Local Viewpoints

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Catholic Bishops Of New Mexico Issue Statement On Refugees

Nov 23, 2015

  Commentary:The Catholic Bishops of New Mexico call all residents of New Mexico to pray for refugees fleeing their war torn homes and communities. Our Lord, in a special way, holds the most vulnerable close to his heart and, in this time of tragic loss of innocent life, we too should hold the people of Syria and Iraq close to our hearts.


  Commentary:  Tuesday the Doña Ana County Commission will discuss its sole employee, County Manager Julia Brown. Following a closed-door discussion, the Commission will vote on whether or not to extend her contract, by how long, and under what conditions.

Like the Commissioners, but with less firsthand knowledge, I thought Ms. Brown was a very promising hire. Like the Commissioners, but with less firsthand knowledge, I've been somewhat disappointed. 

Tis the Season, a New Mexico Money-in-Politics Reform Wish List

Nov 21, 2015

  Commentary:  New Mexico’s campaign finance system is broken, and KOB is just the latest in a seriesof media 

New Mexicans Need Accurate Information about REAL ID

Nov 20, 2015
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

Commentary:  Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29-Valencia, Bernalillo) has expressed deep concerns to several federal officials about misinformation given to the public about the impact of REAL ID.  In an attempt to clarify the misrepresentations that have been “reported” regarding driver’s licenses, a top official from Department of Homeland Security sent a letter to the Albuquerque Journal.

New Mexico Lawsuit Challenges Texas Physician Immunity

Nov 20, 2015

Commentary:  Is a Texas physician subject to out-of-state medical liability laws if his patient files a negligence lawsuit in the patient’s home state? Which state’s medical liability law should apply — the state where the care took place, or the state where the patient lives?

 Commentary:   State Sen. José Rodríguez announced his opposition to a proposal by El Paso Electric (EPE) that would create a new fee for customers who have solar panels installed on their homes as well as increase their rates by 24 percent. He urged the El Paso City Council to reject the proposal. 

Restoring Power To The People

Nov 20, 2015
Steve Fischmann

  Commentary: What do New Mexicans want?  

A fair minimum wage, gun sale regulations that keep weapons out of dangerous hands, interest caps that end rampant 400% loan rip offs, campaign finance reform, and term limits. The poll numbers are overwhelming.

What are New Mexico's house leaders pushing for 2016?

Curfews and longer prison sentences.  So much for the land of the free.

Some legislators will do just about anything to brush aside the public's wishes.

A Return To Capitalism That Works For All

Nov 20, 2015

"A growing body of research suggests that the vast amounts spent on repurchasing their own stock is a chief cause of the stagnation of American wages and investment and could be a potential source of long-term national decline."  Senator Tammy Baldwin

Betty Patterson-President, NEA New Mexico

  Commentary:  The New Mexico State Game Commission approved an easement agreement between the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the New Mexico State Land Office for hunting access on State Trust Lands. The easement is for next year’s hunting season, and the Game Department will pay $1 million for access. The previous easement was only $200,000, which equates to just two cents per acre. The additional $800,000 will benefit New Mexico’s public education – which is the primary beneficiary, receiving approximately 95% of the money collected by the Land Office.

  Commentary:   Federal officials warn that if New Mexico does not take steps to implement a system to create a REAL ID-compliant ID option for New Mexicans, state licenses may not be accepted to board airplanes or to enter some high-security federal facilities starting in 2016.


Governor Martinez insists that she’ll only support one fix to our license problem: repeal our current laws and replace them with a REAL ID license for everyone.


Seeding Economic Development In The Grassroots

Nov 20, 2015
NM USDA Rural Development Director Terry Brunner

 Commentary:  During the last seven years, we’ve heard from a veritable plethora of experts as to how best help New Mexico recover from the recession.  Economic experts and economic development professionals have their place but don’t necessarily have a monopoly on ideas.  New Mexicans like you and your neighbors deserve an opportunity to have your say as well.


Commentary—New Mexicans ended civil forfeiture this summer, or so they thought. Despite passing landmark legislation outlawing the use of civil forfeiture statewide, cities across the state are ignoring the law and continue to seize and keep individual's property without convicting them of a crime. Now, a lawsuit filed today by a bipartisan pair of New Mexico State Senators seeks to shut down the city’s illegal civil forfeiture program once and for all.


Syrian Refugees Need America To Live Up To Its Promise

Nov 17, 2015
Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales

Commentary:  Here in Santa Fe, a city of immigrants, in New Mexico, a state of immigrants, and in America, a nation of immigrants, all of whom came here originally seeking refuge and liberty, it has been heartbreaking to watch governor after governor refuse to come to the aid of a world in cris

Udall: Let's Take A Balanced Approach On Syrian Refugees

Nov 17, 2015
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

  Commentary:  U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement on the U.S. policy toward refugees fleeing violence in Syria:

Gila Diversion Opponents: Don't Get Mad, Get Organized

Nov 17, 2015

  Commentary:  On a recent crisp, chilly night, several cars slowly toured Doña Ana Road in Deming, riding the brakes while looking for a particular ranch house where a small party was underway. Ultimately the party's host had to walk out to the road and wrangle his visitors in through the appropriate gate. In the backyard, food was cooking on two grills under a sky full of stars.

