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

Morning Word: Healthcare Changes Could Hit NM Hard

Morning WordWednesday, March 22, 2017 by Matt Grubs

Fed Changes Could Cost Medicaid
With money scarce and a projected $140 million cost to keep New Mexicans added under Obamacare on Medicaid, the program faces an uncertain future. Lower reimbursement rates from the feds and a cap on yearly benefits could affect everyone on the plan, especially seniors in nursing homes.

State Ponders Medicaid Copays
The federal debate on repealing Obamacare takes place as New Mexico is already considering adding copays and other cost-sharing measures for things like hospital visits. Medicaid is a huge chunk of the state's budget, with more than 40 percent of New Mexicans enrolled in the program—that's more than 900,000 people.

What Would That State Government Shutdown Look Like?
In answer to a budget that would require the governor to either cut spending or raise taxes and fees, Susana Martinez threatened a shutdown and promised to call lawmakers back to the Capitol to resolve the mess. The first step could look something like closing museums and state parks. That would hit all of New Mexico, but Santa Fe would hurt disproportionately.

City Slows Speed SUV Return
A city council committee asked for more details about the proposed return of speed-tracking and ticketing SUVs to Santa Fe streets. Police say they handle relatively easy work without adding manpower and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Maybe the new ones are bulletproof, too?

Welcome to New Mexico, Get Out of the Car
Mayor RJ Berry likes to refer to the Sunport in Albuquerque as "New Mexico's front porch." Well, yesterday afternoon, David Carpenter got held at gunpoint as carjackers visited the porch.

Gov's UNM Regents Picks Can't Serve
A long-running feud with the state Senate and Rules Committee Chairwoman Linda Lopez seems to be the reason Jack Fortner and Bradley Hosmer will stay on as regents at UNM despite the governor having picked replacements. The governor's picks to replace the long-serving pair did not get a confirmation hearing and cannot serve.

Wind Farm
Xcel Energy plans to spend $1.6 billion to build two new wind farms, including New Mexico's largest. The projects will be in eastern New Mexico and likely serve customers in that part of the state as well as West Texas.

Storm's A-Comin'
It's going to be windy today as a storm front moves into the state. The best chance of seeing anything more than wind and cooler temperatures from the storm will be in high elevations and way out east. Ski areas are closing fast after another lackluster February-March stretch, so this is it.

Thanks for reading! The Word reminds you that it's "for all intents and purposes," not "all intensive purposes." Unless, of course, you're actually talking about intensive purposes.

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SFR’s 2017 Spring Poetry Search Winners

FeaturesWednesday, March 22, 2017 by SFR

Wow, Santa Fe. You are really into poetry right now. This year’s Spring Poetry Search blew us away with hundreds of entries that ran the gamut from short and sweet, long and funny to downright beautiful and moving. For a contest judge, we tapped Arthur Sze, renowned wordsmith and Santa Fe’s first-ever poet laurate. First published in the 1970s, Sze has won the Lannan Literary Award, the American Book Award and even made it to the finalist round for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize with his book, Compass Rose. In other words, poets, your offerings were deemed excellent by someone who absolutely knows a thing or two about excellence.

“I think the [poetry] audience is small, and it’s always been small, but it’s a passionate audience [and], in many ways, there’s almost a renaissance of poetry,” Sze says. “There are so many different styles and it’s not like there is one prevailing trend—there are so many talented poets working in so many different styles.”

Sze gravitated toward poetry for its sense of discovery and, he says, he often uncovers a feeling or insight about the world that hadn’t occurred to him as he reads or writes.

“The creative process is a mysterious one, but it’s about continual growth,” he says. “I’m as excited writing today as I was over 40 years ago when I first started.”

Sze’s next collection, dubbed Sight Lines, is slated for a 2019 release through Copper Canyon Press. “For the first time I’m looking into things in American history, our country and our context in the world,” Sze says of the recently completed manuscript. “One of the things I’m working with is how disorienting the world can appear to us but, fundamentally, like it or not, all things are moving together.”

Things converge, such as the following locally scribed pieces from you, our dear readers.

“I’m always interested in imaginatively forceful and compelling writing,” he says. “I was delighted to read the sestina by Caleb Thompson; he wrote in a particularly difficult form.”

Of course, whittling down the many submissions was no easy task, so in addition to three winners who are awarded cash prizes, you’ll also find honorable mentions plus a few faves from the SFR staff.

“Poetry is language at its most intense,” Sze says. “I love how so much can be said with so few words.”

1st Place

Whiskey and Blood

By Caleb Thompson

I sat at my desk cleaning my service pistol,
A Smith and Wesson. Outside, it was pouring rain.
It was the kind of a night for drinking whiskey.
Fitzpatrick was free now, out on bail for murder.
He was no fool; he knew I had the evidence
To put him away for good. He was out for blood.
Mine. My head ached badly; my temples throbbed, blood
Pounding in my veins. I needed a good whiskey
Shot. When the door opened, I reached for my pistol.
It was a woman, her dark hair wet from the rain.
Her husband, she said, was a victim of murder.
She said, if I came, she would show me evidence.

She was badly shaken; there was good evidence
Of that, her eyes wild, her face taut, drained of blood.
Tears glistened on her cheeks. Or were they drops of rain?
I took out the bottle and poured her a whiskey.
“Why not go to the cops,” I said, “if it’s murder.”
The phone on the desk exploded like a pistol.

I let the phone ring, and re-holstered my pistol.
She told me her story, to the drip of the rain.
She had married rich, a man named Astor, blue blood.
But lately he had started hitting the whiskey.
He was nervous, on edge, looking for evidence
Of intrigue. Dark thoughts flocked to him like a murder

Of crows. When he disappeared she assumed murder.
She had come home late Tuesday, delayed by the rain.
He left no note. There was no sign, no evidence
Of a struggle; no telltale trail of human blood.
No empty shells casings from his Browning pistol.
In the drive sat his Porsche, a Targa in whiskey.

When she stopped, my immediate thought was Whiskey,
Tango Foxtrot. “You said you had the evidence.”
“I do,” she said. “It’s right here.” She pulled a pistol.
“Fitz wants to talk, dick. Let’s take a walk in the rain.”
The nails on her hand were the color of blood,
The color of a crime scene, after a murder.

The puddled neon streets glowed, evidence of rain.
She’d fought like murder to hold on to that pistol.
She’d punched hard; my mouth tasted like whiskey and blood.

Caleb Thompson has lived in Santa Fe since 1996. When he is not reading Raymond Chandler novels, he teaches at St. John’s College.

2nd Place

The Fox

By Ioanna Carlsen

Fox, you said,
is written on the wall
of my bedroom—
and there it was,
low down on the wall,
between your bookcase
and the door.

I laugh now
at this relic,
the first word you learned
your first day of school,
and you slyly mention
that I got mad
when you did it

Thinking how fast
you grew into
a foxy
sixth grade eleven
I wish now
I’d let you fill
all the walls
with your childish scrawls.

But no. This is
This one word fox.
I’ll never paint it out
as long as we live in the house
this F O X—
who sits there
by the door

waiting for you
in capital letters
as, clever,
you worked your way,
up and out,
into the adult
your sister’s
already driving around in.

Ioanna Carlsen is a published poet whose work has been featured in several literary magazines and in her book, The Whisperer. In 2015 the book won second place in the New Mexico Press Women Communications Contest.

3rd Place

Night Yard

By Barbara Rockman

“It is hard to find the right way in or out”
-Brigit Pegeen Kelly

You can have which flower you want
though the penstemon will no longer ring its
bells if you pluck it.

Take the coreopsis. True, its green feathers
will rash your hands. Its bright suns shrink at
your touch.

And the roses, pale as antique linen
will fall into your cupped palm, break into frail
Close your hand or the breeze will rob you.

Dear sweetling, I call the black dog as we turn
our heads to stars.
3am, the flowers dead to us, garden disappeared
by night rebels
but our feet steady on invisible earth.

The Dipper pours her milk upon the dog’s back;
she’s suddenly star freckled and frisky.

Blessed the only way out of the ring of fire in
which we live,

one kindness here, one shared joke. Helpless we
and pace abandoned yards.

We wander as if we had a destination but the
accordion folds, roads and green ranges
creased so often, trace no scenic byways.

Do not ignore beauty’s markers: the dog at the
dark door,
the lover who sleeps through your going out
and your coming in.

Barbara Rockman teaches creative writing at Santa Fe Community College and in private workshops. As workshop coordinator for WingSpan Poetry Project, she brings poetry to victims of domestic violence. She is author of Sting and Nest, which received the National Press Women Poetry Book Prize and the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. A new collection is forthcoming from University of New Mexico Press.

Honorable Mention

The Definition of Tragedy

By Robert Wilder

The Definition of Tragedy,

the Chinese exchange student
is when “something precious is
broken in front of you
and you are forced to watch until
every last piece is ground to dust.”

No one said anything in class after
all the American students having
been fed
Western definitions from Cliff’s
Notes versions of Odysseys and

As the teacher, I am required by
pedagogical law
to fill silences with open ended
questions or affirming hums,
sounds to cushion sadness and
atonal beats of the human heart

but that day something had already
broken inside of me
something fragile,
like an ancient vase from some far
off dynasty.

Now I remember: That wasn’t the
assignment at all—
I wanted the students to write
about the opposite of tragedy,
not tragedy itself, because every-
body knows the sad stuff already.

In needle-perfect English, the
Chinese exchange student
“The opposite of tragedy must be
held close or kept whole by love.”

I reached out with my arms to
illustrate her point
but managed only to knock a
dictionary onto the floor
which startled almost everyone

except the Chinese exchange
who was too busy
dreaming of home.

Robert Wilder lives and works in Santa Fe.

