Local Viewpoints

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Goodman: Each Age Has Its Own Contradictions

Jan 20, 2015

Edward Bellamy wrote Looking Backward 2000-1887.  A utopian socialist novel, it envisioned a world in which social ills like poverty and illiteracy no longer existed because humankind had outgrown competition as a guiding principle. 

   By 1900 only Uncle Tom's Cabin had outsold Looking Backward among books published in the U.S.  Folks so loved it as an alternative to the abuses of the Gilded Age that around the country 500 Nationalist Clubs sprang up to disseminate Bellamy's ideas.

In Depth: New Mexico Makes Little Progress On Child Well-Being

Jan 20, 2015

  ALBUQUERQUE—While New Mexico ranking rose slightly from 50th in 2013 to 49th in 2014 in the national KIDS COUNT rankings of child well-being, state policy makers not have managed to make much progress toward improving how well the state cares for its kids. The KIDS COUNT program measures 16 indicators of child well-being, and New Mexico saw improvement in just five of those. Worse, child poverty—a main factor in poor outcomes—actually increased (from 28 percent to 31 percent) even as it decreased in most of the rest of the nation.

One Year Later, Santa Fe Plastic Bag Ban Is Not Working

Jan 19, 2015

  Santa Fe’s ban on plastic bags isn’t making the city greener.

Less than a year after formally implemented the ban, the City Council is now looking for a more effective solution. As recent studies have shown, instead of bringing reusable bags on their shopping trips, Santa Fe citizens have simply traded plastic for paper – nullifying the law’s sustainability objectives.

More Loan Shark Outlets Than Fast Food Chain Restaurants In New Mexico

Jan 14, 2015

There are currently 684 New Mexico small loan licensees* charging 80 to 3,000 percent interest registered with the New Mexico Department of Regulation.  There are only 405 New Mexico fast food locations operated by all the major and minor chains combined.** 

This is the first of many astounding facts about high cost lending that the New Mexico Fair Lending Coalition (NMFLC) will publish daily beginning Wednesday, January 14, and continuing through the close of the 2015 legislative session on March 21. 

Pearce Votes To End President's Immigration Relief

Jan 14, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (DHS), to aggressively tighten national security, combat terrorism, and block President Obama’s executive order granting legal status to over 5 million people living in the U.S. illegally.

In voting for the measure, Congressman Steve Pearce (R.-N.M.) released the following statement:

Pat Hynes: I Won't Take No For An Answer

Jan 13, 2015

  In January we set personal goals for the year, make resolutions in some cases, throw a Hail Mary pass at a difficult problem.  Lose weight, find your new relationship or solve both and join the gym, a Hail Mary pass for sure. Making realistic, specific, measurable goals requires a plan. The plan can create change; take us from our current state to a more desirable future. That’s the purpose of a financial plan for a family, or a strategic plan for a company.

Conservationists Take Aim At New Rule On Mexican Gray Wolf Management

Jan 12, 2015

TUCSON, Ariz.— Conservationists say they’ll fight provisions in a new federal rule that caps the population of endangered Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest at numbers too low for recovery, bans them from needed recovery habitat, and makes it easier for them to be killed. While the U.S.

Goodman: We Are Blessed With A Secular Democracy

Jan 11, 2015

Jim Harbison is a fine gentleman, but his recent hit-piece on CAFé relied too much on name-calling and not enough on facts and analysis.

As you likely know, CAFé led the local campaign for a minimum-wage hike. Mr. Harbison writes, “CAFé is a community organizer group (think ACORN).” He alleges no relationship between the two; but ACORN's a code-word in Right-Wing-Speak. It's like saying “Joe is a cop (think Ferguson)."

