCNA: IAIA Artist-in-Residence Talk

Friday, December 8 | 12noon-1:30pm
2nd Floor MoCNA Project Lab


Bring your lunch and join IAIA Artists-in-Residence as they discuss their artistic practice. All artists conclude their month of participation in the IAIA Artist-in- Residence program on the IAIA campus with this event. Featuring IAIA A-i-R artists, Athena LaTocha (Hunkpapa Lakota/Keweenaw Bay Ojibwe), Frank Buffalo Hyde (Nez Perce/Onondaga), Jason Reed Brown (Koyukan Athabascan)and Wanesia Spry Misquadace (Fond du Lac Ojibway).
This event is free to the public.

Connecting Tribal Communities to High-Speed Internet

By U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich

For some Americans today, logging on to the internet is as easy as going home and turning on the lights. And access to high-speed internet is becoming increasingly essential for economic and educational opportunities. However, in parts of New Mexico, and especially in tribal communities, a lack of access to high-speed broadband internet is leaving far too many of our children unable to learn and compete on an even playing field.

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