Another Fox in the Hen House

We are deeply concerned about an issue recently brought to our attention. This issue affects most people in the Eldorado/285 corridor and, though it saddens us to create another controversy in our community, we felt it imperative to make you aware.

On March 31, the Eldorado Water and Sanitation District held a meeting at the ECIA. The purpose of the meeting was to inform water users of EAWSD’s plans to build its own building on the lot it owns off Vista Grande.  The EAWSD has applied for a Federal grant and hopes to begin building as early as this fall.

The EAWSD stated at this meeting that the reason it needs to spend 1.4 million dollars to put a commercial building in the middle of a residential neighborhood is that the landlord has refused them a long term lease. Here is a direct quote from the minutes of that meeting:

“The building that the District currently occupies, located at 1 Caliente Road, was sold in a foreclosure sale in October 2012, and the new owner is not amenable to extending a long term lease to the District. This puts the District’s operations at risk and increases the urgency to acquire a permanent facility.”

In discussion following the General Manager’s presentation, an attendee, “expressed concern that the District is operating from a facility that is leased on a month to month basis; it puts the whole community at risk. She stated that there are probably a lot of other projects that deserve equal attention, but in her opinion, this project is a priority.”

Another attendee inquired about purchasing the building the EAWSD already occupies and was told by the General Manager that, “It was considered, but turned out to be the most expensive alternative at a cost of approximately $2M.  The  current  building  also  does  not  adequately  meet  the  need  for  an  operations maintenance facility workshop and would incur additional cost to build one. The total cost of the proposed Combined Facility building is $1.4M based on a 20 year economic analysis.”

Unfortunately, it’s all a lie.

We are the landlords and we are blown away by the GM’s statements. Here is a direct quote from an email Steve sent to the GM on October 17, 2012:

“Moving forward I see three options for the EAWSD with regard to the building.

1.  The EAWSD may continue to occupy the building on a month to month basis at the existing rates.  This agreement would be in writing and would require a 30 day notice by the EAWSD to vacate.  It would also require a 30 day notice from La Tienda to terminate the EAWSD occupancy in the building.

This option does not require any commitment from the EAWSD but it also lacks any security for either La Tienda or the EAWSD.  Without a long term commitment from the EAWSD, I would begin actively looking for a new tenant willing to lease the building.

2.  The EAWSD may enter into a new lease agreement for the currently used space or more.

3.  La Tienda is exploring the option of turning the building into a condo.  We would split the building into two spaces.

The EAWSD may purchase the building, less the space occupied by Dr Richey.  In exchange for the sole use of the dirt lot, the EAWSD would provide and maintain the public restrooms in the building and allow continued used to dentist office staff and customers.

La Tienda is offering this at $1,220,000.”


Here is a link where you can view both documents and decide for yourself if the EAWSD is deliberately misleading it members for reasons unknown.

Our offer to the EAWSD is ongoing and has been reiterated regularly. We would much prefer for them to be on a lease or to purchase the building they occupy. We have repeatedly been told that they want to be on a month to month because they eventually want to own their own building.

Their statement regarding us, the landlord, is not only an outright lie. It is potentially fraud. We have asked for a copy of the Federal grant application. If it turns out that they used this same reason for needing Federal money for a building, then it may be criminal.

Regardless, the EAWSD is perpetuating a lie to convince water users of the absolute need for a building it will own and maintain in perpetuity. As landlords, we strongly object to being used in this manner.

As water users on four separate properties, we have to ask ourselves the following questions:

Why did the GM lie so blatantly?

Is the Board aware of the lie and endorsing it? If so, why?

If the Board is not aware, then why is the GM lying?

If the Board is not aware, then why did it fail so miserably in its due diligence to contact us regarding a lease or purchase option and vacate its responsibility as fiscal steward?

If the EAWSD has lied about this, what else have they lied about and how will this lie (or any other) affect our water rates for the foreseeable future?


We’re angry, both as landlords and users. We’re also worried. Still, our offer to the EAWSD stands. They may continue on a month to month, sign a long term lease, or purchase the building at a fair market rate. That allows the time this community needs to fully explore the feasibility of a new building without the EAWSD creating unnecessary fear around the issue.  We hope you read the documents in full, evaluate without fear, and address the issue responsibly.









Art Opening at The La Tienda Exhibit Space


An amazing artistic enterprise has just begun!  Cuban artist Pablo Perea and American artist Linda Storm are paving a new path in the world of art.  Each paints in their own unique style and technique on the same canvas. Their collaborative creations are surrealistic landscapes in a magical reality. 

Their work is visionary – it combines two countries, two cultures, two completely different approaches.  Storm and Perea are masters at what they paint.  “To me our paintings are a visual representation of the harmony that can exist between two cultures, realized through art, with collaboration as the matrix,” says Linda Storm.

“We found our common ground as two artists.  We thought we knew everything about ourselves, but from this landscape that we created, the whole world of art looks different . . . including us,” says Pablo Perea.  Two Views One Vision is the title of the first exhibition by Perea and Storm.  It will be revealed at 5:00 PM on 3000 square feet of wall space, March 29, 2014, in La Tienda Exhibit Space, in Santa Fe, NM. 

How can two artists collaborate on the same canvas?  The answer is in the work.  The images are haunting, and evoke wonder.  “We move beyond our own expectations into another realm, for the bigger picture . . . for the greater good.” 


Anna’s Home and Garden Opens March 15

Anna's Home & Garden Logo green

Greetings from Anna’s Home and Garden!

It has been quite a busy time of hammering, painting, setting things up and taking things down and almost forgetting that we’ve been having some quiet, magnificent, soaking rains.

None of us can get enough of it, and breathing the early morning moisture brings back the lushness of the times when water seemed more plentiful and the coolness of the shade stretched far beyond adobe walls and kitchen screen doors.

