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.

A Plea For Partnership In Las Cruces

Jan 29, 2017

Commentary: I address this email to you as a constituent living in Las Cruces’ District 6, as a professional artist, former board member and president of the Dona Ana Arts Council, and strong advocate for a vibrant arts and cultural community in Las Cruces.  It addresses my concerns regarding a proposed change by the City in management of the Rio Grande Theatre, which has been operated by the Arts Council for the past 11 years.

New Mexico Legislature must do more for working families

Jan 29, 2017

  Commentary: Years ago, I had a conversation with a friend about tensions in his relationship. My friend eventually shrugged and said “I don’t know, that’s just the way it is,” resigning himself to accepting the tension rather than find a solution.

For a very long time, New Mexicans have been expected to just shrug our shoulders and accept the problems in our state as “that’s just the way it is.”

Commentary:  Democratic members of the New Mexico Senate and House announced their priority package of bills to create jobs and spur economic activity, following  passage of an urgent $216 million solvency package to address the state’s budget shortfall.  The six bills that the legislators vowed to pass expeditiously include capital outlay infrastructure, a minimum wage increase, broadband expansion, reform of local economic development funds, adjustments to job training programs, and green-lighting industrial hemp research in the state.  Democratic legislators said the state’s second-worst

Commentary: Is Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office a disaster waiting to be exposed as such? [Three columns will explore that question.] 

Sheriff Enrique Vigil lacks relevant experience. He was a long-time U.S. Marshal; but he hasn't dealt with state laws or the variety of situations a cop faces. He's not a state-certified law-enforcement officer. 

Vigil wisely compensated for that inexperience by naming Eddie Lerma as Undersheriff. Lerma had served two other sheriffs as undersheriff, had many years of experience with DASO, and seems generally respected. 

Commentary: Citing EPA nominee Scott Pruitt’s conflicts of interest and opposition to protecting the environment, 58 current and former New Mexico elected officials signed a letter Wednesday asking our congressional delegation to oppose the nomination.


Why We Started Grow New Mexico

Jan 29, 2017
Terry Brunner

Commentary: New Mexico is already one of the best places to live in our country.  But if you’ve read a newspaper, tuned into the news or have listened to what people are saying in the coffee shop, you know things aren’t going well for all our neighbors.  Poverty is on the rise, the economy is crawling along, there aren’t enough good paying jobs to keep young New Mexicans here, and the quality of life in many of our communities falls short of expectations.

laura paskus

Commentary:   Laura Paskus, president of the Board of Directors of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande Chapter, spoke on behalf of the board Thursday morning in opposition to legislation, as it’s currently written, to create a state public accountability board. The legislation is sponsored by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, and Rep.

  Commentary: Washington—The National Education Association today issued its Legislative Report Card for the 114th Congress, which assesses votes and other relevant legislative actions from January 2015 through December 2016.  The Report Card tracks individual members of Congress overall support for public education, students a

El Paso State Legislative Delegation on Trump's proposed tariffs, war on the border

Jan 27, 2017 (donald trump)

Commentary: Austin - Another day, another foolishly destructive action by the new administration. Wednesday, it was to target immigrants and border communities. Now, in order to do that, the President targets consumers by proposing a trade war with Texas' biggest trading partner, Mexico. Texas will pay the price, and El Paso will be on the front lines.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

  Commentary:  Washington—The public outcry over Donald Trump’s pick to head the federal department of education reached an unprecedented milestone.  Educators, parents, students and public education advocates have emailed more than 1 million letters to the U.S

secretary of state MAGGIE TOULOUSE OLIVER

Commentary: SANTA FE – New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver issued the following statement today in response to President Donald Trump’s continued false allegations that at least three million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 General Election:

 Commentary: As we move into our 60 day legislative session, we have a mess to fix.  Unreality is high on columnists' lists so far on the budget.  What will the legislature do?  Between Paul Gessing and Dr. Swickard we sometimes wonder what’s next - just except more general cutting and no new revenue.  That is not the way to a sane NM economy.  That’s tried and true failure.  NM’s best interests lie in fixing the economy.  Cutting spending in general, no.  Try revenue. (donald trump)

Commentary: The best-selling book on Amazon, as of mid-week, was published in 1949. 

Before I discuss it, please take a just moment. Contemplate our times for a second, read over in your mind a few dominant headlines from recent days and months, and identify the 68-year-old book.  (Gee, it's nearly as old as I am!)  It's a mental task you ought to be able to perform without further assistance, if you just blank your mind and try.

  Commentary: Santa Fe, NM – Today, the Senate voted to appropriate funding needed to prevent judicial court closures and to ensure that New Mexico court system can meet its constitutional obligations.

Early Education And Child Care Critical For New Mexico

Jan 25, 2017

Commentary: Early childhood care and education is central to any discussion about improving child wellbeing in New Mexico. Decades of research have shown that the early years of a child’s life are a special time when the brain is developing rapidly, and that providing enriching, stable environments for young children is one of the best investments a society can make.

Terry Brunner

Commentary: A new initiative, Grow New Mexico, launched today in collaboration with The Grants Collective.  Grow New Mexico’s mission is to help New Mexico communities develop projects that improve the quality of life of their citizens.  This effort complements The  Grants Collective’s existing Talent Academy work to train community grant writers and its Cooperative Network to better help organizations collaborate and share resources.

Commentary: PORTLAND, Ore. – Western Watersheds Project, a nonprofit environmental group, has launched a legal challenge to a management plan for five National Wildlife Refuges in the Klamath Basin of Oregon and California. The lawsuit, filed last week in Oregon, cites failures by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect sage grouse and rare native fishes from commercial livestock grazing in the refuges.

New Mexico Food Stamps For Nutrition, Not Junk Food

Jan 25, 2017

Commentary: State Senator Cliff Pirtle (R-Roswell) is sponsoring a bill to ensure people on food stamps (SNAP) use the taxpayer funded benefits to buy nutritious food for themselves and their families, and be not use the government benefits to buy junk food that offer no nutrition to their families.

Under Senator Pirtle’s bill, the SNAP food stamp program would have the same nutritional requirements as the other food stamps program that offers  special supplemental nutrition for women, infants and children. That program is  called WIC.

New Mexico Joins Coalition Defending Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Jan 25, 2017

Commentary: Albuquerque, NM - Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that he and a group of 16 attorneys general filed a motion yesterday to intervene in a federal appeals case in order to defend the constitutionality of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The case – PHH Corporation, et al. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – is currently before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In an October 2016 ruling, a divided court found the structure of the CFPB unconstitutional.

Commentary: There is nothing exceptional about America. To believe that our nation cannot go over the moral cliff is utter nonsense. Not only have we gone over the cliff on several momentous occasions, we have perpetrated crimes against humanity that are every bit as depraved as the Nazis.

New Mexico Transparency Bill Would Allow A Closer Look At State Investments

Jan 25, 2017

Commentary: Santa Fe--How billions and billions of taxpayer dollars are invested and spent would be more open to the public under one of  Senator Sander Rue’s latest transparency bill.  The nearly $50 billion dollars that are invested by the state to benefit New Mexico state retirees and to benefit the state as a whole could receive a much closer look by the State Auditor each year under the bill. The result? Better investment decisions.

New Mexico Democratic Chair Questions Trump Decision On Dakota Pipeline

Jan 24, 2017
New Mexico Democratic Chair Debra Haaland

Commentary: Albuquerque, N.M. – This morning president Donald Trump signed executive actions advancing both the Keystone XL (KXL) and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) projects. In part, the memo allegedly provides for expedited environmental reviews and approvals, which appear to move the controversial projects forward.  In the press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer reinforced the notion that President Trump wants to ensure that taxpayers "get the best deal," and that he works with all parties involved.

Commentary: Santa Fe, N.M. – In response to the executive order President Trump signed today to accelerate the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) and CVNM Education Fund Executive Director Demis Foster released the following statement:

Some Perspective As Trump Plans To Renegotiate NAFTA

Jan 22, 2017 (donald trump)

Commentary: In my last column, I ran through a simple scenario of how production is linked between U.S. and Mexican companies, in which a U.S. plastic injection company sells components to a Mexican components company which sells its finished product to a GM plant in Kentucky. All three companies account for a stage of the production and jobs are created/maintained in both Mexico and the U.S. One recurring question I received from several readers was pertaining to the Mexican components, and why U.S. companies simply couldn’t manufacture all the components in the chain.

Public Debate: Running The Rio Grande In Las Cruces

Jan 22, 2017

  The City Council heard suggestions last month that it toss the Doña Ana County Arts Council out of the Rio Grande Theater and put the Theater in the hands of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Fortunately, the Council didn't seem to warm to that idea.

Support Our Free Press: It's More Important Than Ever

Jan 22, 2017 (donald trump)

Commentary:  One of the features that distinguishes our form of government from that of “less developed” countries is our press. While some authoritarian heads of states control or even abolish reporters, our press is protected. The first amendment of our Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 Commentary:  Because the El Paso City Council Cannot Make a Decision about the Arena that is in the Best Interest of All of Us, We Ask That All the Citizens of El Paso Make the Decision for Them.

Paso del Sur, a grassroots organization who works with barrio residents to defend their neighborhoods and their right to respect and dignity, announces today that they are initiating a citywide citizen’s initiative to exclude Barrio Duranguito from the City's eminent domain demolition plan. The citizen's initiative reads as follows:

  Commentary: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Following President Trump’s inauguration speech– New Mexico-based immigrants’ rights organizations, which comprise “Listo Nuevo México”, are reminding the community that the fight for the safety and wellbeing of our undocumented and refugee communities will continue at the local, state, and national level through the upcoming four years under Trump’s presidency.

Pearce Cheers Trump Inauguration

Jan 20, 2017
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary: Congressman Steve Pearce released the following statement upon Donald J Trump swearing in as President of the United States of America

“The inauguration of President Trump  this morning is the ultimate example of our Democracy in action,” said Pearce. “Chief Justice Roberts swearing in President Trump, as he did for President Obama, shows the strength of our nation. After a brutal election season and partisanship, the nation came together to peacefully transfer power to the people’s chosen successor.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

  Commentary: WASHINGTON ― Donald J. Trump today became the nation’s 45th president. The following statement was issued on behalf of NEA President Lily Eskelsen García: