Local Viewpoints

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  SILVER CITY, N.M.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife today intervened in a lawsuit brought by ranching organizations that are trying to overturn federal protection of habitat for endangered jaguars in New Mexico. The conservation groups are seeking to ensure that the designation of critical habitat for jaguars, on mostly public land in the Peloncillo and San Luis mountains of New Mexico, is maintained.

Goodman: Mulling Over The Iran Nuclear Deal

Aug 16, 2015

  Is the Iran deal good or bad?


As best I can tell it's good, though obviously imperfect.


A friend, an Israeli political scientist, put it well: “I think it's better than any of the alternatives. Sometimes instead of thinking about what's good and what's bad, you have to think about what's bad and what's worst. This was the least bad option in an unappetizing set.”


Others note that we won't really know if it's good or bad for many years.


The New Mexico State University College of Engineering is one of four partner universities in a new National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center to pioneer advances in geotechnical engineering that promise solutions to some of world’s biggest infrastructure development and environmental challenges.

The consortium of university, industry and government partners, led by Arizona State University, has been awarded $18.5 million to establish the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG) to expand the emerging field of biogeotechnical engineering.

Las Cruces Property Owners Asked To Pull Weeds

Aug 12, 2015

Las Cruces property owners and residents are being asked to remove weeds and overgrown vegetation from their property.


Rains in the past few weeks have been a boon for plant life but trouble when it comes to keeping weeds and unwanted foliage from spreading. Las Cruces received 3.33 inches of rain in July and above-average amounts of precipitation in six of the first seven months of 2015.


Conservation Group Calls On Martinez To Examine Envrionmental Policies

Aug 12, 2015

  Santa Fe, NM – Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) is saddened by the devastation that has been caused by the Gold King Mine spill, and stands in solidarity with all communities that have been and will be impacted by this event.

In response to the comments Governor Martinez made today concerning the Gold King Mine spill that has now reached New Mexico's Four Corners region, CVNM Executive Director Demis Foster issued the following statement:

Udall, Heinrich Announce More Than $10 Million In Homeland Security Grants

Aug 10, 2015

Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that the state of New Mexico, along with Doña Ana, Grant, Hidalgo, Luna and Otero counties, will receive more than $10 million combined for border security and emergency preparedness. The funding comes from various U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant programs.

Goodman: A Man Who Made Rainbows

Aug 9, 2015

  There was a man who made rainbows.


His name was Fred Stern. Since 1999, he had lived in Las Cruces.


A lifelong artist in his mid-seventies, Fred was vibrant, imaginative, and energetic – and always excited about some new idea or project.


He made rainbows for political causes and civic events, but mostly he loved making them for children, often kids with serious diseases, and watching their joy.


Hancock: Clean Power Plan Helps To Address Climate Change

Aug 6, 2015
Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

  Climate change, one of the biggest challenges of our time, is our own self-doing and we can no longer wait to undo it. It is undeniable: the carbon pollution we pump into our air causes climate change, posing a severe risk to the health of Americans every day.


  Austin - The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a ruling in Veasey v. Abbott that found that the Texas photo ID requirements to vote in Texas are discriminatory and in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.State Sen. José Rodríguez issued the following statement on the ruling:

Google Announces Plans To Leave NM For Bay Area

Aug 5, 2015

Google’s Titan Aerospace announced yesterday their intention on leaving New Mexico for the economic greener pastures of The Bay Area. The tech giant made the announcement just a year after purchasing the Moriarty based company, which produces solar powered drones.


Transparency, Financial Preparedness Can Help New Mexico Avoid Becoming the Greece of North America

Aug 5, 2015
Paul Gessing, President-Rio Grande Foundation

  Despite (or perhaps because of) the latest bailout, the nation of Greece remains deeply-troubled. The crisis has manifested itself due to Europe’s single currency, the Euro. Greece cannot pay its bills, but because of the Euro, it cannot devalue its currency either. So a series of bailouts and “austerity” measures have been imposed.

Democrats: Google's Plans To Leave New Mexico Highlight A Larger Problem

Aug 5, 2015
New Mexico Democratic Chair Deb Haaland

  Google’s Titan Aerospace announced yesterday (link to story) their intention on leaving New Mexico for the economic greener pastures of The Bay Area.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, introduced a bill today to reauthorize and fund the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program for six years, permanently reauthorize and fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and permanently fund the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.

Pearce Blasts President Obama's Clean Power Plan

Aug 3, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Washington, D.C. – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions from new, existing, modified and reconstructed power plants. Congressman Steve Pearce released the following statement in response to the Administration’s Clean Power Plan:

Udall Votes To Protect Planned Parenthood Funding

Aug 3, 2015
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall voted against an effort to cut off life-saving health care services for women in New Mexico by de-funding Planned Parenthood. He issued the following statement:

"Planned Parenthood provides critical health care and preventive services, such as cancer screenings and tests, for women and men, many of whom do not have access to services elsewhere. I'm not going to allow this life-saving care to be cut off for thousands in New Mexico.

