Zinke's monument changes The Washington Post has a copy of US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke's secret memo written after his review of newly designated national monuments. While it appears permitted activities at New Mexico's Rio Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks monuments will change, the boundaries of the two may stay the same. The report also indicates Zinke recommends greater tribal involvement in monument management.
Suicide rates drop Incidence of those taking their own life dropped six percent last year, reversing a trend in which New Mexico's suicide rates had been increasing. The state still has high rates of suicide by military veterans.
Watching your step Most pedestrian deaths around town are due to mistakes on the part of people walking, the New Mexican reported this weekend. The city is coming off a year in which there was just a single pedestrian killed on Santa Fe's roads, but four people have died already this year. Alcohol is a frequent culprit, especially with the pedestrians themselves.
KRQE pilot dies in helicopter crash Bob Martin, a longtime reporter at KRQE-TV and the pilot of the station's helicopter, died Saturday evening when the aircraft crashed near Carrizozo in Lincoln County. Martin had been a fixture in the station's helicopter for more than 20 years as well as being an accomplished reporter and photographer. The NTSB is investigating and so far has not released a cause of the crash. Our thoughts are with everyone at KRQE.
Tackling taxes One of the biggest unresolved issues from the Legislature's last special session was gross receipts tax reform. Lawmakers will be at it again in 2018. New Mexico's system for what equates roughly to sales tax is constructed to leverage the federal influence here by taxing contracts with the US government for services that wouldn't normally be nicked under a sales tax. But that means a ton of carve-outs for various industries as the Legislature has looked to keep the state's taxes from reaching onerous levels.
You decide The oh-so-quiet special election to raise money for county public safety personnel as well as a behavioral health triage center in Santa Fe city limits is tomorrow. The one-question ballot asks county voters to approve or reject a proposed one-sixteenth percent tax on goods or services sold within county limits. It would add $2.3 million to the county budget and would be paired with a one-eighth percent increase county commissioners were allowed to authorize on their own.
Gone with the winds Down in Albuquerque, the KiMo Theater canceled a scheduled showing of the classic movie Gone with the Wind because of concerns it was too sympathetic to the Confederacy. Instead, the theater showed Ben Hur, which was based on the novel penned by New Mexico territorial governor Lew Wallace.
Santa Fe Indian Restaurant Raaga Announces Closure
Get it while the getting is good
Local NewsFriday, September 15, 2017by Alex De Vore
Citing health issues faced by their owner, Chef Paddy Rawal, Santa Fe Indian food restaurant Raaga announced on Facebook today that it would close following dinner service on Saturday, Sept. 23:
"It is with deep sadness that we announce Raaga will close Saturday, Sept. 23. Upon the advice of his physician, Chef Paddy can no longer maintain the pace that Raaga demands. He will be fine, but needs to make some painful decisions. Please come in this last week to taste Raaga's fine cuisine and give the Chef a hug."
Opened in 2011, Raaga has been a popular downtown eatery for locals and tourists alike. It has been featured in SFR's Restaurant Guide on numerous occasions. Further information is not available as of this moment, but SFR has reached out to Chef Rawal and will update this story with any new developments.
Is filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) attempting to diffuse the concept of May-December relationships in Mother! (like his own with the film’s star, Jennifer Lawrence, for example)—or is he simply ruminating on the idea that creativity and creative types thrive on non-reciprocal adoration and eat up everything good in their path? Either way, he’s strayed into far weirder territory than perhaps even 2000’s Requiem for a Dream, though the imagery and unstuck-in-time nature of Mother! is at least more disconcerting.
J-Law is some nameless woman, apparently Beetlejuiced into never leaving her countryside home which she shares with Javier Bardem, a similarly nameless man whom we discover is a poet who can’t write after other, also nameless people (played excellently and beyond creepily by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) show up mysteriously to hang around loving on the poetry. This doesn’t sit well with Lawrence, who spends the entirety of the film sinking deeper into the fever dream from a vantage of powerlessness; at all times she is cleaning, renovating, worrying, while Bardem and crew shirk off her obviously mounting frustrations. Bardem, it seems, loves the attention from strangers despite Lawrence’s concerns that he’s allowing outsiders into their paradise.
And oh, how it gets worse. A pregnancy spurs momentary calmness, but also inspiration in Bardem and, in defeating his writer’s block, an opening is provided for every insane fan, agent, publisher and hanger-on to appear, thereby transforming a would-be dream house into a labyrinthian hellscape of illogical proportions. Like Lawrence, we begin to question the reality of the situation. Is she going mad, or is her adjacency to fame and bright-burning creativity simply more than anyone can handle? Regardless, there is magical realism afoot, albeit born of black magic. The more she pulls against the throngs now inhabiting her home, the more their numbers grow and the more Bardem attempts to calm her—which is maddening.
There may be more questions than answers by the time Mother! ends, and the imagery and symbolism are a mite on the nose for anyone who cares to google its stars and director. Having said that, it still sticks with you long after it’s over and will surely cause plenty of conversations. No, this isn’t a horror movie in the traditional sense; more like challenging, high-concept satire—though we’d point out very little is funny in a ha-ha sort of way. Whatever else, though, it’s dark and scary with more than enough of Aronofsky’s trademark directorial touches to make it worthwhile. Just prepare to feel sort of … off.
+Aronofsky might be the master of disconcerting weirdness
– Marketed in a rather weird way, could be too bizarre for some
Ives ideas City Councilor Peter Ives, an attorney from District 2, says he plans to run for mayor. A reliable ally of Mayor Javier Gonzales, Ives says he plans to try to carry on some of the progress made by the current mayor. The councilor says he'll focus on clean job development and early childhood initiatives. He has no issue with councilor and mayoral candidate Ron Trujillo's back-to-basics campaign, but says "the spirit of a community is a fundamentally important thing as well."
SFCC names leadership finalists The Santa Fe Community College says two administrators from Minnesota and California are its finalists to guide the school as interim president while it completes a national search for a permanent head. They could serve for up to a hear and each will have a public meeting with the community next week. Current president Randy Grissom retires at the end of October.
Keep it tight State agencies are once again being told to expect little in the way of budget increases as lawmakers work toward a spending plan for the next legislative session. There's only about $25 million in revenue predicted above and beyond what the state took in this year. That's called "new money," but the flat-spending admonition is an old tune. About that money Meanwhile, in Medicaidland, the state's Human Services Department says it needs $84 million in the next budget year. The Word is no mathematician, but that seems like what scientists call "more." The low-income program, through which the vast majority of births in the state are paid, has been growing at a pace outstripping revenue for years.
Three-wheeled fuzz Santa Fe police have their new Segway scooters for patrolling downtown. Instead of spending $27,000 for a three-year lease, the city has paid more than $34,000 for a one-year lease with the only company that makes the scooters. The city's lodgers tax is providing the money for them. They are supposed to ease foot and other fatigue for police. They don't have suspensions, though, so officers have to bend their knees to absorb bumps.
Domenici memorial service A public service for the late US Senator Pete Domenici will be tomorrow at Isotopes Stadium in Albuquerque. The service starts at 3 pm. There's also a rosary tonight and funeral mass tomorrow morning at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Northeast Albuquerque.
Lobos lose conference opener, starting QB New Mexico's football team lost the first game of its Mountain West Conference schedule last night to Boise State, 28-14. The team also lost its starting quarterback late in the first half after Lamar Jordan sustained a concussion following a late hit. Boise State was also without its starting quarterback. He suffered a concussion in the previous game.
Pride weekend Santa Fe's pride festival kicked off last night with a documentary screening at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. The city is hoping to attract tourists to a late-summer festival instead of the previous one-day-in-June plan. There's an exhibit at the New Mexico History Museum, a parade today, a festival tomorrow and a brunch on Sunday.
Thanks for reading! The Word is in love with Friday, and also determined to make up for not getting something pumpkin-spicy earlier this week.
We have friends who are now sending their kiddos off to school for the first time. We also have friends who are basking in the warm glow of kid-free days (but, like, in a positive way). We have friends who don't even have kids but are just excited for summer to end so they can get back to layering clothes (see SFR's latest fashion column for more on that) and smelling that sweet, sweet chile roasting.
Regardless, we're curious how you handle your lunches and dinners now that school's back in session. The Fork checked out the school lunch situation a little while back (which you can read about here), but shoot us a message and let us know what your tips, tricks, hacks and shortcuts might be so we might share with other perplexed parents. Or journalists (who often eat their lunches hunched over their desks, like animals. If they eat lunch at all. Think of the journalists.) Anyway—let's get forkin'!
We'd like to congratulate the winners (and eaters) of the 2017 Edible Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown. By all accounts, it was the most burger-rific event of the year with hundreds turning up to the Santa Fe Farmers Market Pavilion to taste our state's best burger offerings. Chef Rocky Durham of Blue Heron at Sunrise Springs took home the coveted judge's award with his creation, while Street Food Institute's David Sellers took people's choice. Everyone was a winner, though, and having been to this thing before, we can only recommend you get on that the next time you hear it's a-comin'.
And while we're talking about sandwiches, we'd just like to mention that the adult grilled cheese at Boxcar (530 S Guadalupe St., 988-7222) has been rocking our world. A thick and gooey slab, this bad boy comes with bacon and green chile (or not, it's totally your call). Seriously, we had it twice in less than a week. We also hear Red Elvises are slated to return to Boxcar at 10 pm on Saturday, Sept. 23, with their signature Siberian rockabilly sound. Did we also mention there's never a cover there, and that the 1998 indie film Six String Samurai (which totally features Red Elvises) rules? Well, it does. Google it already. OK, fine—we did it for you: Here.
The New Mexico State Fair ends after this Sunday (that's Sept. 17), and if you haven't messed with all that awful (read: good) fair food you've come to love, plus deep-friend things that usually aren't deep-fried, cotton candy, funnel cake a-plenty and probably other food options we can't even begin to fathom yet, have you even truly lived? We're a mite old for some of the rides, but we still like the cool product demos of things like table saws and the animals are always way cute.
Speaking of way cute (though maybe not as cute as livestock), that's SFR copy editor Charlotte on the right and SFR groupie Beckie on the left, about to obliterate a funnel cake at the State Fair on Monday evening. If your mouth is watering, you might just want a funnel cake. Might.
Did you also know that Albuquerque's Marble Brewery concocted a special brew to celebrate the fair? It's creatively called New Mexico State Fair Pale Ale and there are special happy hours every day to celebrate that. Not gonna make it to the fair? No biggie—it's reportedly available statewide. Huzzah!
