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Nominees Sought for 2013 Citizens Medal

on March 23, 2013 - 9:31am


Who deserves the Citizens Medal?

Each year President Obama honors a handful of extraordinary Americans with the Citizens Medal, one of our nation's highest civilian honors.

The Citizens Medal recognizes Americans for exemplary deeds of service outside of their regular jobs -- people who feed the needy, who take care of our veterans, or who support our children.

Is there someone in your life who deserves to be recognized by President Obama?

There are nine days left before we close nominations on the 2013 Citizens Medal.


NM Delegation Applauds Creation of Río Grande del Norte Monument

on March 22, 2013 - 9:17am
Río Grande del Norte. Courtesy photo
WASHINGTON D.C. – Members of the New Mexico Congressional Delegation today applauded the decision by President Barack Obama to create a national monument to protect the Río Grande del Norte in Northern New Mexico.
The president will hold a National Monument Proclamations Signing Ceremony at the White House Monday.
The Bureau of Land Management, under the direction of the Department of the Interior, currently manages the 240,000 acres of land in Northern New Mexico.
The Río Grande del Norte monument

Luján Urges House Leaders to Include IDEA Funding Provision in Continuing Resolution

on March 21, 2013 - 9:45am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján


  • Senate-Passed Provision Could Significantly Benefit New Mexico

WASHINGTON. D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today urging them to support the inclusion of an import provision in the final continuing resolution (CR) that addresses IDEA funding.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi

The Senate-passed CR includes a provision that changes the penalty for states that fail to meet the maintenance of effort requirement for IDEA funding (Individuals with

Valles Caldera: Elk Hunting Lottery Closes March 20

on March 19, 2013 - 7:45am


VCNP News:

The Valles Caldera National Preserve is one of New Mexico’s premier elk hunting locations with between 2,500 and 3,500 elk occuping the Preserve for breeding, calving and foraging.

Hunts on the Preserve are designed to pay homage to man's oldest relationship with animals by providing the public with a hunting experience that otherwise would be prohibitively expensive.

At the mandatory hunt orientation session, hunters will be assigned a hunting unit within the Preserve. These hunting units are 3-6,000 acres in size and are comprised of forest and grasslands.

Luján Questions DOE Officials About Hanford Waste Going to New Mexico

on March 15, 2013 - 9:18am


WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee questioned officials from the Department of Energy Wednesday.

He questioned the officials on their plans to move millions of gallons of highly radioactive waste from the Hanford site in Washington state to New Mexico for storage at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plan (WIPP.)

While the leaks at Hanford are an environmental disaster, moving this waste to New Mexico has been

Followup to Lost Treasure Hunter at Bandelier

on March 14, 2013 - 9:10am

BNM News:

Saturday March 9, search and rescue personnel found a missing hiker in good condition after she spent a freezing night hiking through difficult terrain in and adjacent to Bandelier National Monument.

The Carrolton, Texas woman had been searching for the buried treasure of multimillionaire Forrest Fenn.

The search and rescue operation involved three aircraft, dog teams and more than 40 volunteers and staff from the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Energy, New Mexico Search and Rescue, Los Alamos Police Department and the Los Alamos Fire Department.

“Before you get

Luján Celebrates Women’s History Month

on March 11, 2013 - 8:30am

Women of 1913. Courtesy photo


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement in recognition of Women’s History Month, which is celebrated during March.

“Owing its roots to a protest by female factory workers over working conditions more than a century ago, Women’s History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary contributions that women make in all facets of life.

Spring Forward ... Daylight Saving Time Begins 2 a.m. Sunday

on March 8, 2013 - 9:49am

NIST News:

Information about the Current Daylight Saving Time (DST) Rules:

Daylight Saving Time (DST) rules changed in 2007 for the first time in more than 20 years. The NIST Time Services continue to operate properly under the new DST rules.

Let's take a brief look at what DST is, what the new DST rules are, and how the NIST Time Services have handled the DST changes. Information is also provided for people who may still be having problems with some information technology systems (such as the clock on your computer) since the changes.

What is Daylight Saving Time?

Daylight Saving Time,

LANL's New Box Line Facility Largest of its Kind Ever Built

on March 8, 2013 - 8:39am

The record-setting new box line facility where transuranic waste will be repackaged at Los Alamos National Laboratory is 110 feet long by 48 feet wide. Courtesy/LANL

A worker transports the first box of waste to be repackaged at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s newest box line facility. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory opens new waste repackaging facility

Box line facility is largest of its kind ever built

Los Alamos National Laboratory has brought a third waste repackaging facility online to increase its capability to process nuclear waste for permanent disposal.

Udall Issues Statement on DOE and EPA Nominations

on March 4, 2013 - 8:33pm
DOE Secretary Nominee Dr. Ernest Moniz
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall,D-N.M., issued the following statement after President Obama nominated Dr. Ernest Moniz and Gina McCarthy to lead Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), respectively:
"I look forward to meeting with the two candidates President Obama has put forth to lead the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.

Luján Statement on Failure to Prevent Sequester

on March 1, 2013 - 9:53am

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján


WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District released the following statement today after Congress failed to pass legislation to prevent the sequester's budget cuts that are scheduled to begin tomorrow.

"Today is a disappointing day, when partisanship and ideology stood in the way of compromise and the best interests of the American people. The arbitrary cuts from the sequester will impact education, public safety, health care, and more - leading to job losses and harming an economic recovery.

Valles Caldera Trust Welcomes New Trustee

on March 1, 2013 - 8:23am

Catherine Allen

VCT News:

JEMEZ SPRINGS - Catherine Allen was officially appointed as the newest member of the Valles Caldera Trust, Board of Trustees Thursday.

