Posts in Category: 2021 – May 8

2021 MAY 8 ISSUE: LET’S HEAR IT FOR ALL MOMS DO


By Meredith Hughes

So when a journalist asks four Corrales-centered youngish moms how they have coped during the pandemic lockdown —with a handful of questions as a guide— the answers are rich. In honor of Mothers’ Day, we are sharing some of them with you. But first, the cast of characters: Valerie Burkett, realtor, mom to two boys and a girl, ages eight, 10 and 12; Liv Baca-Hochhausler, principal at Corrales Elementary, mom to two girls, one third grader, one in first; Keisha Wixom, yoga teacher, mom to a daughter, 11; and Stephani Dingreville, PTA president at Corrales Elementary, mom to two daughters, 12 and six. All of Burkett’s kids were in Corrales Elementary when the first lockdown rolled through in February 2020, and her work as a realtor was not deemed “essential.”

“There really was no manual or handbook on how to proceed for anyone,” she said, amused but also grateful that she did not have a large plate full of realty transactions underway when everything closed down.

“Our kids were in fifth, third and first grades, and each level and each teacher handled the school thing differently. The three first grade teachers worked together to share the lesson planning and that seemed to work best,” she said. Burkett’s husband is Village Councillor Zach Burkett. As APS attempted to maintain consistency, against the odds, summer approached, and the Burkett family decided to pull their kids from Corrales Elementary, put their daughter in a charter school, and begin homeschooling their sons. “I didn’t want them always on line.” A family member suggested the homeschool projects developed by Timberdoodle —four hours a day, four days a week. It has worked out well.

Meanwhile Principal Baca-Hochhausler was “working onsite and in person throughout the pandemic closures.  At the beginning of the school year, one of our kindergarten teachers needed to take an extended leave —so I did what any school principal should do— I made myself an online kindergarten teacher! While wearing both a principal and a kindergarten teacher hat (on top of my mom and wife hats) was difficult and overwhelming, teaching my little online group of five and six year olds was incredibly rewarding and fun.”

Because her husband teaches first grade at Monte Vista Elementary, he worked remotely from their guest room during the school closures. And her mother was able to help with school and childcare two days per week, “and my husband and I split schooling and child care the other three days —usually one daughter would come to work with me and the other would stay home (less fighting!) and then we would flip-flop the next day.”

A key question for all: “When did it first hit you re the ramifications of lockdown?” Baca-Hochhausler wrote the following: “I think it hit me a few times... we had a birthday party for our older daughter on February 29, 2020, and I remember buying extra toilet paper (it was still on the shelves in the early days), bags of dried beans, and some Clorox wipes along with party hats and plates all while thinking, ‘hmm... I wonder if we should have all these kids over at our house?’

“Then it hit me again (literally) while driving home from an empty school building on March 18, 2020. I was hit by a driver who ran a red light and broke my nose on the steering wheel.  It was surreal going to the ER, everyone was in full PPE and there was a very long line twisting throughout the parking lot for people needing COVID tests.

“But things got incredibly ‘real’ for me when the Secretary of the Public Education Department announced that New Mexico schools would not be required to make up the instructional hours from the days we had missed (we had only been closed for 10 days at that point). My school clerk and I watched the press conference on her office computer when Secretary Steward made that announcement. I said to her, ‘Oh no, that means we won’t be coming back this year.’ My clerk responded, ‘Nah, we’ll come back.’ And I thought, no, we won’t —we've had to make up two weeks of instruction before (during the blizzard of 2006), if the secretary is saying we won’t need to make up the time, we won’t be back this year.”

Keisha Wixom noted that “We never really knew what was waiting around the corner. It was a slow-building change that started at the end of Rylee’s 5th grade year at Corrales Elementary when the kids went home for the remainder of the year. From there, we thought she might start her first year of middle school with a hybrid model, but she has decided to be healthy and happy at home for 6th grade.”

