Posts in Category: 2020-July 11 Issue

2020 – JULY 11 ISSUE: CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

The announced Corrales Fourth of July Parade was cancelled just days before it was to have launched due to an intense spike in COVID-19 infections. Of the 753 cases in Sandoval County at that time, 22 were in Corrales. Mayor Jo Anne Roake encouraged strict adherence to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s toughened guidelines. On July 3, the mayor’s message urged compliance with the new orders. “The Village will always put your safety first in this time of pandemic. It’s been the message for months.

“We’ve had to cancel the vehicle-only Fourth of July Parade.We thought we’d be in Stage 2 [of re-opening] by now, and our cases would be down. Instead, we are spiking, and some are not observing social distancing rules or wearing masks.
“So we just cannot risk the possibility of a mass gathering, or a super-spreader. We will get through this if we pull together, and when we do, we will have one heck of a party.”

According to the governor’s public health order, anyone in a public setting, such as a store, restaurant, park or other site, should wear a face covering. Failure to do so could bring a $100 fine. A fine may be imposed on a business that refuses to require face covering and on a proprietor who does not don one when attending to members of the public. Citations may be issued by a State Police officer or local police.

Exemptions from the face-covering rule are for eating, drinking or exercising. Such violations or non-compliance can be reported at http://www.newmexico. gov/2020. A complaint should not be called to the 911 emergency line. Anyone returning to New Mexico after out-of-state travel is required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Village Administrator Ron Curry said Corrales residents generally were respecting and complying with newly imposed restrictions to confront the disease’s spread. He said police officers were not having to contend with villagers who rebelled against the governor’s public health orders.“Our police folks have been practicing community policing for many years, so if there has been an issue, generally speaking, it has been some one who is trying to intrude into the village.

“When we started the new style at the Corrales Growers’ Market, that created some controversy with some folks, until they got in the groove. Now we’re back to the traditional style with a lot of social distancing.

“But as far as people being intemperate, we’ve had some complaints about some establishments around town where people have not worn a mask, but we’ve been pretty quiet about it. The governor has given us a little more emphasis to deal with resistance so we can manage it better.

“Our hope is that people will continue to inform themselves that this isn’t a political issue, it’s a public health issue that we’re trying to deal with.

“There have been a few incidents, but I’d say that most people are trying to comply.”

2020 – JULY 11 ISSUE: GET YOUR NOMINATION IN FOR PET MAYOR 2020


The pandemic may have halted many events in their tracks, including the State Fair and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, but Tracy and Chuck Stabenow and the forces behind the Corrales Harvest Festival are determined that the 2020 Pet Mayor election will go forward.

The Harvest Festival itself still officially is scheduled to take place September 26 and 27, though whether that will stand likely is in doubt. Still, Corrales needs a Pet Mayor in these troubled times. The 2019 Pet Mayor, Tank, continues to serve, his tongue well out when temperatures top 90 degrees.

Pet Mayor organizers are seeking candidates from right now through August 24. If your critter is calm, cool, conciliatory and well-informed, consider entering her/him in the contest. To register on line, see http://www.corralesharvestfestival.com/2020-pet-mayoral-election.

As of press time, the form could not filled on line. But that may change. Meanwhile, print out the form, fill it in and mail it to Pet Mayor Election, 4 Acoma Trail, Corrales, NM 87048. Or print it, fill it out, scan or photograph it, and email it to petmayor@corralesharvestfestival.com.

Then, develop a catchy campaign slogan for your pet, and create a campaign flyer that can be put on the Harvest Festival’s website for all to see. The more creative your campaign flyer, the more votes you likely will receive.

Due to social distancing and safety, the election will be handled differently this year. Campaigning and voting all will happen online. No polling stations will be set up this year, and no candidates will make appearances. So it is vital you visit the Corrales Harvest Festival’s website to view and vote for candidates.

If all goes as planned, voting will begin September 1, and end the last weekend of September. Voting is $1 per vote, and you can vote online as often and for as much money as you would like. This is a fundraiser, and Pet Mayor planners want to continue raising money for organizations and activities that benefit the needs of Corrales’ two-legged and four-legged community. The new pet mayor will be announced on Sunday, September 27, the possibility of a Pet Parade still under discussion. And all participants will receive awards and prizes.

