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This Weekend

Magic Moments

Weekend PicksFriday, May 6, 2016 by SFR

Alicia Olatuja

Presented by the Santa Fe Music Collective. Olatuja was born in Brooklyn and has gotten national recognition lately for being a vocal powerhouse (See SFR Picks).

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Santiago Perez: In the Night Kitchen

Perez brings a modern touch to the surrealist likes of Bosch with a slight Sendak-y vibe (See SFR Picks).

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Zoltan & The Fortune Tellers

Dance or just listen to swingy folk music at the Railyard.

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Snow & White & the Seven Conservationists

Teatro Paraguas Children's Program presents a reimagining of the well-known fairy tale (See SFR Picks).

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She Kills Monsters

A special gala performance of Playwright Qui Nguyen's tale of a young girl who discovers an interesting way to connect with her dead sister—Dungeons & Dragons. Thanks, Gary Gygax! Add +2 to your viewing theater skill.

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How to Let Go of the World

Watch this screening of How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change direct from its world premiere at Sundance. The fundraiser for New Energy Economy also presents Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox (Gasland) in attendance.

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Mike Montiel Hosts The Good, the Bad & the Ugly Open Mic

Open mic. Be there, whether you’re good, bad or whatever.

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Littleglobe and The Lensic present City of Dreamers

This is a night of short films, live radio presentations and music to showcase the stories of the students, families and immigrants of Santa Fe’s Southside (see News).

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Rhythm Dragons

These dragons got rhythm.

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Get more information about how to spend your fun days when you sign up for the SFR Weekend newsletter, delivered to your inbox each Friday afternoon.

Morning Word: US Job Growth Slows

Morning WordFriday, May 6, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Job Growth Slows
“The U.S. economy added the fewest number of jobs in seven months in April and Americans dropped out of the labor force in droves, signs of weakness that cast doubts on whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates before the end of the year,” according to Reuters this morning. New Mexico, in the meantime, still has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, although it declined in March.

Pedophile Priest Found
Arthur Perrault, a former Catholic priest who is accused of molesting multiple altar boys in Albuquerque years ago, has been located in Morocco.

Rape Kit Audit Planned
New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller is planning a summer audit to help determine what caused the large backlog of untested rape kits that have stacked up in evidence rooms across the state.

Funeral Services Set for Mike
Funeral services for Ashlynne Mike, the 11-year-old girl kidnapped and killed on the Navajo Nation Tuesday night, are scheduled at the Farmington Civic Center this morning at 10 am. Meanwhile, a preliminary hearing for Tom Begaye, the suspect in Mike’s murder, is also set for today in Albuquerque.

Griego Hearing on Monday
Attorneys in Phil Griego’s criminal case plan to ask State District Judge Brett Loveless to set the former state senator’s preliminary hearing in early July.
The New Mexico Attorney General's Office, which is prosecuting the case, also filed a motion Thursday requesting a hearing on a previous motion to force the Legislative Council Service to produce materials subpoenaed by the office that are related to the case. 
The LCS has fought the release of the documents. The service helps lawmakers draft legislation and says it is duty-bound to protect correspondence with legislators and other documents to preserve the integrity of the legislative process, according to The Associated Press.

Former Code Talker Dies
KOB reports that Navajo Code Talker Bill Toledo, 92, died in Grants yesterday morning.
Toledo was born on March 28, 1924 in Torreon, NM on the eastern Navajo reservation. He attended Albuquerque Indian School, but quit to join the military in 1942. He ended up graduating after his enlistment. 
Toledo served in the Pacific corridor during World War II and spent three years as a Code Talker in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Contract Cancellation Details Emerge
Revenue sharing may be the reason why the University of New Mexico has dropped the Gathering of Nations event at the Pit. KRQE discovered the group pays a flat rate, while other groups like the Professional Bull Riders give the university a percentage of ticket sales.

Time Card Fraud Investigation at APD
Dennis Domrzalski is reporting, “The New Mexico State Police has launched an investigation into alleged time sheet fraud at one of the Albuquerque Police Department’s area commands.”

Mother’s Day Fun
Remember that Sunday is Mother’s Day. To get ready, Gwyneth Doland has some ideas on how you can treat your mom to a special day.

The Fork

Mother's Day Edition

The ForkThursday, May 5, 2016 by Gwyneth Doland

Oho! In case you had forgotten, Sunday is Mother’s Day, so you’d better get scrambling now if you haven’t got anything special planned.

Dining Out

Perhaps your first thought should be calling for a reservation at Mom’s favorite restaurant. Do it right now. Not sure where you want to go? Check out SFR's Restaurant Guide. Find out from the experts what's really worth it and what's not.

Can't get a reservation? This might be the ideal occasion to pull up Open Table, where you can search for reservations at a specific time and then sort by type of restaurant, food or location. What about the dinner and flamenco show at El Farol? Might be nice to do that before the place is sold.

In related news, Farm and Table in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque was the only NM restaurant to be named one of the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America by Open Table users. Congrats! (Of course, that means when I checked Tuesday afternoon, the place was totally booked for Mother's Day. You might try and see if there have been any cancellations.)

In trying to plan my own Mother's Day events, I decided to ask my Facebook followers what they like to do; here are a few of their answers.

Give Mom the Gift of a Free Day

Some moms of young kids told me they don’t want to go out to eat—what they really want is a day off to do whatever they want, maybe get a massage, nap on the couch, take a hike, grab an afternoon cocktail with girlfriends. So maybe the best gift you could give Mom is to take the kids out for the day.