There are all sorts of options for getting there ("there" being Expo New Mexico, 300 San Pedro Drive NE, 505-222-9700), so check the site we linked just above for the many details. They even have advice for bicyclists.
Has anyone been to that new mac and cheese place, Macalicious? With 10 mac recipes to choose from plus crazy other items like breakfast muffins with mac and cheese baked in (sounds weird, probably is amazing), it's been on our list of late. And don't worry if you're a healthier eater, because they have salads and fruit and the like. Still, we're mostly lusting for the cheese. If you already happen to be a regular and have a go-to choice, what is it? And why? Let us know, friends, because we're looking for recs almost always.
As we speak, SFR is hard at work on our annual Restaurant Guide. You can get a look at the version currently out there by clicking right here. It's a great chance to get a handy overview of Santa Fe's many (and we mean many) culinary options, including a list of our Top 10 favorites, longer-form pieces and, we think, the best restaurant directory around. We'll have that out a little later this year but, in the meantime, check out the most recent one and let us know how you feel.
To that end, we're always looking for great new places to try—which includes stands, food trucks, little out-of-the-way bakeries, etc. Remember that you can always drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org whenever you wish to help share the wealth or point out something we may have missed.
We're also curious about how out-of-towners (or their friends) handle the whole chile situation. Believe us, we've moved out of Santa Fe before and found ourselves missing chile badly. So let us know how you get yours across the country (or even the globe) or if you are a good friend who figures out how to get your pals their fix.
See y'all next week!
What news do you want to see in this newsletter? We want to hear from you! Let us know! Email email@example.com
Former senator dies at 85 Pete Domenici, who served six terms as a US senator from New Mexico, died Wednesday after complications from surgery at the University of New Mexico Hospital. Domenici was a titan of New Mexico politics, an expert on the federal budget process and a champion of New Mexico's national nuclear laboratories. After he retired in 2009, he warned against the increasingly partisan atmosphere in national politics. He and his wife Nancy raised eight children. In 2013, Domenici also acknowledged he fathered another son with the daughter of a senate colleague. Adam Laxalt has gone on to his own political career in Nevada. National figures of both parties, including former presidents, mourned Domenici's loss.
Report: UNM investigates head football coach New Mexico Fishbowl is reporting that the University of New Mexico has hired an investigator to look into allegations that head football coach Bob Davie mistreated players and that the program's drug-testing program may have been compromised. UNM confirmed an investigation, but did not confirm Davie or the football program were the target. The online investigative journalism outlet says player exit interviews from this spring spurred the inquiry into Davie. The coach had no comment when asked about the investigation.
Zozobra producer decides against mayoral run Saying his commitment to the Kiwanis Club that puts on the annual burning of Zozobra would conflict with being mayor, event producer Ray Sandoval says he won't run to replace outgoing mayor Javier Gonzales. Sandoval says more than 1,000 people reached out to urge him to run.
Wine-no The Santa Fe City Council has rejected a necessary waiver for a proposed Total Wine & More store on the southern end of Cerrillos Road in the Zafarano commercial development. The store is within 300 feet of land owned by the Praise Tabernacle Freedom Church. There's debate over whether the church uses the land and whether the store needs to get a waiver—the state didn't require one for the location—but the matter will likely now be decided in court.
Lovelace, Presbyterian split Thousands of Presbyterian Health Plan clients will be impacted next year when Lovelace Medical Group and Southwest Medical Associates stop accepting Presbyterian's insurance plan. No reason for the split has been given, but Lovelace is urging its patients to find another insurer and Presbyterian is urging its clients to find another doctor. The two will formally split on Jan. 1.
Entrada protest leader pleads not guilty Jennifer Marley, the UNM student arrested and charged with two counts of felony battery of a police officer, pleaded not guilty in her first court appearance yesterday. Marley's attorney promised a vigorous defense, saying, "We're ready to go get them." Seven other protesters face misdemeanor trespassing charges, which Santa Fe's mayor has said he'd like to see dropped.
Hiring the hirers The State Personnel Board is looking to hire dozens of human resource professionals this week. Under Gov. Susana Martinez, the state has promised to streamline personnel operations, and centralizing those services instead of having many agency HR offices is seen as the way to do it. The state employs some 18,000 people.
Lab safety plan US Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich want to put language in a spending bill that will require an annual safety assessment of Sandia and Los Alamos labs. The report, compiled by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, would be sent to Congress each year and would include an evaluation of what additional safety measures are needed at each lab.
Thanks for reading! The Word is. It simply is. And what a glorious thing that is to be.
In 1964, philosopher and political theorist Herbert Marcuse published a book, One Dimensional Man, which contains the idea of “the Great Refusal.” This book and idea offer vital answers for victims of this year's devastating Houston floods and for the doom of global climate change.
One Dimensional Man, published over 50 years ago, proposes that societies in much of the world (capitalist and communist alike) have become one-dimensional since the 1600’s Age of Enlightenment. According to Marcuse, positivism, science and technology narrow the range of human thought, which invites rationalization of absurdity. As humans become more confident in their scientific understanding and control of nature, the soul digests more and more external dominance and irrationality. In short, our faith in rational science traps us into absurd ends that we cannot escape or ignore. It is time to live in a different way.
