Local Viewpoints

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Citizens Make the Justice System Work by Serving as Jurors

Apr 27, 2016
NM Supreme Court Justice Charles Daniels

 Commentary: As we celebrate national Law Day on May 1 and Juror Appreciation Week in New Mexico, I would like to recognize the vital role each citizen plays in preserving the rule of law by serving on juries in our state courts.

New Mexico courts each year summon about 10 percent of the state’s adult population to participate in jury service. Along with the ballot box, the jury box is one of the two most direct forms of citizen participation in our system of self-government.

  Commentary:  As voter turnout continues to break records across the nation, New Mexico election officials are preparing for the state’s June 7th primary election with a focus on accurate and efficient administration. That preparation includes keeping voters informed on how to register to vote, when and where to vote and ensuring that the voting experience is quick, simple and error-free.

Nachison: A divided Jerusalem solves nothing...

Apr 27, 2016

Commentary: Jerusalem’s history is different from currently stated Arab “truth."   Israel accepting two states and a divided Jerusalem when it only hears “...death to Israel…”?   Secretary of State Kerry should focus on higher priority items, e.g, Russia, Syria, Daesh and Iran.


Second Annual Gracias Bus Tour Kicks off Thursday in Las Cruces

Apr 27, 2016
Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Commentary: The second annual Gracias Bus Tour, an event that coincides with the New Mexico Film Festival and the International Worker’s Day celebration, starts in Las Cruces on Thursday, April 28th and concludes in Santa Fe on Sunday May 1st. The tour celebrates the work organized labor has done to improve the lives of New Mexicans and will thank legislators, state officials and members of the federal delegation who have stood with workers.

Senate Democratic Leaders Rebut Regents’ Version of HSC Takeover

Apr 27, 2016
Senator Mary Kay Papen (D)

Commentary:  In their guest column published on April 7, three of UNM Board of Regents, Regents Doughty, Lee and Fortner made a number of inaccurate assertions about the recent reorganization of the UNM Health Sciences Center medical complex (HSC).  We believe readers deserve clarification.

They have repeatedly claimed that they dissolved the HSC Board of Directors—in an extremely abrupt and secretive way—because the HSC has become too independent.  They have also asserted that it is not part of what they describe as “one university”.

Court Settlement Provides Hope for Mexican Gray Wolves

Apr 27, 2016

  Commentary: A coalition of wolf-conservation groups, environmental organizations and a retired federal wolf biologist today announced a court settlement requiring the U.S.

Richard Kadzis

  Commentary:  We’ve become a nation of finger-pointers and scapegoat hunters.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is, sadly, the latest case study.

His purported role in the so-called Deflate Gate affair transcends the sports pages.

With the April 25 Federal Appeals Court ruling reinstating NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s four-game suspension of the future Hall of Famer, Brady is back on the front pages.

  Commentary: The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (NMFOG) and freelance journalist Peter St. Cyr have dismissed their lawsuit against the New Mexico Department of Health after DOH amended its regulations that kept secret the names of licensed medical marijuana producers.

The lawsuit was filed last July in the state district court in Albuquerque, but NMFOG and St. Cyr stayed further action within weeks of the filing after DOH agreed to begin administrative procedures to remove the confidentiality provisions.

Goodman: A Visit To Trinity

Apr 26, 2016
peter goodman

 Commentary: We recently visited the Trinity site for the first time. Site of the first atom-bomb blast, at 5:29:45 a.m., July 16, 1945. It's on White Sands Missile Range.

We saw Jumbo, a thick steel bomb-casing they didn't use; and we saw numerous photographs of the blast, and of soldiers and scientists working and playing here.


  Commentary:  A dozen civics, history and social studies teachers from across the country today sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging it to do its job and hold a hearing and an up-or-down vote President Barack Obama’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court: Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.



  Commentary: The American Federation of Teachers New Mexico released the following statements in response to the recent representational campaign at Highlands University:


Report: 10 Percent of New Mexico Kids Have Had Incarcerated Parent

Apr 25, 2016

Commentary: More than 5 million children in the United States have had a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives, including 52,000 kids in New Mexico—10 percent of New Mexico’s child population—according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

It Wasn't A Curse, It Was Bad Maintenance

Apr 25, 2016

Commentary:  Anyone who has spent time with theatre folk knows that you do not say "Macbeth" in a theatre. Antiquated superstition holds that if one utters the name of Shakespeare's Scottish king, disaster will befall whatever show is in production there.

Conservation Voters New Mexico Announces Endorsements

Apr 21, 2016

 Commentary: Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM), via its coordinated political action committee CVNM Action Fund (CVNMAF), continues its efforts to build a strong political voice for our air, land and water by endorsing candidates who will work for resilient New Mexico families and sustainable communities. CVNMAF has endorsed a slate of eight state House of Representatives and Public Regulation Commission candidates for the June 7, 2016 primary election.

AFT New Mexico Reacts to RAND Corporation Report

Apr 19, 2016

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

“Today, the RAND Corporation released a study on the implementation of new K-12 standards for Mathematics and ELA/Literacy. The study was based on a large and nationally representative body of educators who periodically are surveyed on issues that impact the education profession.


  Commentary: A lawsuit was filed today in Minnesota challenging the constitutionality of the state’s due-process laws for teachers. 