She is the fifth trustee appointed by President Barack Obama and joins Kent Salazar and Karyn Stockdale, who were also appointed by the Obama administration.

“The Valles Caldera is a national treasure and must be respected as such,” said Allen, who served on President Obama’s Economic Development and Small Business Committee during the
first Administration.

Bandelier Tourism Creates $9 Million in New Mexico Economic Benefit

on February 28, 2013 - 9:53pm

Bandelier. Courtesy/BNM

BNM News:

  • New report shows visitor spending supports 252,000 jobs nationwide

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 193,914 visitors in 2011 spent $9,218,000 in Bandelier National Monument and in communities near the park.

That spending supported 139 jobs in the local area.

“Bandelier National Monument is a wonderful place to relax, get exercise and learn about America’s story,” park superintendent Jason Lott said. “And the people in our nearby communities are invested in the park.

Luján Hosts Briefing Highlighting Latino Support to Combat Climate Change and Carbon Pollution Solution

on February 28, 2013 - 7:02am


U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico hosted a Capitol Hill briefing Wednesday designed to offer solutions to climate change that featured a proposal by the Natural Resources Defense Council, and discussed a new poll showing that Latinos strongly support taking action against climate change.

Luján convened the briefing for Members of Congress, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, policy staffers, and Latino organizations concerned about climate change.

From extreme storms to drought, wildfires and floods, climate change is increasingly

Udall Gives Sepich Family Signed 'Katie's Law' Legislation

on February 27, 2013 - 6:35am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall in his Washington, D.C. office Tuesday with the family of murdered NMSU student Katie Sepich. Courtesy/Tom Udall's Office
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall welcomed the Sepich family to his Washington office Tuesday to present them with signed copies of the Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act of 2012, the federal legislation President Obama recently signed into law.
Udall met with Jayann and Dave Sepich and their two children to give them copies of the legislation and praise their efforts to expand "Katie's Law" nationwide.

Column: How Will Sequestration Cuts Affect New Mexico?

on February 26, 2013 - 2:26pm
Los Alamos

According to the information put forward on the White House website, Sequestration will cut funding to New Mexico by millions including providing fewer funds for everything from education and military bases to meals for senior citizens.

The total amount of cuts for the entire country is $85 billion.

Here are the details:

Primary Cuts:

MILITARY READINESS (Dept. of Def.): $42 million in cuts from Army base(s) ($32 mil.) and Air Force base(s) ($10 mil.) (National Laboratory cuts were not mentioned.)

EDUCATION CUTS: $6.1 million for primary and

Luján: New Report Reinforces Need to Prevent Sequester

on February 25, 2013 - 1:57pm

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján

U.S. Congressional News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District highlighted a new report that was released by the Obama Administration that reinforces the need to prevent the sequester's indiscriminate cuts from taking place.

The cuts are scheduled to begin on Friday, and threaten to harm the economy and result in significant job losses in New Mexico and around the country.

The sequester was part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which Luján voted against.

"From education to public safety, the sequester's arbitrary cuts will hurt

Valles Caldera Trust Awarded $545,000 For Solar Powered Shuttle System

on February 23, 2013 - 12:40pm

VCT News:

JEMEZ SPRINGS—Valles Caldera Trust has been awarded a $545,000 federal grant that will allow visitors to tour the Valles Caldera National Preserve in the quiet comfort of a solar powered all-electric shuttle bus.

The grant is one of 29 awarded nationally by the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in the Parks Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Authority.

The grant will fund the purchase of an all-electric 26-passenger ADA-compliant shuttle bus to replace two gasoline-powered 12-passenger vans currently in use.

Construction of a solar photovoltaic

AAUW Screens Film on Rape in the Military

on February 18, 2013 - 8:17am

AAUW News:

See “The Invisible War,” a groundbreaking investigation into what Newsweek has called "the most underreported crime in America": the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21.  

The film will be shown in the Jeannette Wallace Hall (Bldg. 5) at UNM-LA by the Los Alamos branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW.)

The screening is a fundraiser for AAUW's Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF.) Admission is $10 adults and $5 students. All proceeds will be donated to LAF.

AAUW is committed to improving the way the military deals with sexual assault by

Senators Challenge Postal Plan to End Saturday Delivery

on February 17, 2013 - 11:32am
  • Unauthorized proposal would hurt rural communities, cost jobs
WASHINGTON – Twenty-four senators, led by Tom Udall of New Mexico, are challenging the postmaster general’s authority to discontinue Saturday mail delivery later this year without congressional approval.
In a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, the senators acknowledge the financial challenges the Postal Service is facing and urge him to work with Congress to address these problems through bipartisan reform, such as the Senate legislation passed last year.
They also point out that a shift

Senators Launch Effort to Employ Youth for Restoring Public Lands

on February 17, 2013 - 7:48am
Courtesy photo
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich Friday reintroduced legislation to expand job training and educational opportunities for youth, while helping repair and restore the country's public lands.
The Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2013 improves on the existing Public Lands Corps by expanding the scope of projects to reflect new challenges. It would also add incentives to attract new participants, including Native Americans and veterans, that suffer from disproportionately high rates of unemployment.
“As many of our public

CryoSat-2 Mission Reveals Major Arctic Sea-Ice Loss

on February 15, 2013 - 8:00am

Sea ice scape photo by Dr. Katherine Giles, a research fellow at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modeling at University College London (UCL) and a member of the scientific team studying sea-ice loss. Courtesy/AGU

AGU News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Arctic sea ice volume has declined by 36 percent in the autumn and 9 percent in the winter between 2003 and 2012, an international team of scientists has discovered. 

Researchers used new data from the European Space Agency's CryoSat-2 satellite spanning 2010 to 2012, and data from NASA's ICESat satellite from 2003 to 2008 to estimate the volume of

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.


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

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