Marcuse examines the purchase of a new car as one example. Initially, the buyer experiences beauty, power and convenience, along with a bump up in social status. Within a short time, the auto starts to deteriorate and needs repair. The buyer soon admits that the “beauty is cheap, the power unnecessary, the size idiotic, and the waste significant.” While resenting corporate manipulation about what is beautiful and important, the buyer also feels cheated by a product of false quality—a disposable. To counter this deflation, the buyer rationalizes: Corporations need to make money; my purchase feeds a tax base and helps employ workers; and “We really have it much better than before.” Rationalization of the absurd becomes the soul-jerk of the one-dimensional man—a lie to cover incongruity, overconsumption and silly social norms.
Work is another example. As technology greatly improves labor productivity, most work more, not less. This is ironic. Excess is pumped into corporate profit, speculation, oversized homes, vehicles and accoutrement, into an irrational global waste culture that competes rather than cooperates.
Marcuse argues that “society manages all normal communication, validating it or invalidating in accordance with social requirements.” Language, imagination and free thought have become boxed and negated by mass communication. “Beauty,” “quality,” “freedom,” “necessity,” “socialism,” “progress” and thousands of other terms have become tightly defined and charged. It has become difficult to recast or challenge most ideas of “the Real World.”
When Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway presses “alternative facts," she presents a fundamental force for the president’s election: a desperate desire to break out of the dominant, one-dimensional social constraints, to destroy and reorganize language and society. Many Trump supporters’ primary motivation is to “shake things up,” a change that America and the world desperately need.Yet the residual of this Trump shakeup is an even more devastating one-dimensional material absurdity.
A typical TV story about Houston flooding involves a homeowner returning to annihilation. Highly emotional, the owner usually says, “We’ve lost everything." This pathos generates a deep empathy from others (and great TV ratings), yet modern media sublimely sculpts the scene into powerful reinforcement of absurd social norms: 1) If one loses all of their MATERIAL possessions, they have lost “everything,” 2) The principal manifestation of life’s energy is a house and its contents, and 3) Losing all of one’s stuff is the ultimate tragedy. Marcuse would argue that these are false and limiting premises that one should refuse.
In Houston, Marcuse’s “Great Refusal” offers spiritual relief through the pain of material devastation. Most folks who have “lost everything” still have their lives, their children and family and friends, along with many other global citizens who care—a great blessing. Their material loss recharges an intra-human empathy; their powerful connection to others is the spirit of God, Allah, Brahmin, and the Universe. This human suffering even moved President Trump beyond his sizeable ego toward serving and consoling others.
Humanity must change its mindset to survive. So armed, they can recalibrate the spiritual and material, reconcile the rational and irrational, and move beyond one-dimensional constraints. To live well, to live better, to better balance a quantitative-material orientation with spiritual quality—to start again without so many pressing “needs”—is an opportunity for the displaced of Houston as well as the rest of the planet.
Houston again presents the glaring problem of global climate change. Catastrophic events today are exponentially more common than 50 years ago. Marcuse would argue that global warming is exquisite example of one-dimensional thinking. Since the beginning of the Enlightenment, human reason has gravitated toward complete reliance upon positivistic, scientific truth.Man has become God at the center of the physical universe, while abandoning care for the soul. Humans believe that science can explain and control all phenomena. Marcuse believes there is “radical acceptance of the empirical” and little challenge to one-dimensional truths.Irrationally, most folks acknowledge obvious environmental implosion, yet their hopes reside in a one-dimensional solution: Technology and/or governmental planning will find a way to save us.In essence, we humans will save ourselves. Or can we? Have we already drowned in the absurd?
Maybe Marcuse gave us the real key 50 years ago: the Great Refusal. Refuse to engage repressive “scientific and technical progress that becomes an instrument of domination.” Refuse the false needs and the waste. Engage others, many others, and live in a new spirit beyond our egos. Live differently. This may not only resurrect the tired souls of Houston, but also the life of planet Earth.
Credibly accused The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has released a list of its priests, deacons and brothers who have been credibly accused in the Catholic Church's ongoing child sex abuse scandal. The list comes as a judge found there is good reason to unseal some records the church fought for years to keep hidden. The archdiocese was taken to court by Albuquerque TV station KOB in an effort to unseal those documents. Last month, SFR examined the cases and attorneys behind the claim. While the list purports to name church officials who have been credibly accused, it is the church—not an outside group or investigator—that makes that determination.
Palace Avenue break-ins Thieves have been targeting jewelry stores on East Palace Avenue this summer. Six break-ins have netted crooks thousands of dollars worth of loot. A police spokesman says it can't be called a trend, but shop owners and the Chamber of Commerce say they can't recall anything like this and it seems concerning. Commercial burglaries are up 114 percent over the past year. Residential burglaries are down slightly.
Entrada's future SFR's cover story this week takes you inside the protest of the Entrada during Fiestas and examines the simmering unrest that's caused vocal opposition to the pageant this year and in years past. Police have released body camera video from some officers who were stationed in the Plaza during protests on Friday.
Bank cries foul Santa Fe-based Century Bank is suing the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corp over a competing development project it says shouldn't have been approved. The Railyard Flats apartment complex is next door to the Artyard condominiums. The bank owns about 85 percent of the space in Artyard after foreclosing on it in 2013. The suit says a new development next door is making it impossible to lease existing space effectively.
Homeland insecurity SFR and NM Political Report teamed up this week in a piece that digs in to ongoing problems at the state's emergency management agency. If past performance is any indicator of the state's readiness, when disaster strikes—and it eventually always does—the state may have serious difficulty digging itself out of the rubble.
