As the coronavirus spreads deeper into Corrales, and around New Mexico, the Village of Corrales has cancelled its planned Fourth of July parade. Mayor Jo Anne Roake announced the cancellation June 30, after saying in her June 26 “Mayor’s Message” that a modified parade would be held.

As of July 1, twenty Corralenos had come down with COVID-19. In Sandoval County the tally was 728 resulting in 29 deaths. Statewide, 12,147 people had tested positive for the disease, and rates were rising rapidly presumably caused by relaxation of measures meant to control its spread, such as gradual re-opening of businesses. Under the governor’s orders, certain closures were reinstated.


For months now, mass distributed emails have warned Washington evil-doers are trying to close down the Corrales Post Office. The message urging rapid political action is that the U.S. Postal Service will run out of money to continue operations this summer unless Congress approved more funding.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham sent one of those email blasts May 30 promoting a national petition drive to save the Postal Service. “I want to make sure you had a chance to sign this petition to save the U.S. Postal Service from dire financial trouble,” she began.

“For so many people in New Mexico, USPS is the life line that connects them to the world, especially for rural communities across the state. If we don’t act now, we could lose rural routes that aren’t profitable for private companies —meanwhile prices could increase for everyone.  That’s why I’m asking another 200 people to add their signatures to this petition calling for emergency federal funding for the USPS before midnight.”

The governor warned “without an influx in federal funding, it...


A slow, partial re-opening of the Corrales Recreation Center is under way. The swimming pool is now open for reserved time slots for lap swimmers, although the kids’ water playground is still off limits. It’s okay to use the soccer fields for practices, but only with one coach for every five players. TopForm Arena is open to no more than six horses and riders at a time. Use of the tennis courts, outdoor basketball and pickleball courts and fishing pond are okay as well.

To use the swimming pool, lap swimmers must reserve a time the day before by calling 899-8900. Use by swimmers 14 years old or older is for a half-hour between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., limit four swimmers at a time.

Swimming lessons are available with no more than two students per instructor.
Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Siverts said June 12 that use of playground equipment in La Entrada Park outside Corrales Library is off-limits for now.

Slider


Nearly two years ago, Village officials signed an agreement with a rival to Century Link, Unite Private Networks (UPN), which was supposed to offer better, cheaper broadband service to Corrales businesses. So far, no businesses here have taken UPN up on the offer. In fact, it’s not clear the offer was ever actually extended.

In June 2018, a UPN representative and its attorney drew up a franchise agreement that would allow the 20 year old Kansas City firm to use the Village’s right-of-way along Corrales Road to lay fiber cable in the road shoulder to reach Corrales Elementary School. UPN has a contract with Albuquerque Public Schools to connect its schools to the internet with high-speed broadband service. That was accomplished in Corrales, but since then, the only other client UPN has added is the ARCA La Paloma facility on East La Entrada.

Contacted by Corrales Comment June 11, the firm’s regional sales director, Josanne Cossio, explained “We have fiber to an ARCA location and Corrales Elementary. We have spoken to some business folks, but no takers thus far. We would love to change that.”

She did not reply to q uestions about the cost and reliability of such service.  In presentations to the mayor and Village Council in summer 2018, UPN assured that better, more affordable broadband service would be available to all businesses in Corrales’s commercial district. UPN does not provide service to residences.

“UPN provides high bandwidth, fiber-based communications network services to schools, governments, carriers, data centers, hospitals and enterprise business customers across a 22 state service area,” the company’s web site explains. “Service offerings include dark and lit fiber, private line, metro optical ethernet, internet access, data center services and other customized solutions.”

The franchise agreement signed with the Village of Corrales included a provision that UPN would pay the Village a fee of four percent of its annual gross revenues from cust omers here, but not less than $6,000 a year. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXVII No.12 August 25, 2018 “Franchise Approved For Century Link Rival.”)

The franchise agreement with the Village will continue through mid-2023. It was essentially written by an attorney for Unite Private Networks LLC (UPN). But at the council meeting, Councillor George Wright wanted it changed to require that UPN provide the Village Office with free high-speed internet access.



