THE 18TH ANNUAL CELEBRATE
Earth Fest! Also this year we are partnering with Green Energy New Mexico to green tag our event. Our purchase of green tags for all the energy we use at the Festival is an investment in alternative energy source creation here in New Mexico. We will also be "green tagging" Coop locations. Everyone who comes to the Festival will have the opportunity to "green tag" their energy use to invest in renewable solutions developed in our state (see page 4). Alternative Transport Area Another Festival addition is our exciting Alternative Transport Area. Both to combat global warming and due to the higher costs of gas, many people have taken to the streets on two wheels. This year we are thrilled to be partnering with The City of Albuquerque’s main bike man Chuck Malagodi, Bike ABQ and the Albuquerque Police Department on a Bike Safety Rodeo, bike safety training classes, bike maintenance classes and all things to do with bike transport. Also see the Endorphin Power Company’s "Power Tower." Special thanks to Astrid Webster for her help on this project. See the schedule on page 4.
Celebrate the Earth
Sunday, April 22, 10:30am-6pm
pring is in full force in New Mexico, and with it comes the Co-op’s Annual Celebrate the Earth Festival. This year there are plenty of important environmental issues to tackle and lots of dedicated community people working to restore and sustain our little planet. People all over Albuquerque and throughout the State are getting ready for the 18th Annual Celebrate the Earth Festival. You can expect an inspiring day filled with information and education booths from dozens of environmental, social and economic justice organizations, local farmers, seedlings, drought resistant plants, beautiful art from fine local artists and crafts people, inspiring music and dancing by some of our favorite local performing artists and of course great Co-op food. This year there are several new additions to our wonderful festival and we will be moving down the block to create more space to host these new activities. Global Warming Global warming and its effects are without a doubt one of the gravest environmental issues we face. Lisa Hummon, of Defenders of Wildlife, trained in Tennesse with Al Gore and the Climate Project on global warming, will present new updated “An Inconvenient Truth” information and slide show in Immanuel Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship Hall across Carlisle from the Festival. The slide show begins at 1:30, after which you are urged to participate in a "local solutions to global challenges" discussion.
he Co-op at 913 W. Alameda Street in Santa Fe is pleased to be participating in Turn Off TV Week again this year. Turn Off TV Week is sponsored by the Santa Fe Public Schools’ Office of Student Wellness and the Santa Fe TV Turn Off Committee. On Saturday, April 28th the Co-op will block off a large section of our parking lot and with the help of friends, neighbors and the Santa Fe community provide a special day to honor all the elementary school children throughout the public school system who participated by turning off their TVs for one week. We also welcome other children of all ages in the hopes of inspiring more of us to TURN OFF TV and TURN ON LIFE. Enjoy youthful musicians, puppet theater, art making, readings and book sales, healthy, local and natural foods, environmental education and action to inspire the understanding of all we can do and be when we TURN OFF TV. Just a few of the participating organizations include: Equistars, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Gerard’s House Grief Counseling for Children Teens and Families, Bioneers, Earth Care International, Child and Family Magazine, Rainbow Rabbits, Green Energy New Mexico, Forest Guardians and many more.
mitment to restoring and sustaining our blue/ green planetary gem. Our little street fills up quickly so please reserve your booth space early. We do give first priority to environmental, social and economic justice non-profit organizations and farmers and farming organizations. Join your friends and neighbors as we educate and inform ourselves and joyously dance in the streets at Albuquerque's favorite spring gathering. Mark your calendar — this is one event you don't want to miss. Sunday, April 22, 2007, from 10:30 am to 6pm at the back door of the Nob Hill Co-op location. For more information or to reserve your free booth space please contact Robyn at 217-2027 or toll free at 877-775-2667.
Entertainment Schedule 10:30 Jemez Exhibition Dancers and Singers 11:30 Adobe Brothers 12:30 Alma Flamenca 1:15 Chris Dracup and Friends 2:00 Baile, Baile Dance Company 3:00 The Buckerettes 4:00 Le Chat Lunitique 5:00 Kubatana Mirimba
We are looking forward to having groups as diverse as Hawkwatch, Bethany Organic Farm, New Mexico Solar Energy Association, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping, Defenders of Wildlife, Albuquerque Come See Al Gore’s Bio-diesel Project, Desert Woman Botanicals, Animal Protection of New Mexico, UNM Sustainability Department, New Mexico Organic Commodity Commission, Amigos Bravos, Thorpe Family Farm, Divine Earth Gardens, Bernalillo Presented by Lisa Hummon of Defenders of Wildlife Country Extension Service, The Los Alamos At the 2007 La Montanita Co-op Study Group, Sparrow Hawk Farm, Albuquerque EARTH DAY Celebration Center for Peace and Justice, Soil Secrets/ April 22 Terraworx, Peacecraft, No Cattle Farm, to name but a few of the many wonderful organizations 1:30pm confirmed at press time. At Immanuel
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship Hall, at Carlisle and Silver
As always you can count on seeing some of our community’s fine local artists and crafts persons, hearing some of your favorite musicians and thrilling to performances from our gifted local performers. Some festival favorites are coming back, and we are once again honored to have them grace the little stage under the big tent, in the middle of Silver Street. For more information on which great local bands you will get to hear for FREE, see the full entertainment schedule on this page.
We're praying for a beautiful day, and with Mother Earth's blessing we will once again take time to celebrate "Her" and reaffirm our com-
Turn OFF TV... Turn ON Life A Festival for Children of all Ages Saturday, April 28
Come and participate in this FREE FESTIVAL. Local community organizations and child related businesses are welcome to participate. To reserve your FREE space call Robin at 217-2027 or toll free at 877-775-2667 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Entertainment Schedule 10:30 Mariachi Differencia 11:30 Santa Fe Youth Symphony’s Miles Davis Ensemble 12:30 Loren Kahn Puppet Theater 1:00 Fangura, Youth Mirimba Ensemble
TV Turn Off Week raises awareness about the impact of screens (TV, DVDs and video games) and helps people make healthy changes in their screen habits. Given that the average American child spends more time watching TV each year (1023 hours) than in school (900 hours), the importance of the week’s message cannot be underestimated. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screens for children under 3 years. The Negative Impact of TV and Other Screens • TV Harms Family Life • TV Promotes Violence • Excessive TV & Movie Viewing Promote Tobacco & Alcohol Abuse
by Lisa Hummon ur planet is the only one known of its kind. Our unique atmosphere, light and heat from the sun are what allow life to exist. But we live in a delicate balance threatened by our own actions. With the arrival of Al Gore’s award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, no-one can deny that we are in the midst of a climate crisis. Gore’s documentary clearly articulates the science behind the changes we are experiencing, and leaves no doubt that climate change is real. To build the drumbeat, Gore pledged to train 1,000 people to be messengers of his An Inconvenient Truth. I am honored to say that I was accepted into the program and trained by Al Gore and the Climate Project this past January. I am now traveling the state to share the presentation and build solutions to climate change in our community. Don’t miss the screening of An Inconvenient Truth during the Co-op’s Celebrate the Earth Fest on April 22. See above for details!
• TV Promotes Obesity, Sedentary Lifestyles and Eating Disorders • TV Negatively Impacts Reading and School Performance • TV Promotes Over-consumption • TV Leads to Civic Disengagement The Positive Benefits of TV Turn Off Week TV Turn Off Week provides a unique opportunity for everyone to take a break from electronic screens. The National TV-Turnoff Network reports that 80% of families who participate in TV Turn Off Week reduce the time they spend watching media. When people break free from TV for even seven days, they can expand their options for healthier and better lives. Recommended Resources Contact The National TV-Turnoff Network at www.tvturnoff.org. For more info contact Shelley Mann-Lev, MPH. Shelley is the Drug Prevention Coordinator of the Santa Fe Public Schools’ Office of Student Wellness. She is the Chair of the Santa Fe (NM) TV Turn Off Committee. She can be reached at 505-467-2573 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
tables Turning the Tables in
A Community - Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store La Montanita Cooperative Albuquerque/ 7am-10pm M-S, 8am-10pm Sun. 3500 Central SE Albuq., NM 87106 265-4631 Albuquerque/ 7am-10pm M-S, 8am-10pm Sun. 2400 Rio Grande Blvd. Albuq., NM 87104 242-8800 Gallup/ 10am-7pm M-S, 11am-6pm Sun. 105 E. Coal Gallup, NM 87301 863-5383 Santa Fe/ 7am-10pm M-S, 8am-10pm Sun. 913 West Alameda Santa Fe, NM 87501 984-2852
By Dan Imhoff ood and farm policy is an ongoing cultural and political process, an endless series of give and take from checkout stand to voting booth. But the Farm Bill largely establishes the rules of the game, influencing not only what we eat—but also who grows it, under what conditions, and how much it costs. The agri-businesses, lobbying organizations, and legislators that have essentially written those rules in recent decades deserve the lion’s share of the responsibility for shaping the present course of our agriculture and food system. This includes a tangle of critical problems that we have no choice but to address through present and future legislation.
Cooperative Distribution Center 3361 Columbia NE, Albuq., NM 87107 217-2010 Administrative Staff: 505-217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/C.E. Pugh 217-2020 email@example.com • Controller/John Heckes 217-2026 firstname.lastname@example.org • Computers/Info Technology/ David Varela 217-2011 email@example.com • Food Service/Bob Tero 217-2028 firstname.lastname@example.org • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 email@example.com • Marketing/Edite Cates 217-2024 firstname.lastname@example.org • Membership/Robyn Seydel 217-2027 email@example.com Store Team Leaders: • Mark Lane/Nob Hill 265-4631 firstname.lastname@example.org • John Mulle/Valley 242-8800 email@example.com • William Prokopiack/Santa Fe 984-2852 firstname.lastname@example.org • Tracy Thomasson/Gallup 863-5383 email@example.com Co-op Board of Directors: email: firstname.lastname@example.org President: Martha Whitman Vice President: Marshall Kovitz Treasurer: Ken O’Brien Secretary: Roger Eldridge Lonn Calanca Tom Hammer Tamara Saimons Jonathan Siegel Andrew Stone Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/$200 Lifetime Membership Co-op Connection Staff: Managing Editor: Robyn Seydel email@example.com Layout and Design: foxyrock inc Covers and Centerfold: Edite Cates Advertising: Robyn Seydel Editorial Assistant: Stephanie Clayton firstname.lastname@example.org 217-2016 Printing: Vanguard Press Membership information is available at all four Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: email@example.com Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Address typed, double-spaced copy to the Managing Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.lamontanitacoop.com Copyright © 2007 La Montanita Co-op Supermarket Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 65% post consumer recycled paper. It is recyclable.
