UPDATE: The Syrian Connection: Taos by Burro, Train, Plane, Auto

By: Bill Whaley
7 September, 2013

(Historic photo essay below on Taos provided by Judge Jeff Shannon, indefatigable researcher.)

For an example of the way the elite play off the hoi-polloi against each other see the brutal arrest of Banjo picker and folk singer, Emily Watson, a U.S. Army veteran in a Washington D.C. Park: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE_efOGFlho

In local news, the emergency services and the institute of a proper PSAP are dependent on a well-intentioned county commission, trying not to get “screwed” by the crooks at the Coop and Town Council. Town residents, Kit Carson members, and County residents must fight back against the villains, who have turned from serving the public into self-serving pirates. Let us hope the Command Center controversy limps off into the nether world of another half-assed project, we citizens have inherited from the egotistical Legend and the King.

Pueblo Man Bound For Market, circa 1880-1902, Rose and Hopkins, Denver Public Library

Pueblo Man Bound For Market, circa 1880-1902, Rose and Hopkins, Denver Public Library

Due to federal and state funding, the Abeyta—Taos Pueblo Water settlement (Agreement) signatories are coming for water rights with wads of cash. Taos Pueblo has history and the law of priority on its side. But the Taos Valley Acequia Association movida makers see no conflict of interest between their own leadership and enriching themselves and their cuates  in the name of custom—at the expense of their downstream neighbors with priority water rights. TVAA represents only 54 ditches out of about 150 in the county.

You and the Rio Grande can share in the drought while TVAA et al share in the largesse of congress at the expense of traditional agricultural practices in the northern and southern parts of the County.

Denver Rio Grande, Tres Piedras, 1940-50. Robert Richardson, Denver Public Library

Denver Rio Grande, Tres Piedras, 1940-50. Robert Richardson, Denver Public Library

According to myth and its underlying record in reality, Taosenos share much with our Mid East neighbors. In Sylvia Rodriquez’s Acequia, Water Sharing, Sanctity, and Place, she writes, “Several findings emerge from this bittersweet story of how water is shared on the Rio Lucero. Like the Rio Pueblo repartos, this system seems a hybrid of Syrian (proportional) and Yemenite (rotational) models.” After discussing the rules for the three-way partition of waterways between Taos Pueblo, Arroyo Seco, and El Prado, she writes, “These rules evoke the Islamic Right of Thirst and Right of Irrigation.”

Satisfying thirst comes first, then water for livestock and vegetables, finally, for crops.

Recently, I received a notice from the State of New Mexico, state engineer, notifying me of my right to protest the Agreement in federal court. Those who wish to file objections must do so by October 28. Meanwhile, the OSE has issued the press release below. Those who haven’t read the Agreement will have a chance to ask questions. Except for the sharp-eyed Mayordomo on the Spring Ditch, and a few parciantes on the Sanchez ditch, both in Town, most paricantes have ignored the Agreement. It’s wake up time.

Prior to airport annexation, 1910-1920, George Beam, Denver Public Library

Prior to airport annexation, 1910-1920, George Beam, Denver Public Library

 

Despite the attention, allegedly, paid to water rights in Taos County, why did the signatories to the Agreement allow some 1700 acre feet of Top of the World water rights to be sold to Santa Fe for the Aamodt settlement? Why are the Taos County Commissioners silent when it comes to one part of its constituency, El Prado and TVAA, raiding northern Taos County, which impacts will affect negatively, both the agricultural land and the Rio Grande? Eh?

The Agreement is based in part on the concept of “transubstantiation”: turning paper into water just as the priest turns wine into blood at Mass. But in the empirical world, the spirit of nature doesn’t buy that story. Although the legal community, movida makers, and hydrologists, who created the “agreement” are as superstitious as pre-enlightenment scholastics,, Aristotelian authority has been dismissed in favor of empirical evidence by the moderns.

Except for the foibles of human nature and the underground guessing game, both of which are the foundations of the Agreement, we can have a great deal of confidence in this shell game, which ultimately deprives the river of its historic flow.

Folks Flee Taos, Poley-Swartley, 1910, Denver Public Library

Folks Flee Taos, Poley-Swartley, 1910, Denver Public Library

For immediate release:


September 3, 2013
For more information, contact:

Julie Maas, Public Relations Specialist, (505) 383-4095

Public Meetings Scheduled on the Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement
(SANTA FE, New Mexico) –

Two public meetings for the purpose of informing the public about the Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement and the process for court approval of the December 12, 2012 Settlement Agreement and the Proposed Partial Final Decree on Taos Pueblo’s water rights are scheduled for September 17 and October 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm.
Information will be provided about the Settlement Agreement, the Proposed Partial Final Decree on Taos Pueblo’s water rights, the Court’s Order to Show Cause, the notice of the Order being provided by mail and publication, and what Taos Valley water rights owners need to know about the process.

Representatives from the Taos Pueblo, the Taos Valley Acequia Association, the El Prado Water and Sanitation District, the Town of Taos, Mutual Domestic Water Users Associations, the Office of the State Engineer, the United States, and the UNM School of Law, Utton Center will speak and answer questions about the terms of the Settlement Agreement and the court approval process.

What: Abeyta Adjudication Public Meetings on the Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement

Where: Town of Taos Convention Center Rio Grande Hall
121 Civic Plaza Drive Taos NM 87571

When: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 and Tuesday, October 8, 2013 Time: 6:00 pm Public Meeting

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