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Today's News

  • Women are less supportive of space exploration – getting a woman on the Moon might change that

     BY WENDY WHITMAN

    U.S. Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies

     

    In March 2019, Vice President Mike Pence stated that the goal of NASA should be to return humans to the Moon by 2024. While the cost of such a venture isn’t known yet, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has supported the effort and gone as far as naming the 2024 Moon mission, Artemis.

    The selection of Artemis is no mistake. In Greek mythology, Artemis was the sister of Apollo as well as goddess of the Moon. The name also signals a new focus on the role of women in space exploration. 

    From my perspective as a space policy analyst, this is an important message for NASA to send. Women have been historically excluded from the space program, especially early on. While women have made inroads both as astronauts and more generally within the NASA ranks since, there remains a significant gender gap in support for space exploration.

  • Medicare for all: Not a program -- it’s a slogan

    “Medicare for all” is not a program. It’s a slogan. We don’t know what it means until somebody defines it.

    By itself, it is not a solution to America’s health care needs. 

    Medicare for all was hotly debated during the recent Democratic presidential debate and will continue to be a major topic during the presidential primary season.

    New Mexicans may want to consider what the effect would be in our state, especially since more than half of our population is covered by Medicare or Medicaid or both.

    The version advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders, as expressed in legislation he has already introduced, would make medical care free to everybody and would add services not currently covered, such as dental and vision care.

    With this version, Americans would no longer pay insurance premiums but would pay for health care through taxes. 

  • USDA seeks applicants for loans, grants to provide farm labor housing

     Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced Tuesday that USDA is seeking applications for loans and grants to build new farm labor housing projects or to purchase and rehabilitate non-RD property for farm labor housing.

     The funding is being provided through USDA’s Farm Labor Housing loans and grants programs.

    Eligible applicants include farmers, associations of farmers and family farm corporations, associations of farmworkers and nonprofit organizations, most state and local governmental entities, and federally recognized Indian tribes.  

    The maximum award per project is $3 million. 

    USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the report to President Donald Trump from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to help improve life in rural America. 

  • UNM and LANL sign new joint faculty agreement

    The University of New Mexico and Los Alamos National Laboratory signed a landmark Institutional Agreement that provides staff from both institutions unprecedented access to collaborative research and allows for academic appointments for LANL staff and scientific staff appointments for UNM faculty.

    Laboratory staff can teach classes at UNM’s main and branch campuses, pursue joint funding opportunities, and work with faculty and students with the agreement.

    UNM faculty will have similar, reciprocal privileges.

    “After many months of work with colleagues here at UNM and at Los Alamos to lay groundwork for this agreement, I am extraordinarily pleased as UNM enters into a new level of collaborative relationship with Los Alamos National Laboratory,” said UNM Interim Provost Dr. Richard L. Wood. 

  • Circle of Giving to give back to seniors, veterans

    I am so excited to announce a new project that is launching with the Los Alamos Monitor, for local Veterans and low-income seniors. It is called, “The Circle of Giving.”

    Just so you know, I am not employed by the Los Alamos Monitor. I have been a volunteer for more than a decade. I did receive a fee for two or three columns I wrote, many, many years ago, perhaps in the early ‘90s. 

    I wrote about Gordon’s record shop, a pending concert and my pride and joy was a column about Kay Richardson, a lovely senior with a classical music show, on KRSN radio. At one, it hung in the Mesa Public Library.

    The Monitor staff has a goal to benefit community seniors in many ways during the next few months. The first is by offering subscriptions where a portion of each sale will benefit their first gift of giving. This gift will provide the gift of reading to local senior readers with free subscriptions. 

  • WR housing complex takes shape

    Raylee Homes, the developer building Mirador, a housing complex in White Rock, will start building 11 homes this week, according to one of the company’s principal partners, Tammy Thornton. The plan is to eventually build 161 homes at the site with different price ranges and styles, Thornton said. By the time 2019 ends, they plan to have 25 homes built. 

    “Our team is working as efficiently as possible to have as many homes in the ground prior to winter,” Thornton said. 