If you have questions about the pet mayor election, please call Tracy Stabenow at 713-202-5805.

As for the Corrales Harvest Festival, scheduled to run September 26 and 27, long time Kiwanis volunteer and former Festival chief Tony Messec emailed that for months Kiwanis has been discussing the possibility of holding the 2020 Corrales Harvest Festival, though since March many involved were skeptical about being able to hold the usual style festival.

“We held out hope for a miracle: a successful treatment or a vaccine. When it became clear that wasn’t going to happen, we did make an official decision last month that the 2020 Harvest Festival would not be held in its traditional fashion. We’re still hoping to be able to have some virtual activities such as the Pet Mayor race, hootenanny — suggestions from Corrales Comment readers are welcome— but there will be no tractor hay rides, Arts and Crafts Fair, Food Court, or similar, in 2020.”

Messec added that “We’re really sorry, because we know how much many locals look forward to the annual CHF. We enjoy staging it, even though it practically kills some of us each year. And, it raises funds that we can pass back to worthwhile organizations in our community. That’s probably our biggest regret. That’s what Kiwanis clubs exist to do: provide assistance to children and our communities. We expect to be able to hold a 2021 CHF and will begin working toward that goal in the fall.”

2020-JULY 11 ISSUE: BALLOON FIESTA POSTPONED


By Meredith Hughes

We have no Balloon Fiesta this year, yet another casualty of the pandemic which had been fairly well beaten back in New Mexico —until it no longer was.

Ironically, the Balloon Fiesta Park field has been functioning busily for some time as a drive-up COVID-19 testing site via Presbyterian, which typically can do about 800 tests per day. Yet it was so overwhelmed July 3, with cars backed up onto San Mateo by 11 a.m., that Presbyterian closed up early. Normally, the site is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. To be certain of hours call 841-1234.

The testing site issue was just one of many tackled by those guiding the non-profit Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in recent weeks. It posted the fiesta postponement notice on its website June 22, stating, “This year we were prepared to host more than 600 pilots, facilitate 1,657 RV reservations, coordinate with hundreds of sponsors, support more than a thousand volunteers, order 230,000 pieces of merchandise, as well as work with entertainers and concessionaires.”

“It’s an extensive process that requires a lot of planning. If we were to move forward with these steps, and in the end not be able to have an event in October, it would put the event and organization in a very vulnerable position.”

Corrales’ Matt Guthrie, chairman of the all-volunteer, 24-person fiesta board, supported by a year-round staff of 20, said in a recent interview that “multiple scenarios were considered,” during many meetings.

The first was to go “all-in,” as usual, but “as things tightened we looked at a second scenario, or Balloon Fiesta Light.”

This version of the event would have limited everything —balloons, spectators, and vendors, operating with strict directional traffic guidelines, eliminating music events, chain saw carving and similar, as well as buffet food operations. As Guthrie pointed out, the park is big enough that traffic could well have been contained.

Then came scenario C, Cyber Fiesta. “No guests, only 200 “local” balloons, but even this would have been dependent on finding safe lodging for visitors….” This might have made many happy, Guthrie noted, “As people here like saying, it’s October, and look at all the balloons in the air!” But, this “Mecca of world balloonists” surely would have been constrained by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s July 1 amendment to the state public health order requiring interstate and overseas travelers to self-isolate or self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival in New Mexico.

So then, inevitably, the decision to postpone —not cancel, but postpone. Why that word choice? Because the fiesta thus will take place in 2021, keeping the numbering accurate, according to Guthrie.The 50th anniversary celebration will then be held, one assumes, in 2022.

Fiesta organizers point out that “all 2020 tickets purchased whether General Admission, Park & Ride, Gondola Club, Chasers Club, Concierge or Glamping will be valid at Balloon Fiesta 2021, scheduled to take place October 2-10.”
Also, all RV reservations in place for 2020 will be honored in 2021. Visitors who cannot attend the 2021 event but hold bookings for 2020 can contact balloons@balloonfiesta.com or call 821-1000 for assistance.

