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Christmas for the Birds

Local Audubon holds state’s oldest citizen science project with winter bird count

Local NewsWednesday, December 17, 2014 by Zoe Baillargeon

Forget about partridges in pear trees. Bring on the juncos in junipers.

Between now and Jan. 5  a dedicated group of local volunteer bird enthusiasts will brave the pre-dawn cold to participate in the Santa Fe chapter of the national Audubon Center’s Christmas Bird Count.

“There’s always that moment when your alarm first goes off and you forget why you’re getting up so early, but once you remember why you’re doing this, there’s this rush of excitement because you don’t know what you’re going to see,” says Wyatt Egelhoff, the leader of the Santa Be bird count.

The youngest leader in the state at 18 years of age, Egelhoff first got interested in ornithology thanks to classes at the Randall Davey Audubon Center in Santa Fe, and has been participating in the bird count for the past 3 years.

“It’s a really nice way to network with other people, you get to meet other birders, and other people end up finding neat birds that you can later go out and see.”

Audubon says the Santa Fe Christmas Bird Count first took place in 1953, making it the oldest such event in the state. Experienced and novice volunteers joining this “citizen’s science project” work with bird experts and a compiler to identify and track local bird populations.

“The real value in the Christmas Bird Count is that it’s over the same 15-mile radius, and it happens every year, so you get a snapshot every year of what’s happening within that circle,” explains Egelhoff.
Last year’s count totaled 224 species throughout the state. The individual count reached a new all-time high with 525,000 birds.

“It’s one of the longest-running sources of data we have for birds in the US during the wintertime,” says Carol Beidleman, Audubon New Mexico’s director of bird conservation. “It’s important to see how bird populations are changing.”  

Beidleman first participated in the bird with her ornithologist father when she was younger, spurring her belief that the winter tally is a vital tool for teaching the next generation about “the native birds that are in our backyards.”

“He took me out to do counts when I was younger, which I enjoyed even though I was cold,” she remembers.
When the national Christmas Bird Count first began in 1899 in the eastern United States, its goal was to address the issue of people hunting birds for decorative feathers for use in lady’s hats. Nowadays, local and national bird populations face a different threat.

“Climate change is the biggest issue,” explains Egelhoff. “Certain species are moving north, and they’re moving their winter ranges, such as the American Gold Finch. It’s a unique example in terms of birds because in New Mexico 50 years ago, you could only find gold finches in Taos, and now they’re breeding in Santa Fe.”

Adding to the conversation, Beidleman addressed habitat loss, citing the pinyon jay (they spell it this way on prupose) as a local victim due to the loss of piñon juniper forests from drought, conversion to rangeland, and bark beetles.

Egelhoff also expressed concern for the black rosy-finches that nest at Sandia Crest, cautioning that climate change will affect their winter populations.

So far, 15 people have signed up for the ongoing bird count, but registration is still open on the Audubon website

City's Checkbook Needs Help

Santa Fe is 'behind' on budget planning, Finance Committee chairman says

Local NewsWednesday, December 17, 2014 by Julie Ann Grimm

When it comes to figuring out how the City of Santa Fe is faring financially and how it might escape a gap between spending and revenue, officials have fallen behind.

Councilor Carmichael Dominguez has served on the City Council Finance Committee for more than nine years. Now in his third year as its chairman, Dominguez says he’s got more questions than answers thanks to a delay in appointing a director for the department that handles the city’s purse strings.

By this time in the calendar, the city is normally getting ready for the mid-year budget review. (The fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.)

But since Finance Director Oscar Rodriguez just came on board at City Hall late last month, Dominguez says that might not happen on schedule.  Former Finance Director Marcos Tapia stepped down from the job in July.

“We’re behind, there’s no doubt about it,” Dominguez tells SFR in a recent interview, “because we didn’t have a finance director for so many months. I was hoping to go through some strategic planning this year. We’ll still do some, but I’m not sure how much substance it will have. We just need to pick up the pieces for this year.”

Dominguez says he’s not critical of the long process that the mayor and city manager used to hire the director, but he notes that the way city revenues and expenses are organized is complicated.

“I hope this person will be able to catch up and move us forward,” says Dominguez. “He understands the need to simplify stuff, and I think he will be able to give us a clear picture of the realities that exist.” 


