Santa Feans hope, dream and predict for the New Year

You made it! We made it! While you give three cheers for the end of 2015 and read at least five versions of the Top 10 stories of the year, SFR wanted to provide our readers with something else to ponder. As we put together this final issue of the year, we asked dozens of Santa Feans about their hopes and dreams and predictions for 2016. The answers on the pages that follow tell us something about what our community stands for and what it’s made of.

Staff writers Alex De Vore, Elizabeth Miller and Thomas Ragan, along with editor Julie Ann Grimm, intern Cole Rehbein and columnist Miljen Aljinovich canvassed the city.
Some of you should run for Miss Universe, what with your wishes for world peace and such. Others were more focused on personal achievement or making strides within niche areas like local music, businesses, education and the arts. And then, of course, there are the forecasts for the upcoming presidential election.

"I'd like to say everything's going to be nice and lovely, and everyone's going to get along," says one college student, "But I don't think that's possible. We can try right? If Donald Trump doesn't become president. You probably can't publish that, can you?"

We can. We did.

That, and lots more.

What are your hopes, dreams and predictions for 2016?

Chris Renaldo

Bartender, El Farol

"I'm not really into self-improvement only at the end of the year. It's a bit trite. I am uncomfortable deferring to the Gregorian calendar when it comes to calibrating my ethical compass. I resolve to improve every day. I'm a bartender, or as I like to say, a spirit guide, so I guess you could say my resolution would be to lessen the suffering and the dysfunction and the anger through mindfulness and, of course, mixology."

Angie Rizzo­

Acting Director of Visual Arts and Assistant Curator, Center for Contemporary Arts

"2015 was one of the most challenging years of my life, but it has also been the most fruitful. My title at CCA will shift with the incoming executive director/chief curator—her name is Meg Linton, and she is awesome—but I imagine the work I do there will stay more or less the same. CCA is at a very exciting moment, and the only direction it can go in 2016 is forward. Plan to see more exciting and innovative programming throughout the year, beause there is great momentum at CCA and Santa Fe as a whole. I think contemporary and experimental arts in this town are in store for a great year that is full of opportunity, and this can only happen if we all support each other. Make sure to get out and try something new."

Armando Soto

Christmas tree lot attendant, De Vargas Center

"My hope and dream for the next year is to continue living a better life and continue working, learning my job skills that I am learning at Delancey Street and hopefully earn my GED. I am 21 years old, and I have not had a high school diploma, so I am working on that. And those are my hopes and dreams for me, to continue on a better path than I was before."

Patsy Philips

Director, Institute of the American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

"We'll continue to educate audiences to better understand Native arts, we will seek out non-Native contemporary art venues to showcase contemporary Native art, and we'll seek out international opportunities for Native artists. With everything we do at MoCNA, we consider the IAIA students and demonstrate what is happening on the global market. I will continue to say yes to serious suggestion and proposals of new ideas, and we will remain open to new opportunities that come our way."

Augustine Ortiz

Owner, Decibel Factory; Vice President of Kronos Creative

"2015 was the momentum, 2016 is the freight train. I just opened the Decibel Foundry, a community-driven recording and rehearsal studio. Carrion Kind and Dysphotic have new albums in the works, and my label, Entelodon Records, has a new two-disc compilation coming out with no repeating artists. Oh and I am working on a NM metal-only compilation called The Enchilada Armada. Then, of course, to do more and grow even more. Proud to be loud!"

Joe Ray Sandoval

Owner, Skylight Santa Fe

"I don't really do resolutions, but I have high hopes for 2016. I hope that our club is around and people still dig us and more keep coming. Or maybe I shouldn't say the club, but the music venue. It's so much more than just a club. We're going to spend a lot more time doing shows like that and taking chances on touring bands. We're restructuring a little bit, and I'll be a little more focused on booking the music, so I want to tell people to let us know about bands they think we should book so we can fill up the calendar in 2016 with more great shows. In our little town, we're blessed, and I'd like to see Santa Fe be a good model for the rest of the state."

Carlos Santistevan

Director, High Mayhem

"After spending most of 2015 designing and building a new permanent studio space, High Mayhem will further present our free pirate video webcast series of creative music. So stay in your jammies and be anti-social, but there's no reason to not experience happening music! We'll be hunkering down to play in the studio and record some new releases for the label. As always, we will present live creative music to the Santa Fe community, working with the fresh and ambitious DIY venues and collaborators like the After Hours Alliance, Radical Abacus, Ghost and others."