“Sandia Labs required all staff to stay at home for several months, but no way my husband is going into work two days a week. Neither my daughter nor her father miss waking up early in the morning to drive across town.” Wixom, a long-time yoga instructor, put a hold on teaching classes and meeting with private clients in early March of 2020. “I have yet to return to teaching yoga and am enjoying more time with my family.”

What about pandemic-era groceries?

Wixom reported that “We had never used curbside pickup for groceries before. We will never go back to roaming the isles! This discovery was one of the biggest boons of the past year. “I have been amazed at how much money we have saved by becoming online shoppers. I now make menu plans, comparison shop three or four grocery stores online and place my pick up orders. I was a big fan of wandering store aisles before lockdown, and picking up whatever looked interesting. Now I am much more organized and we are eating better and saving so much more. I’ll never go back!”

Dingreville, whose family organized things well seemingly from the start, explained it this way. “We created a schedule at the beginning of COVID, including school time, art time, exercise time. We all remember those days as being really fun! In spite of the stress of not knowing what would happen in the world, we were having a blast at home.

“The girls have had no academic problems with remote schooling. And we’ve been lucky to have no connectivity problems. Each girl is in their own space to do their Google meets, and my husband works remotely from home, too. Sometimes I feel like I run the cafeteria in an office building, but really I just bounce from one to another, acting as support staff. My youngest needs the most attention, and reminders for when it’s time to get on and offline.”

On the other hand, regarding groceries anyway, Burkett said “that was a crazy time, half of everything was out of stock, buying via a ‘shopper,’ who sometimes made the most bizarre substitutions.” For only about three or four months, the family wore gloves and used a light bleach solution to wipe everything down. But Burkett truly loves to cook, and as a small child remembers her mom making Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food. Lockdown gave Burkett more time to master some tasty Asian dishes, including the Vietnamese pho pictured. She follows Emmymade on YouTube for ideas. On the other hand, Baca-Hochhausler confesses she is “so over cooking.”

“Remember when there wasn’t any yeast and we all had to learn how to make sourdough?” Exercising became a priority for all four women and their families. Baca-Hochhausler bought roller skates for everyone. Wixom said “Even though we have lived in Corrales for almost a decade, we never played on the beaches or kayaked down the Rio Grande. Now it is a regular part of our weekly routine. We all love taking walks, runs and bike rides in the bosque.”

Biking is big for Burkett as well, one- to two-hour rides in the Bosque Preserve. Dingreville reported “We would walk or ride bikes in the bosque every day at the beginning. These days, it’s a bit harder to get moving all at the same time. My older daughter rides horses at the next door neighbor’s house, I walk in the bosque with the dog most mornings. Then we have a trampoline/zipline/swing situation in the back yard and my little one plays out there like a wild thing for hours every day.”

Using Zoom and similar applications was fine, as Baca-Hochhausler explained. “I’d been using Skype to talk to my Swedish grandma since the early 2000s, so Zoom wasn’t a big learning curve for me.” Wixom’s kids both found it relatively easy to adapt to school and work virtually. Some silver linings came with this new paradigm. “The family managed to keep in touch with friends and family using FaceTime.” Since most of her husband’s family lives in Utah, “this new normal has actually allowed us to visit with them more often than before.”

Grandparents helped enormously via FaceTime, too, according to Dingreville. “Although my husband’s parents are in France and my parents are in North Carolina, my kiddos are able to see them and ‘play’ with them almost daily over the computer. They have always connected this way, so that wasn’t exactly new. I’d say it happens a lot more often now, during quarantine, because the girls have a lot more time.”

Another positive from Wixom? “Luckily, we have two very close families who have followed the same COVID protocol as us for the past year. Our daughters are the same age and have been going to school together since kindergarten. Having this connection has been a life saver for all of us.”

Pods, gatherings, helpful elders, all have played a part for these women. Not to leave out pets. four chickens and a cat for Wixom; a lab and a kitty for Dingreville; Burkett got two goats and built a barn for them; and a stray cat subsequently named Delilah adopted the Baca-Hochhausler gang in June. Funniest or silliest pandemic event? Dingreville said she and her husband had a date night “where we sat in the minivan and watched a movie in the driveway while the girls watched a movie inside.”

