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N ews & V iews

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Health, Wellness & Healing Arts


Northern New Mexico’s Largest Distribution Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 2



Green Fire Times • February 2017

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Green Fire Times • February 2017


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SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Trickster is a literary journal published in spring by Northern New Mexico College. We’re looking for unpublished poetry, fiction, nonfiction, artwork, reviews, and any combination therein. The landscape and cultures of northern New Mexico shape our perspective, but we’re excited to accept original work about anything. We’re looking for work that moves, surprises, maybe even changes shape before our eyes. We want what we weren’t expecting. Sneak up on us. We dare you. Prose should not exceed 5,000 words; poetry submissions should be limited to 3–5 poems. Our submission deadline is April 3, 2017. We only accept work via email. Multiple submissions (such as more than one poem or flash fiction piece) should be attached as one document. Please attach your work as a .doc or .rtf file and send to: TRICKSTER@NNMC.EDU. We read all submissions anonymously, so please include your name, address, and email address only in the body of the email, in addition to the title of work(s). No identifying information should appear on the manuscript. All pages should be numbered. Simultaneous submissions accepted, but please let us know immediately if work is accepted elsewhere. All contributors will receive one copy of the journal. Thank you for your interest in Trickster. We’re anxiously awaiting your work!

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Green Fire Times • February 2017

Prep means Prepared. Ready for Anything. Admissions: 505 795 7512 Ser ving Grades 7 - 12 Call to Schedule a Visit!

Vol. 9, No. 2 •February 2017 Issue No. 94 PUBLISHER

Green Fire Publishing, LLC Skip Whitson ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Barbara E. Brown


Seth Roffman DESIGN

Green Fire Production Department COPY EDITORS

Stephen Klinger, Denise Tessier WEBMASTER

Karen Shepherd CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Curtis Brookover, DDS, George Cappannelli, Sedena C. Cappannelli, Tina Cordova, David Gaussoin, Erica M. Elliott, Jessica Eva Espinoza-Jensen, Ann Filemyr, Ph.D., Master Mingtong Gu, M.D., Emily Haozous, Ph.D., Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., Japa K. Khalsa, Alejandro López, Marcie Martínez, Betsy McDonald, Seth Roffman, Jinelle Scully CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Erica M. Elliott, Alejandro López, Seth Roffman PUBLISHER’S ASSISTANT Cisco Whitson-Brown, Gay Rathman ADVERTISING SALES John M. Nye 505.699.3492 Skip Whitson 505.471.5177 Anna C. Hansen 505.982.0155

News & Views

from the

Sustainable Southwest

Winner of the Sustainable Santa Fe Award for Outstanding Educational Project

Enlivened Ageing in New Mexico and in Our World — Sedena C. Cappannelli . . . . . . . 7 Conscious Aging through Quigong — Master Mingtong Gu and Betsy McDonald . . . 9 Op-Ed: Healthcare vs. Health — George Cappannelli . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 10 Health Efficacy: Winding One’s Way through a Health Crisis — Japa K. Khalsa. . . . . 13 The 4 Pillars of Alzheimer’s Prevention — Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. . . .. . .. . .. 16 Your Microbiome: Making Friends with Your Colonies — Erica M. Elliott, M.D. . . . .18 Green Dentistry and Your Health — Curtis Brookover, DDS. . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 21 Chase the Bugs Away — Marcie Martínez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Food as Medicine: Dora Pacias Is Proof of It — Alejandro López. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 The Herb-Gatherer’s Agreements — Ann Filemyr, Ph.D.. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 28

Lisa Powers 505.629.2655

Transformational Eco-Psycology — Ann Filemyr, Ph.D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Steve Jinks 505-303-0501

New Mexico Health Equity Partnership’s Health Impact Assessment Training . . .. . .. 32 Santa Fe Indian Health Service Hospital – Emily Haozous, Ph.D. . . .. . .. . .. . 32 .Wage Theft Impacts Workers’ Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 .Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium – Tina Cordova. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 33

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GREEN FIRE TIMES c/o The Sun Companies P.O. Box 5588, SF, NM 87502-5588 505.471.5177 • © 2017 Green Fire Publishing, LLC Green Fire Times provides useful information for community members, business people, students and visitors—anyone interested in discovering the wealth of opportunities and resources in the Southwest. In support of a more sustainable planet, topics covered range from green businesses, jobs, products, services, entrepreneurship, investing, design, building and energy—to native perspectives on history, arts & culture, ecotourism, education, sustainable agriculture, regional cuisine, water issues and the healing arts. To our publisher, a more sustainable planet also means maximizing environmental as well as personal health by minimizing consumption of meat and alcohol. Green Fire Times is widely distributed throughout northcentral New Mexico as well as to a growing number of New Mexico cities, towns, pueblos and villages. Feedback, announcements, event listings, advertising and article submissions to be considered for publication are welcome.


Vasant Lad, BAN&S, MASc, ayurvedic physician and founder of the nonprofit Ayervedic Institute in Albuquerque, during a consultation at the KOB Health & Wellness Fair at Expo New Mexico on Jan. 28, 2017. Ayerveda is a healing art and science that integrates ancient therapies from India with modern medicine, yoga and other healing disciplines to bring about health, awareness and harmony. On the table is Usha and Vasant Lad’s renowned cookbook, Ayervedic Cooking for Self-Healing. Photo by Seth Roffman

Green Fire Times • February 2017


Wisdom Healing Retreat Give yourself the time, place and practice to discover health, healing and empowerment

March 1-21, 2017 The Center for Wisdom Healing Qigong in Santa Fe, NM

You May Register For 1-3 Weeks of Retreat And Upcoming Retreats: July and October

On-going Program: Healing Retreats, Events and Online Courses


Green Fire Times • February 2017


Sedena C. Cappannelli


ealth and wellness means different things to each of us as we age. According to longevity expert Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, aging merely refers to a passage of time, and time can be used for regeneration, not just degeneration. “The power to regenerate lies within you,” he says. This is good news at any age, and it’s even better news as we get older. Of course, we are all aging, from the time we are born. It is part of life. It’s just that our youth-obsessed culture is so age-averse that from the time we are very young, getting old is not something we look forward to. But aging can be transforming and enlivening. This is important to us in Santa Fe, where 62 percent of our population is already over 50, and in New Mexico, where we are one of the first states in the nation to have a population in which 50 percent of its citizens are over 50 for the first time in history. As co-founder of AgeNation, an organization providing education, inspiration, engagement and solutions for “people who weren’t born yesterday,” I believe that every stage of life matters, including the second half of life, which can be one of wholeness, meaning and fulfillment, if we are willing to apply some practical tools and a higher perspective. The old perspective about aging, thankfully, is changing at last. If you are over 40, you are in new territory...the old perception no longer fits. You’ve seen it. You’ve been wildly fooled when guessing someone’s age. People who are 50, 60 and 70 are doing age-defying things that only 30- or 40-year-olds once dared achieve. There is also no shortage of exciting, re volutionar y ideas and scientific breakthroughs surfacing, changing the paradigm of aging we all grew up with. We are finding that we can in fact live agelessly, which does not mean we do not age chronologically. It means that with an empowering perspective, integrating new scientific advances, and by implementing some simple, yet powerful lifestyle changes and practices, we can truly find ourselves growing biologically younger and moving into optimal wellness, feeling our best as we age. We already know the basics of being healthy, like eating smarter to live longer, taking supplements, de-stressing, exercising and social engagement. Let’s also remember that happiness is healing. Every cell

Generations of Santa Fe friends and family gather in joyful celebration of an aging matriarch’s health. receives healing, balancing hormones, and the body turns on its own self-repair when we are happy. Our body knows how to fight infections and retard aging. And we are just plain happier when we are living our dreams, so finding our purpose and passion is a proactive way of being healthy, living longer and well. The key is living well as we live longer. Scientists tell us we are living in a time of extremes, where everything is changing faster than most of us are prepared for, an obvious fact in our new world. So in order to have resilience and true health and wellbeing as we age, we need new tools to help us navigate this uncharted territory. If we believe the ancient and contemporary wisdom that tells us that we are energy, it becomes easier to stay balanced, healthy and whole. Keeping our whole system of energy in mind, body and spirit open and moving efficiently and positively is the key to our health and wholeness. A simple gesture can be the beginning of a lifetime of self-love and self-care, something else we need a lot of as we age. Much of the dis-ease in our world comes from the buildup of pressure that is held in. So, an ongoing release of that inner buildup allows us to embody our wholeness. It’s essential to dance, exercise, swim, garden, play, practice yoga…or anything that keeps the trillions of cells moving. My favorite way of generating deep well-being and healing is with Chi Kung.

In 1990 while living in Los Angeles in the midst of a personally challenging time, I was led to study with a Chi Kung master. The ancient energy technologies I learned saved my life. In a matter of a few months I was transformed with a sense of wholeness and energy that was astounding. After practicing diligently for some time, I distilled the deeper levels of Chi Kung into a daily routine that would allow me to continue to feel this incredible aliveness. I share this personalized wellness program along with a combination of wellness, longevity and life skills in the talks, programs and retreats I present. Through a series of wonderful synchronicities, this ancient energy healing practice has once again taken a prominent place in my life. In 2016 I connected with Master Mingtong Gu, a new resident of New Mexico and an internationally known Chi Kung Master who recently created The Wisdom Healing Chi Center in Galisteo. Master Gu offers his healing, loving energy and a variety of energy healing practices and retreats at the center and online. After 25 years of practicing and teaching a variety of ancient and contemporary energy concepts and personal development skills that I call Enlivened Ageing, I have the additional support of Master Gu to help me deepen my practice and to engage and support others to experience deeper levels of health and wholeness in this time of life extension.

With so many people now a part of this demographic revolution, needing preventative ways to support their wellbeing, Chi Kung is a perfect, low-impact health and healing practice that can be life-changing, as it was for me and is for thousands of people around the world. So we now have a huge opportunity in our challenging world to elevate our consciousness and our perspective about all stages of life and health. Our fears and doubts that come from restrictive, obsolete beliefs that dull our perspective can be eliminated. We can also move forward in acceptance and love for ourselves and each other with compassion and a new, enlivening vision celebrating the fullness of life as we age. We can drop doubts and insufficiencies and stand tall together in celebration of our aliveness, our talents and wisdom and make the best of the rest of our lives, as we serve as role models for younger people who will inherit our brave new world. ■ Sedena C. Cappannelli is an award-winning author, speaker, Enlivened Ageing and Life Wellness coach. She is passionate about supporting people to embrace their highest potential, regardless of age. Cappannelli’s upcoming UNM Center for Life workshop, Ageless & Awake, is Feb. 11 ( 505.470.6295 or

Green Fire Times • February 2017


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Green Fire Times • February 2017

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M aster Mingtong Gu and Betsy McDonald


ome things get better with age, like fine wine and cheese. Biological processes transform these common foods into uncommon delicacies— delicious, sought-after treats. But aging in humans? Not always quite so delicious! Science, however, is narrowing in on the biological causes of the diseases of aging. In an interview for the January/February 2017 AARP Bulletin, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and a Nobel Prize winner, discussed the role of telomeres as a main factor in diseases associated with aging.

Telomere deterioration and chronic stress are main factors in diseases associated with aging.

