New Year’s Rocking Eve in Patagonia

Photos by Aisha Sander

Patagonia Montessori School held their Winter Concert on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at the Tin Shed Theater. The concert featured some holiday favorites including Last Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock, The Nutcracker, and an all school performance of Carol of the Bells. The concert also featured some classical pieces as well as some student chosen songs. The Music Director at Patagonia Montessori is Nick Coventry.

Aylward (center), at the opening reception on Dec. 6 of her art exhibition “Intersections,”, a collaboration with her daughter, stands with friends from Patagonia. Photo by Aisha Sander

Monika Aylward, a long-time resident of Sonoita and Patagonia, presented her artwork along with her daughter Clare Aylward at Cochise College, Benson. The exhibition, titled “Intersections,” will be on display until January 31, 2019. The Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Discussion Program Offered at Library

Patagonia Public Library will host eight weekly two-hour sessions of the Foreign Policy Association’s “Great Decisions” discussion program, beginning January 31, 2019, at 6:30 p.m.

The Foreign Policy Association provides a weekly 30-minute background documentary and a briefing book as the basis for a group discussion of the most pertinent and important foreign policy issues facing the U.S. and the world. Participants are asked to complete the supporting reading section prior to attendance, and each session will begin with a group viewing of the documentary. Face-to-face discussions will be facilitated by the group leaders, and a member or outside contributor with special expertise might provide further context. The goal of the session is not to argue or convince anyone of the correctness of a particular view, but rather to give all involved the opportunity to expand their knowledge, share their perspectives, and gain the insights of others on these topics, while becoming better informed citizens in a supportive, focused listening environment.

The program is being brought to Patagonia by two seasonal visitors, Deborah Locke and Gary Vines. Locke and Vines will be returning in mid-January for a volunteer stint as on-site hosts at TNC’s Patagonia-Sonoita Preserve, where they served in 2017-2018. During that experience, they came to really enjoy and feel welcomed in Patagonia and see sponsoring this series as a way to contribute to the community.

Locke and Vines are retired and in their seventh year as full-time RVers, spending summers on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington and winters in southern Arizona.

Prior to “hitting the road” they were both educators – Locke as a high school library media specialist, and Vines as a high school social studies teacher and then guidance counselor. The couple have been participants in “Great Decisions” groups several times, both in Maine and in Tucson, and have felt greatly engaged and rewarded by the experience.

The topics for the eight sessions will be: Refugees and Global Migration; The Middle East: Regional Disorder; Nuclear Negotiations: Back to the Future?; The Rise of Populism in Europe; Decoding US-China Trade; Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics; The United States and Mexico: Partnership Tested; and State of the State Department and Diplomacy.

If anyone, as a group member or special guest, has a strong academic or experiential background that could enrich any of these topics, please contact Locke at to discuss contributing to one of the sessions. Briefing books for the first ten participants will be available at the library prior to the start of the program, provided by the couple’s sponsorship of the program. A copy of the briefing book will also be on reserve in the library.

Contact Abbie Zeltzer at the library for further information. Phone (520) 394-2010.

Noted Writer, Scientist to Speak in Patagonia

Robin Wall Kimmerer, the director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at SUNY ESF, will be coming to Patagonia in February. Kimmerer, a distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and an enrolled member of the Citizen Potowatomi Nation, is the author of “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.”

As a writer and scientist, she has delivered a TEDx Talk, addressed the general assembly of the United Nations, and won the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Writing and the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award.

She will spend a week in Patagonia for various activities, two of which will be open to the public. She will be presenting at Cady Hall on Feb. 7 at 6 p.m., followed by a potluck dinner. On Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. she will host a book discussion at the Sarvodaya Center for Awakening located at 37 San Antonio Road, Patagonia.

“Braiding Sweetgrass” is available for sale at a reduced cost at the Patagonia Public Library.

Errors and Omissions

In the Dec. 2018 issue article “Dirt Bags Working the Area” volunteer Jow Watkins was incorrectly identified as Bob Hawkins. We apologize for this error.

The students of PCAA’s after school program Club Theater recording the radio show “The Monsters are due on Maple Street.” The radio show aired on local radio station KPUP 100.5 on December 3rd. Club Theater is a free program for kids ages 9-16 funded by the United Way of Santa Cruz County.

Clouds settle on the Mustang Mountains as winter weather approaches. Photo by Heather Dodge