“Decorating our scooters and putting on a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, consisting of our family of four, for the neighborhood,” Baca-Hochhausler responded. Pluses? “We have been very fortunate to have made it through this pandemic relatively unscathed. It has been a valuable time to readjust our priorities and remind ourselves what matters most to us. I think everyone is looking forward to getting back to ‘normal,’ but I have to say, that our family is looking forward to our new normal that includes being more invested in each other’s lives and being grateful for our many blessings,” as Wixom put it.

Burkett truly focused on “getting to know my kids better!” Dingreville thinks “I’m lucky to have been able to turn the volume down on all my other responsibilities and just support my kiddos during a challenging time.”  Baca-Hochhausler wraps it up. “Now that Corrales Elementary and the rest of APS is back in session, work has gotten much busier and much better.” And, she’s hoping for a trip to Maui soon.

2021 MAY 8 ISSUE: ‘OPEN PRIMARIES’ ADVOCATES GEARING UP TO TRY AGAIN


A bill in the N.M. Legislature that would have allowed any registered voter to vote in the primary election for either major party died in committee earlier this year, but a new bill is being drafted that sets up a top-four choice ballot in non-partisan primaries and then ranked choice voting in the following general election. House Bill 79, or previous versions, had been considered in the legislature over the past five years as advocated by Corrales’ former State Representative Bob Perls, who heads what is now known as New Mexico Open Elections.

In the 2021 legislature, the proposal was co-sponsored by Corrales Representative Daymon Ely who testified that the state’s current party-member-only voting for the primaries excludes nearly 300,000 citizens. In the early days of the 2021 legislative session, HB79 was favorably voted out of the State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee with a 6-3 margin. But it died on a 6-6 vote in the House Judiciary Committee.

Under terms of that bill, New Mexicans who are registered as independents, or as members of minor parties, could vote in party primary elections of the Democratic, Republican or Libertarian Parties simply by requesting a ballot; there would be no need to register as a member of one of those parties to participate in the primary. This year, the current N.M. Secretary of State, Maggie Toulouse Oliver, testified in favor of the bill. Perls said April 20 that the N.M. Legislative Council Services had begun drafting “a top four nonpartisan open primaries bill using ranked choice voting in the general election. “This is the kind of reform that New Mexico needs to break the gridlock and hyper-partisanship that plagues Santa Fe and DC.”

In recent years, New Mexicans have increasingly joined the ranks of independent voters. Around 22 percent of voters decline to register as Democrat, Republican or Libertarian. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXIV No.9 June 20, 2015 “Corrales-Based Campaign Aims for Open Primary Elections.”) A Corrales businessman and former U.S. Foreign Service officer, Perls last year ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for Sandoval County Clerk. Elected to the N.M. House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1992, Perls served in until 1996.

In 2016, he explained why has advocated for open primaries. “New Mexico has more uncontested political races than any state, fewer independent or minor party candidates that any state, the highest and most discriminatory ballot access requirements of any state… and we wonder why democracy does not work well here. The answer is that we need competitive elections with engaged voters for it to work for everyone,” Perls said. “New Mexico Open Primaries believes that we must reduce the discriminatory ballot access requirements of independent and third party candidates to offer more choices for New Mexican voters.”

The non-profit organization is now known as New Mexico Open Elections.  “The fundamental belief is that you shouldn’t have to join a political party to vote. In New Mexico, we have a closed primary system; that means you have to register Democrat or register Republican to vote in a primary,” Perls explained. “New Mexico has been a heavily Democratic state, and therefore probably 90 percent of the important decisions are made in the Democratic primary. Most elections are decided in the Democratic Party primary. That’s because there’s either no competition from the other party in the general election or there’s token competition in the general election. Ninety percent of the time, the candidate who comes out the winner in the Democratic party gets elected.

“Here is why it’s important for a primary to be open. These ‘electoral process issues’ are complex, not very sexy and yet are the root-cause of the political dysfunction we see in America and in New Mexico.