Lungs of the Earth

By Gabe Gomez

For Hilary

According to the bulletin board the Amazon is known as the lungs of the Earth
Where tenured tucum palms
are meaningless
Save their spiny bark and
industrious fiber
The place, and I‘m quoting, is
full of life

We begin to forget this moment as it begins
Our disappointing sleep on
planes bookend the hours
Reading into things you’ve
photographed and eaten
In seven seconds, something
new will begin

We dream of echoing folding chairs
Over parquet floors of
Versailles or mom and dad’s
Its own moment cracks the sky
And its collusion with sense

How it will travel from the lungs, exit the lips,
Then slip quietly into the ears
to confuse
Consequence of order, vertical
lift, recycled air
The science is soft but
alarmingly good

We dream of ourselves as puzzles and quarks
Your face takes shape in the
We are its sun-bleach stains
Safety webbing in the glass

A crane afloat in my breathing
You land in its fiery wind
Ignite the atmosphere
Then sleep beautifully, if not,
sheepish to the
Violence shared by the markings
Left on our bodies after coming

Gabe Gomez has two published collections of poetry: The Outer Bands and The Seed Bank. He lives in Santa Fe.

Staff Picks

The SFR staff also painstakingly pored over the nearly 300 submission to choose a few of our favorites. These are the works that stood out among many stellar others.

Letter to an Amateur Anthropologist

By Margaret Wack

Do not only take photographs
of beautiful women. This is your
the eyes naturally gravitate
to the sweet milk skins, the
and elegant curve of bone.
Take photographs of everything,
you are not an artist

but a historian: remember this,
the way the hair emerges
from a leg, infinitesimal,
the way flesh accumulates
against your hands.
Study delicate black pores,
and gentle, dark windows
into the body’s mechanisms. The

flushed and curving, teeth sturdy
like a horse’s, something to love.
This is important, the diet, the
the peculiar dialects invented or
At what frequency was language
spoken, sung, whispered. What
was worshiped,
what gods were prayed to, what
rituals. What dreams.

Take photographs. The way the
bleary eye
is asleep still, the sunlight across
the bed,
the weird, warped flesh. Round
smooth jugular. In action:
making breakfast,
converted to still life. The myths,
the history,
each delicate and convoluted
story with meaning
or no meaning. Write everything

each colloquial phrase, docu-
ment the coughs and hiccups,
messy excretions, blood, tears.
This is after all a science,
with primary sources: x-rays, so
intimate, bones
sloping gently inward, the heart
slightly too fast. The colorful
brain is alight,
is ablaze, unable to save itself
from itself
or from diagrams of anatomy,
numbers, facts.

I admit you are a specialist,
but nearly irrelevant: this is
the way we held hands by the
when I am gone there must be
someone to tell everyone
exactly how I was, someone to
beyond remembering.


By Andrew John Wilder

Father pulls me from the mud
Left by a lake shrunk by drought,
And I follow him back to our fishing rods.

We step in together, the caked mire
on my legs
Diffusing as we wade to the place
Where the river mouth cuts through the

Lazy brook trout, ready to spawn,
Glide in the cool mountain water
That feeds their lake,

Called Cabresto after the rope and halter
Of the burros the Spanish needed
To climb the steep trails that led there.

Dad casts the line for me,
The way he always did, when I was
Still shorter than him.

When a fish is hooked, he hands the rod
to me,
And I play the trout clumsily
Until he nets it deftly from the water.

I hook its gill to a stringer hanging
From my belt and let the fish rest in the
By my leg. Dad casts for me again, and

Until my stringer is heavy with trout,
Females bloated with roe and tired males
Whose jaws are beginning to hook and rot.

When he’s caught our limit,
We turn and wade back to shore,
Where a boy still struggles in the mud.

An Alternate Route

By Miles Merritt

Nature (unlike some
huge metropolis)
treats us like adults:
we must discover all
its glory by ourselves.
Imagine how disheartening
if wandering inside this
intricate wood we came upon
small placards reading— TURN LEFT for Quaking Aspen.
SLOW DOWN: Strawberries

Backyard Canyoneering

Explorations in local slots seek out the best of what New Mexico canyon country has to offer

The EnthusiastWednesday, March 22, 2017 by Elizabeth Miller

The first time Brett Kettering and Daniel Creveling lowered themselves into Pajarito Gorge near White Rock, they had only a vague image of what they were getting into. The committed canyoneers were searching for home-turf, a place they could train and practice with others members of Los Alamos Mountaineers. They’d stared at what looked like a gigantic drop while climbing nearby, wondering what waited off the edge, and hiked either end of the gorge, peering down and up its extremities.

“We finally decided one day, ‘Oh, let’s go do it,’” Kettering says.

They used natural features to build an anchor, secured a rope and tossed one end down, leaning over to see it touch the next ledge. Then they rappelled into the narrow chambers of rock, lit by the ambient glow of sun striking the far canyon wall and baking the thread of the Rio Grande flanked by piñon and sand far below.

Three times, they’d have to set gear, rappel—sometimes into and around potholes carved deeper than anyone has yet to determine—then pull the ropes down after them, eventually arriving at the bottom of a boulder field. The hike out meant scrambling up heaped black basalt to reach nearby trail systems.

The canyon catches rainy season runoff and the detritus that comes with it, car parts and mangled bicycles among the garbage. But still, it’s like a beautiful secret, a space few visit, reachable only by those trained in the technical aspects of canyoneering and willing to brave the possibility of stuck ropes, flash floods and rattlesnakes as well as the near certainty of wet boots.

