SELECT title FROM cont_articles WHERE id='' LIMIT 1 Santa Fe Reporter

Triple digit temps dry the Rio Grande

New Mexico's farmers and endangered fish had a tough month

Local NewsThursday, July 28, 2016 by New Mexico In Depth

Despite spring runoff that ripped down the Rio Grande in early June, consistently high temperatures in July are contributing to drying in the Rio Grande, the state’s largest river.

Under a 2003 plan from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the river is legally allowed to dry south of Albuquerque during irrigation season.This year, it began drying in mid-July as managers allow water to flow into irrigation channels. Currently, there are about 17 miles dry south of Albuquerque, between San Antonio and the southern boundary of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Spring runoff was high. 
July has been tough on everyone, says David Gensler, hydrologist with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, which delivers irrigation water to farmers between Cochiti and Elephant Butte. “After a pretty easy spring, the high temps have done a number on us,” he says. “Every farmer from Cochiti to Socorro needs water, and needs it yesterday.”

The district has already released 24,000 acre feet of water out of storage in El Vado Reservoir. There’s a chance, he says, that the district could run out of water before Labor Day, but he’s hoping it lasts a week or two longer.

But at heart, Gensler is an optimist: he thinks cooler temperatures and monsoon rains will come—and allow farmers a full irrigation season despite the troubles right now.

Salvaging the silvery minnow

Spring runoff is crucial to the survival of the Rio Grande silvery minnow, an endangered species that needs that spike to spawn.

Water managers try to keep certain stretches of the river wet for the fish during irrigation season—and biologists conduct “salvage” when the river starts to dry. They look for the endangered silvery minnows in puddles, then scoop them up and transport them to a part of the river that’s still flowing.

“It’s amazing how a month of extreme heat and little to no rain can change the situation on the river,” says Mary Carlson, public affairs specialist with the US Bureau of Reclamation in Albuquerque. “I watch those clouds roll in each evening, but the rain hasn’t come.”

The USBR has released more than 6,000 acre feet of water from storage this year to supplement flows on the river for the silvery minnow. One acre foot equals 325,851 gallons.

So far this year, biologists have found about 6,000 minnows. That’s almost six times what they found last year—and a huge number compared to the previous very dry years. In 2012, they found 84 fish; 2013, 9; and 2014, 28.

In early June, the Middle Rio Grande was flowing high with runoff.

“You get an idea of how important that spring runoff is,” says Thomas Archdeacon, with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Earlier this year, Archdeacon’s study of the effects of river drying on the rare fish was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.

Meanwhile, on the eastern side of the state, water managers have been releasing water out of reservoir storage to keep the Pecos River wet for another rare fish, the Pecos Bluntnose shiner. Reservoir levels on the Pecos are more secure than they are on the Rio Grande. Elephant Butte Reservoir, for instance, is currently at 23 percent of average.

“Flash drought”

The hot temperatures aren’t unique to New Mexico.

This month NASA reported that June 2016 was 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average. That breaks last year’s record for the warmest June on record. So far this year, the average global temperature is 1.89 degrees above the 20th century average. That shatters last year’s record of 0.36 degrees higher than average.

At a meeting of New Mexico’s Drought Monitoring Work Group on Tuesday, experts noted how quickly the state has dried out in the past month, particularly in the east. “It’s shaping up to be almost a ‘flash drought’ in the east,” said Senior Service Hydrologist Royce Fontenot of the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

During that meeting, forecasters and experts, including state climatologist David DuBois, discussed making changes to the state’s drought monitoring map. Based on things like precipitation, temperature, and soil moisture, the group can determine an area’s level of drought, ranging from “abnormally dry” to “exceptional drought.”

Today, they released the new map, expanding “abnormally dry” conditions through northeastern New Mexico (seen in brown) and identifying the southeast (in yellow) as being in “moderate drought.” The map also reflects slightly improved conditions in the southwest.

Current New Mexico Drought Monitor map. 

Currently, 96 percent of the state is classified as “abnormally dry”—up from 76 percent last week and 50 percent a year ago. About 16 percent of the state is experiencing moderate drought.

Monsoon rains picked up in the past week, and while two more months remain of monsoon season, forecasters are already seeing the conditions in place for La Niña. For the southwestern United States, those conditions usually mean drier weather.

During the rest of the monsoon season, forecasters are anticipating that Arizona and western New Mexico will see normal to above normal precipitation levels. Fontenot anticipates that fall will be normal, too. But going into winter, precipitation levels are predicted to drop.

That could mean bad news for next year’s spring runoff in the Rio Grande.