Stepping out It's been a week since Mayor Javier Gonzales announced he'll forgo a second term. This week, he tells SFR about how he came to his decision and about what's ahead as a truly single dad. Meanwhile, a short list of potential mayoral candidates has emerged, with plenty of time left to collect the 265 signatures needed to start a run.
Former teacher accused again While teaching at Fairview Elementary School in Española, Gary Gregor sexually abused female students, a new lawsuit claims. Gregor is in custody right now facing criminal charges for similar allegations and two other suits have already been filed by other alleged victims.
Big chill So you're telling us there's a chance? Forecast models for next week predict a big cool down next week that bumps right up against our fair city. Despite unseasonably warm temperatures this week, the leaves are gonna be changing soon.
Thanks for reading! The Word is unabashedly ready for some pumpkin spice something-or-other today.
Opposition to the Entrada pageant grows, but cultural powerbrokers, police and tradition present hurdles to change
FeaturesWednesday, September 13, 2017by Aaron Cantú
If you could get high on a city, Fiestas weekend on the Plaza is where you would go to breathe in the essence of Santa Fe. This past Saturday, generations of families and others came to laze around in the late-afternoon sunlight. The smells of fry bread and meat wafted in the air as chomped corn cobs piled up in trash cans. Folklorico music and mariachi trumpets mixed with Baby Boomer-era hits like Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” as small children bounded on the grass, a few shooting at each other with toy guns.
Jason Younis y Delgado joins others on the Plaza for a calmer day Saturday.
“I was noticing that, as I walked through the Plaza earlier, that it was just as I remembered it—it was families with blankets spread out in the Plaza grass and shade, kids running around from blanket square to blanket square, people visiting and seeing people they know,” says Jason Younis y Delgado, an artist selling Spanish colonial-style tinwork among the dozens of vendors on Lincoln Avenue. “It just heartens me to know that that part of our culture is intact.”
The day before on the same street, Santa Fe police officers had handcuffed Jennifer Marley, a Pueblo woman from San Ildefonso and an undergraduate student at the University of New Mexico, after a standoff between police and the protest group Marley had been leading. They later charged her with two misdemeanor counts of criminal trespassing and two felony counts of battery on an officer. Her arrest came shortly after a group of about 150 protesters approached a line of police intent on keeping the group away from the Plaza. Marley was a charismatic organizer of the protest, and her rough detainment had incensed the crowd.
Activists head away from the Plaza on Washington Avenue after police stopped them from entering the public square after Friday’s Entrada pageant.
The protest was aimed at the Entrada pageant, the event that kicks off Fiestas weekend wherein actors perform a version of the city’s 1692 reconquest by Don Diego de Vargas. Protesters argue that the pageant inaccurately represents the past and find its depiction of Pueblo subjugation to Spanish rule to be patronizing and racist. While the pageant represents a small sliver of Fiestas weekend, it is tightly wound up in the city’s power structure. The mayor and multiple city councilors have a cultural affinity with the production.
The contrast between the two afternoons was on the mind of Younis y Delgado, who questioned the response of the police the day before even while praising the traditions of the weekend. He has a cousin who played the Fiesta queen years ago, after all. But he acknowledges that a refusal by those in power to take the protesters seriously leaves them few options but direct action.
“Do I want to see the Fiestas court being heckled? No, I don’t ever want to see that. On the other hand, what pain is behind that?” says Younis y Delgado. “And if you can empathize with that, you can at least open your mind to hearing what their message is.”
The night before the Entrada, a Diné woman from Pueblo Pintado named Cheyenne Antonio was among a handful of people making signs at the Wise Fool New Mexico community space. The activists attached sheets of paper onto cardboard placards, praising the 1680 Pueblo Revolt and its leader, Po’Pay, and demanding the protection of Chaco Canyon from fracking. A haunting effigy of a skeletal conquistador with a black heart stood nearby.
Antonio got involved organizing against the Entrada through The Red Nation, an Albuquerque-based political group dedicated to the liberation of Indigenous people, and the University of New Mexico’s Kiva Club. She helped lead the successful campaign for Albuquerque to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day, and was also part of the ongoing effort to get UNM to abandon its conquistador-centric seal.
She is part of a younger generation of Native people who’ve formed a burgeoning movement over the last several years to confront vestiges and policies of white supremacy and racial capitalism nationwide.
“Our organizers for this event are young,” Antonio tells SFR. “It’s young people, and so they’re more aware. They care about their communities. They’re all very active within their Pueblos.”
She says that this movement is growing, citing protests against the Entrada from the last two years.
“It’s very important we continue to educate ourselves [about] how the state was founded, but also to move forward to protect what is sacred and most valuable to us such as water and air, our health and safety, our tribal sovereignty as a nation—because in all capacities, we benefit the state.”
Absent from the planning meeting was Jennifer Marley, a lead organizer with The Red Nation who would become a political martyr after her arrest. Marley told SFR by phone the night before the Entrada that her own political evolution was shaped not just by the layered violence of the region, but also by her immediate lineage: Her father was of majority European descent, creating internal tension for her as she struggled to form her own identity in San Ildefonso Pueblo.
