Corrales businesses can apply for grants of up to $10,000 in help to recover from losses due to COVID-19. The Village of Corrales was awarded $255,600 to help local businesses with funds from the federal CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act). Applications will be accepted from September 21 to October 30, or until all funds are disbursed. The application form will be posted at the Village website, under COVID-19 Resources. Non-profit organizations are also eligible. “I am hoping that small businesses in Corrales will take advantage of this grant funding to help keep our business climate vibrant,” said Mayor Jo Anne Roake. Grant funds can only be used by pandemic-impacted businesses for eligible expenses that fall into two categories:

• Business Continuity (such as non-owner payroll; rent or mortgage; insurance, utilities, marketing) and
• Business Redesign (such as installing Plexiglas barriers, temporary structures and physical space reconfiguration to mitigate the spread of the virus; purchases of personal protective equipment and web-conferencing technology).

The program allows qualifying small businesses, non-profits and 1099 contract employees who are residents of Corrales to apply for a one-time grant for up to $10,000.00 to cover costs such as non-owner/employee wages, vendor bills and rent caused by required closures.

Funds can only be used to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures provided those costs are not paid by insurance or by another federal, state, or local program between March 1, 2020 and...


It’s been more than five years since any complaint has been filed about a Corrales police officer using excessive force. Police Chief Vic Mangiacapra told Corrales Comment September 10 that his officers have worn lapel cameras since July 2015; “all patrol personnel are required to wear and operate them in accordance with department policy.” That policy received scrutiny from the mayor and Village Council at the September 8 meeting when revisions were enacted, primarily regarding the length of time such video recording should be retained.

“The body-worn camera recordings are used for prosecutions, field and internal investigations, officer evaluation and training and providing accurate documentation of police-public contacts in general,” Mangiacapra explained. “The main revision from the former policy is the addition of the requirement to retain all body-worn camera recordings for a minimum 120-day period in order to comply with the mandates set forth in Senate Bill 8. Previously, we only retained recordings which were deemed to possess evidentiary value.”

Corrales Fire Department sent one brush truck with four personnel to help battle wildfires in California recently, according to Commander Tanya Lattin. They returned safely. “One person is paid fire department staff, and the other three are volunteers,” Lattin said.

You’d think that everyone running for office is a dim-witted scoundrel —or worse. But you’re probably not swayed by all the negative TV commercials because… well, you’ve likely already made up your mind. In the 2016 elections, 65 percent of voters in New Mexico cast their ballots before election day.

This year, even more citizens voting early are expected, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Whether voting by mail or in person, early voting begins October 6.

To vote early in Sandoval County, you can do so from October 6 to October 31, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 to 7, at the Sandoval County Administration Building D, 1500 Idalia Road, just west of Highway 528. You can vote early right here in Corrales from October 17 to October 31, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Corrales Community Center, 4326 Corrales Road, east of the Corrales Road-East La Entrada intersection behind the Senior Center.

Application forms for absentee ballots were mailed to all Corrales residents in early September by the Center for Voter Information, a 501(c)4 non-profit organization. An absentee ballot can be requested online.

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By Meredith Hughes
Two pandemically affected Corrales artists in the painting/drawing division of the online 32nd annual Old Church Art Show, October 1-31, recently have completed works inspired by COVID-19, more or less. Mary Sue Walsh’s piece “View from My Kitchen with August Bouquet” sums it up for many: indoors, yet peeking out at a garden, no guests at the table. Victoria Mauldin’s heron, a peaceful but alert “Bosque Dweller,” hot off the easel, seems to be carrying on carrying on.

As one must. Or as the more than 50 artists must, as well as the tireless volunteers of the Corrales Historical Society and the Corrales Society of Artists who make possible the Fine Arts Show each year. This year’s show while online, is not as yet interactive as in a Zoom event, though it’s possible elements of such could be added.

Organizer Carol Rigmark explained that contact information for the artists as part of their bios or artists' statements is posted on a new website made possible by the labors of artist and gallery owner Barb Clark. The platform used is likely familiar to artists who use FineArtStudioOnline, aka FASO, a Texas-based marketing web tool established in 2001.

Once you’ve clicked on the url, visit the tab labeled 32nd Annual Fine Arts Show and scroll through the artwork. Click on a piece, and then enjoy two elements —“zoom,” in the old fashioned sense of getting closer, but also “room,” wherein the art is pictured on a wall, and you, the viewer even can choose from a limited range of subtle wall colors. And in addition of course there are prices, links to the artist, websites pertaining to them and so on.

Rigmark explained that the online show was considered “a gift we should provide for the artists, especially during this very difficult  year. Our two primary goals were to highlight New Mexico’s fine artists and to raise some badly needed funds for the Old Church.” She salutes Diane Cutter, Cheryl Cathcart and Rachel Dushoff, all Corrales artists, as well as Clark, for their contributions to the event.

As noted by Debbie Clemente, publicity volunteer for CHS, “Artists need venues, online or otherwise, to showcase their work. When they sell a piece at this show, 25 percent of their sales are donated toward preservation and maintenance of the Old Church so that this 150-year-old historic structure will be around for centuries to come.”

Construction of a large “casita” next to a new home underway at 489 West Ella Drive last month riled neighbors, including the mother of former Mayor Scott Kominiak.

The former mayor says the current administration is playing favorites for what some villagers consider violations of the Village’s net...


Work is expected to continue on the Upper Meadowlark project in the months ahead, starting with curbing and landscaping along the north side of the road. Originally, that is where a paved bike lane and pedestrian path were envisioned. Now, both an equestrian trail and a multi-use bike-pedestrian path are under consideration for the south side of the roadway.

