Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts Gallery, Antiques and More, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico is proud to showcase craft persons and artists that are #ExclusivelyAlamogordo –
Meet the “Milk and Honey” Creations of Kathryn Cecava. She is one of our exclusively showcased crafters who experienced the adventure of living in Alamogordo since 1957, except for the four years spent in Nebraska pursuing a Masters degree.
Kathryn’s showcased business is named “Milk & Honey,” because her creations are designed for use in the kitchen where the milk and honey flow.
She loves to create new things from old things. She repurposes the vintage beauty of hand embroidered items by combining them with the usefulness of a kitchen towel.
The artistic outcome becomes a warm and beautiful focal point in the kitchen – a true work of practical and functional ART.
Roadrunner Emporium is open 10 am and NOW at NIGHT till 7 pm Monday thru Thursday and 10 am until 8 pm Friday and Saturday.
Kathryn’s Milk & Honey creations are exclusively at the Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts Gallery, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo and are showcased with many choices of colors and patterns.
Come and select one from a variety of choices showcased that are crafted as #ExclusivelyAlamogordo.
This month was originally designated by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 to honor the legacy of prolific author, teacher, and advocate Bebe Moore Campbell.
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Awareness Month serves as an opportunity for us all to raise awareness of the unique mental health needs of people of color.
What happens at the intersection of mental health and one’s experience as a member of the BIPOC community? While the experience of being BIPOC in America varies tremendously, there are shared cultural factors that play a role in helping define mental health and supporting well-being, resiliency and healing.
Part of this shared cultural experience — family connections, values, expression through spirituality or music, reliance on community and religious networks — are enriching and can be great sources of strength and support.
However, another part of this shared experience is facing racism, discrimination and inequity that can significantly affect a person’s mental health. Being treated or perceived as “less than” because of the color of your skin can be stressful and even traumatizing. Additionally, members of the BIPOC community face structural challenges accessing the care and treatment they need.
According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, BIPOC adults in the U.S. are more likely than white adults to report persistent symptoms of emotional distress, such as sadness, hopelessness and feeling like everything is an effort. BIPOC adults living below the poverty line are more than twice as likely to report serious psychological distress than those with more financial security.
More likely to use emergency rooms or primary care (rather than mental health specialists)
Barriers To Mental Health Care
Socioeconomic Disparities Socioeconomic factors can make treatment options less available. In 2018, 11.5% of BIPOC adults in the U.S. had no form of health insurance.
The BIPOC community, like other communities of color, are more likely to experience socioeconomic disparities such as exclusion from health, educational, social and economic resources. These disparities may contribute to worse mental health outcomes.
Stigma Negative attitudes and beliefs towards people who live with mental health conditions is pervasive within the U.S. and can be particularly strong within the BIPOC community. One study showed that 63% of BIPOC people believe that a mental health condition is a sign of personal weakness. As a result, people may experience shame about having a mental illness and worry that they may be discriminated against due to their condition.
For many in the BIPOC community, it can be incredibly challenging to discuss the topic of mental health due to this concern about how they may be perceived by others. This fear could prevent people from seeking mental health care when they really need it.
Additionally, many people choose to seek support from their faith community rather than seeking a medical diagnosis. In many BIPOC communities in the U.S., the church, mosque or other faith institution can play a central role as a meeting place and source of strength.
Faith and spirituality can help in the recovery process and be an important part of a treatment plan. For example, spiritual leaders and faith communities can provide support and reduce isolation. However, they should not be the only option for people whose daily functioning is impaired by mental health symptoms.
Provider Bias and Inequality of Care BIPOC people have historically been negatively affected by prejudice and discrimination in the health care system in the US. And, unfortunately, many BIPOC people still have these negative experiences when they attempt to seek treatment. Provider bias, both conscious and unconscious, and a lack of cultural competency can result in misdiagnosis and inadequate treatment. This ultimately can lead to mistrust of mental health professionals and create a barrier for many to engage in treatment.
BIPOC people may also be more likely to identify and describe physical symptoms related to mental health problems. For example, they may describe bodily aches and pains when talking about depression. A health care provider who is not culturally competent might not recognize these as symptoms of a mental health condition. Additionally, BIPOC men are more likely to receive a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia when expressing symptoms related to mood disorders or PTSD.
How To Seek Culturally Competent Care
When a person is experiencing challenges with their mental health, it is essential for them to receive quality care as soon as the symptoms are recognized. It is equally important that the care they receive is provided by culturally competent health care professionals.
While we recommend seeking help from a mental health professional, a primary care professional is also a great place to start. A primary care professional might be able to provide an initial mental health assessment and referral to a mental health professional if needed. Community and faith organizations may also have a list of available mental health providers in your area.
When meeting with a provider, it can be helpful to ask questions to get a sense of their level of cultural awareness. Providers expect and welcome questions from their patients or clients, since this helps them better understand what is important in their treatment. Here are some sample questions:
Have you treated other BIPOC people or received training in cultural competence for BIPOC mental health? If not, how do you plan to provide me with culturally sensitive, patient-centered care?
How do you see our cultural backgrounds influencing our communication and my treatment?
Do you use a different approach in your treatment when working with patients from different cultural backgrounds?
What is your current understanding of differences in health outcomes for BIPOC patients?
Whether you seek help from a primary care professional or a mental health professional, you should finish your sessions with the health care professional feeling heard and respected. You may want to ask yourself:
Did my provider communicate effectively with me?
Is my provider willing to integrate my beliefs, practices, identity and cultural background into my treatment plan?
Did I feel like I was treated with respect and dignity?
Do I feel like my provider understands and relates well with me?
The relationship and communication between a person and their mental health provider is a key aspect of treatment. It’s very important for a person to feel that their identity is understood by their provider in order to receive the best possible support and care.
