May 2017

Journey Santa Fe’s 10 Years of Weekly Community Dialogues


Seth Roffman


JourneySantaFe was created to offer a platform to all sectors of the community and to provide ideas and information “that can effect change and solutions for the greater good.” Since 2007, JSF has offered weekly presentations by notable people who are engaged in environmental, social, cultural, political and policy issues that impact Santa Fe and New Mexico. Journey’s events take place every Sunday at 11 a.m. for about an hour, at Collected Works bookstore. The dialogues are usually moderated by author/entrepreneur Alan Webber or former KSFR News Director Bill Dupuy. The events are recorded by Geoff Cheshire and broadcast on subsequent Sundays at 5 p.m. on KSFR, 101.1 FM.


Although JSF is a team effort, since its inception, Melissa Williams has been the event’s central coordinator. Williams has a talent for connecting people with those shaping the issues of the day and opening a space for conversations and interaction. Williams said, “Journey has been a tremendous volunteer effort to make the programs happen every week for 10 years.” Alan Webber, former Harvard Business Review editor and founder of Fast Company Magazine, has also been a strong influence in shaping the program series. Webber has invited presenters from around the state who run organizations involved with current issues and the political scene. Webber has encouraged news organizations to “dig for the story behind the story,” and that is often what JSF does. “The silence of acquiescence is not acceptable,” Webber says.


In addition to Williams and Webber, JSF’s programming committee includes Bill and Ellen Dupuy; attorney Denise Fort; Lois Manno of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Santa Fe Watershed Association Director Andy Otto; poet Elizabeth Raby and her husband, Jim; and Green Fire Times Editor Seth Roffman.


JSF’s presenters have included journalists, authors, representatives from community and statewide organizations and activists. Some examples: Fred Nathan, executive director of Think New Mexico; Doug Meiklejohn, executive director of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center; Mike Loftin, executive director of Homewise; Ona Porter, executive director, Prosperity Works; Javier Gonzales, mayor of Santa Fe; Inez Gomez Russell, editorial page editor for the Santa Fe New Mexican; Simon Brackley, president of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce; Greg Mello, director of Los Alamos Study Group; Aaron Stern, president of the Academy for the Love of Learning; Joe Maestas, Santa Fe city councilor; Todd López, attorney/community educator; Penn LaFarge, president of the Old Santa Fe Association; Peter Simonson, executive director of the ACLU of New Mexico; Daniel Tso, Navajo activist against fracking in the Chaco Canyon area; William DeBuys, author/conservationist; John Nichols, author; and Marcela Díaz, executive director, Somos un Pueblo Unido.


JSF’s speakers are not paid, but a basket is passed around at the end of their presentation. JSF’s programing committee forwards donations it receives to people or organizations of the speaker’s choice.


For more information, to view upcoming JSF presentations or sign up for JSF’s weekly email newsletter, visit




Quotes from a Few of JSF’s Speakers


“Journey Santa Fe’s vision of progressive dialogue each Sunday created a much-needed platform for democratic engagement. Having this forum to dialogue with constituents makes me a better representative.” ­

— NM State Sen. Peter Wirth


“I find I usually come away having learned something myself or at least having a new perspective on my positions opened up.  It is always stimulating.”

— NM State Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino


“Journey is a necessary weekly dose of engaged discussion about our problems—on this planet and in this place we live. Reality beats reality TV every time; a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

— Teacher/activist Mark Rudd




Journey Santa Fe’S May Water
and Watersheds in NM Series


Every Sunday at 11 am in May, Journey Santa Fe, in association with the Santa Fe Watershed Association, is presenting a speaker focused on different aspects of water and watersheds in New Mexico. Andy Otto, SFWA’s executive director, will moderate these talks.


May 7: Emeritus professor of law, G. Emlen Hall, will speak on Water Tales from the St. Augustine Plains. Hall will discuss the pending application to drill and pump 54,000 acre-feet per year from a ranch in Catron County. The developers propose to pipe that water 130 miles up the Río Grande, where it would be offered for sale to water-short cities. Albuquerque, Río Rancho and other municipalities have yet to commit themselves to purchasing the water. Hall will assess the controversial project against the historical, legal, scientific and human background of the proposal.  


Hall has written three books: Four Leagues of Pecos: A Legal History of the Pecos Grant from 1800 to 1936 (1984); High and Dry: The Texas-New Mexico Struggle for the Pecos River (2002), and Reining in the Río Grande (with Phillips and Black) (2011). 


May 14: John Fleck, a science journalist with 30 years of newspaper experience, more than two decades at the Albuquerque Journal, will speak on Water is for Fighting Over and Other Myths About Water in the West. His book by the same name (Island Press) is subtitled An Exploration of Solutions to the Colorado River Basin’s Water Problems.


Fleck’s perspective includes showing how the region’s communities have been adapting to changing circumstances, learning to do more with less, and how, in some instances, it may be possible to collaborate rather than fight over water.


May 21: Claudia Borchert is Santa Fe County’s sustainability manager. She is working with the county’s administration and the community in areas of recycling/solid waste, energy efficiency and renewable energy, transportation, and water resources. For the three previous years, Borchert was the director of the county’s water and wastewater utility. As a water manager and planner for the City of Santa Fe for over 10 years, she worked on policies like the Living River Ordinance, the Long Range Water Supply Plan and shortage-sharing agreements. 


May 28: Phil Bové will present a brief history of acequias in Santa Fe, the problems acequias had with the water companies that built reservoirs on the Santa Fe River and what they did to get water. He will talk about the remaining acequias in Santa Fe and what the future for them looks like, then present a short video about the annual cleaning of the Acequia Madre.


Bové has been a commissioner on the Acequia Madre de Santa Fe since 1983 and on the Santa Fe River Commission since 2009. He and his wife of 52 years, Eleanor, live in the same house on Acequia Madre where she was born. 




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