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The 2021 Corrales Harvest Festival was cancelled less than three weeks before it was scheduled to launch over the weekend of September 25-26.
The organizers, the Kiwanis Club of Corrales, made the decision to avoid COVID-19 exposures. In a statement, the club explained, “Because we cannot control the environment of most of the major locations of the festival in a way that offers protection for the safety of children attending, as well as the kind, generous people who volunteer to put on the festival, we believe that staging the festival this year may well put them at risk of coronavirus infections.”
The 2020 festival was cancelled as well.
Native American Community Academy (NACA) has been awarded $20,000 by the N.M. Outdoor Recreation Division. This summer, students participated in growing crops on the Trosello farm at the north end of Corrales. The non-profit incorporates “land-based learning as part of a holistic learning approach. Many of the school’s students have experienced historical separation from their ancestral lands due to forced relocation and assimilation practices. Healing those relationships with the land is an essential part of enabling students to heal from the generational trauma of colonization and grow into holistically healthy adults.”
The program aims to help students better understand the holistic connection between land leadership, community, health, and their own native identity.
The division’s Outdoor Equity Fund also awarded $20,000 for a Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program, supporting monthly, in-depth outdoor education for students and their teachers from low-income schools by collaborating to collect field data to track long-term change in the Middle Rio Grande bosque.
The first-of-its-kind Outdoor Equity Fund was created to increase equitable access to the outdoors for all youth.
“Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has recognized that New Mexico’s outdoor recreation areas are an important asset for creating jobs and boosting public health,” Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. “The second round of grants from the innovative Outdoor Equity Fund will help organizations throughout the state with outdoor programming and education.”
More than 80 proposals were submitted for the grants
The fifth annual Placitas Garden Tour on Sunday September 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will once again pair access to exquisite local gardens with artists creating work at each site. For the first time, the tour selected individuals working in both two- and three-dimensions, presenting garden art as well as paintings that reflect the beauty of nature when displayed indoors.
Featured artists include Juan Wijngaard, Barbara Burzillo, Reid Bandeen, Jim Holley, Bev Nagy, Rebecca Nolda, Carol Ordogne and Gayle Elaine Scott. Their work can also be seen in the Placitas Community Library’s Gracie Lee Community Room Gallery September 15 through October 21.
Additional information about where to purchase tickets and other details can be found at placitasgardentour.com.
Geologist David Mayerson died in his home here July 8 at age 68, succumbing to pancreatic cancer after nearly two years. A regular early morning cyclist in the Bosque Preserve, he also enjoyed hiking and cross-country skiing with friends in the Jemez Mountains. He volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and other non-profits.
After studying at Harvard and Wesleyan Universities, Mayerson earned a master’s degree in geology at the N.M Mining and Technology. He traveled widelyboth for his profession and for pleasure with his wife of 31 years, Glenda Moore, whose dedication eased his last months despite the pandemic.
He is survived by her, his mother, Louise and brothers Mark and Ben, in addition to nephews and a niece.
An exhibition of artwork created during the pandemic has been mounted at Tortuga Gallery in downtown Albuquerque. Among the 40 artists participating in the show “Grief & Gratitude” is Corrales Comment’s graphics specialist, Katie Neeley with a painting titled “Ecdysis” and another “Self Portrait.” The show with 72 pieces opened September 3 and continues through September 26. It was conceptualized and organized by Jane Westbrook, and Rafael Black curated and hung the exhibit.
The gallery is at 901 Edith Boulevard SE.
See the website for a list of hours and events: tortugagallery.org.
The Albuquerque Historical Society invites the general public to a free walking tour along Central Avenue from First Street to Eighth Street Saturday mornings. It departs from Tucano’s Brazilian Restaurant at 10 a.m. where a guide will be waiting. In a virtual program September 19, the society presents authors Richard and Shirley Cushing Flint speaking on their book: Overhaul: a Social History of the ABQ Locomotive Repair Shops. The AT&SF railway maintenance shops were the state’s largest employer from the 1880s-1950s. Its payroll drove the local economy. For more info go to the website, albuqhistsoc.org.
In a related event September 25, the society presents a free open house for the historic Locomotive 2926,10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1833 8th St. NW.
Now, finally, it seems that no one doubts that climate change is happening. This article offers a continuation of a United Nations report’s findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) titled “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis.” The scientific report has a summary for policymakers with four sections: The Current State of the Climate; Possible Climate Futures; Climate Information for Risk Assessment and Regional Adaptation; and Limiting Future Climate Change. The first two topics were reported, mostly verbatim, in Corrales Comment’s August 21 issue. The last two are offered here.
That 41-page summary is directed at you, as a citizen, and the people you choose to set policies in your best interest. So you need to understand what’s going on, and then do what it takes to persuade public and private decisionmakers to address the documented crises. Below are verbatim excerpts from the report’s summary for policymakers. Each of the scientists’ findings is followed by references to technical reports and other data from which they are derived. Those references are not included in what follows. Many of those findings include an assessment as to the probability of (or confidence in) accuracy; those are included here.
State Representative Daymon Ely has raised the alarm that consumers have not been compensated for losses incurred from “illegal door-to-door sales tactics that allegedly ensnared uninformed consumers into binding 20-year power purchase agreements that ended up costing homeowners more than they were currently paying PNM.” Corrales attorney Ely has filed a complaint with the N.M. Attorney General saying that office has allowed private attorneys to receive $700,000 which could have gone to people who he thinks were victims.
“The Attorney General’s office is failing New Mexico’s consumers and the public’s right to transparency and open government,” Ely has written. “I do not say that lightly but, after months of reviewing pleadings and orders, talking to consumer advocates and hearing directly from the Attorney General, that is the inescapable conclusion. And, without a change in the culture at the Attorney General’s office, that failure will be hard-wired into the AG’s future prosecutions.”
That stems from complaints in 2017 that a solar power company was using high-pressure tactics when dealing with homeowners. “In 2018, on behalf of 2,300 consumers, the AG’s office filed a strong complaint against the company. Two years later, the case was resolved. As a result of the settlement, the consumers received no compensation and the long-term agreements remained.”
Ely said, the most shocking thing was that while the defendant company paid money as part of the settlement, that was not distributed to homeowners. “But instead of the money going to the consumers who had been allegedly bilked, $700,000 went to the private attorneys hired by the AG, and the remaining $1.2 million was used to help fund the operations of the AG’s office.”
Aly criticized the AG’s office for hiring private attorneys rather than conducting the action in-house. “This was the type of case that the AG’s office pursued in-house through its consumer division in prior years. Why are these types of cases now being sent to outside, private attorneys?” he asked. The House District 23 representative argues that the office should use “outside private attorneys sparingly, and only in those cases where the AG does not have the expertise or the resources to handle such cases.”
Attorney General Hector Balderas responded to Ely’s allegations in an op-ed article in the August 15 Albuquerque Journal saying the Corrales lawmaker has failed to support requests for better funding for the AG’s office. “Why has State Rep. Daymon Ely authorized the transfer of $85 million out of the consumer protection fund instead of directly spending it on consumer protection benefits?” Balderas asked.
Volunteers are needed for two upcoming efforts to remove invasive plants and litter in the Corrales Bosque Preserve. On Saturday morning, September 18, the Corrales Bosque Advisory Commission will direct volunteer efforts to remove seed heads of the Ravenna grass in a willow swale east of the levee mile marker 1.0. “The Bosque Advisory Commission tries to do this project yearly in an attempt to reduce the number of seeds which will germinate in the spring to become new invasive plants,” the commission’s Joan Hashimoto said. “Even removal efforts of a few hours can be very helpful and make a difference.”
Bags to collect the seed heads will be provided, but volunteers should bring sun protection, gloves and hand pruners. The Ravenna grass seed head removal effort will begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 10:30.
Then about a month later, on Saturday, October 16, the commission will lead a trash removal effort at the Siphon Road entrance at the extreme north end of the preserve. Volunteers should bring gloves, but collection bags will be provided. That clean-up will start at 8:30 a.m., Hashimoto said.
For more information, contact her at email@example.com.
By Scott Manning
In 2018 the City of Rio Rancho entered into a power purchase agreement with Affordable Solar, an Albuquerque firm, to use electricity generated from the large solar electric farm located in Corrales’ Far Northwest Sector to partially power the nearby Wastewater Treatment Plant #2. Through the agreement, Rio Rancho purchases about two megawatts of electricity from the solar farm at a reduced rate and uses this electricity to cover about 20 percent of the power needs at the sewage treatment plant.
According to Annemarie Garcia, the Public Affairs Division Manager with the City of Rio Rancho, the City entered into the agreement because the project fits with the City’s goal of developing efficient public infrastructure to meet the current and future needs of its residents. The City says the power purchase agreement has been successful and that it would consider similar agreements in the future. The City does not intend to build on this specific agreement, however, because there are no plans to expand the electricity generation capacity of the solar farm.
Affordable Solar funded, built and continues to operate and own the solar array in the Far Northwest Sector on the Corrales-Rio Rancho boundary. The solar farm contains 4,230 photovoltaic panels that stretch over about 10 acres along Don Julio Road. The solar project is related to another by the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA) which will construct a drainage channel from the Rio Rancho Industrial Park down to the Montoyas Arroyo The proposed new stormwater channel runs through the solar farm area.
The Corrales-based Health Security for New Mexicans campaign is collaborating with the N.M. Office of the Superintendent of Insurance to work through details of a plan to implement a state plan for near-universal health care. Corrales’ Mary Feldblum explained the current status in an email to supporters last month. “Representative Debbie Armstrong, Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, and several of us from the Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign met with the superintendent of insurance, Russell Toal, and some of his staff earlier in the summer,” she reported.
“The superintendent wants to hire consultants to get going with the design process as soon as possible, rather than wait for an advisory council to be created (which will take some time to set up). We raised the importance of an advisory council in terms of oversight. Transparency and public input are key factors in this process to design our own New Mexico health plan,” she added.
“We presented several issue areas that we considered top priority to research. The Superintendent felt that researching the first four priority issue areas would be reasonable in the first year. Others will have to be researched in subsequent years of this multi-year process. She listed the top four priority issue areas to be researched during the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2022.
“1. Investigation of federal waivers and agreements (regarding Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act’s Waiver for State Innovation, etc.) that will set the parameters of what we can and cannot do. Obviously, we want to maximize federal funding, and compliance with current regulations is necessary to make the Health Security Plan a reality.
“2. Research that identifies all the topics and data required to be able to conduct a solid cost analysis of the Health Security Plan. After the structure and details of the Health Security Plan have been determined, a cost analysis will need to be conducted of the plan as designed (not as projected, which is what the three existing studies analyzed). By identifying what data points will be needed to do that analysis, we can make sure that all that information is collected. This research area should result in an overall blueprint of what needs to be done.
“3. Exploration of provider payment system methodologies, taking into consideration different settings —private practices, independent group practices, group practices affiliated with hospitals, and salaried health care providers (such as salaried physicians who work for hospitals). This research should include the pros and cons of fee for service, value-based options, and other payment mechanisms, including an all-payer rate payment system. (An all-payer system sets uniform reimbursement rates that apply to all health care providers and to all payers, or insurers, in a state.)
“This line of research should provide a range of options that might possibly work across settings and simplify what has become a complicated and error-prone coding system. The coding systems currently used by public and private insurers are complex, costly, time-consuming and frustrating for providers, and take time away from patient care.
“4. Research on global budgets for hospitals. Global budgets are another name for fixed operating budgets. Under a global budget system, hospitals and other health facilities have a predictable, sustainable revenue stream to cover their costs; they no longer need to rely on a complex fee-for-service system.”
Feldblum said Senator Ortiz y Pino’s 2021 global budgets bill (Senate Bill 351), which was introduced late in the session, would have created a task force whose goal was to come up with a global budget system that works for New Mexico, and to request funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop it. “Both Maryland and Pennsylvania have received substantial multi-year funding to develop such a system (within the current private insurance structure). The New Mexico Hospital Association testified in favor of SB 351, and this approach is expected to especially help rural hospitals in our state.”
Feldblum said the campaign’s priority issue areas included two others for the first year. “These two additional areas are bulk purchasing of drugs, medical equipment, and supplies, and information technology system requirements. Representative Armstrong has noted that the interim Legislative Health and Human Services Committee will be working on the issue of bulk purchasing of drugs, so hopefully that will be moving forward separately. We are proud that New Mexico is the first state to take the groundbreaking step of developing its own health plan, and we know this wouldn’t be happening without the dedication of Health Security supporters.”
Re-named as the Corrales Ditch Run, the race along the valley’s ditch banks long associated with the Corrales Harvest Festival this year will be held the Sunday before, on September 19. More than 200 runners are expected. As in the past, the event includes a half-marathon, a ten-kilometer and a five-k race, all starting and ending at the Corrales Recreation Center.
New this year is a one-kilometer race for the littlest runners, starting well after the bigger folks have dashed off. That will be a family “fun run” with participants running around the rec center’s west soccer field. The half-marathon start time is 7:30 a.m., while the 10-k run begins at 8 a.m. and the five-k at 8:30. The youngest runners go at 10 a.m. Races depart from the ditch bank of the Corrales Acequia, at the west end of the Corrales Recreation Center.
The event, now in its 21st year, is organized as a fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of Corrales and its new partner this year, Dave Gives Back, established in memory of Dave Cook, the Corrales hiker who never returned from a perilous climb in Colorado in 2016. (See Corrales Comment Vol. XXXV No.16 October 8, 2016 “Search Halted for Missing Corrales Mountaineer.”)
Race packets can be picked up at Ex Novo Brewery Saturday, September 18 noon to 5 p.m. or at the Corrales Recreation center on the day of the race from 6:30 a.m. on. You can register for the Corrales Ditch Run online at http://www.register. chronotrack.com. Competitions are arranged by age groups. For the half-marathon age categories, are 19 and under, 20-39, 40-59 and 60 plus. For the 10-k race, age categories are 14 and under, 15-19 and 20-29. For the 5-k, categories are 9 and under, 10-14, 15-29, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70 plus.
The half-marathon will leave the rec center and head south along the Corrales Acequia to Applewood Road and then west to the Corrales Main Canal and resume going south to Quirk’s Lane before turning north all the way to Camino Todos los Santos where racers will reverse course back to the rec center. The 10k race follows much the same route, but only to Applewood on the south and Sagebrush on the north, from which runners will return along the Corrales Acequia ditch bank.
The 5k route is south along the acequia to Applewood, then west to the Main Canal and then returning to the rec center via Ranchitos Road. For almost as long as there has been a Corrales Harvest Festival, there have been “runs” to accompany it. According to Sarah Cobb, who with Gary Mares and Rick Thaler organized the early runs, the ditch bank races began in the late 1980s. The original runs were called “fun runs.” For years, Gil’s Runners World in Albuquerque organized and directed the races. However, what Sarah Cobb remembers most vividly were some faux pas in monitoring the runners’ route.
One incident involved a race monitor who abandoned her post before the runners got to her; Cobb had to leap on her bicycle in hot pursuit of an entire errant pack and get them back on course. “More than once after the start of the race and with the runners out on the trail, I would get word that the front runner was taking the pack in the wrong direction. I peddled off to try to find the string of runners sometimes heading towards Sandia Pueblo and sometimes heading south to Alameda!”
Tom Woodward, an early years volunteer who later chaired the Fun Run, recalls there were always two runs, a 5k and 10k, and from the beginning the course routes maximized the ditch banks. Generally around 200 runners participated, mostly serious runners who loved the fun of running along the dirt banks and in lush greenery.
Although medals were originally given out, before long Corrales’ Hanselmann Pottery began contributing pottery as the awards. Hanselmann Pottery remained the valued source of most of the awards until about six years ago. To continue this popular tradition, pottery pieces from other local area artists were handed out. Cathy Veblen, of AnthroPottery for example, year after year has donated her pottery as the awards for the top female and male in each of the runs. Around 2011 the Kiwanis Club of Corrales assumed the administrative and production reins of the Harvest Festival, and that has included the ditch bank races as well.
This year, race sponsors include: Abrazo Homes, Metric LLC, Right Sized Inventory, RKL Sales (The Tackman Family), Ruffwear, Cottonwood Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Raylee Homes, Grady’s Performance Center, The Yates Family, French Funerals and Cremations, TriWest Fence, All Sick (a non-profit based in Corrales), Flagstaff Cart Specialties, Greta and Tom Keleher, Chris and Danielle Allen, Zach and Valerie Burkett, Joyce and Alan Weitzel and Gloria McConnell.
An illustrated talk about artwork in New Mexico produced through the federal government’s New Deal programs will be given Sunday afternoon, September 19 at the Old Church. The free talk event by the Corrales Historical Society and the N.M. Historical Society will be illustrated by images or murals, paintings, sculpture and posters produced for the New Deal over ten years starting in 1933.
Kathy Flynn, executive director of the National New Deal Preservation Association, will give the presentation, starting at 2 p.m. The State’s COVID safety restrictions will apply. Flynn said more than 90 communities in New Mexico have New Deal public art. “New Mexico was one of the most active states during the New Deal era from 1933 to 1943, particularly in the arts. Today it is home to over 100 works of art created through the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration, which our organization is dedicated to preserving for future generations.”
By 1935, more than half of the state’s population had been employed by a New Deal program; those included the Works Progress Administration, the Civil Works Administration, the Public Works Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the National Youth Administration and the Rural Electric Administration. Flynn established the National New Deal Preservation Association in 1998. The New Mexico chapter, whose board of directors president is Corrales’ Alana McGrattan, has raised more than $600,000 to restore and preserve those artworks in New Mexico.
Flynn’s presentation at the Old Church is funded with a grant from Intel.
If you’re curious about plans to create a new park east of Corrales Road in the central part of the village, you might want to stop by a new booth at the Sunday Growers’ Market. Illustrative panels are displayed behind a table for members of the Village-appointed Corrales Interior Drain Committee which is gathering public input for recommendations to the mayor and Village Council. The long drainage feature and ditch bank roads owned and maintained by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District between Corrales Road and the river are valued as a green belt, wildlife habitat, access to residences and recreational trails, as well as kids’ routes to and from schools.
Current chair of the Interior Drain Committee is Doug Findley, son of the founder of the Corrales Bosque Preserve, the late Jim Findley. He was joined by Lou Murphy tabling at the September 5 Growers’ Market. Among those who stopped at the table were Conservancy District Director Mike Hamman, Mayor Jo Anne Roake and Elena Kayak, former chair of the Corrales Bicycle, Pedestrian Advisory Commission.
“We had about six to eight people stop,” Murphy reported, “some who do not live in the village but it prompted others to stop. We handed out more surveys to be completed.” A survey has been mailed to residents near the Corrales Interior Drain to learn what changes, if any, should be considered to the long drainage ditch east of Corrales Road. The cover letter accompanying the questionnaire explained its purpose.
“The Corrales Interior Drain was constructed in the 1930s to lower the water table and reclaim flooded farmland. The Interior Drain runs from East Valverde Road south to the Corrales Clear Ditch and Bosque Preserve, culminating just south of East Meadowlark Lane. The 26 acre, 120-foot-wide drain is owned and maintained by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy.
“Today, the Interior Drain serves many uses, providing access to homes, farms and the elementary school, recreation for biking, horseback riding, hiking, fishing and bird watching. It is a vital nature sanctuary with entry to the Bosque Preserve. In recent years, use of the ditch banks along the Corrales Interior Drain have given rise to concerns about increased traffic and associated dust and potential contamination of water in the drainage ditch.
“Concerns have been raised about children’s safety especially as they walk or ride bicycles along the ditch going to and from Corrales Elementary School. Villagers have long thought about how the ditch right-of-way might serve community uses while maintaining MRGCD property ownership and drainage mandate.
“In 2020, Mayor Jo Anne Roake appointed The Corrales Interior Drain Committee tasked to make recommendations on the drain’s uses, preservation and potential. Since the Village of Corrales has no ownership in the land involved, the committee acknowledges that its eventual recommendations would need concurrence from the MRGCD to be implemented. The district’s chief concern is expected to be retaining full use of the ditch and ditchbanks to perform routine maintenance.
“One of the first things the committee did was to document what is physically in the ditch and on the ditchbanks, how the land is now used and what adjacent features should be taken into consideration, such as homes, trails and Corrales Elementary School and the playground there.
“Suggested opportunities for future use of the ditch that runs from Valverde Road on the north to East Meadowlark on the south, include a Fire Department fire suppression water line to fight fires east of the drain; horse riding; hiking; children’s access to school grounds; a pond; a green corridor for appreciation of nature and wildlife habitat; a butterfly garden; and improvements in air quality for neighbors as a result of reductions in dust.”
As a preliminary concept, the committee is considering possible uses for three conditions along the ditch: ponds, water areas and xeric locations. A photo essay of the varying parts of the long ditch can be found in the centerfold pages of Corrales Comment’s May 22, 2021 issue.
A self-guided tour of Corrales artists’ studios, galleries and other art spaces returns the weekend of September 10-12. A map of participating studios and venues can be picked up at sites all along Corrales’ commercial area. A good starting point is the preview exhibition at Casa Vieja, 4541 Corrales Road, where examples of work by participating artists can be experienced. The preview gallery opens Friday, September 10 1-4 p.m., and will be open throughout the weekend 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The tour is free. Original artwork can be purchased throughout the weekend, often direct from the artist. See Corrales Comment’s August 21 issue with a centerfold photospread featuring two of the artists, painter Linda Dillenback and jewelry-maker Paul Knight. This year’s tour features many who have exhibited in the past and several new participants. Among those returning are Barbara Clark, Krysteen Waszak, Sandra Corless, Susana Erling, Ken Duckert, Jeff Warren, Bonnie Mitisek, Lynne Pomeranz, Sue Ellen Rael, Rick Snow and Juan Wijngaard.
In addition to those are, in alphabetical order: Chip and Linda Babb, Laura Balombini, Corky Baron, Michael Baron, Kevin Black, Elaine Bolz, John Boyes, Linda Boyes, Lynda Burch, Barbara Burzillo, Candace Cavellier, Christiane Couvert, Diane Cutter, Linda Dillenback, Amy Ditto, Denise Elvrum, Rex Funk, Myra Gadson, Terri Garcia, Doreen Garten, Renee Brainard Gentz, Tricia George, Cherrymae Golston, Roger Green, Karla Hackman, Gail Grambling Harrison,
D.L. Horton, Elizabeth Huffman, Paul Knight, Fran Krukar, Urey Lemen, Victoria Mauldin, Sandra Moench, Rita Noe, Jenn Noel, Sharon Patrick, Martha Rajkay, Leah Henriquez Ready, Liz Roberts, Maggie Y. Robinson, Barbara Rosen, Sharon Rutherford, Dave Sabo, Cristina Sanchez, Peggy Schey, Mickie Sharp, Tricia Simmons, Emily Spykman, Ivana Starcevic, Greta Stockebrand, Gale Sutton-Barbere, Chris Turri, Gina Voelker Bobrowski, Ken Wallace and Beth Waldron Yuhas.
By Scott Manning
Second in a series
Given the ongoing drought and expected water shortages from the Rio Grande due to climate change, well water is being eyed in Corrales and elsewhere —even though the aquifers here are sustainably replenished only by river flow and snow in the Sandias. The drought has impacted the past two growing seasons for farmers here. Some Corrales farmers rely on available surface water to irrigate their fields. This past winter, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) anticipated further droughts and advised farmers to reduce their farming operations because access to irrigation water for the duration of summer 2021 was not guaranteed.
These water restrictions are difficult for farmers, but there is an alternative: pumping well water from the aquifer below the Corrales Valley. According to Mike Hamman, chief engineer and CEO of the Conservancy District, his office has not encountered many farmers who have applied to pump well water rather than irrigation with surface water. In contrast, more farmers use well water in the Elephant Butte Irrigation District.
Hamman suggests that certain obstacles may stand in the way of farmers adopting well water pumping. First, the farmer would need well water rights. In 1956, the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer “declared” the Rio Grande Underground Water Basin, and closed the aquifer to new wells for large-scale farming. This policy limited large farm wells but allowed for domestic well drilling.
Some longtime farmers in Corrales who began farming with groundwater before 1956 have groundwater rights which allow for well water pumping. But other farmers would need to obtain groundwater rights before they could begin pumping. Second, a farmer switching to groundwater would likely have to invest in additional water infrastructure and technologies like a drip irrigation system. This infrastructure can be costly to implement compared to the cheap and easy use of surface irrigation water.
Despite these obstacles, some smaller farmers who grow high-value crops like fruits and vegetables or delicate plants have embraced groundwater pumping. One such farmer is Courtenay Koontz, owner of the tree nursery Trees of Corrales. For Koontz, the adoption of a groundwater-fed drip irrigation system was the best choice for his business. Koontz explains that the physical constraints of his farming operation require a drip system: plants in the nursery are planted in containers such that they are elevated above ground. A simple surface water irrigation scheme that floods a field would not work to water these plants. Koontz also needs consistent water delivery and quality to ensure that the plants in the nursery thrive. Drip irrigation delivers clean aquifer water to the trees in a set amount on a routine basis.
In contrast, surface water irrigation leads to irregular watering cycles in which a field is flooded and soaked with water and then dried. Additionally, the quality of surface irrigation water is subject to environmental and human factors beyond the control of the farmer: surface water may contain pesticides, debris, or seeds from upstream plants. Koontz wants to limit this water variability.
Koontz says he prefers to use groundwater over surface water, and he would convert all of his farming operations to groundwater if he had sufficient water rights. Koontz owns groundwater rights, and his business is subject to oversight by the Office of the State Engineer. The State Engineer limits the volume of groundwater Trees of Corrales can use each month; Koontz must submit water records demonstrating his compliance with the agreement. And should the water authorities suspect water overuse, they can directly verify it.
This kind of agreement between farmers and the State Engineer aims to give farmers access to groundwater and ensure responsible use of the aquifer. Water authorities across the state are monitoring water supplies because New Mexico communities and farmers rely on this precious resource. Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury was reported earlier this month warning that “New Mexico is looking at potentially losing almost all of its snowpack in the next 50 years.”
Stansbury said the challenge is how to prepare for that while preserving “cultural practices, agriculture and survival of our communities.”
If the aquifer under Corrales is unlikely to be adequately recharged by Colorado snowmelt in the future due to climate change, there’s another recharge method already under way.
The City of Rio Rancho is treating and reinjecting what has been considered wastewater back into the aquifer. The idea is that some amount of wastewater can be cleaned and recycled back into the aquifer rather than continually depleting it. The City of Rio Rancho is the first municipality in New Mexico to implement this kind of water reuse project. It began in 2001. By 2004, a Water Reuse Plan was published, and the City began to construct the infrastructure required to implement a full water purification and injection system.
In this system, reclamation centers and a water treatment facility filter and purify wastewater. This treated wastewater is stored at the pump station which pumps the treated water to the injection site for further purification and ultimate injection back into the aquifer. The project required around $25 million to implement. The injection project became fully operational in summer 2017. The system currently injects between 250,000 and 650,000 gallons of treated water every day with an average of 400,000 gallons per day.
Annemarie Garcia with the City of Rio Rancho says that the injection project is successful. Purified water is being reinjected into the aquifer, and Rio Rancho residents have been supportive of the initiative. The City anticipates that the Office of the State Engineer will award the City a gallon-for-gallon credit for stored, purified water, meaning that the project will become more cost-effective with time.
But the project does face challenges. First, the injection system is occasionally brought off-line for maintenance and repairs. When offline, the system does not put water back into the aquifer. The City intends to address this problem by constructing a second injection site that is connected to the same water treatment facility. The goal is to create redundancy so that water injection can still occur at one site if the other is taken off-line.
Second, the purified water must be tested for water quality so that the City satisfies state permit standards. Water quality testing is absolutely essential to the project, but testing is expensive. The Village of Corrales has also considered how it will use its water resources. In 2018, the Village formed the Corrales Water Advisory Board (CWAB) to consider how the community should manage its water resources going forward. Don Turton, Brad Sumrall, Maryann Wasiolek, Wendy Fidao Bali and Burton Coxe were board members, and they published the Water Advisory Board Report 2020 with recommendations. In particular, the report recommends that the Village participate in existing water monitoring programs, extend the liquid waste collection line through more of Corrales, and promote water education programs. The full report is available on the Village website.
By Stephani Dingreville
Three hundred and ten students are getting back to a new normal at Corrales’ only public school, where some new programs are being developed. Corrales Elementary is following all Albuquerque Public School guidelines for a safe re-entry. According to Principal Liv M. Baca-Hochhausler, “APS has installed ultra-violet air purifiers in each classroom as a mitigation strategy, each classroom also has exterior windows and/or doors that are kept open to ensure adequate ventilation.
“The generous Corrales Elementary PTA has purchased wearable microphones for each teacher to assist in saving their voices as we are all wearing masks and it can be difficult to speak loud enough (over the air purifiers, swamp coolers and muffling masks) for our students to hear.” Along with this new technology for the teachers, each student has been issued his or her own technical device, iPads for kindergarteners and first graders and Chromebooks for second through fifth graders.
Teacher Eugenia Danen, who has a bachelor's degree in science, has fully revamped the school’s “STEAM Den,” and will be providing both technology and science instruction for all of the students. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering arts and math. Special Education teachers Ursula Kelly and Nancy Felter-Shelton are working to develop a school-wide enrichment model (SEM), ensuring that all students receive opportunities to extend and enrich their learning.
Last fall, Principal Baca-Hochhausler was awarded a $5,000 grant from the APS Education Foundation with a proposal she wrote entitled “Citizen Science, STEAM and Stewardship.”
The award was spent on supplies for teachers and students to complete naturalist projects while in a remote setting, and while back in person this year, students and teachers were provided with “naturalist kits” to use in the classroom or at home. Kelly says: “Nancy and I developed our SEM program around the concept of being a naturalist because it meets kids where they are and makes it more academic and formal. It also gets kids off-screen and into the real world, ideally."
According to the school counselor, Gabrielle Anzures, the students are “happy to be back in school with their teachers and friends,” and are “weathering change better than any of us imagined.” Anzures is working to put together self-regulation kits for the students this year since she has seen a bit more “need for re-direction with care and compassion for student behavior, because they crave attention.” Donations for this effort can be made by calling the school.
Parents are also happy to have their children back in school. Kristen Coffman, Corraleña and mother to two girls in kindergarten and second grade, said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to have our kids back in person at Corrales. The girls have transitioned well. They are used to wearing masks and Corrales has facilitated a welcoming and safe environment thus far.” She is “optimistic that [the kids] will be able to get through this school year with minimal interruptions to time in the classroom with [their] amazing teachers.”
School Principal Baca-Hochhausler said she “would like to bestow a heartfelt thank you to our village community for continuing to entrust us with their children’s safety and education. We are the only public school in the village, and I think I speak for each and every staff member when I say that we all feel truly blessed to be at Corrales Elementary.
“And, thank you for your patience when traffic gets backed up on Corrales Road during drop-off and pick-up!”
Data from the 2020 census has been released indicating Corrales’ population remains well shy of 10,000. If the tally is to be believed, this village has grown by less than 500 people since the 2010 census. Corrales’ population was 8,329 a decade ago, up from 7,334 in the year 2000. The count last year puts us at 8,778, said to represent a 5.39 percent increase over 2010.
The official U.S. Census recognizes Corrales as New Mexico’s 24th largest town. It remains a wealthy town, even by national standards. The median annual household income here is $85,580, substantially higher than the median household income across the entire United States, which stands at $65,712. While the median household income is reported to be $85,580, the average household income here is even more impressive at $120,363. The median is found by establishing the income level at which half of the population is below that, and half above. The census places the poverty rate in Corrales at 4.95 percent of the population.
Another measure of economic prosperity is the per capita income, which was reported at $52,315. That is one and a half times greater than per capita income for the entire metropolitan area and twice that for the state.
The recently released 2020 census data indicates that 61.4 percent of Corrales residents has a college degree (a bachelor’s or higher) which is nearly double that for metro area. The median age is 55, meaning, again, that half the population is below that age and half are older than 55. Statewide, the median age was pegged at 34.6 years.
The median home value here is $447,600, revealing that half the homes are valued at more than that and half less. For many years, Village officials have assumed Corrales’ population had surpassed 10,000 or soon would. That is a benchmark with legal implications.
By Doug Simon
Next month, work should be under way to create a new wetlands area in the Corrales Bosque Preserve. A collaboration involving The Nature Conservancy, the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA) and the Village of Corrales would use stormwater flowing through the Harvey Jones Flood Control Channel and effluent from a Rio Rancho sewage treatment plant to irrigate about 10 acres adjacent to the river.
SSCAFCA advertised a request for bids for project construction in early September with a target of breaking ground by mid-October. Sarah Hurteau of The Nature Conservancy provided details about converting the stormwater outfall, between the end of the channel and the Rio Grande, using a “green stormwater infrastructure” approach in collaboration with Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD), SSCAFCA, the City of Rio Rancho, and the Village of Corrales. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXX No.2 March 6, 2021 “Stormwater, Treated Sewage Would Be Used for Bosque.”)
Additional funding for the project will be provided by a private developer as mitigation for another project elsewhere in the watershed. The Jones Channel has functioned as a storm drain carrying rain from Rio Rancho and Corrales into the floodplain of the river since the early 1990s. Deposited sediments over those years will be re-contoured and new earthen channels will be opened. Removal of accumulated sediment will allow bosque vegetation to connect to groundwater resources helping to sustain cottonwood trees and other plants throughout the year.
Stormwater from the Montoyas Arroyo and the Lomitas Negras Arroyo watersheds will be slowed and diverted through the proposed wetlands before emptying into the river. But an even more consistent and reliable supply of irrigation water will come from Rio Rancho’s sewage treatment plant at the edge of the Montoyas Arroyo and Highway 528. That effluent would provide a perennial 4-5 million gallons a day.
The sewage treatment plant has operated with a discharge permit to send effluent to the river through a pipeline that runs along the channel. When the plant is operating correctly, those millions of gallons of wastewater will be cleaner than stormwater coming down the channel in the Montoyas Arroyo. Hurteau said the stormwater diversion in the wetlands area uses the power of nature to filter and mitigate pollution as the last of a series of stormwater quality improvement sites, expanding the effectiveness of features already in place upstream. Water quality features upstream will capture floating trash and sediment for later removal. The new wetland area will allow water to slow down, spread out across the river floodplain, and sink in using natural channels, with care being taken to maintain flood protection to homes nearby, she said.
Those constructed features in the Montoyas and Lomitas Negras Arroyos will capture floating trash, and slow-moving water will allow plants and soils to act on pollutants such as automotive chemical residue along roadways. Those would be broken down through bioremediation, so pollutants from roadways are removed before they end up in the river.
This wetland also is designed to reduce bank erosion along the river. Many months of planning have gone into ensuring the design resolves existing flow issues, preventing mosquitos, and maintaining flood control capability. Hurteau said more than 5,000 postcards were sent out seeking public input and hearings were held in February and March. The team met with relevant agencies and environmental groups to review the conceptual design.
The Jones Channel in the Montoyas Arroyo and the Dulcelina Curtis Channel in the Lomitas Negras Arroyo are named for the pioneering work those two Corraleños did to control damaging stormwater in a wide territory west of Corrales. They were early members of the Corrales Watershed Board, which was subsumed by SSCAFCA when it was established by the N.M. Legislature in 1990. (See Corrales Comment Vol. XXV, No.13, August 19 & October 21, 2006 “Corrales Battles Historic Flooding, Threat at Jones Channel.”)
Back in March, the Corrales Bicycle, Pedestrian Advisory Commission recommended that the wetlands plan include a trail connecting bosque areas north and south of the Jones Channel outfall. “Our commission recommends that potential pedestrian use in the area be considered in the design,” Commission Chairperson Susan Zimmerman wrote to Village Administrator Ron Curry. “We are concerned that walkers and possibly bicyclists will make their own unofficial trails in the area if they are not designated. Simple, meandering dirt pathways are what we envision.
“We understand that the conservancy has assumed pedestrians would use the existing connection with the acequia trail from the west end of the area. We are concerned that folks would want to get closer to the river, and that this could create a potential problem if not considered in the overall plan.”
This time of year, Corrales is primed to harvest an abundance of fall festivities. With cooler days, chiles roasting, monsoon rains tapering off and leaves beginning to turn, it’s clear fall is in the air. But so is COVID. Even before Harvest Festival launches September 25, the village will open up for the Corrales Art and Studio Tour September 10-12; the Corrales Ditch Run (formerly known as Corrida de Corrales) September 19; the “Got Art, Corrales” fundraiser for the Corrales Arts Center at the Old Church September 11; a concert in La Entrada Park September 18 featuring trumpeter Bobby Shew; a September 19 presentation at the Old Church on New Deal artwork produced in New Mexico during the Great Depression; and a meet-and-greet for Pet Mayor candidates in La Entrada Park also on September 11.
Mask-wearing will be required, if not strongly suggested, at each of these. The coronavirus is on a new surge here, as elsewhere, even though 77.1 percent of adult New Mexicans had been vaccinated by September 1. At that time, 399 COVID-19 cases had been recorded among Corrales residents during the pandemic. Statewide, 4,552 New Mexicans had died from the disease, and nearly a quarter-million have been diagnosed with it. Nationwide, on a typical day 1,500 people die from it, and 100,000 are hospitalized with it. Again this year, the Kiwanis Club of Corrales has organized the Harvest Festival, led by Lane McIntyre. Regarding pandemic precautions, “We continue to closely watch everything going on with a close eye on Balloon Fiesta and state regulations,” McIntyre said.
As usual, it takes dozens of volunteers to pull off an event as large as the Corrales Harvest Festival has become since it started as the Apple Harvest Festival in the mid-1980s. “We are actively looking for more volunteers, and having them head to our website for sign-up.” Find the “Volunteer” button at the top far right side of the home page at http://www.corralesharvestfestival.com.
The entertainment line-up for the upcoming Harvest Festival includes Mood Swing at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by Powerdrive at 1 p.m. and then Last Call at 3 p.m. On Sunday, Zoltan and the Fortune Tellers will perform at 11 a.m., followed by Mezcla Latina at 1 p.m., and then January Storm at 3 p.m. At 77 percent, New Mexico has one of the highest rates of vaccination in the nation. But, as Mayor Jo Anne Roake advised recently, “the highly contagious delta variant is like ants at a picnic. Keep wearing a mask, social distance and avoid crowded settings.”
She passed along the following recommendations from the Fire Department’s Tanya Lattin. “If you are sick with any of the following: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, get tested for COVID-19.
“If you’ve been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person or someone who is sick but not tested, or if you have traveled outside New Mexico or the United States, get tested. If you care for someone who is immuno-compromised and you have been to a crowded indoor or outdoor setting, testing is advised. Testing is best done five days after an exposure or travel. Anyone can test, and it is free and easy. Providers require appointments, and that can be arranged at
Lattin suggested further information on testing can be found at New Mexico Department of Health, https://cvtestreg.nmhealth.org/
By Meredith Hughes
For many Americans, September 11 is not just an ordinary day in the month, alas. In 2001, nineteen men hijacked planes and flew them into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in Manhattan, plus the Pentagon, and were foiled by heroic passengers from blasting into the White House or the Capitol. That plane landed in a field. Fifteen of the hijackers were Saudi Arabians, two were from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt and one from Lebanon. None from Iraq or Afghanistan. Much to explore from the 9/11 Museum in New York. See http://www.911memorial. org/learn/resources/digital-exhibitions
FYI. Corrales author Patricia Walkow produced a book titled New Mexico Remembers 9/11, which came out October 13, 2020 via Artemesia Publishing.
Consider getting out to the State Fair this month to eat pie and forget about floods/fires/wars/Covid et al…..
Visit the websites of your favorite museums, galleries or organizations to check opening times and new regulations. Published the first issue of the month, What’s On? invites suggestions one week before the publication date. firstname.lastname@example.org
Did You Know?
El Palacio, the magazine of the Museum of New Mexico, is the oldest museum magazine in the U.S. Its current issue, Fall 2021, features the building of the Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, and all issues from 2014 to today are available online here: https://www.elpalacio.org/
I have not traveled internationally since 2019 and it has been hard on me. I have loved to travel since I began in 1962, heading on my own to Ecuador and Peru as a 20-year-old. I have returned multiple times to both countries since. I’ve traveled around the world 360 degrees east-west and nearly half-way around the world north-south. Mostly I’ve visited so-called Third World countries, primarily in Latin America, Africa and Asia. I return again and again to countries that fascinate me… or more precisely, to countries that I struggle to understand.
I find it exhilarating, energizing to plop myself down in a culture, environment or setting in which I have no idea what’s happening around me. Sometimes I think I understand my own culture too well —even when society seems to go off the rails— and therefore I crave the incomprehension that people in foreign lands offer.
Sometimes it’s the words that are incomprehensible. Fondly now, I recall landing in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on my first foreign trip. Frugal by necessity, I had asked the cab driver at the airport to take me to a cheap hotel —”algo muy barato, un pensión, tal vez”— so he delivered the turista americano to a boarding house a block away from the bustling but dingy port docks.
The pensión owners or managers gracously accommodated the unexpected boarder. They sat me down with my corralled luggage at the kitchen table and said something from which I could extract absolutely no meaning. The sound coming repeatedly from the owners and other boarders was “yacomiste.” I thought I detected an inflection at the end of the word that implied a question, but without knowing the question, how could I answer except to say again and again “No comprendo.” This went on for what seemed a long time. I searched my brain but could find nothing like “yacomiste.” Finally my hosts and fellow boarders gave up in frustration and led me to a room where I went to bed hungry.
The next day I decyphered what had been spoken. It was probably the most common question asked of a just-arriving passenger after a long flight: “Have you eaten?” “Ya comiste?” The verb “comer,” which I certainly knew, had been used in the familiar form (“comiste”) which we high school Spanish students rarely, if ever, used in class, and definitely was not used when speaking to a total stranger.
So there I was ignorant and hungry on my first night in a foreign country. But the people were so friendly! The next morning, one of the boarders who had taken an interest in me approached over breakfast to ask another question I found perplexing even though I understood each word. The young man a little older than I asked in Spanish what I easily translated as “Do you like great emotions?”
I hesitantly replied “I guess so, but what do you mean?” He wouldn’t explain, saying it would be a pleasant surprise. He said he would pick me up in his truck around mid-afternoon. At the appointed time, more or less, off we went in his well-maintained pick-up truck. I grew a little uneasy when we passed the outskirts of the city and kept heading farther and farther into the boonies. What “great emotions” could I possibly expect in that desolate site? No homes, vehicles or other people could be seen. We were miles from the paved road from which we had turned onto a gravel road. He stopped in the middle of the extremely wash-boarded road, and turned to me with a big grin. “Estas listo? Are you ready?” he asked.
I gave some indication I was ready… but for what?
He floored the gas pedal, and we shot off top-speed down the terribly rutted, bumpy road. I went flying all over the truck cabin. About 50 yards later, we stopped. He turned to me again and grinned. And I understood. “Great emotions” meant “thrills.” Admittedly, the afternoon joy ride was more “emocionante” than touring a Guayaquil museum which another tourist might have experienced. From those days to these, I’m always ready for a new adventure in a foreign land. But I have little interest in European destinations; I travel there to research subjects of interest, such as the background of the man for whom both continents of the Western Hemisphere were named, Amerigo Vespucci.
Planning a trip is deeply enjoyable, but the plan nearly always must include big unknowns. I enjoy arriving in a city where I have no hotel reservation (unless my arrival is late at night) and no defined itinerary. On that first trip to Ecuador and Peru in 1962, I traveled by train to Puno, on the shore of Lake Titicaca. It was near midnight when we rolled in. I had no hotel reservation, nor any idea what hotels, if any, were in Puno. At the end of that long ride, I wanted to find a place to lie down and recover. Among the passengers was a group of soldiers headed to their base in Puno.
I asked them to recommend a hotel, but they had no suggestion. Realizing my dilemma and discussing the option among themselves, one of them told me it would be okay to follow them to the cuartel where I could spend the night. Gratefully, I accepted the offer and was led to a bed —in the jail. I was given a sheet, but no blanket. It was winter and Puno is very high, 12,550 feet. One of the soldiers had ordered a small boy, an orphan whose job it was to look after incarcerated drunks, to see to my needs as well. To keep me from freezing in the cold, dark cell, the boy piled several criss-crossed layers of mattresses on top of me.
I survived, and was grateful. I was 20.
I think my liberal Democrat card is about to be revoked. I’ve watched with concern the rescue and recovery effort in Louisiana. And I've been in awe of the volunteers who've shown up to make a horrible situation even slightly better. I give you The Cajun Navy as an example.
Video after video and still shot after still shot shows them carrying young folks, old folks, disabled folks and pets to their boats and ferrying them off to safer places. All this with zero expectation of remuneration. All this because someone needs help, they’ve got the gear to help and it’s the right thing to do. Most, if not all, of the folks needing help were black and most, if not all, of the Cajun Navy were white.-
Now I guaran-damn-tee you most, if not all, of the Navy have a MAGA hat at home. And when they told their MAGA hat-wearing boss where they were going, they said, “See you when you get back. You need any gas money?” The point to all this is. These MAGA hat-wearing, Trump-loving, mouth-breathing crackers have put Black Lives Matter into action. Action well beyond carrying a sign in a demonstration (as long it's a pretty day and there is a Starbucks en route).
Imagine that. A MAGA hatter wading through snake and alligator infested water to help an old Black couple get to a shelter where they can get the help they desperately need!
So I proffer the following.
Stop with this relentless stigmatization that sophomorically jumps to “If you’re X that automatically means you’re Y.” I know I’m plenty guilty of that, and I resolve to stop it. It’s time to tell the “leaders” of both persuasions to STFU. It’s time to turn off the judgement switch. It’s time to embrace our common humanity.
In short, we are not our parts. We are the sum of our parts. That sum equals millions upon millions who joyfully give of themselves when called on. Yes, there is a minority of scum-bags (Kevin McCarthy, Orange Don, Jim Jordan, Al Sharpton… the list goes on) who profit from the “parts,” but don’t be discouraged. The Cajun Navy stands ready to sail again.
I have been pro-choice since I first knew about abortion, and when I lived in Detroit from 1951-53, my husband and I spent much time with a physician who very often told us about his women patients who had tried unsuccessfully to abort themselves. Those gruesome stories made me even more convinced that I was pro-choice. And so, I was very happy when Roe v. Wade became the law of the land. Yet, I know something was wrong about that decision —it was based on privacy and I knew that privacy’s not in the U.S. Constitution.
Griswold v. Connecticut, an earlier Supreme Court ruling that struck down state bans on contraception, was also based on privacy. In that case, Justice Douglas said in his majority opinion, “We deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights.” However, the right of privacy is not in the Bill of Rights either. Nor is it even in The Declaration of Independence (which I realize is not law).
That the privacy right established in the Griswold decision seemed a terribly weak foundation is what Sarah Weddington (the attorney for so-called “Jane Roe,” a Texas woman who had sought an abortion and who was asking the court to legalize it in Roe v. Wade) said when asked where in the Constitution she placed her argument. However, she accepted the Supreme Court’s January 22, 1973 decision to uphold Roe v. Wade based on the basis that “the right of privacy... is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy” —even though the right of privacy was, and still is, not in the U.S. Constitution.
The marvelous writer Jill Lepore tells us in her great book, These Truths, that the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and other groups made arguments for abortion rights based on equality that the Supreme Court ignored in Roe v.Wade, and that Ruth Ginsburg “found the court’s opinion in Roe wanting for a number of reasons, but among them was its failure to pay any attention at all to discrimination against women, or to a woman’s “ability to stand in relation to man, society, and the state as an independent, self-sustaining, equal citizen.’”
Being equal is at least in the Declaration of Independence and equity is in the U.S. Constitution. And equity probably should therefore be the basis on which the Supreme Court decides in favor of abortion.
But what bothers and disgusts me most of all is that the Supreme Court says that unborn fetuses with a heart beat cannot be aborted, while it remains silent about guns being available to kill so many children.
Reverend Judy Deutsch
By Fred Hashimoto
Corrales, a Cannabis Capital?
Four years ago, Verdes Foundation, a regional cannabis business, proposed growing medical cannabis on four acres in a Corrales A-1 zone. The neighborhood was upset, citing issues of decreased quality of life and decreased property values. Over 300 signatures were obtained on a petition opposing the proposal and the neighbors hired an attorney to help with their efforts. Verdes decided to back out, in part because of stiff neighborhood opposition and also, they did not have Village Council support. In 2018, the council passed Ordinance 18-002 explicitly banning cannabis growing (along with manufacture and distribution) in A-1 and A-2 zones.
Since then, commercial cannabis growing has generally become more intensive and, in some ways, more invasive. Thousands of plants can be grown in an intensive greenhouse, converted warehouse or other totally enclosed structure with 24-hour high-intensity grow lights in tightly controlled environments and accelerated harvesting. These commercial cannabis structures are water and electricity ultra-consumers.
Growing cannabis emits a pungent, skunky odor, which neighbors do not like. Ask the residents in the Corrales del Norte subdivision which abuts medical cannabis greenhouses in the north end of the village. Some neighbors smell the odor from 1,000 feet away. Googling “cannabis growing odor” yields over 10 million results. Because of the monetary value of cannabis products, many intensive growing structures get burglarized. Security walls and fences and barbed wire, barred windows and security lights are common. Also, the growing structures themselves are usually not aesthetically pleasing.
Although one might like cannabis products (and/or beer), one would not like to live next to an intensive cannabis growing structure (or a brewery). Choosing to buy a house next to such a structure is one thing, but living in a home for 25 years and suddenly having one show up next door is quite another. For several years, all was well enough with Corrales and its stance on cannabis until early this year when the State Legislature passed its cannabis act (House Bill 2). Yes, it legalized recreational cannabis consumption and allowed the personal and household growing of six and 12 plants respectively.
However, perhaps inadvertently, it might have superseded Corrales’s ordinance banning commercial cannabis growing on A-1 and A-2 because it considered cannabis as a usual crop and usual crops can be grown in agriculture zones (A-1, A-2 and Neighborhood Commercial) in the village. Needless to say, usual crops are not grown intensively in enclosed facilities with 24-7 grow lights and greenhouses with massive wet-walls (wall-sized swamp coolers) or have pages of State and local regulations and specific licensing.
Not only might cannabis be grown commercially in an agriculture zone in Corrales, but a grower won’t need several acres to do it. Your neighbor can grow it commercially in the backyard of his one-acre lot. For sure, your current friendly neighbors wouldn’t think of doing that, but when they move, the new neighbors very well might feel differently. They might think, “Hey, I spent a lot of money getting some extra land in Corrales so I might as well build a few extra structures in the back and grow cannabis to help defray the cost.”
If they do, you currently have little or no recourse. In Colorado, commercial cannabis growing structures are generally isolated to industrial zones or to land with plenty of acreage, but alas, this does not seem to be the case in Corrales.
At this time, very few residents have any inkling or idea of what has quickly befallen us. Do you think potential commercial growers are interested? In the first few hours after the State began accepting growing applications, almost 400 companies lined up. A legislator and a State official from the State Cannabis Control Division have said that the State will not do neighborhood regulating, which will be up to the local governments.
Last month, the Village Council passed an ordinance which seems to bend over backwards being permissive for the cannabis industry, allowing intensive commercial growing in A-1, A-2, and Neighborhood-Commercial zones, miniscule setbacks of 25 feet and only 200 feet between retail stores in the commercial district. Nuisance laws have been softened by using the hedge modifier “reasonably” so if a grower is “reasonably” conducting business and causing a noxious odor (or noise or lighting), that can’t be considered a nuisance.
Those council proceedings were orchestrated by attorneys. It was a hard sell, doom and gloom if you don’t pass it tonight, back against the wall and deadline. The pressure was palpable. Considerations were deflected by “this should be researched later.” Attorneys said that there had been three revisions already, but each of these revisions were only for non-substantive, attorney tweaking. Suggestions by the councilors —such as increased setbacks in the residential neighborhoods— were not incorporated. Usually, three council meetings are used to pass an ordinance; this ordinance was fast-tracked in only two meetings.
Yes, the ordinance was passed (not unanimously) by Village Council. But don’t blame them. They were pressured big time and given little time to get facts and input. I (a former councillor) perhaps would have voted for it too. When you sit at the table, and attorneys say that you have to pass it now, that is significant pressure.
Some councillors probably would like to amend this hurriedly-passed ordinance; they have ideas on how to give residential neighborhoods some protections from intensive growing structures next door. At the council meeting, the attorneys said that the ordinance was a dynamic document and it can be amended when appropriate; we’ll see. Hopefully, the governing body will keep it moving and not necessarily delay critical amendments. Other farming states of Colorado, Oregon and Washington have measures protecting residential neighborhoods from intensive and invasive cannabis structures. Why can’t we?
Yes, the cannabis industry can bring some revenue into the Village coffers, but at what price? Residential neighborhoods should not be paying a price with a decrease in quality of life and decrease in property values.
Perhaps, the Village is at a tipping point. How Corrales deals with cannabis and, specifically, this ordinance might define it for the future. It can put a different slant on our Harvest Festival. Harvesting intensively grown cannabis occurs several times a year, not necessarily only in the fall as it does for usual crops. Hopefully, Corrales will make the right decisions, and not become known as a Cannabis Capital.
By Mary Davis
Another longtime resident is gone and will be greatly missed. Gilbert Lopez, whose death was reported in the August 21 Corrales Comment, was a font of information about Corrales, an electrical engineer, and a farmer almost to the end. Luckily for us he was also an artist who painted two large pictures of Corrales before World War II when the freeway, the bridges that span the Rio Grande today, and the paving of Corrales Road were far in the future. The painting was titled: “Threshing Wheat with a Threshing Machine, Summer 1935.” His other picture was of a water wheel that moved water from the old Corrales acequia to the family property. Both are safe at his home.
Happily he also left notes about where the threshing took place and who was doing the work. The location was his grandfather’s property located east of Corrales Road between Mariquita and Sanchez Roads; it’s now the Corrales Compound. He added that the property extended through the bosque to the river. The wheat sacker was Don Angelo Salce. The persons on the stack were Angelo Salce’s daughters Dulcelina, Ida and Lena. The person on the thresher cutting the wheat bundles loose was Gilbert’s uncle, Maxmillianlo (Max) Lopez. The person on the hay rake driving the team of mules —the bay was named Jenny and the black was Jack— was Gilbert himself.
He noted that “Three other stacks had already been threshed belonging to Don Juan Cristobal Lopez (my grandpa), Don José Griego and Don Victor Sandoval.” The man sitting on the tractor was the owner of the thresher. Gilbert didn’t know his name, only that “he was just following the wheat harvest.” His notes concluded with the information that “the wheat was mostly taken to the 4 Star Flour Mill, on South Second Street, next to the Santa Fe Railroad tracks, just south of Trumbull Avenue, about where now the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District service yard is located in Albuquerque.”