The following can be attributed to National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García. 

“This lawsuit is yet another example of using our court system for political goals. Ensuring that every student gets a good education is a critical goal but one that can’t be solved with stripping our teachers of their rights.

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

  Commentary: The Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), released the following statement in support of the Verizon employees who have been working without a contract since August, and went on strike yesterday:

Udall, Heinrich Call for Swift Action on Border Security Concerns in NM's Bootheel

Apr 14, 2016
U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

  Commentary – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich urged U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to promptly address border security and safety issues in the Bootheel region of Southern New Mexico. In a letter to CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, Udall and Heinrich called for the agency to provide resources and equipment to help local Border Patrol agents more effectively patrol the region's vast rugged terrain. 

Democrats Call On Martinez To Announce Stance On Trump

Apr 13, 2016
Office of the Governor

  Commentary:  As Governor Susana Martinez leaves New Mexico for a Republican Party gala in New York, the Democratic Party of New Mexico calls on her to come clean on whether she will support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. Trump, Cruz, and Kasich will be in attendance at the event tomorrow.                                            

Tax Day 2016: Where Your Tax Dollars Went Last Year

Apr 13, 2016

  Commentary:  Millions of Americans will file their 2015 federal income tax returns this week with absolutely no idea what the government actually does with their tax dollars. And yet, nearly half of all federal revenues come from individual income taxes, which is why the federal budget should reflect Americans' priorities.





Nachison: A Divided Jerusalem Solves Nothing

Apr 13, 2016

Commentary: Arab myth is still accepted by many as Jerusalem’s historic “truth."   Abbas claims he wants peace but encourages terrorism.  Why should Israel accept two states and a split Jerusalem when we hear only “...death to Israel…”.   Secretary of State Kerry ignores that settlement of Israeli-Palestinian issues is lower priority than, e.g, Daesh and Iran; he talks….

Richard Kadzis

Commentary:  I don’t know about you, but the pharmaceutical industry is wearing me out.

The drug company television advertising barrage is endless, like some bitterly contested political campaign.

The mute button on my remote is the only immediate defense against the drum beat: “We might help you, or we might maim and then kill you.”

Never mind, kill the audio, not me.

From my study of daily broadcast trends, the drug ads are most concentrated in the supposedly objective prime-time network news programs – morning or evening.

Town Hall on Standardized Testing focuses on flailing PARCC program

Apr 13, 2016

  Commentary:  Albuquerque students have organized a Town Hall on standardized testing that will be held Wednesday,April 13th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the African American Performing Arts Center, featuring special guests Janelle Astorga, SWOP Intern and co-leader of the Albuquerque High School PARCC walk outs, and 

Pearce Completes World Tour To Honor Veterans

Apr 12, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Commentary:  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, a Vietnam veteran and six-term Member of Congress representing New Mexico’s Second District, is flying back to Washington, D.C. after completing a near world-wide mission to honor veterans.

Advocates applaud designation of monument to women's movement

Apr 12, 2016

  Commentary— New Mexico Voices for Children today cheered President Obama’s designation of the Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, D.C., as the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument. The historic residence was the epicenter of the Suffragist Movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The house, not far from the U.S. Capitol, was home to Suffragist leader Alice Paul and was where the U.S. movement for women’s suffrage gained a foothold in the nation’s capital. For years it served as headquarters for the National Woman’s Party.

  Commentary:  American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly and AFT NM Committee on Political Education Chair Sara Attleson released the following statements: 

“We are proud to endorse these candidates for elected office in 2016.  AFT NM’s Committee on Political Education held a series of interviews and asked candidates to complete questionnaires detailing their positions on public education and labor issues in New Mexico, and each of these candidates share our values,” said Attleson.

AG: Methadone Clinics Should Report to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Apr 12, 2016
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

  Commentary – Attorney General Hector Balderas and 32 other attorneys general sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell urging the federal government to require methadone clinics to register, to query and to fully use Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs. New Mexico prescribers need to know if patients are getting narcotics from other health providers in order to screen out drug seekers and refer them to substance abuse treatment instead of giving them more opioids or benzodiazepines.

New Module To Space Station

Apr 12, 2016

  Commentary:  I have just returned from the launch of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module to the International Space Station. It was the eighth commercial resupply services mission for NASA by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from its launch complex 40 at Kennedy Space Center.

IRS Scams Increasing Across New Mexico as Tax Day Approaches

Apr 11, 2016

 Commentary:  Attorney General Hector Balderas announced today that the Office of the Attorney General is receiving increased reports of IRS impersonation scam calls to New Mexico consumers. In these scams, callers claim to be from the IRS and threaten New Mexicans with legal action unless the consumers pay the alleged back taxes or owed taxes. The scammers then ask the consumer to send money by various means including prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. New Mexicans are also experiencing a variation of this scam that tries to play off the current tax season.

$1.5 Million for Hurricane Dolly Recovery in Ruidoso

Apr 11, 2016
Office of US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

  Commentary:  Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Steve Pearce announced that the Village of Ruidoso is receiving $1,573,571 to replace a bridge severely damaged by flooding from Hurricane Dolly in July and August 2008. The new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding will cover 75 percent of the cost to replace the Close Road bridge, and brings the total amount of federal funding for Hurricane Dolly recovery to $13,533,274.