Drawing: by Cirrelda Snider-Bryan
Many of the ideas we need to turn the tables already exist. Yet people from all walks of life also have enormous influence to bear—as citizens, food consumers, business owners, professionals, doctors, nurses, students, teachers, parents, and community members. Every day, we can support or choose not to support a particular aspect of the food and farming sector through our purchases. Every day, we can speak up for linking family farm health and land stewardship with basic nutritional health in the places we work, in our schools, in our homes, and in our communities. Every election cycle, we can cast ballots for representatives who we hope will not barter away their votes on the Farm Bill or on annual budget appropriations bills, but rather will stand up to preserve what is good in nature and worth preserving or worth changing in our culture. We can take active leadership positions. Early efforts may seem minimally effective or even symbolic, but later emerge as models to replicate and reinterpret from place to place. Some may even inspire mainstream movements with the ability to redirect food policy at state, national, or even international levels. The good news is that, to a large extent, many of the ideas we need to turn the tables already exist. They all share a common condition: most are ignored, marginalized, or largely under-funded by current Farm Bill programs. Yet they surface, a testament to their resilience, tenacity, and ultimately, their solution-oriented wisdom. Health Care’s Economic Engine After years of passing vendors hawking jewelry and leather goods in hospital hallways, Dr.Preston Maring—a physician for more than 30 years—convinced management at Kaiser Permanente Hospital to set up a weekly farmers’ market on Kaiser Permanente grounds. He simply wanted to make it easier for people to make healthy food choices by connecting employees and patients with farmers who sell locally grown produce. The effort was an almost instant success. As of late 2006, more than 30 farmers’ markets had been established at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in five states (Hawaii, Georgia, Colorado, California, and Oregon), with more on the way. In addition to the farmers’ market, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program at the Oakland hospital provides hundreds of employees with weekly deliveries of just-picked fruits and vegetables from a particular farm’s harvest—it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement for both farmers and employees.
FARM BILL community forum ON MAY 2 IN ALBUQUERQUE AND MAY 3 IN SANTA FE More info call 505-217-2027 or 877-775-2667 Can we create a sustainable food and farm system or are we willing to accept agri-business as usual?
With the largest metropolitan food purchasing population in the country and a potential for significant regional food production in surrounding rural areas, community food organizers are working to bring New York City to the forefront of a new healthy foods movement. FoodChange, a nonprofit anti-hunger and nutrition advocacy group is among numerous New York City food organizers working to connect urban consumers with the state’s family farm community. FoodChange’s Harlem SOUL (Sustainable Organic Uptown Local) Food program links rural upstate farmers with low-income inner city residents; uniting two communities under threat. Statistics show that Harlem residents experience rates of diet-related ailments such as obesity, diabetes, and hyper-tension well above national averages. The New York small farm community is also struggling mightily against rising costs and a centralized global agri-business industry that makes it very difficult to get their produce to market. These are just two examples of models that could be adopted across the country by health professionals and nutrition advocacy organizations, multibillion dollar food purchasing engines with the economic clout to address such interconnected issues as small family farm preservation, health and nutrition, and fossil fuel reduction in one fell swoop. The 21st Century School Lunch Ten years ago, renowned chef and Berkeley, California, restauranteur Alice Waters helped to launch a program called the "Edible Schoolyard." Alarmed by both the quantity and quality of outsourced fast foods in the Martin Luther King Middle School, Waters took direct community action. She raised awareness and raised start-up funds. Eventually, a section of the school’s playground blacktop was jackhammered away to make room for garden beds. Gardening and more definitively school lunch were added to the middle school curriculum. Cafeteria-prepared meals that occasionally featured student-grown produce replaced the mobile fast food wagons and Coke machines. The Edible Schoolyard became a catalyst for a school gardening movement that has swept school districts throughout the state, and increasingly, the country. In 2005, through a grant from the nonprofit Chez Panisse Foundation, the Berkeley Unified School District hired chef Ann Cooper as director of nutrition services with the charge of overhauling the food system for 11 schools, 16 food programs, and 10,000 children. Later, the Berkeley City Council voted to invest in its younger generation and regional farmers by significantly expanding its budget for the purchase of organic foods. In just a few years, Cooper has turned a program nearly dependent on processed ingredients into one where cafeterias cook 95 percent of the meals from scratch. By declaring the public schools a ground zero for the nutrition, obesity, and family farm crises, Waters and many others around the country committed to school food reform. A serious, healthy lunch curriculum could ultimately revolutionize education and fitness on par with the President’s Physical Fitness programs of the 1960s and 1970s. Time for Organic’s Fair Share early thirty years ago, organic farmers set out to challenge the application of industrial logic to agriculture and livestock husbandry. Today organic farmers are proving that not only can all crops be grown without harmful chemical inputs and synthetic fertilizers, but their yields can also compete with, in some cases out-producing conventional farming systems, and be healthier for the land in the long-term. Now a rapidly expanding international movement, organic agriculture has experienced the fastest growth of any segment of the food industry for the past ten years, expanding by 20 percent annually, and accounting for 2.5 percent of the market and nearly 25 billion dollars in U.S. sales by 2006. Demand for some organically certified commodities currently outstrips supply in many European countries, where popular support has clearly shifted away from genetically engineered (GMO) crops and toward sustainable agriculture.
Far from the ominous predictions that a wholesale switch to non-chemical farming methods would result in mass starvation, organic agriculture seems like a sound path around which to orient food systems (and therefore Farm Bill policies) of the future. Independent research demonstrates many upsides of organic farming: • Organic farms have relatively similar or even greater yields than conventional systems depending on place and scale. • Organic systems use 30 to 70 percent less energy per unit of land than conventional systems, a critical factor in terms of global warming and eventual fossil fuel shortages. • Organic farms generally support far greater levels of wildlife, particularly in comparison with large-scale intensive agriculture. continued on page 3
The Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group website (www.msawg.org.) provides an updated list of groups to get involved with which includes: • Community Food Security Coalition (www.foodsecurity.org) • Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) • Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (www.iatp.org) • Land Stewardship Project (www.landstewardshipproject.org) • National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture (www.sustainable agricuture.net) • National Catholic Rural Life Conference (www.ncrlc.com) • The Rural Advancement Foundation International (www.rafiusa.org) • Western Organization of Resource Councils (www.worc.org)
the farm bill
George Gundrey, Santa Fe Farmers Market/SF panel Lisa Hummon, Farm Bill Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife Dan Imhoff, Executive Director of the Wild Farm Alliance, author of "Farming With the Wild" and "Food Fight: A Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill" Mark Winne, Communications Director, Community Food Security Coalition. Other panelists to be confirmed.
ow Healthy, Sustainable and Local is our Farm Policy? Every five years Congress re-authorizes the budget of our national farm bill. It’s time to get engaged with the 2007 Federal Farm Bill. Can we create a sustainable food and farm system or are we willling to accept agribusiness as usual? Come dialogue with local and national thinkers on this issue. Find out what you can do to positively affect 2007 Farm Bill Legislation. Facilitated by Dan Imhoff. Panelists include: Don Bustos, Traditional New Mexican Farmer, Board Member of the SW Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Eric Garrettson, Downtown Albuquerque Growers Market/Abq panel
A PANEL AND COMMUNITY DIALOGUE on the Farm Bill
May 2nd: Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 114 Carlisle Blvd NE, Albuquerque May 3rd: Cloud Cliff Bakery 1805 Second Street, Santa Fe Doors Open at 6:30pm. These events are FREE and OPEN to the Public. Co-Sponsored by: Cloud Cliff Bakery • Downtown ABQ Growers Market • Edible Santa Fe Magazine • Farm to Table • Immanuel Presbyterian Church • La Montanita Co-op • Local Flavor Magazine • New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council • Santa Fe Farmers Market • Slow Food Santa Fe Chapter • Slow Food Rio Grande Chapter
continued from page 2 • Organic foods distributed through local and regional distribution chains offer reduced energy consumption, less processing and packaging, and higher nutritional values. • Organic farmers selling to local markets are more likely to grow rare breeds and varieties carefully selected for their specific growing conditions (rather than shipability, yield, and uniformity).
FARM bill continued
Despite these benefits, just 0.35 percent of the $1 billion Agricultural Research Service budget is directed to organic farming issues. In terms of market share, this is a proportional underfunding of 700 percent, according to Bob Scowcroft, director of the Organic Farming and Research Foundation (OFRF) in Santa Cruz, California.
From a human health perspective, it has been widely documented that animals allowed to graze produce healthier dairy products and leaner meats, higher in beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids than their grain-fed factory grown counterparts. Grass farming makes sound economic sense as well. With its limited start-up expenses (land, shelter, and portable fencing), it is becoming a relatively inexpensive route for young farmers ambitious enough to enter agriculture as a profession. Even so, the infrastructure necessary to support such a shift—regional and mobile slaughtering facilities, processing centers, and the like—have largely disappeared from the rural areas and must now be reestablished. Many now hope that grass farming and other perennial systems could lead to far more diversified forms of agriculture, producing a greater variety of grains, oils, and fruits, as well as meats and dairy, and far fewer sweeteners and unhealthy hydrogenated oils.
Loyal organic consumers—there are literally millions of them— have plenty of room to be disgruntled with this taxation without equitable representa-
Conditions now call for a BOLD, NEW DIRECTION for
brink by subsidized sod busting, grassland birds such as vesper sparrows, bobolinks, meadowlarks, and other species may disappear from traditional ranges without the restoration of grasslands to Midwestern farm fields.
tion. As taxpayers, they contribute to subsidies that largely go to conventional farming. At the cash register, they often pay more for organic foods, as their farm constituencies are shut out of the price support game. Finally, they’re taxed a third time when government spending is required to address problems related to conventional industrial farming (such as water cleanup, health problems from pesticides and agrichemical pollution, and so on.)
Climate Change: The Ultimate Wild Card cientists expect that changes in the global climate will severely impact agricultural systems around the world, if not in the short term, then some time later this century. Researchers have predicted that southern and plains states may see crop reductions with lower precipitation and higher temperatures. Other regions of the United States will experience changes in the frequency and intensity of droughts, variable rainfall patterns, glacial melting, and alterations in plant and animal communities. If only to build more resilience within farming landscapes, the shift away from intensive row-cropping systems (which contribute the most greenhouse gases and are most vulnerable to flooding and erosion) to perennial systems (the most effective carbon capturers and soil stabilizers) deserves nationwide attention along with an aggressive policy commitment.
