Local Viewpoints

KRWG welcomes you to join our community discussion.  E-mail your comments to:  feedback @  Comments included here represent the views of the individual writers and do not necessarily represent the views of KRWG or New Mexico State University.

"Energy At The Crossroads" Meeting To Be Held In Las Cruces

Apr 2, 2018
Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

Commentary: Attorney and environmental justice champion Mariel Nanasi’s presentation  “At the Energy Crossroads”  will open the April meeting of Indivisible LAS CRUCES.   Nanasi has served as lead attorney in legal interventions before the Public Regulations Commission and the New Mexico Supreme Court.  The meeting will held Tuesday, April 10 at 11:00 a.m. at Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, Las Cruces.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Has Terrible News for Utah and The Nation

Apr 2, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R)

Commentary: The U.S. Justice Department today announced it was suing the State of California over a state law that aimed to limit the federal government’s ability to dispose of national public land. In filing the lawsuit, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “the Constitution empowers the federal government — not state legislatures — to decide when and how federal lands are sold.”

Sessions is correct: state legislatures do not control national public lands. This legal position now poses a huge problem for land seizure advocates in states like Utah, which has been threatening a lawsuit to force the federal government to dispose of national public lands.

Debating Secrecy For Spaceport America Customers

Apr 1, 2018
Spaceport America

Commentary: Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of moderating the annual Sunshine Week panel on transparency in government, which focused on the Spaceport.

Access to public information is critical to our democracy. That’s what the Legislature said in enacting our Inspection of Public Records Act. That’s what courts consistently say in deciding IPRA cases. I agree.

Spaceport America is a public entity. But it’s success depends on luring customers and tenants. Those companies have trade secrets (protected by law) and other information they prefer competitors not see. 

Commentary: Common Cause New Mexico rolled out results from its annual poll, with some surprises. In addition to the usual campaign finance questions, the telephone poll of 452 registered voters, randomly selected by Research and Polling Inc. for the January survey, asked voters about some other reforms and whether campaign finance would be a voting issue. The poll also asked a question bound to have implications in this year’s election.

Next Governor Must Lead on Climate

Mar 31, 2018
Commissioner Billy Garrett

Commentary: When our new Governor takes office next January, he or she must be prepared to address climate change: the most pressing environmental problem of our time.  Climate change threatens all life in New Mexico as we know it.  In coming decades, the Rio Grande is expected to lose one-third of its water; warmer winters will wipe out our ski industry; and indigenous species—such as the piñon, our state tree—face extinction.  And those are just a few examples of what’s coming.

A Broken Statue: American Liberty and the Assault on Immigrants

Mar 31, 2018

Commentary: Liberty means freedom. Freedom is not about borders, passports, driving licenses, tax stubs and censuses. Freedom is not about race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, or one's economic worth. What is freedom if not the feeling of being free? What is freedom if not the pursuit of life and happiness?

Commentary: One of the enduring debates is how education contributes to worker incomes. There are two views. One is that education creates human capital. The other idea is the education, like the peacock’s tail, is about signally fitness, in this case about fitness for work rather than fitness for the role of a peak hen’s husband.

Reluctant recyclers will slip back into bad, old habits

Mar 28, 2018

Commentary: In 1950, Dick Scudder was working at the Newark Evening News when he was approached by a man who claimed to have invented a process to remove the ink from newspapers, making the paper recyclable.

That original process destroyed too much of the paper, but Scudder kept working on it, first out of his kitchen and later at Syracuse University and the Herty Laboratory in Savannah, Georgia.

By 1961 he was ready to put the process into commercial use, opening the Garden State Paper Company. I got to meet Scudder years later when he was a partner with Dean Singleton in the Media News Group, which owned the Sun-News when I came to work here in 2002.

I mention this today to make the point that the technology to recycle newspapers has been in place for more than 50 years. And yet, we may soon all be throwing our newspapers in the trash again.

And our cereal boxes, hard plastics and a whole lot of other things.