  Last week's column discussed the message sent the County Commission by the jury in Stewart v Dona Aña County. Rejecting testimony from HR Director Debra Weir and former county officials Sue Padilla and John Caldwell, the jury awarded $1.45 million to Stewart, whom Weir fired from her County position. Jurors were so appalled by the county officials' conduct that some hugged Stewart after the trial and thanked her for fighting. Stewart's lawyer stated in closing that Weir had to go.


Pearce: Short Term Highway Patch "Questionable"

Jul 29, 2015
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Surface Transportation Act (H.R. 3236) another short-term extension which also contained unrelated provisions involving the Veterans Choice program. Following his vote against the bundled bill, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released this statement:



A jury has found Oscar Oropeza guilty of criminal sexual penetration in the first degree after a two-day trial led by Chief Deputy Mick Gutierrez and Senior Trial Attorney Rebecca Duffin.


Social Media Safety Tips From The Las Cruces Police Department

Jul 29, 2015

As the use of social media and social networking has grown, those who use such platforms have – knowingly or unknowingly – exposed themselves in ways that may potentially compromise their privacy, safety and security.


Over the years, the Las Cruces Police Department has received reports of stalking, harassment and cyber bullying via various social media sites.


The Las Cruces Police Department offers these tips when utilizing social media platforms:

Udall, Heinrich Call For Hearing On Need To Expand Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

Jul 28, 2015

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that they have asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on their work to amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to expand compensation for victims of radiation exposure in New Mexico as well as several Western states and Guam. Udall, Heinrich and Sens.

The U.S. Department of Education has recently awarded a five-year grant for $1,952,315 to the New Mexico State University TRiO Student Support Services Program. 

NMSU first received funding for this program in 1971. The goals of Student Support Services are to increase the retention and graduation rates of first generation students, low-income students and students with a disability. NMSU TRiO SSS participants receive a variety of academic success and social support services to assist with the transition to the university. The program supports 350 participants every year. 

Additional Sex-Crime Charges Levied Against Jailed Man

Jul 28, 2015
Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department

A Las Cruces man being held at the Doña Ana County Detention Center on charges of criminal sexual penetration of a minor will face additional charges filed this week by Doña Ana County Sheriff’s detectives.

Anthony Bramblett, 39, was arrested June 11 by Las Cruces Police after an investigation found evidence suggesting he sexually abused a female family member, who was in elementary school at the time of the alleged incident. He was charged with two counts of criminal sexual penetration.

Governor Susana Martinez Announces Statewide Vaccination Program

Jul 27, 2015
Office of the Governor

Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced a statewide vaccination program to help make it convenient for parents to get their children immunized before they head back to class. From Aug. 1 to 15, Got Shots? Protect Tots! program will offer clinics throughout the state at convenient hours and at little or no cost. The Governor made the announcement at a public health office in Albuquerque and reminded parents about the importance of vaccinating their children before the new school year.

Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino: We Need Wet Water, Not Paper Water

Jul 27, 2015
Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino

  I’ve been a New Mexico state senator for eleven years.  When I first ran, it was because as a retired social worker my background in health planning, mental health care and children’s services seemed like a way to make a contribution in shaping state policies in those fields.  I quickly realized, however that most of the time I’d be voting on issues far removed from my fields of interest.

Steve Fischmann

  Columnist Walt Rubel recently wrote about missing an important presentation at a legislative committee hearing because it wasn’t listed on the agenda.  He correctly pointed out that similar last minute agenda changes would be illegal for a local city council or county commission.  “Just because state lawmakers wrote the open meetings act doesn’t mean they feel compelled to follow it” he observed.

New Mexico State Auditor Timothy Keller (D)

  ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Today, the Albuquerque Journal covered conspiracy theories from the Republican Party about State Auditor Tim Keller's track record of work for tribes in New Mexico. The Republican Party again attempted to distract the public from the legitimate investigation of Taxation and Revenue Secretary Padilla with misinformation and partisan attacks.

EPA Regional Administrator Tours Mining Areas With New Mexico Officials

Jul 24, 2015
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

(July 24, 2015)  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Ron Curry toured areas of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation where progress in cleaning up legacy contamination from uranium mines is being made. He was joined by Secretary Ryan Flynn of the New Mexico Environment Department and David Martin from the Energy, Mineral, and Natural Resources Department, and representatives from New Mexico congressional offices to discuss coordination of remediation activities using the Tronox settlement monies. About 69 percent of U.S. uranium ore comes from New Mexico. 

Plague Likely Cause Of Death Of Santa Fe County Woman

Jul 24, 2015

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDoH) is investigating a probable case of plague in a 52-year-old woman from Santa Fe County who died of her illness. Confirmatory testing is being conducted at the NMDoH’sScientific Laboratory Division. This would be the first human case of plague in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will take place at the woman’s home to look for ongoing risk to others in the surrounding area.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act, H.R. 3009, by a vote of 241-179.  Following his vote for passage, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released this statement:


Deputies Arrest El Paso Fugitive

Jul 23, 2015
Dona Ana County's Sheriff

An El Paso man wanted on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon was located and arrested Wednesday by Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputies.

   El Paso Police had obtained a warrant for Christopher Lee Millender, 36, and issued a bulletin to surrounding law-enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for him.