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U.S. Senator Mark Udall said yesterday that the nation’s debt is one of the biggest threats to national security, so states and military facilities won’t be spared some spending cuts over the next decade. Udall said he thinks “there’s probably no limit to what we could do to enhance our security, here at home and around the world”. He said, “There is increasingly a limit to dollars”. The democratic senator says that he supports efforts currently underway to find ways to cut some $500 billion from the military budget over the next 10 years while still dealing with threats such as Iran’s nuclear program and political upheaval in Syria. Udall didn’t offer specifics on exactly where the cuts would happen, but said there’s a growing sense on the Senate Armed Services Committee that every state and every facility will face some type of cut. Savings are expected in cuts to military hardware systems that have cost overruns, as well as cuts in personnel from the reduction of ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Colorado Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee yesterday passed a bill that aims to restore mailing ballots to inactive voters on a 3-2 party-line vote, with democrats in favor of the bill. Under SB109, voters who have stopped receiving ballots because they haven’t participated in elections would be restored to the mail-ballot rolls. Currently, voters are labeled inactive if they do not participate in a general election held in even-numbered years. Up to two postcards are sent to those voters who don’t participate, but they do not warn voters that they will be purged from mail-ballot rolls if they fail to reply. Under the bill, only voters who failed to participate in two consecutive general elections would be classified as inactive. The bill now faces a hearing in the senate committee on appropriations.

Residents of San Luis are currently under a boil order after their tap water tested positive for E. coli bacteria yesterday. According to a press release issued by Costilla County Public Health Director Vivian Gallegos, there have not been any reports of illness related to the contamination. The contamination was discovered by routine monthly testing of the San Luis Water and Sanitation District’s supply. The district supplies unchlorinated drinking water to the town of 629 from groundwater wells. Before using water for brushing teeth, cooking, or drinking, residents of San Luis should bring water to a rolling boil for at least three minutes, then let it cool and store it in clean, covered containers. Bottled water may also be used as an alternative. Residents or recent visitors to San Luis who experience stomach illness should contact their healthcare providers. The same guidelines should also be followed for domestic pets. The boil order will remain in effect until further notice. E. coli is a grouping of bacteria that includes some strains that can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, among other illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After almost a year of negotiating, Trinidad School District #1 and the teacher unions have reached an impasse. The impasse was originally reached under the previous administration, however, Superintendent Manuel Rodriguez convinced the school board to re-engage after he came on board. After 7 months, the district and the unions are unable to come to agreement over pay raises for teachers and the implementation of Senate Bill 191. While the district would prefer to increase teacher salaries, the current budget realities of the district prohibit such a move. Senate Bill 191 contains a requirement that teacher evaluations are a “significant factor” in determining which teachers are released when there is a “justifiable decrease in the number of teaching positions”. The school district will follow the law as written. The two sides will now choose a mediator and both sides will share evenly in the cost of paying for the mediation services.

From lions to insects, the ASC Community Partnerships Gallery will appear as you have never seen it before. Peer into a child’s imagination during the La Puente Pals exhibit taking place currently with a reception tomorrow from 4 until 6pm. See the world through the eyes of a child and explore the Pals Kid’s Jungle exhibit. Call 719-587-7869 for more information.