Pat Hodapp

Director, Santa Fe Public Libraries

"Well, my hopes and dreams are always the same. I hope that Santa Fe has the best libraries that they deserve. Great cities deserve great libraries, and that is still my hope. I dream that this is going to happen, or continue to happen, in the next year, that way every child in Santa Fe has access to books and information."

George Gundry

Owner, Tomasita's and Atrisco Café and Bar

"I'm hoping for a wet year. I am hoping for a very successful chile crop. I am hoping for a very successful crop for all the farmers in New Mexico. I'm hoping that Santa Fe does well, that Santa Fe is prosperous. I'm hoping that the food culture here in Santa Fe continues to grow and improve. I predict there will be major news in Santa Fe regarding, nah, I have no prediction. Wait! I predict that the Santa Fe Fuego will win the pennant. And I hope that a lot of peopIe will take a break from Facebook."

GET FIT: Physically

Almost all of us find ourselves a bit rounder in the middle come spring. The issues behind winter weight gain are both physiological and social. As a fitness trainer and health and wellness director, Phil Tafone says he reminds his clients at Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari to discuss some goals for remaining active and fit in the cold months:

GET SOME SUN (or at least mimic it) UV light is essential to a smooth metabolism and positive mood. If you can’t get outdoors for 15 minutes per day, consider a “Happy Light” to supplement your sunlight exposure. This will help prevent the depression that keeps us eating sweets as well as reduces production of cortisol, the stress hormone that keeps fat from burning.

BUNDLE UP The reality remains that we are still just a bit of DNA removed from primitive man. Your body doesn’t know that you have a home with a thermostat or that meals will be available whenever you desire. As temps drop, your hunger will rise. Dress for winter, and if you need to, keep a small space heater at your workplace. You’ll want food less.

BE CONSISTENT Rivers cut rock through persistence. If you’re a home workout person, there’s no better era to be fit than now. If you’re a gym goer, consider what you like and sign up. Set a time and stick to it. Your metabolism will improve more by exercising for 20 minutes daily than once per week for 90 minutes whenever the stars align and the kids aren’t sick.

HOT DRINKS, HOT BODY Enjoy a few coffees or tea during the day, and even consider one a half-hour before a workout. Caffeine can be a good thing when consumed 100mg at a time, up to three times daily. Herbal teas can have detoxifying qualities, and coffee has recently been shown to be good for the heart. Remember to go easy on sugar or use stevia and do not start a life of hot cocoa and lattes.

Kristen Keilman
Founder, Ghost

"Personally, I hope to be able to go to Ghana next summer to study African drumming, basket weaving and the culture with a group of students from SFUAD. I hope to finish my degree next year, so I'll be done with that. It's hard to predict a lot of things, because the things that I'm really interested in are kind of in limbo, and I don't believe they'll go anywhere in the next 40 or 50 years, and that's in the vein of equal rights and that whole thing. It's just getting started, and I guess I hope there's a lot of progression on that in 2016, and people start accepting it more. I've always hoped that women would not be paid less than men, which is still happening, even though it's been addressed and in the media for some time. ... I hope that I start creating more music next year, because this year has been a bust so far. I haven't done what I wanted to, and I haven't had the mental energy to express myself the way I wanted to. I guess I'll just stop there, cause I really have nothing solid to say, because I feel like America right now, as a whole, is starting a bunch of things, but I don't see any of what we're having conversations about right now being the norm for the next 100 years. I hope to not die? That's a solid one."

Dylan Pommer

"My prediction is that people are going to go even crazier and even weirder and even more extreme in whatever direction they're going in already. And we're still gonna hate each other. I hope that I find some sort of clear path or clear calling to venture out on—it's been such a weird, jumbled mess—switching between several different jobs and not knowing what I'm going to do or where I'm going to be in a year. … I hope we don't elect someone completely terrible, which there's a chance of. I'd be OK with someone moderately terrible, just not absolutely terrible. … We're all just scared of each other, and no one wants to get along or try to compromise; everyone's just angry and self-centered, and I think that's just gonna continue. Whenever there's a big decision, like the presidential thing, people get super divided and angry and self-righteous."

