Local Viewpoints

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There are better ways to ‘pull together’ for New Mexico’s impoverished kids

May 15, 2016

Commentary:  Back in 2013 when New Mexico fell to 50th in the nation for child well-being, advocates hoped that the state’s policy-makers and administrators would finally rally together and take up the cause of improving child well-being in a concerted manner. We hoped the state would launch a comprehensive plan to ensure that our impoverished children have all of the opportunities, supports and protections that middle- and upper-income children have and that give them the best shot at becoming successful adults.

Goodman: A Turning Point In U.S. Politics

May 15, 2016

Commentary:  What we're experiencing this year is a wave of righteous anger at the perversion of our democracy.

But let's focus on why we're angry, rather than on where that anger takes us. 

Yes, it takes us to fervid support of a 75 year-old socialist and a narcissistic reality-TV figure who'd be comical in any other context. (I don't equate them: Sanders has a clue, while Trump cares only about Trump.)

Pearce Helps Lead Field Hearing on Border Security

May 13, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Commentary:  This week, Congressman Steve Pearce helped lead a Congressional Field Hearing to gain a local perspective from law enforcement, elected officials, and residents about border security challenges.

rio grande foundation

  Commentary:  People sometimes refer to New Mexico as the “thank God for Mississippi state.” Mississippi usually ranks at the bottom on most lists, with New Mexico close behind. Now, New Mexico isn’t even second to last anymore—we’re dead last, when it comes to overall prosperity, according to a new study by the Family Prosperity Initiative.

Commentary:  GLSEN’s Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, today thanked the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice for issuing guidance to school districts across the country regarding how to accommodate transgender and gender nonconforming students, as required by Title IX.

  The U.S.

Twitter.com/NEAMedia

  Commentary:  Today, the National Education Association, the nation’s largest professional association representing three million educators, enthusiastically welcomed the Obama administration’s guidance for school districts to help ens

  Commentary:  Today, in a disappointing blow to equal educational opportunity, the Texas Supreme Court reversed a 2014 trial court ruling that declared the current state school finance system constitutionally inadequate, unsuitable, and inequitable for Texas school children.

  Commentary:  The Southwest Environmental Center blasted the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) for trying to block releases of endangered Mexican wolves into the state. NMDGF announced today that it was seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from releasing more wolves.

Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

Commentary:  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced provisions he secured in the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that benefit New Mexico's men and women in uniform, military installations, national laboratories, border security, and job creation throughout the state.

Obama Administration Finalizes Safeguards for Methane Pollution

May 12, 2016
Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

  Commentary: Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized standards for methane pollution, a component of natural gas, from new and modified sources in the oil and gas sector.

Pearce Applauds Judge's Ruling To Eliminate Federal Subsidies For Health Insurance

May 12, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Commentary:  Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement after a federal district judge ruled that the Administration improperly funded parts of Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies:

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima-City of Las Cruces photo

  Commentary:  Today, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima and Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales joined 68 mayors and county commissioners, 7 from New Mexico, to send a letter to President Barack Obama and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Gina McCarthy urgi

facebook.com (donald trump)

 Commentary: As Donald Trump prepares to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan this morning in Washington, D.C., the Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) pointed to the fact that both Ryan and Trump are pushing the same divisive and dangerous agenda — not unlike Governor Martinez’s, which has already hurt thousands and thousands of New Mexicans. 

Chaos is the Republican party has even the most influential Republicans distancing themselves from their presumptive nominee. 

fws.gov

  Commentary:  Western Energy Alliance, along with the North Dakota Petroleum Council, today filed a lawsuit challenging Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Commentary:  Congressman Pearce issued the following statement after the Obama Administration announced it would not appeal a federal court’s decision to de-list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act:

Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

 

 Commentary: Leadership from both the New Mexico House of Representatives and Senate delivered a letter requesting that the Federal Congressional Delegation contact the Department of Justice and other relevant federal agencies regarding the behavioral healthcare crisis in New Mexico.

 Commentary.— A study published today of the proportion of wolves that went missing in Wisconsin and Michigan over the course o

Nachison: Trump's Historical Ignorance

May 10, 2016
facebook.com (donald trump)

  Commentary:  Presumptive nominee Trump apparently loves self-contradictions, but the news sometimes likes equivocation, regardless of his actual words.  On 4/27 Donald Trump outlined his vision of American foreign policy.  Krauthammer (Las Cruces Sun News, 4/29) called it as it is and sees history possibly repeating.   Trump’s main points resemble Charles Lindbergh’s isolationist views of pre- and early WWII in history while rejecting moral equivalency with the Nazi regime (Charles Lindbergh, An American Aviator).