Those realities include that the city depends largely on unstable gross-receipts taxes to fund its programs and services and that state lawmakers are moving ahead with plans to reduce the amount of cash cities will see through their repeal of a “hold harmless” provision that compensated for a long-ago axing of a tax collected on food. 

Benefits for city employees are also a factor. The city has been dipping into reserves to keep its robust health insurance package complete, but Dominguez says that practice has to end soon. And that could mean fewer benefits for labor.

Leadership will have to come into play in the next few months if the city is to make headway on a gap between what’s coming in and what’s going out, he says. 

Under the previous mayoral administration of David Coss, the mayor and city manager were heavily involved in setting budget priorities. Mayor Javier Gonzales, who took office in March just months before the last round of budget approval, and City Manager Brian Snyder, who was named to that post in May of 2013, have been less hands-on, according to Dominguez.

Morning Word: Stormy Weather Brings Rain and Snow

APD releases graphic lapel camera video

Morning WordWednesday, December 17, 2014 by Peter St. Cyr
Stormy weather. New Mexico is going to get rain, snow and winds today. Bundle up and drive safe. Republican Aubrey Dunn is headed to the state land office after a recount, and two Albuquerque Police officers may be headed to court to face murder charges.


It's Wednesday, Dec. 17 2014. 


A winter storm is headed into New Mexico. That means it’s going to be wet and morning roads could be slick. Steve Stucker says we can expect rain and 3 to 5 inches of snow in higher elevations. At 5 a.m. there were no school delays or closings.

Check your school status online. 

Breaking news this morning. Sheriff's deputies in Bernalillo County are investigating a late night shooting that sent one man to the hospital Tuesday night following a traffic stop on Central near 75th Street. It's still not clear if the deputy shot the man.

Read more at the Albuquerque Journal.  

The unofficial vote recount tally shows Republican Aubrey Dunn has won race for public land commissioner. The final vote totals are 249,993 for Aubrey Dunn and 249,337 for Ray Bennett Powell, a difference of 656 votes.
Seven counties completed the recount with no changes to their previously reported vote totals, while 14 counties reported changes of less than five votes for both candidates. The largest discrepancies were in Sandoval and Colfax counties, where a combined 269 fewer ballots were accounted for than were reported on Election Night. In some counties, qualification of provisional ballots added to the vote totals for the candidates. 
The State Canvassing Board will certify the election on Thursday.

Read more at the Santa Fe New Mexican. 

Bernalillo County commissioners have appointed Stephanie Maez to fill the New Mexico House seat vacated by Mimi Stewart after Stewart was appointed to fill State Auditor-elect Tim Keller's senate seat last week.

Dan McKay has more here.  

State Rep. Phillip Archuleta, D-Las Cruces, has died after complications from pneumonia, in Las Cruces. State Rep. Jeff Steinborn remembered his friend and colleague on Facebook:
The people lost a great public servant with the passing of my friend State Representative Phillip Archuleta. I will miss Phillip's passionate heart, tremendous wit, and comradery [sic] in standing up for causes that needed a voice. 
Archuleta, 65, lost his reelection bid to Hatch Mayor Andy Nuñez by 8 points in November.

Read more at the Las Cruces Sun-News. 

On the same day, Archuleta passed away, Nuñez and Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque, reintroduced a measure to repeal New Mexico's immigrant driver's license laws.
New Mexico residents granted deferred deportation action status by the federal government would be eligible for a lower-tier New Mexico license designated as non-REAL ID-compliant. But no New Mexico driver’s licenses or permits would be available to immigrants in the country illegally who also do not qualify for a deferred action status designation. 
Read more at the Albuquerque Journal. 

After reviewing thousands of pages of evidence, anonymous sources tell KRQE that embattled District Attorney Kari Brandenburg is considering charging two officers involved with killing illegal camper James Boyd on open counts of murder at a preliminary hearing sometime next spring.
By presenting open counts of murder, prosecutors would give jurors in a trial a range of charges to choose from, all of which are predicated on the theory that the officers killed Boyd intentionally. The stiffest of those charges is first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence. At the other end of the spectrum is voluntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum of six years in prison. 
See Matt Grubs and Jeff Proctor’s report here. 

