UNITY IN DIVERSITY FOR A RESTORATIVE FUTURE
LA MONTAÑITA CO-OP’S 27TH ANNUAL
SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 10AM–5:30PM O N S ILVER S TREET BETWEEN C ARLISLE N OB H ILL C O - OP, 3500 C ENTRAL SE
T ULANE ,
ROBIN SEYDEL his 27th Annual EarthFest comes at a time when it is clear we have much to do for planetary and personal health and well being. These days it is crystal clear how important it is find our common ground, and in unity celebrate our diversity as we work together for a restorative and sustainable future. This year has seen an uptick in awareness of the environmental, social and economic justice issues that need to be addressed for true democracy and justice for all.
on the annual Kids' Bicycle Safety Rodeo and other bicycle education. Look for this activity at the west end of the festival near Tulane.
Over the years we have watched EarthFest grow with much good environmental and justice work done and connections and relationships grown. We are deeply moved by and thankful for how the New Mexican community has grown this festival into one of the most beloved of spring events. The joyous nature of the festival, with its coming together of friends new and old coupled with the good work we can accomplish when we cooperate, makes EarthFest an important part of how we positively impact lives in our community and restore and sustain our little planet. What better way to get involved in the effort to heal and honor our Mother Earth and celebrate our beautiful diversity, than to come to the Co-op’s Annual EarthFest in Nob Hill. COME TOGETHER This year recognizing that we are stronger when we work together, we are encouraging people to do just that and collaborate on climate chaos, renewable energy, water quality and conservation, food self sufficiency, economic and social equality, justice and so many related issues. Come meet and lend your energy in support of the efforts of the many dedicated people and fine organizations in our communities who are working on these and other issues.
A COMMUNITY OF ARTISTS As always you can count seeing some of our community’s fine local artists and craftspeople, hearing some of your favorite musicians and thrilling to performances from our gifted local performers. Some festival favorites, like the Ehecatl Aztec Dancers, National Institute of Flamenco’s Alama Flamenca and Baile Baile Folklorico 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. We also have a great line-up of fabulous local musicans including Jeez LaWeez, Soul Kitchen with Hillary Smith and Chris Dracup, Racine Kreyol, and Wagogo. See the full entertainment schedule on this page so you don’t miss any of this great FREE local music. Space goes quickly so reserve your space today. We give first priority to non-profit environmental, social and economic justice non-profit organizations, farmers, gardeners and farming organizations. Due to space considerations and Fire Department regulations, NO POP-UP CANOPIES will be allowed. We're hoping for a beautiful day, and with Mother Earth's blessing we will once again take time to celebrate "Her" and reaffirm our commitment to restoring and sustaining our beautiful blue/green planetary gem. Join your friends and neighbors as we educate ourselves for paradigm shifting action and joyously dance in the
We firmly believe that with the same cooperative spirit that for over 40 years enabled the Co-op to thrive and become the community hub for a sustainable future it has become, we can and will overcome the challenges we face. This year the festival will cover two blocks on Silver Street between Carlisle and Tulane behind the Nob Hill Shopping Center. You can expect an inspiring day filled with information, education and action booths from dozens of environmental, social and economic justice organizations from around the state. Meet local farmers, pet baby goats, get seedlings for a sustainable food supply, pick up some drought resistant plants and find beautiful art from fine local artists and craftspeople. And of course you’ll can eat great Co-op food and dance in the streets with friends and neighbors new and old.
streets at Albuquerque's favorite spring gathering. Mark your calendar—this is one event you don't want to miss. For more information or to reserve your free booth space, please contact Robin at 217-2027 or toll free at 877-775-2667 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE 10:00am: 11:00am: 12:00pm: 1:00pm: 2:00pm: 2:30pm: 3:30pm: 4:30pm:
Ehecatl Aztec Dancers The Calli Shaw Band Narional Institute of Flamenco Jeez LaWeez Baile Baile Dance Company Racine Kreyol Soul Kitchen, Hillary Smith and Chris Dracup Wagogo
BBQ AT THE
APRIL 22, 11:30AM–2:30PM
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION
AND BENEFIT ALL PROFITS GO TO THE
RIDE A BIKE! As the many of you who have attended the Co-op EarthFest know, due to the popularity of the event and to Nob Hill parking realities, it’s best to hike, bike or carpool to the festival site. Given that, we are once again honored to be working with Chuck Malagodi of the City of Albuquerque’s Bicycle program
SANTA FE WATERSHED ASSOCIATION
EAR THFEST STREAMS LIVE :
DON’T MISS IT!
VAILABLE MEDIA is a New Mexican non-profit organization that exists to inform the public about important issues, to encourage and inspire meaningful participation in our democracy, and to appropriately represent the ethnic and cultural diversity of the region. AVAILABLE MEDIA provides programming, media access and educational programs and services, including but not limited to programs of educational merit including those concerned with scientific, cultural, historical, and humane studies; adult education, distance learning, programs in support of K-12 and higher education. We are pleased to have our friends from Available Media streaming our EarthFest LIVE! Want to learn more? Please go to www.availablemedia.org.
While you eat, tap your toes to the great sounds of music from The Shiners Club Jazz Band playing old American blues and swing. Bring your dancin’ shoes! Enjoy delicious grass-fed or veggie burgers, hot dogs and all the BBQ fixins you've been dreaming of all winter!
MEMORIAL BIKE RIDE MEET AT EARTHFEST FOR A
GROUP RIDE, 10AM
BY GEORGE SCHROEDER lease join us for the first ever Marshall Kovitz Memorial Bike Ride at the Coop's 27th Annual EarthFest on Sunday April 23. The ride will honor founding La Montañita board member Marshall Kovitz who rode his bicycle from Boston to Albuquerque in the 1970's. Marshall was an avid bicycle commuter and was dedicated to simple and sustainable living. He was also a great advocate for the environment and loved spending the day each year at the Co-op's EarthFest. Help us honor his memory by joining a fun, free, group ride starting from La Montañita's front parking lot on Central Ave.
We will tailor the ride to the skills and abilities of the riders. Physically fit, experienced cyclists will be encouraged to venture to the Bosque Trail near Tingley Beach, take the trail up to Mountain Road and back to La Montañita via Indian School Road and the residential bike route through the UNM north campus area and back to the Co-op for great food and music. A shorter alternative will be to ride south from the Co-op to the Marshall Kovitz Memorial Bridge near Kirtland Elementary School and back to La Montañita. Please come self-contained and ready to ride. If you can offer assistance to guide a ride, please email George at: email@example.com. All participants MUST wear a helmet and sign a waiver of liability.
