What a great way to start off a new year (and a new decade)! We have just sent in the last installment payment for the land and building. Here is a little history on the legal battle and how we paid off the $30,000 debt:
The original land (one acre) was donated by Abel and Petrolina Lucero to be used for educational purposes. At the time, a new elementary school was needed and the WPA program built a beautiful three classroom adobe schoolhouse. The school was named "Placitas Elementary School" and was used until 1969 when a new elementary school was built. Two rooms were added and the room we now call the community room was occupied by the El Rito Headstart Program and the Rio Arriba Senior Citizens Center occupied one of the original classrooms. Las Clinicas del Norte did some renovations and moved in taking over all the other vacated rooms. A new clinic was built and Las Clinicas del Norte moved out in 1999.
The El Rito Public Library was established on May 5, 1986 by Clinic Director, Andy R. Lopez, and Professional Librarian Betsy McIntosh. It was a one-room library until 1999 (when Las Clinicas del Norte vacated) and then money was secured to renovate the space vacated. The Library expanded and the Senior Citizens Center was still here. When a new Community Center was built, the Senior Citizens Center moved out and the Library took over the whole building; but many renovations were needed. We were delighted to get a grant on October 14, 2003 in the amount of $40,000 from the Helen and Will Webster Foundation out of California. With this money we put a new roof and completely renovated what is now called the Fiction Room where the north wall had collapsed due to water seeping into the adobe wall.
The legal battle started when the heirs of Abel and Petrolina Lucero wanted to re-claim the land that their parents donated because they felt it was no longer being used for educational purposes. The law firm of Montgomery and Andrews, P.A. (Tom Olson) helped the Library (Pro Bono) with the legal proceedings until there was a settlement agreement. The Mesa Vista School District did not want the building because of its upkeep and they had no need for the building. Andy R. Lopez (School Board President at the time), Myron (Mickey) Simmons (Library Board Treasurer), Tom Olson (Attorney at Montgomery and Andrews), and Raymond Lucero (Family Representative) all came to a settlement agreement that the Library would pay the Luceros $30,000 (which was the value of one acre at the time). The agreement was that $15,000 would be paid initially and three yearly installments of $5,000 thereafter.
Andy R. Lopez (Director at Las Clinicas del Norte), John H. Caster (Library Board President); and Myron (Mickey) Simmons all drove to Santa Fe to meet with Owen M. Lopez (Executive Director) at the McCune Charitable Foundation. Mr. Owen Lopez agreed to grant the library the initial $15,000. The next two yearly installments were fund raised and the final installment was granted by the Helen and Will Webster Foundation.
Many thanks to everyone involved in making this milestone happen!
The Board of Directors and the Staff would like to thank everyone who supported the El Rito Library this year (and years past) in monetary donations; volunteering; donating items for our 5th Annual Live/Silent Auction; donating books, etc.
Everyone here at the El Rito Library want to wish everyone a PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!
Hey Kids - Santa Claus is coming to the Library on Saturday December 18, 2010. The Christmas Party will start at 12:00 noon until 2:00 pm and Old Saint Nick will be here sometime during the party. Come have fun by playing games, making ornaments for the tree, or just eating some goodies.
Hope to see you here!
On Saturday, December 18, 2010 starting at 3:00 pm, the El Rito Library will be hosting a Poetry Reading Event. Four poetry authors will be participating. They are: Tom Ireland, Anne Valley-Fox, Renee Gregorio and John Brandi.
Tom Ireland is an editor at the New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies, where he has worked since 1986. He has published four books of nonfiction, including an essay collection. The Man Who Gave His Wife Away (Tres Chicas Books, 2010). He received an NEA grant and a Jeffrey E. Smith Prize in nonfiction.
Anne Valley-Fox has been living and writing in New Mexico since 1977. Her most recent poetry collections are How Shadows are Bundled (UNM Press, 2009), Point of No Return (La Alameda Press, 2004) and Fish Drum - Vol. 15 (Fish Drum Press, 1999). A list of her publications (and other personal inventions) can be seen online at AnneValleyFox.com.
Renee Gregorio's poetry collection include Drenched (2010), Road to the Cloud's House (2009 with John Brandi), Water Shed: Aikido Tanka (2004), The Storm That Tames Us (1999) and The Skins of Possible Lives (1996). She lives and works in El Rito and Santa Fe in her practice as a master somatic coach and writing coach who helps people deepen their sense of purpose and expression and write remarkably.
John Brandi, a 40-year New Mexico resident, recently completed a speaking tour in India to celebrate a trilingual haiku book released in New Delhi. An avid world traveler and El Rito homemaker, he has a new book from La Alameda Press, Seeding the Cosmos. He is currently working on haiga paintings, as well as a book of mountain poems selected from journeys, local and abroad.
Come join us for a relaxing afternoon with our local poets just before the busy Christmas holiday begins.
This is a free event, however, donations will be greatly appreciated.
Our most successful fundraising event will be on Saturday, December 4, 2010 at the Old Gym at NNMC Campus and starts at 1:30 pm.
This year promises to be as exciting as the last four years. We have close to 100 items donated (as of today and more on the way). The items range from a 5 inch Miniature Painted Horse to a 7 foot metal Weather Vane. We have a Navajo Rug from Crownpoint; a retablo painted by Nicholas Herrera; a hand-carved wooden statue; and so much, much more.
Here are the details. Please let your relatives, friends and everyone you know about the auction. Many items make one-of-a-kind great Christmas gifts.
Come purchase a new book just out by retired State Historian Robert J. Torrez and Robert Trapp. Mr. Torrez will be doing a presentation on Saturday, November 20, 2010 starting at 11:00 am. After the presentation, Mr. Torrez and Mr. Trapp will do a booksigning segment. Come purchase your own book and have the authors sign it. Hope to see you here!
ABOUT THE AUTHORS/EDITORS:
Robert J. Tórrez was born and raised in the northern Rio Arriba County community of Los Ojos and is a graduate of Tierra Amarilla High School. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas and served as the New Mexico State Historian from 1987 until his retirement in December 2000. During the past four decades more than one hundred of his scholarly and popular articles on New Mexico history and culture have been published in numerous regional and national publications. He has also contributed to a dozen books, and since 1992, has written a monthly column, “Voices From the Past,” for Round the Roundhouse. His recent books include UFOs Over Galisteo and Other Stories of New Mexico’s History (University of New Mexico Press, 2004), New Mexico in 1876-1877, A Newspaperman’s View (Rio Grande Books, 2007) and Myth of the Hanging Tree (University of New Mexico Press, 2008).
Robert Trapp is a native of the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado and a veteran newspaperman. He served with the Army Air Force in World War II and after the war attended the University of Colorado under the GI Bill. He worked on daily newspapers in Alamosa, Colorado; New Bern, North Carolina; Rock Springs, Wyoming and Great Falls, Montana. In 1956, he, his wife Ruth, also a journalist, and another couple started the Rio Grande Sun in Española and he has worked as an editor/publisher since. He and Ruth have three children and live in an old adobe in Sombrillo, a suburb of Española. Their son, Robert B. Trapp, currently is managing editor of the Rio Grande Sun.
Immigration, Racism and Terrorism in America—from the Naturalization Act of 1790 to the Arizona State Legislation of 2010
Jake Arnold, of El Rito, will be doing a presentation on Immigration, Racism and Terrorism in America and will talk about the current legislation passed in Arizona. This presentation will be at the El Rito Library on Saturday, October 23, 2010 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm.
Jake Arnold currently works as a political consultant, law firm investigator and historical researcher—handling various such projects on a pro bono basis. He has maintained full and part-time homes in since 1972.
Formerly a staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a community organizer in Texas/New Mexico/California, Arnold has also worked off and on for over 40 years as a reporter/editor/commentator for newspapers, broadcast outlets and wire services.
Among the journalistic positions he held was that of Texas/Mexico Borderland correspondent-investigative reporter for international wire service Agence France-Presse (AFP) in the late 1990s/early 2000s and political correspondent for the radical Liberation News Service in France, Italy and Switzerland in the 1960s. Stationed in Southwest Texas, Arnold covered immigration issues and immigration/ethnic-related violence for AFP.
Arnold has also served as a bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle, crime/courts reporter for the Rio Grande Sun, investigative reporter editor of the alternative he Iconoclast of Dallas, investigative reporter/columnist for the alternative Lone Star Iconoclast, investigative reporter for the alternative FW Weekly of Fort Worth, commentator for KCHU-FM and KERA-TV, both of Dallas, a contributor to the Texas Observer of Austin, and as a correspondent for the Chicago Daily News Foreign Service in Italy. in Santa Fe, reporter/editorial writer for the
Fluent or conversant in five languages, Arnold is the recipient of a laurea magistrale (master’s degree) in philogy-linguistic anthropology from the Universita degli Studi di Firenze (Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, at and at Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland.) in Italy. He previously studied at the
October 2nd and 3rd 2010
"Death By Chocolate" ~ Desserts To Die For!
Youth Arts: Retablo Paintings
Works by Volunteers and Staff
For more info see: The El Rito Studior Tour website