“I wanted to let you know Environment New Mexico is having a follow-up event at the Grants Public Library on May 21st from 5:00-6:30 PM. If you’re able to make it, we will be building on the conversations we started at the last event and discussing what transitioning to 100% clean energy will look like in terms of energy storage, efficiency, and renewable sources. As before, we hope to foster conversations with members of the community after the presentation.
Could you pass this along to members of your organization who might want to come?
Thank you so much!

Arcelia Isais-Gastelum
Fellow, Environment New Mexico”
Grants Event


Building on the Past:  Ramada Verde Dedication

Press Release

The Cíbola Arts Council, Double Six Gallery, and Recycle Cíbola! celebrated the completion of the Ramada Verde on May 11.

More than 20 community members toured the gallery’s garden during the two-hour event. Officials from Village of Milan and Grants joined arts council members, community residents, and Recycle Cíbola! members for the dedication ceremony.

Robert Gallegos, gallery director, commented that both the Eco-Brick Wall and “Ramada Verde,” as he calls it, were built on the past. He explained that there is a long history of people building on top of older sites. As an example, he pointed to the village of San Mateo, which was constructed on the ruins of an ancient Chacoan outlier community.

“This Ramada Verde and the Eco-Brick Wall were bothbuilt on the Anne Baxter dance floor,” he said, standing next to the latest addition. “I like to think that the spirit of Anne still dances here.”

Anne Baxter was the granddaughter of renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. One of her most-memorable films, “All About Eve,” debuted in 1950, according to tcm.com.  Several audience members commented that Ms. Baxter’s home in the Zuni Mountains continues to attract sightseers.

Gallegos thanked the City of Grants and said that city employees had collected the stones and contributed to the construction of the large maze, which is located on the south side of the eco-brick wall enclosure.

Hollis Fleischer, Recycle Cíbola! co-coordinator, described the construction of the outdoor seating facility and thanked the many community members who contributed to the project. She pointed to the plastic-bottle-flower garland above the arched entryway as a fitting decoration created by Future Foundations Family Center program members.

The Bottle Tree, located at the northeast corner of the seating area, a recent addition, was made by Tom Bombaci, RC co-coordinator.   Cíbola Arts Council memberRenee Post has plans to install her own metal and bottle creation in the garden, as well.

“Special thanks go to Steve and Barbara Lopez,” said Fleischer.  “Steve is a masterful artisan. He perfectly completed the Ramada, all the while keeping our bottle theme. And Barbara added the perfect finishing touch of lovely spring flowers.”

The Route 66 sculpture, which replicates the signage on the historic road, is visible to eastbound Santa Fe Avenue traffic. It now utilizes solar-powered lighting for the “66” which is made from vintage cobalt blue jars.  Bobby Baca, Milan resident, created the sign for a Recycle Cíbola! float entry in a past Parade of Lights.  Recycle Cíbola! donated it to the garden several years ago.

Gallegos and Roy Archibald, Cíbola County master gardener, briefly discussed possible native plantings that could be added to the garden.

The afternoon included a slide show documenting the Bottle Wall and Ramada construction, refreshments, and a tour of the of the outdoor garden.  Free cloth shopping bags and recycling information were also provided.

Call 505-287-7311 or visit cibolaartscouncil.com and recyclecibola.org for more information.



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Mayor Fails Citizens of Grants

I write to express my outrage over how badly Recycle Cíbola! was treated at the April 1, 2019 City Council Meeting.

Before, during, and after the meeting, Mayor Hicks utterly failed to act as a fair, democratic, and representative leader.

He failed to listen.  He failed to allow the councilors to offer their opinions and to vote on a requested funding matter.  He failed to consider the views held by many Grants’ residents.

He failed to honor and protect our rights, as American citizens, to speak freely and participate in our political process.  He failed to treat Recycle Cíbola! and me, the group’s representative, with respect and consideration – something that every person who comes before the Council deserves, whether or not the mayor agrees with that person’s views.

What Mayor Hicks displayed was tyrannical and bullying behavior.  He owes me, Recycle Cíbola!, and the entire Grants community an apology for this unacceptable, undemocratic, and downright-rude behavior.

Here are some specifics.

Mayor Hicks abused his discretion and authority by refusing to include Recycle Cíbola!’s funding request as an “action” item on the agenda; he thus prevented the Council from voting on it.

He improperly hijacked the entire discussion — failing to give the councilors an opportunity to speak. He offered no thoughtful discussion and ranted incoherently.

He tried to “trash” the recycling program by offering unclear exaggerations about Grants’ allegedly unsupportable recycling costs.  In fact, recycling costs for the entire county were reasonable and low — only $54,294 in 2018.  That translates into 50¢per month or $6 per year for each county household ($54,000 divided by 9,000 county households).

But most of all, I am very troubled by how disrespectfully MayorHicks treated me and recycling supporters.  He ranted and bullied.  He interrupted, yelled at, and spoke over people.   He did everything he could to try to intimidate me.  When he couldn’t convince me to agree with him, he blew his top and had me escorted out of the meeting by the police.  He then continued to insult recycling supporters and dominate all by offering onlyhis views.  There is absolutely no excuse for the mayor’s terrible behavior.  It was unacceptable and uncivil conduct from an elected representative.

Personally, as a volunteer who has spent many years and resources to help my community, I am appalled that the “thanks” I get is to be blatantly and unrestrainedly disrespected, bruised, and battered by the so-called leader of our City. I also am disappointed that the council members have not spoken out publicly against the mayor’s shoddy treatment of Recycle Cíbola! members and so many other persons who have dared to offer views that differ from the mayor’s opinions.  Too many of us have been on the receiving end of his abusive behavior.  It is time for it to stop.

I appreciate how difficult it is to speak out against a bully, especially when you work together, or when he has power to make your life unpleasant or roadblock your efforts.  Still, it seems to me that the way the mayor exercises his power and treats others is not acceptable or appropriate behavior by an elected official.  It stifles and thwarts our democratic process.  It alienates people who would otherwise get involved in our community. It does not offer a positive picture of a well-led community to potential businesses or future residents.  It does not serve our citizens well.

Respectfully and unhappily submitted,

Hollis Fleischer, co-coordinator, Recycle Cíbola!