An odd plus for collectors of fiesta patches and gear is that items purchased back in January for this year’s expected event, are for sale online, at balloonfiestastuff.com. True collectors find value in objects slated to be released in conjunction with an event on a certain date, that does not then materialize.

You must create an account, log in, purchase, and then either drive to the Fiesta Office at 4401 Alameda for pickup, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4, or the event’s staff will mail your items to you.

Aside from the loss to New Mexico of tourism revenue generated by close to 900,000 visitors, this decision impacts the event’s loyal vendors, many of whom count on Balloon Fiesta sales to keep their businesses going. Guthrie believes some already have run out of the revenue that the fiesta typically would refresh. Fiesta decision-makers stated online that “we know that there is an entire community, city and state invested in [the Balloon Fiesta’s] success, making this the most difficult decision we’ve ever faced as an organization.”

Corrales balloonist and longtime volunteer Steve Komadina said “There really was no other decision that could have been made in an extraordinary time.  Regardless of what the government has said, it was the right thing to do for the safety of the pilots, crews, spectators and sponsors.  Looking forward to return to normal next year,  if the virus is tamed.”

Former Corrales Mayor Scott Kominiak responded, “Not much choice this  year since the essence of the event is massive crowds enjoying the show.  Looking forward to next year.”

Corrales pilot Bill Dickey summed it up this way: “I am glad the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta had the courage to do the right thing. We have been flying in the fiesta for the last 40 years, and involved for 48 years.  We will really miss having it this year.  But, extraordinary times require extraordinary measures.” Village Administrator Ron Curry, who pilots the 770 KOB balloon, weighed in, too. “Right call all around. I hope the idea of a pop-up fiesta does not happen.  It could create issues for us all. We all can still drink Gruet!”

And there is this positive note: a drive-in movie theater is going in now in the south parking lot of Balloon Fiesta field. Installed by Pop Up Movies of America, the theater will accommodate a maximm of 500 cars, due to social distancing, and likely will show the film Back to the Future first.

2020 – JULY 11 ISSUE: MARY DAVIS’ NEW BOOK GETS ZOOM TALK JULY 28

Mary Davis, historian summa cum laude of Corrales and beyond, just did her first book promo Zoom for fans of her newest book, Hometown Corrales: A Family Album, courtesy of Bookworks in Albuquerque.

She decided to sit in front of her randomly filled bookshelf for her remote chat, as is now customary among celebs and the litterati. This hour-long virtual event June 21 attracted just over a dozen possible customers/readers. Coming July 28 at 1 p.m. is Davis’ second Zoom appearance, this one for members of Village in the Village. For more information, call 274-6206.

As reported by Corrales Comment the end of last year, “Ten years of researching, interviewing, hair-pulling and collating later, Mary Davis has completed a second book about Corrales, an effort aided and abetted by the skills and commitment of Carolyn O’Mara, graphic designer, as well as by members of the Corrales Historical Society. This new project is called Hometown Corrales: A Family Album, and its primary focus is people —59 family names, and as many as 200 people, representing a tapestry of interwoven names and families.

As Davis put it, “This book is the answer to those who asked “Why is my family not in the book?” Her first such volume, Corrales, put out in April 2010 by Arcadia Publishing, was part of the series “Images of America.” And yet, even after all this, Davis admits there are “numerous families I know nothing about.’”

During the ongoing pandemic, Davis has been staying close to home with her husband Paul, retired University of New Mexico professor and author of numerous books, whose days are firmly focused on creating remarkable wood block prints that capture the essence of the novels of Charles Dickens. These 18 by 18-inch Dickens evocations are not for sale.

In a recent conversation, Davis said she had not eaten lunch out anywhere in over three months, though she is well-supplied with groceries by her daughter who lives next door, but had been out to her doctor for “a shot in the knee.” “Already had one knee replaced,” she said, chuckling, “But in my mid 80s now, likely there’s not much time left, so why bother?” She also was mildly fretting about members of her family traveling from Florida to Denver.

