Local Viewpoints

Local Viewpoints
3:16 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Sen. Peter Wirth Files Bill to “Fix” Public Financing of New Mexico Elections

Credit senatorpeterwirth.com

  Sen. Peter Wirth (D- Santa Fe) yesterday pre-filed legislation to fix New Mexico’s Voter Action Act, which currently allows candidates for election to the Public Regulation Commission, Court of Appeals and NM Supreme Court to utilize public funding. It is Senate Bill 58.

Wirth said the “fix” to public financing was needed because of a 2011 court decision striking down a part of the original bill and this year’s misuse of the system by candidates for the PRC.

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Local Viewpoints
1:41 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Ban Sought On New Mexico Wildlife Killing Contests

  Ten conservation groups today called for a ban on wildlife-killing contests in New Mexico after a new national ranking gives the state the dubious honor of holding more of the cruel killing contests each year than any other state. The groups are calling on the governor and state legislature to ban these biologically unsound contests that target coyotes, bobcats, foxes, prairie dogs and other animals.

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Local Viewpoints
10:23 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Udall: Now Is The Time To End The Failed Embargo Against Cuba

Credit Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  U.S. Senator Tom Udall released a statement today on the President’s announcement that he has taken steps to normalize relations with the country of Cuba and has secured the release of American prisoner Alan Gross, who had been held in a Cuban jail since 2009.  In November, Udall traveled to Cuba with Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) where they met with Cuban officials as well as religious and business leaders to discuss the impacts of the embargo and travel restrictions on American and Cuban families.

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Local Viewpoints
11:15 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Archbishop Sheehan: Have We Forgotten The Reason For The Season?

Credit http://www.archdiocesesantafe.org/ABSheehan/ABSheehan.html

  Christmas decorations are up all over New Mexico.  But it seems the emphasis is on large Santa Claus figurines, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman.  There are twinkling lights and tinsel everywhere and people are busy buying and wrapping gifts in fancy paper with big bows.  We are all sending and receiving Christmas cards.  Dinners and trips are being planned.  Lots of money is being spent.  We are told we are supposed to say “Happy Holidays” -  not Merry Christmas!

 

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Local Viewpoints
10:27 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Goodman: Las Cruces Recall Effort "A Naked Power Grab"

The present Recall effort is a naked power grab aimed at destroying local democracy.  A couple of wealthy families and their companies are trying to use money to intimidate present and future councilors who might wish to be guided by their constituents' needs or their own consciences, not fear of Big Money.

   Forget their somewhat comical outside operative, Jeffrey Isbell, who can only hurl misleading mud but doesn't seem ready to debate issues.  (Maybe he's still too new here to have a clue.)

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Local Viewpoints
4:37 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Martinez Announces 16 Percent Decrease in New Mexico’s Drug Overdose Fatality Rate

Credit Office of the Governor

  Today Governor Susana Martinez announced New Mexico’s drug overdose fatality rate decreased 16 percent between 2011 and 2013. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New Mexico’s drug overdose fatality rate decreased from first in the nation in 2009 to third in 2012. New Mexico has now fallen below West Virginia and Kentucky in drug overdose death rates. This is the first time since 1992 that New Mexico has not been ranked first or second nationally in drug overdose fatality rate.

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Local Viewpoints
4:33 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Announce Momentous Gains For New Mexico With Passage Of Public Lands Package

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) applauded the passage of a historic public lands package today. Several conservation and energy bills championed by the senators were included in the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act. The end of year package passed the Senate by a vote of 89 to 11 and now goes to the President for his signature. 

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Local Viewpoints
9:37 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Pearce Votes For Federal Budget

  Congressman Steve Pearce voted in favor of the FY 2015 CR-Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Passage of the $1.013 Trillion spending bill will protect American jobs, fund national security priorities, reduce wasteful spending and provide for veterans.

 

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Local Viewpoints
2:21 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Cloudcroft Is New Mexico's Newest "Frontier Community"

  Cloudcroft - Today, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela announced the Village of Cloudcroft was selected to participate in the New Mexico Frontier Communities Initiative.  Established by the state Legislature and signed into law by Governor Susana Martinez in 2013, this community economic development partnership program is designed specifically to serve New Mexico's rural communities that are currently not able meet the national benchmarks involved in New Mexico MainStreet program designation.