If finances are preventing you from finding help, contact a local health or mental health clinic or your local government to see what services you qualify for. You can find contact information online at findtreatment.samhsa.gov or by calling the National Treatment Referral Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).
In collaboration and permission of the Trevor Project we share some thoughts…
This BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month, the Trevor Project collaborated with several individuals who are LGBTQ people of color to offer advice to youth on how to navigate the intersections of their identities and protect their mental health. HRC Foundation and the University of Connecticut released the largest-of-its-kind survey ever of more than 12,000 LGBTQ teenagers across the nation, revealing in distressing detail the persistent challenges so many of them face going about their daily lives at home, at school and in their communities.
LGBTQ youth of color and transgender teenagers experience unique challenges and elevated stress — only 11 percent of youth of color surveyed believe their racial or ethnic group is regarded positively in the U.S.,
and over 50 percent of trans and gender expansive youth said they can never use school restrooms that align with their gender identity;
More than 70 percent report feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness in the past week;
Only 26 percent say they always feel safe in their school classrooms — and just five percent say all of their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people;
Sixty-seven percent report that they’ve heard family members make negative comments about LGBTQ people
But there is help in the thoughts of others:
“Healing begins with you, and it is quite a journey as well, but it is worth it. You are worthy of so much. Always remember that.”
“I have learned that I do not need to find an exact mirror of myself in order to be valid or to find kinship and community. I can find resonance within myself, and I can find pieces of myself within others.”
“There is space for who you are and who you identify as. And that space that you probably know and want to explore is exactly where you will begin to flourish.“
“Being honest with who you are and how you feel is a big step into being confident in who you are and how you feel.”
“I wish someone told me that it’s okay to not be perfect all the time. I wish someone would’ve said to me, ‘go live your life unapologetically. You MATTER.”
“I believe that while life saving organizations like The Trevor Project fill gaps in mental health infrastructure, we can all do our part to destigmatize mental health conversations in our own context.”
In Alamogordo there are options for help: Crisis And Access Line Call for support and resources1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474) Toll Free 24/7/365
NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DOH Address: 1207 8th Street Alamogordo, NM 88310Phone: 575-437-9340Fax: 575-434-6629
Christmas in July or Christmas in Summer is a second Christmas celebration held around the summer season, mainly during July. It is centered around Christmas-themed activities and entertainment, including small gatherings, seasonal music and specials, and shopping, with the goal of getting the public in the “Christmas spirit” during the summer season and engaging with retail stores during the slump of summer sales in July.
Werther, an 1892 French opera with libretto by Édouard Blau, Paul Milliet, and Georges Hartmann, had an English translation published in 1894 by Elizabeth Beall Ginty. In the story, a group of children rehearses a Christmas song in July, to which a character responds: “When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season.” It is a translation of the French: “vous chantez Noël en juillet… c’est s’y prendre à l’avance.” This opera is based on Goethe‘s The Sorrows of Young Werther. Christmas features in the book, but July does not.
In 1935, the National Recreation Association’s journal Recreation described what a Christmas in July was like at a girl’s camp, writing that “all mystery and wonder surround this annual event.
The term, if not the exact concept, was given national attention with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy Christmas in July in 1940, written and directed by Preston Sturges. In the story, a man is fooled into believing he has won $25,000 in an advertising slogan contest. He buys presents for family, friends, and neighbors, and proposes marriage to his girlfriend.
In 1942, the Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. celebrated Christmas in July with carols and the sermon “Christmas Presents in July”. They repeated it in 1943, with a Christmas tree covered with donations. The pastor explained that the special service was patterned after a program held each summer at his former church in Philadelphia, when the congregation would present Christmas gifts early to give ample time for their distribution to missions worldwide. It became an annual event, and in 1945, the service began to be broadcast over local radio.
The U.S. Post Office and U.S. Army and Navy officials, in conjunction with the American advertising and greeting card industries, threw a Christmas in July luncheon in New York in 1944 to promote an early Christmas mailing campaign for service men overseas during World War II. The luncheon was repeated in 1945.
American advertisers began using Christmas in July themes in print for summertime sales as early as 1950. In the United States, it is more often used as a marketing tool than an actual holiday. Television stations may choose to re-run Christmas specials, and many stores have Christmas in July sales. Some individuals choose to celebrate Christmas in July themselves, typically as an intentionally transparent excuse to have a party. This is in part because most bargainers tend to sell Christmas goods around July to make room for next year’s inventory.
In the Northern Hemisphere, a Christmas in July celebration is deliberately ironic; the July climate is typically hot and either sunny or rainy with thunderstorms, as opposed to the cold and snowy conditions traditionally associated with Christmas celebrations in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Some people throw parties during July that mimic Christmas celebrations, bringing the atmosphere of Christmas but with warmer temperatures. Parties may include Santa Claus, ice cream and other cold foods, and gifts. Nightclubs often host parties open to the public. Christmas in July is usually recognized as July 25 but also sometimes celebrated on July 12.
The Hallmark Channel and its companion outlets (Hallmark Drama and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) run blocks of their original Christmas television films in July to coincide with the release of the Keepsake Ornaments in stores, thus literally making the event a Hallmark holiday (an accusation that Hallmark Cards officially denies).
Every July, the television home shopping channel QVC has Christmas in July sales, mostly decor and early gift ideas for children. What was once a 24-hour block of holiday shopping every July 25 (or the closest weekend day to it) has become a month-long event: generally, the sales begin on July 1 and are showcased throughout the day, with various blocks of holiday sale programming sales throughout the month. Generally during the last week of July, QVC will dedicate entire days to holiday sales.
Christmas in July in Alamogordo…
This past weekend was the Christmas in July Craft Fair at 705 Delaware Avenue featuring tons of crafts from local craftspersons and artist.