Corralitos 4-H had “so many plans for this year and so many new members, it is really a bummer we have not been able to meet or do any of our community service projects,” reported 4-H leader Lacey Bendzus. New Mexico State University 4-H “cancelled all face-to-face 4-H activities until August 8, so we have not been able to do anything together, even with social distancing, at all,” she added. The Sandoval County Fair, a key event for Corralitos 4-H members, scheduled to run in Cuba from July 29 through August 2, has been cancelled. So organizers are creating a Virtual Livestock Show and Virtual Junior Livestock Sale.  The sale will be open to everyone.

A long-proposed trail connection between the City of Rio Rancho’s paved Thompson Fence Line trail along the edge of the escarpment and the end of Sagebrush Drive in Corrales was presented at the June 16 Village Council meeting. The plan was explained in a Powerpoint presentation by the Corrales Bicycle, Pedestrian Advisory Commission. The council meeting was held via internet, as such meetings were over the past two months.

The commission has held discussions with Rio Rancho officials, the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority and Corrales Public Works several times over the last five years. Public Works has estimated the trail link could cost around $74,000 including engineering and installation.

“The time is now,” the commission’s presentation urged. “A Parks and Recreation survey indicated residents want opportunities to exercise outside

Cool summer evenings in Corrales have been a pleasure for hundreds of years, and 2020 is no exception. Winds were a bit more brisk than usual, but welcome, especially blowing over water in the Corrales Acequia. Behind masks, villagers strolling along the ditch banks nod greetings to passersby they don’t know by name.

At the west end of the Corrales Recreation Center, groups of fisher-folk around the Liam Knight Pond maintain ample “social distancing” while encouraging the 500 pounds of recently stocked catfish to gather for supper.

At the rec center skatepark, youngsters continue to soar until fading twilight makes it impossible.

 

CORRALES COMMENT
OFFICE
CLOSED
UNTIL JULY 3

We have a normal “extra week” between issues now (it happens three times a year), so we won’t be coming in to work at the Corrales Comment office until Friday, July 3. Our next deadline is Monday, July 6 for the July 11 issue.

As usual, you can leave a note or other material in our recently restored drop-off box near the start of the walkway to the office door, or on the clipboard. Or you can contact us by email to jradford19@comcast.net. Sorry if this is inconvenient, but we need a break!

Reopening Albuquerque Public Schools in August will depend on many factors, including an acute need for more school custodians, given the sanitization issues during a pandemic, as well as a lack of school nurses, in many cases.  Revitalizing the state’s economy is dependent in part on parents who cannot work from home, and want their kids back in the classroom.

The New Mexico Public Education Department has convened,...

CORRECTION

The June 6 issue of Corrales Comment contained a reporting error in describing one of the affiliations of a person appointed to the Corrales Equestrian Advisory Commission.

Bon Bagley is not a member of Corrales Horse and Mule People (CHAMP).

The other two villagers appointed to the advisory board May 26, Janet Blair and Pat Carroll, are members of that organization.


As instructed by the N .M. Department of Finance and Administration in Santa Fe, Village officials have submitted the same preliminary municipal budget for the coming fiscal year as it has for this year. Village government’s projection for revenues during the fiscal year that starts July 1 is a repeat of that for FY 2019-2020 —despite the nationwide economic collapse in March-April.

Part of the rationale is expected financial relief from the federal government for local governments. The Village Council adopted a preliminary budget for FY 2020-21 at its May 26 session.


What may be Corrales’ most iconic historic commercial building, El Portal, now has a plaque proclaiming it. A blue plaque was attached to the facade by the Corrales Historical Society in early June. Research indicates it was built as a two-room trading post around 1860. Over the years, the building has been used as a general store, dance hall, Sunday afternoon poker venue, art gallery, community theater and coffee house. The U-shaped structure at 4686 Corrales Road, adjacent to the elementary school property, is known locally as “El Portal.” It’s historical name is the Lopez Building, after Octaviano Lopez who bought it from Jennie Weiner in 1910.

Corrales Historical Society records trace the building’s owners and uses over the years. “With the exception of Kris Dale’s completion of a partial second-story addition during the late 1970s, the Lopez Building has not changed significantly since 1927.”