Other moms said they don’t like to go to restaurants on Mother's Day because they're so crowded. That's true. Sunday brunch is a zoo—but that energy can be fun! If you don't think so, consider making reservations for lunch on Friday or dinner Monday night and avoiding the Sunday rush. Or maybe your mom would like to go someplace a little off the beaten path? Her favorite Asian restaurant, for example?

Several moms told me what they really wanted was someone to cook for them at home—as long as they don't have to do any dishes. They said breakfast in bed is overrated. Why not buy a beef tenderloin and cook up fabulous steaks for a crowd at your house? I've got full directions for a cost-effective way to serve filet mignon for a crowd in this week's paper.

You could get take-out. Try calling several hours ahead (or the day before) to arrange pickup. You can eat fried chicken right out of the bucket—or plate a fancy dinner and enlist the kids to help clean up.

Just remember: Because of New Mexico’s backward liquor laws, you can’t buy champagne for those mimosas until noon on Sundays (it’s 11 am in restaurants), so go get some bubbles now and start chilling them for first thing Sunday morning.

Get Out and About

Whatever you do, don’t take your mom to see Mother’s Day in the theater. Critic Stephanie Zacharek says, “Hate your mom? Take her to see Mother’s Day, an ensemble comedy that’s being billed as sweet and heartwarming but which is actually an insidious form of torture.” Ouch. Check SFR's Movies section for our latest reviews.

Maybe your mom would like to spend the day outside? Some of my Facebook moms said they wanted to go to a baseball game or to the driving range to hit some golf balls while enjoying food and adult beverages. Another said she likes to go buy plants and plant them together with the family. (My mom and I often do that.) You could take Mom to the Baile de Mayo, which is happening Saturday at the Convention Center—this is when the names of the fiesta queen and the man who will play Don Diego de Vargas are announced. Also on Saturday, there’s a Turkish Food and Craft Festival in Albuquerque. How cool is that? Sunday is the Placitas Studio Tour and the Historic Santa Fe Foundation's Mother's Day Tour.

One woman told me her family always goes camping on Mother’s Day weekend. “[It's] the only time we are all unplugged and 100 percent present,” she said. “Best gift ever!!” If the mom in your life is a car camper, consider giving her a cast iron Dutch oven. Not the fancy enameled kind, the matte black kind that you shove into the campfire. It has a rimmed lid that holds coals on top to cook stews, pot roasts, rolls or cobblers with an absolute minimum of effort or attention. I got one last summer, and it is awesome! Find them where you buy other camping stuff or cookware. The 10-inch, 5-quart model is a good all-around size. Costs $60-$80; lasts until the end of time.

Also, you might give some thought to the folks for whom this day is bittersweet: the stepmoms, grandparents raising kids, single dads, foster moms, mothers who have lost children, kids who’ve lost their moms and women who really wanted kids but never had them. Reach out and recognize them today, too.


Got news, tips or suggestions for The Fork? We want to hear from you. No tidbit is too small and no bombshell too big. Email thefork@sfreporter.com


Morning Word: Martinez Hedges on Trump

Clinton leads billionaire by 13 points

Morning WordThursday, May 5, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Martinez Still on the Fence with Trump
After winning the Indiana primary on Tuesday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have both suspended their campaigns, and Donald Trump is vetting vice presidential candidates. He says he’s focused on people with political experience to help him get legislation passed if he wins the White House in November.

Trump still has a long way to go. Hillary Clinton leads him by double digits.
Clinton’s 54%-41% advantage over Trump is her largest since July. Her supporters are split over their reasons for backing her, with 51% saying they are voting for her to oppose Trump.
Meanwhile, Joe Monahan reports, “Gov. Martinez is edging toward an endorsement of Donald Trump but still hedging. She is saying she will not vote for Hillary Clinton but wants to know more about where Trump stands on issues impacting New Mexico, including federal funding for the national labs.”
Martinez will not be the VP candidate with Trump, despite the predictable mentions she's now receiving and has received and that we'll have to endure until the GOP convention in July. We believe her when she says she is not interested. Indeed. How could she hold up to worldwide scrutiny when she has shown little interest in national issues and has not engaged in any meaningful exchanges with the adversarial national media?

As the Republican Party tries to unify under Trump, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson says there may be a path to the White House for a strong third-party candidate.
“In November, there will be three candidates on the ballot in all 50 states: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and the Libertarian Party nominee. I hope to be that nominee. With millions of Americans now feeling politically ‘homeless’, a two-term Governor who balanced budgets, cut taxes, cut regulations and truly reduced the size of government may offer the home they are seeking.”
Las Cruces Withholds Manager Applications
Here we go again. The City of Las Cruces isn’t releasing the names of city manager job applicants, despite case law that settled the open government issue a few years ago. Go get 'em, Heath Haussamen.

Verizon Expects Protests in ABQ
Kevin Robinson-Avila at the Albuquerque Journal reports, “Albuquerque will join the frontline of a strike by some 39,000 Verizon Communications workers on Thursday morning when the company opens its annual shareholders meeting at the Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town.”

Fracking Lawsuits
“Environmental advocacy groups in New Mexico and across the nation filed federal lawsuits this week accusing the Obama administration of failing to protect public lands and residents from the ramifications of oil and gas production, particularly fracking,” according to Rebecca Moss at the New Mexican.

Gov. Pushes ‘Pull Together’ Campaign
Gov. Martinez was in Taos this week promoting her new “Pull Together” initiative.
“When I see that money [for services] is coming back and getting reverted, my first question is, ‘Why?’ Whose lives are we not making better because they simply don’t know this is accessible to them and that high-quality care is available to them? There have been years that millions of dollars have been reverted. This shouldn’t be happening if we are really touching all the families that need it. I believe in the mindset that it is all of our issue,” Martinez said in an interview with The Taos News after the event.
Tax Reform ‘White Paper’
Winthrop Quigley is Up Front today with analysis of a study that indicates New Mexico lawmakers should consider some tax reforms, including this one: “a new tax bracket on high-income earners should be considered, as well, to raise more revenue and improve tax progressivity.”

Pot Vote
This fall, voters in California, unlike here in New Mexico, will get to vote on whether to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use.

Gathering of Nations Out at the Pit
It’s still not clear why, but UNM is ending its long relationship with the Gathering of Nations. They notified the group’s management they will have to find a new venue next year after years in The Pit, or Wise Pies Arena.

Bedbug Problems
Now that you’re almost done reading the Morning Word, you better make your bed and before you fluff your pillows, you might want to check for bedbugs. The health department says there numbers are surging and the little critters are getting stronger.

Morning Word: Grief Overcomes Navajo Nation

'This is like an atomic bomb dropped on a community'

Morning WordWednesday, May 4, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Navajo Nation Mourns Girl’s Murder
Navajo Nation leaders, reacting to the murder of an 11-year-old schoolgirl, say, "This is like an atomic bomb dropped on a community." People attending a vigil for Ashlynne Mike felt some relief after learning the FBI arrested Tom Begaye, 27, of Waterflow, NM, in connection with her abduction and death. 

Criminal Probe Sought in Gold King Mine Spill
Republican US Sens. John McCain of Arizona and John Barasso of Wyoming want the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation into the Gold King Mine spill, which dumped millions of gallons of toxic chemicals into rivers flowing through New Mexico and three other states. 

Nashville School District Considers Boyd for Top Job
Now that student graduation rates and teacher retention rates are up in Santa Fe, it looks like Santa Fe Public School Superintendent Joel Boyd is a finalist for a similar job in Nashville. Boyd dropped out of consideration for another superintendent’s post in Texas last year. According to the Commercial Appeal, he’d face a few challenges in the troubled Tennessee district.

Immigration Rhetoric Concerns Archbishop
Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester didn’t name any names, but he is expressing concerns about some of the presidential candidates' rhetoric on immigration issues, according to the Associated Press. He calls some of the candidates' views “deplorable” and contends, "It's scapegoating and targeting people like the immigrant, the refugee and the poor."
Wester also said he hoped the issue surrounding refugees fleeing violence in Syria gets more attention as the presidential campaign moves toward the general election. He said various nonprofit groups and Catholic relief organizations are working to resettle the refugees.
Registration Deadline Nears
Speaking of elections, you have until next Tuesday, May 10, to register to vote. That’s when early voting starts at the Santa Fe County Clerk’s office.  

PNM’s Earnings Shrink
With its earnings plummeting, the Public Service Company of New Mexico might want to take advantage of a federal program that awards millions in grant money to software developers, solar companies and utilities to help accelerate the integration of solar energy into the nation’s electrical grid.

Getting Older
We didn’t know this, but by the year 2030, New Mexico will rank third in the nation in percentage of population ages 60 and older; currently it ranks 10th, according the New Mexico Department of Aging and Long-Term Services. The health department says to avoid mobility issues that come with aging, like arthritis, the best thing to do is to exercise and stay on the move

Sweet Spot
If you really want to move it, head to Pie Town. SFR’s Elizabeth Miller, like us, loves pie, and she has an interesting cover story on New Mexico’s “timeless destination” and Arthur Drooker's photo project documenting some of the old-timers.

Read the Annual Manual

Annual ManualWednesday, May 4, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm

Dear Reader,

If you’re reading this magazine, you already know that Santa Fe’s place in the rugged culture of the West is undeniable. People here don’t do things the way they’re done back East, or even in our neighboring megapolis cities along the interstate corridor. Living life your own way matters here—where the moniker “the City Different” has been around since the early 1900s.

We like hole-in-the-wall shopping stops, self-motivated local businesses, unique regional foods and hidden pocket parks. We don’t always build things from the ground up, preferring instead to reimagine and repurpose. That’s why our favorite community theater is in an old mechanic’s garage and why a former military armory is a successful contemporary art spot. It’s why this year’s commissioned Annual Manual tin cover art is a unique blend of traditional and modern styles.

Going DIY isn’t for the faint of heart. Santa Fe Reporter’s 40- plus-year history as the alt-weekly in New Mexico’s capital city is the very definition of the idea. We present this guide to our city for locals and visitors with a challenge for 2016: Soak in the history and culture, and make it your own.

We’re so glad you’ll join us.


Julie Ann Grimm
Editor


READ THE ANNUAL MANUAL


Pop Quiz

District Attorney

Local NewsWednesday, May 4, 2016 by SFR

Meet the prosecutors. This week, we quizzed the three Democrats vying for the party nomination for 1st Judicial District attorney, serving Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties. Marco Serna and Maria Sanchez-Gagne are both running to unseat Jennifer Padgett, the incumbent, when voters hit the polls June 7. The winner faces an unopposed Republican in the general election in November. The rules of Pop Quiz are simple: We record the entire conversation and report the answers verbatim. No research allowed, and if candidates call back later with the right answer, too bad. Listen to recordings of these and previous quizzes at SFReporter.com/primary

The Questions

  1. What is the most commonly charged misdemeanor in the 1st Judicial District?
  2. How many inmates are on death row in New Mexico? What are their names?
  3. Describe LEAD.
  4. How many problem-solving courts are there in the district, and what types are there? Where are they located?
  5. What are the potential punishments for a fifth-time DWI offender?


MARIA SANCHEZ-GAGNE is former director of the Border Violence Division of the attorney general’s office.

1. I haven’t worked in the misdemeanor level for some time. I’m going to guess that it could be possibly batteries?

2. I think there’s two, and I know one is Robert Fry.

3. The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program? That is a program which is designed for treatment. It’s a diversion program, rather than prosecution, and it is for nonviolent offenders. And they must be charged or be involved with opiates. And they are given treatment and no prosecution for nonviolent felonies. Nonviolent crimes. And that is sponsored by the Santa Fe Police Department.

4. Okay, you’re going to have to define for me what you describe as problem-solving courts. [SFR: “It is a term that courts use to describe a certain type of court.”] I’m not absolutely clear on the term, but I’m assuming it’s drug courts. There’s drug court and teen court. There are at least two to three drug courts, and two to three teen courts. They’re in Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Rio Arriba.

5. Are you saying potential or mandatory? Are you saying a range? [SFR: “Yes, a range.”] It’s for the fifth time, right? [SFR: “It’s for the fifth time, yes.”] I remember the second or third is going to be up to 364 days incarceration and a $500 fine, and let me see, the mandatory. There is mandatory time on this. I’m pretty sure. From what I can recall, it’s going to be 96 hours mandatory time and up to 364 days.


JENNIFER PADGETT, the current district attorney, is running for re-election.

1. Driving under the influence.

2. That’s a really hard question. I do not know the answer to that, except to say that they would all have had to been on death row prior to the repeal of the death penalty, and I don’t know their names.

3. The LEAD Program, it stands for Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion. And it is a complete diversionary program that originates and starts with law enforcement. Law enforcement finds appropriate candidates that have underlying issues that involve substance abuse that may be involved in low-level felony crimes. They actually ask these candidates if they will voluntarily participate in the LEAD Program. … The acceptance protocol runs through my office to ensure that, in fact, they are appropriate candidates. They don’t have any other pending cases in our jurisdiction or others. And if we approve of their participation, they voluntarily enter the program. The program is centered around case coordination. If housing is appropriate, obviously outpatient treatment. Sometimes inpatient treatment. And they continue in the LEAD program throughout their recovery. Something unique about the LEAD program is that it is not abstinence based. It recognizes that participants will have ups and downs. And it is also a complete diversion away from the criminal justice system, so the charge does not hang over their head. It actually disappears to allow the person to fully participate and engage in the program.

4. In the district, in terms of problem-solving courts? I’m assuming that that is, generally, the treatment courts. We have drug courts for both adults and juveniles. This drug court is in the 1st Judicial District in Santa Fe. I do not believe there is a drug court in Rio Arriba at this point. There are a number of treatment courts in Los Alamos that are run through their municipal courts that are centered around juveniles. There’s a teen court there. Um, there’s also an active teen court in Rio Arriba and an active teen court in Santa Fe.

5. Well, it’s a felony level at that point, and there is mandatory jail time that my position should be generally served in the Department of Corrections. However, of course, electronic monitoring gives them the credit towards that sentence as well. Their licenses are revoked for life, which generally ensures—well, would be hopeful that they don’t drive anymore. There’s some nuances. Because if they do drive, they don’t have the ignition interlock mandated because of course their license is revoked. They have to engage in treatment and other court-mandated conditions of probation and parole.


MARCO SERNA most recently worked in the attorney general’s office.

1. My understanding, the most commonly charged misdemeanor is probably DWI.

2. You know, I wasn’t aware there were any more inmates on death row, specifically because we no longer have the death penalty.

3. LEAD actually stands for Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, and what the program is, it’s a great program. Only Santa Fe and Seattle have these programs, but what it is, law enforcement, specifically SFPD identify individuals who are habitual drug offenders, and when they identify these individuals, they refer them to a review board who will then decide if they are appropriate for the program, and once placed in the program, they receive some assistance with housing and some assistance with getting a job, but also they are mandated to be in drug treatment programs, and they also will receive certain things like suboxone or methadone to help wean them off whatever drug—and in the majority of the cases it’s going to be an opiate, and heroin, specifically—and what’s great about the program is it’s a long-term program. I was fortunate enough to go to one of the trainings provided by the Santa Fe Police Department. And it has a great, within the last three years, they had a really good retention rate. Of the 70 individuals that have been placed in the program, 60 are still involved and receiving treatment. Also, what I love about the program is it thinks outside the box because, unfortunately, other programs have much lower success rates. What I’ve seen is there is an 8 percent success rate for 30-day programs. So these long-term programs are so successful and very beneficial. [SFR: “I’m going to cut you off there because I feel like you answered the question, and we have limited space in our paper.”] Okay, sorry about that. I really like the program.

4. So my understanding, in Santa Fe, there is the drug court. It is in Santa Fe, and that is the only problem-solving court that I can think of at the moment in the 1st Judicial District.

5. A fifth-time DWI offender, I believe that becomes felony level. Fourth-degree. And that is potentially 18 months of incarceration and up to a $5,000 fine.




Capital Counts

Students organize an event asking the city to reconsider perceptions of the Southside high school

Local NewsWednesday, May 4, 2016 by Elizabeth Miller

Before ever walking through the doors at Capital High School, incoming freshmen hear a lot of things about the school—that it’s rough, that it’s a bad school, that it’s a ghetto school, that there’s a lot of violence and gangs. But Capital High students say that’s not what their experience has shown.

“You could go anywhere and see the complete opposite,” says Kevin Martinez, a Capital High senior. “People here want to go to school. They want to graduate.”

So students and their mentors from Littleglobe’s Youth Media Project have organized “City of Dreamers,” an event at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on Sunday, May 8—an effort to change the community’s perceptions using short videos, live radio productions, music and on-stage conversations that show what students from Capital can do and have done.

“It’ll open doors for future generations,” says Nathalie Beltran, a Capital senior who this fall heads to St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. “They won’t see you with pity or shame.”

“It’s always assumed that they’re not worthy,” says Toby Wright, who teaches students in the AVID college-readiness program and has been at Capital for four years. “That affects them. For some of them it means, ‘I’m just going to work harder and do better. I’m just going to be a superhero, because that’s what it takes to get over this.’”

There’s no denying that at one point, the school had problems. Channell Wilson-Segura, who was a student and a teacher there before becoming its directing principal, says a zero-tolerance policy and work with the gang task force cleaned things up, beginning about eight years ago. But the students still face a fair share of issues. Every student is provided with free lunches, because so many families have incomes that fall below the poverty line. At home, Wilson-Segura says, substance abuse may be an issue, and quiet space to study is often not available. Sometimes, she says, people come forward wanting to help, and she has to explain that at times, what the students most need is something basic like deodorant to use while they’re living in a car, or business clothes to wear to an interview.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the kids at our school— they come from severe poverty or they’re not in a place, they’re homeless, or they’re undocumented, so therefore they don’t feel encouraged or excited to graduate and go on to college and get a degree, and therefore they can’t get a job,” says Heather Sellers, coordinator with the student-support organization Communities in Schools at Capital. “There are a lot of factors that are affecting these kids, and I think the more adults they have, the more things that they’re connected to, and the more people that believe in them, then they’ll be able to believe in themselves.”

Sellers brought Littleglobe, a nonprofit that coordinates community art projects with an eye on social change, to the school last year to support kids and provide some extra motivation to stay in school. Students learned how to shoot video, record audio and conduct interviews.

“All of my current students who have been involved, it really has just changed them,” Sellers says. “It really helped them feel like they were a part of something that grew into this big project. They’re super proud. … And these were some students who weren’t coming to school—ever, and now they are, and they’re totally and completely being successful.”

Both she and Littleglobe’s Chris Jonas recall hearing a story of a time students ran a carwash fundraiser and discussed not putting “Capital High” on the sign, fearing that if they did, no one would stop.

The films, radio features, music and speakers such as Estevan Rael-Galvez of Culture Connects, the city’s cultural planning effort, are intended to work together to spark conversations about immigration and equity issues in Santa Fe, using Capital as a framework.

“We talk about equity, but the language we use doesn’t demonstrate equity within our own town,” Jonas says. “For those of us who do seriously believe in social equity, we need to be conscious how we speak about Santa Fe’s Southside. We’re reiterating the same negative predisposition that our values seem to indicate is not the case.”

Opened in 1988 as Santa Fe’s second public high school, Capital has long struggled in the shadow of Santa Fe High.

A wall near Wright’s AVID classroom is hung with photos of seniors and copies of their acceptance letters, many including significant scholarship offers, and some have secured competitive national scholarships, but still, when presenters from those programs visit Santa Fe, they only stop at Santa Fe High.

“Sometimes it’s sad, because they don’t realize how much potential we could have,” says Brenda Zamarron Acosta, a senior who plans to start her higher education at Santa Fe Community College before transferring to a four-year university.

"People are going to have to actually take note of what happens here, and not just assume what happens here."

“You’re the underdog. They don’t expect you to do anything. We were overlooked, but we always found a way to get there,” says Martinez, who has secured a place in UNM’s medical school and a full-ride scholarship. “It’s kind of been motivating to me. People don’t believe you’re going to succeed. They’re like, ‘You went to Capital and you did all this?’ … People are going to have to actually take note of what happens here, and not just assume what happens here.”

Part of the success Wilson-Segura attributes to an individual case-management approach—that the specialized programs they run, like a medical careers track and AVID, allow teachers to build relationships with students over four years. If word comes through the social media grapevine that a student is struggling, even if they’ve graduated and moved on to college, Wilson-Segura will get in touch personally to ask what’s going on and how she can help.

“It’s working with every child, period,” she says. “How do we encourage them to stay in school, to like school, to like learning?”

In the current class of seniors, 55 percent applied to a four-year college and 45 percent now plan to attend.

“Our kids do have dreams, just like anybody else,” Wilson-Segura says. “Our goal is to help support that.”



City of Dreamers
7 pm Sunday, May 8
The Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 W San Francisco St., $5
988-1234


The Sweetest Spot

All the adoration of Pie Town has brought business, and change, to a timeless destination

FeaturesWednesday, May 4, 2016 by Elizabeth Miller

Twenty years ago, there was no pie in Pie Town. Now, on any given day, you may have up to four places to choose from—and thank goodness, the proprietors say, because otherwise, any one of them would be overwhelmed and guilted out of ever taking a day off.

The change began when Kathy Knapp and her mother, Mary, passed through the town and read a sign on the door of the old Pie-O-Neer Café, making the sad proclamation that it no longer sold the town’s namesake dessert. Mary declared that if Kathy would buy the place, she’d bake the pies. That partnership worked for a couple years, with Knapp dividing her time between Dallas and her career in advertising there, and the lonely retreat to a roadside café where her mother, yes, baked pies and served three meals a day, usually to locals. Then, it didn’t work anymore, and Knapp had to take over the café while her mother made a doctor-prescribed move to lower elevation.

A Russell Lee photo of Main Street in Pie Town sits near cooling pies, image by Arthur Drooker.

In the decades that have since passed, she’s made the place her own and, in the process, become something of a celebrity chef as Pie Town, a small community in the high desert in western New Mexico, has seen increasing attention, traffic and tourism. She’s had to follow through on her mother’s recommendation—to buy a few magic markers, because she’d be signing a lot of autographs.

But in the back of her mind, Knapp says, she’d always wanted to do a photography project to record the “old-timers,” the remaining few residents left over from early settlers of the town, population now about 60. Many of them arrived in the area after fleeing the Midwestern Dust Bowl to made a go of things as dirt farmers, living in homesteads dug into the ground. So when photographer Arthur Drooker called and asked if she would help him connect with the people and places of Pie Town, she said yes.

Drooker wasn’t the first photographer to be captured by the little town, and he came with a mission of retracing the path carved by Farm Service Administration photographer Russell Lee. In the 1930s and 1940s, Lee made more than 600 images of Pie Town, more than any other single location covered by the government effort to make a photographic record of American life. In an era that saw many photographers decrying color film as lowbrow, Lee loaded up a camera with Kodachrome. The end result is a stunning sampler of color images that capture a place that has long drifted decades behind its counterparts. Visually, Pie Town of the 1930s and 1940s still had one foot in the previous century.

Cutting pies and cakes at the Pie Town Fair, by Farm Service Administration photographer Russell Lee.

What Drooker’s photographs reveal, as captured in his book Pie Town Revisited, published late last year by University of New Mexico Press, is a place for which that’s still largely true. It’s a town of unpaved roads and no stoplights, of lunch tables stocked with ranchers who walk in alone but immediately find someone with whom to reminisce, to trade turkey hunting spots, to recall that year so much snow fell that a snowmobile could simply drive over the top of the fence lines. It’s a town of people who still live like they did decades ago.

Flag and pies still mark the streets of Pie Town.
Arthur Drooker

But some of that is changing.

As Pie Town has been splashed across the pages of magazines, including Smithsonian, and featured on television shows—namely Bill Geist’s CBS Sunday Morning and the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and most recently, the Travel Channel’s Hungrytown, USA—crowds have increased. And, at the same time, some of those old-timers have moved to lower elevations or passed away, and some of the iconic structures erected by early settlers with wood, tar paper and mud have collapsed.

“A little place like Pie Town, you think, Things don’t change,” Drooker says. “Things do change. I have no doubt that if I was embarking on Pie Town Revisited now, it would be a noticeably different book. The people moving into Pie Town now are retirees, people who want to get away from it all, and want to try to see if they really can make a go of being away from it all. … It’s still a very small town, still geographically isolated, still requires a certain amount of grit to make a go of it.”

Pie Town stakes a claim to a hillside along the Continental Divide, at nearly 8,000 feet in elevation, near the buttresses of the Sawtooth Mountains and south of the blackened lava flows of El Malpais, in Catron County, one of the least populated counties in the state. The highway is the only paved road. Locals talk about never needing to lock their doors or take the keys out of their cars, and occasionally finding a note in the kitchen from a neighbor who borrowed some sugar or eggs, the closest grocery store being 80 miles away in Socorro.

Rex Collins Norris Jr. holds a Russell Lee photo of his grandfather, Sam Norris.
Arthur Drooker

The place became known for pie when a prospector began selling apple pies from his general store. When the time came to petition for a post office, locals insisted the name Pie Town stick.

When Knapp first drove through, she says, “There was nothing. It was a ghost town.”

After they reopened the Pie-O-Neer, she took pies to visitor centers around New Mexico and into neighboring states to deliver the news that once again, Pie Town had pie.

For a few years, Knapp recalls, running the café meant showing up, baking a few pies with Nita Larronde (who came on board to help after Knapp’s mother left), and then the two of them sitting down to play dominoes. Particularly January to March, the road that runs by the front door, US Route 60, is basically dead—“in ’95, ’96, we could go all day without seeing a car on this road,” Knapp says.

Tearing down the Pie-O-Neer’s building might have been easier than keeping it, she concedes. Its history includes multiple fires under previous owners that left charred wood in the ceiling—a wood-burning stove in the dining room still provides the only heat—and minimal infrastructure that made for an unreliable water supply and an electrical system so temperamental it wouldn’t tolerate plugging in more than two appliances at a time.

Locals kind of dismissed the operation early on, saying, “Give them until the first hard winter,” and expecting the folks from Texas would call it quits after a few quiet and snowed-in months.

Knapp wouldn’t give up on it, though she twice tried to lease the place and walk away. Each break, she says, let her return with new ideas about how to make the café work.

When an emailed tip to CBS brought the television crew to town, the producer warned Knapp to expect that after the show aired, the phone would ring off the hook, the website would crash from too much traffic and lines would form out the door.

“I thought he didn’t know what he was talking about, but everything he said would come true, did,” Knapp says. “I didn’t think the world would find us.”

But by 10:30 am on the bitterly cold morning after that Nov. 30, 2014, airdate, the parking lot was full. Knapp opened the doors to the crowd at 11 and asked who’d been there before. The answer was, no one. She asked who’d seen them on TV. And that answer: Everyone.

“You come to Pie Town not for fame and glory, but to get away from the masses,” Knapp says. “It’s just kind of surreal.”