Graphic new lapel camera video, obtained by KOB 4's Caleb James, shows the innocent bystander accidently shot by an APD officer on Sunday morning slumped over and bleeding. He was hit by bullet fragments after Officer Tamas Nadas' gun discharged after he fell through an apartment window. Doctors expect Ramiro Armendariz to recover. Officer Tamas Nadas remains on paid leave during the investigation.

The video is posted on KOB 4. 

The victim shown in that brutal beating in downtown Albuquerque this weekend is speaking out after two bouncers were charged with felony aggravated assault. Action 7 News has the exclusive interview with Jose Macias.

See it on KOAT 7.

The mother who dodged New Mexico State Police bullets as she drove away from a traffic stop in Taos canyon last fall has been arraigned again. Oriana Ferrell says she's not guilty after being indicted on charges of child abuse, drug paraphernalia and aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer. That officer, Elias Montoya, was terminated after video showed him firing at Ferrell's van. Montoya sued the state and settled for an undisclosed amount. Ferrell was released on her own recognizance, but is not allowed to leave the state or discuss the case with her children.

Details on KOB 4. 

Santa Fe city councilors are divided on the city's energy future. A new energy plan for the City of Santa Fe sponsored by at least two city councilors is creating tension with supporters of a different plan that calls for the city to study replacing Public Service Company of New Mexico with a municipal utility company.

SFR's Justin Horwath reports on the 'Power Play".  

Investigative Reporter Joseph Sorrentino takes a hard look at New Mexico's giant dairy industry. Conventional farm practices, he writes, are hard to swallow.
Currently, more than half of New Mexico’s dairies are under pollution abatement plans because they’ve been cited by the New Mexico Environment Department for contaminating groundwater.

More at SFR. 

Journalist Laura Paskus has launched an ambitious radio series exploring New Mexico's natural gas drilling and burgeoning oil industry.
The industry brings hundreds of millions of dollars into the state, but it also comes with impacts to public health, the environment, communities, and water resources.
Listen to Paskus on KUNM.  

New Mexico Mercury's series on the plight of state education programs continues.

Read Part III online.  

Albuquerque Public School Board Member Kathy Korte, an outspoken critic of the New Mexico Public Education Department, is suing the University of New Mexico after being forced out of her community relations job. 

Read more at the Albuquerque Journal. 

3 Questions

with Doug Swagerty

3 QuestionsWednesday, December 17, 2014 by Emily Zak

Cigar-smoking, wine-quaffing, shoplifting children who attend church for free food are center at Christ Church’s weekend and Christmas Eve performances of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, a play based on a book by Barbara Robinson. Executive Pastor Doug Swagerty explains what drew him to the seasonal comedy.

What made you choose this production?

It’s a classic Christmas book about a church putting on a pageant that’s kind of hijacked by the local kids that don’t know the story or really done anything religious in their life. The magic of the story is you get to see these kids hearing the Christmas story for the first time. We’re doing a three-part [sermon] series on it. We did the first one this past Sunday, and we’re doing the second one this coming Sunday and then the wrap-up will be at our Christmas Eve service.

What are the worst things the kids do in this play?

The older daughter in the Herdman family was quite the schoolyard bully, in the sense that she would sneak into the nurse’s office and find out the weight of all the kids and then tease the ones who were overweight and tell them they needed to go to fat camp. And if anyone ever had lice, you know, she would make sure everyone knew about it. She got the part to be Mary in the play, the mother of Jesus, and the girl who played Mary in all the subsequent years did not volunteer because Imogene Herdman threatened to stick a pussy willow down in her ear, and it was going to sprout and grow out of her ear for years and years.

What are the lessons people can derive from the play?

We’re all kind of inured to the Christmas story because we’ve heard it so often and so many years. It’s just the idea of these kids hearing it for the first time and being amazed by all the things that over the years that we tend to take for granted about the story…Part of our emphasis this last week was that the Christmas story only is amazing to us if we each see ourselves as one of the Herdmans. They stand out in relief because they’re so different than the other kids, but the point I was trying to make this past Sunday is that we all have that in us, and we’re kind of humbled by the story. Because we think sometimes that we’re not the ones that Jesus needed to come for. But we all are.