What a treasure! He proudly shared his genealogy: his parents were Perfecto Lopez and Anita Gonzales. Perfecto’s parents were Juan Cristobal Lopez and Anastacia Montoya, and Anita’s parents were Daniel Gonzales, brother of Herman Gonzales (Hector Gonzales’s father) and Rafaelita Sandoval from Cebolleta, north of Laguna Pueblo. Gilbert told us that his father, Perfecto, ran cattle and sheep near Cuba, and that his dad would often take him when he traveled to trade with the Navajos. He also remembered when the Navajos came to Corrales to trade; they would camp in their wagons for a week under the big cottonwood that stood by Gilbert’s old house (now demolished) near the Corrales Acequia not far north of the Old Church.
These memories of Gilbert Lopez were provided by Corrales Historical Society (CHS) Archives Committee. All of the “I didn’t know that!” articles previously published in this newspaper may be accessed at http://www.CorralesHistory.org/archives. Want to learn more? Explore the CHS website! New CHS members are always welcome.
By Steve Komadina
The Times They Are A Changing!
It is amazing how every week brings new surprises as to the style of pandemic life! Intellectual honesty seems to have been thrown to the winds. Rules are selectively applied, and the word “science” has a whole new definition. My horses have been off the farm for some time on an extended working vacation. Their letters home are heart-warming as they work the wilderness, taking riders of variety of skill, on Old West experiences. They are so happy to be working. They would not even consider being on unemployment.
I laugh as I hear complaints about proof of vaccination. I have said for years that it was discriminatory for horse events to require equine proof of vaccination but not those of owners and riders. I feared the humans far more than the horses! I have loved the social distancing of pandemic since I have a very large personal bubble and it has been great keeping people away. Now, as a physician actively seeing patients daily, what about this pandemic? It is real. It is a bad virus worse that the common flu. From that point on there is nothing but disagreement.
We had a two-day staff retreat last month at the Tamaya. It was inside and we had social distancing in the conference room. Masks were mandatory except while eating and drinking. The pandemic had not cranked up yet and there were no complaints, and we did not become a hot spot for COVID-19. Then this month we have mandatory vaccination proof for the State Fair and concert venues, and threats of another lockdown is whispered in hushed voices. Daily positive test results lead the nightly news reports, and the surge is on!
Then just a week ago, one of the highest profile elected official’s wedding-of-the-year is held at the Tamaya indoors with no masks and no social distancing. Is it that difficult to follow the governor’s and CDC’s guidelines? Can’t we just all follow the rules? How do I explain this to my horses, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren? To quote Dr. Scrase: “We are looking into it.”
Well, for me and mine, we will follow the rules. It is a lot easier to sleep at night. My horses continue to sleep well since they all took their ivermectin, and I am happy to report no positive test results in the herd. Please social distance when you see me on the trail. By the way, I do not buy your your honest attempt to social distance from your canine friend by having your dog off a leash in the bosque.
By Barry Abel
Why ViV? Many of us have chosen Corrales as the community in which we wish to live now that we have retired and can settle wherever we choose. That means we come here without family or the benefits of our long-time support groups. Corrales is exactly where we want to be. We build a network here of friends; we find so much to do. But later in life, we will need something more.
To many of us, Village in the Village, Corrales (ViV) helps in both areas: we form many friendships with other Corraleños in and through ViV and, in times of need, we find the assistance we require through ViV which provides volunteer friend- and neighbor-like services to members who need them. Recent events involving friends and extended family have underscored this for me, especially the need for support and help when the time arises.
Two couples were involved: in one, the husband was stricken by a profoundly serious affliction and hospitalized, very ill, sedated. His recovery will be long and will require significant speech and physical rehabilitation. In the other couple, the husband’s cancer, which he had had for three years hardly showing any evidence thereof, finally reached his brain. He died about a week later. In both cases, the wife isn’t able to continue to live independently without a partner to help carry the burden.
In one situation, there really wasn't any backup or helping community group where they lived. The full burden fell onto family members – a grown child who lived a four or five hour drive away in the neighboring state and a sister, now 80, at the far end of the country. In the other situation, the couple belonged to ViV. Despite the unanticipated death of the husband, ViV stepped in to help. We visited our friend in her own home, took her to lunch, helped her process what had happened and focus on her future. Those services from ViV gave precious time for the couple’s grown children to put affairs in order, proceed with cleaning out the house, make arrangements for their mother’s future, and so on.
It just underscored the point about why we choose to be members of ViV. Another ViV member and long-time Corrales resident who, at 95, has lots of friends in the community and especially in ViV, comments there is simply no way she would still be alive and functioning without the support she gets and has received from ViV and its volunteers, much less still be living in her own house at this age. For some, active church groups can fill that role. For some, family members who live in the same area can do it. For many of us, ViV fills that role. And the fact is, making sure one has that network of support becomes more and more important the older we get.
We believe it is essential, especially if you are single and “not so young anymore,” to make some sort of arrangement for yourself. Do it for what ViV offers in the present, or simply for just in case. For many of us, Village in the Village provides the answers. ViV offers social opportunities —weekly gatherings in person and via Zoom like Friday morning coffee or breakfast and a monthly Happy Hour, learning opportunities, active activities like bocce ball. And ViV significantly expands the number of our friends in our chosen community - Corrales.
Barry Abel is an active member and volunteer for Village in the Village. For more information about the organization go to http://www.villageinthevillage.org
Written and directed by Sam Hobkinson. Plugs: None. Newly available streaming on Netflix. The new documentary film Misha and the Wolves examines the story of a Holliston, Massachusetts, woman named Misha Defonseca who stunned her congregation on Holocaust Remembrance Day by breaking her silence about her past:
She was not only a Holocaust survivor, but as a young girl had fled her home in Belgium and walked through forests to Germany in search of her parents, last seen in concentration camps. That was remarkable and brave enough, but she hadn’t done it alone; she was joined (and adopted) by a pack of wild wolves who helped her in her journey.
Misha’s incredible life story caught the attention of a friend who ran a small publishing house, and was soon turned into a best-selling 1997 book titled Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years. It caught the influential (if not particularly discerning) eye of Oprah Winfrey, and would soon be published in several languages and optioned for films. Misha became a celebrity, touring the world telling her inspiring story of courage and overcoming adversity.
Eventually, however, some suspected that her story was in fact literally incredible —not credible. Misha and the Wolves expertly tracks the rise and fall of Misha’s story. Even though I’d read basic outlines of the events, the film contains some surprising plot twists that I won’t reveal, as there are enough spoilers already. It’s not just the story of a strange story of a (suspected) hoax, but perhaps more importantly, it’s the story of determined people who joined forces to reveal the truth.
The public is of course widely —and rightly— counseled to “believe the victim” in many circumstances. That is the appropriate default position, and the vast majority of the time the victim is as exactly as claimed. But in some cases it’s not clear who the victim is, and the film explores the continual trepidation of those who questioned Misha’s claims: what if they were wrong? No one wanted to be in a position of casting doubt on the account of a true victim, and especially not of the Holocaust.
This deception would likely have never been revealed but for the tenacity of not only the book’s original publisher, who was sued (and, as it turns out, wrongfully awarded millions) by Misha, but also a genealogist, a journalist and others.
The fact that Misha was invited to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show to promote the book but declined was, ironically, one of the early red flags that something wasn’t right. (Oprah, it should be noted, has a long history of promoting heart-tugging memoirs that were later revealed to be largely or wholly hoaxed, along with untold numbers of other dubious and discredited topics.) The film builds suspense as each new piece of information is revealed.
Misha and the Wolves is a story of detective work, deception, and gullibility. It unfolds like a series of Russian dolls, spinning into several smaller mysteries: Is Misha’s story mostly true, like anyone’s subjective recollections and allowing for mistakes, memory lapses, and biases?
Within about 20 minutes (or sooner, if you’ve seen any coverage of the case) it’s clear that Misha’s story isn’t true —or at least isn’t entirely true. But is that significant? Authors James Frey and Joe Mortensen, among many others, eventually admitted to fabricating key parts of their bestselling memoirs, A Million Little Pieces and Three Cups of Tea, respectively. So did Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu in her book I, Rigoberta Menchu, but all insisted that their books were essentially true.
Or is Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years entirely fabricated, and if so, to what end? Was it akin to the influential 1971 young adult memoir Go Ask Alice, which was completely made up by an evangelical middle-aged Mormon woman trying to teach moral lessons? Or is Misha delusional, perhaps (understandably) traumatized? In any event there should be independent corroborating evidence one way or the other. If Misha didn’t spend some of her childhood living with wolves and walking through forests to find her parents, then where was she? Surely there would have to be some record, somewhere…
It is perhaps fitting that the real heroine of the film —the person who does indeed find the smoking gun (though where and of what I won’t reveal) —is herself a Belgian Holocaust survivor named Evelyne Haendel. Holocaust memorial organizations are in fact among the most skeptical of such claims, precisely because a handful of people have falsified their Holocaust experiences, and accepting claims without due diligence dishonors real victims.
Writer/director Sam Hobkinson does a masterful job of letting the participants speak for themselves, with one notable exception (revealed in a twist reminiscent of the 2019 documentary Wrinkles the Clown), illustrating conflicting agendas at virtually every turn. Publishers and journalists want a good story; historians and genealogist want the truth; and documentary filmmakers want a blend of both.
For more on Misha’s case see Telling Tales: A History of Literary Hoaxes, by Melissa Katsoulis, and Popular Trauma Culture: Selling the Pain of Others in Mass Media, by Anne Rothe (full disclosure: I’m referenced in the latter book). Misha and the Wolves is curiously reminiscent of another documentary series, also on Netflix, titled The Devil Next Door, out in 2019. That five-part series tells the true story of another elderly, otherwise unremarkable American citizen with murky (and contested) ties to the Holocaust: Ivan Demjanjuk. The retired autoworker settled in Cleveland and was later accused of being a prison guard at a Nazi concentration camp nicknamed “Ivan the Terrible” by his victims. But was he? As the series reveals, the answer is yes and no.
Misha and the Wolves is an excellent piece of documentary filmmaking, and about much more than one woman’s audacious hoax or delusion; it’s about history, identity, authenticity, and why we choose to believe.
By Lisa Brown
As the Village finalizes documents for purchasing conservation easements on two additional properties with the remaining farmland preservation bond funds, some ask, where does our program go now?
Three things immediately come to mind. We are central to connecting farmers with landowners. (In fact, we did introduce One Gen, currently farming there, to the Trosello fields.) We can help facilitate development plans that include land conservation. We educate landowners about the benefits —tax and environmental— of donating their development rights and placing conservation easements on their land.
While this important work remains to be done, our commission is short one member in spite of at least one qualified application to the administration. This makes doing our job harder. Ostensibly, the reasoning goes that our funds are spent, there is no appetite for passing another farmland bond, and we need to save our bonding capacity to build infrastructure.
In Corrales, farmland is infrastructure. It provides the foundation for continuing agriculture here, which is fundamental to who we are and where we must be headed if we want to preserve the character and economic base of our home. What is a harvest festival without farms? What is our community without a source of local food? What is our environment without open space?
There will always be roads to improve. There will always be equipment to buy. But there will not always be farmland unless we choose to protect it. Instead, there will be fields of single-family houses with garages, demanding our resources.
Two of our most visible and iconic farms remain unprotected. We should act while we can. In fact, our farmland bonds have been more popular with our voters than any of our mayors elected at the same time. We just used our last bond in record time and protected another 26 acres of prime soil as open space forever, adding to the 50 acres conserved by the first bond. We can pass another farmland preservation bond while there is still land and farmers to protect. Why not try?
I’d like to recommend that the Village use whatever means possible, including bond funds or last year’s windfall money, to buy the property on the corner of Huff Road and the Interior Drain. It creates a beautiful link between the Sandoval Lateral and the Interior Drain. It has a couple of buildings on it that could be made into a visitors’ center in the future, or converted to affordable housing for Village employees, or half a dozen other uses. If it is sold for development, it will mean two or three more mega-mansions that we don’t need. If we act and buy it, it could become an integral part of the commons for our village. If you agree with me, please write your Village councillor or the mayor and let them know.
The Unitarian Universalist Westside Congregation is composed of open-minded, thoughtful and friendly people from many religious and philosophical backgrounds. We are a community of people who work to adhere to these seven principles:
• The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
• Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
• Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
• A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
• The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
• The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all; and
• Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
We are part of the Unitarian Universalist Association which adopted these -run general assemblies after grassroots input from members in its congregations across the nation. Our members include people of all religious traditions as well as those with none. We welcome people of all races, ethnic backgrounds and sexual preferences. We ask only that they believe in, and try to adhere to, our principles. To help people develop their own spirits, we offer classes, sociability, opportunities to work for justice, counseling and weekly services, Sundays 11 a.m. at 1650 Abrazo Road NE Rio Rancho. Our minister is the Reverend D. Nancy Hitt, an American Baptist minister. I think she is wonderful.
-Reverend Judy Deutsch,
UU minister emerita
At 98, Gilbert Lopez died at his home here on August 3. Funeral services were held August 20 followed by burial in San Ysidro Cemetery across from the Old Church. Born in Corrales in 1923, Lopez was a fixture in community life here for decades, including serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission in the late 1990s.
He was the son of Perfecto and Anita Lopez. After graduating from Albuquerque High in 1941, he enlisted in the Coast Guard during World War II, serving more than three years until the war’s end. That experience led to his eventual career in electrical engineering.
On GI Bill benefits, Lopez earned a bachelor of science degree at the University of New Mexico in 1949. With that training, he worked for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs until his retirement in 1980. He also ran his own electrical engineering firm.
He was active in the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the N.M. Society of Professional Engineers and the Illuminating Engineers. He is survived by sons Ronald and Patrick Lopez; daughters Loretta Perea and Joyce Lesperance and many grand-children.
Long-time Cibola High School drama teacher Joan Kent died August 11 at age 93. The school’s theater bears her name. A memorial event will be held October 9, 6 p.m. at the Cibola theater. Those who wish to participate are urged to email Kathy Wimmer at actorharper @gmail.com.
“One of Joan’s mottos was ‘Life is full of comedy and tragedy,’” her daughter, Connie Friedrichs, recalled. “And Joan experienced it all. She also taught so many how to express the range of those emotions onstage.” Kent taught drama for 23 years, becoming more than a coach and director, but a profound influence on the teen lives she touched. She retired in 1993.
Active in theater in her native Chicago, she began teaching drama at West Mesa High in 1970 after she moved with her family to the Albuquerque area in 1964. She transferred to Cibola High when it opened in 1975. She lived in Rio Rancho.
“She was a very important influence on our lives,” a Cibola drama student, Val Martinez, reflected. “She made us persistent and good. We didn’t understand how good we really were until we performed in national and international events.” Few of her students went on to careers in theater or film, but the training and dedication Kent imparted nevertheless imparted crucial life skills.
Corrales’ Wendy Scott was one of those few. She is now a teaching artist for the Santa Fe Opera and has had roles in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. “Joan Kent had zero tolerance for passable work. She insisted we have persistence and dedication in our pursuit of excellent theater. Mrs. Kent was our biggest champion, and the first to put us in our place. I am positive that I am still working in the arts today because of the guidance and resilience I gained from a masterful teacher, Joan Kent.”
One of those who chose a different career, Jeff Handmaker (Class of 1988), put it this way. “Coming of age was already full of drama. We just managed to re-direct those energies into something wonderful.”
This summer, the Kiwanis Club of Corrales resumed the kids’ summer camp south of Gallup that it has sponsored, organized and staffed since 2012. The annual event was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, but on June 2, 20 youngsters aged 10 to 16 from the Albuquerque metro area were driven to the rustic camp with three dormitories, lodge with commercial kitchen and small chapel surrounded by 160 acres of ponderosa and piñon woodland. The site is near Vanderwagon. “This is not the kind of camp where you drop off your kids to be managed by a dedicated staff. You have to do all that yourself!” one of the organizers, Dave Worledge, explained. So about a dozen members of Corrales’ Kiwanis Club volunteered to obtain the food, prepare, cook, and serve it, as well as to develop and manage the camp program of activities and instruct and supervise the kids at all times.
The camp experience was started in 2012 as a memorial to Pamela Worledge, who was an enthusiastic camper and founding treasurer of the local club. Counselors at Corrales Elementary and Taylor Middle schools recommend deserving campers based on family circumstances and good behavior, he said. “We create four teams balanced with regard to boys, girls, age and abilities. Each team has a team leader, selected for maturity and leadership ability. Pretty much all camp activities contribute to the points system by which the teams compete, e.g. performance in games, participation, team names, banners (and coats of arms this year), totems, skits, building wilderness shelters, washing up, sweeping, cleaning bathrooms, behavior and helpfulness.” Worledge added.
The emphasis is on building social skills, teamwork and personal confidence. To that end KCC designed and installed a 10-stage low ropes course back in 2011. “On the course, the emphasis is showing kids they can all find their own level and improve their own performance with a bit of grit and help from others. It has the added benefit that they find helping others increases their own pleasure and confidence, builds team spirit, and makes everyone happy.”
The camp experience includes camp-fires, hot dogs, Dutch oven cobbler while ‘Smores add their own magic. The climax of these activities is the grand “Olympic Games” that culminate in a team tug-of-war over a sloppy mud pit.
“We are tremendously grateful for financial support from the Corrales Ditch Run, an annual grant from the Royal Bank of Canada, occasional donations, and transport of the kids to and from the camp provided at very little cost by the drivers and vans of the Rio Rancho Boys and Girls Club,” Worledge commended. “We are also grateful for support from the Corrales Harvest Festival, on which we relied very heavily in the early years, and which still comes to our rescue when the need arises.”
Throughout the five-day camp, children have continual access to art materials. This year Denise Stramel gave rock-painting sessions.
The former coordinator for Corrales’ walk-and-bike-to-school program, Democrat Laura Montoya, seeks election as New Mexico State Treasurer. She served two terms as Sandoval County treasurer, stepping down in December 2020. She is a Rio Rancho resident, born and raised in Las Vegas. After a degree in political science and psychology, followed by a master’s in public affairs, Montoya was then-U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman’s constituent services representatives for northern New Mexico.
