Local Viewpoints

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Nachison: Trump's Historical Ignorance

May 10, 2016
facebook.com (donald trump)

  Commentary:  Presumptive nominee Trump apparently loves self-contradictions, but the news sometimes likes equivocation, regardless of his actual words.  On 4/27 Donald Trump outlined his vision of American foreign policy.  Krauthammer (Las Cruces Sun News, 4/29) called it as it is and sees history possibly repeating.   Trump’s main points resemble Charles Lindbergh’s isolationist views of pre- and early WWII in history while rejecting moral equivalency with the Nazi regime (Charles Lindbergh, An American Aviator).

Muska: New Mexico Medicaid Needs An Overhaul

May 9, 2016

  Commentary:  In 2014, The Wall Street Journal explored the ways that Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid was “straining some health-care systems that already don’t have enough doctors and staff” and challenging “medical practic

 Commentary: Wayne Hancock is a dedicated and conscientious public servant, and voters should retain him as county commissioner.

We met recently at a small locally-owned coffeehouse. As Wayne went in to get his coffee, he spotted a couple of stray napkins blowing around on the patio. He bent over to pick them up, put them in the trash, then went in. 

He's that kind of guy. The opposite of pompous; and naturally inclined toward doing the right thing.

State Auditor Tim Keller Launches Statewide “Rape Kit” Backlog Audit

May 5, 2016
Tim Keller, New Mexico Auditor

  Commentary:  Today, New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller announced that the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) is conducting a statewide audit of the inventory of untested sexual assault evidence kits, commonly referred to as “rape kits.” The OSA will survey all law enforcement agencies statewide regarding their practices for handling rape kits and has selected certain law enforcement agencies around the state for a special audit to perform a detailed review of policies and procedures related to the kits.

Commentary:  Oil and gas companies in New Mexico were responsible for 1,477 reported oil, gas, and other chemical spills in 2015, according to the New Mexico Toxic Release

AG Balderas to Feds: NM Consumers Deserve Their Day in Court

May 5, 2016
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

  Commentary:  This morning, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas addressed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at a field hearing that was held in downtown Albuquerque regarding proposed federal rule changes for arbitration clauses. Attorney General Balderas is the chief law enforcement officer of New Mexico and is tasked with protecting the state’s consumers and vulnerable populations. The Attorney General made it clear that he will work with the CFPB to protect New Mexico consumers and root out the bad actors that prey on low-income, distressed and minority consumers.

Of All Places, It’s Las Cruces, New Mexico!

May 5, 2016
Richard Kadzis

Commentary:  Recently, I described how local groups who influence economic and jobs growth can do more to stop the outmigration of college graduates and young professionals to competing markets like Denver or Phoenix.

With the arrival of a new CEO to run the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, I offered up a mandate to diversify our economy and stem the Las Cruces brain drain.

Over a casual lunch on her second day on the job, Chamber CEO Debbi Moore embraced the mandate.

We talked about the area’s strengths and weaknesses in a general way over lunch.

Udall Working to Close the 'Homework Gap' for Rural and Low-Income Students in NM

May 3, 2016

  Commentary:  HATCH, N.M. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall pledged to keep fighting for the resources to extend broadband internet across New Mexico and close the so-called “homework gap” – the inequality of access to the internet facing low-income and rural students.

NEA, National PTA Encourage Americans to #ThankATeacher

May 3, 2016
Twitter.com/NEAMedia

  Commentary: From every neighborhood across the country to the halls of Congress and the White House, millions of Americans are taking to social media to remember their favorite teachers today in honor of National Teacher Day, which is part of Teacher Appreciation Week.

Democrats Thank Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week

May 2, 2016
New Mexico Democratic Chair Deb Haaland

  Commentary:  The Democratic Party of New Mexico honors New Mexico teachers for National Teacher Appreciation Week and invites New Mexicans to share why they appreciate teachers on Facebook and Twitter using #ThankATeacher.

Office of the Governor

  Commentary:  Today, Governor Susana Martinez and CYFD Secretary Monique Jacobson unveiled “Pull Together,” a community engagement effort that calls on New Mexicans to join the fight in improving the quality of life for every child and making our state the best place to be a kid. The effort includes connecting New Mexicans in need to resources in their communities and around the state, while also helping those who want to make a difference find ways to help.

Goodman: A Continuing Dispute In County Government

May 1, 2016

 Commentary: Tuesday was a long, difficult day, and hard to write about.

A county-hired consultant reported to the commission on why the sheriff's office has adequate numbers of personnel. Then a long parade of DASO personnel passionately disagreed. Later, DASO top brass attacked the study at a press conference. 

It's Teacher Appreciation Week

May 1, 2016
http://nm.aft.org/

  Commentary:  Since 1984, the National Parent Teacher Association has designated the first full week in May as “Teacher Appreciation Week.”

We know here at AFT NM that it is more than just the teacher who helps to create a positive environment in our public schools and educational institutions – it is the educational assistants, support personnel, nurses, transportation, councilors, facilities personnel, secretaries, and cafeteria workers who all lend a hand to our students’ successful learning.

Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

Commentary:  U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) held a teleconference with members of the press to discuss provisions from the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act that were included in S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act that enhance opportunities for hunters, anglers, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts, reauthorize key conservation programs, improve access to public lands, and help boost the outdoor recreation economy.

Senator Jacob Candelaria (D-26-Bernalillo)

  Commentary:  Senator Jacob Candelaria (D-26-Bernalillo) and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-CD1) are requesting the Social Security Commissioner to correct the decision to deny same-sex widows and widowers survivor benefits. Same-sex couples who were in long-term relationships and shared financial resources, but were unable to legally marry, are being denied survivor benefits.

Pearce Votes Against Fiduciary Rule For Investment Advisors

Apr 28, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary:  Congressman Pearce issued the following statement after the House passed H.J. Res. 88, Protecting Access to Affordable Retirement Advice:

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

  
Commentary:  The Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), have released the following statements regarding the House vote on the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule to require investment advisors to put their clients’ best interests first when advising on retirement accounts: 

Court Rules Against Unrestricted Motorized Travel in Santa Fe National Forest

Apr 28, 2016
Jemez mountains salamander / NPS

  Commentary: In a victory for wildlife and wild places, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesdaydismissed an appeal by off-road vehicle interests of a federal plan for motorized access to the Santa Fe National Forest. A coalition of environmental groups, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, had intervened in the case to defend the U.S.

Pearce Applauds Flood Insurance Bill

Apr 28, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

 Commentary:  Congressman Pearce issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2901, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, a bill that would clarify the Flood Disaster Protection Act to give consumers more options when purchasing flood insurance:

Heinrich Receives Conservation Award

Apr 28, 2016

  Commentary:  U.S.

Another 215 New Mexicans Lose Jobs While House GOP Continues to Do Nothing

Apr 27, 2016

  Commentary:   Yesterday, the latest indicator that New Mexico is further sliding into a double-dip recession came after Intel announced that they would be cutting 215 employees from their plant in Rio Rancho. After the continued failing of GOP House leadership to properly address the economic downturn in New Mexico, the New Mexico House Democratic Campaign Committee released the following statement. 

Citizens Make the Justice System Work by Serving as Jurors

Apr 27, 2016
NM Supreme Court Justice Charles Daniels

 Commentary: As we celebrate national Law Day on May 1 and Juror Appreciation Week in New Mexico, I would like to recognize the vital role each citizen plays in preserving the rule of law by serving on juries in our state courts.

New Mexico courts each year summon about 10 percent of the state’s adult population to participate in jury service. Along with the ballot box, the jury box is one of the two most direct forms of citizen participation in our system of self-government.

  Commentary:  As voter turnout continues to break records across the nation, New Mexico election officials are preparing for the state’s June 7th primary election with a focus on accurate and efficient administration. That preparation includes keeping voters informed on how to register to vote, when and where to vote and ensuring that the voting experience is quick, simple and error-free.

Nachison: A divided Jerusalem solves nothing...

Apr 27, 2016

Commentary: Jerusalem’s history is different from currently stated Arab “truth."   Israel accepting two states and a divided Jerusalem when it only hears “...death to Israel…”?   Secretary of State Kerry should focus on higher priority items, e.g, Russia, Syria, Daesh and Iran.

 

Second Annual Gracias Bus Tour Kicks off Thursday in Las Cruces

Apr 27, 2016
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Commentary: The second annual Gracias Bus Tour, an event that coincides with the New Mexico Film Festival and the International Worker’s Day celebration, starts in Las Cruces on Thursday, April 28th and concludes in Santa Fe on Sunday May 1st. The tour celebrates the work organized labor has done to improve the lives of New Mexicans and will thank legislators, state officials and members of the federal delegation who have stood with workers.

Senate Democratic Leaders Rebut Regents’ Version of HSC Takeover

Apr 27, 2016
Senator Mary Kay Papen (D)

Commentary:  In their guest column published on April 7, three of UNM Board of Regents, Regents Doughty, Lee and Fortner made a number of inaccurate assertions about the recent reorganization of the UNM Health Sciences Center medical complex (HSC).  We believe readers deserve clarification.

They have repeatedly claimed that they dissolved the HSC Board of Directors—in an extremely abrupt and secretive way—because the HSC has become too independent.  They have also asserted that it is not part of what they describe as “one university”.

Court Settlement Provides Hope for Mexican Gray Wolves

Apr 27, 2016

  Commentary: A coalition of wolf-conservation groups, environmental organizations and a retired federal wolf biologist today announced a court settlement requiring the U.S.

Richard Kadzis

  Commentary:  We’ve become a nation of finger-pointers and scapegoat hunters.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is, sadly, the latest case study.

His purported role in the so-called Deflate Gate affair transcends the sports pages.

With the April 25 Federal Appeals Court ruling reinstating NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s four-game suspension of the future Hall of Famer, Brady is back on the front pages.

  Commentary: The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (NMFOG) and freelance journalist Peter St. Cyr have dismissed their lawsuit against the New Mexico Department of Health after DOH amended its regulations that kept secret the names of licensed medical marijuana producers.

The lawsuit was filed last July in the state district court in Albuquerque, but NMFOG and St. Cyr stayed further action within weeks of the filing after DOH agreed to begin administrative procedures to remove the confidentiality provisions.

Goodman: A Visit To Trinity

Apr 26, 2016
peter goodman

 Commentary: We recently visited the Trinity site for the first time. Site of the first atom-bomb blast, at 5:29:45 a.m., July 16, 1945. It's on White Sands Missile Range.

We saw Jumbo, a thick steel bomb-casing they didn't use; and we saw numerous photographs of the blast, and of soldiers and scientists working and playing here.

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