Muska: New Mexico Medicaid Needs An Overhaul

May 9, 2016

  Commentary:  In 2014, The Wall Street Journal explored the ways that Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid was “straining some health-care systems that already don’t have enough doctors and staff” and challenging “medical practic

 Commentary: Wayne Hancock is a dedicated and conscientious public servant, and voters should retain him as county commissioner.

We met recently at a small locally-owned coffeehouse. As Wayne went in to get his coffee, he spotted a couple of stray napkins blowing around on the patio. He bent over to pick them up, put them in the trash, then went in. 

He's that kind of guy. The opposite of pompous; and naturally inclined toward doing the right thing.

State Auditor Tim Keller Launches Statewide “Rape Kit” Backlog Audit

May 5, 2016
Tim Keller, New Mexico Auditor

  Commentary:  Today, New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller announced that the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) is conducting a statewide audit of the inventory of untested sexual assault evidence kits, commonly referred to as “rape kits.” The OSA will survey all law enforcement agencies statewide regarding their practices for handling rape kits and has selected certain law enforcement agencies around the state for a special audit to perform a detailed review of policies and procedures related to the kits.

Commentary:  Oil and gas companies in New Mexico were responsible for 1,477 reported oil, gas, and other chemical spills in 2015, according to the New Mexico Toxic Release

AG Balderas to Feds: NM Consumers Deserve Their Day in Court

May 5, 2016
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

  Commentary:  This morning, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas addressed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at a field hearing that was held in downtown Albuquerque regarding proposed federal rule changes for arbitration clauses. Attorney General Balderas is the chief law enforcement officer of New Mexico and is tasked with protecting the state’s consumers and vulnerable populations. The Attorney General made it clear that he will work with the CFPB to protect New Mexico consumers and root out the bad actors that prey on low-income, distressed and minority consumers.

Of All Places, It’s Las Cruces, New Mexico!

May 5, 2016
Richard Kadzis

Commentary:  Recently, I described how local groups who influence economic and jobs growth can do more to stop the outmigration of college graduates and young professionals to competing markets like Denver or Phoenix.

With the arrival of a new CEO to run the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, I offered up a mandate to diversify our economy and stem the Las Cruces brain drain.

Over a casual lunch on her second day on the job, Chamber CEO Debbi Moore embraced the mandate.

We talked about the area’s strengths and weaknesses in a general way over lunch.

Udall Working to Close the 'Homework Gap' for Rural and Low-Income Students in NM

May 3, 2016

  Commentary:  HATCH, N.M. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall pledged to keep fighting for the resources to extend broadband internet across New Mexico and close the so-called “homework gap” – the inequality of access to the internet facing low-income and rural students.

NEA, National PTA Encourage Americans to #ThankATeacher

May 3, 2016
Twitter.com/NEAMedia

  Commentary: From every neighborhood across the country to the halls of Congress and the White House, millions of Americans are taking to social media to remember their favorite teachers today in honor of National Teacher Day, which is part of Teacher Appreciation Week.

Democrats Thank Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week

May 2, 2016
New Mexico Democratic Chair Deb Haaland

  Commentary:  The Democratic Party of New Mexico honors New Mexico teachers for National Teacher Appreciation Week and invites New Mexicans to share why they appreciate teachers on Facebook and Twitter using #ThankATeacher.

Office of the Governor

  Commentary:  Today, Governor Susana Martinez and CYFD Secretary Monique Jacobson unveiled “Pull Together,” a community engagement effort that calls on New Mexicans to join the fight in improving the quality of life for every child and making our state the best place to be a kid. The effort includes connecting New Mexicans in need to resources in their communities and around the state, while also helping those who want to make a difference find ways to help.

Goodman: A Continuing Dispute In County Government

May 1, 2016

 Commentary: Tuesday was a long, difficult day, and hard to write about.

A county-hired consultant reported to the commission on why the sheriff's office has adequate numbers of personnel. Then a long parade of DASO personnel passionately disagreed. Later, DASO top brass attacked the study at a press conference. 

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