Pueblo Design
 La Jicarita

A community advocacy newspaper for northern New Mexico

Box 6 El Valle Route, Chamisal, NM 87521

Volume XIII

March 2008

Number III

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Turning Swords into Ploughshares: Opposition to Nuclear Weapons Production at LANL By Kay Matthews  

Editorial: Taos Regional Water Plan Hijacked by the Powers That Be By Kay Matthews


Ombudsman's Report Confirms Workers' Complaints About EEOICPA By Mark Schiller

Where are the Bookmobiles?

New Edition of Lands Grants & Lawsuits in Northern New Mexico

Turning Swords into Ploughshares: Opposition to Nuclear Weapons Production at LANL

By Kay Matthews

At a press conference on March 1 the communities of northern New Mexico emphatically told the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the agency that operates the Department of Energy's (DOE) nuclear facilities, they do not want Los Alamos National Laboratory to be the site of increased nuclear weapons production. In the words of Española Mayor Joseph M. Maestas, "The time has come to comprehensively reassess the role of nuclear weapons as a primary means for addressing our national security needs. . . . I fully support a change of mission for LANL."

Mayor Maestas (through a representative), Santa Fe Mayor David Coss, Santa Fe City Council member Matthews Ortiz (the Santa Fe City Council passed a resolution on February 7 opposing the expansion of nuclear weapons production at LANL), Picuris Pueblo Governor Craig Quanchello, Barbara Dua of the New Mexico Conference of Churches, and Allen Sanchez of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops all came together to initiate public comment on the release of the draft Complex Transformation Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (formerly referred to as Complex 2030 and pejoratively referred to as Bombplex). Alternatives in the EIS would expand the manufacturing capabilities and building of new facilities at LANL for the production of plutonium pit "triggers" for nuclear warheads. Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque would take over all testing for performance of nuclear weapons in extreme environments and design and engineering responsibility for non-nuclear weapons.

Governor Craig Quanchello from Picuris Pueblo

Marian Naranjo of Honor Our Pueblo Existence from Santa Clara Pueblo

LANL developed and tested the world's first plutonium pits and produced them for the Cold War stockpile until 1952, when the Rocky Flats Plant in Golden, Colorado began major production (reaching up to thousands per year). Rocky Flats production was shut down in 1989 because of numerous "environmental crimes," including toxic contamination of its workers, physical site, and surrounding communities. Under the Bush administration's directive, the DOE and NNSA now want LANL to not only remain the nation's only producer of pits but to expand that production from 20 pits per year up to 80, and perhaps up to 200.

It was especially significant that Española Mayor Maestas participated in the press conference. As he pointed out in his prepared statement, "I was extremely disappointed when I discovered that my community was not selected as a site for one of the [NNSA] public hearings. . . . Since the greater Española Valley represents a significant portion of the LANL workforce, my main concern is the proposed mission of LANL and how that mission may affect employees as well as our regional economy." With the help of both Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman's offices, Maestas was able to get NNSA to schedule a hearing in Española on March 27 from 6:00 to 10:00 pm at the Misión y Convento (see below for a schedule of all the hearings around New Mexico).

After the press conference a coalition of groups held a day-long event, "Turning Swords into Ploughshares." The common theme of the day was that there is no need for expanded plutonium pit production at LANL for a number of reasons, first and foremost because two decades after the Cold War has ended, deterrence is no longer a reason to build nuclear weapons. The United States has created a world of "nuclear apartheid," where the so-called "good guys" continue to maintain stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction while labeling any nation wishing to process uranium for nuclear power plants, which could lead to nuclear weapon capability, as "rogue states."

Additionally, the production of pits is unnecessary when existing pits can be "reused", which is far less expensive and environmentally damaging than new pit production. The pits actually last a century or more, which undermines NNSA's argument for both new-design weapons and expanded pit production. According to Nuclear Watch New Mexico, despite the fact that Congress rejected all funding for new nuclear weapons designs, called Reliable Replacement Warheads, in 2007, NNSA "has not given up on" expanded pit production for new designs.

Moreover, it is premature for the Bush administration to be proposing this Complex Transformation based on his 2001 Nuclear Posture Review. The Defense Authorization Act of 2008 requires the incoming president to complete a new Nuclear Posture Review in 2009, which should be used as a basis for establishing future United States arms control objectives and negotiating positions. The Act also requires the formation of a bi-partisan commission appointed by the Armed Services Committee to recommend the number of nuclear weapons needed, the size of the nuclear weapons complex necessary to support that number, and assess the role that non-proliferation programs play in national security.