Why you should play hard-to-get with your data

Mar 28, 2018

Commentary: Way back in 1992, one of my college professors told the class about getting a phone call from a political pollster.

That was 12 years before Facebook launched. Cell phones existed, but they were just phones. My large, heavy computer ran on Windows 3.0, and I saved my schoolwork on floppy disks.

“For whom are you collecting this information?” my professor said he asked the pollster, “And what’s my cut?”

The pollster confirmed that he worked for a data collection service, but wondered why my professor should be paid.

Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

Commentary: Joint Economic Committee Democrats released a report today that outlines the need to take action and raise wages for American workers. Most American workers have not benefited from the economic growth of the last several decades—wages for the average worker have barely grown for nearly 40 years, while wages for the highest earners have grown substantially. The GOP tax law fails to address these issues, according to the new report, despite claims from Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration.


Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary: The Federal Commission on School Safety met for the first time today behind closed doors at the White House without students, teachers or parents at the table and away from the public’s scrutiny. The National Education Association, which represents 3 million educators working in America’s public schools and on college campuses, was not invited to attend the meeting.

New Mexico Opposes Trump Administration’s “License to Discriminate” in Health Care

Mar 27, 2018
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Commentary: Attorney General Hector Balderas, part of a coalition of 19 Attorneys General, filed comments opposing the Trump Department of Health and Human Services’ Proposed Rule, which seeks to dramatically expand the ability of businesses and individuals to refuse to provide necessary health care on the basis of businesses’ or employees’ “religious, moral, ethical, or other beliefs.”

Keeping Hope Alive

Mar 26, 2018
Public Domain Photo (U.S. Government)

Commentary: We live in turbulent times. But as stormy as our days are, they still pale in comparison to what was going on in America fifty years ago in the month of April. Our nation was still reeling from the shocking loss of a youthful President barely five years earlier. That trauma was still hanging in the air. And suddenly, a new trauma was unleashed. In April of 1968, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was similarly struck down. And just months after the loss of Dr.

Thoughts On Trump's Cherished Wall

Mar 26, 2018

Commentary: Having an office in an industrial base five miles north of the Santa Teresa Port of Entry in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, I am constantly asked, “How is Trump’s wall going to affect you?”  I always answer that here in Santa Teresa, we already have a wall, really more like a fence, that stretches from east of El Paso to a point just west of the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. The fence itself has not impeded the area’s attractiveness for manufacturing operations and distribution warehouses. Nor has it had any discernable impact on cross-border trade flows between the U.S.

Commentary:  In light of the current socio/political landscape after the 2016 election, the students at DACC find the need and desire to voice their support for their friends, family, and the community at large who are affected by the DACA program. In conjunction a DACC student art show will exhibit works expressing student concerns and support. George Mendoza, local world-renown artist, will be a guest speaker. He will be honored for his donation of his incredible art works he graciously donated to the DACC Gadsden and Sunland Park campuses.

Commentary: "The March for Our Lives" was almost entirely organized by the leaders of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The event on Saturday, March 24, 2018, drew hundreds of thousands of people to Washington D.C., and it inspired other marches in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Seattle. What a success it was! The message was immutable and on point, and there appeared to be a spiritual passion emanating from the crowd that cannot be easily faked or forgotten.

peter goodman

Commentary: If you think it's wonderful that kids keep getting massacred in schools, raise your hand.

Didn't raise it, did you? That means we've just agreed there's a problem. 

We haven't agreed on what to do.

Commentary: Following walking in the March For Our Lives today, gubernatorial candidate Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) announced her plan to combat gun violence in New Mexico.


Las Cruces March For Our Lives

Mar 24, 2018

Commentary: About 150 demonstrators, including four of us from Truth or Consequences, occupied the four corners of the busy Telshor/Lohman intersection between 10:30 and noon in solidarity with the March for Our Lives talking place in Washington, DC, and more than 800 other locations around the world.

