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.

Transit: A Wise Investment for Us All

Sep 21, 2016


Commentary: Wise communities invest in themselves, providing the public resources necessary to allow residents to live prosperous, healthy lives.  Regional transit is one of those key investments in a successful future.

 Commentary: Senate Majority Whip Michael Padilla (D-14-Bernalillo) requested Attorney General Hector Balderas conduct an independent investigation into the death of Victoria Martens. A letter, making the request, was sent to the Attorney General and is attached to this communication.

Office of the Governor

  Commentary: We, the Catholic Bishops of New Mexico, find the decision by Governor Susana Martinez to place the reinstatement of the Death Penalty on the agenda of a special legislative session to be irresponsible.  The legislature spent a decade debating the issue, ending with a bipartisan vote that ended the practice of a state-sanctioned death penalty.  This was a definitive decision and had ample discovery of evidence and debate.  That decision should remain final.


  Commentary:  The Lakota expression "Mitákuye Oyás’in" points to the connection between all forms of life. Human life exists in relationship to other living beings, who are regarded as relatives with whom we depend on ecological balance. While most of us carry on with our daily obstacles and pleasures, human history is on a disastrous course.

Commentary: Too many people treat politics and government like a football game.

My team is my team no matter what. So what if the tight end attacked a 90-year-old man? They're the 'Niners, man.

Politics oughtta be different. Local politics above all. We're neighbors. But some people see everything in black and white. Or red and blue. 

New Data Shows Spike in Citizenship Applications in New Mexico

Sep 17, 2016

 Commentary:  On Saturday, Somos Un Pueblo Unido celebrates Citizenship Day, part of a nationwide campaign to highlight the stories of immigrants who have recently become U.S. Citizens and plan to vote for the first time in the November election. Newly released data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) show a 25% increase in citizenship applications in New Mexico over the same quarter last year, corresponding to a number of efforts over the past months to help eligible immigrants become U.S. Citizens.

  Commentary: American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement: 

“Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera released the ‘2016 Teacher Evaluation Results,’ and once again, has done a disservice to our schools and students in New Mexico.

“By releasing scores riddled with incomplete or incorrect data, she has stubbornly continued the injurious practice of basing educator scores on standardized testing like the PARCC exam.

Nachison: New Mexico Leaders...How About A Budget For The People?

Sep 17, 2016

  Commentary:  Gov. Susana Martinez agreed to a special legislative budget session — a half-day session to finalize “pre-approved” measures without tax increases. Are participatory public budget discussions inconvenient?

Martinez prefers secrecy, cutting taxes, ripping education and other governmental services, corporate giveaways, even voter ID. She’s proven her priorities — people get as little as possible.

Pearce Continues to Pressure Social Security Administration Over Appeals Process

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

Commentary: On August 2, 2016, Congressman Pearce sent a letter to Carolyn Colvin, Acting Commissioner for the Social Security Administration, requesting clarification on fourteen specific questions regarding deep concerns in the current administration the disability claims process within the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).  They have yet to answer a single question: 

Third-Party Candidates Need to Stay on the Ball

Sep 13, 2016

  Commentary: Last week, two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, now running for President as the Libertarian candidate, was widely mocked after visibly drawing a blank when asked about Aleppo. Shaking my head, I walked into my bedroom and asked my wife, "What is Aleppo?" My wife, like a great many Americans, does not follow world news or politics very closely.

An informed neighbor is an asset to the neighborhood

Sep 13, 2016

Commentary: On my way to work last week at about seven forty five, I saw a missile con trail above the Organ mountains. It was in the southeast, at the time of the sighting the con trail looked about an inch long. I live near the Farm and Ranch museum. By the time I got to the NMSU campus, the contrail arched across the sky north of Picacho peak. We have gotten used to missiles flying over our community.  We know the world the world has changed since 911. The common space of the skies for civilian use is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Common Cause Urges Court to Put Measures on the Books

Sep 12, 2016

Commentary: The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Santa Fe Wednesday at 9 a.m. on whether the New Mexico Compilation Commission erred in not ordering that several constitutional amendments passed by a majority of voters in 2008, 2010 and 2014 be made a part of state law.

  Commentary; New Mexico is facing a budget crisis of historic proportions, one that must be dealt with now, not later.  The state budget crisis requires responsible cuts and reliable revenue sources.

For reasons that are difficult to fathom, the Governor and her Republican allies in the House of Representatives have been downplaying the seriousness of the budget crisis.  Both the Governor and the Legislature have an obligation to fix the problem, not to pretend it doesn’t exist.

Now is the time for democrats and republicans to come together to solve this problem.

Martinez Appoints Butch Tongate as Cabinet Secretary for the Environment Department

Sep 12, 2016

 Commentary: Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced her appointment of Butch Tongate as Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department. Tongate has served as deputy secretary of the Environment Department since 2011. Prior to that, he served with the Environment Department for 23 years in various roles, including Solid Waste Bureau chief and Environmental Protection Division director.

  Commentary: The recent op-ed defending the County's $201,000 settlement with Detention Center Director Chris Barela was sincere and made some valid points. The County Commission genuinely feels it dodged an expensive bullet by settling with Barela. 

But questions remain.

Clergy to Lead Moral Monday “Day of Action” in Santa Fe and Other Capitols

Sep 9, 2016 Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Commentary: On Monday, September 12 at 11:00 a.m., clergy from across New Mexico will lead a “Higher Ground Moral Day of Action” outside of the state capitol in Santa Fe joining with clergy in over 25 other states across the country. This nationwide action is coordinated by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, architect of the Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina with Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., senior minister emeritus of the historic Riverside Church, Rev. Dr.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary:  With just weeks to go until Election Day, voters have been frustrated with Donald Trump’s failure to provide detailed plans on major issues such as education, the economy and foreign policy. Trump visited a for-profit charter school in Cleveland to talk education.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Letter to Speaker Ryan Asking for Flint Funding

Sep 9, 2016

Commentary:  The co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) led CPC Executive Leadership in sending the following letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, urging him to include funding to support the residents of Flint, Michigan in any omnibus spending bill or continuing resolution before the end of the Fiscal Year.

New Interactive Map Shows TPP Would Expand Power to Attack Texas and Federal Laws

Sep 9, 2016


Jordan: Show Me The Fat In New Mexico's Budget

Sep 9, 2016

Commentary: State government has a very important job to do. It ensures that all children receive an education that will prepare them to be productive adults. It works to keep our streets safe and our infrastructure in good repair. It must respond to public health threats and keep an eye to future needs. When state government does its job well, it enables and strengthens the state’s economic growth and helps its people thrive.

Emergency Protections Sought for Imperiled Lesser Prairie Chicken

Sep 8, 2016


   Commentary: American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement:

Commentary:  BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas— In accordance with a landmark agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity that requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make protection decisions for 757 species, the agency today proposed Endangered Species Act protection for the Guadalupe fescue. The agency also proposed protection of 7,815 acres of critical habitat for the fescue in Big Bend National Park.

Democrats Remember Dan Sosa, Jr.

Sep 7, 2016

Commentary: The Democratic Party of New Mexico issued the following statement in memory of Dan Sosa Jr., former New Mexico Supreme Court Justice and Democratic candidate for Congress. "Dan Sosa Jr. was a true public servant. His story should compel everyone to stand up for those that don't have a voice, break through barriers so others can succeed, and fight for equality. Justice Sosa contributed so much to New Mexico and is an inspiration to the Hispanic community across the state," said Juan Sanchez III, Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

Senator Rodríguez to receive MALDEF's highest honor

Sep 7, 2016
State Senator José Rodríguez

  Commentary:  El Paso - Texas State Sen. José Rodríguez will receive the Valerie Kantor Award for Extraordinary Achievement at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)'s annual gala in San Antonio this Friday.

Seeing two faces in an act of protest

Sep 6, 2016

  Commentary:  At some time or other, you have probably seen the famous optical illusion created by a cartoonist in 1915. Some people see a young woman turning away from the viewer, and others see the face of an elderly woman. Some can see it both ways: how the line describing a chin can also look like a nose, a collar that may also resemble a mouth. Others can only see one version, try as they might to see both faces.


sharon thomas / city of las cruces photo

  Commentary:  The county Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) Commission has now reduced the minimum lot size for subdividing in the R zone from ten acres to two acres. That reduction cleared up one of the major issues being discussed in relation to the Unified Development Code (UDC) currently under consideration by the P&Z.

Labor Day Message: When Unions Are Strong, America Is Strong

Sep 5, 2016

  Commentary: Today is Labor Day—and there’s a good reason it’s a national holiday. By organizing together and fighting collectively, workers have been able to better their lives and the lives of their families. So rather than think about Labor Day as the last gasp of summer or bemoan the loss of union clout, let’s redouble our efforts to recreate an enduring middle class.

  Commentary:  I wandered into Tuesday's county commission work session to learn the status of the detention center citizens' advisory committee, but they were still talking about reorganizing the fire department.

Fire/Emergency Chief Eric Crespin was defending his plan to centralize operations. I suspected it wasn't a popular plan with the sixteen fire chiefs, for reasons that might range from highly sensible to somewhat selfish. 

former ​New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn

  Commentary:  In response to former New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn moving to work at the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, the lobbying arm of the oil and gas industry in our state, CVNM Political & Legislative Director Ben Shelton released the following statement: