Local Viewpoints

KRWG welcomes you to join our community discussion.  E-mail your comments to:  feedback @  Comments included here represent the views of the individual writers and do not necessarily represent the views of KRWG or New Mexico State University.

What Else I've Learned In Las Cruces

Apr 8, 2018

Commentary: I really like my new hometown: the weather, the food, the people, the history, the geography. I’ve learned how to tolerate Texas and Texans. I look forward to doing so many new things, but I still have so much to learn.

peter goodman

Commentary: In the local March for Science on Saturday, I will march thinking of Robert Ingersoll.

Maybe I'll carry this quotation from him: “We are the advocates of inquiry, of investigation and thought. This of itself, is an admission that we are not perfectly satisfied with all our conclusions. Philosophy has not the egotism of faith.”

Commissioner Billy Garrett

Commentary: Billy Garrett joined other southern New Mexican leaders in expressing their opposition to President Donald Trump and Governor Susana Martinez’s intention to deploy National Guard troops along the U.S. Border with Mexico. Garrett is a Democratic contender for Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico and currently serving as a Doña Ana County Commissioner.

Commentary: If you’ve ever done much research on your family history, you’ve likely run across old census records. These yellowed documents—many hand-written with quill and ink by enumerators who went door-to-door to gather the information—were used to determine how many representatives each state had in Congress. Today’s Census is still incredibly important, but now it is much more high-tech. It involves cutting-edge technology, years of planning, extensive research, and thousands of Census workers across the country.

Commentary: A federal court found that lack of leadership and accountability in the New Mexico Human Services Department prevents it from fixing entrenched problems in food and medical benefit administration.

Commentary: One of the best indicators of the vitality of an economy is population growth. The idea is simple. People move to places where there is opportunity and from places lacking opportunity. By this stand, U.S. urban areas are doing very well.

Between 2010 and 2017, the Census Bureau estimates growth has been 7.1% for cities with populations greater than 1 million. Meanwhile smaller cities, so called micropolitan areas grew only .3 of 1% during the same period.

Decision to Send Troops to Border “Another Blatant Declaration of War on Immigrants"

Apr 5, 2018

Commentary: Faith leaders with NM Comunidades en Acción y de Fe (CAFé) are condemning the Trump Administration’s announced plans to deploy the National Guard along the U.S.-Mexico Border and are charging this Administration with further escalating its war on immigrants and Border Communities.

Commentary: OKLAHOMA CITY ― A new statewide poll of Oklahomans released by the Oklahoma Education Association shows near universal support for Oklahoma educators’ walk-out for school funding as action at the capitol enters a third day.

Commentary: According to a study released by the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, New Mexico has the capacity to triple solar energy jobs using many of the mechanisms included in the Democratic Party of New Mexico’s (DPNM

El Paso Democrat Blasts Trump's "Border Militarization"

Apr 3, 2018

Commentary:  State Sen. José Rodríguez's statement on President Trump's proposal to militarize the southern border:

Commentary: As the sun set yesterday evening, passersby were able to make out an image projected onto the building at 300 San Mateo, at the corner of San Mateo and Central, a private building that leases office space to several state departments, including the New Mexico State Taxation and Revenue Department. The image prominently featured a ticker of the value  of natural gas being wasted by industry on public and tribal lands in New Mexico, totaling more than $100 million.

Commentary: With targeted investments and forward-looking policies, New Mexico could leverage its strengths in leading-edge advanced solar technologies to drive economic growth and support over 6,800 jobs annually. That’s according to The New Mexico Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Advanced Solar Technology, a new report created by the American Jobs Project in partnership with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at The University of New Mexico.

See us at (almost) the Farmer’s Market to help homeless teens

Apr 3, 2018

Commentary: I’ve been at the Farmer’s Market early Saturday mornings the past couple of weeks with a group working to help homeless teens in Las Cruces.

Or, to be more precise, almost at the Farmer’s Market. We’re set up in the walkway between the Dragonfly Restaurant and the Rio Grande Theatre, and are still learning the dos and don’ts of the Farmer’s Market. The person working with us has been very helpful. And, we also plan to set up outside of the Walmart on Rinconada on future Saturday mornings.

"Energy At The Crossroads" Meeting To Be Held In Las Cruces

Apr 2, 2018
Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

Commentary: Attorney and environmental justice champion Mariel Nanasi’s presentation  “At the Energy Crossroads”  will open the April meeting of Indivisible LAS CRUCES.   Nanasi has served as lead attorney in legal interventions before the Public Regulations Commission and the New Mexico Supreme Court.  The meeting will held Tuesday, April 10 at 11:00 a.m. at Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, Las Cruces.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Has Terrible News for Utah and The Nation

Apr 2, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R)

Commentary: The U.S. Justice Department today announced it was suing the State of California over a state law that aimed to limit the federal government’s ability to dispose of national public land. In filing the lawsuit, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “the Constitution empowers the federal government — not state legislatures — to decide when and how federal lands are sold.”

Sessions is correct: state legislatures do not control national public lands. This legal position now poses a huge problem for land seizure advocates in states like Utah, which has been threatening a lawsuit to force the federal government to dispose of national public lands.

Debating Secrecy For Spaceport America Customers

Apr 1, 2018
Spaceport America

Commentary: Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of moderating the annual Sunshine Week panel on transparency in government, which focused on the Spaceport.

Access to public information is critical to our democracy. That’s what the Legislature said in enacting our Inspection of Public Records Act. That’s what courts consistently say in deciding IPRA cases. I agree.

Spaceport America is a public entity. But it’s success depends on luring customers and tenants. Those companies have trade secrets (protected by law) and other information they prefer competitors not see. 