Their first descent may have been the first time anyone dropped into that canyon in this style, but now, Creveling revisits it to see traces of others having traveled there. It’s becoming popular.

Like so many outdoor sports, stare too long at canyoneering and its contrivances prompt existential crises. Why climb to the top of a cliff just to be lowered back to its bottom? Why seek out a route through slot-like canyons and jumbled terrain with mandatory rappelling and views deliberately limited to the stretch of rock wall right in front of you? Why descend a canyon just to hike back out of it?

“I sometimes say canyoneering is like hiking through canyons with some rappelling thrown in, so you get to hike through canyons and see some interesting things,” Kettering says. “But there’s a little bit more adventurous aspect to it in that you get to rig a rope and rappel. I like also the fun of figuring out, ‘How am I going to build a good anchor here?’”

That problem-solving is appealing, Creveling echoes, but so is the sense of adventure and exploration.

“You get to see things that aren’t usually accessible, so they’re usually more pristine than other areas because not a lot of people go through there,” he says.

Heavy rains in September 2013 sent huge columns of water through Pajarito Gorge, and a boulder the size of a small Volkswagen they used as an anchor disappeared.

“It’s completely gone. There’s no sign of it,” Kettering says, surmising that it shattered on the canyon floor. “Those kinds of things happen, right? The canyon changes. You get these big water events, and all the sudden what used to be an anchor is no longer there.”

The two connected through Los Alamos Mountaineers, where both instruct and lead trips. The gorge is now a test piece for those looking to get on board with that organization’s outings.

Kettering enrolled in one of their courses looking for more skills to pursue his hobby of “high pointing,” visiting the tallest summit in every state. But canyoneering hooked him, and he and Creveling began exploring nearby options rather than traveling all the way to the well-known canyon country in southern Utah.

After venturing into Chavez Canyon, near the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in Abiquiú, Kettering recounts, “We thought, ‘There’s got to be some more interesting stuff maybe closer to home.’”

That fueled poking around nearby canyons. The process for setting a new route starts with hiking either end of it, taking GPS readings and comparing elevations from the top and bottom to estimate the number of rappels required. Those explorations are still underway. If the trip goes poorly—if a rope gets stuck or the route dead-ends—there’s equipment to ascend the rope, and plenty of stories about the time someone climbed up only to discover the rope holding their bodyweight on some breathtakingly small feature. Hair-raising near-misses aside, the buzz online about get-togethers through and new routes points to a growing interest.

So, why? At the bottom of the gorge, still shady on a day with temperatures rapidly ramping up, it’s quiet and cool beside the murky pool left from recent rain. There, the scenery functions like a haiku, made richer by its brevity.

The Enthusiast is a twice-monthly column dedicated to the people in and stories from our outdoor sports community.

Into the Fire

Three years later, SFR’s anti-secrecy and free expression case against Gov. Martinez heads to court

Local NewsWednesday, March 22, 2017 by Marisa Demarco

After years of legal wrangling over press freedoms and the public’s right to know, the Santa Fe Reporter is set to finally have its day in state District Court at the end of this month.

At the heart of the case: Is it a violation of the paper’s free expression rights under the state Constitution if Gov. Susana Martinez blacklists SFR for critical coverage?

Martinez’ press secretary refused to comment on pending litigation. And the governor’s high-powered private attorney, Paul Kennedy, says he’s “not authorized to comment on this matter.”

Katherine Murray, one of the lawyers representing SFR, says the tensions rising nationally between President Donald Trump and the press highlight the dangers of government officials playing favorites. “To a certain extent, when you choose the messenger, you’re also getting to shape the message,” she says. “We need our press to be unpopular, to pursue the topics nobody wants to talk about.”

The case already has made some history, Murray says. Laws on the books are one thing, but until they’re tested in court, how they work can remain a mystery. Freedom of the press is protected under New Mexico’s Constitution, she says, but a paper’s right to access public information without facing discrimination is a novel issue for New Mexico courts.

The three-day bench trial is slated for March 29-31 before District Court Judge Sarah Singleton in Santa Fe. (Court dates scheduled for last November were vacated when Murray had to travel unexpectedly to receive her adopted son.) Martinez is not scheduled to testify, although several of her current and former staffers are. SFR journalists past and present also are expected to take the stand.

When reporter Joey Peters came to SFR from Washington, DC, he was surprised at how difficult it was to reach anyone at the governor’s office. “Responsiveness was better from the federal government,” he says. Peters remembers writing in emails to the governor’s spokesman, “Get back to me ASAP,” a naive turn of phrase that makes him laugh today. “I came in expecting that spokespeople for government agencies would contact you back.”

In 2012, SFR documented the unfolding story of Martinez’ leaked emails, the inner-workings of her administration and public business conducted on private email accounts. In December, the paper published a cover story headlined “The Year in Closed Government,” digging into those emails and juxtaposing them against the governor’s promise to run the most transparent administration in state history.

“After that, I think they just cut us off and wouldn’t respond to us at all, not even emails or anything,” says Peters, now a reporter for New Mexico Political Report.