Grass Land — A Farm Bill Imperative Problems related to feedlot agriculture include: manure containment crises, antibiotics and growth hormones passed on to humans through meat and dairy products, environmental degradation due to corn and soybean monoculture farming, the spread of infectious and even lethal diseases to both animals and humans. The list goes on.
Healthy Lands, Healthy Tables Thirty years ago, few of us could have predicted the accelerated rise in demand of organic foods today. Ten years ago, Japanese car manufacturers might have been considered delusional for taking the costly leap into the development of hybrid vehicle technology. Yet these innovations, in response to shifting economic, environmental, and cultural conditions, have proven both prescient and economically insightful.
The elegant solution to grainfed, confinement-raised livestock is simple: turn the cattle out of the animal gulags and make it possible for them to eat grass. Of course, that will eliminate the need for the decades-old taxpayer-subsidized below-cost corn and soybean feed supply, which for so long has kept small producers at a disadvantage. Yet long before the row-crop revolution, grasslands dominated much of the United States, serving as a matrix for most of the continent’s natural ecological processes— precipitation, pollination, infiltration, predation, migration, respiration, decomposition, and mineralization. Herbivores evolved to eat grass, which also protected the soil, survived droughts, and naturalized to local conditions and environments. Before the advent of the mega-farm, diversified family farms included animals and pastures, a practical arrangement that provided a ready source of fertilizer (manure) for plants as well as meat and dairy products for local and regional markets.
Conditions now call for an equally bold new direction for food and farm policy. Common sense demands that narrow self-interested program development yield to an updated and broader vision. Local and regional production and distribution capabilities should be greatly up-scaled and expanded immediately, if not to cut down on food miles, then to preserve family farms; if not to curb global warming by reducing energy use, then to provide more nutritious foods to local and regional markets; if not to encourage more geographic equity among subsidy recipients, then to strengthen both national security and local food security; if not to prevent sprawl and the loss of open space, then to invest in the potential for rural areas as tourist destinations.
food and farm policy.
Transitioning toward grass farming and perennial agriculture— deep-rooted crops that do not need to be replanted every year— should be seriously regarded as a fundamental foundation for a new era of agriculture and food and farm policy. Pushed to the
It’s time to question whether the faraway industrial mega-farm model is indeed inevitable, or preferable, or even sustainable without costly government supports. Perhaps it’s time that citizens begin to see that Farm Bill politics—as the saying goes—are local politics. Perhaps a farm and food policy that is taking a toll on the land, making the population overweight and obese, and tearing the fabric of rural communities, requires an era of new solutions. Perhaps the time has arrived for a food fight. • Reprinted with Permission from Food Fight: A Citizen’s Guide to A Food and Farm Bill, published by Watershed Media.
Co-op Values Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. Co-op Principles 1 Voluntary and Open Membership 2 Democratic Member Control 3 Member Economic Participation 4 Autonomy and Independence 5 Education, Training and Information 6 Cooperation among Cooperatives 7 Concern for Community The Co-op Connection is published by La Montanita Co-op Supermarket to provide information on La Montanita Co-op Supermarket, the cooperative movement, and the links between food, health, environment and community issues. Opinions expressed herein are of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Co-op.
YOU OWN IT 3
April 2007 4
Sparrow Hawk Farm:
Green Energy New Mexico
by Ashley Sanderson reen Energy New Mexico is a non-profit organization that sells "Green Tags" to raise money to invest in the creation of more renewable energy resources in New Mexico. It is a partnership of the Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy (CCAE), the Regional Development Corporation (RDC) and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF).
Green Tags or Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) represent clean energy from sources such as wind and solar. When you buy Green Tags you help to displace the pollution produced from your use of electricity from traditional sources, such as coal and natural gas consumption. You can also purchase Green Tags to offset the carbon emitted by driving your car or traveling by airplane. The goal of Green Energy New Mexico is to increase the number of renewable energy projects in New Mexico, resulting in more clean energy on the NM power grid. Governor Richardson has set a New Mexico statewide target to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions to 10% below 2000 levels by 2010. La Montanita is leading by example in purchasing Green Tags from Green Energy New Mexico. By purchasing Green Tags, La Montanita is offsetting the greenhouse gases created by the Co-op’s electricity and natural gas consumption and, at the same time, investing in new renewable energy projects in New Mexico. The Co-op has greentagged the 18th Annual Earth Festival. By selling Green Tags to New Mexican businesses and individuals, Green Energy New Mexico hopes to create a large reinvestment fund.
These funds will be committed to supporting the development of new renewable energy facilities in New Mexico. As new projects come online in NM, we will shift our product blend towards one that is weighted more heavily on NM projects, culminating ultimately in a 100% New Mexico produced renewable energy products. Reinvestment Fund
The goal of GREEN ENERGY NEW MEXICO
is to increase the number of renewable energy projects in the state.
NM with your electricity bill. Green Energy New Mexico sells Green Tags separate from your electricity bill. Unlike PNM, a for-profit corporation, Green Energy New Mexico is a non-profit organization that is able to reinvest all net revenue into renewable energy projects. The energy purchased with each Green Tag is from a blend of new wind and solar facilities placed into service after May 1999 and certified by Green-e, the leading national third-party certification for green power. Green Energy New Mexico is also certified by The Climate Neutral Network and reviewed and endorsed by knowledgeable, qualified environmental organizations, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Northwest Energy Coalition, and the Renewable Northwest Project. Supporting Green Tags increases the percentage of renewable energy entering the electric grid in New Mexico while reducing the percentage of energy derived from coal and other fossil fuels.
expenditures will be mutually agreed upon by BEF, RDC and CCAE. Green Energy or Sky Blue? The Green Energy New Mexico and PNM’s Blue Sky program are very similar in that they both give New Mexicans the choice to support clean, renewable energy sources. The PNM Sky Blue program bundles Green Tags from a wind farm in House,
GREEN TAGS CREATE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES
When you buy Green Tags from Green Energy New Mexico you help establish a fund to support future clean energy projects in New Mexico. To learn more about Green Energy New Mexico, visit www. greenenergynm.org Go to www.GreenEnergyNM.org and use the carbon calculator to calculate the number of Green Tags needed to green your electricity for a year, your car travel for a year, an upcoming airplane trip or your entire life. Call Ashley at 505.699.9834 for more information and buy Green Tags at the Co-op’s Earth Fest, April 22!
Desert Rock Power Plant:
hat could rise out of the desert and threaten to spew the equivalent of 12.5 million cars’ worth of global warming tailpipe exhaust pollutants? The answer, according to a study by Environmental Defense and Western Resource Advocates, is over a dozen coal-fired power plants slated for Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah...they’ll put out 70 million tons of carbon dioxide a year “to satisfy the energy needs of the booming Southwest.” The Sithe Global Power, LLC proposes a coal-fired, 1,500-megawatt (MW) electrical-power-generating station be located approximately 30 miles southwest of Farmington, New Mexico, on the Navajo
Reservation. This company is developing other coal-fired plants in Pennsylvania and Nevada, as well as in Canada, Italy, and Yemen. The
Desert Rock would substantially increase the carbon dioxide released in New Mexico
Authority, an enterprise of the Navajo Nation, is a partner in the project. The 5.5 million tons of coal per year burned in the plant would come from the BHP Navajo Coal Company mine. Although the Navajo Tribal Council has supported the plant, expecting
that it will provide about $50 million a year in royalties and other payments, many Navajos living near the proposed plant site are highly opposed to the project, and some of them have conducted a vigil near the site since December 12. They state that the plant would damage their land and water, essential to their life and culture, as well as the health of many people. The Four Corners and San Juan coal plants already release millions of tons of sulfur dioxide, nitogen oxides, and soot each year that contribute to heart attacks, strokes, asthma, and other diseases. These two plants also release more than a ton of mercury each year, contaminating fish in lakes, and contributing to many serious health problems, including birth defects and serious learning problems. Coal-fired plants also contribute substantially to global warming because of the millions of tons of carbon dioxide that are emitted each year. Desert Rock would substantially increase the amount of carbon dioxide released in New Mexico. For more information: Go to http://www.desert-rockblog. com. For the Environmental Defense Report go to http:// www.environmentaldefense.org/documents/5853_SWClima teAlert_report.pdf) Air quality concerns: http:// www.sanjuancitizens.org/desertrock.shtml or the Sithe web site: www.
Bicycle Transport: Good for the Earth! Although more than half of the U.S. workforce lives within 5 miles of their job, lack of knowledge and incentives keep many from trying bike commuting. Join La Montanita Co-op and BikeAbq at the April 22 Earth Fest as we explore biking as a way to travel, exercise, have fun, feel and look great. All ages are invited to learn about bicycles, repair and cycling safely. Hands on sessions include decorating helmets with reflective material and using models to learn about riding in traffic. APD cycle police will join us in the rodeo and will talk to kids about being bike cops. Bring a bike and come along for the ride. 10am to 2pm/ Youth Bike Rodeo & bike helmet art. Participants get to decorate a helmet with reflective shapes and tape and take it home. 11am/ Senior Cycle Group rides Nob Hill 11:10am/ Fix a Flat Clinic
EARTH FEST SPECIAL EVENT!
12pm/ Community ride in Nob Hill area, 12:10pm/ APD cycle police share what it’s like to be a bike cop 12:30pm/ Interactive Street Smarts Clinic 2pm/ Community ride with Nob Hill Youth Velo Racing Team 2:10pm/ Doc Talk: Pediatrician and cyclist Dr. Lance Chilton answers your questions 3pm/ Nob Hill Youth Velo Racing Team Fashion Show 3:30pm/ Tyke Trike Rodeo 4pm/ Community ride in Nob Hill area 4:10pm/ APD cycle police share what it’s like to be a bike cop 4:30pm/ Special shapes including recumbents, adult trikes, and unique frames Ongoing/ slow as you can go race, free ABQ bike maps, repair stand and all the bike talk you want
April 2007 5
by Michael Jensen, Amigos Bravos ities, countries, entire regions across the globe are facing acute water shortages, if not already, then in the not-distant future. What are the prospects for the arid West and Southwest? The growing awareness of climate change has prompted a number of recent analyses. None of them is optimistic for the future of water supplies and water management in our region.