In announcing her candidacy, she pointed out that Sandoval County has more than $50 million in non-property taxes, is charged with collecting more than $1.2 billion in property taxes and has invested more than $40 million of those funds. When she was elected Sandoval County treasurer in 2012, she was one of the youngest elected officials in the state. Since leaving office, she has taught classes to county-elected officials and government employees.
A construction company owned by long-time Corrales resident Brian Kilcup is working on yet another project here after converting the old Corrales Valley Fire Station into the new Planning and Zoning Office and Animal Control station. Based in Albuquerque, Kilcup’s FacilityBuild firm is nearing completion on plans for a new gymnasium at the recreation center, a two-phase project that could begin next spring. A former chairman for the Corrales Bicycle, Pedestrian Advisory Commission, Kilcup sat down for a Corrales Comment interview July 26 after a brisk bike ride through the Bosque Preserve.
He built his home along Rivera Lane in 1987 about a decade after he started a company that removed asbestos from buildings around New Mexico, the Southwest and even beyond. That business, Keers Remediation, employed 160 people at one time, and that success opened opportunities that led to formation of FacilityBuild. “Our clients were pleased, so they wanted us to replace what we had taken down,” he explained. “That took on a life of its own.”
The construction firm specializes in commercial projects. “We decided the best way to enter the market —because there were a lot of commercial constructions already operating here— was to establish a niche, to offer design and build construction.” Among other things, that means his firm has architects and engineers on staff. “Our teams work together: we have an architect, a cost-estimator and a project manager who work together collaboratively. “I think that’s what initially attracted the Village of Corrales.”
His first project here was the Main Fire Station’s building for a kitchen and fitness room. The fire chief had become discouraged when another firm’s cost estimates for the proposed structure were much higher than anticipated. “They had hired an architect and engineering company that turned in plans that were way over their budget. So they were completely discouraged, so they called us in to look over those plans to see what we could do. We designed the basics for what they wanted to their budget, and we constructed it in 2017, I think.
“The Village liked it so much that they just recently asked us to come back and complete the second phase, which is a dormitory above the new kitchen and exercise area so that the fire-rescue personnel could sleep overnight. During the COVID pandemic, that was really important to them. They need to stay sequestered, because if they get sick, who do we have to respond to emergencies?”
But that followed two other projects: renovation of the barns on the Jones property acquired for the Village’s Public Works Department in 2018 and converting the Valley Fire Station for the P&Z offices in the spring of 2020. Kilcup said renovation of the Jones barn and shed was a fun project for FacilityBuild. “It just worked out perfectly. We enjoy projects like that.” When FacilityBuild was asked to convert the old fire station to P&Z offices and Animal Control, the Village “really wanted to retain the old fire station look, and that meant not expanding the building’s footprint.” So the appearance of the old firetruck bays on the wall facing Corrales Road was incorporated, and a sign was hung to signify its heritage as the Corrales Valley Fire Station.
“We did that and they were pleased, so the next one ahead is the new gymnasium complex at the recreation center,” he noted. FacilityBuild does not bid individually on construction projects for the Corrales or other entities. “We have a little different approach. What we do is design-build-and deliver through State contracts. The State’s procurement contracts are all competitive. The competitive bidding is already done. So we can step in and work collaboratively with the client to give them what they want. And if it’s not what they want, we can revise the design quickly based on an already established price list. “That leads to a collaborative environment that gets things done quicker and better. We get the client the biggest bang for the buck.
“The Village has been a very good steward of the public funds. They don’t throw a blank check at you.”
Another attempt to improve water supply for the Cuba area has been presented to the Sandoval County Commission. At its August 19 meeting, the commission was asked to endorse a proposal by KNeW to produce potable water from deep aquifers in the Rio Puerco area using ion exchange technology developed by the company. According to its prospectus, the process would be used as feedstock to produce fertilizer while potable water would be a byproduct. The County Commission was not asked to fund the project. But a decade ago, the commission spent more than $7 million on an aborted de-salinization project in the Rio Puerco area.
Back in 2010, Sandoval County government agreed to pay engineers to design a water desalinization plant to purify up to five million gallons of brackish water daily from a deep well in the Rio Puerco basin. County commissioners gave the go-ahead to advertise for bids to design the project despite persistent doubts over cost, disposal of salt and other impurities to be removed from the water and socio-economic implications of encouraging growth. Already $7 million in County funds had been spent to explore the feasibility of the water project intended to spur future industrial development. Building that desalinization plant was estimated to cost about $75 million, and another $28 million would be associated with disposing of the extracted salt and recovering and processing the lime.
In 2010, the County issued a letter of support for a proposal by Native Energy Development to construct a $60 million power plant to serve the desalinization project. At the County Commission’s January 21, 2010 meeting, its Division of County Development won approval to proceed with advertising for a contract to design the desalinization project, and support for the Native Energy Development proposal for the associated power plant.
The resolution before the commission this time refers to the earlier project, noting that “in 2011, Sandoval County conducted an extensive analysis of the Rio Puerco Deep Water Aquifer. Testing and analysis found that the aquifer contained at least 576,000 acre-feet of recoverable water and may contain up to 2.6 million acre-feet of recoverable water.”
The 2021 resolution further notes that “the KNeW Company believes it can provide 528,344 gallons per day to the village in order to meet its existing consumption needs of about 420,000 gallons per day. The additional 108,344 gpd could be used for economic development purposes and potential job creation. An expanded facility has the potential to double the amount of available water for Cuba and the surrounding area including water for agriculture.”
The commission’s resolution suggests the technology “may have many applications throughout Sandoval County” and therefore it “fully supports the continued growth and development of this new company in our county.”
Purchase of two more conservation easements were expected to occur at the August 17 Village Council meeting. They would be the last uses of the $2.5 million in general obligation bonds approved by voters in 2018. The council was presented with purchase agreements on farmland owned by Courtenay and Anne Koontz and by Emilio, Veronica and Renee Lopez. Approval has been expected since spring, so council action basically would be acceptance of the appraisals and direction to proceed with the acquisition.
The proposed easement on the 10-acre Phelps Farm, owned by the Koontzes, is appraised at $820,000. The easement on the three-acre Lopez Farm was appraised at $370,000. Councillors’ decision August 17 could not be included in this issue. The Phelps Farm was acquired by Courtenay Koontz for Trees of Corrales in 2016, sold by Phelps McKinley, Jr. Last year, the Village acquired a similar easement on the Haslam family’s farm a little south of the Phelps and Lopez tracts between the Main Canal and the Corrales Lateral irrigation ditch west of Corrales Road. That earlier acquisition preserved 12 acres at a cost of approximately $960,000 from those bonds.
The easement agreement between the Lopez family and the Village of Corrales notes that the three acres “includes scenic open space located along, visible from, and directly adjacent to Corrales Road, the primary thoroughfare through the village and the Corrales Bosque Preserve; and a public recreational trail along Sandoval Lateral, which is frequented by many residents and visitors for walking, running, horseback riding and mountain biking. The publicly accessible viewing platform along the Sandoval Lateral and Corrales Bosque Preserve will also provide significant opportunities for the public to enjoy the scenic values of the property.”
As with earlier farmland added to the Village’s farmland preservation program, the easements to be acquired would be held and administered for the Village by the New Mexico Land Conservancy, based in Santa Fe. If the Lopez deal goes through, the owners of the land, or any subsequent owners, would have the right to construct an agriculture-related building within a quarter-acre enclave, similar to other earlier transactions. At the May 25 Village Council meeting, an option to purchase a conservation easement on that land owned by Courtnay and Anne Koontz was approved unanimously. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXX No.8 June 5, 2021 “Another 10 Acres of Prime Farmland To Be Saved.”)
Some people are more trusting of predictions and computer model projections than others. More than most, Corraleños likely are comfortable letting probabilities guide their decisions, at least to some extent. The United Nations report attracting so much attention these days, that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) titled “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis,” offers conclusions for policy makers based mostly on probabilities. And those are dire indeed. Of course, predictions can be notoriously, even laughably, wrong. Choose your worst example.
But among the statements of fact —not speculation or guesswork— are the following.
• “The scale of recent changes across the climate system as a whole and the present state of many aspects of the climate system are unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years.”
• “Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts and tropical cyclones and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since [the previous IPCC assessment report.]”
• “Heating of the climate system has caused global mean sea level rise through ice loss on land and thermal expansion from ocean warming. Thermal expansion explained 50 percent of sea level rise during 1971-2018, while ice loss from glaciers contributed 22 percent, ice sheets 20 percent and changes in landwater storage eight percent. The rate of ice sheet loss increased by a factor of four between 1992-1999 and 2010-2019.
“Together, ice sheet and glacier mass loss were the dominant contributors to global mean sea level rise during 2006-2018.”
• “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean and cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.”
Not just another technical report chock-full of specialists’ jargon, the 4,000-page document compiled by more than 500 contributing authors and reviewed by more than 230 climate experts around the world, has a summary for policymakers with four sections: The Current State of the Climate; Possible Climate Futures; Climate Information for Risk Assessment and Regional Adaptation; and Limiting Future Climate Change.
That 41-page summary is directed at you, as a citizen, and the people you choose to set policies in your best interest. So you need to understand what’s going on, and then do what it takes to persuade public and private decisionmakers to address the documented crises.
Perhaps the biggest advances over the IPCC’s previous reports are improvements in scientists’ ability to attribute specific weather phenomena to climate change that has resulted from human activities.
Below are verbatim excepts from the report’s summary for policymakers. Each of these findings is followed by references to technical reports and other data from which they are derived. Those references are not included in what follows. Many of those findings include an assessment as to the probability of (or confidence in) accuracy; those are included here.
• A.1.3. The likely range of total human-caused global surface temperature increase from 1850–1900 to 2010–201911 is 0.8°C to 1.3°C, with a best estimate of 1.07°C. It is likely that well-mixed GHGs contributed a warming of 1.0°C to 2.0°C, other human drivers (principally aerosols) contributed a cooling of 0.0°C to 0.8°C, natural drivers changed global surface temperature by –0.1°C to 0.1°C, and internal variability changed it by –0.2°C to 0.2°C. It is very likely that well-mixed greenhouse gases (GHGs) were the main driver of tropospheric warming since 1979, and extremely likely that human-caused stratospheric ozone depletion was the main driver of cooling of the lower stratosphere between 1979 and the mid-1990s.
• A.1.4. Globally averaged precipitation over land has likely increased since 1950, with a faster rate of increase since the 1980s (medium confidence). It is likely that human influence contributed to the pattern of observed precipitation changes since the mid-20th century, and extremely likely that human influence contributed to the pattern of observed changes in near-surface ocean salinity. Mid-latitude storm tracks have likely shifted poleward in both hemispheres since the 1980s, with marked seasonality in trends (medium confidence). For the Southern Hemisphere, human influence very likely contributed to the poleward shift of the closely related extratropical jet in austral summer.
•A.1.5. Human influence is very likely the main driver of the global retreat of glaciers since the 1990s and the decrease in Arctic sea ice area between 1979–1988 and 2010–2019 (about 40% in September and about 0% in March). There has been no significant trend in Antarctic sea ice area from 1979 to 2020 due to regionally opposing trends and large internal variability. Human influence very likely contributed to the decrease in Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover since 1950. It is very likely that human influence has contributed to the observed surface melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet over the past two decades, but there is only limited evidence, with medium agreement, of human influence on the Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss.
• A.1.6. It is virtually certain that the global upper ocean (0–700 m) has warmed since the 1970s and extremely likely that human influence is the main driver. It is virtually certain that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main driver of current global acidification of the surface open ocean. There is high confidence that oxygen levels have dropped in many upper ocean regions since the mid-20th century, and medium confidence that human influence contributed to this drop.
• A.1.7. Global mean sea level increased by 0.20 [0.15 to 0.25] meter between 1901 and 2018. The average rate of sea level rise was 1.3 [0.6 to 2.1] mm yr–1 between 1901 and 1971, increasing to 1.9 [0.8 to 2.9] mm yr–1 between 1971 and 2006, and further increasing to 3.7 [3.2 to 4.2] mm yr–1 between 2006 and 2018 (high confidence). Human influence was very likely the main driver of these increases since at least 1971.
• A.1.8. Changes in the land biosphere since 1970 are consistent with global warming: climate zones have shifted poleward in both hemispheres, and the growing season has on average lengthened by up to two days per decade since the 1950s in the Northern Hemisphere extratropics (high confidence).
Human influence has warmed the climate at a rate that is unprecedented in at least the last 2,000 years.
• A.2. The scale of recent changes across the climate system as a whole and the present state of many aspects of the climate system are unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years.
• A.2.1. In 2019, atmospheric CO2 [carbon dioxide] concentrations were higher than at any time in at least 2 million years (high confidence), and concentrations of CH4 and N2O were higher than at any time in at least 800,000 years (very high confidence). Since 1750, increases in CO2 (47%) and CH4 (156%) concentrations far exceed, and increases in N2O (23%) are similar to, the natural multi-millennial changes between glacial and interglacial periods over at least the past 800,000 years (very high confidence).
• A.2.2 Global surface temperature has increased faster since 1970 than in any other 50-year period over at least the last 2,000 years (high confidence). Temperatures during the most recent decade (2011–2020) exceed those of the most recent multi-century warm period, around 6500 years ago13 [0.2°C to 1°C relative to 1850– 1900] (medium confidence). Prior to that, the next most recent warm period was about 125,000 years ago when the multi-century temperature [0.5°C to 1.5°C relative to 1850–1900] overlaps the observations of the most recent decade (medium confidence).
• A.2.3. In 2011–2020, annual average Arctic sea ice area reached its lowest level since at least 1850 (high confidence). Late summer Arctic sea ice area was smaller than at any time in at least the past 1000 years (medium confidence). The global nature of glacier retreat, with almost all of the world’s glaciers retreating synchronously, since the 1950s is unprecedented in at least the last 2000 years (medium confidence).
• A.2.4. Global mean sea level has risen faster since 1900 than over any preceding century in at least the last 3,000 years (high confidence). The global ocean has warmed faster over the past century than since the end of the last deglacial transition (around 11,000 years ago) (medium confidence). A long-term increase in surface open ocean pH occurred over the past 50 million years (high confidence), and surface open ocean pH as low as recent decades is unusual in the last 2 million years (medium confidence).
• A.3. Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since AR5 [the previous IPCC assessment].
• A.3. It is virtually certain that hot extremes (including heatwaves) have become more frequent and more intense across most land regions since the 1950s, while cold extremes (including cold waves) have become less frequent and less severe, with high confidence that human-induced climate change is the main driver of these changes. Some recent hot extremes observed over the past decade would have been extremely unlikely to occur without human influence on the climate system. Marine heatwaves have approximately doubled in frequency since the 1980s (high confidence), and human influence has very likely contributed to most of them since at least 2006.
• A.3.2. The frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events have increased since the 1950s over most land area for which observational data are sufficient for trend analysis (high confidence), and human-induced climate change is likely the main driver. Human-induced climate change has contributed to increases in agricultural and ecological droughts in some regions due to increased land evapotranspiration16 (medium confidence).
A.3.3. Decreases in global land monsoon precipitation from the 1950s to the 1980s are partly attributed to human-caused Northern Hemisphere aerosol emissions, but increases since then have resulted from rising GHG concentrations and decadal to multi-decadal internal variability (medium confidence). Over South Asia, East Asia and West Africa increases in monsoon precipitation due to warming from GHG emissions were counteracted by decreases in monsoon precipitation due to cooling from human-caused aerosol emissions over the 20th century (high confidence). Increases in West African monsoon precipitation since the 1980s are partly due to the growing influence of GHGs and reductions in the cooling effect of human-caused aerosol emissions over Europe and North America (medium confidence).
• A.3.4. It is likely that the global proportion of major (Category 3–5) tropical cyclone occurrence has increased over the last four decades, and the latitude where tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific reach their peak intensity has shifted northward; these changes cannot be explained by internal variability alone (medium confidence). There is low confidence in long-term (multi-decadal to centennial) trends in the frequency of all-category tropical cyclones. Event attribution studies and physical understanding indicate that human-induced climate change increases heavy precipitation associated with tropical cyclones (high confidence) but data limitations inhibit clear detection of past trends on the global scale.
• A.3.5. Human influence has likely increased the chance of compound extreme events since the 1950s.
This includes increases in the frequency of concurrent heatwaves and droughts on the global scale (high confidence); fire weather in some regions of all inhabited continents (medium confidence); and compound flooding in some locations (medium confidence).
• A.4. Improved knowledge of climate processes, paleoclimate evidence and the response of the climate system to increasing radiative forcing gives a best estimate of equilibrium climate sensitivity of 3°C with a narrower range compared to AR5 [the fifth PCC assessment report].
• A.4.1. Human-caused radiative forcing of 2.72 [1.96 to 3.48] W m–2 in 2019 relative to 1750 has warmed the climate system. This warming is mainly due to increased GHG concentrations, partly reduced by cooling due to increased aerosol concentrations. The radiative forcing has increased by 0.43 W m–2 (19%) relative to AR5, of which 0.34 W m–2 is due to the increase in GHG concentrations since 2011. The remainder is due to improved scientific understanding and changes in the assessment of aerosol forcing, which include decreases in concentration and improvement in its calculation (high confidence).
• A.4.2. Human-caused net positive radiative forcing causes an accumulation of additional energy (heating) in the climate system, partly reduced by increased energy loss to space in response to surface warming. The observed average rate of heating of the climate system increased from 0.50 [0.32 to 0.69] W m–2 for the period 1971–200619, to 0.79 [0.52 to 1.06] W m–2 for the period 2006–201820 (high confidence). Ocean warming accounted for 91% of the heating in the climate system, with land warming, ice loss and atmospheric warming accounting for about 5%, 3% and 1%, respectively (high confidence).
• A.4.3. Heating of the climate system has caused global mean sea level rise through ice loss on land and thermal expansion from ocean warming. Thermal expansion explained 50% of sea level rise during 1971– 2018, while ice loss from glaciers contributed 22%, ice sheets 20% and changes in land water storage 8%.
The rate of ice sheet loss increased by a factor of four between 1992–1999 and 2010–2019. Together, ice sheet and glacier mass loss were the dominant contributors to global mean sea level rise during 2006-2018. (high confidence)
Section B. Possible Climate Futures
A set of five new illustrative emissions scenarios is considered consistently across this report to explore the climate response to a broader range of greenhouse gas (GHG), land use and air pollutant futures than assessed in AR5. This set of scenarios drives climate model projections of changes in the climate system.
