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.

  Commentary: There is no more avoiding it. Thanksgiving is in the past and even the leftovers are gone. The stores brook no complaints: it is retail's high season, Christmas songs and baubles are up, and at my wife's insistence a dead pine tree will soon occupy its designated space in our home where the fire hazard will be adorned with decorative glass balls.


Stephanie Ly-AFT NM President / aft photo

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

“The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) annual Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report was released today and describes the performance of 15-year-old students across a variety of countries.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

  Commentary: Earlier today the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the latest results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a test of reading, mathematics, and science given every three years to fifteen-year-olds in more than sixty countries. This year’s results showed that mathematics literacy scores for U.S. students declined, whereas science and reading literacy scores were not measurably different from previous years. 

Below is a statement from NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.


Congressional Progressive Caucus: Carson is Unfit to Lead HUD

Dec 5, 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 statement today after President-elect Trump nominated Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Connelly: A Different Opinion On Protecting Wolves

Dec 5, 2016

Commentary:  I’m writing in response to the latest, "oh poor wolf” commentary. Usually you publish verbatim a comment by the Center for Biological Diversity. This commentary, by David Forjan, I suppose is meant to elicit sympathy from city dwelling animal lovers, but it would be nice if they had some facts straight.

Goodman: The Long Path Toward Justice

Dec 4, 2016

Commentary: Justice appears to have been done. Finally.

As most readers know, David Gutierrez has been our County Treasurer for nearly eight years. In 2014, he requested to ride along with a female employee (whom he'd sexually harassed before, I've heard) to the bank, then had her drive back by an odd route and ultimately offered her money for a couple of hours in a motel room. He then tried to convince his deputy to delay reporting this misconduct so that he could “smooth things over” with the victim.

Commentary: Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and CPC First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statements after President-elect Trump nominated Steven Mnuchin as Secretary of the Department of the Treasury.

O'Connell: Trump Appointees are Scary

Dec 1, 2016 (donald trump)

Commentary:  With his recently announced appointees to key Cabinet and White House positions, President Elect Trump is showing his true colors. They are either loyalists or his billionaire buddies. Where is someone representing the blue collar white workers that put him in office?

God Loves Families...And Not Just Human Families

Dec 1, 2016

Commentary: God loves Wolf families too.  Recently a Mexican Gray Wolf was taken from the wild, taken from his family.  From PUBLIC lands no less.  Because of people who don't want to co-exist with Wolves.

Think how it feels.  Imagine being taken from your family.  Like being thrown in jail.  Or like a Dog abandoned at a shelter.  Or like an infant left in a hot car.  Imagine the feeling of separation.  Of loss.  Despair.  Hopelessness.  And all that mattered is gone.  Everything that mattered - is gone.

Commentary:  On Sunday, December 4, 2016, at 4:30pm, Las Crucens will gather at Albert Johnson Park in front of the Branigan Library in prayer and solidarity with Standing Rock.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle, has called upon each of us to join him for an Interfaith Day of Prayer on December 4.  For those of us unable to join him in person in North Dakota, we will gather right here in Las Cruces in solidarity with indigenous peoples and mutual love for the water.

Heinrich: Declassify Information Regarding Russia And U.S. Election

Dec 1, 2016

  Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined several of his colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee in sending a letter to President Obama urging him to declassify information relating to the Russian government and the U.S. election.

“We believe there is additional information concerning the Russian Government and the U.S. election that should be declassified and released to the public,” wrote Senator Heinrich and his colleagues in their letter.

Donald Trump vs. public schools: Betsy DeVos is a radical choice

Dec 1, 2016 (donald trump)

  Commentary: Our public schools are the means by which the United States fulfills a collective promise: to take and teach every child seeking an education. While private, religious and charter schools have a place in the educational landscape, this most democratic of promises is unique to public schools. Obviously, some public schools need improvement. But the vast majority remain the places where we prepare the nation’s young people — rich, poor, native- and foreign-born, and of all abilities — to contribute.

Pearce: American Energy Production Driving Global Market

Nov 30, 2016
Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary: Today, the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached a deal to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day. Congressman Pearce issued the following statement in response to the beneficial news for American energy producers: (donald trump)

Commentary: Can anyone make sense out of the 2016 elections and resulting mess on the U.S. domestic side before inauguration day, 2017?  I try.

There is so much crud out there. Let’s focus on reality.  The “back and forth’ folderol is no longer funny.  Much of the working class deserted the national Democratic party - which had abandoned them - and turned to Republican promises.  A few thoughts:

Renewable Energy Leasing Rule Gives Long Overdue Certainty to Important N.M. Industry

Nov 30, 2016

Commentary:  Last week the Bureau of Land Management released a solar and wind energy leasing rule to codify policies for leasing public lands for the development of renewable energy. This is a development that anyone who is interested in building a renewable energy future should be cheering. 

The BLM’s new rule will provide a predictable process for the development of renewable energy on public lands, identify areas where development should occur and help expedite that development to the benefit of the economy, environment and local communities.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Applauds Protesters in Fight for $15 Movement

Nov 30, 2016

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 the Fight for $15 movement organized a “Day of Disruption” of hundreds of protests and strikes across the country.

Congressional Progressive Caucus: Price Nomination Puts Medicare at Risk

Nov 30, 2016

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 Rep. Tom Price (R-MI) for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Cuba, Castro, Hemingway and the American Dream

Nov 29, 2016
Richard Kadzis

Commentary: Without knowing Fidel Castro had just died, I watched the film “Papa” on an airline flight that very same day.

The movie focused on the life and times of Ernest Hemingway, especially the time he spent living in Cuba in the 1950’s.

Papa showed how Hemingway was quietly supporting the arming of the Cuban revolution that would eventually topple the repressive regime of Juan Batista, and how he barely escaped arms smuggling charges and the wrath of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

Hoover was hell-bent on stopping Castro and the movement he spearheaded.

Goodman: Eyes On The Future For New Mexico

Nov 27, 2016
Merrie Lee Soules

Commentary:  I had lunch with Merrie Lee Soules recently.

She wasn't wallowing in whatever pain she felt over losing a hard-fought Congressional Race to the oil-and-gas funded incumbent. 

Rep. Beto O'Rourke: I Am Supporting Tim Ryan for Minority Leader

Nov 26, 2016

 Commentary: I am supporting Tim Ryan for minority leader. The best way forward for the Democratic Caucus is to ensure that we are capitalizing on the intellect, passion, talent and experience of every single member. I know that Tim Ryan will listen to and take from all members from every part of the country, to ensure that we incorporate their unique voices, and those of their constituents, as we chart the course ahead. Not only will this help us win more elections, but it will ensure that we better reflect and represent the great country we serve.

Democrats: Governor Martinez's Line on Permanent Fund Shortsighted

Nov 24, 2016

Commentary: The Democratic Party of New Mexico slammed Governor Martinez after she ruled out using the permanent fund to invest in New Mexico's economy. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Removes Another Mexican Gray Wolf From Wild

Nov 23, 2016

  Commentary: Shrouded in secrecy in mid-November, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service captured alive and removed another Mexican gray wolf from the wild in response to the killing of cattle on national forest and state lands in east-central Arizona.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

  Commentary: The Trump administration announced today its plan to nominate Betsy DeVos, best known for her anti-public education campaigns, for the position of Secretary of Education. 

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Lily Eskelsen García:

Our public lands must reflect the diversity of our people

Nov 22, 2016

Commentary: My father and mother raised my four siblings and me to appreciate the beauty of our environment by hiking, mountain climbing, and visiting parks and other natural sites. At the time I didn’t think much about it but when I reflect back on those outings I realize that there weren’t that many people who looked like us visiting or working in the parks. One of the reasons was that the Hispanic population in Oregon was pretty small back then, but another reason was likely that Hispanics didn’t feel the same connection to our public lands that my family did.

New Mexico Democrats Call For Justice For Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Nov 22, 2016
New Mexico Democratic Chair Debra Haaland

  Commentary:  The Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) took a stand to support the efforts of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protect their water resources and sacred sites and to ensure tribal consultation is a priority. At a meeting in late October, the Democratic Party of New Mexico’s State Central Committee unanimously voted to send a letter of commitment to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman, Dave Archambault. 

How Will Trump Plans Affect Las Cruces And Southern New Mexico?

Nov 22, 2016 (donald trump)

Commentary: If you have read my column regularly, you know it’s focused on science and technology. Most of the people I spend my days with are involved in federally funded programs that require some degree of technical, scientific and administrative know-how.

While I work in technical fields, I still think most of us can read a plan and go a couple of levels deep to gain understanding. See if you can give the president-elect the benefit of the doubt.

Goodman: Being Grateful Can Change The World

Nov 20, 2016

Commentary: What I think changes the world, for each of us, is being grateful.

We are so often not. We are so often focused on what we've lost, or think we've lost; or what others have that we suppose might make us happier; or on people we suppose to be enemies. There is a lot of pain to be had, in a huge, indifferent universe that barely notices us, with time and technology speeding far beyond what we can comprehend. We are insignificant creatures clinging briefly to this planet.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

  National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García released the following statement on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to serve as attorney general in the presidential administration of Donald Trump:

Congressional Progressive Caucus Condemns Trump’s Cabinet of Intolerance

Nov 20, 2016

Commentary: The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and CPC First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statement today after President-elect Trump announced Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) as top-level officials in his administration.

Office of the Governor

Commentary: Yesterday, Governor Susana Martinez made clear that health coverage gains under the Affordable Care Act must be protected. According to the Associated Press, the Governor “has offered assurances that people won't be left without health insurance as President-elect Donald