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.

Commentary: As 2017 draws near and the legislature convenes, we have an opportunity to build a strong more robust New Mexico.  If we want a more competitive New Mexico with strong business and a capable workforce, we must begin by investing in children and education in a strategic and thoughtful way.  Let’s do something unique and out of the box.  Let’s invest in our people – and in the systems that develop our people.

Here are six ideas that will transform our state:

  Commentary: Health Action New Mexico is applauding the Obama administration’s action today to finalize the Stream Protection Rule.  Since 2009, the Department of Interior has been working to revise inadequate regulations developed in the 1980’s that govern impacts to waterways from coal mining.

Draft Recovery Plan Released for the Elusive, Endangered Jaguar

Dec 19, 2016
Photo courtesy Flickr Commons/Eric Kilby

  Commentary: Nearly two decades after the native jaguar was granted full protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S.

Las Cruces-Area County Land Use Plan: "Yep, Democracy"

Dec 18, 2016

Commentary: I rush from the County Commission UDC meeting to take my 86-year-old friend to the doctor. 

My friend was an NMSU professor here for thirty years. In 1965, he briefly made Cruces famous, when he and some other locals made a low-budget feature film, in days when only Hollywood made features. AP ran a national story on him. Now he shuffles into the doctor's office, unknown.

​Skandera: Wrong Choice for New Mexico, ​Wrong for the Country

Dec 17, 2016
NM Education Secretary Hanna Skandera

  Commentary: The Democratic Party of New Mexico voiced concern over news that Hanna Skandera, Governor Martinez's Public Education Department (PED) Secretary, is being considered for a post in th

pork chop pass / photo from nm land office

Commentary: Under the direction of New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, the State Land Office is implementing a policy to identify significant cultural properties and archaeological sites on State Trust Lands before approving leases, rights-of-way, access permits, and other projects, in an effort to mitigate damage and destruction to the property. 

It is estimated that 250,000 archaeological sites exist on State Trust Lands, although less than 5,000 sites have been identified, documented and registered to date. 

Can Cooperation Happen in 2017?

Dec 16, 2016

Commentary: A political earthquake happened in November. While most of the nation went right (Republicans control 69 of the nation’s 99 legislative bodies), New Mexico’s House which had been under Republican control for the first time since the 1950s, flipped back to Democrat control.

While Democrats lost liberal Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, the new legislative leadership is if anything more liberal than past leaders. With Republican Susana Martinez in the Governor’s mansion for two more years, compromise would seem hard to come by.

Richard Kadzis

Commentary: We lost a lot of great talent this year.

Maybe it’s just me, but looking back over the course of 2016, it seems a higher-than-average number of rock ‘n’ roll stars left the planet.

Like Elvis or Buddy Holly, some of them will grow larger in death, which begs the question: Is rock ‘n’ roll dead, or just old?

That’s what a recent New York Times headline wondered.

former ​New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn


 Commentary: On Wednesday, dozens of community groups and local elected officials held a pro-sanctuary rally in front of City Hall to support immigrant families and Santa Fe's "sanctuary" status in the wake of the Trump election.  Groups also rallied to support a proposed resolution that would reaffirm and strengthen Santa Fe's immigrant policies.  

Commentary: The U.S. economy has recently been in the midst of the slowest growth recovery since World War II. That slow growth has coincided with a steady decline in economic freedom (freedom from government meddling in the economy), as taxes, spending, and regulation have all been on the rise. In fact, a recent report ranked the U.S. 16th in the world for economic freedom, down from 3rd in 2000.

Pearce Praises Nomination of Zinke For Secretary Of The Interior

Dec 15, 2016

Commentary:  Today, President-elect Trump formally nominated Representative Ryan Zinke to serve as the Secretary of the Interior. Congressman Pearce welcomed the announcement issuing the following statement in response to the news: 

Research Finds Inadequate Head Start Funding Forces Trade-Offs for New Mexico Children, Families

Dec 14, 2016

Commentary: Head Start, a federal program created in 1965 that helps children and families overcome the disadvantages of poverty, varies dramatically from state to state in funding, classroom hours, quality, and percentage of low-income children served, according to the State(s) of Head Start report released today by the National Institute for Early Educ

Pearce: Perry Brings Experience And Knowledge To Department Of Energy

Dec 14, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary:  Today, Congressman Pearce responded to former Texas Governor Rick Perry being nominated to serve as President-elect Trump’s Secretary of Energy.

Office of US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.),and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced that they are calling on President-elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to ensure payment of the $5.3 million in fines and penalties owed by DeVos’ All Children Matter Political Action Committee (PAC) for campaign finance violations dating back to 2008.

Social Security Reform Act Out of Step with Voters

Dec 13, 2016

  Commentary: Representative Sam Johnson (R-Texas), chair of the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, has put forward a bill with a set of reforms to Social Security that the Social Security actuaries say will cover the program’s long term shortfall. However, while there is some overlap, the mix of reforms it proposes is at odds with the mix proposed by a representative sample of voters in a recent in-depth survey conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation (PPC).

Congressional Progressive Caucus: Tillerson Could Jeopardize American Diplomacy

Dec 13, 2016
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

Commentary: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statements today after President-elect Trump nominated Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobil, as Secretary of State. (donald trump)

Commentary: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statements after House Republicans introduced legislation that would slash Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age.

Commentary: The Department of Finance and Administration (“DFA”) wants our legislators to do something really dumb this session. 

We depend on courts for justice. Our state constitution makes the judiciary one of three coequal branches of government. 

Passage of Bipartisan Measure to Expedite Gold King Mine Spill Recovery

Dec 11, 2016

Commentary:  U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that a bipartisan measure to expedite reimbursements to Tribal, local and state governments for costs incurred in responding to the Gold King Mine spill has passed both Houses of Congress as an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).

U.S. Congress Passes Critical Water Resources Legislation

Dec 10, 2016


It’s Time to Move Forward on County UDC

Dec 9, 2016
sharon thomas / city of las cruces photo

Commentary: Louis Biad’s recent column in the Las Cruces Sun News seriously misrepresents the status of the County Commission’s deliberations over adoption of a Unified Development Code (UDC).  Contrary to his assertion that the county should extend their deliberations, it is time for the County Commission to consider and adopt what has become an excellent blueprint for responsible growth and development in Doña Ana County.

Two corporate-owned parties will not work

Dec 9, 2016

Commentary: We get an almost sane New Mexico. Dems took back the House and added Senate seats. Thank you Sen. Bill Soules. Also, thank you to Joanne Ferrary, Rudy Martinez, Angelica Rubio, Nathan Small and Bill McCamley in the House; and Jeff Steinborn in the Senate.

Public Lands are economic drivers for communities

Dec 9, 2016

  Commentary: As leaders of economic development in southern New Mexico, we know the immense value that national monuments and protected public lands contribute to our economic vitality. In Las Cruces, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is bringing more visitors, creating priceless advertising, and fast becoming a key piece of a sustainable economic future for our region. We know the same to be true for the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico.

Scott Pruitt / photo from

Commentary:  Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statements today after President-elect Trump nominated Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Pearce: Short-Term Budget Is A Congressional Failure

Dec 8, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

The House of Representatives voted today on a short-term budget known as a Continuing Resolution (CR) that will fund the government through April 2017. Congressman Pearce issued the following statement in response to the vote:

Rep. Keith Ellison

Commentary: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statements today after people close to President-elect Trump confirmed Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc., will be nominated as Secretary of Labor.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewel to Visit Las Cruces

Dec 7, 2016

Commentary:  LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO – U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewel will travel to Las Cruces on Friday, December 9, to highlight the economic benefits that healthy and protected public lands provide to local communities, as well as efforts to expand access to the outdoors for diverse communities.

Jewell will highlight southern New Mexico’s own Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, which has seen a sharp increase in visitation since the monument was established by President Obama in May 2014. 

Udall Blasts Trump's Nominee for EPA Administrator

Dec 7, 2016
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

  Commentary:  U.S. Senator Tom Udall responded to President-elect Trump expected nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as EPA Administrator: “Global warming is one of the greatest threats to public health, our environment and our national security. And New Mexico is in the bull's eye, as farmers and anyone who relies on water and weather know all too well. The American people accept that the science is real; the facts can't be denied, and we need to take urgent action to stop the impacts from growing worse.

Commentary:   Las Cruces, NM—  Tuesday, December 6, the Las Cruces School Board unanimously passed the Resolution #2016-3 affirming the Board of Education’s “commitment to ensure that our schools are equitable and safe place for all students.” CAFe leaders were present at the meeting to support the resolution and ask the school board to consider other action steps to protect students. Since the election NM CAFe leaders and other community leaders concerned for children in the school district started organizing and exploring ways to protect students.