Route 66 Arts Alliance is concluding our Spring Arts Workshop series with a Silk Painting class taught by Sandra Holzman. It will be held May 20 from 1 to 3 p.m., at Sandra’s studio in Edgewood. The class costs $35 and each student will create a silk scarf. Inquiries and registration form are at route66artsalliance.org.

The 14th Annual East Mountain Fiber Farm and Studio Tour will be on June 10 and 11 this year, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Come join us for a day of fiber in the East Mountains. Visit alpaca, sheep and goat farms to visit with the animals, talk to the shepherds, learn about raising fiber animals and purchase fleeces. Tour fiber studios and shops for hand-painted yarns, hand-painted silks, roving, handwoven and felted garments, handwoven guitar straps, hand-hooked rugs, one-of-a-kind buttons and other fiber arts supplies. Learn about spinning, weaving, dyeing and felting from fiber artists. Admission is free and maps are available at Edgewood Yarns & Fibers and online at eastmountainfibertour.com.

On July 4, Route 66 Arts Alliance and the Town of Edgewood present the Field of Arts Festival. Free for the whole family, the event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with free live music all day, local artists and writers, 4H horse rides, great food and much more. Join us on Tuesday, July 4th at the Edgewood Soccer Field on N.M. 344, 3 miles north of I-40. A vendor applicaion is at route66artsalliance.org.

Route 66 Arts Alliance received a grant from Santa Fe County to provide a Summer Arts Camp for children ages 8-14. The grant will allow the Route 66 Arts Alliance to expand its summer camp from one to two weeks. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. from July 24-28 and July 31-Aug. 4, with a performance and exhibit on Aug. 4. The grant will also allow the program to hire four students (ages 14-18) to serve as interns to assist the teachers. We are still accepting applications for these positions. Classes will feature art, music, acting and dance, with a healthy mid-morning snack.

For details and registration, visit our website or find us on Facebook at /RT66ArtsAlliance.

Sandra Holzman, President, Route 66 Arts Alliance

Updates to EMIFPA’s fire awareness website

When I visit an internet site, the first thing I often do is look for the date. When was information updated? How current is it?

Until recently, a visitor to emifpa.org, the website for the East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association, could not find the date very easily. That made it difficult to have confidence that information was timely and useful.

Is it a Red Flag day? What about tomorrow? Are there any active wildfires in the region? Where are prescribed burns or thinning projects underway now or in the next few days? What’s the current “fire danger level” in Torrance County?

While this may be information for enquiring minds, it is also a tool for folks who maintain situation awareness of actual or potential hazards in our region, so that they can incorporate that awareness into everyday planning.

Visitors to emifpa.org over the past month or two probably noticed significant changes. Formerly, the home page provided background information about and history of EMIFPA. It was an online version of a brochure. You can still find details about EMIFPA, but not on the first screen you see. Instead of information for individuals seeking to learn about the organization, there is a shift to emphasize critical and timely updates about wildfire and related hazard conditions and situations.

That first screen is now titled “Current Situation, Warnings & Notices.” You’ll see the date that information was last updated. You’ll see whether or not today and/or tomorrow have Red Flag periods declared by the National Weather Service and, if so, during what hours. If EMIFPA is aware of active wildfires in the area, that will be noted, with links to more detailed information, if that is available.

Similarly, the first screen updates the status of prescribed burns either underway or planned. Additional fire-related hazard information about flooding, utility outages, road or other infrastructure impacts will be briefly noted with links or referral to other sources, when available. If land management jurisdictions (federal, state, or local) have imposed restrictions on activities or closures to public access, that will be noted.

EMIFPA does not declare fire weather. It does not manage fire response. It has no jurisdiction over land. Rather, its members do have pretty reliable and timely access to information. It is also developing and fine-tuning resources to serve as a messenger, bringing information together and disseminating it in ways that East Mountain residents hopefully can use.

If you have not visited emifpa.org recently, give a look-see. It may have information you can use. If there is other information you’d like to see made available, come to an EMIFPA meeting and bring up your idea. When and where are those meetings held? One place to find out is at emifpa.org. You can also email ideas ane concerns to [email protected]

Tom Stuart, EMIFPA

Fix Obamacare, because the replacement is ‘immoral’

The passage last Thursday of the Republican health care bill in the U.S. House of Representatives is yet another example of the U.S. government not working as conceived. Our system of governance has us—the people—electing representatives to represent us, a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Polls showed that barely 17 percent think this Republican plan should have even been “considered.” It is definitely not “for the people.”

Republican representatives in the Town Halls during the many, many congressional vacations admitted to their visitors that the people they are supposed to represent overwhelmingly want the Obamacare law retained.

Still without time to even “consider” the Republican plan, they voted for this bill—whose horrors are just beginning to be comprehended. They have admitted that they didn’t read it, that it was not scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and that there was not a single hearing by experts on how it will affect us—the people who will bear the consequences.

There are horrific Republican-sponsored expenses and costs, both on a human level and on an economic level. The true harm of this bill is deliberately being hidden.

