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.

Pearce: WIPP Ready To Resume Its Critical Mission

Dec 23, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

  Commentary: Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), in Carlsbad, New Mexico, has been cleared to resume operations and begin disposing waste in January 2017. Congressman Pearce issued the following statement in response to the positive news:


Reasons to Love New Rural Transit System

Dec 22, 2016


  Commentary: A recent post on Facebook mentioned loving the concept of our rural transit system, but expressed uncertainty if it was the best thing for our county.


Ridership has increased by 37% in the past few months, and reached 1180 rides for October. The goal is 26,000 rides by the end of the fiscal year. With the upcoming addition of a stop in El Paso, the SCRTD expects even higher ridership.


U.S. Leadership In Trade

Dec 22, 2016

Commentary: International trade is a major part of modern geopolitics. In the post-World War II era, the U.S. used trade as part of its political efforts in order to prevent future wars, and to smooth relations with countries not historically friendly with the U.S. Trade was a tool that our country used to solidify the strong friendship that it enjoys with former U.S. enemies such as Japan and Germany. It also was used with countries in Asia such as Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea as a counterweight against the Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain.

Commentary: Hunting in New Mexico is a heritage privilege to all its legal citizens, and has been for over 100 years. Thousands of New Mexico citizens take part in some form of legal hunting each year. The young, middle aged, and old all participate providing millions of dollars into the New Mexico economy each year. It is a legal and respectable activity for the majority of all New Mexico citizens.

Report Advises Trump on Survival Needs of Jaguars, Nine Other Endangered Species

Dec 21, 2016 (donald trump)

 Commentary: SILVER CITY, N.M.— As President-elect Trump prepares to take over the executive branch, the Washington, D.C.-based Endangered Species Coalition today released a Top 10 list of endangered wildlife in need of strong protective measures.

Hathorne: Time To Repeal Affordable Care Act

Dec 21, 2016

Commentary:  The Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable, for anyone. It never was. Average premiums for Obamacare plans will go up 25 percent this year with some states seeing as much as a 116 percent increase. The Chicago Tribune reports on 12/20/16 that Blue Cross Blue Shield of NM will go up by 65%. Health insurance companies are dropping out of the exchanges left and right leaving 5 states and about a third of all U.S. counties with only one option to buy insurance.

Commentary: WASHINGTON— Conservation and animal-welfare groups today filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S.

  Commentary:  Albuquerque—The City of Albuquerque has held Arlene Harjo’s silver Nissan Versa in an impound lot for the last eight months. (donald trump)

  Commentary: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Today, Dec. 20th, beginning at 6:30 p.m., immigrant youth, families and community members and allies will host a “community gathering” at  First Presbyterian Church located on 215 Locust St. NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87102,  to organize with the immigrant community to create sanctuary spaces and deportation defense teams ahead of a Trump administration.

Commentary:  The Federal government can’t save our country from the relative decline it is in.  We can no longer consume 25 percent of the world’s resources when we make up 5 percent of the world’s population.  We can no longer push other countries around and do whatever we want to wherever we want to.  This decline is inevitable.  It happens to all empires.  It occurs because other countries are becoming more powerful economically and militarily.  Think China, India, Brazil, Indonesia.

Report: NM’s TANF Program in Need of More Comprehensive Approach

Dec 19, 2016

Commentary: New Mexico’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program—what was formerly known as ‘welfare’—could do a much better job of helping families find educational pathways out of poverty. No TANF money is spent on education and training services that help parents gain credentials and secure family-sustaining employment. And while a significant percentage of TANF funding is used to pay for services like child care assistance and NM Pre-K, too few families with young children who receive TANF benefits are able to take advantage of these programs. 

Commentary: As 2017 draws near and the legislature convenes, we have an opportunity to build a strong more robust New Mexico.  If we want a more competitive New Mexico with strong business and a capable workforce, we must begin by investing in children and education in a strategic and thoughtful way.  Let’s do something unique and out of the box.  Let’s invest in our people – and in the systems that develop our people.

Here are six ideas that will transform our state:

  Commentary: Health Action New Mexico is applauding the Obama administration’s action today to finalize the Stream Protection Rule.  Since 2009, the Department of Interior has been working to revise inadequate regulations developed in the 1980’s that govern impacts to waterways from coal mining.

Draft Recovery Plan Released for the Elusive, Endangered Jaguar

Dec 19, 2016
Photo courtesy Flickr Commons/Eric Kilby

  Commentary: Nearly two decades after the native jaguar was granted full protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S.

Las Cruces-Area County Land Use Plan: "Yep, Democracy"

Dec 18, 2016

Commentary: I rush from the County Commission UDC meeting to take my 86-year-old friend to the doctor. 

My friend was an NMSU professor here for thirty years. In 1965, he briefly made Cruces famous, when he and some other locals made a low-budget feature film, in days when only Hollywood made features. AP ran a national story on him. Now he shuffles into the doctor's office, unknown.

​Skandera: Wrong Choice for New Mexico, ​Wrong for the Country

Dec 17, 2016
NM Education Secretary Hanna Skandera

  Commentary: The Democratic Party of New Mexico voiced concern over news that Hanna Skandera, Governor Martinez's Public Education Department (PED) Secretary, is being considered for a post in th

pork chop pass / photo from nm land office

Commentary: Under the direction of New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, the State Land Office is implementing a policy to identify significant cultural properties and archaeological sites on State Trust Lands before approving leases, rights-of-way, access permits, and other projects, in an effort to mitigate damage and destruction to the property. 

It is estimated that 250,000 archaeological sites exist on State Trust Lands, although less than 5,000 sites have been identified, documented and registered to date. 

Can Cooperation Happen in 2017?

Dec 16, 2016

Commentary: A political earthquake happened in November. While most of the nation went right (Republicans control 69 of the nation’s 99 legislative bodies), New Mexico’s House which had been under Republican control for the first time since the 1950s, flipped back to Democrat control.

While Democrats lost liberal Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, the new legislative leadership is if anything more liberal than past leaders. With Republican Susana Martinez in the Governor’s mansion for two more years, compromise would seem hard to come by.

Richard Kadzis

Commentary: We lost a lot of great talent this year.

Maybe it’s just me, but looking back over the course of 2016, it seems a higher-than-average number of rock ‘n’ roll stars left the planet.

Like Elvis or Buddy Holly, some of them will grow larger in death, which begs the question: Is rock ‘n’ roll dead, or just old?

That’s what a recent New York Times headline wondered.

former ​New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn


 Commentary: On Wednesday, dozens of community groups and local elected officials held a pro-sanctuary rally in front of City Hall to support immigrant families and Santa Fe's "sanctuary" status in the wake of the Trump election.  Groups also rallied to support a proposed resolution that would reaffirm and strengthen Santa Fe's immigrant policies.  

Commentary: The U.S. economy has recently been in the midst of the slowest growth recovery since World War II. That slow growth has coincided with a steady decline in economic freedom (freedom from government meddling in the economy), as taxes, spending, and regulation have all been on the rise. In fact, a recent report ranked the U.S. 16th in the world for economic freedom, down from 3rd in 2000.

Pearce Praises Nomination of Zinke For Secretary Of The Interior

Dec 15, 2016

Commentary:  Today, President-elect Trump formally nominated Representative Ryan Zinke to serve as the Secretary of the Interior. Congressman Pearce welcomed the announcement issuing the following statement in response to the news: 

Research Finds Inadequate Head Start Funding Forces Trade-Offs for New Mexico Children, Families

Dec 14, 2016

Commentary: Head Start, a federal program created in 1965 that helps children and families overcome the disadvantages of poverty, varies dramatically from state to state in funding, classroom hours, quality, and percentage of low-income children served, according to the State(s) of Head Start report released today by the National Institute for Early Educ

Pearce: Perry Brings Experience And Knowledge To Department Of Energy

Dec 14, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary:  Today, Congressman Pearce responded to former Texas Governor Rick Perry being nominated to serve as President-elect Trump’s Secretary of Energy.

Office of US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.),and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced that they are calling on President-elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to ensure payment of the $5.3 million in fines and penalties owed by DeVos’ All Children Matter Political Action Committee (PAC) for campaign finance violations dating back to 2008.

Social Security Reform Act Out of Step with Voters

Dec 13, 2016

  Commentary: Representative Sam Johnson (R-Texas), chair of the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, has put forward a bill with a set of reforms to Social Security that the Social Security actuaries say will cover the program’s long term shortfall. However, while there is some overlap, the mix of reforms it proposes is at odds with the mix proposed by a representative sample of voters in a recent in-depth survey conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation (PPC).

Congressional Progressive Caucus: Tillerson Could Jeopardize American Diplomacy

Dec 13, 2016
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

Commentary: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statements today after President-elect Trump nominated Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobil, as Secretary of State. (donald trump)

Commentary: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statements after House Republicans introduced legislation that would slash Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age.

Commentary: The Department of Finance and Administration (“DFA”) wants our legislators to do something really dumb this session. 

We depend on courts for justice. Our state constitution makes the judiciary one of three coequal branches of government.