“Growing up, that was a source of conflict with my own identity because of how I was treated in my community, and whether it was severe or cracking fun of me, it made me self-conscious and self-aware,” Marley says. “It had me really thinking critically of the intersection of the identities, and the manifestations of identities that have come to exist here are super important.” Her father, she says, was a “violent, sexist, brutal person; he was an embodiment of Spanish conquest and US imperialism, the way he harassed my mother and whole family. So understanding myself as a living product of this violence that’s never ended has made me passionate about these struggles.”
The modern version of Fiestas and the Entrada have their roots in the early-20th century collaboration between mostly Anglo men, who were prominent merchants and members of local fraternity chapters such as the Scottish Rite. Before that, the sporadic portrayals of the reconquest that would eventually evolve into the Entrada featured reluctant Native participants, according to Chris Wilson, author of The Myth of Santa Fe, published in 1997 by UNM Press.
Pueblo Indians participating in such productions, Wilson writes, “fought mock battles with the Spanish in the 1883 and 1912 pageants and even submitted by kneeling before a large cross in 1883. But starting in 1920, Anglos and Hispanos had to be recruited to fill Indian roles.”
The decision in the late 1920s to focus Fiestas’ pageantry on the ostensibly peaceful 1692 invasion by Don Diego de Vargas, rather than the violent battles between Pueblo resistance and Spanish colonizers that occurred one year later, he argues, squared well with the city’s conscious branding of itself as a melting pot and desire to obscure persistent local inequities. The Catholicization of Fiestas happened gradually from 1920 onward, centered on a 1712 proclamation calling for “Vespers, Mass, sermon and procession through the Plaza” at the weekend’s opening.
Fiestas, and specifically the Entrada, has since become a kind of ethnic-religious occasion for generations of Santa Feans who’ve grown up unaware of anything different. In a piece he wrote in 2011 for Pasatiempo, folk art museum director Khristaan D Villela suggests the deepening religious undertones of Fiestas were “a reaction of the city’s Hispanic populace to the increasingly secular and bohemian nature of the city.”
The Caballeros de Vargas, a fraternity which was refounded in 1956, organizes Catholic ceremonies dedicated to an interpretation of the Virgin Mary known locally as “La Conquistadora,” represented by a wooden madonna brought to New Mexico in the 17th century. They also write the script for the Entrada. The Fiesta Council, meanwhile, is responsible for organizing the majority of the weekend’s events and selecting actors to represent de Vargas and La Reina in the Entrada.
The groups also produce local power brokers. A 1989 article in the Albuquerque Journal featuring future mayor Javier Gonzales, who was elected to represent de Vargas that year, shows how close to their hearts some powerful men in the area carry the tradition of the Entrada. At that time, the current mayor’s father, brothers, uncle and cousin had portrayed de Vargas before him.
“‘I look at my father and we both had tears in our eyes,” Gonzales told Journal writer Camille Flores at the time. “The bear hug that followed,” Camille wrote, “further sealed a bond between the two men, 22-year-old son Javier and father [George] Gonzales.”
At an early-morning Pregón de la Fiesta Mass last Friday, Gonzales addressed the congregation both as mayor and as a devotee of the religious tradition. He praised the 1712 proclamation for its guidance and said he believed the weekend would bring healing and hope. The Fiesta Court and members of the Caballeros de Vargas were also in attendance.
“I pray to La Conquistadora and ask that she allow me to be the alcalde you need on a daily basis,” the outgoing mayor said, thanking the congregation one last time for allowing him to serve the city.
The morning proceeded as a mostly typical Catholic Mass, but was interspersed with words from members of the Fiestas elite. Dean Milligan, president of the Fiesta Council, thanked city councilors and former de Vargas actors Ron Trujillo, who is running for mayor next year, and Carmichael Dominguez, for showing up that morning. David Monserrat Jaramillo y Estrada and Hope Andrea Quintana, who were selected by the Fiesta Council to represent de Vargas and La Reina de la Fiesta de Santa Fe, also addressed the congregation, and a priest praised the 1692 resettlement of Santa Fe and the Entrada depiction as “a moment we would like to grow into a whole life of peace.”
Also sitting among the pews was Doug Nava, who is gunning for the north side District 1 City Council seat again next year. In a conversation with SFR one month prior, Nava explained that his conflicting feelings about the Entrada pageant came as a result of his personal growth and maturity. He loves Fiestas; he ran for the part of de Vargas in his 20’s, and he has a large tattoo of La Conquistadora on his right arm. He now recognizes that the pageant is offensive to some Native people, and says he’s open to pushing for changes to the event.
The Entrada pageant features actors dressed in Spanish Colonial costumes and depicts a “peaceful reconquest” of Santa Fe.
“It is time for us to become sensitive to people’s feelings. I highly support it,” he said, referring to ideas for making the Entrada more inclusive. Even so, Nava, who describes himself as a “Spanish person,” contends that it is the protesters who are “abrasive,” reflecting the sentiment of many who grew up loving the pageant.
“I would never go to a Pueblo and tell them to stop dancing for their corn harvest; that’s who they are, that’s what they believe, and they do it publicly,” said Nava. “But yeah, I can tell you right now, I would love to see a change. And for the sake of human life, I don’t want to see downtown turn into a big riot.”