This story is part of the New Mexico In Depth project "At the Precipice: New Mexico's Changing Climate."

The Fork

Say Goodbye to Mu

The ForkThursday, July 28, 2016 by Gwyneth Doland

You may have seen that Mu Du Noodles, our 2010-2011 Restaurant of the Year, is closing. It’s true. After more than 20 years in business, Mu Jing Lau is hanging up her chef's toque. The restaurant will only be open a few more days, so call now (983-1411) to see if you can get in.

Put this on your calendar: There's now a Wednesday night farmers market at the Railyard, from 4-8 pm. Slip out of work early next Wednesday and grab some dinner-makings! Remember street parking and the surface parking lots are free starting at 6 pm.

I don’t know what movie or TV show has been filming downtown lately, but it has made a few of my favorite watering holes off limits. Gah! Not to fear Boxcar is still open and accessible. Have you tried the “Not Your Salty Dog”? I tried one on a recent evening when the bar was pretty busy (probably catching bar traffic foiled by the filming) and it was delightful. Yes, it involves watermelon. Don’t freak out. It’s moderated by tart grapefruit juice.

Try this at home:

  • 2 parts gin
  • 1/2 to 3/4 part St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 1 part watermelon juice
  • 1 part red grapefruit juice

It’s also good with tequila instead of gin, a little lime juice in there and maybe a little simple syrup to sweeten it without the elderflower. I made two giant jugs of this perro salado for the sendoff of our beloved copy editor, Joe. We’re gonna miss you, Joe! Hiccup.

Boxcar makes the Not Your Salty Dog with Wheeler’s Gin, a bottle of which I recently purloined from the SFR office (Thanks guys!) It’s really different, but I like it. It’s made by Santa Fe Spirits and I tasted it before reading that it’s made with juniper, hop flowers, osha root, cactus blossoms and sage. Amazingly, it kind of tastes desert-y, even sagey.

“I’m not sure this is a gin drinker’s gin,” my dude says. But he is not a gin lover. And when I made two G&Ts, one with Wheeler’s and one with Bombay Sapphire, he opted to keep the Wheeler’s without knowing which was which.

I find the Wheeler’s less floral and less spicy than the Bombay Sapphire, less reminiscent of traditional gin. That’s probably why he likes it. Anyway, if you’re out and about and you see this up on the shelf, give it a shot. Or pick up a bottle and try some of these recipes.

I also stole a stack of interesting books from the office. Local author Greg Mays’ “New Mexico Cocktails” is cool because it’s illustrated with old photos of local watering holes. It’ll make you want to wander back in time and mosey up to the Spurs Saloon in Vaughn or tie your horse to a post next to the Higgins and Higgins Bar in Mogollon. The recipes aren’t necessarily avant-garde, but the book does include some good information about local spirits (Wheeler’s Gin is in there, for example).

What news do you want to see in this newsletter? We want to hear from you! Let us know! Email

Morning Word: Obama Rallies Democrats

Morning WordThursday, July 28, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
'Stay the Course'
US Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham addressed the DNC Wednesday in Philadelphia and just hours later, President Barack Obama’s delivered a rousing speech that may have done more to unify the party than anything else. Obama encouraged the party faithful to ‘stay the course’ and get behind Hillary Clinton, whom he called the most qualified candidate—man or woman—ever to campaign for the White House. Clinton is scheduled to deliver her acceptance speech tonight.

In and Out 
Gov. Susana Martinez says she wants lawmakers to pre-negotiate a solution to the state’s budget crisis before she calls them back to Santa Fe for a “short” special session in order to save taxpayers money, since a special session will cost about $50,000 a day.

‘It’s Criminal and Obscene’ 
Another state lawmaker wants Human Services Secretary Brent Ernest to resign in the wake of faulty behavioral health care audits that in 2013 falsely accused nonprofit providers of Medicaid fraud. “This is just morally repugnant behavior that this administration, this department, has done,” state Rep. Christine Trujillo, D-Albuquerque, said Wednesday at an interim Legislative Health and Human Services Committee meeting. “It’s criminal and obscene.”

Espinoza Faces Ethics Complaint 
Republican candidate for secretary of state Nora Espinoza is accused of filing incomplete campaign finance reports.
Among the allegations against Espinoza: She didn’t identify specific vendors and spending for credit card reimbursement, failed to report the purpose of some expenditures, and didn’t properly identify the occupations of some donors who gave $250 or more. The complaint also says Espinoza ignored the secretary of state’s instructions not to list couples as individual contributors, to properly keep track of individual contribution limits. It cited more than 150 instances in which couples were listed.
Last month, state Rep. Zach Cook, R-Ruidoso, accused Espinoza’s Democrat opponent Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver of violating the campaign finance act in 2014.

License Plate Hazard 
Those turquoise and yellow license plates may be popular, but law enforcement officers says they're more difficult to see and read than the older yellow and red plates.

North Carolina Law Makes Open Government Advocates Cringe 
Getting a copy of police officer’s body camera and dashcam videos in North Carolina just got a lot harder. Gov. Pat McCrory is being criticized for signing a bill that denies public access to the footage unless law enforcement agencies decide to release it on their own. 

Treasurer Hunter’s Body Found 
Santa Fe author Forrest Finn, who claims to have buried treasure worth millions, says the death of a Colorado treasurer hunter is ”regrettable.” KOAT reports that searchers have found the remains of Randy Bilyeu, 54. He went missing in January after setting out to find the loot north of Cochiti Damn. The Medical Investigator's Office is waiting on autopsy results to figure out exactly how the Colorado grandfather died. 

‘Heaven Sent’ 
This is an insane idea, but Luke Aikins, an experienced skydiver, is planning to jump from an airplane at 25,000 without a parachute or wing suit and will attempt to land in a net one-third the size of a football field. The jump will air live Saturday (but on a tape delay) as part of a Fox network special called "Heaven Sent."

Morning Word: Hillary Clinton Makes Political History

Morning WordWednesday, July 27, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Glass Ceiling Finally Cracked
Democrats made it official and nominated Hillary Clinton for president. Last night, former President Bill Clinton said voters should consider the real Hillary, not the caricature of her that Republicans have painted, when they cast their ballots this fall.

Maestas Suspended from Charter School
Analee Maestas, the embattled Albuquerque Public School board member accused of fraud, has been suspended from her job as the executive director of La Promesa Charter School.

Criminal Arrests Drop in Albuquerque
Crime in the state’s largest city may be up, but the number of arrests is down. Joey Peters reports:
Between the two years, the number of arrests recorded by the city dropped by 10 percent, or from 25,358 to 22,820. During that same period, the number of sworn Albuquerque Police Department officers shrunk by 8 percentage points, or from 903 cops to 832 cops.
McCameley Advocates for Terminally Ill Patients 
The New Mexico Supreme Court may have ruled against terminally ill patients’ "right to die," but now state Rep. Bill McCameley, D-Las Cruces, says he'll introduce a bill to make it legal. Gov. Susana Martinez has said she’s opposed to assisted suicide.

Walgreens to Pay Refunds After Violating Bag Ordinance 
The company says it will reimburse customers who kept receipts showing they were improperly charged a 10 cent fee on small paper bags, such as for prescriptions. The city's Reusable Bag Ordinance only applies to grocery-sized bags and larger. 

Parking Rate Increases Upset Shoppers
Farmers market vendors complain that an increase in parking meter rates, intended to generate income to offset the city’s budget deficit, is having a negative impact on business.

Heavenly Shots
Astronauts took some cool pictures of Albuquerque from the International Space Station as it cruised past the city at 17,500 miles per hour and KRQE posted them online.

Best of Santa Fe Winners Announced
Even better than space photos, check out SFR’s Best of Santa Fe issue and see who readers picked this year.



MetroGlyphsWednesday, July 27, 2016 by SFR
Russ Thornton is a Santa Fe local who has replaced his first passion, cooking, with a new love interest, the weekly SFR comic he's created called MetroGlyphs. Reach him at

7 Days


7 DaysWednesday, July 27, 2016 by SFR


Just when you thought someone might take the high road.



And she used her own words.



You’d think people would stop sending incriminating emails all the time.



Here’s to the party of liberty and freedom.



Were going too miss you deerly, Joe!!



Don’t laugh. Your parents needed something to do before “Netflix and Chill.”




Meter Beating

Farmers Market says city’s big parking hike is hurting the popular Saturday event

Local NewsWednesday, July 27, 2016 by Andrew Koss

Peg Luciano adjusts a box of peaches as she works at Pat Montoya’s Family Orchard stand. Pretty soon, she’ll have to stop by the meter and drop in a few more coins. Like the other workers at the Railyard Farmers Market, Luciano now has to pay as much as $12 for a day for parking. It makes a considerable difference to what’s left from her paychecks.

“I’m only making a small amount an hour working for the farmers,” Luciano says.

The city’s new parking rates went into effect at the beginning of the month. On-street metered parking rose from $1 to $2 an hour for the first two hours, and $3 for each additional hour. For shorter time periods, as are often needed at the city’s main post office, the rate jumped to 5 cents a minute, meaning visitors better hope there’s not a long line. Off-street parking, however, like at the Railyard Municipal Garage, dropped from $2 to $1 for the first hour, with a rate of $2 for each additional hour and a maximum daily rate of $12, an increase from the previous rate of $10 per day.

The rate change comes with the implementation of Santa Fe’s new fiscal year budget and renewed efforts to minimize debts like those incurred for parking garage construction.

The city also discontinued the discounted rate of $1 parking before noon in the Railyard Municipal Garage for the Saturday Farmers Market. For market vendors, who typically arrive at the Railyard as early as 5 am and don’t leave until after 2 pm, the full day rate of $12 now applies.

City spokesman Matt Ross tells SFR, “This giveaway to the Farmers Market folks, as much as we love to do that sort of thing and support the Farmers Market, got eliminated in order to balance the budget.”

Ross says there was “a lot of effort around notifying the general public. The New Mexican ran articles, the Journal ran articles and we did our own social media work.”

Yet, Brian DeSpain, the president of the Farmers Market board, says there was no notice from the city.

“The Railyard Corporation, who we work with, basically told us the day before,” DeSpain says. “It wasn’t enough time to notify our customers or our membership.”

Sandra Brice, the events and marketing director for the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation, says they learned of the change, ironically, from Farmers Market Institute Executive Director Kierstan Pickens, two days before the rates took effect.

DeSpain noticed an immediate change in his interaction with customers. “It’s made shopping very uncomfortable because people are worried about getting a ticket. … They’re rushing in, stuffing stuff in their bags and getting out.”

Peaches Malmaud has been selling garlic oil at the Farmers Market for 20 years. “This is our sixth location since I’ve been here,” she says of the market’s home in the Railyard. “This is the hardest one for parking and it discourages locals from coming.”

Market Manager Devon Kaiser says while it’s only been three weeks since the parking rates increased, “the effect has been immense and immediate.” Money that previously could have been spent on groceries now goes toward parking. “It just sucks, because the city’s making up their budget shortfall on the backs of the Santa Fe Farmers Market.”

Ross suggests the Southside Farmers Market as a more affordable alternative, “where parking is completely free. It extends access to people who may be of a lower income throughout Santa Fe.”

DeSpain says Ross has “obviously never attended the Southside market. Farmers Market Southside is much smaller. To suggest that is a bit disingenuous.”

While the Saturday Farmers Market at the Rail-yard offers produce from about 130 vendors, the Southside market is still in its infancy. “The optimistic way of looking at it is we might get people to some of these other markets that we work really hard on but aren’t as popular,” says Southside market manager Lani Ersfeld. However, as the Southside market exists to service Santa Feans who can’t make it to the Railyard, those who live downtown may have the same problem getting to the Southside. “It’s really difficult for some folks to get across town, especially in the afternoon around rush hour,” Ersfeld says.

DeSpain hopes to work with the city to find better solutions. The Railyard market has also recently opened on Wednesday nights from 4 to 8 pm. Parking is free after 6 pm. As for the Tuesday market, customers can take advantage of free parking next to Warehouse 21 before 10 am.

Letters to the Editor


Letters to the EditorWednesday, July 27, 2016 by SFR

News, July 20: “Wolves Could Lose”

Agenda is Clear

The egregious environmental destruction taking place in the West because of grazing is hardly discussed by environmental or even animal groups. While we witness the terrible assaults on wolves, coyotes and other wild animals by the millions each year, nothing is being done to stop the livestock special interests from grazing on public lands. There seems to be no real political will to do so.

Public lands grazing supporter, oil/gas tycoon and GOP politician, Steve Pearce, in southern New Mexico, is working in Congress to end any chances of wolf re-introduction.

This is a quote, from the Congressional Western Caucus, of which is Pearce is a member: “As part of our advocacy, we will focus on an agenda which will increase energy independence and security, protect and promote multiple use access to federal lands, help educate the public and eventually bring about common-sense reforms to outdated environmental statutes such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, and to reevaluate and reorient current views and policies on federal land ownership.”

To survive, native wildlife must, immediately, have public lands to call their own, free from livestock and other destructive human activities.

Rosemary Lowe
Santa Fe

Drinks, July 20: “The Bitter Truth”

Campari in the Cabinet

This article motivated me to invest some funds at QB’s yesterday.

George Prothro
via Facebook

Crossword, July 20:

Welcome Back, Words!

Thanks for bringing the crossword puzzle back. I’ve missed it.

M A Stoddard
Santa Fe

SFR will correct factual errors online and in print. Please let us know if we make a mistake, or 988-7530.