Pie Town Hotel, where Russell Lee lodged
Arthur Drooker

She has since rearranged the way the café works to accommodate the crowds and pared the restaurant down to pie, coffee and a simple lunch menu; she also adjusted the schedule to just Thursday, Friday and Saturday. She closes for those bitter cold winter months between Thanksgiving and Pi Day, March 14, deciding to draw the line at going home when the kitchen is so cold she has to thaw the dish soap in the microwave.

The stream of people, and media, allow for no bad pie days and no days she’s not happy to have the doors open and talk to the people who want to meet “the pie lady.”

Kathy Knapp, proprietor, Pie-O-Neer Café.
Arthur Drooker

In addition to serving slices of chocolate chess pie with red chile or pear ginger or strawberry, she tries to hand out a little history. The Pie-O-Neer is wallpapered with Russell Lee’s photographs, pink and pie-covered aprons, and images of the New Mexican landscape. The café is filled with copies of spine-busted books, among them, Far from Main Street: Three Photographers in Depression-Era New Mexico, which includes Lee’s photographs of the town. She puts those books in the hands of children, turning to pages with relatable images of a dinner table set with food or a dentist bracing a child back in a chair.

“I would hope that by coming to little, out-of-the-way places like this, kids will get to peek into the past,” Knapp says. “I know they’re going to get in the car and start thinking about what used to happen in these little towns.”

What draws the parents, though, is a hope for some portion of the life they once knew.

“It’s not realistic for most people to live in a town like this, but I’d like them to know it exists,” Knapp says. “It’s still genuinely 100 years in the past here. It’s simple. It’s challenging. It’s not for everyone. … It’s refreshing to visit an era that no longer exists most places.”

One visitor observed that it’s interesting that a bunch of old hippie-types can live in the middle of nowhere on pie, Knapp recounts, but adds, it’s true: “We are a bunch of old hippies just surviving on pie.”

The wheels aren’t slowing. With the forthcoming commercial release of The Pie Lady of Pie Town, a documentary directed and produced by Santa Fe’s own Jane Rosemont, along with additional television show appearances, Pie Town is likely to see still more visitors this summer. The annual pie festival, which takes place the second Saturday in September, drew more than 3,000 people last year, big enough that it’s become tough to wrangle with a mostly volunteer crew. The weeks up to the festival see every freezer in town filled with piecrusts, and every oven in town is baking pies the day before.

The tour buses haven’t yet arrived, Knapp says, but it’s only a matter of time. More and more, her guest book shows entries not by people who happily stumbled onto a slice of pie and a serving of nostalgia on their way to somewhere else but vistiors for whom Pie Town was the destination.

“It’s a good thing because you want your business to flourish,” Knapp says, “but it brings an element of change you’re never quite ready for.”

Sam Norris and wife, homesteaders, from the original Russell Lee visits to Pie Town in the 1930s and ‘40s.

And then, of course, there’s Drooker’s book, which sports Knapp’s photo on the cover. When he first called Knapp looking for a local contact and introductions to some of the old-timers around town, she says, she told him, “Come quick; there aren’t many left.”

He did, making the first of seven trips to Pie Town within a couple months of their first phone call in 2011, and he caught both buildings and people before they were gone.

"It’s almost like it went from black-and-white to color, and he was right there before it changed."

“It’s almost like it went from black-and-white to color, and he was right there before it changed,” Knapp says.

Most people didn’t really want to be interviewed or photographed. They’re private, proud, a bit reticent and disinclined to open up to pushy producers. But Drooker was different.

“He nailed the pioneer homesteading spirit, the Grapes of Wrath—he got it because he’d been fascinated by these people’s lives,” Knapp says.

Collectively speaking, it’s a record of all of our ancestors, she says. It’s all our families in those pages.

“What Arthur did is, he put us in touch with our past, and I’m grateful because a lot of it is gone,” Knapp says.

Drooker dates his interest in photography—and, for that matter, the Farm Service Administration’s deployment of photographers around the country, where they made some 175,000 images of rural America and the war effortto his teenage years in the 1960s and 1970s.

Only recently, after decades working in television and film, did his mind turn back to that early affection.

Nita Larronde poses at The Toaster House, a hostel for hikers.
Arthur Drooker

“I think most people, certainly a lot of people, when they turn 50, it’s a time to have an involuntary life review, and I certainly had one,” he tells SFR in a telephone interview from San Francisco. “I really had a sit-down with myself to sort of see where I was in my life, take stock and see what I wanted to do with my life in the time that I had left, and one of the questions I asked myself is, what makes me happy? Interestingly or oddly, working in television at thattime did not make the list.”

What did, however, was that persistent interest in photography. He decided to change the balance.

“Instead of being a guy who worked, worked, worked in television and squeezed photography in when he had a chance, I was going to do photography and squeeze television in only when I needed to,” he says.

What followed were two books, American Ruins and Lost Worlds: Ruins of the Americas, which presented haunting images of deteriorating structures. He’d never been happier. He then returned to the ambitions of his teenage years and to a promise he’d made to himself: to someday go where a Farm Service Administration photographer had been. He’d had no specific place in mind, until Lee’s images of Pie Town surfaced while he was working on the film Seabiscuit in 2002.

“He’s photographing these homesteaders who escaped the Dust Bowl and resettled in Pie Town, and they’re living like 1800s pioneers. They’re dirt farming, which is as simple as it gets,” he says.

That Lee shot some images in color, which was rare at the time, made his work stand out.

“That’s when I thought, Pie Town is the place I want to go,” he says.