These projections account for solar activity and background forcing from volcanoes. Results over the 21st century are provided for the near-term (2021–2040), mid-term (2041–2060) and long-term (2081–2100) relative to 1850–1900, unless otherwise stated.
• B.1. Global surface temperature will continue to increase until at least the mid-century under all emissions scenarios considered. Global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded during the 21st century unless deep reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades.
• B.1.1. Compared to 1850–1900, global surface temperature averaged over 2081–2100 is very likely to be higher by 1.0°C to 1.8°C under the very low GHG emissions scenario considered (SSP1-1.9), by 2.1°C to 3.5°C in the intermediate scenario (SSP2-4.5) and by 3.3°C to 5.7°C under the very high GHG emissions scenario (SSP5-8.5)24.
The last time global surface temperature was sustained at or above 2.5°C higher than 1850–1900 was over 3 million years ago (medium confidence). 1900, would be exceeded during the 21st century under the high and very high GHG emissions scenarios considered in this report (SSP3-7.0 and SSP5-8.5, respectively). Global warming of 2°C would extremely likely be exceeded in the intermediate scenario (SSP2-4.5). Under the very low and low GHG emissions scenarios, global warming of 2°C is extremely unlikely to be exceeded (SSP1-1.9), or unlikely to be exceeded (SSP1-2.6)25. Crossing the 2°C global warming level in the mid-term period (2041–2060) is very likely to occur under the very high GHG emissions scenario (SSP5-8.5), likely to occur under the high GHG emissions scenario (SSP3-7.0), and more likely than not to occur in the intermediate GHG emissions scenario (SSP2-4.5).
• B.1.3. Global warming of 1.5°C relative to 1850-1900 would be exceeded during the 21st century under the intermediate, high and very high scenarios considered in this report (SSP2-4.5, SSP3-7.0 and SSP5-8.5, respectively). Under the five illustrative scenarios, in the near term (2021-2040), the 1.5°C global warming level is very likely to be exceeded under the very high GHG emissions scenario (SSP5-8.5), likely to be exceeded under the intermediate and high GHG emissions scenarios (SSP2-4.5 and SSP3-7.0), more likely than not to be exceeded under the low GHG emissions scenario (SSP1-2.6) and more likely than not to be reached under the very low GHG emissions scenario (SSP1-1.9)27. Furthermore, for the very low GHG emissions scenario (SSP1-1.9), it is more likely than not that global surface temperature would decline back to below 1.5°C toward the end of the 21st century, with a temporary overshoot of no more than 0.1°C above 1.5°C global warming.
• B.1.4. Global surface temperature in any single year can vary above or below the long-term human-induced trend, due to substantial natural variability. The occurrence of individual years with global surface temperature change above a certain level, for example 1.5°C or 2ºC, relative to 1850–1900 does not imply that this global warming level has been reached.
• B.2. Many changes in the climate system become larger in direct relation to increasing global warming. They include increases in the frequency and intensity of hot extremes, marine heatwaves, and heavy precipitation, agricultural and ecological droughts in some regions, and proportion of intense tropical cyclones, as well as reductions in Arctic sea ice, snow cover and permafrost.
• B.2.1. It is virtually certain that the land surface will continue to warm more than the ocean surface (likely 1.4 to 1.7 times more). It is virtually certain that the Arctic will continue to warm more than global surface temperature, with high confidence above two times the rate of global warming.
• B.2.2. With every additional increment of global warming, changes in extremes continue to become larger.
For example, every additional 0.5°C of global warming causes clearly discernible increases in the intensity and frequency of hot extremes, including heatwaves (very likely), and heavy precipitation (high confidence), as well as agricultural and ecological droughts30 in some regions (high confidence). Discernible changes in intensity and frequency of meteorological droughts, with more regions showing increases than decreases, are seen in some regions for every additional 0.5°C of global warming (medium confidence). Increases in frequency and intensity of hydrological droughts become larger with increasing global warming in some regions (medium confidence). There will be an increasing occurrence of some extreme events unprecedented in the observational record with additional global warming, even at 1.5°C of global warming. Projected percentage changes in frequency are higher for rarer events (high confidence).
B.2.3. Some mid-latitude and semi-arid regions, and the South American Monsoon region, are projected to see the highest increase in the temperature of the hottest days, at about 1.5 to 2 times the rate of global warming (high confidence). The Arctic is projected to experience the highest increase in the temperature of the coldest days, at about 3 times the rate of global warming (high confidence). With additional global warming, the frequency of marine heatwaves will continue to increase (high confidence), particularly in the tropical ocean and the Arctic (medium confidence).
• B.2.4. It is very likely that heavy precipitation events will intensify and become more frequent in most regions with additional global warming. At the global scale, extreme daily precipitation events are projected to intensify by about 7% for each 1°C of global warming (high confidence). The proportion of intense tropical cyclones (categories 4-5) and peak wind speeds of the most intense tropical cyclones are projected to increase at the global scale with increasing global warming (high confidence).
• B.2.5. Additional warming is projected to further amplify permafrost thawing, and loss of seasonal snow cover, of land ice and of Arctic sea ice (high confidence). The Arctic is likely to be practically sea ice free in September at least once before 2050 under the five illustrative scenarios considered in this report, with more frequent occurrences for higher warming levels. There is low confidence in the projected decrease of Antarctic sea ice.
• B.3. Continued global warming is projected to further intensify the global water cycle, including its variability, global monsoon precipitation and the severity of wet and dry events.
• B.3.1. There is strengthened evidence since AR5 that the global water cycle will continue to intensify as global temperatures rise (high confidence), with precipitation and surface water flows projected to become more variable over most land regions within seasons (high confidence) and from year to year (medium confidence). The average annual global land precipitation is projected to increase by 0–5% under the very low GHG emissions scenario (SSP1-1.9), 1.5-8% for the intermediate GHG emissions scenario (SSP2-4.5) and 1–13% under the very high GHG emissions scenario (SSP5-8.5) by 2081–2100 relative to 1995-2014 (likely ranges). Precipitation is projected to increase over high latitudes, the equatorial Pacific and parts of the monsoon regions, but decrease over parts of the subtropics and limited areas in the tropics in SSP2-4.5, SSP3-7.0 and SSP5-8.5 (very likely). The portion of the global land experiencing detectable increases or decreases in seasonal mean precipitation is projected to increase (medium confidence). There is high confidence in an earlier onset of spring snowmelt, with higher peak flows at the expense of summer flows in snow-dominated regions globally.
• B.3.2. A warmer climate will intensify very wet and very dry weather and climate events and seasons, with implications for flooding or drought (high confidence), but the location and frequency of these events depend on projected changes in regional atmospheric circulation, including monsoons and mid-latitude storm tracks.
It is very likely that rainfall variability related to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation is projected to be amplified by the second half of the 21st century in the SSP2-4.5, SSP3-7.0 and SSP5-8.5 scenarios.
• B.3.3. Monsoon precipitation is projected to increase in the mid- to long term at global scale, particularly over South and Southeast Asia, East Asia and West Africa apart from the far west Sahel (high confidence).
The monsoon season is projected to have a delayed onset over North and South America and West Africa (high confidence) and a delayed retreat over West Africa (medium confidence).
• B.3.4. A projected southward shift and intensification of Southern Hemisphere summer mid-latitude storm tracks and associated precipitation is likely in the long term under high GHG emissions scenarios (SSP3-7.0, SSP5-8.5), but in the near term the effect of stratospheric ozone recovery counteracts these changes (high confidence). There is medium confidence in a continued poleward shift of storms and their precipitation in the North Pacific, while there is low confidence in projected changes in the North Atlantic storm tracks.
• B.4. Under scenarios with increasing CO2 emissions, the ocean and land carbon sinks are projected to be less effective at slowing the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere.
• B.4.1. While natural land and ocean carbon sinks are projected to take up, in absolute terms, a progressively larger amount of CO2 under higher compared to lower CO2 emissions scenarios, they become less effective, that is, the proportion of emissions taken up by land and ocean decrease with increasing cumulative CO2 emissions. This is projected to result in a higher proportion of emitted CO2 remaining in the atmosphere (high confidence).
• B.4.2. Based on model projections, under the intermediate scenario that stabilizes atmospheric CO2 concentrations this century (SSP2-4.5), the rates of CO2 taken up by the land and oceans are projected to decrease in the second half of the 21st century (high confidence). Under the very low and low GHG emissions scenarios (SSP1-1.9, SSP1-2.6), where CO2 concentrations peak and decline during the 21st century, land and oceans begin to take up less carbon in response to declining atmospheric CO2 concentrations (high confidence) and turn into a weak net source by 2100 under SSP1-1.9 (medium confidence). It is very unlikely that the combined global land and ocean sink will turn into a source by 2100 under scenarios without net negative emissions.
• B.4.3. The magnitude of feedbacks between climate change and the carbon cycle becomes larger but also more uncertain in high CO2 emissions scenarios (very high confidence). However, climate model projections show that the uncertainties in atmospheric CO2 concentrations by 2100 are dominated by the differences between emissions scenarios (high confidence). Additional ecosystem responses to warming not yet fully included in climate models, such as CO2 and CH4 fluxes from wetlands, permafrost thaw and wildfires, would further increase concentrations of these gases in the atmosphere (high confidence).
• B.5. Many changes due to past and future greenhouse gas emissions are irreversible for centuries to millennia, especially changes in the ocean, ice sheets and global sea level.
• B.5.1. Past GHG emissions since 1750 have committed the global ocean to future warming (high confidence). Over the rest of the 21st century, likely ocean warming ranges from 2–4 (SSP1-2.6) to 4–8 times (SSP5-8.5) the 1971–2018 change. Based on multiple lines of evidence, upper ocean stratification (virtually certain), ocean acidification (virtually certain) and ocean deoxygenation (high confidence) will continue to increase in the 21st century, at rates dependent on future emissions. Changes are irreversible on centennial to millennial time scales in global ocean temperature (very high confidence), deep ocean acidification (very high confidence) and de-oxygenation (medium confidence).
• B.5.2. Mountain and polar glaciers are committed to continue melting for decades or centuries (very high confidence). Loss of permafrost carbon following permafrost thaw is irreversible at centennial timescales (high confidence). Continued ice loss over the 21st century is virtually certain for the Greenland Ice Sheet and likely for the Antarctic Ice Sheet. There is high confidence that total ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet will increase with cumulative emissions. There is limited evidence for low-likelihood, high-impact outcomes (resulting from ice sheet instability processes characterized by deep uncertainty and in some cases involving tipping points) that would strongly increase ice loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet for centuries under high GHG emissions scenarios.
• B.5.3. It is virtually certain that global mean sea level will continue to rise over the 21st century. Relative to 1995-2014, the likely global mean sea level rise by 2100 is 0.28-0.55 m under the very low GHG emissions scenario (SSP1-1.9), 0.32-0.62 m under the low GHG emissions scenario (SSP1-2.6), 0.44-0.76 m under the intermediate GHG emissions scenario (SSP2-4.5), and 0.63-1.01 m under the very high GHG emissions scenario (SSP5-8.5), and by 2150 is 0.37-0.86 m under the very low scenario (SSP1-1.9), 0.46- 0.99 m under the low scenario (SSP1-2.6), 0.66-1.33 m under the intermediate scenario (SSP2-4.5), and 0.98-1.88 m under the very high scenario (SSP5-8.5) (medium confidence)35. Global mean sea level rise above the likely range – approaching 2 m by 2100 and 5 m by 2150 under a very high GHG emissions scenario (SSP5-8.5) (low confidence) – cannot be ruled out due to deep uncertainty in ice sheet processes.
• B.5.4. In the longer term, sea level is committed to rise for centuries to millennia due to continuing deep ocean warming and ice sheet melt, and will remain elevated for thousands of years (high confidence). Over the next 2000 years, global mean sea level will rise by about 2 to 3 m if warming is limited to 1.5°C, 2 to 6 m if limited to 2°C and 19 to 22 m with 5°C of warming, and it will continue to rise over subsequent millennia (low confidence). Projections of multi-millennial global mean sea level rise are consistent with reconstructed levels during past warm climate periods: likely 5–10 m higher than today around 125,000 years ago, when global temperatures were very likely 0.5°C–1.5°C higher than 1850–1900; and very likely 5–25 m higher roughly 3 million years ago, when global temperatures were 2.5°C–4°C higher (medium confidence).
• C. Climate Information for Risk Assessment and Regional Adaptation
Physical climate information addresses how the climate system responds to the interplay between human influence, natural drivers and internal variability. Knowledge of the climate response and the range of possible outcomes, including low-likelihood, high impact outcomes, informs climate services – the assessment of climate-related risks and adaptation planning. Physical climate information at global, regional and local scales is developed from multiple lines of evidence, including observational products, climate model outputs and tailored diagnostics.
• C.1. Natural drivers and internal variability will modulate human-caused changes, especially at regional scales and in the near term, with little effect on centennial global warming.
These modulations are important to consider in planning for the full range of possible changes.
• C.1.1. The historical global surface temperature record highlights that decadal variability has enhanced and masked underlying human-caused long-term changes, and this variability will continue into the future (very high confidence). For example, internal decadal variability and variations in solar and volcanic drivers partially masked human-caused surface global warming during 1998–2012, with pronounced regional and seasonal signatures (high confidence). Nonetheless, the heating of the climate system continued during this period, as reflected in both the continued warming of the global ocean (very high confidence) and in the continued rise of hot extremes over land (medium confidence).
• C.1.2. Projected human caused changes in mean climate and climatic impact-drivers (CIDs)36, including extremes, will be either amplified or attenuated by internal variability (high confidence). Near-term cooling at any particular location with respect to present climate could occur and would be consistent with the global surface temperature increase due to human influence (high confidence).
• C.1.3. Internal variability has largely been responsible for the amplification and attenuation of the observed human-caused decadal-to-multi-decadal mean precipitation changes in many land regions (high confidence).
At global and regional scales, near-term changes in monsoons will be dominated by the effects of internal variability (medium confidence). In addition to internal variability influence, near-term projected changes in precipitation at global and regional scales are uncertain because of model uncertainty and uncertainty in forcings from natural and anthropogenic aerosols (medium confidence).
• C.1.4. Based on paleoclimate and historical evidence, it is likely that at least one large explosive volcanic eruption would occur during the 21st century. Such an eruption would reduce global surface temperature and precipitation, especially over land, for one to three years, alter the global monsoon circulation, modify extreme precipitation and change many CIDs (medium confidence). If such an eruption occurs, this would therefore temporarily and partially mask human-caused climate change.
• C.2. With further global warming, every region is projected to increasingly experience concurrent and multiple changes in climatic impact-drivers. Changes in several climatic impact-drivers would be more widespread at 2°C compared to 1.5°C global warming and even more widespread and/or pronounced for higher warming levels.
• C.2.1. All regions are projected to experience further increases in hot climatic impact-drivers (CIDs) and decreases in cold CIDs (high confidence). Further decreases are projected in permafrost, snow, glaciers and ice sheets, lake and Arctic sea ice (medium to high confidence). These changes would be larger at 2°C global warming or above than at 1.5°C (high confidence). For example, extreme heat thresholds relevant to agriculture and health are projected to be exceeded more frequently at higher global warming levels (high confidence).
• C.2.2. At 1.5°C global warming, heavy precipitation and associated flooding are projected to intensify and be more frequent in most regions in Africa and Asia (high confidence), North America (medium to high confidence) and Europe (medium confidence). Also, more frequent and/or severe agricultural and ecological droughts are projected in a few regions in all continents except Asia compared to 1850–1900 (medium confidence); increases in meteorological droughts are also projected in a few regions (medium confidence). A small number of regions are projected to experience increases or decreases in mean precipitation (medium confidence).
• C.2.3. At 2°C global warming and above, the level of confidence in and the magnitude of the change in droughts and heavy and mean precipitation increase compared to those at 1.5°C. Heavy precipitation and associated flooding events are projected to become more intense and frequent in the Pacific Islands and across many regions of North America and Europe (medium to high confidence). These changes are also seen in some regions in Australasia and Central and South America (medium confidence). Several regions in Africa, South America and Europe are projected to experience an increase in frequency and/or severity of agricultural and ecological droughts with medium to high confidence; increases are also projected in Australasia, Central and North America, and the Caribbean with medium confidence. A small number of regions in Africa, Australasia, Europe and North America are also projected to be affected by increases in hydrological droughts, and several regions are projected to be affected by increases or decreases in meteorological droughts with more regions displaying an increase (medium confidence). Mean precipitation is projected to increase in all polar, northern European and northern North American regions, most Asian regions and two regions of South America (high confidence).
• C.2.4. More CIDs across more regions are projected to change at 2°C and above compared to 1.5°C global warming (high confidence). Region-specific changes include intensification of tropical cyclones and/or extratropical storms (medium confidence), increases in river floods (medium to high confidence), reductions in mean precipitation and increases in aridity (medium to high confidence), and increases in fire weather (medium to high confidence). There is low confidence in most regions in potential future changes in other CIDs, such as hail, ice storms, severe storms, dust storms, heavy snowfall, and landslides.
• C.2.5. It is very likely to virtually certain that regional mean relative sea level rise will continue throughout the 21st century, except in a few regions with substantial geologic land uplift rates.
Approximately two-thirds of the global coastline has a projected regional relative sea level rise within ±20% of the global mean increase (medium confidence). Due to relative sea level rise, extreme sea level events that occurred once per century in the recent past are projected to occur at least annually at more than half of all tide gauge locations by 2100 (high confidence). Relative sea level rise contributes to increases in the frequency and severity of coastal flooding in low-lying areas and to coastal erosion along most sandy coasts (high confidence).
• C.2. Cities intensify human-induced warming locally, and further urbanization together with more frequent hot extremes will increase the severity of heatwaves (very high confidence). Urbanization also increases mean and heavy precipitation over and/or downwind of cities (medium confidence) and resulting runoff intensity (high confidence). In coastal cities, the combination of more frequent extreme sea level events (due to sea level rise and storm surge) and extreme rainfall/riverflow events will make flooding more probable (high confidence).
• C.2.7. Many regions are projected to experience an increase in the probability of compound events with higher global warming (high confidence). In particular, concurrent heatwaves and droughts are likely to become more frequent. Concurrent extremes at multiple locations become more frequent, including in crop producing areas, at 2°C and above compared to 1.5°C global warming (high confidence).