Do the Right Thing

‘Tis the season for giving back

PicksWednesday, December 17, 2014 by Alex De Vore

For many, Christmas is that time of the year where we harass our friends and family into buying us cool stuff. Come Dec. 25, the HDTVs and smartphones will be gifted, everyone will stuff their faces and then we’ll fall asleep sitting up while TBS plays A Christmas Story again and again and again. For many others, the day is another reminder that they’re less fortunate. Kids right here in your very own hometown will spend the day without gifts of any kind. And while nobody expects people to give up their own reveling, this is the time of year to think of others and doing something nice for their fellow man.

But what’s a great and relatively easy way to go about this? Easy: the Salvation Army’s Christmas Angels program.

Scattered throughout town at places like Sanbusco and Walmart are special Christmas trees upon which are special cards containing information about children, such as their ages, coat and shoe sizes and what special or fun items they’d like. You just choose your kid and get shopping for things like clothing and toys. You don’t have to go nuts on the spending (though you certainly could), you don’t have to put a whole lot of effort into it and, perhaps best of all, you’ll get that wonderful feeling that comes from helping someone less fortunate. Hell, you don’t even have to wrap the gifts, just drop them off at the SA’s location on Alameda Street.

Yes, the Salvation Army has some pretty dated ideas when it comes to sexual orientation and no, you don’t have to like them. That said, it isn’t as if you’re donating to the organization itself, and it isn’t the kids’ fault that SA insists on being so painfully close-minded. Think of it this way—while you’re unboxing gaming consoles or millionaire scarves or any number of other things you don’t need, some of these kids are desperate for any kind of gift or even just warm coat instead of a toy (this is a true fact…I saw the card myself some years ago). If this is the season of giving, it cannot hurt to look beyond your own friends and family. Trust me—it’s worth it.


Salvation Army’s
Christmas Angels

Salvation Army
525 W Alameda St.,
988-8054

Ugly Sweaters & Season’s Greetings!

These are a few of our favorite knits

Arts Wednesday, December 17, 2014 by SFR

Last Friday, SFR staffers donned their holiday worst, gorged on gingerbread everything and chugged spiked punch as if the world was about to end. Before words started to slur and conversations got heated (one such late-night debate was about babies’ rights to elect circumcision—no joke), we took these snapshots to commemorate the evening. From the the DIY to the insane to the why bother? All iterations of wearable holiday cheer were on display. Here is just a, um...snippet.


Too cool for poly-blend
Justin Horwath, staff writer
Brianna Kirkland, digital manager
UGLY sweater? I wear this every Friday!
Doña Hatch, senior ad executive & Lola
Alesia Lange, classified ad manager
Emily Zak, copy editor
I’m wearin’ a bow because I’m God’s gift to women!
Jeff Norris, publisher

Cara Fazio, graphic designer
Sabah Peach, advertising manager
I think I will wear it every day...and night, wink!
Anson Stevens-Bollen, art director
Taylor Rhoads, advertising executive
Who roofied the eggnog?
THIS GUY!
Enrique Limón, deputy editor
Julie Ann Grimm, editor
I didn’t even TRY.
Joey Peters, self-made man & staff writer

Small Bites

Eat at Izanami and SweetWater Harvest Kitchen

Small BitesWednesday, December 17, 2014 by SFR

Joy Godfrey

Izanami

As popular as tapas menus have become, it’s no surprise that our new Japanese small-plates restaurant is already a big hit. This recent addition to the Ten Thousand Waves campus is a sure thing for a unique dining experience best shared with a companion or two. Enjoy some sake and watch servers fill the glass to the brim and then some in a gesture meant to symbolize overflowing abundance. Crunch into tempura green beans ($6) and a variety of fermented goodies such as gingered burdock root ($5) before you settle on a nami burger ($14) made with wagyu beef. A roasted sweet potato dish ($6) topped with miso butter and togarashi spice blend is superb. If sake is not your thing, try one of several sparkling fruit beverage offerings such as the yuzu citrus-ade ($4.50) And when you are done, wipe your hands on the warm, moist oshiburi napkin and look out at the mountain view one more time. Breathtaking doesn’t even begin to describe it.