“The idea of New Mexico Open Primaries is to open up the primaries so that independents can vote and so that people don’t have to register as a Democrat or Republican to vote in the first-round election.

“Most people think of the party primary as a first-round election; what our organization wants to do is educate people about the fact that elections are a fundamental responsibility of state government, and that it is going about it backward to have a private club, or private association [parties], running our elections.

“I believe strongly that parties serve a function, and I believe strongly that this movement is not anti-party,” Perls insisted. “But we need to look at why we have the gridlock and hyper-partisanship and dysfunction that we have in this country. The root cause of that is, in fact, partisanship.”

He thinks it’s wrong —even illegal— to allow private organizations, such as parties, to decide who they will allow to vote in an election for a public office. “Our tax dollars pay for primary elections, and it is illegal (or should be, once the courts catch up based on the N.M. anti-donation clause) for public dollars to go to private associations. We don’t tolerate it in any situation except the most important activity we do in our country —when we vote.”

As a Democrat, Perls won election to the N.M. House of Representatives in 1992 and was re-elected in 1994 before running unsuccessfully for Congress and then for a seat on the N.M. Public Regulations Commission. He applied for admission to the Foreign Service Corps after selling his medical equipment sales business, Monitech, in 2008. He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in January 2010.

During his four years in the N.M. House, he was regarded as something of a maverick for not strictly toeing the Democratic party line. That independent thinking cost him support from party leaders. The movement toward open primaries in state level elections began in the 1990s.

2021 MAY 8 ISSUE: VILLAGE’S FINANCIAL AUDIT GETS MOSTLY HIGH MARKS


A formal audit of the Village’s finances for the fiscal year ending June 30 last year produced a generally positive evaluation and raised no red flags. But the auditor’s report discussed at the Village Council’s April 27 meeting did call attention to “material weaknesses” in internal financial controls as well as “significant deficiencies” in that area.

The audit report was presented via Zoom by Alan Bowers, Jr., a partner in the firm Carr, Riggs and Ingram LLC. Areas of concern related to “allocation of pooled cash,” “maintenance of capital assets and “franchise tax review process.”Regarding the latter, Bowers pointed out that “The Village could potentially be missing revenues earned by not reconciling franchise tax revenues to authorized rates and terms.” On the other hand, Corrales could be collecting more than franchise agreements stipulate.

The Village is supposed to earn fees from entities such as CenturyLink and Comcast, Verizon and United Private Networks. In another area, the auditors found a “significant deficiency” regarding capital assets. The Village is supposed to conduct a physical inventory at the end of each fiscal year, but that was not done. “The Village was aware of the requirement, but was unable to complete the observation due to limitations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Another flaw noted involved payments for travel and per diem. “The Village reimbursed per diem rates that were in excess of the amounts allowed by New Mexico State statute.… For one out of five travel reimbursements tested, the employee was reimbursed the maximum daily rate of $45 for actual expenses instead of being limited to the actual cost of meals totaling $22.48.”

Over all, the audit reported that revenues for the Village’s General Fund were “very consistent over the five-year trend with small increases in gross receipts tax revenues received over time.” Similarly, expenditures from the General Fund were consistent over five years.. The auditors noted a “moderate increase of $800,000 in the General Fund during 2020.”

The report showed total assets in the General Fund of $6,780,151, as well as $1,658,722 in a special fund for money awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for stormwater flood mitigation and $469,196 in the Village’s Waste Water Project Fund.

Nowhere in the Zoom report to the mayor and council did the auditors state explicitly what became of the “extra” $4.7 million that turned up in the Village’s accounts last year, nor its origin. Village government’s long-term liabilities amount to $5,420,874 to pay municipal bondholders. “The Village has pledged a portion of future gross receipts tax to repay the $3,445,000 gross receipts tax revenue bond issued in January 2014 and the $2,000,000 general obligation bond issued in 2018.… Total principal and interest remaining on the bond is $3,670,000, payable through May 2033. For the current year, principal and interest paid and total pledged gross tax receipts were $929,590 and $158,756 respectively.”

2021 MAY 8 ISSUE: MRGCD ELECTIONS JUNE 8; MIKE SANDOVAL UNOPPOSED

Incumbent Mike Sandoval of San Felipe Pueblo is running unopposed to represent Sandoval County on the board of directors for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District. The election for board members will be held Tuesday, June 8. In Corrales, voting will take place at the Community Center, behind the Corrales Senior Center, east of the Corrales Road-La Entrada intersection between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Absentee voting is now underway. A ballot may be requested by emailing to mrgcd@electionpeople.com or at http://www.mrgcd.com.

Each of the other three board positions has two candidates. To represent Bernalillo County, incumbent Karen Dunning is challenged by Julie L. Maccini. In the other race to represent Bernalillo County, Simon Haynes faces Joaquin Baca, while for Socorro County, the candidates are Steven Sichler and Glen Duggins.

Mike Sandoval joined the MRGCD board when he was chosen by other board members upon the resignation of Derrick Lente of Sandia Pueblo. Lente resigned his seat representing Sandoval County to avoid a conflict of interest with his service as a state legislator.

Sandoval had bested Jim Wagner to fill the vacancy left by Lente on the board of directors. Board members voted 4 to 2 for Sandoval at their February 21 meeting, thus avoiding the card draw proposed in the event of a 3-3 tie. Earlier, Sandoval was defeated when he ran for the at-large seat on the board during the MRGCD election in June 2009, losing to Glen Duggins from Socorro.

2021 MAY 8 ISSUE: YOU CAN JOIN IN CELEBRATING CORRALES’ 50th ANNIVERSARY

Corrales Heritage Day, normally celebrated in May, has been cancelled, but planning is underway for a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Village’s 1971 incorporation as a municipality. Casa San Ysidro will have a virtual Heritage Day event May 15, 1-3 p.m.

The Corrales Historical Society has mounted a display at the Village Office that includes the names, and in some cases, photos, of past mayors and Village Council members as well as other facets of Corrales’ existence as a municipality.

Among the activities is to be the opening of a time capsule locked away on the Village’s 25th anniversary in 2015. The capsule is inside the crypt-like, concrete covered chamber just outside the entrance to the Village Office. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXIV No.9 June 20, 2015 “Creepy, Crumbling Concrete Case Contains July 1997 Time Capsule.”)

On July 4, 1997,villagers gathered to place the time capsule there which was to be opened September 22, 2021. The project, led by Jess Keegan of the Corrales Historical Society, was part of the celebration of Corrales’ 25th anniversary as an incorporated municipality. Inside the concrete is a plywood box containing a metal box holding items of historic interest and other memorabilia. The capsule was purchased with funds donated by Intel Corporation.

At least the following objects are expected to be found when the box is unlocked (if anyone can remember the combination):
• A 1971 group photograph of the Village of Corrales’ first mayor and Village Council;
• a group photo of the then-current mayor and council;
• a list of all Village elected officials serving from 1971 to 1997;
• group photos of the Corrales Volunteer Fire Department, Police Department, the Corrales Library staff and patrons of the Corrales Senior Center;
• a postmark from the days when Corrales’ official name was “Sandoval;”
• a photograph of the then-young Corrales Growers’ Market;
• a videotape of the celebration of Corrales’ 25th anniversary at the Old Church;
• photos of Corrales horses;
• a message written by then-Mayor Gary Kanin;
• a copy of Pauline Eisenstadt’s book on Corrales’ heritage;
• a copy of Corrales Comment’s special edition on the 25th anniversary;
• photographs by Jim Findley of Corrales’ first municipal election;
• photographs of Corrales’ historic homes and structures; and
• documents about the community’s early history.
Members of the time capsule project were: Keegan, Rudy Miller, Barbara Pijoan, Del Sherrod, Michelle Frechette, Harry Roberts, Cliff Pedroncelli and Mary Harrington.

