April 10, 2015

Martinez signs ‘responsible’ $6.2B budget -- Santa Fe New Mexican

Gov. Susana Martinez signed a $6.235 billion state spending package that bolsters education, economic development, child protection and public safety, though not at the levels lawmakers envisioned months ago before oil prices collapsed and dragged down revenue expectations.

Besides the necessary trimming that resulted from falling revenue projections, Martinez made cuts of her own. The governor used line-item veto power to strike pay raises for health workers and public defenders, and $1.8 million for a courthouse in Mora County, from the spending package for the fiscal year that begins July 1. -- 4/10/2015


Another tough year on tap for Rio Grande water users -- Albuquerque Journal

Cities and farmers that depend on water from the Rio Grande could be in for another tough year.

Snowpack from the mountains that feed the waterway is halfway gone, and there has been little to no precipitation in the last month. That means federal officials will be managing the river for drought for a fifth consecutive year.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the annual operating plan Thursday for the Middle Rio Grande. Some of the lakes that store river water are in better shape than last year but nowhere close to the 100 percent average that federal officials had predicted a month ago when snowpack was plentiful. -- 4/9/2015


Announcing a Week of Making this June 12-18 -- The White House Office of Science and Technology Blog

Last year, on June 18, President Obama hosted the first-ever White House Maker Faire and issued a call to action that “every company, every college, every community, every citizen joins us as we lift up makers and builders and doers across the country.” By democratizing the tools and skills necessary to design and make just about anything, Maker-related events and activities can inspire more people to pursue careers in design, advanced manufacturing, and the related fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and possibly take their creations to the next level and become entrepreneurs.

The White House will celebrate a “Week of Making” this summer from June 12-18. The week will coincide with the National Maker Faire here in D.C., featuring makers from across the country and will include participation by federal agencies including: the Department of Education, National Science Foundation, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Institute of Standards and Technology, NASA, Corporation for National and Community Service, Department of Homeland Security and the Smithsonian. -- 4/9/2015


Fight For Water Heats Up In Desert Southwest -- NPR Morning Edition

In New Mexico, there's a battle over the Gila River. The state has decided to divert the river and capture the water for later use. Critics say the move will be too costly and environmentally harmful. -- 4/8/2015


Scientists descend on New Mexico to solve methane plume mystery -- KRQE News

 It’s a scientific mystery: Why is there a giant plume of methane hovering over the Four Corners region?

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other agencies are spending the month in New Mexico and Southern Colorado to try to figure it out.

Images picked up by a European satellite, published last year, show the nation’s largest plume of methane is hanging over the San Juan Basin. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

There will be a public forum about the San Juan Basin methane plume on April 17, 2015 at 9 a.m. at San Juan College in Farmington. -- 4/8/2015