Please come and visit when we open on Saturday, March 15, and soak up some fresh morning delight with our colorful Brazilian hammocks (Yes, you can try them out!), sustainable Eucalyptus patio chairs, East Indian baskets, charming old world Mexican pottery and vases, bird baths, multi-colored hose sprayers, organic soil amendments, BBB seeds, High Country cacti and Agave, Black Gold seedling and potting soils, frost cloth, walls of water and tools. We will be adding to our initial inventory a little bit later in the month. This will include rain barrels, raised beds, springtime hanging baskets, veggie starters and organic herbs.

We want your gardening and conservation efforts to be both rewarding and beautiful. Please ask us questions, especially if you are new to gardening or new to the area. If we don’t know the answer, we will find someone who does.

Also, ask us about our mailing list and calendar of free educational events that will start on occasional Saturdays with local master gardeners and other related specialists. Bring your requests and suggestions so that we can serve you, our community, in the best way possible. We look forward to getting to know you!


Two Great Films


FREE SCREENING on Thursday February 27 at 7 PM

Please consider joining thousands of others across the country to attend a free screening of INEQUALITY FOR ALL at 7PM on Thursday February 27 at the Performance Space at La Tienda in Eldorado. In the film Berkley professor and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich makes an eloquent and impassioned argument about how the devastating effects of America’s widening income inequality not only threaten the middle class but also the very foundation of democracy itself.

Sponsored by Organizing for America and the Democratic Party in Eldorado.


 Wednesday, March 5, at 7 p.m. at La Tienda
Reel New Mexico, the state’s only monthly film series dedicated to showing movies with a New Mexico connection, is excited to open its third season with “Homesick,” Susan Abod’s moving documentary about living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) and her odyssey across the Southwest to find a location and a home that were safe for her to live in.
The screening, set for Wednesday, March 5, at 7 p.m. at The Performance Space in La Tienda at Eldorado, will be followed by a panel featuring Ann McCambell, MD, Susan Abod and Diane Thomas, all of whom have MCS.
Imagine your home is making you dangerously sick and new building materials and insecticides have become your worst enemies. In “Homesick,” Susan Abod hits the road to see what measures people with MCS will take to find safe housing and cope with this 21st Century illness.
Susan’s previous film, “Funny, You Don’t Look Sick,” dealt with her MCS experience. After its completion, “I felt compelled to make a second film that exposed the fast-growing impact of this illness and the critical importance of safe housing, by chronicling my own search for a safe home.
Reel New Mexico directions at . A contribution of five dollars is suggested. FOR THIS EVENT, PLEASE DO NOT WEAR COLOGNE, AFTERSHAVE, OR RECENTLY DRY CLEANED CLOTHING.

President’s Day Sale at Barn Dogs and Utopia

On Saturday, February 15 and Monday, February 17 (President’s Day) all winter Carhartt items at Barn Dogs will be 30% Off their ticket price.  This includes all men’s and women’s winter jackets, vests, flannel lined jeans, shirts, hats and a few insulated biberalls (mostly 32 x 32).  Spring is just around the corner and we need to make space for spring and summer clothes.

On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday all winter clothes and accessories at Utopia are 40% off. Destiny’s going to Las Vegas to buy the spring line and needs to make room for what she’s bringing back. Take advantage and own that item you’ve been coveting!

Pre-Valentine’s Day Jewelry Trunk Show


Utopia is thrilled to be featuring artists Pennie McBride and Marlene Bolotsky for a very special pre-Valentine’s Day event. We hope you will join us on Saturday, February 8 from 4 to 6 pm.

Carla Pennie McBride Artist Statement:

Nature stirs my imagination.  I am both a collector of natural artifacts and an observer of the natural world, I seek to explore the beauty and delicacy of nature, translating the delicate patterns I see into the work I create.

I love to experiment and push the boundaries of contemporary jewelry making.  In my most recent work, I am drawn to the nebulous, yet static qualities of plastic resin. I freeze pieces of silver, traces of paper, leaves of gold and other minuscule fragments, capturing their essence in time.  I design and individually create each element of every piece by hand and all can be rightfully considered one-of-a-kind.

Marlene Bolotsky creates unusually bold pieces enriched with ethnic origins. A piece of bone, a bit of glass, or an ancient coin enhance and highlight her elegant designs.

It was a Dark and Stormy Night

A Dark Literary Event

Join us Thursday, January 30 at 6 pm for an unnerving look at human nature. Authors Lucy Taylor, Diane Thomas, and Destiny Allison will read from their new novels, chill a January night, and enliven the hearts and minds of a riveted audience. This FREE reading is not for the faint of heart.

Fatal-JourneysLucy Taylor is a Stoker-award winning horror and dark fantasy writer whose fiction has appeared in over a hundred anthologies. She recently relocated to Eldorado from Pismo Beach, CA. FATAL JOURNEYS is a collection of stories about travelers who venture into regions both macabre and seductive, on the earth and within the psyche.

IMG_0035IN WILDERNESS author Diane Thomas has an MFA from Columbia University, studied in the Creative Writing program at Georgia State University, and worked as a newspaper reporter, theatre and film critic and magazine feature writer in Atlanta, before moving to Santa Fe in 2009. Her debut novel, THE YEAR THE MUSIC CHANGED, won a coveted starred review and a “recommended for all collections” from Library Journal and has been published in Italian and Japanese.

Bitterroot_new_subtitleDestiny Allison is the award winning author of SHAPING DESTINY. Her third book, BITTERROOT, was released in October, 2013. “Intense. so many twist and turns you really do not know who to trust,” says one review. “Fabulous story, expertly written and paced, very absorbing,” says another.

This event is sponsored by Utopia, The General Store for the Modern Age.


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