April 2015

The New Mexico Health Equity Partnership: Collaboration in Support of Healthy Children, Families and Communities



Health doesn’t just happen as a result of visits to the doctor’s office, diet and exercise. Policy and planning decisions that shape where people live, work, learn and play impact quality of life, as well as physical, mental and spiritual well-being. In New Mexico, the quality of health of many individuals, as well as communities, can be traced to economic, environmental and social conditions that are deeply rooted in historical trauma and the pronounced imbalance of geographic resources.

The New Mexico Health Equity Partnership (NMHEP), funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Santa Fe Community Foundation, is working to More >

Drug Addiction: A Rising Scourge in Northern New Mexico

Criminal Problem or Health Crisis?


Consuelo Luz Aróstegui


It’s like they want you to fail,” Natalie Martínez says, her voice breaking as if trying to keep despair at bay. Natalie, a 35-year-old college-educated Santa Fean, recently released from her umpteenth jail stay, is clean and sober and trying to pull her life together. But, with a court-ordered monitoring bracelet that allows her only one hour outside of her mother’s home, she picks up her daughter from school and goes to the bank but does not have enough time to shop for groceries, let alone go to the doctor, therapist, support groups, or More >

EVERYDAY GREEN: Are You a Nutritarian?


Susan Guyette and George Mandel


Interested in vibrant health, lots of energy, less pain and a slim figure? Now that we have your attention, here’s the simple solution: you can eat as much as you want, if your choices are nutrient dense. A nutritarian eats lots of the maximum nutrient-rich foods.


The Bottom Line—Nutrition

While many diets are touted as the solution to losing weight and keeping it off, most are not healthy—truly—and can even be damaging. Avoid radical diets that do not follow a balance of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, meat or fish. Eating whole, unprocessed foods, drinking lots of water More >

A New Generation of Sustainable Aging: Net-Zero-Energy Passive House Moves into Taos Senior Housing Community


Longtime Taos residents Ross and Kristin Ulibarrí are looking to the future with their new, contemporary prairie-style Passive House, designed by the Santa Fe firm NEEDBASED, Inc. Sited within a senior cohousing community, their 3-bedroom/2-bath “TAOhouse” will allow the couple to actively enjoy the mountain town they love and live at home surrounded by engaged neighbors for decades to come.

The Ulibarrís have filled their life pursuing diverse business, educational and environmental endeavors. “Our house was built with our spirit of activism,” Ross Ulibarrí said. “We not only wanted a beautiful home; we were also interested in furthering sustainable housing More >

Solar Newsbites – April 2015

  Solar Action Alliance Offers Help to Those Interested in Solar


Solar Action Alliance is a group of environmentalists who want to spread the word about the most clean, reliable and abundant source of renewable energy: the sun.

The group’s website, solaractionalliance.org, exists to educate visitors and provide them with opportunities to get involved with solar. This includes a petition, a blog full of informative articles, location-specific solar infographics and much more.



SolarCity Arrives in New Mexico

One of the nation’s top solar-power providers, SolarCity, has begun taking orders in New Mexico. The company will design, install, maintain and finance residential and commercial solar More >

Water Conservation Connects Santa Fe to Surrounding Communities


Quita Ortiz


The city of Santa Fe has led the nation in water conservation with one of the strongest, most comprehensive water-conservation ordinances. Years ago, the city strategically implemented a rate structure incentivizing utility customers to drastically reduce water consumption. Our building and landscape codes have also become smarter about water. Since the mid-1990s, the city’s efforts have resulted in significant reduction of per capita water use among residents.  Successful as it has been, the Santa Fe Water Conservation Office is encouraging folks to reinforce their dedication to water-wise practices. Collectively, we can continue to weave the path of exemplary water conservation More >

Acequias Are for Everybody


Rachel Preston Prinz


They would call the first irrigation ditch in each village the Acequia Madre, or Mother Ditch, as if the Hispanic settlers wanted to acknowledge the acequias as a source of life, of sustenance and even the foundation of community.

The rains and snows that fall on the Rocky Mountains are the source. They flow as streams, pulverizing stone and leaves and wood, adding vitamins and minerals to the water as it carves its way through solid rock. Where the mountain joins the plain, almost a thousand years ago, the Puebloans built their communities. They were moving from a nomadic, More >

Museum of the Acequia Interest Sought


Acequias are beautiful, functional and fragile systems integral to northern New Mexico’s past and vital to our future. They are glistening examples of time-tested, sustainable water management that not only provide water for agriculture but also allow us to directly engage with our environment.


Communities that developed around acequias—their history, customs, legends and laws—are unique to the Hispanic world. Celebrating their rich history, as well as their contemporary role in protecting Earth’s natural water cycles, fosters a public more informed about how we all benefit from the acequias, which leads to their preservation.


Taos entrepreneur Mary Domito and some friends came More >

Three Case Studies of Elevated Uranium Concentrations in Groundwater


Stephen Wiman, Ph.D.



The mention of dissolved uranium in drinking water supplies brings to mind its most infamous use: enrichment for producing nuclear devices. That is particularly true in northern New Mexico because of its geographic proximity—about 23 miles, straight-line distance—to Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL), which was founded in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project and for the express purpose of building the atomic bomb. This paper presents the results of several technical projects in which my company has participated with LANL and New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) scientists to characterize the distribution of uranium in this area, efforts More >

SFCC Programs Offer Hands-on Experiences and Field Trips


Santa Fe Community College’s Alternative Fuels (biofuels) program prepares students for employment in science, agriculture and energy fields and for further studies in agriculture, biology and engineering. Hands-on applications and field trips to facilities in operation provide networking opportunities at potential job sites and universities. Instructor Luke Spangenburg sees the experiential aspects of the program as “a way to inspire the next generation to develop cross-disciplinary thinking skills to be able to face climate, food, energy and water challenges.”


A Trip to the New Mexico Consortium

A trip to the Biolab and greenhouse facility at the New Mexico Consortium (NMC) in Los More >

NMSU Offers University-wide Sustainability Minor


New Mexico State University has caught on to the universal movement transforming the job market for graduating students—a movement that benefits the student, the university and the planet. By implementing four sustainability minors in the colleges of Engineering; Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Business; and Arts and Sciences, management professor and faculty coordinator David Boje is “greening the curriculum.” The 18-credit, university-wide undergraduate minor offered in three tracks allows students to explore challenges in local and global sustainability. 

A graduate minor in sustainability will serve as a master of business administration minor and will eventually be added to any NMSU More >

“Breaking Bueno”: TRANSITION from Oil Dependency to Community Resilience


April 10-11 in Albuquerque


Enchanting, elusive 360-degree views, sunshine, Georgia O’Keeffe clouds, art and culture. These are among the reasons we love our home in New Mexico. And then there is the underbelly, the social indicators of poverty: DWI, teen pregnancy, low literacy rates, job losses and dropping GDP. How does New Mexico move up from 47th, 48th and even 50th among other states? What are the factors and behaviors necessary to improve our rankings and our quality of life?

It will take a new vision. Government and business interests will not solve New Mexico’s problems. Citizens, that is, local folk, working More >

Sustainable Santa Fe Update: Climate Action Task Force Makes First Recommendations


Bianca Sopoci-Belknap


On March 11, former Mayor David Coss presented to the Santa Fe City Council a set of recommendations developed by Santa Fe’s Climate Action Task Force focused on the energy efficiency and renewable energy the city can undertake to help it prepare for future impacts of climate change. The task force is co-chaired by Coss and Councilor Peter Ives, and its sub-committees are comprised of over 70 energy and environmental experts from throughout the community, including members of the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission.

The task force made six recommendations:

1. Establish goals and benchmarks to reduce citywide energy consumption and greenhouse More >

2015 Sustainable Santa Fe Award Winners Announced


April 8 Awards Gala at La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe – 5:30-7 pm

This year’s Sustainable Santa Fe Awards Gala, hosted by Green Drinks, will celebrate projects that are helping Santa Fe reduce its ecological footprint, mitigate carbon emissions and build resilience in the face of climate change. The award winners will be on hand to share their projects and answer questions. The partners who sponsor the awards are the city of Santa Fe Sustainable Santa Fe Commission, the Green Chamber of Commerce, Green Fire Times and La Fonda Hotel. The free event in La Fonda Hotel’s New Mexico Room is open More >

Remembering Carol Decker


Alejandro López

Many people come to northern New Mexico looking to find something akin to the Holy Grail or the philosopher’s stone, and when they don’t find it, they leave feeling disillusioned. Carol Decker, a self-proclaimed “white, overeducated, New England Puritan Yankee female,” who recently passed away at age 87, was originally from Massachusetts, resettling in Santa Fe about 35 years ago. She did not come here looking for anything; rather, she came to give something. As a result of her deep, personal investment in the place, she stayed.


Carol’s cheerful disposition aided her desire to massage points of tension within Santa More >

Newsbites – April 2015


Healthy Eating Guidelines May Align with Agricultural Policy

U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) dietary recommendations, released every five years, may, for the first time, in addition to addressing calories, sugars, fats and sodium, take into consideration what constitutes a “sustainable diet,” how food is grown, and what is healthy for the environment. An advisory panel to the USDA and Health and Human Services (HHS) Department has been considering an approach that is “more health promoting and associated with lesser environmental impact than the current average U.S. diet.”

That may mean recommending that people consume more fruit, vegetables and other plant-based More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque – April 2015


April 1, 5:30-7 pm

Green Drinks

Hotel Andaluz, 125 Second St. NW

Network with people interested in doing business locally, clean energy alternatives and creating sustainable opportunities in our communities. Presented the first Wednesday of each month by the ABQ and Río Rancho Green Chamber. info@nmgreenchamber.com, www.greendrinks.org


April 4, 11 am–12:30 pm

Composting with Worms

Open Space Visitor Center, 6500 Coors Blvd NW

Food scraps, junk mail and paper products make up about 30% of garbage. Learn vermicomposting; how to use red worms to turn organic waste into high quality compost. Free. Registration: 505.897.8831 or register@nmcomposters.org


April 10

Merchants of Doubt

Century 14 Downtown

Entertaining exposé about professional deniers who More >

What’s Going On? – Santa Fe – April 2015


April 1, 7 pm

Mary Chapin Carpenter

The Lensic

Singer/songwriter. Benefits the Espanola Valley Humane Society. $55/$25. 505.988.1234, TicketsSantaFe.org


April 2

Business Expo & Job Fair

SF Place Mall, 4250 Cerrillos Rd.

12th annual event. One of the largest of its kind in NM. Presented by the SF Chamber of Commerce. 505.988.3279, www.santafechamber.com


April 6, 6 pm

Decline of the Chaco World: The Risks of Growth

Hotel Santa Fe

Southwest Seminars lecture by author/ UNM Professor of Anthropology Dr. David E. Stuart. $12. 505.466.2775, Southwestseminar@aol.com, SouthwestSeminars.org


April 7, 8:30 am-12:30 pm

Planned Giving Boot Camp

SF Community Foundation

Fundraising workshop. Sliding scale: $15-$45. Registration: 505.988.9715, www.santafecf.org


April 8, 5:30-7 pm

Sustainable SF Awards Gala

La Fonda Hotel New More >

What’s Going On? – Taos – April 2015


April 9, 7:30 pm

Scrap Arts Music

Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo de Pueblo Norte, Taos, NM

Internationally renowned percussion ensemble from Canada. Music starts out as scrap, turns into art and then transforms into unforgettable sound. $20; TCA members: $17; 18 and under: $10. 575.758.2052, tcataos.org


April 10

2015 Taos County Farming & Ranching Fair

Taos County Agricultural Center, 202 Chamisa Road

An opportunity for renewal.” Information booths, demonstrations, discussion regarding agricultural land classification, roundtable discussions with local farmers and ranchers (10:30 am and 1:30 pm), job opportunities. Entertainment, refreshments. Taos County Extension Service: 575.758.3982


April 17, 5-7 pm Reception

Past, Present and Future: Celebration of the More >

What’s Going On? – Here & There – April 2015


April 9, 5:30-7 pm

Green Drinks/NMSEA

Little Toad Pub, 200 N. Bullard St., Silver City, NM

Monthly meeting of the Southwest NM Green Chamber of Commerce and the NM Solar Energy Association – Silver City Chapter. Held every second Thursday of the month. 575.538.1337, swGreenChamber@gmail.com


April 10 Call for Papers Deadline

Earth USA 2015

8th Annual International Conference on Architecture and Construction with Earthen Materials

Conference will be held at the NM Museum of Art in Santa Fe, Oct. 2-4. Organized by Adobe in Action. Earthusa.org


April 11-May 15

Women’s Work”

Maria Saroni Community Gallery, Rowe, NM

Women artists from NM celebrate the work done by women in our communities. More >