The US Geological Survey (USGS;http://pubs. usgs.gov/circ/2005/circ1261/pdf/C1261.pdf) reported that "[s]ome of the inherent characteristics of the West add complexity to the task of securing water supplies." The region has the most rapid population growth in the United States; "use it or lose it" water law discourages conservation and environmental uses of water; surface and groundwater are generally dealt with through separate regulatory processes, even though they are intimately connected; and there is not enough analysis of water availability to support water management. The Western Governors’ Association report, Water Needs and Strategies for a Sustainable Future (http://www.westgov.org/wga/publicat/Water06.pdf), stated that water scarcity is already a reality in much of the West, but has been obscured by reservoir storage, transbasin diversions, ground water pumping, water rights transfers, conservation, and other measures that have allowed rapid population growth to continue. Climate scientists applying global models to the American West have concluded that it is warming faster than many other regions of the globe. The West is 2-3o warmer than the 100-year average (the earth as a whole is about 1o warmer). Computer models show that annual average temperatures in the West will be up 4-5o by mid-century, causing serious long-term drought and dropping stream flows as
Global warming could drop New Mexico’s stream flows by as much as 20%. much as 20% by 2050. By the end of the century, the average temperature could be as much as 7-8o higher than the 100-year average. Taking the analysis down to the state level, the New Mexico Environment Department (http://www. nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb/cc/Potential_Effects_Climate_ Change_NM.pdf) concluded that impacts on New Mexico could be even more severe than in the West as a whole. Projected climate changes by mid-to-latecentury include: • average air temperatures warmer by 6-12°F • more intense storm events and flash floods • winter precipitation falling more often as rain, with less snowpack • an expected severe multi-year drought worsened by higher evaporation rates • water supply systems with no storage (many acequia systems) or limited storage (small municipal reservoirs) may suffer seasonal shortages in summer • riparian ecosystems experiencing decline, with a reduction in species diversity • forests likely to experience more catastrophic wildfires and more massive dieback
HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU KEEP?
Harvesting a Wealth of
by Zoe W. Edrington e’ve heard plenty of the water crisis we face – a drastically shrinking aquifer; planned conversion to the already over taxed Rio Grande water that means heightened chemical use and exposure; the ground is even sinking in parts of the valley where large pumps pull greedily from our dwindling fresh water supply. Fortunately, knowledge is power, so we need not kick the dirt and curse the politicians or the sprinkler-happy neighbor. Now comes the time to accept our individual responsibility towards the fresh water resolution.
Part of the answer includes planting gardens and landscapes. Of course, when we accept the reality of our water overuse, homeowners may find it difficult to justify a private desert oasis. However, densely planted areas (especially trees) contribute to a healthy hydrologic cycle at three distinct points. First, they promote rainfall by circulating moisture in the air promoting cloud formation. Then, the cooling effect of their shade makes clouds more likely to condense into rain. Second, the suction of the roots and the air pockets formed by the root growth promote rainwater absorption in the soil, reducing the risk of flood and promoting aquifer regeneration. Third, due to the umbrella effect of their leaves and the adhesion of sub-surface water around root balls, planted areas retain water longer. This discourages future flooding and, again, more absorption and thus more percolation into the aquifer (soil with some moisture in it absorbs water at a much higher rate than very dry soil, explaining deserts tendency to flash flood). How we water our gardens determines the point between a healing aspect of our environment and a
• potential impacts will disproportionately affect communities of color and low- income communities, raising issues of environmental justice; traditional subsistence systems (farming, grazing, hunting) are likely to be severely impacted by climate change and local extinctions of plants and animals integral to the cultural and spiritual life of Native American communities will be highly disruptive to their cultural identity
burden to it. Our end does not justify our means if we suck the aquifer dry in order to promote a healthy hydrologic cycle. Fortunately, the solution is amazingly simple and logical. Every rain and snow, fresh, clean water rushes from our roofs often eroding our soils on its quick journey to the storm drains, to the river, and out of the city. Within a week or two, we re-engage the hose or irrigation system, pilfering more fresh water reserves from our future generations. Why not catch the rainwater and use that for our gardens instead? Then, we can enjoy our lush oasis with pride instead of guilt. You can almost hear the angels cry out, "Yes! Another one gets it!" There are many ways to catch rainwater. Plastic tanks can hold thousands of gallons. Ferrocement tanks retain up to 12,000 gallons! At this point many people face their first resistance. Noses turn up at the thought of a large tank cluttering their yard. If an attacker is chasing you down a dark alley, would you worry how well your shoes match the rest of your outfit? Our community faces a fresh water crisis. The future effects of continued misuse are immeasurable. Eventually, through conscious change or desperate need, rainwater harvesting will become the norm as it is in Australia where 70% of citizens catch all their water needs from their roofs. Fortunately, plenty of aesthetic solutions exist. Professionals plaster ferrocement tanks the same color as your house. They offer a great canvas for mosaics and paintings. With proper placement and some wise plantings, they can blend impressively. There is also the option of the Soilutions’ Tinaja™, a 1,000 gallon ferrocement tank in the shape of a large jar. These are beautiful garden attractions while completing their practical purpose. The second protest follows, "Why so big? I have a rain barrel, isn’t that enough?" True, rain barrels are a step in the right direction, and those who buy
In July 2006, the Office of the State Engineer (OSE) released its own study (http://www.ose.state.nm.us /ClimateChangeImpact/completeREPORTfinal.pdf), in which it warns of lasting changes to water flows and supplies. The OSE calls for regional water planning, better hydrology data, and collaboration among all water users. "Proactive planning" and "no-regrets strategies" (water-use plans that won’t come back to haunt decision makers later) are the buzzwords of the report, but there are few specifics on what good planning and "no-regrets" would look like.
The latest regional study, Colorado River Basin Water Management (http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11857.html), reveals that water management plans in the Colorado River Basin were based on several abnormally wet decades and suggests that future droughts will recur and may exceed the severity of historical droughts. Attempts by growing cities to get more water from agriculture will not meet long-term demand, nor will conservation or water-saving technologies: "Technological and conservation options for augmenting or extending water supplies — although useful and necessary — in the long run will not constitute a panacea for coping with the reality that water supplies in the Colorado River basin are limited, and that demand is inexorably rising." These studies – and many others – demand an answer as to whether the policies that shape development in New Mexico will be guided by the scientific evidence – and a much different vision than the one that has guided us so far. Next: Water in the Middle Río Grande and Albuquerque
WATER WISDOM and use them deserve credit. However, in the big picture, rain barrels do not create the impact needed for an environmental turn around. In the desert, we receive large amounts of rain in a few storms. Global warming exaggerates this trend as its effects promote more precipitation in fewer rains. How quickly will a 60 gallon rain barrel fill in a desert torrent? Instantly. Then, all the rain to follow carves its way to the drains and again out of the city that desperately needs it. And how long will 60 gallons last after months and months of draught? For effective rainwater harvesting, one must prepare for the surge. On a 1,000 square foot roof space one can harvest up to 600 gallons of water in a 1" rainfall. In an average year of 8", 4,800 gallons of rainwater can be harvested. That is enough to completely cut your ties with the aquifer for all your irrigation needs. In the end it’s not how much you get, it’s how much you get to keep. Soilutions can help you begin your path to rainwater harvesting with Tinajas™ and cisterns ranging from 1,000 gallons up to 12,000 gallons. Contact Soilutions, Inc at 877-0220 or visit www.soilutions.net.
April 2007 6
Endorphin Power Company a Member Profile by Stephanie Clayton uman power—both figurative and literal—is the axis of the Endorphin Power Company. Endorphins are the natural chemicals released in your system after you exercise or do something that makes you feel good. And at the Endorphin Power Company, you guessed it, they crank out a lot of good energy. Regina "Gigi" Gallegos is clear that providing opportunities for people, especially those who have dealt or are dealing with substance abuse and homelessness, is central in her life’s work. The Endorphin Power Company not only promotes exercise for physical and mental health, but has a gym with some very exciting equipment.
The Exercycle is a stationary bicycle hooked up to a generator that transforms the energy output of the cycler into energy that is then stored in a battery. To demonstrate this, the Endorphin Power Company is bringing its exercycles and a new "power tower," which will use the energy output of the person peddling to power light bulbs, to our Celebrate the Earth Festival on Sunday, April 22nd behind the Nob Hill Co-op. In addition to promoting health and well-being through exercise, the power tower features two kinds of light bulbs: the standard incandescent light bulb and the new compact fluorescent light bulb that burns brighter with less energy input. Curious peddlers will be able to feel exactly how much more energy is needed to light the bulbs that all of us have in our
Personal Growth Childhood Trauma • Illness Drugs/Alcohol • Loss Women’s Issues
Louise Miller, MA LPCC NCC Psychotherapy email@example.com www.louisemiller.org
Phone (505) 385-0562 Albuquerque, NM
homes, promoting the switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. In addition to two exercycles, the Endorphin Power Company gym also has a hand-crank that has been adapted to energy production by the same process. And while Gigi and the folks at the Endorphin Power Company are concerned with the environment, the purpose of the exercycles is not to solve the renewable energy issue, but instead to motivate and allow people to work toward doing something measurably productive with a focus on substance rehabilitation. Gigi rightfully underlines the notion that "drugs and alcohol touch everybody’s lives." So, it is of the utmost importance to show people who are trying to become empowered that there are not only the resources to do so at the Endorphin Power Company, but a community of members, staff, and volunteers who are supportive and welcoming of everyone. The rockclimbing, hiking, yoga, dance, gym, running, and even art and alternative energy groups are just as much about personal and physical empowerment as they are a means to build a supportive community for people who often feel left behind and shut out.
eople are incredible," she says, "and it is a wonderful thing to see people at their best." A true believer in the strength of compassion and a non-judgmental attitude, Gigi is very grateful for volunteers, staff, and members that make up what she lovingly calls "the family." Everyone is welcome at the community center and art gallery of the Endorphin Power Company, and Gigi encourages people from all walks of life to come be part of the community. "Regardless of your background it helps everybody to support and be good to one another." And she couldn’t be more correct.
y doing just that, working towards an open, supportive community, the Endorphin Power Company has created its own share of measurable goals to achieve. Having formally opened in early 2005 after forming the non-profit in 2003 and acquiring their facilities in 2004, the Endorphin Power Company has begun building its 20-unit transitional housing structure this March with an expected completion date this year. Human power and human potential are truly immeasurable. The perseverance of the spirit is a great business to be in, and Gigi has plenty to tell regarding all the ways that the Endorphin Power Company has created to help people help themselves and others. Their bike shop accepts faulty, used, or simply old donated bicycles. Members in need of bicycles are invited to fix two bicycles and keep one for their labor. A nurse with a prescription for hope to create a healthy community, Gigi is excited about the Endorphin Power Company family and the goodwill and understanding that pervade the activities they do. Empowerment and opportunity are just a step (or pedal) away. Want to get involved? Volunteer with the Endorphin Power Company’s energy consciousness program by contacting them at (505) 268-8865 or by coming to see them at our Earth Day event. The members are putting together an art showing called "Fusions of Illusions" April 20 from 7-9PM and April 21st from 4-6PM at their own gallery space located at 509 Cardenas Dr SE. Get some perspective, learn to see things a little differently, and maybe even become part of the family.