All the New Mexico anti-nuclear organizations encourage citizens to contact the congressional delegation to let them know that the 2009 review must address a growing demand that the United States finally honor the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and cease expansion and production of nuclear weapons. Now that Senator Domenici is retiring, it is up to Senator Bingaman and Congressman Udall to take a stand against the manufacture of nuclear weapons at LANL: they have the support of a significant portion of the population behind them. (Contact numbers are included in the above sidebar.) Those who go to the Complex Transformation hearings should demand NNSA include a "No Production Alternative" in the EIS: while the NEPA process is often burdensome and unresponsive, we can put NNSA on the hot seat. Comments on the Complex Transformation EIS can be submitted by e-mail until April 10 to ComplexTransformation@nnsa.doe.gov. To sign on to the Campaign for a Nuclear Free World visit www.nuclearweaponsfree.org.

While calling for a change in mission in his statement, Mayor Maestas also said, " . . . such a mission change must be funded and planned properly without job losses." To that end, the Solar Energy Research Park and Academy (SERPA) initiative is being developed to establish an economy based on renewable energy research, education, and deployment. Another regional cooperative, Renewable Energy Development and Deployment Institution (REDDI) will augment SERPA by developing market-ready products and solutions, primarily energy storage and distribution technologies.

Additionally, there needs to be funding appropriated for massive clean-up at the Lab and adequate and timely compensation for LANL workers exposed to radiation and toxic chemicals (see article on page 4). Even by the miserable standard set by the government at other nuclear weapons facilities, LANL workers are qualifying under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act at one of the lowest rates. One of the speakers at the day's event, Marian Naranjo, from Santa Clara Pueblo, has been working to get compensation for Native American workers who were exposed to intense, short-term exposure but don't qualify for compensation under the EEOICPA. La Jicarita News will cover this travesty in the April issue.

Embudo Valley Environmental Monitoring Group

The day after the press conference and educational event, the Embudo Valley Environmental Monitoring Group held a meeting at Picuris Pueblo to present findings from their air monitoring efforts in 2007. This group organized after the Cerro Grande Fire to establish a baseline for air quality in the Embudo Valley by setting up monitoring stations at Picuris, Dixon, Vallecitos, Llano de la Llegua, and Ojo Sarco. The group works closely with the New Mexico Environmental Oversight Bureau (which oversees the three nuclear facilities in New Mexico: LANL, Sandia National Laboratory, and the Waste Isolation Project) and at the Sunday meeting the Oversight Bureau (OB) presented some interesting findings.

In the summer of 2007 the OB collected and analyzed nine soil samples and eight acequia irrigation water samples in the Valley. They also followed up on what they call the lettuce project, which they first conducted in 2006, and in which they found higher than reference values of uranium 234 to uranium 238. What this means is that based on a naturally occurring ratio of one to one of these types of uranium in soils, the lettuce showed a ratio of two to one, indicating that irrigation water, in which uranium 234 is quite soluble, had higher than "normal" levels of this element. The OB plans to do more testing on lettuce this summer.

The other startling data the OB presented is that a soil sample collected at Las Trampas Lakes, at the head of the Rio de las Trampas watershed, had some "extraordinary" levels of the radionuclides cesium 137, strontium 90, and plutonium 239 and 240. The OB speculated that are two ways these contaminants could have been deposited at the lakes: carried by wind from LANL or from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons conducted by the DOE prior to 1963, when it was banned. The OB wants to conduct additional testing at high-elevation locations: both the ED and LANL theorize that if these kinds and levels of contaminants are found only on high peaks all along the Sangre de Cristos (the elevation of the lakes is 11,415 feet) then it is probably the result of atmospheric testing.

Both Sheri Kotowski, founder of Embudo Valley Environmental Monitoring Group, and Joni Arends of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, who attended the meeting, believe these monitoring efforts reveal more of what we don't know than what we do know. While so far the radionuclides were found only at the top of the watershed, there needs to be significant additional sampling to follow up the potential pathways of these contaminants, not just additional samplings on high elevation peaks. There is a sophisticated analysis process that could be used to fingerprint the origin of these elements to determine if they come from LANL. As Arends points out, regardless of whether the contamination originated at LANL or through atmospheric testing, the University of California, which designed all nuclear testing and is one of the Lab's managers, should be responsible for clean-up.

