Archive for May, 2010

May 2010 Edition

Water is Life, The Tale of Two Cities, 2010 Sustainable Santa Fe Awards, United Communities of Santa Fe County, The Potential of a Green, Local Economy, Transparency in County Government, Protect Our Public Lands, Renew Santa Fe, Touring a Green School, Why Use Green Building Materials?, Affordable Housing, Kidnapp ed by the House (part 2), Dreaming NM : Agro-Ecoregions, Dig and Eat Local, Only Healthy Soil Grows Healthy Plants, What’s Going On! and more…

Download the May 2010 PDF Edition

Renew Santa Fe – Contractor Feedback Forum on the Renewable Energy Finance District

Michael Connolly

A meeting took place on April 15th at Santa Fe Community College for solar contractors and installers interested in the County of Santa Fe’s Renewable Funding Program for the new Renewable Finance District. The “RenewSantaFe” program leverages the local government’s borrowing power to allow property owners to cover the large up-front costs of installing their solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind or geothermal project from a special assessment to their property taxes. The county and Renewable Funding are developing the program, which was approved by the 2009 state legislature. The program aims to begin funding projects in June. Contractor and More >

Why I Live in New Mexico and Why I Want to Be Your Next Land Commissioner

Ray Powell

Experiencing New Mexico has shaped who I am and what I want to learn. This unique and wonderful place is part of my bone marrow. Marveling at the ruins at Bandelier National Monument or the stunning petroglyphs that are found in the most unexpected places gave me an insatiable craving to understand who lived here before and how they did it successfully for so long. Through the study of anthropology I understood that many of my lifelong friends, playmates and mentors were decedents of these very special ancestors, and that far from being a footnote of the past, their More >

Transparency in County Government; Sustainable Local Development

Paul White

I am a committed community advocate who is running for the Santa Fe County Commission. I live in Chupadero, where I grow rye and oats, and I am a parciante on the Acequia de Chuparero.

I have been working for over a decade to help improve the lives of my neighbors and all of the residents of the county. I took on Qwest to bring high-speed internet to the valley, worked with the county to create an Agricultural Revitalization Initiative, and I am a founding member of neighborhood associations, water basin alliances, and the United Communities of Santa Fe County.

As More >

Only Healthy Soil Can Grow Healthy Plants – The story of the Arboretum Tomé

Michael Martin Meléndrez

Twenty miles south of downtown Albuquerque, in the valley near Los Lunas, sits a garden that’s an inspiration to those of us who love plants, trees, clean air and the comfort of green. It’s called the Arboretum Tomé, a botanical garden of trees, rich healthy soil, more oak species than you can shake a stick at (over 40), a grove of Giant Timber Bamboo, Walnuts from Japan, Eucalyptus and Redwoods from all over the world. Developing the arboretum has been a passion of mine for almost a quarter of a century, and it now represents the largest species More >

May GFT Letters to the Editor

Dear GFT,

I appreciated reading the passionate and thoughtful article on Housing, Land and The Green Imperative. I look forward to the next installment. Green Fire Times is the kind of publication that we need to counteract the mind-dulling media to which so many people have become accustomed. But because I believe that power comes from not believing oneself a victim, I have some thoughts to share with you. I am one of the 27% of New Mexicans who own my home, and until last year was categorized in the lowest income bracket. I am not a member of a Pueblo More >

“Kidnapped by the House” – Affordable Housing, Land, and the Green Imperative – Part 2

Rebekah Zablud Azen

Private Property – The American Dream Coming to a new land where the institution of private property had never touched these shores, settlers and their descendants had an unprecedented, golden opportunity to not only question, but throw off the worst of feudalistic land tenure arrangements. However the opportunity for change was entirely lost.

The colonists were more than observers; they studied Native land tenure arrangements in an effort to find parallels (there weren’t any) with English property, organized as it was for exploitation and expropriation, in an effort to secure “legal title” to Native lands. It was apparent that More >

Solar Manufacturing Company Coming to Rio Rancho

Green 2V, a renewable energy company, is planning to build its corporate headquarters in Rio Rancho. The site will house the firm’s research, development and manufacturing operations. Construction is to start this summer on the million square foot facility in a new commercial/industrial area next to V. Sue Cleveland High School. The company expects to hire 1,500 workers over the next five years, and have an annual payroll of $64 million. Green2V also plans to build more manufacturing facilities around the state.

Rio Rancho city councilors have approved arrangements to provide land and financing. $500 million in industrial revenue bonds will More >

Dreaming New Mexico – An Age of Local Foodsheds and a Fair Trade State


A Multiple-part series from the Dreaming NM Project Project Co-Directors: Kenny Ausubel and Peter Warshall Production, Writing, Research: Peter Warshall and Arty Mangan Project Coordinator: Nikki Spangenberg

Can you trace in your mind the ingredients that will soon become your flesh and blood?

Where Does Your Food Come From?

When you sit down and say grace or gobble a burger, can you trace in your mind the ingredients that will soon became your flesh and blood? Most food now arrives like the proverbial stork carrying the baby. But all dreams about healthy food and sustainable agriculture must actually start More >

The Potential of a Green, Local Economy

David Bacon

I respectfully dedicate these words to Lou Schreiber, Stewart Udall and sustainable innovators and visionaries everywhere throughout space and time. We need you now.

Without a government that is fiercely protective of local human rights, we will fail.]

We humans are slipping and sliding on the shifting ground, water and air of an unprecedented moment in history. Looking one way, it’s almost too horrible to contemplate. But looking another way, vast windows of potential, of meaning, of redemption open to us. The entire planet, the entire universe even, welcomes us to rejoin with all life, with all living systems, with each More >

Dig and Eat Local:

Grow Your Own Food and Receive a Share of Farm Raised Vegetables, Fruits, Eggs and Cheese from Beneficial Farms Do you want to learn more about growing your own food this spring? Beneficial Farms CSA has a Garden Outreach Program where founder Steve Warshawer provides workshops, supplies advice and hands-on training at many community gardens around Santa Fe. The workshops help CSA members and community gardeners increase their yields of tomatoes and other vegetables. The classes are customized to the individual gardens and many will be a question and answer format. Beneficial Farms will also hold events in May and More >

Sustainable Building – Touring a Green School

Ann Euston

V. Sue Cleveland High School, Rio Rancho’s newest and “greenest,” isn’t your typical high school. It combines a refreshing award-winning architectural concept with a twenty-first century emphasis on energy and environmental conservation. Built completely with existing technologies, it’s on its way to LEED Gold certification. And, especially for a public school building, it incorporates remarkable attention to design detail: attractive airy spaces, student lounges, even classroom chairs that recline.

Clearly, Cleveland proves the potential of green building for green education.

A Tour of Cleveland High Opened August 2009, Cleveland is New Mexico’s largest high school structure (almost 378,000 square feet) and More >

Affordable Housing: An Issue of Sustainability

Daniel Werwath

There are many things that come to mind when you hear the word “sustainability.” For some the term likely conjures up images of alternative energy systems and “green buildings,” while for others this surely conjures up images of sustainable economies and strong socially responsible local businesses. But not many people would immediately think of affordable housing as a sustainability issue. But in fact, there are many ways that affordable housing contributes to the both the environmental and social sustainability of our community.

Green building is an issue at the forefront of global sustainability and climate change. The US Energy Information More >