-Julie Ann Grimm

3451 Hyde Park Road, 428-6390
Lunch and dinner daily.
izanamisantafe.com

Joy Godfrey

SweetWater Harvest Kitchen

A live reggae trio sets a placid atmosphere during a recent Sunday brunch at the Pacheco Street establishment that has a modern but homey feel. Co-owner Soma Franks’ belief that feeding people feeds community is on full display, as Sage Grey plays harp and his group’s soft lyrics about Babylon dance around the diners’ chatter. On the breakfast menu, look for the most unique breakfast burrito ($9.25) in Santa Fe, filled with black beans, sweet potato and a fried egg, wrapped in a wheat tortilla and topped with jack cheese, smothered in your choice of chile. The colorful heirloom tomato eggs Florentine ($11.25)—two poached eggs, spinach and Hollandaise sauce on top of a sliced tomato—is a healthy and tasty alternative. Dinner dishes include a Thai curry chicken noodle bowl ($18), garden lasagna ($16) and fish tacos with Moroccan sauce ($18). Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options abound. Make sure to try the vegan chocolate mousse ($5.50-$7). It’s a cup of tasty richness made with avocado and topped with fresh strawberries and raspberries.

-Justin Horwath

1512 Pacheco St., 795-7383
Breakfast and lunch Monday-Saturday;
dinner Wednesday-Saturday; brunch on Sundays.
sweetwatersf.com


Hungry for more? Our 2015 Restaurant Guide is out! Pick it up at over 50 locations across town. You can also find it here.

Pop Stars

New collective provides tangible goods, redefines Santa Fe style

Arts ValveTuesday, December 16, 2014 by Enrique Limón

“I’ve done this, basically, to do something different than the traditional brick-and-mortar,” artist Jennifer Joseph says as she refreshes the stock of “Not Your Grandma’s Santa Fe Style,” a special pop-up shop she, along with the Santa Fe Collective, have set up inside Marcy Street’s Community Gallery at the Convention Center building.

The shop rounds up the best from a dozen or so local artists, including Rita Bard, Richard Kurtz and Lori Swartz, and provides a good platform for last-minute shoppers to buy local and give unexpected gifts this holiday season that won’t break the bank. “Everything is under $250,” Joseph, herself a full-time artist, says.

She started the collective last spring “as a way of promoting local, contemporary artists and to also show and present work that’s accessible,” and since then has launched similar initiatives in diverse venues across town including the old Rouge Cat and Sweet Lily Bakery, and branched out to a herb shop in Brooklyn and the popular Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice, Calif. “That was interesting,” she says of the latter.

"I wanted to create a new model...something different and new that doesn’t necessarily takes itself so seriously."

“We’re trying, but we’re also realizing that our context is here,” Joseph says of taking the show on the road.

At the most recent iteration, a partnership with the city’s Arts Commission, a wall partition serves as a main retail space, with rolling racks and a nearby windowsill doubling as extra display areas. Goods include custom T-shirts by Edie Tsong and Yon Hudson, text-based artworks by Michael Namingha, bone china rings by Yuki Murata and one-of-a-kind rocks from the Embudo Basin that have been cleaned and gilded with 24-karat gold by Marion Wasserman.

The endeavor proved to be a family affair for Joseph, with bronze-cast botanicals by husband Chris Collins (pictured left) and hematite jewelry by Mom Bonnie Joseph, also available for sale. “They’re pretty rock ‘n’ roll,” she says, picking up a necklace.

Joseph plans on having the shop open though midday on Thursday and then take orders online though the co-op’s website, santafecollective.com.

“I wanted to create a new model, so that we could do something different and new that doesn’t necessarily takes itself so seriously,” she says of what separates her group from others in town. “I look at it as a way to support artists in a very small way and get our work out there.”

Though Joseph admits she’s not expecting a windfall anytime soon, her motivation is to “provide some level of support” for local artists. “Everybody’s sold something,” she says. “For the other artists to get a check in the mail unexpectedly is, I’m sure, nice.”

If they happen to dust off the concept of Santa Fe style along the way, even better.

“They’ve been open to it, definitely,” Joseph says of customers’ reaction to the sui generis stock. “People have been like, ‘Wow, this is cool.’ I can’t say that it’s been necessarily a financial success, but it’s really great to get the work out there.”

Joseph aims to stage the collective’s next pop-up in February. In the meantime, she’ll continue to challenge dated notions and provide a stage for hometown artists along the way.

“Long-term, even though I just said I don’t want a brick-and-mortar store, I kind of do. I’m getting to the age where you don’t want to be schlepping stuff around all the time,” she shares with a laugh. “I think from a business point of view, to know where we are at any given time, because as it is now, it’s sort of catch us if you can. That’s great. We love popping up because overhead is minimal, but the reality is [that] in order to grow the business, we’re gonna have to have a space long-term, but we do plan on getting out and putting the Santa Fe brand out there.”

