American Relief and Recovery Act may have new meaning

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By Merilee Dannemann

You can’t accuse anybody of exploiting
the world-famous church in Las Trampas
for gain.
In front of the church is a dirt parking
area, and across the way is a small, funky
shop, with “La Tienda” painted by hand
over the doorway, where you can find
modestly priced pottery, odd-looking
wood sculptures that are a Pueblo version
of kachina figures, and cold drinks
that you can serve yourself from an old
Some folks walk in and ask the shop owner if there is a
public restroom anywhere. The owner, Mr. Lopez, directs
them into his own house. He starts a conversation.
The high road to Taos, now officially labeled a Scenic Byway,
is 80 miles long without a single public restroom, he
says. He says politicians – including now – Sen. Tom Udall
– stop by his shop all the time, and he’s been telling them
for years that a rest stop is needed.
“People stop in Chimayo and eat meat and beans,” Lopez
said. “Then they go on down the road and what do you
think is gonna happen?”
He lets visitors use the restroom in his house as a personal
courtesy. I tell Lopez that I know a few politicians and

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