Pearce Votes To Approve Keystone XL Pipeline

Jan 9, 2015

  Washington, D.C – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  The measure passed decisively, 266 to 153, with bipartisan support.  H.R. 3 would put an end to the lengthy and unnecessary delay of the Keystone project that has gone on for over six years.  In voting for the measure, Congressman Steve Pearce (R.-N.M.) released the following statement

Pearce Votes To Approve 40-Hour Work Week For Mandatory Employer Health Insurance

Jan 9, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Save American Workers Act of 2015 with a bipartisan vote of 252-172.  The bill repeals the 30-hour definition of full-time employee in the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA) and restores the common sense 40-hour definition.  In voting for the measure, Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement:

Groups Support Rejection Of Fracking Near New Mexico's Chaco Canyon

Jan 6, 2015

  Santa Fe, NM – A coalition of local and regional watchdog groups supports the Bureau of Land Management’s recent decision to defer leasing five Navajo allotment parcels (2,802.56 acres) for fracking near Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Udall Offers Rules Reform To Fix The Broken Senate

Jan 6, 2015
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) delivered a speech on the Senate floor on a proposal he offered with U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to increase transparency, restore accountability and foster debate in the Senate by reforming the Senate's often-abused rules. The centerpiece of their proposal requires a "talking filibuster," meaning senators wishing to block legislation would have to do so by speaking on the Senate floor. Udall has been a leader in the effort to reform the Senate rules since he was elected in 2009.

    (This column is an open letter to Jeffrey Isbell, Pamela Wolfe, and their Recall-pushing associates requesting them to either substantiate or retract their apparently defamatory false statements.) 

You have repeatedly stated in writing that three city councilors have "grievous conflicts of interest" in that "they continue to serve on the city council while also being employed by radical organizations . . ."   You you are free to opine that these unidentified organizations are "radical"; but knowingly making false factual statements can constitute defamation.

Goodman: Thoughts At The New Year

Jan 2, 2015

This morning, New Year's morning, a magnificent roadrunner visited us.  He didn't do much, just stood on top of the wooden fence at the far side of the old wooden deck, strode along it, then hopped down to the ground near the small bowls of water.  We were glad we'd poured boiling water on them earlier, when they were pretty well frozen from the cold night, to accommodate him.  The other birds had prudently gone elsewhere to make way for him.



  ALBUQUERQUE - On Friday, the New Mexico Attorney General's office released a portion of the behavioral health audit report to the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government after being ordered to do so by a Santa Fe district court judge.  


     In releasing the Presbyterian Medical Services portion of the audit, the Attorney General has waived its right to appeal the judge's decision in regard to PMS.  NMFOG, which initially sued for the report, has not yet determined whether it will appeal the order that keeps the remainder of the HSD audit secret.


Group Pushes For New Mexico Economic Reforms

Dec 30, 2014
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

  New Mexico's Senate majority leader – arguably the most powerful elected Democrat in the State – recently laid out some of his views on the upcoming legislative session. He claimed to support "compromise," but it is clear that what he really means is that he has no plans to support reforms that will boost New Mexico's struggling private-sector economy.

Endangered Gray Wolf Shot And Killed In Utah

Dec 29, 2014

  BEAVER, Utah — A federally protected radio-collared female gray wolf, possibly the same wolf photographed this fall on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, was shot and killed Sunday in Utah after reportedly being mistaken for a coyote. The identity of the wolf is likely to be determined in the coming days or weeks.

Goodman: Looking For A True Leader

Dec 29, 2014

This time of year all the sales and advertising make you wish someone would show up with a better message for humanity than commercialism – and say it well enough that people would listen.

   Someone who'd remind us that we're all in this together.  Gold may glitter, but it ain't the path to happiness.  (Odds are against it, anyway – like getting a camel through the eye of a needle.)  Loving our neighbors isn't just nice, it's part of how a complex and over-crowded society might manage to survive. 

Pat Hynes: State Must Make Long-Term Investment In The Spaceport

Dec 23, 2014
Spaceport America

  Have a healthy disregard for the impossible.


  Santa Fe, NM –On Tuesday, December 22, Governor Susana Martinez appointed current Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Monique Jacobson, as her choice to be the next secretary of the Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD).  Senator Michael Padilla (D-14-Bernalillo), who grew up in foster care and who is a strong advocate of CYFD reform, stated, “The Governor’s pick to lead CYFD has no experience in this critical area.  CYFD demands a leader that has specific training in social work, early education, and assisting families in crisis.”