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Local Viewpoints
4:16 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

New Mexico Charter School Power Struggle

  Oversight authority over schools is an ongoing struggle in New Mexico.  The NM Public Education Commission (PEC) used to be strong and supervised education.  Then it was folded into the NM Public Education Department (PED).  State Auditor Balderas recently charged that the PED is not providing adequate independent oversight to charter schools.  The State Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC) Charter Schools Subcommittee is recommending legislation that would separate the two agencies again.  In this report you will find an analysis of NM charter law.

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Local Viewpoints
4:09 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Pearce Co-Sponsors Suicide Prevention Act For Veterans

  The House passed bipartisan legislation that is designed to help prevent veteran suicides. Congressman Steve Pearce cosponsored H.R. 5059, The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, a bill that will increase access, better meet the demand and boost the accountability of mental health care. The legislation has support from a number of veterans groups, including the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and the VFW.

 

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Local Viewpoints
12:30 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Heinrich Blasts CIA Interrogation, Detention Program

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, will deliver the following remarks today on the release of the executive summary and the findings and conclusions of the committee’s five-year review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. Senator Heinrich has been a leading proponent of declassifying the report. 

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Local Viewpoints
3:41 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Goodman: Questions Remain Regarding The Las Cruces Minimum Wage

Last Monday, the Las Cruces City Council voted to delay minimum-wage hikes set by the petition-initiated ordinance.  People keep asking me:

Was the City Council's action legal?

No, in my view; but it might survive a challenge.

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Local Viewpoints
3:36 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Thank You, Volunteers Of La Tienda

On December 5, the Las Cruces community came together in support of Jardin de los Niños at our annual Chile Holiday Celebration.  I wanted to thank everyone who attended the event, because the revenues will go a great distance in helping Jardin maintain fiscal sustainability.  It was a great event.  However I failed.

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Local Viewpoints
3:26 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

New Mexico MainStreet Welcomes Alamogordo To The MainStreet Program

  Alamogordo - Today, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela announced Alamogordo has been designated as an "Emerging" MainStreet Community. Alamogordo is welcomed into the New Mexico MainStreet network of 28 MainStreet communities, nine Arts & Cultural Districts and 16 Frontier Community Initiatives working to revitalize historic commercial cores of their downtown.
 

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Local Viewpoints
1:15 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Haaland Announces Bid For New Mexico Democratic Chair

  Deb Haaland announced this morning her intention to seek the Chairmanship of New Mexico’s Democratic Party.

“There is a lot of healing that needs to be done, and a lot of uniting. As I traveled the state in 2014, I saw what was beautiful and amazing about New Mexico and our Party, but I also saw things we could do better. That’s why I’m running for Chair; we can rebuild our party and create new bridges that will enable us to come back in 2015 and 2016 stronger than ever.”

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Local Viewpoints
3:30 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

ACLU: Immigration Officers Ordering Illegal Deportations Without Hearings

  NEW YORK – In the first comprehensive study of expedited deportations ordered by federal immigration agents instead of judges, the American Civil Liberties Union found numerous incidents of people with rights or strong claims to be in the United States who were deported without the chance to be heard.

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Local Viewpoints
3:23 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Rep. Pearce Explains Vote Against Defense Funding Bill

   Congressman Steve Pearce released this statement following the vote on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (NDAA):

 

“Voting against the NDAA today was a difficult decision for me,” said Congressman Steve Pearce.  “As a Vietnam veteran, I always look to support the military and their families. However, the NDAA does not fully meet the needs of our troops and grossly expands the federal footprint in the West.”  

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Local Viewpoints
2:13 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Goodman: Three Lessons About Assumptions

Three moments in time.

In early 2008, I ran into a man I'd worked with years earlier, when he was Amfac Inc.'s general counsel. (I'll call him GC.) He and his family lived in Hawaii then. I'd represented Amfac in several cases, and GC and I became friends.

When we talked in 2008 he told me a story from 35 years earlier. His daughter, who attended Punahou High School, was going to prom with a black student. Neither GC nor his wife cared about skin color, but his mother was from a different generation, and from the South. They wondered how she'd react.

