08.31.167 DaysWednesday, August 31, 2016
RIP JUAN GABRIEL AND GENE WILDER
Which beloved legend will 2016 take next? It’s been a rough year.
PUBLIC SERVANT KATE NOBLE MOVES ON
We sure hope nobody was expecting anything to ever get done at City Hall now.
ZIKA MOSQUITOES FOUND IN seventh NM COUNTY
And those skeeters don’t pay attention to the county lines.
FACEBOOK STILL EYEING LOS LUNAS FOR NEW DATA CENTER
Are they aware of the whole Zika situation?
32 CITY-OWNED SITES TO NOW FEATURE HIGH-SPEED INTERNET
For when you’ve just gots to Netflix and chill at the Santa Fe Airport.
ZOZOBRA TO BURN
Meet us at second base.
SFR PUBLISHER JEFF NORRIS GETS A CANCER-FREE VERDICT FROM THE DOC
Oh great, now we all have to look busy.
New Mexicans join Natives gathering in North Dakota for pipeline protest that has disrupted its constructionLocal NewsWednesday, August 31, 2016
At least a century has passed since the last time so many tribes gathered for a single cause, but the reaches of the Dakota Access Pipeline have pulled support from Indigenous peoples across the Americas, even uniting historic enemies. Thousands of people have gathered near the banks of the Missouri River, which runs into the Mississippi River and on to the Gulf of Mexico, to protest a crude oil pipeline under construction that they argue puts drinking water at risk for millions.
The pipeline narrowly misses the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s reservation, but would run underneath the Missouri River, the reservation’s key drinking water source. Tepees and tents crowd a field near the river, and a row of tribal flags face the road where traffic has been forced to stop for marchers.
You can live without money and you can live without oil, they say, but you can’t live without water. Each morning, tribal members gather at the banks of the river and pray that the pipeline will never be built.
“It’s all they have to make a difference, and there’s solidarity in that, and traction by the sheer volume of people,” says Cannupa Hanska Luger, a Santa Fe-based artist who was born in a clinic near the river. After his brother, who still lives in North Dakota, alerted him to the growing camp, he traveled back to the state with his family to deliver truckloads of supplies to the protesters.
“They’ll stay through the winter; they’ll stay for as long as it takes,” he says. “The intention is for the long haul, as long as it takes to prevent this thing from happening.”
Hanska Luger and his wife, Ginger Dunhill, and mother, Kathy Whitman, drove the 18 hours from New Mexico to North Dakota to take blankets and coats—and money, which then turned into supplies, food and water. A police barricade now stands between the camp and the closest town, Bismarck. Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union have arrived to observe the protest and defend those arrested.
The Dakota Access Pipeline Project, also known as the Bakken Pipeline, would string a 30-inch diameter pipeline for roughly 1,172 miles across the northern Midwest from the Bakken shale fields to a distribution center and more pipelines in Illinois. The $3.7 billion pipeline, slated to be in service by the end of 2016, would traverse North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, moving up to 570,000 or more barrels per day of “light sweet crude oil” on its way to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
"It’s the Keystone pipeline, literally what America said they don’t want. They’re just doing it under the radar and changed the name of it. It’s just a slightly different route."
“It’s the Keystone pipeline, literally what America said they don’t want. They’re just doing it under the radar and changed the name of it. It’s just a slightly different route,” Hanska Luger says. “Nobody wants this, except the companies that are going to make a killing.”
People knew enough about the Keystone XL pipeline to fight it, but Dakota Access slipped through the permitting process largely unnoticed.
That is, until protests ground construction to a halt. Dozens of people have been arrested in recent weeks as protests have shut down construction of the pipeline and brought together members of more than 80 tribes. That’s thought to be more than have assembled since the Battle of Little Bighorn.
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe argue the US Army Corps of Engineers didn’t give sufficient opportunities to assess the pipeline’s impact on cultural sites and potential environmental effects of a spill and collect feedback from the tribe. Federal officials say they did give the tribe a chance to survey the pipeline’s route, and tribal members declined.
A federal judge is expected to rule by Sept. 9 on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s requested injunction after reviewing whether the US Army Corps of Engineers followed the National Historic Preservation Act. If this effort fails, tribal members have said they’ll turn to environmental arguments.
“The people who are there on the ground are, if it doesn’t go their way, they’re going to stay and continue to protest and try to prevent this pipeline from going through,” Hanska Luger says. “It’s why there are so many nations gathering, because it’s going to take bodies to stop this pipeline.”
“For them to … unite together in the same camp, that’s a testament to progress that’s being made. The fact that they’re unifying is really setting an example for what people should do across lines,” says Albuquerque-based Navajo artist Vanessa Bowen (creator of the “Make America Native Again” hat), who also traveled north to document the protest. Having watched the Navajo Nation suffer its own water crises, including the gold mine spill last summer, and ongoing concerns from uranium mining, fracking and coal mine slurry, she says, she knows how marginalized and poor communities often bear the brunt of these environmental issues.