“The chromosomes are where all our genetic material is packaged, in the form of DNA. Telomeres are very special caps at the ends of each chromosome that protect against deterioration… We’ve found that the better your telomeres are protected, the less chance you’ll have of getting any of the big diseases. A beautiful study came out recently showing that if your genes urge your telomeres to be better maintained, your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease will be somewhat low. It’s not 100 percent protection, but it’s an underlying factor.” Associated studies are showing that chronic stress is the significant factor in telomere deterioration. So what can we do to mitigate

the everyday stress in our lives as well as the chronic stress that has taken up residence in our bodies? There have been studies on meditation and telomere maintenance, and “all have indicated that telomere maintenance improved” with meditation. According to Dr. Blackburn, additional ways to keep your telomeres healthy include: “exercise, doing things that interest you, and doing whatever you can to reduce long-term chronic stress.” Qigong fits perfectly into this prescription for health and longevity. In fact, Wisdom Healing Qigong is a form of meditation as well as a slow-moving form of physical exercise. And it is also a really interesting activity! W isdom Healing Qigong practices specifically target release of long- and short-term stress by focusing on releasing energy blockages in the body. We focus our minds back into our bodies and direct our healing energies on those places that are holding stress. Our movements, combined with sound healing and meditations, release layered blockages at deep levels and allow energy to flow freely, thus nourishing all the major organ systems of the body. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual blockages are transformed by these practices. Those of us well into the process of aging know all too well that stress does not instantly dissolve when we take a vacation or even when we retire. Ongoing daily sources of stress include: money, family, health, friendships, the search for meaning and purpose, caring for aging parents and in-laws—and the list goes on. So there is little wonder that stress accumulates and that long-term, chronic stress has taken up

residence in different parts of our bodies. The beauty of qigong is that we now have a practice that allows us to release the stress we accumulate on a daily basis, all the while also clearing that deep chronic stress that has built up over the years. This makes this practice an essential key to true health, happiness and deep fulfillment of life. The practice of qigong allows us to live a fulfilling life at every age. In the end, of course, we all make our transition from this physical body to a formless energy being. Of that we can be certain! However, as qigong practitioners, we are cultivating intimacy with our own energy bodies, the essence of who we are energetically and spiritually. In this way, we open and connect our energy, our spirit, to the earth and the universe every day. The more we practice qigong, the more we grow to understand that in this moment we are manifested as the energy of form in a human body. But before we took on this form, and after we leave this form, we are formless energy beings. I cannot say for certain exactly how my consciousness will manifest after death. I do, however, know that as a result of my qigong practice I have less fear of death and more curiosity than before. I know in the depth of my being that I come from the universe, from the stars; we all do, and to stardust we all shall return. I know that this common beginning is what truly connects us each to each and all as one. So while I walk this beautiful planet with this precious form I have been given, I will honor my body, mind and spirit with

the practice of Wisdom Healing Qigong. And when it comes time for me to leave this body behind, I hope to be fully open to what comes next, to open to the light and majesty of the wondrous source energy of the universe, my next adventure! You can begin experimenting with the adventure called Wisdom Healing Qigong this very moment. The new Qigong for Life program allows you to register and start online classes whenever you are ready. There are also wonderful retreats and workshops, online and in person around the globe, to help you learn and maintain this practice. Go to for more information. ■

Betsy McDonald is a retired teacher and principal from Bishop, California, whose passions include being a mom, skier, hiker, CASA volunteer, Rotary member and a founding member of Inyo350, a group dedicated to environmental protection and social and economic justice. McDonald is a Wisdom Healing Qigong teacher, certif ied under Master Mingtong Gu, founder of The Center for Wisdom Healing Qigong in Galisteo, New Mexico.

Green Fire Times • February 2017



George Cappannelli


W hether we look to ancient or contemporary definitions, it is clear that the word “health” encompasses and encourages a much broader state of wellbeing than does our focus on “healthcare.” Indeed, any genuine consideration of health goes significantly beyond the narrow boundaries and hackneyed arguments that continue to rage in America about what kind of healthcare system we should have. And, in my opinion, it is the narrowness of this argument that prevents us from accomplishing what every other major country in the industrial world did intelligently, maturely and humanely a long time ago. Their efforts to make quality health/life care available to their citizens took precedence over our far more regressive need to make the physical, mental and emotional health of our people someone’s path to profit.

Social, environmental, cultural, educational, economic and physical, mental and emotional health must be addressed concurrently. While this continues to be a subject in need of exploration, with the election of Donald Trump and his nomination of a group of reactionary individuals with questionable competence to lead federal departments and agencies, and with all the huffing, puffing and threatening to blow the house down—particularly when it comes to healthcare, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security by the new Republican-controlled Congress—moving the conversation from healthcare to health has now taken on greater importance and urgency. When we consider a third factor, that in Santa Fe approximately 62 percent of our population is already 50 years of age or older, that our state will soon be among the first in the country to have 50


© Seth Roffman

e a l t h” f ro m t h e G re e k root Kailo means “whole, uninjured, of good omen.” From the Old English Haelan, “to make whole, to make sound and well.” In contemporary times, the World Health Organization offered this definition: “complete mental, physical and social well-being.”

KOB Health & Wellness Fair at Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque, Jan. 28, 2017 percent of its population 50 years of age or older, that New Mexico will also soon rank third or fourth in the nation in the percentage of our population 65 years of age or older, and that the majority of these citizens live in rural areas and subsist on average incomes of $14,000 or less a year, the subject takes on a criticality that is impossible to deny. So let’s turn our attention to exploring a few of the ways we can change the conversation from healthcare to health— from a conversation primarily about an economic process through which we attempt to treat illness and disease, to a much deeper and more meaningful dialogue about how we encourage and support a true, whole-systems health strategy. Let us also look at a few of the things each of us can do to contribute to bringing greater sanity, sustainability and maturity to the task of creating true physical, emotional, mental and social well-being for everyone in this nation and for our nation as a whole.


First and foremost, we would be wise to follow the guidance of this old adage, “The beginning of wisdom is a firm grip on the obvious.” In this case, what is obvious is that the inmates have gotten loose and are now running the Washington asylum without any real understanding of the consequences

Green Fire Times • February 2017

of the absurd and ineffective strategies they propose. And so, we have to start exercising our full rights and responsibilities as citizens and do whatever is necessary to ensure that America joins the rest of the industrial world in putting in place a healthcare system that actually serves the greater good of the greatest number instead of the economic advantage of the few—in short, that we focus on health rather than healthcare.


Second, whenever the term “healthcare” comes up, we would be wise to expand the definition in our minds and conversations to include all of the factors that either retard or contribute to our social, environmental, cultural, educational, economic and physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. For each and every one of these factors must be addressed—concurrently and not separately and consecutively—if we want to bring about true health for each of us, our society and for our planet.


Third, whenever we reflect on the term “health,” we would be wise to ask ourselves what we can do in each moment, independent of the so-called healthcare system and various providers, practitioners and modalities found within it—independent of government regulations and legislation, to improve our social, environmental, cultural,

educational, economic, physical, mental and emotional health. In short, we can exercise our “unalienable rights endowed by our Creator” in every thought, word and action. We can ensure that we have the highest quality foods to eat, the purest and most available water to drink and cleanest air to breathe. What can exercise The Power of One, which means greater consciousness and discernment in regard to every product and service we purchase, and every action that is necessary to reduce manmade causes of climate change. We can do forms of exercise that are right for our bodies and make each and every interaction we have with all other life-forms—human or animal—constructive, positive and uplifting. Yes, we can do all of this and more to take greater responsibility for ourselves and our own health and therefore for the health and well-being of the world we live in. Because in case you haven’t noticed, if we wait for our so-called leaders to create a sane and sustainable world, we’ll wait a very long time. So whenever someone tries to drag you into a bogus and toxic conversation about our healthcare system, remind them that it is health—a whole systems model—that really needs to be discussed. And no matter what the inmates in Washington or the equally

mad media and their flawed polls try to tell us, no matter what political preference we cling so tenaciously to—left, center or right—let us remember that every man, women or child wants the same thing. Let us remember, as the poet Mark Nepo reminds us, “What we reach for may be different, but what makes us reach is the same.”

Sounds so simple and obvious, doesn’t it? But, of course, it’s not! And frankly, this state of conscious well-being will never become our reality until we stop participating in this fraudulent, selfdefeating argument about the economics of a healthcare system and instead begin the long-overdue and intelligent dialogue about what we need to do to create true health. It is a dialogue that will bring each of us, our nation and our world into a time of greater consciousness, sanity and sustainability, and it will allow us to direct our attention, energy and creativity to actually fulfilling the promise articulated in our founding documents so that we can start living quality lives rather than only wishing and hoping for them. ■ George Cappannelli is an award-winning author, organizational c o n s u l ta n t , expert on societal, organizational and individual change. He i s c o - f o u n d e r of AgeNation and Empower New Mexico. You can join Cappannelli and Alan Webber for The Santa Fe Dialogues on the Future. To receive a pdf of The Power Of One, email Info@agenaton. com. 602.339.3777,

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Yes, all of us want the right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” for ourselves, and, fortunately, a growing majority of us also want these things for each other. All of us long for the ability to lead lives of genuine meaning and purpose, to contribute our gifts to the time in which we live and to have the opportunity to manifest the dreams we came here to manifest. With the exception of those reactionary inmates and those on the fringe of consciousness who support them, the majority of us long for a society dedicated to the common good, one in which there is ample food, clothing, shelter and equal opportunity for all.The majority of us desire a habitat that is thriving and sustainable in which we can learn to be better at being human. And along the way, when we require support and assistance with our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, all of us want to have access to the kind and quality of care we need without having to sacrifice our financial solvency or become indentured servants to receive it, especially when this kind of servitude results from a system built on the premise that a relative few have the right to take far more than their fair share from the process.

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Japa K. K halsa, DOM


hat really happens inside when our health has spun out of control? Have you or a loved one ever been through a real health crisis, when you felt horrible and did not know what was wrong? Or perhaps you came back from the doctor with news that was less than happy. What can be done during those times to return that lost sense of autonomy—the feeling that we have choice, hope and that there is an opportunity for quality of life to be restored? This kind of event can be terrifying on so many levels, and without the right direction and support it can compound the health issues at hand due to the added stress of not knowing how to accept the illness.

To turn on this inner ability to heal, one has to find the reasons for living.

What really helps us get well in times of crisis is not completely about the specific techniques applied or the correct doctor, although of course those help. True healing comes from health efficacy; the feeling that one has hope and choice in the face of chronic or life-threatening illness. In order to turn on this inner ability to heal, one has to find the hope not just for survival but the reason for living. What are the reasons to stay alive? What choices are available for selfempowerment in the face of chronic illness? Thinking about being forced to exercise or change one’s diet can be depressing, but thinking about one’s beautiful grandchildren or favorite hobbies or activities can turn around a downward spiral. When a sense of hope and a connection to why we want to stay alive returns to the mind, then the power to work with what we have been given opens up.


When health takes a turn for the worse there is often a projection that it is the person’s fault. Even if the cancer or autoimmune disease is 99 percent genetic in nature, a person can feel guilt or shame that they didn’t eat right or take the right

supplements. Cancer especially is a disease that has a collective shame around it. Others put a pressure on the person, saying that it is because they were so emotional or that they attracted the illness to themselves because of their “karma.” This is completely wrong thinking. If people have attracted a serious illness to themselves, it is about the same as enrolling in a high-level Ph.D. program. The challenges they are about to face will be as grueling as writing a complex thesis. The person should be applauded for facing something so intense. Perhaps this process will yield profound awakenings of spirit for themselves and others as they go deep to face the fear and the unknown that comes with any serious illness. The sickness itself is the remedy. The amount of self-knowledge gained from the bravery of accepting the illness creates light for everyone involved. It’s important of course not to cover the situation with Pollyanna-style saccharine sweetness. Instead, eliminate blame and shame and bring the focus toward a sense of curiosity and openness. What will this illness reveal or bring to light that was not known before?


I am reminded of an older patient of mine with congestive heart disease who became very depressed at the progression of his illness. When reminded of what he had to live for, how much he loved his grandchildren, he astounded his doctors with his bounce back from the illness. He went on to live another eight years, ultimately dying from the illness. The inspiration he drew from consciously accepting his illness and continuing his life with love and happiness allowed for healing on many levels for himself and his family.


One way to penetrate the darkness of illness is through a commitment to daily laughter. When we have a good belly laugh, our immune system is flooded with a release of stress hormones, and the function of natural killer cells and other immune cells is enhanced. Your musculoskeletal system relaxes for up to

45 minutes. Think of all the veins, arteries and your ever-pumping heart; these too go through a cycle of relaxation. Studies have even shown longevity rates are higher for those with a better sense of humor. This could be due to the benefit of our bodies’ response to laughter. When we look at things from a different perspective and laugh about it, we let go of toxic emotions like anger and bitterness. All of these benefits help our bodies be stronger and more resilient, qualities we greatly need when facing illness.


Just listening to laughter can make you want to laugh. Luckily our brains are wired to experience laughter as contagious, otherwise why would there be so many laugh tracks on TV? But don’t just watch it on the flat screen. People laughing together can be healing for relationships and help develop social bonding. So many studies show that relationships and healthy communities contribute to overall wellbeing and longevity. Try an experiment: Take your friend’s or partner’s hands, lean back and let out a forced belly laugh. Keep going together and don’t stop for about two minutes. Sometimes just listening to your friend’s laugh will trigger a response where you actually start laughing. Either way, after a good two minutes of pumping your belly with rolling belly laughs, you will probably feel better (and you might get some real chuckles out of it as well). Do this as an exercise, especially if your friendship is strained, as shared laughter is very healing for relationships.


• If you usually choose dramas or serious shows, pick a comedy every once in a while. • Be willing to laugh at yourself, reflect on your life and remember funny or embarrassing moments and be willing to share them. • Ask others about themselves, because people love to recollect and make others laugh. “Tell me a funny story or something that happened to you that makes you laugh.” • Have a collection of funny videos on

YouTube; skits that make you laugh or funny animal videos. Watch them when you feel down. • Cultivate your own repertoire of jokes or funny stories to share when appropriate. • Make a commitment to develop your comic timing and comic ear, just like you would your singing voice; the more you laugh, the more humor you will find in life.


The New Mexico Dept. of Public Health hosts the MyCD (Manage your Chronic Disease), a clinically tested and proven program to support adults with one or more chronic illnesses (diabetes, arthritis, etc.). For information, call 505.222.8605 or visit view/general/119/ has a coalition to help New Mexicans prevent fall injuries in older adults, one of the leading causes of death and injury in the state. http:// PDFs/Falls/NM%20State%20Facts%20 handout_2014.pdf GRD Center for Medicine and Humanology teaches Kundalini yoga and meditation to those with life-threatening or chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes, HIV, cancer, heart disease, chronic pain, depression and life transitions to improve health efficacy. ■ Japa K. Khalsa, DOM, co-author of Enlightened Bodies: Exploring Physical and Subtle Human Anatomy (enlightenedbodies. com), teaches a weekly yoga class for people with chronic pain at Sacred Kundalini in Santa Fe. She combines traditional acupuncture with herbal and nutritional medicine, injection therapy and energy healing. Her work emphasizes optimal health and personal transformation through self-care and awareness of the interconnectedness of all life.

Green Fire Times • February 2017



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Unlock The Secrets To A Sharp Mind Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.


n New Year’s Day I was sitting in my office catching up on the latest health headlines. The first article I read made me pause and give thanks. It noted that rates of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are actually decreasing—a fantastic report to this doctor, who has spent a lifetime working to put an end to this epidemic. And although the next article could be taken as bad news, that a recent AD drug trial was a flop, it made me give thanks, too. Thanks that folks, including the conventional medical world, may be ready to pay more attention to the advice we’ve been giving at the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF) for two decades: Prudent lifestyle changes, not pills, are the keys to preventing and reversing AD. I wasn’t surprised to read that the drug Solanezumab didn’t pass muster. After all, the success rate for dementia drugs has been described as “abysmally low” in the medical community. Again, I’m heartened that, despite this fact, rates of the disease are dropping, suggesting that lifestyle interventions can and do work, and that now—perhaps more than ever, as the population continues to age and live longer than previous generations—is the time for our “alternative” non-pharma prescription to become mainstream. With the new administration aiming to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and possibly reducing or eliminating Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, older Americans will need to become much more responsible for their own well-being. The 4 Pillars of Alzheirmer’s Prevention can help them do this.


1. Diet/Supplements: A Mediterraneantype diet, low in saturated fats found in red meat and high in omega-3 fats found in oily fish like salmon, combined with olive oil, nuts and plenty of fresh organic vegetables (plus a bit of fruit), is the most scientificallyproven way to eat to prevent AD. Additional studies on Americanized variations of this diet, such as the


MIND and DASH diets, are also proven to decrease Alzheimer’s risk. But along with making the dietary changes recommended by these plans, the ARPF also believes that supplementing the diet is critical for brain longevity. We recommend a regimen of a highpotency multi-vitamin/mineral tablet, vitamin C, turmeric, ginkgo, huperzineA, vinpocentine, alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q 10 and resveratrol. 2. Yoga and Meditation: Stress is a huge risk factor for developing AD. Our published research over the past 13 years, in partnership with leading medical schools, has revealed that a simple, 12-minute yoga/meditation technique called Kirtan Kriya can have significant brain-boosting benefits. Our studies using Kirtan Kriya have shown stress reduction, memory loss reversal, better sleep, less depression and anxiety, a reduction in inflammatory genes, and a 43 percent increase in telomerase, the protective cap of DNA, the highest ever recorded. Not only is this method extremely effective; it is also completely safe, fast and affordable. 3. Exercise: When it comes to AD prevention, current wisdom recommends 150 minutes a week of mixed

Green Fire Times • February 2017

cardio—and strength training. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, augments crucial brain biochemical compounds such as Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and, perhaps most significantly, causes neurogenesis, or the growth of new brain cells. Additionally, keeping your mind active is an important aspect of AD prevention. 4. Spiritual F itness™ (SF): Maintaining a spiritual connection is an important aspect of successful aging and AD prevention. SF combines traditional aspects of psychological well-being, such as acceptance, self-confidence, independence, personal growth and aging with purpose—all of which are associated with Alzheimer’s risk reduction. At the APRF, we especially encourage practicing the following: patience, which allows you to slow down and enjoy life; awareness, which helps you maintain your connection to the infinite; compassion, living with kindness; and surrender to your higher power, which leads to service and socialization. Together, these practices and lifestyle choices bring the inner peace, balance and well-being so often

lacking in today’s hyper-connected, turbulent world. Although I’m thankful that the tides seem to be turning to our new “prescription” for Alzheimer’s prevention, there’s still much I wish would change. For example, I would like to see even just a small fraction of the close to $1 billion that has gone towards failed drug studies go instead to research on lifestyle interventions and the Four Pillars of Alzheimer’s Prevention. But until then, I urge you to begin the ARPF’s 4 Pillar Program today by visiting www., where you can join our community and also discover our new training and certification program in Brain Longevity®. ■ Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., is president/medical director of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation ( and clinical associate professor of the Department of General Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Integrative Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, and associate editor of The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.


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Erica M. Elliott, M.D.


hen you look in the mirror, you might think that the entire being reflected back to you is human, but that is not the case. Only 10 percent of your cells are human; the rest are made up of billions of microorganisms that colonize your body. We are truly walking ecosystems. My son, Barrett, went through a short-lived phase of germ phobia around the time he turned 4 years old. He refused to wear secondhand clothing, washed his hands frequently and did not want to use public bathrooms. He said, “I don’t want to get any bugs on me.” He repeatedly asked, “Did you wash your hands, Mom?” Where did he get this phobia? He did not get it from me, his Dr. Mom. Instinctively, I knew most microorganisms posed no threat and could actually be beneficial. I loved playing in the dirt as a child. When I told Barrett that everyone is covered with bugs—his word for bacteria—he looked incredulous and said, “Not me, Mom. I don’t have any bugs on me.” I borrowed a high-powered microscope, took a moistened Q-tip and swabbed the skin on Barrett’s forearm, then smeared the swab on a glass slide, added a drop of water and put the slide under the microscope. Barrett looked in horror at the little bacteria squirming around at the other end of his eyepiece. I explained that most of the bacteria caused no harm and that some of them kept the bad guys from taking over and could improve our health. Barrett eventually believed me, and with time, his phobia disappeared.


All the microbes living in an ecological community are referred to as a microbiome. This word has been appearing with growing frequency in science literature. The word “biome” refers to all the genes in a microbial community. The genes in our microbiome outnumber the genes in our human genome (gene pool) by about one hundred to one. Only 1 percent of the genes in our bodies are human! Our symbiotic relationship with our microbiome requires that the microbes stay in balance with each other. These delicate relationships are the result of millions of years of co-evolution, beginning with the Earth’s first inhabitants—the bacteria. When our ancient ancestors appeared on the scene, they probably ate microbes along with their food. Those microbes that were digesting plants in the wild found a new home in humans. The human intestines provided a nutrient-rich habitat. In exchange, the microbes gave us some of their genes that got spliced into our human genes and sped up our evolution. An example of our mutual dependence can be seen in breast-fed babies. Human breast milk contains short chains of sugar molecules called oligosaccharides that provide no nutritional advantage. These molecules act as the perfect food for the breast-fed baby’s intestinal microbes, which return the favor by helping the baby’s developing immune system, training the immune cells when to react and when not to react. Bottle-fed babies, on the other hand, have fewer beneficial immune-boosting microbes and are more likely to suffer from allergies, asthma and eczema during the first few years of life.


Green Fire Times • February 2017

© Erica M. Elliott

Microscopic life forms, referred to as microbes, inhabit every niche on Earth, including the air, soil and water—and all surfaces of our bodies, both inside and outside. Like any species of life on our planet, microbes find a niche in our bodies where they can thrive. These microbes include many thousands of species. Most are beneficial and play a significant role in keeping us healthy and are essential to life on Earth. Some are neither beneficial nor harmful. They are called commensal organisms. Only a small percentage are parasitic and can cause us harm. Pribiotics—food for probiotics. The beneficial bacteria need plenty of soluble and insoluble high-fiber from whole foods to remain healthy. In case you’re not giving your microbiome the attention and respect it deserves, let me tell you about just a few of the many benefits you receive from having healthy, balanced microbial colonies: 1. Some microbial genes code for enzymes, help us digest our food and build proteins. Others help us utilize starches, fiber and sugars. Researchers estimate that up to 10 percent of the calories we absorb are made available by our microbes. 2. When the microbes digest carbohydrates in our intestines, bacteria in the lower GI tract produce a chemical called n-butyrate, a source of energy for the cells that line the intestinal tract. N-butyrate also acts as a signal that strengthens the connections between the cells. When the cell connections are strong, there is less chance for developing leaky gut syndrome, a condition that can cause a whole constellation of symptoms related to the immune system’s reaction to molecules that have leaked into the bloodstream. These errant molecules are regarded as “foreign” and provoke attack by the immune system, leading to inflammatory conditions. 3. Microbial genes code for proteins that keep harmful bacteria and fungi from overpowering us. In fact, drug companies have synthesized some of these proteins into powerful antibiotics. For example, bacteria called Staph epidermis populate our skin. These bacteria send signals to our cells, prompting them to produce microbefighting molecules that protect us from invasion. 4. We benefit from the microbes’ vitamin-making genes. Microbes in our large intestine


• Use synthetic antibiotics sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. Practice prevention in order to decrease the need for antibiotics. Most antibiotics have a deeply disruptive impact on the delicate balance of the intestinal flora and make overgrowth of harmful bacteria and fungi more likely. Recent research has shown that after a single course of antibiotics, it can take up to a year to re-establish the beneficial colonies to their pre-antibiotic state of equilibrium.

After taking antibiotics, it can take up to a year to re-establish beneficial colonies.

• Eat a primitive diet, free of processed foods. Do your food shopping mostly on the periphery of the grocery store where the fresh foods are located. • Eat raw sauerkraut and other cultured foods, like kimchi and kefir. • Take probiotics. Test each bottle for the viability of the organisms because they are fragile and die easily—no matter how expensive your brand is. • Use chicory root powder as a sweetener (brand name “Just Like Sugar”). The powder is made of finely ground fiber that acts as food for beneficial bacteria. • If you are a carnivore, eat animals that have been raised without antibiotics. • Include large portions of vegetables in your meals. They are good sources of prebiotics,


Next time you crave ice cream or other sugar-laden food, you might stop and ask yourself, “Who is it that wants this ice cream? Could it be the fungal colonies in my gut that are sending signals to my brain, making me unable to resist indulging in foods that help the bad guys thrive?” It’s certainly a possibility. Microbes, both beneficial and harmful, will go to great lengths to survive. You might think you are the captain of your ship, but it’s not always clear who is in charge. So, be sure to say “Good morning” to your colonies when you wake up, and remember to keep their well-being in mind as you make choices throughout the day about what you do with your body, a vessel teaming with nonhuman life that can profoundly affect your well-being for better or for worse. Let’s drink a toast of sparkling water to our microbial friends. May there be peace and harmony throughout our colonies! ■ Dr. Erica Elliott is board-certified in family practice and environmental medicine She has often been nicknamed “the medical detective.” She has given weeklong workshops, has been a public speaker and is co-author of Prescriptions for a Healthy House. She blogs regularly at www.musingsmemoirandmedicine. com. Her professional website is 

Green Fire Times • February 2017


© Seth Roffman

make vitamins that we are not able to make on our own, including B vitamins that are essential to our metabolic functioning, vitamin K for clotting blood and preventing calcium from being deposited in the wrong places, and vitamin B-12 for healthy blood and brain tissue. 5. The microbes make small molecules that travel to all parts of the body and help regulate metabolism, influence appetite, insulin sensitivity and how sugar is utilized. Researchers have recently discovered a link between obesity and the state of one’s microbiome. In one experiment, thin rats were given fecal transplants obtained from the feces of obese rats. The thin rats became obese. 6. Friendly microbes in the gut—the probiotics—stimulate immune tissue found throughout the intestines to make natural antibiotics that fight pathogenic bacteria. They also train the immune system not to attack friendly microbes. One of the major benefits of this training is that the immune system is less likely to attack itself and cause autoimmune disease. 7. Certain microbes produce compounds that block inflammation. The organisms make these compounds to protect our immune system from attacking their colonies. We benefit from these compounds by experiencing less inflammation in our bodies. Our Probiotics provide beneficial bacteria. This photo shows probiotic products at Whole Foods Market. They can immune systems are less likely to overreact to our environment. also be found at La Montañita Co-op, Fruit of the Earth, Herbs, Etc., Love Yourself Cafe/Light Vessel Santa Fe, Milagro Herbs, Los Alamos Cooperative Market and other locations. 8. Microbes in the gut have direct communication with our brains. The gut is loaded with nerve tissue and hence the nickname “the second brain.” The nerve tissue in the gut produces the same the soluble and insoluble fibers that feed beneficial bacteria. neurotransmitters as the brain. The neurotransmitters relay information along the • Introduce a wide variety of foods into your diet. Remember that you are host to a vagus nerve. The information can go in both directions, brain to gut and gut to huge variety of organisms with different tastes in foods and nutritional needs. brain. Intestinal microbes make some of the exact same neurotransmitters, such • Avoid farm-raised fish. They are fed a diet that includes antibiotics. as GABA, acetylcholine and serotonin, each of which can affect one’s mood and • Eat organic foods. Pesticide-contaminated foods harm the beneficial colonies. cognitive abilities. • Avoid genetically modified foods. They are usually heavily contaminated with 9. Some beneficial microbes even have the capacity to inactivate toxic molecules that glyphosate, the active ingredient in herbicides such as Roundup, made by Monsanto we ingest along with our food. and banned in a growing list of countries around the world. The most common genetically modified foods in the U.S. include wheat, corn, soy, sugar beets, Hawaiian Living in a sterile, germ-free environment is not a good idea if you want to be healthy— papaya, squash and canola oil. Genetically modified wheat and corn derivatives are unless of course you have an unusual immune system disorder that makes you vulnerable to commonly found in processed foods. infection from bacteria under any circumstances. Baby mice raised in a sterile environment • Eat a healthy diet high in fiber and low in sugar, optimal conditions for supporting don’t develop a complete immune system. They produce inadequate amounts of antibodies bifidobacteria, which keep toxins produced by other bacteria from passing through and are vulnerable to infections. Studies on humans show that children with asthma tended the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. to have had less germ exposure than children with heavy germ exposure, such as those raised on farms, for example. Eat lots of foods with high fiber and low sugar. • Avoid harsh skin sanitizers that obliterate all the bacteria on the hands. Wash with Over the years I have had germ-phobic patients who were raised by physician parents. plain soap. The mechanical action of washing is enough to remove potentially harmful They thought they were helping their children by instilling in them a fear of germs. These bacteria from the skin. patients tend to get sick frequently. • Avoid exposures to toxic chemicals. They can upset the delicate balance in the gut, not only through ingestion, but also through inhalation of the fumes. The more researchers investigate our microbiome, the more it becomes apparent how vitally important it is to take care of our internal ecosystems—not just the external ones. KEEP THE WELL BEING OF YOUR BACTERIAL