• C.3. Low-likelihood outcomes, such as ice sheet collapse, abrupt ocean circulation changes, some compound extreme events and warming substantially larger than the assessed very likely range of future warming cannot be ruled out and are part of risk assessment.
• C.3.1. If global warming exceeds the assessed very likely range for a given GHG emissions scenario, including low GHG emissions scenarios, global and regional changes in many aspects of the climate system, such as regional precipitation and other CIDs, would also exceed their assessed very likely ranges (high confidence). Such low-likelihood high-warming outcomes are associated with potentially very large impacts, such as through more intense and more frequent heatwaves and heavy precipitation, and high risks for human and ecological systems particularly for high GHG emissions scenarios.
• C.3. Low-likelihood, high-impact outcomes could occur at global and regional scales even for global warming within the very likely range for a given GHG emissions scenario. The probability of low-likelihood, high impact outcomes increases with higher global warming levels (high confidence). Abrupt responses and tipping points of the climate system, such as strongly increased Antarctic ice sheet melt and forest dieback, cannot be ruled out (high confidence).
• C.3. If global warming increases, some compound extreme events with low likelihood in past and current climate will become more frequent, and there will be a higher likelihood that events with increased intensities, durations and/or spatial extents unprecedented in the observational record will occur (high confidence).
C.3.4. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is very likely to weaken over the 21st century for all emission scenarios. While there is high confidence in the 21st century decline, there is only low confidence in the magnitude of the trend. There is medium confidence that there will not be an abrupt collapse before 2100. If such a collapse were to occur, it would very likely cause abrupt shifts in regional,weather patterns and water cycle, such as a southward shift in the tropical rain belt, weakening of the African and Asian monsoons and strengthening of Southern Hemisphere monsoons, and drying in Europe.
C.3.5. Unpredictable and rare natural events not related to human influence on climate may lead to low likelihood, high impact outcomes. For example, a sequence of large explosive volcanic eruptions within decades has occurred in the past, causing substantial global and regional climate perturbations over several decades. Such events cannot be ruled out in the future, but due to their inherent unpredictability they are not included in the illustrative set of scenarios referred to in this Report.
• D. Limiting Future Climate Change
Since AR5, estimates of remaining carbon budgets have been improved by a new methodology first presented in SR1.5, updated evidence, and the integration of results from multiple lines of evidence. A comprehensive range of possible future air pollution controls in scenarios is used to consistently assess the effects of various assumptions on projections of climate and air pollution. A novel development is the ability to ascertain when climate responses to emissions reductions would become discernible above natural climate variability, including internal variability and responses to natural drivers.
D.1. From a physical science perspective, limiting human-induced global warming to a specific level requires limiting cumulative CO2 emissions, reaching at least net zero CO2 emissions, along with strong reductions in other greenhouse gas emissions. Strong, rapid and sustained reductions in CH4 emissions would also limit the warming effect resulting from declining aerosol pollution and would improve air quality.
• D.1.1. This Report reaffirms with high confidence the AR5 finding that there is a near-linear relationship between cumulative anthropogenic CO2 emissions and the global warming they cause. Each 1000 GtCO2 of cumulative CO2 emissions is assessed to likely cause a 0.27°C to 0.63°C increase in global surface temperature with a best estimate of 0.45°C41. This is a narrower range compared to AR5 and SR1.5. This quantity is referred to as the transient climate response to cumulative CO2 emissions (TCRE). This relationship implies that reaching net zero42 anthropogenic CO2 emissions is a requirement to stabilize human-induced global temperature increase at any level, but that limiting global temperature increase to a specific level would imply limiting cumulative CO2 emissions to within a carbon budget.
• D.2. Scenarios with very low or low GHG emissions (SSP1-1.9 and SSP1-2.6) lead within years to discernible effects on greenhouse gas and aerosol concentrations, and air quality, relative to high and very high GHG emissions scenarios (SSP3-7.0 or SSP5-8.5).
Under these contrasting scenarios, discernible differences in trends of global surface temperature would begin to emerge from natural variability within around 20 years, and over longer time periods for many other climatic impact-drivers (high confidence).
• D.2.1. Emissions reductions in 2020 associated with measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 led to temporary but detectible effects on air pollution (high confidence), and an associated small, temporary increase in total radiative forcing, primarily due to reductions in cooling caused by aerosols arising from human activities (medium confidence). Global and regional climate responses to this temporary forcing are, however, undetectable above natural variability (high confidence). Atmospheric CO2 concentrations continued to rise in 2020, with no detectable decrease in the observed CO2 growth rate (medium confidence).
• D.2.2. Reductions in GHG emissions also lead to air quality improvements. However, in the near term, even in scenarios with strong reduction of GHGs, as in the low and very low GHG emission scenarios (SSP1-2.6 and SSP1-1.9), these improvements are not sufficient in many polluted regions to achieve air quality guidelines specified by the World Health Organization (high confidence). Scenarios with targeted reductions of air pollutant emissions lead to more rapid improvements in air quality within years compared to reductions in GHG emissions only, but from 2040, further improvements are projected in scenarios that combine efforts to reduce air pollutants as well as GHG emissions with the magnitude of the benefit varying between regions (high confidence).
• D.2.3. Scenarios with very low or low GHG emissions (SSP1-1.9 and SSP1-2.6) would have rapid and sustained effects to limit human-caused climate change, compared with scenarios with high or very high GHG emissions (SSP3-7.0 or SSP5-8.5), but early responses of the climate system can be masked by natural variability. For global surface temperature, differences in 20-year trends would likely emerge during the near term under a very low GHG emission scenario (SSP1-1.9), relative to a high or very high GHG emission scenario (SSP3-7.0 or SSP5-8.5). The response of many other climate variables would emerge from natural variability at different times later in the 21st century (high confidence).
• D.2.4. Scenarios with very low and low GHG emissions (SSP1-1.9 and SSP1-2.6) would lead to substantially smaller changes in a range of CIDs beyond 2040 than under high and very high GHG emissions scenarios (SSP3-7.0 and SSP5-8.5). By the end of the century, scenarios with very low and low GHG emissions would strongly limit the change of several CIDs, such as the increase in the frequency of extreme sea level events, heavy precipitation and pluvial flooding, and exceedance of dangerous heat thresholds, while limiting the number of regions where such exceedances occur, relative to higher GHG emissions scenarios (high confidence). Changes would also be smaller in very low compared to low emissions scenarios, as well as for intermediate (SSP2-4.5) compared to high or very high emissions scenarios (high confidence).
The Sandoval County Commission has been asked to approve the Sheriff Department’s policy regarding appropriate use of deadly force. The commission was to consider the sheriff’s updates at its August 19 session. The revisions come at a time of heightened scrutiny given high-profile policing abuses nationwide. The policy updates were presented by Captain Allen Mills who explained that the document will institute guidelines for the use of deadly and non-deadly force. An introduction to the policy statements stresses that “deputies use only the force necessary to effectively bring an incident under control, while protecting the lives of the deputy and others and while accomplishing lawful objectives. It must be stressed that the use of force is not left to the unfettered discretion of the involved deputies. The use of force must be objectively reasonable.”
It makes clear that “deputies may use deadly force only under a reasonable belief that the action is in defense of human life, including the deputy’s life, or in defense of the life of any person in imminent danger of serious physical injury. “To prevent the escape of a fleeing felon who the officer has probable cause to believe poses an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to the officer or others.” In addition, “where deadly force is not appropriate, deputies may use only that level of force that is objectively reasonable to bring an incident under control, and are authorized to use department-approved, less-lethal force techniques, issued equipment, and canines to achieve the legitimate, lawful objectives of their duties.”
The policy gives added attention to what officers should do when confronted by someone who is agitated or behaving erratically, referred to as excited delirium, which is defined as “a descriptive phrase used by medical researchers to describe the extreme end of a continuum of drug abuse effects, which normally manifests itself as violent behavior in an individual, who is likely to act in a bizarre and manic way.“ It also addresses the use of choke holds such as the restraining technique that led to the death of George Floyd.
But the policy makes clear that “the reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable deputy on scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. The calculus of reasonableness must allow for the fact that deputies must make split‐second decisions in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving.
Below are the general guidelines for Sandoval County deputies’ use of force.
Weapons, Equipment, Tactics and Techniques
The device shall be carried in an approved holster on the side of the body opposite to the service handgun.
The device shall be carried fully armed with the safety on in preparation for immediate use, when authorized
All proficiency training is monitored by a certified weapons or tactics instructor.
Training and proficiency is documented.
Those employees unable to demonstrate proficiency with authorized lethal and less lethal weapons shall receive remedial training and must qualify with those weapons prior to resuming official duties.
All agency personnel authorized to carry lethal and less-lethal weapons receive copies of, and instruction on, the department use of force policy prior to being authorized to carry a weapon. The instruction and issuance of the department use of force policy shall be documented and maintained in the employee’s training record.
In addition to training required for firearms qualification, deputies shall receive agency-authorized training designed to simulate actual shooting situations and conditions, as otherwise necessary, to enhance deputy discretion and judgment in using deadly and less-lethal force in accordance with this policy.
Deputies shall receive training on recognizing signs and symptoms of excited delirium during the ECD certification training as well as receiving any updated information concerning this condition during the annual use of force training.
Corrales was again the setting for a made-for-TV movie earlier this month. Crews for ABC’s Big Sky series established a base of operations along Corrales Road south of the Corrales Post Office while filming here and in Rio Rancho. This is for season 2, starring Katheryn Winnick, Kylie Bunbury, Brian Geraghty, Dedee Pfeiffer, Omar Metally and Anja Savcic. The first season was filmed in British Columbia. The story line follows private detectives who investigate a car crash outside Helena, Montana, which turns complicated. Their work collides with a band of unsuspecting teens and a vicious outsider. The story is based on books by C.J. Box.
Production is expected to employ more than 500 New Mexicans as crew and even more as background talent and extras during the filming season that would run through April 2022. The production company, 20th Television, operates within the Disney Studios network. Its work has win 211 Emmy awards and Peabody Awards. among its many shows are The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mash, Modern Family, Glee and Batman.
After a work-study session on how to make Corrales’ laws consistent with state law on marijuana growing, sale and use, the Village Council considered more modifications. The council’s vote on Ordinance 21-06 could not be included in this issue. The proposed amendment to the Corrales ordinance regarding cannabis growing and use reads as follows.
“Cannabis-related activities, approval and permit required.
For purpose of this section, all measurements for the purpose of determining the location of a cannabis retail establishment, cannabis consumption area, or cannabis courier in relation to schools or daycare centers shall be the shortest direct line measurement between the actual limits of the real property of the school or daycare center and the actual limits of the real property of the proposed cannabis establishment, cannabis consumption area, or cannabis courier.
(1) No person(s) or entity shall engage in the production, manufacture, or sale of cannabis or cannabis products in any zones without a current business registration and a valid cannabis permit issued by the Village of Corrales, permitting the specific cannabis-related activity or activities sought to be permitted on the premises. Cannabis permits are issued to the applicant(s) and are not assignable or transferable. Compliance with this section does not alleviate the applicant(s) from requiring approval from the Planning Administrator for all other applicable sections of 18-45.
(2) Application and fee. Anyone wishing to conduct cannabis-related activity must submit a completed application. The application shall be returned to the Administrator accompanied by the appropriate application fee for the use(s) to be permitted, and must show, at a minimum:
(a) the cannabis-related activity or activities are appropriately licensed by the State Regulation and Licensing Department pursuant to the Cannabis Regulation Act.
(b) the cannabis retailer, cannabis consumption area, or cannabis courier facility to be permitted may not be located within 300 feet of a school or daycare center in existence at the time a permit was sought.
(c) the cannabis retailer and cannabis consumption area seeking a permit may not be located within 200 feet of another cannabis retailer or cannabis consumption area in existence at the time a permit was sought.
(d) a site plan, including all greenhouse(s) proposed for the growth of cannabis and any accessory structure(s) located on the premises.
(e) valid proof of identity of the person(s) seeking the permit, indicating they are at least 21 years of age.
(f) proof of ownership or legal occupancy of the premises to be permitted, including an affidavit from the owner of the property that the applicant has permission to conduct cannabis-related activity on the premises if the property is not owned by the applicant.
(g) a valid New Mexico gross receipts tax number.
(h) the name, mailing address, email address, and contact phone numbers (including 24-hour emergency contact numbers) of the owner of the property for which the permit will be issued.
(i) The name, mailing address, email address, and contact phone numbers (including 24-hour emergency contact numbers) of the applicant, if different than the owner of the property.
(j) all other legal requirements as provided for according to the regulations set forth by the Regulation and Licensing Division pertaining to cannabis and cannabis related activity
(3) Compliance with 18-45(a) and 18-45(b) required. Any cannabis establishment seeking to construct or occupy a building or structure requiring a site development plan pursuant to 18-45(a)-(b) of the Village Code must provide documentation of Site Plan approval at the time of permit application.
(a) Greenhouses or other structures incidental to the production of cannabis or cannabis products shall be equipped with an activated carbon HVAC filtration system sized to effectively abate odor emissions.”
The full ordinance makes other changes to the Village’s Code of Ordinances Section 18-32 through 18-45, Section 24-23 and Section 24-26 “providing zoning and permitting regulations for the production and use of recreational cannabis pursuant to the Cannabis Regulation Act of 2021.”
Revisions also affect where smoking marijuana is permissible. Section 14-51, Smoking in Public Buildings, is amended to include “Cannabis. The smoking of cannabis or cannabis products is prohibited in all public areas, including those marked with ‘smoking allowed’ signage as indicated in Subsection 2 of this section.”
The new regulations are considered necessary because “the Village finds that high-yield crop raising, often referred to as ‘intensive agriculture,’ is a common practice with cannabis production, and has potential adverse impacts such as increased discharge of pollutants and light or odiferous nuisances on the village if not properly regulated.”
The August 10 work-study session with the Village Council and Planning and Zoning Commissioners was led by the Village Attorney Randy Autio and P&Z Administrator Laurie Stout.
“It primarily focused on ways to mitigate some of the known issues around cannabis-growing and retail security measures needed, odor abatement methods, exterior lighting and where smoking would be allowed,” Stout said.
“Most of those have been addressed in the earlier draft ordinance, but the Village Attorney was taking notes and the next council meeting may have changes. The main thrust is to get ordinances in place prior to when we have to start accepting applications, and if they need to be tweaked later, they can be.”
Village officials have been anticipating an onslaught of requests to set up marijuana-growing operations here following legalization of cannabis use for recreation and businesses catering to that demand.
Ordinance 21-06 is the proposed municipal law to bring the Village of Corrales into compliance with the State of New Mexico’s Cannabis Regulation Act that took effect July 1.
Commercial production of marijuana, or cannabis, has been under way in Corrales for more than five years for use in medical treatments, as permitted by the N.M. Legislature’s passage of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. State permits to grow and sell medical marijuana have been issued in increasing numbers as the number of patients being treated with prescription cannabis has soared.
As widely predicted, the N.M. Legislature moved ahead to legalize recreational marijuana in early 2021; the governor signed the Cannabis Regulation Act in April 2021. In a sense, Village officials have anticipated the changes now being implemented for more than five years. In 2017, the Village invited state regulators to explain what lay ahead. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXVI No.17 November 11, 2017 “Marijuana Farm Rules.”)
Back then, well before legalizing marijuana, the controversy was over medical marijuana cultivation and sale and what kind of ordinance should be enacted to regulate it. Three officials from the N.M. Department of Health addressed a council-P&Z work-study session October 24, 2017. A month earlier the Village Council had passed a 90-day moratorium on new applications from medical cannabis growers. The resulting law did not intend to ban marijuana for medical use outright, but would indicate what areas of the community might be appropriate for that use. Most emphasis was setting industry “best practices” for growing and processing marijuana without creating nuisances or disturbances for residents.
At the work-study session, the Health Department’s (DOH) public information officer, Kenny Vigil clarified that the agency’s rules did not require any particular height for perimeter fences around cannabis sites, nor that the plants must be grown indoors. “We approved an outdoor grow earlier this year,” Vigil said in 2017. At that time, a total of 14,500 licensed marijuana plants were being grown around the state. The product was sold at 60 authorized dispensaries. Between 200 and 600 applications were received every day, he reported. New Mexico then had approximately 49,000 medical cannabis users, about half of whom were registered as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
After yet another failure of the sewer line through Corrales’ business district, Village officials have applied for a $50,000 grant from the N.M. Environment Department to design an emergency bypass line. The agreement with NMED was considered at the August 17 council meeting. The wastewater line down the east side of Corrales Road leading to Albuquerque’s sewer line south of Alameda Boulevard, near Pep Boys, could not carry wastewater last month when valves near Rincon and Corrales Roads failed to function as designed. But the need for a bypass line was evident when a blockage shut the line down last year. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXIX No.,18, December 5, 2020 “Sewer Clog Was From Brewery, and Vol.XXXX No.5 April 24, 2021 “Re-Thinking Corrales Sewer System Retrofit.”)
The council’s resolution specified that the grant agreement was “to plan, design, construct a wastewater emergency bypass and collection system for Corrales.” Already under way is an extension of sewer service to higher density neighborhoods east of Corrales Road along Priestly and Coroval Roads. Earlier this year, Public Works Director Mike Chavez responded to questions from Councillor Mel Knight about installing a bypass sewer line in case more blockages occur in the future. “We are in the starting block for planning a bypass in case something happens to our main sewer line,” Chaves said. “But we also want to pick up wastewater from the residents that it will serve.”
Villagers have debated for years what kind of sewer system would best serve the community —or rather, what the community could afford or find funding for. Decades ago, rough estimates put the cost for sewering all of Corrales at around $70 million. Virtually everyone agreed that was unlikely to come our way.
After the decision was made to build a liquids-only wastewater line rather than a much more expensive conventional “big pipe” sewer, the next dispute was the more technical question whether the proposed wastewater line should accept ground-up solids or just water, leaving solids in septic tanks to be pumped out periodically. After much discussion, in 2012 Village officials rejected the proposal for a grinder-pump system. Now that idea is back.
At the April 13, 2021 Village Council meeting, Public Works Director Chavez responded to a question from Councillor Stu Murray saying he is exploring the possibility that the existing sewer could be converted to a grinder-pump or vacuum system. “That’s in the works,” Chavez replied. Little related discussion followed at the council meeting, but the vacuum or grinder pump alternatives were under consideration after a sewer line blockage in early November last year. In 2012 while planning was well under way for the liquids-only sewer line, Village officials held intense discussions about whether the system would accommodate grinder-pumps. The Village’s engineering firm, Souder, Miller and Associates, was directed to determine whether the sewer system could operate effectively with grinder pumps replacing septic tanks.
