Posts in Category: Column

ISSUE 06-11-22 LETTERS & OPINIONS

Dear Editor:

Corrales Comment has provided a wealth of information about Corrales and the surrounding areas as well as national and world affairs.  I appreciate your publishing my story titled “Book About Corrales and Intel Reverberates in Oregon,” edited by Fred Marsh.  It is still being used —the people in Ohio who are now understanding how Intel does its business— are starting to become informed about Intel.  Intel plans to build a 20-billion-dollar complex in Ohio.  Your extensive stories and information have been invaluable in our Oregon campaign to reduce Intel’s toxic/corrosive air and water emissions.  The Corrales Comment’s reporting about climate summits, the Citizen Climate Lobby actions, and the 21 youth suing the federal government and individual states because the youth are not being left with an inhabitable earth, I hope spurs people to support their efforts. 

I am putting a copy of this email in with a regular mail letter with my renewal of another year of Corrales Comment,  for $14 out of state rate, in gratitude.

Dale Feik

Forest Grove, OR

Dear Editor:

In regards to the article on the front page of the Corrales Comment “agreement prepared for reuse of Corrales interior drain” May 21, 2022.

I like walking along the Interior Drain. I will miss it. I will miss the turtles, the fish, the red winged blackbirds that sing at the Meadowlark intersection in the cattails. I find it sad that this region is described as “a green belt” (a city planning term) instead of a wetland habitat visited by many migratory birds each year, such as bald eagles and belted kingfishers.

The water level in the ditch rises and falls with the changes in the water both from the groundwater, and also from the level of Clear Ditch, which is controlled by Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) via diesel pumps for now.

The Fire Department wants to run a hydrant line along its length. This is necessary to increase fire protection for residential houses. It will be sad to no longer see the pocket gopher holes along the banks that are reused by the Woodhouse toads and garter snakes. Fire hydrant access is one of the criteria for setting the cost of fire insurance, along with dirt roads and whether the Fire Department has volunteers (firedepartment.net website lists 20 volunteers). The ditch is going away because houses want to lower the costs of living in Corrales.

The local elementary school will gain a pedestrian path to the recreation center. Safety is important around children. But I will still miss the young cottonwoods that are currently growing in the interior drain. The school is interested in teaching conservation issues. I have participated in their nature journal program.

I have also watched their problems with maintaining a wetlands habitat at the west end of the school. The water recycling effort suffered when the waste water was moved to a pressurized, narrow-diameter buried sewer system. Some children run along ditch for 5K every Friday during school, but they run along the middle ditch to the rec center. I run with them and have for years. It will be sad to run along what used to be the Interior Drain and no see snapping turtles basking in the sun.

Corrales is semi-rural and has quite a few land management issues related to roads and access, especially along Huff Road and Andrews Lane. The MRGCD cannot solve these problems. It is expected they would like to return control and maintenance to the Village. Our narrow dirt roads are functional for village life, but not for growth. Once properly organized, cars can go on them above the “No dust limit” of 15 miles per  hour to get places faster.

I will miss tracking the progress of turkey along the ditches and the raccoon paws in the mud.

I will miss all the nature that will vanish when the Interior Drain is covered over. I wonder why no one speaks for these ecosystems, this “Place of Butterflies” and all the plants, insects, animals and people who will miss it all so much when it is gone, and not coming back.

Alex Price

Dear Editor:

In 1950, my family moved to Corrales. All of the stories about the Corrales Interior Drain in the Corrales Comment brought back memories of our early days. We called the ditch between East Ella and East la Entrada the “Dirty Ditch.”

My oldest son liked to find frogs in the ditch, and would take a bucket to the ditch to bring home his frogs. He waded in the water to find the frogs, and leeches attached onto his feet and legs. One day, he brought home a bucket of leeches. I always wondered how the leeches got there, and now I wonder if they are still there?

Another time, the winter weather was so cold that the winter froze in the “Dirty Ditch,” and we loaded up the kids, sleds and ice skates and went ice skating and sledding on the “Dirty Ditch.” It was the coldest day in Corrales that I can remember. Maybe another old person can tell me the year.

Phyllis Thunborg

Dear Editor:

When people say Corrales is such a wonderful community (and it definitely is), much of the reason is because of your stellar communications that have  kept us informed and “in the know” about issues, events and opportunities here. You are a treasure. Enjoy your birthday and  your retirement.

Jannie Dusseau

Dear Editor:

I’ve really appreciated your dedication to the village. You  have kept the community informed and involved. You are leaving a very large gap in the village. You will be missed.

Sam Thompson

Dear Editor:

Thank you, Jeff, for being our glue for so many years! You made this village a sharing, happy place.

Gail Joseph

Dear Editor:

In the 31 years Jim and I have resided in Corrales, we have subscribed to the Comment, and have wholly subscribed to its importance as an invaluable Village of Corrales communication. The Comment has been the iconic image for all things Corrales, but even more, a democratic mouthpiece for the diverse ideas of Corrales’ residents. In sickness or in health, the Comment was the “go-to” to be heard, to be read, the bottom line for accurate Village government information. Only a journalistic superman could maintain this twice monthly publication for 40 years. Doing arithmetic: 12 x 2 = 24; 24 x 40 = 960 Comments.

When Jim and I moved to Corrales in early 1991, we joined volunteer arts and community groups, and frequently found ourselves in the PR role. Of course, that meant contacting the Comment for articles; since 1991, Jeff never rejected any of my scores of article requests. I was met with only encouragement and endorsement.…

We will miss you personally and journalistically:that herculean work ethic, your personal humility, your omnipresence at Village Council meetings, your immaculate memory for Corrales events. Thank you.

Jim and Carla Wright

ISSUE 06-11-22 COMMENTARY

By Mick Harper

My first brush with the Corrales Comment came in the winter of 1981-82. I’d moved here in the summer of ’81, was loving my newly adopted home village, especially all the eccentrics and other characters. One Saturday morning as I approached the front door of the Corrales post office… “Sir, want to buy a Corrales Comment?” I thought, “hmmm, a 13-year-old in a trench coat…”

Then I reflected on my days as a 10 year old newspaper boy, thought “Why not?” Later on I met Jeff hustling around refilling Corrales Comment vending machines, got to know him better, became friends, traveling companions and Legends in our Own Minds in the Backyard Volleyball circuit.

Arthur Miller said, “ A good newspaper is the nation talking to itself.”

Philip Graham said, “ the newspaper is the first rough draft of history.”

I say every community needs someone to guide that conversation to remind us the communal decisions we make will be our history. The role of any journalist is to ask questions. We all know about the who, what, where, when, how, and why of newspaper reporting.

A great newspaperman keeps asking more questions and more questions. Jeff Radford asks Corrales the right questions, then made us all re-examine our first, easy answers about the issues of the day, then finally arrive at a better version of Corrales. His questions allowed the charlatans and merely self-interested to reveal themselves.

And his questions got some of us who didn’t even know we had ideas to discover them and speak up and then get caught up in being involved even if we had always preferred the quiet anonymity of the back of the room.

Later on when I got to know Jeff better I discovered Jeff persisted in the worst habits many of us picked up in college… no, no, no, not that one, whatever you’re thinking. It’s the All Nighter. Did you ever pull an All Nighter before the big exam or to finish a term paper? How many of you know that before every issue of the Corrales Comment Jeff Radford pulls a nearly all nighter to finish writing it? I can’t imagine 40 years of writing all night 24  times a year; that’s dedication, not procrastination. That’s a story about how much Jeff cares about his community.

So, thanks, Jeff, for your years of dedication to the community, for years of genuine friendship and “Happy Trails” to you and congratulations on your retirement. Happy Trails to you.

By Mike Baron

How many firearm deaths do we wish to prevent?

Here are 10 gun safety recommendations to reduce firearm deaths that do not compromise Second Amendment rights:

  1. Universal background checks. States with universal background checks for all gun sales had 15 percent lower homicide rates than states without such laws. And states with laws prohibiting firearm possession by people convicted of violent crimes showed an 18 percent reduction in homicide rates. If universal background checks provide an overall 20 percent reduction in firearm deaths, that would translate to 8,000-10,000 saved lives annually.
  2. Prevent people with mental illness from purchasing guns. Note: mental illness is a predictor of suicide but not of violence toward others. There are about 25,000 annual firearm suicides.
  3. Ban on high-capacity ammunition clips.
  4. Ban on assault-style weapons, which might save 500 lives annually.
  5. Create a federal database to track gun sales.
  6. Bar gun purchases by people on the federal no-fly or watch lists.
  7. Nationalize and enforce red flag laws, now in at least 17 states (N.M. was No.17 in 2020), permitting police or family members to petition the courts to order a temporary removal of guns from a household member who may be a danger to others or themselves. After Indiana and Connecticut implemented red flag laws in their states, there was a combined 10 percent reduction in just firearm suicides. Nationally, that would translate to at least 2,500 prevented suicides.
  8. Raise minimum age for gun purchase from 18 to 21, which may save 400-500 lives annually.
  9. Support safe gun storage legislation, like proposed N.M. State HB9. If applied nationally, about 500 saved lives annually.
  10. Voluntary buy-guns-back program. Australia’s buy-back program (supplemented with other reforms) were associated with a nearly 70 percent decrease in gun deaths, between 1996 and 2016, from 2.9 to 0.9 gun deaths per 100,000. Our 400 million guns are owned by about 80 million Americans, or about 5 guns per owner. Thought experiment: What If each owner kept at least one gun and, say, sold the other four back at $1,000 per gun? It would cost the government $320 billion. Compare that to the $229 billion gun violence costs to our country every year.

Let’s bring leaders from at least Japan and the United States together to see what we may learn. Per capita, our annual gun deaths (40,000+) are about 500x higher than theirs (76 <- not a typo). The number of guns we own is also about 500x greater per capita (400,000,000 vs. 310,000).

The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The “security” of our “free state" is clearly not secure. If our “militia” is to be defined as all Americans, we are obviously not “well regulated.” Greater regulation is needed.

The profusion of guns in America (compared to any other country, not just Japan) clearly correlates with the number of deaths we endure. If we do not wish to accept that level of tragedy, as parents in Uvalde understandably yelled out to President Biden, “DO something!” Do we have the will?

We can always amend legislation. We cannot bring back a lost life, nor 40,000.

By Bob Perls

This is How We Create Common Ground

Why can’t we move forward with steps to curb gun violence? Hint: It has nothing to do with the  National Rifle Association (NRA). The answer is because to curb gun violence politicians would have to be representing the 80 percent of Americans who are currently unrepresented in our political system.

How does a Democracy end up rarely representing most of its citizens? Three reasons:

  • Broken primaries
  • Money
  • Gerrymandered districts

Problem: Primaries are broken because first round public elections exclude independent voters, but most importantly are controlled by the political parties that should be participants, not rule setters.  We have very low turnout primaries where candidates focus on the party base and over the years both parties have tracked to their political extremes leaving little interest in compromise or representing all voters-only the party base.

Solution: Look to Alaska and adopt a blanket primary where all candidates run together and the top four voter getters advance to the general election where voters then rank the candidates first through fourth using a simple ballot. Candidates have to listen to all voters from the beginning of the election cycle and be responsive to the whole political spectrum.

Problem: Money drives campaigns and most of it comes from special interest groups on the left and the right that have a vested interest in keeping the status quo highly polarized. Surprised that candidates from the left and right this election cycle are fundraising off of the mass shootings? Well, it is effective whether the party opposes all gun regulation or embraces banning certain or all weapons. No one gets elected by articulating a common ground solution under our current system.

Solution: Public financing of campaigns and reversal of the U.S Supreme Court Citizens United decision so that once and for all we establish that corporations are not people and that freedom of expression is not tied to how much money you have.

Problem: Gerrymandered districts exist in most states and certainly in New Mexico as evidenced by the Democratically controlled legislature and many Republican controlled county commissions like Sandoval County. Politicians carving up the voters so that they can stay in power is a practice as old as the hills. Unfortunately, it also creates districts where candidates only have to talk to "their own kind" and reach out to a small sliver of voters. What if every district was competitive between parties and candidates?

Solution: Create an independent redistricting commission so that politicians can't decide who votes for them. The goal should be competitive elections and districts that keep communities intact.

In sum, our inability to solve wicked complex policy issues are rooted in our rigged election, campaign, districting and finance laws.

Want to come up with solutions on abortion, gun laws, taxes, education and more that 80 percent of New Mexicans can agree with? Change how we run primary elections, district elected officials, finance campaigns and register voters. There is a straight line from our failure in multiple policy arenas to the way we structure our elections.

Bob Perls is a former State Representative and former U.S. diplomat, writing here as a private citizen not representing any organization.