In the absence of direct communication, SFR increased its reliance on public records requests, Murray says. That also proved fruitless, and the paper contends the administration repeatedly violated the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA)—New Mexico’s sunshine law that allows everyone access to documents and other records.

So in the fall of 2013, SFR sued. Murray says the serial IPRA violations created an either/or scenario: “Either this is a deliberate withholding of information that the governor’s office thinks is potentially politically embarrassing, or something about the way they handle IPRA requests is just flawed and results in us not getting the public records.”

After rulings from Singleton on some of the issues in the original court filing, claims stemming from five alleged IPRA violations will be contested at trial.

Kennedy wrote in a brief that the state’s public records law is an “unfunded mandate” that’s hard on the state’s limited resources.

The lawsuit also says the governor’s office interfered with a free press by stonewalling SFR. The paper’s reporters weren’t receiving even basic information the administration was providing to other news organizations. It was retaliatory “viewpoint discrimination,” according to the lawsuit, and it happened because the governor’s office didn’t like the tone and content of the paper’s coverage.

The lawsuit doesn’t say the governor has to give a sit-down interview to every paper that wants one or offer comment on every single issue. But that decision has to be based on the issue at hand, Murray says, not whether the news organization seeking comment covers the governor in a favorable light.

Kennedy also argues that evidence shows it wasn’t viewpoint discrimination when the governor’s office didn’t respond to SFR, and that the paper isn’t the same thing as the Associated Press or the Albuquerque Journal. It has a smaller staff and it doesn’t distribute breaking news, he wrote.

But Murray will tell you this lawsuit gets at the heart of the media’s role in a democracy, and SFR brought it not just to ensure the paper’s own rights, but because the ability to gather and report news is essential to a free press.

“I certainly don’t want the Washington Post or the New York Times to start being gentler on President Trump because they just want access to the room,” she says. “That doesn’t benefit any of us.”

Problems like this don’t often get to the lawsuit stage, which can be expensive and time-consuming, according to Gregg Leslie, the legal defense director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington, DC. “So often reporters just feel kind of helpless when they’re confronted by something like this,” he says, “so it’s good to see that somebody’s really pushing for their rights.”

Marisa Demarco is covering the trial jointly for KUNM radio and SFR as an independent journalist. Contributing editor Jeff Proctor is supervising her coverage for SFR, including planned daily reports from the courtroom that will be published at

SFR Picks: Never-Moments

Renowned realist paints things that don’t exist

PicksWednesday, March 22, 2017 by Alex De Vore

Looking at one of Daniel Sprick’s portraits is like looking into the eyes of someone you know; when you can see a feeling move across their irises and, without a word, know what they’re thinking. Sprick’s oil paintings feature human faces, still-life scenes and skeletons in a manner that is familiar, yet ethereal and haunting all at once.

Sprick has that scattered-thinker thing going on during a phone interview: He rustles and moves constantly, speaking about his stunning works of realism quietly and carefully over the background noise. “It’s interesting to take something, to take your visual stimuli and internalize them, and form something that’s based on reality but nothing that ever quite existed,” he says. “I think that’s even the purpose of art: to make some sort of exaggerations on what’s there and to take out things.”

The deductions he makes and the magic he adds to his scenes transform them into elevated versions of reality. “It forays into some other world that I am sort of in touch with that I don’t necessarily know how to articulate,” Sprick says. So, he articulates it through painting. “It’s kind of a non-verbal response to the poetry of things.”

The Colorado artist was 18 when he started practicing his craft. “It’s really the only thing I’ve seriously done,” he tells SFR. His upcoming solo exhibit at Peters Projects features 18 new works painted in the past few years, but nothing created more recently than one year ago; he prefers to sit with his work for at least that long before letting it out into the world.

And though his visions are inspired by reality, the people and moments on his canvases have never been, and will never be. “It’s this kind of moment that could be a composite of moments, but it’s not one that ever really existed. It’s kind of made-up, but based on reality,” Sprick says. “And it kind of takes you somewhere else.” (Maria Egolf-Romero)

Daniel Sprick: Recent Works
5 pm Friday March 24. Free.
Peters Projects,
1011 Paseo de Peralta,

It’s a Drag

SFR File Photo
All the glitz and glamour of the music-heavy, dance-laden world of drag explodes onto the Skylight stage with that long-beloved local troupe, Jewel Box Cabaret. Fabulous drag heroes such as Madame Marie Antoinette Du Barry, CoCo Caliente and Lucy Fur will be there presiding over song and comedy routines and, at least for everyone who loves fun and friendship, good times shall be had. Bring your sense of humor and a love for kitschy camp, they’ll bring the bonkers high heels, beautiful dresses and, we can only assume, glitter. (Alex De Vore)

Jewel Box Cabaret:
8 pm Saturday March 25. $20.
139 W San Francisco St.,

Dance, Speak, Listen

Courtesy Santa Fe Community College
Were you aware that Native American Week kicks off in Santa Fe this week? Well, it does, and the Santa Fe Community College is the place to be for the opening action. Dancers from Pueblos including Cochiti and Pojoaque will be in attendance, and lecturers Charles Van Pelt, Cassandra Perez and Benjamin Shendo Jr. provide a glimpse into today’s issues, including language, colonization, decolonization, Standing Rock, identity and much more. Learn more about this fascinating culture while maintaining our social conscience? Sold! (ADV)

