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.  Submissions must adhere to these guidelines.

Motherhood Inside the Pandemic Bubble

Mar 2, 2021
David Castillo Dominici /

Commentary: Right after my son was born, a nurse came in to prick his heel for a test. She took his leg and he let out a yowl, one of those newborn sounds that shoot like electricity into your bloodstream. I leaned over, laid my hand over his whole chest and told him I was there. He paused; a final scared shudder rumbled through him before he took another deep, sturdy breath to calm himself. It felt holy, this touch of motherhood.

Where Parents Cannot Follow and Children Cannot Lead

Mar 1, 2021

Commentary: My parents stopped being able to help me with math when I got to algebra in high school. Math had always been my weakest subject. It was a subject other kids fawned over as being so concrete, so understandable. But it seemed to float around my head as a mist I couldn't see clearly enough to grab.

I remember a lot of tears trying to learn it. Rote memorization didn't work. Word problems were a nightmare. I just wanted to write my way out of the situation instead of solving the numbers. I started to hate trains going in opposite directions.

CPAC shows GOP has lost its common vision

Mar 1, 2021


  Commentary: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”


The above quote is attributed to Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat, but the first time I heard it was in a George Harrison song, and it stuck with me. I could hear George singing in my head this weekend as I watched the CPAC Convention.


The Republican Party is operating without a platform. That’s not an opinion. At the 2020 Republican Convention they decided not to update the party platform.

Remembering Las Cruces Educator Karen Trujillo

Feb 28, 2021

Commentary: When someone dies, everyone always says how wonderful and special the person was.

Sometimes it’s true. We feel the ache. We see the depth and unanimity of the community’s grief. Whether we focus on the devastating loss or on how lucky we were to have her with us at all, it hurts.


Karen Trujillo was a dedicated educator, highly competent and diligent, and she had a heart that never neglected the human side of whatever was going on. For two years her professional life was a roller-coaster.

Dr. Karen Trujillo

  Commentary: Karen Trujillo was known as a brilliant researcher and passionate advocate for New Mexico students and educators.

A proud Aggie, she earned all three degrees – bachelor’s, graduate and Ph.D. – from New Mexico State University in secondary education, mathematics, and curriculum and instruction. She was also a huge Aggie sports fan, cheering proudly at men’s and women’s basketball games, among other sporting events.

But outside of her family, what was closest to her heart was education. Trujillo became superintendent of Las Cruces Public Schools in 2019, but maintained her deep connection to NMSU.

Republicans Blast Reproductive Rights Measure

Feb 26, 2021
Senator Crystal Diamond

  Commentary: Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham today signed legislation to repeal New Mexico’s abortion law. Senate Bill 10, sponsored by Democratic Senator Linda Lopez (District 11-Bernalillo) and others, repealed an entire section of law that among other things protected medical professionals from being forced to participate in abortions and required that abortions be performed by licensed physicians.


Senate Republicans responded to the Governor’s action with the following statements:


“Though the Governor and pro-abortion activists will claim this as a victory for women, the only victor in this bill is the multi-million dollar abortion industry,” said Senator Crystal Diamond (District 35-Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Luna, and Sierra). “With the stroke of her pen, the Governor has weakened standards of care for women, stripped conscience protections for medical professionals, and given the abortion industry unchecked power to operate under the radar in our state. New Mexico women and children deserve better.”

Gov. Lujan Grisham signs Senate Bill 10, a victory for reproductive rights

Feb 26, 2021
Office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Commentary: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday signed Senate Bill 10 into law, repealing a 1969 state statute that criminalized abortion.

“A woman has the right to make decisions about her own body,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “Anyone who seeks to violate bodily integrity, or to criminalize womanhood, is in the business of dehumanization. New Mexico is not in that business – not any more. Our state statutes now reflect this inviolable recognition of humanity and dignity. I am incredibly grateful to the tireless advocates and legislators who fought through relentless misinformation and fear-mongering to make this day a reality. Equality for all, equal justice and equal treatment – that’s the standard. And I’m proud to lead a state that today moved one step closer to that standard.


