January 2017

OP-ED: Community Resilience in the Face of Adversity


From Earth Care–New Mexico


We at Earth Care are honored to partner with Green Fire Times to bring you this edition, focused on community resilience in the face of uncertainty and adversity.


As an organization, we work with young people—supporting their exploration of social and environmental issues impacting their lives, connecting them with resources they need to make a positive impact, and advocating for spaces where opportunities for their authentic and meaningful leadership in creating solutions is celebrated honored, and effectuated. Each young person we work with, like each of you reading this, has unique gifts and talents to discover and nourish—and More >

OP-ED: Don’t Go Back to Bed / An Activist’s Wake-up Call


Tomás Rivera


I almost didn’t get out of bed. My phone was buzzing and beeping. Radio alarms were blaring the sound of shock jockeys acting shocked. I did not turn them off or hit the snooze button. I just lay there, facing the choice of getting up or going back to bed.


My mind cast its vote in favor of sleep, with desires to continue dreaming and promises of a world where I can fly if I believe I can. My body concurred and made its case with weariness, exhaustion. My eyelids pleaded to stay shut.


But my heart didn’t fall in More >

OP-ED: Immigrant Activists Defeat Fear with Collective Action


From Somos Un Pueblo Unido


In the winter of 2007, immigration agents raided the homes of dozens of immigrant families on the south side of Santa Fe. Children woke up to uniformed officers banging on their doors in a one-week enforcement sweep coldly dubbed “Operation Return to Sender.” About 30 workers and youth were taken away and eventually deported.


To protect themselves, families locked their doors and hunkered down. Workers called in sick and moms kept their kids home from school. Attendance at local churches notably dropped the following Sunday.


The community’s reaction was decisive and swift. The city’s Immigration Committee More >

OP-ED: Samia Assed / Threats from the President-Elect


As the results came in on election night and as we saw more and more states turn red on our TV screens in favor of Donald Trump, I experienced panic, fear and numbness. As a Muslim-American woman and mother, the thoughts and images of what actions his campaign will bring upon Muslims and women had me spinning to make sense of what had just happened. This unexpected, unrealistic bid for the most powerful seat in the world had become a nightmare reality for Muslim Americans. The threats of Trump’s campaign promise to hit home a thousand times over.


The president-elect More >

Not Afraid to Look


Charles Rencountre


Im a traditional pipe carver, and I have been since I was a young man growing up in Rapid City, South Dakota. This was handed down to me in a strange and cherished way. My grandfather was a known carver by my Lakota community. When he died, my Aunt Ethel handed me his carving tools and a piece of pipestone that had been drawn on. I took my grandfather’s stone, studied it and began to work with one of his files, bringing out the eagle he’d drawn. By the time I was in my early 20s I’d carved More >

OP-ED: Douglas Meiklejohn / The New Mexico Environmental Law Center’s Top Ten Environmental Issues to Watch in 2017

Trump and Martínez: A Double Whammy for New Mexico’s Environment and Communities



Environmentally hostile administrations will be making decisions about New Mexico’s communities and resources this year. Coming to the White House is a president who likely will set back federal environmental protections by years, if not decades. In New Mexico, a fading gubernatorial administration is taking its last shots at remaining state-level environmental protections. Yet these problems will likely mobilize even more New Mexicans to protect the air, water and lands that are so important to us. Together with the state’s advocacy organizations and public-interest attorneys, we can defend the More >

OP-ED: Conflicting Ideologies

Survival through moderation, or extinction through overindulgence?


Jack Loeffler


We, the human species, have been around for a couple hundred thousand years. For most of our timespan, we’ve lived as hunter-gatherers in relative balance with our biotic communities. But around 10,000 years ago, when the planet warmed up at the end of the last Ice Age, we began to practice agriculture and thereafter collectively morphed into hierarchical societies that spread around the planet. Social hierarchy and economics became inextricably interlinked, and thus recent human cultures can be viewed through time as “haves and have-nots,” masters and slaves, privileged classes served by serfs, More >

OP-ED: 100 Percent Renewable Energy Plan for New Mexico


David Van Winkle


There is no question that the window to address climate change is closing and that the need for emissions reductions and the shift to renewables is urgent. Given the recent appointments by the incoming administration, it is clear that climate justice work will have to shift to the state and local levels. The good news is that New Mexico is in a position to lead the transition to a just and sustainable energy future—both because our abundant solar and wind resources make it technically viable to do so and because growing awareness and public demand combined with recent More >

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. carlos@progressnownm.org, www.actprogressnownm.org


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, tficklin@bizjournals.com, www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/event/160072/2017/grow-nm-economic-outlook


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, residency@sfai.org


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. Iaia.edu/about/visit


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: www.CultureConnectsSantaFe.org


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. (www.bionutrient.org). 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, harwoodmuseum.org


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, jidowu@nmsu.edu, http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/ifcpm/documents/conference-registration-form-2017.pdf


Jan. 13, Feb. 10

Navajo Rug Auction

Crownpoint Elementary School, Crownpoint, NM

Hundreds of handmade rugs are auctioned. 505.362.8502, crownpointrugauction.com


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 >