As for her latest Corrales book, Davis reckons she may have a few copies left of the 500 she herself paid for. “We gave away close to half of the books, signed, to the members of the families featured in the book, and have about three boxes of books left.” One is at Bookworks on Rio Grande Boulevard. And sales are steady at Frontier Mart. And not too shabby on Amazon, where the book, published in February 2020, sells for $25. Davis is keen for some written reviews on Amazon.

And the next publisher for Hometown Corrales is not yet known. Davis is wrestling with the expensive reality of digital publishing, versus photo offset, which she was able to arrange with Sunstone Press in Santa Fe for the initial run of the book.
Reactions to Hometown Corrales?

Historic preservationist Taudy Smith wrote "lovely recollections from people and places I am very fond of.  Well done.” Davis served as the historic preservation planner with the City of Albuquerque for nearly 20 years. Antoinette Montano Patterson asked Davis to send a copy of the book to her sister, Dorella, in El Paso.  “When it arrived it had made her day.”

Gloria Zamora, daughter of Irene and Tom Tafoya, included in the book, “said something nice but I can't find her email,” as Davis put it.  Zamora is the author of Sweet Nata, published by the University of New Mexico Press, in 2011. Set during the 1950s and 1960s in Mora and Corrales, it’s a memoir “about familial traditions and the joys and hardships the author experienced in her youth,” according to the press writeup.

While Davis said she had quit the board of the Corrales Historical Society, and was no longer the chair of the archives committee, she admitted her involvement would continue a bit longer as “I’m the only one who knows this stuff.” Maybe someone out there would like to be an archives intern and “shadow” Davis.

Also on Davis’ mind is the fact that CHS is losing money during the current isolation experience, and all involved are seeking ways to raise funds. One way is to donate a portion of your Amazon purchases to a non-profit like CHS. Another is to use a Smith’s Market Rewards Card in a similar manner. Or to step up “planned giving.” Check out the options at http://www.corraleshistory.org/ supporting-the-old-church.html

2020 – JULY 11 ISSUE: RECREATIONAL TRAIL FOR INTERIOR DRAIN?

By Scott Manning
Part 1

A small group of Corrales residents meets regularly to discuss plans to transform the Corrales Interior Drain into a recreational trail for walkers and for cyclists. This group is just beginning the planning process, but a similar project has already been partially implemented in Albuquerque’s North Valley along the Alameda Drain.

On June 9, Doug Findley organized a Zoom meeting to discuss the possibility of constructing a recreational space along the entire length of the Corrales Interior Drain. The Corrales Interior Drain is a drainage ditch and irrigation water return feature that runs north-south through the central area of Corrales east of Corrales Road.

At Findley’s suggestion, Mayor Jo Anne Roake said July 2 she intended to appoint a group to look at the potential for better using the area around the drainage ditch. The mayor said she hoped to appoint the following at the July 21 council meeting:  Doug Findley, Rick Thaler, Ed Boles, Sayre Gerhart, Jeff Radford and John Perea.

The group has as its mission “to identify and help implement ways in which the Interior Drain and its right-of-way may be improved for safe, enjoyable and essential public use while maintaining tranquility for adjacent residents.” The Interior Drain would retain its primary function as a drainage infrastructure for the village. But Findley and collaborators propose that the ditch bank become a mixed-use space that also supports recreation.

This is not the first time that residents have proposed transforming the land along the Corrales Interior Drain. Over a decade ago, Radford, a charter member of the Corrales Bicycle, Pedestrian Advisory Commission, suggested that the Village support a plan for the ditch bank to be used for recreation and —possibly— a shady area for parking for visitors to the nearby businesses along Corrales Road.

The proposal he floated years ago would have part of the ditch replaced by a perforated underground culvert that would continue the original drainage function for adjacent land. Radford said that concept was suggested by former Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Chief Engineer Subhas Shah in the 1980s when Corrales residents complained about mosquitoes breeding in stagnant, smelly ditch water.

Now, this group of Corrales residents plans to meet and work closely with Mayor Jo Anne Roake to advance the idea of a new recreational space along the drainage ditch. Once they have achieved committee or task force status, they plan to work with the Conservancy District (MRGCD) and with Corrales residents to transform the ditch bank.

Going forward, a recreational project along the ditch bank faces several challenges. First, the Village and the MRGCD would need to evaluate property rights claims along the Interior Drain to make sure that the land could be legally used as a recreational space. Some members of Findley’s group worry that private landowners may have specific property claims to land on the ditch bank.

In this scenario, the MRGCD controls the ditch bank for drainage and water usage purposes. The property agreements with the MRGCD could contain reversion clauses in which land use rights would be returned to private property owners if the drain were to be used as a recreational space. To resolve the property rights issue, the Village would need to conduct a professional land survey of the Interior Drain.

Second, the group of Corrales residents does not yet have a clear vision for the recreational project. And without a clear plan, the group will struggle to identify the structural and engineering challenges associated with it.

Members of Findley’s group decided at their meeting to begin contacting Corrales residents and specialists to determine the needs of the community and to construct a recreational plan that meets those needs. For example, the group intends to seek the expertise of biologists to determine the ecosystems along the drain.

Third, the project will require funding, and Corrales will need to invest in maintenance efforts to support the recreational space. At the June meeting, participants expressed confidence that funding avenues could be identified. Were the group to create a space that supports fishing in the Interior Drain, it could seek funding from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Again, funding avenues can be determined once advocates draft a specific proposal.

Finally, Findley’s group recognizes that implementation of the project will require the assistance of several agencies in the region. The MRGCD must be involved because the district controls the area around the drain and uses the ditch banks to perform maintenance work.

2020 – JULY 11 ISSUE: LAWSUIT IN CONTRACT DISPUTE OVER UPPER MEADOWLARK PROJECT

Corrales is in court in a contract dispute with the firm that re-built upper Meadowlark Lane. “I guess I would have to say we are in litigation” over the Village’s refusal to fully pay for work it considers unsatisfactory or incomplete, Village Administrator Ron Curry said July 3.

Attorneys for Blackrock Services LLC filed a civil suit in the Thirteenth Judicial District Court May 13 asking a judge to order Curry to issue a “notice of substantial completion” and, presumably, to be paid for that. Although Curry has been tight-lipped about exactly what remains to be done, or re-done, on the road-building project that began in March 2019, the dispute likely involves stormwater drainage features in and along the roadway.

“What happened was that they filed for a motion for a writ of mandamus to order me to sign a ‘substantial completion’ notice that would allow them to be paid, but I would not sign that ‘substantial completion’ notice because they haven’t conformed with the rules and regulations,” Curry explained.

“The judge ruled in our favor, and said ‘no, this is not a ministerial decision, it is an administrative decision.’ And that we were correct, that the court couldn’t order me to sign a document saying the project is complete.

“So what Blackrock has done is they have gone back to the court and asked for a declaratory judgement saying that we just have to pay them. That’s kind of where we’re at. We would like to sit down and visit with them, but apparently at this point, they’re not interested in that. We’ve made some offers and they’re not responding.

“We continue to look for a way to resolve this, but at this point, that’s not happening.” Curry said that legal tangle has stalled the planned second phase of the Upper Meadowlark Project, construction of bicycle lanes and an equestrian path along the road shoulders.

“We want to get through this before we move into Phase 2 pretty much. And I talked to Councillor Dave Dornburg about Phase 2, and we’re going to go back and start over again. We’ll go back and get public input to see what people want now to start once we get past litigation. Then we’ll start on Phase 2 immediately.”

Curry said gathering public input for the trails portion of the Upper Meadowlark Project would probably have to be done “virtually or some sort of white-board display that we put up some place where people can go by and look at them.”
Curry was skittish about the project when he took over as Village Administrator in July 2019. He expressed concerns almost immediately that if the work was not done correctly, funding arranged for it, primarily through the Mid-Region Council of Governments, would be withdrawn —if that happened, it would drain the Village’s coffers by more than $1 million.

When construction began 15 months ago, it was supposed to take most of the first three months to install a stormwater drainage pipeline along the north side of upper Meadowlark’s road shoulder. The drainage pipe was designed to divert stormwater from the planned medians between the future westbound and eastbound lanes. Those landscaped medians have features beneath to collect run-off, which, after being shunted to the pipeline, would drain to a ponding area along the west side of Loma Larga.