“When destruction or disaster does strike, normally in places like Flint, Michigan, poor places and Native lands are often pushed to the wayside, so I wanted to take a stand,” Bowen says. “I needed to be there to show support, and just to document and educate others and try to get more people involved.”
Hanska Luger and Dunhill are doing what they can to draw more attention to the issue as well, through social media and recordings Dunhill made for her podcast, Broken Boxes. They brought their kids, ages 4 and 6, along, too. They hope that the experience shows them, Hanska Luger says, that “you can do something, and something is amazing, no matter how small it is.”
Environmental organizations objecting to the Dakota Access Pipeline contend it’s not a question of if a pipeline will leak, but when. If there’s no pipeline, oil will continue to move on trucks and trains, and those trains have been seen to explode. But on a per-barrel basis, pipelines have a higher rate of incidents.
“This isn’t a protest against oil. It’s not a protest against this pipeline. It’s about accountability and environmental effects,” Hanska Luger says. “They’re going to dig a hole right underneath the Missouri River and run this pipeline, and there’s better ways to do this. Where they’re trying to do it, they could do it above ground.”
In coming weeks, Hanska Luger will be traveling to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia, to complete a mural that draws its inspiration from this latest experience: a large format drawing using thread that illustrates the connection between a river and its people. It won’t focus directly on the question of the Dakota Access Pipeline, but on the broader point that we are all downstream from somewhere. It’s not about stopping this one pipeline, and it’s not about this one tribe’s problem.
“This is all our responsibility—it’s not my responsibility, it’s not Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s,” Hanska-Luger says. “It’s a human issue.”
Dreams on Wheels
Santa Fe attorney takes free immigration legal services on the roadFeaturesWednesday, August 31, 2016
Two teenage boys sit in front of Allegra Love seeking legal services for their immigration paperwork. It’s a sweltering Saturday morning in the small southern New Mexico city of Roswell, where Love has traveled from Santa Fe in a newly painted RV to spend part of the weekend. A few hours earlier, she’d rolled out of the bed in the back of the vehicle, popped on a pair of pink hoop earrings and taken a walk.
Lawyers like her are few and far between in the capital city, much less in this rural dairy community. So this summer she’s taken to the road, launching a free multi-city mobile legal clinic.
Both 15, the boys were brought by their parents to the United States without the government’s permission and have lived here since they were kids. Now that they are old enough to apply for jobs in auto parts stores, furniture warehouses or restaurants, they want to secure working permits—which would ensure federal immigration enforcers won’t deport them. They want to save for college.
Yet, the young attorney is about to deliver a smile to one boy and a thin-lipped nod to another.
One is eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. His parents show visible relief. All Fernando has to do is send the paperwork and wait.
“I’m going to be more calm,” Valentina Escobedo says in Spanish as she smiles at her son. “I know he will have more chances and more opportunities.”
The other boy, Jesus Castro, is not eligible for the program known as DACA. His mother wipes at her glitter-lined eyes.
The difference? Fernando arrived in the country before June 15, 2007. Jesus arrived in November that year.
The Escobedo family drove about 40 miles from Artesia to show up at the first Roswell law clinic in late July and returned at the next one two weeks later with all the necessary documents, namely transcripts going all the way back to elementary school. After he pays a $465 fee and gets fingerprinted at a government office, Fernando just has to wait—maybe a month, maybe eight months—for a card in the mail. After that, he stands to gain an economic status heretofore unforeseen. People who get a DACA permit, Love says, see an average 45 percent bump in wages.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how successful you are,” she tells him, handing over an envelope already addressed to the Department of Homeland Security.
“We were trying to find somebody for a long time,” Fernando says later.
“It’s not easy,” says his dad, Sergio. “If you don’t have nobody to help you, it’s not easy.”
On the other side of the room, Lizeth Castro, Jesus’ mother, had brought her three children to see la abogada after hearing about the clinic on the radio. So far, the family had not found anyone to help them understand how DACA works, and she was grateful to meet with Love, even if the news was bad. Lots of families pay large sums to notarios who offer consultation about immigration matters but who aren’t lawyers. Love says much of that advice turns out to hurt applicants. Unfortunately, in this case, Jesus can’t get the card—not unless the rules change.
Love takes a deep breath. “Lo siento,” she says, “I’m sorry,” continuing in Spanish, “It’s not a question of good character, it’s a question of the date. It’s ridiculous.”
It’s her shorthand for explaining the nuances of DACA and its arbitrary cutoff date: Applicants who are now at least 15 years old must have been in the country before that day. But, they can’t have been older than 31 at the time of its June 15, 2012 enactment.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, those restrictions mean about 1.3 million people are eligible.
