Multinational Gaming Corporations Aim to Reduce the Dollars Going to New Mexico Scholarships

By Fred, Kristina, Othiamba, and Jennifer



Last week, Think New Mexico’s bipartisan legislation to increase the accountability of the state lottery and send more lottery dollars to scholarships was introduced by Representative Jason Harper (R-Rio Rancho) and Representative Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque).

Meanwhile, a very different bill is being pushed by the multinational gaming corporations that contract with the lottery. This bill would remove the lottery’s accountability to students and reduce the dollars going to scholarships.


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By Chris Judson

Bandelier National Monument

NPS Photo. View from the end of the Upper Frijoles Canyon Overlook Trail, January 2017.


This is an ideal time for enjoying winter in and around Bandelier National Monument, with snow at higher elevations and lots of sunny days. Anyone comfortable in winter conditions can readily find a number of opportunities available in the park.  The Visitor Center and Main Loop Trail in Frijoles Canyon are open every day 9-5, except when the park closes temporarily due to snow or ice conditions making roads and trails hazardous. On the milder winter days it’s not necessary to walk or hike long distances to enjoy the outdoors.  Short walks for birdwatching, photography, or just taking in the quiet of the canyon and the sound of the creek running through stones and ice, can provide a memorable experience for individuals or families. According to Superintendent Jason Lott, “Visitors used to the hot, busy summer days are surprised and pleased at how peaceful and beautiful Bandelier is in winter.  We encourage people to dress warmly in layers and come give it a try.”


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She’s Almost There

By R.W.

To the vigorously voiced dismay of most professional educators, including the teachers’ unions, the Senate Education Committee voted 12-11 along party lines on Tuesday morning to forward the nomination of Betsy DeVos for education secretary to the full Senate for consideration. The National Education Association says people have sent over a million letters and emails, and placed more than 40,000 calls to senators, urging them to oppose DeVos.

Democrat committee members were concerned that DeVos was so far removed from understanding the core issues of education that her responses to written committee questions were “not true responses”, but confused copy/paste citations of federal law. In at least two instances, in her written answers she was observed plagiarizing the exact wording from a Department of Education website and from a statement by Vanita Gupta, made at President Obama’s Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department.


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Senator Heinrich Stakes Out His Position

By U.S.Senator Martin Heinrich


Like many New Mexicans, I am sickened by an administration that now poses dangerous threats to the values and freedoms we all cherish.

During his first week in office, President Trump ordered an unraveling of the federal workforce, floated the idea of bringing back the CIA’s use of ‘black site’ prisons and torture, imposed a gag order on federal agencies, ordered construction of a wall along our southern border, and revived the Keystone XL and Dakota pipeline projects.

All of this culminated with an executive order blocking refugees from around the world from entering the United States, including Hameed Khalid Darweesh whose life was in danger in his home country due to the work he did to help the U.S. military.


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Common Cause Poll Results: HUGE Majority of New Mexico Voters Favor Campaign, Ethics Reform

By Dede Feldman

poll of registered voters statewide taken by Research and Polling for Common Cause New Mexico Jan. 5 – Jan. 9, 2017 shows once again that New Mexico voters are HUGELY supportive of ethics and campaign reform measures. Exactly 459 randomly selected voters—Republicans, Democrats and Independents—responded to the telephone survey, which had a 4.6% margin of error.


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Intimate Secrets of the World Revealed

By R.W.

Some hard questions get asked outside a bakery in Tirana, Albania.

Google Street View, an interesting, well developed and useful device in its main purposes, has a side to it which allow the viewer an opportunity to explore the margins and obscure aspects of some of the locations its cameras visit. And they are bold little explorers, with me in their wake, defiant,  invasive, unexpected each time they appear.


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Soda Dam

Photo R.W.

Mother and child.

If you feel an irresistible urge to comment, click on the headline.

Quick and Dirty

By R.W.



Suddenly, it’s a familiar sight, relished by many, dreaded by many more: Donald Trump, surrounded by white men, no token darker shade of skin or other gender peering over the shoulders of the solemn retinue. He is imperial, bold looking, purposeful, pen in hand, signing documents. He is doing what he promised, not a common trait in a politician. As his long, jagged signature snarls its passage over documents, we see those out-of-control-environmental regulations, curbs on poisoning children with lead contaminated water, crippling taxes for corporations and the super rich, restrictions on food contamination, long standing alliances with friendly nations and other lefty restraints on freedom swept away.