NUCLEAR NEW MEXICO
April 2017 2
La Montañita Cooperative A Community-Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store
NUKE WASTE ON
Nob Hill 7am – 10pm M – Su 3500 Central SE, ABQ, NM 87106 505-265-4631 Rio Grande 7am – 10pm M – Su 2400 Rio Grande NW, ABQ, NM 87104 505-242-8800 Gallup 8am – 8pm M – Su 105 E Coal, Gallup, NM 87301 505-863-5383 Santa Fe 7am – 10pm M – Su 913 West Alameda, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-984-2852 Westside 7am – 10pm M – Su 3601 Old Airport Ave, ABQ, NM 87114 505-503-2550 GRABnGO 8am – 6pm M – F, 11am – 3pm Sa UNM Bookstore, 2301 Central SW, ABQ, NM 87131 505-277-9586 Cooperative Distribution Center 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2010 Support Office 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2001 Support Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • Co-op Retail Officer/William Prokopiak 984-2852 firstname.lastname@example.org • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 email@example.com • Co-op Operations and Support Officer and Computers/Info Technology/Rob Dixon 217-2011 firstname.lastname@example.org • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 email@example.com • Marketing/Karolyn Cannata-Winge 217-2024 firstname.lastname@example.org • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 email@example.com • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 firstname.lastname@example.org Store Team Leaders: • Mark Lane/Nob Hill 265-4631 email@example.com • James Esqueda/Westside 505-503-2550 firstname.lastname@example.org • Lynn Frost/Interim Santa Fe 984-2852 email@example.com • Leaf Ashley/Gallup 575-863-5383 firstname.lastname@example.org • Joe Phy/Rio Grande 505-242-8800 email@example.com Co-op Board of Directors: email: TalkWithTheBoard@lamontanita.coop • Elise Wheeler, President • Chad Jones, Vice President • Allena Satpathi, Secretary • James Glover, Treasurer • Jerry Anaya, Director • Gina Dennis, Director • James Esqueda, Director • Greg Gould, Director • Marissa Joe, Director Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/ $200 Lifetime Membership + tax Co-op Connection Staff: • Managing Editor: Robin Seydel firstname.lastname@example.org 217-2027 • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Advertising: JR Riegel, 217-2016 • Editorial Assistants: JR Riegelemail@example.com Monique Salhabfirstname.lastname@example.org • Printing: Santa Fe New Mexican Membership information is available at all six Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: email@example.com website: www.lamontanita.coop
BY DON HANCOCK, SOUTHWEST RESEARCH AND INFORMATION CENTER he US Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed expanding the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeastern New Mexico for more nuclear waste and to be a long-term surface storage site. Meanwhile, two nuclear companies are proposing to bring ALL of the nation’s commercial irradiated fuel (high level waste) to West Texas and southeastern New Mexico for indefinite surface storage. People can effectively oppose the WIPP expansion and stop the commercial high-level waste sites.
The WIPP Land Withdrawal Act limits the amount of transuranic (plutonium-contaminated) nuclear weapons waste and specifies that the site is for underground disposal. Rather than trying to develop geologic repositories in other places, DOE wants to expand WIPP for prohibited wastes—high-level defense waste from Hanford, WA; commercial waste from West Valley, NY; commercial Greater-Than Class C waste from nuclear power plants and surface storage of mercury and nuclear weapons waste. Those expan-
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YOU OWN IT
(taking title) and paying for surface storage unless there is a repository, so neither WCS nor Holtec can operate unless the law is changed.
Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich can help stop changes to the WIPP Act and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) can deny permit modification requests.
New Mexicans can urge Senators Udall and Heinrich to prevent surface storage at WIPP and Holtec. People can also voice their opposition to dangerous surface storage and transportation of the waste throughout the nation. It is of note that all this waste would come through Eunice, NM because that is the only rail route to the WCS site.
Waste Control Specialists (WCS), a site in Texas, that’s literally on the New Mexico state line and five miles east of Eunice, NM, has filed an application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to store 40,000 metric tons of the commercial high-level waste at its site. Holtec International, a private nuclear company, is filing an application with the NRC for surface storage of 100,000 metric tons of high-level waste at a site 12 miles from WIPP. Existing irradiated fuel amounts to less than 80,000 metric tons and the expected total amount by 2050 is 133,000 metric tons. Thus, those two sites could store all of the waste for decades, because the only proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, NV is technically flawed and strongly opposed by Nevadans and its state and federal officials. Another federal law, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, prohibits DOE from owning
TULAROSA BASIN DOWNWINDERS CONSORTIUM
Tell NMED to NOT CHANGE the WIPP permit to allow the surface storage facility. Contact Senators Udall and Heinrich and urge them to: • INSIST that DOE drop the WIPP expansion proposals. • OPPOSE legislation to expand WIPP. • OPPOSE legislation to have the federal government pay for off-site surface storage facilities, like WCS and Holtec. Senator Heinrich: www.heinrich.senate.gov/contact Senator Udall: www.tomudall.senate.gov/contact RESOURCES DOE WIPP WEBSITE: www.wipp.energy.gov/ Senator Tom Udall: www.tomudall.senate.gov/ Senator Martin Heinrich: www.heinrich.senate.gov/ NMED: Ricardo.Maestas@state.nm.us SRIC nuclear waste: www.sric.org/nuclear/index.php Nuclear Watch New Mexico: www.nukewatch.org/ Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety: http://nuclearactive.org/
STILL EXPERIENCING THE HEALTH IMPACTS OF THE
BY TINA CORDOVA he Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) recently released the findings of the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) they conducted over the last year. The HIA addresses the physical, mental, generational, and economic health impacts of the July 16, 1945 atomic bomb test at the Trinity Site in south central New Mexico. The people exposed to the radiation have been the unknowing, unwilling, and uncompensated “collateral damage” of the test that ushered in the Nuclear Age.
The purposes of the HIA are to analyze the short and long-term health impacts of the Trinity Test in Otero, Lincoln, Socorro and Sierra Counties and consider the ways that the passage of amendments to the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) may affect the health of the individuals and communities in the Tularosa Basin. RECA has paid out over 2 billion dollars in claims to people living downwind of the Nevada test site since 1990 and has not included the New Mexico Downwinders although we were the first downwinders anyplace in the world. There is growing public awareness of the Downwinder communities. For years
Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Email the Managing Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
sions cannot happen unless the federal law is changed and the State of New Mexico approves modifications of the WIPP permit.
they have appealed to the New Mexico congressional delegation for amendments to RECA that would include them. Amendments have been introduced, but no congressional hearings have been held. These amendments would include the Trinity Downwinders, the Post ’71 uranium miners, and in general, New Mexico residents (former and current) as Downwinders in the US history of atmospheric testing. The TBDC requests that the US Government issue an apology and award reparations to individuals and their families who have suffered as a result of radiation exposure from the Trinity Test. People who are interested can contact Senator Grassley of Iowa the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee where the bill has been stalled for 6 years. You can reach him at 202-224-3744. Please tell him to schedule hearings immediately to bring long overdue justice to the Downwinders of New Mexico.