Bella Bjornstad
Student, St. John's College

"I guess my hopes for the New Year are that I can grow as a person, and in growing as a person, I can interact in the world in a way that makes my spot better for those around me. You know, like if we all live in a little pond, my area of the pond is a little warmer or whatever. My aspirations are that … I guess I should think about this. I would like to really dig in here at school. I feel like the first semester was getting my feet under me and not really working hard, but you know, since we're reading such fascinating things, I guess I want to continue to be intellectually driven. As far as predictions, I'd like to say everything's going to be nice and lovely, and everyone's going to get along, but I don't think that's possible. We can try, right? If Donald Trump doesn't become president. You probably can't publish that, can you?"

Chris Valdez
Owner, Chris' Café

"That's a good one. Well, my hopes are that business continues to thrive. Of course, peace, love and good happiness. That's a tough question to answer, because there's so much I hope for. You wish happiness for everybody, good will for everybody, and pay it forward, if you can. It's always important to do that, if you have something, and if someone else doesn't, you do what you can to help. Oh gosh, predictions, that's a tough one. 2016 is gonna be the year for our café. We're looking to pursue bigger, better. ... Possibly go to another city. It's hard to do predictions. With the way the politics are going right now, who knows where we'll be in a year."

Talia Kosh,
New Mexico Lawyers for the Arts

"My intentions and resolutions for 2016 are really a theme of continuation for me, continuing to push along some exciting new projects, avoid taking on new major commitments ... continuing to lend my time to those who need assistance where I can; and not to take these moments of health and opportunity for granted, keeping in loving memory those who have been lost to us in this last year."

Michelle Armijo
Teacher, Piñón Elementary

"I'd like to take care of myself and by doing that, I'm letting go of all grudges, and I'd like to find time to exercise and get a master's degree in family and child studies."

M'Kaylie Armijo,
5-year-old, Santo Nino pre-school:

"Help my Momma and do good things, like helping my Momma, and I'm going to help the homeless and give them something to sleep in."

Rocky Miller
9-year-old, cousin of M'Kaylie, who attends EJ Martinez Elementary

"I want to get better at basketball."

GET FIT: Emotionally

The hectic holidays, with too much family or not enough, the lonely cold season and even the promise of another year on the calendar can be emotionally taxing. But every day, all year long, licensed master’s-level clinicians are waiting on the other end of the New Mexico Crisis Access Line to help with a broad range of mental health struggles including anxiety, depression, and suicidal or homicidal thoughts. You don’t even have to be calling for yourself, you can get help figuring out how to support a friend or family member. Director Wendy Linebrink-Allison offers her tips on how to stay on top of it:

STOP AND BREATHE Recovery is different for everybody. Stop and breathe for a few seconds before making a knee-jerk decision about the next step to take.

TALK TO SOMEBODY We can’t always see clearly when we are experiencing emotional concerns. Just talking to someone about how you are feeling or what you are worried about can help you get a different perspective on how to cope. Even if it’s not the professionals at 1-855-NMCRISIS (1-855-662-7474) or at the peer-to-peer “warmline” (1-855-466-7100), reach out to someone you trust.

MAKE A LIST Think about behavior you want to change and write them down. Make it “accomplishable.” You are not going to be able to change overnight. You might have a long-term goal, but you can break it into more attainable short-term goals.

DON’T DO TOO MUCH A major cause of anxiety is that people take on too much at one time. Be fair to yourself when making commitments.

Erin Pax
Student, St. John's College

"I predict a lot of stress, but it'll be really rewarding—I expect this year to be rewarding. I want to keep myself happy by replenishing my own cup before helping others, and I just want more self-discovery. I also hope for a sensation of relief and success. Next year, I'm gonna have sex with a lot more people. I'm planning on reading the entirety of the Bible for the program next year, because my perspectives have changed since the last time I read it. You know, I hope not to die and not to get killed, and to not go to war; let's not go to war. I want to have hope in humanity, but I predict we'll be very disappointed again. I hope we find peace between the races, and I need black people to start winning. I want a president who's actually good and not just perceived as good. But other than that, I don't think it's good to worry about the future, it's just not productive."

Ardry Adams
Mayor of Nusbaum Street

"I'm going to try to be a better person. What I tell people is this, I could do it all over again and push rewind, then I would try to be a better person. We could all use a little extra good. Bad is 24/7, and it don't take very long to get into very bad trouble. You know how it is: You do something then in hindsight, you think, 'Aw man, why did I do that?' And usually it's with women ... you're either saying something you shouldn't or you're not saying something you should."