Check out the biggest Christmas in July window display in Otero County at the Roadrunner Emporium 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo. Several of its 42 partners are offering Christmas in July discounts from 10% to 30% off discounts of their expanded art work, Native American Art, Antiques, jewelry, collectibles and more.
The Burro Street Exchange – Cloudcroft, NM sections of jewelry, unique gifts and more.
McGinn’s Pistachio Land-World’s Largest Pistachio select gifts, unique decor and more, 70, 7320 US-54, Alamogordo, NM 88310
Most major online retails from Amazon, QVC, Macy’s and more are offering Christmas in July sales.
So escape the summer heat and if in Alamogordo come check out Christmas in July at select fine small businesses such as Roadrunner Emporium, check out Victoria and other fine local shops on New York Avenue Alamogordo, Cloudcroft’s downtown and other local business locations around the area.
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As we reported on June 28th, 2021 the New Mexico Supreme Court cleared the way to allow the political action committee that is leading the effort to recall Commissioner Couy Griffin could go forward.
In follow-up, about two weeks since the ruling, the committee has begun circulating a petition and gathering signatures within his district to recall Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin from public office as a commissioner in Otero County.
The non-partisan Committee to Recall Couy Griffin consists of an equal number of representatives of both parties with a charter to collaborate for the removal of Griffin for the greater good of the overall county. Partisan politics has been put aside to work together for what the group deems is the common good of Otero County, the district, and Southern New Mexico.
The group is not focused on his removal due to rhetoric and outlandish statements, which are in themselves unappealing and lack dignity. Though the statements are unappealing and show a level of ignorance that does not shine well upon the county for business recruitment, they are not the basis of the recall.
The committee and the Supreme Court ruling affirmed that the focus of the recall effort of Griffin was for using his elected county position for personal gain and a variety of other charges.
The committee assert in their brief before the New Mexico Supreme Court that, Griffin used his office space to solicit contributions to Cowboys for Trump that covered his personal expenses. They also are criticizing Griffin’s pursuit of travel reimbursements from taxpayers for a cross-country trip that culminated in a visit with Trump at the White House. Additional causes for recall argued were Griffin’s attendance of Otero County Commission meetings by phone rather than in person, his banishment from the Mescalero Apache Reservation along with alleged use of Otero County Commissioner offices for personal business.
Griffin has called those allegations” frivolous, baseless and politically motivated” per his many public rebuttals. Griffin says that the Cowboys for Trump is a for-profit endeavor and as such that is not subject to financial disclosure requirements for political organizations. The state of New Mexico ruled against this assertion affirming that Secretary of State may go after him and the organization for failure to comply with New Mexico political reporting laws.
Since the positive ruling signature gathering has moved forward to get the question of recall on the ballot. AlamogordoTownNews.com reached out to the Committee to Recall Couy Griffin to get their assessment of how the effort is going. We presented committee spokesperson Scott Fredrick with questions for an update…
AlamogordoTownNews.com – Do you have any updates on the recall effort?
Scott Fredrickson – “We had good traffic this weekend at the La Luz and Tularosa locations. Only 2 people came to the locations that did not support our efforts, but they were nice and with discussed our case with them.
AlamogordoTownNews.com – When and where are the next signature drives?
Scott Fredrickson – We have a meeting Monday night to discuss the next weeks efforts. The committee will be at Veterans Park in Tularosa again next Sunday, July 18th from 1 to 4 at a minimum.
AlamogordoTownNews.com – Do you anticipate meeting the deadline to get the question on the November general election ballot?
Scott Fredrickson – “We have been told that we need to have the signatures to the clerk by August 5th to have them validated in time for the recall to be in the November general election. We are going to do all we can to prevent having a special election at an additional cost to the taxpayers.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – What is the deadline to qualify for a special election of the August deadline is missed?
Scott Fredrickson – “We have 90 days from July 1st (September 28th) petition initiation date to get them to the clerk.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – Has Couy Griffin been in touch with your group in the last week?
Scott Fredrickson – “We have not had any contact with Couy other than one of our committee members briefly spoke with him during a break at the county commission meeting last week.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – Has the group encountered any recent hostility?
Scott Fredrickson – “No.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – You are now the acting spokesperson for the Committee to Recall Couy Griffin, for what reasons are you involved in this effort and what is your community and political background?
Scott Fredrickson – “I am involved in the effort because I voted for Couy and do not like how he has represented me as a commissioner. I feel he spent too much time in his Cowboys for Trump role to effectively tend to the needs of Otero County. I live in District 2 and I am active in local politics because I want what is best for the local area. I am a registered Republican and ran for the city commission in the last Alamogordo District 2 election. I retired from the US Air Force 5 years ago and stayed here because we like the area and I work for Holloman.
Mr. Fredrickson concluded,“Our committee has 5 Republicans and 5 Democrats, and we are a non-partisan organization. Our goal is to get a commissioner who will work for Otero County and not bring negative press to the local area.”
The recall initiative is moving forward. The committee is in the parks and around County Commission District 2 gathering signatures. Couy Griffin is at present attending Commission meetings but is also embroiled in multiple lawsuits that are a distraction from serving his constituents.
Today, Couy Griffin is divorced, disparaged by family, and confronts a political recall drive, a state corruption investigation, and federal charges. He is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, according to a United States District Court criminal complaint. In Washington, prosecutors unveiled photographs of Griffin climbing a toppled fence and another barrier to access the Capitol steps.
Griffin has been rebuked by many Republicans over his racial invective. He’s also been suspended from Facebook and banished from Native American lands in his district as he contests charges of breaking into the Capitol grounds and disrupting Congress that could carry a one-year sentence. A recall effort is underway, amid a plethora of lawsuits.
