February 2011

The New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails

Growing Businesses through Cultural Tourism

Mae Colburn and Carol Cooper

Textiles: we sleep between them, wear them next to our skin, drape them over tables, lay them on the floor, and hang them from curtain rods. We live in, on, and around textiles, but seldom question their origin. The New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails, a creative sector entrepreneurship and cultural tourism initiative developed by New Mexico Arts (a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs), help to chronicle the textile supply chain. The guidebook features three trails, or proposed itineraries, and over sixty fiber arts enterprises, including farms, ranches, workshops, artist studios, More >

Faren Dancer’s Green Talk: Our Renewable Future?

Faren Dancer’s Green Talk

Our Renewable Future?

As we move into spring with the promise of renewal we’re reminded of our connection to the Earth, the sustenance it provides and the reminder that by planting, in mind and action, the harvest will eventually end up in our kitchen. During a time when contrasting agendas of the haves and have-nots, the corporations and the people, the right and the left, the old and the renewable, are obscured by vivid images of devastation, we are somehow united by a sense of vulnerability, not too unlike the common enemy provided by the events of 9/11. More >

February 2011 Edition

Is Our Medical System Sustainable? Environmental Medicine,NM Food and Agriculture Policy Council’s Legislative Priorities, A Love Letter to the EPA, Saving Real Healthcare Reform, New Mexico Health Facts, A Human “Being”, Integrated Health Studies at Northern NM College, Reflections Upon Sustainability in the Healing Arts, New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts, Meaning, Sustainability and the Healing Arts, Southwestern College, How Green Is Your Yoga? The Earth’s Electromagnetic Energy: Essential for Health, Santa Fe Soul Health & Healing Center, Incorporating Curanderismo into Modern Medicine, How to Safely Make It Through the X-ray at the Airport, Birthing Back Our Roots – Española More >

Office of Women’s Health Federal Grant Awarded

Women’s Health Services (WHS), Tewa Women United, and Young Women United have received a one-year planning grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health to establish a NM Coalition for a Healthier Community that reflects the diversity of women in the state. The Coalition will apply for a five-year continuation grant mid-2011 and is working closely with other partners to build financial and structural sustainability.

The coalition will identify the health condition having the most adverse effect on the health and well-being of these populations in their community and subsequently develop a strategy that will More >

Southwestern NM Officials Invite High Level Nuclear Waste to WIPP

A number of officials and residents in southeastern New Mexico support the expansion of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to handle high-level nuclear waste. The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, a panel appointed by President Obama last year to review policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle and develop recommendations for a long-term solution, visited Carlsbad on January 27 to tour the WIPP site. The commission was told, “We have plenty of room in our backyard.” State Sen. Vernon Asbill presented the commission with a letter from legislators calling for Congress to allow WIPP More >

Climate Adaptation Plan Created for Taos County

Utilizing a grant obtained from the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Town of Taos Planner Matthew Foster has authored a newly released draft plan for Taos County that suggests ways the county should prepare for the effects of inevitable climate change. The Forest and Water Climate Adaptation Plan “seeks to increase a community’s resilience to the imminent impacts…”

“The climate has already changed,” Foster told the Taos News. “We can expect more droughts, less snow, more risks of forest fire and so forth.” The plan states, “These impacts will change our lifestyles permanently, as everything we do as individuals, families and communities More >

Southwest Energy Alliance Formed to Foster Clean Energy Development

The Southwest Energy Alliance was formed in October 2010 to demonstrate how projects being developed by its members will permit the country’s cleanest and most abundant energy resources to be deployed in a manner that meets the state and national clean energy goals in an economical manner.

Specifically, alliance member companies plan to tie together wind and utility-scale solar power plants as well as clean, gas-fired generation, gas pipelines, and energy storage projects using advanced battery, superconductor power cable, HVDC converter, and other technologies. Many are involved with the Tres Amigas Project in New Mexico, which focuses on interconnecting the country’s More >

Solar Manufacturer Moving to Carlsbad

Sac-Tec Labs of California has signed a lease to take over a 25,000 sq. ft. facility in downtown Carlsbad. The company has announced that it will produce a new generation of mobile solar and wind-driven power generating systems. Sac-Tec Solar will manufacture portable power generating units that utilize high-energy solar components, solar charged batteries, power generation and conversion systems.

The solar-wind power units are designed for rapid deployment by the military, emergency response services, and Third World countries without reliable sources of power.

Sac-Tec will initially employ 25 people and anticipates eventually employing hundreds.

Renewable Energy Feasibility Studies in Rural Communities One Project Slated for San Fidel, New Mexico

USDA Rural Development has selected 68 study grants for funding nationwide to determine the feasibility of renewable energy projects. In all, studies will be funded in 27 states and the Western Pacific through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) under the 2008 Farm Bill.

“The Obama Administration is committed to helping our nation become more energy independent by helping rural businesses build renewable energy systems,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These investments will not only help our farmers and small businesses reduce energy costs, but also help find renewable alternatives to generate energy.”

One of the 68 projects chosen is at More >

Sustainable North Korean Relationship

Skip Whitson

Is there any hope for the U.S. to maintain a sustainable, working, mutually respectful relationship with North Korea? That question was the focus of a recent talk given by former Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory director Dr. Siegfried S. Hecker at the January meeting of the Santa Fe Council on International Relations. Over 100 people attended the sold-out event at the Hilton Hotel in Santa Fe.

The conclusion: maybe. It appears that, despite what we are constantly fed by most of the media, North Korea really does want to have some sort of civilized ongoing relationship with the U.S. and the More >

The New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council’s Legislative Priorities

The NMFAPC, in partnership with the NM Food Gap Task Force, the NM Farmers’ Marketing Association, and other agencies and organizations representing agriculture, health, human services, and economic development, are working to improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables for children, food insecure families and individuals. This effort goes hand-in-hand with expanding markets for farming and ranching families and reinvigorating local economic activity with wholesale and retail food enterprises.

The NMFAPC is advocating for the following bills in the 2011 state legislature:

• NM-Grown Produce in School Lunches – “Healthy Kids/Healthy Economy” (Sen. Campos, SB 123)

NM Fruits and Vegetables for School Meals: More >

Industry Groups Appeal Regulations

The NM Cattle Growers Association has appealed a rule approved by the state Water Quality Control Commission intended to protect 199 headwaters of streams on public lands in NM. The rule designating the headwaters “Outstanding National Resource Waters” requires the Forest Service to protect water quality. The cattle association has asked the Court of Appeals to review the rule, saying it is too broad, even though the rule exempts ranchers with Forest Service grazing leases. It also exempts acequias.

The Independent Petroleum Association of NM, the NM Oil and Gas Association, Public Service Company of NM, two other utilities have all More >

Holistic Spanish Helps Health Professionals Learn Spanish

Holistic Spanish is a new audio-based Spanish course for intermediate and advanced

Spanish speakers based on a two-hour lecture about holistic health and nutrition. Holistic Spanish can be used by health practitioners in any field to improve their communication with Spanish speakers.

The first of three volumes is currently available as a digital download that come with a full transcript and instructional notes. The hard copy version and Volumes 2 and 3 will be released soon. Volume 1 contains 24 lessons with over 19 hours of audio content. The audios feature native Spanish speakers from Mexico, Spain, Guatemala and Venezuela.

Holistic Spanish is More >

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Provisions Extended

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Provisions Extended

President Obama has signed a bill that extends many energy efficiency and renewable energy provisions through 2011. Included is Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Under the guidelines, the federal government will provide cash instead of tax credit totaling up to 30% of the qualifying cost of the project. The measure extends for one year the start-of-construction deadline for wind and solar projects.

Also extended through 2011 are a $1 per-gallon production tax credit for biodiesel, credit for manufacturers of energy efficient homes, a 50 cent per gallon alternative fuel tax credit, and credits for manufacturers More >

$967 Million Loan Guarantee for Arizona Solar PV Project

The U.S. Department of Energy has offered a $967 million loan guarantee for Agua Caliente, a large Arizona solar-power project owned by NRG Energy Inc. and developed by First Solar Inc.

First Solar started construction on the 290-megawatt photovoltaic facility late last year and has said it will be completed by 2014. In December First Solar agreed to sell Agua Caliente to NRG for an undisclosed amount. The deal requires that First Solar installs, operates and maintains the project.

NRG plans to invest $800 million of equity in the project, which would be the largest solar-panel power generator in the world. NRG’s More >

Audubon NM Grant Protects Ecosystems and Native Traditions Santa Clara Pueblo Rio Grande Partnership

In the arid southwest, riparian (riverside) ecosystems are like wildlife magnets, supporting a significant percentage of the region’s flora and fauna. Unfortunately, due to activities such as water diversion, flood control, development and agriculture, riparian ecosystems have declined dramatically in states like NM. In fact, many have disappeared completely.

Loss of natural areas inevitably affects wildlife populations, but it can also represent a cultural loss. In Santa Clara Pueblo, for example, the disappearance of certain significant plants and wildlife along the Rio Grande has eroded Pueblo cultural traditions and practices.

With its $22,000 Innovation Grant, from Audubon and Toyota’s TogetherGreen initiative, Audubon More >

Abengoa Bioenergy Reopens New Mexico Ethanol Plant

Abengoa Bioenergy has restarted its Portales ethanol plant, New Mexico’s only commercial-scale bioethanol plant. The plant is designed to produce up to 30 million gallons per year, produced primarily from sorghum grown on the High Plains of West Texas and Eastern NM.

The plant became viable again due to more favorable market conditions and increasing demand. Recent legislative and administrative actions supporting the industry and expanding ethanol blend levels are also expected to have a positive impact.

Ethanol produced from the facility is also expected to have a higher value than ethanol produced at some other grain-based facilities under the provisions of More >

Aamodt Water Rights Claims End After 44 Years

U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall gathered with Pueblo leaders, local and state officials on December 28th to celebrate the passage of legislation to settle the 44-year-old Aamodt water rights lawsuit. Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was able to secure $81.8 million toward implementation of the settlement. Those funds will be used to build a water system to draw water from the Rio Grande at the Otowi Bridge and deliver it to Pueblo and non-Pueblo homes. An additional $92.5 million has been authorized for the project, subject to the appropriation process. The state and More >

Santa Fe Creative Tourism Initiative

The city of Santa Fe’s marketing of Creative Tourism is centered on the website santafecreativetourism.org. Listings are free to local area businesses that offer a hands-on workshop, class or experience. Those wishing to place a listing should visit the site and see the tab titled “Get Involved.” The website is actively marketed through a blog, a newsletter and other websites. Marketing efforts by the businesses listed on the website create an even larger reach.

“As a result of listing my workshops on SantaFeCreativeTourism.org and learning about Internet marketing strategies through a free consultation at the Community Gallery, I attracted many new More >

Birthing Back Our Roots: Yiya Vi Kagingdi Española Community Doulas

Hope Logghe

A farmer and a midwife do the same work. We learned midwifery from the corn.” These are the words of Katsi Cook, a Mohawk elder, healer, midwife and environmental health researcher who visited the Yiya Vi Kagingdi Española Community Doulas at Tewa Women United last year. She was part of a panel of traditional birth workers that the program hosted so that the doulas and their networks could gain a better sense of how to bring traditional wisdom into their work in indigenous rural communities. Cook spoke of the importance of birth work as an element of a sustainable More >