Green Fire Times

The Green Fire Times is published by Skip Whitson, edited by Seth Roffman with design by Anna Hansen, webmaster Karen Shepherd and Breaking News editor Stephen Klinger. All authors retain all copyrights. If you need to contact a particular author, or want to write for us, please be in touch.


Posts by Green Fire Times

La Bajada from Early Settlement to the Dawn of the 20th Century

Ancient Pueblo, Permanent Campsite, Spanish/Mexican-era Land Grant, U.S.-era Farming and Ranching Enclave


Hilario E. Romero



In recent years, a great deal of attention has been focused on the area surrounding La Bajada, largely because of a persistent gravel-mining proposal reviewed by the Santa Fe County Commission, most recently in 2015. The public outcry, particularly from citizens living in and around the area, convinced the commissioners to decline approval and also to create an ordinance outlining a new process for mining applications. Predictably, the developers have filed a suit in District Court in Santa Fe, challenging the county’s decision.


In addition to its More >

The Cultura of La Leña or Firewood


Alejandro López


Recently, while driving through northern New Mexico, I spotted a large troca carrying an enormous load of firewood to some unknown destination. I exclaimed, “Wow, there must still be a few hombrotes left in these parts! The leñeros responsible for this load must still be able to muster the fuerzas to cut, load and haul fallen dead trees from high up in the mountains to some home in the valley below. Nowadays, very few hombres remain who are capable of carrying out such demanding jale. ¡Qué bárbaros!


I turned around, followed the troca into a nearby parquiadero, engaged the tired leñeros and negotiated a price for the More >

Newsbites – January 2017

Facebook RE Contract Could Become a Template

Bruce Thorne, an attorney hired by Facebook to advise the social media giant on negotiating with Public Service Company of New Mexico and to guide it through the state regulatory process, says that Facebook’s $250-million data center being built in Los Lunas could trigger a “sea change” for renewable energy (RE) in the state.

The energy for the facility will primarily be generated by three solar facilities built by Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM). Facebook will reportedly pay PNM up to $31 million a year for electricity.

Thorne said that Facebook’s green-energy tariff, or More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque – January 2017


Jan. 7, 9 am–4 pm

Progressive Action Summit

Central NM Community College WorkforceTraining Center 5600 Eagle Rock Ave. NE

A full day of discussions on issues, organizing skills, workshops and conversations with candidates and elected officials. $15–$25.,


Jan. 12, 7:30–9:30 am

Grow NM 2020

ABQ Convention Center 401 2nd St. NW

Economic Outlook. Find out what you need to know to grow your business and navigate the NM economy. Presented by ABQ Business First. $45. 505.348-8326,,


Jan. 19–22

Los Bufones

Natl. Hispanic Cultural Center, ABQ Jnl. Theatre, 1710 4th St. SW

World premiere brings Velázquez’s paintings to musical life. Thursday to Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday More >

What’s Going On? – Santa Fe – January 2017


Jan. 6 Application Deadline

SF Art Institute Equal Justice Residency Program

Sept. 2017–July 2018 program addressing how art and creative processes can impact social and racial equality. 505.424.5050,


Jan. 7–14, 6 pm

IAIA Winter Readers Gathering

83 Avan Nu Po Rd.

Noted authors Andre Dubus III and Ross Gay, filmmakers Sterlin Harjo, Sydney Freeland and many others including IAIA MFA faculty. Auditorium in the Library and Technology Center.


Jan. 12, 5:30–7:30 pm

Culture Connects: Santa Fe

Meow Wolf, 1352 Rufina Circle

Unveiling of Culture Connects Santa Fe: Cultural Cartography, a navigational tool for shaping our community’s future through culture. RSVP:


Jan. 13, 4 pm

Will Wilson with Amy More >

What’s Going On? – Taos – January 2017


Jan. 23, 6–8 pm

Bionutrient Food Systems

TILT, 215 La Posta Rd.

Introductory lecture about increasing quality in the food supply. Principles of Biological Systems and the Implications by Dan Kittredge, farmer and executive director of the Bionutrient Food Association. ( Free. Info: 907.738.5333


Feb. 27

Homeschool Art

Harwood Museum of Art

Homeschool families are invited to a special program to create art as part of the Art in the Schools curriculum. 575.758.9826,


Third Weds. Monthly

Taos Entrepreneurial Network

Taos County Courthouse Mural Room, Taos Plaza

Networking, presentations and discussion. Free.


Farmer-to-Farmer Training

Taos County and Española Valley

Learn to be an organic acequia farmer. 2017 yearlong training program is being started by More >

What’s Going On? – Here & There – January 2017


Jan. 11, 8 am–4 pm

NM Cotton Growers Conference

Ruidoso Convention Center

111 Sierra Blanca Dr., Ruidoso, NM

Cutting-edge info related to cotton production and economics. $25. 575.646.2571,,


Jan. 13, Feb. 10

Navajo Rug Auction

Crownpoint Elementary School, Crownpoint, NM

Hundreds of handmade rugs are auctioned. 505.362.8502,


Jan. 13, 5 pm Application Deadline

Recycling and Illegal Dumping Fund Grants

The NM Environment Dept. is accepting applications for grants for scrap tire management, illegal dumping abatement and recycling projects. Municipalities, counties, solid waste authorities, cooperative associations, land grant communities, pueblos and tribes are eligible for funds totaling $800,000. Grants will be awarded July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. More >

Wildlife advocacy organizations host multi-city premiere screenings of new documentary film



Santa Fe, N.M. – In advance of the 2017 New Mexico legislative session, a coalition of non-profit wildlife advocacy organizations are hosting the United States premiere of a new documentary film to raise awareness, debunk myths and inspire action to end the cruel and senseless slaughter of wildlife in killing contests. By showing the film in several locations across the state, opponents of wildlife killing contests hope to grow active support among New Mexico citizens for impending legislation to end the barbaric death games targeting coyotes.

The film, Unfair Game: Ending Wildlife Killing Contests, will be screened in Las Cruces, Albuquerque and Santa More >

GRASSROOTS LOBBY TRAINING: Environmental Policy and Legislation


Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces

**Traducción al español disponible**

Are you wondering how things work at the Roundhouse? Are you concerned about legislation that could harm New Mexicans and want to encourage forward-looking policy? Are you looking for a way to help?  Learn how the Legislature works, what elected officials are thinking, the importance of their staff, and how to communicate your message effectively. Local elected officials will be there offer insights on how to be an effective citizen lobbyist.  In the first part of the training you’ll learn the concepts behind lobbying. In the second half you’ll have the opportunity to hear about specific legislation More >

Community Organizations, Service Providers and Elected Officials to Hold Pro-Sanctuary Rally in Santa Fe

Santa Fe – Tomorrow (Wednesday), dozens of community organizations, service providers, and local elected officials will hold a pro-sanctuary rally to support immigrant families, workers and youth and to support Santa Fe’s status as a “sanctuary city.”

In 1999, Somos Un Pueblo Unido, along with with faith, community, labor and business allies campaigned to pass a non-discrimination resolution prohibiting the use of municipal resources towards the enforcement of federal immigration laws  Since, our members have worked with allies across the state to create a range of sanctuary policies to protect undocumented immigrants and to include our families as full members of More >

Second Taos Renewable Energy Day to be Held Friday


USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner announced Wednesday that USDA will hold its 2nd annual Taos Renewable Energy Day on Friday, Dec. 9, to celebrate eight new grant awardees under the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

The REAP program makes available grants to rural farm, ranch and business operations equivalent to 25 percent of the project cost of energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades.

When: Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.

What:  “Taos Renewable Energy Day” in Taos, NM will be held to make awards to eight local businesses that used USDA funds to upgrade their operations with renewable More >

Responses and Reflections Post-Election 2016


Higher Ground

A catalytic gathering of some of Santa Fe’s well-known authors, community leaders and musicians


On Sunday afternoon, Nov. 14, five days after an election that had over 60 million around the country shaking their heads in disbelief, an audience of 250 gathered at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe to participate in Higher Ground. The hastily organized event brought together some of Santa Fe’s well-known authors, musicians and community leaders who volunteered their insights, perspectives and suggestions to a live audience and thousands more around the world via video streaming.


“Inspiring…Positive…Very much needed…and Healing” were some of the comments participants used More >

Everyday Green / Ecopreneurs and the New Economy


 Susan Guyette


As we contemplate the next few years, getting mired in discouragement or despair will not bring about positive change. Getting specific about what we want and taking personal action will.


Where to put our energies? First, recognizing the basics of what is not working, and then taking personal responsibility for our role in the change process is central to a shift. Local-level activism through the choices of each individual holds great promise. New Mexico might be considered the “State Different,” and, with our cultural strengths, we have the potential to lead.


Several underlying faulty principles have led to the destruction of More >

Local Purchasing Powerhouses = Localism 2.0


Vicki Pozzebon and Alan Webber


There’s a new conversation, a new set of practices and a new vocabulary in the evolving effort to support local economies: Anchor institutions. Local procurement. Procurement policies. Impact investing.


What do these terms mean? And how do they represent the next stage of economic development that’s focused on producing better outcomes for local businesses and communities?


Anchor institutions are corporations, hospitals, universities and government agencies that are the largest job providers, biggest purchasers of goods and services in a community. These are the institutions that buy everything from food for their own cafeterias to cleaning services to uniforms More >

Hey New Mexico: It’s Time to Try an “Hour of Code™”


Jennifer Nevarez


Today, computing is reported as the number-one source of wages in the U.S. While there are more than 500,000 computing jobs available nationwide, only 42,969 computer science students graduated into the workforce this year. Furthermore, although computer science is fundamental to every industry in today’s economy, 75 percent of schools still don’t teach it.


This month New Mexico joins the “Largest Learning Event in History.” Local businesses, organizations and professionals are joining forces with New Mexico TechWorks and hundreds of students and teachers to participate in a regional “Hour of Code”™ (HoC) during National Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 5–11. The More >

Wintertime Recipe and Health Tips


 Japa K. Khalsa


Don’t forget over the holidays that it’s always a good time in the winter to work on preserving and serving your own health. It’s easy to go into overindulgence mode with all the sweets and treats everywhere. Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel this holiday season, and what can I do for myself to feel nurtured and healthy from the inside out?” One winter wonderful way to strengthen your health is to make a cozy warm drink at night that is slightly sweet and gives you something to look forward to every day. This drink will have More >

Tiaso Artist Cooperative Mixes Art and Community


Many have argued that art has the power to change the world, and the Albuquerque-based Tiaso Artist Cooperative believes that their members do just that. Founded in the spring of this year, the cooperative is a member-owned, member-run organization that supports artists working to create positive community change.


The cooperative has attracted artists from all over the spectrum—from performing artists to poets, painters, sculptors and even textile artists. A couple of Tiaso’s artists you might know are Hakim Bellamy, Albuquerque’s first poet laureate, and Valerie Martínez, Pulitzer Prize- nominated poet and collaborative artist. 


The co-op provides support and professional services the More >

In Praise of the Cultivation of Maíz

A new mural in Española


Alejandro López


Our town needs to experience the process through which a community can create something real and alive over an extended period of time. This way, people can share in something positive, open-ended and exciting taking place in our midst. Best of all, it’s taking place through the simple agents of paint, drawing and patience.

– Alexandra Jackson Rakovsky


Nestled between two mountain ranges at the confluence of three rivers and the intersection of five highways, the Española Valley, ancestral homeland of the Tewa Indian people, the first Mexican-Spanish capital of New Mexico, and the bastion of contemporary More >

The Moon Rises Over Hernandez Again and Again


Patricia Marina Trujillo


One of the most famous and most sought-after photographs in American fine-art photography is called “Moonrise, Hernandez, NM,” shot by Ansel Adams in 1941. I first encountered this photograph as capital “A” art in my university art history course. I was taught to appreciate it from an objective perspective, to memorize all manners of facts about its medium and technique. It is a silver gelatin print that stands the testament of time for many reasons. The photograph remains one of American photography’s most studied images because of how Adams reprinted the captured image over the years, adjusting the More >

Luminarias or Farolitos?

A Vignette from “Elvis Romero and the Cosmic White Corvette”


Andrew Lovato

Part six of an intermittent series


When the aspen leaves turned yellow and the mountain peaks wore a mantle of white, Elvis knew the change of seasons was upon him. As December approached, the days became shorter and the sun sank earlier behind the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. A cold nip was in the morning air, and it wouldn’t be long before the first light snow blanketed Santa Fe and transformed the city into the inside of a Christmas ornament that glittered with snowflakes when you shook it.


The beginning of winter meant that More >