N.M. Senator Sez 'Mushroom Cloud' Set For Nevada Desert
Las Vegas Sun – November 15, 2006
By KEN RITTER - ASSOCIATED PRESS
LAS VEGAS (AP) - If the government goes ahead with plans for a non-nuclear explosion to test bunker-buster bombs it will be in Nevada, not in New Mexico, Sen. Pete Domenici said Wednesday.
The New Mexico Republican, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, issued a statement in Washington, D.C., saying the Defense Threat Reduction Agency had decided not to conduct the "Divine Strake" test at the White Sands Missile Range.
He said DTRA "prefers" a plan to conduct the test at the Nevada Test Site, a vast Energy Department reservation north of Las Vegas where plans for the blast have been stalled by a federal lawsuit.
Domenici did not identify a date for the test, which a government lawyer recently told a federal judge won't take place until after Feb. 1.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency would not directly address Domenici's claim.
The agency issued a statement saying Director James Tegnelia met Wednesday with the Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and members of Utah's congressional delegation "about the need for the experiment, the alternate sites considered and ensuring the safety of the experiment."
The agency said an environmental assessment was being revised in preparation for the test and the public would have a chance to comment before a test is scheduled and conducted.
Agency spokeswoman Irene Smith in Fort Belvoir, Va., declined further comment.
The explosion, first scheduled June 2, was postponed after Western Shoshone tribe members and "downwinders" in Utah and Nevada sued in federal court in Las Vegas.
Defense Threat Reduction Agency officials identified other sites around the nation that were being considered, including a southern Indiana limestone quarry and the White Sands Missile Range.
The owner of the Indiana quarry said in August that site won't be used.
A spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration, which operates the Nevada Test Site, said Wednesday the Nevada site remained under consideration.
MATHESON: DIVINE STRAKE TEST UNWELCOME!
Health Risks Troublesome
For Immediate Release – Nov. 16, 2006
Washington DC - Congressman Jim Matheson said a decision by a federal defense agency to detonate a 700-ton conventional blast at the Nevada Test Site, not in New Mexico, still leaves many questions unanswered and remains a non-starter for him.
Matheson joined the other members of the Utah Congressional Delegation at a meeting with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Wednesday to receive an update on the so-called "Divine Strake" test plans. The non-nuclear, open air explosion is expected to hurl dirt and debris thousands of feet into the atmosphere. Objections raised by Matheson and others resulted in several postponements. DTRA also agreed to look at alternate test locations, including the White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.
But the agency now says the Nevada Test Site is its preferred location.
Both open air and underground nuclear tests were carried out in areas surrounding the location selected for the upcoming blast. Nevada environmental officials have refused to issue air quality permits required before its detonation, saying it has received incomplete environmental data. A lawsuit pending in federal court in Nevada has also challenged DTRA's plans.
Matheson grilled DTRA's director regarding the dual purpose of the gigantic ammonium nitrate and fuel oil explosion. Matheson remains concerned about the agency's admission that Divine Strake is an experiment designed to simulate both nuclear and conventional weapon effects. He notes Congress has already voted to eliminate funding for development of nuclear "bunker-busters".
Utah residents living downwind of the test site are frightened by the prospect of more contaminated materials being released into the atmosphere.
"Just last month we received additional scientific evidence- from Dr. Joseph Lyon's study - of the link between radioactive fallout and illness. The more we look, the more damage we uncover from this era, even as the federal government was telling us it was safe then. I remain skeptical when they tell us it is safe today," said Matheson.
Alyson Heyrend, Communications Director
Rep. Jim Matheson
240 E. Morris Ave., #235
Salt Lake City UT 84115
(801) 486-1236 fax (801) 486-1417
Mary Kim Titla Inducted Into ASU's Cronkite Alumni 'Hall Of Fame'
Kiko News – Miami, Arizona
San Carlos Apache Tribal member Mary Kim Titla is one of two new inductees into ASU’s Cronkite School Alumni Hall of Fame. Titla and Clear Channel Radio vice president Susan Karis were recognized Tuesday at the journalism school’s 23rd Annual Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism Lunch.
Titla received her master’s degree in mass communication from the Cronkite School in 1985. She operates a Web magazine that focuses on Native American Youth. Before launching the magazine, Titla was the first Native American television news reporter in Arizona.
Producer Dave Halliday Presents 'Ghost Tribes'
I recently finished Ghost Tribes , a short documentary about six Virginia Indian tribes—the tribes of Pocahontas and her people—and their 400 year struggle for sovereignty and federal recognition.
My film was selected as 1 of 6 finalists in the Third Millenium Foundation's "Seeds of Tolerance" film competition. I need your help to win. By taking a minute to vote for Ghost Tribes, you can help determine the winner and garner much needed publicity and funding for the these tribes' efforts.
Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) has sponsored a bill that would grant the tribes recognition, and in the new congress, he just may have the political "capital" to push it through. In addition to funding for the tribes' cause, Al Gore will present the winning film live, in a televised awards ceremony, raising awareness for the tribes.
To vote, Current will require you to register, but it's quick (<30 seconds) and there aren't any follow up emails or newsletters.
Vote for Ghost Tribes here (It's the 3rd video from the left)
From now until 12:01 am on December 2, 2006, you have the chance to help pick our top video. The grand prize winner will receive $100,000 in cash and an additional $15,000 to donate to the charity of his or her choice. Two finalists will also receive $10,000 a piece. The awards will be presented at a screening event in Los Angeles in December.
Thanks for your help.
Digital Content ProducerWashington, D.C.
Native American Election Gains In Montana
Submitted by Daniel Levitas, ACLU
As a result of litigation brought by the ACLU Voting Rights Project in Montana a decade ago, Montana has now elected ten Native American candidates to the state legislature - the greatest number of Native American state legislators anywhere in the nation.
In 1996, the ACLU Voting Rights Project filed a challenge to the 1992 legislative redistricting in Montana (Old Person v. Cooney, No. CV-96-004-GF (D.Mont.)). The litigation was protracted, and while the plaintiffs did not ultimately prevail on the merits, the 2001 state redistricting commission relied upon the extensive findings of vote dilution made by the federal courts in the ACLU case to draw a plan containing majority Indian districts.
When the redistricting commission’s plan was challenged for allegedly violating one person, one vote and being a racial gerrymander, the Voting Rights Project represented tribal leaders as intervenors in defense of the plan. The challenge was rejected by the court, the plan was implemented, and in November 2006, ten Native American candidates were elected to the state legislature.
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