Mail letters to PO Box 2306, Santa Fe, NM 87504, deliver to 132 E Marcy St., or email them to Letters (no more than 200 words) should refer to specific articles in the Reporter. Letters will be edited for space and clarity.



EavesdropperWednesday, July 27, 2016 by SFR

“I am trying to talk to you about our real lives, not your Pokemon.”

—Overheard at the Matador

“Why are the pages coming out double-sided?”

“Because the printer is a sentient being.”

—Overheard at SFR HQ

Send your Overheard in Santa Fe tidbits to:

SFR Picks: Really Good Bad, Bad Things

The Pillowman promises just the right speed of torture

PicksWednesday, July 27, 2016 by Maria Egolf-Romero

Years ago, friends of mine went to see a production of The Pillowman and returned raving about it, but also looking a little battle-scarred, as though the shape of their nightmares had forever shifted. That I missed it haunted me—what had they seen, and what did they now know that I did not?

The Pillowman opens on a freshly arrested writer, Katurian (Hamilton Turner), living in an authoritarian dictatorship and finding himself at the mercy of a torture-happy good cop/bad cop duo (Hania Stocker and Warren Houghteling, respectively). For Katurian, “Once upon a time” perpetually precedes people doing horrible things to one another, which really isn’t all that far from the fairy tales children still grow up with. But now children have begun to die in the bizarrely twisted ways that killed off some of his characters, so the police have arrested him and are threatening him with execution. Ditto his not-all-there brother.

The interrogation cues the retelling of some of his stories, played out in a stark fashion that mirrors their sparse language. In his parables, even what we might see as common and good impulses become weapons of self-destruction. So, too, do their hideously dark moments illustrate the thin barrier between what makes us laugh and what makes us wince.

If you heard murmurs that the Santa Fe Playhouse is pivoting to more experimental and edgy terrain, that promise is certainly delivered upon in this choice, which was declared at its 2005 New York City debut the most exciting thing going on by The New York Times.

The Pillowman offers no territory for the young or easily squeamish. It is not, to be clear, the kind play everyone will enjoy seeing, but it is exactly the kind of work that everyone should see and allow to skew their perspectives for a moment. If only a brief one. (Elizabeth Miller)

The Pillowman
Through Aug. 7. $20-$25
Santa Fe Playhouse,
142 E De Vargas St.,

Everybody Walk the Dinosaur

James Rogg
Ohio/Pennsylvania’s Digisaurus has a pretty neat trick up their sleeve: the ability to straddle the fence between commercially viable rock and Grandaddy-meets-Prince-esque synth-pop that is so dancey, so festive, so catchy that all y’all suckers are just gonna love it. “I think it’s a different, new sound that I don’t think is typically out there,” says front man/producer/synth player/guitarist James Allison. “We take a lot of influence from the past and put a modern spin on it, so it’s familiar enough for people to grab onto but new enough for them to experience something different.” Digisaurus also boasts quite the live show with smoke machines, lights and other fun surprises. “We really try to create a show experience,” Allison adds. (Alex De Vore)

9 pm Thursday July 28. Free.
530 S Guadalupe St.,


Joel Brandon
If misogyny and materialism have kept you away from rap music, it’s time to give it another shot with Albuquerque-based rapper Wake Self, a man who represents a growing social conscience in hip-hop. His new album, Malala, is named after Pakistani women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai. Wake tells SFR that her story inspired him and he hopes his album will lead more people to learn about her. While Malala deals with heavy subject matter like “social patterns and psychological disorders,” Wake says not to worry—his upcoming show at Meow Wolf will be so upbeat, “your face is going to hurt from smiling.” (Andrew Koss)

Wake Self:
9 pm Saturday July 30. $10-$15.
Meow Wolf,
1352 Rufina Circle,

In the Napkin-Know

Courtesy 5. Gallery
5. Gallery opens its doors for the very first time Aug. 1 with a show titled Arbeit: Frank and his Dream. The gallery’s founder, Max Baseman, tells SFR, “In many ways the show is inspired by brute or raw art and artists; works created out of necessity that are more compulsion than decoration.” The gallery sent notifications via snail mail announcing its inaugural exhibition with names of participating artists (Rodger Walker, Haste Bowditch, Chris Alia and others) and details typewritten in stark black with an acutal typewriter, on a thin paper napkin. The invitation sparked our design-fancy and Baseman says he hopes people leave the show feeling “a certain sense of silence.” (Maria Egolf-Romero)

Arbeit: Frank and His Dream
5 pm Monday Aug. 1. Free.
5. Gallery,
2351 Fox Road

Triple digit temps dry the Rio Grande

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