This report provides evidence and analysis to support the passage of the proposed RECA amendments. The three primary health determinants that are examined are, lack of access to healthcare; economic impact(s) to patients and families; and generational trauma. The TBDC compiled the data from approximately 800 health surveys collected over the years from individuals and families living downwind and downstream of the test, literature reviews, and focus groups.
No major health study by the US Government or otherwise has ever been conducted on the people living downwind and downstream of the world’s first atmospheric nuclear test. Thus, the HIA attempts to cull information relevant to the health and status of these communities that have been historically ignored.
The New Mexico Health Equity Partnership of the Santa Fe Community Foundation funded the HIA, which included a two-day training and technical assistance throughout the process. To learn more, get involved, and to download the HIA, please visit www.trinitydown winders.com/
1. Grow Food! Grow a garden. 2. Stay alert. Protest deregulation. Stand up for our climate. 3. March for Science on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22. Science, including Climate Science, is real. facebook.com/marchforscience 4. Come to La Montañita EarthFest on Sunday, April 23, sign the petitions and letters of the environmental organizations. 5. Follow through on the suggestions of the environmental organizations who have written articles in the Co-op Connection's April environmental edition.
6. Inspire children and youth to be warriors for the earth. 7. Support candidates and groups that are working on a positive restorative environmental platform, agenda or campaign. 8. Protect water. Join one of the many organizations that are working on water quality and quantity in New Mexico. For more information email@example.com. 9. Shop earth mindfully. 10. Conserve and recycle.
WARRIOR EARTH 10 WAYS
BE A FOR THE
BY JANET GRENWALD
April 2017 3
EXPERIENCE YOUR WILDLIFE
FRIENDS OF VALLE DEL ORO WILDLIFE
tance of protecting this property from industrial development and preserving the land and associated water rights for wildlife and for future generations.
BY ARYN LABRAKE he Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge (Friends) is non-profit organization founded by community members in 2011 to assist in the establishment of, and provide support for, the 570 acre Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Initially working to ensure the Refuge’s establishment and multi-stage land acquisitions, the Friends now support and assist in the realization of the overall vision of Valle de Oro NWR to restore native wildlife habitat and the establishment of the Refuge as a community resource, where residents can connect to nature and engage in outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. The Friends contribute volunteer and staff time as well as funding and outreach efforts to support the development and growth of the Refuge and its programs. Since its formation, the Friends have acted as a liaison between the Refuge and the public—hosting events, conducting outreach, supporting and administering environmental education and assisting in Refuge planning projects.
Designated in September, 2012, Valle de Oro NWR is the first Urban National Wildlife Refuge established in the Southwest Region and the first new refuge in the nation established under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Urban Refuge Initiative. Therefore, Valle de Oro NWR was established with the goal of engaging urban residents and the community in the development and restoration of the Refuge and pockets of habitat surrounding the Refuge. Located on the former Price’s Dairy farm on the east bank of the Rio Grande, and only fifteen minutes from Downtown Albuquerque in the South Valley, Valle de Oro NWR works to engage community partners to establish a 21st century conservation ethic and reconnect people, especially youth, to the natural world. The refuge was established due to partnership efforts of many in the community which recognized the impor-
Valle de Oro NWR is currently an alfalfa field that is being farmed and sold as feed for horses and livestock. However, the long grasses and irrigation ditches that cross-hatch the site are an attractive spot for wildlife, especially groundnesting birds, and provide an important waypoint along the Rio Grande migratory path for migratory birds such as Sandhill cranes, geese, and various wading birds. The restoration of native habitats has begun with an expansion of the Bosque habitat into the refuge and the regrowth of naturally occurring grasses and brushland. Refuge plans include habitat restoration, wetlands, riparian forest, a visitor center, outdoor classrooms and trails. The planned restoration of native habitat on the Refuge will not only benefit and support a greater diversity of wildlife, but will create a community greenspace and environmental education center while protecting and restoring the health and vitality of the adjacent Rio Grande. Valle de Oro NWR offers a unique environmental education and recreation opportunity in a highly populated area while promoting a wildlife conservation message.
2400 Rio Grande. Blvd. NW 505-242-8800
Many school tours visit Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and the refuge is host to various youth corps groups, projects for the Master Naturalist program, and other environmental education projects and programs. La Montañita Co-op's Veteran Farmer Project is honored to have been offered use of the Refuge’s on-site greenhouse. Valle del Oro NWR is located at 7851 2nd St. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, and is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System—a national network of lands and waters managed for the benefit of wildlife, habitat and you.
UNM Bookstore 505-277-9586
For more information: www.friendsofvalledeoro.org www.fws.gov/refuge/valle_de_oro/ Contact Aryn LaBrake at 505-750-3383, aryn@friends ofvalledeoro.org.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL COSTS OF
As of 2016, there are approximately 800 U.S. bases in foreign countries throughout the world. Yes, you read it correctly… 800. These bases take the forms of full-sized installations, training bases
It is a fact that during the Vietnam War, Agent Orange (AO) was the preferred method of biochemical warfare employed by the U.S. More than 21 million gallons of AO was used as a military tactic to destroy Vietnamese enemy hiding places and enemy food supplies. As a result, vegetation, wildlife and wetlands systems were obliterated. Agent Orange left a permanent scar upon Vietnam’s environment and subjected thousands of Vietnamese civilians and soldiers coupled with American service members with generations of physical defects and illnesses due to chemical exposure. To add insult to injury, it is estimated – although no actual number is known—350,000-800,000 tons of unexploded ordinance (UXO)—mines, grenades, bombs, etc.—remain in the ground in Vietnam. CONTINUED ON PAGE 11
IN APRIL YOUR BAG CREDIT DONATIONS WILL GO TO: Valle Del Oro Wildlife Refuge: Establishing a community resource that restores native wildlife habitat where residents can connect to nature in recreational and educational ways. In February your bag credit donations totaling $2,446.70 were given to: The Adoption Exchange. THANK YOU!
DONATE YOUR BAG CREDIT! BRING A BAG... DONATE-A-DIME!
3601 Old Airport Ave. NW 505-503-2550
Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.
BY MONIQUE SALHAB illions will be observing Earth Day this month, and highlighted will be the continued impact pollution and climate change are exerting on the planet. Additionally, we are reminded daily of an administration which does not believe in climate change; rather the dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.), the selling off of American Public Lands to the highest corporate contractor and the proliferation of nuclear and military engagement. With that said, I thought it appropriate to discuss how the Military Industrial Complex—in which I served ten years and two tours in Iraq—is the most singular (and largest) polluter in the world.
Old A irpor t Ave .
and Forward Operating Bases (F.O.B.’s) to “lily-pads." The environmental impacts of the military—no matter the size of the base—expand beyond times of war. The U.S. Military Industrial Complex has vastly affected ecosystems wherever it has established its foothold in the world. Ecologies have been destroyed, indigenous vegetation eliminated, native animals uprooted, waters and soils polluted by waste dumping, causing animal mutations, human deformities and so much more.
Old Airport Ave. 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 News is published by La Montañita Co-op to provide information on La Montañita Co-op, 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.
April 2017 4
A PATH FORWARD FOR IMMIGRANTS AND WOMEN?
TRY A CO-OP! BY NATHAN HIXSON, LOCAL ENTERPRISE ASSISTANCE FUND (LEAF) ast month saw the observance of International Women’s Day. Much attention was paid to a massive financial firm’s political art statement—a bronze statue of a young girl facing down the famous Wall Street bull in Manhattan. The statue was meant to support women in leadership, particularly in the board room of large corporations. At LEAF, we celebrated the day by approving a loan to a worker-owned cooperative in the Bronx, whose staff is 90% African-American or Latina, 70% immigrant, and 99% women. It also happens to be the largest worker co-op in the country.
nation’s largest worker-owned cooperative business in terms of employees, and likely in revenues as well. The coop employs home care aides that assist patients with their healthcare needs at home. They perform a variety of duties, helping with everything from readjustment postsurgery to medical device instruction to meal preparation. The Co-op started in the Bronx in New York City 30 years ago, and has grown to serve thousands of patients each year throughout most of the city.
Worker co-ops are big on fairness and equal opportunity, but often not of a sufficient size to draw much attention. Many prefer to stay small and influence economic opportunity as a group of small businesses—not Cooperative Home Care Associates. With over 2,000 employees, CHCA is the
CHCA pays employees their normal hourly wage to attend quarterly meetings to learn the financial state of their company plus key trends within New York City's home care industry. This ensures employees are informed about the business they co-own, so that they
CO-OP DISTRIBUTION CENTER
ANTHONY YOUTH FARM
RADISHES AND SPINACH
BENJAMIN BARTLEY, VALUE CHAIN SPECIALIST nthony Youth Farm is a business incubation and youth development project based in Southern New Mexico. Located on a 13-acre farm parcel, AYF is currently growing three acres of ecologically-managed, diversified vegetables. In addition to growing great produce, AYF is creating meaningful jobs for young adults in Anthony, New Mexico. The AYF youth development program provides
But being the biggest worker co-op in the U.S. isn’t even what makes CHCA so special—it’s their management and governance by employees and their commitment to the chronically ill or disabled persons they serve. CHCA has always broken new ground in the home care industry in both respects.
can make effective decisions and democratically elect board members. This difference shows in how employees are treated vis-à-vis the industry norms: CHCA trains employees in both Spanish and English, guarantees hours to provide a stable income, and provides benefits. Decades ago, home care workers were viewed and treated as little more than unskilled babysitters. That view still exists today, but much less so due in part to CHCA’s efforts to profile the important and cost-saving work of home aides. They also promoted improved training for all home aides, not just their own employees. To this end, CHCA created a separate nonprofit to push for better care of those in need through better treatment and support of home care aides. To this day, CHCA trains their employees at twice the number of hours required by law and sees the benefit—their quality of care is top tier and employee turnover is about 15%, compared to the industry’s national average of 50%. In 2012, CHCA became the first home care company to earn the “B Corp” (Benefit Corporation) certification and last year was ranked 1st out of the 2,000 assessed Certified B Corporations. B Magazine’s CEO and Publisher, Bryan Welch, said he viewed CHCA as “simply the best business in the world.” Best in the world or not, when it comes to money supporting effective businesses taking action for women and immigrants (before it was cool), we look to co-ops.
hands-on training and education in marketing, enterprise development, and sustainable agriculture. La Montañita has been working with AYF for several years, backhauling their produce to wholesale customers in Central and Northern New Mexico. With the help of La Montañita’s marketing and value chain staff, AYF has developed some new products for our Co-op stores. Look for Anthony Youth Farm bunched radishes and packaged salad spinach in our Produce departments in the month of April. This has been a win-win-win for all involved – AYF has increased its production capacity through production planning and product development with the Co-op; La
Montañita has naturally extended its season for local radishes and spinach; and the paid youth trainees at AYF have experienced firsthand what it takes to develop, produce and pack a retail-ready product.
April 2017 5
MEMBERSHIP IS OWNERSHIP MEASURING SUCCESS FROM THE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ast month we encouraged you to think of your extraordinary vision for the Co-op. Where do we want to be in 5 or 10 years time? What are our aspirations? If you have not done so, please attend an upcoming Board meeting, a Town Hall or email TalkWithTheBoard@ lamontanita.coop to share your vision. How will we know we are moving toward our vision? We have to establish metrics that tell us we are moving in the right direction and measure for success along the way. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are one type of metric we can utilize to provide insight into the Co-op’s operations, achievement of objectives and positive impacts on our communities across New Mexico. State of Health indicators (SOHIs) offer another type of visibility into our organization and the impacts we have on the community. We have seen such measures before; examples include membership numbers, number of local products sold or distributed through the Cooperative Distribution Center, donations made and others. There are many dif-
LEADERSHIP T E A M U P D AT E
of Events 4/4 BoD Policy Development Committee La Montañita Co-op Support Office, 901 Menual Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, 5:30pm
ferent ways to look at KPIs and SOHIs, and continually seeking an alternate point-of-view will provide even more context into what is working well, what is not working, opportunities for course correction or improvement and clear successes.
4/11 BoD Member Engagement Meeting La Montañita Co-op Support Office, 901 Menual Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, 5:30pm
April’s monthly Member Business Meeting will feature the LMC Finance Committee presentation of Fiscal Year 2017 Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 Financial KPIs. I encourage you to attend and hear what the indicators are, what they mean, how they are measured and the actions that are triggered based on the KPI values. As mentioned, Financial KPIs are only one view into our Co-op. KPIs and SOHIs exist around all aspects of our organization. Examples include customer engagement, diversity and inclusion, employee retention, vendors and supply chain, as well as sustainability impacts such as carbon, water and recycling footprints. What KPIs and SOHIs shall we measure to make sure we are moving successfully toward your vision? Email TalkWithTheBoard@lamontanita.coop and let us know. THANK YOU, YOUR BOARD
4/18 BoD Meeting Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW, Albuquerque, 5:45pm
CO-OPS: A Solution-Based System A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
ACTIVITIES 4/23 4/22 4/22 SIDE
with unique experiences and perspectives. These unique experiences and perspectives are what give the feedback process such power!
