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.

Commentary: The Chabad Jewish Community Center of Las Cruces will host a 100% covid-safe Chanukah Drive-In at the Telshor 12 Cinemas, on Sunday, December 13th, the 4th night of the eight-day holiday. Gates open at 4:30PM with the event beginning at 5:00PM. To ensure everyone is safe, the Drive-In will be very limited, with all participants remaining in their cars at ALL times, and sound being transmitted via FM radio. The event will include a menorah lighting ceremony, a virtual Chanukah concert streamed from Los Angeles by the world-renowned 8th Day Band. This event is made possible, in part by the Allen Family, is FREE of charge but RSVP a must at due to limited space.

Commentary: During the early days of his political career, the knock against Bill McCamley was that he never had a “real job.” Now, it could be argued that he and Dr. David Scrase have the two toughest jobs in the state.

Scrase, the state’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, is charged with helping us stay healthy. McCamley, secretary for Workforce Solutions, is charged with helping those who have lost their jobs. In both cases, a lot of help is needed.

Steve Pearce

Commentary: The Republican Party of New Mexico’s State Central Committee Monday re-elected Steve Pearce as RPNM Chairman for two more years.

There were 172 SCC members who voted in the virtual election. Members also selected seven other Republican Party of New Mexico officers, including Vice-Chairs, Congressional District Chairs, Secretary and Treasurer. All elected officers will serve under the Chairman until December 2022.

The Danger Of Trump's False Election Fraud Claims

Dec 6, 2020

Commentary: I’ve mostly ignored Donald Trump’s whining about alleged “election fraud.” His lawyers can’t show courts reasoned legal arguments or even a hint of factual evidence to support his claims. Recently, a district judge’s opinion trashing Trump’s case was unanimously upheld by a three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, all Republican appointees. The decision was written by the judge Trump had appointed.

Commentary: The Republican Party of New Mexico launched and financed a lawsuit that was filed Friday, requesting that all 2020 election ballots in Bernalillo County be impounded.

RPNM asked 1st Congressional District candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes to submit the petition. New Mexico law grants candidates the right to have authorities impound tally sheets, registration certificates, paper ballots, absentee ballots, statements of canvass, absentee ballot applications and absentee ballot registers.

Next in the history of money: The Coffee Standard

Dec 4, 2020

Commentary: I want to argue for a coffee standard in money! A standard that would be enforced not by national governments but by Starbucks. Let me explain.

The ultimate social network is money. Just like Facebook and Twitter, the value arises from its use by others. And where there is a social media, there are tech companies ready to monetize the information that can be gleaned from it.

Albuquerque paid time off bill vote on Monday

Dec 4, 2020
Albuquerque City Council

Commentary:  The Albuquerque City Council will vote on the proposed paid time off ordinance Monday, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. If the bill passes as written, hard-working people who live in Albuquerque will no longer have to choose between their paycheck and caring for themselves or a loved one when they are sick.

Commentary: The most grievous betrayal of New Mexicans occurred in 1990 when the New Mexico state legislature passed and the then Governor Garrey Carruthers signed into law obnoxious legislation basically double-taxing all New Mexico residents 65 or older who receive Social Security. This tax is a form of double taxation, since New Mexicans pay income tax on the money that is deducted from their paychecks for Social Security, and then they are taxed again on the benefits they receive.

On energy, Biden should take cues from Obama

Nov 30, 2020
Laura Paskus, New Mexico In Depth

Commentary: As states near the election certification date it appears the exact contours of the Biden Administration’s energy policies and how they will impact New Mexico remain open to debate. We must make sure that we don’t lose sight of how important natural gas has been in powering America’s economic resurgence and leading the charge to a cleaner environment.

Trump Stole The Election From Himself

Nov 30, 2020

Commentary: From a political perspective, Donald Trump's behavior is utterly nonsensical. But when viewed through the lens of philosophy and psychology (which happens to be my particular academic training), his actions are not all that confusing. Irrational and stupid, yes. But not confusing. In other words, when we look at his mistakes leading up to the election, it becomes clear that the laws of human behavior all but determined that he would engage in self-sabotage. These five laws are well known to anyone who has studied personality traits in-depth or have observed how easy it is for human beings to become their own worst enemy. That is what happened to Mr. Trump by the time Americans finally went to the polls on November 3rd.

Rubel: Changes Needed At Spaceport America

Nov 30, 2020

Commentary: Sen. John Arthur Smith told me several years ago that he was sold on the potential for Spaceport America after hearing space industry executives gush about the possibility to conduct secretive testing and research in the remote New Mexico desert.

In the hypercompetitive private space industry, secrecy is a selling point for recruiters looking to lure more new businesses to the spaceport. But for those concerned about government transparency and accountability, that same secrecy is a sticking point.

Saying Goodbye To A Las Cruces Institution

Nov 30, 2020

Commentary: Requiescat in pace, Mountain View Market Co+op (1975-2020). We’ll miss you!