Far from the sweeping immigration reform that the president had sought to acknowledge the vast number of people who live in the country without residency documents, the program was a way to get some relief. A subsequent effort at broadening deferred action would fail to secure affirmation from the Supreme Court and remains stagnant. Plus, the outcome of this fall’s presidential election could result in more rule changes.
That’s why community organizers don’t want Jesus to just walk away. Miriam Garcia, a volunteer who works with the University of New Mexico’s Dream Team, spends a few minutes telling him about policies in New Mexico that allow undocumented people to enroll in and graduate from college. She chatters at Lizeth about mobilizing to continue advocacy for reform. Then, the family glumly heads out.
It’s not even close to lunch time yet, and already the clinic has seen the swell of this wave.
“It’s kind of hard to wrap your head around,” Love says. “I spend more time telling families that they don’t quality for anything than I do saying, ‘We can help you.’”
The night before, a storm had formed a bulky slate gray cloud on the horizon to the west. As the miles rolled by between Santa Fe and Roswell, some of the stress of a typical week melts away. A sandwich and a beer don’t hurt either.
Love watches out the window of the RV as Hector Aveldaño, her partner in the adventure and a longtime volunteer with the New Mexico Dreamers in Action advocacy group, navigates down the highway.
She is exhausted, but still pumped about what they’re doing. A nonprofit she formed last year called Santa Fe Dreamers bursts the stereotype about civil law: Clients don’t pay, even though some make donations when they can. Since the beginning, in March 2015, all of the operation’s funding has come from grants and individual contributions. This month, with money from the city, the McCune Charitable Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe Community Foundation and others in place, the nonprofit welcomed two new employees: women who graduated from the UNM and Georgetown law schools and are awaiting their scores on the state bar exam. A new intern who plans to start at Stanford Law in 2017 is also here for the next year.
A private fundraiser in Chupadero recently netted donations of $8,000 toward the nonprofit’s goal of $200,000 for the next year, and Love has just hired a part-time development director whose mission is to grow the donor base.
Love’s path to this point has not been straight. In 2005, she moved to Santa Fe and began work as a teacher in a bilingual classroom. She taught in the Santa Fe Public Schools for three years, meeting immigrant students who struggled with adult concerns—deportation, paying the rent and feeding the family—as they earnestly fought to keep up with studies. Those challenges, largely based in the tangles of legal status, inspired her to head to law school. She wanted to help students with more than reading, writing and arithmetic. Then, after she passed the bar, Love found herself among candidates to become a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office.
But her heart wasn’t in it, and those inspiring immigrants had not left her head. She went back to the classroom and started training with second-generation local immigration lawyer Victoria Ferrara. In 2012, the school district’s Adelante program, which works to combat child poverty, hired Love to represent students and their families in DACA applications.
“There was no other school district in the country that was supporting this kind of work,” she says. “It was a way of recognizing that there are bigger social problems contributing to their failure. … We have to stop pretending we can overcome poverty with less recess and more standardized tests.”
As it turned out, a huge demand for legal services was bubbling under the surface. Her case load was 200 clients, and a line frequently formed outside her door.
Then the school district yanked the rug out from under her. Officials wanted her to pull back on the advocacy.
Rather than abandon those cases, when her employment contract ended she kept fighting to keep them afloat.
“It actually worked out great,” she says of starting her own nonprofit. “I just had to put one foot in front of the other.”
Since last spring, Love has overseen more than 800 deferred-action filings. So far this year, she’s plugged in 200 new applications, largely from people living in Santa Fe and Rio Arriba counties. She’s also currently representing about 30 others facing deportation—mostly people who fled violence in their home countries and who are hoping to stay in Santa Fe. Plus, when she can, she travels to the family detention center in Dilly, Texas, with lawyers who help women and children secure asylum status.
Love has been conducting weekly DACA clinics in Santa Fe at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church on Friday afternoons for nearly three years now. But she wanted to take the show on the road because she saw an influx of clients who were driving hours for help.
An admittedly low-tech gal, Love faces hundreds of emails and a nearly-full voicemail every day. She finally gave in and started using Facebook to message clients. She learned that she’s popular on a group housed with the social media network called “La Yarda de Santa Fe,” where locals buy, sell and trade.
That’s all to say that “non-traditional” doesn’t even come close to describing her approach to lawyering. It’s not pro bono for a pat on the back. It’s a core philosophy.
“This is just my stubborn ass being like, ‘I want to know if this can be free,’” she says. “I believe in access to justice and access to a lawyer.”
"This is just my stubborn ass being like, ‘I want to know if this can be free.’ I believe in access to justice and access to a lawyer."
By that way of thinking, it’s not just immigration matters, but family court and other judicial proceedings are legal services that deserve the same treatment as public schools and public health initiatives.
“There is not a whole ton of talk about public law access outside of the criminal justice system because we focus too much on the individual impact and not on the collective impact that it has on our society and town,” she says.