BY ROB DIXON, COOPERATIVE SUPPORT AND OPERATIONS OFFICER have been the interim COSO for just over three weeks now. The first two weeks went by fast just trying to get up to speed with everything. This week felt like I got my head wrapped around the major issues and began making some progress. I have had several conversations about asking for input and the perceptions of what does or doesn't happen with that feedback in the recent past.
We all have responsibilities in our lives that require us to be the decision maker for ourselves or others on some level. When we are asked for input, we are being asked for help from another to see the puzzle, task, or decision to be made from different perspectives and experiences. They are asking us to share our hard-won wisdom to inform the decision to be made. Asking for input does not relieve a person from their responsibility for making a decision, but it does help them make a more informed decision. From my point of view, being given the opportunity to inform a decision is a recognition of the value of our unique perspective.
I would like to share my perspective on the feedback process and why it is so important. Odds are we will never know about all of the experiences another person has had. I am a prime example of that. It would have been easy to write me off as just another "IT Guy" or any other label of one's choosing. Since becoming the COSO, more people are learning about my diverse background, skill sets and way of thinking. We are all unique people
Folks, we are in an exciting time of change in the history of La Montañita. We have a new board, our management structure has changed, we have two staff members serving temporarily in the two new leadership positions, and a sincere desire throughout the Co-op to come together and make La Montañita even better than before. Between now and August a lot of future-shaping decisions will be made and we have the opportunity to inform many of those
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL: DOUBLE ACTIONS FOR
MOTHER EARTH BY AMYLEE UDELL oes your mother make you feel guilty? Mother Earth, that is? Do you wish you would be better about protecting her, but you're just too tired, too busy, too overwhelmed and don't know where to start? Does "stewardship" sound exhausting and "carbon footprint" sound complicated? Habits are hard to change and new ones difficult to establish. So don't think huge. Think small. Think just one.
What are tasks you can do just once a day, week or even a month that would make a small difference but be a sturdy and solid rung on the ladder toward long-term change and bigger differences? If you feel like you do almost nothing now, try doing just one of these. If you already have some beneficial habits going, perhaps add one more of these or go for one MORE time per day/week/month of one you already do. And if you do most of these already, you're a rock star, so perhaps help others with these or discern how you can step it up a notch for yourself. • Hang up just one load of clothes per week instead of running it through the dryer. • Using disposable diapers? Use just one cloth diaper a day. Or one reusable wipe instead of disposable. Just one means 365 per year that do not go into a landfill.
EARTHFEST 10am-5:30pm NOB HILL CO-OP BBQ 11:30am-2:30pm SANTE FE CO-OP CLOTH BAG GIVEAWAY first 100 customers WESTCO-OP
• Grab your reusable water bottle or coffee mug one more time a week. • Pack leftovers for lunch just once a week (using reusable storage containers instead of plastic wrap). • If you're dealing with spills and counter messes, once a day grab a cleaning cloth instead of a paper towel. • Have one mostly locally sourced meal per week. • Switch to buying one bulk item in place of a regularly purchased packaged item. • Plant one edible item this year. Or try sprouting! • Go for one walk per week instead of going online or watching TV. • Unplug one "vampire" when it's not in use. Vampires use energy when not in use but are still plugged in, such as clocks, computers in stand-by mode, TVs, cell phone chargers, and more. • Walk, bike, carpool or take public transportation once a week instead of going solo in your car. • Wash one load of laundry a week in cold water. • Have one use-it-all-up meal of leftovers or odds and ends per week. Food waste isn't just food waste. It's wasted water, packaging, and transportation and fuel. • Eliminate one car trip per week. Combine errands and avoid high traffic times and areas. AMYLEE UDELL blogs about the small and big things she does to keep her family on track at www.productivemama.com.
decisions with our input. We have several opportunities coming up this month. • The Board President, other board members, Will the CRO, and I will be in store locations this month to update our team members in person, answer questions, and hear what is on their minds. • Board committee meetings are an opportunity I cannot stress the importance of enough. These committees are where the big topics to be voted on are discussed in a collaborative way. The Board is asking us to share our perspectives and inform the decisions they will be making. If you cannot make it to a meeting, share your perspective with a friend that is going. http:// lamontanita.coop/board-meetings/. • The monthly Board Business Meeting for April will be held in Albuquerque at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. http:// lamontanita.coop/board-meetings/. We are part of something bigger than ourselves. The future of La Montañita is being shaped by this transition, and we are being asked to help inform decisions. We just need to show up and be willing to work with each other in a collaborative way. Remember you are the heart and soul of La Montañita and your positive attitude will help shape the future for the Co-op we know and love. RESPECTFULLY, ROB DIXON firstname.lastname@example.org, 505-217-2004
EARTH DAY ACTIVITY APRIL 19 6:30PM
FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION A N TA R C T I C A :
THe Violet Crown Cinema is screening “Antarctica: Ice and Sky” on April 19 at 6:30pm as a benefit for Santa Fe Watershed Association’s Climate Masters class. Three polar scientists at LANL have agreed to be a discussion panel: Matthew Hoffman is with the Fluid Dynamics and Solid Mechanics Group. Steve Price is working to better understand recent, dramatic changes in the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets. Cathy Wilson is Team Leader: Atmosphere, Climate and Ecosystem Sciences, Earth and Environmental Sciences Division. For more information and for tickets go to www.santafewatershed.org, or call Raquel at 505-820-1696.
LIGHTEN UP FOR SPRING
April 2017 8
GREEN MUSTARD GREENS SALAD Serves 6 / Prep time: 10 minutes / Marinade: up to 3 days 1 bunch of mustard greens 2 grapefruits, peeled, segmented and diced 2 T of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed 2 T of maple syrup Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. The salad can be eaten right away or stored and marinated in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The longer it marinates, the less spicy the mustard greens become. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 71; TOTAL FAT 0G; SATURATED FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 8MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 17G; DIETARY FIBER 3G; SUGARS 12G; PROTEIN 2G RED LENTILS AND QUINOA Serves 6 as side dish / Prep time: 10 minutes 2 cups cooked quinoa 1 1/2 cups cooked red lentils 1 14-ounce can crushed pineapple 3/4 cup shredded coconut Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and serve. It can be served warm as a pilaf or cold as a salad. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 201; TOTAL FAT 5G; SATURATED FAT 3G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 148MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 33G; DIETARY FIBER 7G; SUGARS 11G; PROTEIN 8G STUFFED AVOCADOS WITH TUNA-FREE SALAD Serves 4 / Prep Time: 45 minutes 2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced 1/4 cup dill pickle, finely chopped (optional) 1 sheet toasted sushi nori, finely crumbled* 1 cup vegan mayonnaise 1 tsp sea salt 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 4 medium to large avocados, peeled and halved In a large bowl, mash garbanzo beans with a potato masher or the back of a fork, until no pieces remain. Fold the onion, celery, garlic, pickle (if using), nori, mayonnaise, salt and pepper into the mashed garbanzo beans. Combine thoroughly. Fill each avocado half with a generous scoop of tuna-free salad. Place 2 filled avocado halves on a bed of greens. Additional garnishes may include cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, sliced carrots, sliced radishes, olives, etc. Serve with crusty bread or crackers of choice. *For a "fishier" taste, add more nori flakes. This vegan tuna-free salad also makes a great sandwich spread, served on plain or toasted multi-grain or bread of choice, with crisp lettuce and fresh tomato slices. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 707; TOTAL FAT 41G; SATURATED FAT 6G; CHOLESTEROL 14MG; SODIUM 696MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 78G; DIETARY FIBER 23G; SUGARS 4G; PROTEIN 15G ROASTED VEGETABLE AND PARSLEY SALAD Serves 8 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 1 hour 1 golden beet, diced 4 parsnips, diced 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced 1 T cooking oil 1 cup parsley, chopped Place the diced golden beet, parsnips and mushrooms in a large baking dish and toss with the oil. Bake in the oven at 345ยบ F for about an hour or until the vegetables are soft and begin to brown. Remove the vegetables to a serving dish to cool. Once the vegetables have cooled, add the chopped parsley, mix well and serve. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 62; TOTAL FAT 2G; SATURATED FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 14MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 11G; DIETARY FIBER 3G; SUGARS 3G; PROTEIN 1G
LIGHTEN UP FOR SPRING BERRY AND GREENS SMOOTHIE Serves 3 / Prep time: 10 minutes Looking for an easy way to eat more spring greens? This berry and greens smoothie fits the bill. It is simple, yummy, and satisfying. With all those berries, even the kids will like it! 1 10-ounce package of frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, cherries, etc.) 1 banana, not overly ripe 4-6 large leaves of kale, collards or chard, roughly chopped 1 cup of your favorite juice 1 T maple syrup Optional ingredients 1 T ground flax or chia seeds Blend all the ingredients in a blender on high for about 5 minutes and serve. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 167; TOTAL FAT 0G; SATURATED FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 6MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 40G; DIETARY FIBER 9G; SUGARS 24G; PROTEIN 2G SAUTÉED SUGAR SNAP PEAS AND SHIITAKES Serves 4 / Prep Time: 15 minutes 1 lb sugar snap peas 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, wiped clean, thinly sliced 2 tsp wheat-free tamari 1 T sesame oil 2 tsp canola or vegetable oil 1/4 tsp dry pan-toasted sesame seeds Remove the strings from the peas if necessary. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the peas and time 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until chilled. Pat dry. Prepare the mushrooms and set aside. Combine the tamari and sesame oil; set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shiitakes and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in the peas and sauté 2
minutes, or until heated through. Add the tamari mixture and stir until the vegetables are coated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 173; TOTAL FAT 7G; SATURATED FAT 1G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 176MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 25G; DIETARY FIBER 7G; SUGARS 9G; PROTEIN 6G FARFALLE WITH MASCARPONE, ASPARAGUS, AND HAZLENUTS Serves 6 / Prep Time: 25 minutes 2 lbs slender asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 2-inch lengths (about 6 cups) 3 T olive oil 1 lb farfalle (bow-tie pasta) 1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped 3 T chopped fresh chives Parmesan cheese shavings Preheat oven to 450°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place asparagus on prepared sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat; spread in single layer. Roast until asparagus is tender, about 10 minutes (can be prepared 2 hours ahead; let stand at room temperature). Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pot. Stir in mascarpone, grated Parmesan cheese, and asparagus. Toss over medium-low heat until pasta is coated with sauce and mixture is heated through, adding reserved pasta water by 1/4 cupfuls if dry, about 3 minutes. Mound pasta in large shallow serving bowl. Sprinkle with hazelnuts, chives, and parmesan cheese shavings. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 637; TOTAL FAT 34G; SATURATED FAT 11G; CHOLESTEROL 62MG; SODIUM 240MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 65G; DIETARY FIBER 7G; SUGARS 2G; PROTEIN 19G
April 2017 9
HEALING THE EARTH
April 2017 10
PRESERVING SEED TO HEAL
THE EARTH AN ANCIENT TRADITION
BY JESSIE EMERSON fficially Earth Day is in the month of April. But of course, every day needs to be Earth Day in our consciousness. More than ever we need to think of Gaia. We are living in the age of seed patents, GMOs and the idea that seeds are commodities. Diversity is disappearing rapidly. Over 60% of the world’s seeds are owned by 3 companies: Monsanto, Dupont, Syngenta-Chem China.
Over 10,000 plant species have been used for agriculture and human good. As late as 1900 food was provided by as many as 1,500 different plants. Today there are no more than 120 cultivated species providing 90% of the world’s nutrition. Only 4-wheat, rice, corn and soybeans -provide 75% of the calories consumed by man. Corn, soybeans and canola (rapeseed) are the crops that have been chosen by the seed companies to be made into GMOs. New Mexico State University is handing out literature praising GMOs and saying that GMO food is nutritionally equal to “their non-GMO counterparts” The varieties offered by most commercial seed and seedling vendors are but a tiny fraction of the seeds and plants available. If the farmers of Ireland had planted (or had access to) more than one variety of potatoes, the people would not have suffered so terribly from the famine that was caused by the potato blight. Mono-cropping is an invitation to disaster. Another threat to sustainability is the seed patent. BioTech seed corporations are patenting seed, making it illegal to save and use seed from crops grown. They are also designing terminator seeds, meaning the seeds from one year’s crop cannot reproduce the next year. Ismail Serageldin, an agriculture scientist and Director of Alexandria, Egypt’s new seed library told a biotechnical conference, “ We need to protect plants for future generations. Conserving genetic resources is a challenge for all
humanity. Without genetic resources from plants, we lose one of our greatest tools to alleviate poverty, fight disease and protect the environment. We are in danger of losing much of our agriculture diversity”. Saving Seed Older than Time Seed saving is older than time. Seed stories connect people and preserve culture. It is time to move from “Agrimechanics” back to “Agri-culture.” Seed libraries are one way to keep alive the ancient tradition of seed saving and seed sharing. A seed library is a depository of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds held in trust for are LIVING BEINGS members of the library. The seeds are and must be free to members. Members borrow seeds RENEWED each year for their garden and grow the plants. so they do not They commit to let a few plants “go to become EXTINCT seed.” From those plants they collect seeds to return to the library to replenish the inventory.
A seed library is both a collection of seeds and of community gardeners and farmers. Seeds are living beings. They may look dry and not alive, but inside their shell they are breathing and their 10% water content reacts to the pull of the moon and pull of the tides. The DNA and memories of a culture are in each seed. Each seed has a story to tell. A seed library is different from a seed bank in that the main purpose is not to store or hold germ plasma or seeds against possible destruction, but to disseminate them to the public which preserves the shared plant varieties through growing them and future sharing. A seed swap is just that, sharing and swapping seeds. There is no commitment to growing them for future growing. Seeds are living beings and must be renewed each year so they do not become extinct. Each seed returned to the library is valuable. By pledging to return seeds you are becoming a seed steward and in the company of a vast “Global Seed Movement”. You are recognizing the gift of seed from Mother Earth.
VETERAN FARMER BY MONIQUE SALHAB he Veteran Farmer Project (VFP) crew is in full swing with the planting season. We have expanded to three locations: Corrales, the North Valley and the far South Valley. We are in our second year at the Corrales farm site and have decided to streamline planting this season. Last year we did a variety of lettuces, beets, beans, corn, carrots, turnips, cucumber, peppers and herbs. This season we are planting onions, potatoes and asparagus. Our experience with bagrada bugs—which inhaled our kale and chard last season—left us a little sour. Who knew they ate so much?! Except for December, our chickens continued to lay eggs throughout the winter! Mr. Roo (our rooster) has definitely
THE VALUE OF SEED SAVING, GROWING AND SHARING 1. Maintaining biodiversity 2. Preserve flavor and nutrition 3. Save money 4. Food sovereignty (self reliance) 5. Native seeds/Landrace seeds: Seeds that are adapted to local climate and soil 6. Attract beneficial insects: giving a home to the Rusty Patched Bumblebee which is becoming an endangered species 7. Learning new skills 8. Preserve culture, heritage and sense of place 9. Community: Being with like-minded people nourishes the Soul Thomas Jefferson collected seeds and bred plants. He introduced more than 100 varieties of upland rice. He said, “The greatest service which can be rendered to a country is to add a useful plant to its culture.” Henry Kissinger said, “Control politics and you control governments; control food and you control people.” JOIN THE SEED REVOLUTION NOW Starting a seed library isn’t complex, but there is a process. Come to a workshop on Seeds, the Value of Seed Libraries, learn how to start and maintain a seed library, create a system and a structure, record keeping, education and funding. Contact Jessie Emerson at: 505-470-1363, or email@example.com.
grown into himself, and he is quite beautiful! He’s got the strutting and crowing perfected. Our second location, where the rebuilding of the greenhouse is in full swing, is coming along. Please join us at our North Valley location on Saturday, April 8 from 10am–1pm. We will be working hard and need all the help of the community!
COME ON DOWN!
our crew rebuild the GREENHOUSE! JOIN US at our
NORTH VALLEY LOCATION ON
APRIL 8 from 10AM-1PM
To RSVP, ask questions and for the location of the re-building, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Ronda at: vfpABQ@yahoo.com, or call 505-550-2621. If you are interested in being placed on our VFP listserv, email email@example.com.
Our third location in the South Valley, facilitated by Ronda, sustained a slight setback. The greenhouse which was previously established there sustained some damage from high winds. The plan was to commence vegetable starts in this greenhouse. Plan B is in place and Ronda has veggie starts elsewhere. We are confident repairs will be done soon and planting will be on track.
We are always in need of enthusiastic and committed individuals who can assist with weeding, tilling and planting. Since most of this work is done during the week, individuals who are retired, students and those with flexibility in their schedules are desired. Please contact Ronda Zaragoza at: vfpABQ@yahoo.com or call 505-550-2621 for more information.
April 1st: 2pm to 4pm (Candy Kitchen Learning Center) Gala Kickoff. Permaculture Planning for New Learning Center Part 1 Open house for land. General principles of Permaculture. Group tour. Group brainstorming on use of land. April 18th: 6pm to 8pm (Gallup Work in Beauty House) Permaculture Planning for Home Gardens, Permaculture Zone Concepts. Explaining the use of Permaculture zones in the home garden.
WORK IN BEAUTY GREENING
ROCKY MOUNTAIN SEED ALLIANCE
BY BELLE STARR The Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance (RMSA) is proud to present Seed School, an ongoing program offering a comprehensive overview of the history, science, business and craft of seeds in an engaging format appropriate for all skill levels and backgrounds. Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening seed and food security in our southwestern region. OUR OFFERINGS: Seed School Online - Ongoing 7 weeks, downloadable webinar, $47 with monthly live webinars with Executive Director Bill McDorman - The only comprehensive online seed saving course available. www.rockymountainseeds.org
April 2–7 Seed School Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, CO. $750 regular tuition, $650 for RMSA and Denver Botanic Gardens members. April 23 Seed School in a Day Santa Fe, NM, $65 regular, $52 RMSA members. October 1–6 Seed School Teacher Training - Posner Center, Denver, CO. $750 regular tuition, $650 for RMSA members. Application only. Class size limited. Join RMSA at the $25 level and receive a $150 discount for Seed School! Scholarships may be available. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
EARTH DAY EVERY DAY
April 2017 11
ITCHY GREEN THUMB:
ment parts. As to be expected, it's no surprise that John Deere, Apple and AT&T are fighting hard against it, citing intellectual property rights, even for mom and pop repair shops. Stay tuned.
RANDOM NOTES BRETT BAKKER, QUATROS PUERTAS MORE BEE BUZZ he Environmental Protection Agency’s listing of the Rusty Patched Bumblebee—a pollinator whose historic range included twenty eight states and two Canadian provinces—as an Endangered Species has been delayed by the current presidential administration. This is no surprise as newly-appointed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has long advocated shutting down the Agency entirely. The delay is being challenged by the Natural Resources Defense Council which argues it was made without public input and violates both the Endangered Species Act and the Administrative Procedures Act. The listing was originally slated for February 9 but is delayed until at least March 21 (it is March 9 as I write this so the fate of this listing is pending). BY
All of us granola-sniffin’ tree huggers know the full value of bees. I mean even the abomination known as a taco bowl—a presidential favorite—depends on pollinators if you trace the ingredients back far enough. To put it crassly, the economic value of pollinators to the US is estimated at $3 billion annually. Numbers like that should impress even the most business-minded politician. No word on whether the bumblebee’s habit of crossing borders without vetting is at issue. NO FIX Putting rice or wheat or milk or cooking oil on our tables daily nationwide—even at the best organic and sustainable farms, requires gigantic farm machines that are sometimes worth more than the crop. That machinery’s impact on the environment and soils is a
discussion for another time but the impact on the farmer is enormous. Besides being in perpetual debt, farmers—long known for ingenuity and solving their own problems—can rarely repair their own equipment these days. This began when tractors, cultivators, harvesters, etc. grew too large to fix without oversize tools but now it’s the tiny tools—those with microchips—that are locking the farmer out of his own toolbox, so to speak. Software is an essential component of farm equipment these days. Tractors that pretty much drive themselves with the aid of satellite technology are the best known example. If the software malfunctions, not only is the average farmer ill-equipped to fix it with baling wire and old fashioned knowhow but many times it is illegal to do so. Digital diagnostics tools, replacement chips, even trouble-shooting manuals are unavailable because of intellectual property concerns. To be realistic, you probably don’t want anyone messing with satellite technology that doesn’t know how. But take the example of one Nebraska farmer who can’t even turn off a faulty in-cab alarm without paying hundreds of dollars to a tech specialist, not to mention travel fees to his rural location. Concerns like this have led to the introduction of the Nebraska Fair Repair Act. It simply requires manufacturers to provide owners and independent repair businesses access to service info and replace-
THE ENVIRONMENTAL COSTS OF
UNITED STATES MILITARIZATION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 In 1977, several dozen countries including the United States signed the Environmental Modification Convention. This document was constructed to “limit the environmental impacts of war and military activities” and directed countries “not to engage in military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques”1. Fast forward to the 1990s with the creation of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP). Based out of Alaska, HAARP was (and still is) a scientific research program created to study the “ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance.”2 In 2015, the United States Air Force transferred the research facility to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, but the research and testing continues.
So let’s pivot to the Pacific region and examine Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa is about 463 square miles and has 32 U.S. military—Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine—installations with functions from training, storage, communications, housing, logistics, air bases, port facilities and medical. It would take another article to chronicle how Okinawa became the U.S.’s backyard for military proliferation in the Pacific, but it began shortly after WWII. Can you imagine the levels of environmental damage which has occurred since then? Along with the soil and water pollution, toxic waste dumping and deforestation is the added impact of artillery shells from training exercises and UXO during the seventy plus years the United States has occupied Okinawa. I could examine our very own state of New Mexico, but again, that would be another article. As we know, New Mexico is home to three
As a veteran and activist-organizer, I am acutely aware of the costs of war. The United States military is a purveyor of destruction and violence upon countries, cultures, people and the environment. The true costs of war go beyond monetary figures, although politicians will speak nil of how to pay for never-ending wars and how these wars have contributed to the U.S. debt. Our conversations about climate change need to include the U.S. military. The Military Industrial Complex is an autonomous entity which exists because of groupthink. It operates as one, it destroys as one and kills as one. Wouldn’t it be amazing if it could rebuild and positively contribute as one?
WAR go beyond MONETARY
FIGURES, although politicians will speak nil of how to pay for NEVER-ENDING WARS and HOW THESE WARS
HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO U.S. DEBT
EARTH DAYAT THE BIOPARK
Visit one or another of the Bio- Parks centers from 10am to 2pm for rich learning experiences that explore how our actions matter to plants, animals and the ecosystem, both in our own backyard and around the world. For more information go to: www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/biopark Wednesday, April 19, at the Aquarium • Animal feedings in the tanks and animal encounters at the touch pools
Yeah, sure, many federal regulations certainly do indeed impose restrictions on business interests but when the chips are down—and cow chips are in streams and reservoirs— SHARES the potable water is more valuable then stock shares. Once again, problems like pollution require government oversight because the reason for the problem in the first place: concentrated populations of grain-fed livestock— where the animals can’t naturally roam and spread manure on the grass pasture they should instead be eating—turn a valuable resource (nutrient rich manure) into a monstrous liability (manure as pollutant). My favorite statement of all time (quoted in this column many times) is by an anonymous farmer who said “I remember when the cows walked around and the grass stood still.”
POTABLE WATER is more VALUABLE than STOCK
Air Force bases, several Army National Guard Units, one Air National Guard Wing, which is composed of eight separate units, Los Alamos Labs, Sandia National Labs, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (W.I.P.P.), White Sands Missile Range, a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and Dulce— which is an underground base. The cost residents have paid for living in a militarized state is high. (See articles on facing page)
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES
DISCOVER THE WONDERS OF NATURE From April 19-April 22 visit the BioPark’s Zoo, Aquarium and Botanic Garden to learn more about our planet and what you can do to protect the animals and plants that inhabit the Earth. Discovery stations and hands-on activities at each facility will introduce you to the wonders of nature.
When the CHIPS ARE DOWN and the COW CHIPS are in the streams and reservoirs
CAFO B.S. Lest you think I’m a staunch defender of the EPA, let’s recall that a lot of, umm, manure escapes their oversight. The Agency needs to be strengthened, not weakened or abolished. Consider: over thirty environmental and consumer advocacy groups—including Des Moines Water Works, Food and Water Watch and Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future—signed a petition which in part states: “The current regulations fail to require water monitoring, do not prohibit practices known to harm water quality, generally ignore numerous pollutants of concern, place critical decisions about (manure) waste management in the hands of state agencies, and exempt most chronic (feedlot) discharges from permit requirements.”
• Conservation and education information for sharks, sea turtles and the Rio Grande Thursday, April 20, at the Zoo • Story time and zookeeper chats • Hands-on animal discovery stations and enrichment making stations Friday, April 21, at Tingley Beach • Wildlife discovery stations, bird identification and duck feedings • Meetings with fish conservation experts • Free lead weight exchange Saturday, April 22, at the Botanic Garden • Children's Seed Festival with face painting, story time, worm composting and flower seed ball making
1. https://www.state.gov/t/isn/4783.htm 2. http://gi.alaska.edu/haarp-0 Further Reading *Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World (American Empire Project) by David Vine *Mines Advisory Group (MAG): http://maginternational.org—assists with “removing unexploded landmines and UXO from land[s] and destroying them”.