Northern New Mexico community members can call Environment Secretary Ron Curry to encourage his department to allot more resources to both ground and water sampling (high levels of uranium in soils could also contribute to the lettuce findings), particularly with regard to the potential pathways of the radionuclides found at the Trampas Lakes. His number is: 505 827-2855. For more information about the results of the monitoring you can call Sheri Kotowski at 505 579-4076.

New Mexico Complex hearing schedule

• Socorro, Macey Center (at New Mexico Tech), 801 Leroy Place, Monday, March 10, 6 pm-10 pm

• Albuquerque, Albuquerque Convention Center, 401 2nd Street NW, Tuesday, March 11, 11 am-3 pm and 6 pm-10 pm

• Los Alamos, Hilltop House, 400 Trinity Drive, Thursday, March 13, 11 am-3 pm

• Santa Fe, Genoveva Chavez Community Center, 3221 Rodeo Road, Thursday, March 13, 6 pm-10 pm

• Española, San Gabriel Misión y Convento, Plaza de Española, One Calle de las Españolas, Thursday, March 27, 6 pm-10 pm

Representative Rep. Tom Udall: 505 984-8950 in Santa Fe; 202 225-6190 in Washington D.C.

Senator Jeff Bingaman: 1-800-443-8658 in New Mexico; 202 224-5521 in Washington D.C.

Editorial: Taos Regional Water Plan Hijacked by the Powers That Be

By Kay Matthews

We often use the expression "not at the table" to indicate that someone's input was not represented in a process, whether by intention or omission. Well, at the March 7 meeting of the Taos Regional Water Plan, members of the Public Welfare Committee (PWC), who drafted the Public Welfare Statement (PWS) and Implementation Program, were designated the "Stakeholders" and literally were "not at the table": we were consigned to the audience while all the "Decision Makers" were physically there. The Decision Makers, or Taos Region elected officials, included all the municipalities, water districts, and Abeyta adjudication parties who have objected to the Public Welfare Implementation Program because they want to buy and sell water rights on the open market with no oversight.

The meeting was orchestrated by the Interstate Stream Commission and facilitated by Rosemary Romero as the second of two supposed "mediation" sessions to try reach consensus on the plan. But at the first meeting, the Implementation Program was taken "off the table" at the behest of the Decision Makers. Members of the PWC were led to believe that at the subsequent March 7 meeting participants would then work on drafting some kind of language to address implementation.

As a member of the Taos Regional Water Plan steering committee and the PWC, I dropped out of the negotiation process several months ago (the PWC met many times throughout the fall with the Decision Makers and drafted 17 versions of the PWS and Implementation Program to try to make it more inclusive of their demands) when I saw where we were headed. I believe we were lending undeserved credibility to their complaints by agreeing to changes to a document that had been drafted from the bottom up by stakeholders from around the Taos Region. These stakeholders represented unincorporated communities, environmental organizations, acequias, mutual domestics, and other water users who met for over two years, as volunteers, to draft the plan, and who came to public meetings across the region to help devise critical strategies for the plan, which included keeping water in its area of origin. They supported the creation of an oversight committee to look at all transfers both within and from the region, and based on the public welfare criteria we had developed, including cultural protection, agrarian character, watershed health, and long-term economic development, make an informed recommendation to the Office of the State Engineer as to whether the transfer was in the public interest. Many, if not most, of the Decision Makers, while designated members of the steering committee, seldom attended the Water Plan meetings. Only when we were ready to submit the plan to the ISC for approval did they decide to start attending meetings and object that they had "been left out of the process."

I went to the second mediation meeting to cover it for La Jicarita News, and even I was surprised by the blatant maneuvering of the ISC. Romero made it clear that only the Decision Makers were going to address implementation, and Stakeholders were not to participate. When several PWC members objected to the undemocratic way the meeting was being run, they were told that the steering committee and PWC had done their job and were no longer part of the process. It was time for the Decision Makers to draft an implementation component for the plan.

To his credit, County Commissioner Nick Jaramillo (the County is the only Decision Maker that approved the Implementation Program) objected to the process of excluding the committee members. He pointed out that Simeon Herskovits, the member of the PWC who has been responsible for drafting the many versions of the PWS, was unable to attend the previous meeting (committee members had requested that the date of that meeting be changed because of Simeon's absence but were ignored) and was told he would be able to submit some changes, recommended by the PWC, to the PWS. Jaramillo stated that despite this attempt by the municipalities to protect their interests, the County will move forward to do what is best for all its constituents.

The Decision Makers then proceeded to spend the rest of the meeting drafting an implementation program that focused on setting up an "educational and information respository," which is all fine and dandy except that this Taos Regional Water Plan is not what the public said it wanted. The ISC has made it abundantly clear that it doesn't want implementation as part of the regional plans and doesn't want public welfare to apply to a water management strategy that encourages water transfers from agricultural lands to urban areas. Until growth and development are tied to the availability of a local water supply there will continue to be water transfers. The Taos Regional Water Plan and Public Welfare Statement is our plan to protect our water resources for the benefit of all our region's citizens. Now, without an effective Implementation Program, it can sit on the shelf, along with the other 15 regional plans, and gather dust while water continues to flow both uphill and downhill to money.







A Symposium on the Disputed Legal Histories of New Mexico's Land Grants

April 12, 2008 at the UNM School of Law

1117 Stanford Drive NE Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

9:00 a.m. &endash; 4:30 p.m.


New Mexico's Spanish and Mexican land grants have been the subject of social and legal conflict since the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Presentations at this symposium will explore recent developments in the law, history, and politics of New Mexico's land grants, including discussions of the controversial 2004 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report analyzing whether the federal government fulfilled its obligations to grantees, the relationship between land grants and the Forest Service, and how and why some community land grants have survived while others have disintegrated.

Speakers Include

Susan Sawtelle, Managing Associate General Counsel, & Jeff Malcolm, Ass't Director, GAO

David Benavides & Ryan Golten, New Mexico Legal Aid Land & Water Rights Project

Manuel García y Griego, Director of the Southwest Hispanic Research Institute

David Correia, Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Maine Farmington

Denise Holladay Damico, Doctoral Candidate in History, Brandeis University

Mark Schiller, Editor, La Jicarita News

Carol Raish & Alice McSweeney, US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station

2 General CLE Credits Available for Attorneys

For More Information or to Register, Contact

Susan Tackman, Managing Editor, Natural Resources Journal

Phone: (505) 277-4910 Fax: (505) 277-8342

E-mail: tackman@law.unm.edu

Ombudsman's Report Confirms Workers' Complaints About EEOICPA

By Mark Schiller

Over the last six months I've written several articles about the difficulties and injustices Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) workers and workers from other nuclear facilities across the country have faced trying to obtain benefits under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). For those of you unfamiliar with this issue, EEOICPA is a program enacted by Congress in 2001 to compensate nuclear workers who developed cancer and other serious diseases as a result of exposure to radiation and toxic substances in the workplace. EEOICPA contains two programs through which workers can obtain benefits: Claimants who have contracted one or more of twenty-two radiation related cancers or chronic beryllium disease can qualify for a $150,000 lump sum payout plus medical benefits under Part B; and/or up to $250,000 and medical benefits for lost wages and impairment due to job-related exposures under Part E. Recently it was brought to my attention by nuclear workers' advocates Dr. Maureen Merritt and Terrie Barrie that a February 15, 2008 report from the Office of the Ombudsman for Part E confirms the legitimacy of a long list of claimants' complaints about the program.

The Office of the Ombudsman for Part E was created by a 2004 amendment to EEOICPA, which specifically mandates the Ombudsman to report to the Secretary of Labor concerning "the difficulties encountered by claimants and potential claimants under Part E during the previous year." There's also an Ombudsman for Part B, but in keeping with numerous inconsistencies associated with this act, the Part B Ombudsman is not required to file an annual report about the difficulties claimants encounter under Part B, which according to claimants and their advocates are legion.

The Part E Ombudsman's 2008 report categorizes claimants' concerns under three classifications: Regulatory, Policy and Procedural Issues; Administrative Issues; and Statutory Issues. I'll touch upon a few of the most critical issue addressed under each classification.

Regulatory, Policy and Procedural Issues

• Under EEOICPA regulations, claimants bear the burden of proving their claim. Many claimants, however, even with the assistance of Division of Energy Employee Occupational Compensation (DEEOIC) personnel, find it impossible to locate critical employment, exposure, and medical records necessary to substantiate their claims. In many cases it's been shown that these records no longer exist because they have been lost or destroyed by the agency or hospital responsible for them. This problem is further compounded when the claimant is the spouse or child of a deceased employee who doesn't have first-hand knowledge of the employee's history.