Book ’em, Raaga

For new cookbook, chef “Paddy” finds inspiration close to home

Food WritingTuesday, December 16, 2014 by Rob DeWalt

Santa Fe is lucky to have so many great chef/restaurant owners and pen-wielding gastronomes at its disposal. We are spoiled, really, by the breadth of cuisine to be eaten and celebrated in a mid-sized, landlocked berg.

Luckier, still, are those of us who hoard cookbooks written by these amazing people. In fact, in the months to come, Santa Feans and others can look forward to the release of local writer Lynn Cline’s The Maverick Cookbook: Tales and Recipes from New Mexico (June 2015, Leaf Storm Press), SFR’s Restaurant of the Year owner and chef Martín Rios’ Restaurant Martin Cookbook (June 2015, Globe Pequot Press) and chef Ahmed Obo’s Jambo Café Cookbook, scheduled for release “in the first part of 2015,” according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Enter Pramod “Paddy” Rawal of Raaga Cuisine (544 Agua Fría St., 820-6440), who decided to take the DIY approach for his first cookbook. From 2 to 4 pm on Sunday, Dec. 21, Rawal plans to sign copies of his self-published The Raaga Cookbook: Modern Indian Cuisine, at his restaurant.

It was evident from early on in Rawal’s life that he would land in a career making other people happy. One of five children growing up in Mumbai, Rawal spent many evenings helping his mother prepare dinner for his siblings and his father, an officer in the Indian Navy. “No matter how much I insisted,” Rawal says, “I couldn’t get my mother to sit and eat with us until everyone else had been fed. I remember thinking, ‘Then, I will wait for her before I eat.’ It made me feel bad, and so I began helping her in the kitchen one Sunday each month.”

It was fortuitous that Rawal found comfort in helping his mother prepare the regular meal of salad, lentils, rice, two vegetable dishes and bread. “I tried to do medical school,” Rawal recalls with a laugh, “but that didn’t happen. I instead ended up in hotel-management school studying the culinary arts and applied nutrition. Those Sunday dinners definitely paid off.”

In the early 2000s, before landing in Santa Fe, Rawal gave residents of Michigan a taste of his cuisine, which was quickly evolving into a modern take on Indian classics. “I was taking herbs and spices from Indian food and applying lessons learned from the chefs I studied with around the world,” he reminisces. “At Michigan State University, there were close to 3,000 students from India attending classes, and many of them had a chance to taste my new take on dishes from home. The good response to the food was overwhelming.” That reaction led to Rawal opening two restaurants in Michigan—both of which fell victim to a crashing economy and are now shuttered.

Rawal’s decision to open a restaurant in Santa Fe in 2011 was solidified upon his first visit, dining out with friends. “People who live here and visit here, and guests to my restaurant, are very well educated on culinary matters,” he explains. “They have a curiosity about ingredients and flavors, and they like to take chances with their palates. So do I.”

A cookbook seemed, with a little encouragement from his friends and colleagues, like a natural progression once the restaurant was up and running. And now that Rawal has sold Om (his Los Ranchos de Albuquerque restaurant) to concentrate on a single property, Raaga is running like a well-oiled machine.

“I think most Indian cookbooks are not relatable to American audiences,” Rawal says, “and with more time now, I wanted to create something more straightforward that still managed to capture the cooks and diners’ imaginations.” It might seem easier said than done, even for someone like Rawal, who is fluent in five languages. But fellow chef and Santa Fe Culinary Academy co-founder Rocky Durham has another take: “Not only is Paddy an amazing chef, he possesses a rare skill—being able to speak intelligently about his food and techniques and entertaining an entire room while demonstrating his cooking talents.”

The 50 recipes in The Raaga Cookbook, many of which are complemented by lush photography courtesy of local photographer Douglas Merriam, cover some of Rawal’s most popular drinks, desserts, soups, salads, entrées, rice dishes, breads, chutneys and appetizers, and true to form, Rawal entices with his love of exotic and familiar herbs and spices while explaining each recipe in a refreshingly straightforward way. From spinach chaat and tandoori chicken to lamb biryani and mango lassi, there’s something here for every palate.