ISSUE 06-11-22 CORRALES WRITING GROUP

By Chris Allen

Booked

We’ve all seen them, those signs posted on streetlights and poles with cryptic letters and arrows. They appear for a few days and then disappear. They are directional signs that help actors and crew find a production site.

I am an extra, also known as a background actor. We are crucial to any movie or TV show, fleshing out a scene for the main actors and the viewers. Extras rarely are given speaking roles. Rather, we are silent, miming our conversations as patrons at a restaurant or workers in an office. Often, we stroll down a sidewalk or drive on the road.

My cell phone rang late on a Monday evening. The air had cooled from its high of 104 degrees to 98, and I was about to train one of my horses. I answered the call. It was a local casting agent.

“Chris, we need a beater car for tomorrow morning.” Beater car refers to a vehicle well past its prime that displays great character. “Do you still have that ratty farm truck?”

“Sure. Where’s the shoot?”

“West on I-40, about 45 minutes out of town.”

Uh, oh. There was slim chance my 1987 Isuzu pickup with 190,000 miles on it would make it that far.

Recently the cab had filled with gasoline fumes while I was hauling a load of hay. When I arrived home, I discovered a leak in the engine. Although it had been in two productions previously, Bordertown with Jennifer Lopez, and Breaking Bad where the director described it as the perfect meth truck, those shoots were both in Albuquerque. This location was 30 miles of open, empty desert away.

“When is call time?”

“Late morning,” she assured me.

I hadn’t worked for this agent in a while, and I had been hoping to reconnect. Late call time? Probably worth the risk. At that hour, I could call my husband or AAA if things went awry.

“Sure, book me. I’ll be there.”

The truck, faded navy blue with dings, dents, scrapes, and broken running lights, had taken two children to college. While there, it had been ransacked and had the radio torn out. The tailgate barely closed, and the rear bumper was askew. Nowadays we used it solely as a farm vehicle, hauling hay, manure to spread on the fields, and orchard trimmings to the local composting facility. It hadn’t been driven in months and was currently parked in the middle of the pasture.

I went out to retrieve it so my husband, Paul, and I could check its condition. One of my steeds had dumped a pyramid of manure on the hood. In the heat, it had concretized. I ran back for a broom and pushed off the mound of desiccated, undigested hay fiber. Fortunately, the broiling desert sun had baked out the smell of horse manure.

I moved the truck to the front of the house. “Paul!” I called from the driveway. He was relaxing inside.

Silence. I could hear the dialogue from one of his favorite Sci-Fi movies, The Abyss.

“Paul!”

“What!” he shouted back. He was settled in for the night, but I knew he would dredge himself out of his chair to help.

“I was booked to bring the truck to a movie set tomorrow. We need to check the tires, fluids, all that stuff.”

“All right,” he sighed heavily. “I’ll be out in a minute.”

“While you do that, I’ll get my outfits together.” Extras are asked to provide several changes of clothing for when you appear on camera, all in muted, unobtrusive browns, grays, and blues so you don’t conflict with other aspects of the set. My “movie wardrobe” hadn’t been used recently, and it took time to gather it.

“Chris!” Paul’s voice rocketed through the front door. “Oil’s barely registering on the dip stick. You’ll have to get some. While you do that, I’ll pump up the tires.”

As I backed my car out, I saw Paul connecting the bicycle pump to the front left tire. God bless that man!

We added the oil and put the container on the floor by the passenger seat. We added water to the radiator, and then I noticed the gas gauge. “I’m going to fill it up. It’s a late call time, but I’d feel more comfortable getting a full tank tonight.”

“You’ll have to wait until morning,” Paul cautioned.

“Why?”

“The headlight button doesn’t stay on. You have to push it in with your finger.”

“I can do that,” I chirped.

“It’s a standard, Chris. One hand on the steering wheel, one hand on the button, and what hand is going to shift the gears?”

“I’ll get back before dark,” I laughed.

When I returned, I logged onto the agent’s website to verify the call time. I was stunned to see my name next to a 6:00 a.m. call! That’s “late?”

“You can’t do that, Chris.” Paul was peering over my shoulder. “You’ll have to cancel. It’ll be dark driving that early.”

“No! I can’t! I’ll never work again. Once you commit, you must show up! The production depends upon the people who are booked to complete the scene.”

“We can try taping the button,” Paul said, rummaging around in a drawer for the duct tape.

I sat in the driver’s seat with a wad of silver tape over the headlight button. Paul roved around the vehicle shouting commands. “Headlights! Turn signals! Right! Left! Brake lights!” His report? Headlights worked.

Brake lights worked. Back turn signals worked, front ones did not.

“You can’t go on the interstate,” Paul warned. “Let’s see if we can route you on the frontage road.”

Paul fired up Google Earth on the computer. “Here you go. Head straight down Coors, turn onto Paseo del Norte, run past the shooting range and the mattress plant, and then out to the frontage road. It will take longer, so you should leave at 5:00.”

Ugh! I am not a morning person.

Paul went downstairs to get ready for his own workday, and I reviewed the route. I then trotted downstairs to pack my wardrobe. As I neared the bottom, I detected the distinct odor of dog poop. In the dim light, I saw a large, brownish, amorphous blob on the brick floor. I flipped on the stairway light and saw a moist mound of puppy goo that was bisected by a boot print. Off to the left, a series of heel prints continued from the pile, across the living room and into the kitchen, each step diminishing in size in proportion to the distance from the pile.

“Paul!” I shouted. “You stepped in dog poop! Check your boots!” It was undoubtedly Mia, our new Labrador puppy who was having a terrible time grasping the concept of housebreaking.

After cleaning the mess, I ran back upstairs to commit my route to memory, since at 5:00 a.m., there is a fifty-fifty chance my brain will function. As I traced the roadways, the nauseating stench of skunk assaulted me.

“Paul! Are the dogs out?” I screamed as I careened down the stairs. I threw open the backdoor and before me was another pup, Ember. Her head hung so low, her nose scraped the threshold. She reeked.

“Paul! Ember got skunked.”

He came thundering down the hallway in his underwear.

“Please go get the hydrogen peroxide from under the bathroom sink,” I beseeched. I buy the stuff in bulk since, with four dogs, this happens on a regular basis, though never with an early call time.

I emptied the bucket we had just used to clean up after Mia and mixed up the de-skunk solution. We each took a sponge and drenched Ember with the concoction. The poor dog howled in despair, leaping, and thrashing about, then slipping her collar and running into the living room where she violently shook off the solution, splattering the couch, rugs, and coffee table with her castoff droplets.

It was now midnight.

By the time I packed my clothing and a selection of shoes into the truck, laid out the food for the horses’ morning feeding, and put my cell phone on the charger, it was 1:00 a.m. My fingers reluctantly set the alarm for 4:30.

I crawled into bed exhausted, but my rabbit brain kept checking lists to see if I had everything in place. Cell phone! Sunglasses! The keys to the truck! By the front door?

The next minute the radio alarm blared in the inky darkness. An annoying voice said, “The New Mexico Film Office has announced a new production is coming into the state. The movie, a sequel to Wolverine, will be directed by James Mangold, director of the remake of 3:10 to Yuma. The production will employ several hundred people.”

“Oh, God,” I groaned, slapping my hand against the radio alarm. “Lucky me, I’m one of them.”

To beat the heat, I dressed in a lightweight outfit of beige Capri pants, and tan linen shirt with short sleeves.

I hoped this would pass the inspection of the wardrobe people, and they would not require me to change into a warmer outfit like long-legged pants and a long-sleeved jersey.

I slapped on some provisional make-up, fed the livestock, and buckled myself into the truck. It took about an hour for me to drive to the location. On a long stretch of barren roadway, momentary panic set in. There was no one around should the truck decide to be recalcitrant and conk out. I mentally crossed my fingers.

Bolstered by a beneficent universe, it indeed nattered along, accompanied by a symphony of squeaks, clinks, and squeals, and by the time I arrived, the slanted rays of the morning sun lit the world. I followed the signs to base camp and parked where a sleepy-eyed production assistant pointed. I was a few steps toward check-in when I remembered to remove the duct tape, relieving the headlights of their responsibility.

Passing muster with the wardrobe ladies and receiving permission to return the other outfits to the truck, I then sat down to the best thing about working on a set, the catered breakfast. Trays were filled with puffy clouds of scrambled eggs mounded with melted white cheese. Savory bacon, sausage, and crisp hash browned potatoes filled other trays. The smells of sizzling peppers and mushrooms from the made-to-order omelet station mingled with the fruity scent of freshly juiced beverages. Nearby were pots of steaming hot coffee.

I heard my name as I popped the last forkful into my mouth. Three of us with vehicles were ordered to caravan to set. I arrived in line first, and another production assistant, shielding her eyes against the rays of the sun, asked if she could hitch a ride. I gulped.

“Sure, let me clean off the seat.” Farm truck, remember.

I heaved the hangers of unused wardrobe and a box of yarn to the back seat along with a chicken waterer.

I grabbed the container of oil, shoved it against the console, and invited her in while I brushed smooth the torn and worn upholstery, raising clouds of dust along with bits of hay and a couple of chicken feathers.

We drove a short distance up a paved road and pulled into the parking lot of a gas station and convenience store.

“Here is fine,” the young lady indicated, pointing to the gas pumps. I pulled next to one of them, and she reached for the door handle.

“Oh, sorry,” I shrugged my shoulders. “A dog ate the plastic handle. You have to roll down the window and open the door from the outside.”

“No problem,” she said graciously, reaching for the power button.

“No,” I said. “You actually have to roll it down.”

She quickly cranked the stiff window and groped for the exterior door handle so she could vacate my vehicle.

“Be careful of the exposed springs,” I warned, fearful she would shred her clothing as she slid out.

I remained where I was until another production assistant approached. “Would you please pull up into that parking space by the front door? Leave the keys in the vehicle, and then you can head over there,” he said, gesturing to a small shade tent that had been erected on the west edge of the parking lot. “Craft service is next to it.”

I looked beyond the tent to the north and saw a silver catering truck with shelves of snacks, a coffee bar, and a tub filled with iced drinks. Oh, thank goodness, I thought, knowing it was likely to be another 100-degree day.

“And bathrooms are behind the building,” he continued. Also good to know as filming can run 12-15 hours.

I got as far as the coffee bar when someone called. “Hey, sorry. We need you to move the truck. Please pull it behind the building and wait there.”

Resuming my seat behind the steering wheel, I shifted to back up. “Hold it!” a commanding voice shouted.

Activity on the set was increasing. Safety dictated I wait to move until dollies of equipment, cables of electrical wiring, and miscellaneous people stopped crisscrossing behind me. “Ok, back up and go to your right.”

I pulled off on the side of a road on the east side of the gas pumps. Fifteen minutes later I heard a shrill whistle. “Bring the truck back,” he yelled.

I returned to park exactly where I had been earlier. This is standard procedure on a movie set. If you expect efficiency, you are looking at the wrong industry.

My truck never moved from that time until the end of the shooting day, twelve and a half hours later. Except for lunch, I spent my time in the extras holding tent, 10-feet by 10-feet of cover against the brutal, blazing sun. Nine other people were with me, two of them fervently hoping they will be called for a speaking role, their break into the business.

We shifted our chairs frequently so we could stay within the margins of shade as the sun moved across the sky. Occasionally someone would be called to participate in a scene, but mostly it was waiting, waiting, waiting.

At 7:15 p.m., one of the crew approached and asked who owned the blue truck. “I do,” I replied.

“Can you have it back tomorrow? We need it for continuity.”

“Sure,” I sighed, thinking of what I had gone through to get this day’s work.

“Hey, you get to come back,” one of the extras commented. “Congratulations!”

“Yep,” I replied, shifting my seat for the hundredth time that day. “But it takes a big chunk out of my acting ego to know they only want me for my truck.”

ISSUE 06-11-22 TRAVELER’S NOTEBOOK

Camargue region, France 2022

Last month we were fortunate to visit the South of France, observing and photographing the famous horses of the Camargue region. The Camargue is actually the delta of the Rhone River. When you see films and photos of white ponies galloping through water in France, they are the Camargue horses.

We survived mosquitoes, falling in deep mud, and getting up at 5 a.m. each morning for the experience, but to quote the workshop leader, “Camargue without mud and mosquitoes is not really.... Camargue”. He did not mention the 5 a.m. part.

The exact origin of the Camargue horse is not well established, but researchers believe it descends from those depicted in the Lascaux Cave paintings of the Upper Paleolithic period. The horses are thought to have migrated from the Iberian Peninsula, have been in France for over 2,000 years and are considered one of the oldest horse breeds in the world.

Surviving the severe environment of marshy wetlands and extreme temperatures in the Camargue created hardy, agile animals with incomparable stamina. They even take time out to enjoy rolling in the water! Because of these characteristics, Camargue horses helped build the Suez Canal and were exported to many areas of the world.

In fact, the cross breeding that resulted from these exports resulted in the French government establishing standards to preserve the purity of the breed in 1976. Two years later the government implemented a breed stud book.

Camargues are known for living in a semi-feral state and now are bred, branded and maintained by gardians, French cowboys.  However, in order to be registered as a pure Camargue horse, the foal must be born in the wild with no assistance from humans and observed nursing from a registered mare. How the French enforce these rules was not explained.

Born black or brown, Camargue horses turn light gray by age four. They are famously referred to as the white horses of the Camargue, however. Interestingly, their light hair reflects the sun’s rays, imparting a needed insect repellant effect.

Camargues are used for agricultural and recreational purposes, and are the last ridden work horse bred in France. Camargues are linked with semi-feral bulls, and help manage the bovine herds. Like sheep dogs, for them it’s not work, it’s instinct.

Importantly too, they are an integral part of the traditional sport of the course camarguaise, the French version of bull fighting. It is a type of bull-running in which bulls have ribbons placed between their horns, and in the ring, raseteurs, French matadors, must try to remove them. The bulls are not killed as in Spain, and in fact are celebrated as heroes. 

Famous bulls are the draw to the arena, not the matador. The bulls are driven on foot to the arena by mounted guardians on Camargue horses and returned in the same way to their pastures. Thus, the triumvirate of the gardian, horse and bull is a deep cultural aspect of the Camargue.

Deborah and Lawrence Blank

ISSUE 05-21-22 VIV GOLDEN YEARS IN THE VILLAGE

By Sarah Pastore

Executive Director, Village in the Village

Paying it Forward Pays Off With ViV

What one thing does every human on the planet have in common? In today’s polarizing times, it can be difficult to think of anything, but if you answered, “We’re all aging,” you’d be correct!

May is national Older Americans Month —notable in Corrales since 30 percent of our residents are 65 and older. The Administration for Community Living leads this observance, choosing a different theme each year. The 2022 theme is “Aging My Way” and focuses on aging in place —how seniors can stay in their homes, plan for their futures and remain involved in their communities.

The White House Proclamation for Older Americans Month begins with this statement from President Joe Biden: “During Older Americans Month, we honor our nation’s seniors and the tremendous impact they have made in helping build a more perfect Union. Older Americans contribute their time and wisdom to make our communities stronger, more informed, and better connected. They are our loved ones, friends, mentors, essential workers, volunteers and neighbors.

“We celebrate their achievements and recommit to providing our elders with the support and services they need to thrive and age with dignity.”

Since 2014, Village in the Village (ViV) has helped senior Corraleños do this very thing: achieve their goals in aging well. This is something that looks different for everyone; after all, we’re all doing it at different rates, under different circumstances, and with different beliefs and resources. ViV member Vicki Dow shared her unique perspective on aging: “I hope to live my best life in the home I’ve built, with friends around me. My greatest fear is becoming isolated because of hearing loss, vision loss, or an illness.”

When asked how ViV fits into her plans to age at home, she said “ViV gives me hope that I will have help in transitioning more gradually than previously possible. It gives me hope that should I be left alone, there will be a safety net.”

Another member, Barry Abel, said aging his way means taking things at his own pace, making informed decisions about his health and activities, and living independently in his own house as long as he’s physically and mentally up to continuing to do so.

Since ViV’s inception, members Laura Smith and Chuck Elliott were incredibly active in the organization. Most notably, Laura was a Members & Volunteers Committee co-chair, Chuck served as president, and they both contributed a great deal on the board of directors.

They valued their contributions to the community and considered it a way to “pay it forward” to a time when they’d need services themselves. This year, they became full members of ViV and have experienced the benefits of their previous volunteerism. Laura commented, “The transition from supporting members to full members was easy because we’re able to ask for help from current friends and neighbors. It’s no problem to ask for a ride or a bit of help around the house when you know that you’ve been an active volunteer in the past. ViV has become a wonderful support when our lives were upended by a curveball.”

Regardless of your age, I encourage you to think about what it means to you to “age your way.” Whatever successful aging means to you; does the way you live now help you to accomplish the outcomes you desire in the future?

Aging can come with many surprises, but by making plans and building relationships before they’re needed, we can face unexpected challenges with greater confidence and support. For more information about how ViV helps Corrales residents age well, visit our website at http://www.villageinthevillage.org or call (505) 274-6206.

ISSUE 05-21-22 MOVIE REVIEWS

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness  Directed by Sam Raimi. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen. Plugs: Just the usual franchise stuff. Nearest: Cottonwood Mall. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness begins with ex-surgeon-turned-magical superhero Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), a guest at a tony cocktail party interrupted by a monster tearing up the city for no apparent reason. He leaps into action, literally, and is soon rescuing a teen named America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez).

America, it’s soon revealed, is from another universe and is being hunted by another powerful magical hero, the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), who wants to be reunited with her two sons in another universe. The Witch wants America’s powers and is willing to destroy the world to get them.

Or something like that.

There are different versions of Doctor Strange and the other characters, some personal moments, a dash of humor, and so on. It’s all a little fuzzy but the plot is just an excuse to stage a series of dramatic battles and meet a variety of superheroes setting up spinoffs.

 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the latest in a series of films that take advantage of multiple universes, or multiverses, as plot devices. There was of course 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and more recently Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Incidentally, for those interested, there is a grain of truth to the multiple universes idea in theoretical physics, which uses mathematical models to explain and predict natural phenomena. Some experts —the ones who do this for a living, not the ones who go down the conspiracy rabbit hole on YouTube— believe that if one or more parallel universe exist, they might be detected through minute fluctuations in a gravity field on a quantum scale.

The multiple universes idea is a possibility —not a proven fact— and even if they exist, there’s no reason in the world (or, I guess, universes) to assume they’d be copies of our universe or the people that inhabit it. If these other worlds exist, they’re not just duplicates or variations of our world. But it’s fun fiction.

 Unlike most superheroes, Doctor Strange does a lot of dramatic gesturing. He’s not slinging webs or tossing hammers or shields around, he’s summoning colored light patterns that read onscreen as attacks or defenses. It looks cool, but reveals a cinematic character limitation. If a battle is fought with brute force or weapons, for example, it’s usually pretty clear who has the advantage: the character with the most strength, skill or weaponry. But because magic power is unseen on screen —and without the benefit of videogame-like power bars— it’s hard to really know where the heroes and villains stand. A warrior who loses his sword in battle is at a disadvantage, but a spell-casting magician may always have some different magic up his or her costumed sleeve to save the day.

There’s a little too much leeway for (literal) deus ex machina rescues for my taste; we know that Green Arrow is in trouble when he runs out of arrows and Superman is in dire straits when a chunk of kyptonite is lobbed at him. But with magical characters it’s never quite clear when they’re in peril; just when all seems lost they can just grimace harder, recall an ultra-earnest life lesson, and resolutely shoot more CGI lightning from their hands to save the day.

In a film of magic and multiverses, what’s the point of superheroes risking their lives to save the world if a simple magic spell or portal to another world can fix things and defeat the villains? This isn’t to criticize the characters, but merely to explain why the stakes are hard to judge in the battles, which take up much of its bloated, bladder-busting two-hour-plus runtime.

 As it happened, just before I saw Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness I had come from a talk by local puppeteer Michael McCormick, who described and showed his work on the films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Virtually all the special effects in those films were practical —that is, not computer generated but real: real elaborate sets, real puppets hiding real actors, real stuntpeople, and so on.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is an amazing special effects achievement. The visuals are cutting edge and awe-inspiring, but in the end the audiences know that much of what we’re seeing, as genuinely impressive as it is, isn’t real. It also puts the actors at a disadvantage —reacting to imagined greenscreen threats instead of other actors— but the cast does a good job.

 Not only is Strange relegated to generic gesturing, but also extensive exposition. In order to help the audience figure out what the hell is going on, why they’re heading into one or another universe, Strange has to explain it to his companions (or, even sometimes to himself). The result is a bit clunky, but necessary to fill the formulaic mandate.

 I often dislike time travel films because they often serve as a deus ex machina plot device, serving to create (or tidily wrap up) any conflicts or problems. For the same reason I’ve never been fond of superheroes who are also gods (such as Thor, Storm, and Wonder Woman) or are otherwise magical (such as Doctor Strange) because their nature seems like a cheat. They’re not aliens (such as Superman), nor are they ordinary folk enhanced by technology (Batman, Iron Man, and Captain America), nor victims of power-providing scientific mishap (Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four). No, these are presumably immortal figures whose powers are vast and whose vulnerabilities are murky, reducing the emotional stakes.

 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is full of spectacle and sound (bring earplugs if you’re sensitive to loud noises), and a reasonably entertaining summer tentpole superhero movie if you don’t expect much.

Benjamin Radford

ISSUE 05-21-22 COMMENTARY

By Andrew Stone

Solar Capitalism

There is a solution to our climate crisis and we've known it for years and it comes up every morning. The sun.

Adam Smith, the founder of the free market ideals, would not recognize what passes as capitalism today: monopoly energy markets, huge government corporate subsidies, tariffs and other “field tilting mechanisms.” Therefore I propose a more evolved form of capitalism based on the sun.

The sun falls upon all of us quietly, peacefully and ubiquitously. 

  • every day trillions of watts of energy fall on the planet from the sun, causing weather, wind and waves —all sources of daily renewable energy 
  • a truly sustainable civilization will live on this daily energy budget
  • a peaceful civilization requires equity and shared ownership & responsibility .

Has our haste to embrace the next cool clickable thing taken away our ability to do long term planning and execution? I find that healing from our societal madness means returning to basic principles:

  • live simply so others can simply live;
  • collect relationships not things; and
  • remember the majesty of existence and expect the miracle

That last one evokes pronoia, that unshakable notion that the universe is out to help you at every turn!

What if humans cannot make the next step in evolution as a species, that of global cooperation and mutual enhancement and beyond war, unless some insane, species-threatening circumstances came to push us forward? Maybe climate change is the Mother Earth’s/God’s way of saying “Grow up, work together or perish!?”

Let’s take that step together and understand that:

  • now is the time to invest in the transition 
  • global forces want our N.M. solar
  • NM sunshine could lift our state but...
  • ... we must come together in our communities and build our solar as a community with the benefits flowing to our people. We can stand up and do this for ourselves. 

The Old Testament is adamant about the unrighteousness of collecting interest. And yet the modern reality of private equity that seeks huge yields, is causing massive societal inequities. The happy medium between these extremes is what I call solar capitalism, where the benefits are shared among all the participants in the creation and use of a solar facility. 

Those who know me know I spent most of my career in software, so I have an affinity for clever people and memorable acronyms. Solar Capitalism requires T.E.C.H. 

T Transparency 

E Equity 

C Community 

H Holism 

Holism is the perspective on the human condition that assumes that mind, body, individuals, society and the environment inter-penetrate, and even define one another. In anthropology,  holism tries to integrate all that is known about human beings and their activities.

Community is the local part of the human super organism that must be resilient and able to mutually aid ourselves as we weather the effects of the fossil fuel age. Community is the touchstone for our way forward and now is the time to reinvigorate it, in all your circles.

Equity has several overlaid meanings. In law: fair and impartial. In finance: ownership of assets. When you combine meanings to get solar capitalism: Fair ownership of energy assets.

Transparency is our tool to understand “fair.”

Of course a just and fair society requires those with resources to meet their responsibility. And consider this: what good will your piled up wealth be in a climate disrupted world? What will be your legacy if your grandchildren know you knew what was going on but did nothing but support the status quo? 

This is the challenge of our time: to take stock of where we went off the tracks and do our best to get back on that train to glory.

ISSUE 05-07-22 ARTICLE FOR NEXT TIME CAPSULE LOOKS BACK 50 YEARS

By Jeff Radford

If the new time capsule is opened in 2046 or 2047, it will have been 75 years since this village incorporated as a municipality in 1971. Its existence as a community named “Corrales” goes back much, much farther, as well documented by the Corrales Historical Society, and farther back still to the time when it was called “Puraika,” the place of butterflies, by the Native American people in what is now known as Santa Ana Pueblo.

As editor of Corrales Comment newspaper for the past 40 years, I was asked by the Corrales Historical Society to trace developments in Corrales over the past 25 years, since the previous time capsule was sealed commemorating the Village of Corrales’ 25th anniversary of incorporation.

The account  below for the period 1997 to 2021 is far from exhaustive or inclusive, but instead highlights some of the milemarkers and accomplishments that came so slowly that residents may have overlooked them, or more likely, failed to realize just how recently some of those came about.

For example, in 1997 Loma Larga was still a deeply rutted, ditch bank road nearly impassable after summer rains. Back then, the future road along the west side of the Main Canal was referred to as “the north-south road.” Officially, the first mile of Loma Larga was paved in 1997: actually the first part of it was paved in trespass on Conservancy District right-of-way by the developer of the Pueblo los Cerros condos. The Conservancy District board seriously considered making the developer tear out all the asphalt.

And back then, the Corrales Post Office was at the corner of Corrales Road and West La Entrada, where it shared a parking lot with Wells Fargo Bank. In January 1997, the current post office existed only on paper, as a site development plan submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission. The current Corrales fire station had not been built; the Fire Department operated from the building which now houses the Council Chambers and Municipal Court, across Corrales Road from the bank.

The first part of the Jones family’s pasture adjacent to the site of the new post office was purchased for a recreation center in 1995. The last remnant of the Jones tract, between the post office and the TopForm riding arena, was acquired by the Village government in 2016 to relocate the Village Public Works Department and its heavy equipment. For years, the Village’s only Public Works vehicle was then-Public Works employee Tony Tafoya’s personal pick up truck.

High up in the sandhills, on the border between Corrales and Rio Rancho, a solution was implemented for the ill-conceived  Dam 1 on the escarpment that was supposed to hold back arroyo flood water from destroying property in Corrales. It was in 1997 that a pipeline was begun to carry water from Dam 1 to the Montoyas Arroyo. Destructive flooding from the escarpment has continued to this day, but the pipeline was a much-needed protective measure.

Corrales’ first Comprehensive Plan in 1973 (referred to as a master plan) stressed the community desire to retain the valley’s farming tradition, but an official program for farmland preservation did not begin until 2004 when villagers overwhelming voted to approve general obligation bonds worth $2.5 million to purchase conservation easements.

At the time, Village government’s bonding capacity was only slightly more than $8 million. The first conservation easement on Corrales farmland came, not through that program, but with a private transaction on land at the south end of the village owned by the son of acclaimed photographer Elliot Porter.

Since those early days of the effort to preserve farmland, approximately 55 acres have been saved from residential development here. The most recent acquisitions were in 2021, using proceeds from the sale of a second round of GO bonds to raise another $2.5 million approved by voters in 2018.

After decades of confusion, political turmoil and technical and bureaucratic delays, the Corrales sewer system went into operation in early 2014. With no fanfare, the controversial liquids-only, pressurized sewer system began sending waste water toward Albuquerque’s sewers around 2:15 p.m. February 3, pumping  from the Corrales Recreation center’s septic tanks and those at the Village Office. A trench along East La Entrada to pipe water from the Corrales Library’s septic tank to the sewer line was dug the same day. Later that month, septic tanks for the Municipal Court and Council Chambers, Community Center and Senior Center were hooked up.

The biggest single generator of waste water, Corrales Elementary School, did not connect to the sewer line until 2020. Before that, the school’s  sewage was treated at an innovative solar-powered wetlands at the extreme west end of the school property.

In 1996, the Village was successful in gaining designation of Corrales Road (State Highway 448) as  a “Scenic and Historic Byway,” but there was little follow-through toward implementing a corridor management plan. By 2015, probably most Corrales residents were not even aware of the designation nor how to benefit from it. In around 2020, attempts were under way through Corrales MainStreet, Inc. to have an “Corrales Arts and Cultural District” designated.  That had not been accomplished as of April 2022.

In 1998-99, Corrales Elementary School underwent a 30,000 square foot expansion that added more than a dozen new classrooms, library, offices and other features, which shifted its orientation to a Target Road entrance.  The original school, oriented toward Corrales Road, had been  part of the Town of Bernalillo’s school system, and was called Sandoval Elementary.

The Corrales Library underwent three significant expansions during its third and fourth decades in the current location. The first added office space in 2001,  followed by a Teens’ Room in 2006, and in 2014, a “quiet reading room” was built next to it, along the east side of the “Library That The People Built.”

A regional shopping mall, equal in size to the state's largest, opened on vacant land south of Corrales on the Black family's Seven Bar Ranch where a private airport had operated. The shops inside Cottonwood Mall were nearly all national retailers, but still Corrales shopkeepers worried that the new shopping mecca would cause their own businesses to shrivel.

That didn't happen; shops such as Ambiente, Just For Looks and Frontier Mart  churned right along and more small businesses continued to open here (although not all survived). Then in summer 2021, the owner of Cottonwood Mall filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy followed by foreclosures in February 2022.

As incredible as it seems now, Cottonwood Mall was first planned for the then-empty land just south of Cabezon Road, where the apartment complexes are now.

A high-density residential project that would not likely have been permitted in any other part of Corrales was approved in 2009 on Seventh Day Adventist property because it was presented as a component of a proposed 22-acre senior living complex. The Corrales Planning and Zoning Commission approved a site development plan for the acreage that included the Sandia View Academy facilities and vacant land to the south where “independent living”  housing was to be developed at a density of approximately eight dwelling units per acre. The project collapsed when the developer could not finalize financing. But the old Academy school building was demolished in around 2015.

A much smaller senior living project within the village’s commercial district slowly gained support in 2018 at the corner of Corrales Road and Dixon Road, but had not been formally approved by 2022.

But a dramatically larger and far more dense housing development at the south end of Corrales on the Black family's bottomland pasture was  thwarted when the Village prevailed in district court to block a 20-acre subdivision that would have created more than eight dwellings per acre. At that time the land had recently been annexed into Corrales' jurisdiction by the N.M. Boundary Commission; it is now developed on one-acre homesites.

Corrales’ current Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2009, still emphasizes preservation of rural lifestyles and farming. In 2022, Village officials increasingly spoke of  revising and updating the Comprehensive Plan. At least two perennially divisive issues will almost certainly be addressed: whether Village government should allow housing developments with greater residential density and/or more commercial and light industrial uses… unless avoidance of those controversies precludes an update of the 2009 Comprehensive Plan. Villagers apparently maintained their resolve to preserve Corrales' agricultural heritage.

The village’s population still had not reached 10,000 in 2020, as recorded in the U.S. Census that year.

Over the 40 years that Corrales Comment has been published, the community newspaper has maintained tight focus on local affairs; any future researcher will find its news coverage indispensable to learning what happened, and why, in this quixotic town from 1982 to 2022. Yet a Comment hallmark has been reporting that connected world affairs to local concerns, especially the threat of climate change.

I covered the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro for the Comment, and published a special edition explaining its relevance for Corrales. Similarly, Corrales Comment was the only New Mexico news medium to report from Paris about the crucial 2015 United Nations conference on climate change, and again from Glasgow in 2021.

An archive of past issues is being maintained by the Corrales Library, and online at the newspaper’s website, http://www.corralescomment.com.

ISSUE 05-07-22 I NEVER KNEW THAT! CORRALES HISTORICAL SOCIETY WEST ELLA AT OLD CHURCH ROAD, 1963

By Mary Davis

West Ella at Old Church Road, 1963

Did you know that this is what the intersection of West Ella and Old Church Road looked like in 1963?

Few or no houses, dirt roads, a pony cart and a solitary fence. The entire length of Ella Drive from the Sandoval Lateral on the east to the Main Canal on the west had been platted (subdivided) in 1955 by Ella Gonzales Silva.

Ella, for whom the road was named, was the youngest daughter of Alejandro Gonzales, a prominent Corrales resident who had farmed the entire stretch of land for decades. From this 1963 photograph, it appears that little of the western portion of the large Vista Corrales subdivision had been filled in during the previous eight years.

However, an aerial mid-1970s photograph shows at least 20 houses had been built between the old Corrales Acequia and the Main Canal, and even a few had appeared west of the canal.

Corrales began to grow significantly in the 1970s. The completion of the I-25 freeway in 1966 certainly made it an easier commute into Albuquerque.

John Green took this photograph. He had built his home in 1952 near West Ella on 25 empty acres between Old Church Road and the Main Canal. The woman on the buggy is Matilda Palladini who lived on La Entrada and was one of the Green family’s closest neighbors. Today, Milagro Winery sits on the southwest corner of the intersection.

Photograph courtesy of Jane Green

ISSUE 05-07-22 WHAT’S ON

By Meredith Hughes

Hope you were able to skip paganly around a May pole somewhere May 1, as well as whirl gracefully May 5 in celebration of Mexico defeating a French army contingent back in 1862, though in truth the French hung around for another five years. Quelle affaire…

And don’t forget to “Call Your Mother” May 8… or remember her fondly, unless she was not nice. A fab Jewish deli in Washington, DC pokes its bagel customers with that memorable name.

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

  • The Central New Mexico Audubon Society notes that May 14 is World Migratory Bird Day. It is setting up a 2022 Birdathon, between May 8 and May 15.  “Individuals or small teams (give yourself/selves a name) will choose one 24-hour period between May 8 and May 15 to record all the birds you see in New Mexico, whether from your home or farther afield. We will tally your lists to declare two winners: the individual who sees the most species and the team that sees the most species. Two modest prizes will be awarded, as well as bragging rights!  Each individual and team can solicit pledges of donations from their colleagues, friends and family, often based on the number of species seen. Birdathon proceeds go towards conservation and education projects in central New Mexico. Again this year our proceeds will go to Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area in Valencia County. Whitfield is doing important work not only restoring and preserving valuable habitat but reaching young people and families who might have few other opportunities to experience nature.” Donations can be made on the CNMAS web page, http://cnmas.new mexicoaudubon.  org, with a note that the donation is for Birdathon and the team name. Checks can be mailed to CNMAS, P.O. Box 30002, Albuquerque, NM 87190-0002, again with a note. Compile your checklist for the day, including the locations you birded and your team name, and email it to cnmasreg@gmail.com.. Please have your checklists submitted by May 22, 2022. Happy birding!
  • Somos ABQ, May 8, 5-6:30 p.m. “Somos ABQ and Spanish Broom present Somos la Maquina (Scape): a live interactive performance art piece guided and amplified by the desire to listen, move, create, explore and be informed by the surrounding ecosystem - the Bosque and the Rio Grande. Somos la Maquina delves into a setting where humans can dream to exist cohesively with the natural world; to question and escape, to be unconfined, unconsumed, and unpressured by society, culture, or the machine and return to nature.” Info: 505-768-4950, Open Space Visitor Center, 6500 Coors.
  • Leaving soon, at the ABQ Museum. The Printer’s Proof: Artist and Printer Collaborations closes May 15. This unusual exhibition focuses on the collaborative process of printmaking and celebrates several printers based, or formerly based, in New Mexico as well as the artists they have worked with. Often the printer receives less recognition than the artist for their role in making prints! The Printer’s Proof features over 120 artists with works spanning from the 1970s to the present. 2000 Mountain Road.
  • Come From Away, May 11 - 15, the musical based on the 9/11 rerouted planes that landed in Canada, postponed from June 2020, is set to roll. “The remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.” If you are ready to walk inside a theatre, this could be an engaging choice. https://www. popejoypresents.com/events/detail/come-from-away Popejoy Hall, 203 Cornell Drive
  • Last day of school for APS, May 31! Hence, you may want to study up on possible summer activities for kids. Arts, Sports, Academic pursuits, Gardening, specifically Science…camps for everyone except maybe stand-up comics, though we hope we will be proved wrong. Check this website: https://albuquerquesummercamps.com/

Did You Know?

Via brittanica.com.  Re: the US day “Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, whose mother had organized women’s groups to promote friendship and health, originated Mother’s Day. On May 12, 1907, she held a memorial service at her late mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia. Within five years virtually every state was observing the day, and in 1914 U.S. Pres. Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday. Although Jarvis had promoted the wearing of a white carnation as a tribute to one’s mother, the custom developed of wearing a red or pink carnation to represent a living mother or a white carnation for a mother who was deceased.

Over time the day was expanded to include others, such as grandmothers and aunts, who played mothering roles. What had originally been primarily a day of honour became associated with the sending of cards and the giving of gifts, however, and, in protest against its commercialization, Jarvis spent the last years of her life trying to abolish the holiday she had brought into being.”

How about that last sentence?

And should it be Mothers’ Day? Please advise.

In Corrales

  • The Corrales Tractor Club. Antique tractor show, May 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Corrales Rec Center front field. Contact Grif Newcomb with questions at 505 803-8484.
  • Looking ahead. The Friends of Corrales Library Spring Book Sale returns June 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day in La Entrada Park, next to the library. Thousands of adults' and kids' books, CDs, DVDs and other items will be available for $1 to $2 each.
  • Looking farther ahead, Corrales Art and Studio Tour, August 27-28, June 10  Artist pages and map sent out to artists to review; June 17  Deadline for artists to report mistakes on artist pages or map.https://corralessocietyofartists .org/
  • 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 between June 1 and July 15.
  • Corrales Bosque Advisory Commission, May 12, 6:30 p.m.
  • Planning and Zoning Commission, May 18, 6:30 p.m.
  • Senior Advisory Board Meeting, May 18, 1:45 p.m.
  • Village Council meetings, May 10, 24, 6:30 p.m.
  • Corrales Equestrian Advisory Board, May 25, 6:30 p.m.
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, May 26, 5:30 p.m.
  • The Corrales Community Seed Library is now open inside the Book Library.

“To ensure as many people as possible can enjoy seeds from the Corrales Community Seed Library, we are limiting check-outs to 1 packet per variety. At the end of the growing season, borrowers may save seeds from their harvest, label them and return a portion of the seeds to the library during our hours of operation.”   And, for a recorded course in seed starting from Master Gardener Judy Jacobs, go here: https://tinyurl.com/tj9yjdbn

  • Corrales Bosque Gallery’s May featured exhibition theme is Wildlife. And 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.
  • Corrales Historical Society Speakers Series, May 8, 2 p.m. “Amazing Woman of the Wild West, Susan Shelby Magoffin,” whose 1846-1847 journal detailed the rigors of travel, among other topics, in the brand new territory of New Mexico. Magoffin, who died young after two pregnancies, is interpreted by historian VanAnn Moore, with guitar accompaniment by Luis Campos. Info: swinstead15 @gmail. com CHS Treasures Sale Fundraiser, May 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Drop off your treasures at Old Church May 19 or May 20. But please, no junk, no clothing, no books! All $$$ goes to benefit the Old Church.
  • Casa San Ysidro, Heritage Day, May 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 10 a.m.–11 p.m.: Acoma Pueblo Enchanted Dancers; 11:30 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.: Kevin Kinane, Recycle Man ; 2 p.m.– 4 p.m.: Ramon, Lydia, y Linda. As well as…: Myra Chang Thompson, Spanish Colonial Weaving; Carla Wackenheim, Knitting, Spinning, Weaving; Diane Wilhoite, Loom Weaving; Rosalie Chavez, San Felipe Pueblo Pottery; Jerry Montoya, Crosses & Retablos; Louie Garcia, Tewa Pueblo Fiber; Adrian Montoya, Retablos; Kathryn Leon, Acoma Pueblo Pottery & Earrings; Carol Lucero Gachupin, Jemez Pueblo Pottery; Sandoval County Master Gardeners, Gardening; Las Arañas, Spinning and Weaving Guild; Dave Sabo,Blacksmith; Martina Rosetta, Kewa Pueblo Horno Bread and Pies; Larry Marken, Old Bill Williams, Heritage Games and Activities; Richard Sanchez,Grandson of Tony Garcia;  Info via Aaron Gardner, agardner@ cabq.gov, 505 898-3915.
  • Corrales Arts Center. May road trip! Visit 23 Central New Mexico churches and buildings, with an overnight stay in Truth or Consequences. Meals and lodging are not covered by the $85 participation fee. May 10-11; or May 17-18. Limited to 13 CAC members each tour. Contact Dennis Chamberlain for info: denchamber@me.com
  • Corrales Library. Ukulele lessons return, Wednesdays through June 22. 4 to 5 p.m. With Auttem Foglia. Author series, May 31, via Zoom. Cloak and Dagger, Sisters in Crime NM, 7 p.m. Plus, Thursdays at 6 p.m. Spanish Conversation. Contact Sandra Baldonado for event details. sandra@ corraleslibrary.org
  • Corrales Growers’ Market. May 8,15, 22, 29, 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Village in the Village, Book Club May 17, May 31, 3:00 p.m., on Zoom, Movie Club, 5:00 p.m. on Zoom (Film “Eye of the Needle” by Ken Follett.) Info: Call 274-6206 or email corrales.viv @gmail.com.

ISSUE 05-07-22 LETTERS

Dear Editor:

Benjamin Franklin felt we would regret admitting Jews to the United States because they would take over. What could be more ominous than the silence about this by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and PBS given all the attention afforded to Franklin?

Steve Baer

ISSUE 04-23-22 MOVIE REVIEW

Everything Everywhere All At Once Written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. Starring Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis. Plugs: None Nearest: Cottonwood Mall.

 Many years ago I worked at the top of Sandia Mountain. Specifically, I worked at High Finance restaurant, which —like many things from many years ago— is no longer there. I was a busboy, then a waiter, working my way though college. Many of the memorable characters there had previously worked at the Territorial House, later the Rancho de Corrales —which like HiFi— also is no longer there.

 One of them was a fry cook named Brandon who, like most of the kitchen staffs I’ve worked with in various restaurants, was usually stoned.

When he did his job he was an agreeable guy, but what I mostly remember about him was his elaborate descriptions of his half-baked visions, dreams and hallucinations. His dreamlife blended thoroughly and agreeably with his “real” life, and in addition to being a stoner, he was a gifted storyteller. He’d regale co-workers with stories he’d seen in his head, and it was entertaining —for a while.

 Dreamers relating their visions often take on a somber sincerity which is politely tolerated by their audience at least for while. It was especially urgent to Brandon not only because he enjoyed the attention but because he believed he was relating Deep Universal Truths to us. He himself didn’t always understand what the Spirit was revealing to him via drugs and dreams, but he assumed there must be some nuggets of wisdom in there somewhere amid his surreal visions and stories.

He felt a sort of obligation to tell others (including his oft-hapless co-workers forced to share a small dark tramway cabin with him for a 20-minute ride down the mountain after work) what he experienced.

 Watching the new film Everything Everywhere All At Once reminded me a lot of talking to Brandon. The film opens in the cluttered chaos of a coin laundry family business. Michelle Yeoh plays Evelyn Wang, an otherwise harried and unremarkable middle-aged Chinese-American woman navigating an unhappy marriage and quarrelsome family. Preparing for an imminent financial audit with Dierdre Beaubeirdra (Jamie Lee Curtis), she’s told by an inter-dimensional visitor that her help is desperately needed.

The basic premise is well-worn: an otherwise ordinary person in a mundane setting is contacted by a messenger from a parallel, hidden world and told he or she is the chosen one to fulfill a great destiny. This has been done a million times, from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings. In this case the mundane settings is a coin laundromat (and, if that’s still a bit too exotic for you, an IRS office) and the person is Evelyn.

 The film plays with ideas borrowed from theoretical physics, some theories suggesting that it’s possible that there are multiple universes, and in those there may be different versions of ourselves leading alternative lives in their own worlds. It’s all speculation, of course, and has been fodder for countless films including several of the most recent Spider-Man films. It’s a fecund topic for fiction, though it can easily be used as a deus ex machina plot cheat for lazy writers.

 Soon Evelyn is saving different worlds and meeting different versions of her family from different universes. Several subplots are thrown in for good measure, including Eveyln’s impending divorce and the blossoming gay relationship of her daughter. It’s got big themes including unrealized potential, personal identity, destiny and much more. With elements of Max Headroom, Inception, and Adaptation, the film is many things: operatic, kinetic, absurdist, surreal, entertaining and visually striking.

 Everything Everywhere All At Once is the sort of film where the sooner you surrender to its nonsense the happier you’ll be. It defiantly —and for a while, successfully— revels in confusion and contradiction. The stuntwork is amazing, the cinematography is something to behold, and the actors are clearly enjoying the proceedings (Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis are both spectacular). And yet….

 The problem is that with so many bounces around, so many last-second saves, there are no real stakes. It’s a sort of dream-within-a-parallel universe within a Matrix-like computer-generated reality within a… well, I lost count, but it all looks so stylish.

 The film strikes me as the sort of project that looks to be wretched and unfilmable on paper, looks amazing and groundbreaking in previews, and ends up being something in the middle when actually experienced on the screen. Writer/directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert have a great eye for direction and a fun premise, but ironically, take themselves a bit too seriously in trying to offer something both silly and profound, but which comes off as mostly what philosopher Daniel Dennett called pseudo-profound “deepities.”

 I’m pleased to report that —unlike Brandon’s rambling dreamstories— the ending does more or less come together in a satisfying conclusion, though, to be honest, I’d long since stopped caring.

The film runs out of both steam and ideas about an hour and a half in, leaving another 45 minutes of somewhat repetitive action. Everything Everywhere All At Once seems like the Special Extended Edition Director’s Cut that one might find on a blu-ray or DVD of a better, shorter film that I somehow missed.

Benjamin Radford

ISSUE 04-23-22 GOLDEN YEARS

By Laura Smith

Last night the phone rang at 2:18 am. I was sound asleep —it was great sleeping weather, the cool air streamed through open windows. By the time I woke up enough to understand that the ringing was real and not part of a dream, the noise had stopped. Unlike the phones in other rooms of the house, the landline bedroom phone doesn’t have caller ID and the volume of the ring is turned down. So, I didn’t know who was calling. But I did look at the time. Then I turned over. Sleep did not come. I was wide awake wondering who called. Darn.

So, I got out of bed and padded into the kitchen to look at the caller ID. The call had come from my daughter, Sara,  who was working the night shift at the hospital.

Should I call her back? Did something happen to one of the grandkids? Is she all right? Now my mind generated non-stop worries. Forget sleep. I sent her a text.

The story ended. She had accidently hit her speed dial and hung up after two rings. But my middle of the night awakening persisted.

My first inclination, like many people, is to fluff up the pillows, reposition myself, and hope sleep overtakes me. Sometimes that works, but usually sleep remains evasive. So, instead of counting sheep for hours, here are a few tips to manage sleepless nights:

  • Get up. Yup, put on your robe and slippers and get out of bed. If you can’t sleep, you don’t want to stay in bed. That’s because you want your brain to associate your bed with sleep, not with insomnia. Do something that does not involve screens (the light from screens messes with your circadian rhythm), read a book, clean up, write in a journal. When you start to really get tired, go back to bed.
  • Don’t catastrophize. Realize that you will likely sleep better tomorrow and that you can get through the day without your regular sleep. Sleep is important but you can function with an occasional bad night of sleep. The more you get upset about not falling asleep, the more your brain will keep you awake. Worrying just doesn’t work.
  • Have a very small snack. It doesn’t have to be raw broccoli. A glass of milk or a cup of non-caffeinated tea and a biscuit or piece of toast will do.
  • When you go back to bed, try taking calming breaths. Count your breaths.

You might consider meditation during the day; it can help with sleep at night.

Between 10 and 30 percent of adults struggle with bouts of insomnia. The bad news is that the quality of sleep decreases as we age. Older people sleep less and not as well. Seniors with insomnia may experience daytime sleepiness, moodiness, and difficulty concentrating. This can have serious impacts on day-to-day functioning.

If your insomnia is chronic, talk to your health care provider. No, don’t call her at 3 a.m. when you can’t sleep. It’s best to first rule out any physical causes and your health care provider may have some suggestions about improving your sleep hygiene. In addition, consider a short stint of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia with a trained mental health professional. CBT has been shown to be effective for the treatment of insomnia for many adults and in the long run is a better alternative to medication for most.

Sweet dreams zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

 Laura Smith is a clinical psychologist as well as a member and volunteer of Village in the Village (ViV). ViV supports seniors who want to stay in their beloved Corrales homes and stay connected with their community. You can get more information at VillageintheVillage.org

ISSUE 04-23-22 LETTERS

Dear Editor:

Reading the large article in the April 9, 2022 I found myself scratching my head and trying to understand quite a bit of the thrust of this article. Of course, it was large, covering the front page and also three other pages inside. I guess I'm concerned that the article was suggesting that mistletoe was bad, and should be removed because it is kills trees.

Kind of misleading really.

I had not heard before that I live in a “greenbelt.” I live in a village, next to a preserve. On Wikipedia a greenbelt describes something outside a city. This term explains perfectly the problem with bringing a big city attitude (where an isolated tree is considered nature) to the interconnected wonder of a real ecosystem.

If those trees are isolated and part of a garden, mistletoe “infestation” is debatable. Still, mistletoe as part of a healthy ecosystem in the bosque is bad? I don’t think so. Those birds that “plant” the mistletoe are actually eating it for a reason. There are not many berries around when the mistletoe has berries.

Mammals on the ground and in the trees also eat the leaves (which are not as poisonous as reported). When mistletoe acts as a decoy, it reduces the amount of bark those same mammals strip from young trees.

Mistletoe produce flowers and sugars that feed many types of insects that exist at the base of a complex food chain. In studies where mistletoe is removed from forests, there is over a quarter drop in the number of insect-feeding birds. The special location of those flowers and leaves high up in the crown of bare branches of the tallest trees is a unique environment exploited by special insects, such as purple hairstreak butterflies, that feed on this plant exclusively.

Mistletoe has a lot of history in our cultures, but also a lot of dogma. If you search the Internet most of what is written about the plant is by arborists who earn money removing it from private gardens and plantations. It is never removed from forests and not just because it is expensive, but because it is not necessary.

Silvaculture in Europe is far advanced of what is practiced in the United States, in spite of Johnny Appleseed. Orchard owners know broadleaf mistletoe is found where apple trees are.

It is not coincidental that most apple orchards are in the north of the village.

Apple growers in Europe grow and harvest mistletoe on purpose on their short, coppiced apple trees. They have mistletoe festivals (look it up on YouTube.)

Why is it a “battle” in New Mexico? If we cannot have understanding on the topic of growing trees, can there at least be educational debate among differing points of view?

Alex Price

ISSUE 04-23-22 COMMENTARY

By Barbara Bayer

In the April 9 issue of the Corrales Comment, (Commentary, A Mayor’s Perspective) former Mayor Jo Anne Roake referred to the fact that “Animal Services got a new facility, with new kennels and equipment.” In the vein of where you sit is where you stand, I think anyone who thinks this new facility is so great, needs to come out from behind their desk and take a visit.

As someone who has been in the trenches for more than 21 years rescuing animals in Corrales, the accolades for this new facility are seriously misplaced. Concrete cells do not good dog runs make!

First, the misuse of statistics. The favorite quote from the Roake administration is that Animal Services takes in only eight animals a month, or two a week. Point one, the administration conveniently dropped out the 65 animals taken in from a hoarding situation right here in Corrales.

Point two, averages do not address the actual distribution of animals in any given time period. So, even if you accept the statistic of eight animals a month, what happens if all eight come in at one time? Where would Animal Services be expected to put them? There are only two concrete cells, one of which has been used for cats. What is Animal Services expected to do with all eight animals?

The other statistics provided by the former Mayor is that animals are only supposed to be housed for 72 hours. Yet another interesting interpretation. Seventy-two hours is the stray hold for animals that are found in the village during which time animals must be held so that an owner has time to come forward.

The notion that animals have to be sent out of the village once the 72 hours has passed means no time to seek opportunities to engage residents and interested parties as either foster or adopters. Until the former mayor, Animal Services made its own decisions about how, when and to whom animals were triaged taking into consideration what was in the best interests of the animal. In the last month of the Roake administration, rescue groups were told they would not be able to take Corrales animals unless they were certified and that all animals had to go to Animal Humane. What certification? Never heard of that, so show me the forms. Also show me the certification completed by Animal Humane.

Oh, yes. The Village Administrator said there was a contract with Animal Humane. Where is that contract? There is none. Where is the memorandum of understanding (MOU)? There is none. It was established in emails. Really? And what process have they agreed to follow to assure that village animals are not euthanized, consistent with Village ordinance. None. And finally, does the former administration understand that Animal Humane does not take every animal, and for every animal they take, they charge a fee? So where are these unworthy animals supposed to go?

There is so much wrong with the ways our Village has approached animal care in the last four years, it is not possible to detail them all. While there is much that needs to be done to provide safe, sanitary, humane dog runs, a major step in the direction of returning the Village to its animal friendly designation is to move Animal Services into the Fire Department.

Fire is already doing large animals, why are large and small animals split between two departments? Wouldn’t it seem logical to benefit from economies of scale by combining similar functions? With small and large animals together under the Fire Department, there is someone available 24/7 who has trained in animal issues. The police do not see animals as their mission, nor should they.

I have worked in government most of my career, and I know when you don’t want to do something, you study it. If it is such a good idea to get an objective assessment of Animal Services going forward, why did ex-Mayor Roake fail to commission such an assessment after I met with her right after she took office?

Resolving our concerns is a no-brainer. The police chief has said he would be happy to relinquish Animal Control and the fire chief has said he would welcome having Animal Services in his department. Let the police do what they do best and let the Fire Department expand what they are already doing. And let’s not study what is plainly a reasonable resolution.

By Mary Feldblum

Executive Director, Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign

 Imagine if you paid for an airplane ticket and then got separate and inscrutable bills from the airline, the pilot, the copilot, and the flight attendants. That’s how the healthcare market works. In no other industry do prices for a product vary by a factor of ten depending on where it is purchased. 

—Elizabeth Rosenthal, MD, in An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back , 2017

So much focus on health care centers around access issues. While it is very important to provide opportunities for New Mexicans to receive health coverage —either through public or private programs— there is another issue that must be addressed: the wasteful, costly and administratively complex pricing of health care services.

We need to think of our health care system as a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece is connected to other pieces. The puzzle cannot be solved without figuring out how the pieces are connected to each other.

Thus, just gaining access to health insurance will not address hospital costs, pharmaceutical drug prices, the frustrating (and costly) administrative burden on health care professionals, or increasing patient out-of-pocket responsibilities, which may prevent people from getting the care they need.

Our state needs to come up with a coordinated solution to address both access and cost. The jigsaw puzzle needs to be solved.

For over two decades, the Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign, currently a coalition of 170 diverse organizations and thousands of individuals, has been working on a homegrown systemic New Mexico solution. We have reached out to all areas of the state, seeking feedback on a simple idea: let’s set up our own health plan that automatically covers most New Mexicans, offers comprehensive services and freedom of choice of provider, and is overseen by a geographically representative citizens’ board (like a co-op). Private insurance may play a supplemental role, as it does in many European countries (and as is the case with traditional Medicare).

The Health Security proposal requires a major paradigm shift, one that combines and coordinates the key elements —the different puzzle pieces— of our health care system.

According to three independent New Mexico studies (the most recent in 2020), the Health Security approach will slow the rate of increase of health care costs, ensure coverage for all state residents, and simplify what has become a complex and administratively burdensome system that frustrates health professionals and patients alike.

In 2021, the New Mexico Legislature provided funding to develop the details of the proposed Health Security Plan. This funding enabled the Office of Superintendent of Insurance to hire consultants to engage in key research areas during the initial year of the design process.

While the 2019 Health Security Act provides important guidelines for creating the Health Security Plan, there are many details that stillneed to be fleshed out, including enrollment, hospital and health professional payment systems, appeals systems, IT/medical records, accountability systems, and more. Decisions will have to be made about these details before the plan can begin offering coverage. Once designed, a fiscal analysis can then be conducted on the plan as designed— not as projected.

If New Mexico is to develop a systemic solution to our health care crisis, it is important to understand how these different key elements impact each other. Unlike a jigsaw puzzle, however, these critical components of our health system require gathering information about state and international experiences, learning from them and then deciding what would work for our state, keeping in mind how each piece fits together and impacts access and cost.

During the 2022 legislative session, the superintendent presented very promising results on the three critical research topics selected.

Topic 1. Investigation of federal waivers and agreements that provided key information regarding prospective plan enrollment numbers.

Initial results: The report describes various approaches to receiving federal waivers or agreements, focusing on Medicaid and Medicare, the two largest programs in New Mexico, while ensuring the protection of recipient entitlements.

Topic 2. Exploration of provider payment system methodologies that focused on whether it is possible to standardize our complex multi-layered payment system, as many European countries have done.

Initial results: The report describes various options to develop such a coordinated system so providers and health facilities do not have to deal with multiple different charges for the same service.

Topic 3. Research on the feasibility of creating a global budget program for hospitals, a payment system in which hospitals receive a predictable, sustainable revenue stream instead of depending on an unpredictable, complicated charges system. (Maryland’s global budget program has been very successful.)

Initial results: Two reports, written by separate consultants, concluded that New Mexico could greatly benefit from such a system, whose creation can be funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In sum, the reports describe possible paths to take that will address both access and cost issues.

But more research is required.

Recently, the legislature increased the funding for this coordinated approach. The appropriation will enable the superintendent to follow up with the suggestions made in the initial reports and to investigate two additional critical topics: how to address rising drug prices and how to create a workable inter-operational IT system so that no matter which plan you have, the provider you go to will have your complete medical history.

While the design project clearly is a multi-year effort, the research on some of these pieces in the health care puzzle can lead to more immediate solutions.

For example, a hospital (and clinic) task force could be created this year to figure out how a global budget system could work in New Mexico, with the goal of applying for startup funds from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It would be possible to create a second task force to explore the creation of a program to negotiate drug prices that could benefit all New Mexicans.

Thus, the Health Security Plan design process will enable New Mexico to phase in key pieces of the puzzle —like hospital and drug costs, keeping in mind how these programs would impact the other jigsaw pieces of the health care system and how they would align with the systemic reform the Health Security approach will ultimately bring.

New Mexico has been given an extraordinary opportunity to carefully design a workable solution to our health care crisis, one that is appropriate for our large, mostly rural state with its small population.

For more information, visit our website: http://www.nmhealthsecurity.org

By Jeff Radford

Shouldn’t the United Nations have stopped the war in Ukraine? What’s wrong?

Many times in recent memory, the UN  has sent military peacekeeping forces into zones of armed conflict, usually with great effect. But in Ukraine, no such UN intervention has happened or is likely to happen.

The reason is  Russia’s veto power in the UN Security Council. That’s a fundamental problem that stems from the UN Charter established at the end of World War II.

The five permanent members of the Security Council —Great Britain, France, the United States, China and Russia — were deemed so important to maintaining world peace that the brand-new world body probably would be powerless to mount any military intervention without their approval.

Or, although it was not stated, the veto power was ingrained precisely because any foreseeable major war was likely to involve one of those five, who therefore wanted to preempt any potential deterrence to their own future military ambitions.

The UN Charter, signed in June 1945,  provides no way to override or void the veto power of any of the five permanent members. And if such a mechanism did exist, or might exist in the future, it would surely mean the United States would be subject to losing its own veto power when it became embroiled in a military conflict.

Given changed conditions since World War II and in light of the war in Ukraine, does the UN need to be changed fundamentally to achieve its main objective, to maintain peace in the world?

A friend of mine —really more of an acquaintance with whom I had a continuing personal relationship— led a far-reaching project to reform the United Nations in 1997. Canadian Maurice Strong, now deceased, is best known as convenor of the seminal 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Environment. He went on to serve as founding secretary-general of the UN Environment Program.

Assigned by then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 1997 to propose urgent reforms to the world body’s structure and organization, Strong accepted Annan’s challenge  that “the organization needs to be significantly re-configured in order to do better what the international community requires it to do.”

As he was finishing his task, I spoke to him briefly at UN headquarters in New York. As usual, his thoughts headed off in many directions almost simultaneously, and he seemed to be stressed.

The organizational problems to be addressed went far beyond advisability of retaining Security Council members’ veto powers. In fact, his report, “Renewing the United Nations: A Programme for Reform,” runs more than 100 pages but mostly skirts the politically fraught matter of veto power.

The report starts by stating that “The United Nations is a noble experiment in human cooperation” and that its charter was “drafted with the searing experience of  history’s two most destructive wars fresh in mind.”

In reviewing the report, I found no reference to the Security Council’s veto powers as being a problem or even a dilemma. It was not mentioned in a section titled “Institutional strengths and weaknesses” nor in the section on “Peace and Security.”

Yet at Paragraph 102, the report states “Reform of the Security Council is of great importance for its functioning and legitimacy. Within the General Assembly there have been intensive and prolonged discussions regarding the expansion of the Council, an issue that can be resolved only by Member States. This is a key issue for the United Nations and a positive resolution of it would contribute to the prospect of moving forward with other issues.”

But it has no discussion of eliminating the veto power. Nor does Chapter 5 “Focusing on Substantive Priorities.” Nor does Chapter 7 “Prepared for a Changing World.”

So if the structure of veto power within the Security Council is immutable, what else could stop a conflict such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

The prospect of after-the-fact criminal prosecution might, and in fact, was referenced in Paragraph 90, titled “International Criminal Court.” It says “For nearly half a century —almost as long as the United Nations has been in existence— the General Assembly has recognized the need to establish an international criminal court to prosecute and punish persons responsible for crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.” It noted that a June 1998 diplomatic conference would be convened to adopt a treaty to establish such a court.

The International Criminal Court was, indeed, established in 2002. No country has veto power over the court... except that only 126 countries have ratified the treaty; Russia and the United States have not, so war-related criminal charges against either nation likely would not proceed for lack of jurisdiction.

Short of a change in the UN Charter’s the Security Council veto provisions or who can wield them, the only alternative may be a global grassroots movement that leads to another treaty, outside the UN structure, that could field a military peacekeeping force. But that holds grim portends as well.

Is the United States any more ready than Russia to relinquish its claim to deserved hegemony and thereby avoid war-related accountability?

ISSUE 04-09-22 WHAT’S ON

By Meredith Hughes

“Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote, The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour…..” Yes, I took a course on Chaucer in college, and adored reading as best I could the prologue to The Canterbury Tales, 1387-1400, in the lingo known as Middle English. But is April really  a “he”?

What exactly is an April shower and have we/will we have any? Still, buds are budding, leaves are greening, and birds are caroling. And recreational cannabis sales are on, full tilt boogie.

Grab the second booster?

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

  • The KiMo Theatre, upgraded and improved, is open again! The Magic Flute, April 9, 10: Mary Poppins Jr, April 21-24, and more. Tickets: https://abqtickets.com/ 423 Central Avenue.
  • Albuquerque Garden Center, April 9, 10. Cactus and Succulent Show and Sale, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Followed by the Spring Plant Sale, April 22, 1 to 6 p.m. and April 23, 8 to noon. Dahlias, daylilies, and African violets, heirloom and hybrid tomato seedlings, hanging baskets, color bowls, xeric plants, herbs, perennials and lots of annuals. 10120 Lomas Blvd. 505 296-6020.
  • Kundalini Yoga, a series through May 7, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. “ The yoga of awareness enhances circulation, stress reduction, strength, flexibility, and nervous system function.” Bring your own mat. Pay upfront or pay per class. cvasquez@cabq.gov 505-768-4950. Open Space Visitor Center, 6500 Coors.
  • Gathering of Nations Pow Wow, April 28-30 at Tingley Coliseum, 300 San Pedro. See gatheringofnations.com
  • Outpost Performance Space, April 16, 7:30 to 9:30m p.m. Quisqueya: One Island Concert with Racine Kreyol, a Haitian-inspired group, and Afro-Caribbean group, Kumba Carey This concert marks the opening night of the 1st annual AfroMundo Festival: Shared Roots, A Celebration of Afro-Latinx Culture. Quisqueya is one Taino name for the island of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. https://tickets.holdmyticket.com/ tickets/389522 210 Yale.
  • Albuquerque Isotopes baseball plays its opening day home game against the Tacoma Rainiers on April 12, at 6:35 p.m. The Isotopes are one team of 10 that comprise the Triple A West minor league group, one step below the Majors. The team is affiliated with the Colorado Rockies. Superb Isotopes Park has been clunkyly renamed Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park. 11,124 seats! 1601 Avenida Cesar Chavez.  http://www.milb.com/albuquerque/tickets

Did You Know?

April is National Poetry Month and the Corrales Library is devoting the month to teens and poetry via Teen Blackout Poetry Project. The detailed/fascinating  instructions printed below may, or may not, deter you…

“Follow this guide to uncover a hidden poem!”

Step 1: Select a page from an old book or even an article from a newspaper or magazine. (Feel free to choose a page from one of the books on the Young Adult creativity table or one from the “Free Cart.”)

Step 2: Scan or skim the page, keeping your eyes peeled for an “anchor word”  —a word that stands out to you because of its significance or meaning.

Step 3: Read the page all the way through, and, with a pencil, circle words that connect to the anchor word. Try not to circle more than three words in a row.

Step 4: On a separate piece of paper, list the circled words in order as they appear in the text. Words will remain in this order for the final poem.

Step 5: Select additional words from the text to create lines of the poem. You may eliminate parts of words, such as endings, as needed. If you get stuck here, go back to the original text and look for more words to circle.

Step 6: In the existing text, make sure you’ve circled all the words you will be using for the final poem. Erase circles around words you decided not to use.

Step 7: Optional - You may wish to add an illustration or design to the page of text. Be sure not to draw over the words you’ve circled for your poem.

Step 8: With a marker, “black out” the words you are not using. This will reveal the final poem. If you’ve added an illustration or design, be sure not to mark over the outline.

Step 9: Leave your poem in the Young Adult Room or email a picture of it to brynn@corraleslibrary.org  and it will go up in our Teen Poetry Display. Or, enjoy it on your own.

In Corrales

  • The Corrales Tractor Club will be hosting an antique tractor show on May 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Corrales Rec Center front field. Contact Grif Newcomb with questions at 505 803-8484.
  • And, also looking farther ahead, the 34th Annual Juried Old Church Fine Arts Show and Sale is scheduled for October 1-9, but artwork submissions are requested between June 1 and July 15.
  • Corrales Art and Studio Tour. Registration deadline for artists is April 30. Tour is set for August 27-28. https://corralessocietyofartists.org/
  • Corrales Bosque Advisory Commission, April 14, 6:30 p.m.
  • Planning and Zoning Commission, April 20, 6:30 p.m.
  • Senior Advisory Board Meeting, April 20, 1:45 p.m.
  • Village Council meetings, April 12, 26, 6:30 p.m.
  • Corrales Equestrian Advisory Board, April 27, 6:30 p.m.
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, April 28, 5:30 p.m.
  • The Corrales Community Seed Library is now open inside the Book Library.

“To ensure as many people as possible can enjoy seeds from the Corrales Community Seed Library, we are limiting check-outs to 1 packet per variety. At the end of the growing season, borrowers may save seeds from their harvest, label them and return a portion of the seeds to the library during our hours of operation.”   And, for a recorded course in seed starting from Master Gardener Judy Jacobs,  see https:// tinyurl.com/tj9yjdbn

  • Corrales Bosque Gallery artists are donating 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.
  • Corrales Historical Society and the UNM Sculpture Program present an exhibition of sculpture created by University of New Mexico students, April 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and April 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free show is entitled Juntos, or Together. Professor Randall Wilson is the instructor for the students, both in beginning and advanced sculpture classes. The exhibition reveals works produced from three studio assignments: Characters, Constructions, and Bird Baths, in cast concrete, steel, wood, and papier mâché. Displayed via the generous support of Jayant Kumar. Old Church.
  • Corrales Historical Society Speakers series, The Four Legged Bootlegger, April 24, 2 p.m. Presented by Chuck Hornung, president and CEO of the N.M. Mounted Police Historical Society. Seems a nameless “roan horse” was charged with carrying bootlegged booze onto an Indian Reservation in 1914… quite the tale. Info at swinstead15 @gmail.com
  • Spring Bicycle Fair April 30, at the Corrales Recreation Center from 10 a.m.-noon, sponsored by the Village of Corrales Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission. There will be a bike rodeo for children ages 4-14, and bike safety stations available to check your bike. Learn how to fit a helmet properly, make basic repairs, change a tire and how to properly fit a bike for the best ride.
  • Annual Corrales Egg Hunt April 16, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Corrales Foundation for children 8 and under at La Entrada Park. Rumor has it that Wile E. Coyote may be looking for a rabbit dinner.
  • Casa San Ysidro, Santeros of the Classic Period in New Mexico: 1795 to 1845. April 9, 1 to 4 p.m. From 1795 to 1845, three santeros in New Mexico helped to define traditional art in New Mexico. Kathleen Killorin presents on the Laguna and Molleno santeros and Rafaél Aragón, as they are represented in the Albuquerque Museum’s collection, San Francisco de Asís Church in Rancho de Taos, and Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz, New Mexico. Sign up via Aaron Gardner, agardner@cabq.gov, 505 898-3915.
  • Corrales Arts Center Creativity in Photography, April 16, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with Dennis Chamber-lain. Register at corralesartscenter.org.
  • Music in Corrales, NOVA Guitar Duo, April 23, 7:30 p.m. This German–Brazilian duo was formed while both of its members were studying at the Royal College of Music in London. Their programs explore the extensive repertoire for two guitars, as well as their own innovative arrangements of music originally written for other instruments and ensembles. This concert already is sold-out. “Due to public health considerations, we have limited ticket sales to a smaller-than-normal capacity for the Old San Ysidro Church; this concert has reached that limit. If at some point we can safely increase the seating, we will re-open ticket sales, so please check back periodically for availability.” Lance Ozier 505-899-8830
  • Corrales Library Teen Blackout Poetry Project, all month. Plus, Thursdays at 6 p.m. Spanish Conversation. Contact Sandra Baldonado for event details. sandra@corraleslibrary. org
  • Corrales Growers’ Market. The spring/summer season begins! Sunday, April 24, 9 a.m. to noon. It includes a plant sale by the Master Gardeners.
  • Village in the Village, April 18, Book Club, 3:00 p.m., on Zoom “East of the Mountains,” by David Guterson. April 19, Movie Club, 5:00 p.m. on Zoom (Film TBD.) April 26, Discovery Series 12:30 on Zoom presented by SWOP, Southwest Organic Producers. Info: Call 274-6206 or email corrales.viv@gmail.com.

 

ISSUE 04-09-22 TRAVELER’S NOTEBOOK

Mexico,  2022

As everywhere in the world these days, Covid is having a huge impact on life in Mexico. Especially as many of the country’s close-knit families lost beloved relatives in last summer’s pandemic surge, today most mexicanos appear to be taking COVID seriously. They're wearing masks, even in traffic and in public markets, with N-95 ones ubiquitous. As in the United States, however, many wear their masks at half-mast, leaving their noses uncovered. Doesn’t COVID come into your body via your nose, and exit the same way, with the potential of infecting others?

Hanging a mask off your chin or dangling one by its strings from your ear may be a fashion statement, a token display of conformity, but it’s not going to do you or anyone else any good. In a country non-Mexicans often dismiss as being even more disorderly than the USA, mexicanos patiently wait in line a few feet apart for their turn to be allowed onto a bus. At the entrance to a store or museum, a guard checks your temperature with a no-touch zapper, squirts a sanitizer gel into your palms, and sometimes has you twirl around in a spray of something that smells of alcohol. It could be mezcal, but it’s more likely to be an even more toxic substance. Anti-bacterial gel dispensers are everywhere: beside elevator doors, at the bottom of stairways, in taxis, in public bathrooms and outside them.

Ubiquitous signage and drawings suggest effective behavior vis-à-vis COVID. In restaurants, waiters spray down tables before seating you, as well as after you leave. In a land where people are usually huggy, even when meeting for the first time, the protocol now is knuckle-knocking or elbow-touching, usually with a laugh and a shrug. Nevertheless, refuseniks proffer selfish and ridiculous excuses for not getting vaccinated, splitting families and close friendships. Hospital beds and corridors are filled with the unvaccinated, often to the extent that patients in crisis are not getting the attention they need. It’s no different here.

American Airlines only notified me the day before my return flight that I needed a certified COVID test —negative— to get back into the United States. The options were to lug my considerable luggage to the airport several hours early, join a long, slow line of many half-masked would-be fliers, and hope for a negative test. If it was positive, where would I go?

The better idea was to pay $70 to have med techs come to my hotel the night before flying, give me a test, tell me in five minutes if I had COVID or not, and within an hour, email me an official document attesting to negative results. Guess which method got my vote. With my negative diagnosis in hand, I was tempted to go out to a grungy, crowded bar to celebrate. Hey, all drinks on me!

The Dallas airport was another story. No temperature-taking, no antibacterial gels in evidence anywhere, not even in the bathrooms. Grumpy guards herded passengers, many half-masked, into slow-moving crowded lines to be paraded past a drug dog. The process took an hour-plus, requiring me to hustle onto a crowded train to make my connection to Albuquerque. No wonder few grey-hairs like me were traveling, and then, often in wheelchairs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now advises Americans against visiting Mexico. Huh? Does strolling along a wide-open Mexican beach really present a greater threat to your health than joining tens of thousands of fans at the Super Bowl, including many anti-vaccers, with maybe five percent of them wearing a mask?

We’re all a little cranky here in the USA, shut up for too long, too myopic about our own conundrums and fears. Rudeness in public is rampant, especially in airplanes and in traffic, often with dangerous consequences. Mexico these days is much more polite.

With many staying home from work, traffic is far less chaotic, the skies over Mexico City were actually blue, and the air was breathable. OK, so drug dealers are shooting each other down in Cancún, but how about the guy who went on a mile-long rampage in Albuquerque this past week, stabbing 11 people? I suggest that if you want to go to Mexico, grab your hat and your hand sanitizer and go! Send me a postcard.

—Martha Egan

ISSUE 04-09-22 COMMENTARY

By Jo Anne Roake

A Mayor’s Perspective

Corrales should be incredibly proud of the level of service the Village staff provides. With their help, the Village made considerable strides in financial procedures and process, installed new technology upping our communications capability (including an audio system in the Village Chambers and wireless reception outside the library), launched a new Village website and a new library website. A weekly Mayor’s Message provided additional public outreach.

The Village provided equitable pay raises for staff, hired a first-ever Compliance Officer, updated Chapter 18 Land Use Regulations, conserved over 25 acres as perpetual open space and created an ongoing bond program to provide infusions of money every two to four years for municipal improvements without raising property taxes above the 2019 rate.

After 14 years, Meadowlark Lane is repaved and plans are complete for its Phase 2 trail.

After 20 years, the connection is open for pedestrian, bicycle and equine traffic.

Substantial improvements have been made to our municipal buildings, including Municipal Court, Corrales Fire Department, Corrales Police Department and Public Works Department. The Corrales Valley Fire Department Building was completely renovated (what a project), providing a brand new home for Planning and Zoning and Animal Control Services.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation surprisingly repaved and re-striped State Highway 448, Corrales Road.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, but we got COVID-19 anyway. For all the downsides, the Village can be proud of the government employees who worked tirelessly to ensure safety, give vaccines and distribute COVID monies.