Product Spotlight: Hemp I Scream: Have a Hempy Earth Day!
N EW DIR E C T I O N
C H IR O PR AC T I C Chiropractic with an Ayurvedic Influence K elly Coogan D.C. 3216 Monte Vista Blvd. NE, Suite A Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106 firstname.lastname@example.org ph 505.247.HEAL fx 505.247.4326
LOCAL SALE ITEMS
Hemp has been a featured ingredient in many ecofriendly cosmetics from shampoo and conditioners to body lotions and lip balm, but the same ingredient that makes your hair shiny and your skin smooth is starting to be used in edible products! Hemp is the common name for the Cannabis genus of plants. The most notable of which include species that contain the narcotic compound tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC found in marijuana. There has been some resistance to foods made with hemp seed oil or from processed hemp seeds because of hemp’s immediate association with marijuana and drug use. What many people overlook is that the species of hemp plants that are currently grown and harvested for cosmetics don’t contain THC and neither does the hemp used for food production. So all you’ll get from eating foods that contain hemp is a high nutritional content.
SHOP LOCAL & SAVE
Desert Gardens Albuquerque, NM Gourmet Southwestern Food Mixes, 5.5-19.5 oz Select Varieties, Sale $3.99 Hemp I Scream!
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Santa Fe, NM\ Deep Health, 60 softgels, Sale $14.99 Additional Herbs, Etc. products also on sale
Tijeras Organic Alchemy Albuquerque, New Mexico Crimson Clove Hair Revitalizer, 4 oz Sale $9.99, Other Tijeras products also on sale VALID IN-STORE ONLY from 4/4-5/1, 2007:
Not all items available at all stores.
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YOGA... Ashtanga Yoga of Albuquerque now offers classes to members of the Coop at a 5% discount. The studio is located on Washington St. near the Nob Hill Co-op.
Ashtanga Yoga is a flowing vinyasa system that utilizes breath and movement. The classes are offered in a Mysore format. Mysore is a self-led class where one can come to a class to learn and practice with other students of various levels.
for CO-OP members!
All jokes aside, hemp does have some pretty amazing benefits. Like flax seeds, hemp seeds can be added to foods in order to obtain essential fatty acids the body cannot produce on its own. Hemp seed oil has more polyunsaturated fatty acids than other seed oils and contains complete proteins like those found in eggs and dairy. Are you curious to try some? Your Co-op carries hemp tortillas and frozen waffles as well as delicious Hemp I Scream ice-cream sandwiches, made from processed hemp milk and served between two vegan hemp cookies. Hemp I Scream is made in Boulder, Colorado in small batches and each ounce of Hemp I Scream provides one gram of complete protein, just a little more than in an ounce of whole milk. So in addition to that hemp bracelet and lotion, try some Hemp I Scream next time you’re shopping for healthy sustainable goodies.
Hemp’s Only High is Nutritional
The benefit is that we develop a practice at our own pace and the practice is fitted for our bodies. This enables everyone, of all levels and ages, to have an Ashtanga Yoga practice. Practitioners of many levels practice together contributing to the group’s dynamic energy as well as providing inspiration to aspiring practitioners. This style of yoga is aerobic and strengthening (weight bearing). Through the practice of asana one learns how to control the breath which allows for a calmness of the mind that flows into our daily lives. Contact Heather Liebe 918-6462, 311b Washington St. SE; or email firstname.lastname@example.org
April 2007 7
THE INSIDE SCOOP
BY CE PUGH
Calendar of Events
Whole Foods Buys Wild Oats
people seek an alternative to Whole Foods. It appears that many Wild Oats customers are not comfortable supporting the now even larger Whole Foods. One choice for natural food consumers has now been removed from the market.
I imagine Whole Foods will close one of the Albuquerque Wild Oats stores as well as expand the store at the corner of Carlisle and Indian School. It is also possible that Whole Foods will choose to close the Santa Fe Oats location since both stores are located so close to one another. It will certainly be interesting to see what develops here in New Mexico as Whole Foods works to assimilate the Oats stores and organization. We have welcomed a large number of new Co-op members since the announcement as
We feel strongly that our member owned cooperative continues to offer our communities a better alternative than publicly traded and foreign owned competitors. La Montanita has thrived for over thirty years as a community owned business, and we have no doubt that this business, operated on behalf of our member owners and communities, will continue to thrive in spite of the actions of our competitors. If you know of anyone shopping around for a new natural foods store, ask them to consider La Montanita Food Co-op. They won’t have to worry about who might own the store today and who might own it tomorrow – they will own it, along with 12,000 other members of our communities. C.E. Pugh General Manager
he largest publicly traded natural foods retailer recently announced their plans to buy the second largest publicly traded natural foods retailer. Both of these firms began as single stores many years ago, one in Boulder and one in Austin and they have both grown aggressively over the past several years. Wild Oats entered New Mexico in the early nineties and Whole Foods entered our markets several years later. La Montanita continued to flourish and grow with these new competitors and we now consider what this buyout may mean for us in the years ahead.
4/17 4/22 4/23 4/28
Board of Directors Meeting, Immanuel Church 5:30pm Earth Day Festival, Hob Hill Co-op 10:30am-6pm Member Linkage, Immanuel Church 5:30pm Turn Off TV, Turn On Life Children’s Fest, Santa Fe Co-op 10am-2pm
Farm Bill Forum, ABQ Immanuel Church 6:30pm Farm Bill Forum, Santa Fe Cloud Cliff Bakery 6:30pm
M A S S A G E T H E R A P I S T
Polarity Somato-Emotional Release Cranio -Sacral Swedish
Board Advisory Members: Your Co-op Board of Directors Needs You!
aybe you’ve considered running for the Board but held back out of uncertainty about how big the commitment is or whether being on the Board would be your cup of tea. Well hold on, ‘cause we’ve got just the thing and here’s the pitch: The Board is currently seeking two members to serve as Board Advisory Members. Most members are familiar with the process by which regular members of the Board of chosen; they are elected by the membership every year in November. The forward-thinking authors of our bylaws integrated a way to appoint people to fill vacancies created by a resignation of a Board member, but the by-laws also allow the Board to appoint up to two Advisory members. These advisory members participate in all aspects of the Board’s work but they don’t vote or participate in confidential discussions. Advisory members receive an 18% discount at the Co-op register and it’s a great way to learn more about the behind-the-scenes dynamics of the Co-op Board. As an Advisory member you will meet other witty and fascinating community members who also care about making a strong and vibrant co-op scene in our New Mexico communities. Worried about attending board meetings if you live in Santa Fe or Gallup? We’ve got technology so you can teleconference with us while you lounge in your PJs on the couch eating your dinner. For some, being an Advisory Board member may be a route to becoming an elected member of the Board. That being said, an Advisory Board member does not have a designated term length and may serve as long as the Board wishes. From the Board’s point of view, the Advisory Board member is highly sought-after and valued. While we know that board work can be time consuming and
Brie f: Meeting of February 20, 2007 Advisory Board Members. The Board is seeking two Advisory members; see the article above. If you’re interested, contact the Board at bod@la montanita.com. Board Accountability to Members. During a monthly review of the Board Policy Manual, Board members noted that policy about accountability to Co-op members was not clear. This is an important issue, and the Board will address it further. Co-op members are always welcome to talk to Board members about the Board’s role and policy governance.
complex, contributions to the Co-op Board by committed members are essential to the smooth governance of the Co-op. It takes a while to learn the ropes of how governance works and what the board’s functions and responsibilities are. So if folks can be cultivated as Advisory members and then potentially be candidates for the elected positions, the Board can have depth on the bench, so to speak, and a seamless integration of savvy Board talent. Candidates for the Advisory positions must meet the same requirements as candidates for the regular board positions. Currently, these requirements are: 1) The candidate must have been a member in good standing for at least four (4) months prior to the appointment; 2) The candidate must meet the requirements of the State Alcoholic Beverage Commission for owners of businesses selling alcohol. These requirements are that the person be at least 21 years old, not be a convicted felon and that the person agree to be fingerprinted by the State. 3) Candidates must provide a brief personal statement and a response of 500 words or less to the following requests for information: Describe your involvement with La Montanita Co-op. Include amount of time spent and specific activities, if appropriate. Describe any volunteer or paid experience relevant to serving on the Co-op Board. And finally, what do you see as La Montanita’s role in the broader community?
Still think you might be interested? We highly recommend that you come to at least one Board meeting before formally applying. The Board welcomes further inquiries about the Advisory positions, and you can email us at email@example.com or call Marshall Kovitz at 256-1241 for more information.