After that drainage pipe is buried between the Corrales-Rio Rancho boundary and Loma Larga, an asphalt bicycle and pedestrian path was to be constructed over it, which would connect Corrales’ bike lanes along Loma Larga to Rio Rancho’s along Meadowlark and to that city’s Thompson Fenceline Trail along the escarpment.

The project has been envisioned —and endlessly discussed— for a decade. It will take advantage of the unusually wide right-or-way along Meadowlark Lane between Loma Larga and the boundary with Rio Rancho.

Until a year ago, that right-of-way on either side of the pavement mostly has been taken up with landscaping as the frontage for each adjacent landowner’s home. First described as a bicycle trail linking Corrales to Rio Rancho more than a decade ago, the project won funding through the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) at that time, but the money was returned because upper Meadowlark residents protested, saying the funds were insufficient to address drainage concerns. At the June 28, 2011 Village Council meeting, councillors voted unanimously to send back $160,000 for proposed trails along upper West Meadowlark Lane.

But just after giving back the $160,000 offered for the Meadowlark bike and pedestrian paths, councillors unanimously resolved to ask MRCOG for a new grant to construct trails along Meadowlark or some other road that could connect to Rio Rancho’s bike paths.

That is the origin of the current project which is now stalled.

The project was amply aired in numerous public meetings for more than five years. In 2013, a planning firm was hired to conduct a charrette to elicit optimal public input. When it became clear that the upper Meadowlark project would actually be constructed, adjacent property owners were asked to remove their landscaping and other items in the Village’s right-of-way to clear the way for construction. After considerable delay, that began to happen about two years ago.

The biggest hang-up in getting the over all project started was getting the N.M. Department of Transportation’s concurrence with design changes to the westerly end of the proposed bicycle and pedestrian trail. The department had withheld approval for the earlier design that depended on a waiver from the Americans with Disabilities Act. The original engineering plan was rejected because the slope was too severe (both east-west and north-south) for persons in a wheelchair.

In Judge James Noel’s June 4, 2020 “Final Order Denying Petition and Quashing The Alternative Writ of Mandamus” sought by Blackrock, he sided with the Village of Corrales, stating, “Mandamus is an extraordinary remedy, which is only available when there is a clear ministerial duty to be performed by a public official and where there is no other adequate remedy at law; and

“The issue of whether there has been substantial completion of the Meadowlark project does not fall under the category of a ministerial duty on the part of Respondent Curry. Rather, Respondent Curry has discretion in determining whether Petitioner has met the criteria for the issuance of substantial completion; and

“The Court further finds that there are adequate remedies at law available to Petitioner, such as an action in contract, so that mandamus is not an appropriate remedy, and for the foregoing reasons, it is hereby ordered that the Petition for a Writ of Preemptory or Alternative Mandamus is hereby denied, and the Respondent’s motion to quash the Alternative Writ of Mandamus issued by the Court in this case is hereby granted, and the Alternative Writ of Mandamus is quashed.”

2020 – JULY 11 ISSUE: MEDICAL CANNABIS FARM WILL SOON GROW OUTDOORS


By Meredith Hughes
The medical cannabis farm on the property of the Komadina family at the north end of Corrales is infused with investor capital, a management team and energy, as exemplified in Aaron Brogdon, in a swirl of activity recently.

Brogdon heads up Corrales Management, which soon will oversee three medical cannabis retail outlets.

The project’s licensed non-profit producer (LNPP) is Southwest Organic Producers, which first began business in 2009. Its first retail operation is on Montgomery, just east of Interstate 25, with a second location opening at 219 Central Avenue this month. The third retail shop is intended to operate in Corrales, in space leased in what is known as “the Kim Jew building,” at 4604 Corrales Road, by this fall.

And the Corrales outlet will immediately benefit from what Brogdon described as “better quality product,” grown in Corrales. Right now the Komadina property at 379 Camino de Corrales del Norte has three greenhouses, as well as a nursery for new plants. The veg house is where new plants reach their teen years, and the flower house, is where plants potted into ten-gallon containers do their final growing.

Brogdon said about 50 such plants will be put in the ground outdoors soon. And he added that he is happy to give people tours of the operation as time allows.The first major harvest will be towards the end of August —right now the farm has three employees— and by then will need an additional ten at least.