Visiting the town over the course of four years, Drooker photographed its current residents against the backdrop of their wood-sided homes and dilapidated buildings. In some, he places Lee’s photographs in the landscape, so a gaggle of women and children striding past the Farm Service Bureau building in the 1940s seems to approach a row of pies cooling on a baking rack. A farmer kneels at a pile of pinto beans, the image losing its edges in the weeds just off the side of the highway, and one of the skyward eyes of the Very Large Array peeking over the top of the photo. A cowboy holds a photo of a Pie Town rodeo to his chest, the wooden beams of a corral laced behind him.

The Pie-O-Neer Café is no longer the only stop for pie in town. The Pie Town Café has changed hands, and names, in recent years, but continues to serve pie and lunch. Last year saw the opening of The Gatherin’ Place, a full-service restaurant run by Janine McMurtrey and Brad Brown, and The Pie Source, which Cyndi Fowler runs out of a cabin that’s been restored to look much the way it would have when a homesteading family lived in it.

Drooker’s “FSA @VLA” shows the Very Large Array radio observatory with a Russell Lee photo of Bill Stagg, a homesteader.
Arthur Drooker

The point of these multiple options is, in part, to make sure that on any given day, everyone passing through Pie Town can get pie. They’re not competitive, the restaurant owners insist, instead calling around to let one another know when they’re closing or when they’ve been busy, or even when they’re running low on pie.

The Gatherin’ Place started as a gift shop, McMurtrey says, but people kept coming in and asking if they sold pie. So now, she does. The restaurant stayed open all winter, a rarity in this frigid outpost.

“It is slower, but it definitely paid to keep the doors open,” she says.

The publicity has brought people on the early and late ends of the season, and The Gatherin’ Place intends to catch them. Just since June, they’ve seen visitors lured in by mention of the town in the Chicago Tribune, and people who have come all the way from Spain with Pie Town as their destination. A map of the United States on the wall, for visitors to mark where they’re from, has been up for just four months and already has pins in all 50 states. The wooden doorframes people can sign have signatures from Nigeria, Madagascar, China and Switzerland.

At times, McMurtrey meets them at the door with dough on her hands, taking orders off a menu dominated by BBQ and burgers. Diners sit family style and often share the table with new acquaintances, sometimes exchanging phone numbers.

“Welcome to a time that doesn’t exist anymore,” says McMurtrey, who relocated with her husband six years ago from the Dallas/Fort Worth area. “I traded stiletto heels for boots and mud.”

And, for that matter, 3 million people for 60.

“We knew we wanted to slow down,” she says. “This was like hitting the brakes.”

But it just felt right, she says. Their first winter, they weathered 32-degree-below-zero temperatures and three feet of snow. But she claims it was worth it.

“In big cities, you have acquaintances,” she says. “In Pie Town, you have friends.”

The Pie Source Homestead Café sits on the eastern edge of town, behind a forest of windmills. Inside the cabin, alongside an old-style washing machine and a wall hung with yellowing newspapers and magazines from World War II and rows of antique coffee cups, Fowler sells just coffee and pie—including her twist on Southwest apple pie, baked with piñón nuts and red chile.

“If everybody’s closed, I’m open,” Fowler says. “It used to be, if you closed, people were mad.”

Asked what brings people to Pie Town, she answers simply, “What I hear from them all is, ‘I want to be able to say I had pie in Pie Town.’”

Sure enough, a woman and her grandson walk in, take a seat at the one table in the dining room, sip some coffee and each indulge in a slice of pie. She says she’d driven through before and told the skeptical teenager, “I betcha we’re going to find a pie place.”

He appeared doubtful, until Fowler set a slice of cherry pie down in front of him.

No one wants people to leave Pie Town disappointed. But it’ll be authenticity that matters, Knapp says, not the media buzz.

“The Pie Town mentality will keep you humble,” she says. “You’re so busy being a personality, you don’t pay attention, and if I don’t pay attention, it’s not going to be great, and it has to be great. It’s my reputation.”

“There’s this increased self-awareness about the town and its tourism potential, and if that continues, then it’s almost like Pie Town just becomes a different version of itself,” Drooker says. “In some respects, it loses or could lose a certain unvarnished, un-self-conscious sense of authenticity, and that’s something personally I would keep an eye on just to see what becomes of a town as a result of all this attention that’s coming to it. … If you’ve been there before and you go there now, you’ll see some changes. Whether those changes continue, whether things develop more, I think that remains to be seen.”

His advice: “You should check it out. It’s a little bit of a drive, but I think you’ll like it. And if you like pie, you’ll love it.”


Trailer for Short Documentary Film "Pie Lady of Pie Town" from Jane Rosemont on Vimeo.


7 Days

05.04.16

7 DaysWednesday, May 4, 2016 by SFR
1

CITY TO ALLOW WINE AT FUEGO GAMES

But only if it’s served in tiny cardboard boxes with straws.

2

AGUA FRÍA GETS NEW HISTORICAL MARKER

At least one thing got built there.

3

SFCC HIKES TUITION

Keep America great with student loan debt.

4

MAYOR’S VERDE FUND GETS $300K EARMARK

Anyone else have whiplash? Last week, the city was still broke.

5

LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY PROMISES NEW JOBS

You can get in line right after those Intel people.

6

DAILY NEWSPAPER LETTER WRITERS SPAR OVER LA FONDA BAR REDO

When losing the funk is a bad thing.

7

ZOZOBRA EXIT OPTION NEEDS REPAIR

Now he’s really burning bridges.


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