Monday, July 16, 2018

Bookclub reads

On Thursday, August 2 @ 10 am, we will be discussing Less  by Andrew Sean Greer. It won the Pulitzer Prize and was the June selection of the PBS NewsHour Book Club. 

The book for September will be 
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. It will be a quick read at 120 pages. It is based on a true story, set in Sudan.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Last chance to see Alto Artists in the libraries. Art leaves July 31 for the tour Aug 3-5

Libraries showing artwork of the artists of the Alto Artist Studio Tour

Capitan Library

Ruidoso Library display case

The exceptional talents of Alto artists are on display at the Ruidoso and the
 Capitan Public Libraries for the months of June and July.  Go to either, or
 go to both, to see art that is a preview of what can be seen on the actual
 Alto Artist Studio Tour in August.  Tour flyers will be out mid-July to show
 the tour route on Aug 3-4-5 weekend. 

 Plus there will be another preview of Alto artists artwork at the Spencer Theater
 free Preview Party on Thursday evening, Aug. 2, with special guest, Michael

Art at the libraries is available for purchase, but you will need to contact
 the artists  directly to buy their pieces. 
 Contact information is with their art.

At both libraries, you can see the art of: Kai Brown, Nancie Ferguson, Deborah
 Christopherson, Deborah Harris, Anacleto Loya, Steve & Madeline Sabo, Pam
 Schuster and Mark Stambaugh.

At the Ruidoso library, you can also see art by Christine Citarella, Linda Hand,
 Karen McCort and Tish Rhoads.

To view Alto artists work online, go to and on
 FaceBook at Alto Artist Studio Tour 2018.

Capitan Public Library is located at 101 E. 2nd St in Capitan. (closed Sundays
 and Mondays). For times open call 575-354-3035

Ruidoso Public Library is located at 107 Kansas City Road in Ruidoso.
 (closed Sundays). For times open call 575-258-3704.  

The August tour will be awesome if the library preview art is any indication.
Ruidoso Library

Ruidoso Library

Ruidoso Library display case

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Sunday, July 15 at 2 pm PROGRAM "Precipitation variations in the Southwestern United States" presented by Bob Harper

Climate models tend to predict an increasingly arid 
future for the Southwestern United States, in large
part because of increased evaporation due to rising
global temperatures.  But current climate models do
not handle precipitation well, and are not able to 
accurately model natural variability.

This talk will leave the climate models, 
and present actual precipitation data across 
the Southwestern United States from 1860 to the 
present, focusing on the long term natural variability, 
which to date is much larger than any global warming
related precipitation component.  Multi-decadal variations 
of average precipitation of +/-20% around the long 
term mean are largely driven by Pacific Ocean sea surface
temperature changes.  

Presented by Bob Harper.  He has a A.B. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University (1965) & a PhD in Space Physics from Rice University (1972).  His dissertation was on the dynamics of the Earth's Upper Atmosphere. Harper was also a geophysicist in the Petroleum Industry.

Light refreshments afterwards.  

Monday, July 9, 2018

"The New Mexico Humanities Council does a lot with very little." Request for support