Native American Week Celebrations:
10 am-3 pm Monday March 27. Free.
Santa Fe Community College,
6401 Richards Ave.,

Santa Yay

Courtesy El Rancho De Las Golondrinas
No big—just one of Santa Fe’s most talented writer-historians closing out the Las Golondrinas winter lecture series with a talk on the cultural significance of Santa Fe women who contributed to the arts during the 1900s, including the founding of Las Golondrinas itself. OK, so maybe it is big. Join Carmella Padilla (who wrote the fascinating 1999 book Low ’n Slow: Lowriding in New Mexico and others) as she tells the tale of social butterflies Eva Scott Fényes, Leonora Scott Muse Curtin and Leonora Frances Curtin Paloheimo. “They certainly were not dilettantes,” Padilla says. “They didn’t just come and visit museums, they invested in the arts and culture community.” (ADV)

Carmella Padilla Lecture:
6 pm Tuesday March 28. Free.
St. Francis Auditorium,
107 W Palace Ave.,


Los Angeles’ Dawes rolls with the punches

Music FeaturesWednesday, March 22, 2017 by Alex De Vore

Dawes is evolving. Or has already. Either way, the Los Angeles band has shed at least some of their folky pop gestalt for patient ruminations on the usual suspects—loss and love and mortality—with their fifth studio album, We’re All Gonna Die. This time out, the boys have crafted songs a little more layered (if not more grown-up) than previous outings; Die is, in fact, more Dire Straits or Hall & Oates than it is Jackson Browne, but we’re talking more soulful, too, or perhaps a little more rock ’n’ roll and sexy.

Of course, previous elements that put the band on the map, such as melodic style, killer vocal harmonies or heartfelt lyricism (think All Your Favorite Bands-era Dawes) remain intact as well, and the aforementioned evolution seems far more organic happenstance than a band that set out to purposefully rebrand itself in a misguided attempt at chasing success (or trends).

“It’s kind of just what happened,” drummer Griffin Goldsmith says. “I think the songs Taylor [Goldsmith, Griffin’s brother and Dawes’ front man/main songwriter] is writing are obviously very different than the previous batch.”

This generally takes the form of autobiographical pieces from Taylor—like “Roll With the Punches,” wherein he tells us: “The separation was logistical/Deciding what belongs to whom/How dying love manifests in a rug or a chest”—but also contains some pretty solid advice about living, like on “Quitter” where we are advised: “Quit talking to God if your prayers don’t get answered/Or if you don’t exactly notice when they do.”

Regardless, the overall message seems timeless and worthwhile, yet it bears repeating: Live while you can. This is what we mean when we say “grown-up.” After all, if we’re all gonna die, why do we spend so much time focused on not living? That’s from Shawshank Redemption … basically.

“I think that’s sort of the sentiment that comes across,” Griffin explains, “but what I really like about it is that it’s a polarizing title—some people think it’s a sad thing, or some people think it’s hilarious. I think, for me, it speaks to the place of the record or this band or the industry, pop music. … Obviously we’re not pop music, but I mean in the grand scheme of things.”

For Dawes’ upcoming Santa Fe appearance at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, they’ll play without an opener, the first such tour in their career. This may sound daunting for a band, but with five albums under their belt and tour after tour in the rearview mirror, it’s more of a chance for them to spread out, provide a bit of a retrospective feel for longtime fans but also to really dig into the newer material.

“We can finally play for two-plus hours, which I know is a lot of music to ask the listener to be there for,” Griffin says. “But it’s really invigorating to go out there and play for hours and really stretch out with the songs. The emphasis is on listening.”

If nothing else, Dawes has a proven knack for staying power and a willingness to experiment and continually challenge themselves and their listeners. Even if you think you know this band, their newer stuff is a departure of sorts; yes, you’ll recognize Taylor’s croon and the spirit stays the same, but rather than stay satisfied with mid-level success and the repackaging of the same old, same old, they’ve transformed into something new enough and bright enough as to be engaging, yet deep enough and bittersweet enough as to seem like whatever song they’re playing may just be about us and our own bullshit. And that ain’t easy.

“Nobody comes to the table with a fully realized song, and I think that’s why we’ve been able to be on tour and make five different records,” Griffin adds. “It wasn’t like we set out to do whatever; the process is a real collaboration.”

7:30 pm Wednesday March 22. $24-$34.
Lensic Performing Arts Center,
211 W San Francisco St.,


Hear, Here

We’ve got our ears to the ground in search of interesting tidbits of music-related information, Santa Fe. Are you recording an album? Hitting the road to tour? Thinking of going major-label? We want to know about it, so email your best friend Alex De Vore at

Santa Fe-based MC Raashan Ahmad (of Oakland’s Crown City Rockers) has been traipsing the globe like some kind of goddamn rap-based Indiana Jones. Ahmad told us that after his recent sojourn to Europe, he’s got South America, Greece and more on the docket, but that he also hopes to throw down with some DJ gigs next time he’s back home. Let’s all become obsessed right now.

