Local Viewpoints

KRWG welcomes you to join our community discussion.  E-mail your comments to:  feedback @ nmsu.edu  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:  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing $335,605 to the University of New Mexico to research challenges associated with protecting the air we breathe from the impacts of climate change. Specifically, the university will study how changes in land-use patterns and transportation systems affect greenhouse gas emissions and community exposure to vehicle pollution.      

$698,000 Grant for Mesilla Water System

Apr 7, 2016
Office of US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  Commentary: Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Steve Pearce announced that the North American Development Bank (NADB) has signed a $698,115 grant agreement with Mesilla, N.M., to improve the town's water distribution system and provide new water hookups. The project will increase access to potable water service, improve service reliability and eliminate conditions that negatively impact water quality, helping reduce the risks associated with waterborne diseases.

Enough with the civility already!

Apr 6, 2016

  Have I lost my senses? Not at all. What I refer to here is a bogus "civility," a de-politicizing politeness that obscures the substance of an argument. Policing "tone" or complaining about "political correctness," without honestly engaging in the substance, is a diversionary tactic. It deflects citizens from a substantive debate about our politics - about policies and legislation that affect our lives and the choices available to our children. What could be less civil than this brand of "civility?"


Democrats: New Mexico Behavioral Health Suspension Was "A Manufactured Crisis"

Apr 5, 2016
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Commentary:  U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the following statement after New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas cleared the remaining providers in the Behavioral Health Investigation of fraud:

Congressmen Express Concern Over Charter/Time Warner Cable Merger

Apr 5, 2016
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

  Commentary:  Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Tom Wheeler expressing concern over the proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks by Charter Communications.

New Mexico Democratic Chair Debra Haaland

  Commentary:  After N.M. Attorney General Hector Balderas cleared the final two New Mexico behavioral and mental health providers of allegations brought against them by Governor Susana Martinez, Democratic Party of New Mexico leaders Debra Haaland and Juan Sanchez III slammed Governor Martinez for disrupting behavioral and mental health services to some of New Mexico’s post vulnerable residents in the interest of out-of-state companies.  

Heinrich Announces Proposal to Strengthen Security at U.S. Airports

Apr 5, 2016
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Commentary:  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced a new proposal he’s backing to strengthen U.S. airport security, especially in non-secure “soft” target areas at airports like check-in and baggage claim areas, to the upcoming Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill, which the Senate is expected to begin consideration on this week.

  Commentary: Today, the Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairwoman Debra Haaland, the first Native American woman to lead a statewide party in New Mexico, welcomed the announcement that First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the commencement address at the Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS) on May 26.

 Commentary:  You're on Main Street, facing North, stopped at the light where El Paseo hits Main. Late afternoon, darkening sky. It's been raining all day. Roads are wet and slippery, maybe even getting icy. 

The light turns green and you drive into the intersection, then spot a cop car speeding down El Paseo toward you, bubble-gum machine flashing. Mom shouts “Speed up!” You almost make it. The cop-car crashes into your car's rear. You're injured. 


  Commentary:  This morning, the Albuquerque Journal (and several news stations) printed an intentionally misleading story on AFT’s relationship with Pearson – you can read the story 

New Mexico Mental Health Services Face Additional Major Disruptions

Apr 1, 2016
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Commentary:  Democratic Senate leaders today expressed their serious concerns and frustration over news that the third of five behavioral health providers brought in from Arizona by the Martinez administration in 2013 will leave the state within 90 days.  Agave Health Inc., which provides mental health and substance abuse treatment services in 11 New Mexico counties, announced that beginning July 1, 2016, it will longer operate in the state.  The senators warned that the newest pullout of another provider will create fresh disruption to the care and treatment of many fragile individuals,

PNM Tries to Sneak Palo Verde 2 Into Rate-Base

Apr 1, 2016

Commentary:  PNM’s wholesale customers have been leaving PNM in order to take advantage of the lower rates they can obtain elsewhere while at the same time increasing shares of their power that come from clean, renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar.  In the past year alone:  Gallop, Aztec and Navopache Electric Cooperative have all announced departure from PNM.

Senator Howie Morales

  Commentary:  Senator Howie Morales (D-28-Catron, Grant & Socorro) has called on the New Mexico Attorney General to clarify whether parents legally may opt out their children from taking the controversial state-wide PARCC exam.  A growing number of parents have expressed concern about the intensity and amount of standardized testing-taking required of students in New Mexico’s public schools.  Sen. Morales sent a letter to Attorney General Hector Balderas requesting a formal legal opinion on the question before the PARCC exam is administered, starting shortly.

Papen: Another Blow To Health Care In New Mexico

Apr 1, 2016
Senator Mary Kay Papen (D)

  Commentary: I am concerned that the overnight dissolution of the board of directors of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (HSC) by the University of New Mexico (UNM) board of regents could jeopardize the long-term viability of the HSC as a leading national academic medical center.  The speed of this decision raises red flags and could affect the accreditation of both UNM and the HSC, since accrediting bodies require institutional autonomy to make decisions in the best interest of the institution and assure its integrity.

Group Seeks Injunction Against New Mexico Over Tax Dispute

Mar 31, 2016
Office of the Governor

  Commentary:  This week, MALDEF formally requested an injunction in state district court against the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department and Secretary Demesia Padilla (collectively, "TRD") to prevent them from continuing to unlawfully withhold millions of dollars from immigrant taxpayers who use federal Individual Tax Identification Numbers ("ITINs") to file their tax returns until two pending lawsuits, originally filed in February of 2015, are resolved.


  American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly and Las Cruces Transportation Federation #6341 President Marcos Torres  released the following statement: 


“We are disappointed the Las Cruces Public Schools Board has chosen to intervene in this matter through the courts after STS-NM chose to discontinue negotiations on March 30. We will comply with the temporary order issued today by a Las Cruces judge preventing a strike from occurring before an April 12 hearing. 


Nachison: Planned Parenthood Gets Stronger

Mar 30, 2016

  Commentary: There is lots of anti-Planned Parenthood (PP) propaganda in the air these days.  Reality differs.   Pandering to revised videos from a discredited organization known for severe editing, paste ups and false “news” is not funny, nor accurate.  State-by-state Republican defunding occurs.  Nothing new about that.  Why, as Jeb Bush even said in 2015 during his now failed campaign:“I’m not sure we need to spend $500 million on women’s health issues” (NPR).  Really?  Yes we do - and I am proud of Planned Parenthood.


  NEA Commentary—The U.S. Supreme Court today delivered its decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, affirming that public employers have a compelling interest in having strong and effective collective bargaining. The 4-4 decision leaves intact the sound law of Abood v.

A Politics of Personalities Instead of Ideas

Mar 29, 2016

  Commentary:  Watching the interminable process of the presidential primaries unfold, region by region, week by week, I feel insulted on behalf of my neighbors who are earnest, voting members of the two major parties.


A Closed Mind Is A Narrow Road

Mar 29, 2016

Commentary:  In my first business class the professor said we would be learning about companies like General Motors, Boeing, Xerox and other large corporations than made up the U.S. industrial base. We were going to learn about large market trends like the oil and gas markets and we were going to learn how to understand how these markets impacted our country and the rest of the world. I was lost, first day of class. Great. I was studying at New Mexico State University. NMSU had seven thousand students at the time.

  Commentary:  In a decision filed Thursday, the New Mexico Court of Appeals held that committees appointed by public bodies must comply with the Open Meetings Act (OMA), and even when meetings are closed due to the attorney-client privilege, substantial OMA requirements still must be met.

Richard Kadzis

  Commentary: The Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce has a new CEO.

Debbi Moore is a veteran Chamber executive who previously ran the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber, so she is presumably well prepared -- someone with local knowledge and contacts.

She pointed out how, in Las Cruces, the Chamber has a four-star accreditation, along with great people involved in the Chamber and the community.

Those are positive fundamentals that Las Cruces can build on, but even Debbi Moore must know that the Chamber still faces many challenges, just like the community does in general.

Five Ways to Advance New Mexico’s Economy

Mar 23, 2016
USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner

  Commentary:  While the rest of the country is well on its way to recovery from the 2008 recession, New Mexico continues to limp along with less than 1% economic growth and rising unemployment. Moody’s Investors Services predicts New Mexico is on the downward spiral into another recession.

Heinrich Secures $10 Mil For Directed Energy Development In New Mexico

Mar 23, 2016
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich speaks at the Raytheon Ktech facility in Albuquerque, March 23, 2016

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced a $10 million investment in directed energy development in New Mexico. 

  Commentary:  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced that the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge will receive $1 million in additional annual funding to engage urban communities and youth in conservation and outdoor recreation.

 Commentary: When Deming and Luna County learned who would be our local  candidates for June party primaries and the November election, one contest in particular raised eyebrows.


Luna County Commissioner Javier Diaz will relinquish his seat after his current term and both major parties are holding primaries to select candidates to replace him. The Republicans have a crowded field of five candidates, and one of them caught everybody's attention right away: Deming Mayor Benny Jasso.


  Commentary:  After a bumpy start by his open government division, Attorney General Hector Balderas and his staff have issued almost three dozen opinion letters in the last three months in response to complaints about violations of the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) and the Open Meetings Act (OMA).

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Commentary:  Congressman Pearce issued the following statement after he introduced legislation that would prohibit using Federal funds to accept commercial flight plans to travel between the United States and Cuba:

Sanchez: Governor’s Vetoes Show Who She Doesn’t Stand For

Mar 20, 2016
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

Commentary:  Vetoes handed out by Governor Susana Martinez at the end of the 2016 Session of the Legislature were fewer than in years past, but they singled out the most vulnerable in our state for harsher treatment than ever before.  In previous years there might have been dozens of bills that fell under the Governor’s veto ax.  But this year we are talking about Native Americans in the poorest communities, small farmers in rural communities, the developmentally disabled, non-English speakers, and students from low and middle income families who were the target.

Bill Introduced To Prevent Suspension Of Medicaid Services Without Thorough Investigation

Mar 18, 2016
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Commentary:  U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Reps.