March 2016

The Magic of Simple Vernacular Building in the Context of New Mexico’s Long History of Building


Alejandro López



Architecture is often referred to as the Queen of the Arts because the buildings and the spaces it encompasses accommodate all other arts: music, theater, oratory, dance, sculpture, painting, ritual and ceremony. It can safely be said that the ideals of a society are embodied in what and how a society chooses to buildwith what materials and to what ends. A peoples architecture can be evaluated by how well its buildings fulfill their function by their design, craftsmanship and aesthetics. It will also be judged by the effect its buildings have upon the natural and man-made environments, as well as More >

Keeping Our Heritage – Fire-gutted Francisca Hinojos House Being Rebuilt

  Seth Roffman One of Santa Fe’s most unique and cherished historic houses, the Francisca Hinojos House, built in the 1880s a few blocks from Santa Fe’s plaza, is being rebuilt. The Territorial-style house, which preservationists have said “…adds more to that streetscape than almost any other building on Palace Avenue,” was substantially damaged in 2013 by what is believed to have been arson. A plaque from the Historic Santa Fe Foundation remained embedded in what was left of the front wall. Demolition had been proposed. John Wolf, owner of Wolf Corp builders, bought the property and is carefully restoring the house More >

Belmont del Norte: A Straw-Bale Vacation Rental House in Southern Colorado

This unique mountaintop home in the San Luis Valley is offered as a vacation rental or space for family reunions or business getaways. It has five bedrooms, two living areas, a large eat-in kitchen, separate dining area and two and one-half baths. It is located near the town of Del Norte, on 45 acres that have been certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a sanctuary for nurturing and protecting elk, deer, mountain lions, coyotes and many species of birds. Some amazing rock formations are scattered around the area. This straw-bale, sustainable, off-grid solar house was built by artist/builder Bill More >

Radiant New Mexico


Bob Dunsmore


When our early ancestors first discovered fire and learned how to manage its energy, the fire’s radiant heat cooked food and heated water, rocks of a fire ring, people and pets very efficiently. But radiant heatfrom a fire or from the sundoes not heat air. Instead, air is warmed by moving across surfaces that have been radiantly heated. You have likely noticed that a single cloud can force you to suddenly become chilled on a day of abundant sunshine. On a cold night, enjoying the warmth of a campfire, you may suddenly become cold when someone walks between you More >

Solar Newsbites – March 2016


Nevada Solar Fight Could Become National Issue In December, the three-person public utility commission in Nevada, under pressure from the state’s largest electric utility, NV Energy, effectively threw a wrench into the state’s solar-power market. The regulators drastically rolled back a key financial incentive for rooftop solar installations. The decision could mean thousands of dollars of higher electricity costs for existing customers, who may see their monthly fee raised threefold by 2020 and their net-metering credit reduced by 18 percent. The move has prompted a mass exodus of solar contractors from the state with the most solar jobs per capita. Net More >

New School Combines Sustainability, Closing the Achievement Gap and Free College for Santa Fe Public School Students

Dana Richards On a cold evening in January, the Santa Fe Public Schools’ Board of Education gave the Early College Opportunities School proposal a warm reception. After a 5-0 vote to approve the district’s newest high school, director Steve Carrillo said, “It feels like this might be one of the greatest things we’ve ever done. The legacy of this could turn out to be of historic significance.” Thirty students, parents and community partners testified to the value of the new school during a lengthy public forum that brought many of those present to tears.   ECO, the Early College Opportunities Applied Science More >

Go Green and Get Outside


Kelly Phillips The Outdoor Club, a Capital High School (CHS) club focusing on public service and environmental issues, began in August 2015. The club consists of 20 motivated students, led by teachers Kelly Phillips, Jen Bakevich and Reid Burgess. Throughout the 20152016 school year, students have raised school and community awareness on environmental issues. The club is improving school recycling efforts, maintaining local neighborhood trails, raising native trout and revitalizing the campus greenhouse for food production. School-wide recycling has dramatically benefited through the club’s efforts. The number of recycling containers tripled. The club made “How to Recycle” posters and placed the More >

“Love Where We Live”

The Youth Ambassadors Program and Community Learning Network


By Serina Padgett – 7th Grade Student, St. Michael’s High School, Santa Fe



Learn, explore, volunteer, train. These are things the Community Learning Network’s Santa Fe Youth Ambassadors program offers as part of its “Love Where We Live” initiative. The New Mexico-born, locally based nonprofit is dedicated to “building stronger communities through real-life learning in real-life places with real people.”


CLN provides opportunities for small groups of middle-school, high-school and college students to learn about Santa Fe’s unique and amazing qualities. This helps students discover what is valuable about our community and the people who live More >

New Mexico Leaders in Mindfulness Conference

April 22–23 at Santa Ana Pueblo and Albuquerque   New Mexico educators, innovators, health-care providers, business leaders, therapists and policymakers statewide will gather at Santa Ana Pueblo’s Tamaya Resort and the FatPipe business incubator in Albuquerque for the second annual New Mexico Leaders in Mindfulness Conference on April 22 and 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.   On April 22, the New Mexico Mindful Business Intensive will take place at the FatPipe business incubator in Albuquerque. Participants will learn how to increase their impact, profits and sense of meaning through applying practices based in both mindfulness and emotional intelligence. Nationally known speakers will More >

Op-Ed: Living Feminism: Leading with our Values


Sarah Ghiorse and Fatima van Hattum   During the month of March, when International Women’s Day is celebrated, we at NewMexicoWomen.Org, a program of the New Mexico Community Foundation, often pause to reflect on our commitment to gender equity and the rights of women and girls. We find ourselves discussing how to balance work, life and families; that is, how to do it all. This broader conversation then moves into self-reflection about how do we, as a women’s fund and program, embody our feminist values? Does our organization provide paid parental leave? Do we enable flexible and fair working practices that promote More >

Celebration of the Life and Art of Innovative Native American Artist and Designer Lloyd Kiva New


This year, 2016, is the centennial of the birth of seminal Native American artist Lloyd Kiva New (1916-2002), and three Santa Fe arts institutions are celebrating the anniversary in style. New, a Cherokee, who arose from humble beginnings on a family farm in Oklahoma, became one of the first Native Americans to earn a degree in art education at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1938. He then taught painting at the Phoenix Indian School. After returning from Navy service on the Pacific Front in 1941, New became a charter member of the Arizona Craftsmen cooperative, a group of artists that More >

BOOK PROFILE: The Sound of Drums: A Memoir of Lloyd Kiva New

Sunstone Press, 2016


Written by Lloyd Kiva New himself and edited by Ryan S. Flahive, archivist at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), The Sound of Drums is a personal look at the celebrated Native American artist, fashion designer and educator.


New inspired thousands of artists and students during his career. His humble beginnings in rural Oklahoma awakened an obsession with nature and a connection to his Cherokee roots—a connection he sought to strengthen throughout his life.


New’s story is one of inspiration, creativity and a lifelong search for meaning. The book offers a series of personal anecdotes, supplemented by historic photographs More >

Indigenous Climate Justice at the Institute of American Indian Arts


Bineshi Albert and Jaida Grey Eagle


Indigenous peoples are often overlooked when policy decisions are made and enacted regarding climate change. Yet these communities, which often still live subsistence lifestyles, are the ones facing the frontline impacts of climate change. They are having to deal with real changes to their food sources, as well as losing their homes. They are not facing a possibility of future climate change; they are being displaced today.


Just over a year ago, a ruling from New Zealand’s government created the country’s first climate-change refugees. A family left the island of Kiribati due to massive coastal More >

The Longest Walk 2016



What started as a response to what was considered anti-Indian legislation became a way for Native Americans to assert Indigenous sovereignty rights and change the way they thought about their responsibilities as Native people.


The Longest Walk was originally conceived of by American Indian Movement (AIM) co-founder Dennis Banks and Bill Wahpepah. “The issues facing our people and the issues facing our Earth are connected,” Banks said. “They both are from thinking that does not value people or the Earth. As Native Americans, we say that all life is sacred, and we will speak as the conscience of our Earth as More >

Protecting New Mexico’s Wetland Gems


Rachel Conn



Amigos Bravos and Western Environmental Law Center are working to identify and protect important wetlands in the Carson and Santa Fe national forests in northern New Mexico. These “Wetland Gems” have been defined using recently mapped statewide wetland data. Working with GeoSpatial Services of St. Mary’s University in Minnesota, the data have identified specific wetlands types, wetlands significant for specific functions and wetlands meeting certain locational criteria:

  • Headwater wetlands
  • Headwater wetlands that discharge to a stream
  • Spring-fed wetlands
  • Headwater wetlands connected to known cold-water fish-bearing streams
  • Wetlands that perform surface-water detention
  • Wetlands that perform stream-flow maintenance
  • Wetland complexes considered to be important for wildlife habitat


Eight Wetland More >

Healing Allergies from the Inside Out


Japa K. Khalsa


I enjoy and bask in the warm weather, clean air and beautiful skies of New Mexico, but I feel for so many people here who suffer from seasonal allergies. The pollen counts rise, and the winds pick up in the springtime, as do sneezes, runny noses and irritated eyes. The beautiful mountains of New Mexico have large forests of cedar, juniper and piñón trees. These gorgeous conifers pollinate twice a year, and the pollens can spread as far as 100 miles on a windy day. Pollination months are January to March, as well as September and October, but More >

Op-Ed: A Public Bank for Santa Fe


Nichoe Lichen


The crash of 2008 just keeps on giving. We didn’t make it happen, but somehow it’s ours to fix. Historically, governments look to raising taxes and cutting jobs and services to fix the problem.” So it goes in the city of Santa Fe this year. This may be a short-term necessity, given the city’s current financial crisis, but Banking on New Mexico believes the time is right for a better long-term strategy that includes a public bank that will invest our public funds—interest earned from those taxes, fees and fines we all pay—back into our community.

The city has to More >

Water Efficiency Rating System Training at SFCC


Santa Fe Community College’s EnergySmart Academy has expanded its training to include water efficiency. The college is the first institution in the country to offer Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) training.


The Green Builder Coalition, Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, Build Green New Mexico and members of the city of Santa Fe Water Conservation Committee created water-modeling software that generates a water-efficiency rating score in a detailed effort to measure water efficiency in existing and newly constructed homes. Like the better-known Home Energy Rating System (HERS), WERS is a predictive calculation tool on a zero-to-100 scale, with zero meaning no More >

Newsbites – March 2016


Running Dry: The Southwest’s Drift into a Drier Climate

A new study has concluded that, despite a significant increase in precipitation in New Mexico over the past year and a possible benefit through May from the moisture-inducing weather pattern known as El Niño, the southwestern United States has begun a shift into a drier climate. The three weather patterns that typically bring moisture are becoming more rare—an indication that human-caused climate change is pushing the region to become drier, a trend long predicted by global models.

 What is now considered a normal year of rain and snow in the Southwest is one-quarter More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque – March 2016


Through March

Natural Forces – The Wild

South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway SE

Photography exhibition by Stan Honda, Ken Spencer, Charles Medendorp, Rush Dudley and Vance Ley. 2/4, 5-8 pm: opening reception. 2/6 and 3/7, 10 am-12 pm: “Meet the artists.” 505.918.2964,

March 2, 7 pm

 Restoration of the Bosque Ecosystem

NM Museum of Natural History, 1802 Mountain NW

Free presentation by ecologist Ondrea Hummel, who will also lead a tour of the San Antonio oxbow on March 6, 9-11 am (meet at City of ABQ Open Space parking lot).


March 3, 3-4:15 pm

Veteran Farmer Project Class

Bernalillo County Extension Office classroom, 1510 Menaul NW

Growing Organic: More >