Nathan Smerage and Daniel Mench-Thurlow, both formerly of rock act Venus and the Lion, have joined forces once again for a new yet-unnamed band. We’re pumped because they’re both basically music geniuses. In fact, Smerage’s solo work (which can be heard at is so good, we listen to it even when we don’t have to—a reality we don’t afford to plenty of local bands/musicians.

Happy 10th b-day to AMP Concerts! The Santa Fe/ABQ promotions-based nonprofit that brings your ass free (and not-free) concerts all the time would be a fifth-grader—yikes. If you pop in at Whole Foods next Wednesday (that’s March 29), know that 5 percent of the day’s proceeds will go to helping AMP bring Red Elvises and Metalachi back to town for the bazillionth time. They’ll probably use the money to do other stuff, too.

Does anyone know where we landed on hating SxSW? Like, did they turn a bunch of international bands in to ICE or what? All we know is that we think the obsession is silly, and our friends in bands who’ve played the annual music fest mostly have “Our slot was at 8:15 am in the bathroom of a slaughterhouse and literally only the sound guy was there!” stories. Did you go? Lemme know if I should continue shaking my fists in outrage.

Mind Games

Seeing sounds with the synesthetic brain of Reyes Padilla

Art FeaturesWednesday, March 22, 2017 by Jordan Eddy

Imagine for a moment you can see every sound around you. The clink of a coffee cup produces a burst of blue triangles, a passing car is accompanied by rolling yellow polka dots and a barking dog emits bright red rectangles. That’s Reyes Padilla’s reality and, for part of his life, he thought everyone saw the world that way.

“I remember saying, ‘Oh, this song is blue,’” Padilla says. “People would be like, ‘What?’” One day, he snuck into his friend’s music appreciation class at University of New Mexico and heard a lecture on synesthesia. The neurological phenomenon occurs when one sensory or cognitive pathway triggers an involuntary response in another. For synesthetes, numbers and letters might trigger flashes of color, or certain sounds evoke tactile sensations. “I was like, ‘Holy cow, that’s what I have,” Padilla says. In his new exhibition at the Beals & Co. Showroom, Reyes Padilla: An Introduction, the artist will recreate the synesthetic experience through an immersive art installation.

Padilla was born in Santa Fe in 1988. In the ’90s, Canyon Road was his shortcut on the drive to school. He started drawing in kindergarten and spent his early teen years playing guitar in garage bands. At 17, he took up painting. “I liked the independence of it. You didn’t have to organize people to do it,” he says.

Courtesy Beals & Co.

Padilla’s uncle is the well-known contemporary santo sculptor Luis Tapia, and his aunt, author Carmella Padilla, encouraged his early exposure to the arts. Still, the surrealist and hyperrealist imagery he was turning out didn’t seem to have a place in Santa Fe’s art scene. “We’d drive through Canyon Road and I remember looking at the sculptures,” he says. “I wasn’t really drawn into it, but as I got older and started thinking about what I was going to do with my life, I realized that my uncle was a successful artist. I knew it was a possibility.”

Just a few weeks after he graduated high school, Padilla moved to Albuquerque. “At a certain point as a teenager, you’re like, ‘I’ve got to get the hell out of here,’” he says. “I had no idea what I was going to do.” His sister convinced him to enroll in painting classes at Central New Mexico Community College, and he got his asssociate degree in 2010.

The next year, Padilla rented a studio at The Factory on 5th Art Space in Albuquerque. That’s where he made an artistic breakthrough with his synesthesia. After finishing a series of particularly grueling hyperrealistic paintings, he made an impromptu abstract painting on his studio door. “I needed to get something out of my system, so I just started painting whatever I felt,” he says. As his brain fired off synesthetic shapes to the music he was playing, he worked them into the composition.

Friends who visited Padilla’s studio responded enthusiastically to the exploratory painting. That was about two years ago, and it was the beginning of a brand new body of work.

Using synesthesia as a painting tool allowed Padilla to reap the benefits of an experience that can be painful. “I see every sound,” he says. “I can kind of block it out in a way, but if I’m having a conversation and cars are going by in the background, I see every car.” Occasionally, Padilla will get intense migraines, and any sounds around him produce “bright, chaotic” visuals that are agonizing. The artist started honing his ability to capture his visions by listening to different types of music: rock from his high school days, electronica, jazz. He found that hip-hop’s clear beats were particularly effective at stirring up distinct forms.

It’s a sunny Friday morning on Canyon Road, and Padilla’s show is partially installed at the Beals & Co. Showroom. Canvases filled with bold abstract forms, all in a palette of black, white and gray, line every wall of the space. Some of Padilla’s squiggles recall the exuberant street art of Keith Haring. His style is more painterly, though, with forms layered one atop the other and at times vanishing behind hazy veils of pigment. “He chooses to do it in black and white, because he wants to emphasize the movement that he experiences,” says Bobby Beals, who founded the space in 2016. “He paints with headphones on, and it’s almost like a dance.” Beals met Padilla through another Beals & Co. artist, David Santiago, and swiftly offered the Santa Fe-born artist his first- ever Canyon Road show.