Commentary: Common Cause New Mexico rolled out results from its annual poll, with some surprises. In addition to the usual campaign finance questions, the telephone poll of 452 registered voters, randomly selected by Research and Polling Inc. for the January survey, asked voters about some other reforms and whether campaign finance would be a voting issue. The poll also asked a question bound to have implications in this year’s election.

Next Governor Must Lead on Climate

Mar 31, 2018
Commissioner Billy Garrett

Commentary: When our new Governor takes office next January, he or she must be prepared to address climate change: the most pressing environmental problem of our time.  Climate change threatens all life in New Mexico as we know it.  In coming decades, the Rio Grande is expected to lose one-third of its water; warmer winters will wipe out our ski industry; and indigenous species—such as the piñon, our state tree—face extinction.  And those are just a few examples of what’s coming.

A Broken Statue: American Liberty and the Assault on Immigrants

Mar 31, 2018

Commentary: Liberty means freedom. Freedom is not about borders, passports, driving licenses, tax stubs and censuses. Freedom is not about race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, or one's economic worth. What is freedom if not the feeling of being free? What is freedom if not the pursuit of life and happiness?

Commentary: One of the enduring debates is how education contributes to worker incomes. There are two views. One is that education creates human capital. The other idea is the education, like the peacock’s tail, is about signally fitness, in this case about fitness for work rather than fitness for the role of a peak hen’s husband.

Reluctant recyclers will slip back into bad, old habits

Mar 28, 2018

Commentary: In 1950, Dick Scudder was working at the Newark Evening News when he was approached by a man who claimed to have invented a process to remove the ink from newspapers, making the paper recyclable.

That original process destroyed too much of the paper, but Scudder kept working on it, first out of his kitchen and later at Syracuse University and the Herty Laboratory in Savannah, Georgia.

By 1961 he was ready to put the process into commercial use, opening the Garden State Paper Company. I got to meet Scudder years later when he was a partner with Dean Singleton in the Media News Group, which owned the Sun-News when I came to work here in 2002.

I mention this today to make the point that the technology to recycle newspapers has been in place for more than 50 years. And yet, we may soon all be throwing our newspapers in the trash again.

And our cereal boxes, hard plastics and a whole lot of other things.

Why you should play hard-to-get with your data

Mar 28, 2018

Commentary: Way back in 1992, one of my college professors told the class about getting a phone call from a political pollster.

That was 12 years before Facebook launched. Cell phones existed, but they were just phones. My large, heavy computer ran on Windows 3.0, and I saved my schoolwork on floppy disks.

“For whom are you collecting this information?” my professor said he asked the pollster, “And what’s my cut?”

The pollster confirmed that he worked for a data collection service, but wondered why my professor should be paid.

Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

Commentary: Joint Economic Committee Democrats released a report today that outlines the need to take action and raise wages for American workers. Most American workers have not benefited from the economic growth of the last several decades—wages for the average worker have barely grown for nearly 40 years, while wages for the highest earners have grown substantially. The GOP tax law fails to address these issues, according to the new report, despite claims from Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration.


Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary: The Federal Commission on School Safety met for the first time today behind closed doors at the White House without students, teachers or parents at the table and away from the public’s scrutiny. The National Education Association, which represents 3 million educators working in America’s public schools and on college campuses, was not invited to attend the meeting.

New Mexico Opposes Trump Administration’s “License to Discriminate” in Health Care

Mar 27, 2018
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Commentary: Attorney General Hector Balderas, part of a coalition of 19 Attorneys General, filed comments opposing the Trump Department of Health and Human Services’ Proposed Rule, which seeks to dramatically expand the ability of businesses and individuals to refuse to provide necessary health care on the basis of businesses’ or employees’ “religious, moral, ethical, or other beliefs.”

Keeping Hope Alive

Mar 26, 2018
Public Domain Photo (U.S. Government)

Commentary: We live in turbulent times. But as stormy as our days are, they still pale in comparison to what was going on in America fifty years ago in the month of April. Our nation was still reeling from the shocking loss of a youthful President barely five years earlier. That trauma was still hanging in the air. And suddenly, a new trauma was unleashed. In April of 1968, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was similarly struck down. And just months after the loss of Dr.

Thoughts On Trump's Cherished Wall

Mar 26, 2018

Commentary: Having an office in an industrial base five miles north of the Santa Teresa Port of Entry in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, I am constantly asked, “How is Trump’s wall going to affect you?”  I always answer that here in Santa Teresa, we already have a wall, really more like a fence, that stretches from east of El Paso to a point just west of the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. The fence itself has not impeded the area’s attractiveness for manufacturing operations and distribution warehouses. Nor has it had any discernable impact on cross-border trade flows between the U.S.

Commentary:  In light of the current socio/political landscape after the 2016 election, the students at DACC find the need and desire to voice their support for their friends, family, and the community at large who are affected by the DACA program. In conjunction a DACC student art show will exhibit works expressing student concerns and support. George Mendoza, local world-renown artist, will be a guest speaker. He will be honored for his donation of his incredible art works he graciously donated to the DACC Gadsden and Sunland Park campuses.

Commentary: "The March for Our Lives" was almost entirely organized by the leaders of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The event on Saturday, March 24, 2018, drew hundreds of thousands of people to Washington D.C., and it inspired other marches in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Seattle. What a success it was! The message was immutable and on point, and there appeared to be a spiritual passion emanating from the crowd that cannot be easily faked or forgotten.

peter goodman

Commentary: If you think it's wonderful that kids keep getting massacred in schools, raise your hand.

Didn't raise it, did you? That means we've just agreed there's a problem. 

We haven't agreed on what to do.