The scoring by the CBO of the old bill was so bad that the Republicans couldn’t even bring it up for a vote. 20 million people will lose their health coverage. Premiums, especially for the elderly, will increase; pre-existing conditions are on the chopping block; and billions in health care cuts are being turned into tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of the people in the U.S. This is turning your money meant for health care into a payoff for the wealthiest. This is an immoral “for profit” health care.

I think most Americans really believe that monies you put forward to pay for your health care should go into health care.

In our system, health care providers are “for profit” companies. Not only do their premiums go for huge CEO salaries and benefits, but they also pay investors who are expecting a return on the money they lend.

Health Care through Medicare manages the Medicare program expenses on single digit percentage costs to the program—right around 3 percent. Health Care insurers shouldn’t be allowed any more money than the actual expenses of running the program costs.

Is Obamacare perfect? Of course not. But it was designed to help the people, not hurt the people, and it is fixable.

Where the insurers are pulling out of both states and counties, open Medicare to all those people. A simple up and down vote.

Subsidies aren’t enough to cover the high risk policies. OK. Let’s do what the Australians do—a government sponsored medical plan Donald Trump lauded while hosting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Part of their plan is funded by a tax on the wealthiest Australians. Let’s do the same. Our wealthiest—including Donald Trump—can afford it, and with tax breaks and other benefits, they are not paying their fair share on anything.

Social Security, a plan that is working really well for us, has a cap on what we pay into this pension program. If you earn less than $127,200 you pay on 100 percent of your income. If you make over $127,200 you pay only on that amount, not the 100 percent of your income like the rest of us. Remove the cap. Another simple up and down vote. It’s time to fix that program too.

But back to health care. The Republican plan is hateful and immoral. It strips Obamacare protections. It gives an estimated $8 billion to our richest. If you believe in the U.S. Constitution, health care is part of the “general welfare” clause. As such it should be guaranteed under our Constitution and provided for by our elected officials just as much as we provide for a standing army, a functional infrastructure, and quality education for all.

Ann Ruhnka, Moriarty

Truck Raffle fundraiser has record-breaking year

Dear Moriarty-Edgewood School District community, I would like to send out a huge thank you to the many people who contributed to the Moriarty Athletic Truck Raffle for the 10th year. Because of the generous contributions from businesses, sponsors, and donors over $21,000 worth of prizes were donated towards the raffle.

This was a record-breaking year for the truck raffle! We raised approximately $66,000, that will benefit all the student athletes of the Moriarty-Edgewood School District in the year to come. This would not be possible without incredible community support.

Over the past 10 years of doing the Athletic Truck Raffle fundraiser, our community has raised over $758,000 to allow our athletic program to continue to function. This money allows us to meet the rising cost of running athletics while we face a continual decline in educational funding around the state.

It is incredible to see the power of this small community! You have come together to sustain Pinto Athletics, where we use sports to teach our young people skills that will help them succeed in life. Thank you to the athletes, parents, coaching staff, businesses, and supporters that make Pinto Athletics a great place to succeed. I would like to thank the following businesses and community members for all of their support.

Go Pintos!

Tillery Chevrolet; Pace Metals Joe C. Doyle; Moriarty Pipe & Iron; Matt Moore; Mark Beverly; NM Medical; Guy & Helen Waldorf; Tinnin Hunt Club; Loren & Christy Riblett; Evergreen Turf Inc.; ABS Homes; Tommy & Laverne Negrete; Angel Fire Resort (ROSE Rakes); BSN Sports; Motorsport Adventures; East Mountain Auto; Mike Gonzales; Barefoot Cowboy; Screen Images Alb.; Moriarty Concrete; Do Right Drilling Inc.; Auto Zone Edgewood; Pizza Barn; Andrew Fowner; Bonnie Plants; Hart’s Hardware; Mag’s Indoor Shooting Range; Hinkle Family Fun Center; Michaela Allen Handicrafts; Eldorado Super Mart 7; Christopher Apodaca Handmade Knives; Awards Etc.; Jill Bailey; Valley Barber Shop; West Truck Center; Tavenner Towing; Sportsman’s Warehouse; Kays RV; Jennifer Vieth Mary Kay; Hayden Waldorf; Chick Fil A Eubank Alb.; Best Western Heritage Inn Steve & Shara Anaya; B&R Construction; Ag NM Farm Credit; Honstein Oil Freddy Chavez; Gardenswartz Sports; Rich Ford Edgewood; McCall’s Pumpkin Patch; Kathy Lovato-Gallegos Pampered Chef; Pampered Chef Delfina Eddington; Silva Lanes Alb. Delfina Eddington; Katrinah’s East Mountain Grill; TA Country Pride Restaurant; Los Cuates Cedar Crest; Lisa’s Truck Stop; Jamie Thompson; Fuddruckers; Edgewood Family Fitness; Country Gas Inc.; Team Mom Gear; Jazzercise Moriarty Carol Hernandez; Hair By Patricia Edgewood; Lucille Mizner Alb.; Dion’s Pizza Central Ave.; Shorty’s BBQ; Sam’s Club Eubank Alb.; Ribs Hickory Pit BBQ Cedar Crest; Pep Boys Central Alb.; Nachos Restaurant; El Reys Comedor; Dominos Pizza Edgewood; Chili Hills Moriarty; Liz Salazar; and Jim Goodman.

Joe Bailey, Moriarty High School Athletics

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]