Mandatory Evacuations Ordered in Los Alamos

From the Santa Fe New - The Las Conchas Fire began Sunday at 1 p.m. on private land in the Jemez Mountains 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos. By midnight, the fire had grown to between 4,000 and 6,000 acres, and had burned within one mile of the southwest of the Los Alamos National Laboratory boundary. The flames traveled quickly from tree crown to crown. Wind flung burning embers more than half a mile away. A dozen engines, nine hand crews, three helicopters, two Hot Shot crews and five bulldozers fought the fire until a Type 1 southwest region interagency command team and more resources could arrive today. The following bulletin was sent out by Los Alamos CountyLos Alamos, NM – Los Alamos County officials are reporting the fire is now threatening Los Alamos. They are ordering a mandatory evacuation. Residents are urged to prepare now to be ready to go when their Group is called using Reverse 911. The County is first evacuating those residents who are the closest to the immediate threat of fire. Residents should wait for the automated Reverse 911 phone call. Once called, proceed in an orderly fashion to police control points and follow any additional instructions to safely leave the County. National Guard and State Police will be assisting with the evacuation process. Read more

No fireworks allowed

From the Alamogordo Daily News - By Duane Barbati - Alamogordo Department of Public Safety officials are busy reminding residents that aerial and propelling-type fireworks are prohibited within the city limits between June 20 and July 8. Offenders of the fireworks ordinance will receive a citation to appear in Municipal Court. While it may only be classified as a misdemeanor, violating the fireworks ordinance carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail or a fine of up to $500 or both. The Otero County Commission on May 30 banned the use of fireworks in the county because of the extreme drought conditions. Lincoln National Forest officials closed the forest May 12 for the same reason. Read more

New details in latest police shooting in Albuquerque

NewsNM - Swickard: it appears to me that restraint was used by the officer shooting or the subject would have died on the scene. From - by Celina Westervelt - An Albuquerque police officer shot Orlando Paisano, 33, four times after he allegedly threatened two officers with a 15-inch bayonet. It happened Sunday evening, just two days after a new initiative was put in place to curb officer involved shootings in the city. Police were called because Paisano was reportedly threatening his girlfriend and her mother. When the two officers arrived, one went inside to treat a victim and that's when they say Paisano popped out of another apartment and threatened that officer's partner. Chief Schultz said Paisano had a 15-inch bayonet style knife in his hand. Officers told him to drop it, and when he refused they tasered him twice. That did not work, so Chief Schultz said his men had no other choice. The chief says there was nothing else they could have done to avoid shooting Paisano. Read more

Rebecca Vigil Giron: Gary King Used Me

From -Back on Friday (June 24), state Attorney General Gary King held a news conference in Albuquerque defending his office’s handling of a number of alleged political corruption scandals, including the case involving former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron. Well, now it’s the following Monday and Vigil-Giron is firing back at King. Milan Simonich of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership talked to Vigil-Giron by telephone … and she didn’t hold back: Rebecca Vigil-Giron, the former secretary of state who is under criminal indictment, predicted in an interview today that she will be cleared of any wrongdoing . More News New Mexico

Pearce: Common Sense Forest Management Needed

Luna, NM (June 27, 2011) Congressman Steve Pearce met with residents, firefighters and local officials in the Catron County area on Saturday to discuss the Wallow Fire, which recently forced the evacuation of Luna, New Mexico. “I am truly thankful for the thousands of firefighters who saved the lives and property of the people in harm’s way,” said Pearce. “I saw the magnitude of this fire firsthand, and its damage is overwhelming. I appreciate the heroic efforts of the crews on the front lines.” Mr. Pearce met with Catron County Manager Bill Aymar, Catron County Sheriff Shawn Menges, an official with the U.S. Forest Service, area ranchers, and others that have been involved since the fire broke out on May 29 in Arizona and eventually spread into New Mexico.
Steve Pearce
“The severity of this fire underscores the need for responsible, proactive forest management” said Pearce. “It is time for the federal government to implement common-sense thinning and management practices. Otherwise, we will only see more of these senseless, catastrophic fires. Known as the largest forest fire in the history of Arizona, the Wallow Fire has now burned approximately 537,220 acres, with 15,384 in New Mexico. At the time of the briefing, total containment was 70%, and all evacuations had been lifted with roads reopened.


Parker: Who is Going to RUN THE SHOW

Star Parker
Townhall - Thank you, Eric Cantor. Thank you for walking out on useless talks, presided over by Vice President Biden, addressing raising the limit on our nation’s debt. According to press accounts, Republican House Majority Leader Cantor called it quits on talks between Democratic and Republican leaders because Democrats refuse to give in on raising taxes. This, I am sure, is true. But we also must understand the deeper and broader issue.
We are in nothing less than hand to hand combat, fighting for what America is about and what it takes to get this country back on track of growth and prosperity. Whether we are, most fundamentally, a welfare state in which government runs the show, or whether this is a free country, in which free, private citizens run the show. Read full column here: News New Mexico

ACLU Will Fight Katie's Law Expansion

Santa Fe New Mexican - The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico says it will challenge a law that takes effect July 1 requiring a DNA sample from all people booked into jail for an alleged felony. "We think the law overreaches by collecting sensitive, private information from people who still deserve a presumption of innocence," said Peter Simonson, the executive director of the ACLU of New Mexico. "By expanding the law to include people who are not even accused of a violent crime, the Legislature may have made it more vulnerable to a constitutional challenge," he said. It wasn't clear when the challenge might be filed. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Blago Found Guilty on 18 Felony Counts

Rod Blagojevich
Washington Times - Jurors convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich of trying to sell or trade President Obama’s old Senate seat and 16 other corruption charges. The verdict came Monday after nine days of jury deliberations. Blagojevich faced 20 charges, including bribery, conspiracy and extortion conspiracy. He was found guilty on the most serious charge, seeking to sell or trade Mr. Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat. In addition, he was accused of attempting to shake down executives for campaign donations by threatening certain state decisions that would hurt their businesses. The jury reached verdicts only on 18 counts. The jury said in a note to Judge James Zagel that they were deadlocked on the final two counts and “were confident” they couldn’t agree, even with further deliberations. The two counts dealt with attempted extortion. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Morally Superior

President Obama and Nancy Pelosi
Real Clear Politic - CHIP REID, CBS NEWS: "This weekend, when the Vice President was laying out all the things that you have to do and how much -- when he said you have to ask those who are struggling in this economy to bear the burden and let the most fortunate among us off the hook, he said that borders on being immoral. Does the President agree with that?" JAY CARNEY, WH PRESS SEC: "Why, I think he does. Yes. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Santa Fe Schools Near Bottom

Santa Fe New Mexican - It's not fun to kick off a column with bad news, but a recent Kids Count report by New Mexico Voices for Children — an Albuquerque-based nonprofit focusing on research, data, public policy and educational reform — uses Public Education Department data to show that Santa Fe Public Schools ranks near the bottom of the state's 89 school districts when it comes to graduation rates. We're at 53 percent. Dulce Independent Schools and House Municipal Schools were also down there, and EspaƱola Municipal Schools just squeaked ahead of us with 54 percent. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Governor Urges Evacuation Compliance

Susana Matinez
SANTA FE – With mandatory evacuations ordered for the city of Los Alamos, Governor Susana Martinez is urging residents in the communities surrounding the Las Conchas fire to heed the orders of emergency management officials in order to protect and save lives. The evacuation will occur in three phases in 30-minute intervals. Group 1 will include Western, Quemazon, and Ponderosa; Group 2 will include North Community, Barranca Mesa, and North Mesa; Group 3 will include areas east of Diamond and the remainder of the town site. While White Rock is not being evacuated at this time, residents in Los Alamos should not go to White Rock to stay in case it is later evacuated. A shelter has been established at the Santa Claran Event Center at 464 North Riverside Drive in Espanola for evacuating residents. “Local, State, and Federal personnel and assets are in place to coordinate the suppression of the fire and to protect lives, property, and critical infrastructure,” said Governor Martinez. “My administration continues to work closely with emergency management officials to facilitate the evacuation and ensure the safety of Los Alamos residents.”
Sunday evening, Governor Martinez directed the National Guard to assist in the event of evacuations. Ninety-nine National Guardsmen along with the New Mexico State Police are in place in Los Alamos to assist in the evacuations. Cochiti Mesa, Las Conchas, Bandelier National Monument, and campgrounds near the fire were evacuated yesterday. A shelter is available for these evacuees at La Cueva Fire Station. Emergency and fire crews are monitoring the evolution of the fire and its threat to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. All hazardous and dangerous materials remain secure. Due to winds and the large amounts of smoke resulting from the Las Conchas Fire, an air quality alert is in place. Poor air quality conditions associated with smoke are especially dangerous for people with underlying health conditions such as asthma, emphysema, and cardiovascular disease.


We all share responsibility for reducing fire risk

Heath Haussamen
NMPolitics - Moments after learning about an out-of-control fire that’s burning in Los Alamos County on Sunday evening, I happened to drive by the gas station near my house. Outside, a large, yellow sign proclaimed that the gas station was selling fireworks. I whipped out my iPhone and tweeted this question: Shouldn’t responsible corporate neighbors choose to not sell fireworks this year? After all, major fires have burned recently across the state, from Raton in the north to Las Cruces in the south, and from Luna in the west to Carlsbad in the east. Fires are currently burning near Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Socorro. Check out this map showing fires in the southwest since Jan. 1. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Job Creation? How About LIFO to FIFO?

It has been 789 days since the last time the United States government passed a budget. During that time Democrats in Congress have called for another round of increased income taxes and Republicans have called for a round of government spending cuts. President Obama has had rounds in mind too. He has pointed an accusing finger at the "rich" while finding the time to play seventy-five rounds of golf. Over the weekend there were reports that the president and his team, which saw the budget proposal they sent to Capitol Hill defeated 97-0, come up with a new idea. The White House wants to grab $72 billion in new taxes from American businesses by forcing them to change their accounting methods from LIFO to FIFO.
LIFO is an accounting method that best reflects costs of inventory during times of inflation. Apparently amidst all of the handwringing over all the "cash" sitting on the sidelines, it would seem that prospective employers greatest fears about being under-reserved were realized. With the latest White House proposal, the effect of a change from LIFO to FIFO will allow the federal government to confiscate a significant portion of payroll maker's cash reserves.
Sadly, nowhere in the latest budget discussions was any sign that any entitlement reforms would be on the table. Also there is no change in energy policies that see Americans exporting its wealth each month while it imports oil. Nowhere was any indication that either party was going to call on the 51% of American households that contribute nothing in federal income taxes, to get involved in the process of funding all the invaluable things government does. And so it is. Nothing has changed.
America will continue to refuse to help itself on energy. The top 25% of all income tax filers in the nation will continue to pay more than 87% of all the taxes. The bottom half of all income tax filers who actually pay income tax, will continue to provide just 13% of total income tax revenues. And the president will continue to sharpen his short game on the golf course while the First Lady wraps up a week on an African safari.


Governor Orders National Guard to Los Alamos

SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez has ordered the New Mexico National Guard to Los Alamos to provide support for the ongoing efforts to protect lives, property and critical infrastructure threatened by the Las Conchas fire now burning in the Santa Fe National Forest. Additionally, Governor Martinez has directed her Administration, including the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department, the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Health to provide support for local emergency managers, firefighters, and other personnel in Sandoval County, Los Alamos County and at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Los Alamos
“My administration will make every effort to provide support for local emergency response crews,” said Governor Martinez. “With evacuations in place and the fire burning quickly, it is important that residents in the surrounding communities remain attentive to the local emergency operations’ alerts and orders. We are working closely with crews on the ground in order to protect lives and minimize damages.” Governor Martinez has requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issue a Fire Management Assistance Declaration for the Las Conchas Fire to provide further assistance. Voluntary evacuations are in place for residents of Los Alamos County, including White Rock and the City of Los Alamos. Residents living within Cochiti Mesa and Las Conchas have been evacuated as well. Campgrounds near the area including Jemez Falls Campground have been evacuated. A shelter for evacuees is available at the La Cueva Fire Station. NM 4 is closed at Mile Marker 37, State Road 4 at Pajarito, and West Jemez and Anchor Ranch Rd.
The Las Conchas fire started on private land at approximately 1 PM on Sunday, June 26 near the Jemez Ranger District in the Santa Fe National Forest and has burned over 3,500 acres with 0% containment Sunday evening. For more information on how to protect yourself from smoke visit: