Corrales physicians, like colleagues around the nation and around the world, find themselves in perplexing, somewhat contradictory circumstances.

As of May 3, the COVID-19 pandemic had killed more than 250,000 people worldwide and sickened at least 3.2 million, including 3,850 in New Mexico where 151 perished. Five cases were documented in Corrales.

At the end of April, the United States led the world in confirmed COVID-19 infections. Compared to other communities, Corrales has long had a relatively large population of doctors and other health care professionals. But the need for medical attention during the coronavirus outbreak has not necessarily increased the need for their services, nor the advisability of offering it.

Several doctors contacted by Corrales Comment expressed serious concern that the general public and their own non-COVID-19 patients are not getting critically needed medical attention. “COVID-19 has thrown a screwball at mankind, New Mexico included,” physician Fred Hashimoto replied. “It has stressed medical resources, so to have all hands on-deck seems helpful.

“However, having all hands on the front-line is not always the best course of action. My division at University of New Mexico Medicine believes that providers 65 years-old and over —I’m quite a bit over— should not be exposed to patients and should practice medicine remotely, by phone or videoconferencing.

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There’s exciting news in the Corrales Bosque Preserve although not all critters will be thrilled. An active Swainson’s Hawk nest has been documented here, possibly for the first time ever, according to Hawks Aloft Director Gail Garber.

On May 1, she told Corrales Comment about occupants of a Great Horned Owl nest, Cooper’s Hawks and visiting osprey, “but the most exciting thing just happened today: a large nest we have been watching for years now has a Swainson’s Hawk.

“That is the first documented Swainson’s Hawk that we’ve found in the Corrales Bosque. I’m super-excited about this.” It was spotted by Joan Hashimoto, a long-time Hawks Aloft collaborator. It is much larger than the more common Cooper’s Hawk.

The large raptor has taken over a long-vacant, deteriorating nest at the top of a tree close to the levee. In weeks before, Garber and Hashimoto had noticed that new sticks had been added to the old nest, so they were expecting a new occupant.
It’s at the top of a tall cottonwood where it likely will be invisible from the ground once the tree is fully leafed out, Garber said. She had suspected larger hawks might be visiting the preserve here, but could never determine which. “The reason, I think, is that the nests are so well hidden in the tops of the trees.”

This year, the new hawk was spotted in the improved nest before the cottonwoods had fully leafed out. Garber said the Swainson’s Hawk spends part of the year in Argentina, some 6,000 miles away, migrating round trip every year. Among raptors, Swainson’s are among the last to arrive in New Mexico in the spring, Garber added.

“During the spring, they feed their young the same things the other raptors feed theirs. They eat lizards, snakes and other birds and small mammals and things like that. But when the grasshoppers bloom in the summer, they switch their diet to almost exclusively grasshoppers. So their nests are generally adjacent to open fields because that’s where they would find the insects they would normally eat. In the fall, when the grasshoppers die, they migrate back to Argentina, leaving here by September.

“The ones we spotted today will have 32 days from now tor their eggs to hatch and the young will be fledging in mid-July, and by September, they’ll be gone. And the young go before the parents.” As exciting as that discovery is for Corrales birdwatchers, they were a-flutter earlier when a Great Horned Owl nest near the Corrales Riverside Drain (“Clear Ditch”) produced newly-hatched chicks in early May.

Stormwater run-off from the east side of Intel’s property onto Corrales homes may finally be controlled. Extensive drainage control improvements, including concrete block walls, grading, plantings, spreading of gravel and creation of ponding areas and check dams, have been completed over the past year after consultations with engineers.

Intel’s Erika Edgerly have a presentation to Corrales’ mayor and Village Council at their council meeting April 28. After describing the tasks and showing photos of the work along the paved trail that separates Intel property from Corrales neighborhoods, Edgerly said Intel will continue monitoring how those changes function during expected monsoon rains this summer.

By Meredith Hughes
Back a month or so ago, one of Corrales Comment’s readers was puzzled by all the action at Ideum, the touch table/screen software and hardware builder with two locations in the village. ‘How is this essential business?” he asked.

Its essential nature swiftly was verified by the Governor’s Office, as Ideum’s multi-touch tables and displays are used “by many government agencies, all branches of the U.S. military, national laboratories, municipalities and first responders. In addition, numerous other businesses considered essential by the State of New Mexico, such as the company’s customers in transportation, utilities, and medicine and research, rely on Ideum hardware.”

As the Ideum website puts it, “We are proud to support the government agencies, scientific institutions, municipalities, and first

A crucial bit of Corrales history likely will be stuccoed over in the weeks ahead as renovation of the old Corrales Valley Fire Station concludes. The frame-and-stucco building erected in the late 1970s as a fire-rescue station for the unincorporated territory in the Corrales Valley is being converted to house Village government’s planning and zoning offices as well as animal control operations.

The project is expected to be complete in July. Construction is being done by the Albuquerque-based Facility Build, which is led by Corrales’ Brian Kilcup, who also oversaw extensive renovation of two old structures in the Jones property adjacent to the Corrales Recreation Center. Those two shed are now used by the Village Public Works Department.

The People’s Choice Award for Corrales Elementary School’s submissions for this year’s “Young in Art” show was won by fourth grader Delilah Muxworthy. The award presentations and reception that traditionally have culminated the event had to be cancelled this year due to the pandemic. But judges were still able to evaluate submissions and declare winners in each grade level.

By Meredith Hughes
Here are brief updates, links and information we think may be of value during this period of closures.. Some of this is perhaps well known by now, some not. We keep updating this information.
Note that up-to-date information on businesses is likely to appear on their social media pages, rather than on their websites.

Health and safety
• Overview from the Office of the Governor: http://www.newmexico.gov

A Corrales parade has been arranged for high school graduates Saturday, May 23 in lieu of the traditional commencement ceremonies. The parade starts promptly at 10 a.m. at the Recreation Center and heads south to Coronado Road (mostly bypassing Corrales Road) and then goes west to Loma Largo before returning to Corrales Road from West Ella Drive where it ends.

Coordinator is Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Siverts, who explained “The parade may...

Any resident of New Mexico with personal equines who is struggling related to COVID-19 or other emergency circumstance may apply for assistance with feed. Animal Protection of New Mexico, the state’s leading advocate for the humane treatment of animals, set up a program for equine emergency feed assistance for those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Apply online at APNM.org/HorseHelp or call 803-3770.

Since 2010, Animal Protection of New Mexico’s Equine Protection Fund has provided crucial assistance to over 1,300 equines...

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham eased up pandemic-imposed restrictions on “non-essential retailers” May 1, indicating that such retailers “may provide curbside pickup and delivery services if permitted by their business license. Liquor licenses, for instance, do not allow for curbside or delivery service. Child care may now be extended to people operating non-essential businesses.”

As of May 1, five cases of the coronavirus were reported in Corrales. The Fire Department’s Tanya Lattin said “Currently no first responders are ill with COVID-19 or have been within the village. The fire department is fully staffed. We have PPE [personal protective equipment] but we spend hours a day, both Chief Martinez and myself, looking for items as they become available to restock and maintain our level.

By Meredith Hughes
It’s a classic coronavirus tale. A guy hops a quick flight home to the Albuquerque area from Los Angeles to celebrate his niece’s fourth birthday, and to nd preside over a couple days of workshops.

But over a month later, he’s still there. And he has not yet seen his niece. Her mom, his sister, is a doctor, so there are lockdown issues. We’re talking about Corrales’ Alex Knight, son of Chris Allen and Paul Knight,...

Have you noticed how green the soccer fields are at the recreation center? Always a source of community pride, the athletic fields are now spectacular after recent re-seeing and grooming. Even Corrales Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Siverts thinks so.

“I’ve never seen them looking better,”  he said at the end of April. But that’s partly because the fields are getting far less wear-and-tear than normal. The rec center has been closed since mid-April in compliance with directives by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Mayor Jo Anne Roake.

Soccer teams are not playing, or even practicing, so the grass is recuperating during the coronavirus closures. “Being able to keep new grass seed moist by watering in small amounts more times day and lower foot traffic has got us looking better than ever,” Parks and Recreation Specialist Aaron Gjullin said April 29. “However, we are excited when people can start coming back and using our parks and facilities.”

Villagers are greeted by an eye-pleasing expanse of greenery as they drive past the field, but it’s not just the athletic fields that have been pampered this spring. Siverts said La Entrade Park, outside the library, is also especially green and healthy at this time, as is the Juan Gonzales Bas Heritage Farm adjacent to the park and west of Wells Fargo Bank.

Many diligent and generous readers responded to an appeal published in Corrales Comment’s April 11 issue seeking financial support amid the extraordinary economic collapse accompanying the global pandemic. Heartfelt thanks to all who did so.

Advertising revenues have begun to dip, as expected, since many, if not most, businesses have been stricken by coronavirus closures. In the work week ending April 17, Corrales Comment received more checks or credit card payments from loyal readers than from our advertisers!

Those gestures of support and good will were often accompanied by sympathetic comments, a few of which are published below.

“I couldn’t live without the Corrales Comment. I hope this helps a bit.”

Kiss the guacamole good bye. Researchers in Mexico warn that the avocado is becoming an endangered species due to climate change. It has been identified as an endangered fruit due to the climate-driven spread of fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens. A New York Times article March 13 noted that an exhibit in the American Museum of Natural History about ...

By Meredith Hughes
Sowing to the edges, with no hedges, is an agricultural approach that has decimated what one gardener has called “linear nature preserves,” which once nurtured all manner of creature, including bees. In Britain, once fabled for its healthy hedgerows, this created soil erosion, more impact from wind, and far less biodiversity...

Plant a variety of trees to have flowers throughout the year. Trees in the ornamental pear family will bloom first in the spring, followed by ornamental plums and redbuds. Fruit trees blossom next, with peach and apple being the most reliable for actually producing fruit. Cherry, apricot and nectarines often bloom too early and then get taken down by a late frost. Crab apple trees bloom in late spring. Desert willows and chitalpas bloom in the summer, along with chaste trees.

At a Village Council teleconference session last month, Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block said the County landfill —which the Village of Corrales started more than 40 years ago— may be nearly full. Corrales started the landfill because Rio Rancho was not yet incorporated as a municipality but Corrales was, and State law mandated that local governments had to provide a sanitary landfill for their citizens. So Village officials made arrangements for Amrep Southwest to dedicate then-remote terrain for the dump under Corrales’ jurisdiction.

Another project the commissioner mentioned was that the U.S. Veterans Administration has proposed buying 200 acres in Sandoval County to establish a second large Veterans Cemetery, since the 78-acre Santa Fe National Cemetery also is running out of room. Earlier this month, Block clarified that he and a fellow commissioner were exploring options for the operation of the landfill in Rio Rancho along Iris Road, investigating whether to turn its operation over to a private contractor, instead of the...

“Congress passed the bipartisan  CARES Act to deliver critical relief to our nation in this moment of crisis,” Congressman Ben Ray Lujan said. “It is clear, however, that we need to get more resources to our small businesses, our hospitals and frontline health care workers, and our local, state, and tribal governments.

“We also need to provide additional SNAP funding to ensure that no family in New Mexico goes hungry during this crisis.

 “The Trump administration has struggled to implement the CARES Act, especially the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program. Too many community lenders, mom-and-pop small businesses and underserved communities are being left behind,” the congressman said.
“Small businesses need more funding from the SBA loan and grant programs, and these programs need reforms and greater transparency to ensure that New Mexican small businesses get the support they need and deserve.

“The pandemic has dealt a serious blow to our public health and economy. While we would all like to get back to normal, there must be a substantial increase in the production in rapid testing and personal protective equipment. That is why we need more resources now.”

The stalwart volunteers who keep Corrales’ non-profit Seed2Need project going are stepping up again this growing season, but with a difference. According to Manager Dom Tafoya, coronavirus circumstances meant the typical spring gathering of students and others at the usual greenhouse to plant seeds in seed beds could not happen. Instead, a few masked people picked up the plastic seed beds, plus seeds for tomatoes, chiles and some...

To assist New Mexico’s Pueblo people during the pandemic, the All Pueblo Council of Governors has establish a relief fund. The Pueblo Relief Fund campaign is coordinated with the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. “Donations to the Pueblo Relief Fund will be used to immediately begin addressing supply and service needs of the Pueblos in order to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and lower the infection rate among tribal members,” the council's chairman, J. Michael Chavarria, said. “These needs include essential disinfecting supplies, personal protective equipment, and food distribution. APCG and IPCC will use the funds to immediately begin purchasing these essential items and delivering them to the Pueblos for distribution to tribal members.

"As the Pueblos are being impacted by COVID-19, we, as tribal leaders, continue working around the clock advocating for our communities’ needs and resources as it is our responsibility to protect the health and safety of our people. “Our tribal communities are very tight-knit, and we have multi-generational housing within our Pueblos, so the immense scale of this pandemic has created intricate challenges in the delivery and expansion of preparedness resources to our tribal members. Now is a time where we have come together to support one another in this crisis, and appreciate any support that can be afforded to our communities as we collectively address this emergency.” The fund can be contacted at http://www.pueblorelieffund.org.  Donations are fully tax deductible. Separately, conutritions are needed for the hard-hit Navajo Nation. Funds are being directed to the Native American Relief Fund.

Advocates for the homeless in New Mexico are urging the state and local communities to make preparations to help those without permanent housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of positive cases in New Mexico remains low compared with many other states, but those who experience homelessness are very high-risk for contracting the disease, according to Hank Hughes, executive director of New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness.

The easiest way to be sure you can participate in the political party primaries June 2 is to use the N.M. Secretary of State’s portal for an absentee ballot. “We have an election coming up, and it is unclear how the pandemic will affect the June 2 primary,” State Representative Daymon Ely explained. “I urge you to make a plan to vote. The best and easiest way will be to order an absentee ballot.

You can do so by going online to https://portal.sos.state.nm.us.

“The legislature is currently considering a special session to address budget issues. While we don't know when this will be yet, there are other issues that might be considered specifically around helping small business.  Any ideas you have on a special session or examples of problems that need help would be very much appreciated,” Ely said.

The United Nations climate change conference (COP26) that was set to take place in Glasgow, Scotland in November has been postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.    This decision has been taken by the COP Bureau of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with the United Kingdom and its Italian partners.

Dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021, hosted in Glasgow, will be set out in due course following further discussion with parties.   “In light of the ongoing, worldwide effects of COVID-19, holding an ambitious, inclusive COP26 in November 2020 is no longer possible,” organizers said.

“Rescheduling will ensure all parties can focus on the issues to be discussed at this vital conference and allow more time for the necessary preparations to take place. We will continue to work with all involved to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions.  COP26 President-Designate and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma explained,

“The world is currently facing an unprecedented global challenge and countries are rightly focusing their efforts on saving lives and fighting COVID-19. That is why we have decided to reschedule COP26.” UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa added, “COVID-19...

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