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.

Fighting the Current: Why New Mexicans need a Higher Minimum Wage

Aug 29, 2018

Commentary: Hard-working families in our state are drowning. Families should never have to choose between buying healthy groceries and paying their utility bills, but they do. Kids should be focusing on their work instead of their grumbling stomachs during school, but they cannot help it when their hard-working parents can only provide one meal a day. Workers should not have to take out payday loans for exorbitant fees to afford back-to-school supplies for their kids.

New Mexico Reinstates "Straight Ticket" Voting Option

Aug 29, 2018

Commentary: Today, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced that she is formatting the 2018 general election ballot to once again include the option for “straight-party” voting.  The straight-party option had long been a fixture on general election ballots until 2012 when then-Secretary of State Dianna Duran chose to no longer provide the option.

NM regulations on small loans law do not adequately protect borrowers

Aug 28, 2018

Commentary: The Financial Institutions Division issued regulations today implementing a state law that caps interest rates on storefront loans. The FID made almost no changes to the minimal regulations it proposed earlier this year, even though New Mexicans overwhelmingly asked the state to improve enforcement by collecting data on the industry, closing loan renewal loopholes, and requiring lenders to disclose the true costs of loans to borrowers and to make those disclosures in the language a borrower understands.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM2)

 

Commentary:   Democratic Mayor of Grants Martin Hicks today endorsed Steve Pearce for Governor. Mayor Hicks joins a growing list of prominent Democrats to endorse Pearce including former Democratic Governor Jerry Apodaca and Dorothy Runnels, a lifelong Democrat and widow of former Congressman Harold Runnels.

Commentary: The 50th Annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools reinforced the public’s support of educators from Arizona to West Virginia who united this past spring to advocate for fair pay, increased school funding, and the legislative investment that students need to succeed.

 

Two Border Stalwarts

Aug 27, 2018

Commentary: Within 45 days of each other, two quintessential figures who helped shape the border economy in the Paso del Norte region (El Paso, Juarez, southern New Mexico) passed away, leaving legacies that go back decades and are still being developed today. Each of these two stalwarts is responsible for transforming the economies in their respective states, and creating projects that transformed the entire central U.S.-Mexico border region.

Google loses antitrust case in Europe

Aug 26, 2018

Commentary: Google has lost another multi-billion-dollar antitrust case brought against it by the European Union. The accusation is that Google used its control of the Google Play store to stifle competition in search. Previously, the Google was fined for favoring their own products in searches to the determinant of competitors.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary:  Following is a statement by NEA Lily Eskelsen Garcia regarding the proposed guidance by the Department of Education. Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos is considering guidance that will allow Title IV-A funds to be used for arming teachers. 

“The idea of arming teachers is ill-conceived, preposterous, and dangerous. Arming teachers and other school personnel does nothing to prevent gun violence.  

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

Commentary: Educators and students, backed by the National Education Association and the California Teachers Association, have sued the U.S. Department of Education and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos after they moved to illegally delay rules meant to protect students enrolled in online education programs.

The individual plaintiffs, NEA and CTA are represented by the National Student Legal Defense Network, a nonprofit organization that advocates for student rights through litigation. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, challenges the Education Department’s delay of requirements for online universities of their legal obligation to notify students that the programs in which they’re enrolled or plan to enroll in may fail to meet state licensing standards or may face adverse actions from the state or accreditor.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM2)

  Commentary:  Steve Pearce, candidate for Governor, has called for systematic reforms to protect children throughout New Mexico. In front of the Children, Youth and Family Department (CYFD) offices in Albuquerque, Pearce stood with an array of advocates for child well being and laid out his plan to address the state’s problems. 

New Mexico And Texas Representatives Ask Trump For Immigration Reform

Aug 26, 2018

Commentary: 15 NM House Democrats, along with Representatives from the Texas House of Representatives, sent a letter to White House officials that reaffirms their commitment to immigration reform. On Monday, August 20th, state Representatives received a letter from the White House asking legislators across the country to support President Trump’s anti-immigrant sentiments.

peter goodman

It is difficult

to get the news from poems

but men die miserably every day

for lack

of what is found there.

       – William Carlos Williams

Commentary: Many at NMSU and in our community are aghast at the sticker price of the new Garrey Carruthers: $950,000 (vs. $373,000), and two sets of benefits; but we get two brains and four hands. Faculty raises have been rare and minimal, some profs are concerned, and now we hear more high-priced administrative positions are planned.


Commentary: Today the Cato Institute released the latest edition of Freedom in the 50 States, which ranks each U.S. state by how its public policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal freedom spheres. To determine these rankings, authors William Ruger and Jason Sorens examine state and local government intervention across a range of more than 230 policy variables — from taxation to debt, eminent domain laws to occupational licensing, and drug policy to educational choice.

Border Industrial Association Responds To Hunt Institute Santa Teresa Study

Aug 22, 2018
Santa Teresa Industrial Park / Facebook (KOAT)

Commentary: It has come to the attention of our organization that the Hunt Institute has published what it refers to as “a report providing the first-ever comprehensive market analysis of the Santa Teresa region.” The “report” is simply a series of secondary information obtained from sources such as the U.S. Bureau of the Census and the websites of state and local entities. The charts/graphs appear one after the other without a single sentence anywhere in the document providing analysis. In many cases, information is incomplete (i.e. years are missing) or outdated (some information is only provided until 2012).

New Mexico child advocates launch voter education website

Aug 22, 2018

Commentary: The NM Pediatric Society and NM Voices for Children have launched a voter-education website,www.YouDecideNM.org, that shares the responses to issue questionnaires from candidates running for New Mexico Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives (NM-1, NM-2 and NM-3), and State Land Commissioner. Both organizations are 501c3 nonprofits and, therefore, do not endorse candidates for office. The website launch is accompanied by an internet advertising campaign to alert New Mexicans to the site.

City of Sunland Park backs ‘Medicaid Buy-in’

Aug 21, 2018

Commentary: The City Council of Sunland Park, after hearing testimony from New Mexico Together for Healthcare family leaders who live in Sunland Park, passed a resolution on Tuesday 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.

Commentary: On Tuesday, civil rights groups and homeless advocates announced a settlement agreement reached in a lawsuit against the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department (NMTRD) and the Motor Vehicles Division (MVD) that requires the state to properly implement its two-tiered driver's license law and take much-needed steps to ensure New Mexicans have easier access to an alternative to the federal REAL ID as state legislators intended.

Commentary: Whenever a candidate begins their campaign ad with the declarative statement, “I am not a witch,” as Christine O’Donnell was compelled to do during her run for the U.S. Senate in 2010, you know they’ve pretty much lost the race.

I feel a little bit the same about the concerted effort by newspapers throughout the country, including the Sun-News, last week to push back against the slurs of President Donald Trump. Several of the editorials I read opened with the declarative statement, “We are not your enemy.” If we have to explain that, I kind of feel like we’ve already lost the battle.

"Tears" On Statue Were Olive Oil

Aug 21, 2018
Our Lady of Guadalupe-Hobbs / facebook

Editor’s note:  In this submitted commentary, the following statement about “tears” on a religious statue is noted:  The liquid samples collected from the statue were sent to a lab for chemical analysis.  Two distinct methods of analysis indicate the same outcome: the liquid is olive oil with a scented mixture.

Commentary: Steve Pearce announced today a Four Point Economic Blueprint for Jobs at the Albuquerque Gubernatorial Forum hosted by the Business, Real Estate, and Construction Coalition. Pearce’s plan focuses on economic diversification, addressing the worker shortage, investing in New Mexico businesses, and making New Mexico more business friendly. 

Goodman: Mourning A Sad Last Political Gasp

Aug 19, 2018
peter goodman

 

  Commentary: Lives, like the world in T.S. Eliot's The Hollow Men, often end not with a bang but a whimper. Same for political lives.

 

The sad spectacle of Jerry Apodaca, our long-ago governor, endorsing Steve Pearce, poles apart from Jerry politically – and invoking John F. Kennedy, who'd have made short work of Pearce – reminded me of a better day.

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce

  Commentary: Steve Pearce, candidate for Governor, announced today he is calling on both parties to come together to change New Mexico law to prevent dangerous offenders from pretrial release. Steve Pearce issued the following statement:

"Our nation and our state have seen far too many preventable crimes where law enforcement failed to act. Recently, in Taos County, law enforcement did act to protect children and safeguard the community. The courts, however, ordered that they be released back into the community. The allegations in the case are horrifying, including the unexplained death of a child, child abuse, and terrorism. To millions of Americans, including me, it is unfathomable that those defendants would be released into the community.

Michelle Lujan Grisham

Commentary: Michelle Lujan Grisham and Howie Morales released their three-part plan to combat crime and create a safer New Mexico: “Tougher, Safer, Smarter. Lujan Grisham was joined by current and former public safety officials including Attorney General Hector Balderas, police chiefs, and prosecutors to announce the comprehensive plan which will employ tougher, smarter, and safer strategies to stop crime and build communities that are safe from fear of theft and violence. Michelle Lujan Grisham also announced a group of 50 current and former law enforcement officials who trust Michelle Lujan to be our next governor and keep our communities safe.

Warren Introduces Accountable Capitalism Act

Aug 16, 2018

Commentary: United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act to help eliminate skewed market incentives and return to the era when American corporations and American workers did well together. The legislation aims to reverse the harmful trends over the last thirty years that have led to record corporate profits and rising worker productivity but stagnant wages.

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

  Commentary: Today, Moms Clean Air Force released a new report: “Face to Face with Oil and Gas: Voices from the Front Lines of Oil and Gas Pollution”.

Commentary: Ruidoso, NM—Steve Pearce, candidate for Governor, announced his Forestry Management Plan for all of New Mexico.

Rubel: Giving Up Hope For A Practical Third Party Candidate

Aug 15, 2018

Gessing: Las Cruces Voters Should Reject Big Tax Hike In Bond Election

Aug 14, 2018

  Commentary: Las Cruces voters are currently casting mail-in ballots to decide the fate of a proposed property-tax hike aimed at generating millions of dollars for various expenditures that proponents claim will improve the city’s “quality of life.”

Unfortunately, there is often a good deal of misinformation about the overall size and impact of tax hikes, especially increases in property taxes. Voters need all the facts before making their decisions.

The 2.1 percent millage rate hike now being considered represents a 7.3 percent tax increase for most residential property owners. That is a sizeable expansion, especially given the rapid rate of growth in the city’s gross receipts tax. Today, the GRT rate in Las Cruces is 8.3125 percent. Back in 2014, that rate was “just” 7.5625 percent — meaning that the levy’s burden expanded by approximately 10 percent over the last four years alone.

New Mexico Health Connections Files Suit Against Federal Government

Aug 14, 2018

Commentary: New Mexico Health Connections filed a lawsuit challenging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) issuance of an emergency regulation for the ACA risk adjustment program for 2017. At the same time, Health Connections also filed an immediate motion for a summary judgment asking the court to take expedited action to strike down the emergency rule.

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