KRWG

Local Viewpoints

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

Commentary: What do New Mexico and DC have in common? Not much you might think. Cowboys vs. lobbyists; arroyos vs. back alleys; deserts vs. urban canyons. But one thing they have in common is being dead last in high school graduation rates at 69%.

New Mexico Public Officials and Community Groups Denounce Racist Political Cartoon

Feb 8, 2018
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

Commentary: A political cartoon in Tuesday’s Albuquerque Journal was denounced as racist and divisive by New Mexico public officials and leading community organizations.

The cartoon shows a white couple being mugged at gunpoint by three thugs in masks as the man says “Now, honey … I believe they prefer to be called ‘Dreamers’ … or future Democrats.”

Senator Linda Lopez

  Commentary: I am astounded that the Albuquerque Journal would publish such an outrageous editorial cartoon on the Page A14 Opinion section on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, that equates Dreamers with criminal MS13 gang members. It is yet another glaring example of the ignorance, racism and hatred openly permeating throughout our country since the election of Donald Trump, only this time it is strangely happening in New Mexico.

Commentary: Sportsmen, Native Americans, business owners, veterans, law enforcement officials, civic groups, current and former local elected officials, archaeologists, historians, and conservation organizations applauded the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act (S.441).  A broad coalition successfully worked to create the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, and has been advocating for wilderness protection of this area for nearly a decade. 

Commentary: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement Tuesday after President Donald Trump accused members of Congress who did not clap during his State of the Union address of being un-American and treasonous. 

"The great political issue now facing our country is not Democrat vs. Republican or progressive vs. conservative. It's much deeper then that. It's about democracy vs. authoritarianism.

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

Commentary: Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement on the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA, signed into law on February 5, 1993, established the right for many workers to take an unpaid leave from work for a serious illness, adoption, or to care for newborns or family members.

Commentary: One specific ailment with a doctor’s note gets a teacher off the hook, but a whole multitude of illnesses that “flesh is heir to” does not!  The Public Education Department (PED) teacher evaluation system is fundamentally flawed.  

On February 3rd the PED informed school districts and charters that teachers with influenza (flu) could use sick leave and not have it counted in the annual attendance reporting that lowers the teacher’s evaluation effectiveness rating.  This allowance applies only when the teacher absence was evidenced by a doctor’s note.

Commentary: How do we investigate and discipline public figures?

Some do very shady things. Some get hit by vicious but unfounded allegations. Obviously we need fair and competent investigations. 

Thus we apppoint a special prosecutor for Donald Trump. We reasonably fear that the Department of Justice or the FBI, whose bosses Mr. Trump can fire, will not be completely impartial.

How Can New Mexico Really Improve Children's Lives?

Feb 3, 2018

Commentary: The Voices for Children/Annie E. Casey report “Kids Count” has always generated a great deal of media attention especially with the Legislature repeatedly considering tapping the permanent fund for pre-K and other childhood programs.

New Mexico State Budget Should Support All Students and All Their Educators

Feb 3, 2018
Betty Patterson-President, NEA New Mexico

Commentary: We applaud the New Mexico House of Representatives for sending a bipartisan budget bill (H.B.2) to the Senate with increased support for New Mexico public school students.  The increases does not make up for decades of short-changing our students, but it is a positive move toward a more prosperous New Mexico.  “We” are New Mexico educators.  Students are at the center of all we do – in the classroom, in the library and school offices, on the buses and in the cafeterias.

Bitcoin may play role of gold in 21st Century

Feb 2, 2018

Commentary: Cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, have received a lot of attention in recent weeks. This attention is motivated by sharp fluctuations in the values. The run up in Bitcoins value has led to speculation about the potential of Bitcoin for being a new global currency—the first since the collapse of the Gold Standard in the 1930s. The recent sell offs have damped this talk. Still Bitcoin remains the most likely candidate for global currency.

Commentary: DENVER—President Trump tonight proposed an infrastructure plan that tries to sugar coat his administration’s attack on America’s parks and public lands. The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:

Making Foreign Relations More Difficult

Jan 30, 2018

Commentary: When I was in college, I seriously thought about going into the Foreign Service, either as a State Department official working on foreign policy in a U.S. embassy, or a Department of Commerce official stationed in a foreign country, assisting American companies to break into new markets. I never became a federal official stationed in a foreign post, but I did get stationed in Mexico City for about three years when I was working for New Mexico Governor Bruce King back in the 1990s.

Media Often Overlooks World's Real Leaders

Jan 30, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Commentary: Mother Teresa once wrote: "The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody."

Congress Moves to Protect Existing National Monuments Through ANTIQUITIES Act of 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Commentary: NEW MEXICO, STATEWIDE – New Mexico business leaders today are expressing appreciation to Senator Tom Udall for introducing the America’s Natural Treasures of Immeasurable Quality Unite, Inspire, and Together Improve the Economies of States Act (ANTIQUITIES Act) of 2018.

New Mexico University Regent Reform Passes Key Committee Unanimously

Jan 29, 2018
Darren Phillips, NMSU

Commentary: (Santa Fe) In a major stride forward in the reform of New Mexico’s higher education university leadership system, the Senate Rules committee on Monday unanimously approved Senate Resolution 1.

Senate Joint Resolution 1, a proposed constitutional amendment, calls for the creation of “nominating committees” for our universities that would interview and recommend the best candidates to be considered for appointment by the Governor for serving as a regent.

Medicaid Buy-in Option Legislation Passes Key Senate & House Committees

Jan 29, 2018

Commentary: Key Senate and House committees on Monday passed memorials to study offering a Medicaid Buy-In program in New Mexico after Strong Families New Mexico advocates shared with the committees powerful, personal health care stories that underscored the positive impact a buy-in program could have on health care access for New Mexico families.

“I do not question whether I have a cure for my disease or not,” said Lan Sena, an Albuquerque woman who has been battling Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma for almost five years, “but rather whether or not I can afford it.”

peter goodman

Commentary: I was stuck in Albuquerque for a day recently. There were a lot of homeless people in Robinson Park, so I bought a bunch of pizzas to give away. Food. Warm – and unexpected. 

When I returned with six pizzas, only a couple of tables were occupied. I took a pizza to each. 

Group Forms To Promote Spaceport America

Jan 28, 2018

  Commentary: Supporters of Spaceport America, who envision the development of a thriving commercial space industry in New Mexico, have formed a new organization to support and promote those opportunities to the public, elected officials, policy makers and the media.

 

Tools to Make New Mexico Capital Outlay More Efficient

Jan 28, 2018

Commentary: Capital outlay funding is a controversial and difficult process.  The demand for state money far exceeds the funds available; for the 2018 legislative session, state and local governments have requested over $2 billion for capital outlay funded by general obligation and severance tax bonds.  The Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), the General Services Department and legislators are responsible for prioritizing these requests and allocating funds, but frequently find themselves missing the tools necessary to do so.        

New Mexico Should Stop Being So Miserly

Jan 26, 2018

Commentary: One of the favorite tropes of news articles and literature is the miser—an individual who hoards money even to the determent of their own wellbeing. These skinflints refuse to spend money even when doing so would improve their quality of life or that of their family.

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Commentary: Washington, D.C. – The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chair Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) issued the following statement following the publication of the White House’s talking points on their immigration plan:

 

“Trump destroyed DACA, threatened Dreamers with detention and deportation, and is using that threat to enact his hardline immigration policies.

 

Trust and Betrayal In High Places

Jan 25, 2018
Larry Nassar / Michigan Attorney General

Commentary: Trust is a precious and sacred thing. Trust requires faith and a sense of surrender of one’s vulnerability to another human being, entity, or institution. Well-placed trust requires integrity and competence in the person or entity that someone has placed their trust in. If any element of this process is missing, trust is violated and a humanly sacred relationship is shattered.

Commentary: SANTA FE, N.M – Today, Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) released its legislative priorities, outlined in the first edition of CVNM’s legislative agenda, which includes priorities such as using Volkswagen settlement funds to transition from dirty diesel to clean electric school buses, protecting the Gila River and protecting ratepayers from PNM’s attempts to pass on the full cost of closing the San Juan Generating Station.

Berlowitz: The Las Cruces Area Needs A Sheriff Chitwood

Jan 25, 2018
Sheriff Mike Chitwood

Commentary: The Volusia County FL population is more than twice the population of Doña County, NM. Why do you care? There will be an election for Sheriff in our County this year, and we need a Sheriff Mike Chitwood type here.

Please watch last night's (Jan 23) segment on the PBS Newshour about Sheriff Chitwood. Seen bicycling around tough neighborhoods in his county talking with residents, you'll hear words describing his deputies like moving from weapons training to de-escalation, like focusing 100% on community/neighborhood policing.

Commentary: Strong Families New Mexico (SFNM) on Wednesday applauded the House Health and Human Services Committee’s unanimous support of HM 4, Rep. Daymon Ely’s memorial to continue the already successful planning process for a statewide paid parental leave program in New Mexico.

Faith-Based and Immigrants’ Rights Organizations Unite To Demand ICE Leave Albuquerque

Jan 24, 2018
ICE

Commentary: ALBUQUERQUE, NM— In light of the recent detention of Juan Martinez, an Albuquerque immigrant worker and father of four children, and an uptick of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity in Albuquerque, El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos and the New Mexico Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice joined forces at a vigil to highlight the chilling impact that ICE is having on public safety.

Commentary: Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, Rep. Bill McCamley (D-Mesilla Park) expressed disappointment after Governor Martinez rejected House Democrats plea to add bill barring border wall construction on state land to the legislative session.

Lennes: Why The PR Hype From Spaceport America?

Jan 24, 2018

Commentary: I am really getting tired of the PR hype of Dan Hicks, CEO of Spaceport America, who is trying to get more money from the New Mexico State Legislature and to keep his operations secret from the public and New Mexico taxpayers.  Here is his latest "PT Barnum" promotion - Exos Aerospace Systems and Technologies:  "It is great to see such an innovative privately funded company entering these final phases of testing before launch of the EXOS SARGE vehicle at Spaceport America.  This test will bring them one step closer to regular commercial launches and ultimately tenancy and planned O&M activities that can create new high tech jobs in New Mexico."

Spaceport America

Commentary: Spaceport America, America’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, and EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies, Inc., a leading developer of suborbital reusable space launch vehicles based in Caddo Mills, Texas, announce significant progress towards launch of their newest vehicle, the Suborbital Active Rocket with GuidancE, or SARGE.

 

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