For now, the RV is staying parked for a few weeks while the team evaluates how the inaugural mobile clinics worked in Farmington and Roswell.
“It will be rolling again soon,” Love says. “Ideally, I’d like to send a team of three to four people who travel and work remotely. I’m thinking about all over the West.”
One key, says Italia Aranda, the state coalition leader for United We Dream, is for Love’s team to partner with someone already working in the community where they’re heading. In Roswell, the key player was Bobby Villegas, a local insurance agent who also runs a community center. SOY Mariachi hosts not just music classes and quinceañeras, but a congress of Latina elected leaders and events like the Dreams on Wheels legal clinic. He also has his own radio show.
“We strategize to make sure we create deep and meaningful connections within the community,” Aranda says. “Really they are the experts in their communities and know the struggles of the people.”
The “low-drama, high-frequency” clinics are important, too. In order to fill out the seven-page form and provide the required documentation, most people need to return several times.
At Love’s side through most every road trip is Aveldaño, a Dreamer who lives in Española and works as a handyman. His vast community organizing skills run the gamut from taking passport-style photos for applications to making T-shirts with spray paint and stencils. He’s also excellent at piloting the 34-foot-long RV, which he drove on nearly all this summer’s clinic trips.
He greets almost everyone who arrives at the event and he’s optimistic about its results.
“It’s pretty good,” he says, looking around. “No one else has done anything like this. We’ve been doing this in Santa Fe for longer and we have helped a lot of people. It’s working if we can get just a little bit like Santa Fe somewhere else.”
The Dreamers who hang around to volunteer at the legal clinic are a jovial bunch. They’re studying biology to become doctors, taking engineering classes, and learning about business development and international relations. Most are students at UNM, where programs like El Centro de la Raza are helping undocumented students navigate academia and an active immigrant-rights group is at work.
When they’re done setting up tables and chairs on Friday night for Saturday morning’s clinic, they pack into the RV and use a portable projector and screen plus a mic and amp to create a makeshift karaoke bar.
Love kicks it off with a rendition of Shakira’s “Estoy Aqui,” and soon the vehicle is rocking on its wheels. Outside, on a quiet residential street in the older part of Roswell, the air is thick with the smell of cow manure and the hum of a generator drowns out the jeers and the music.
Love’s easy laugh and low-maintenance manner shouldn’t belie the toll the cause is taking on her. Last year, after returning from the Dilly facility that she refers to as “baby jail” for Central Americans, she began therapy with a counselor. Knowing the likely violent fate of women and children who are deported is a huge burden. Some days she feels like she’s getting better at bearing it all. Other days, not so much.
“I realized that I’m not emotionally prepared for children being killed, and really who is? … I don’t know if you can ever get used to how unfair it all is,” she says.
With no room within the professional sphere to unload that emotion, it sometimes “comes out sideways,” as her therapist explains. That might be a panic attack while she’s driving down Agua Fría. Or it might be unleashed on a Verizon customer service agent or someone else who has nothing to do with the injustices she sees on a regular basis.
But she does have moments of victory. At a hearing last week, the government agreed to stop deportation proceedings against a woman and her three children she represents. Having an infusion of staff helps her cope. Even the summer road trips make her feel better.
Fresh-faced Emma O’Sullivan read about her work a few months ago and called Love to offer assistance.
“How about a job?” she remembers Love saying.
Now equipped with a desk and a mission in Santa Fe, she sits listening as Love talks to clients in a cinder block room off the church lobby.
“I think this is a place where I can do some good,” O’Sullivan says. “The immigration system is so broken and byzantine. It’s just not like a lot of other things people can do themselves.”
Right on cue, Love’s face lights up to see a young computer programmer who got his DACA with her help last year. His sister’s permit has expired and the pair drove from Albuquerque for the Friday clinic. Gabriela Pedregón-Quezada says she didn’t feel confident filling the paperwork herself. She didn’t want to jeopardize her plan of saving money that she earned working the carnival retail circuit to launch a clothing company.
“These are the kind of stories we need to tell so people stop thinking you are a murderer and see that you are a businesswoman,” Love tells her, only half-kidding that she wants to start a business incubator for immigrants as well. (One idea: a brewery for the Mexican, South and Central American palate.)
“I’m kind of a hippie,” Pedregón-Quezada says when Love walks away. “I think everything has an aura and hers is a warm aura.”
Love isn’t into the praise, though. She wants people to pay attention to the economics and how immigration reform makes sense.
Take Roswell, for example, where the mayor recently spewed anti-immigrant rhetoric. The dairy industry centered in the city that’s the fifth largest in New Mexico (right behind Santa Fe) wouldn’t survive without immigrant labor. A recent report from New American Economy estimates that 42 percent of the state’s workers are foreign-born, some legal, many without papers. Why spit in the face of that?
The report says the state is home to about 72,000 undocumented immigrants who paid local taxes of $49 million and earned $1.1 billion in wages.
“Immigrants start business fast. They are entrepreneurial. They are hardworking. They are job creators,” Love says. “People fetishize and fixate on the border and the crossing and don’t want to talk about empowering accomplishments and economic development. No one wants to watch a documentary about graduation from high school. When you want people to pay attention to the less sexy and dramatic things, you can’t get them to. I wish more people could see that immigration strengthens our economy. Helping people get permission to work, that’s a good investment for the community, for our tax dollars.”
Her dreams continue to spin.
“The legal services aspect is just one part of it,” she says as she tries to ignore the ringing phone in her office on Cerrillos Road. “There’s so much more to empowering people to organize and change the law, to fight racism, it’s about a lot more. But for me, this is what I can do.”
Santa Fe County mulls ordinance that would ban leaving dogs in chainsLocal NewsWednesday, August 31, 2016
On an overcast Monday, a Labrador-blue heeler mix lies next to a mobile home off a cul-de-sac in a subdivision near the state penitentiary. She’s leashed via rope to a fence, her default position when her owner, Rilye, goes to work.
“I don’t like having to tie her up, but I don’t want her to be running off,” says Rilye, who declines to give his last name for fear of “looking like the asshole” in this story about proposed changes to the county animal control ordinance.
Rilye says his dog, which he adopted from a shelter about four months ago, will attempt to bolt out of his yard the moment he unties her. One time, she managed to crawl under his fence into the neighbor’s yard.
He insists there’s nothing wrong about the way he restrains his pet. But sometimes, when his dog is tied up too long, she’ll get restless and take her frustration out on surrounding property. “She rips up our irrigation system,” he notes, pointing to a strip of torn rubber tubing next to dog’s paws.
As for the suggestion of cruelty, Rilye says, “We take her to the park. She’s not being abused.”
Come this fall, if Santa Fe County lawmakers pass a new animal control ordinance, Rilye’s practice of roping up his dog could earn him a fine or even land him in jail.
The county’s proposed ordinance bans all forms of tethering as a primary means of restraining animals, including the trolley systems allowed in the city. (Picture a cable strung between two poles. Another cable connects the dog to the overhanging wire.) Violators would face a misdemeanor charge, punishable by a $300 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
Animal welfare advocates say the proposed rule will make the county safer—not just for dogs, but for people as well. Chained dogs account for about 17 percent of dog bites and injuries nationwide, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Advocates also point to literature that says tethering dogs deprives them of the socialization and companionship necessary for them to live healthy lives.
Bennett Baur, director of the state’s public defender system, says the potential punishments under the county’s ordinance proposal go too far. “Our state is moving away from criminalizing conduct. The county may decide this is something they want to make illegal, but they should punish it with something other than jail time,” he tells SFR.
A 2008 study by the Department of Public Safety encouraged statewide legislation to restrict the use of chains to restrain dogs. That hasn’t happened.
But San Miguel, Bernalillo and Doña Ana Counties all recently banned the practice. And two years ago, Santa Fe City passed an ordinance requiring that dog owners who tether their pets as a method of restraint use a trolley system.
Johnny Martinez, supervisor of the city’s Animal Services Division, says Santa Fe is headed in the direction of a full ban on animal tethering. The trolley exception gives pet owners some time to adjust. “We didn’t want to go from one extreme to the other,” Martinez says.
Citizen complaints regarding chained dogs have steadily declined since that ordinance went into effect. “If we get eight to 10 a month, that’s a lot,” Martinez says. “When we first changed our ordinance, we were getting calls on a daily basis.”
Martinez credits community outreach for the reduction, saying his officers worked hard in the early months to educate pet owners about the change. He says officers offered “one-time deals” to ordinance violators, dropping citations once they came into compliance. And Animal Protection of New Mexico this summer launched a program that will fund containment fences for area dog owners.
Chain Free Santa Fe, the group spearheading the county’s push for banning animal tethering, collected about 600 signatures from supporters. If they are successful, it will be the first major change to the county’s animal control ordinance since 1991, according to county Commissioner Kathy Holian.
VJ Khalsa, who lives in northern Santa Fe County, says she got it touch with the group through its Facebook page after losing sleep over her neighbor’s pit bull, who spent a lot of time on a chain. She called animal control, but officers didn’t find any violations on the property.
“I was just amazed there was no law that would prevent a dog from being abused like this,” she says.
Khalsa says she decided to take things into her own hands, first offering to walk her neighbor’s dog, and eventually paying for a fence.
“He’s like a different dog now,” she says.
Santa Fe County will hold a public meeting regarding proposed changes to the animal control ordinance on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Public comment starts no earlier than 5 pm at 102 Grant Ave.
You Want Art With That?
Look, it’s the Wienermobile!Blue CornWednesday, August 31, 2016
It was a near tragedy. A family from Muncie, Indiana, was shopping for art on Santa Fe’s legendary Canyon Road last March when the mother suddenly keeled over from hunger!
Calamity was narrowly averted when one of those Canyon Road Saint Bernard rescue dogs showed up with a saddlebag full of Snickers bars. The family was then rushed by chopper to Kakawa for emergency hot cocoa and fudge.
Okay, this probably never really happened, but apparently even the possibility that it could has city officials wondering what we can do to help the hungry people of Canyon Road. Sure, endless art in countless galleries can feed their souls, but man cannot live on vivid pink sunset landscapes alone.
All too often, rookie visitors head up Canyon Road without adequate provisions to get them safely through the four-block-long trek. Their emaciated bodies aren’t even noticed until someone trips over them during the Christmas Eve farolito walk.
Personally, I have to wonder who can’t manage a simple stroll without food, but it must be a real thing, because the city has just designated two spots where assorted trucks may sell food and other wares for three hours each, before giving up the space to another truck.
Supporters of the trucks stress the need for food at a “lower price point,” but I really doubt whether shoppers on the most famous art boulevard in America are worried about finding a $2 taco while they think about buying a $20,000 sculpture.
Before you start in on me, I have nothing against food trucks. What two words in our language fit together more naturally than truck and food? These 21st century miracles can provide true religious experiences, such as the bread pudding from that French truck that used to be on Old Santa Fe Trail. It’s gone now, and I miss it every time I drive past.
But that doesn’t mean every nook and cranny in our quirky 400-year-old city is a perfect spot for mobile food, and frankly, I question the artistic passion of someone who can’t wander in and out of galleries for a couple of hours without a hoagie in their hand.
Canyon Road has problems. Sidewalks are missing in some places, forcing people to step into the gutters, and that doesn’t even count the clueless tourists who seem to think the entire street is a pedestrian walkway. City officials think the two chosen spots will be able to bear the traffic, but that remains to be seen as hungry customers vie with art lovers for scant sidewalk space.
And it is important to remember these trucks lack certain amenities we associate with dining out: upscale luxuries like restrooms, tables and chairs.
“Here’s your lunch, Lisa, Let’s just walk around and look at the beautiful art while we eat. Lisa! You got mango chutney on that $8,000 watercolor! Tell the man you’re sorry, and lose the smirk, young lady!”
Look, you know I’m a problem solver, and here’s my thinking: If we’re going to do this, let’s do it with Santa Fe razzle-dazzle. Let’s bring in that Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, park it crossways at Canyon and Delgado, and let the traffic just fend for itself.
That isn’t a permanent solution—the Wienermobile has other important places to be—but at least it will hold us until we can convert the Ernesto Mayans Gallery into a Dunkin’ Donuts.
Like I said, I solve problems.
Robert Basler’s humor column runs twice monthly in SFR. Email the author: email@example.com
Letters to the Editor
08.31.16Letters to the EditorWednesday, August 31, 2016
News, August 24:“‘The Hope of A New School Year’”
Not All That Glitters
[Veronica] Garcia might be a lovely person, and might have good intentions, but a lot of these problems with the state’s educational system occurred on her watch. As a long term state employee, and involved with the educational system, there has been consistent failure. There appears to be a serious disconnect with the state ratings and the perceived reality here. So many safety net programs have been demolished, while the public is led to believe that this is something new or improved.
News, August 17: “The New Recruits”
Way To Be, Bro
Great work! So proud to see this kind of selfless dedication!
Cover, August 17: “Cannabusted”
Lowest of the Low
Clearly all of Santa Fe’s other problems are solved, so this lowest priority becomes a priority…
SFR will correct factual errors online and in print. Please let us know if we make a mistake, firstname.lastname@example.org or 988-7530.
Mail letters to PO Box 2306, Santa Fe, NM 87504, deliver to 132 E Marcy St., or email them to email@example.com. Letters (no more than 200 words) should refer to speciﬁc articles in the Reporter. Letters will be edited for space and clarity.
08.31.16EavesdropperTuesday, August 30, 2016
“It’s just like the State Fair, only all jewelry.”
—Overheard at Indian Market
“Would you rather be a housewife or a house cat?”
—Overheard from kids on a field trip with Acequia Madre Elementary
Send your Overheard in Santa Fe tidbits to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Client TellSavage LoveWednesday, August 31, 2016
I have been seeing sex workers for 30 years, and I shudder to think how shitty my life would have been without them. Some have become friends, but I’ve appreciated all of them. Negative stereotypes about guys like me are not fair, but sex work does have its problems. Some clients (including females) are difficult—difficult clients aren’t typically violent; more often they’re inconsiderate and demanding. Clients need to understand that all people have limits and feelings, and money doesn’t change that. But what can we clients do to fight stupid, regressive, repressive laws that harm sex workers?
-Not A John
You can speak up, NAJ.
The current line from prohibitionists—people who want sex work to remain illegal—is that all women who sell sex are victims and all men who buy sex are monsters. But talk to actual sex workers and you hear about considerate, regular clients who are kind, respectful, and sometimes personally helpful in unexpected ways. (A sex worker friend had a regular client who was a dentist; he did some expensive dental work for my uninsured friend—and he did it for free, not for trade.) You also hear about clients who are threatening or violent—and how laws against sex work make it impossible for them to go to the police, making them more vulnerable to violence, exploitation, and abuse, not less.
There is a large and growing sex workers’ rights movement, NAJ, which Emily Bazelon wrote about in a terrific cover story for the New York Times Magazine (“Should Prostitution Be a Crime?” May 5, 2016). Bazelon spoke with scores of sex workers active in the growing and increasingly effective decriminalization movement. Amnesty International recently called for the full decriminalization of sex work, joining Human Rights Watch, the World Health Organization, and other large, mainstream health and human rights groups.
But there’s something missing from the movement to decriminalize sex work: clients like you, NAJ.
Maggie McNeill, a sex worker, activist, and writer, wrote a blistering piece on her blog (“The Honest Courtesan”) about a recent undercover police operation in Seattle. Scores of men seeking to hire sex workers—the men ranged from surgeons to bus drivers to journalists—were arrested and subjected to ritualized public humiliation designed to discourage other men from paying for sex.
“These crusades do nothing but hurt the most vulnerable individuals on both sides of the transaction,” McNeill wrote. “The only way to stop this [is for] all of you clients out there get off of your duffs and fight. Regular clients outnumber full-time whores by at least 60 to 1; gentlemen, I suggest you rethink your current silence, unless you want to be the next one with your name and picture splashed across newspapers, TV screens and websites.”
The legal risks and social stigma attached to buying sex doubtless leave some clients feeling like they can’t speak up and join the fight, and the much-touted “Nordic Model” is upping the legal stakes for buyers of sex. (The Nordic Model makes buying sex illegal, not selling it. In theory, only clients are supposed to suffer, but in practice, the women are punished, too. Bazelon unpacks the harms of the Nordic Model in her story—please go read it.) But sex workers today, like gays and lesbians not too long ago, are coming out in ever-greater numbers to fight for their rights in the face of potentially dire legal and social consequences.
Clients need to join the fight—or perhaps I should say clients need to rejoin the fight.
In The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution, which I read while I was away on vacation, author Faramerz Dabhoiwala writes about “Societies of Virtue” formed all over England in the late 17th century. Adulterers, fornicators, and Sabbath-breakers were persecuted by these groups, NAJ, but their campaigns against prostitutes were particularly vicious and indiscriminate; women were thrown in jail or publicly whipped for the crime of having a “lewd” appearance. The persecution of streetwalkers, brothel owners, and women guilty of “[walking] quietly about the street” went on for decades.
Then a beautiful thing happened.
“In the spring of 1711, a drive against ‘loose women and their male followers’ in Covent Garden was foiled when ‘the constables were dreadfully maimed, and one mortally wounded, by ruffians aided by 40 soldiers of the guards, who entered into a combination to protect the women,’” writes Dabhoiwala. “On another occasion in the East End, a crowd of over a thousand seamen mobbed the local magistrates and forcibly released a group of convicted prostitutes being sent to a house of correction.”
Male followers of loose women, soldiers of the guard, mobs of seamen—not altruists, but likely clients of the women they fought to defend. And thanks to their efforts and the efforts of 18th-century sex workers who lawyered up, marched into court, and sued the pants off Society of Virtue members, by the middle of the 18th century, women could walk the streets without being arrested or harassed—even women known to be prostitutes.
I’m not suggesting that today’s clients form mobs and attack prohibitionists, cops, prosecutors, and their enablers in the media. But clients can and should be out there speaking up in defense of sex workers and themselves. Sex workers are speaking up and fighting back—on Twitter and other social-media platforms, sometimes anonymously, but increasingly under their own names—and they’re staring down the stigma, the shame, and the law on their own. It’s time for their clients to join them in the fight.
I’m a 26-year-old gay male, and I like to explore my feminine side by wearing female clothes. I have a boyfriend who likes to do the same thing, but he doesn’t have the courage to tell his parents that he’s gay and explores his feminine side by wearing female clothes. I want to adopt early school-age boys and teach them that they can explore their feminine side by wearing female clothes. My question has two parts. First, in regard to my boyfriend, how can I encourage him to tell his parents he’s gay and wants to explore his feminine side by wearing female clothes? Second, in regard to adopting early school-age boys, how do I teach an early school-age boy that it’s okay for them to explore their feminine side by wearing female clothes and also teach them that they don’t have to be gay at the same time?
-Dressing A Future Together
Wear whatever you like, DAFT, but please don’t adopt any children—boys or otherwise, early school-age or newborn, not now, probably not ever. Because a father who pushes his son into a dress is just as abusive and unfit as one who forbids his son to wear a dress. You two don’t need kids, DAFT, you need a therapist who can help your boyfriend with his issues (the closet, not wearing female clothes) and help you with yours (your extremely odd and potentially damaging ideas about parenting, not wearing female clothes).
Before I sign off: a big thank you to the Dan Savages who filled in for me while I was on vacation—Dan Savage, Orlando-based sportswriter; Dan Savage, London-based theatrical marketing executive; and Dan Savage, Brooklyn-based designer. You guys did a great job!
And here’s something clients of sex workers can do without going public: The Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) is running a pilot program to help incarcerated sex workers. Send a book to an imprisoned sex worker, become a pen pal, or make a donation by going to SWOPbehindbars.org and clicking on “10 Ways to Help Incarcerated Sex Workers.” Non-clients are welcome to help, too!
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SFR Picks: A Bookworm’s Hero
Fantastical paintings inspire literary foraysPicksWednesday, August 31, 2016
Mary Alayne Thomas is a champion of books—like, the ones with turnable pages and bound spines. And her upcoming solo exhibit is all about spurring her audience to grab a book. “It feels we are getting away from the physical act of really reading,” she says, “so I wanted it to be an inspiration for people to pick up an actual book and read it.”
Storytelling features 23 of Thomas’ watercolor paintings and, according to the artist, “a lot of them are smaller, but it was a lot of work to get together.” Thomas grew up in Santa Fe in a family full of artists, and says she spent her childhood wanting to write. “I thought I was going to be a writer well into high school,” she tells SFR. “Then I discovered watercolor painting and immediately knew that’s what I wanted to do, but I have stories that percolated inside me all these years, and I wanted this show to be an homage to that part of me.”
Thomas’ work is striking in its simultaneous freshness and familiarity with several paintings featuring women with flowing hair, floating upwards as if underwater, full of bouquets and forest animals. As a spectator, you get a sense that their story is classic; you somehow already know it. And even if you don’t know it, you wish you could. “All of the paintings are either pictures of characters interacting with books, or illustrations from some of my favorite fairy tales,” Thomas says.
In this age of internet modernity, books are slowly being forgotten. “Reading things online, you just don’t engage the same way you do when you read a book,” Thomas says. “An artist’s goal is to inspire and bring new beauty into the world and give new ideas, so I hope that people go and are inspired and want to read; I hope they see something that uplifts them and something that’s meaningful, and feel the magic of being transported through stories.” We are with Thomas, and we hope you leave wanting to grab the nearest novel. (Maria Egolf-Romero)
Mary Alayne Thomas: Storytelling
5-7 pm Friday Sept. 2. Free.
Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art,
702 Canyon Road,
Stitching ConnectionsForty years after the Holocaust, survivor Esther Nisenthal Krinitz created a series of 36 embroidered fabric panels to show her children the story of her survival. Stitching Our Stories presents photographs of Nisenthal Krinitz’s panels alongside story cloths made by immigrants living in Santa Fe. “I really want people to start thinking deeply about the way that we treat and interact with immigrants in our community,” show curator Cecile Lipworth tells SFR. “I want people to really feel something that applies to our neighbors and what we can do to change systems that work against immigrants, and ... [have] a human connection to someone.” (MER)
Stitching Our Stories:
5:30-7:30 pm Wednesday Aug. 31. Free.
201 W Marcy St.,
Food, Glorious FoodFood Tour New Mexico is all about connecting people with great food on their various tours, but the local company’s owner Nick Peña wants to take that a step further with an upcoming food-based scavenger hunt. “I thought it would be fun to come up with a concept that got people out and about and moving,” Peña says. The hunt, which runs through Sept. 11, challenges teams of up to two people to find and photograph 40 different food-related items (and some surprises) from nearly 30 restaurants located all over town. “I think it’ll even challenge locals’ food knowledge,” Peña muses. (Alex De Vore)
Santa Fe Foodie Scavenger Hunt Kickoff:
5 pm Thursday Sept. 1. $50-$75.
Santa Fe Plaza,
100 Old Santa Fe Trail,
Inclusive Public ArtCurate Santa Fe and the City of Santa Fe recently teamed up to create a series of artist-decorated bicycle hitches downtown. “There are 10 artists and 12 hitches,” says Niomi Fawn, Curate’s founder/owner. Join her, along with Mayor Javier Gonzales, this Tuesday for a ribbon cutting and walking tour to check out the useable works of art. Fawn says the hitches have already gotten positive reactions. “I feel like public artwork can actually work for the people,” she says. “Sometimes, as artists, we get huffy and puffy and don’t think about what the average person needs, but art is for the people.” (MER)
Hitch Ribbon Cutting Ceremony:
6 pm Tuesday Sept. 6. Free.
200 Lincoln Ave.