There wasn’t a riot in the Plaza on Friday, but the police were ready for one. When this year’s Entrada kicked off two hours earlier than scheduled—a surprise decision made by city officials, the Caballeros de Vargas and the Fiesta Council in order to preempt planned protests—a flank of police looked on uneasily as a few protesters heckled performers on stage. Officers dressed in urban camouflage peered down from surrounding rooftops, snapping photos of anybody in the vicinity of protesters.
A conquistador puppet with a black heart was part of the demonstration.
Nobody representing the Pueblo Indians receiving de Vargas’ entourage got down on their knees, as had upset people during past performances, but the pageant’s script still emphasized subjugation. De Vargas tells the man playing the part of the Tesuque Pueblo cacique that the Spanish king will grant them a full pardon for the Pueblo rebellion in return for their conversion to Catholicism. Before exiting the stage, the whole procession gathered under the bandstand for one last song. One actor triumphantly waved the flag of the Spanish empire as the audience cheered and jeered.
Police then attempted to herd the growing number of protesters to a “free speech zone” at the northeast corner of the Plaza. Santa Fe Police Captain Adam Gallegos blithely explained over a loudspeaker that they were being moved at the request of the Santa Fe Fiesta Council, the event’s permit holder. As the mass of police and protesters on the street between the bandstand and the Palace of the Governors grew more chaotic, some of the Pueblo vendors under the Palace’s portal, which was festooned in typical Fiestas fashion with the family crests of names who took part in de Vargas’ expedition, expressed mixed feelings at the day’s events.
“People don’t need to get hurt and people have been hurt in the past. Vendors along the portal have had items that have gotten broken,” says a woman named Monica, who says family has sold items under the portal for generations. “I fully understand the reasoning behind the police actions.”
Another vendor, Eileen Rosera from the Kewa Pueblo, voiced her support for abolishing the Entrada.
“There is no such thing as a designated area for a protesting event. It is freedom of speech, they can be anywhere they want,” she says. “There’s never an orderly fashion to everything. Once again, the Native American is being pushed around.”
A group bearing signs and life-sized marionettes led by Jennifer Marley arrived to the northeast corner of the Plaza, but was blocked by police because they didn’t have a permit. They instead walked up Washington Avenue, freely taking the street as the concentration of cops in the Plaza tried to catch up. A brief standoff ensued at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Marcy Street before Marley was suddenly snatched into a throng of officers. Video taken by SFR shows police pushing aside people who held onto Marley’s body as officers yanked her out of the crowd. The booming voices of enraged protesters, who chanted “fuck white supremacy” and “let her go,” echoed down the street.
Two separate videos taken by SFR that day suggest that police handled Marley more aggressively than they did two white protesters earlier in the afternoon. In the first video, multiple officers handcuff Sierra Logan and Jennifer Haley while one commands that their limp bodies be carried away. In contrast, officers who arrest Marley tug her arms forward as she is handcuffed and kneeling passively on the street while wearing tall moccasins and a one-shouldered dress in the Pueblo style. Rather than offer to carry her, they demand she stand up. Marley was eventually taken away on foot.
The aftermath of Friday’s response to anti-Entrada groups could mark a turning point for the local tradition. The clash was disclosed on the national stage in an Associated Press article, and the ongoing criminal cases of those arrested—all of whom were released from Santa Fe County jail by Sunday afternoon—have mobilized a grassroots network of supporters for the defendants.
In a statement via Twitter, Mayor Gonzales thanked “peaceful protesters,” Entrada participants and law enforcement for taking part in a “very difficult conversation” that he says “moved forward.” In a later interview with SFR, the mayor says that some Hispanic families, including his own, may have a hard time recognizing their ancestral role in conquest because they lost land and culture in later waves of Anglo-American colonization. He demurred when asked if the Entrada should be abandoned, advocating instead for “dialogue.”
Jennifer Marley faces felony charges for her role in the demonstration. Seven others face misdemeanors.
Lawyer Dan Cron is representing Marley on a pro-bono basis. Last November, Cron put together a strike force of local lawyers willing to represent people charged in protests. As soon as he heard of the arrests that happened Friday, Cron tells SFR, he sent out an email blast to criminal defense attorneys on a listserv in order to start pairing attorneys with defendants free of charge.
Outside of criminal court, the New Mexico chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is reviewing the constitutionality of police corralling protesters into a so-called “free speech zone” on behalf of a private entity like the Fiesta Council. Police Chief Patrick Gallagher tells SFR that the police strategy for facing the protest was influenced by recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, that saw violent clashes including death and injury at a rally turned rumble. The main priority for police, he says, was separating Entrada dectractors and supporters from one another.
ACLU attorney Kristin Greer Love says she’s also looking into the possibility of civil rights violations at the Entrada protest, including a claim by one defendant, Julian Rodriguez, that he was not taking part in the protests and was racially profiled prior to his arrest.
That work would add to the pressure the ACLU is already mounting on the city by investigating possible violations of the First Amendment through its financial support for Fiestas week, which supporters have described as a religious celebration. A resolution passed by the city declares that it will reimburse the Fiesta Council for $50,000 annually with funds generated through a lodger’s tax.
“We need to see specifically what was reimbursed by the city,” she tells SFR, referring to whether financial support for Fiestas goes against the principles of separation of church and state.
At the Municipal Court building on Monday morning, about two dozen defendants and supporters gathered for the arraignments of the Entrada defendants. Ahjo Sipowicz wore a shirt with a piece of paper stapled to it that read, “Free Santa Fe 8,” a reference to Carmen Stone, Nicole Ullerich, Sierra Logan, Julian Rodriguez, Jennifer Haley, Trenton Ward, Chad Brown Eagle and Jennifer Marley. All except Marley only face misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass or disorderly conduct.
