Local Viewpoints

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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.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

  Commentary:  This week, Attorney General Hector Balderas, eleven other attorneys general and the Consumer Protection Commissioner of Hawaii sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary John King urging the federal government to cease recognition of Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting body for post-secondary institutions. ACICS accredits schools like Brown Mackie College, ITT Tech and many other schools that have failed students to an utterly indefensible degree.

John G. Franchini (official photo)

Commentary:  Superintendent of Insurance John G. Franchini has been reappointed for four years by the Insurance Nominating Committee in a unanimous show of approval for the progress that has been made under his leadership.  The Nominating Committee is comprised of nine members - four appointed by the governor of New Mexico, four appointed by the New Mexico Legislature, and a chairperson chosen by the other eight committee members. 

Hunt Companies Welcomes New Executive Vice President

Apr 11, 2016
Daniel Singer

  Commentary: Hunt Companies, Inc. announced today that Daniel Singer has been named Executive Vice President of Hunt Companies.  In this role, Daniel will be located in Hunt’s New York City office and will be responsible for identifying, negotiating, structuring and managing capital market opportunities for Hunt and its affiliates. Daniel will play a critical role in building and coordinating relationships with banking and financing industries to access capital and ensure Hunt is strategically aligned within the industry and with the correct partners.

Bill By El Paso-Area Legislators Leads To Over $170,000 For Texas Veterans

Apr 11, 2016
State Senator José Rodríguez

  Commentary: A bill passed by Representative César Blanco and Senator José Rodríguez has raised more than $170,000 for Texas veterans and their families. 

Local Nonprofit Marks 20 Years of Working for New Mexicans Living in Poverty

Apr 11, 2016
New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty

Commentary:  The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (the Center), a statewide nonprofit organization, is recognizing its 20th year of working with low-income New Mexicans to improve living conditions, increase opportunities, and protect the rights of people living in poverty. The Center first opened its doors in 1996 as a small spinoff group with limited resources. Today, the Center on Law and Poverty is one of the larger law firms in the state and represents groups of poorer New Mexicans in the courts, the state legislature, and executive policy-making arenas.

Senator Howie Morales

  Commentary:  It is no exaggeration to say that the most vulnerable citizens in New Mexico, as in the broader society, are largely invisible and rarely heard.  Among these are the elderly and the ill, children from broken homes in the juvenile detention system, and desperate people struggling with severe mental illness and behavioral problems.  When such individuals are being abused and neglected, we must, as citizens, extend compassion, and as public officials, act swiftly.

  Commentary: If I were a younger me, maybe 16 or 20, I'd be puzzled – and angry.

I'd see a world my elders had badly poisoned and were continuing to poison.

Consider the vast amount of carbon dioxide we've added to the earth's atmosphere; rising and acidified seas; glaciers, sea ice, coral reefs, trees, species, and arable land vanishing with obscene speed; and potable water rapidly disappearing while the world's population surges. Inequality growing, democracy endangered. Probable pandemics.


  Commentary– American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly and Las Cruces Transportation Federation #6341 President Marcos Torres released the following statement:


“It is welcome news that the Las Cruces Public Schools Board has voluntarily withdrawn its motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent a strike by the members of LCTF #6341. In addition to withdrawing its motion, the Las Cruces Public Schools Board has also vacated its temporary restraining order, and the courts have dismissed the lawsuit in its entirety.


NM Education Secretary Hanna Skandera

  Commentary:  The New Mexico Public Education Department (NM PED) recently instituted a major “administrative” change in how Special Education and many other services are delivered to New Mexico students most in need of mental health and other “ancillary” services. 


Cornell: Gila Diversion Is A Flawed Plan

Apr 7, 2016

 Commentary: In a recent radio interview on KRWG, Congressman Steve Pearce spoke in favor of the Gila Diversion, a project aimed at diverting New Mexico’s last free-flowing river.  The Congressman cited a number of reasons why the diversion was a good thing for New Mexico:  water, jobs and low cost.


  Commentary:  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing $335,605 to the University of New Mexico to research challenges associated with protecting the air we breathe from the impacts of climate change. Specifically, the university will study how changes in land-use patterns and transportation systems affect greenhouse gas emissions and community exposure to vehicle pollution.      

$698,000 Grant for Mesilla Water System

Apr 7, 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 North American Development Bank (NADB) has signed a $698,115 grant agreement with Mesilla, N.M., to improve the town's water distribution system and provide new water hookups. The project will increase access to potable water service, improve service reliability and eliminate conditions that negatively impact water quality, helping reduce the risks associated with waterborne diseases.

Enough with the civility already!

Apr 6, 2016

  Have I lost my senses? Not at all. What I refer to here is a bogus "civility," a de-politicizing politeness that obscures the substance of an argument. Policing "tone" or complaining about "political correctness," without honestly engaging in the substance, is a diversionary tactic. It deflects citizens from a substantive debate about our politics - about policies and legislation that affect our lives and the choices available to our children. What could be less civil than this brand of "civility?"


Democrats: New Mexico Behavioral Health Suspension Was "A Manufactured Crisis"

Apr 5, 2016
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Commentary:  U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the following statement after New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas cleared the remaining providers in the Behavioral Health Investigation of fraud:

Congressmen Express Concern Over Charter/Time Warner Cable Merger

Apr 5, 2016
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

  Commentary:  Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Tom Wheeler expressing concern over the proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks by Charter Communications.

New Mexico Democratic Chair Debra Haaland

  Commentary:  After N.M. Attorney General Hector Balderas cleared the final two New Mexico behavioral and mental health providers of allegations brought against them by Governor Susana Martinez, Democratic Party of New Mexico leaders Debra Haaland and Juan Sanchez III slammed Governor Martinez for disrupting behavioral and mental health services to some of New Mexico’s post vulnerable residents in the interest of out-of-state companies.  

Heinrich Announces Proposal to Strengthen Security at U.S. Airports

Apr 5, 2016
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Commentary:  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced a new proposal he’s backing to strengthen U.S. airport security, especially in non-secure “soft” target areas at airports like check-in and baggage claim areas, to the upcoming Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill, which the Senate is expected to begin consideration on this week.

  Commentary: Today, the Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairwoman Debra Haaland, the first Native American woman to lead a statewide party in New Mexico, welcomed the announcement that First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the commencement address at the Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS) on May 26.

 Commentary:  You're on Main Street, facing North, stopped at the light where El Paseo hits Main. Late afternoon, darkening sky. It's been raining all day. Roads are wet and slippery, maybe even getting icy. 

The light turns green and you drive into the intersection, then spot a cop car speeding down El Paseo toward you, bubble-gum machine flashing. Mom shouts “Speed up!” You almost make it. The cop-car crashes into your car's rear. You're injured. 


  Commentary:  This morning, the Albuquerque Journal (and several news stations) printed an intentionally misleading story on AFT’s relationship with Pearson – you can read the story