    All of the houses are what she called smart-capable, energy-efficient homes. They will include programmable thermostats; keyless entry and remote-programmable lighting that can be controlled through a cell phone app. 

    When the entire project in White Rock is completed, the development will include 161 single-family homes starting in the mid-$300,000 range all the way up to $500,000-plus. The development will also include 60 multi-family units and approximately 12,000 square feet of commercial space. The 60-acre development is located next to the White Rock Visitors Center on N.M. 4. 

  • State Ethics Commission seeks two commissioners

    The new State Ethics Commission is looking for New Mexicans interested in serving on the Commission.
    The recently enacted State Ethics Commission Act requires the four of us to appoint two more Commissioners, and we are seeking letters of application or nomination for those positions.
    The main responsibility of the commission is to help oversee, provide guidance about and enforce provisions of the state's ethics laws as they apply to state executive and legislative branch officers, employees, candidates, lobbyists and government contractors.

    The governor appointed Retired Judge William F. Lang as the commission chair. With the legislative leadership appointments of the four of us, three Democrats and two Republicans have now been appointed to the commission. By law, no more than three members of the commission may be members of the same political party.

    The commission went into effect on July 1. The two additional appointments will hopefully be made soon. Applicants should apply promptly, preferably by Aug. 1. The commission is tentatively planning to interview finalists for the two positions on Aug. 9.

    Under the State Ethics Commission Act, an aspirational goal in making appointments to the commission is to "give due regard to the cultural diversity of the state and to achieving geographical representation from across the state."

  • UNM and LANL sign new cooperative joint faculty agreement

    The University of New Mexico and Los Alamos National Laboratory signed a landmark Institutional Agreement that provides staff from both institutions unprecedented access to collaborative research and allows for academic appointments for LANL staff and scientific staff appointments for UNM faculty.

    Laboratory staff can teach classes at UNM's main and branch campuses, pursue joint funding opportunities, and work with faculty and students with the agreement.

    UNM faculty will have similar, reciprocal privileges.

    "After many months of work with colleagues here at UNM and at Los Alamos to lay groundwork for this agreement, I am extraordinarily pleased as UNM enters into a new level of collaborative relationship with Los Alamos National Laboratory," said UNM Interim Provost Dr. Richard L. Wood. "This will allow UNM to more readily host interested Los Alamos researchers, and allow more UNM faculty and research staff engage with colleagues at the Laboratory. I trust that will undergird some great new research in the months and years ahead—and eventually stronger economic development in New Mexico. As one born and raised in Los Alamos, the son of a Los Alamos theoretical physicist, it is great to sign this agreement as I exit the interim provost role at UNM."

    The agreement was signed June 28.

  • USDA seeks applicants for loans, grants to provide farm labor housing

    Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced Tuesday that USDA is seeking applications for loans and grants to build new farm labor housing projects or to purchase and rehabilitate non-RD property for farm labor housing.

    The funding is being provided through USDA’s Farm Labor Housing loans and grants programs.
    Eligible applicants include farmers, associations of farmers and family farm corporations, associations of farmworkers and nonprofit organizations, most state and local governmental entities, and federally recognized Indian tribes.  

    The maximum award per project is $3 million.

    USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the report to President Donald Trump from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to help improve life in rural America.

    Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships, and innovation. Key strategies include achieving e-connectivity for rural America, developing the rural economy, harnessing technological innovation, supporting a rural workforce, and improving quality of life.

  • US nuclear museum, nonprofit team up for preservation

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History and the Atomic Heritage Foundation are teaming up.

    Officials say their new partnership will ensure that the foundation's collection of oral histories and other materials about the top-secret Manhattan Project will remain available to the public.

    The nonprofit foundation is closing its Washington, D.C., office. Officials say it's been hard to sustain a fully staffed office as supporters have dwindled over the years.

    The foundation notes that less than 3% of World War II veterans are still alive.

    Since 2002, the foundation has been posting firsthand accounts and other programs on social media. Last year, 1.6 million people accessed its online resources, and its website audience continues to grow.

    The foundation also helped pushed for the creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.