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Jemez Valley Public Schools District Calendar Reminders

By Joline Cruz-Madalena, Programs Coordinator for Indian Education, JEMEZ VALLEY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

  • February 8th – 120th Day Reporting Period
  • February 16th & 17th – Parent Teacher Conferences
    • 02/16/17 – No school for Elementary students. Early dismissal for High School and Middle School students.
    • 02/17/17 – No School for all students.
  • February 20th – President’s Day (Holiday – No School)
  • February 21st – School Board Meeting at 5:30 p.m.


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Seniors 62+ Can Ride the Rail Runner Free on Wednesdays Through April

By Augusta Meyers,  Communications Manager, MID-REGION COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS

Seniors are invited to explore Central New Mexico by rail for free this February, March and April. Every Wednesday, seniors age 62+ can ride any New Mexico Rail Runner Express train at no cost. This special promotion will give residents and visitors the opportunity to explore locations in Santa Fe and Albuquerque using public transportation.

“This has been such a popular promotion in the past, that we’ve decided to do it again,” said Terry Doyle, Director of the Rio Metro Regional Transit District. “We initially set out to give first time riders an opportunity to try the train, and we’ve found that many have done just that – and some have come back to try it again and apparently told their friends about it!”

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Outfitter/Guide Applications for SFNF Special Use Permits

By Julie Ann Overton


Commercial guides and outfitters seeking 2017 special use permits to operate on Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) lands must submit proposals by Feb. 15, 2017, for priority processing.

A special use authorization or permit is required when any use or activity on National Forest System lands charges an entry or participation fee and/or where the primary purpose is the sale of a good or service, regardless of whether it produces a profit.  Examples of activities requiring a special use authorization include hunting, hiking, skiing, and other outfitted uses, organized activities for groups or tours that charge a fee or generate income, and any sales of goods.


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A Plan for a Better New Mexico.

By Stephanie Maez, One New Mexico


Today, One New Mexico, a state-based non-profit committed to creating a better future for all New Mexicans, released “a plan for a better New Mexico.” The booklet contains specific recommendations for job creation, critical investments in New Mexico’s people and strategic upgrades in the state’s infrastructure as the way to respond to the budget and jobs crises currently holding the state back.

“This booklet is about one thing,” said Alan Webber, founder of One New Mexico. “It’s a plan for a better New Mexico. It comes at a time when our working families and communities are in real pain. New Mexicans believe that we can have a better future. This is a map toward that better future and specific ideas for achieving it.”

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Fray Alonso de Benavides and the Jemez Nation, AD 1630

By Matthew J. Barbour, Manager, Jemez and Coronado Historic Sites

San José de los Jemez Mission Church.


Fray Alonso de Benavides arrived in New Mexico in 1626. He was a Franciscan Priest of Portuguese descent. Charged by his order as Custodian (head) of the missions and agent of the inquisition, Benavides toured the New Mexico extensively overseeing the conversion and management of all Native American peoples in the province before departing in 1629.

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Expanded Youth Summer Jobs Program

By Chris Judson



Local partners have banded together to continue a conservation focused service-learning program through The Family YMCA.

“We almost didn’t have a program this year,” said Diana Martinez, Y Senior Program Director. ”The YMCA recently found out there would not be sufficient funding available for the program this summer. When Bandelier National Monument found out about the funding cuts, they approached the YMCA about entering into an agreement to help support the program as one of the monument’s summer youth corps programs.”  Additional support was provided by the Volunteer Task Force, Delle Foundation, Pajarito Trail Fest and the University of New Mexico, Los Alamos (UNMLA). As part of this program, UNMLA and Bandelier staff are putting together a summer college credit course on conservation and land management.

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Dual Credit Enrollment: Increasing Post-Secondary Success for Students


By Dr. Kristina Kommander-Salazar,

Walatowa High Charter School/IAIA Adjunct Professor


Benefits of Dual Credit

Post-secondary access for students has become a significant goal for educational institutions around the nation. The emergence and implementation of dual credit opportunities is a novel way in which states are attempting to prepare their students to enter post-secondary educational institutions. Dual enrollment programs are identified as education-accelerated programs that provide high school students access to college level courses. Exam-based programs include programs such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate initiatives where high school students must earn appropriate scores on course exams in order to earn college credits for the courses.