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Local Viewpoints
3:00 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Heinrich Calls For Full Funding Of PILT, SRS For Critical Local Government Services

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined a bipartisan coalition urging Senate leaders to fully fund the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) in any end-of-year legislation.

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Local Viewpoints
2:33 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

CAFé Blasts Small's Proposed Changes To Las Cruces Minimum Wage Law

  Las Cruces, NM - Councilor Nathan Small shared with us his plans to completely alter the core and spirit of our ordinance. It’s a move we believe panders to outside monied interests. We’re deeply disappointed in a city councilor we thought was an ally.

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Local Viewpoints
1:01 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Progressive Caucus: Potential Extension Of Tax Cuts Leaves Out Middle Class

  WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), released the following statement in response to a reported agreement in Congress on extending certain tax breaks.

The provisions that are included in the deal, such as permanent extension of tax breaks for corporate research and continued fossil fuel subsidies, will add nearly $450 billion to our budget deficit while providing little relief to the middle class and phasing out renewable energy credits.

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Local Viewpoints
2:53 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange Seeks Public Comment

  Albuquerque, NM – The BeWellNM, New Mexico’s Health Insurance Exchange, Board of Directors has announced a public comment period pertaining to the organization’s proposed plans for long-term financial sustainability.BeWellNM will need to be fully financially self-sustainable starting on January 1, 2016 when federal grants to fund our operations will no longer be available. Since the BeWellNM Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchange has already been operational for a year, BeWellNM will need to fund SHOP operations starting January 1, 2015.

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Local Viewpoints
6:16 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Interstate Stream Commission Votes In Favor of a Sustainable Water Future for Southwest New Mexico

The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission voted in a public meeting today to support water conservation projects, rural communities and the environment in Southwestern New Mexico through the Arizona Water Settlement Act (AWSA). The Commission’s recommendation includes municipal water conservation, capturing and saving flood waters for future use, and effluent reuse in the Luna, Grant, Catron and Hildago County areas. New Mexico has no financial obligation at this time.

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Local Viewpoints
4:12 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Goodman: Recall The Recall In Las Cruces

  We'd all like a more civil and cooperative local government.  We're neighbors, members of a community, and we ought not to ape the Washington gridlock.

   How?

   First, we need to be able to talk with each other – and listen to each other.  We should learn to make clear that in rejecting someone's argument we don't reject him or her – and to recognize that disagreeing with us doesn't make someone an implacable enemy.  Few people, if any, are purely evil, and neither wanting a living wage for workers nor believing we can't afford to pay a living wage sounds evil.

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Local Viewpoints
4:09 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Pearce Applauds Gila River Diversion

  Today, the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) voted to accept $128 million in federal funding to claim 14,000 acre feet of water from the Gila River. Under the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004, the State of New Mexico has the legal right to claim the water and take the funds by December 31, 2014.

 

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Local Viewpoints
3:08 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Advocates: New Plan Gives Mexican Wolves More Room, But Also Subjects Them To More Traps, Bullets

SILVER CITY, N.M.— A new federal plan for managing endangered Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest would expand the areas where wolves could be released and roam, including farther south, east and west in both Arizona and New Mexico. But the plan, released today by the U.S.

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Local Viewpoints
3:02 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Martinez Names Four "New Mexico True Heroes"

Credit Office of the Governor

  Today, Governor Susana Martinez acknowledged the selfless acts of four New Mexicans who have gone above and beyond in making their communities a better place to live, work, and raise a family. These four New Mexico True Heroes, credited for their bravery, dedication, kindness, and compassion, are the inaugural group of citizens receiving recognition from the State of New Mexico and the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

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Local Viewpoints
12:42 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Pearce: President's Actions On Immigration "Gross Abuse Of Power"

  “President Obama’s decision to use executive powers to alter immigration policy for 5 million people is a gross abuse of power,” said Congressman Steve Pearce.

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Local Viewpoints
12:39 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Heinrich: We Must Fix Our Broken Immigration System

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement on the actions President Obama is taking to help fix our broken immigration system:

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