Village officials wanted to know what the cost would be for homeowners and business owners to connect to the sewer line, and what the Village’s ongoing costs would be to operate and maintain such a system. Then-Mayor Phil Gasteyer said state officials overseeing the project and administering state and federal funds for it, “concur that a grinder pump system is preferable for the Corrales situation.” Left unexplained is why the Souder Miller firm did not recommend and design such a system in the first place.
In fact, during the long process leading up to installation of the sewer main along the east side of Corrales Road from Wagner Lane to an Albuquerque sewage station south of Alameda Boulevard, the Souder Miller project manager advised grinder pumps could not be used, with the possible exception of a few commercial users. Gasteyer said in 2012 that he had been assured by officials in the Environment Department’s Construction Program Bureau, its Liquid Waste Bureau and its Groundwater Quality Bureau that a grinder pump system would not only be possible, but preferable.
Gasteyer said funding already available for the sewer project could probably could have covered any additional costs from switching to grinder pumps. “If the N.M. Environment Department, as the supervisory and funding agency, is satisfied with the modifications to grinder pumps, I am optimistic that the associated costs will be absorbed from the State’s Clean Water Revolving Fund loan and grant,” the mayor said at the time. As designed and engineered by Souder Miller, the Corrales sewer was to be a liquids-only system that would retain existing septic tanks at each home and business in the community’s commercial district but eliminate leach fields.
Other villagers, including former Mayor Gary Kanin who initiated the sewer project a decade earlier, argued that it should have been a conventional “big pipe” system into which all sewage from homes and businesses flowed. But following Souder Miller’s recommendations and directives from N.M. Environment Department, the six-inch diameter sewer main is now in place. Connection to Albuquerque’s sewage pumping station near Pep Boys on North Coors was accomplished.
A regal, fluffy cat has joined the race to become Corrales’ next Pet Mayor. Ballots will be tallied on the last day of the Harvest Festival, September 26. Votes are $1 each. A ballot box will be available at the Corrales Growers’ Market this month and next. Other ballot boxes are at the Frontier Mart, Village Pizza, the Phillips 66 gas station, Village Mercantile, the Bistro, Ex Novo and Boxing Bear Brewery. The eighth and final candidate is Lugh, a cat owned by Deborah Dapson. His campaign slogan is “Ready for any CATastrophe!” Lugh’s entry follows that of five dogs, a peacock and a Giant Canada goose.
Jewel, a Standard Poodle, owned by Elizabeth Gutierrez, was the first dog to enter the race. Jewel’s campaign slogan is “The world needs more love, belly rubs, and paws-itivity!” She wants to show the entire village that you can get things done with a little more love.
The second dog was Skittle, a Labrador owned by Allison Coulombe. Skittle’s campaign slogan “She’s not just any Labrador, she’s a LOVE-a-dore!” Odin was the next candidate, and is owned by Laura Arciniegas. He is a Great Pyrenees and a big lovable boy. Odin’s campaign slogan is “Sun’s out, tongue’s out, vote for me!” He’s laid back, but can really get things done when he wants to. Nessie was the fourth candidate, and she’s just a baby. She’s a Newfoundland puppy owned also by Laura Arciniegas. Nessie’s campaign slogan is, “Enough happy to go around.”
The next-to-last candidate, a three-month-old Lab puppy named Bliss, is already in training to become a service dog. Her campaign slogan is “Future Service Dog Will Serve Disabled. But Ready Now to Help Corrales.” You can cast your vote (money) online at corralesharvestfestival.com, or at the locations listed above. As always, voting is $1 per vote, ($2 per vote online) and you can vote as often as you want, and with as much money as you want. The Pet Mayor election is a fundraiser benefitting local organizations.
The coronavirus continues to slam Corrales. Three hundred seventy-two cases had been reported here on Monday, August 16. “COVID cases continue to increase,” Mayor Jo Anne Roake warned. “Both Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties are still at ‘substantial’ risk. Corrales has new cases almost every day, and our community has lost people to this new surge. What can we do? Get vaccinated. Wear a Mask indoors or in crowded places. Situational awareness and adaptability will get us through. If you have concerns about the vaccine, please contact Commander Tanya Lattin at 703-4182. She is here to help,” the mayor urged.
Calls are intensifying nationwide for measures to confront the disease. The Union of Concerned Scientists called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to “do a better job of collecting data and staying on top of new developments. “As our kids head back to school, ensuring that we have the correct data and science-based guidance is all the more critical,” the organization’s pandemic response outreach coordinator said. “To protect public health, the main thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated. However, we also need to collect essential data on COVID-19 cases and transmission so that we’re able to respond quickly to new developments with smart evidence-based policies.
“Contrary to the CDC director’s statement in July, the COVID-19 pandemic is not a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated.’ The evidence of vaccinated infection and transmission shows that the CDC must step up and proactively collect data on ‘breakthrough’ cases, transmission and emerging variants.” Although many Corraleños are acting as though the pandemic has passed, 335 people here had the illness as of July 16. Thirty-seven more were added less than a month later.
As of July 16, 4,372 New Mexicans had died from COVID-19, and 207,002 had tested positive for the coronavirus. As of August 14, New Mexico had recorded 218,569 cases, mostly in the 30-50 age group, and 4,446 had died. Two hundred ninety-six were hospitalized with the disease on that date.
Seventy artists from Corrales and the surrounding area will exhibit, and hopefully sell, their creations during the three-day Corrales Art and Studio Tour September 10-12. Paintings, sculpture, fiber art, ceramics, fused glass, digital art, pastels and photography will be shown,s will one-of-a-kind jewelry and unique wood dowel wall hangings. A preview gallery at Casa Vieja, 4541 Corrales Road, will introduce tour-goers to what lies ahead. The gallery will open Friday, September 10, 1-4 p.m. and be open throughout the weekend 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Maps of participating studios and gallery locations will be available at Casa Vieja along with a tour catalog. They will also be available from a booth outside the Frontier Mart and other shops in Corrales. Or they can be downloaded at CorralesArtsSudioTour.com. The tour is in its 23rd year, continuously except for pandemic-stricken 2020. Works of art will be priced from the $20 range to several hundred dollars.
This year’s tour features many who have exhibited in the past and several new participants. Among those returning are Barbara Clark, Krysteen Waszak, Sandra Corless, Susana Erling, Ken Duckert, Jeff Warren, Bonnie Mitisek, Lynne Pomeranz, Sue Ellen Rael, Rick Snow and Juan Wijngaard. In addition to those are, in alphabetical order: Chip and Linda Babb, Laura Balombini, Corky Baron, Michael Baron, Kevin Black, Elaine Bolz, John Boyes, Linda Boyes, Lynda Burch, Barbara Burzillo, Candace Cavellier, Christiane Couvert, Diane Cutter, Linda Dillenback, Amy Ditto, Denise Elvrum, Rex Funk, Myra Gadson, Terri Garcia, Doreen Garten, Renee Brainard Gentz, Tricia George, Cherrymae Golston, Roger Green, Karla Hackman, Gail Grambling Harrison,
D.L. Horton, Elizabeth Huffman, Paul Knight, Fran Krukar, Urey Lemen, Victoria Mauldin, Sandra Moench, Rita Noe, Jenn Noel, Sharon Patrick, Martha Rajkay, Leah Henriquez Ready, Liz Roberts, Maggie Y. Robinson, Barbara Rosen, Sharon Rutherford, Dave Sabo, Cristina Sanchez, Peggy Schey, Mickie Sharp, Tricia Simmons, Emily Spykman, Ivana Starcevic, Greta Stockebrand, Gale Sutton-Barbere, Chris Turri, Gina Voelker Bobrowski, Ken Wallace and Beth Waldron Yuhas.
Since the tour began, Corrales Comment has featured two or more artists participating in that year’s event.They and their artwork have been highlighted in a centerfold photospread and their explanation for their creations have been captured through recorded interview. This year, the featured artists are Paul Knight showing jewelry produced in his workshop and Linda Dillenback, whose paintings often depict succulents, while not neglecting rabbits and other critters.
This is Knight’s first year with the studio tour; he will be stationed at Dave Sabo’s studio at the north end of Corrales, rather than at his workshop at the 1.5-acre farm he shares with wife Chris Allen. His metal work is mostly in silver and bronze, but he has produced etchings, illustrations and paintings as well. For the tour, he’ll offer jewelry that can be bought for as little as $25 and other works priced at $300.
The 69-year-old considers himself semi-retired, although he keeps up a routine that some would find grueling. He had recently turned in a report on a field biological survey conducted for the national firm NV5. “I’m doing field studies all the time. I just got done walking two-thirds of the way to Farmington. I run field crews, and I do the reports. I see things all the time that go into my artwork. I get ideas all the time.” The artist, who holds a master’s degree in botany, served 10 years as N.M. State Botanist. His graduate work was in paleo-ethnobotany (the identification of prehistoric plant remains, a subject matter that often turns up in his art.
“In the show, I’ll concentrate on jewelry. I have a lot of different kinds. I will have material that I have collected from the Triassic time period, and Bronze Age jewelry —most people won’t know, but probably every single one of their European ancestors, men and women, for 3,000 years wore only bronze jewelry. Gold and silver generally was not available to people, so bronze was the jewelry from about 2,500 BC to about 500 AD.”
He’ll also show jewelry made from dichroic glass, which has been coated with certain metals which results in high reflectivity, and art pieces from glass as pendants depicting such critters as bees and dragonflies. Those are more recent artforms. “I started out doing etchings and engravings. Later on, I moved into watercolor, mainly of wildlife that I observed around the country and, to some degree, around the world.”
Knight also produces mosaics and bronze sculpture, large and small pieces. “I love doing bronzes. I like doing bronzes almost more than anything else, but the cost of making them and then selling them can be prohibitive.” He explained that a bronze sculpture would cost a minimum of $2,000 a foot in height, so if the piece is five feet tall “you’re talking about $10,000 just to cast it.” He pulled out some small bronzes, maybe two inches tall. “I thought about trying to sell some of these, but there is a lot of work in doing something like that. I’d probably have to sell that for $200 plus dollars, and it’s a small item, so I’m not convinced that people would want to spend that much on them.” Over the past 35 years, most of his jewelry, such as bracelets and earrings, has gone to family members.
Knight has taken only one art class. “That was because, I used to fence and I got stabbed with a sword. I had trouble with muscles in my arm, so the doctor recommended art. I took one art class and that’s when I started drawing. I had never really drawn anything before that. I found drawing very satisfying.” He tried several media, but found he couldn’t tolerate chemicals in oil paints. “But I’m always experimenting with media. The progression has been from pencils to painting, to bronzes to mosaics, etchings, engravings to glass work. “The only ones of those that I haven’t done recently are the etchings and engravings. Everything else I still do. For subject matter, it is whatever strikes me at the moment.” A possible new departure is combining bronze with glass. “I have some ideas on how to do that.”
Linda Dillenback has shown her paintings during the Corrales Art and Studio Tour for 10 years. Her painting style may be one of the most recognizable among all the exhibitors, given her consistent subject matter, cacti, and a direct, up-close presentation reminiscent of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work. Dillenback’s paintings were shown in the Onyxswan Gallery in Old Town until it closed amid the pandemic. She will have four paintings in the Fine Arts Galley at the State Fairgrounds September 9-19. For the last several years, her work has been juried into the Corrales Historial Society’s Old Church Art Show.
For the Corrales Art and Studio Tour, she will display at least 15 paintings, most priced between $300 and $525 for the larger sizes. “I want what I show to be representational of the kind of work I can do. So I’m not going to just give away something that I’m really not fond of. On the other hand, it’s really hard for me to part with something that I’ve worked really hard on, and that I’ve learned something with. So I think ‘Oh my gosh, I’ll never be able to do that again!’”
A native of rural Kansas, she received little formal art training; the schools she attended offered no art classes. On the other hand, “What I did during the pandemic was watch a video or two every day about artists around the United States, in all media. So I kinda took a master’s class in art. I don’t know that it improved me any, frankly, but it was inspiring and kept me upbeat.”
She studied portraiture briefly with Deborah Wilcox, which has influenced her work. “If I can suggest something without putting it down in total detail, that’s a big accomplishment. I work on that. You can get so caught up in detail that you don’t take a nice swipe of paint and put it down and leave it down. What Debbie said was, ‘if you take more than three brush strokes, you’re over-working it. But that’s hard to do!”
“I like to do a lot of cactus. I like to do a lot of faces, especially children and dogs. Rabbits are challenging, and I like challenges like painting fur. I tend to be, but I’m working on expressing a certain amount of detail without actually putting it there.”
“Most artists like to try to capture the personality of their subject, and sometimes it’s whimsical… like the way a cow will look at you.” The artist completes around 15 paintings over a year’s time, all oils. “I’ve experimented with acrylic and watercolor to some degree, but I like oil.” Dillenback described herself as a slow, methodical painter who likes to fix what may be errors as they come up. “I like happy mistakes as well.” Her paintings are almost always crisply defined and meticulous in detail, such as the array of needles on cactus. “I love colors and I love patterns.” She has done a few commissioned paintings; a relative’s dog and friend’s horses.
Dillenback has painted most of her adulthood, although not continually. Wherever she lived, she usually found a group of artists with whom she could paint. Asked which artists had the greatest influence on her, she first mentioned Georgia O’Keeffe. “I have many artists whose work I look at to learn from. Talk about simplicity, with George O’Keeffe you know exactly what she’s painting.”
By Sandi Hoover
As one of many birders in the United States, I can attest to what a weird bunch we are. Behavior can be extreme in pursuit of our avocation. Some are occasional, casual birders, content to see birds in their backyard or nearby. Others are fanatics to the point of obsession. Here are some things to know if you take up birding. Today, birders add an unbelievable $85 billion to the U.S. economy every year! These dollars are spent on equipment and clothing, travel, food, lodging, plus professional guides to help locate birds. According to estimates, nearly one in four Americans considers him or herself a bird watcher.
In appearance, you can expect to be dressed in specialized attire never shown on designers’ runways. It’s amazing how many dollars can be spent to look dorky. Starting at ground level, shoes range from tennis shoes to expensive hiking boots built to repel water and muck collected from trekking through marshes and swamps. Footwear is like a field vehicle —choose carefully because it will get dirty or ruined. The truism about the perfect car for a field trip —take someone else’s— works when thinking about shoes as well. Wear those you would toss.
Moving upward, another essential item is a pair of pants with pockets to carry the necessities of life to ward off the wilderness —even if venturing into the backwoods only 50 feet. The pants should be made of lightweight, quick-drying material with pockets upon pockets to hold sunscreen, bug repellent, lip balm, car keys, a birding guide, identification, tissues, water bottle (hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!), lens cleaner for binoculars, and possibly an iPad. Those pants usually have a zipper to convert them into unflattering shorts. However, in parts of the world where chiggers and ticks exist, one never removes the bottom, no matter how hot it might be. People have a valid concern about ticks, but they are far more visible than chiggers, and it’s relatively easy to eliminate them with a thorough check at home after a day pursuing birds. The real fear is the pain of chiggers.
So the pant legs stay on, tucked into white cotton socks (a look not imitated on fashion pages) to minimize the opportunity to provide a meal for those microscopic mites. Known as red bugs or %@!!*# chiggers, these tiny arachnids worm their way into garments, and onto skin, where they travel until they find a constricted spot —underwear edges preferred. There they bury their proboscis in tasty flesh and inject their digestive mix. If this sounds awful, it is! After dissolving part of a person, they suck up the juices —another lovely image.
The aftermath is worse, leaving you itching for several days with a reaction to mite saliva. If you have never met a chigger, you cannot understand the lengths one will go to avoid being lunch for those almost invisible creatures. Bug sprays on socks, sulfur powder, clothes soaked in DEET (rather death by poisons than the misery of itching and scratching for days on end), all are fair game for chigger avoidance. The wilderness demands toughness —or chemicals. Moving upward. You will want a long-sleeved shirt. Best if sun-and-bug-repellent coated, as well as water-resistant, and anti-microbial, so fellow birders are not offended by odors. Color? Beige or green, and the least flattering shades. Birds won’t smell you coming soaked in bug repellent. Most —excepting vultures have no sense of smell.
Next, a vest replete with pockets, homes for whatever didn’t fit in the pants. Pencil and notebook and at least one zippered pocket for money or keys. Who knows what you can tuck in one of the innumerable inner pockets —a several-course meal at the very least. A hat, again beige, or dull green; camo is mostly taboo, since it has been taken over by gun-toting non-birders. Large picture brim hats are verboten. Now you are properly attired and can proceed to hunt the feathered creatures. No longer do you hunt them as John James Audubon did, with shotgun or rifle. You go afield with ‘bins’ (binoculars) and spotting scopes.
Behavior is the way to identify fanatics. They are beyond the “committed” birders, defined as those who can identify forty different birds. They are unstoppable in pursuit of birds, perhaps obsessive-compulsive. They are the tickers. The movie, The Big Year, poignantly funny, was based on real people who were well-known in the birding community. Tickers need to count the different birds they see and tally them on their score card. The yearlong record was broken in 2016 when one person saw 783 species, dramatically surpassing the previous record of 749.
Scoring these rarities on the owner’s life list counts more than other sightings. Is it the thrill of the chase…perhaps the difficulty involved in spotting? Many people collect coins, stamps, porcelain, antiques, or tractors, if they live in Corrales. These are things occupying space, requiring dusting or maintaining in some way. Birders also collect —experiences and an assemblage that, while it grows, takes no dusting and no space other than bytes on a computer or words on paper. The goal is not just a number; this collection reminds us of our connection to the natural world, and the fragility of its ecosystems.
Birding is a way to observe creatures as they go about their lives. It is voyeurism of a sort, as we peer through binoculars to have a magnified look at their activities. We grab a snapshot of their world; a brief time when we glimpse their abilities. There is irony in that the number of birders is increasing while the number of birds is declining rapidly. The populations of many bird species have dropped by seventy percent or more based on data gathered for a century. This decrease is felt in ways people are not aware of. Birds play important roles in pest control, in pollination, and some are intimately entwined with the creation or propagation of forests. All will be missed if they disappear.
Do we only value things as they become rarer?