The last few years have been tough on the cultural sector. State budget cuts and threats to eliminate the nation's cultural agencies have pushed some humanities and arts nonprofits to retrench or even close. Your support is critical to helping NMHC forge ahead and continue giving voice to New Mexico's stories.
The New Mexico Humanities Council does a lot with very little. This year we have already served more than 4,500 of the state's students with our National History Day program, booked 98 humanities speakers and performers to appear in 36 communities around the state, awarded 10 grants totaling $55,000 to local nonprofits in support of their cultural work, and launched our Journalism, Democracy and the Informed Citizen initiative. 
But that's as far as we can go without support from allies like you. Thousands of New Mexican stories will remain hidden and the creative ideas that could propel us to a more vibrant future will remain unexplored. The thing is, we have big plans. We want to take our speakers bureau on the road to significant historic and archaeological sites and provide you and other New Mexicans with an immersive "humanities-on-the-go" experience, led by experts who can give you each site's "hidden story." We're also developing plans to take high-quality book and story programs across the state. You already know that "story" is a deeply-rooted strand in New Mexico's DNA; your support can help us take storytelling festivals, book fairs, and reading + discussion programs to every corner of the state from Raton to Lordsburg, Clovis to Gallup. Finally, how long has it been since you've been able to chat with your friends at a local bar about current events and ideas through the lens of history or the arts? We want to give you a chance to do exactly this at a Humanities Happy Hour.
Without you, we'll be bound simply to continue our programs as they currently are, with little room for experimentation. Your support will make the difference between NMHC maintaining the status quo and taking our work to a new exciting level.
Please help us take our next step toward creating the "humanities council of the future." As always, your gift to the Council is tax-deductible.
Sincerely,  Brandon Johnson, Executive Director / Jerry Brown, Chair, Board of Directors
 PS: More than ever, we need your support to make the humanities more relevant in New Mexico. To make a gift, please go on-line at

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Jul 12 Chautauqua at NM Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum

The Churro and the Navajo: One Family's Journey to Save the Sacred Sheep

The Churro and the Navajo: One Family's Journey to Save the Sacred Sheep

Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, Dripping Springs Road, Las Cruces, NM

The Navajo elders cried when they saw Sharon Begay bringing the sacred Churro sheep back to the reservation. They thought the "old time" sheep were gone forever. As children, they weaved the fleece and lived on the mutton. They also witnessed government forces slaughter their families' Churro to prevent over-grazing.

Stacia Spragg-Braude's presentation features photographs and anecdotes documenting one
Navajo family's journey to help save the Churro, and in the process, saving the family and Navajo culture.
Stacia Spragg-Braud is a photographer mainly interested in families and communities struggling to maintain cultural identity. She is a former newspaper photographer and has covered projects in the Balkans, Cuba and Uganda, including an extensive project on Bulgarian Gypsies. She is the author of "To Walk in Beauty: A Navajo Family's Journey Home."

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Help your Capitan Library this 4th by...eating! Can't get any easier.

Come on over to CAPITAN PUBLIC LIBRARY'S annual bake, book and hot dog sale.  You will be treated to the best hot dogs in town.  Also available to satisfy your hunger will be smoked sausage, nachos, pop corn, water and soft drinks. The dogs and sausage can be plain or with the works (chile, cheese, jalapenos, onions, etc.) The shady backyard will open for you to enjoy your lunch.  Our excellent bakers are busy making goodies for dessert or to take home.  
Baked goods will be on sale starting at 8:00 a.m. providing you with munchies as you await the best parade in Lincoln County. 
Anytime after 9 am, visit the book sale room & fill a bag for $5.
 The food window will open at 10:00 a.m. 

You don't need to keep it a secret!
the Capitan Library has some great eats on the 4th!
Come get a dog, or 2 or 3...


Thursday, June 28, 2018

4th of July in Capitan

Come on over to CAPITAN PUBLIC LIBRARY'S annual bake, book and hot dog sale.  You will be treated to the best hot dogs in town.  Also available to satisfy your hunger will be smoked sausage, nachos, pop corn, water and soft drinks. The dogs and sausage can be plain or with the works (chile, cheese, jalapenos, onions, etc.) The shady backyard will open for you to enjoy your lunch.  Our excellent bakers are busy making goodies for dessert or to take home.  Plan to visit the book sale room & fill a bag for $5.  Baked goods will be on sale starting at 8:00 a.m. providing you with munchies as you await the best parade in Lincoln County. 
 The food window will open at 9:00 a.m. 



Tuesday, June 26, 2018

This is just NOT right

Laura Ingalls Wilder's name has been stripped from a prestigious book award because of racist themes 

The cabin at the "Little House on the Prairie" site is a re-creation built in 1977
(CNN)After months of deliberation, the organization behind a prestigious book award has decided to remove the name of author Laura Ingalls Wilder because of her portrayal of Native Americans. 
The Association for Library Service to Children gives out the "Laura Ingalls Wilder Award" yearly to authors whose work has made a lasting impact on the world of children's literature. 
The honor will now be known as the Children's Literature Legacy Award. 
The ALSC first announced their intention to revisit the award's name in February, and decided to change it after a meeting over the weekend. 
    "This decision was made in consideration of the fact that Wilder's legacy, as represented by her body of work, includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC's core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness," the ALSC's statement reads
    Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie" books are a staple of countless American childhoods. The tales are so ingrained in the traditions of children's literature that it may be easy to forget or overlook that Wilder, who wrote the books in the 1930s and 40s, depicts Native Americans as inhuman and inconsequential. 
    An adult re-read reveals several characters, including Wilder's mother, saying things like "The only good Indian is a dead Indian," as well as romanticizing themes of American supremacy and manifest destiny
    While her father, as portrayed in the books, takes a more nuanced approach to Native Americans in some places, he also described one Indian as "no common trash" because "that was French he spoke."

    It's not censorship, the group says

    Perhaps this worldview could be more easily dismissed if it were entirely fictional, but the "Little House" books are semi-autobiographical, and recount Wilder's own childhood growing up on the Great Plains. 
    While the decision is already inviting backlash similar to any instance of, say, changing the name of a school or removing a Confederate monument, the ALSC preeimptively outlined their full justification:
    "Changing the name of the award, or ending the award and establishing a new award, does not prohibit access to Wilder's works or suppress discussion about them. Neither option asks or demands that anyone stop reading Wilder's books, talking about them, or making them available to children. These recommendations do not amount to censorship, nor do they undermine intellectual freedom," a lengthy statement from the ALSC's board reads
    "Yet perceptions matter, along with the very real pain associated with her works for some, and year after year ALSC gives the impression of upholding Wilder's works through an award that bears her name."

    Saturday, June 16, 2018

    Free Jarabe Mexicano Concert in Carrizozo on June 24 at 5 pm

    Jarabe Mexicano Concert
    Jarabe Mexicano, the folkloric and contemporary band now touring the Land of Enchantment, will visit Carrizozo, NM, Sunday, June 24th 5PM, for a special concert as part of Music in the Parks.  Jarabe Mexicano concerts are a journey through a versatile songbook of Mexican folklore, rock & roll, tex-mex, Latin rock and cumbia-reggae music. Using traditional stringed instruments, accompanied by infectious percussion, the passionate and cheerful concerts of Jarabe also delight with outstanding harmonized voices in Spanish and English. 

    As per tradition, the Carrizozo Music in the Parks , Jarabe Mexicano concert is FREE and will take place Sunday, June 24th, 5PM, in McDonald (Spider) Park, 500 Central Ave. (HWY 54) in the heart of the Carrizozo Commercial Historic District.  Bring your favorite lawn chair, and/or blanket and join the fun.  


    Book Club Info from Leila Adams: We had a great discussion of Beneath the Scarlet Sky last Thursday.  If you haven't read it, you should.  It is a true story that is a page turner.

     The book for July 5 is The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-time  by Mark Haddon. It is on the Kindles that can be checked out from Capitan Library. It is the story of a boy who has autism that sets out to solve the murder of a neighbor's dog.  It has recently been made into a play.

    The book for August is Less by Andrew Sean Greer.  A winner of the Pulitzer Prize, it is funny, and well-written with touches of wisdom.

    Book Club meet first Thursday of the month at 10 am

    Tuesday, June 12, 2018

    Spencer Theater special program- only $18 tickets. Call the Box Office today to reserve your tickets 575-336-4800. Come out and support these young musicians!

    New Mexico State University Jazz Ensemble

    Wednesday, June 20, 8pm • $18

     New Mexico State University Jazz Ensemble is made up of the university's finest musicians. Members of the auditioned group come to NMSU from across the country to study music and various other disciplines on campus. The ensemble has performed with numerous international artists including, Tia Fuller (Beyonce’s alto saxophonist, Professor Berklee School of Music), Bobby Shew (Capital Recording Artist), Pete McGuinness (Grammy Nominated Album) and Chris Vadala (Chuck Mangione Group).

    The jazz ensembles have recently performed at the International Reno Jazz Festival, toured Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria. They have produced two albums over the past few years, “Home Grown”, featuring Bobby Shew, and “Patience”, released spring of 2017. NMSU Jazz Ensemble will be traveling to Spain this summer where they will be performing at the Conservatori Superior Musica de Castello International Music Festival. They will be premiering two pieces at the festival, Palos Nuevos, composition by Dan Gaily and Pueblo de Taos, commissioned by NMSU and written by Fred Sturm.

    The ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Frank “Pancho” Romero, Professor of Music at New Mexico State University.

    Saturday, June 9, 2018

    More on 100th Anniversary of Belleau Wood. Sunday, June 10 program

    Belleau Wood: Why this WWI battle 

    is still important in US

    • From the BBC News: 5 June 2018

    Marines at Belleau WoodImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
    Image captionThe valour of the Marines of the 2nd Division is still remembered

    As its 100th anniversary approaches, Patrick Gregory looks at what happened in the World War I battle of Belleau Wood and asks why it occupies such a special place in American military history.
    In late April, a photo opportunity featuring Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump and their respective wives planting a sapling on the White House lawn was beamed around the world.
    After the cameras had left, and the picture and visit aside, what attracted more publicity was the subsequent "revelation" that the young tree in question had been removed soon after the slightly awkward ceremony, taken into temporary quarantine.
    What achieved less attention at the time was where the sapling had come from and why - a small wood 50 miles from Paris, the Bois de Belleau in France's Aisne department.
    Belleau Wood - a bloody encounter of WW1 - occupies a special place in the annals of American military history, an early and vital display of American capability on the battlefield.
    As with most such scenes of slaughter of the First World War, it is the only the battle monuments and graveyard that give any clue as to what happened 100 years ago.
    Set amidst small villages and farmland 50-odd miles north-east of Paris, Belleau Wood is as quiet now as it doubtless was before the fighting erupted there in June 1918. And that fighting was brutal.
    Belleau Wood today.  The battle of Belleau Wood took place in June 1918 as the German army pursued a spring offensive, pushing against US positions. Eventually the US Marines cleared the woods, though not without suffering the worst losses their unit had seen up until that time.
    photo by
    I was in France recently, accompanying a party of American military history enthusiasts who were tracing sites of 1918's key battles in the run-up to this year's Armistice centenary.

    Trump and Macron plant a tree from Belleau WoodsImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
    Image captionTrump and Macron plant a tree from Belleau Wood

    I was struck, as I had been before, not only by how knowledgeable groups like these were about the whole range of World War I's battles, but also by how keen they were to visit all sites irrespective of the Allied nations involved.
    American battlefields yes, but also ones associated with British, French, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand troops.
    But for two of the party in particular, ex-Marines and Vietnam veterans, business was still business. All the stops on the way - including to American battlefields - were but a prelude to the site of Belleau Wood near the river Marne.
    What happened there was an important moment in the development of the US Marine Corps and the Americans' contribution in the war.

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    By May 1918 the US had been a combatant in the war for over a year; yet its troops, still arriving in France, had thus far played only a supporting role. That was to change.
    The American Expeditionary Force commander John Pershing had to date stubbornly resisted Allied efforts to co-opt his men - a regiment here, a regiment there - to add to their own ranks, remaining determined to train and assemble a fully-fledged army of his own.
    The moment now arrived for the first US-led offensive of the war. On 28 May 1918, Pershing's trusted First Division, the "Big Red One", attacked at Cantigny in northern France, 20 miles south of Amiens.
    The operation proved a success. Of limited strategic value, perhaps, but the three-day battle nonetheless demonstrated that the American troops could fight and acted as a psychological boost for the AEF.

    Aisne-Marne American CemeteryImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
    Image captionSome of the dead were laid to rest at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery

    However, of more immediate concern to the Allies was the new and deadly enemy offensive which had been unleashed 50 miles south-east of them, cutting easily through Allied lines and driving further south towards the river Marne, leaving German forces within striking distance of Paris.
    On 30 May two other American divisions, the 2nd & 3rd, were ordered into the area, arriving from different directions east and west. A machine gun battalion of the latter secured the south bank of the Marne at the key bridgehead of Ch√Ęteau-Thierry as other of their number began to arrive on the scene.
    But the main action of the weeks ahead would lie north-west of the town, involving men of the 2nd Division; in particular, two of their regiments, a brigade of Marines led by Pershing's old chief of staff James Harbord. It would be their efforts to secure a woodland there that would capture headlines, helped in part by the purple prose of journalist Floyd Gibbons.
    Belleau Wood was little more than a mile long and half a mile wide, yet it would cost many lives to capture and would be reported across the world.
    "It was perhaps a small battle in terms of World War I," says Professor Andrew Wiest of the University of Southern Mississippi. "But it was outsized in historic importance. It was the battle that meant that the US had arrived."
    Yet as operations go, as brave and tenacious as the soldiers were, it was poorly planned and badly commanded, certainly in its opening phases.
    After adjacent areas were captured, the decision was taken to advance on the wood on the afternoon of 6 June. But little reconnaissance had been carried out as to what to expect when they got there and only scant artillery fire was laid down beforehand.

    Boy climbs on cannon on 100th anniversary at Belleau WoodImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
    Image captionGlen Wede, 10, from Maryland, climbs on a cannon at Belleau Wood, 100 years on

    Inside, German machine gunners had taken up positions in defensive holes, behind rocky outcrops and shielded by dense undergrowth. Worse, the Marines now advanced towards them in rank formation over the exposed ground outside. They were slaughtered. By nightfall, 222 were dead and over 850 wounded.
    Bloodied but focused on the task, they went again the next day. And the one after that. But little headway was being made. An intense artillery barrage now directed followed by yet another assault.
    The casualties mounted, but still the German troops dug in. The fighting laboured on for three weeks, and in its final stages, foot by foot, hand to hand, it intensified in savagery.
    Guns and grenades gave way to bayonets and "toad-stickers", eight-inch triangular blades set on knuckle-handles, as the Marines slashed their way through the last of their enemy.
    As the story goes, German officers, in their battle reports, referred to the Marines as Teufelshunde "Devil Dogs"; and journalist Gibbons also helped, singling out one gunnery sergeant in dispatches as "Devil Dog Dan". Either way, the name and image stuck and went on to become a Marine mascot.
    "It was the day the US Marines went from being a small force few people knew about to personifying elite status in the US military," says Andrew Wiest. The corps had roots dating back to the American War of Independence but from Belleau, there developed much of its modern lore and myth.
    More significantly, and of strategic importance, their intervention at Belleau and that of their 2nd and 3rd Division colleagues at the time in the surrounding area on the Marne put paid to the German advance, at what was a dangerous moment in the war for the Allies.
    The commander of the US First Division Robert Lee Bullard declared after it: "The Marines didn't win the war here. But they saved the Allies from defeat. Had they arrived a few hours later I think that would have been the beginning of the end. France could not have stood the loss of Paris."
    Patrick Gregory is co-author with Elizabeth Nurser of An American on the Western Front: The First World War Letters of Arthur Clifford Kimber 1917-18 (The History Press) American on the Western Front & on Twitter @AmericanOnTheWF

    Image caption