Las Cruces Residents Oppose Recall Campaign

Dec 23, 2014

On December 16 we gathered with other Las Cruces residents in front of City Hall to protest the recall petitions being circulated in our neighborhoods.

It’s important that Las Crucens know that this recall effort is not being driven by the voters in our districts.  Instead, a well-financed campaign has employed paid canvassers and a barrage of phone solicitations to completely misrepresent the records of city councilors OIga Pedroza, Nathan Small, and Gill Sorg.

We have a great opportunity that both political parties, the P.V.A. (Progressive Voter Alliance), the Tea Party, Aggie Solidarity, churches, and soccer moms should all relish.  It's called community radio, and might not exist if not for Pete Tridish (known widely as Petri Dish), who passed through Cruces recently.

    I like him, 'cause he thinks outside the box.

   The FCC used to insist on a wider space on the dial between huge stations, so their signals wouldn't interfere with each other.


  Sen. Peter Wirth (D- Santa Fe) yesterday pre-filed legislation to fix New Mexico’s Voter Action Act, which currently allows candidates for election to the Public Regulation Commission, Court of Appeals and NM Supreme Court to utilize public funding. It is Senate Bill 58.

Wirth said the “fix” to public financing was needed because of a 2011 court decision striking down a part of the original bill and this year’s misuse of the system by candidates for the PRC.

Ban Sought On New Mexico Wildlife Killing Contests

Dec 18, 2014

  Ten conservation groups today called for a ban on wildlife-killing contests in New Mexico after a new national ranking gives the state the dubious honor of holding more of the cruel killing contests each year than any other state. The groups are calling on the governor and state legislature to ban these biologically unsound contests that target coyotes, bobcats, foxes, prairie dogs and other animals.

Udall: Now Is The Time To End The Failed Embargo Against Cuba

Dec 17, 2014
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  U.S. Senator Tom Udall released a statement today on the President’s announcement that he has taken steps to normalize relations with the country of Cuba and has secured the release of American prisoner Alan Gross, who had been held in a Cuban jail since 2009.  In November, Udall traveled to Cuba with Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) where they met with Cuban officials as well as religious and business leaders to discuss the impacts of the embargo and travel restrictions on American and Cuban families.

Archbishop Sheehan: Have We Forgotten The Reason For The Season?

Dec 15, 2014

  Christmas decorations are up all over New Mexico.  But it seems the emphasis is on large Santa Claus figurines, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman.  There are twinkling lights and tinsel everywhere and people are busy buying and wrapping gifts in fancy paper with big bows.  We are all sending and receiving Christmas cards.  Dinners and trips are being planned.  Lots of money is being spent.  We are told we are supposed to say “Happy Holidays” -  not Merry Christmas!


Goodman: Las Cruces Recall Effort "A Naked Power Grab"

Dec 14, 2014

The present Recall effort is a naked power grab aimed at destroying local democracy.  A couple of wealthy families and their companies are trying to use money to intimidate present and future councilors who might wish to be guided by their constituents' needs or their own consciences, not fear of Big Money.

   Forget their somewhat comical outside operative, Jeffrey Isbell, who can only hurl misleading mud but doesn't seem ready to debate issues.  (Maybe he's still too new here to have a clue.)

Office of the Governor

  Today Governor Susana Martinez announced New Mexico’s drug overdose fatality rate decreased 16 percent between 2011 and 2013. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New Mexico’s drug overdose fatality rate decreased from first in the nation in 2009 to third in 2012. New Mexico has now fallen below West Virginia and Kentucky in drug overdose death rates. This is the first time since 1992 that New Mexico has not been ranked first or second nationally in drug overdose fatality rate.

US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) applauded the passage of a historic public lands package today. Several conservation and energy bills championed by the senators were included in the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act. The end of year package passed the Senate by a vote of 89 to 11 and now goes to the President for his signature. 

Pearce Votes For Federal Budget

Dec 12, 2014
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Congressman Steve Pearce voted in favor of the FY 2015 CR-Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Passage of the $1.013 Trillion spending bill will protect American jobs, fund national security priorities, reduce wasteful spending and provide for veterans.