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New Mexican (Newspaper) - February 20, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico THE SANTA FE Locally owned and independent Serving New Mexico for 156 years Lawmakers want grades easy as ABC the Associated Press No more emerging toward proficiency on student report cards New Mexico lawmakers want to see As BsandCs Public schools would be required to use a standard ized alphabetic or numeric grading system under a bill that is moving through the state Legislature Its a response to Albu querques fledgling efforts to move away from the tradi tional grading system which have met with mixed reviews from parents In 20 elementary schools in New Mexicos largest school district standard report cards have been replaced by progress reports that assess performance levels using terms such as emerging nearing proficient proficient and advanced Officials say the fourpage progress reports are a better way to tell parents how well students are complying with the state standards required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act But Sen Sue Wilson Beffort many parents in her district have been upset by the worried the murky descrip tions could mask mediocrity or low achievement They are not as clear an indication of the level of accomplishment or failure of the Wilson Beffort said in an interview Saturday New Mexico students especially at the highschool level shouldnt be hampered by a grading system thats not widely used elsewhere she said toward profi Im not exactly sure Please see EASY Page A3 INSIDE TODAY Land deal proposed Santa Fe County to vole on million deal for 103 acres linking Atalaya to Dale Ball Foothills Santa Fe El Norte Bl Todays obituaries Patricia Gallegos 66 Albu querque Feb 14 Maria C Velarde 89 Santa Fe Feb 17 Teresita Sanchez Santa Fe Feb 16 Delilah L Armijo 53 Santa Fe Feb 16 Elizabeth Lamb Santa Fe Feb 16 Webb Young 92 Feb 12 Please see Page B2 Todays forecast Cloudy breezy chance of showers High 47 low 32 Page B2 INDEX C7 Dl Hl C7 El C7 Bl Opinion Police notes C0ue Pasa D2 Fl 121 C2 Cl Gl SUNDAY FEBRUARY 20 2005 ONE DOLLAR Local ivws The Wests Oldest Newspaper 11 sections 132 pages 156th year Issue No 51 Publication No 596440 Late paper Classified ads News tips 9840363 9863000 9863030 A wave of wave of destruction after the Mother of Compassion and her wers offer consolation to a fishing village torn by deadly waves RENEWING LIVES Children greet a visitor at a government relief camp in Kerala on a hot afternoon PHOTOS AND ESSAY BY JENNIFER ESPERANZA I FOR THE NEW MEXICAN I went to Amritapuri the ashram of my teacher Amma in Kerala India this past November to pho tograph a childrens book for her Amma as the humanitarian Mata Amntanandamayi is called was given the GandhiKing Award for Nonviolence in 2002 at the General Assembly Hall in Geneva Switzerland Often referred to as the Mother of Amritanandamayi has a vast network of social medical artistic and humanitarian projects I wanted to make this childrens book as an offer ing and give the profits from it to her childrens charities I did a number of photographs for Amma but what happened in the seven weeks I was in India changed my work and me forever India broke me down she took me to my knees I praynot to forget all the lessons I received These lessons helped break down the walls around my heart and open me to the people of the small fishing village just outside Ammas ashram On Dec 26 as Amma was giving her darshan or blessing the tsunami wrapped around the tip of India and hit the coast of Kerala The ocean pum meled the small fishing village where Amma was born It all happened so fast People had children ripped out of their arms by the sea taken forever One village woman tied her babies in her sari to a tree and saved them as she hung onto the tree for In a surreal moment of beauty a brafimacharf who has given up a worldly life walks through the flood waters at Ammas ashram or religious retreat her own life The ashram flooded its water waist deep My friend Venus from Ireland saw bodies being pulled from the backwaters soon after I was in my flat on the eighth floor of what was called the D building I grabbed my camera and started to pho tograph what I could Amma evacuated all people from around the world who were at the ashram that day unhurt across the backwater to her Computer School and Engineering College We stayed there for five days sleeping on the floor on straw mats We were fed we could Please see LIVES Page A7 Legislature to chew on safety of dental filling By ANNE CONSTABLE The New Mexican As a child Joan Didak suf fered from learning disabilities and could never concentrate on her school work About 12 years ago she was experiencing other symptoms I was sleeping 20 hours a Didak said 1 could barely walk I couldnt complete sentences I couldnt find my car in the park ing lot I would have to remind myself where I was going I was a While she was recovering from a lung infection a holistic health practitioner in Arizona asked Didak then 40 if she still had dental amalgams in her mouth Within months Santa Fe dentist Bill Wolfe replaced the childhood fillings in Didaks Please see SAFETY Page A4 Whats in it A dental amal gam sometimes referred to as silver filling usually con tains about equal parts of elemental liquid mercury 43 to 54 percent and an alloy powder 57 to 46 percent composed of silver tin copper and sometimes smaller amounts of zinc palladium or indium Source National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Delaying early retirement might fix Social Security By KEVIN G HALL Knight Ridder Newspapers WASHINGTON With President Bush and Congress looking for ways to close a projected Social Security funding shortfall of trillions of dollars one option is to delay the early retirement age now 62 when people can begin taking benefits Delaying early retirement could reduce a Social Secu rityfinancial shortfall that the systems trustees project at trillion over the next 75 years Nearly six in 10 eligible Americans take early retirement That trend could strain the systems finances badly when baby boomers those born from 1946 to 1964 begin retiring in 2008 The retirement of some 76 million boomers will drain Social Securitys reserves Please see GAP Page A6
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