KRWG

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.

The Trade Deficit Is A Complex Issue

Sep 24, 2018

Commentary: In economic terms, a country’s balance of trade compares what it exports to the world to what it imports. If a country exports more than it imports, it is said to have a trade surplus. If it imports more than it exports, it has a trade deficit. Such is the case in the U.S., which has not had a trade surplus since 1975, when it exported $12.4 million more than it imported. During the 1980s, the U.S. trade deficit ballooned, tapered off somewhat in the early 1990s, and then rapidly rose at the end of that decade. It has been rising ever since, growing to $566 billion in 2017.

Tax Dollars for Tinseltown Toadying in Las Cruces

Sep 24, 2018

Commentary: The City of the Crosses has an inferiority complex.

New Mexico’s generous — and as an economic-development tool, deeply ineffective — freebies for Hollywood are skipping Las Cruces. That’s why the city’s pols, educrats, and media figures have pressed, for years, to build film-and-television-related infrastructure in their region.

Commentary: In a reckless new attack on immigrant families, the Trump administration proposed a federal rule on Saturday that would allow the government to deny green cards and visa renewals to immigrants who have participated in programs that help with basic needs like medical care, food, and housing.  

The rule change primarily impacts lawfully present immigrants applying for green cards and immigrants seeking entry to the U.S. through family-based petitions. It will significantly disrupt access to food, healthcare, and shelter for millions of immigrant families nationwide and hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary:  A second woman, Deborah Ramirez who attended Yale University with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, has accused him of sexual assault. The new allegations arrive the same day his first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, committed to testifying about her own allegations before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. More allegations appear to be imminent. 

Goodman: Thoughts On The Kavanaugh Allegations

Sep 23, 2018
peter goodman

Commentary: Christine Blasey Ford's possible testimony reminds me of Anita Hill, although the allegations and the times are very different. 

When Hill testified that Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, our law firm felt like two worlds. The other lawyers, mostly male, thought Hill's complaints insignificant or invented. The secretaries (mostly female) believed Ms. Hill (as did I), and understood why her testimony mattered. 

Ford says that Brett Kavanaugh (then 17, to her 15) tried to rape her, but was too drunk. His failure doesn't erase his mind-set. Or her trauma.

Rubel: Gary Johnson's Senate Bid Taking After A Hollywood Plotline

Sep 19, 2018


Las Cruces Passes Resolution in Support of Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

Sep 18, 2018

Commentary:  The Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce applauds the Las Cruces City Council for voting 5 to 0 on Monday, passing a resolution urging Congress to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF is our nation’s most important program to conserve irreplaceable lands and improve outdoor recreation opportunities in every state, including New Mexico. However, LWCF will expire on September 30 unless Congress acts to reauthorize the program before then.

Commentary:  Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a highly-respected California psychology professor, publicly shared her story of being physically and sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh:

During a gathering at a student’s house, Kavanaugh pushed her into a bedroom, locked the door, pinned her down — along with an accomplice — attempted to disrobe her, and placed his hand over her mouth. She feared that Kavanaugh was going to ‘inadvertently kill’ her. She managed to escape and fled.

City of Anthony stands behind ‘Medicaid Buy-in’

Sep 17, 2018

Commentary: The City of Anthony’s Board of Trustees, after hearing testimony from NM Together for Healthcare family leaders who live in Anthony, passed a resolution on Monday in favor of continuing the state’s efforts to shape a healthcare solution that would open up Medicaid for any New Mexican to buy into -- regardless of their current Medicaid eligibility.

Look Beyond The Headlines On The Refugee Crisis

Sep 16, 2018
peter goodman

Commentary: We should keep in mind our role in creating the conditions refugees are fleeing. 

For example, U.S. actions in 1954 had lasting impacts on Iran and Guatemala.

Mohammad Mossadegh became Iran's Prime Minister in 1951. A genuine national leader, popular and competent – and intent on land reform and nationalizing the oil industry controlled by Britain. The U.S. (C.I.A.) and Britain engineered a coup in 1954. The Shah of Iran agreed only when the U.S. told him it would go ahead without him. Many Iranian leaders were executed. U.S. and U.K. support for Shah Reza Pahlavi was a major factor in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Any surprise that (after overthrowing Pahlavi) Iranians held Americans hostage in our embassy for 444 days? And still distrust us? They remember a past we've forgotten.

Lujan Grisham, Morales Release Plan Addressing Infrastructure And Jobs

Sep 13, 2018
Michelle Lujan Grisham

Commentary: This morning, Michelle Lujan Grisham and Howie Morales announced a plan to tackle New Mexico’s infrastructure needs, create jobs, make our roads safer, and build a strong economic backbone for the long term. With clear strategies to leverage state revenues and private investment to deploy strategically to the most important projects, Michelle and Howie continue to demonstrate that they are prepared to tackle the biggest issues facing New Mexico’s communities and economy.

Rubel: Anonymous Op-Ed Weakens Standard Of The New York Times

Sep 12, 2018


Betty Patterson-President, NEA New Mexico

Commentary: “One more time the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) focuses on the wrong supports for students and school personnel.   Perhaps we should be heartened that more teachers have learned how to play the PED’s game and improve their own pay.  We are not, says Betty Patterson, President of the National EducationAssociation – New Mexico.  “Just ‘rewarding’ teachers rated as tops under an evaluation system widely known to still be seriously flawed is counter-productive and fails to adequately support students, teachers, other school personnel.” 

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Commentary:  The University of New Mexico’s policy to assess fees for public records has been determined to be in violation of the State’s Inspection of Public Records laws.

 “The New Mexico Attorney General has sided with the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government in determining that UNM’s proposed fees for the transfer of electronic records is a violation of state law,” Melanie J. Majors, NMFOG executive director, said. “The Inspection of Public Records Act prohibits any fee or charges for electronic copies,” she said. “Electronic data, unlike printed pages, is not stored nor provided to a requestor in ‘pages,’ and therefore a ‘per page’ charge for electronic data is automatically suspect. The actual cost to UNM to provide electronic data to a requestor is $0.” 

Data Centers For Economic Development?

Sep 10, 2018
Dowd Muska

Commentary: Zero.

That’s the number of data centers that have been built in New Mexico since Facebook picked Los Lunas to host “one of the cornerstones of our global infrastructure.”

The tech behemoth made its announcement on September 14, 2016, and it was no surprise that state and local government delivered a dump truck’s worth of “incentives” to the company’s front door. In exchange for a promise of a few dozen permanent jobs, New Mexico’s taxpayers were committed to “$30 billion in industrial revenue bonds that provide a 30-year property tax break, $10 million Local Economic Development Act funding, up to $1.6 million in gross receipts tax reimbursement annually and access to the $3 million Job Incentive Training Program.” (In 2017, Facebook decided to double the size of its facility, and told the Albuquerque Journal that more “than 100 employees could be employed at the two buildings once they are opened.” (Emphasis added.)

Commentary: Commentary: On August 27, the Trump administration announced that it had struck a preliminary agreement with Mexico to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has been in place for 24 years. The original signers of the agreement included Canada, but as the three partners held NAFTA renegotiation talks the U.S. decided to exclusively continue the dialogue with Mexico.

Commentary: In New Mexico, it can be easy to take our public lands and beautiful, unique landscapes for granted. After all, many of us have been hunting, hiking, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors our entire lives. These traditions handed down from generation to generation instilled in us an appreciation for the land and our heritage.

But on a recent trip to Rio Grande del Norte National Monument I was reminded how lucky I am and how much we stand to lose if we don’t speak up for the land we love and use.

  Commentary: On Saturday, hundreds of New Mexicans united at the Rio Grande in a call for action on climate, water, jobs and justice as part of the national People's Climate March. Participants marched to Dolores Huerta Gateway Park for a Climate Action Fair, which featured voter registration, action opportunities and local elected officials and candidates signing on to a Climate Action Platform created by the dozens of community organizations sponsoring the event. Speakers included representatives from the offices of Senators Udall and Heinrich and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham who were joined by Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, City Councilors Pat Davis and Ike Benton in addition to Erin Engelbrecht from the City's Environmental Health Department. Participating organizations, elected officials, candidates and individual participants signed onto a Climate Action Platform.

peter goodman

Commentary: It's Sunday afternoon. Labor Day Weekend. Quiet. I am sitting in Nessa's on Picacho, realizing again that my life is far better than I deserved. And relishing that.

 

It helps to be sitting beside my beloved wife. We have bicycled over here. It helps also to be eating what seems the finest blueberry muffin ever created, drinking cool orange juice from a jar. Gratitude is a quality that rarely crossed my mind in youth, except in wilderness or crossing the country on a motorcycle. Increasingly it is my dominant mood. 

Child Advocates Decry Trump Administration Plan to Incarcerate Children

Sep 7, 2018

Commentary: James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s proposed regulations regarding the Flores Settlement Agreement:

“We are appalled that the Trump Administration has taken another step away from simple human decency by trying to subvert the Flores Settlement Agreement. The number one priority of the Flores agreement is that children not be incarcerated. This foundational principle recognizes that the best way to ensure a child’s well-being is to keep them out of jail. These standards of protection have been in place for decades and there is no reason they should be discarded.

NMSU Board of Regents Chair: We Were Not Given Previous Notice Of Full Scholarship Impact

Sep 7, 2018
Debra Hicks

Commentary: It is unfortunate that the former Chancellor feels compelled to continue his misrepresentation of the facts.  This budget information is all in the public record, both in writing and in video.  At no time during the last two budgets, did the former administration disclose the full financial impact of this scholarship program.  It was not until the week prior to the March 28, 2018 Regents Strategic Investment Summit meeting that a budget line item was disclosed at $2.0M -- far lower than the $5.3M that we are currently estimating.  Since that date, the $2.0M has been consistent

Former NMSU Chancellor Dr. Garrey Carruthers

Commentary: From the email of Former Chancellor Garrey Carruthers, Provost Dan Howard and Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Bernadette Montoya:

Please see the attached which is a clarification and response to concerns that were voiced at the Regents meeting on September 5, 2018.  We thought a clarification was in order because of a number of misstatements and misunderstanding were presented at that meeting:  

Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico

Commentary: Steve Pearce, candidate for Governor, renewed his call for protection of Native American artists and jewelers throughout New Mexico. Recently, Pearce met with Native American artists and jewelers coinciding with the Gallup Inter Tribal Indian Ceremonial and discussed his work on the issue. Pearce has previously taken action to give Native American artists and jewelers long sought after relief in combatting cheap fake products coming into the country and hurting their livelihood.

  Commentary: Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), issued the following statement today opposing the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court:

 

Public Land Access Victory For New Mexico

Sep 4, 2018
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Commentary: Albuquerque, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced a major court victory on behalf of millions of New Mexicans, granting them access to thousands of acres of public lands in Northern New Mexico, near White Peak, much of which had previously been blocked off by a landowner.

Hope In The Darkness On Labor Day

Sep 3, 2018
Randi Weingarten-President-American Federation of Teachers

  Commentary: A growing and enduring middle class, great public schools, a living wage, affordable healthcare and college, a decent retirement, a voice at work and in our democracy, communities that are safe and welcoming—these are American aspirations, and they are what the American labor movement has fought for, for generations. We have fought to ensure these aspirations are attainable for everyone, no matter your ZIP code, race, religion, ethnicity, sex or gender identity.

Straight-party option makes voting easier for New Mexicans

Sep 3, 2018
New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver

Commentary: As your secretary of state, I am formatting the 2018 general election ballot to once again include the option for “straight-party” voting because this option makes voting easier and increases ballot access.

Commentary: On August 30, Unite NM filed a lawsuit with the New Mexico Supreme Court asking the court to prohibit the SOS from unilaterally re-implementing straight party voting. The case is S-1-SC-37227.

Restore The Straight Party Ticket Option For Voters

Sep 3, 2018

Commentary: Despite the handwringing by the Sun-News and the Republican Party, voting a a straight ticket is a useful electoral strategy for many voters and better than their not voting at all.

Some of us may have the time and inclination to study each race carefully; a large percentage of the electorate do not.  Should those voters stay home rather than have a role in choosing our future leaders?

Rubel: Courts Upholding Free Speech When Local Laws Create Restrictions

Sep 2, 2018

Commentary: When I first moved to Las Cruces in 2002, we had a program where we hired mostly homeless people to sell single copies of newspapers to drivers stopped at some of the busiest intersections in town.

It seemed to work pretty well. Some of the vendors worked the same location every day for years, and became something of a local institution. A few readers told us they would rather get their newspaper every morning from their favorite vendor than have us deliver it to their house.

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