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New Mexican (Newspaper) - December 23, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico NEW raJ Q J2i Ds DECEMBER FRIDAY 50 CENTS VETERANS AFFAIRS Millions of veterans widows not getting pensions By Chris Adams Knight Ridder Newspapers RENO Nev Nearly 2 million poor veterans or their impoverished widows are likely missing out on as much as S22 billion a year in pensions from the US government but the Department of Veterans Affairs has had only limited success in finding them Widows are hardest hit According to a YA estimate only one in seven of the survivors of the nations deceased soldiers sailors airmen and Marines who likely could qualify for the pen sion actually get the monthly checks Whaf s more participation in the program is falling according to a Knight Ridder analysis of VA records The reason for the lax participation a VA study said is that poor veterans generally are completely unaware that the program Veterans simply dont know abovit said Despina Hatton who runs a seniorlaw program for residents of Washoe County Nev that seeks to help veterans or their widows receive the benefit Theyre people such as Rose David son a 72yearold widow of a World War n sailor who lives in Sparks on a year in Social Security benefits Frail legally blind suffering from dementia and in need of regular assistance at home she could be eli gible for more a year under the VAs formulas That would boost her income by about 17 percent But her daughter said that neither she nor her mother had ever heard of the VA pension until recently Shes working to apply for the program I didnt have a said Linda Doty Davidsons daughter And at Please see VA Page A4 HOW TO GET HELP Veterans and their widows or other dependents might be eligible for the Department of Veterans Affairs pension if they meet certain requirements They include Veterans must have served during a time of war even if not in combat and they must be either perma nently disabled or 65 or older In addition their incomes must fall under a certain level Wid ows of veterans can also apply although their incomes must be even lower OR the Web If you are a vet eran and think you may qualify for the benefit go to the VAs Web site doc If you are a widow of a vet eran go here Phone The VA also has a toil free number for more informa tion 800 8271000 SKI SANTA FE Like other Northern New Mexico locations resort making due despite limited snowfall warm conditions j Photos by Karl New Mexican A skier makes his way down the Lower Midland on Thursday at Ski Santa Fe in front of a closed run Upper and Lower Midland are two of just four open runs because of low snow fal and unseasonably warm temperatures Lowsnow By Wendy Brown The New Mexican A more advanced skier might have complained about the number of trails open at Ski Santa Fe on Thursday but Amir Abdollahi found it difficult to object Tin not that good Abdollahi said Ski Santa Fe opened seven days a week Dec 10 but warm temperatures and a lack of snow have meant the sM resort has only been able to open four trails not counting Chipmunk Comer for young children said skipatrol director Cody Sheppard In The Santa Fe The mountain is fine for beginner or inter mediate skiers Sheppard said but because there are no blackdiamond trails open expert skiers have to slow down and keep themselves content with the resorfs scenery Abdollahi 45 said he started coming to Ski Santa Fe from Dallas a couple of years ago and because he is still learning and skis infrequently he didnt find himself particu larly limited Sheppard said he hopes this years snow pattern will follow last years when snow started falling in large amounts toward the Please see SNOW Page A6 A Ski Santa Fe message board alerts skiers to lowsnow conditions Thursday Resort officials say theyre hoping for a large amount of snow toward the second half of January Advocate Letterman order a representative for mentally ill says judges decision reinforces fantastical claim By Jason AusJander The New Mexican A local advocate for the mentally ill believes a woman who recently received a temporary restraining order against talkshow host David Let terman might be in considerable Ginny Wilson a Santa Fe representative for the National Alliance for the Mentally HI said she is particularly concerned that by signing the restrain ing order late last week District Judge Daniel San chez has dragged a person into the public eye who may not be capable of handling the situation Its really really Wilson said in an inter view Thursday Those words she used it would seem she is in considerable The words Wilson was referring to appeared in Colleen Nestlers application for the restraining order where she requested that Sanchez prohibit Letterman from thinking of her and asked that San chez release me from Lettermans mental harass ment and The application was accompanied by a sixpage typed letter in which Nestler said Letterman has been communicating with her on television using code words for the past 10 years and that in the course of the communication he had asked her to marry him and train as his cohost Sanchez signed Piease see ORDER Page A5 LAHL Nukeagency head happy with process to award contract Official says UC group had stronger proposal on technical financial aspects By Andy Lenderman The New Mexican The head of the National Nuclear Security Administration said Thursday that he was proud of Los Alamos National Laboratory employees and confident of the process used to pick a new man ager for the lab Linton Brooks also discussed why a team including the University of California and Bechtel National got the job Wednesday to manage the lab Brooks said his agency had an extremely detailed evaluation process for the contract com petition and the person who made the decision was objective The UCBechtei team was picked by Tora DAgostino NNSA administrator And he determined that both on technical merit which was our primary interest and on finances they were the stronger Brooks said The winning contractor a private company called Los Alamos National Security LLC takes over June 1 Please see LANL Page A6 OBITUARIES Terrence Doyle 58 Dec 18 David Master 60 Santa Fe Dec 13 Fidel Valdez Dec 19 Marianne Yancey 77 Santa Fe Dec 19 PageC2 COOKING ON CANYON ROAD Catering company prepares to dish out barbecue for charity and the homeless on Christmas Eva Local news Ci HEW MEXICO FALLS TO 04 ON THE ROAD Widowed mother in need of reliable car asks for help Page C3 The Lobos continue to struggle away from The Pit as San Diego never gives up the lead in handing UNM a 6356 loss Sports Bl Index Annies Generation Horoscope Local Police Time A locally owned and independent newspaper f A VICTORIAN Christmas in 19th century Santa Fe featured snow and celebrations with families and friends It also included crimes tragedies and other dramatic events according to excerpts from Christmastime issues of The New Mexican Pasatiempo inside Main Late News TODAY Breezy and mild High 60 low 26 Page C8 Five sections 38 pages Pasatiempo 96 pages 156th year Issue No 357 Publication No 596440 Serving New Mexico for 156 years
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