Hold onto your napkins: Rawal isn’t done with cookbooks quite yet, and he has a few other things up his sleeve. “I had the recipes for this book compiled very quickly,” he says. “I think I surprised my friend and the book’s editor Margo Chan Taylor by how fast it came together. I self-published to kind of test the waters for interest in the recipes, and now that I know people are responding—I just ordered another batch of books from the printer because I ran out—there will be more books coming.”

Throughout 2015, Rawal hopes to compile recipes for a new, all-vegetarian, 200-plus-page hardcover cookbook. He’ll also be working on a line of bottled sauces that his customers can’t get enough of in the restaurant. The cookbook is a great gift, but why not double-down on Rawal’s inimitable cuisine? On Jan. 31, Rawal demonstrates his talents in a class at the Culinary Academy titled “Chinese-Indian Fusion Cuisine.”


The Raaga Cookbook Signing
2-4 pm Sunday, Dec. 21. Free
Raaga, 544 Agua Fría St.
830-6440

You’re Doing it Wrong

How to suck at music and alienate people

Music FeaturesTuesday, December 16, 2014 by Alex De Vore

Amid claims that I’ve lost my touch and gone soft (guess I can’t fucking win with you guys, huh?), I’ve decided to dedicate the entirety of my column this week to people who I think are doing music wrong. Oh, and just so you know, musicians reading this and feeling like maybe it’s aimed at you: It most certainly is.

The All-the-Time Player

If you hear this voice in the back of your head saying, “Maybe I should chill out and give people a chance to miss me rather than playing nine times a week,” that voice is right. Nobody cares if it’s your livelihood, either, because even though you’ve chosen this “job,” it’s not the same as being a surgeon—no matter how many times y’all share that dumb meme on Facebook about how it is the same as being a surgeon.

Anson Stevens-Bollen
The Kickstarter

Even though a recent column mostly said it all, I’m pissed that it didn’t spark discussion, so here it goes again—ain’t nobody wants to pay for your album outside of your friends and family (they only donated because you browbeat them into it) or people young enough to still feel a desperate urge to be part of something larger than their pathetic lives...too bad that something is your pathetic life.

The “Let’s Spend a Ton on a Pro Album Even Though My Shoes Have Been Around Longer Than Our Band”-er

A lot of bands will tell you that dropping 15 grand on that album nobody bought and that now takes up a bunch of space in their mom’s garage was a bad step. Look, record in any affordable, local studio and get the thing mastered (that makes a bigger difference than you think) and worry about spending tens of thousands once people give a shit...or have even heard of you.

The Pomplamoose

Did you guys read that fun essay about the band that lost money on tour because they had to pay all kinds of people and blah blah blah. Well, fuck off, Jack Conte of Pomplamoose. How about instead of whining about light rigs and sound guys and four damn rooms at Best Western every night, you focus on the tried-and-true reward of musical involvement—musical involvement. Plus, we now know that it was just a sneaky way to drive traffic to your video platform website thing and that you’re making an ungodly amount of money through investments there. Also, you should learn how to name a band, because Pomplamoose is wack.

The Headliner

OK, so maybe you’ve been doing this living thing for a lot longer than me, and in your 65-some-odd years on planet Earth you’ve learned a thing or two, but when it comes to show promotion, I’m begging you to take my advice and play second to last if you can. Or even just when a promoter asks you to play. By the time a crowd gets to the last band they’re kind of sick of it all, and besides, nobody likes the band who insists they are headlining, especially the person who called you up and asked you to play in the first place.

The Only Shows Up When It’s Time to Play, If At All-er

Why in the world do all the bands and musicians around here drone on and on about supporting the scene and then you don’t ever see them at each other’s shows? And why on earth do some bands show up right before they’re about to play? It’s a drag.

Anson Stevens-Bollen
The Blame it On Everyone Else-er

Do you ever stop to think that maybe nobody is at your shows because your product just isn’t very good and/or you’re doing it wrong? This isn’t the music critic’s fault or the town’s fault, because bands that people like usually have pretty big crowds (just ask D Numbers or Moby Dick). It’s your fault. Although to be fair, we can’t really assign a system of penalties to the concept of popularity or crowd size, so instead of saying it’s somebody’s fault, let’s just say the truth—your band sucks.

Christmas for the Birds
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