Commentary: New Mexico House and Senate Republican leadership today called for the immediate removal of the fence blockade around the New Mexico State Capitol Complex. The letter requests that the Legislative Council consider readdressing security concerns that do not impose an image of antagonism against the New Mexico public. The current public health order already prevents the public from entering the Capitol building and the fence blockade only perpetuates the impression that public involvement in the legislative process is not welcome.

Planning During The Pandemic

Feb 22, 2021


Commentary: As a labor of love, I am the chairman of a non-profit that raises money to support educational programs for schoolchildren in the border region. We recently had a board meeting to approve our 2021 budget. This meeting reinforced how difficult planning is during the COVID pandemic. Many of our activities are contingent on the timing of the vaccine rollout. Venues for fundraising events have to be booked ahead of time and deposits made. We had deep discussions as to the odds of our world returning to a somewhat normal condition where more certain planning could be made.

  Commentary: It has been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic shook our lives here in New Mexico and the country. Too many of our friends, family, and co-workers have died simply because of a lack of paid sick leave. And yet we choose to delay action?

The reality is COVID-19 is still out of control, but we as workers must continue to go out to the frontlines to support ourselves and our families. I believe it is our state’s responsibility to help hardworking New Mexican families and it can do so by passing a strong paid sick leave bill so families don’t have to choose between going to work sick or losing out on their paycheck. 

New Mexico: A Leader In Protecting Environmental Rights?

Feb 22, 2021

Commentary: A new vision for environmental protection is taking hold in New Mexico.  Legislators and leaders are proposing a constitutional Green Amendment that will recognize and protect the rights of all the people of the state, including future generations, to clean air, pure water, a stable climate and healthy environments.

The High Cost Of Deregulation In Texas

Feb 22, 2021


  Commentary: Everybody loves deregulation, until their kid gets sick from drinking the water.


And for good reason. Deregulation is always good for business, at least in the short term. Dumping toxic chemicals into the river, or onto the ground, is always going to be better for the bottom line than safe treatment and disposal.


And it’s not just business. Government has found that deregulation is a surefire way to increase its own “efficiency.” The superfund site at Griggs and Walnut was the result of cleaning solvent used by the National Guard being dumped on the ground.

Harnessing solar power for resilient Native communities

Feb 21, 2021

Commentary: People most impacted from the ongoing ecological destruction from our outdated extractive industries deserve to be in the ‘driving seat’ of New Mexico’s clean energy future. A Community Solar and a Climate Solutions Act are first steps to do that. 

Indigenous communities in New Mexico know first hand what it means to live in a literal toxic relationship with those responsible for the climate crisis. 

Legislators: Pass The New Mexico Civil Rights Act

Feb 21, 2021
Peter Goodman

  Commentary: We need a New Mexico Civil Rights Act because although we have many state constitutional rights, there’s no reliable way to enforce them. So said the New Mexico Civil Rights Commission, and the Legislature is working on it.

Say someone violates your right to free speech or worship. You can sue to make them stop; but if they aren’t forced to pay damages, suing may have little impact; and if there’s no attorney-fees provision, you’d better hope a well-funded nonprofit or an especially committed lawyer offers to represent you.

Senator Gregory A. Baca - (R) - Minority Floor Leader

  Commentary:  This week, the Senate Republican Caucus sent a letter to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham asking her to rework the restrictions and calculation for the COVID-19 “Red to Green Framework.” The letter came in response to the most recent framework update in which one county was downgraded from yellow to red, and four counties fell short of the yellow level by 0.33 percent or less.


“New Mexico restaurants and small businesses are facing so many challenges and the current framework has unfortunately added some uncertainty with no pathway to full reopening,” said Senator Cliff Pirtle (District 32-Chaves, Eddy, and Otero). “At the highest level – the green level – the maximum capacity for most businesses is capped at 50 percent. We need a framework that offers more hope and progress than 50 percent closed.”

REPORT: The Oil Industry’s Public Lands Stockpile

Feb 19, 2021
Wildearth Guardians

  Commentary: The Center for Western Priorities today released an interactive report examining the millions of acres of idle leases stockpiled by the oil and gas industry. The report maps out oil and gas leases and finds that the oil industry is currently sitting on 9.9 million acres of idle leases across ten Western states—47.4 percent of all leases in the region.

These leases lock up valuable public land from proactive management for recreation or conservation, while producing no energy and generating only $1.50 per acre for taxpayers annually. At the same time, these leases reveal the disingenuous nature of the oil industry’s campaign to convince the public that a recent federal leasing pause will mean the end of oil drilling and cost thousands of jobs.

Commentary: Last night, the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) Board of Education voted to keep Albuquerque schools closed for the remainder of the school year. The vote was 6-1, with the lone dissenting vote coming from Board Member, Peggy Muller-Aragon, who voiced her concerns with prioritizing the teachers’ union over students’ best interests.

“Albuquerque has again failed our students,” said senator Mark Moores (District 21-Bernalillo), who represents Northeast Albuquerque. “Our state is already last in education in the country, yet those who we have empowered to do something about it continue to choose to keep our students locked out. The board members who voted to ignore the CDC’s recommendations and the cries of their constituents should be ashamed of themselves. It takes courage to do the right thing and I would like to personally thank Mrs. Muller-Aragon for standing with Albuquerque students and voting with the science.”

Wildearth Guardians

Commentary: Today New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to table SB 86 after Chairman Joseph Cervantes (D-31) unprecedentedly silenced proponents of the bill from giving public comment in committee. 

Allowing bill sponsor Senator Sedillo Lopez (D-16) 10 minutes to introduce her legislation and expert witnesses, Senate Judiciary Chairman Cervantes allowed 10 minutes for oil and gas industry lobbyists to present an “expert witness” panel while failing to provide proponents of the bill the same courtesy. 

Elected officials and representatives from diverse constituent groups including the New Mexico Acequia Association, Green Chamber of Commerce, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Youth United for Climate Crisis Action, as well as those already impacted directly from the mismanagement of “produced water” were among those who were silenced from providing public comment. 

Some changes forced by pandemic worth keeping

Feb 15, 2021


 Commentary: The Australian Open Tennis Tournament is being played without line judges this year to reduce the number of people in the arena. And it’s much better.


A computerized camera system shows exactly where the ball bounced. There’s no more arguing about the call, so the game goes much faster. And we don’t have to worry about those poor folks lined up against the wall with 150 mph serves whizzing by their noggins.

Peter Goodman


  Commentary: I research and study most political issues, cogitate, seeking some reasonable conclusion. Some issues, my gut gets. Research and logic are secondary.

In 1968, a female relative (call her Mary) wanted to end a pregnancy. She was in college and not intending to marry her boyfriend. As abortions were still illegal in New York, she asked if I could help. I was seeing an older woman of 26, who’d had a pregnancy ended by a noted doctor who passionately believed abortion should be legal. She said the procedure was incredibly simple.

Commentary: Today, President Biden is signing an executive order reestablishing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which will promote partnerships with religious and secular organizations to better serve people in need. As our country grapples with a global pandemic, a severe economic downturn, the scourge of systemic racism, an escalating climate crisis and profound polarization, President Biden knows that civil society partnerships are essential to meeting such challenges.

Rep., Daughter Share Emotional Story in Support of End-of-Life Options

Feb 14, 2021
Rep. Debbie Armstrong

Commentary: Rep. Debbie Armstrong and her daughter Erin at a hearing on Saturday gave emotional testimony in support HB 47, The Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act, which the House Judiciary Committee then passed 7-3 and is now headed for its final vote in the House.