Often we’re fighting various internal and external battles. Battles to be slender or build muscle or be more mindful in everyday life; battles to avoid letting the worst of our “culture” (fast food, television, greed, racism, hyperpartisanship) poison us in one way or another. Efforts to be a healthier person help us become a healthier community.

Restoring Global Relations Following The Trump Years

Nov 30, 2020

Commentary: The COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis, and a divided country. These are mammoth challenges facing President-Elect Joe Biden as he puts together his agenda and assembles his team. During the past four years and even stretching back into the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump wholeheartedly promoted a diplomatic and isolationist strategy that has drastically affected the U.S.’s relations with the rest of the world. This has resulted in sore feelings with traditional allies, and a trade war with China that has affected countless U.S. businesses whose products are now being tariffed to the extent that they are not competitive in the Chinese market.

Pass The New Roles

Nov 24, 2020

Commentary:  When you grow up in a bicultural family, you tend to seek any connections to one side or the other. There may be different Saturday-morning cartoons or different types of food in rotation, but it's holidays that provide an entrance into a culture, if you know all the roles. For me, Thanksgiving was the quintessential American holiday.

My Thanksgivings are not memories of gourmet dinners. We had the sliced cranberry that jiggles, stuffing that comes from a box, a turkey nicknamed Tom and as much mashed potatoes — recently peeled and cooked — as I could stuff into my mouth before I sat down and ate my weight in pumpkin pie and Cool Whip. Aside from the taters, those components never showed up during the rest of the year.

Las Cruces Residents: Support Small Business Saturday

Nov 24, 2020

Commentary: It has been a tough year for Las Crucens as we have learned how to adjust, adapt, and deal with the many challenges associated with this pandemic.

On this Thanksgiving weekend we genuinely do have something to be thankful for. The resiliency of Las Cruces’ businesses to persevere through this unpredictable and unprecedented hardship is admirable and greatly appreciated.

We have an opportunity this Saturday to directly show our appreciation and gratitude by buying local goods and services during Small Business Saturday, on November 28.

Outrage Over Grocery Store Lines In New Mexico

Nov 24, 2020

Commentary: Many people in rural communities have few choices to get food, and some even have to go across the state border. The 75-person limit in New Mexico’s essential stores makes it impossible not to wait in line. Look across New Mexico: long lines are outside every store as New Mexicans scramble to get necessities.

The shutdowns, limits and collapsing economy are a result of the Lujan Grisham Administration’s decisions. Is this the beginning of the end for New Mexico?

The Importance Of Big Game Migration Corridors

Nov 23, 2020

Commentary: Big game like mule deer, elk and pronghorn are right now moving from their summer ranges to their winter ranges. Each year, these animals move from higher elevations to lower elevations where food is more abundant, and conditions aren’t as severe.

As they make these seasonal journeys, our big game herds must have access to quality habitat where they can rest and nourish themselves along the way. And they don’t recognize boundaries as they move through public and private lands, over and through fences, across roadways, and around numerous other man-made hindrances.

Election 2020 and Rep. Xochitl Torres Small

Nov 23, 2020

Commentary: With the Presidential election and transition, we can and do let slip from our minds what else happened in this past election. 

The people of CD2 have lost one of the most effective and outstanding Representatives in this election, 2020. Xochitl Torres Small was our voice in Congress. She worked so hard–more than any other Representative, Republican or Democrat–for us on the Hill. 

Goodman: Thanksgiving During The Pandemic

Nov 23, 2020
Peter Goodman

Commentary: Thanksgiving is Thursday. Even in pandemic times, there’s much to be grateful for.

My relationship with Thanksgiving has varied. Of course I loved it as a kid. We enjoyed family gatherings with aunts, uncles, and cousins who lived elsewhere.

What lingers in memory as the Platonic ideal of “Thanksgiving” is a national magazine’s 1953 cover, a Rockwellish painting of my immediate family, plus several neighbors and strangers to make it look more festive. The artist painted it from a photograph he had taken of us in a neighbor’s beautiful old-fashioned dining room. In the foreground, as the family says grace, I’m slyly reaching with one hand to steal an olive and my father’s right hand is extended to warn me that he’ll slap me if I do. (I was young enough to complain to the artist, “But I don’t like olives!”)

I Have A Proposal for Barack Obama

Nov 23, 2020

Commentary: Given the severity of this situation and the consequences of failure (for instance, the election of a reality TV star in 2016), I think Biden should enlist Barack Obama to take on this existential challenge. With the appropriate financial and political resources, his operation could get to the root of these problems and implement the changes needed. It is not about conducting more polls and surveys; it would be about creating a nationwide effort to reimagine what it means to be an American citizen in the 21st century and to change expectations, habits, laws, and policies.

Mr. Biden, tear down some of this wall

Nov 23, 2020

Commentary:  No, Mexico didn’t pay for it. And no, it doesn’t stretch for the entire length of the border. But when he leaves office in two months, Donald Trump’s administration will have completed construction on hundreds of miles of new barrier along the southern border.

Rafael Carranza of the Arizona Republic reported last week that the Trump administration has completed work on 400 miles of new barrier in Arizona alone, and is expected to add 50 more miles before his term ends.

El Paso Families Celebrate Closure Of Free Bridge To Truck Traffic

Nov 20, 2020
Luis Hernandez

Commentary: On Friday November 20, 2020, as Mexico celebrates the Día de la Revolución, Mexican immigrants in the Chamizal neighborhood also celebrate this day with a fight won against the heavy traffic of the maquiladora semi-trucks.

On Friday, TXDOT will permanently close the entrance to the Bridge of Las Americas- the free bridge- on Paisano Street. There will no longer be maquiladora semi-truck lines blocking the front of Bowie High School.

Commentary: The acceleration of the COVID pandemic in New Mexico, like other many other states, has triggered the re-imposition of restrictions, shutting down nonessential business and the issuance of shelter-in-place orders. The last lockdown resulted in an unemployment rate of 12.7%.  A sharp increase in unemployment could be the result again this time.
What is needed is aggressive action to mitigate the negative economic consequences of the current lockdown. The problem is that there are few options available. The normal response to be expected from the Federal Reserve would be to inject liquidity into the economy to promote business investment.

Commentary: Water related outdoor recreation in New Mexico’s Gila River and San Francisco River watersheds stimulates economic activity that supports at least 3,900 jobs in New Mexico, providing $92.4 million of income, according to a new study conducted by Southwick and Associates and commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

These water related activities contribute at least $427.8 million to the state’s economy annually. In addition, this spending is associated with $143.9 million of value-added to New Mexico’s economy.

Commentary: The New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes told lawmakers today that New Mexico has a vital toolbox of economic incentives that are being deployed to help train workers, learn new skills, and create jobs as the state moves toward an economic recovery.

The Covid-19 health emergency brings a new level of uncertainty to businesses as well as increased costs. Thanks to the support of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the Legislature, the state assistance will speed-up hiring, help workers learn new skills, and support higher-paying businesses as they look to relocate or expand in New Mexico.

The People Have Spoken

Nov 19, 2020

Commentary: The unprecedented public health and economic challenges facing our state are immense. And on November 3rd, the message sent by New Mexico voters was unmistakably clear: To address these  challenges, they expect our newly elected legislature to enact bold, forward-thinking solutions.

One thing this clarion call for boldness means is that come January, our legislature must not backslide into the “business as usual” approach imposed by a handful of well-positioned leaders in the state senate – leaders who were all soundly repudiated by voters at the polls this year.

Commentary: Many full-time workers employed by some of America’s largest and most profitable corporations receive wages so low that they qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or “food stamps”) benefits and Medicaid, according to a report released today by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The report, “Millions of Full-time Workers Rely on Federal Health Care and Food Assistance Programs,” commissioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), found that 5.7 million Medicaid enrollees and 4.7 million SNAP recipients who worked full-time for 50 or more weeks in 2018 earned wages so low that they qualified for these federal benefits. An estimated 12 million wage-earning adults enrolled in Medicaid and 9 million wage-earning adults living in households receiving SNAP benefits worked at some point in 2018.

Paid Sick Leave Should be the Law of the Land

Nov 18, 2020

Commentary: Every morning, Yvonne clocks in for her shift as a manager at a Southern New Mexico
convenience store. There’s a steady stream of customers going in and out, in addition to the
employees with whom she works. Masks and social distancing help. But the reality remains.
Every cough, every wipe of the face, every invisible particle that leaves the body is potentially
life-altering. Going to work during a global pandemic exposes Yvonne to COVID every day.
To make matters worse, Yvonne’s employer has cut her hours. The cost savings measure contains an undercurrent of insensitivity -- even cruelty. The lack of hours means she’s not eligible for health insurance. As an hourly employee, if she doesn’t work, she doesn’t eat. It’s a rock and a hard place that makes the incentive to work while sick a decision with no easy

President-elect Joe Biden Announces Members of White House Senior Staff

Nov 17, 2020

  Commentary: Today, President-elect Joe Biden announced members of his White House senior staff. These diverse, experienced, and talented individuals demonstrate President-elect Biden’s commitment to building an administration that looks like America, has deep expertise governing, and will be ready to help the president-elect deliver results for working families on day one. 

“I am proud to announce additional members of my senior team who will help us build back better than before. America faces great challenges, and they bring diverse perspectives and a shared commitment to tackling these challenges and emerging on the other side a stronger, more united nation,” said President-elect Joe Biden.

Commentary: Citing new data that big drug companies have taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to raise prices on hundreds of medications, AARP New Mexico, Health Action New Mexico and a statewide coalition of health experts, patient advocates and consumers today launched New Mexico Consumers for Affordable Prescriptions (NMCAP), calling on legislators to ensure all New Mexicans have access to affordable drugs. 

“New Mexicans continue to struggle to afford the prescription drugs they need,” said Barbara Webber, Executive Director of Health Action New Mexico. “Drug costs were out of control before COVID, but it is even worse now. No one should have to choose between their medication and other necessities, like rent and groceries.”