A career in veterinary medicine and/or research awaits a young Corraleña who reigned as New Mexico’s “Miss Rodeo Teen 2017.” Clara Maxam’s interests led to a summer project with Los Alamos National Laboratories studying the effects of the lab’s work on wildlife in the area. That was during her first year at New Mexico State University, from which she recently graduated with concentrations in animal sciences, chemistry and horse management.


The call of the cool waters of the Rio Grande recently has brought to its shores people launching swimming pool floats… flotation devices utterly unsuitable for river rafting.

Some haven’t worn life vests, something required by state law.  The result? Urgent calls to Corrales Fire Department and Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue,

Although Mayor Jo Anne Roake declined to explain the departure of former Village Clerk Shannon Fresquez, Aaron Gjullin has been hired to replace her. Gjullin has been assisting Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Siverts over the past two years. He started working at the rec center as a life guard at the pool in 2008. In 2017, he was named head life guard. Gjullin earned a degree at the University of Portland after studying biology and mathematics. In the Portland area, he was general manager of a large farm from 2014 to 2017.

In 2018, he was an administrative assistant in the Village Office. In recent years, he has also managed the Village’s website and other digital media tasks.
He applied for the position of Village Clerk on May 22. At the May 26 Village Council meeting, discussion about Fresquez’s departure was guarded and brief, since it was said to be a personnel matter.

Councillor Kevin Lucero asked for some discussion about the change, saying he was concerned about the rate of turnover in the Village Clerk position. ...

The ups and downs and in and outs of Corrales businesses and owners is as fluid as ever, perhaps even more so given the pandemic. Some places are slowly reopening, under the latest guidelines from Governor Lujan Grisham. Others are moving largely online, at least for the foreseeable future.

A plan is under way to get signs reading “Mask Wearing Required for Entry” for Corrales businesses that request them. Fire Department Commander Tanya Lattin and Mayor Jo Anne Roake are working on the idea to help proprietors gain compliance among their customers for an action still in place throughout the state. The sign wording has not yet been finalized.


By Scott Manning

The Corrales Bosque Advisory Commission and Sandia Pueblo are in talks to collaborate on bosque maintenance efforts.

According to Fire Chief Anthony Martinez, collaboration between the Village of Corrales and Sandia Pueblo would consist of dialogue between the two parties to coordinate bosque maintenance and to secure more funding.

Martinez has plans for several bosque maintenance projects this year. First, he intends to complete maintenance work on pre-existing fuel breaks in the preserve. This entails removing new plant growth to preserve the integrity of the fuel breaks.  Second, dead trees and vegetation must be removed from the bosque to reduce fire danger and to improve recreation on the hiking trails. This cleared wood is in turn sold to local Pueblos in need. Third, to improve the health of the ecosystem, workers must remove invasive Ravenna grass.


The Swainson’s Hawk now residing in the Corrales Bosque Preserve was finally satisfied with tree-top real estate conditions here. As reported in a front-page article and photograph in May 9 issue, a Swainson’s Hawk has been documented as having nested in the Corrales bosque. Hawks Aloft Director Gail Garber said May 1 that “the most exciting thing just happened today: a large nest we have been watching for years now has a Swainson’s Hawk.

Artwork by Corrales silversmith Juan Lopez was highlighted in an online “virtual salon” presentation May 31 featuring Albuquerque Museum Director Andrew Connors for the Corrales Arts Center.

Connor’s topic was “How Did New Mexico Filigree Lose Its Sparkle?” The illustrated talk was made available to CAC members through a video link. The salon series is a members-only event. Annual membership is arranged through http://www.corralesartscenter.org.

Connors was the museum’s curator of art from 2009 through 2018, and was formerly chairman of the Visual Arts Department at Albuquerque Academy. Lopez, son of the late Rupert Lopez, has been featured in the pages of Corrales Comment several times over the past 30 years.

Plant and shrub suppliers may not be going to hell in a handcart, an apt phrase derived from the dumping of the dead in carts during the plague in London in the 1600s, but they seem increasingly to be going to hemp growing,...

%d bloggers like this: