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.

Greens and Libertarians Must Be Ready for Media Glare

Aug 11, 2016

  Commentary: While there is little optimism to be found in the presidential campaign there are at least glimmers of novelty. This year our dominant parties have each nominated controversial candidates, either one of whom, depending on who you talk to, is the harbinger of the end times. Public interest in our leading alternative parties, the Libertarians and the Greens, has spiked this year.



Commentary: American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement:

“The Governor’s call for five percent cuts across state department budgets is an irresponsible action from a Governor who has failed to fulfill her promise to improve New Mexico’s economy when she took office over six years ago.

Goodman: A Deeper Connection Between Head And Heart

Aug 7, 2016
Bill Porter

  Bill Porter lived across the rice paddy from me on a mountaintop in Taiwan. 

After stints in the U.S. Army then college, Bill had gotten interested in Buddhism. In 1970 he moved to a monastery in Taiwan where he spent three years. I met him in 1986, after wandering around the Chinese mainland for a year. He was married to a local woman and working at the English-language radio station. Although not a poet, he had started translating ancient Chinese poets. His books were the sort few people knew; but those who knew them loved them.

State Mandated Third Grade Retention or Proactive Help for Students?

Aug 6, 2016
Betty Patterson-President, NEA New Mexico

Commentary:  New Mexico educators work for student reading success every day, usually without sufficient support.  Even in these conditions, many positive programs are being moved with support from administrators and local school boards.  Too often news coverage regarding education matters fails to appreciate the positive approach toward student success promoted by the National Education Association-New Mexico and practiced by educators on a daily basis.


Pearce Demands Answers on Disability Appeals Process

Aug 5, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

 Commentary: This week, Congressman Pearce issued a letter to Carolyn Colvin, Acting Commissioner for the Social Security Administration, expressing deep concerns regarding the current disability claims process within the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR):

Sen. Linda Lopez: Gov. Martinez’s Different World

Aug 5, 2016

Commentary:  A recent opinion piece penned by Governor Susana Martinez for the financial news network CNBC demonstrated how extremely out of touch some elected leaders can be.  In fact, Martinez showed that she is living in another world.

Sorry, Berners. The Democrats Are Still the Clintons' Party

Aug 4, 2016

  Commentary: In 2015, Desert Sage paid a visit to a meeting of the "Silver City, NM for Bernie" group and spoke with several of its members. At the time, feeling dubious about the likelihood of a takeover of the Democratic Party by the independent Senator from Vermont, I asked the members about the possibility that the promised "political revolution" would fail. What might they do next?  The optimism in the room brooked little concern for failure. When pressed, the sentiment expressed by one member was, "Keep working."




  Commentary:   American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie released the following statement:

“The report from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers confirms many of the criticisms education professionals have had regarding New Mexico’s charter school authorization process – a process which is not fully developed and once which lacks clearly defined academic standards and requirements.

Nachison: Religion and partisan politics is a no-go

Aug 3, 2016

Commentary:  It’s so easy to ‘forget' the Constitution.  Is ‘ignore’ better usage?  South Carolina pastor Rev. Mark Burns addressed the RNC convention 7/20 and left the ‘box.'   My concern is the mainstreaming of craziness/religious superiority in the USA.  It’s noticeably worse this election cycle.

What’s really behind New Mexico’s budget woes

Aug 3, 2016
Bill Jordan, MA

 Commentary:  Most complex systems—like airplanes, for example—have built-in redundancies. So in order for a catastrophic failure to occur—such as falling from the sky—there generally have to be several things going wrong. Usually all at once. The state budget is a complex system, too. Sadly, it’s plunging toward disaster. In order to fix it we need to look at all the things that are going wrong.

Senator George Munoz (D-4-Cibola, McKinley and San Juan)

 Commentary: Senator George Munoz (D-4-Cibola, McKinley and San Juan) and Senator Clemente Sanchez (D-30-Cibola, Socorro, McKinley and Valencia) are exploring options to address the unexpected announcement that the Cibola County Corrections Center in Milan will be closing on October 1. The facility is run by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and employs 300 people.

  Commentary:  New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn today proposed the “Early Childhood Education Land Grant Act,” a draft bill for consideration during the 2017 legislative session that would create the Early Childhood Education Land Grant Permanent Fund and the Early Childhood Education Land Grant Income Fund. A copy of the legislation is attached.

Hynes: Spaceport America Needs A "Go Getter"

Aug 2, 2016

 Commentary: We need a go getter to get going.  A spaceport is a business, and that business is transportation. There are 5 modes of transportation; ground, sea, rail, air and space. The State of New Mexico has a Secretary of Transportation. I wonder if the Secretary has been involved in the discussion about the qualifications of our next spaceport director. Running a spaceport is a profession. New Mexicans can look at the spaceport as an asset. Leadership will then begin to think about the next Director as one who is qualified to run it.