2021 MAY 8 ISSUE: PLANNING FOR FUTURE USES OF INTERIOR DRAIN DITCH

The ad hoc committee established to recommend future public uses of the Interior Drain ditch east of Corrales Road has requested funding from the Village to hire a professional planner. A request for $25,000 was made to the Village Council on May 5 during an a time slot assigned by Village Clerk Aaron Gjullin. Mayor Jo Anne Roake and councillors held budget discussions with Village government department heads and committees on May 4 and 5, ahead of a May 13 work-study session. Village officials must send a proposed budget for fiscal 2021-22 by the end of this month. The new fiscal year starts July 1.

A power point presentation for the funding request was assembled by committee member Sayre Gerhart, who previously served on the Village Council. Others appointed to the Corrales Interior Drain Committee last summer were Doug Findley, chair; John Perea; Jeff Radford; Ed Boles and Rick Thaler.

An exploratory planning effort began last fall for potential uses of nearly two miles of property about 60-foot wide, known as “the scummy ditch” or “the scuzzy ditch” east of Corrales Road. Some villagers consider it a treasured natural area with aquatic life, wetlands vegetation and sometimes even muskrats, while to other Corraleños, it is a disgusting, smelly near-sewer that breeds mosquitos. The long ditch and ditch bank roads run from north of Dixon Road to the Riverside Drain south of East Meadowlark Lane. The land is owned and managed by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District which excavated it in the 1930s to lower the water table and drain land for agriculture.

Before the ditch went in, much of the central Corrales Valley east of Corrales Road was swamp. The Interior Drain was meant to improve the land so it could be farmed. As such, the ditch was designed to draw down the high water table and receive excess irrigation water which was to flow back to the Rio Grande when it reached the Riverside Drain which empties into the river at Alameda Bridge. But over the decades, the Interior Drain’s hydraulics have deteriorated, leaving a mostly disconnected, stagnant series of puddles. Less and less acreage is cultivated in that area, while more and more homes —and septic leach fields— have gone in, so that the ditch is now more of a conduit for household wastewater rather than irrigation return flow to the river.

The committee appointed by Mayor Roake composed the following statement: “Our mission is to identify and help to implement ways in which the Interior drain and right-of-way may be improved for safe, enjoyable and essential public use while maintaining tranquility for adjacent residents.”

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 ditch banks to perform routine maintenance. One of the first things the committee did was to document what is physically in the ditch and on the ditch banks, 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 land indicated in the presentation to the council included: 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 asa result of reductions in dust.

In the presentation to the council, the committee outlined the following as “what problems are we trying to solve?” traffic, dust, safety, liability, loss of habitat and devaluation of property. Discussions with neighboring property owners and ditch bank users were said to begin this month and possibly a survey conducted at the Corrales Growers’ Market. As a preliminary concept, the committee is considering possible uses for three conditions along the ditch: ponds, water areas and xeric locations.

2021 MAY 8 ISSUE: CORONAVIRUS BEGONE! CORRALES RE-OPENS

By Meredith Hughes
Whether Yellow, Green or Turquoise —no Red, please— counties across New Mexico are opening up, Green Sandoval County among them. “Sandoval is Green!” Mayor Jo Anne Roake exclaimed. “Corrales businesses can operate at 50 percent capacity indoors. Even better, if 60 percent of our population is vaccinated by June 30, we can fully re-open. If you really care about that, please go get both shots, get vaccinated, and encourage the vaccine-hesitant.

“That’s absolutely the real way to support our businesses and our community.”

As of April 30, 24 New Mexico counties were at the Turquoise level and six at the Green level, under which there are fewer restrictions on commercial and day-to-day activities amid decreased virus risk. Thirty of 33 New Mexico counties were at the least restrictive levels. Three counties were at the Yellow level as of April 30, with no counties at the Red level, signifying highest risk.

Hence, Corrales is beginning to re-open. The Parks and Recreation Department says the Corrales pool will be open this summer, with capacities based on the color framework set out by the State. Swim lessons, open swim and pool parties will resume this year. Registration for swim lessons and pool parties began May 7. The pool opens June 5, and closes on August 8 this season.

Thus far, open swim is going to run for two-hour intervals with 30-minutes for cleaning at the end. So swim from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m; from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and then a final session from 4 to 5:30 pm. Daily, seven days a week. Pool parties will still go from 6 to 8 p.m.  on Friday, Saturday and Sundays. Those are currently limited to 60 people.

Parks and Rec director Lynn Siverts says “We want to remind everyone that admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please continue to wear a mask while waiting in lines, or not swimming in the pool.” If you have any questions, call 899-8900 or email Siverts at lsiverts@corrales-nm.org. As of April 28, the following Parks and Rec venues were open: La Entrada Park; TopForm Arena; Liam Knight Pond; the east and west athletic fields; the skate park; tennis courts; outdoor basketball courts; and outdoor pickleball court. The gymnasium and play structures at La Entrada remain closed.

Corrales Community Library continues its curbside services, but now also is open by appointment for those who want to say “hi” to the fish, explore new acquisitions or just gaze at stacks of books. Tuesday, 4 to 7 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 3 p.m. Book a time at http://www.picktime.com/corralescommunitylibrary. The Corrales Senior Center’s Tammy Meyer says it continues to provide over 100 lunches daily, some of them for house-bound people, others via drive-thru Monday through Friday, 11:30 to 12:30. Before COVID, she was doing between 50 and 55 lunches.

Once Sandoval County achieves the desired New Mexico “Turquoise” hue, Meyer says plans worked on by centers in Sandoval County along with Aging and Longterm Services will roll out. The center will welcome 25 people back in the dining room, and those will continue to social distance six to ten feet. Also, the fitness room will reopen and PowerUp classes for those with Parkinson’s or other muscular and balance issues will resume.

Village Clerk Aaron Gjullin reports that thus far Village Council and similar gatherings will remain on Zoom. “We are waiting to get direction from the State and the Attorney General’s office. Obviously we want to get back to ‘in person,’ but based on the size of council and staff, that limits the number of the public joining in person. We also want to do it in the safest way possible. So, hopefully soon, but no changes yet.”

State officials announced April 28 that “New Mexico will loosen the key health metrics used to assign risk levels to counties under the Red-Yellow-Green COVID-19 framework, as the state’s nation-leading vaccine distribution effort is, over time, likely to reduce the number of asymptomatic people seeking out and receiving tests for COVID-19.”

The announcement set out a new State target: “When 60 percent of eligible New Mexicans have been fully vaccinated, which State modeling projects may occur as early as the end of June, the state will graduate out of the color-coded county risk system and remove most pandemic-related restrictions on commercial activities. Although a mask requirement while around others will remain in place, and certain COVID-Safe Practices will be required for specific activities, this target —made possible by New Mexico’s nation-leading vaccination effort— will represent the most significant removal of restrictions since the onset of the pandemic.”

To view the N.M. Department of Health (NMDOH) Public Dashboard, which includes the color-coded map, go here: https://cvprovider.nmhealth.org/ public-dashboard.html. Many Corrales eateries are welcoming more customers, including Corrales Bistro, open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. ExNovo continues to be open noon to 9 p.m. every day. C3’s Bistro is open Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday Brunch typically runs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., But this Mother’s Day, May 9, brunch goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Perea’s Restaurant is now open regular hours for lunch Wednesday through Saturday. Call 898-2442.

Village Pizza continues Sunday-Thursday, 11a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11a.m. to 9 p.m. And it recently welcomed a flower truck, not a food truck, onto the premises, under the name “JenniFLEURS.” The truck does indeed sell fresh flowers, and Jenni of Fleurs hopes it might soon appear elsewhere around the village.

Hannah and Nate’s is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, and Indigo Crow operates for lunch, Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday Brunch runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Casa Vieja is mixing live music with its own brews, as well as food truckery, Thursday through Sunday, 3 to 8 p.m. Shops in Mercado de Maya now have mostly returned to regular hours. Corrales Bosque Gallery is open 12-4 p.m. daily, and Ambiente lists weekly hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday 11-5. And Corrales Fine Arts is now consistently open from 11a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday.

Farther north along Corrales Road, Casa Perea Artspace and Pachamama are open Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 .m. or by appointment.

%d bloggers like this: