Local Viewpoints

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Albuquerque’s Poet Laureate Opposes Gila Diversion

Nov 15, 2015

Commentary:  Albuquerque’s Inaugural Poet Laureate (2012-2014), Hakim Bellamy, released his latest song, Everywhere is a Gila, to draw attention the looming deadline for Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to sign an agreement with New Mexico that would allow a billion-dollar diversion of the Gila River to go forward.  The song, accompanied by aerial and ground shots of America’s first wilderness area and the adjacent area slated for diversion, encourages listeners to take action by writing to Jewell in opposition to the project.


Texas Democrats Applaud Supreme Court Review Of State's Abortion Law

Nov 15, 2015

  Commentary:  Below is a statement issued by the following members of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus: Chairman José Rodríguez, Vice Chairman Sen. Rodney Ellis, Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Sen. José Menendez, Sen. Kirk Watson, and Sen. John Whitmire regarding SCOTUS' decision to grant certiorari on the case challenging the constitutionality of House Bill 2:

Goodman: Avoidable Jail Beatings Are Wrong And Costly

Nov 15, 2015

Commentary:  This is a tough column to write, and maybe to read.

Sex offenders have not only violated the law, but have sometimes done things most of us find unimaginable. Messing sexually with children is unimaginable to me. 

But people who commit such crimes do not give up their humanity, or their entitlement to the protection of our laws. Unfortunately, it may take fresh lawsuits and more huge jury verdicts to get that point through the skulls of the folks who run the Dona Ana County Detention Center.

Texas Vets Gather At State Capitol To Push For Medical Marijuana Law

Nov 11, 2015

  Commentary:  Texas veterans and their supporters gathered in front of the Vietnam Veterans Monument at the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday, Veterans Day, to announce the launch of a campaign advocating for comprehensive medical marijuana legislation.

Neighbors Play Together on Halloween

Nov 10, 2015

  Commentary:  Halloween was a festive evening in Deming, with autumn smells riding a current of cool air yet still warm enough that one did not need to cover a costume with a jacket.


Chamber Looks Forward to Working With New Council

Nov 10, 2015
Bill Allen-Greater Las Cruces Chamber Of Commerce

  Commentary:  While we have already thanked all of the candidates that ran for the various open spots on the Las Cruces City Council, we would like to do so one more time.  Win or lose, the time and effort - not to mention the expense - needed to stand up in front of our community and articulate positions on subjects, should be applauded!  Thank you for your willingness to get involved.

We wish to congratulate the winners - Mayor Ken Miyagashima, District 1 Councilor Kasandra Gandara, District 2 Councilor Greg Smith and District 4 Councilor Jack Eakman.  

Dr. Pat Hynes: Anticipation

Nov 10, 2015

  I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. I can tell already people are anticipating the season. Fred Rodgers, said anticipation is the pleasure of enjoying the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending. I am lucky to share my anticipation of a pre-holiday season event with you. The story includes NMSU students who are exhausted right now because it is exam time. Yet, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the holidays.

  Commentary:  Statement by Sean Foran, State Director at NMPIRG, on Volkswagen’s offer of $1,000 in gift cards to customers affected by its emission scandal.

“Seven weeks after news of Volkswagen’s emission scandal broke, the automaker is offering $1,000 in gift cards and vouchers to owners of affected diesel cars.  

“Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America said they, ‘are providing this Goodwill Package as a first step towards regaining [their] customers’ trust.’

Goodman: Lessons From The Las Cruces Election

Nov 8, 2015

 Commentary:  Las Cruces voters got it right this week. Kudos to candidates, canvassers, and voters – on both sides. Special congratulations to Mayor Ken Miyagashima for a resounding victory. 

Pearce Blasts President's Rejection Of Keystone Pipeline

Nov 6, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Commentary:  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following the President’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline:

Pearce Votes Against Highway Funding Bill

Nov 5, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Commentary:  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following his NO vote on the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 22), which passed the House today:


Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary:  Following a press conference call announcing his bill to reform the nation’s antiquated 1872 mining law, U.S. Senator Tom Udall spoke on the Senate floor and called on Congress to act to pass his legislation to prevent another accident like the Gold King Mine spill in New Mexico and Colorado. Udall introduced the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2015 today along with Sens.

National Hispanic Media Coalition: Dump Trump From Saturday Night Live

Nov 5, 2015
facebook.com (donald trump)

  Commentary:  New York, NY - Today, Alex Nogales, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), joined several other Latino leaders at a public rally to deliver over half a million signature this evening urging NBCUniversal rescind their invitation to Donald Trump to host Saturday Night Live on November 7th.

  Commentary:  After the Las Cruces Municipal Elections, NM CAFé leaders and supporters reiterated their support for seeing the law that increases the City’s minimum wage for the lowest paid individuals through to its second and third phases. 


“We hope that the newly elected city councilors will see the ordinance through to benefit the working poor in our city.” said Rev. Carol Tuck, clergy with CAFé. 


ProgressNow PAC: We Beat $100K Big Oil Buddies To Help Progressives Take Las Cruces

Nov 4, 2015

  Commentary:  It was a squeaker, but in the end great candidates and smart, grassroots activism helped Las Cruces elect true progressive champions to city council!

Here's this morning's headline:

"Progressives win in tight City Council races"

Las Cruces Sun-News

While incumbent Mayor Ken Miyagishima was cruising to an easy victory in his three-way race for mayor, the three City Council races were running neck-and-neck throughout the night.