The long-delayed project was discussed at the September 8 Village Council meeting. In recapping, Councillor Dave Dornburg told Corrales Comment, “We are looking at costing the work that remains, and then determining what funding we have available. First will be curbing and landscaping to hold the hillside. The second part is a pathway, w hich will include villager input for alternatives.


Perhaps it has been changing wind patterns, changing weather or changing industrial chemicals, but breezes over the microchip factories on the escarpment may have caused breathing irritation downwind this summer. During the August 19 virtual meeting of Intel’s Community Environmental Working Group (CEWG), much discussion focused on complaints that Intel’s chemical emissions were suspected as the cause for early morning breathing problems.

Dennis O’Mara, a Corrales resident who consistently attends CEWG meetings and is retired from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said he had awakened several times in August when industrial odors were blown into his bedroom through swamp coolers. He began reporting breathing fumes he associated with Intel more than seven years ago. He lives on Tierra Encantada, far from the neighborhoods nearest the factories that experienced such intense exposures decades ago. Conditions for near-neighbors subsided markedly once Intel erected tall “smoke stacks” that dissipated emissions and sent them farther away.

Corrales now has at least five registered “Little Free Library” installations along roadways and byways. Among them are a new one at the northwest corner of Carey Road and Kepler Court, and others at 104 Laura Lane and 104 Andrews Lane. The idea of offering books to passersby began several years ago elsewhere but has caught on here.

Former Corrales Comment summer intern Stella Asmerom was praised by U.S. Senator Tom Udall earlier this month when she completed an internship with his Washington DC office. During her tenure working virtually with Udall’s D.C. office, Asmerom worked closely with the legislative team.

 She is the daughter of Yemane Asmerom and Lisa Gerber of Corrales, and is a graduate of Albuquerque Academy. She is a rising sophomore at Harvard University where she is studying economics with a minor in government. “U.S. Senate interns gain invaluable experience as they learn to navigate our nation’s legislative process,” Senator Udal said. “I applaud all of our interns who, despite having an unconventional, ‘virtual’ internship due to the global pandemic, found many ways to contribute to my office.


A U.S. Senate resolution written by Senator Tom Udall calls for concerted and sustained action to halt destruction of natural ecosystems, establishing a national goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the land and ocean of the United States by the year 2030. Referred to as the “30 by 30 Resolution,” it notes that “conserving and restoring nature is one of the most efficient and cost-effective strategies for fighting climate change.”

The resolution’s preamble asserts that “to confront the deterioration of natural systems and the loss of biodiversity around the world, and to remain below a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase in average global temperature, scientists recommend that roughly one-half of the planet be conserved. “Whereas, as a step toward achieving that goal, some scientists have recommended that all countries commit to conserving and protecting at least 30 percent of the land and 30 percent of the ocean in each country by 2030, with a long-term goal of conserving one-half of the planet.”

The senate resolution was initially co-sponsored by Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin, Michael Bennet, Cory Booker,...


By Meredith Hughes
What does an emergency nurse working three 12-hour shifts a week at UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center in Rio Rancho do during his downtime at home in Corrales during a pandemic? Alex Price started a blog. It’s called Nature in Corrales, and is described like this: “Watching the change in Nature over the seasons. Kind of senseless, and yet full of purpose.”

In his first post on April 2, Price wrote: “The level of the ditch has fallen dramatically in the last several days of hot, dry weather.” The ditch referred to is officially the Corrales Interior Drain, known unofficially as “the scuzzy ditch.”

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 is finally underway. Engineering work has begun after the Corrales Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Commission pushed for it at the June 16 on-line Village Council meeting.

The League of Women Voters of New Mexico launched its statewide voter guide on September 15.  Vote411.org  provides information on national and statewide candidates, much of it in English and Spanish.  This will be in addition to the league’s regular four area printed editions, which will be published later this month. The league successfully launched an earlier version of Vote411.org for the primary election in June.

“This is an ambitious project for us but aligns with our goals of providing excellent, non-partisan voter education and information about the election process,” said state LWV President Hannah Burling.

“Now that many people are voting by mail, we wanted to get pertinent information out to them as early as possible.” “We have reached out to candidates all over the state.  We have sent them ...

With a financial impact analysis in hand, New Mexico legislators may be prepared to make a decision on a long-proposed near-universal health care program during their 2021 session. The Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign, led by Corrales’ Mary Feldblum, responded last month to a report by three consultants tasked to analyze cost-benefits inherent in the plan that would provide health care insurance equivalent to that enjoyed by state employees.

As Feldblum explained, the proposal is for state government “to set up its own health plan to ensure most New Mexicans, exclusive of the military, military retirees and federal retirees. “There is complete freedom of choice of doctors and hospitals, and services can be no less than what State employees have. (See Corrales Comment Vol. XXXVII No.20 January 5, 2019 ‘Health Security Act’ Could Pass N.M. Legislature.”)

The State’s contract with KNG Health Consulting, IHS Markit and Reynis Analytics produced analyses of four scenarios with various assumptions over the time period 2024 to 2028. Feldblum, who holds a doctorate in sociology and economics, pointed out that the analysis demonstrated that under the fourth scenario, implementation of the Health Security Act would yield substantial savings compared to what is now spent on health care in New Mexico.

By Scott Manning
This month, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) will conduct a study of the Corrales Siphon to determine what maintenance...

The chairman of the Tree Preservation Advisory Committee, John Thompson, is concerned about the decline in the Corrales tree canopy. In a presentation to the Village Council August 18 Thompson laid out an approach to tree care for the council, asking “Is there a problem with Corrales trees?”

He and his committee think so: he touched on the effects of drought on tree health, trees’ increasing susceptibility to disease and pests, the loss of trees along the acequias, even the increased number of cottonwoods with mistletoe in their branches. Infestations of mistletoe often indicate a stressed or unhealthy tree.

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