Beals describes the next step of the installation, which will place viewers in Padilla’s shoes. “He’s going to paint directly on the wall to intertwine these canvases,” he says, strolling through the space and into a small adjoining room. “Then he’ll cover every surface of this room with a mural.” A hip-hop playlist compiled by Padilla accompanies the room, giving gallery visitors a complete synesthetic experience.

“I think to give people the closest understanding of what it’s like to have synesthesia. That’s my goal,” says Padilla. “I hope that this room will give people this feeling of being separated from the world. I’m interested in making paintings that really suck people in.”

Reyes Padilla: An Introduction Opening Reception
5 pm Friday March 24. Free.
Beals & Co. Showroom,
830 Canyon Road,

Both Sides

Dueling locations in a city of 70K

Food WritingWednesday, March 22, 2017 by Michael J Wilson

I recently had a long conversation with a visitor from Denver about how Santa Fe has a north/south divide. For us, this isn’t shocking or new to say. I find it hard to articulate beyond the racial, economic, political and historic divides that are common everywhere. Divisions in Santa Fe are invisible. There are spheres of culture that we exist in and you can exist in yours without ever coming into contact with the other ones.

This isn’t to say that there isn’t crossing. There definitely is. And it isn’t even hard to do. You just have to move outside the circles you travel once in awhile. That, however, takes effort and drive. This is a long intro to something that has always interested me about Santa Fe: restaurants with downtown and Southside locations. Plenty of cities have restaurants with more than one location, but this isn’t the interesting thing. It’s the clear distinction of downtown vs. Southside that makes this something to think about.

In the early 2000s, a sudden boom on the Southside mostly took the form of suburban sprawl, strip malls and chain stores. A surprising number of local places have carved out a space: Plaza Café or Blue Corn. Many of them are a second location to a downtown business. I wanted to see if they did different things for the different sides of town.

I didn’t survey all of the doubled businesses, of course. I picked one—Cleopatra’s Café (Design Center, 418 Cerrillos Road, 820-7381). Cleopatra’s is one of those great businesses in town that I always forget about. This isn’t a dig at the food—it has more to do with Santa Fe’s weird indoor shopping spaces.

The original location sits in the middle of the Design Center, not quite downtown, not quite not downtown. You can drive right by and not even notice the building. Lunchtime on a Wednesday, I figured it would be busy. Only a few people milled about. There was a family eating at The Kitchen Window next door. A few down the walkway at Pizza Centro. Otherwise it was quiet. I got sheesh tewook ($7.50) and dolmas ($5.95) and found a small table in the corner to read while I waited. Not that it ever takes long. The server soon brought me two plates. The tewook was great. Large bits of chicken grilled to a crisp on the outside and melty inside. Caramelized onion and tomato, and a traditional aioli on top. There was a little too much paprika sprinkled across this dish, but I soon finished my meal and went for the dolmas. Tangy, sweet and soft. One of my favorite clean tastes. They were just perfect and not overly oily like the canned versions most of us have from grocery store salad bars. The only real off-note is that you are sitting in a caged-in seating area in the middle of a mostly-empty mall. I read a chapter in my book, dropped off a pair of pants to be hemmed at Santa Fe Seamstress and went on with my day.

A week earlier I had gone to the Southside Cleopatra’s (3482 Zafarano Drive, 474-5644) on a whim with a group of friends and had ordered the same thing. That was where the idea came from to compare the two. The tewook and dolmas were both the same price and almost exact in their taste. The Southside location put less paprika on top, and the sauce was maybe a little less tangy, but otherwise they were identical down to the plates they were served on.

The big change is that the Southside location has a large room to itself, though it’s no less odd. It feels like a cafeteria with high tabletops spaced loosely in the large, echoey room. They’ve managed to re-create the feeling of sitting in a food court at a mall in both of their spaces. Which is part of the charm, I suppose. It certainly doesn’t make the food less delicious.

So why two Cleopatra’s? With parking downtown as terrible as it is, and the realities of the divides in this city, it’s almost as if the Southside would miss out if there weren’t two. I would guess this applies to most of the dueling location businesses in town; downtown isn’t the only place that exists. The restaurants noticed and stepped in to serve the growing city that we are.

I expected the downtown version to be more expensive.
It’s spot-on—a feat even for a single location.



MetroGlyphsWednesday, March 22, 2017 by SFR
Russ Thornton is a Santa Fe local who has replaced his first passion, cooking, with a new love interest, the weekly SFR comic he's created called MetroGlyphs. Reach him at

7 Days


7 DaysWednesday, March 22, 2017 by SFR


So that lawmakers can block the death penalty rebound one more time before she leaves office.



We assume she’ll only take five days to recover—y’know, just like she’d want teachers to do.



Don’t shoot!



Only this time with no bribery.



Just kidding. The governor is gonna veto that too.



The death of so many former MoW recipients probably will save money in the long run.



He was researching his forthcoming book 10,000 Waves to Die.

Morning Word: Healthcare Changes Could Hit NM Hard

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