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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Senator Heinrich Seeks Public Input

By Senator Martin Heinrich

United States Senate



As Congress reconvenes, I remain committed to standing up for New Mexico values. I am taking the power you have lent me to fight every day to solve the problems facing our state and our nation. With a background in engineering, I have always taken a pragmatic approach to my job–putting aside partisan differences and focusing on what really matters to all of us.

Please take a moment to share which issues you and your family care most about and sign up to continue receiving updates on them from me.


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Indios Amigos: Mesoamerican Auxiliaries in the Spanish Conquest of North America


By Matthew J. Barbour

Manager, Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites



In the last two decades, the public has begun to realize that the Coronado Expedition to New Mexico consisted primarily of Mesoamerican Indians. Roughly 3,000 strong, these men are often referred to by the Spanish as indios amigos (or friendly Indians). However, modern descriptions and depictions of these Nahuatl speaking peoples remain problematic. They are often referred to as porters or slaves. They are relegated to a passive role which satisfies the perception of an unrelenting Spanish hunger for glory. This is simply untrue, not just in terms of these Mesoamericans’ contributions to New Mexico, but rather their collective role in the conquests of the New World as whole.


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New Mexico’s Welfare Program Could Do a Much Better Job

By Sharon Kayne

Communications Director, NM Voices for Children

New Mexico’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program—what was formerly known as ‘welfare’—could do a much better job of helping families find educational pathways out of poverty. No TANF money is spent on education and training services that help parents gain credentials and secure family-sustaining employment. And while a significant percentage of TANF funding is used to pay for services like child care assistance and NM Pre-K, too few families with young children who receive TANF benefits are able to take advantage of these programs.

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Forest Issues

By R.W.

Photo R.W.

A road-like strip of mud made by visitors to the forest.


If it’s not bark beetles, fires, or droughts, it’s us. Not as direct and purpose driven as clear-cut logging or similar exploitative abuses of the natural environment by commercial operations in the near past, but mysterious acts of destruction and spoilage by an unidentified subculture in our midst,  whose motives are hard to fathom.

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