Board Committee Meetings. Dates and times of Board committee meetings are generally posted on the Co-op Web site and announced in the Co-op newsletter. Co-op members are invited to participate in the meetings that interest them. Futurist Feast. The Board held its first World Café on February 4. About 45 people attended the event—called "Futurist Feast"—including Co-op members, Board members, and management. There was great enthusiasm at this wonderful opportunity to brainstorm ("vision") about ideas for the Co-op’s future. Thanks to everyone who attended! Board Meeting. Members are invited to attend monthly board meetings. The next meeting will be held on the third Tuesday, April 17, 2007, at 5:30 p.m. at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church at Carlisle and Silver Avenues in Albuquerque. by Shirley Coe, Admin. Assistant
RPP LMT #2663
in the Old Town Area
Celebrate Earth Day! All around the world food is used to nourish, entertain, celebrate, and bring people together, so what better way to celebrate Earth Day than to try some recipes from other countries and cultures. From Italy and Guyana to Cyprus and Guatemala these recipes are sure to bring you some exciting flavors and possibly even create some new favorites. Whether a hot curry or a sweet torte is more your style, these recipes are sure to expand your horizons. Cook up something new, close your eyes, and let your taste buds convince you you’re on vacation. (Key: C = cup, T = tablespoon, t = teaspoon, lb. = pound, oz. = ounce)
April 2007 10
water. Mix well. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Beat eggs into yogurt; add salt, dill and parsley. Remove foil from mousaka and pour on topping. Return to oven and cook for 30 minutes or until topping is firm and starting to brown. (Serves 6)
Village Salad - Cyprus 3 tomatoes 2 oz. feta cheese 8 black olives 1 large cucumber 1 onion, peeled and chopped 4 T olive oil 1 T lemon juice mint salt 3 washed lettuce leaves
Pastoral-Style Potatoes – Guatemala
Cut the cucumber and tomatoes into 1/4 in. dice. Add the diced olives and onion. Cut the cheese into small cubes. Prepare the dressing with lemon juice, oil, mint and salt. Mix thoroughly, pour the dressing over the salad in the bowl, toss. Arrange the mixture onto a lettuce leaf and crumble cheese in the center. (Serves 3) Rice and Zucchini Mousaka - Bulgaria
Chackchouka - Tunisia 3 green peppers 2 onions 8 small potatoes, washed olive oil salt and pepper cayenne pepper 6 eggs Cut the green peppers in half and remove the seeds. Cut into thin strips. Peel the onions and slice them. Cut tomatoes in half. Heat the oil in a pan; add the onions and the green peppers. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and cook over low heat. Add the tomatoes and cook until the green peppers are tender. Break the eggs in a bowl and beat. Pour the eggs into a pan, as soon as they are scrambled, your dish is ready. Serve hot. (Serves 4)
1 bunch green onion, finely chopped 1/4 C olive oil 2 T water 7 small zucchini, diced 2 medium tomatoes, diced 1 C uncooked rice 1 t salt 1 t paprika 1 t pepper 4 C water 4 medium eggs 2 C plain yogurt 1/2 t salt 1 T dill 1 T parsley Sauté green onions in oil and water. Cover and cook until soft. Transfer onions to baking dish, add zucchini, tomato, rice, salt, paprika, pepper and
1 lb potato, peeled 2 C water 1/2 t salt 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 large tomato, finely chopped 1/2 t pepper 1 large chipotle pepper, crumbled 2 T olive oil 2 T parmesan cheese, grated Cook potatoes in water with salt until cooked but still firm. Drain and mash them with a few lumps left. Fry onion, tomato, pepper and chile in oil for 3 minutes. Add potatoes and mix well. Fry for 5 minutes. Serve warm, sprinkled with cheese. (Serves 4) Buddhist Soup – Vietnam 4 C water 1 large butternut squash - peeled & chunked 1 large sweet potato - peeled & chunked 1/2 C mung beans - soaked 30 min 2 C coconut milk 1 oz cellophane noodles - soaked 20 min Bring water to boil. Add squash, potato and beans. Simmer 35 minutes. Make sure mung beans are soft, if so, add coconut milk, and bring to boil.
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Add noodles and cook until everything is warmed through. (Serves 4) Chicken Curry – Guyana 1 large onion, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 3 T butter 3 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped 2 t turmeric 1 t cumin 1 t crushed red pepper 2 t fresh ginger, finely chopped salt And white pepper -- to taste 1/3 C white vinegar 3 lb chicken breast, cubed 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed In a large frying pan, sauté onion and garlic in butter until soft. Grind herbs and spices and add to pan. Stir until fragrant. Add vinegar. There should be enough vinegar to make a smooth paste. If not, add more. Take this paste and cover chicken in it. Marinate 1 hour or more if you wish it to be more flavorful. When ready to cook, add chicken to large pan with enough water to reconstitute paste. Cover and cook for 30 minutes and add water as needed; add potatoes. Cook until potatoes are done. (Serves 4) Mushrooms Florentine – Italy 1/3 C olive oil 2 shallots, chopped 2 lb fresh spinach, shredded 4 medium tomatoes, chopped 1 lb portabello mushrooms, at least 4 caps 1/3 C flour 2 1/2 C milk 2 C cheddar cheese, grated 1/2 t mustard powder 1/8 t nutmeg (pinch)
1/8 t cayenne pepper paprika salt and pepper Heat half of the oil and sautĂŠ shallots for 3 minutes, add spinach, cover and cook 5 minutes, add tomtoes, salt pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in flour, cook 1 minute, add milk, cook slowly until thickened. Add cheese and cook until melted. In a separate pan, sautĂŠ mushrooms 3 minutes per side. Plate mushrooms, top with spinach mixture, and garnish with paprika. (Serves 4) Linzer Torte - Austria 1 C butter, softened 1 2/3 C flour 1/2 C sugar 1/2 C ground almonds (optional) 1/2 C bread crumbs 2 t cinnamon 1 t ground cloves 1 T lemon juice 1 T orange juice 1 T rum 1 large egg ? t salt 1 C raspberry preserves 1 large egg (egg wash) Combine all but preserves and last egg and form into dough. Using 3/4 of the dough line a 9 inch buttered pie pan so that the sides are 3/4 inch high. Fill with preserves and using rest of dough, place strips across preserves. Brush strips with egg wash. Bake for 1 hour in 350 degree oven. Allow to cool for 1 hour before serving. (Serves 12) Green Beans in Tomato Sauce - Northern Spain and Portugal 1 medium onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, chopped 2 T olive oil 1 1/2 lb green beans, cut into 3-inch pieces 3 medium tomatoes, chopped 1/4 C minced parsley 1 t granulated sugar 1 t salt 1/2 t dried basil 1/8 t pepper Cook and stir onion and garlic in oil in 3quart saucepan until onion is tender. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer over low heat until beans are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. (Serves 6)
April 2007 11
Remove stems from collard greens; cut leaves into 1/2-inch wide strips. Pour boiling water over collard greens. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Fry bacon until crisp; remove with slotted spoon and reserve. Stir garlic and collard greens into bacon fat; cook and stir 2 minutes. Cover and cook over low heat until collard greens are tender, about 15 minutes longer. Stir in salt and pepper. Garnish with reserved bacon. (Serves 6) Old Slippers â€“ Costa Rica 3 (3/4 to 1 pound) chayotes 1 T butter 1/2 C coarsely grated mild white Cheddar, Monterey jack or Muenster cheese 1 T half-and-half 1/4 C chopped walnuts 1/4 C seedless golden raisins 1 t granulated sugar 1 t vanilla extract 1/4 C finely grated Parmesan cheese 2 t seasoned bread crumbs Place chayotes into a large pot of boiling water. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently until they are very tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 to 50 minutes. Carefully remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon or tongs to a colander and drain. When they are cool enough to handle, cut cooked chayotes in half lengthwise. Remove flat seeds and any surrounding tough fiber with a paring knife. Scoop out the pulp with a sharp spoon into a large mixing bowl, taking care to preserve the skin and 1/2 inch of pulp to form shells. Set the 6 shells aside. PurĂŠe the pulp in a food processor or electric blender, return it to the mixing bowl, and stir in the butter, grated cheese, half-and-half, raisins, sugar and vanilla extract. Carefully spoon the filling into the reserved chayote shells. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs over the filled shells. Bake them in a baking dish at 375 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops of the Old Slippers are golden brown. (Serves 3) The recipes above have been adapted and reprinted from the following sources: www.internationalrecipesonline.com/recipes www.food.com www.allrecipes.com La Montanita Co-op Deli Staff
Greens with Bacon - Brazil 2 lb collard greens or kale 6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 t salt 1/2 t pepper
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505-265-2256 LPCC Lic. 0494, LMT Lic. 1074
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Classical Homeopathy Visceral Manipulation Craniosacral Therapy
MARY ALICE COOPER, MD St. Raphael Medical Center 204 Carlisle NE Albuquerque, NM 87106
April 2007 12
R EADY READY
E. COLI REDUX Investigations into last September’s outbreak of E. coli in packaged spinach is once again being blamed on an "organic" farm even though months ago it was determined that was not the case. Now, studies are indicating that a farm that was transitioning to organic (not at all the same as actually being Certified Organic) was the source. Watch this column for more details as they become available.
‘ROUND-UP’ CROPS NOT REALLY
t’s not always doom and gloom in the eco-enviro arena. US District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer (northern California) ruled that the USDA’s approval of Genetically Engineered alfalfa is in violation of the law, in support of a collation lawsuit filed by the Center For Food Safety. The CFFS contends that full environmental and economic impacts were not addressed prior to the USDA approval.
Unwanted gene transfers endanger the livelihood of non-GE farmers.
Breyer has ordered a full Environmental Impact Study itchy green (EIS) be undertaken for Round-Up Ready alfalfa, developed by Monsanto and Forage Genetics to be resistant not to weeds but to their herbicide Round-Up. He specified the EIS include the unintentional flow of GE genes into weed populations important of all, as well as into non-GE alfalfa. The GE industry claims that such flow this is a decision is minimal and even has statistics to back it up but not in the format that could set a precedent for all GE crops, not just required for an EIS. Other independent studies suggest the opposite so alfalfa. It may prove the most useful tool to block the many, many GE introductions that are in the lab Breyer’s decision basically calls for renewed testing. stage right now. On the legal level perhaps more important than a strictly environmental standpoint is that economic impact from such unwanted gene Of course, some GE proponents will contend that transfers endangers the livelihood of non-GE farmers and the export this is merely an aberration, a court decision by of crops (such as alfalfa) to nations that prohibit import of GE prod- some California whacko but at least the GE indusucts. US exports of alfalfa alone total close to $480 million per year. try is on defensive — rather than on the offensive, These are mostly to Japan and Korea, who are threatening to refuse such as when Monsanto (successfully!) sued all imports of alfalfa if GE contamination is even a remote possibility. Canadian canola grower Percy Schmeiser for saving seeds of his own crop that were contaminated Money talks. with GE canola pollen from neighboring fields. The USDA has contended that economic risks do not have to be Hmmm… if unintentional gene flow is a minimal addressed. Breyer replied that the economic fallout is directly related problem according to Monsanto’s own studies, to environmental concerns and is indeed part of the equation. Most why did they make such a big fuss over it?
Hemp Farming to be Studied in New Mexico A
memorial (HR49) has passed the New Mexico House of Representatives requesting and urging the New Mexico State Board of Regents to undertake a study on the viability of a legal industrial hemp industry in New Mexico.
Industrial Hemp: a high value low input CROP
In addition, the memorial urges the US Congress "to recognize industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity, to define industrial hemp in federal law as a non-psychoactive and genetically identifiable species of the genus Cannabis and acknowledge that allowing and encouraging farmers to produce industrial hemp will improve the balance of trade by promoting domestic sources of industrial hemp and can make a positive contribution to the issues of global climate change and carbon sequestration."
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Lawmakers urged that an "in-depth economic analysis address the benefits of a legal hemp industry in New Mexico and the long-term impacts of establishing proper permitting and licensing procedures. The economic analysis shall attempt to determine the costs and benefits associated with encouraging economic development in various areas, including textiles, pulping products for paper, biocomposites and building materials, animal bedding, nutritional products for livestock, industries related to seed extraction and resins for potential biofuels, lubricants, paints and inks, cosmetics, body care products and nutritional supplements."
Of course, I’d love to say that E. coli contamination is not possible from organic farms. Of course, that’s not the case. But neither can nonorganic farms promise E. coli free-produce. What the non-organic industry must admit is that many non-organic farms also use manure, sometimes in greater quantity than organic farms. Too, they must address the dozen or so outbreaks of E. coli from the same California county over the past ten years that were not traced to organic farms. Or what of the fast food taco chain that served non-organic green onions infected with E. coli this winter? Or the 9526 pounds of non-organic ground beef in Iowa and Tennessee that was recalled due to E. coli in the summer of 2006? Alright, alright, I’m resorting to what we supporters of organics often accuse "them" (anti-organic) of doing: pointing fingers. Everyone eats. It’s a problem for all of us. But as usual the bottom line is not addressed: the problem with food-borne disease outbreaks nowadays is that our distribution system is so centralized that a small outbreak that was formerly contained to one small region goes nationwide in a matter of days. Bigger and faster thinking usually creates bigger and faster problems. The solutions are usually slower in coming if they come at all. by Brett Bakker
"This will give people all over the country the ability to approach the federal Drug Enforcement Authority to demand that industrial hemp be removed from their schedule of narcotic drugs and be allowed to once again become one of our major cash crops in the United States," according to Albuquerque attorney John McCall. Industrial hemp is currently produced in more than thirty nations, including Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Romania, Australia and China. The United States is, by far, the largest consumer of industrial hemp products. Our manufacturers import millions of dollars worth of hemp seed and fiber every year and annual sales of hemp foods in the United States is growing rapidly. The New Mexico legislature has recognized that industrial hemp is a high-value, low-input crop that is not genetically modified, requires no pesticides, can be dry-land farmed and uses less fertilizer than wheat or corn – both of which are grown here. For more info contact Robert Jones at 505-425-6825 or go to www.NMHemp.org
WORMS ARISING! by Ellen Heath t the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference in Albuquerque on February 17, Kate Heath of the High Desert Worm Ranch spoke to a standing-room-only audience on the subject of "Wrigglers: Adding Vermiculture to the Mix." During her presentation, she unveiled The Red Wriggler Teaching Manual that has some astounding red wriggler information including: • Red wrigglers can reduce composting time from 240 days to 30 days. • Worms' digestive enzymes unlock chemical bonds, making minerals available to plants. • Worm Castings have 5 to 11 times more NPK than the surrounding soil. • Red wriggler castings vastly enhance the microbial activity that is essential to soil health. • About 40% of agricultural land is seriously degraded, and red wriggler castings can help restore it to health.
The Red Wriggler Teaching Manual Time after time, both out on the High Desert Ranch in Tajique and at event booths teachers would com-
Red Wriggler’s Go to School!
ment about wanting to do a classroom project on worms. It became clear that this manual was needed. After much research and sisterly sharing of skills and information, the manual was published. The material in the manual will not only enhance student understanding of environmental issues including global warming. It will also show them practical, healthy, and cost-effective ways to become better stewards of the earth. While there are other classroom materials on composting worms, this manual is a "different critter," emphasizing biology and soil science, but also providing learning opportunities in mathematics, critical analysis, composition, arts and crafts, and even in coping with personal challenges. The Red Wriggler Teaching Manual also comes with a web site that will be regularly updated with new lesson plans, "worm news," contests, and a blog site for comments and questions from students and teachers who use the manual. The manual, worms, and bins will be available at La Montanita's Earth Day Festival in Albuquerque on April 22. You can also order the manual at www.redwriggler ranch.com.
April 2007 13
Agricultural Heritage and Local/Regional Food Security
LAND TRUSTS by Cecilia Rosacker McCord t’s March and spring has arrived in Socorro. The alfalfa fields bear the slightest hint of green, cover crops of winter wheat and rye burst up thick and verdant green from the dormant winter fields. Farmers are readying ditches and prepping thirsty fields for the first watering of the season. Fields are disked, furrows made ready to receive the first planting of the year from forage crops, onions, potatoes, spring greens, to chile.
Support Farmers and Farms Besides working as the Executive Director of the Rio Grande Agriculture Land Trust, my other full-time job is farming organic vegetables in Socorro County. My fellow farmers (friends, neighbors, and mentors) are generally quite senior, most in their seventies give or take five years. They've toiled the fields of this valley for generations and now as they reach retirement age or try to continue farming with the wear of old age, they are forced to make choices about what to do with their land. Farmers have no 401K's to dip into and most often no health insurance. If they experience a catastrophic event, or simply want to send a kid to college or retire, they now have only two choices: sell the land or sell the water rights. Developers often want our productive farmland for its water rights alone, to increase development opportunities in the growing cities up north. The Middle Rio Grande Regional Water plan (which includes Albuquerque) plans to "retire" 7000 acres of irrigated land in Socorro County in order to provide water for sprawling urban growth. Santa Fe developers must show ownership of water rights so they head south and "dry us up" by purchasing water rights or the land. It hurts not only neighboring farmers, but whole counties, hindering rural economic development potential. The Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust (RGALT) is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect agricultural land through the acquisition and retirement of development rights, providing interested farmers with a voluntary alternative to land/water speculators purchasing their farms. One of our priorities is to see productive agri-
Come See Al Gore’s
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
Presented by Lisa Hummon of Defenders of Wildlife
At the La Montanita CO-OP EARTH FEST
April 22 1:30pm At Immanuel Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship Hall, Carlisle and Silver
cultural land stay in the hands of farmers and ranchers, and in agricultural production. The land trust approach is based on the fact that ownership of a piece of property includes a bundle of "rights" for that property, such as water rights, mineral rights, oil and gas rights, right-to-farm, and development rights. Any one of these rights can be
Protecting land, water rights, the farming way of life and our cultural heritage.
separable from the other rights, and separable from overall property ownership. It is well known in NM for an owner to sell a property's water rights. Similarly, the right to develop a property for residential use can also be transferred via a legal deed restriction known as conservation easement (CE). The landowner retains title to the property for agricultural use, for subsequent sale of property as a farm, and/or for willing the farm to an heir who wishes to farm. Creating A Farmland Preservation Program New Mexico does not have a farmland preservation program. A federal farm preservation program, the USDA Farm and Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP), requires a 50% match for every federal dol-
lar. New Mexico receives a meager share of this large federal program (less than $300,000 for the entire state in 2006, and less than $200,000 in 2007), because there is no state program to supply the matching funds. Colorado, realizing that their farms and ranches provide open space and wildlife habitat, are critical to their cultural heritage and the integrity of their small communities and regional food supply, receives on the order of $6 million annually from the federal FRPP. Over the past year, RGALT has worked with a number of diverse interest groups to legislate for the Land, Wildlife, and Clean Energy Act which would provide $10 million in funding for worthwhile projects such as conserving our open space, wildlife habitat, watersheds, working farms and ranches, and increasing energy efficiency. The outcome of this has been a $1 million request in the Governor’s 2007 capital outlay budget to be used to provide matching funds for the purchase of agricultural conservation easements on New Mexico working farms and ranchlands. On a weekly basis RGALT receives calls from farmers and ranchers, who would like to convey a conservation easement on their farmland, but are not in the position to donate an easement. Typically these calls are from farm families who have been farming for generations, and feel the onslaught of development not only threatens their water rights, their livelihood and way of life, but also their cultural heritage.
Please support RGALT by informing the Governor’s office, legislators, and local government of the need to develop a permanent funding stream for agricultural land preservation. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 505-480-5696
FARM BILL COMMUNITY FORUM
MAY 2 ABLUQUERQUE MAY 3 SANTA FE SEE PAGE 3 FOR INFO
Harry Belafonte Speaks Out ““ ” ”“ ”
I do believe very strongly in dissent. There should be no bottom line for corporate America until there’s a bottom line for the poor. If we do not make a choice to make a difference, we then have made the choice to be crushed by indifference.
Thursday, April 19, 7pm Popejoy Hall on the UNM Campus
$30, $25, $20 UNM Ticket Ofﬁces www.unmtickets.com 925-5858 or (877) 664-8661 Raley’s Supermarkets
Presented by The University of New Mexico, Ofﬁce of the President in cooperation with Africana Studies and African-American Student Services. (This is not a musical performance.)
Mr. Belafonte’s views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of New Mexico.
April 2007 14
Wilderness and Water
Where We Stand by Nathan Newcomer, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance here is a lot of talk among environmental groups that campaigns must have a strong legal component in order to win. While this may be true, it is even more important to have a strong grassroots foundation. When it comes to protecting Otero Mesa, these two ideas alone cannot produce a winnable outcome. We are witness to that fact today.
given the go-ahead to move forward with their shortsighted oil and gas rich agenda, they are fighting the courtâ€™s decision because they do not want to spend the resources to safeguard this wild landscape. The main focus of the BLMâ€™s challenge to the courtâ€™s decision is that they do not want to have to perform
A focus on water and economics could gain solid protection for OTERO MESA
In order for us to preserve the Serengeti of the Southwest, we need strong leadership on the part of our congressional delegation. As the incoming chairman of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Bingaman has an important opportunity to lead our country on energy policy. Where this leadership must begin is in his own backyard, where the Bush Administration, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and oil and gas industry are wreaking havoc.
In late September 2006, the US District Court for the State of New Mexico recognized the importance of protecting Otero Mesa. The courtâ€™s decision validated arguments made by the State of New Mexico and conservation groups that the BLM must thoroughly analyze the impacts of oil and gas development prior to leasing. However, the Coalition for Otero Mesa has appealed the courtâ€™s decision because the courts requirements for thorough environmental analysis is merely piecemealâ€”applying only to individual parcels up for leaseâ€”rather than landscape-wide. In a move that is both shocking but also revealing, the BLM is appealing the outcome of the courtâ€™s decision too. Even though the BLM has been
NEPA analysis at the leasing stage. They would prefer to perform "NEPA" at the "APD" stage. NEPA, or the National Environmental Policy Act, requires governmental agencies to analyze how development will impact the environment, and provides the public with the opportunity to comment. An APD is an Application for Permit to Drill. BLM claims that it is easier for them to conduct NEPA at the APD phase and that it can be done properly. However, the agencyâ€™s track record on performing thorough NEPA analysis at the APD stage is utterly abysmal. The entire purpose of NEPA is to act as a warning sign and once an APD is issued, the oil and gas company has a legal right to proceed with that permit, regardless of whether the agency objects.