Savannah Junes, a Pueblo woman from Ohkay Owingeh who helped organize the protests, tells SFR that The Red Nation has created a legal fund for arrestees. She believes Santa Fe Police violated the right to speech and assembly, something that the attorney representing most of the defendants that day, Todd Coberly, also suggests.
Inside the courtroom, defendants sat among the cream-colored pews as Judge Virginia Vigil called up each of them to answer to their charges. Vigil’s mix-up of the two Jennifers—one of whom only faces two misdemeanor counts, the other two misdemeanors and two felonies—caused some confusion, but everybody pleaded not guilty. Pretrial appearances will happen next month.
Marley will be the last defendant to formally hear her alleged crimes read in court. She was scheduled to appear Wednesday morning in the Santa Fe County Magistrate Court.
In a statement posted to her Facebook after she was released from jail, Marley remained committed to her cause.
“I hope and pray that all realize the necessity for a long term Pueblo Resistance movement, I pray that liberation becomes something possible in the minds of all Native people,” she wrote. “Pueblo resistance never died, it is as resilient as we are, and it will persist for centuries to come.”
Mayor Javier Gonzales tells SFR why he’ll let one term define his Santa Fe legacy
Local NewsWednesday, September 13, 2017by Matt Grubs
It was somewhere on the way back to Santa Fe from Los Angeles that he made the decision. Javier Gonzales was in the car with his youngest daughter, Cadence. They’d dropped off her older sister, Cameron, at college just a few hours earlier.
“It started to dawn on me that there was an eighth-grader at home who is full-time in my custody now,” Gonzales says. He and his two daughters had talked about a potential run for a second term. He knew Cadence, a student at the Academy for Technology and the Classics charter school, would never tell him not to run. Not that she stayed silent.
“There was a point in the trip where she said, ‘Would it bother you to step out?’” Gonzales says. Cadence has been resilient through his coming out as gay, the mayor says; through being in a blended household with the children of Gonzales’ partner of two years, Brad Furry. She’s handled his being gone nights and her changing schools. Now she needed to adjust to life without her older sister.
The decision started to take hold.
Gonzales also had to do some uncomfortable emotional accounting as he made his choice to forgo a try for a second term: He and Furry have parted ways.
“We found ourselves coming back into an environment that was going to change,” Gonzales tells SFR from a trip to Washington, DC, this week. “Prior to taking Cameron to college, we were part of a strong blended family that had good security and good support. [Cadence] and I are on our own now. It really caused me to accelerate my thought process of what [another term] meant for her.”
Gonzales’ decision has cleared the way for not just the only major declared candidate, Ron Trujillo, but for a gaggle of other potentials. One, longtime Santa Fean Harvey Van Sickle, is already collecting signatures. The rest of the field of may-runs includes current city councilor Joseph Maestas, businessman and onetime Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alan Webber, and current Public Regulation Commissioner and former Santa Fe County Clerk Valerie Espinoza. Zozobra producer Ray Sandoval is considering a run, but first wants to make sure his work with the annual event doesn’t conflict with holding office.
Whomever Santa Feans elect as mayor will take the reins as the city’s first full-time executive. The position carries not just full-time work, but an attractive $110,000 annual salary.
Trujillo has been clear from the get-go that he wants a back-to-basics approach to running the city. He successfully rode a wave of discomfort with the proposed sugary-drink tax and was in some ways the public face of its defeat.
A few months ago, Maestas was one of the names being tossed around as political insiders tried to measure interest in the mayor’s race. Seeing what he thought would be a tougher path to success with Gonzales in the contest, former Española mayor Maestas instead chose to run for reelection to his City Council District 2 seat. Now, he’s back to weighing a run for mayor.
“I think the underlying issue is restoring the public’s trust in city government,” Maestas tells SFR this week.
Webber, who came in second in the statewide primary party contest, also wasn’t inclined to consider running with Gonzales in the mix. He tells SFR that he believes Santa Fe could stand to focus on making “city government ‘people-centric’ so it’s faster, easier, more convenient to get things done.”
Espinoza says the most important issue facing the city is jobs, but that keeping things affordable and water issues also top her list. She says she plans to pick up a candidate-information packet from the city clerk.
Candidates don’t have unlimited time to make up their minds; nominating petitions that contain the minimum 265 signatures from registered voters are due on Oct. 31.
As for the current mayor’s future plans, Gonzales says he doesn’t have a new job lined up. He’ll disclose that when he’s closer to accepting an offer, he says.
Gonzales didn’t do any polling leading up to his decision not to run. He saw the recent poll by the Santa Fe Association of Realtors that rated his job performance higher than that of the City Council.
He also doesn’t plan to endorse a candidate to be his successor, though he voiced support for those who have ideas to make City Hall more efficient and to narrow the widening gap of both income and opportunity inequality he sees in Santa Fe.
Gonzales may seek a policy job advocating for what he sees as smarter government, but he says he’s done pursuing political office.
“My plans are to make sure that my legacy and what we’ve worked on over the past three and half years are all key areas for the city going forward,” he says. “I want to make sure those priorities don’t go away and we solidify the things that we’ve done.”