Armstrong, the primary sponsor of HB 47, has worked for many years to make medical-aid-in-dying an option for New Mexicans. She told the committee, however, that the work has become even more personal since her daughter’s cancer returned with devastating effects two years ago.

  Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is leading 12 Senate Democratic colleagues in a letter to President Joe Biden, announcing forward-looking proposals to help the Biden administration ramp up the electrification of the federal vehicle fleet.

The senators wrote, “As you know, the transportation sector produces more carbon dioxide emissions than any other part of the U.S. economy. We stand ready to help your administration lead by example and decarbonize the federal vehicle fleet, supporting job creation and U.S. competitiveness as we address climate change and mobile source pollution.”

Report: NM immigrants contribute billions in taxes, economic activity

Feb 11, 2021

Commentary: Immigrants in New Mexico pay more than $1 billion in federal, state and local taxes, and contribute billions more in economic activity. Those are two of the conclusions in a report from New Mexico Voices for Children, “Strengthening all Communities for a Brighter Future.” The report is being released today in conjunction with partner organizations to coincide with the legislative Immigrant Day of Action – a virtual rally (live on Facebook) this evening from 6-7pm. The event will include a presentation on this report by one of the authors.   

Climate Change: The Time To Act Is Now

Feb 11, 2021

Commentary: The science is crystal clear. We have less than ten years to radically change our course or face the great consequences of our ongoing ecological destruction spanning from our extractive industries.

According to the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s best scientists said we need to drastically move towards decarbonizing our energy economy if we want a habitable planet for our future generations. 

Destroying US Economy won’t stop global warming

Feb 10, 2021
Wildearth Guardians

Commentary: In New Mexico and the United States as a whole, recent months have seen unprecedented attacks on the traditional energy sector from policymakers in Santa Fe and Washington. The potential harm of President Biden’s ban on oil and gas production on federal lands has been well-documented.

Our State, New Mexico, will be disproportionately impacted by such a ban, particularly if it lasts for many months or years. We are the 3rd-largest oil producing state in the nation and about half of that production (more than any other state) comes from federal lands.

Rep. Phelps Anderson

  Commentary: The Republican Party of New Mexico’s Executive Board has voted unanimously to respectfully ask that Rep. Phelps Anderson of Roswell resign his seat after he decided to switch his registration from Republican to DTS (Decline To State). Anderson shocked and disappointed his constituents, his fellow GOP legislators and long-time allies with his decision to leave the Republican Party.
“Rep. Anderson should step down immediately,” says Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce. “He has betrayed the people of his district. He ran as a Republican, and he’s chosen to leave those who had trusted him to represent them in Santa Fe. Rep. Anderson was just re-elected in November to a seat that is heavily Republican. The principled action would have been to re-register before the election. Instead, voters got a bait and switch from someone they trusted with their vote.”

Doña Ana Community College Prepares Students for the Workforce

Feb 10, 2021

Commentary: Just a few short years ago, Emily Conner made a decision that would set her on the path to a new career and a different life. The mother of two, already a 2003 college graduate with work experience in marketing, decided to start college all over again. She enrolled in DACC’s Dental Hygiene Program in 2016 and never looked back. Today, Emily is not only a registered dental hygienist serving our community, she’s a part-time clinical instructor in DACC’s dental hygiene clinic.  

  Commentary: I was born in México State, México. I moved to Chaparral, NM when I was 10 years old and I have been living in Chaparral, NM for most of my life. Because I was a kid when I first arrived in Chaparral, I consider it my home town. This is also the place where most of my friends and family live. 

Bill Will Protect New Mexico’s Wildlife Heritage for the Future

Feb 9, 2021

Commentary: New Mexico is blessed with an extraordinary diversity of wildlife. From the parklands and conifer forests of northern New Mexico to the sprawling Chihuahuan Desert of the borderlands region, New Mexico boasts a wide range of landscapes that support an even more diverse array of species. The Land of Enchantment is one of the most biodiverse states in the country as we rank second in the number of bird species, and third in our diversity of reptiles and mammals.