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Green Fire Times • February 2017


Curtis Brookover, DDS


Not all root canals cause disease; health impacts depend on the immune health of the individual.

he rising field of holistic dentistry supports one basic principle— healthy teeth are part of the whole body. Our practice is considered collaborative between patient and dentist, since choosing safer materials for work in your mouth is important, as well as the diet you eat. With new technologies available, the prospect of keeping your teeth for a lifetime is becoming more realistic with each year. Sometimes called biologic or biocompatible dentistry, holistic dentistry considers the impacts that materials, procedures, diet and daily care have on oral health. More specifically, the Holistic Dental Network recommends: • Proper nutrition for the prevention or reversal of degenerative dental disease; • Avoidance and elimination of toxins from dental materials; • Prevention and treatment of dental malocclusion (bite problems); and • Prevention and treatment of gum disease at its biological basis. The best prevention is minimally invasive dentistry, with a focus on protecting the vitality of the tooth. Sustainable, preventive approaches are the new 21st-century dental medicine.


What you eat affects overall health including oral health. An anti-inflammation diet assists in the prevention of infection as well as maintaining gum health. Holistic dentists recommend a diet of whole foods—away from processed foods—with a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, fresh vegetables, nuts and fruits. The mouth is made to chew. Fiber acts as a natural toothbrush, while mitigating the effects of sugar in foods. Avoiding sugar, simple carbohydrates (think flour) and acidic foods helps prevent inflammation in the mouth. Bacteria feed on starches and turn them into acid within 20 minutes after eating. Certain nutrients are critical for building healthy teeth—important for adults as well as children. Foods containing calcium and vitamin B12 build teeth and strengthen gums. Milk is often fortified with vitamin D, needed by the body to absorb calcium. Folic acid and calcium in dark greens are also beneficial to teeth.


One focus of holistic dentistry is the use of materials with the least negative impact to the

What is the alternative to a root canal? Holistic dentists often recommend removal of the infected tooth, then placement of either a bridge or a dental implant. Ceramic implants carry the least toxicity.


body. The dangers of mercury buildup from amalgams used for fillings are well known, as chemicals used in the mouth go directly into the brain and into the bloodstream. Holistic dentists strive to place materials in your mouth that will be the least reactive to your immune system. One resource is the Clifford Test, useful for assessing materials’ reactivity. We can work with you to determine the best match between your body and materials through blood compatibility testing. Removing existing toxic materials properly is another focus. Heavy metals in your mouth—such as mercury—keep white blood cells working to keep body-wide impacts under control instead of working elsewhere in the body. Combining amalgam and gold, a practice in conventional dentistry, causes a dramatic increase in the release of mercury into the bloodstream. Holistic dentistry uses a dental dam to keep heavy metal fragments from being swallowed and masks to prevent the inhalation of heavy metal fumes. Porcelain or zirconia crowns are used by holistic dentists to avoid the effects of metals—both in terms of toxicity and electrical conductivity. Ceramic implants avoid the negative effects of metals, and our cements are developed to reduce toxicity. Keep in mind the decreased release of toxic materials into the environment!


The dangers of avascular teeth (no blood supply)—known to dentists for the past

100 years due to the work of Dr. Weston Price—are rarely heeded in conventional dentistry. Avascular teeth are considered to be necrotic or “dead teeth.” To date, sterilization of a tooth is not possible. Here is the catch: The root is actually comprised of the main root plus many smaller branching roots. Since root canal therapy removes only the main root, the auxiliary roots remain in the tooth and decay. Conventional methods to sterilize the root cavity do not reach the remaining root branches. Root canal teeth are susceptible to infection, bacteria and even parasites. The decomposing tissue left in the canal releases toxic gases that then leak out of the tooth and into the body— affecting the liver, nervous system, heart and brain. Over 88 species of bacteria in dead teeth are identified to date as impossible to sterilize in a tooth. Oral microbial testing of DNA allows dentists to gather data that determine the toxicity of avascular teeth in the mouth. With over 16 million root canals a year in the U.S., health impacts are far-reaching. The spread of disease from oral infections is estimated to affect: • Immune system diseases • Infection of hip replacements • Coronary atherosclerosis • Pulmonary abscess and asthma • Autoimmune diseases • Candida and IBS • Allergies.

• Attentive daily care is part of maintaining a mind, body and spirit connection. The following regular steps are recommended: • Brush at least twice daily and floss once daily to keep teeth clean. • Swish the mouth with water after eating. You will be amazed. • Remember to schedule cleanings at four-to six-month intervals. • Keep annual checkups with your dentist to detect problems before they become severe. • Eat a healthy diet of whole foods, free of processed foods and sugar. • Meditate to reduce the stress that causes oral grinding and prevents the absorption of nutrients. • Notify your physician of changes in your oral health to keep the whole body connection at the forefront of your health care.

Early-intervention dentistry is concerned with keeping a healthy blood supply to the tooth to minimize the stress of treatment. Remember, infection wears down the immune system; therefore, keeping the mouth free of infection is directly related to overall health. Cancer growth, as well as the impact of the other degenerative diseases, is encouraged by continued inflammation in the body. With daily lifestyle choices, consider taking a whole-body approach—everything is connected! For a directory of holistic dentists, see the website of the International Academy of Biological Dentistry Medicine. Eat well, brush well, and be well. ■ Curtis Brookover, DDS, is a holistic biological dentist practicing in Santa Fe and Los Alamos at the Alpine Laser Dental Clinic. 505.982.6426

Green Fire Times • February 2017


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Green Fire Times • February 2017


Natural Healing Methods M arcie M artínez


n 2011 I trained for the first Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon. The week before the race I started coming down with a cold or some sort of infection. After spending so much time getting ready for the race I knew I had to deal with the issue quickly and aggressively. I used the knowledge I had acquired from various sources to tackle the issue head on.

effective methods is a detox bath. A friend of mine, who is also into natural healing, recommended Dr. Singha’s Mustard Bath to me several years ago. I always have a supply of this powder on hand; however, I believe the same could be accomplished quite effectively with Epsom salts (at least a cup) and apple cider vinegar (another cup) in the bath. A 20-minute bath in fairly hot water is most effective. Because you are mobilizing toxins, bringing them to the surface, and opening the pores with the hot bath water, it is imperative to rinse off immediately afterward with coldto-tepid water, then scrub yourself dry with a towel. I know the prospect of a cold shower is not ideal, but it is necessary for this to work. If I am looking to be more aggressive with boosting my immune system I will take up to two baths a day.

Our diets are greatly lacking in the nutrition we need for immune system health. Lori García, owner of Body Basics, in Española, New Mexico, provided some great information regarding natural healing. One thing she always recommends regardless of the ailment is hydration. She is also a big believer in the healing qualities of lemon water, and, based on my own research, I agree wholeheartedly. To overcome an infection swiftly she recommends sipping on lemon water all day long. Her recipe is 10 ounces freshsqueezed lemon juice in 22 ounces of purified water. If you can drink twice this amount daily you will kill the bugs quickly. I have written about Dr. Storkan, who is a miracle worker when it comes to allergies. Because of his abilities to determine what exactly is going on in the body using kinesiology, he can determine if the issue is viral or bacterial, which is an important

distinction, even with regard to natural remedies. When I feel something coming on I try to see him as soon as possible. His method involves “asking” the body what is going on and then what remedy would be most effective. He carries several types of natural supplements that can help various issues, including the common cold, as well as others such as organ problems. He will recommend the supplement that would be most effective for your ailment, and, as long as it is caught early and you take the supplement as directed, you will kick it within a few short days. I am also a big believer in various forms of detoxification, and when it comes to infections, one of the simplest and most

Unfortunately, our diets are greatly lacking in the nutrition we need for overall health. It is no different with regard to immune-system health. For this reason I believe there are certain supplements that are necessar y for protecting ourselves from seasonal infection as well as for optimal health. One such supplement is vitamin D. During summer months, when I spend a lot of time outdoors, I rarely take a D supplement; however, once autumn rolls around and into winter, I take 5,000 to 10,000 IUs of vitamin D daily. I also try to take the supplement a stragalus root during the winter months to boost my immune system. When I take these two supplements all winter, I rarely get sick, if at all.

Finally, if I think I might be suffering from something bacterial, in lieu of taking antibiotics, I will take a teaspoon of raw honey with cinnamon several times a day. Honey and cinnamon are effective natural antibiotics. With the start of the cold season upon us, I believe these tips will get you through infection-free or, at least, will help you kick any infection you may have quickly. At a bare minimum, drink the lemon water! The detox baths, lemon water and supplements from Dr. Storkan helped me get rid of my infection in three days, which resulted in being illness-free for my first half marathon! ■

Marcie Martínez has a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a master’s degree in Materials Science. She is a researcher and writer with a focus on learning and sharing information related to natural health and healing. Her e-book containing the first 50 posts published in the Valley Daily Post is accessible at: columnebook

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Dora Pacias Is Proof of It A lejandro López

“It was typical for me to come home from the office where I had been sitting all day and have a quick meal followed by an evening of reading or watching television. The meal might consist of something that I picked up on the way home, a frozen dinner, or something straight out of a can. It didn’t much matter. The good eating habits I had enjoyed as the granddaughter of rural farmers who grew their own food had gone out the window as a result of abrupt social changes and endless media campaigns on television that helped turn me into a junkfood junkie. Sweets, especially, had a special place in my life. Breakfast might consist of coffee and a doughnut. Two or three sodas during the course of the day gave me a kind of pick-me-up where I’d experience a rush of energy for a short while. I could hardly resist a commercial fruit pie, loaded with sugar, white flour and preservatives.”

© SAlejandro López

It was no coincidence that after many years of poor diet, little exercise and a mainstream society-defined purpose in life, she felt physically depleted and occasionally depressed. Significantly overweight, she repeatedly went on crash diets, followed by periods of ballooning

“We need to make the health of our bodies and lives our absolute priority. If we do and if we succeed in coming back into balance as we were when we were children, most of our other problems will disappear.” ­— Dora Pacias

out. “Sensing that something significant was off, one day in the year 2000 I had a doctor check my blood sugar level,” she stated. “The doctor was aghast when she read the results—360—together with indications that my cholesterol level was too high, as well as my blood pressure.” Dora was immediately put on diabetes medications. The meds invariably lowered her blood sugar levels, but at times too much, causing dizzy spells and a sense of weakness. The antidote to this was to eat something sweet such as candy to raise the blood sugar levels quickly. Soon after that diagnosis, Dora went to Mexico, where she spent a year. During that time, while eating the traditional unprocessed foods of that country, she lost 30 pounds and reversed every symptom of diabetes. Upon returning to the U.S. and American food habits, however, both the weight and symptoms returned. Dora was on meds for six or seven years before deciding to make some important life choices. She began paying attention to her diet and kept a log of everything that she consumed. By doing that, it was possible for her to take stock of how she was feeling and identify certain foods that might contain hidden sugar, white flour or too many carbohydrates, and ultimately, eliminate them. It took just four months for Dora to get off her meds because she was feeling progressively better and experiencing fewer and fewer of the symptoms associated with her illness. She also took up consistent walking as her preferred exercise.

“The big differences in my life really began to take place when Lorenzo and I met and we realized that we saw eye-to-eye on a lot of matters, including the soundness of our childhood diets and ways of life. We had grown up at a time when people Dora Pacias and Lorenzo Candelaria of Cornelio worked hard, ate well and lived Candelaria Organics, which is located in the South long. It certainly helped for Valley of Albuquerque

they do purchase meat, fish, beans and potatoes at local markets, but that is about all. Routinely, they go the long way around and concoct simple, delicious meals that require nothing more than washing, peeling and cutting.

© Seth Roffman


ora Pacias, grower of natural foods and teacher of healthy living, together with her life partner, Lorenzo Candelaria of Atrisco, near Albuquerque, is known for her candor. It takes little prodding for her to state that just slightly over a decade ago, she, like so many others in our consumer society, had come to accept her poor state of health as simply part and parcel of getting old. After all, she was already over 65 at the time and beaten down by a lifetime of work as a social worker and mother of three, one of whom had taken his own life.

Dora Pacias Lorenzo to encourage the dietary and exercise changes that I was beginning to make, as well as for us to set off together on a totally new and radical direction. In time, that journey led me to reclaim not only my full health but also my passion for living. Today I have absolutely no signs of diabetes or high blood pressure, and my cholesterol levels are normal. I am thin, strong, happy and, best of all, energetic.”

Dora spends much of her time planting, cultivating, har vesting, processing, preparing and preserving food, to say nothing of tending the home and keeping up with a tight circle of family, friends and pets. It’s hard work, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Living this way has allowed her to create a life of great meaning and has attracted a multitude of interesting friends and professional associates.

Dora and Lorenzo realized that some foods could act as medicine and restore the body to health. Soon, with the assistance of supportive individuals and groups, they were immersed building a chicken coop, erecting greenhouses and planting acres of chile, corn, squash, melons, watermelons, and every other earthly fruit that would grow on their eight acres.

She has also returned to a kind of social work, one that operates from greenhouses and fertile fields. Twice a week, Dora and Lorenzo take their fresh produce to a market at a UNM medical clinic, where the patients make purchases to restock their kitchens.

Now several years into this experiment, Dora and Lorenzo gather their own eggs, make their own yogurt, butter and cheese. From their two greenhouses they harvest a continuous stream of vibrantly colored beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, kale, swiss chard, spinach and lettuce, which comprise most of their daily fare, a good portion of which is raw. Upon occasion,

At 76 years old, Dora weighs exactly what she did in high school. She says she feels far better than she did at 50. To hear her speak, with laughter and verve, about her own journey from sickness to health, from depression to delight and from a size 28 dress to a size 12, is proof enough that food can be medicine. ■ Alejandro López is a native New Mexican educator, writer and artist.

Green Fire Times • February 2017


Love your Santa Fe River Day

© Anna Christine Hansen

�ebruary 18 James H. Auerbach, MD and Staff support Green Fire Times in its efforts to bring about a better world by focusing on the people, enterprises and initiatives that are transforming New Mexico into a diverse and sustainable economy. SoMe oF THe TopicS GreeN Fire TiMeS SHowcASeS: Green: Building, products, Services, entrepreneurship, investing and Jobs; renewable energy, Sustainable Agriculture, regional cuisine, ecotourism, climate Adaptation, Natural resource Stewardship, Arts & culture, Health & wellness, regional History, community Development, educational opportunities James H. Auerbach, MD provides dermatology services in Santa Fe, NM (Sorry, we are no longer accepting new clients.)


Green Fire Times • February 2017

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A nn Filemyr, Ph.D.


was trained by the late Keewaydinoquay (Kee) Peschel, a mashkikikwe (herbal medicine woman) in the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) tradition. I met her as a young woman and worked with her for 20 years. During this time, she “assimilated me,” as she liked to say, into a lifeway and worldview that she believed held the answers to many of the troubles facing modern life. I agreed with her that the ravaging of natural resources for corporate gain in the name of “progress” was destructive. We agreed that the results of modernity were not all positive. Increased social stratification, interpersonal violence, addiction, anxiety and grief are all results of a massive cultural shift that has failed to deliver on its promise. Technological advances were supposed to grant us greater ease, happier lives and more freedom. Instead, many of us work longer hours, have less security and struggle to make ends meet. Kee helped me begin a lifelong process of decolonizing my heart, mind and soul to support another way of being.

We must learn to live in profound kinship relations with the rest of life on the planet. I have kept much of my training very private, but the time has come to speak and to share. For our kind to survive, we must learn to live in profound kinship relations with the rest of life on the planet. I am ready to “come out of the closet” as a mashkikikwe and serve in this multi-generational project. Part of my training as an oshkibewis or helper involved learning how to be in direct relationship with our other-than-human companions. We human beings are entirely dependent on air, water and soil. We depend on the sun, moon and stars. We cannot live without the pollinators and the flowering plants and the food they create. These are sacred relationships. We, too, are sacred beings in this interconnected web, but we are not inherently superior. We are part of the great hoop of all relations, but we are not the bosses. My training as an “herb-gatherer” placed a special emphasis on the medicine plants. I had to agree to live my life in a special relationship with them. This involved Four Agreements. I would like to share my understanding and a little of my experience as a plant medicine woman with you.


I agree to use my knowledge to promote the flourishing of both people and plants. To fulfill this agreement, the herb-gatherer must know what each specific plant needs to flourish. She understands its growing cycle (dormant, sprout, flower, fruit, seed and decay). She understands how the plant reproduces. She learns when it is best to gather the plant for its medicine. To learn these things, she must be willing to observe the plants over time in their home habitat and to learn directly from them as well as from others knowledgeable about them. To be in good relation with these plants, the herb-gatherer must advocate for clean water, healthy soil and the protection of pollinators. She cannot gather any plant medicine alongside a road, for car exhaust is a pollutant. She cannot gather in places that have been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. She cannot gather on depleted soils or where the plants could be working to re-nourish the soils. Additionally, knowledge of which plant medicine helps what forms of human suffering is required. What aids indigestion, sleeplessness or an open wound? What plant might help bring a person back into balance, back into health and well-being? For both people and plants to flourish, they must be in good relationship with each other. Ultimately, the herb-gatherer uses her knowledge to support the flourishing of all life­—not one species or life-form flourishing at the expense of another but all flourishing together. This is the vision and the promise of the first agreement.


I agree to give in equal measure to what I receive with gratitude to help maintain the peaceful harmony that abides in reciprocal relationships. Gratitude is a form of reciprocity, for it acknowledges a gift received. Gratitude honors the giver and maintains right relations between the giver and the receiver. Since we receive our life from breath, it is good to express gratitude for the air. Since we could not live without sunlight, it is good to express gratitude each morning to the rising sun. Likewise, without water, we will perish, so it is good to express gratitude to each glass of water before you drink it. I like to bow to the shower before I step into the spray of water. Human beings and plant beings share this dependence on air, water, sunlight and soil. It is good to remember. Reciprocity is the basis for an ancient value system that emphasizes mutual benefit to maintain peaceful partnered relationships. For example, disharmony arises between partners when one feels like the other is not doing his or her fair share. Likewise, discontent happens between groups when one group perceives it is being exploited, excluded or denied equal opportunity or equal voice. Disharmony between individuals or between groups creates stress, struggle, unease, dis-ease and, ultimately, war. Warfare is the greatest cause of ecological destruction. Gratitude and reciprocity promote peace. Social and ecological stability depend on peace. We live embedded in complex social and ecological systems. Therefore, the herb-gatherer must learn to engage in highly dynamic interactivity with deliberate grace. She expresses gratitude daily. It is the basis of her morning and evening prayers. Gratitude is spoken aloud for each mountain, cloud, plant, animal, newborn, elder, dream, challenge or lesson the night or the day has brought into her awareness. In the act of gathering medicine plants, the first thing is to state intention and speak gratitude aloud. In a stand of plants, the medicine woman must locate the elder, the sentinel, the guardian of that grove or meadow, present the gift and seek permission to gather. She must wait until she hears the plant’s acceptance and willingness to be harvested and used for the stated purpose. If the plant says no then the herb gatherer says thank you, leaves her gift, and moves on in search of the right place to gather her medicine. Once when I heard the plants say no, I was very disappointed. I wanted to ignore the message. I tried to convince myself that I hadn’t heard it, but I couldn’t. I had to honor the agreement and left the area without gathering anything. Later I learned that it was the site



Green Fire Times • February 2017

low-income housing centers, at moon ceremonies, or other special events and places. To enact respect, the herb-gatherer never collects more plant material than she needs, or can process into medicine, To waste plant material is disrespectful. Of course, it can always be placed back onto the earth with prayers of gratitude. The plant medicine can be allowed to decay and return its nutrients to the soil. The herb-gatherer is involved with others as a healer. However, the herb-gatherer is only a conduit for healing—a hollow bone, open to serving the highest good without control over the outcome. Respect means she knows she is part of a process but not in charge of it. The person seeking the healing is in the center. She respects this and honors the truth in other people’s stories. Confidentiality is practiced. The herb-gatherer listens deeply to what is said and unsaid to discern what approach might best serve the desire for health and balance. Truth-seeking and truth-telling are fundamental to healing. Sugar-coating, side-stepping and other forms of polite deception to placate others or to avoid personally uncomfortable material is not congruent with the task of healing. Without truthfulness, respect is absent, and real healing cannot occur. However, loving compassion is necessary as the basis for all communication, for sometimes the truth is painful.


I agree to honor the mystery and love the plants and the people by listening with an open heart, speaking tenderly and truthfully with them, that I may grow in understanding how the healing of one is the healing of all. The fourth agreement is rooted in the unifying principle of love. It is easy to forget we are connected and interdependent because we live in separate skins. We see the world through different eyes, or we have no eyes at all and “see’” through scent or other chemical signals. We are not alike. Difference may contribute to distance, but it doesn’t have to.

Herb storage of an old toxic dump and the groundwater was polluted. The plants told me no because they were transforming the poison in their bodies, and it could have made someone with a weakened immune system sicker. After that experience, I never questioned what I heard. I learned to trust the wisdom of the plants.


I agree to respect the need of all that lives by never taking more than I need or accumulating more than I can use in the service of healing. Respect is key to the herb-gatherer’s life. It is based on vigorous honesty. This agreement runs counter to the dominant culture in significant ways. For example, success is often equated with the quantity and quality of the things you have, but for the plant medicine woman to have more than she can use in the service of healing is detrimental to the healthy balance of the whole. It is considered disrespectful to the Source of Life to accumulate material things you do not actually need. Why? Because everything is made from earth, air and water. To produce and transport things, we burn oil, coal, gas or wood. Consequences of unchecked accumulation include mountains of discarded and obsolete items, islands of garbage floating in the ocean, climate change, the displacement of communities and the destruction of ecosystems. This is a horribly high price to pay just to have as much stuff as you want. Traditionally, the give-away, or in the Northwest Coastal areas, the potlatch, would be held as a ceremonial way to redistribute the wealth. Give-away and potlatch ceremonies were made illegal by an act of Congress. Wealth redistribution as ceremony runs counter to our economic system. Personally, I hold a Give-away Ceremony each year. I gather up all the books, jewelry, clothing, pretty scarves, artwork, musical instruments, household items and other perfectly good things I no longer use and place them on a blanket. The eldest in the circle goes first and selects whatever makes his or her heart happy. The give-away goes on until the very youngest has selected something. Then if there are more things, the eldest goes a second time. It is a simple, sweet ceremony. I have held give-aways in

The plant medicine woman seeks unity in diversity. She does not deny difference but explores it with openhearted curiosity. Why does this one prefer bright sunlight, and this one thrives in deep forest shade? Why does this one talk so much and this one is so quiet? What is the history of their kind? What are the experiences of their ancestors? What disruptions and dislocations have they suffered? How have they adapted? What is the source of their resilience? How have they come to be as they are? The herbgatherer seeks the abiding presence of Spirit in each person and plant. Everything that exists is an expression of the Creative Force, no matter how mysterious or peculiar. In her small human form, she is limited. Her training opens her to the limitless, formless potentiality in all things. She learns to navigate the energetic streams that course through and connect people, plants, animals, earth and cosmos. When someone approaches her in the right way and asks for help, she turns to the greater ones for their aid. She seeks connection with the All-Being.

Harvesting herbs

Love is the ultimate generative power. Loving ourselves, each other, the plants and animals, waterways and weather is our best hope for health and wellness. We must love powerfully, for the invitation to hate, to make enemies and to dislike ourselves is always present. To heal ourselves and the planet, potent, unifying love is a vital necessity. Even if you are not an herb-gatherer trained in an old tradition, you can practice love. ■ Dr. Ann Filemyr is vice president of Academic Affairs and dean at Southwestern College and director of the Certif icate in Transformational EcoPsychology at the college’s New Earth Institute. She has led workshops on herbal healing for elders at the Institute of American Indian Arts, where she served as dean and chief academic off icer for nine years. She is also a published poet, essayist and blogger. annf

Green Fire Times • February 2017



A nn Filemyr, Ph.D.

“We cannot heal the earth: until we heal ourselves. We cannot heal ourselves until we heal the earth.” — Kari-Oca Declaration of the 1992 Parliament of Indigenous Peoples


n 1992 1 attended the Wor ld Parliament of Indigenous Peoples in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil as an environmental journalist. I was one of a handful of non-Native people allowed to witness the proceeding. Across town the United Nations gathered to discuss sustainable development at the so-called Earth Summit. Much of the discussion there derailed into the question of how to sustain development. In contrast to this, facing the Atlantic Ocean with the looming metropolis at our backs, the representatives of over 100 different Native Nations discussed the health, welfare and future of all life on Earth. To observe and record this profound expression of interconnection changed my life.

Those of us called to work with nature, wilderness, plants, animals, gardens, altars, sanctuaries, sacred places and the cosmos as part of our healing work are involved in timeless traditions sometimes lumped together under the term shamanism. Or this engagement can be called Transformational EcoPsychology. We might even use the emerging ter m, Ecother apy. This, ne w/ancient field is based on the idea that individual and collective human health is interrelated with the natural environment in profound and enduring ways. In doing this work, I believe we must also understand the ways in which our own ancestral lineages, our ethnic/

Southwestern College students at Tent Rocks National Monument, near Cochiti Pueblo cultural groups, have suffered. Whether in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa or the Americas, a systematic process of disruption has torn most modern people away from deep relationship to place. How do we repair this? I believe there is much we can do to heal this rupture in ourselves, in our families and our communities. Through the Transformational EcoPsycholog y Certificate Program at S outhwestern College, we explore attitudes, beliefs, ideas, songs, prayers, ceremonies, rituals, observances, rites of passage and daily practices that can re-enliven our relationship to the sacred within and around us. Students select from a wide variety of elective courses, including: The Council of All Beings; Ancient Narrative taught by Dr. Scott Thomas; Walking with Ancestors; Sacred Connections: Plants, Animals, People and Place. Students also select from one of two required core courses. They can either complete a Vision Quest experience co-led by Dr. Carol Parker and Katherine Ninos or they can design and implement a Community-Based Ecotherapy Project under my mentorship. Students completing the Certificate are also required to complete a W ilderness First Aid Course.

Students hiking into Canyon De Chelly for their Vision Quest experience


Green Fire Times • February 2017

The growing interest in this field is one expression of our collective need

to reconnect with the world around us, with the sacred and with an abiding sense of the ongoing. We are a living part of all that is, even though modern life fragments and quantifies much of our experience. Can we reclaim our heritage and live as though the water, soil, wind, plants and animals are kin? Can we re-vivify our sense of the sacred within and around us? Can we reintegrate the Divine Feminine into our lives? These are some of the questions we explore together. If you are interested in this program, please contact me at Southwestern College: annfilemyr@ ■ Southwestern College is a consciousnesscentered graduate school in Santa Fe ser ving students since fall 1981. The school offers two Master of Arts degrees: Counseling and Art Therapy/Counseling. The New Earth Institute of Southwestern College offers six Certif icates: Transformational Ecopsychology; Human Sexuality; Infant Mental Health; Children’s Mental Health; Interpersonal N e u r o b i o l o g y ; G r i e f , Tra u m a a n d Renewal. Certif icate courses count toward Continuing Education Units for mental and behavioral healthcare professionals in New Mexico. Southwestern College/ The New Earth Institute also organizes the annual Transformation and Healing Conference. For more information, call 877.472.5756, email or visit

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he staff at the New Mexico Health Equity Partnership (HEP), an initiative at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, thinks that every New Mexican should have the opportunity to lead a healthy life, live in neighborhoods where children and families can thrive, and have a say in decisions that impact their lives and communities. HEP’s staff sees too many New Mexicans living in historically impoverished neighborhoods where the air is dangerous to breathe, the water is dangerous to drink, healthy food is not readily available, the quality of education is poor, and people are not fairly compensated for their work. To address these challenges, HEP connects people, community groups and decision makers, and provides training, coaching and tools such as the Health Impact Assessment (HIA), which builds leadership and makes it possible for residents to hold policymakers accountable. Through the HIA, people learn how to collect and utilize

data to inform policy change, learn about decision-making processes, learn how to navigate the political system, and they become more comfortable speaking with decisionmakers. The HIA also fosters communication and collaboration among disparate groups. HIAs make the adoption of community recommendations more likely. A forthcoming report to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation highlights the HIA as a best practice and notes that a common vocabulary for learning and action is being instituted in New Mexico because of the number of communities using HIAs. The HIA is supported by a grant from the HEP, Santa Fe Community Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. For more information, visit www. or contact Jessica Jensen: 505.490.1202,


The Underfunded Healthcare Provider of Choice for Urban Natives Emily H aozous The Indian Health Service (IHS) provides healthcare for approximately 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) in 36 states. In the U.S., nearly 80 percent of AIANs live away from their reservations. Collectively, this population is often classified as Urban AIANs, although they do retain their unique tribal identities even while living away from their tribal lands. For those who do not live near or on their reservation,access to IHS facilities comes with significant limitations, most importantly, restrictions on eligibility for payment for specialty care through the Purchased/ Referred Care payment program. Santa Fe, New Mexico, is home to the Santa Fe Service Unit IHS Hospital, healthcare provider of choice for the majority of AIANs in Santa Fe County. From 1998-2010, the IHS was forced to operate on an outdated budget during a time when healthcare spending per capita nearly doubled. This underfunding forced the IHS to make serious cuts to facilities across the country, including to the Santa Fe Service Unit IHS Hospital. In 2016, the Santa Fe Indian Center and I collaborated to complete a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to document the impact budgeting policies have on the Urban AIAN community in the county. Through this collaboration, the research team collected 165 surveys that asked questions on health priorities, health conditions, social determinants of health and cultural factors important to Santa Fe’s Urban AIANs. The team also conducted targeted interviews with key stakeholders and an additional 17 qualitative interviews with 17 Urban AIANs within the community. AIANs in Santa Fe County experience substantial health disparities, with higher rates of mental distress, higher rates of poverty, unemployment, alcohol-related disease and death and higher rates of accidental death. AIANs die at younger ages than their non-AIAN counterparts. AIAN children in New Mexico are more likely to live in poverty, have no parent in the workforce and have no health insurance. The team found that Santa Fe’s Urban AIAN community was most concerned about diabetes, body size, mental health, heart disease and addiction, both personally and in the larger AIAN community. They found that food insecurity was a serious issue, with 53 percent of respondents reporting the need to ration food or eat less in the last 30 days because they didn’t have enough money for food. Mental health and addiction services were frequently cited as a need for care. As one individual stated, “If you’re mentally healthy, then you know how to be physically healthy, spiritually healthy, working with your mind to make your mind healthy, your child’s relationship, your relationship with your spouse, your mother.”


Green Fire Times • February 2017

American Indian Community Day in Santa Fe takes place in September. Based on the results of this HIA, the team made the following recommendations: 1. Fund the Indian Health Service at 100 percent of need. 2. Address food insecurity through the creation of a food bank and expansion of nutrition services to meet the needs of the Santa Fe Service Unit IHS Hospital community. 3. Increase IHS funding to improve mental and behavioral health programs. 4. Eliminate Purchased/Referred Care eligibility by area service unit and replace it with funding that follows the patient. Through this research, the HIA team demonstrated the need for increased funding to address significant health disparities in Santa Fe County in the AIAN population. The research team found that the Urban AIAN community has strong ties to the Santa Fe Area Unit IHS Hospital, with trust in the health care providers and a feeling of ownership for the facility. Even in an environment with multiple options due to the expanded services offered through the ACA, the Santa Fe Area Unit IHS Hospital is the community’s preferred provider. ■ Emily A. Haozous, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, is an associate professor and Ph.D. program director at the UNM College of Nursing. Dr. Haozous’ research is focused on cancer prevention and symptom management, and promoting health equity for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Her work integrates traditional American Indian values with contemporary research methods. Dr. Haozous is a member of the Chiricahua Warm Springs Fort Sill Apache Tribe. She is from Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Latino Immigrants and Native American Workers in Gallup From the McK inley Worker Justice Coalition Most of us spend a large portion of our days working to put food on the table, pay rent or a mortgage and establish financial security for loved ones and ourselves. When we don’t get paid, our families and communities suffer. Wage theft comes in many forms. It includes underpayment of hours or overtime worked, misclassification of employee status, an hourly wage less than the mandated minimum, or unlawful paycheck deductions. Workers in low-wage industries, women, people of color and immigrants are especially vulnerable and report violations at different rates because they encounter barriers in the claim process. Most do not report violations or try to recoup their stolen wages out of fear of retaliation from employers. One out of three workers who have complained say they experienced retaliation. The McKinley Worker Justice Coalition was formed in September 2015 to bring organizations and community members together to strengthen workers’ rights and improve workplace conditions. Coalition members identified wage theft and other employment violations such as discrimination and inadequate health and safety standards as starting points to advocate for equitable policies.

Latino immigrant and Native American workers in Gallup, Coalition members decided New Mexico to conduct a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to better understand the impact of these problems on Latino immigrant and Native American communities. Their priorities included more community education, stronger wage-theft enforcement and expansion of workplace protections for all low-wage workers in McKinley County. They focused on health determinants of economic security, discrimination, and health and safety in the workplace. Through questionnaires and focus groups, they evaluated workers’ experiences. Here are a few testimonies: “In the hotels, there is a lot of danger for housekeepers. When we do our cleaning, you find blood. They don’t give you gloves to protect you from all the chemicals that you have to use to clean.They give you 15 minutes to clean a room. When you have to pull off the covers quickly and move everything, workers have found needles that stuck them. They don’t have medical insurance.” “When my husband and I moved to Farmington for that job, we left our home. We had to pay rent in Farmington. We were working 120 hours a week. Our 12-year-old son washed dishes in the restaurant to help us. Our dream was to have some money to be able to buy a food truck. During the time we were there working and never received any wages, we used all our savings. We came back without any money and had to start from the bottom.” “In my job, they discriminate against me a lot. They tell you to go back to your country. They are always joking about the fact that you don’t speak English and make fun of you.” The HIA survey of the focus group, along with experiences reported by members of the McKinley Worker Justice Coalition, showed that 75 percent of Latino immigrants reported a violation in their employment history, compared to 68 percent of Native American workers. Nearly half of workers reported experiencing discrimination, Native Americans at a higher rate than Latinos. The findings also showed that one out of four workers had been injured on the job. Nearly half indicated that their work is dangerous. Forty percent of workers who were victims of wage theft said that the violation adversely affected their health, and another 40 percent said they had to take out a loan to make ends meet. Low-wage workers, community leaders and elected officials across the state are joining forces to combat wage theft. To learn about your rights or get involved, contact Somos Un Pueblo Unido at 505.424.7832. To read the entire report, visit ■


Tina Cordova

No major health study has ever been conducted on the people living downwind and downstream of the world’s first atmospheric nuclear test. Residents of south-central New Mexico exposed to radiation from the July 16, 1945 atomic bomb test at the Trinity Site have been the unknowing, unwilling and uncompensated “collateral damage” of the test that ushered in the Nuclear Age. On Feb. 10, 2017, the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) will release a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) that attempts to cull information relevant to the health and status of these communities that have been historically ignored. The report addresses what the coalition identifies as the short- and long-term health impacts—physical, mental, generational and economic—in Otero, Lincoln, Socorro and Sierra counties. The report also considers ways that the passage of amendments to the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) could affect the health of individuals and communities in the Tularosa Basin. There is a growing awareness of Downwinder communities. For years these communities have appealed to New Mexico’s congressional delegation for amendments to RECA that would include them. Amendments have been introduced, but no congressional hearings have been held. These proposed amendments would include the Trinity Downwinders, t h e Po s t ’ 7 1 u r a n i u m Health Impact Assessment training in southern New miners and, in general, New Mexico Mexico residents (former and current) as Downwinders in the U.S. history of atmospheric testing. The HIA provides evidence and analysis to support the passage of the proposed RECA amendments. The three primary health determinants 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. The New Mexico Health Equity Partnership of the Santa Fe Community Foundation funded the HIA, which included training and technical assistance throughout the process. Myrriah Gómez, Ph.D., author of the HIA, said, “The most powerful part of the HIA process was meeting with Trinity Downwinders to hear about their experiences and their families’ stories about how the bomb has tragically impacted New Mexican families and communities.” The TBDC has requested that the U.S. government issue an apology and award reparations to individual and families who have suffered as a result of radiation exposure from the Trinity test. The public is invited to attend the HIA release events. A light meal will be served. Friday, Feb. 10, 6 p.m. at Tularosa Town Hall Saturday, Feb. 11, noon in Socorro (location TBA) Wednesday, Feb. 15, 6 p.m. at the ABQ Peace and Justice Center, 202 Harvard SE, Albuquerque To learn more, get involved, or to download the HIA, visit http://www. ■ Tina Cordova grew up in Tularosa and now lives in Albuquerque, N.M. She organized the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium with the late Fred Tyler in 2005. She is a cancer survivor who has worked tirelessly to bring attention to this issue. She says, “We were the unknowing, unwilling, uncompensated victims of the first atomic bomb, without any recognition or help from the U.S. government.”