Heinrich Statement on Refugees Fleeing ISIL

Nov 17, 2015
US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

 Commentary:  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on Syrian refugees fleeing the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL):

Rodríguez: Texas Should Continue To Accept Refugees

Nov 17, 2015


  Commentary:  Today, I was honored to welcome 351 new U.S. citizens, representing 32 countries, at a naturalization ceremony at the El Paso Civic Center.

They came from all over the world, including from countries that are experiencing devastating conflict, such as Iraq and Ukraine. I cannot imagine not welcoming them.

Yet today, our governor said that Texas will no longer accept refugees from Syria. Not accepting Syrian refugees will not make Texans any safer, and betrays the values of liberty we offer the world as an example.

Final Value Study Confirms Gila Diversion Billion Dollar Boondoggle

Nov 15, 2015

  Commentary:  The Bureau of Reclamation released its final Value Planning Study that provides preliminary cost estimates of alternatives for a Gila River diversion project. The final report confirmed estimates that the Gila River diversion project is likely to cost $1B or more when including costs for operations and maintenance over the life of the project.

Albuquerque’s Poet Laureate Opposes Gila Diversion

Nov 15, 2015

Commentary:  Albuquerque’s Inaugural Poet Laureate (2012-2014), Hakim Bellamy, released his latest song, Everywhere is a Gila, to draw attention the looming deadline for Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to sign an agreement with New Mexico that would allow a billion-dollar diversion of the Gila River to go forward.  The song, accompanied by aerial and ground shots of America’s first wilderness area and the adjacent area slated for diversion, encourages listeners to take action by writing to Jewell in opposition to the project.


Texas Democrats Applaud Supreme Court Review Of State's Abortion Law

Nov 15, 2015

  Commentary:  Below is a statement issued by the following members of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus: Chairman José Rodríguez, Vice Chairman Sen. Rodney Ellis, Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Sen. José Menendez, Sen. Kirk Watson, and Sen. John Whitmire regarding SCOTUS' decision to grant certiorari on the case challenging the constitutionality of House Bill 2:

Goodman: Avoidable Jail Beatings Are Wrong And Costly

Nov 15, 2015

Commentary:  This is a tough column to write, and maybe to read.

Sex offenders have not only violated the law, but have sometimes done things most of us find unimaginable. Messing sexually with children is unimaginable to me. 

But people who commit such crimes do not give up their humanity, or their entitlement to the protection of our laws. Unfortunately, it may take fresh lawsuits and more huge jury verdicts to get that point through the skulls of the folks who run the Dona Ana County Detention Center.

Texas Vets Gather At State Capitol To Push For Medical Marijuana Law

Nov 11, 2015

  Commentary:  Texas veterans and their supporters gathered in front of the Vietnam Veterans Monument at the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday, Veterans Day, to announce the launch of a campaign advocating for comprehensive medical marijuana legislation.

Neighbors Play Together on Halloween

Nov 10, 2015

  Commentary:  Halloween was a festive evening in Deming, with autumn smells riding a current of cool air yet still warm enough that one did not need to cover a costume with a jacket.


Chamber Looks Forward to Working With New Council

Nov 10, 2015
Bill Allen-Greater Las Cruces Chamber Of Commerce

  Commentary:  While we have already thanked all of the candidates that ran for the various open spots on the Las Cruces City Council, we would like to do so one more time.  Win or lose, the time and effort - not to mention the expense - needed to stand up in front of our community and articulate positions on subjects, should be applauded!  Thank you for your willingness to get involved.

We wish to congratulate the winners - Mayor Ken Miyagashima, District 1 Councilor Kasandra Gandara, District 2 Councilor Greg Smith and District 4 Councilor Jack Eakman.  

Dr. Pat Hynes: Anticipation

Nov 10, 2015

  I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. I can tell already people are anticipating the season. Fred Rodgers, said anticipation is the pleasure of enjoying the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending. I am lucky to share my anticipation of a pre-holiday season event with you. The story includes NMSU students who are exhausted right now because it is exam time. Yet, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the holidays.

  Commentary:  Statement by Sean Foran, State Director at NMPIRG, on Volkswagen’s offer of $1,000 in gift cards to customers affected by its emission scandal.

“Seven weeks after news of Volkswagen’s emission scandal broke, the automaker is offering $1,000 in gift cards and vouchers to owners of affected diesel cars.  

“Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America said they, ‘are providing this Goodwill Package as a first step towards regaining [their] customers’ trust.’

Goodman: Lessons From The Las Cruces Election

Nov 8, 2015

 Commentary:  Las Cruces voters got it right this week. Kudos to candidates, canvassers, and voters – on both sides. Special congratulations to Mayor Ken Miyagashima for a resounding victory. 

Pearce Blasts President's Rejection Of Keystone Pipeline

Nov 6, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Commentary:  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following the President’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline:

Pearce Votes Against Highway Funding Bill

Nov 5, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Commentary:  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce issued this statement following his NO vote on the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 22), which passed the House today:


Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Commentary:  Following a press conference call announcing his bill to reform the nation’s antiquated 1872 mining law, U.S. Senator Tom Udall spoke on the Senate floor and called on Congress to act to pass his legislation to prevent another accident like the Gold King Mine spill in New Mexico and Colorado. Udall introduced the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2015 today along with Sens.