This reasoning speaks volumes about the BLMâ€™s unwillingness to protect Otero Mesaâ€™s grasslands, abundant wildlife, or fresh water aquifer and is why it is imperative that federal legislation be introduced and passed through Congress. In theory, the oil and gas industry could begin putting new wells into Otero Mesa by April 2007. Yet, the State of New Mexico is still strongly committed to preserving this ecological jewel and will continue to fight attempts by the oil companies. While the stateâ€™s stout leadership is helping to hold the line, we must keep our focus on the congressional delegation to quickly introduce legislation in 2007. A realistic approach would be to strive for a middle ground proposal that can gain a majority of support from the delegation. This strategy would focus on requesting a three-year moratorium on drilling in Otero Mesa so that a full study of the Salt Basin Aquifer could occur. In addition, we would work for a state-funded study on the potential economic benefits of tourism and recreation in Otero Mesa. During the three-year moratorium, we would put the oil and gas industry further behind in their efforts to drill the area, creating an incentive for them to sell their leases, put the BLM on notice to stop additional leasing, and create time in which a new President might be more favorable to conservation. Many people may be uncomfortable with the focus on water and economics, but even in a new political climate, it is unlikely that wildlife and solitude are going to be enough to gain solid protection for the area. Three more years of outreach and the ability to better educate the public on the wildlife, plants, bird species and the wilderness potential of Otero Mesa will build an even larger constituency for its protection.
Sign up for the Otero Mesa listserve at www.oteromesa.org. Contact your representatives and urge them to support a three year moratorium on drilling in Otero Mesa so that a thorough water study can be done on the Salt Basin aquifer.
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OUR AQUIFER by Dave McCoy, Citizen Action ulking above Albuquerqueâ€™s drinking water supplies is the Sandia National Laboratoriesâ€™ Mixed Waste Landfill (MWL). The MWL is a 2.6-acre dumpsite used between 1959 and 1988, where up to 720,000 cubic feet of hazardous and radioactive wastes were buried in shallow unlined pits and trenches.
Instead of excavating the MWL, Sandia and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) have decided to simply place a couple of inches of dirt to cover over poisonous wastes that will remain dangerous for over 100,000 years. By todayâ€™s legal and health standards, these wastes cannot be disposed of in this fashion in the center of a rapidly growing city like Albuquerque.
Geologist Robert Gilkeson (email@example.com) reviewed the history of regulatory and monitoring practices at the MWL to discover that reliable monitoring wells were never installed at the dump. NMED also concluded in 1994 that "The monitoring system is inadequate." NMED didnâ€™t inform the public of the problems with the monitoring wells at the public hearings where the dirt-cover was approved. Instead, NMED presented the well data as a reliable record that the groundwater is not contaminated. In addition, NMED claimed a computer model as proof that radionuclides and heavy metal wastes, such as nickel, would not show up in the groundwater for a ten-thousandyear period. Gilkeson and Citizen Action, a non-profit watchdog group, have discovered that nickel wastes from the dump have already reached Albuquerqueâ€™s groundwater in less than 50 years and now occur at a level twice the New Mexico drinking water standard. The nickel contamination is an early warning and a promise that radionuclides will show up in the aquifer water over time. Strontium-90 and plutonium travel in the same fashion as nickel but at a slower rate. In early March,
Threatened by the Mixed Waste
LANDFILL Citizen Action requested the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the monitoring well problems at the MWL. Records also show an enormous amount of tritium escaping below the dump. Based on the danger to fetuses and potential for cancer, recent studies indicate exposure to tritium should be reduced by 50 times. Nevertheless, NMED failed to order monitoring wells beneath recognized hot spots at the dump. In the past six months, NMED allowed Sandia to go forward with the construction of a significant portion of the dirt cover knowing that the heavy equipment used to compact the dirt could rupture containers in the dump and release more hazardous wastes to groundwater and air. Only now, after the construction activities have begun, has NMED ordered Sandia to develop a scheme to investigate high levels of tritium and organic solvents. ACTION ALERT Citizen Action has requested a public hearing with NMED to address these and other issues. Please write a letter/email to NMED Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org. Governor Richardson has declared this year the "Year of Water,â€? yet his administration is failing to protect this important water source. Please contact his main staff person on this issue, William Hume, at email@example.com asking that citizens: 1) be given a public hearing on the soil gas sampling plan; 2) that NMED issue a notice of violation to Sandia to correct the failed well monitoring system; and, 3) to order a cease and desist on dirt cover construction activities at the dump until public safety can be assured. For more info contact Citizen Action New Mexico at 505 262-1862, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 2007 15
any people are familiar with the term "environmental justice" (EJ). A term that should be equally familiar, because of its potentially disastrous impacts on environmental and public health, is "regulatory justice." Amigos Bravos – along with other environmental and conservation groups – has been accused of being antibusiness. What we expect is that corporations honor their commitments and conduct their activities according to the highest possible standards of environmental and public health protection. We are often at odds with state and federal regulators because we don’t think they are living up to their public trust. That public trust is part of New Mexico’s Constitution, under Article 20, Section 21, which begins: "The protection of the state's beautiful and healthful environment is hereby declared to be of fundamental importance to the public interest, health, safety and the general welfare." Rather than honor this goal, major industry associations in New Mexico – oil and gas, mining, construction, and cattle – have organized to undermine state regulatory agencies. These and other efforts across the US are part of a growing "regulatory justice" campaign – as if industry is unfairly burdened with environmental regulation.
One example in NM is the so-called "Administrative Accountability Act" (HB685). This proposed legislation could force every regulatory agency to get specific legislation passed every time it wanted to make a rule; the reliance on general rule-making within its area of jurisdiction and expertise would no longer be automatic. Regulatory agencies would be required to find alternatives (up to and including complete exemption) to any rule that applied to small business – in NM that means almost all businesses. In addition, whistle blowers would be required to be named in any proceedings. Regulatory Justice? Let’s look at the reality. • A major report on the US hardrock mining industry revealed that: 76% exceeded water quality standards; 93% are near groundwater and have elevated potential for acid drainage or contaminant leaching exceeding water quality standards; 85% are near surface water and have elevated potential for acid drainage or contaminant leaching exceeding water quality standards; water quality standards for toxic heavy metals were exceeded at 63% of mines. We see examples of this at the Molycorp mine in Questa and the Phelps Dodge operations in southeastern NM. • Uranium companies are trying to force state regulators to actively promote uranium mining in New Mexico (Senate Joint Memorial 10), despite the irreparable harm done to the environment and the Laguna-Acoma and Navajo Nations the first time uranium was mined here. These companies claim that the
Enviro Film Fest: Gaia’s Muse at the Guild Theater Many local and independent filmmakers get locked out of competitive film festivals because their films aren't quite "edgy" or violent enough to appeal to mainstream viewers. In recognizing that film is a profound and influential art form, a new film series called Gaia's Muse will offer independent filmmakers an alternative by accepting films of any style or subject matter that inspire us in some way. The intention of Gaia’s Muse is to present a local, ongoing film series featuring short films with an uplifting message by local and international filmmakers. Film curators welcome films under 60 minutes on virtually any subject matter, as long as there is an overall positive message. This includes animation, documentary, experimental, environmental, multi-cultural, foreign, comedy, drama, mystery, sci/fi, etc. The initial format of the series is to present a two-hour block of short films at Albuquerque’s
Guild Cinema on a monthly basis. Gaia’s Muse has no deadline, as the series is ongoing—if a film is accepted and doesn't show on one particular month, it could show the following month. Film series curators, Tobias Katz and Lisa Polisar, are independent filmmakers who have collaborated in the making of fourteen short films, one of which was selected for the 2006 Santa Fe Film Festival. The first date for the Gaia’s Muse series is set for April 22, 2007 from noon to 2pm at the Guild Cinema.
"in situ leach" process (injecting chemicals into groundwater, pumping it out, and extracting the uranium) is safe; but their "success story" in Texas was only possible because regulators constantly changed water quality standards until the company could meet it. • Corporations long argued that a federal Clean Water law was "arbitrary" because it didn’t reflect "reality" in the states. After the Bush administration drastically limited the application of the federal Clean Water Act, Amigos Bravos and others convinced the NM Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) to redefine waters of the state to include waters that had lost federal protection. Industry responded with a massive legislative effort in 2005 and, when that narrowly failed, a lawsuit against the WQCC. When an advisory council drafted a new pollution permitting process for the state, industry pressure was so great that even in this 2007 "Year of Water" the Environment Department withdrew the legislation before the session started. • Corporations and corporate associations sometimes write the proposed legislation that would regulate them (like the SJM10 or HB685). Corporations have the money to hire full-time legal and lobbying firms to wine and dine local, state, and federal regulators and politicians. By contrast, non-profit organizations are legally prohibited from most direct lobbying. Corporations and their allies have won several recent state court and legislative victories that limit the right of citizens to protest on environmental or public health grounds; only those with a direct financial stake have that right. Under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Very early on, corporations got to be counted as "persons." That was supposed to help guarantee that justice is served. But whose justice? by Michael Jensen, Amigos Bravos
Otero Mesa earth day
Come join us in the South west's Serengeti and watch the desert come to life! An outing lead by the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance.
Call Nathan Newcomer at 505-843-8696 for more info
Submission Deadline: None (series ongoing) Submission Fee: $5/film Length Requirements: 60 minutes or less Format: DVD only What to Submit: Submit a short synopsis of the film, full contact information (phone and/or email), and any other press or marketing materials. Where to Submit: Guild Cinema, 3405 Central Ave NE Albuquerque, NM 87106 Attention: Gaia's Muse Series
health care reform town hall
Registration is open for New Mexico First’s annual statewide town hall. This year’s event, "Strengthening New Mexico Healthcare: Access, Coverage, and Economics," will be held May 3-5 at the University of New Mexico/Albuquerque. It is important that our voices be heard at the Town Hall. The cost for the 2.5 days including meals is $150.00. Please if you are interested and need to, request a scholarship so you can attend. There are scholarships available and room for observers. The Town Hall is limited to 120 persons.
Community Forum May 2-3 see page 3 for details
For more information or to register click on web site below or contact Charlotte Roybal at Health Action New Mexico 1-505-930-0563, Roybalhanm@aol.com or email@example.com or 505-241-4814.
Seating is limited, please register early Sign up at www.nmfirst.org
Town Hall! may 3-5
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer: The American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers to assist with our Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Sunday, April 29. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is the largest walk in the state, where almost 13,000, participants gather at Cottonwood Mall to walk a five-mile course along the Rio Grande. Interested, call (505) 262-6015, or visit www.cancer.org/stridesonline.
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Published on Sep 28, 2012
Published on Sep 28, 2012
The La Montanita Coop Connection is a monthly publication about food and issues affecting our local foodshed. Membership in La Montañita Co-...