Though the site development plan application by Southwest Organic Producers, SWOP, for a cannabis dispensary to be located on Corrales Road was approved by the Village Planning and Zoning Commission on November 20, 2019, assorted hoops required jumping through, or what P&Z Administrator Laurie Stout described soon thereafter as “applicable state and federal agencies on their specific requirements.”

Spencer Komadina, Tom Murray and Chris Sandoval, among others, contributed to the dialogue on November 20. Prior to the go-ahead from P&Z, five LLCs were registered at the 379 Camino de Corrales del Norte address, in March, June and August of 2019.
The companies are Top Shelf Management LLC, Top Shelf Equipment And Assets LLC, Top Shelf Holding Company LLC, Fantasy Farm LLC, and Corrales Management LLC. According to Brogdon, Top Shelf “manages the farm, investments and all the property maintenance for the dispensaries. Corrales Management is the overall management company.”

Brogdon, 37, from Bosque Farms where he still lives, earned a degree in construction management from the University of New Mexico and has worked as a compliance manager dealing with the Army Corps of Engineers, and other entities. So he is working steadily to secure the lease, negotiating terms, with the first goal to take possession of the roughly 1,000 square foot space at the east end of the building for the medical cannabis outlet.

A second aim is a long term lease of the building at the corner of Corrales Road and Rincon Road, with SWOP as the anchor tenant. The most prized goal is to actually acquire the building. As of this writing, the building still is owned by Kim Jew, though for sale signs have been up there for some time. Back in 2019, Tom Murray explained to P&Z prior to their positive ruling that he was “the first cannabis producer in Corrales, and one of the first four in New Mexico.” He emphasized the gross receipts coming into the Village via a retail outlet would be based on an estimated “$4.2 million of revenue that will originate through that point of sale and will include a good portion of customers outside of the village.”

He went on to explain that “The one thing we can’t do in the Corrales location is manufacturing. We cannot do anything with product other than sell it. It may be packaged, but nothing more than that.”

“The other thing is, we are part of the community. We’ve been producing cannabis in this village since 2009, and this application is for the sale of product only. We are only distributing packaged goods.”

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, as of May 31, 2020, New Mexico had 94,042 registered Medical Cannabis Program card holders, with Sandoval County at 6,514, and Bernalillo, 30,562. Across the state, by far the biggest number of patients were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 48,010 in number. People experiencing “severe chronic pain,” came in at 29,862.

John DuPree of Rio Rancho spoke at the November 20 P&Z meeting. “I grew up in Corrales. I raised a family out here and I’m also a medical cannabis patient. I would prefer to give my business to the village than to Albuquerque or Rio Rancho. I think this would benefit me as well as other people who are in my situation and think it would benefit the village. This has changed my life and I know it has changed the lives of a lot of other people.”

Still to come for New Mexico, legalization of recreational cannabis, a bill in the N.M. Legislature shot down in February of this year. But Brogdon is looking for more medical cannabis opportunities for SWOP in the future, possibly in Roswell or Hobbes. For the moment though, first there’s the “soft open” for the Central Avenue outlet as well as the lease on Corrales Road.

2020 – JULY 11 ISSUE: JAUNE QUICK-TO-SEE SMITH PAINTING ACQUIRED BY NAT’L GALLERY OF ART


A 1992 painting by Corrales artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith was recently acquired by the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. The tall, mixed media painting “I See Red: Target” is part of Smith’s series about the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ trip to the Western Hemisphere. The piece is the first painting by a Native American artist to be acquired by the National Gallery of Art.

Smith has explained that the work is her response to this nation’s appropriation of indigenous imagery such as naming the Washington DC professional football team “The Redskins.”

In the museum, her piece is shown amid art by Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. Her paintings, prints and works in other media have been acquired for the permanent collections of many top galleries including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and, of course, the N.M. Museum of Art in Santa Fe and the Albuquerque Museum.

Her middle name was given by her Shoshone grandmother. She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She earned a masters degree in art from the University of New Mexico in 1980. Her art has been exclusively represented by the Garth Greenan Gallery in New York City since 2017.

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