The New Mexico Secretary of State says that Cowboys for Trump operated by Couy Griffin qualifies as a political committee, amid its parades on horseback and merchandise sales in support of Trump. The secretary of state’s office prevailed in a June arbitration and appeal to court decision that ordered Cowboys for Trump to register, file expenditure and contribution reports and pay a fine of $7,800.
According tp the Santa Fe New Mexican Jan 18, 2021 “New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said he intends to see Griffin removed from his elected office. Balderas said his office is aiding the federal investigation into Griffin, 47 — who is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority — while also gathering evidence for a criminal probe into Griffin’s time on the Otero County Commission.”
“We’re hopeful the federal prosecution will move rather quickly and the evidence presented there will help make the case for his removal clearer,” Balderas said Monday. “The general public should be outraged about what he’s been able to do while in office.”
The two other County Commissioners; Gerald Matherly and Vickie Marquardt — both Republicans have asked Couy Griffin to please, just resign, so they can focus on the county’s business without distractions and drama.
At a commission meeting in April the drama and debate around Griffin intensified with both Republicans making statements that he needs to leave.
Matherly was clear about his position, “We have gone through many days of drama, with our staff and my office. I’ve received threats myself because of your actions. This is office supposed to be taking care of county business, and I don’t think you should be using county property for Cowboys for Trump business and filming personal videos. Every time we have county meetings, it turns into a meeting about Couy Griffin’s personal life and has nothing to do with county business.”
Marquardt didn’t hold back either, “How many hours do you think you actually spend on county business each week? You generate hate that rains down on this county, and we have to deal with it,” she said.
Griffin said that everything he did under the auspice of Cowboys for Trump was for the good of the county. “It was to represent the conservative values of Otero County.”
Griffin continues in defiance against all odds but now it is up to the voters of District 2 to decide.
The question each voter should ask themselves…
Is the District better off since Couy Griffin was elected to his position?
What value has he brought to the district?
Has Mr. Griffin enhanced employment opportunities, recruited new businesses personally or via commission directives? What has he done to lower the poverty rates in his district?
Is he a good spokesperson for Otero county to recruit good paying jobs, tourism and new development?
Is he devoting a majority of his time to local constituent concerns?
If not allowed on the reservation, how does he represent their interests within the county and participate in collaborative dialog?
What has he done to improve the lives for our children since being elected?
What has his done that improves the lives of seniors and the middle class in his district since being elected?
The poverty rate for Otero County is 21.2% with the high number of individuals living in poverty, located in District 2, what has he done to help solve the issue of poverty since being elected, and how much time and how many speeches has he given specific to this topic since being elected?
Are you better off now then before he was elected?
If the responses to most of the questions above are positive, then he is your commissioner. If the answers to most of the questions above, are he has not impacted the issue, has not addressed the issue or has not proposed solutions and work towards them in district and on behalf of his constituents then the citizen should sign the petition for his recall.
Those who participate make the decisions. Be informed, participate, make a difference for yourself, family, and friends and for future generations. What we do today impacts tomorrow. The future of your district and of business growth and wealth creation for you, your family and future generation may indeed be impacted by this very recall effort.
Is Couy Griffin worth the gamble for the future of District 2 and Otero County? District 2 registered voters of all parties, that is up to you to decided.
Today the city of Alamogordo Fire Department released a press release concerning the property fire at 3002 Del Sur Fire was ruled an arson and suspects have been identified for arrest. Excellent job on the part of the Alamogordo Police Department and the Alamogordo Fire Department in collaboration and solving a crime that could have resulted in damage or death to property owners of adjacent properties. Kudo’s to Alamogordo Fire Department for its quick response and for its arson investigation team and collaboration with the Alamogordo police. This cross department collaboration is an example of how government departments can and should work together for the common good of the citizens.
The press release from the City of Alamogordo Fire Department today reads…
Alamogordo, NM Thursday, July 8th, 2021, on May 3rd, 2021, the Alamogordo Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire at 3002 2 Del Sur Avenue. After the fire was quickly extinguished, the Alamogordo Fire Department Fire Investigations Unit conducted an Origin and Cause investigation. The fire was determined to be Incendiary in nature. A collaborative investigation with the Alamogordo Police Department Detectives Division developed two persons of interest. After a thorough investigation it was confirmed, the fire was caused by an act of Arson. Subsequently the collaborative investigation has led to charges being pursued. The investigation is closed.
Contact for this Release William Skaggs AFD Fire Investigations Unit Leader Fire Investigator & Inspector 575-635-7589 WSkaggs@ci.alamogordo.nm.u
The bigger crime than the actual arson involved, is the city commissions lack of leadership in relation to issues of blight within the city of Alamogordo. An editorial was published in the Alamogordo Daily News, May 4, 2021 by Beth Crabbe, outlining her ongoing concerns with the neighboring property and the city’s failure in policy or enforcement. Ms. Crabbe owns an adjacent property to 3002 Del Sur, her engagement with the city of Alamogordo highlights as a prime example, of a bad issue going even worse, and the results of ongoing issues within the city of blight and the failure of city leadership to act upon those safety issues.
Per her editorial…
“At 6:46 p.m. on May 3, 2021, the house next door to me at 3002 Del Sur caught on fire.
This home has been vacant for at least 15 years. This story is one of neglect. It is one that occurs throughout our community. It is something that needs to be addressed through city ordinances and to create ordinances and repercussions for home owners who do not maintain their properties. I am sure the city has spent a large amount on the abatement of this yard for the past 10 to 15 years. Does the owner at some time not run out of their ability to continue to have the yard abated because of their irresponsibility?”
The question for the city commission, do the ordinances exist to help terminate this urban blight problem? If they do, why is code enforcement not more aggressive in pushing property owners toward resolution to resolve blight? Fifteen years? In what universe does it take 15 years to solve a blight issue. Fifteen years is excessive and shows negligence by multiple parties. If enforcement of ordinances related to blight does not exist, then where is the city leadership? If they do exist where is the oversight?
As recently as Tuesday, I personally witnessed the results of urban blight and crime associated with it. As a partner business owner on New York Avenue, great progress is being made by the Alamogordo Main Street organization in building community consensus, surveying the community and working to secure funding for revitalization. But Tuesday mid afternoon, broad daylight, while in our store, we heard glass shatter and discovered one of the abandoned buildings a few stores up the street had the glass door kicked in and was vandalized. The police came, took our statement and reviewed the damage. Was an arrest made of the gentlemen driving a moped on the sidewalk that committed the damage? Not as of yet. But the bigger issue is the blight of these buildings.
Business owners in the old town and primarily along 10th Street, and homeowners throughout the city, are faced with multiple buildings, both commercial and residential, that are vacant and are not being maintained, or occupied and not maintained. For the adjoining property owners and business owners, this blight creates a greater opportunity for crime and risk for the business owners and homeowners adjacent to these properties. It causes increased expense of the adjacent property owners and business owners in needing high lever security systems and because the zone is a blight zone insurance premiums can cost more if even attainable.
Other cities around this country have tackled urban blight with local city and county tax incentives to encourage upkeep of these properties. For commercial properties several cities in the US have created ordinances which reward property owners that offer low cost rents for these properties, by creating sales tax rebates and property tax rebates to homeowners and commercial building owners that offer low cost rentals in an attempt to revitalize a property. Has that been considered by the city commission? Is there a task force between the city and the county to craft policy around urban blight? What I have witnessed is finger pointing not collaborative dialog and policy debate.
The city commissioners should appoint a task force consisting of public representatives as home and business property owners, business owners that rent, commissioners at both the city and county level and commit to solving the issue with a task force that has a defined role in crafting policy and ordinances with a timetable of deliverables for the greater good of the overall community.
In cities that are less willing to go the route of tax rebates and incentives to owners, then those cities have tackled the issue, with very aggressive code enforcement against abandoned or derelict property owners. In speaking with some elected officials and commissioners, it does appear the only way to get enforcement action is by citizen complaints. However that does not always work as well.
Note the adjacent property owner, Beth Crabbe’s, editorial published in the Alamogordo Daily News, May 4, 2021 where she claimed to have spoken to city officials of concern about the 3002 Del Sur property, to no avail!
“I have called DPS (Department of Public Safety), code enforcement and talked to the Mayor about this house. I have talked to the city attorney about my situation next door. This fire put many lives in danger and it is because of the lack of action to remove dangerous, deserted, neglected and dilapidated properties from our community. I am told we cannot do that because of regulations. It is time to change them.”
Yes, Ms. Crabbe it is time the commission act and take responsibility. They work for the public interest and we must ensure they do take responsibility.
Per the city budget the city of Alamogordo received in 2018, $170,512 for a program funded by HUD
The CDBG grant program’s state and national objectives require that the funded activities address at least one of the following: 1. Benefit principally low to moderate income families; 2. Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight; or 3. To help meet an urgent need of recent origin that pose a serious and immediate threat to the health and welfare of the community where other financial resources are not available.
In 2019 under the leadership of commissioner Alfonso “Al” Hernandez he asked the City Planning Department to draft an ordinance regulating the outward appearance of some types of buildings in the City’s commercial districts.
The proposed ordinance was discussed and tabled at the regular Alamogordo City Commission meeting Tuesday, Oct. 22. 2019, for the purpose of getting additional input from the building community.
Per Alamogordo City Planner Stella Rael at the time, “This is very important. Staff recommends approval of this amendment to maintain the beautification and integrity of our City.”
The streets listed as benefiting from the ordinance are Indian Wells Road, Scenic Avenue, First Street, White Sands Boulevard, 10th Street and Florida Avenue.
This is an interesting first step if indeed it was passed and shows leadership by Commissioner Hernandez in stepping up the city response to urban blight. But why such a limited area? Where is the response to blight and beautification for the whole city?
The draft ordinance would have updated the Alamogordo Code of Ordinance about specific requirements on certain streets in section 4 of the City Zoning Ordinance.
The proposed ordinance would require new buildings to have a brick or stone wainscot, at least 35 percent of sidewall height in the front of the building and on the sides of any building that is adjacent or abuts an arterial street or a full stucco façade on the front of the building or on a side that is adjacent or abuts an arterial street.
According to the Alamogordo Daily News. October 23, 2019 story by Nicole Maxwell, Alamogordo City Commissioner Josh Rardin opposed the measure saying “We have trouble attracting businesses and people to Alamogordo anyway. Why would we want to put more restrictions on what they can and can’t build?”
No, Mr. Rardin as a new business partner in Alamogordo and our partnership having done business in communities on the west coast with very restrictive zoning rules, I can assure you zone enforcement and community guidelines encourage more upscale businesses to seek a presence in your community. However, the lack of guidelines or a free for all and the lack of code enforcement leading to urban blight, that sir, is what will drive investment to look at alternative communities to Alamogordo for investment and a presence. Upscale business interest prefer a community that takes pride in itself and has local community flavor verses a cookie cutter approach to every town looking the same.
The recent fire on 3002 Del Sur was quickly put out and an investigation began by the Alamogordo Fire Investigations Unit.
In an article published in the Alamogordo Daily News by Nicole Maxwell published May 14, 2021 The Fire Investigations Unit Leader of Alamogordo was quoted:
“Every fire in Alamogordo is investigated,” Alamogordo Fire Department Fire Investigations Unit Leader William Skaggs said. “We’ve always investigated them, we’re just taking a more proactive rather than a reactive stance with it.”
In 2018, Alamogordo Fire Department started its own investigations team. Prior to 2018, the New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s Office would investigate fires, Skaggs said.
The fire department did their job! The police department did their job! Indictments have been crafted as a result of the actual fire.
Beth Crabbe’s, editorial published in the Alamogordo Daily News, May 4, 2021 said it well. The criminals of the actual fire will be found and prosecuted. But as Ms. Crabbe eloquently points out, the real indictment is the city of Alamogordo leadership and their failure to act on derelict buildings…
Quoting Ms. Crabbe:
This has gone beyond the visual appeal to our community, but has now embraced the lives of our fearless firefighters.
For 10 years I have called about this property. These fire dangers sit in our community with nothing being done. We risk the lives of our firefighters because of the lack of action by the city to remedy this situation.
I hear our hands are tied. Not if you create change.How long are we going to let these abandoned buildings sit, encourage vagrants to occupy them, create unsightliness to our community and most importantly, has potential for great harm to man – whether a vagrant or a firefighter?
The reality is the next act of vandalism, the next fire, the next loss as a result of inaction by the city commission is owned by them!
Inaction is unnecessary, open the blinders as inaction by the commission is crime against the good citizens who care for their properties and care for this city.
Those in power who fail to address this issue that not only impacts property values and business recruitment, their failure to act, at the core, makes them complicit in putting public safety at risk.
Study other communities via a task force and see how they addressed the issue. A good example of a plan comes from Augusta Ga. See their response and ordinances put into action via the link below..
We met the Alamogordo based artist Marty H. Torres recently after viewing her expanded works of art now showcased at Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts Gallery, Antiques and more, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico. Mrs. Torres showcases her collection of eclectic paintings and fine art pieces in an incredibly unique and well executed corner of Roadrunner Emporium. Her works stand out as many of her works begin with an acrylic base, but she adds other media to give a three-dimensional look. Some of her works are quite whimsical such as her Wizard of Oz inspired collection of paintings or the Charlie Chaplin inspired painting. Other are much more serious such as a few of her paintings highlighting Native Americans and her Sailor and Woman painting which is compelling yet sensual.
We began our interview asking about her upbringing and her history of how she got into the world of the creative arts…
Marty H Torres was born and raised in El Paso Texas, and her appreciation for art began in the 6th grade. Her teachers saw her work and told her to continue her art studies in High School. She was strongly encouraged and supported by her in high school and college. Upon their recommendation she continued her studies with a focus on arts. Throughout her artistic career she has studied interior decorating, fashion design, art, visual merchandising, small business management, sales, and makeup artistry in El Paso.
She explains that she loved the arts but as a youngster she was also a tomboy, so her dad sent her off to charm or finishing school at an El Paso institution called Mannequin Manor. The school made famous as Model and Actress Susan Blakely of El Paso was a graduate in the 70s of the same school prior to her successful modeling and acting career.
Most of her post-secondary studies were of Art Institute of El Paso but upon moving to Alamogordo she studied at New Mexico State University NMSU where she studied art, ceramics, and theater and did backstage makeup artistry as well.
In addition to her passion for painting and works on canvas she also has a passion for dance. While in El Paso she performed dance for Viva El Paso, where she danced tap, ballet, modern dance, Spanish dancing, and dancing w/ castanets.
Most of her professional career was as a visual merchandiser of which she did for 33 years. In addition, she was a Makeup Artist for Estee Lauder and Clinique and Elizabeth Arden for 14 years.
She says her life has always been about art, “really in my life was a lot of Art. I love every minute of it. I love to talk to people and hear about their life and what they love in life. If you have a talent, your talent is God gift to you. What you do with it, is your gift back to GOD,” she explained.
We concluded our interview with 5 questions for the artist…
How would you describe the work you create?
Marty H Torres: “I would suggest my art comes from my heart. Sometimes I have dreams about my art and will stretch it out and paint it onto canvas. So many times, what is on the canvas reflects a dream I have had or another world I crossed into in my dreams.”
What message do you want to get across with your artistic work?
Marty H Torres: “I want to let everyone know that anyone can do art. Even if you can only draw a stick person it can be beautiful so someone. Art is beauty. I sometimes paint nude people; some people think that is bad but its not. The human form as an artistic form is beauty and God’s creation. Where one’s mind is, is what one sees when they interpret art. What one sees from their perspective may not be the message the artist is trying to convey. My art is about happiness and beauty from within. Some artist paint sadness. The point is an artist should express themselves and paint what they feel. My artistic expression is to paint what I feel and in doing so I thank God every day for giving me the ability and the talent to express myself via art.”
How did you come to mixing textures, media, and colorful designs into your paintings? What is your favorite media or canvas?
Marty H Torres: “I love acrylics, charcoal, pastels and oils. My favorite is charcoal and oil. When you paint with oils, you can always go back the next day and change the painting or add to it, because oils take an awfully long time to dry. Charcoal is also incredibly fun to use and allows you to easily blend colors. I love bright colors as well as exclusively black and white paintings. I love to wear black all the time as Black is Beautiful.”
Do specific colors, forms or subjects have specific meaning to your works?
Marty H Torres: “Depending upon what I am going to paint, and my mood is, at the time, is what defines my works. Sometimes it could be a person, other times a flower or animals. Sometimes I want an abstract or Picaso tyle looks it all depends on what I am feeling at the moment. Each work has special meaning to me, and I pour my heart onto the canvas in an expression of love.”
Did the goals of your artistic work change during Covid-19 and do you have advised for any aspiring artists?
Marty H Torres: “No, I really think the lock down period helped me paint more and do more at home and to think more positively about life and the future. I worked more at home doing more paintings, decorating, working on my yard and a mural for my house. Life is too short not to make the best of every moment and do what you enjoy doing regardless of what is happening around you.
I know for many Covid-19 was scary and is scary and dangerous to many. But do not let it take over your life and prevent you from doing what you want to do to express yourself or expand your inner self. Learn to enjoy life regardless of circumstances, be happy and live life.
I am a candle lighter. I pray often for those around me that I know and those I do not know. Be good, be nice, be happy. If you are not an artist, just try something artistic, you might actually like it and find out how much fun any form of artistic expression can actually be.”
With that that concluded our interview with Marty H Torres. It was a pleasure and a joy to see how passionate she was and the beauty she sees in everything around her. A portion of her collection of works are on exhibition and for sale daily downstairs of Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts Gallery, Antiques and More, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico. Drop on by and see her fine works of art and that of several other artist, sculptured artists, photographers, antiques dealers, jewelers and more.
In celebration of America’s freedom Artist Rene Sepulveda presents “Repression to Freedom” an interpretative window display showcasing the natural beauty of the white sand’s region and a natural view of freedom.
The art installation is composed of all-natural elements of fallen tree stumps, recycled metals, and other earthly elements to create a natural desert scene of color and beauty.
The scene begins with a fallen barbed wire fence. The tree stump it is attached to is an actual original barbed wire fallen fence representing the struggle of confinement and the repression of the barbed wire. Within the installation the barbed wire manifests itself into a scorpion representing change in the forms of death and rebirth. The Scorpion indicates there are lessons of our past lives that die off. Note the scorpion is reaching to leave the scene whereas the bluebirds look down from their corner perch onto the desert scene as a symbol of hope, love, and renewal as a part of many Native American legends. They are complimented by the nest of wise desert owls within the turquoise cholla cactus representing the wisdom of the desert. Along the fallen woods nestling into the tree trunks is the colorful gecko representing self-protection and re-growth that humanity and nature goes through. The customary gecko circle symbolizes the natural cycle of life.
The dominance of the turquoise coloring, center to the exhibit represents strength, skill, or even invincibility of the natural elements of the desert.
Center to the exhibit is the manifestation of the Native American designed turquoise accented pot with the turquoise tree root. containing the hanging gourds of sand pouring endlessly into the white sands symbolic of our never-ending unity with nature and the natural elements of the desert.
Throughout the exhibit are Roadrunners. The Roadrunner is a sign of Epiphany, Illumination and that something in our life has been healed on the spiritual and physical levels. The Roadrunner is a sign to the completion of a phase, a transformation of goal in life. The several Roadrunners in the scene symbolizes how we move forward to new and greater horizons. That within the desert we move on with renewed hope.
The scene ends with large moss-covered tree trunk of copper coloring and hanging above it is a Zia with an eagle soaring through the outline of the Zia. The Zia sun symbol represents the four cardinal directions, the four seasons of the year, the four period of each day (morning, noon, evening, and night), and the four seasons of life (childhood, youth, middle age, and old age) paired with the soaring eagle. The eagle caps or completes the artist installation with its acute eyesight, the eagle has come to embody an all-seeing EYE. The eagle is the solar symbol linked to the Zia thus representing the sky gods. It signifies inspiration, release from bondage, victory, longevity, speed, pride; and is the emblem for release from the constraints of the bondage of the barbed wire at the beginning of the installation.
As our eyes pull away from the artistic beauty of the display we are left with a feeling of renewal and hope from the sands of the desert to the vast sky above us.
As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.
Our Daily Action Steps Are To:
Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
In your own words write in a journal how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:
“Just because my path is different does NOT mean I am lost.”
Beginning of Day: How’s the above quote apply to me or what comes to mind when reading the quote above?
End of day: Re-read the quote. Did I share the quote or apply any of its meaning into any part of my day? What issue or situation made me think of or refer to the quote above? Did it help me bridge a positive outcome or mindset?
We encourage you to write or journal your thoughts or reflections on today’s quote.
“Just because my path is different does NOT mean I am lost.”
It’s your life, express yourself as your true and honest self and let’s work together for self improvement and a Glass Half Full mindset.
Author Chris Edwards lectures, has his podcast and writes. His book series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle is 3 part series that garnered much acclaim from many coming out of rehab and those coming out of incarceration and beginning anew. His other book series, book 1 Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days is an inspirational sport history of interscholastic sports in New Mexico. All of his books are found at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and available via Amazon in 36 countries.
Listen to our report and positive affirmations via our podcasts:
History and Furs in Fashion Alamogordo, New Mexico & Roadrunner Emporium Upcycled Vintage Furs
Regardless of one’s feelings of the use of fur in fashion and the modern-day fur trade since the beginning of humanity the wearing fur to stay warm has been a part of the human experience. As such a respect for the history of furs in functionality and fashion is essential. At Roadrunner Emporium we do have a few partner vendors that sell vintage furs with a respect to the history of the fur trade and their place in fashion.
Recycled Furs Sustainable and High Fashion
Most respected stylists and personal shopper see outerwear trends going sustainable—vintage or passed down—or turning to high-end faux styles, “but not seeing many clients buying new furs due to sustainability and the sad state of past fur production houses from Europe and beyond.”
However, as a nod to history many stylish women and some men, invest in vintage furs out of respect for the beauty of the fashion piece or craftsmanship and as a nod to history. Many high society women and men at formal balls from Texas to Albuquerque wear vintage furs and wear them as a sign of high fashion. The belief of the modern fur wearer is vintage is the style, the older and better condition they are in the more prestige. Vintage fur is highly fashionable and is sustainable as it is upcycling verses landing the furs in the landfill.
A remarkably interesting explanation of the history of the fur trade and furs in fashion was created by the Chemung County Historical Society in Elmira, New York. It is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and presentation of the history of the Chemung River Valley region. The society was founded in 1923 and first chartered by New York State in 1947.
Our connection at Roadrunner Emporium, Alamogordo New Mexico to the museum and the story of fur, is we happen to have a few furs like what they have showcased at their museum, and vintage furs crafted from that very community of Elmira New York by one of their showcased furriers – Jesse Green Furriers.
The museum has a fairly large collection of items made with fur, from coats and stoles to muffs and fur-lined boots. Some pieces were made for functionality, like the coat and mittens Ross Marvin wore on his first Arctic expedition, while others were obviously made only for fashion like the half mink one of our partner vendors at the Roadrunner Emporium is offering for sale based on its historical value.
During the Victorian era, fur was used on all sorts of clothing and accessories. Both winter and summer dresses were decorated with fur trim. Coats and capes with fur cuffs and collars were popular with both men and women. Wide fur stoles and plush muffs provided warmth and style and were considered a sign of prestige.
The “modern fur coat,” with fur worn on the outside rather than as a lining, first appeared in the mid-19th century but did not gain popularity until the early 20th century. In the 1920s, people wore large, full fur coats to stay warm while traveling in open motorcars. Similarly, college men wore raccoon coats while attending football games. By the middle of the century, new techniques of processing and dying furs made it possible for more people than ever before to own fur coats.
One of the vintage furs we are offering at Roadrunner Emporium is crafted from Jesse Green Furrier of Elmira, New York.
The museum showcases a full-length version verses our half length offering. The story of Jesse Green Furriers is they were a custom producer of exquisitely crafted furs.
Many customers of Jesse Green would bring in pelts that were trapped-locally to have them made into a coat. One story is of a woman traveling several times to Elmira for fittings while it was being made. Then she came home with the truly one-of-a-kind, hand-made fur coat.
The support of upcycling and recycling verses new fur…
At Roadrunner Emporium 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo they are offering one of those very Jesse Green custom furs available in excellent condition and awaiting the collector who recognizes it for its beauty as well as its historic value. Additionally, they have a few vintage fox fur coats and fake fur coats available for a limited time. So come support the over 42 local small business owners that collectively represent Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo New Mexico
Today the New Mexico Supreme Court Ruled that the Committee to Recall Couy Griffin may proceed with the recall per the attached…
An effort to recall the founder of Cowboys for Trump from his public office as a county commissioner can move forward under an order of the New Mexico state Supreme Court.
In a written order Monday, the Supreme Court rebuffed an appeal from Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin and upheld a lower court ruling that said voters can circulate a recall petition. A successful petition would trigger an election vote on whether Griffin can finish his four-year term in office.
Retired military veteran Paul Sanchez and other members of the Committee to Recall Couy Griffin are accusing Griffin of using his elected county position for personal gain and a variety of other charges.
They say Griffin used his office space to solicit contributions to Cowboys for Trump that covered his personal expenses. They also are criticizing Griffin’s pursuit of travel reimbursements from taxpayers for a cross-country trip that culminated in a visit with Trump at the White House.
Griffin has called those allegations frivolous, baseless and politically motivated per his many public rebuttals. Griffin says that the Cowboys for Trump is a for-profit endeavor and as such that is not subject to financial disclosure requirements for political organizations. The state of New Mexico ruled against this assertion affirming that Secretary of State may go after him and the organization for failure to comply with New Mexico political reporting laws.
The losses continue for Griffin…
Separately, Griffin is defending himself against criminal charges in connection with the siege on the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6. Couy Griffin spent nearly three weeks in a Washington jail, after a judge released him and said she will trust Griffin to show up for trial in connection with the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol.
The U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell reversed a magistrate judge’s prior detention order that described Griffin as a flight risk. Griffin denies federal charges that he knowingly entering barricaded areas of the Capitol grounds with the intent to disrupt government as Congress considered Electoral College results even though there are photos from his own official photographer that the prosecution is basing their case on that shows otherwise.
Griffins luck continues to be bad in related to cases pending against him as witnessed by the KOB Channel 4 story showing him climbing a barricade to gain access to a restricted area of the nations capital.
The status of the initial lawsuit regarding the recall succeeded with District Judge Arrieta in proving probable cause for all 5 allegations the committee asserted. The judge he gave the committee permission to begin collecting signatures toward having a recall election.
However, as Commissioner Griffin exercised his right to a single appeal under the New Mexico Recall Act and appealed the case to the NM Supreme Court (NMSC), until today they were waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on Griffins appeal.
The committee could NOT collect any signatures until the NMSC rules.
Commissioner Griffin filed that appeal within his appropriate time limit on 18 Apr, ’21. The Recall Act required the district court that the case was filed in to hear the case within 14 days of when the committee initially filed.
It was actually 28 days from filing to the hearing. Then from when the judge issued the ruling in favor of the Recall Committee, Commissioner Griffin had 5 days to file an appeal.
Commissioner Griffin actually got 11 days to file his appeal. He filed on the last day with the New Mexico Supreme Court.
The Recall Act says that the NMSC must hear the case and rule on it “forthwith”.
Because of the way that Judge Arrieta correctly wrote his ruling, because Commissioner Griffin did file an appeal, the committee was prohibited from even collecting signatures until today’s ruling which upheld the recall initiative.
Paul Sanchez is the Chairman & Spokesperson for the Committee to Recall Couy Griffin
The committee information can be found on their Facebook Page at:
As it stands now it is not the courts but the voters that will decide if Griffin represents their best interests? The question for his district is the district better off now under his leadership on the commission that it was without him? What has his record been on lowering district poverty, bringing in livable wage jobs, improving education and securing state and federal money to enhance opportunities via grants and support to his district? The voters will decide!
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