The Las Cruces crowd was laced with Democratic candidates for state and federal office. I spotted Steve Fischmann, Billy Garrett, Bill McCamley, Nathan Small and Xochitl Torres Small.

Heinrich Meets With NM Students Calling For Action On Gun Violence

Mar 23, 2018

  Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) met with high school students from Aztec and Santa Fe who traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the March for Our Lives rally to end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools.

Larry Kudlow may not have much to do

Mar 23, 2018

Commentary: The announcement that President Trump’s pick of Larry Kudlow as his new Assistant for Economic Policy, inspired a torrent of articles critical of Kudlow’s lack of prognosticating prowess.

Kudlow is best known as a TV pundit and host of CNBS’s Kudlow Report. In that role, he had a lot of air time to fill and some of that fill took the form of predictions about the future of the economy. Many of these forecasts in retrospect turned out to be woefully wrong.

New Mexicans Celebrate Rio Grande del Norte National Monument’s Fifth Anniversary

Mar 22, 2018

Commentary: Over the next week, the diverse communities of northern New Mexico will be celebrating the fifth anniversary of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Since its designation on March 25, 2013, the local business community has touted Rio Grande del Norte as instrumental in protecting the land and heritage of surrounding communities, as well as providing a significant boost for tourism and the local economy.  Average annual visitation to Rio Grande del Norte since its designation has been 180,400 people, an increase of 45 percent.


Groups file lawsuit against New Mexico border wall waiver

Mar 22, 2018

Commentary: Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today to challenge its waiver ignoring 25 laws to speed construction of 20 miles of border wall in eastern New Mexico, an area that’s home

CPC Introduces Debt-Free College Act

Mar 22, 2018
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

Commentary: Today, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), joined outside organizations, activists, and other CPC leaders in applauding the introduction of the Debt-Free College Act. The act was cosponsored by 23 Members of the CPC in the House and its Senate companion bill was introduced by Senator Schatz cosponsored by Senators Warren, Gillibrand, Booker, Harris, Merkley, Blumenthal, Baldwin, and Brown.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary: The House approved and the Senate is expected to follow suit on a bipartisan, $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill. The bill contains a nearly $4 billion boost in education funding. The following is a statement from NEA President Lily Eskelsen García: 

Pearce Blasts House Spending Plan

Mar 22, 2018
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

Commentary: Congressman Steve Pearce today released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives voted and passed H.R. 1625, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which authorizes $1.3 trillion in spending: (donald trump)

  Commentary - At a press conference on Thursday with elected officials, small business owners, and community and economic development leaders will denounce the uptick of ICE activity in Albuquerque and will outline steps being taken to protect Albuquerque families, businesses, and economy.

Gun Safety IS The Will Of The People

Mar 20, 2018
Michael Hernandez

Commentary: Attention Randy Lynch: Your March 8 column (Las Cruces Sun News) raises every hackle I have. You criticize, actually you insult the Las Cruces City Councilors, for bringing and voting on resolutions on which they are wasting time and which show they don't understand what their job is. According to you, “Our City Council ignores the concept of representing the will of the people who put them in office...” I wonder.

Fighting to Preserve our Conservation Legacy

Mar 20, 2018

Commentary: In December 2017, President Trump attacked our national monuments, and by extension declared war our natural, cultural, and historic heritage. His announcement triggered the largest reduction of protected lands in American history, which decimated the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah.

Louise Slaughter Was a Champion of the People

Mar 19, 2018

Commentary: Like so many of my fellow Rochesterians, I will remember Louise Slaughter for her commitment to the underdogs, outcasts, disadvantaged, victims and survivors. When so many of her colleagues were casting votes to get rich, gain power, or hide from their mistakes, Slaughter used the best information available to speak on behalf of the voiceless in society. Her votes were for the immigrants, minorities, children, elderly, ill and wounded. When others in politics were looking to use their power for themselves, Slaughter used it to help women, veterans, and the environment.