Local Viewpoints

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

Courtesy: NMFO

  Commentary: Sportsmen, Native Americans, business leaders, veterans, civic groups, current and former local elected officials, archaeologists, historians, and conservation organizations applauded the re-introduction of the “Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act” (S.

Udall, Heinrich Introduce Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act

Jun 10, 2016

  Commentary:  WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich introduced legislation to preserve wilderness within the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument (OMDP). The Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks Conservation Act provides permanent protection for some of Southern New Mexico's most scenic landscapes and will safeguard OMDP's sensitive cultural, historical and natural treasures for generations to come.

 Commentary:  Today at the White House, Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz and Education Secretary John King will host 15 higher education public and private institutions from across the country who are standing with the Obama Administration as founding partners in launching the Fair Chance Higher Education Pledge.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

 Commentary: I’m Lily Eskelsen García, a former lunch lady who taught wonderful kids in Utah’s public schools and in a homeless shelter. I am proud to be here today as the president of the National Education Association, representing three million of the hardest working educators in every state. I come today to say a few words about public education in our country, and more specifically to focus for a few minutes on student opportunity and success.

  Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall and Senate Democrats announced a new legislative package and campaign to reform government to ensure it works for all Americans, not just special interests and a few at the top. The package includes Udall's constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and his legislation to overhaul the dysfunctional Federal Election Commission (FEC). Udall will be the lead cosponsor of the legislation, which will be formally introduced next week. 

  Commentary: Today, CVNM Verde Voters Fund, a political action committee of Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM), released the following statement in response to Cynthia Hall’s successful campaign to represent New Mexicans in Public Regulation Commission (PRC) District 1. CVNM Verde Voters Fund supported Hall with more than $50,000 spent in television, digital and radio advertising in PRC District 1, which includes most of Albuquerque.

Nachison: Change Comes Locally, Ideas Differ

Jun 8, 2016

 Commentary:  I want to thank the County Election staff for running a smooth process including some fiercely contested offices on June 7.  From six convenience centers for early voting to 60 on primary day, county staff and volunteers were tested to the limit.  As a poll watcher during both early voting and on Tuesday 6/7 things were smooth with only minor glitches - and I understand some lines.  Thanks to everyone who participated in the hard work part of voting - candidates and staff, volunteers and county employees.  

W.H. Brandenburg / New Mexico Department of Fish and Game

Commentary:  SILVER CITY, N.M.— In response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today protected nearly 35 miles of critical habitat for the Zuni bluehead sucker, an 8-inch fish with a torpedo-shaped body, in the headwaters of the Zuni River in northwestern New Mexico.

Goodman: Spring In The Desert

Jun 5, 2016
Bull snake / Photo: Peter Goodman

  Commentary: It's spring in the desert.

We got a quarter-inch of rain Monday, and briefly lost satellite television service just around tip-off in the Golden State Warriors Game 7 NBA win over the OKC Thunder. And we heard plenty of thundering. Saw beautiful lightning, too.

There's a unique scent to the desert receiving the rain it has so longed for. Lightning crackled above the dark peaks. The cat hid under the guestroom bed. The birds, afterwards, seemed a little tipsy.

Retailers Need to Employ More People, Not More Machines

Jun 4, 2016

  Commentary: Friends and family have heard me joke about the local K-Mart store, about the slow lines and small staff, and my occasional urge, while waiting in a long line, to occupy one of the lonely cash registers and check out customers myself as a volunteer.


Investment in Transit Brings Economic Rewards

May 31, 2016
sharon thomas / city of las cruces photo

  Commentary:  A recent study by Public Sector Consultants (PSC) identified eight assets to economic prosperity.  Here is one of them: “multimodal transportation systems that accommodate walkers, bikers, bus/rail passengers, and drivers facilitate economic prosperity and growth.” Many American cities are following that advice and developing multi-modal systems to serve their regions: Salt Lake City, Denver, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, etc.  They are reaping huge economic benefits.

The Gamblers

May 31, 2016

Commentary:  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Got it! Yet, we live in one town, one house, and are supposed to keep faith with one spouse. I have two bird nests at my house. One belongs to a pair of sparrows. They built their outpost on top of one of my back patio Bose outdoor speakers. The other is a pair of Pyrrhuloxia, or desert Cardinals. They built a nest on my large, expensive front entry light fixture. These birds, and all their relatives, have been continuously occupying these two nests for eight years.

Commentary:  I like and respect Bishop Oscar Cantú, but his recent column on end-of-life laws deserves a strong response.

Any religious group may view this issue as it chooses; but none has the right to dictate to me whether I can end my life if an incurable disease is causing me deep pain or discomfort the doctors cannot relieve.

It's my body. You may believe that yours belongs to God. Fine. Mine belongs to me and my wife. If it imprisons me in a world of pain, incurable by medical science, I should be allowed to leave it if I so desire. 


New Mexico Democratic Chair Debra Haaland

  Commentary:  The Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) commented on new developments in Governor Martinez’s administration’s conduct in food assistance application process. According to the Center on Law and Poverty, in the past three years the Human Services Department made falsifying food assistance applications part of the institution's common practice, and used intimidation to ensure employees followed directives from superiors.

Pearce Fights Federal Endangered Species Act Protections That Limit Water Rights

May 27, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2)

  Commentary:  Congressman Steve Pearce, State Representatives Yvette Herrell (R-Otero), James Townsend (R-Chaves, Eddy & Otero), and, Dona Irwin (D-Grant, Hidalgo, and Luna), along with Caren Cowan, Executive Director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, released a joint statement following a press conference the Congressman held discussing the recent actions taken by federal agencies to limit access to water rights:

Hancock Responds To Allegations Regarding Budget Passage

May 27, 2016
Doña Ana County Commissioner Wayne Hancock


 Commentary: My colleague, District 3 Doña Ana County Commissioner Benjamin L. Rawson, has recently taken to Facebook alleging that Doña Ana County Manager Julia T. Brown and I somehow secretly conspired to pass a preliminary budget without public input or institutional transparency. It’s a lie, and he knows it.

Heinrich: Halt French Auction of Sacred Native American Artifacts

May 26, 2016
Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  Commentary:  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is urging the U.S. State Department to take all possible action to help repatriate stolen cultural items to Native American tribes. In the United States, it is illegal to sell ceremonial Native American items. However, in France, where an auction of the items is planned for May 30, 2016, it is not. 

Heinrich Raises Concerns Over Expanding Warrantless Government Surveillance

May 26, 2016


   Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, raised concerns over a provision in the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act that seeks a massive expansion of government surveillance into Americans' email, and possibly their browser history and social media communications through the use of a National Security Letter. Senator Heinrich issued the following statement:

Nachison: It's Time To Vote

May 26, 2016

Commentary:  It's been invigorating and exhausting to watch this primary season. There have been so many words at all levels, forums locally and us’ watching those supported by the sheriff in action.  Primaries are ending. There is noise and violence at national levels; so far, just noise locally.  Voter turnout key for our June primary - and in November.  Will we have the most apathetic voters in our history - at all levels -or not? 

Gov. Scott Walker / twitter.com-@govwalker

  Commentary: Republican Governors Association Vice Chair Governor Scott Walker released the following statement tonight regarding Governor Susana Martinez’s strong conservative record: 


  Commentary:  After Donald Trump criticized Governor Martinez for the poor job she's doing, during his rally in Albuquerque, the Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) released the following statement.

Governor Martinez did not attend the Trump rally in Albuquerque, mentioning she was too busy. Governor Martinez was not too busy however, to attend events stumping for Marco Rubio in Florida, supporting Republicans in Nebraska and Missouri, or to attend a GOP Gala in New York City in the last few months.

New Mexico Begins Healing After Hateful, Divisive Trump Rally

May 25, 2016
southwest organizing project

  Commentary:  Over the last year we’ve all heard Donald Trump’s hateful, divisive and often violent speech aimed at much more than half of the population as he campaigns to be president. We’ve also seen a rise in racism, xenophobia and misogyny from a small but significant segment of Donald Trump supporters, in what many have called a resurgence of white nationalism.

Last week Donald Trump announced that he would bring his violent hate speech to New Mexico, a state with the largest per capita concentration of Chicano, Latino, Immigrant, and Native people in the country.

Why We Should Discuss Religion and Politics (and How)

May 24, 2016

  Commentary: The presidential candidates have located New Mexico on their campaign maps. Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders led the way with Bill Clinton (on behalf of Hillary Clinton) and Republican Donald Trump close behind. We are now in the season where more people are paying attention to the presidential campaigns. This year in particular, that must feel like walking in towards the end of a horror movie.

facebook.com (donald trump)

Commentary:  At a press conference in Albuquerque Civic Plaza today, Democrats addressed Donald Trump’s planned rally in Albuquerque—the message was loud and clear Trump’s racist rhetoric and divisive policies are not welcome in New Mexico. Speakers at the press conference outlined the many reasons why Trump’s rhetoric is out of step with New Mexico values.

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, announced last week that he would hold a rally in Albuquerque. 

Legal Protest Challenges Fossil Fuels Auction on 13,800 Acres in New Mexico

May 23, 2016

 Commentary: Conservation groups filed a formal administrative protest late Friday against a Bureau of Land Management plan to auction off more than 13,800 acres (21 square miles) of publicly owned fossil fuels near Carlsbad in southeast New Mexico.

James Dickens via lc-poa.com

 Commentary: In 2012, Democrat Mark D'Antonio beat District Attorney Amy Orlando, Susana Martinez's protegé. 

Martinez/Orlando mandated a scorched-earth policy: get rid of paperwork that might help D'Antonio and his people get oriented. D'Antonio invited everyone to reapply and hired all but one of those who did so; but Martinez people viewed staying as “disloyal.” Most top staff left. 

Sanders Campaign: Bernie Is Best To Take On Trump

May 21, 2016

  Commentary:  SANTA FE, N.M. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday told a community college rally that he is much more likely than Hillary Clinton to defeat Republican White House hopeful Donald Trump.

“Hillary Clinton is not the Democratic candidate most likely to defeat Donald Trump. Our campaign is the campaign …,” Sanders said as cheers drowned him out.

Martinez And Republican Governors Slam Plan To Expand Overtime Eligibility

May 20, 2016
Office of the Governor

  Commentary:  In response to this week’s announcement that the Department of Labor published its final rule regarding overtime exemption regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, Republican governors slammed the Obama administration for pushing this job-killing rule that circumvents the states, raises costs, decreases jobs, and hurts small businesses:

facebook.com (donald trump)

  Commentary:  Today, the Democratic Party of New Mexico released the following statement after presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump announced a rally in Albuquerque.

  Commentary:  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) met with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.