In the Rearview

Equine sanctuary gets new home, county workers asked to resign, and boys sign up for high school home economics

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– 10 Years Ago – “Equine Spirit Sanctuary to open new home in Ranchos de Taos”, Staff report, Dec. 27, 2007

Two years after Ruth Bourgeois and volunteers launched an effort to both help neglected horses and provide equine therapy to disabled Taoseños, they were able to move into a new ranchette in Ranchos de Taos.

Bourgeois started Equine Spirit Sanctuary in 2005. In 2007, she and the volunteers moved the organization into the 10-acre former home of Thal Equine.

In the ensuing years, Equine Spirit Sanctuary has rescued, rehabilitated and adopted out dozens of horses. They’ve also provided equine clinics to horse enthusiasts and provided therapeutic equestrian programs to many clients.

Managing an equine rescue and therapy program takes a lot of funds and volunteer help. The organization welcomes new volunteers. No experience is necessary. They will train. Find out more on its Facebook page at facebook.com/pg/equinespiritsanctuary/about

– 25 Years Ago – ‘County workers getting the ax’, By Alisa Duncan, Dec. 31, 1992

Before the year’s newly elected Taos County commissioners were sworn in, they set about firing county workers. At least six department heads were canned a day before the commissioners were formally seated. Then county manager Ambrose Mascareñas, road superintendent Joe Mike Duran, housing authority director Tomas Lopez, housing authority accountant Juan Duran, detention center director Robert Martinez and recreation department director Johnny Sisneros. They received letters asking them to resign by Jan. 1, 1993.

Mascareñas argued the commission couldn’t fire anyone until they were sworn in. Then District Attorney Sammy Pacheco disagreed. “Anybody can make a request,” Pacheco told The Taos News. “Whether they have the authority to make it stick is another story.”

– 50 Years Ago – ‘ Now, Even the Boys Like Home Economics’, Dec. 28, 1962

Sewing, cooking and decorating for girls only? Not in Taos High School a half century ago when 30 boys signed up for the home economics class.

A big reason for the interest from boys was a new focus on vocational training in the class, which helped train waiters and waitresses through a collaborative effort with Kachina Lodge, La Cocina, Adobe Grill and La Fonda Steak House. The students received on-the-job service training, but were paid in meals during the school hours. Another student in the class found work as a seamstress-bookkeeper.

It was a good idea that both schools and businesses might consider pursuing again if they don’t already: Home economics as both a class teaching practical home skills (balancing a checking account, obtaining a mortgage, cooking a healthy meal) combined with practical workplace skills students can use after high school whether or not they pursue college degrees.

Rebecca Traister, senior editor at The New Republic, recently argued for such an action in her 2014 article “Feminists Killed Home Ec. Now They Should Bring It Back—for Boys and Girls”. Home economics should be “rebooted, tweaked, and taught to both boys and girls, across classes and at younger ages than ever before,” Traister wrote.

Time for a rebirth and new look for home (and work) economics.

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