  Commentary: With just over three months until the 2016 election, a major new report from voting rights group Project Vote identifies where participatory gaps still exist in the American electorate.


 Commentary: More reflections on events near and far . . . 

A finance website ranks Las Cruces 12th “best-run” among 150 cities on factors including financial stability, education, health, public safety, economy, and infrastructure/pollution. Although the city council doesn't control all those areas, the ranking suggests our local government ain't the disaster some critics claim it is.

  Commentary:  The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government urges New Mexico legislators to open all meetings in connection with the budgetary shortfall to the public, whether such discussions occur prior to or during any upcoming special legislative session.   

Lawsuit Filed to Protect Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout as 'Endangered'

Jul 29, 2016
Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout / nps.gov

  Commentary: The Center for Biological Diversity today sued the U.S.

Army Corps Recommends Denial of Essential Permit for Rosemont Mine

Jul 29, 2016


How Donald Trump Inspired Me To Speak Up

Jul 28, 2016

Commentary:  When Mr. Trump announced he was running for president, a vast majority of well-respected subject matter experts on political science did not take him seriously and assured that he would not be able to keep his momentum going and would inevitably withdraw from the presidential race by early 2016. After all, Mr. Trump was facing well-known and experienced politicians and he supposedly did not stand a chance to secure the Republican Party’s nomination. Boy, were they wrong!    

Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino

  Commentary:  Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-12-Bernalillo), chair of the 


THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Obama!  Obama!  Obama!

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back!  (Applause.) 

Hello, America!  Hello, Democrats!  (Applause.) 

  Commentary:  Mr. Biad’s 7/21 column (Las Cruces Sun News) was most disingenuous.  There are facts missing - and statements both untrue and misleading.  Conservative’s are not in the process?  They have been very involved in the process.  Does that mean they must always win?

Treasury debt and thwarting Obama is not germaine to the Las Cruces discussion for our purposes.  As for Las Cruces reality and Biad reality - apparently, "never the twain shall meet.”

Senator Michael S. Sanchez (D-29-Bernalillo and Valencia)

  Commentary: Senate Democrats today called on Governor Susana Martinez to convene the New Mexico Legislature in an emergency special session to fix the quickly expanding budget deficit that has resulted from plummeting state revenues. A new report last week revealed that the State spent between $150 – $200 million more than it had budgeted in the fiscal year that just ended, and the year ahead looks even worse.

H.L. Mencken would have loved the Republican convention

Jul 25, 2016

  Commentary: At this writing, the Republican National Convention is bumbling along, veering off script and exposing the seething divisions of the national party while the Democratic Party prepares to steal the news cycle with Hillary Clinton's running mate and their own convention. Throughout the week, many of us who are tasked with writing about politics have remembered H.L. Mencken.



 Commentary: Some reflections on recent events. 

The Republican Convention's first night reminded me of a B-movie in which a businessman gets nominated for president. Trump and his wife looked the parts, but B-pictures rarely had top stars. Mr. and Mrs. Trump were a little wooden. Not quite convincing.

Hate And Fear Is Not The Answer

Jul 24, 2016
facebook.com (donald trump)

  Commentary:  Fear mongering and attacks on the presumptive Democratic candidate for President, Hilary Clinton were the main themes of the recent Republican convention. They not only despise her, but want to send her to jail and compared her with Lucifer.

Is Gary Johnson a Fiscal Conservative?

Jul 22, 2016

 Commentary: Donald Trump tried hard to consolidate his “base” in Cleveland. Nonetheless, fiscally-conservative Republicans, many of whom are concerned about the rhetoric and likely policy proposals of their party's standard-bearer, may be looking for viable alternatives.

Former New Mexico governor and current Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson is likely their only alternative (assuming that disaffected Trump supporters don't shift to Hillary Clinton).

Uniting Black and Blue Lives is the Only Way Forward

Jul 22, 2016

  Commentary: We are not all having the same conversation about police. In our attempts to engage the topic, we tend to look at the police in distinct ways.

Think Outside The Can

Jul 20, 2016

Commentary:  Where do you go when there is no place left to go? NASA has a great idea. Join them in Space. This week NASA asked us, fellow tax payers, to consider what we would you do if NASA made a port available for you to connect to the International Space Station (ISS).  This is a big thought experiment. Have you been dreaming about a second home in Alaska? I’m dreaming about it right now. Heat waves make me a delirious. But this is the real thing. NASA has a place for new tenants on the space station.  Think about what it would be like. It’s a thought experiment for now.

  Commentary:  Federal Magistrate Carmen Garza entered proposed findings Friday that the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) be held in contempt for failure to comply with multiple Court Orders and federal law concerning administration of food and medical assistance to eligible families.  Judge Garza found that “it is apparent that HSD and its officials have not exhibited the leadership, oversight, or coordination necessary to implement the Court Orders." Judge recommended the appointment of a Special Master with expertise in food and medical assistance be appointed to facilitate HSD