Local Viewpoints

Local Viewpoints
3:05 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Goodman: An Open Letter To Las Cruces Recall Organizers

    (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.

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Local Viewpoints
12:55 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Goodman: Thoughts At The New Year

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.

 

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Local Viewpoints
3:49 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Group Wants More Information On New Mexico Human Services Audit

Credit nmfog.org

  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.

 

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Local Viewpoints
3:45 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Group Pushes For New Mexico Economic Reforms

Credit 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.

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Local Viewpoints
6:06 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Endangered Gray Wolf Shot And Killed In Utah

  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.

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Local Viewpoints
8:52 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Goodman: Looking For A True Leader

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. 

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Local Viewpoints
12:37 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

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

Credit Spaceport America

  Have a healthy disregard for the impossible.

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Local Viewpoints
11:02 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Senator Michael Padilla Says Governor Martinez Makes Reckless Decision in CYFD Cabinet Appointment

Credit http://www.nmlegis.gov

  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.”

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Local Viewpoints
11:00 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Las Cruces Residents Oppose Recall Campaign

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.

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Local Viewpoints
9:36 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Goodman: More Local Radio Could Be Coming To Las Cruces

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.

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Local Viewpoints
3:16 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Sen. Peter Wirth Files Bill to “Fix” Public Financing of New Mexico Elections

Credit senatorpeterwirth.com

  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.

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Local Viewpoints
1:41 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Ban Sought On New Mexico Wildlife Killing Contests

  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.

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Local Viewpoints
10:23 am
Wed December 17, 2014

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

Credit 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.

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Local Viewpoints
11:15 am
Mon December 15, 2014

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

Credit http://www.archdiocesesantafe.org/ABSheehan/ABSheehan.html

  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!

 

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Local Viewpoints
10:27 am
Sun December 14, 2014

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

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.)

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Local Viewpoints
4:37 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Martinez Announces 16 Percent Decrease in New Mexico’s Drug Overdose Fatality Rate

Credit 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.

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Local Viewpoints
4:33 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Announce Momentous Gains For New Mexico With Passage Of Public Lands Package

Credit 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. 

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Local Viewpoints
9:37 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Pearce Votes For Federal Budget

  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.

 

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Local Viewpoints
2:21 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Cloudcroft Is New Mexico's Newest "Frontier Community"

  Cloudcroft - Today, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela announced the Village of Cloudcroft was selected to participate in the New Mexico Frontier Communities Initiative.  Established by the state Legislature and signed into law by Governor Susana Martinez in 2013, this community economic development partnership program is designed specifically to serve New Mexico's rural communities that are currently not able meet the national benchmarks involved in New Mexico MainStreet program designation.

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Local Viewpoints
4:16 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

New Mexico Charter School Power Struggle

  Oversight authority over schools is an ongoing struggle in New Mexico.  The NM Public Education Commission (PEC) used to be strong and supervised education.  Then it was folded into the NM Public Education Department (PED).  State Auditor Balderas recently charged that the PED is not providing adequate independent oversight to charter schools.  The State Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC) Charter Schools Subcommittee is recommending legislation that would separate the two agencies again.  In this report you will find an analysis of NM charter law.

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Local Viewpoints
4:09 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Pearce Co-Sponsors Suicide Prevention Act For Veterans

  The House passed bipartisan legislation that is designed to help prevent veteran suicides. Congressman Steve Pearce cosponsored H.R. 5059, The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, a bill that will increase access, better meet the demand and boost the accountability of mental health care. The legislation has support from a number of veterans groups, including the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and the VFW.

 

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Local Viewpoints
12:30 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Heinrich Blasts CIA Interrogation, Detention Program

Credit US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, will deliver the following remarks today on the release of the executive summary and the findings and conclusions of the committee’s five-year review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. Senator Heinrich has been a leading proponent of declassifying the report. 

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Local Viewpoints
3:41 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Goodman: Questions Remain Regarding The Las Cruces Minimum Wage

Last Monday, the Las Cruces City Council voted to delay minimum-wage hikes set by the petition-initiated ordinance.  People keep asking me:

Was the City Council's action legal?

No, in my view; but it might survive a challenge.

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Local Viewpoints
3:36 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Thank You, Volunteers Of La Tienda

On December 5, the Las Cruces community came together in support of Jardin de los Niños at our annual Chile Holiday Celebration.  I wanted to thank everyone who attended the event, because the revenues will go a great distance in helping Jardin maintain fiscal sustainability.  It was a great event.  However I failed.

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Local Viewpoints
3:26 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

New Mexico MainStreet Welcomes Alamogordo To The MainStreet Program

  Alamogordo - Today, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela announced Alamogordo has been designated as an "Emerging" MainStreet Community. Alamogordo is welcomed into the New Mexico MainStreet network of 28 MainStreet communities, nine Arts & Cultural Districts and 16 Frontier Community Initiatives working to revitalize historic commercial cores of their downtown.
 

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Local Viewpoints
1:15 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Haaland Announces Bid For New Mexico Democratic Chair

  Deb Haaland announced this morning her intention to seek the Chairmanship of New Mexico’s Democratic Party.

“There is a lot of healing that needs to be done, and a lot of uniting. As I traveled the state in 2014, I saw what was beautiful and amazing about New Mexico and our Party, but I also saw things we could do better. That’s why I’m running for Chair; we can rebuild our party and create new bridges that will enable us to come back in 2015 and 2016 stronger than ever.”

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Local Viewpoints
3:30 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

ACLU: Immigration Officers Ordering Illegal Deportations Without Hearings

  NEW YORK – In the first comprehensive study of expedited deportations ordered by federal immigration agents instead of judges, the American Civil Liberties Union found numerous incidents of people with rights or strong claims to be in the United States who were deported without the chance to be heard.

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Local Viewpoints
3:23 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Rep. Pearce Explains Vote Against Defense Funding Bill

   Congressman Steve Pearce released this statement following the vote on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (NDAA):

 

“Voting against the NDAA today was a difficult decision for me,” said Congressman Steve Pearce.  “As a Vietnam veteran, I always look to support the military and their families. However, the NDAA does not fully meet the needs of our troops and grossly expands the federal footprint in the West.”  

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Local Viewpoints
2:13 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Goodman: Three Lessons About Assumptions

Three moments in time.

In early 2008, I ran into a man I'd worked with years earlier, when he was Amfac Inc.'s general counsel. (I'll call him GC.) He and his family lived in Hawaii then. I'd represented Amfac in several cases, and GC and I became friends.

When we talked in 2008 he told me a story from 35 years earlier. His daughter, who attended Punahou High School, was going to prom with a black student. Neither GC nor his wife cared about skin color, but his mother was from a different generation, and from the South. They wondered how she'd react.

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Local Viewpoints
3:00 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Heinrich Calls For Full Funding Of PILT, SRS For Critical Local Government Services

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined a bipartisan coalition urging Senate leaders to fully fund the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) in any end-of-year legislation.

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