Posts in Category: Article

ISSUE 06-11-22 TRACY WILSON MURRAY DIES

Tracy Wilson Murray died on May 15.

After graduating from Okanogan High School, Tracy attended Washington State University and received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1962. That was followed by a master’s degree in 1965 and a doctorate in economics in 1969, both at Michigan State University. He worked as an assistant professor of economics at the University of New Mexico from 1966 to1968. During that time, he met and married Katherine Ann Paton.

Murray’s career took him to the Georgia Institute of Technology as an assistant professor 1969-1974, then  to New York University 1974-1978 as an associate professor and on to the University of Arkansas as the Conoco Phillips Petroleum Company distinguished professor at the Walton College of Business from 1978 until his retirement in 2010.

He also served as an economist at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1971-1973. He worked for the United States International Trade Commission in Washington, DC from 1987 to 1989, and was a professor at the Toulouse Business School in Toulouse, France from 2001- 2010.

 Murray also acted as an economic consultant for the United Nations, for the Organization of American States, as well as for the World Bank, the Organization of European Cooperation and Development.

He was also a economic consultant for the governments of the United States, Columbia, Argentina, Morocco and Uruguay. Along with many scholarly articles, Tracy authored the textbook Trade Preferences for Developing Countries (Problems of Economic Integration).

After his retirement, he and wife Kathi Murray, moved to Corrales where he was often seen driving his classic Citroen Deux Chevaux in the Corrales 4th of July parade.

He is survived by his wife, Kathi, their daughter Lisa (Murray) Lester and her husband Kent Lester, their son Scott Murray, and grandchildren Alec and Lila Murray, as well as Tammy and Patrick Lane of Corrales and Stephen and Eryn Prothero of Albuquerque.

A private burial will take place at Sunset Memorial Park and a Celebration of Life will be held later this summer. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Albuquerque Woodworkers Association at P.O. Box 36133 Albuquerque, NM 87176-6133 or at http://www.abqawa.org

ISSUE 06-11-22 WHAT’S ON

By Meredith Hughes

This edition of What’s On unfortunately misses a good segment of the month that is “bustin’ out all over,” as the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic song from Carousel goes. My personal June tradition is to sing this, softly, in our library to honor June the librarian, who either detests or is delighted by this homage….

Do visit the websites of your favorite museums/galleries/organizations to check opening times/new regulations. Published the first issue of the month, What’s On? invites suggestions one week before the publication date. corralescomment@gmail.com

  • Pride Parade, June 11, 10 a.m.; PrideFest, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nob Hill/Expo NM. The Pride Parade presented by PNM on Central in Nob Hill at Girard. “With safety rules for the floats, encouragement to make the floats pop, and a plan for cleaning up after the parade, it is sure to be an event to remember! We have floats, classic cars, motorcycles, dancers, and lots of excitement in the 2nd largest parade in NM. The celebration continues with the main event at Expo New Mexico. Albuquerque Pride is excited to bring dance, music, expression, fun, and diversity to PrideFest 2022.”
  • Chocolate: The Exhibition, June 17. Explore “the evolution of chocolate from a small, bitter seed found deep in the rainforest to the continent-spanning delicacy it is today. Learn about the biology of cacao while sitting under a life-sized tree, barter for seeds at a realistic Aztec marketplace, and follow cacao across the Atlantic as it grows into a global commodity.” Possibly nibble on some. NM Museum of Natural History & Science, 1801 Mountain.
  • Third annual Virtual Distributed Energy Summit June 23 and June 24 for the NM EPSCoR, The New Mexico Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, SMART Grid Center, hosted by Santa Fe Community College’s Smart and Microgrid Training Center,. You can experience this complicated topic online, and/or by taking a tour of SFCC’s facility.“Summit '22 will offer a holistic look at the challenges and opportunities presented by New Mexico’s transition to Net Zero emissions by 2050, and the role energy must play in this and holding global warming to 1.5 degrees. The event will examine the national policy landscape; pathways, results, and research from related transitions elsewhere; initiatives underway here; and the implications for equitable economic and workforce opportunities.” Register by June 17. http://www.nmepscor.org/programs/sfcc-2022-distributed-energy-summit
  • Neighborhood Nature Festival, June 18, 9 a.m. to noon. “The first of a few free park pop-up events celebrate nature in our neighborhoods. Live music, paletas, bilingual nature storytelling, nature-themed carnivale performers, bosque ecosystem exhibit truck, hands-on nature activities and games, show-n-tell with urban wild birds, Esperanza free bike repair, on-site language interpreters, and more.” Phil Chacon Park, next to Cesar Chavez Community Center, 7600 Southern.
  • The Peoples Juneteenth. June 18, 4 to 9 p.m. “Nobody's Free Until Everybody's Free. “ Join a coalition of Black Community Organizers who are engaged in revolutionary work right here in Albuquerque for a family-friendly protest, political education and celebration of Juneteenth!” Roosevelt Park, 500 Spruce St.

Also June 19-20, celebrate Black-owned businesses, artisans, vendors, performers, and more at this weekend event at 1 Civic Plaza, Albuquerque. Juneteenth actually falls on June 19, to commemorate the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery in 1865, though the existence of this move was unknown to many for an entire year.

  • Play golf/raise money, June 26, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It’s the New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding's (NMCTR) 9th annual golf tournament. The La Cienega-based non-profit NMCTR’s riding program “provides therapeutic riding to expand the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs. Students of all ages and abilities learn horse management and riding skills. The ultimate goal for our students is to learn to ride as independently as possible and gain self-confidence from their accomplishments.” Info: www. nmctr.org/list-event/9th-annual-golf-tournament-stay-and-play-2/ Sandia Golf Club, 30 Rainbow. 
  • Jazz at the ABQ Museum Amphitheater June 24, 7 to 10 p.m. The Pedrito Martinez Group, with New Mexico Jazz Festival & Outpost. https://tickets.holdmyticket.com/tickets/394033?tc=hmt. 2000 Mountain Rd.

In Corrales

  • Corrales Art and Studio Tour, August 27-28. June 17 is the deadline for artists to report mistakes on artist pages or map at corralessocietyofartists.org/
  • Looking ahead some more, Music in Corrales has posted its new season lineup for 2022-23. Jazz vocalist Alicia Olatuja performs September 10, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. Season tickets are available now. http://www.musicincorrales.org/ticket/ season-tickets/
  • Looking even farther ahead, the 34th annual Juried Old Church Fine Arts Show and Sale is scheduled for October 1-9, but artwork submissions are requested from now to July 15.
  • Senior Advisory Board Meeting, June 15, 1:45 p.m.
  • Village Council meeting, June 21, 6:30 p.m.
  • Corrales Equestrian Advisory Board, June 22, 6:30 p.m.
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, June 30, 5:30 p.m.
  • Corrales Bosque Gallery is focussing on the work of lifelong artist Rita Noe this month. Currently her attention is on creating pieces from exotic woods. Gallery artists continue to donate the proceeds from selected works to the Ukraine Relief Effort. Each piece will be marked by a card showing the yellow and blue national colors of Ukraine. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 4685 Corrales Road.
  • Casa San Ysidro, June 11, Robert Martinez: The History of Hispano Music, 1-4 p.m. State Historian Rob Martinez takes a musical journey through New Mexico’s rich historical past and cultural tapestry, presenting song forms that date back centuries. Penitente alabados, religious alabanzas, culturally mixed Inditas and Mexican Corridos provide context to the state’s complex and exciting history. The history of Hispano music allows us to better understand the emotional backdrop of those generations of New Mexicans who lived, loved, and dealt with strife in Santa Fe, and New Mexico, through the centuries. Free event. Info via Aaron Gardner, agardner@cabq. gov, 505 898-3915.
  • Corrales Arts Center. June 16, digital technology art with Sara Ludy, 3 to 4:30 p.m., Corrales Senior Center. June 18, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Charcoal Photorealistic Portraits with Virginia Baich. Corrales Community Center. Info: 771-2244.
  • Corrales Library. Do check the library website for multiple teen/kiddo activities this summer. Ukulele lessons, Wednesdays through June 22. 4 to 5 p.m. With Auttem Foglia. Book Club, 84 Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff, June 27, 2:30 p.m. Plus, Thursdays at 6 p.m. Spanish Conversation. Tuesdays, Chess Club, 6 p.m. Contact Sandra Baldonado for event details. sandra@corraleslibrary.org
  • Corrales Growers’ Market. June 12, 19, 26, 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Village in the Village, June 20, Book Club, The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, 3 p.m., on Zoom. Movie Club, 5 p.m. on Zoom (Film TBD.) June 29, luncheon at Namaste,11:30. Reservations required for all events. Call 274-6206 or email corrales. viv@gmail.com.

ISSUE 06-11-22 NEXT VILLAGE COUNCIL MEETING JUNE 21

As is customary in the summer months, the Village Council will hold just one regular meeting in June:  Tuesday, June 21. However, a special meeting was held June 8 to  consider a report on the expected availability of irrigation water. The mayor and council received a presentation from the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District’s chief executive officer, Jason Casuga, about anticipated restrictions on water deliveries, and how pumping of water directly from the river has affected irrigation here. Pumping has been necessary due to failure of the Corrales Siphon pipe that has for 89 years delivered water through a wooden culvert from the east side of the Rio Grande to the west side.

The MRGCD has said it will continue to pump water into the Main Canal “as long as river water levels allow.” But that was anticipated by early June.

See http://www.mrgcd.com to read more about Corrales’ water situation. Click on 2022 Irrigation Season Outlook Corrales Main Canal.

ISSUE 06-11-22 JEFF RADFORD, WORK IN PROGRESS

Jeff, the babe, sprang forth June 11, 1942, in Vicksburg, Mississippi

Four score years later with ambitions of his twenty-year young self

He supports respect for North American indigenous folk

Jeff muses about changing United States of America

To United States of Mississippi watershed or something better

And his father called him “Jefe” as he studied Spanish and mastered it

Truly the Jefe of his fate like the time when a thief stole all his money,

Ticket, passport, and all on the beach near Mombasa while he swam

And he decided not to let it ruin his day or his life and went back

Into the ocean, then found his way in spite of the cruel crook.

Had more of an adventure than if he had all his papers in order.

All that a man can be and span two centuries and walk many continents

All Jeff is friend, soldier, son, brother, husband, father, lover, writer

Artist, journalist, prankster, joker, playful curious independent free fellow

With the entire national forest as his backyard in Colorado when

He was nine-years-old so he wandered freely, climbing up to see

All the tiny people like ants embroiled in worrisome business of some sort

All the perspective of getting up off alone, self-reliant, learning

All the life lessons at Wolf Creek Pass where snow kept him from school

But not from the truth of life and wildness and open free space.

First girlfriend had a dress with gingerbread boys and girls holding hands.

Later on in college he did battle with abusive administrators

With his Sword of Damocles newspaper barely escaping libel suit.

Trudging the streets wearing rented Navy Pea Coat with holes

In his shoes in knee deep snow leaning against the wind.

The student, the artist, the journalist dauntless against winds of fate

The spirit of the warrior joined military intelligence and off to Vietnam

To face the fearsome demons of adrenalin streets of war.

Then great freedom of release from war and the beginning of his travels.

Magical time in India seeing things he thought he must have imagined.

Then marriage to strong-willed woman worthy of descriptions by Whitman

About fate of the land from the loins of such mothers and birth of precious son

With bald head and dimpled chin in N.Y. City, then off they go in green truck

With yellow camper along Pan American Highway daring cliff-hanging roads

And Jeff remembers the road to work in Brazil with lovely women

Along Copacabana Beach where he believes he will return and write

And off to Africa and more journalism and there he must return and write

All that has not yet been said; and whenever he can Jeff flies off to lands

Where the people struggle to create great change for themselves

Then he comes home smelling of tear gas and the thrill of it.

He was there at the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.

He was there when the educators demonstrated in Quito, Ecuador.

He was there in Peru when there were riots in the streets for new government

He was there in So. Africa as racism transformed to Peace and Reconciliation

He was there with activists to stop radioactive waste truck headed to WIPP

from Los Alamos on remote highway in New Mexico south of Clines Corners

He was there in East Africa in the Ugandan situation and the violence

And all the anti-apartheid passions. He was there.

He was there at the first Climate Summit in Rio; then in Paris and Glasgow

He was there amid death squads meting out vigilante justice in Brazil.

One old journalist said he would retire someday and run a village newspaper;

That’s what Jeff has done in Corrales, New Mexico, for half his life so far

Attending over 1,000 village council meetings for forty years to date.

Doing battle with government agencies, battle with ignorant corporations

Ever believing the strength of Democracy is in the wisdom of the people

Informed in truth about what’s going on; there’s jeff at his computer station

Reporting the news as if Democracy matters; persistent, patient with integrity

Every two weeks putting out the paper, pages and pages telling folks

Enough to make their own decisions; so many battles to be fought still

So many truths to be told. So many jokes to be played.

Before his head becomes a skull on his son’s desk like it says in his will

What news, what insight will spring forth from under his wizard eyebrows?

What fresh new joust will he engage in? How many more countries

And revolutionary crowds will he witness? As many as possible no doubt.

Jeff, Everyman of 20th and 21st centuries and so much more.

What new invention or turn of words will he put in print?

This man is a man who makes his own rules, his own way,

His way is that of a gentle man so humble once he skipped his own birthday.

This poem is not done yet, just like Jeff—a work in progress.

Stay tuned….

CS Merrill

June 1, 2022

Jeff Radford Day in Corrales, NM

ISSUE 06-11-22 HOW WELL DO YOU REALLY KNOW JEFF RADFORD? ANSWERS

How Well Do You Really Know Jeff Radford?
(Thanks to Chris Allen)
1. Jeff's true first name is:
c. William

2. Jeff interviewed which dictator?

d. Idi Amin

3. Jeff thought he might have some immunity to Covid because:

a. While traveling in Venezuela, Jeff would sleep in a hammock, and bats, possible source of the virus, would nestle in his armpits.

4. As a result of Jeff’s experience with the Guarao Indians and the Buganda Tribe in Uganda, a specific provision in Jeff’s will leaves which of the following to his son, Ben:

c. His own skull

5. Jeff

a. Is a Fullbright Scholar

6. Jeff once hitchhiked through South Africa’s Great Karoo Desert in order to:

b. Avoid surveillance by apartheid police.

7. Jeff once worked for:
c. Associated Press

8. Jeff co-founded an off-campus magazine while at Syracuse University. The magazine was called:

b. The Sword of Damocles

9. Jeff is known for his strong interest in environmental issues. Which of the following was he involved in?

a. Preservation of the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana

10. Jeff is known among his friends for:

a. Playing volleyball on Brazilian beaches in a Speedo bathing suit

11. Jeff worked for the Albuquerque News in the late 1970s. A group of reporters, Dede Feldman, Arturo Sandoval, Bob Klein and Jeff used to meet for lunch and called themselves:

b. La Cucaracha Social Club

12. Jeff hosted a volleyball game on his 60th birthday. The game was played at what location:

c. the top of Cabezon peak

ISSUE 06-11-22 HOW WELL DO YOU REALLY KNOW JEFF RADFORD? QUESTIONS

How Well Do You Really Know Jeff Radford?
Circle the correct answer. There are 12 questions. CLICK HERE FOR ANSWERS

1. Jeff's true first name is:

a. Kenneth
b. Josiah
c. William
d. Carter

2. Jeff interviewed which dictator?

a. Hugo Chavez
b. Vladimir Putin
c. Bashar al-Assad
d. Idi Amin

3. Jeff thought he might have some immunity to Covid because:

a. While traveling in Venezuela, Jeff would sleep in a hammock, and bats, possible source of the virus, would nestle in his armpits.
b. He was exposed to a serious viral disease when he attended a conference in Thailand.
c. He played the part of a guinea pig in a study of tropical viral diseases in the 1970s.
d. He consumes large quantities of Vitamin C.

4. As a result of Jeff’s experience with the Guarao Indians and the Buganda Tribe in Uganda, a specific provision in Jeff’s will leaves which of the following to his son, Ben:

a. A shrunken head
b. A massive collection of tribal baskets
c. His own skull
d. An island in Lake Nabugabo, Uganda

5. Jeff

a. Is a Fulbright Scholar
b. Is a Rhodes Scholar
c. Holds a Master’s Degree in Communications
d. Eschewed advanced education in favor of empirical learning, that is, learning through direct investigation.

6. Jeff once hitchhiked through South Africa’s Great Karoo Desert in order to:

a. Test his survival skills.
b. Avoid surveillance by Apartheid police.
c. Learn more about the native population
d. Get where he needed to be after his motorcycle was stolen.

7. Jeff once worked for:
a. Mother Earth News
b. United Press International
c. Associated Press
d. Rolling Stone Magazine

8. Jeff co-founded an off-campus magazine while at Syracuse University. The magazine was called:

a. The Syracuse Monitor
b. The Sword of Damocles
c. University Discourse
d. The Megaphone

9. Jeff is known for his strong interest in environmental issues. Which of the following was he involved in?

a. Preservation of the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana
b. Establishment of the Chaco Canyon World Heritage Site
c. Development of core curriculum for environmental studies at Universidad Central de Venezuela.
d. Prevention of strip mining on Navajo lands near Shiprock

10. Jeff is known among his friends for:

a. Playing volleyball on Brazilian beaches in a Speedo bathing suit
b. Salsa dancing
c. Gourmet cooking, particularly Latin dishes
d. Camel racing

11. Jeff worked for the Albuquerque News in the late 1970s. A group of reporters, Dede Feldman, Arturo Sandoval, Bob Klein and Jeff used to meet for lunch and called themselves:

a. The Bolivar Brigade
b. La Cucaracha Social Club
c. The Flying Burritos
d. The Che Guevara Comrades

12. Jeff hosted a volleyball game on his 60th birthday. The game was played at what location:

a. beach near Sao Paulo, Brazil
b. his backyard
c. the top of Cabezon peak
d. beach on the Rio Grande

ISSUE 06-11-22 STEEL FABRICATION PLANT WILL OPEN IN ALGODONES

A structural steel fabricating company, Akins Manufacturing, celebrated its groundbreaking ceremony in Algodones May 26.  Sandoval County, Sandoval Economic Alliance (SEA), and the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted the event near the Roadrunner Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital. The Albuquerque-based company is relocating to Algodones with the goal to be fully operational by January 2023.  At the February 23 Sandoval County Commission meeting, $800,000 in Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funds was unanimously approved for the project.  

New jobs will include metal detailers and designers with an average salary of $60,000 ($28.25 per hour). Other new positions will include fabricators and welders with an average wage of $20/hr.

ISSUE 06-11-22 MAYOR’S PROCLAMATION FOR ‘JEFF RADFORD DAY’ JUNE 1, 2022

JEFF RADFORD DAY

JUNE 1, 2022

WHEREAS, Jeff Radford has dedicated 40 years of his life and career to the Village of Corrales by creating and sustaining the Corrales Comment newspaper with the goal of publishing the truth with respect and unrelenting honesty, and to present news reporting as though democracy matters; and

WHEREAS the Corrales Comment has consistently informed the citizens of Corrales of official meetings such as those of the Village Council and other formal and informal groups, keeping Corrales citizens apprised of events in their community; and

WHEREAS the Corrales Comment creates a detailed historical archive of notable events, people, and commentary in the community as well as connecting the Village with its past; and

WHEREAS Jeff Radford and the Corrales Comment have promoted the health, safety, livability, and creativity of Corrales for 40 years by providing a voice for groups and activities in the Village, including Parks and Recreation, Corrales MainStreet, Arts in Corrales, Corrales Cultural Arts Council, Village in the Village, Music in Corrales, Farmland Preservation, Corrales Historical Society, and many other groups; and

WHEREAS the Corrales Comment consistently provides a forum for discussion of issues of importance and diverse opinions of Corrales Residents; and

WHEREAS Jeff Radford has served on numerous committees and task forces in and for Corrales, including his current tenure on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission to implement his ideas for a safe and walkable community; and

WHEREAS Jeff Radford has shown his dedication to the survival of our planet by pointing out the efforts to hold industrial polluters accountable in the Corrales airshed, dedicating special issues to the discussion of climate change, presenting first-hand accounts of international Climate Change conferences and reporting on the diverse important efforts to assure we have adequate safe and clean water; and

WHEREAS Jeff Radford has generously shared his knowledge, experience, and expertise by mentoring several generations of writers and aspiring journalists; and

WHEREAS Jeff Radford will celebrate his 80th birthday and retirement from the Corrales Comment in June of 2022;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, James F. Fahey, Jr., Mayor of the Village of Corrales, Sandoval County, State of New Mexico, proclaim June 1, 2022 as Jeff Radford Day in the Village of Corrales, and call upon the people of the Village of Corrales to honor Jeff Radford and the positive impact he has had on our community for 40 years.

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED by the Governing Body of the Village of Corrales, New Mexico, this 24th day of May, 2022.

ISSUE 06-11-22 THE BALLAD OF JEFF RADFORD

By Ben Daitz

I was reflecting that over the years, I’ve contributed, as a writer, to a series of three unfortunate newspaper events,  two in Corrales.

The first was a poem I wrote in the summer of 1980, about a group of Corrales families who all ordered special, made to barbecue chicks at the same time, raised them, and then got together in early July for a massive chicken slaughter, plucking and BBQ.

Molly Ivins, the wonderful and intrepid New York Times reporter who was there, riffed on my poem’s line, “A plucking good time,” inserting “gang pluck” in her Page 1 story. She  was fired by the Times.

The second event was last week. A documentary film I made about the Rio Grande Sun, a great weekly newspaper in Española, was aired on NM PBS.

The Sun, one of the best small-town newspapers in America, and under the same family management for 60 years, was sold last a couple of weeks before to a consortium of business people and politicos. Many fear for its future.

And now, you’re retiring after 40 years of editing the Corrales Comment, and I was asked if I could find some musicians who could be playing off in the corner of Perea’s parking lot while everyone kibitzed and celebrated, but no luck on short notice, so I’m gonna read the song I wrote if we had been playing, “The Ballad of Jeff Radford.”

The Ballad of Jeff Radford

   (Not a single tweet)

The toxic plumes from Intel

and the politics of sewers

the battles over bridges

and the olders’ versus newers.’

The fire at the T-house

the skunky smell of weed

on the backroads of Corrales

he’s never short of ledes.

Chorus

There’s been 40 years of village news

and not a single tweet

that’s Jeff Radford and his Comment

and Corrales is his beat.

A house with 2 casitas?

the Village P& Z

there’s all the notes he’s taken

‘bout the MRGCD.

He’s made our village paper

the best, I must confess

Salud to Jeff and 40 years!

and to freedom of the press!

Chorus

There’s been 40 years of village news

And not a single tweet

It’s Jeff Radford and the Comment--

and Corrales is his beat.

ISSUE 06-11-22 VIEWING PLATFORMS FOR CONSERVATION EASEMENTS

Two more viewing platforms overlooking Corrales farmland preserved by conservation easements will be constructed in the months ahead. The new easements were purchased  last summer with municipal bonds for two parcels along Corrales Road at the north end of the valley. The Village government purchased conservation easements on two farms  deplete all of the $2.5 million in general obligation bonds approved by voters in 2018.

At their June 15, 2021 session, councillors approved buying an option to place a conservation easement on the Lopez Farm, just south of the other pending option on the Phelps Farm, owned by Trees of Corrales. Trees of Corrales leases both parcels, and that firm’s Court Koontz said last month that he would hire a contractor to design and build viewing platforms where any member of the public could stop by to see birds feeding and to  take in the pastoral scenery which includes the Bosque Nature Preserve and the Sandia Mountain beyond. The first such platform for public viewing was installed nearby on the other side of Corrales Road at the edge of the 12-acre Haslam Farm.

After Corrales voters raised an initial $2.5 million for the program back in 2004, the first-round of conservation easements on four parcels totalling about 30 acres of Corrales farmland was concluded September 29,  2005, after  more than 30 years of community effort to save farmland from development. Even though Corraleños’ second round of GO bond funding for farmland preservation here has been spent, plenty more acreage around Corrales now in pasture, orchards, crops or open space could still be saved in perpetuity through the Village’s conservation easement program.

Among major tracts remaining are the Trosello Farm, part of which has been used by the Wagner family for its Farmland Experience and corn maze, and the Gonzales family’s acreage west of the Juan Gonzales Bas Heritage Farm west of Wells Fargo Bank. That 5.5-acre parcel was purchased outright by the Village, but the family’s three acres next to the bank fronting Corrales Road may also be available; Village officials have made an offer to buy it from the Gonzales family, descendants of the founder of Corrales, Capitán Juan Gonzales Bas.

In March 2018, Corraleños overwhelmingly approved that second issuance of $2.5 million in GO bonds to acquire new easements. That first round of GO bond funding was used as the local match for more than $1 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That federal source of funding dried up, so subsequent acquisitions of conservation easements were achieved with Village funding alone.

In 2004, Corrales became the first municipality in the state to approve bonds to save farmland through purchase of conservation easements. If the Phelps farm and Lopez farm easements are completed, Corrales will have preserved nearly 55 acres in perpetuity.

Approximately six acres of that total  protected by a donation by Jonathan Porter at the south end of Corrales before the Village’s program started.  Porter, son of acclaimed photographer Elliot Porter, donated an easement on his land to the Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust, gaining substantial tax benefits. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XX, No. 1, February 24, 2001 “First Conservation Easement Here Saves 6 Acres of Farmland.”)

Each day across the United States more than 3,000 acres of farmland are lost to sprawling development, according to the Washington, DC-based American Farmland Trust. But over the past 45 years agricultural conservation easement programs have protected about two million acres of such threatened farmland, with programs operating in more than 15 states.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as of April 2021, more than 1.9 million acres in the United States have been preserved as farmland, and another three million acres in wetlands and grasslands have been protected with easements.

About 17 years ago, Corrales was urged by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program to request up to $1 million to continue the Village’s farmland preservation program.

By a margin of nearly 5-to-1, Corrales voters approved issuance of municipal bonds to buy conservation easements on farmland here to keep it out of development.

The bond election August 31, 2004 was the first major success in a decades-long commitment by villagers to keep their community rural.

Participation in the program is entirely voluntary. The intent is to give landowners an option for not selling their acreage to developers.

The landowner still retains all the other rights that came with his or her ownership. He or she could sell the farm, sell the water rights, sell the mineral rights, leave it to heirs or do anything else one might normally think of —except develop it as home sites or other non-farm uses.

Once the development right is sold,  the land in question would thereafter, in perpetuity, have a deed encumbrance with recorded easement that legally specified that the parcel could not be developed.

On May 12, 2005, the Village Council made its first easement acquisition by formally approving purchase of an easement on two acres owned by Shirley and Jack Kendall.

The parcel on which development rights were purchased sits at the northeast corner of the intersection of West La Entrada and the Corrales Acequia, or ‘first ditch.” It is adjacent to the Gonzales family fields.

The Kendall easement, and all acquired later, is held and administered for the Village by the Santa Fe-based N.M. Land Conservancy.

Easements were later purchased for  the field adjacent to Casa San Ysidro Museum, and for a portion of Dorothy Smith’s farm south of Meadowlark Lane between the first and second ditches.

A fourth easement was acquired on a portion of the Koontz family’s Trees of Corrales property at the north end of the valley.

In recent years, villagers have expressed interest in acquiring conservation easements for the scenic Trosello tract or at least parts of it, as well as for the equally iconic horse pastures of CW Farms at the south end of the village.

Although the Village acquired no easements on the Trosello tract using the 2018 GO bond proceeds, the land is thought to be protected from development at least in the near term by a lease agreement between the landowner and the Albuquerque-based One Generation Fund, in association with the Native American Community Academy (NACA). (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXX No.4 April 10, 2021 “Trosello Field Leased as Non-profit Demonstration Farm.”)

Before easements on the Haslam, Lopez and Phelps farms, the most recent purchased were on three acres of the 4.7-acre Boyd property east of Corrales Road in 2015.

The Village of Corrales paid approximately $185,000 from the general obligation bonds to purchase an easement on the Boyd property at the end of Candi Lane, according to Beth Mills, of the N.M. Land Conservancy.

ISSUE 06-11-22 MARTHA EGAN VIDEO ON ANTIQUE RELICARIOS AS ART FORM

A preview of a film about Martha Egan’s unique collection of antique religious relicarios will be screened at Casa Perea Artspace June 17, 6-8 p.m. It is co-located with the Pachamama folk art shop across from the fire station and south of Ex Novo brewery. Egan, a former Peace Corps volunteer, began collecting the antiques in the 1980s after discovering the small objects in a shop in Lima, Peru.

The shopkeeper who sold her three two-sided, hand-painted pendants described them as 18th century silver-framed relicarios. She later discovered they were not antique and not framed in silver. Intrigued nonetheless, she began to search for the real ones, asking many questions and researching them in libraries. Some authentic frames held simple prints or portraits of saints, done in oils or gouache, while others were bas-relief carvings in wood, bone, wax, alabaster or ivory.

Egan has given presentations on her collection and the art form in Spain, Portugal, Mexico and around the United States. The collection has been exhibited at the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Spanish Colonial Art Museum, among other venues.

Her 2020 book Relicarios: the forgotten jewels of the Americas, won a Silver Foreward Indies Book of the Year award.

ISSUE 06-11-22 RADFORD RETIRES AFER 40 YEARS AS COMMENT EDITOR

By Jeff Radford

Among the memorable retirement gifts bestowed at the “Jeff Radford Day” celebration at Perea’s Restaurant June 1 were abundant donations for a travel fund; a large bowl crafted by Santo Domingo’s Manuelita Lovato; another by an Acoma potter; a large Pendleton “Circle of Life” blanket with an appended label bearing the Comment masthead; an epic poem by Carol Merrill; a song about the retiring journalist by Ben Daitz; a cartoon portrait by Kent Blair; a 1908 copy of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography  with a title page  notation from my arch-hero reading “I would rather have it said ‘He lived usefully,’ than ‘He died rich;’”a wire sculpture by the late Andrew Nagen which resembles me; an enormous banner with the Comment masthead; a mountain plateau-size birthday/retirement cake; and a plethora of high praise from a multitude of well-wishers.

What I was not given, thankfully, was COVID. Under instructions from my physician, Alyson Thal, I tested for the coronavirus two days later and emerged negative.

Primary planners and organizers for the party in the restaurant parking area were Marg Elliston and Fred Harris; Mick and Suzanne Harper; Chris Allen; Sam Thompson; Carol Merrill; and Karen Dunning and Howard Higgins.

My son, Ben (named after the aforementioned role model,) recounted what it was like growing up as brother to a home-based newspaper. One of the party-goers recalled learning about Corrales Comment when a kid was hawking papers outside the old post office.

I fell short of living up to another role model who I encountered early in my career as a reporter on the world stage.  On my first or second reporting trip to Ethiopia, I went to the Addis Ababa office of the Reuters wire service to file a dispatch. There,  the only person was an old guy busily tapping out a news article —with one finger, which was not so unusual. But then I noticed he had only one arm to work with. From some misfortune, probably a stroke, his left arm was completely limp by his side.

Then I noticed that he had only one eye. And still he pecked out the story with the frenzy of an old, one-eyed, one-handed newsman. I never learned his name, since he was too busy.

I was pretty sure back then that one day that would be me.

For at least a decade, Corrales folks have known that I can’t hear anything through my left ear, and increasingly I can’t see worth a damn either. My typing fingers are gnarled; the finger that produces the letter “L” drags so that unwanted “Ls” appear regularly. Still I persisted, until it was clear that the time had come to retire.

So after 40 years of publishing Corrales Comment every other week, I am stepping down as editor and publisher next month. A new owner and publisher have been found, offering assurances that this community newspaper will continue.

They have requested that details be delayed until later this month, although they have said they intend to retain the current Comment crew including long-time reporter Meredith Hughes, editor-reporter Stephani Dingreville, graphic artist Katie Neeley, advertising traffic manager Michele McDonagh, ad salesperson Bonnie Mitisek and cartoonists Kent Blair and Adam Wick.

During a transitional period, I have agreed to continue most of my usual editorial functions, but without the burdens of ownership. I hope to continue suggesting what articles should be written and what photos might be taken. But I won’t work until two or three a.m. in  the future. At least I hope not.

I did my share of those during my undergraduate years at Syracuse University where I majored in journalism and international relations. Having been editor-in-chief of my high school newspaper in upstate New York, I won a scholarship from that university’s Maxwell School of Citizenship. Some Comment readers may see a continuing thread.

While there, in 1962 I won my first national journalism award, along with two other students; we used the prize money to launch an off-campus magazine, The Sword of Damocles, specializing in investigative reporting.

Other awards followed, including a fellowship from the Interamerican Press Association to Brazil in 1970; a “best feature story” trophy from the Albuquerque Press Club in 1978, and a “Top of the Rockies” competition first place  for environmental investigative reporting in  2010 presented by the Society for Professional Journalists for the region covering New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

My reporting career included a rapid rise within the Associated Press wire service, culminating as an editor on the AP World Desk at headquarters in Rockefeller Center. I resigned in protest over the AP’s self-censorship on reporting from Saigon in 1970.

But the reporting of which I am most proud was done in apartheid Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1968, in Chile under President Salvador Allende in 1971 and in Costa Rica in 1975.

Add to that a 40-year body of work that is Corrales Comment.

After relinquishing the editorship here, I’m headed back to Chile with my son this fall, possibly back to Bolivia and Colombia, and then on to Mozambique and South Africa where I have strong, emotional memories of past struggles and victories.

About six months before she died in 2016, Evelyn Losack summoned me to her kitchen to tell me “I’m going down, Jeff.” Together, we had fought the good fight for a long time, but I was going to have to carry on without her.

Well, I’m not going down anytime soon.

ISSUE 06-11-22 COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP DAY SAT., JUNE 11 AT PUBLIC WORKS

Dispose of yard waste and other discarded material at the Corrales Public Works yard west of the post office Saturday morning, June 11. Most unwanted items will be accepted, but not hazardous materials, televisions, electronic screens, refrigerators, freezers, tires, construction materials or commercial waste. Hours are 8 a.m. to noon; access from Corrales Road is at Jones Road.

ISSUE 06-11-22 KENT BLAIR WINS GOLD IN SENIOR GAMES TRIATHLON

Competing in  the 75-80 age category at the National Senior Games in Ft. Lauderdale last month, Corrales’ Kent Blair brought  home the gold while his wife, Janet Blair, won a silver in the long jump and the high jump. He took two silvers as well, for the 400-meter and the 1,500-meter races. The 2021 games, previously referred to as Senior Olympics, were postponed due to the pandemic. At the last meet, held in Albuquerque, Kent Blair also took first place in the triathlon. He has competed each year since 1999, while she has skipped just one of those.

The next will be in Pittsburgh.

ISSUE 06-11-22 VILLAGE GOV’T WILL SPEND $7 MILLION BUDGET IN FY 2022-23

Village officials expect to spend nearly $7 million during the fiscal year that starts July 1. The Village Council approved a municipal budget submitted by Mayor Jim Fahey at its May 24 meeting; it has been further submitted to the N.M. Department of Finance and Administration in Santa Fe. That $6,846,084 is projected revenue into the Village’s general fund. Even more will be spent from several special funds, mostly provided through state agencies. Last fiscal year’s revised budget was $5,680,026.

Money for the Village traditionally comes from its share of property tax collected by Sandoval County and from four streams of gross receipts taxes (GRT). Combined, those expected GRT payments in FY 2022-23 reach $3,935,424.

Property tax revenue that Corrales anticipates in FY22-23 amounts to $1,736,621.

Other income for the general fund derives from fees charged for such services as site development plan reviewing, rental of municipal facilities and noise permits. Still other income is projected from fines imposed in municipal court ($40,000 in FY22-23), and investments.

Where does all that money go? As usual, most of it will go to the Police Department ($1,500,432) and the Fire Department ($1,105,463).

Public Works is expected to get $500,154, while the library would get $319,283 and Parks and Recreation $435,847. Animal Control, which remains within the Police Department so far, would get $132,624. Some villagers have urged the mayor and council to transfer animal control to the Fire Department.

Projected revenue from the general fund for the Planning and Zoning Department hit $333,219. A budget line item for “Finance/Administration” is $739,110.

ISSUE 06-11-22 COMMITTEE STARTS PLANNING FOR PERFORMING ARTS

Seven villagers have been named to the newly established Performing Arts Center Committee, which will make recommendations to the mayor and Village Council for a proposed space for stage productions, music and other presentations. In earlier discussions, Village officials have indicated such a center would probably be constructed where the Jones residence stands west of the Corrales Post Office. The home would be demolished, and a new facility would go in its place. The committee would recommend what would be needed.

Named to the committee at the May 24 council meeting were: Jim Wright, Linda Parker, Tony Messec, John Schumann, Jon Young, Bonnie Gonzales  and Ken Duckert. The concept for a municipal performing arts center has morphed into a mixed use facility that could even include a community kitchen for farmers and growers to use to process foodstuffs for sale. That was Mayor Jim Fahey’s guidance during brief remarks at an earlier council meeting ahead of the Village Council’s adoption establishing  an ad hoc committee “to explore the possibilities of the Corrales Performing Arts Center.” He said members were  likely to be drawn from Music in Corrales, Corrales Society of Artists, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Corrales Arts Center, Corrales MainStreet, Inc. and villagers engaged in agriculture. One at-large member was to be named.

Fahey said the committee’s mission is “to identify and help to implement a plan to create a performing arts center that could be used for a variety of events and classes in the village of Corrales.”

Before councillors voted to establish the committee, the mayor suggested perhaps the new group’s name might be changed because it is no longer being thought of as exclusively for performances. “It would really be more of a mixed use facility.”

In that context, Fahey suggested the proposed structure might accommodate a “commercial kitchen,” the need for which has been recognized for more than a decade. Such a kitchen would be used to process food from Corrales farms and gardens that is certified by the N.M. Department of Health for sale to the public.

Discussion at the May 10 council meeting also included possible use of a performance space by the Adobe Theater. “We want them coming in from the very beginning,” he told councillors, explaining that he would like an ongoing revenue stream from use of the facility such as the theater might provide.

Although it started in Corrales more than 50 years ago, the Adobe Theater now stages productions in the North Valley, north of  the Alameda Boulevard-Fourth Street intersection.

(See Corrales Comment Vol.XXX VIII No.15 October 19, 2019 “CAC Seeks Performance Space, Possibly at Old Jones Residence.”)

In 2019, officers with the Corrales Arts Center held preliminary talks with the Adobe Theater. “They’re interested and we’re interested,” the Corrales Arts Center’s Jim Wright reported in a Corrales Comment interview October  11, 2019.

Providing a better arts-related facility here would be a crucial component of the Village’s proposed designation of an arts and cultural district (See Corrales Comment Vol. XXXII No.19 November 23, 2013 “Arts & Cultural District Must Wait.”)

Since early 2017, CAC has worked from leased space in the commercial space at 4940 Corrales Road, just north of the fire station. Arts related meetings, exhibits, talks and small performances have been held in that space.

The Village bought the 2.65-acre Jones property in June 2016. A barn and shed farther west on the parcel are now used for Corrales’ Public Works Department.

ISSUE 06-11-22 NEW LAW ON HEIGHT OF WALL, FENCES ALONG CORRALES RD. PROTECTS SCENERY

Back in March, the Village Council adopted an ordinance that included protections for scenic quality along Corrales Road. The amendment to Chapter 18 of the Code of Ordinances established height limitations on opaque walls and fences along State Highway 448 so that views of Corrales’ pastures, horses, gardens and wildlife are maintained. Although Corrales Comment previewed the  proposed amendments in March, it failed to report specifically that the restrictions had been enacted. The new regulations are similar to those enacted by the Village of Los Ranchos for Rio Grande Boulevard across the river. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXXI No.3 March 19, 2022 “Chapter 18 Land Use Regulations Approved.”)

“Wow! Wow! Wow!” former Corrales Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Terry Brown exclaimed when he learned from Councillor Stu Murray that the ordinance was adopted.

“I was excited to learn the Corrales Village Council recently passed a new fence ordinance for properties along Corrales Road. This historic farm-to-market road meanders through the heart of the most important semi-rural historic village in New Mexico, and we nearly lost our Scenic Byway designation by the proliferation of solid six-foot tall walls.

“Views of our agricultural fields and farm animals, to include horses, donkey’s, llamas and cattle, geese, Sandhill Cranes, Mallards, and the Sandia Mountains has been slowly eroding away by the construction of solid six-foot-tall walls creating a ‘canyon effect’ blocking the views of our beautiful village.”

Brown explained the new ordinance’s Chapter 18 at (m)(1) states that for properties along Corrales Road, no solid fence exceeding four feet in height shall be constructed within the front setback line. Paragraph (2) says that open fencing, with at least 65 percent of the top being open, may be placed upon the four-foot solid wall/fence to a maximum height of six feet. This means, no more six-foot  tall solid concrete block walls will be built along Corrales Road. One can drive through neighborhoods in Rio Rancho to see what this creates.

“My last year as chair of the Corrales Planning and Zoning Commission in 2018 was wrought with frustration when the Village Council at that time would not pass a similar ordinance our commission’s proposed to maintain Corrales Road as a scenic byway.

“The intrinsic value of this monumental decision will greatly improve property values in the village and create unique opportunities for economic development. People don’t visit our beautiful village to see our six-foot tall concrete walls. They drive to Corrales to see our farms and the Sandia Mountain, visit our art galleries, enjoy our country scenery, and enjoy the atmosphere of our restaurants and breweries. This new ordinance will ensure these important characterizes for our children’s children.”

“This ordinance means a lot for the future of the village.”

He commended Councillor Zach Burkett for guiding the council’s action on the new regulations. “I commend you for your leadership and tremendous support for the new fencing regulations for Corrales Road. I have seen many changes over the 26 years I have lived in Corrales… however, this ordinance modification will do the most to protect what little we have left of our scenic byway. When I was the chair of the P&Z commission, I could not get the support of the Village Council to make this important decision. You succeeded. Thank you.”

A vote by the Village Council in March changed Corrales laws about fences and walls along Corrales Road,  construction of casitas, permitting of group homes and senior living projects,  and several other chronic controversies.

 The changes proposed to Chapter 18 land use regulations were developed by a committee  appointed by the mayor working with planners from the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Concerned citizens gave most scrutiny to land use policies regarding cultivation of cannabis here, senior living facilities and construction of casitas, or guest house, rather than restrictions on the height of walls and fences along Corrales Road.

ISSUE 06-11-22 4TH OF JULY PARADE RETURNS, SO DO WATER FIGHTS!

By Meredith Hughes

Yes, there will be a July 4 parade this year in Corrales, starting on the dot of 10 a.m. And, remarkably, one can choose to participate in a wet or a dry version.

For years the fun option of tossing water about was forbidden, but now, in the depths of drought, that option has returned.

One must register for the parade at the “registration” tab on the Parks and Rec website,   https://campscui.active.com/ orgs/VillageofCorrales#/selectSessions/3164836.

The categories or groups under which you can sign up are these: antique cars; color guard; dry float; horses/cleanup; MainStreet; military; political group wet; water; wet float.

Just a tad confusing, but, the website explains, “Spectators are not to spray water until the water/wet groups begin 10 minutes after the horse clean-up crew. There are two groups dividing the wet and dry sections of the parade. When registering (if applicable) choose to be in the wet or dry groups. If you do not wish to get wet, then do not sign up for the wet groups.”

“Water and the water groups will begin 10 minutes after the horse clean-up crew. Please focus on the waivers and rules and regulation when signing up. This will inform you of all information as well as meeting places.” 

Should you wish to be wet, but not ride a soggy float, choose “water.” Otherwise, choose “wet float.”

Assembly areas for parade floats, vehicles, horses and other participants are explained on the Parks & Rec website, primarily are between the Wagner’s Farm parking lot and Corrales Elementary.

As for Fourth of July fireworks, on April 25 Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham urged municipalities to ban them. Bernalillo County supposedly did, as did the City of Albuquerque. Sandoval County apparently has not yet done so.

On May 11, the Corrales Village Council passed Resolution 22-26, “declaring an emergency, recognizing the existence of extreme drought conditions in the Village of Corrales, prohibiting the sale or use of fireworks within the Village during the continuation of drought conditions, authorizing the officers of the Village to enforce the prohibition on sale or use of fireworks, and providing for administrative review when climatic conditions improve.”

A similar resolution was adopted at the May 24 council meeting.

Aside from concerns over the fire hazard, many knowledgeable sources have stated that fireworks affect animals adversely, and also are troubling to people with PTSD, especially veterans.

ISSUE 06-11-22 TRAFFIC ON CORRALES ROAD INTENSIFIES; HOW TO COPE

Twenty-seven years ago, traffic on Corrales Road was so jammed that a consulting engineer ominously predicted its intersection at Meadowlark Lane soon would “fail,” and that a stoplight would be imperative within five years. Granted, that was back when the new Corrales Post Office was proposed for the southwest corner of the intersection, where Village Mercantile is now. And that was before Loma Larga was constructed as a reliever for Corrales Road, which was —and still is— State Highway 448.

Intense discussion engulfed the community. Some villagers insisted it was time to face reality and abandon the notion that Corrales was a quaint rural village. It was now a suburb, and steps must be taken to facilitate metro traffic. Other villagers stubbornly insisted we needed to maintain the farming tradition, and that if commuters  and grocery shoppers didn’t want to stack up behind a tractor and hay baler, well —too bad. Move to Rio Rancho or the Northeast Heights.

A compromise was advanced: a traffic circle, or roundabout. A consensus began to solidify around that option, so engineering plans were ordered and submitted. But enthusiasm faded when  the designs showed it would take large chunks from the Frontier Mart land, the Mercantile and  the then-daycare center. Besides, traditionalists within the Highway Department were skeptical. Roundabouts just weren’t done. Maybe in California or Massachusetts, but not here: what about horse trailers? What about hay balers? And what about horse riders? (See Corrales Comment Vol.XIV No.14 September 9, 1995 “Council  Must Decide on Turn Lanes, Stoplights.” and Vol.XV No.24 February 8, 1997 “First Stoplight Urged For Meadowlark Intersection.”)

Despite the flurry of traffic solutions proposed  in 1995, nothing was done except for construction of the reliever road, Loma Larga. Subsequent studies have shown that accomplishment alone has made a huge difference, especially after then-Councillor Jim Fahey (now mayor) finally convinced others on the council to take down all the stop signs at Loma Larga crossroads. But now, it seems like that dreaded Corrales Road gridlock looms again.

Pandemic-induced stay-at-home behavior is receding, Corraleños are out shopping, visitors are returning, fearless bike riders are pedalling. Over all, in recent months the pace is quickening and cars and trucks are nearly bumper-to-bumper on Corrales Road at some hours.

Corrales Comment requested the most recent traffic count data for Corrales Road from the Mid Region Council of Governments (MRCOG). The multi-municipal agency’s report indicates no traffic counts have been done for Corrales Road since June 1, 2020.

“We try to count every roadway in the region every three years, so the locations you’re looking for may not have very recent data,” Willy Simon, MRCOG transportation planner replied.

Traffic counts are done for the same month over time, so the next one for Corrales Road probably would come in June 2023.

On June 1, 2020, vehicles heading south on Corrales Road north of Meadowlark Lane tallied 5,753. A little more were headed north, 6,004.

On the same day, southbound drivers on Corrales Road south of Meadowlark were counted at 5,476, which is actually less that might be expected from an assumption that traffic from Rio Rancho  was heading down to Corrales Road for the drive south into Albuquerque. More likely, though, is that Rio Rancho drivers would hang a right at Loma Larga.

Northbound drivers south of Meadowlark were counted at 5,914.

Southbound traffic on Loma Larga, south of West Ella. was 2,004 vehicles.  Just 330 of those hit the tube count recorder on Loma Larga during morning rush hour (6 to 9 a.m.).

In December 2019, southbound drivers on Loma Larga south of Meadowlark were counted at 4,466.

Over the years, traffic density on Corrales Road has seemed to ebb and flow, sometimes due to external conditions, such as construction on Highway 528 in Rio Rancho, and clearly due to parents delivering students to and from Corrales Elementary School.

For villagers trying to pull onto Corrales Road from side roads and driveways during parental deliveries and retrievals, the wait can seem interminable.

One of the studies done in 1995 suggested the average wait time to pull onto Corrales Road was 20 seconds. It’s unknown what that might be now. But those school bus stops and starts probably have at least one desirable effect in lieu of a stoplight:  creating traffic gaps ahead of the bus.

Corrales Comment has sometimes included in its page layouts little suggestions for how to create gaps in traffic that allow drivers to nudge their way onto Corrales Road. Insert as fillers on the newspaper pages are small advocacy notes saying “When Driving Corrales Road, Speed Up or Slow Down to Create Traffic Gaps.”

The problem is that too many villagers adopt higher speed driving behavior that leaves five to 10 car lengths between his or her vehicle and the one ahead. With traffic moving at 30 miles an hour, that’s just not enough time, for a cautious (possibly read “elderly”) driver to merge into traffic.

So speeding up slightly can increase space behind your car or truck. Conversely, slowing down a little can create a gap ahead of you that might allow someone waiting at a driveway or crossroad to pull in ahead of you.

Courtesy is a winning strategy.

The 1995 traffic study “NM 448 [Corrales Road] Scoping Study” produced for the Highway Department by consultant JHK & Associates includes a section titled “Create Gaps in Traffic.”

It reads as follows. “Objective: Create gaps in platoons of vehicles to provide access to NM448 from cross-streets and private driveways along the roadway.

“Alternative Option 1: Install traffic signals at the intersections of NM448/Meadowlark Lane and NM448/La Entrada. Construction cost: $150,000.

“Alternative Option 2: Install stop signs at two locations along NM448. Construction cost: $2,000.

“Discussion: Traffic signals installed on NM448 would improve the orderly movement of traffic and would interrupt NM448 traffic at intervals to allow pedestrian, equestrian, bicycle and side street traffic to cross or enter the NM448 traffic stream.

“Stop signs would increase delay for vehicles traveling through the intersection (less than 20 seconds on average per vehicle) and may increase rear-end accident occurrence on NM448 approaches.…

“Stop signs would result in higher delay to motorists by requiring all motorists to stop, whereas a traffic signal would allow the majority of NM448 traffic to travel uninterrupted.”

ISSUE 05-21-22 BEN RADFORD’S NEWEST BOOK ‘AMERICA THE FEARFUL’

Corrales author Benjamin Radford, Corrales Comment’s long-time movie reviewer, has a new book out, America The Fearful.

“Combining media literacy, folklore, investigative journalism, psychology, neuroscience and critical thinking approaches, this book reveals the powerful fole that fear plays in clouding perceptions about the United States,” Radford explained.

He said fears about crime, immigrants, police and societal conflicts have been pervasive in this country during this century. “Many of these fears begin as mere phantom fears, but are systematically amplified by social media, news media, bad actors and even well-intentioned activists.”

Radford, managing editor for the national science magazine Skeptical Inquirer, majored in psychology at the University of New Mexico and later earned a master’s degree in education at the University of Buffalo. This summer, he will earn another master’s degree, in public health, from Dartmouth College.

“This book examines the role of fear in national panics and addresses why many Americans believe the country is in horrible shape and will continue to deteriorate, despite contradictory evidence.

“Political polarization, racism, sexism, economic inequality and other social issues are examined in my new book, which also offers evidence-based solutions.”

The 234-page book is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other retail outlets.

The author attended Corrales Elementary, Taylor Middle School and Cibola High.

Among nearly two dozen other books published by the author are Tracking the Chupacabra: the vampire beast in fact, fiction and folklore, Investigating Ghosts: the scientific search for spirits and Big —If True: adventures in oddity.

ISSUE 05-21-22 LOS CORRALITOS 4-H MEMBER NATASHA KWIATKOWSKI ATTENDS DC CONFERENCE

Corrales 4-H member Natasha Kwiatkowski helped raise the organization’s flag outside the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the nation’s capital in March while on a scholarship to participate in the National 4-H Conference.

The flag flew right below the American flag

The Cibola High senior is a member of Los Corralitos 4-H Club. She was one of five New Mexican club members to attend and the only one from Sandoval County. She was among more than 200 4-Hers from around the country.

On March 21, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack spoke to the visitors.  Shortly thereafter, the department announced that $10 million would be directed to youth organizations including the 4-H.

Part of the program included advice on how young people could start their own businesses and how to work with government programs and regulations.

ISSUE 05-21-22 HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGING RESEARCH GRANT TO NMSU

A team from the New Mexico State University College of Engineering has been tasked with developing machine learning algorithms in support of national defense. Professor David Voelz has been awarded a two-year grant for nearly $300,000 from the Office of Naval Research for the project titled “Machine Learning-Based Turbulence Analysis and Mitigation for Hyperspectral Imaging.” Collaborating are Associate Professor Laura Boucheron and Assistant Professor Steven Sandoval from NMSU’s Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

 “My colleagues and I at NMSU had been working for a few years on some related projects for atmospheric modeling and light propagation prediction with machine learning,” Voelz said. “At NMSU, we had expertise in image processing, machine learning and atmospheric optics, so we were a good fit for researching this question.” 

 The project’s objective is to create machine-learning algorithms to support the analysis of atmospheric turbulence effects on hyperspectral imaging and advance the tools for the mitigation of turbulence effects in the images. Voelz said they are interested in a wide spectral sensing range, from 300 nanometers to 10-micron wavelength, and imaging over horizontal or slant paths of a few hundred meters to several kilometers that are relatively near the earth’s surface.

 Defense tasks that can be helped by hyperspectral imaging include target detection, recognition and identification, shape extraction, classification and material characterization. For remote sensing tasks, hyperspectral imaging is often applied in nadir, or down-looking, ground survey applications with an aircraft or satellite. 

“Our intent is to apply machine learning algorithms to exploit the diversity provided by both the spectral and spatial data to aide in image de-blurring and un-mixing.” 

ISSUE 05-21-22 ROD FRECHETTE HONORED FOR HIS COIN COLLECTION

Corrales coin collector Rod Frechette won an unusual distinction last month when he was chosen for two awards by the American Numismatic Association (ANA) at its meeting in Colorado Springs.

“For only the second time in more than 40 years, the ANA is honoring one person with two national awards,” the organization announced.

The first award was “Numismatist of the Year,”  while the second was its Glenn Smedley Memorial Award medal. Frechette will receive the awards at the ANA “World Fair of Money” in August.

He has been a key member of the Albuquerque Coin Club for decades and has managed its coin shows twice a year for 12 years.

He started collecting coins when he was seven years old. “As a  little boy, my parents owned a paint store, and I would stock the shelves and get paid a penny or a nickel for my work,” Frechette recalled. I would hang around the cash register and look at all the strange coins. I also counted the milk money at school every day.” 

(See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXIII No. 10 July 5, 2014 “Corrales Collector Delights in Ancient Coins.”)

In 2014, when asked how many coins he owned, Frechette hesitated, seemingly unsure how to answer, before stating “several thousand.”

The ones that stand out are the Croesus coins, the first silver and gold coins from 560 to 546 BCE [Before Current Era]. They are extremely rare, with only a few left in existence.

At a holiday dinner, his grandfather pulled him aside and gave him his first collectable coin, a shield nickel, the first five-cent piece introduced  in 1866 to be made out of copper and nickel.

The gift sparked a lifelong interest; he considers the coin his grandfather gave him to be his most valuable of all. His other grandfather also had a small collection of rare coins, which helped spark his passion even more.

The thing that he loves most about coins is the history associated with them. He likes that coins can teach us about people, cities and events. Coins essentially allow us to hold a piece of history in our hand and connect us in a tangible way to the past.

For information about the Albuquerque Coin Club, visit http://www.abqcc. org.

ISSUE 05-21-22 GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY STUDY GEARS UP IN KENYA THIS JUNE

A meeting critical to advancing a post-2020 global biodiversity framework to safeguard nature will resume in-person in Kenya next month. The Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework will resume its work at the United Nations Complex in Nairobi June 20-26, seeking agreement on actions to reach the 2050 vision of living in harmony with nature in line with the milestones of the 2030 agenda, as well as addressing the five drivers of biodiversity loss —land and sea use change, unsustainable exploitation, climate change, pollution, and invasive alien species.

The working group will define how international performance will be tracked and reported, and ultimately how success will be defined and measured

The framework is expected to be adopted at a resumed UN biodiversity summit later this year in Kunming, China, which includes the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

ISSUE 05-21-22 CONCERT FUNDRAISER FOR N.M. FIRE EMERGENCY JUNE 18

A concert at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe June 18 will benefit families devastated by ongoing fires in northeastern New Mexico. The evening of acoustic music will feature performances by Robert Mirabal, Rahim AlHaj, Lara Manzanares, Rob Martinez and  Felix Peralta and SolFire Duo. The event begins at 7 p.m.

All of the proceeds will benefit victims of New Mexico Fires through the All Together NM Fund.

ISSUE 05-21-22 CORRALES ELEMENTARY GRADUATES WALK MAY 25

Corrales Elementary is having a “graduates walk”  and anyone who is graduating, at any level, who attended Corrales Elementary School is encouraged to participate. The event is May 25 at the elementary school, starting at 9 a.m. Graduates should meet with Coach Leah Dolan in front of the school, wearing their cap and gown.

Contact her with any questions at Dolan_L@aps.edu

N.M. AMONG STATES THAT SHOULD BE ABLE TO MEET 100% OF ELECTRICITY NEEDS WITH RENEWABLES

A new analysis led by the Union of Concerned Scientists demonstrates that States can reliably meet 100 percent of their electricity needs with renewable energy. They need comprehensive energy policies to ensure the transition is equitable. The Union of Concerned Scientists joined with COPAL of Minnesota, GreenRoots of Massachusetts and the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, to better understand the feasibility and implications of key states meeting 100 percent of their electricity needs with renewable energy by 2035.

Researchers focused on 24 member states of the United States Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. They analyzed two main scenarios: business as usual versus 100 percent renewable electricity standards.

The analysis reported May 13 shows that:

  • Climate Alliance states can meet 100 percent of their electricity consumption with renewable energy by 2035. This holds true even with strong increases in demand due to the electrification of transportation and heating.
  • A transition to renewables yields strong benefits in terms of health, climate, economies, and energy affordability.
  • To ensure an equitable transition, states should broaden access to clean energy technologies and decision making to include environmental justice and fossil fuel-dependent communities —while directly phasing out coal and gas plants.

Since its founding in 2017, the US Climate Alliance —a coalition of states committed to meeting the goals of the Paris climate accord— has grown to 24 states and one U.S. territory. All told, they represent 56 percent of the US population, generate 62 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, and are responsible for 43 percent of the country’s annual carbon emissions.

Nearly all of the alliance members have a renewable electricity standard (RES), which requires utilities in their jurisdiction to increase their use of renewable energy to a particular percentage by a specific year.

Four alliance states —California, Hawaii, New Mexico and Washington— plan to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045, and another seven states plus the alliance’s one territory, Puerto Rico, have a 2050 target.

To help avoid the worst possible consequences of climate change, however, the alliance states need to reach that 100 percent objective much more quickly, the study found. Fortunately, according to the new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), they all have the technical ability to meet 100 percent of their electricity demand by as early as 2035.

“U.S. Climate Alliance members are well-positioned to drive decarbonization efforts,” says Paula García, a senior UCS energy analyst and the report’s lead author. “While that is not a replacement for national and international leadership, we are encouraged by our findings about the impact that state-level action alone can have on reducing carbon pollution.”

ISSUE 05-21-22 ADOBE THEATER STAGES ‘UNNECESSARY FARCE’ JUNE 10

From June 10 to July 3, The Adobe Theater will stage the comedy Unnecessary Farce by Paul Slade Smith. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., and a  “pay what you will” day on  Thursday June 30 at 7:30 p.m See http://www.adobetheater.org, call 505-898-9222 or contact at  info@adobetheater.org.

In a cheap motel room, an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his female accountant, while in the room next-door, two undercover cops wait to catch the meeting on videotape. But there's some confusion as to who’s in which room, who’s being videotaped, who’s taken the money, who’s hired a hit man, and why the accountant keeps taking off her clothes.

Cast includes Madelon Brown, Lewis Hauser, Miles Hughes, Sarah Kesselring, Antonio Trigo III, Lianne Walk and Eric John Werner.

Paul Slade Smith is an actor and playwright living in Brooklyn, New York. Unnecessary Farce is a winner of 15 regional theatre awards and it has garnered over 275 productions worldwide.

 Check the website or call for current COVID-19 guidelines.

ISSUE 05-21-22 UN REPORT ASSESSES LAND’S PRODUCTIVITY

A new report from the United Nations details widespread degradation of soils, water and biodiversity around the world and where that is leading by 2050. The way land resources are currently mismanaged and misused threatens the health and continued survival of many species on Earth, warns a report from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). It also points decision makers to hundreds of practical ways to effect local, national and regional land and ecosystem restoration. 

The agency’s Global Land Outlook 2 (GLO2) report, five years in development with 21 partner organizations, and with over 1,000 references, is the most comprehensive consolidation of information on the topic ever assembled.   It offers an overview of unprecedented breadth and projects the planetary consequences of three scenarios through 2050: business as usual, restoration of 50 million square kilometers of land, and restoration measures augmented by the conservation of natural areas important for specific ecosystem functions.  It also assesses the potential contributions of land restoration investments to climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, human health and other key sustainable development goals.

 “At no other point in modern history has humanity faced such an array of familiar and unfamiliar risks and hazards, interacting in a hyper-connected and rapidly changing world,” the report authors warn. “We cannot afford to underestimate the scale and impact of these existential threats.”

The report offers hundreds of examples from around the world that demonstrate the potential of land restoration. I 

“Modern agriculture has altered the face of the planet more than any other human activity. We need to urgently rethink our global food systems, which are responsible for 80 percent of deforestation, 70 percent of freshwater use, and the single greatest cause of terrestrial biodiversity loss,” according to Ibrahim Thiaw, executive secretary of the UNCCD.

The report predicts the outcomes by 2050 and risks involved under three scenarios:

  • Baseline: Business as usual, continuing current trends in land and natural resource degradation, while demands for food, feed, fiber and bioenergy continue to rise. Land management practices and climate change continue to cause widespread soil erosion, declining fertility and growth in yields, and the further loss of natural areas due to expanding agriculture.

By 2050:

  • 16 million square kilometers show continued land degradation (almost the size of South America).
  • A persistent, long-term decline in vegetative productivity is observed for 12-14 percent of agricultural, pasture and grazing land and natural areas, with sub-Saharan Africa worst affected.
  • An additional 69 gigatons of carbon is emitted from 2015 to 2050 due to land use change and soil degradation. This represents 17 percent of current annual greenhouse gas emissions: soil organic carbon (32 gigatons), vegetation (27 gigatons), peatland degradation/conversion (10 gigatons).
  • Restoration: Assumes the restoration of around 5 billion hectares (50 million square kilometers or 35 percent of the global land area) using measures such as agro-forestry, grazing management and assisted natural regeneration. Current international pledges would restore 10 million square kilometers.

By 2050:

  • Crop yields increase by 5-10 percent in most developing countries compared to the baseline. Improved soil health leads to higher crop yields, with the largest gains in the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, limiting food price increases.
  • Soil water holding capacity would increase by four percent in rain fed croplands.
  • Carbon stocks rise by a net 17 gigatons between 2015 and 2050 due to gains in soil carbon and reduced emissions.
  • Biodiversity continues to decline, but not as quickly, with 11 percent of biodiversity loss averted.
  • Restoration and Protection: This scenario includes the restoration measures, augmented with protection measures of areas important for biodiversity, water regulation, conservation of soil and carbon stocks and provision of critical ecosystem functions. 

By 2050: 

  • An additional four million square kilometers of natural areas (the size of India and Pakistan); largest gains expected in South and Southeast Asia and Latin America. Protections would prevent land degradation by logging, burning, draining or conversion.
  • About a third of the biodiversity loss projected in the baseline would be prevented.
  • An additional 83 gigatons of carbon are stored compared to the baseline. Avoided emission and increased carbon storage would be equivalent to more than seven years of total current global emissions. 

Other key points in the report include:

  •   Roughly half the world’s annual economic output, $44 trillion, is being put at risk by the loss of finite natural capital and nature’s services, which underpin human and environmental health by regulating climate, water, disease, pests, waste and air pollution, while providing numerous other benefits such as recreation and cultural benefits. 
  • The economic returns of restoring land and reducing degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss could be as high as $125-140 trillion every year, up to 50 percent more than the $93 trillion global GDP in 2021.
  • Repurposing in the next decade just $1.6 trillion of the annual $700 billion in perverse subsidies given to the fossil fuel and agricultural industries would enable governments to meet current pledges to restore by 2030 some one billion degraded hectares, an area the size of the United States or China, including 250 million hectares of farmland.
  • Restoring land, soils, forests and other ecosystems would contribute more than one-third of the cost-effective climate change mitigation needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C while supporting biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, human health and other key sustainable development goals.
  • Many traditional and modern regenerative food production practices can enable agriculture to pivot from being the primary cause of degradation to the principal catalyst for land and soil restoration.
  • Poor rural communities, smallholder farmers, women, youth, indigenous peoples, and other at-risk groups are disproportionately affected by desertification, land degradation, and drought. At the same time, traditional and local knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities, proven land stewards, represent a vast store of human and social capital that must be respected and can be used to protect and restore natural capital.
  • Immediate financial support is needed to fund conservation and restoration in those developing countries with a greater share of the global distribution of intact, biodiverse, and carbon-rich ecosystems.
  • Restoration projects and programs tend to have long-term multiplier effects that strengthen rural economies and contribute to wider regional development. They generate jobs that cannot be outsourced, and investments stimulate demand that benefits local economies and communities.
  • Land and resource rights, secured through enforceable laws and trusted institutions, can transform underperforming land assets into sustainable development opportunities, helping maintain equitable and cohesive societies.
  • Inclusive and responsible land governance, including tenure security, is an effective way to balance trade-offs and harness synergies that optimize restoration outcomes.
  • Grasslands and savannas are productive, biodiverse ecosystems that match forests both in their global extent and their need for protection and restoration. Equally important are wetlands, which are in long-term decline averaging losses at three times the rate of global forest loss in recent decades. Sustaining their capacity to absorb and store carbon is key to a climate-resilient future
  • Intensive monocultures and the destruction of forests and other ecosystems for food and commodity production generate the bulk of carbon emissions associated with land use change
  • If current land degradation trends continue, food supply disruptions, forced migration, rapid biodiversity loss and species extinctions will increase, accompanied by a higher risk of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19, declining human health, and land resource conflicts.

ISSUE 05-21-22 TRAINING PROGRAM FOR BUDDING SCREENWRITERS

The ten projects were chosen through a competitive application process from a pool of 200 applicants for a screenwriting training program. The training will run for six months. Run by Stowe Story Labs founder and director David Rocchio and co-founder David Pope, New Voices New Mexico is designed to support emerging screenwriters in developing foundational skills necessary for writing feature film and television scripts. 

“This initiative is a direct result of our partnerships with major studios in New Mexico and our commitment to nurture homegrown talent,” New Mexico Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said.

Participants must be current New Mexican residents or New Mexicans studying out-of-state. Applicants had to demonstrate an ability to write a feature or television script, capacity to learn and incorporate new skills and approaches into their work, a collaborative nature, and willingness to develop a strong story idea.

Participants are responsible for the program’s application fee and travel costs to Taos, however, program design, application process, instruction, mentoring, meals and lodging are provided through funding from the New Mexico Film Office.

Selected were:

Chelese Belmont and Shannan Reeve (Albuquerque);  Thomas Gray (Española); Liana Morales (Albuquerque);  Ruben Muller (Albuquerque); Daniel Peaslee (Santa Fe); Brittany Ramirez and Micaela Legarda (Las Cruces); Kira Sipler and Lorraine Montez (Albuquerque);  Enrique Cruz Torres (Albuquerque); RaquelTroyce(Albuquerque); and Carmen Tsabetsaye (Albuquerque).

ISSUE 05-21-22 CORRALES AUTHOR GERALD CANTRELL LAUNCHES NOVEL

By Phil Burnham

Gerald Cantrell grew up as a Cherokee, though no one ever bothered to tell him. One of only three “white” kids at a rural school in eastern Oklahoma, he didn’t have much to do with tribal ways as a boy. “When you grow up looking like Mayberry’s Opie Taylor, it’s hard to identify yourself as Indian,” he chuckles now. “But back then, it made no difference. My friends didn’t call me ‘white boy,’ I was just a neighbor kid.”

A Corrales resident since 2019, Cantrell has just published his first novel, The Blue Pathway, set in the Ozark Hill country where he grew up. It’s a tribal mystery chock full of shape-shifting and Cherokee medicine rites…and a reluctant law man charged with uncovering the secret behind a series of mysterious heart attacks.

Not until he graduated college did Cantrell even learn he was Cherokee. By then he was already set to leave his old haunts in Adair County and explore the world for himself. It was only years later that he moved back to Cherokee country to see if the old cliché “You can’t go home again” held any water, even if the journey to get there proved to be a challenging one.

“The novel is mostly about Cherokee folklore,” Cantrell explains. “I read up on the subject and realized that some of the stuff that happened to me when I went back wasn’t just a part of my imagination. That stuff is real. Part of the fun of reading this book is trying to determine what’s real and what isn’t.

“I really did walk a different path when I went back to Oklahoma than I walked as a child. And I wanted to chronicle the events that happened to me along that path.”

His early home life wasn’t easy. His parents divorced when he was young, he lived for a time with his grandparents, eventually dropped out of high school. One day he took his mother by the hand and led her down to a courthouse in Muscogee where she signed Air Force enlistment papers for a boy who had just turned 17. “So, the service became my home.”

Three-plus years in an airman’s uniform got him an early out for college. At Oklahoma State University he had no financial help, worked long hours for bed and board, couldn’t keep his grades up. So he went back to his grandparents and enrolled at Northeastern State in Tahlequah, the Cherokee capital.

The winter of 1968, he recalls, he graduated on a Wednesday and was married that very Saturday to Janell Webb of nearby Hulbert. Life was happening very fast.

Except he missed the stability of military life, the only secure home he’d ever known. So he decided to enlist again, this time with the U.S. Army. He applied to Officer Candidate School, where Uncle Sam made an intelligence man out of him. He was stationed in Germany, then Atlanta, and did counterintelligence work in the Caribbean, leading an intel team after the Grenada invasion of 1983. But after 16 years, most of it out of uniform, something was nagging at him: he wanted to go home again.

He took early retirement. So, what was his Cherokee heritage like, he wondered? Why had his family told him so little? Gone from Oklahoma for 20 years, his absence didn’t keep him from landing a job as CEO of Cherokee Nation Enterprises, a modest bingo operation in Tahlequah.

But his old haunts had changed. “Instead of one of them,” he says, “I became a stranger who went back and tried to fit in.”

His friends had scattered, his grandparents had passed away. Even his cousins didn’t seem to know him. He was a changed man, the first in his family to become a military officer. No matter what he did, though, the locals still saw him as white, either because of his light skin or  his long furlough from Cherokee country. But a lifelong interest in reading, not to mention writing a ton of military reports, had primed him for a new vocation.

On Cantrell’s watch the tribe formed a corporation, bought commercial properties, encouraged outside investment. But some tribal members didn’t like what they saw; they wanted things to stay the way they were. The white Cherokee CEO tried to be a “neutral broker,” as he puts it, but the politics were rugged. Things got so messy the tribe finally cut him loose. And then tragedy: the death of their eldest son, about the same time, devastated Gerald and Janell.

It wasn’t long after when Cantrell started The Blue Pathway, a catharsis of sorts, a way to vent his feelings after so much frustration and pain. But one day 100 pages of the draft that he’d transferred to his computer mysteriously disappeared, every single word wiped clean.

Heartbroken, he threw up his hands and let go of it.

Years later, after a move to Rio Rancho, Janell came upon what remained of the manuscript in an unpacked box of his old writings. She set it on a chair in his office without saying a word. “I picked it up and dusted it off and started writing it again,” Cantrell remembers. But there would be no more computers. The rest of the story he would write out longhand.

“I wanted to compare what it was like growing up to what it was like as an adult in that environment,” he says. “When I was a boy, there wasn’t prejudice because everyone was mixed. If I’d known I was part Cherokee, it wouldn’t have made any difference. We were just a melting pot.

“But I went back to a different world than the one I grew up in. There were traditionalists and mixed bloods, and political factions like anywhere else. But when you mix all those together you  walk a delicate tightrope between two different cultures. It wasn’t like working for a big corporation in the traditional sense.”

The protagonist of The Blue Pathway, Conor Campbell, a retired military intelligence officer, is only loosely patterned on the author. Some of the story is culled from memory, some of it not, a mix of fact and fiction for a novel that sat for years on the shelf before it was ever finished.

Is Cantrell a one-book guy? He’s already started on a prequel, he says from his home in Pueblo los Cerros, a tale also set in Cherokee country. “I’ve told my story in The Blue Pathway. Now I’m writing for pleasure. There are no issues I have to work out. I’m writing because I just simply like to write.” And still in longhand.

They say you can’t go home again. And Cantrell agrees.

But maybe, if you’re determined, you can find a good story along the way.

ISSUE 05-21-22 N.M. HUMANITIES COUNCIL PANEL ON VOTING POLITICS

The New Mexico Humanities Council and New Mexico Listens will host thought leaders and policymakers from around the state in a virtual panel discussion that will address questions on voting politics in New Mexico. Most people believe that our elections are safe and secure, yet voters and election workers are being threatened and intimidated. Flimsy claims of voter fraud are leading some states to pass laws that will result in voter suppression. What are the statistics? How secure are our elections? How secret are our ballots?

How do we sort through campaign promises to choose the best candidates to represent us? With so much money influencing elections and politics, can we trust elected officials? How can non-voters participate in our democracy? Is the media increasing political and social polarization? Where are the stories about our changing society? Where do we want our country to be in five or ten years? Where do we have common ground?

In appreciation of efforts to strengthen democracy, we’re offering students, 16 years of age and older, and rising leaders an opportunity to join the League of Women Voters of New Mexico at no cost. lwvnm.org/membership.html

Community members from around the state and students from UNM, NMSU, NMHU, and area high schools are invited to attend and participate in the conversation.

Attendees are asked to register on Eventbrite in order to receive a Zoom link to be able to participate. A registration link can also be found on the New Mexico Humanities Council’s website at: NMHumanities.org/NMListens

Panelists are:

  • Cindy Nava, executive director of Transform Education New Mexico. Cindy is a public policy advocate and educator dedicated to empowering youth through leadership development. She brings an immigrant lens to her lifelong commitment to advance equity and opportunity. After residing in NM for 26 years, she became a U.S. citizen in 2021 and voted for the first time.
  • Regis Pecos, trustee emeritus of Princeton University, and the first Native American to serve on the board of trustees of Princeton, his alma mater. Until 2021, he directed the state’s Majority Office as chief of staff and director of Policy and Legislative Affairs. Regis continues to serve on several boards and advocacy committees. He co-directs the Leadership Institute at Santa Fe Indian School, which he co-founded.
  • Elaine Rodriquez, chair of the History and Political Science Department at Highlands University where she teaches American government and Southwest history and politics. Her research and experience ranges from the impact of the National Voter Registration Act to Latino/a politics and culture. She brings new perspectives on sustainable economic growth, youth leadership development, and civic engagement through her service on the City Council of Las Vegas.
  • Finnie D. Coleman teaches American and African American literature, history and culture at the University of New mexico and serves as president of the Faculty Senate. For more than 20 years, he has worked as a higher education consultant specializing in diversity, equity and inclusion on college campuses.

The panel will be moderated by Christa Slaton, a professor of government emeritas of New Mexico State University and Auburn University, where she served as Dean of Arts and Sciences and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, respectively.

From 2002-2010, she served as the Director of the Elections Administration at Auburn University and collaborated with the non-profit, Houston-based Election Center to offer a national certification program for elections and voter registration officials.

ISSUE 05-21-22 COVID-19 CASES IN CORRALES

The peril for Corrales’ elderly from the deadly coronavirus continues. As elsewhere in New Mexico and across the United States, COVID-19 infections climbed this month. On May 16, a grim milestone was marked as deaths in the United States reached one million. Statewide, at least 7,600 New Mexicans have died since the pandemic began.

On May 13, the N.M. Department of Health’s statistics showed that 1,096 residents in the Corrales zipcode area had been reported with the illness since the virus was detected here. On that date, new COVID-19 cases climbed to 503, even though the state’s vaccination rate for adults was 80 percent.

On May 13, tracking by the Department of Health indicated 68 people with COVID were in hospitals, and six of those were on ventilators.