This issue completes Corrales Comment’s 40th year of publication. The premiere issue, Volume I No.1, dated February 26, 1982 had a front page banner headline reading “A New Mayor: Who’ll It Be?” The lead article began this way: “March 2 is election day in Corrales. The new mayor may be an electrician whose family once owned 28 square miles from the Corrales Valley to the Rio Puerco… or a firefighter/auto mechanic who settled in Corrales more than a decade ago after years of trucking Broadway shows around the country… or a horse lover who moved here nine years ago and now chairs the Village’s Planning and Zoning Commission.”

The winner was the second of those, Tommy Gentry, an African-American  who retired from employment as a New York City bus driver. A photograph of him, taken by Comment Editor Jeff Radford to illustrate his hobby as a model train enthusiast, hangs in the Village Council Chamber.

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A scanned replica of that first issue of the newspaper is shown on this page. Others show the paper’s evolution over the following 40 years.

Note that villagers could buy the paper for just 20 cents back in the early 1980s. The price had jumped just a nickel since then. The editor-publisher insisted that the paper —and news about what was  happening in the community— should be accessible to all Corraleños regardless of ability to pay.

But the price is finally going up, as many readers have urged over the past decade. Starting now a copy of the  paper sells for 75 cents, although many locations around town have counter top display boxes where the paper can be purchased for a donation in any amount. Those are found at Frontier Mart, Hannah & Nate’s, Village Pizza, Perea’s,  Ambiente, Secondhand Treasures, the Village Office and the Corrales Library.

Here at the Comment, we want to make sure every Corraleño can have access to the news he or she needs to make informed decisions.

The subscription price for mailed delivery —which has been $12 a year for a long time— goes up to $20. Again, appreciative subscribers have advocated such a price  hike for decades.

These price increases are accompanied by a jump in advertising rates as well, and reflect economic pressures of higher costs to print and mail the  paper.

Corrales Comment’s resilience can be appreciated by learning that none of the six shops that advertised in Volume I No. 1 —Corrales Inn, Thomas Hardware, La Casita Miniatures, Corrales Feed Store, Bavarian Sausage House and Perfect Corner Picture Framing— is still in business.

Yet other early advertisers in the Comment, such as Ambiente, Creative Jewelers, Atlas Pumping, Perea’s, Village Pizza and Realtors Robin Riegor and Ann Taylor, have thrived and continue to this day to use these pages to attract customers and clientele.

Since its earliest days, this newspaper generated a profit or at least avoided deficits… until the pandemic hit. Revenues began bouncing back in the latter months of 2021, and that has continued so far in 2022.

While Corrales Comment has demonstrated sustainability over the past four decades, its founder and editor-publisher, Jeff Radford, is now nearly 80 years old, and ready to step down. “Everybody knows I can’t hear worth a damn, but I can’t see very well either and my typing fingers are gnarled with arthritis,” he lamented.

As announced several times on these pages over the past two years, Corrales Comment will cease publication this coming June if a new owner is not found.

Stephani Dingreville, a very capable and energetic replacement for the editor, has learned all aspects of the newspaper’s operations during 2021.

Anyone interested in facilitating a transfer of ownership is urged to contact the newspaper by calling 505-897-3700 or by writing to Corrales Comment PO Box 806, Corrales NM 87048 to explore that opportunity.

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