• Claimants have found that exposure records, which are critical to substantiating the amount and duration of exposure to radiation and other toxic substances, are often inaccurate and don't reflect the fact that claimants often worked at many different sites within the facility. Moreover, many claimants assert that they were periodically instructed by their supervisors to take off their dosimetry badges, which were the basis for monitoring their radiation exposure.

• DEEOIC develops Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) covering Department of Energy facilities that are supposed to provide radiation exposure information and list all chemicals present based on the operations performed at each building within the facility. These SEM have repeatedly been shown to be inaccurate, but many claims under both Parts B and E have been denied based on the information contained in them. When claimants are successful in challenging the accuracy of a SEM, all denied claims must be reevaluated, significantly prolonging the claims process and increasing administrative costs.

• Claimants are often not informed that they must specifically request in writing copies of the evidence developed by DEEOIC regarding their cases. Thus, they are often unaware that records they may need already exist in DEEOIC files.

• Claimants assert there are no clear guidelines for meeting the "fully rationalized medical opinion" standard for demonstrating their illness is exposure related. They question why their own board certified physicians' opinions are often deemed insufficient when the opinion of a DEEOIC contracted physician, who reviewed the evidence but didn't actually examine the claimant, is credited.

• Spouse and child survivor claimants assert that in cases when the worker died many years before technical information was available regarding the dangers of exposure to radiation and toxic substances, the medical records that exist are misleading or irrelevant.

• Claimants question DEEOIC's assertion that there is "no known causal link between any chemical and prostate cancer" when the Veterans Administration has adopted a presumption that prostate cancer has a related link to Agent Orange, a chemical herbicide.

Administrative Issues

• Claimants have encountered significant problems dealing with DEEOIC personnel. The two most common complaints are: 1) difficulties in reaching claims examiners or in having telephone calls returned; and 2) changes in claims examiners. (Some claimants have reported having as many as five different claims examiners, which has caused numerous associated problems including: having to familiarize a new claims examiner with the intricacies of the claim; receiving conflicting instructions from different claims examiners; and having to resubmit evidence claimants have already provided.)

• Correspondence and decisions claimants receive from DEEOIC are often full of legal and medical terminology, which claimants have difficulty understanding and responding to.

• Claimants believe that the claims process takes far too long and point to the fact that many claimants die before their claims are processed. Moreover, claimants must meet strict deadlines, but claims examiners do not.

• Claimants often cannot locate qualified physicians who can provide acceptable evidence linking their illness to their exposure. Moreover, at some facilities there were dozens of toxins present making it nearly impossible to research the potential effects and interactions. (Dr. Merritt asserts that there were more than 1,000 toxic chemicals present at LANL, whose potential synergistic effects EEOICPA claims examiners refuse to acknowledge.)

• Claimants have also reported difficulties finding qualified physicians who can provide acceptable evidence of medical impairment and are willing to get involved in the time consuming claims process.

Statutory Issues

• EEOICPA limits compensation to: 1) covered living employees; 2) surviving spouses of covered employees; 3) surviving children of a covered employee who were younger than 18 at the time of the parent's death, younger than 23 and a full time student, or incapable of self-support. Adult children assert that this policy is patently unjust because they often have had to endure financial and personal hardships caring for a terminally ill parent, but are not qualified for compensation. Moreover, if a successful claimant dies before the claim is awarded the benefits to qualified survivors are significantly reduced.

• Under Part E a claimant must have been employed at a designated Department of Energy (DOE) facility. However, many potential claimants, who were exposed to the same hazards and contracted the same illnesses as workers at designated facilities, worked on behalf of DOE at non-designated facilities and therefore do not qualify for Part E benefits.

• Claimants assert that the $250,000 lump sum payout for impairment and lost wages often falls short of fully compensating workers for these issues. Moreover, medical benefits are only retroactive to the date of the claim and do not cover medical expenses related to the exposure but incurred prior to filing the claim.

• Claimants assert that the complexities of the claims process necessitates legal representation, but under EEOICPA the government provides no funds for such representation and severely limits the amount a claimant can pay a lawyer from a successful settlement, thereby discouraging most lawyers from becoming involved.

• Spouses of covered male workers have made claims that they lost a child at birth as a result of toxins to which their husbands had been exposed while working at a covered site. Likewise covered workers assert that their children developed birth defects and other disabilities as a result of their exposures. Neither of these issues is covered under the statute.

These are just some of the issues addressed in the thirty-two page Part E Ombudsman Report. EEOICPA was enacted in 2001 and significantly amended in 2004, yet the claims process continues to be burdensome, arduous, and unjust. The standards to which claimants are held in demonstrating the legitimacy of their claims are often impossible to meet. Not surprisingly, this is often due to the government's own incompetence in monitoring exposure and keeping accurate records that can readily be accessed. Furthermore, expert testimony before Congressional committees investigating this program has revealed that the administrative costs of EEOICPA are exorbitant. No one, however, to my knowledge, has calculated and compared the potential costs of granting Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) status (an acknowledgement by the government that it does not have enough information to reliably calculate the workers' exposures to radiation and toxins) to all affected workers and simply paying them benefits, as opposed to the costs of only paying benefits to claimants who can successfully negotiate the labyrinthine claims process, plus the bloated costs of administering the program. In the long run, I suspect, there wouldn't be an enormous difference in financial terms, and SEC status would eliminate some of the devastating "human" costs for claimants whose lives are often consumed by the process. Unfortunately, after taking a close look at this program, I believe these injustices are not simply the result of an unwieldy bureaucratic process, but rather a calculated strategy to limit liability for workers who the government knowingly placed in jeopardy while funneling pork barrel money into entrenched government agencies such as the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the National Institute of Safety and Health. Given what we know about how our government operates, it's not much of a surprise.

Where are the Bookmobiles?

Several months ago members of the Guadalupita area were alerted to the possibility that due to budget cuts the state sponsored Bookmobile might not be making any stops in their community in the future. After several of them contacted the New Mexico State Library, Librarian Susan Oberlander send a letter to La Jicarita News and asked that we publish it as a service to our readers in northern New Mexico. We don't have room to print the entire letter, but here is the most pertinent part:

"Recently, there has been some concern expressed by library supporters via letters received at the State Library. These letters questioned our dedication to the 52 year-old Bookmobile Program. As State Librarian, I can assure all New Mexicans that our bookmobiles are going nowhere . . . except to those crucial, much-appreciated stops along New Mexico's two-lane roads that brush against the state's farms, ranches and villages.

We at the State Library strive to properly balance our attention - and resources - between support for programs at public libraries and services for people without access to local public libraries like the popular Bookmobile and Books by Mail programs. Striving to be effective managers, it is important that we review the efficiency of all of our programs and services from time to time.

As new libraries open in towns across our state, the need for bookmobile services obviously changes. In the past 15 years, 30 new public libraries have opened their doors in places like Abiquiu, Cuba, Mountainair, Cloudcroft, Jemez Pueblo, Mescalero, Clayton, Acoma Pueblo and Sunland Park. We like to think that the bookmobiles may be a motivating influence on towns that decide to start their own libraries.

However, please know that as 'change happens' we will discuss and coordinate all possible adjustments to our bookmobile schedules and stops with those communities that we serve. Above all else, the bookmobiles will continue to keep their appointed rounds to people without access to local public libraries, carrying on a tradition that began in the hidden villages of northern New Mexico more than a half century ago."

Malcolm Ebright, La Jicarita News board member who lives in Guadalupita, suggested that if budget cuts determine the number of Bookmobiles, decisions about their locations should be based on use, not on whether a community has a library in the vicinity, and that people in the affected communities be notified before any decisions are made so that they may present necessary information that might not be available to the state.

New Edition of Lands Grants & Lawsuits in Northern New Mexico

The Center for Land Grant Studies is releasing a new edition of Malcolm Ebright's ground-breaking history of New Mexico's land grants from their antecedents in Spain and Mexico down to present-day land and water lawsuits. Ebright narrates specific cases involving fraud, forgery, and injustice, as well as courageous acts by land grant communities. Land Grants and Lawsuits in Northern New Mexico presents a comprehensive and clear account of clashing legal systems in eleven essays, with a new introduction to this third edition.

The new edition will soon be available in bookstores throughout New Mexico and by order from The Center for Land Grant Studies' website, southwestbooks.org.

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