Here’s a look at some of the local news over the past week:
SFPD officer quits over stop
The Santa Fe Police Department acknowledged this week that an officer resigned after being accused of using excessive force against a taxi driver who was arrested during a traffic stop. Police Department spokeswoman Celina Westervelt says Jose Gutierrez resigned last week.
A lawyer for 40-year-old Dawn Bourgeois, the cab driver, has filed a claim that is a precursor to a possible lawsuit in connection with the March 30 traffic stop at Cerrillos and St. Francis. Gutierrez’s dash-cam video shows Bourgeois screaming wildly as the officer takes her down because she got out of the cab.
Westervelt says the department is conducting an internal review of the incident, which resulted in Bourgeois getting a black eye.
Mayor: Raise fine for cell use
Mayor Javier Gonzales is supporting an ordinance change so that motorists who drive while using a cellphone face a $200 fine. The current fine is $100. “I want to send a strong message about the dangers of distracted driving and remind everyone that when you take your eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, it could cost someone injury or even death,” he said.
Zozobra returning to Friday?
Zozobra may have to get ready to burn earlier this year – and make a long-awaited return to Friday night. The torching of the giant puppet has been attached to Santa Fe’s Fiesta weekend for decades. But, for 2014, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe is proposing to burn Old Man Gloom the week before, on the Friday night of Labor Day weekend.
The Kiwanis Club on Tuesday filed a permit to hold Zozobra on Friday, Aug. 29, this year, at the usual spot in Fort Marcy Park. The growling puppet’s return to a Friday night performance is a big deal. Many longtime Santa Feans regularly bemoan the event’s move to Thursday in the mid-1990s for public safety reasons. Ray Sandoval, director of the Kiwanians Zozobra operation, said the raging debate about whether to burn Zozobra on Thursday versus Friday night has gotten to the point that it’s “a vampire that needs to die.”
FROM THE NORTH
Rio Arriba County
Master weaver dies aged 92
Epifania “Eppie” Archuleta, 92, one of the Santa Fe Spanish Market’s master weavers, passed away last week in Española and was buried after a funeral in Abiquiu. Archuleta was recognized with several honors and awards, including the 1985 National Heritage Fellowship and the 1985 National Endowment for the Art’s highest award. Her weaving is on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute and she was profiled in the January 1991 issue of the National Geographic. “Ever since I could reach the loom, I was weaving,” Archuleta told the Journal in 1996. “I was born a weaver. It was impossible not to be. My mother was always at the loom and my dad used to run the farm.”
Archuleta broke away from the traditional Rio Grande and Chimayó tapestries with stripes and diamond-shaped designs, and started weaving contemporary pieces. She is particularly well-known for her tapestry that hangs in the Smithsonian of an American soldier dying in Vietnam, two female nurses comforting him as he breathes his last breath.
Mustangs need a new home
After a business relationship went sour last year, Sandi Claypool found herself with more than 100 mustangs in Tierra Amarilla and no place to put them. She’s found places for some, but now has 50 to 60 mustangs in pens. “I’m desperately looking for space for them,” says Claypool.
The Wild for Life Foundation, a California-based group that advocates for wild horses in the West, has taken up her cause, seeking donations and support on its Facebook page. Katia Louise, its founder and president, says the foundation is negotiating to acquire additional land in the West. “People are spreading the word and donating,” she said.
Claypool had developed a business relationship with a landowner near Tierra Amarilla through which they advertised eco-tourism, offering opportunities for people to see and photograph the horses. That arrangement fell apart and Claypool has been scrambling to find a permanent home for her horses ever since. Anyone who can lease grazable land to her, adopt a family band or donate can contact Claypool at 575-756-8674 or through moneromustangs.org.
But the board of Southwestern Association of Indian Arts shot back Wednesday that a majority of its 13 members are Native American and five are artists. Indian Market, a board statement said, is “a direct reflection of the lives of Native people and the communities they represent.” The board also said preparations are going well for this year’s Indian Market in August.
Francis gets Taos artist’s rosary
Sheehan said he complimented Pope Francis on his work since he was elected in March 2013. “You’re doing a tremendous ministry as successor of St. Peter,” Sheehan said he told the pope. “You’re bringing such hope and joy to the people by your words, your life and your lifestyle.”
The two met a second time March 28 after Sheehan and other bishops celebrated Mass with the pope at his Vatican residence. After Mass, Sheehan presented the pope with a rosary made by Taos artist Roberto Lavadie. The rosary was accompanied by a letter written in Spanish.