Internet Customers Circulate Petition

A petition being circulated online, calls on the head of Windstream Communications to hold employees accountable for outages and service that does not meet advertised speeds in and around the city of Española.

The internet service provider said it is trying to install new equipment to stop outages, but in one case, must wait for an easement through pueblo-owned land.

“The Espanola (sic) area has been oversold due to both greed and willful negligence, and the Windstream Telecommunications (sic) network cannot handle the traffic THEY HAVE CREATED,” the petition reads.

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New Mexico, Revolutionary Love and the Sikh Dharma

(SUNfoto by Austin Fisher) A long-awaited addition to the Plaza de Española: A city parks worker raises the Nishan Sahib flag on June 14, representing the Sikh community that has lived here since the 1960s.

Through nine days of speeches, workshops, vegetarian meals and meditation at the 2016 Summer Solstice Sadhana Celebration, attendees tried to find inner peace in a turbulent world by applying the lessons and stories told about the founder of Sikh practice in the West.

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Fiesta Council President, Executive Council Resign

Former president takes reins a week before the event

Asking for a resignation apparently means little when it comes to the Española Fiesta Council.

Last year, Jeremy Maestas said he was asked to resign from his position as president, but now he’s back as interim president, after all three Executive Council members quit the week before the event.

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City assistant resigns, blames clerk’s office

Employment didn’t last long for the assistant to Española’s city manager and mayor. Lora Lamas resigned, June 15, saying she could not work with the City Clerk’s Department.

“The Clerk’s Office is on a power trip, they’re pretty much power mongers,” Lamas, the former executive assistant, said just 30 days after she started.

“They used to be in control before. They were used to being the right hand to the mayor and the city manager. When I got hired, they created difficulties, they have this type of possessiveness, jealousy and insecurity. They acted it out and it was uncomfortable.”

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Board Mulls Union Busting Case

(SUNfoto by Austin Fisher) Española Police Chief Richard Gallegos testifies in June during the prohibited practice case against his department. The police officer’s union accuses Gallegos and his former deputy chief of trying to dismantle the union.

Months of strife within the Española Police Department will soon reach a tipping point.

Lawyers for the police officer’s union and the city of Española will try to convince the state Public Employee Labor Relations Board of their versions of events, which led to a mass pulling of dues by the rank and file and the firing of Union officers.

Thomas Griego, executive director of the Board and the hearing officer in the case, is weighing final arguments turned in, June 16, by attorneys from both sides in the union’s prohibited practice case against the city police department. Griego’s decision could determine the future of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 18 Local 923 Labor Union’s leadership, and its relationship to Department management.

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Hydroponic farm’s tomatoes found throughout New Mexico

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Steve and Kim Martin have been growing tomatoes and cucumbers for nearly 18 years using hydroponic techniques. They say the process requires attention to detail and constant upkeep, but the rewards include more flavor, a better appearance and a longer shelf life.

Steve was a fourth-generation dairy farmer in Madison County, New York, outside of Syracuse, for most of his life up until the 1990s, before turning to the type of farming he does today.

“I was running around in the barn with diapers,” Steve said. “Farming was ingrained in my blood, so I wanted to stay with farming and have a home-based business, which this creates for us.”

Today, the Martins raise English cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, 10 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes and mint and watercress on their seven-and-a-half acre property in Los Luceros on the east bank of the Rio Grande.

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Mark Trujillo is Española City Manager

(SUNfoto by Austin Fisher) Mark Trujillo (center right) swears an oath to serve as Española City Manager, June 14, at City Hall with his cousins, Marco Serna (left) and Valeria Espinoza (right) and goddaughter Kaitlyn Lujan. Trujillo was interim city manager for 90 days before being hired.

After 90 days as interim city manager, the Española City Council decided June 14 to hire Mark Trujillo for the job, permanently.

As the city’s head administrator, he will make $100,000 a year, plus benefits, making him the city’s highest paid employee.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m honored for the opportunity to prove myself to the governing body and the community and getting everybody’s help to move the city forward.”

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Clinton Comes to Town

Former president visits Plaza y Convento to campaign for Hillary Clinton

By Jennifer Garcia, SUN News Editor

The last time former president Bill Clinton visited Española, he was supporting Diane Denish for governor. This time, however, he visited in support of his wife, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Bill Clinton last rallied a large crowd on Oct. 21, 2010, at the Plaza de Española, in support of Denish, who lost her New Mexico gubernatorial bid to Gov. Susana Martinez.

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