Baby, it’s HOT out there! We have some tips to keep you safe and cool during this heat wave, including a profile of the lifesaving work done by the all-volunteer Texas Rescue Patrol; delicious homemade frozen treats in our Fabulous Food article; plus “live” music, art exhibitions, opera performances, and more. Our July/August issue of Neighbors magazine is now available at locations around Las Cruces, Deming, West El Paso, Silver City, and beyond. You can also read it online at TheNeighborsMagazine.com.
Doing Good: Texas Rescue Patrol
Located just east of El Paso near Hueco Tanks State Park, the rolling, reddish-brown hills of Red Sands have served as a popular recreation and off-roading area for more than 40 years; unfortunately, all that activity leads inevitably to injuries. Red Sands’ 21 square miles — and the nearly 4,500 square miles of territory around them — are kept safe by the all-volunteer Texas Rescue Patrol, founded by Jamil Moutron, owner of Rent a UTV Off-Road Adventures. Read more about Jamil and the work of the Texas Rescue Patrol on page 46 of the July-August 2020 issue of Neighbors. Read it online here.
Fabulous Food: Simple Summer Treats
As the temperatures tick into the triple digits, nothing beats the heat like an ice-cold treat. Our own Tracy Patrick proffers a few great six-ingredients-or-less recipes for favorites — like frozen chocolate banana pops and, for the grownups, Kahlua and cream milkshakes — on page 18 of the July-August 2020 issue of Neighbors. Read it online here.
Music in the Park goes virtual for 2020
The City of Las Cruces Parks and Recreation Department’s popular Music in the Park Series kicked its 2020 virtual concert schedule over the Fourth of July weekend with performances by Pat “Guitar Slim” Chase and Kenny Arroyos, but the fun continues all summer. Celebrate “Jazz Week” with performances by Footprints (July 10), Ryan Montano (July 13) and Adam Hawley and Lindsey Webster (July 15).
All concerts will be available on their scheduled dates and can be accessed by going to www.las-cruces.org/musicinthepark.
Doña Ana Arts Council offering Second Saturday extended gallery hours
As the Doña Ana Arts Council continues to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions, the monthly “Second Saturday” gallery receptions will be replaced with extended gallery hours from noon to 7 p.m. beginning Saturday, July 11.
In July, the featured artist is Daphne Wirthlin, whose work will be available for viewing during regular gallery hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, in addition to these special Saturday hours.
DAAC asks all visitors to the gallery to maintain six-feet social distance, wear a mask, and use provided hand sanitizer; for more, visit www.daarts.org.
Oñate High School principal named New Mexico Principal of the Year
Las Cruces Public Schools congratulated Oñate High School Principal Jim Schapekahm for his many outstanding achievements as he was honored as the 2020 Principal of the Year for New Mexico, awarded by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
“Mr. Schapekahm always finds ways to meet the needs of his students and staff,” said LCPS Superintendent Karen Trujillo. “He is the embodiment of servant leadership. It has been a challenging year, but Mr. Schapekahm has kept the Oñate community unified and that just shows that the Knight family is strong.”
Schapekahm has been with Las Cruces Public Schools since 2004. He started his career with the district as an athletic trainer, working his way up to becoming assistant principal at Oñate High School. It was there he stayed until he was named the principal of Oñate High School in 2015. Schapekahm says he is most inspired by the unity of his students and how they always find a way to persevere.
“I preached over the years that we’re trying to create a big, extended family,” Schapekahm said. “Nobody is excluded, we’re all part of a big family and we don’t judge one another, we all belong.”
The 2019-20 school year was filled with many challenges, including a ransomware attack on the district’s technology and the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the abrupt closure of school buildings, cancelation of all spring activities, sports and school events.
During the closure of all school buildings, Schapekahm reached out to the Oñate family on a regular basis, using the school’s social media page to provide updates and to see how students were doing. Staff at Oñate personally delivered senior yard signs to every 2020 graduate. Although graduation ceremonies were postponed, seniors participated in a senior drive-thru celebration, giving Schapekahm the opportunity to congratulate them individually.
At the end of the school year, Schapekahm wrote the names of all 354 graduating seniors on a blank wall at the school as a special tribute to the Class of 2020. He says the piece will remain at the school as a reminder to all future generations of the sacrifices the seniors of the Class of 2020 had to make and endure during a global pandemic.
Santa Fe Opera’s digital 2020 season continues with ‘The Magic Flute’
The Santa Fe Opera’s Songs from the Santa Fe Opera digital performance series will continue at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 11, with a performance of The Magic Flute hosted by baritone Anthony Michaels-Moore.
Mozart’s final opera, The Magic Flute is a fairy tale of darkness, light, and finding your way in the world. Tamino, a prince lost in a foreign land, is being pursued by an enormous monster. He is rescued by three mysterious ladies, who kill the monster and give Tamino a picture of Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night, with whom he falls instantly in love. They tell him that Pamina has been captured by the powerful and evil Sarastro, and Tamino vows to rescue her. With the gift of a magic flute and some magic bells, and the assistance of the bird-catcher Papageno, who has become reluctantly involved, Tamino sets off on his quest. However, he soon discovers that nothing, not even Day and Night, is quite as it first appears…
For more, visit santafeopera.org.
Congratulations to our book giveaway winners!
We’re pleased to announce the winners of our book giveaway — Jerry, Lois and Dan will be the hit of their next barbecues and cookouts with recipes from their copies of Tex Q, 100 Recipes for the Very Best Barbecue from the Lone Star State; Michele and Lu will enjoy the page-turning mysteries Black Pearl and Deadly Recall by Las Cruces suspense writer Donnell Ann Bell; and Katherine will take in the great outdoors with her copy of Best Wildflower Hikes in New Mexico. Thank you to everyone who participated — stayed tuned for more contests and giveaways!