Green Fire Times • February 2017


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Green Fire Times • February 2017


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Green Fire Times • February 2017

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NEWSBITEs SANTA FE RECEIVES EPA STORMWATER MANAGEMENT GRANT Last month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New Mexico Environment Department and the City of Santa Fe held a press conference to announce that Santa Fe is one of five cities in the nation selected to receive a $150,000 EPA “toolkit” for planning comprehensive long-term strategies to manage stormwater. The web-based toolkit includes a planning guide, along with technical and financial assistance. The project, part of a national pilot program, will be led by New Mexico Environment EPA, coordinated with the city manager’s office Secretary Butch Tongate and supported by the state.

Urban stormwater can be a public and environmental health concern. Many cities have utilized green infrastructure as part of a long-term approach to managing stormwater. Prioritized actions can provide significant long-term cost savings and guide smart investments by tying together multiple objectives such as street improvements, outdoor open spaces, greenways or recreation areas, as well as community revitalization. Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales said that the city could work on a variety of initiatives, such as capturing runoff for irrigation or expanding a program of releasing reservoir water into the usually dry bed of the Santa Fe River. Former EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry said, “These tools will promote the use of flexible solutions that spur economic growth, stimulate infrastructure investments and help compliance with environmental requirements such as the Clean Water Act.” New Mexico Environment Secretary Butch Tongate said, “We are pleased to see Santa Fe developing the kinds of practices that will not only enhance regional surface water quality but may also serve as an example for other communities.”


From personal care aides to health specialties teachers, postsecondary, healthcare jobs can be considered among the more secure in New Mexico. Many are as a result of an aging population. Senior caregiver is the fastest-growing job in the state, according to The 11 fastest growing jobs in New Mexico in 2017: 1. Personal Care Aides 2. Home Health Aides 3. Physical Therapists 4. Nurse Practitioners 5. Speech-Language Pathologists 6. Cooks, Restaurant Cook 7. Childcare Workers 8. Preschool Teachers, except Special Education 9. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists 10. Health Specialties Teachers, postsecondary 11. Massage Therapists Further down the list: healthcare social workers at 14, followed by mental health counselors, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, and medical assistants. Registered nurses ranked number 22, followed by bartenders, pharmacy technicians, clinical, counseling and school psychologists. Physicians and surgeons are ranked 29th. For the complete list, go to


The healthcare sector added 6,000 jobs in New Mexico from November 2015 to November 2016, the second highest year-to-year increase since 2003. However, there is a great deal of uncertainty in regard to what will happen if, as promised, the Trump administration repeals or changes the Affordable Care Act and reduceds Medicaid spending. Such changes could result in more adults without health coverage as insurance becomes more expensive. Last month the Commonwealth Fund at George Washington University released a state-by-state report on projected job losses if the healthcare law is repealed. The impact on New Mexico would be particularly significant because the government sector constitutes a major number of jobs, and the state expanded Medicaid government insurance to 200,000 low-income adults. The report projected that New Mexico would lose 19,000 jobs, including 7,800 in healthcare, as well as 1,900 in construction and real estate and

2,400 in retail trade, and that there would be a $10-billion impact from 2019 to 2023. As a result of state funding and contract service cuts, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center is eliminating more than 500 positions, including 33 doctors, 174 nurses, 167 hospital staff and 132 academic staff in the School of Medicine, nursing and pharmacy programs, and other research and education institutions. The center oversees UNM Hospital and medical facilities in 246 communities across the state. The center’s chancellor told legislators in January that most of the jobs will be planned staff expansion that have not yet been filled. Paul Roth, M.D., also said, “People may be losing their lives. Our kids are not going to receive the quality of medical care they need. Our patients may not have access to healthcare.”


Latino communities in New Mexico and elsewhere face a higher risk of cancer and are more likely to be impacted by childhood asthma attacks than other segments of the U.S. population. This is because more than 1.81 million Latinos live within half a mile of methane and toxic pollutants emitted from oil and gas wells, according to a recent report by the Clean Air Task Force, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the National Hispanic Medical Association. The report echoes the assertions of Juntos, a Latino-focused program of the Conservation Voters of New Mexico Education Fund. Juntos’ survey of Latino families in Albuquerque found that air pollution and respiratory problems were the top concern. The Clean Air Task Force says that volatile organic compounds released from oil and gas facilities in New Mexico have been traced to increased ozone in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Vegas.


The Valles Caldera in northern New Mexico is home to vast grasslands and the remnants of one of North America’s few (dormant) super volcanoes. The National Park Service has put the Valles Caldera National Preserve on the National Register under the Geothermal Steam Act. If the Department of the Interior signs off on the designation, the preserve would become the 18th national park with designated thermal features. Yellowstone, Crater Lake and Hawaii Volcanoes are on the list. The Valles Caldera would get extra protection under the new designation. Developers in the Jémez Mountains, even outside the park’s boundaries, would have to prove that their project will not have a negative impact on the preserve’s geothermal resources before a permit would be issued. An Environmental Impact Statement that the National Forest Service is currently conducting on the potential effects of geothermal energy development on 195,000 acres of Santa Fe National Forest north and west of Valles Caldera could be affected by the designation’s higher standard. The nearly 140-square-mile preserve was purchased by the federal government in 2000, which managed it as a working ranch and condemned the last privately owned mineral rights to protect against geothermal development. The Park Service took over in 2015.


The Bureau of Land Management invited state, local and tribal governments to be “cooperating agencies” in the update of its Resource Management Plan Amendment for the Chaco Canyon National Historical Park area and held scoping meetings to hear from Navajo residents and chapter communities that would be affected by additional oil and gas development. Despite opposition from a broad coalition of tribal, local, regional and national environmental and public health groups, last month the BLM auctioned oil and gas drilling rights to 843 acres, some of the few remaining parcels of undeveloped public lands within 20 miles of Chaco. More than 40,000 oil and gas wells have already been drilled in the region. The $3-million sale had been postponed three times since 2012. A BLM spokeswoman said that the agency would not issue the parcels to the winning bidders until several protests are resolved. In December 2016, a company seeking to build the Piñón Pipeline, a 130-mile oil pipeline across 130 miles of federal lands including the Chaco area, withdrew its application to the BLM for a right-of-way. The company cited current market conditions. The pipeline would have been able to transport up to 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Green Fire Times • February 2017


WHAT'S GOING ON! Events / Announcements ALBUQUERQUE

FEB. 4–5, 8 AM–6 PM HEALING TOUCH CERTIFICATE PROGRAM UNM Center for Life Level 1. A standardized, international multi-level continuing education program facilitated by Barbara Welcer, RN. Incorporates fundamentals of energy anatomy, theory and practice. Levels 2 and 3 will be offered in March and April. $365. Pre-registration required. 248.882.1706, FEB. 6, 20, 5 PM 350 NEW MEXICO ABQ Center for Peace & Justice 202 Harvard SE Working locally to help build a grassroots climate movement to address the impact of climate change on New Mexicans. Meets the first & third Mondays of each month. FEB. 8, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM HEALTHY BEVERAGE SUMMIT Indian Pueblo Cultural Center 2401 12th St. NW The Notah Begay Foundation and Water First! Learning Community Partners bring together community members, organizations and agencies committed to reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among Native American children. Registration: $20. FEB. 10, 11:30 AM AMERICAN PLANNING ASSOCIATION NEW MEXICO CHAPTER Hotel Andaluz, Barcelona Ballroom APA-NM Winter Luncheon and Awards. Presentation from author Stephanie Meeks, president/CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. $35. 505.764.9801, FEB. 11, 10:30–12:30 ABQ CITIZEN’S CLIMATE LOBBY Meets the second Saturday of every month., FEB. 11, 1–5 PM AGELESS & AWAKE WORKSHOP UNM Center for Life 4700 Jefferson NE, Ste. 100 Through Sedena Cappannelli’s Personal Energy Program, discover transformational energy techniques to connect to your best self at any age, and maximum healing, vitality and balance in mind, body and spirit. $78. Registration: 505.925.4551, mnhale@, Info: 505.470.6295, FEB. 11, 10:30 AM–12:30 PM ABQ CITIZENS’ CLIMATE LOBBY Nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization working in support of solutions such as the carbon fee/ dividend to prevent the worst aspects of a warming world. Meets 2nd Sat. monthly., http:// NM_Albuquerque/ FEB. 16: 5:30–8 PM TEDXABQ FUTURE OF MEDICINE SALON Presbyterian Rev. Hugh A. Cooper Center, 9521 San Mateo Blvd. NE


Five speakers will focus on changing the way healthcare is perceived and medicine is practiced in NM. The event is designed to foster learning, ignite inspiration and provoke conversations. $25. FEB. 17–18 NM ORGANIC FARMING CONFERENCE Marriott ABQ Pyramid North 5151 San Francisco Rd. NE Farmers, ranchers, researchers and exhibitors from around the SW share their experience and expertise. 2/17, 7 am–8 pm; 2/18, 7 am–5 pm. Presented by NM Dept. of Agriculture, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, Green Tractor Farms & Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute, NM Farm & Livestock Bureau Federation. $110/$70. Discounts for organized student groups. Registration: www. Info: 505.490.2822,, FEB. 23–24 2017 LAND & WATER SUMMIT Sheraton ABQ Airport Hotel 2918 Yale Blvd. SE Growing Community Relationships: Just Add Water. Presented by the Xeriscape Council of NM and Green Infrastructure Low Impact Development in Arid Environments. Agenda: MARCH 30–APRIL 1 NM 2017 WILDLAND URBAN INTERFACE SUMMIT Sheraton Airport Hotel One of NM’s largest meetings to discuss and prepare the state for wildfires. Hosted by the U.S. BLM, U.S. Forest Service, NM State Land Office, NM State Forestry, Forest Stewards Guild, Northern AZ University, SW Fire Consortium, Grant County, NM Assoc. of Counties. Advance registration: $65, onsite: $85. Presenters and exhibitors. 505.216.3006,, wildland-urban-interface-summit/ FIRST SUNDAYS NM MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY 1801 Mountain Road Museum admission is free to NM residents on the first Sunday of every month. 505.841.2800 SATURDAYS, 1 PM WEEKLY DOCENT-LED TOURS National Hispanic Cultural Center 1701 4th St. SW Tours of different exhibits and themes in the Art Museum. $2-$3, free with museum admission. 505.246.2261, DAILY, 10 AM–6 PM WILDLIFE WEST 87 N. Frontage Rd., Edgewood (just east of ABQ) 122-acre park/attraction with educational programs dedicated to native wildlife and ecology. $7/$6/$4/children under 5 free. DAILY OUR LAND, OUR CULTURE, OUR STORY Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW Historical overview of the Pueblo world and contemporary artwork and craftsmanship of each of the 19 pueblos; Weekend Native dances. 866.855.7902,

Green Fire Times • February 2017

MASTER COMPOSTER TRAINING Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters are now accepting applications for the spring 2017 master composter volunteers training. Visit http://bernalilloextension.nmsu. edu/mastercomposter/spring2017-info.html, PAID AMERICORPS TERMS Young women and men ages 18–25 sought for seasonal, full-time conservation projects in Albuquerque area wilderness. 575.751.1420, ABQ 2030 DISTRICT A voluntary collaboration of commercial property tenants, building managers, property owners and developers; real estate, energy, and building sector professionals, lenders, utility companies; and public stakeholders such as government agencies, nonprofits, community groups and grassroots organizers. Property partners share anonymous utility data and best practices. Professional partners provide expertise and services. Public partners support the initiative as it overlaps with their own missions. Info:


FEB. 4, 10 AM–2 PM WATER IS LIFE WORKSHOP Ampersand Project, Cerrillos, NM Observing design that recognizes the sacredness of water, small group dialogue, gentle land restoration. $30/$60. Fundraiser for Water Protectors legal collective. RSVP:, FEB. 7, 6–9 PM AGFEST SF Convention Center Annual gathering of agricultural groups hosting an open house for NM’s legislators. Booths from over 43 organizations across the state. Presented by the NM Farm & Livestock Bureau. FEB. 8, 8:30 AM–3 PM LANDS, WATER AND WILDLIFE DAY The Roundhouse, State Capitol 1 pm demonstration in support of the Mexican gray wolf recovery. mcarey@ FEB. 8, 11, 22, 25 INTEGRATIVE VETERINARY WELLNESS OPEN HOUSES 2001 Vivigen Way, Ste. B New clinic features holistic services including acupuncture, preventative screenings, immunotherapy and dental care. 2/11, 25: 9 am–1 pm; 2/8, 22: 9 am–4 pm. 505.467.8037 FEB. 10, 6 PM REVISIONING ACTIVISM Collected Works Books Local author and psychologist David Bedrick presents his latest book. FEB. 11, 9:30–12 PM SF CITIZENS’ CLIMATE LOBBY Higher Ed. Center 1959 Siringo Rd., Rm. 135 Working for climate-change solutions that bridge the partisan divide. https://www. FEB. 11, 1–3:30 PM KINDRED SPIRITS PARTY

NM 14 near Lone Butte General Store 2 pm tour of the hospice for dogs, horses and poultry. 505.471.5366, FEB. 11, 5 PM 12TH ANNUAL SWEETHEART AUCTION SF Convention Center Benefits the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico. FEB. 12 APPLICATION DEADLINE ARTIST RESIDENCIES SF Art Institute As a response to a global rise of intolerance and division, to foster social equity and critical dialogue, beginning with “Equal Justice,” SFAI will award up to 60 sponsored residencies to artists of all disciplines and content experts across fields of creative inquiry. FEB. 13, 2:30 PM VILLAGES OF SANTA FE Jean Cocteau Theatre Maintaining Autonomy as We Age. Dr. Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal, discusses the Village movement in the face of cultural expectations and one-size-fits-all corporate offerings. Live-streaming webinar. Village members free. $10 non-members. 505.501.8187, FEB. 13, 6 PM CURRENT RESEARCH IN THE GILA NATIONAL FOREST Hotel SF, 1501 Paseo de Peralta SW Seminars lecture by Dr. Fumiyasu Arakawa on Northern Mimbres Archaeology. $12. 505.466.2775,, FEB. 13 SLOW FOOD DINNER AND A BOOK Slow Food-SF “The Triumph of SEEDS: How Grains, Nuts, Kernals, Pulses & Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History” by Thor Hanson. 505.989.1316, Slowfoodsantafe@ FEB. 15, 5:30–7:30 THE HEART OF GENDER JUSTICE Rio Chama Steakhouse NewMexicoWomen.Org’s 4th annual legislative reception features Dani McClain, fellow at the National Institute; Dr. Corrine Sanchez, executive director of Tewa Women United; and Beva Sanchez-Padilla, SW Organizing Project NM Con Mujeres organizer. NMW.O’s mission is to advance opportunities for women and girls in NM. FEB. 16, 10 AM–3:30 PM ACEQUIA DAY CELEBRATION NM State Legislature 10 am–12: Acequia leaders from around the state demonstrate their support for acequias. 1:30 pm: NM Acequia Assn. press conference in the Rotunda. Displays, presentations, music. 505.995.9644 FEB. 16, 3–4:30 PM PLANTS AS PREY SF Botanical Garden The Human Plant Ecology of 1000 years ago. Lecture by Dr. Eric Blinman. $10/$5. FEB. 18, 10 AM–12 PM LOVE YOUR RIVER DAY Meet at Frenchy’s Park Help the SF Watershed Association clean the SF River.

FEB. 20 2017 FOOD AND FARMS DAY NM State Legislature Starts with 9 am press conference at the Capitol Rotunda. 2nd annual Local Food & Farm to School Awards. NM Farmers’ Markets, NM School Nutrition and other groups will make presentations. Info: 505.660.8403 or pam@, FEB. 25, 5:30 PM ARTSMART NM: YOU WILL BE SERVED Eldorado Hotel 309 W. San Francisco St. Dinner by renowned chefs and silent auction of ceramics and paintings created by SF Public School fifth-graders and a chance to be mentored by author Anne Hillerman. $200. 505.992.2787, FEB. 26, 10 AM–3 PM DEVELOPING A PERMACULTURE PRACTICE Ampersand Project, Cerrillos, NM Learn to work towards self-sufficiency and community resilience. $50. Discounts available. RSVP:, FEB. 27 DEADLINE, DRAFT EIS PUBLIC COMMENTS POJOAQUE BASIN REGIONAL WATER SYSTEM PUBLIC MEETINGS 45-day public written comment period for the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the planned water system to serve communities in northern SF County ends Feb. 27. The draft may be viewed at www.PojoaqueBasinEIS. com. The U.S. DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation’s public meetings on the draft (6–8 pm): 2/15, Pojoaque High School gymnasium; 2/16, Tesuque Elementary School gymnasium; 2/21, Nambé Community Center, 2/22: SF Community College Jemez Room. PojoaqueBasinEIS@, MARCH 2–4 MOUNTAIN WEST SEED SUMMIT Hotel Santa Fe The vanguard of a burgeoning movement to reclaim seed sovereignty in local communities and create a sustainable food future., MARCH 3, 9 AM–3 PM RENEWABLE ENERGY DAY The Roundhouse, State Capitol Presentations, displays. Lbarnhart48@ MARCH 5, 4–8 PM GREENHOUSE GROCERY POP-UP Skylight, 139 W. San Francisco Talks by chef/author Deborah Madison, Grassland Farming by Nancy Ranney, Kid’s Korner with Tajali Sheppaerd, Live music, Street Food Institute fare, raffle, more. $15/person; $20. household. MARCH 9–11 NM FARMERS’ MARKETING ASSN. CONFERENCE SF Community College Annual conference. Christina@, http:// MARCH 11, 10–5 PM; MARCH 12, 10–4 PM SANTA FE HOME SHOW SF Convention Center Innovative solutions for better living. 505.982.1774,, www.

MARCH 17, 1–4 PM WRITING AS PART OF THE THERAPEUTIC PROCESS Mesa Vista Wellness A workshop led by Ann Filemyr, Ph.D. $54. Student discount available. 505.983.8225, SAT., 8 AM-1 PM SF FARMERS’ MARKET 1607 Paseo de Peralta (& Guadalupe) Northern NM farmers & ranchers offer fresh greenhouse tomatoes, greens, root veggies, cheese, teas, herbs, spices, honey, baked goods, body care products and much more. SUNDAYS, 10 AM-4 PM RAILYARD ARTISAN MARKET Farmers’ Market Pavilion, 1607 Paseo de Peralta Local artists, textiles, jewelry, ceramics, live music. 505.983.4098,, SUNDAYS, 11 AM JOURNEY SANTA FE CONVERSATIONS Collected Works Books 202 Galisteo St. 2/5: Author Pen LaFarge on the importance of historical review boards. 2/12: Mark Rudd on the Progressive Movement in ABQ and Across NM, and Remembering Tom Hayden. 2/19: Author/journalist James Burbank on Poetry, Nature and the Politics of Experience. 2/26: Julianna Koob of Planned Parenthood. 3/5: Daniel Tso with attorney Denise Fort on Anti-Fracking in Chaco Canyon. Hosts: Alan Webber, Bill and Ellen Dupuy. Free. REGISTRATION OPEN MEDICINAL PLANTS/HERBAL MEDICINE Milagro School of Herbal Medicine Foundations of Herbal Medicine Certificate Program begins April 18. Includes study of local plants, medicine making, therapeutics and more., www. SANTA FE RECYCLING Reduce, reuse and recycle. City residential curbside customers can recycle at no additional cost and drop by 1142 Siler Road, Building A to pick up free recycling bins. For more information, visit trash_and_recycling or call 505.955.2200 (city), 505.992.3010 (county), 505.424.1850 (SF Solid Waste Management Agency).


FEB. 27 HOMESCHOOL ART Harwood Museum of Art Homeschool families are invited to a special program to create art as part of the Art in the Schools curriculum. 575.758.9826, THIRD WEDS. MONTHLY Taos Entrepreneurial Network Taos County Courthouse Mural Room, Taos Plaza Networking, presentations and discussion. Free. FARMER-TO-FARMER TRAINING Taos County and Española Valley Learn to be an organic acequia farmer. The NM Acequia Association has a yearlong training program. It includes farm and business planning, season extension, fertility and soil health, equipment maintenance, planting & harvesting, organic pest management and more. 505.995.9644, PAID AMERICORPS TERMS Young women and men ages 18–25 sought for seasonal, full-time conservation projects

in Taos-area wilderness. 575.751.1420, ONGOING Holy Cross Hospital Health Support HCH Community Wellness Center (lower entrance), 1397 Weimer Rd. 575.751.8909,,


FEB. 7 APPLICATION DEADLINE ALDO LEOPOLD WRITING CONTEST NM students in grades 6 through 12 are invited to read Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac and write an essay on land ethics. Grades 6–7: 300 words. Grades 8–9: 400 words. Grades 10–12: 500 words limit. $500 cash prize awarded in each category. First place essays will be read on April 23, 2 pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in ABQ. Email entries to FEB. 15 APPLICATION DEADLINE CREATING HUMANITIES COMMUNITIES National Endowment for the Humanities grants support grassroots humanities programs by encouraging partnerships and collaborations among institutions or organizations in a town, county or region. Applications welcome from small and midsized institutions and tribal organizations. html?dpp=1&oppId=289891 MARCH 15 APPLICATION DEADLINE LEADERSHIP NM Applications are being accepted for LNM’s Core Program and Connect NM, The Next Generation. The ten-month Core Program includes a cross-section of leaders around the state from public, private, nonprofit sectors. It addresses issues facing NM. Connect NM offers professionals, ages 25-40, the opportunity to develop leadership skills and learn how NM systems and structures work. 505.398.1500, MARCH 17 APPLICATION DEADLINE INNOVATION CHALLENGE Open to Native American entrepreneurs. $5,000 cash prize and one year of business counseling and support services. Runners-up get one year of business incubation services. Hosted by the Native American Business Incubator Network and Catapult Design. MARCH 17 APPLICATION DEADLINE AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION EASEMENT PROGRAM This program administered by the NM Natural Resource Conservation Service helps landowners protect working agricultural lands and wetlands. 505.761.4404, Kristin., https://www. newsroom/releases/?cid MARCH 30–APRIL 2 FLUTE MAKING & TRADITIONAL FARMING AT JEMEZ PUEBLO Creative arts and service learning. EarthWalks program based at Bodhi Mandala Zen Center in Jemez Springs also includes opportunity for rest, relaxation, hot springs and meditation practice. $500 includes lodging., FIRST MONDAYS EACH MONTH, 3–5 PM SUSTAINABLE GALLUP BOARD Octavia Fellin Library, Gallup, NM The City of Gallup’s Sustainable Gallup Board welcomes community members concerned about conservation, energy, water, recycling and other environmental issues. 505.722.0039.

MON., WED., FRI., SAT., 10 AM–4 PM PAJARITO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER 2600 Canyon Rd., Los Alamos, NM Nature center and outdoor education programs. Exhibits of flora and fauna of the Pajarito Plateau; herbarium, live amphibians, butterfly and xeric gardens. 505.662.0460, TUESDAYS, 6–8 PM FAMILY NIGHT PEEC, Los Alamos, NM The second Tuesday of every month. Games, activities experiments or crafts at the Nature Center. 505.662.0460, www. 1ST TUES. 7–8:30 PM GARDENING WITH THE MASTERS Meadowlark Senior Center 4330 Meadowlark Ln., Río Rancho, NM 2/7: Dormant tree pruning; 3/7: Growing tomatoes; 4/4: Gardening in small spaces; 5/2: Traditional healing plants of NM; 6/6: Growing daylilies; 8/1: Tree selection, planting and maintenance in the high desert. WEDNESDAYS, 10 AM GREEN HOUR HIKES Los Alamos Nature Center, Los Alamos, NM Kid-centered hikes. Free. FIRST 3 WEDS. EA. MONTH, 6–7 PM SOLAR 101 CLASSES 113 E. Logan Ave., Gallup, NM Free classes about all things related to off-grid solar systems. No pre-registration necessary. 505.728.9246, gallupsolar@, 2ND WEDS., 1 PM SANDOVAL COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS CLASSES County Extension Office, 711. S. Cam. del Pueblo, Bernalillo, NM Free classes. Urban horticulture series. 2/8: Home composting basics & composting with worms; 3/8: Cacti & succulents of the SW; 4/12: Rare & endangered plants; 5/10: Creating resilient garden systems II; 6/14: Climate extremes & ways to buffer it. http:// REGISTRATION OPEN RECYCLING & COMPOST FACILITY OPERATORS COURSES ABQ, Carlsbad, Ratón, Silver City, NM The NM Environment Dept. Solid Waste Bureau, in partnership with the NM Recycling Coalition, hosts two recycling and two compost facility operators certification courses each year. To learn more and register, visit http://www.recyclenewmexico. com/cert_classes/ SPIRIT OF THE BUTTERFLY 923 E. Fairview Land, Espanola, NM Women’s support group organized by Tewa Women United. Info/RSVP: Beverly, 505.795.8117 BASIC LITERACY TUTOR TRAINING Española area After training by the NM Coalition for Literacy, volunteer tutors are matched with an adult student. 505.747.6162, read@raalp. org, RÍO GRANDE RETURN Locally produced salsas, jams, honey, chocolates, soaps, lotions, incense and more. Supports local farmers, producers and the conservation of the Río Grande. 505.466.1767, toll free: 866.466.1767,

Green Fire Times • February 2017


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Green Fire Times • February 2017

February 2017 Green Fire Times  

Featuring: Enlivened Aging in New Mexico and in Our World — Sedena C. Cappannelli, Conscious Aging through Quigong — Master Mingtong Gu and...

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