  Commentary:  Why is a PAC backed by Steve Pearce attacking Las Cruces candidates with misleading ads? In trying to influence the city election, why did it not even register as a PAC with the city? And why do monied interests elsewhere want to influence city council elections? 

Las Crucens should care who's mayor here. Las Crucens should care who's on the City Council. County residents, myself included, have reason to care too.

Udall: Troops On The Ground In Syria Is A "Dangerous Escalation"

Oct 30, 2015
Office of US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  Commentary:  U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on President Obama's announcement that he will deploy troops to Syria:  "From the beginning of the conflict in Syria, I have opposed putting boots on the ground. While it is clear that the situation in Syria is deteriorating, I believe that deploying U.S.

 Commentary:  Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce has endorsed four candidates for the City Council—Silva, Guzman, Van Veen, & Hall. They either outright oppose Phase 2 and 3 of city’s Minimum Wage increase ordinance or want further evaluation—which is code for stopping the Ordinance from fully going into effect. They want economic growth to occur on the backs of poorly paid workers.

Heinrich Calls Deployment of U.S. Special Operations Forces to Syria a Mistake

Oct 30, 2015
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  Commentary:   "We must work with our coalition allies to eliminate ISIL, but we should learn from the mistakes of the past and avoid taking actions where the risks and costs far outweigh the benefits."

   "I firmly believe that the deployment of American ground forces in Syria is not the solution."

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 30, 2015) - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) says the Obama Administration's move to deploy a small number of American Special Operations forces to Syria is a mistake.

Gessing: Right To Work Still Right For New Mexico

Oct 30, 2015
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

  Commentary:  A new analysis finds that right-to-work (RTW) states excel at creating quality jobs, and if New Mexico’s policymakers want the state to escape its severe economic woes, repealing compulsory unionism is essential.

U.S. Sen. Heinrich Says Two-Year Budget Deal 'Stops Devasting Sequestration Cuts'

Oct 30, 2015
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement after voting in favor of the bipartisan budget agreement:

"While it's not perfect, this two-year bipartisan budget agreement provides a reasonable blueprint for investing in America's future. The agreement reaffirms the fact that America always pays its bills. It also stops devastating sequestration cuts and gives families and businesses the certainty they need to spend and invest in ways that will help boost the economy.

Commentary:  I am disgusted by the Chamber of Commerce's selected candidates. Eli  Guzman, City Council candidate, appears to  want to eliminate impact fees. This will shift the burden of  infrastructure costs for new developments to Las Cruces residents. The developers will pay nothing. The negative campaign of city council candidate Philip VanVeen attacks all aspects of our local community except the Chamber. He says that he finds it  "difficult to live here." I am proud of Las Cruces and its quality of life.

Pearce Says He Hopes Ryan Election As Speaker Will Be A "Turning Point"

Oct 29, 2015

  Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following the election of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to be the next Speaker of the House:


“As I’ve said often, every American deserves a government that is effective, efficient and accountable. Today’s election marks a transition. My hope is that it will be a turning point toward transparency and away from brinkmanship.

U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce Votes Against Budget Bill Passed In House

Oct 28, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

“To quote a recent commentary in the Las Cruces Sun-News, Washington is ‘so divided and paralyzed that it lurches from one crisis to another.’ I agree; this brinkmanship must end.  Passage of this budget, does nothing to change this precedent, it simply encourages closed-door negotiations and last minute deals,” stated Pearce.   “Not only does this bill fail to make the hard choices, it raises the debt ceiling and changes spending priorities without so much as a single amendment.

More New Mexico Children Have Health Insurance

Oct 28, 2015

Commentary:  The number of New Mexico’s children without health insurance declined by about 16% in the year following the Affordable Care Act taking effect but the state still has a large number of uninsured children, according to a new report by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families and the New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty.

  Commentary:  The co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) issued the following statement in response to the proposed bipartisan budget agreement released this week:

Senator John Arthur Smith (D-Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Sierra-35), Chair, Legislative Finance Committee

  “Senator Ingle and I successfully passed, with a strong bipartisan majority (35-5), a bill that complied with the federal requirements of the REAL ID Act during the 2015 legislative session. The House had ample time to hear the legislation but did not give it a hearing. This bill had a two tier license system similar to the one that was successfully instituted in Utah. Senator Ingle and I worked collectively because we wanted to put this issue behind us and focus on moving our state forward.

Heinrich Votes For Cybersecurity Bill

Oct 27, 2015
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today after voting to approve S.754, Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 74 to 21. The House of Representatives passed similar legislation earlier this year that must be reconciled with the Senate bill before final legislation goes to the President.

  Commentary:  The White House and congressional lawmakers unveiled a budget deal late last night, a plan that would relieve harsh spending caps for discretionary spending under the Budget Control Act of 2011 and avert economic disaster by suspending the debt ceiling.


Fitzgerald: Juvenile Detention Center Must Reopen

Oct 27, 2015

  Commentary:  The recent NM CAFÉ Faith and Family Summit highlighted a situation affecting juvenile detainees in Dona Ana County. Last May our county Juvenile Detention Center was closed due to a staff shortage at the Adult Detention Center. Since then juveniles have been housed in the same facility as adults. The staffs were consolidated and a special unit was created for the juveniles.