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.  Submissions must adhere to these guidelines.

Goodman: Thoughts On Trump's Hurricane Of Controversy

11 hours ago
Peter Goodman

  Commentary: As we age and our cognitive abilities diminish, often it's not the mistakes we make but our overreactions to them that really give us away.

 

Like Donald Trump getting confused about where Alabama was. No big deal. I laughed; but I also wondered if I could still fill in all the state-names in the right spots on the wordless maps Southwest Airlines used to have on napkins. I guessed I could, taking my time; but if someone else couldn't, so what?

 

But the Donald couldn't just laugh and shake his head and correct himself.

What Does The End Of Libor Mean?

Sep 14, 2019

Commentary: Like many, I have a personal interest in the ups and downs of the London Interbank Offer Rate, so called Libor, as my flexible rate mortgage is tied to it. If Libor is up, then so is my rate; if Libor is down, so to does my rate go down.

The problem is that Libor is about to go away. My mortgage, along with $400 trillion worth of other debt pegged to Libor, are about to become orphaned. Affected contracts include derivatives, business loans, and corporate bonds. Much of this Libor-linked debt has inadequate fallback provisions, creating uncertainty. No one knows what the ultimate solution will be.

NMFO

Commentary: The Grant County Commission today passed a resolution to support federal legislation that would protect portions of the Gila and San Francisco Rivers and their tributaries as wild and scenic. The vote comes after a groundswell of support from Tribes, sportsmen, veterans, small business owners, faith and civic organizations, local municipalities and governments, and outdoor recreation and conservation organizations. Local community expressed their appreciation for the commission’s support of this important designation.

Democrats Demand Trump Administration End ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy

Sep 11, 2019

Commentary: U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) joined 23 of his Democratic Senate colleagues in calling on the Trump administration to stop restricting access to the U.S. asylum system by ending its “Remain in Mexico” policy, deceptively named by the Trump administration as the Migrant Protection Protocols. The “Remain in Mexico” policy blocks asylum seekers from being in the U.S. while they wait for their court hearings, forcing them to remain Mexico for extended periods of time, often under dangerous circumstances.

  


Lessons From Andrew Luck

Sep 10, 2019
Andrew Luck / Facebook

Commentary; The National Football League season will soon begin. For many Americans, this event feels like Christmas and Birthday time all rolled into one.

But something has happened to dampen the enthusiasm a bit for even some of the most die-hard fans. NFL star quarterback Andrew Luck shocked the sports world by announcing he’s walking away from football.

At an age when elite athletes are at their prime and winning championships, Mr. Luck is leaving his game. He cited the toll that football has already taken upon his body and mind, and his need to re-center his life in a very different direction.

Grave Concerns About Trump's Trade War And The Overall Economy

Sep 10, 2019
twitter.com/potus

Commentary: Let’s talk honestly about the health of the economy today. Consumer debt is increasing significantly, due primarily to student debt and auto loans—about double of what they were 10 years ago—at $1.5 trillion and $1.1 trillion respectfully. Consumer spending has been key in economic prosperity since the great recession of 2009—but that will slow as these debts slow growth and spending decreases. Housing formation by college graduates with debt is already crippling that market, even with low mortgage interest rates.

Another concern is the ridiculous trade war started by the Trump administration. Rather than working with our allies to change China’s bad behavior, Trump wanted to go it alone—so now we have less leverage and are involved in a tit-for-tat trade war, and no one knows where or when it will end. Who suffers—Midwest farmers who are going bankrupt and consumers who pay taxes on more expensive imported goods and services.

New Mexico Works to Reduce Excess Methane Emissions

Sep 10, 2019
Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

Commentary:  Understanding how interconnected our environment is with human health is vital to ensure that our communities are healthy and vibrant. The State of New Mexico recently held methane stakeholder meetings around the state. I was fortunate to attend the one in Carlsbad. The local stories told spoke to me, not as a health-conscious environmentalist, but as a mother and a proud New Mexican.

I am thrilled that New Mexico is taking its first steps to protect residents from excess methane and volatile organic compounds. With the federal government rolling back safeguards, it is more important than ever that we are protected. Many people may feel like what happens in the rest of the state does not affect us here in Las Cruces, but that isn’t true.

Commentary: The U.S. Bureau of the Census recently released 2018 export data for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), which are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget as being an urbanized area of at least 50,000 people, in which counties and cities are grouped into specific geographical areas for census purposes and to aggregate related statistical data..

Peter Goodman

Commentary: The Doña Ana County Commission needs to schedule a work session with other elected officials – Sheriff, Clerk, Treasurer, and Assessor – concerning a key problem.

A city's comptroller and police chief aren't elected. The U.S. President appoints the FBI Director and U.S. Treasurer, with the Senate's “advice and consent.” If you and I were assigned to create an effective local government, we'd likely not fill so many positions through elections.

The Growth In Uncontested Elections Is Not A Good Sign

Sep 5, 2019
Photo by: Nathan J. Fish

  Commentary: Congratulations to Amy Delaney-Hernandez, incumbent William Bayne Anderson and Kenneth Teague on their election to the Deming Board of Education on Nov. 5.

Projecting them as the winners is no feat of prognostication because they are all running unopposed.

In 2019, the majority of seats on the Deming’s school board are up for election and yet candidates for three out of five positions will simply walk into office unchallenged.

It is not the candidates’ fault, of course, and they deserve thanks for filing their candidacies on Aug. 27. 

 

 


New Mexico Governor: Partner with workforce advocates at every opportunity

Sep 2, 2019
Office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Commentary: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday recognized the working people of New Mexico, celebrating Labor Day at community events with organized labor, including the New Mexico Federation of Labor, and issuing the following statement:

 “On Labor Day, we pause to commemorate and celebrate the men and women who fought to win protections and rights for all workers across this country. New Mexicans across the state are still advocating for their fellow workers, and I am proud to lead a state where we value those contributions and partner with workforce advocates at every opportunity. "We have a tremendous opportunity to rebuild state government’s relationship with both working families and unions, and I am proud of the progress we’ve made so far. My administration has been and will continue to be proactive in working to reach equitable agreements with labor unions, working to provide long-overdue wage increases for working people across industries, working to support parents who are striving to deliver a brighter future for their children.”

  Commentary: Americans want a better future for our families and communities and a better life for ourselves: namely, good jobs, high-quality and affordable healthcare, a secure retirement, affordable college, great public schools, a healthy democracy and justice for all. These are the bedrock values of the American dream, and Labor Day is a time to reflect on our progress toward that future.

Unfortunately, these aspirations are out of reach for too many families. Contrary to the boasting of some, this isn’t the best economy ever—unless you’re rich.

Commentary: The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today issued a statement in the wake of a shooting rampage by a white gunman in his mid-30s, that has thus far claimed five lives and left at least 21 others injured, including three police officers.

 

“Tonight, we are asking for justice for the innocent victims of another brutal mass shooting, this time in Odessa and Midland, Texas just three weeks following the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio,” said Domingo Garcia, National LULAC President, who was born in Midland. “We cannot fully express our sadness and outrage at yet another incidence of violence involving the use of firearms. The investigation is already underway, and we will monitor its findings closely to learn whether this individual had a motive for this mass murder. Our LULAC members in Odessa will be reaching out to the families of the victims and survivors to offer any assistance they can in this difficult and painful time. LULAC once again calls on Governor Abbott to take real action to save lives in Texas,” he added.

 

Saying Goodbye To A Beloved Friend

Sep 1, 2019

Commentary: Bottle-feeding a weeks-old kitten creates a special bond. Your smell and lap and hands are his earliest memories. They are home. 

In July 2007, three related cats, feral, had litters in my backyard in Oakland. We brought one little family inside. Then that mother's sister deposited her five two-week old kittens on the back stoop, for us to raise. Their extreme youth made it tough. 

One was a long-haired Tuxedo with white on his paws. The hair made him seem solid. I called him Bear. 

Commentary: For as long as anyone can remember, New Mexico has sought a stable and dependable source of revenue that is not oil and gas. And for as long as anyone can remember, no such alternative has been found. Indeed, the adoption of fracking has resulted in greater dependence on oil and gas than ever before. For FY19, it is expected that fully 40% of state revenues will come from the energy patch.

Now comes news from Santa Fe that revenues are expected to exceed prior forecasts by more than $333 million. We are rolling in the doe. The boom this time is different. Prior to 2008, Permian oil production was in secular decline, but with the advent of new technology, we have seen a surge, with both more production per well and more wells.

Photo by: Nathan J. Fish

Commentary:  He was serious; it seems he really wanted to buy Greenland. So what?

President Trump wanted at least to propose purchasing the autonomous region from Denmark; and he did not respond well to be being rebuffed publicly by an ally.

Or maybe it was a calculated distraction from Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide, from the trade war with China, the inverted yield curve, or grim news about gun violence or the climate.

Such is the state of Donald Trump punditry and political chatter on social media (99 percent of which is useless): the president’s every move is simultaneously portrayed as calculated genius and fumbling incompetence. 

Yet what about us? Why did Greenland capture our imagination this week?

 

New PED Secretary Personally Knows Power of School Choice

Aug 29, 2019

Commentary: Like all New Mexicans, we at the Rio Grande Foundation want to see an improved K-12 system in place. I have two daughters in traditional public school. While concerned about the quick turnover at the top of the PED, we are optimistic about the hiring of Dr. Ryan Stewart.

Stewart comes to us from the Philadelphia area where he worked with an education reform organization called Partners in School Innovation. According to news reports he is relatively young (38) but has impeccable credentials (degrees from Stanford and Harvard).

The Albuquerque Journal reports that he has a 9 year old son. This is notably mainly because the son attends a “private Quaker school” in Philadelphia. In other words, Stewart and his family are financially in a position to pursue his own form of “school choice.” His “choice” is one that would be beyond the financial capability of most New Mexicans. The Rio Grande Foundation found three different Quaker schools in Philadelphia ranging in annual tuition from $16,000 to $30,000.

Judge Rules Against Santa Fe Restaurant in Wage Case

Aug 29, 2019

Commentary: State District Court Judge Raymond Z. Ortiz ruled against Santa Fe restaurant Maki Yaki and its owners for violating New Mexico's Minimum Wage Act and Santa Fe's Living Wage Ordinance. He ordered the restaurant to pay plaintiffs Verónica Velázquez, Juan Torres, and Ivan Hernández nearly $400,000 in unpaid wages and damages. The plaintiffs were represented by Gabriela Ibañez Guzmán, staff attorney at Somos Un Pueblo Unido's United Worker Center of New Mexico, and Santa Fe attorney Carlos Quiñones.

New Mexico Governor: Trump's Proposed Food Stamp Changes "Cruel And Unnecessary"

Aug 29, 2019
facebook.com (donald trump)

Commentary:  Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) strongly oppose the federal government’s proposed rule changes eliminating Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE) from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). She joins 16 other governors who jointly signed a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“This is a cruel and unnecessary policy change that will hurt many hard-working New Mexican families who are working as hard as they can to put food on the table,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “I strongly oppose this rule change. It is anathema to our duty to provide for vulnerable children, some of whom are being raised in single-parent households, with parents enrolled in college, trying to make better lives for themselves.

Four Corners Power Plant. Photo courtesy of EcoFlight and San Juan Citizens Alliance

 Commentary: Today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler proposed to eliminate direct regulation of methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, from the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards. In New Mexico, this would mean that 4,700 new and existing oil and gas wells would no longer have to reduce their methane emissions, endangering our climate and our families’ health. 

Methane is 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, but it disappears from the atmosphere much faster when emissions are reduced, giving us one of the best chances we have of protecting our children and grandchildren from disastrous climate consequences. 

 


Nielsen: Our Community's Future Depends On Education

Aug 27, 2019

Commentary: I am a retired adult educator and my students were predominantly young adults emerged out of a K-12 system that mostly failed them.  This was in another state, so point being, New Mexico is not the only state struggling to meet our students' needs.

When my husband and I moved here in 2006, we moved to be close to family and the abundance of sunshine that we truly enjoy.  I was aware that the K-12 education system was failing our students both at the local and state level, however, I was retired and enjoying this great community.  Things changed. We became grandparents, and with that, a heightened concern about schools and our local and state K-12 system. We supported a change in administration a few years ago and observed positive changes and climbing graduation numbers. 

Creating A National Recycling Strategy

Aug 26, 2019

Commentary: On June 29, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Haley Stevens of Michigan that was part of a larger bill. The amendment directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use its funding to create a national recycling strategy that will ensure the long-term economic and environmental viability of recycling programs at the local level.

Peter Goodman

Commentary: Greg Ewing's lawyers’ efforts to bury his retirement letter are a sad coda to his failure as Superintendent of Las Cruces Public Schools.

When LCPS hired Ewing, he said all the right things in the right tones.  Almost two years in, warning lights began flashing.  The Sun-News was publishing things he disputed, and he refused to discuss them on my radio show unless I told co-host Walt Rubel (a Sun-News editor) to go fishing that day.  Ewing didn't dare face hard questions from a newspaperman.  

Now Ewing has resigned – but he's still trying to get more of our money. 

Rep. Torres Small Celebrates Faces of the Continental Divide

Aug 23, 2019
Representative Xochitl Torres Small casts her line at Lake Roberts while celebrating Faces of the Continental Divide. Photo by Amanda Wheelock.

Commentary: Earlier this week, Representative Xochitl Torres Small spent a morning fishing at Lake Roberts in the Gila National Forest. Joined by representatives from the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project, Conservation Lands Foundation, NM CAFé, and volunteers and community members from the Silver City area, the Congresswoman was there to celebrate southern New Mexico’s public lands and the communities they sustain.

Sedillo Lopez: We must limit outrageous ICE activities

Aug 23, 2019

Commentary: Consider the following--A family is involved in a car accident.  A man assists, making sure everyone is safe, but when the police arrive, the kind man has disappeared.  Later, the family learns that the man refuses to serve as a witness because he does not have documentation to be in the country, despite living here since his student visa expired 18 years ago.  The man has a family to care for, and he fears the same fate as others in his community who have been detained by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in public spaces such as courthouses.

  Commentary: The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) condemns the Trump administration’s issuance of a final rule seeking to terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement that requires the federal government to not detain immigrant children for a period greater than 20 days.  NHLA, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, calls on the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to withdraw the rule in its entirety.  The announcement of the new rule – which would allow the federal government to detain children alongside their parents for the pendency of their immigration case – is an attempt by the Trump Administration to indefinitely detain immigrant families.  Congress must swiftly pass a joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act disapproving of the rule, with a veto-proof majority, in order to invalidate the Administration’s cruel and unlawful attempt to cage innocent children indefinitely.

 

Torres Small To Trump Administration: Reconsider Indefinite Detention Of Migrant Children

Aug 23, 2019
Rep. Xochitl Torres-Small (D-NM 2)

Commentary: Today, Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (NM-2) released the following statement after the Trump Administration announced changes to the way the Flores Settlement Agreement will be interpreted when detaining migrant children in federal facilities: 

“Children are especially vulnerable when they are held in detention. The Flores Agreement addresses that fact. We all recognize that our immigration system is broken, but keeping children in detention with no end in sight does not improve safety or reflect our values.  I call on the Administration to reconsider its decision, and come to the table to work with the leadership from both parties and Chambers to develop real, meaningful solutions to the challenges we are facing on the border. Together, we can build solutions that keep communities safe and families together.”

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