Linda Trujillo
President, Santa Fe Public Schools Board of Education

"I predict that the district court will find that using value-added measures for teacher evaluations is not legal ... that they can't use, we can't use these student test scores the way that we're using them right now. That'll be a big load off our teachers and students; it's huge. My hopes for next year are that our leaders are going to get serious about getting some high-paying jobs, and we stop letting children be our highest export. We're at the bottom of the list for too many things, and lack of jobs is one of the most detrimental things for our school, for our families and ultimately for our communities. We've got to get serious about that. ... I just dream that we will be a community that is welcoming to all and that is safe and has quality-of-life activities for our young people. I live on the Southside, and we just had Swan Park open up, and that is huge for us, but we have so many more needs in that community, and I just, I have a vision that we'll have a community on the Southside that has the resources and services that our community needs. ... I'm really excited about the Meow Wolf business opening up because it will be something that will keep youngsters here, keep families here instead of having to drive to Albuquerque. So that's kind of my dream: that we can provide those quality-of-life things."

Andrew Salazar
Student, Engage Santa Fe

"My dream is to be the first in my family to graduate high school and change how people look at the foster system. No matter where you come from and what was supposedly destined for you, you can do anything you want, as long as you put your mind to it. And it's kind of selfish, but my dream is to be a WWE superstar. ... As long as I work at it every day, I can be. Predictions, that with this Chant group that we're going to get a lot of homeless youth and neglected youth off the street and just have a lot of youth involvement in everything, and a better environment in school, more peers and everyone helping each other out and that kind of stuff."

Joel Boyd
Superintendent, Santa Fe Public Schools

"I hope this year we can truly engage in a communitywide conversation about the racial and income disparities in Santa Fe. I dream of the day that Santa Fe Public Schools truly will be the best school district in the country. And predictions, I predict we'll have the highest graduation rate in the history of Santa Fe Public Schools this coming year."

Adam Stone

"I want to complete massage school. I'd like to get out of town for at least a week, you know, small towns, you stay around too long, and you see all the same faces. I've been a cheesemonger since last June, and I could only ask that it keeps going as well as it has been, which is well, you know the town seems to be supporting us and we couldn't ask for more than that."

Mike Galaxy
Owner, Galactic Touring

"I think one of the biggest obstacles—and I don't want to say 'problems'—is that young people in general prefer not to go out so late in Santa Fe. That's the one issue I've seen, and I'd love things to change in regards to more places staying open later and better bands coming through. They tend to skip Santa Fe. Part of it is the demand issue, part of it is a financial issue. This city needs consistency, something on whatever night that always happens. ... I'd love to see and help implement that in the coming year, specifically when it comes to new and emerging bands. I mean bands that are good, are vetted and curated by someone or a crew who knows good music and new music. Once that happens and the kids go to a few and realize every single time they've seen good music, that gets us on the map."

Pawan Dhindsa
Manager, India House

"My hope for next year is I really hope that we can have world peace. And every year, me and my family pray for it at the Sikh temple in Española. But it's gotten so bad lately. So I'm praying that there's no more mass shootings at schools. I'm sick and tired of children getting shot to death. Enough of this bull crap that 'Black Lives Matter' or 'White Lives Matter' or 'Hispanic Lives Matter.' We've got to stop separating ourselves by race. All lives matter. All human life matters. We're not Muslims, we're Sikhs, but some people think we're Muslims, and they hate us. Even if we were, which were not, even if we were Muslims, people have got to stop blaming Muslims for everything. They are nice people."

Trais Kliphuis
Director, New Mexico Environment Department Water Protection Division

"Overall as a society and world, I think we're evolving and growing and improving. But sometimes after we take three steps forward, we take two steps back, and the backdoor steps can be very painful and discouraging. And there have been too many of them lately. For the coming year, I hope we can take more steps forward than backward. I hope we can finally realize that we can't just blame race on everything. It's horrible, and it's divisive. We are nature, and we are all connected. We are responsible for each other and the planet."

Jordan Saufaie
Artist, Ohkay Owingeh

"My resolution is to have a large, how do I put it, a large stance in my art collection. I've been painting and drawing since the age of four and right now mostly create traditional art, but I'd like to start creating more landscapes, maybe even a new style 3D book where the landscapes pop out when you open it up. I haven't seen any of those kinds of books yet. I'd also like to get an education and improve myself. I don't want to look back 20 years from now and say that I didn't get an education and that I wasted the opportunity. I'm going to apply to the Santa Fe School of Art and Design next year."

Peter Brill
Owner, Sarcon

"Next year, I am looking forward to some of the neat projects that we have been looking at coming to fruition. I am looking forward to hiring more people. I am excited about the people working around here and their development and their continued mentoring that's going on. ... I think that from the community standpoint of economic development, things are looking a little bit better. Next year at this time, I think more people will be in, hopefully, a bit better place than they are at this time."

Mary Dykton

"The hope is worldwide work on the environment. ... I drink my coffee in the morning and watch the news and think, 'Dammit, maybe I should have a glass of wine instead.' There are local issues and there are global issues, and I am frankly quite dissappointed in the international leaders. Timidity, there's no room for it today. We are in a crisis stage. There's stuff here—stuff in Santa Fe, stuff in New Mexico. Look at the injustice to the Indians, the poverty on the reservations. To what degree can the Native Americans use our facilities for mental health, dealing with alcholism or abuse? You know, it all gets woven into, like, a meatball with all these ingredients to the point where you can't dissect it. You've got to always have hope, otherwise lie down and die. It's gonna have to come from the people, it's not going to come from the leaders. So you become a rebel, a troublemaker, people are uncomfortable with you—and I'm gonna be 86 in April."

GET FIT: The Bottom Line

et’s face it:

You either have money to blow and you blow it, or you don’t have money to blow and you blown it, anyway. A few tips straight from grizzled journalist Thomas Ragan on how to


save money by bloodletting the small stuff, whose purchases you’d never think twice about if you hadn’t blown your money:

SKIMP ON CIGARETTES Quitting is a crummy resolution. Wait until Lent. Meantime, smoke half a cigarette at a time, put it out in your palm, then back into pack. I’m down to half a pack a day. I’ve never put one out in my palm, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have it in you. Think Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver during the ‘metamorphosis,’ when he’s burning his forearm at the stove. Play Jackson Browne’s Late for the Sky. (How long have I been sleeping?)

TRY ALL BODY PARTS Pigs feet (patas), cow intestines (menudo), goat brains (sesos). It’s cheap and mostly protein, anyway. Which is good for you. Some of it is full of fat, yes, but death is random. If clogged arteries don’t get you, some wild boar will. Or a drunken driver. Nobody’s getting out of here alive.

ALL WE ARE SAYING IS GIVE THINGS A CHANCE Bic lighters, cologne, toothpaste. Don’t chuck them just yet. They all have a second life in emergencies. There’s always one last squirt, one last flame, one last smidgen for coffee breath. Believe.

ITS TRUE THAT WATER IS LIFE A little bit goes a long way. If the jar of tomato sauce looks empty, add water and shake like shit. (Ditto, the laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, conditioner—even if you don’t have much hair left.)

ONLY GET TWO HAIRCUTS A YEAR Gents who are receding, it’s a big myth that somehow cutting your hair makes it look fuller. And while I’m at it, wearing high heels makes women look shorter. Appearing larger than you actually are makes mountain lions retreat in fear. (I say if you ever see one, get smaller by getting to your knees and getting God.)

NEVER GET A WHITE COMFORTER They’re for chicks. Invest in a sleeping bag. When was the last time anybody asked you what your bedding consisted of? Exactly.

TURN OFF THE HEAT If you can wear layers while you ski at 10,000 feet, you can wear layers while you live. Too cold when you wake up? Run outside, then run back inside. Einstein was brilliant. All things are relative.

TOO MUCH STOCK IN SOCKS A few good pairs will do. Wash them in the sink, leave them out to dry. But watch them closely. Use the dryer and you’re bound to lose a few. It’s a black hole, the dryer. More is going on in there than you think. Always shut the door before you go to bed.

FIRST DATES: Ask her if she’ll see you again, and if she coughs, avoids eye contact or scratches her nose before answering, she’s lying. Let her pay for her quesarito. (Ditto, high-end restaurants when the check comes).

RETAIN LOOSE CHANGE If you can’t let them keep it (I think Allsups should have tip jars) then put it in a Ziplock bag. Find Coinstar. Turn it into paper. Head for the slots. Up a few hundred dollars? Start betting $10 at a time. Slots typically line up when the stakes are higher. Down to your last $10? Cash out, convert to quarters, place in same Ziplock bag, and you’re back where you started. Even Steven. Which is winning, in my book.

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