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Exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) is the country’s only museum for exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the most progressive work of contemporary Native artists. MoCNA is dedicated solely to advancing the scholarship, discourse and interpretation of contemporary Native art for regional, national and international audiences. As such, it stewards the National Collection of Contemporary Native Art, 7,500 artworks in all media created in 1962 or later. MoCNA is at the forefront of contemporary Native art presentation and strives to be flexible, foresighted and risk-taking in its exhibitions and programs. MoCNA is located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Big Company Expansion and New Jobs in Bernalillo

By Tiffany Avery
Director of Marketing & Communications


Amfabsteel, Inc. announced today that they are expanding their operations in Bernalillo, adding 43 new positions. Under the same ownership, Phat Steel, Inc. announced they are also growing, adding 20 jobs. These hires will more than double the size of the companies.

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2017 Tax Filing Season Opens

Internal Revenue Service


The Internal Revenue Service said that it successfully started accepting and processing 2016 federal individual income tax returns on schedule. More than 153 million returns are expected to be filed this year.

People have until Tuesday, April 18, 2017 to file their 2016 returns and pay any taxes due. The deadline is later this year due to several factors. The usual April 15 deadline falls on Saturday this year, which would normally give taxpayers until at least the following Monday. However, Emancipation Day, a D.C. holiday, is observed on Monday, April 17, giving taxpayers nationwide an additional day to file. By law, D.C. holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way federal holidays do. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 to file.


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Ethics Commission Key Priority for New Mexico


By Dede Feldman


Rep. Jim Dines (R-Bernalillo) yesterday introduced HJR 8, a proposed constitutional amendment that would establish an independent ethics commission with teeth and transparency. The bill is co-sponsored by a group of southern New Mexico legislators, Sen. Jeff-Steinborn (D-Dona Ana), Rep. Nathan Small (D-Dona Ana), and Rep. Bill McCamley (D-Dona Ana).


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Jemez Valley Public Schools District Calendar Reminders


By Joline Cruz-Madalena, Programs Coordinator for Indian Education

Jemez Valley Public Schools


JVPS Initiatives – Update

Warrior News.  In an effort to keep families and communities informed the District submits monthly articles to the Red Rocks Reporter, T’siya Roadrunner, Jemez Thunder, and Jemez Post.  In addition to this community outreach, the District has started Warrior News (on-line newsletter) which is accessible through the District and schools’ websites.  The District appreciates the opportunity and will continue to submit monthly articles to the printed publications to get news to our families and communities.

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The New Order

By R.W.


Well, today was a big day. Most presidential inaugurations are historic events, but this one today was special, perhaps even an epoch changing event. Trump, the minority president (who lost the popular vote, and won the electoral college vote by a squeaker) spoke to the sparse crowd of upturned white faces  in Washington’s mall:

“You came by the tens of millions to become part of an historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.”

There has been much focus, of course, and much insightful analysis, of course, of what just took place; I cannot compete with or contest the mighty players in this scene, but a simple single thought is plaguing me. It’s scary and won’t go away:


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Guns Will Protect Jemez Schools From Attack by Grizzly Bears

By R.W.


Betsy DeVos.

Almost 90 percent of this country’s children are in public schools. Now, we are faced with a lobbyist for private, religious and for-profit charter schools, the Amway heiress, multi-billionaire Betsy DeVos, described by American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten as the most ideological, anti-public education nominee in the Department of Education’s history who has been nominated for the position of U.S. Secretary for Education by President-elect Donald Trump. She is seen as an advocate for turning public education into a business, part of a trend sweeping the country that emphasizes profit and not education as the purpose of schools.

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Down a Dusty Track

Photos by R.W.

We live in a variety of landscapes, not all visible in our daily passages.

On the “other” side of N.M. 550, just a little southeast of San Ysidro, lies Cabezon Road. A casual rider on the main highway could never suspect what wonders lie hidden in the nooks and crannies of the landscapes down those dusty tracks. In fact, dusty tracks leading off those dusty tracks is where the real wonders lie.


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