With volunteer help, Corrales gained  outdoor pickleball courts, a new floor in the Old Church, a pollinator garden in La Entrada Park, new trees, advice on proposed ordinances, the advisability of a Village Center, removal of noxious plants from the Bosque Preserve and help in locating farmland conservation properties.

The Village strengthened ties with our neighboring elected officials, County and state agencies and organizations and partners like the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District and Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA). When there is a problem, it is so much better to call someone you know.

Looking ahead, our Village faces recurring issues as we seek to maintain our rural charm, agricultural heritage, low density and sense of community in the face of development pressure.

Our existing Comprehensive Plan (CP) favors low density (one dwelling per one acre; one dwelling per two acres), and retention of our agricultural heritage. I agree. However, a new CP is necessary to confirm these assumptions and also to gather public input about the advisability of other uses, such as senior housing.

Once citizens have spoken, the new CP will provide clear guidance for the Governing Body. Also, the Village has often considered taking over Highway 448 (Corrales Road). Let NMDOT retain ownership of Corrales Road. The costs of maintenance, repair of dozens of culverts and liability are just three reasons why.

Over time, there’s been repeated concern about animal services. The Department takes in about eight animals per month, housing them for 72 hours or less until they are returned to owners or re-homed. In 2019, Animal Services got a new facility, with new kennels and equipment. There’s room for improvement, proportionate with need. I suggest the Village get an objective assessment of the best steps to take moving forward.

Finally, Corrales is dependent on well and septic systems and has repeatedly struggled with infrastructure needs. The time is here to address the quality of our groundwater and acquire a functioning wastewater system. Right now, there’s money to make a good start on changes to ensure a healthy future.

Lastly, may I be so bold as to ask a favor? Mistakes and missteps happen, but they are rarely deliberate. Please give your Corrales government and staff the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise. We all love our community and together we will keep Corrales special.

Thank you. It’s been an honor.

ISSUE 03-19-22 MOVIE REVIEWS

The Batman  Directed by Matt Reeves. Starring Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz. Plugs: None. Nearest: Cottonwood Mall

The Batman —of course not to be confused with Batman or its many variation and incarnations— is set in a perpetually rainy, decaying, and gloomy Gotham City. Part police procedural and part political thriller, the plot involves a sadistic serial killer dispensing justice (or “justice”) according to his moral code amid the city’s upcoming election.

Along the way he leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues —so, of course, we know he’s The Riddler— about a master plan to rid the city of corruption. Shunned by the police who consider our hero to be a vigilante, Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman, played by Zoë Kravitz) soon shows up to help Batman solve the crime spree.

It’s obvious that director and co-writer Matt Reeves is fascinated by the idea of masks; most of the characters in the first few scenes are masked, and in fact we don’t see Bruce Wayne’s full face until an hour into the film. Masks are an interesting metaphor —and one I researched for my book Bad Clowns—  though the treatment in the film is a bit superficial (of course masks provide anonymity and empowerment, but what else?). The film wants to say more than it does about this and other tropes, ranging from class warfare (we’re reminded that Bruce Wayne is among the so-called one percent, despite his family’s legendary philanthropy); to the toxic effects of social media; to the idea that the sins of the father are visited upon the son; to the fine line between confronting evil and becoming it.

The film has eerie echoes of real-life, ranging from the beginning of the film (in which African Americans threaten an Asian-American man) to the end (in which The Riddler’s plan includes a violent election-day takeover).

This version of Batman is a bit more cerebral than other incarnations, less enamored of gadgets than critical analysis. This is a refreshing change, and in some ways a return to his roots as a crime-fighting detective (the character first appeared in the May 1939 issue of Detective Comics). As with Sherlock Holmes, the way he pieces clues together is part of his appeal, though unfortunately Reeves gilds the lily by having Batman “cleverly” solve often incoherent and nonsensical clues.

The Riddler has always been a Grade-B knockoff of The Joker —which is not to say he’s not a fine villain in his own right. He’s got riddles and ciphers, but most of them aren’t clever even by the script’s standards. For example, one of The Riddler’s puzzles involves something “being brought into the light.” This of course can be a metaphor for pretty much anything, from a secret being revealed to an object being exposed to literal sunlight (I suspected it was some sort of photosensitive explosive).

But no, we eventually find out that the riddle somehow improbably knew for a fact that Batman would appear and do something at a specific place and time, when upon reflection The Riddler couldn’t have known any of it. In another example, Batman just happens to have a random conversation with a random cop who just happens to identify a specific tool used by The Riddler, and Batman just happens to get the idea to use the tool right then and right where he’s standing, which just happens to reveal the Riddler’s master plan, which just happens to occur just as Batman pieces it all together. Had that tool/weapon been tagged into evidence and taken to the police station —as would have been done pretty much anywhere— or if the cop hadn’t been there, or if he hadn’t happened to have casually commented on that tool at that time, or if any number of other events and coincidences hadn’t perfectly aligned, then the third act of the film would not have occurred. I hate to ding a comic book film for such a cartoonish cascade of convenient contrivances, but it undermines the tone of the rest of the film, which is studiously dark and brooding. It’s hard to take the plot too seriously amid such scripted silliness.

Robert Pattinson is a serviceable actor but struggles to command the gravitas of others who have filled out the Batsuit. He delivers most of his lines in a studied low growl, including the genre cliches such as “fear is a tool” and “I gotta do this my way.” Fortunately he is surrounded by the likes of John Torturro, Colin Farrell and Paul Dano, who elevate their scenes. Andy Serkis makes a brief, thankless appearance as Alfred the butler, serving his brooding charge.

The Batman is reminiscent of many other, better films, including Se7en, Phone Booth, Falling Down, and Zodiac. The film would make a pretty good two-hour movie, but is unfortunately padded out to nearly three, only serving to highlight its overly mannered style.

Despite the plot holes and ponderous pace there is much to say for The Batman, from the visual effects to the cinematography. A middling entry into the venerable franchise, it is worth a watch.

Benjamin Radford

ISSUE 03-19-22 GOLDEN YEARS IN THE VILLAGE

By Laura Smith

Keeping Your Gold in the Golden Years

Corrales is the safest city in New Mexico. Sometimes I send the Corrales Police Crime and Safety Report to my out of state friends, especially when it involves missing yard art or anything to do with chickens. Those that live in cities across the country are often amused (and a bit jealous) when they read our police blotter. The remarkable safety of our village is a tribute to our public safety officers as well as the watchful eyes of our close-knit community members.

However, one crime that regularly appears in the Crime and Safety Report, is surging in Corrales (and everywhere else). The criminals are multinational, and the victims are just about everyone.

The crime is fraudulent scamming. The crimes often occur online or on the phone and involve being persuaded to give up personal information, money, or identity to savvy criminals.

Who gets scammed? All age groups can be victims of fraud, but older folks tend to be slightly more vulnerable. I know of several Village in the Village (ViV) members who have been scammed. And the Corrales police blotter is full of examples of other members of our community that have lost money, time, and more importantly, a sense of security after being victimized.

Although the number of possible scams is as infinite as the imagination of the scammer, here are some of the most prevalent:

  • Clicking on links that allow criminals to access information stored on your computer, infect your computer with viruses, or lead to ransom demands.
  • Online purchases from fake websites —often promising bargain prices.
  • Buying counterfeit products (think masks).
  • Identity theft.
  • Lottery, sweepstakes, and vacation scams.
  • Telephone scams leading to loss of identity and or money.

How do scammers get you to part with your money or identity? You might think that people with good common sense would be immune. But a recent, large research study conducted by the University of Chicago along with AARP found that lack of education is only a small contributor to being vulnerable to con artists. So, what leads to increased risk? You might be surprised.

  • Recent major loss or stressors in the victim’s life.
  • Loneliness and lack of social support.
  • Emotional fragility.
  • Tendency to easily feel strong emotions whether positive or negative.
  • Being frequently targeted by scammers.

How do you protect yourself from fraud? Con artists know that the best way to score a hit is to play on the emotional response of their victims. Strong emotions cause people to act without thinking. One of the most important ways to avoid becoming a victim of fraud is to stop and slow down. Do not react quickly or respond to urgent messages or requests to do something.

Additional steps you can take include:

  • Even though it seems like a hassle, require two-factor authentication on any financial transactions.
  • Many phone companies have robocall blocking. Add your name to the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • Gift cards are never asked for by legitimate businesses, charities, or government agencies. Asking for gift card as a payment method is a likely scam.
  • Unless you recognize the number, let voicemail answer your phone. Scammers can use common prefixes as well as names of organizations.
  • Never click on any links (text or email) that you don’t know are coming and what they are about. That includes communication that seems to be coming from a trusted source.
  • Make sure you have good anti-virus protection on your computer.
  • Sigh, change your passwords and use a sophisticated password. Believe it or not, too many people are still using PASSWORD and 12345 to protect their private information.

Beware of criminals lurking in cyberspace. Before deciding, stop, think, and don’t let your emotions dictate your decision. Reach out to friends or family if you have any doubts. Even the most sophisticated consumers make bad decisions when their emotions supersede their logic.

Laura Smith is a member of Village in the Village. For more information about this non-profit organization, see VillageintheVillage.org

ISSUE 03-19-22 COMMENTARY

By Councillor Bill Woldman

Our Animal Friendly Village?

After several meetings over the past three years with the Village Administrator and the Police Chief, at the February meeting of the Village Council, I suggested purchasing a set of dog runs for Animal Services. I proposed this as an alternative to the current inadequate and unsafe concrete holding cells that have been created in the Old Fire Station for stray dogs. It seems to me, at that point, the wheels came off the car. I want to explain what that means, but I first want to go back in time, about 20 years.

In 1998, my wife, Barbara Bayer and I had moved to Corrales, encouraged by the sign notifying people that this was an animal friendly village. We had fled the North Valley and neighbors who did not want barking dogs in their little townhome enclave.

Barbara went to Corrales Kennel to look over the facility to see if we might use them to board our dogs when we had to travel for our business. It was at that time that she met Dan, the owner, and learned that the kennel housed Animal Services animals until their stray hold was up and they were transported to the Albuquerque shelter to be euthanized. Barbara started taking cats into our home and we started paying to board Corrales dogs so they wouldn’t be killed. That led to the formation of CARMA (Companion Animal Rescue and Medical Assistance) at which point Barbara told Dan and Animal Services that CARMA would take every animal once it was available, which in effect ended the contract with Albuquerque to euthanize animals.

There were many ups and downs in those early days as she and CARMA struggled with Animal Services Officers that didn’t care about animals, with many discussions about why a particular dog or cat should be given a chance. The effort to educate those who would not be educated is always challenging.

That changed when Frosty joined the Village as the Animal Services Officer. As a former police officer, he had the respect of his police colleagues and was given the authority to do what was necessary to do his job. I watched Frosty change as he was influenced by this village of dedicated rescue people who lent their efforts to help him save the lives of our village animals. Fundamentally, he liked animals, but he was also smart enough to realize he could work with the community to both save lives and save the Village money previously being spent on euthanizing animals.

He set up a contract with Corrales Kennel to hold runs for Animal Services, understanding that sometimes those runs would be empty, but also realizing that many times they would be over-filled, such as during holidays and during the peak breeding season in the spring through the early fall.

During his time in the Village, Frosty embodied all the best of Animal Services departments around the nation. He worked to adopt or foster out animals once their stray hold was up and he worked with rescue groups and triaged animals to them. Once the no-kill ordinance was introduced and passed by the Village Council, he made certain that animals leaving the village were protected and required, if an animal turned out not to be suitable, that animal had to be returned to the Village.

That is the genesis of the unwillingness to trust Animal Humane because they took a dog from Frosty that he evaluated as adoptable, and they ended up euthanizing him in direct violation of the commitment to return him to the Village. This is not urban legend, this happened.

Much has happened since Frosty retired. The rescue groups have continued to work with Catherine and Brya, two women to whom Frosty trusted to hand off his legacy. But their ability to do their job, to find fosters and adopters and to work with rescue groups has been seriously curtailed recently, and particularly since I suggested purchasing those runs. It was my intention, when I discussed using some of the funds we have access to, to set up dog runs so that our Animal Services Officers could more humanely house dogs awaiting the end of their stray hold. The current concrete cells do not have proper heating and ventilation or drains to aid cleaning. They are neither bright nor friendly for an animal that is frightened. Neither of the two cells would meet minimum standards for humanely housing animals.

The dog runs I have proposed for Animal Services are not intended to be a shelter, but this administration has used this request for dog runs as a way to undo all the progress we have made toward being an “Animal Friendly Village.” The citizens of the village care deeply about their companion animals and when situations occur and Animal Services needs to get involved, they want to provide the best care in these temporary situations.

So it is that in these final days of this administration, I understand that rescue groups cannot be given animals from Corrales Animal Services because they are not certified (no one knows what that means) and that the Village only has a contract with Animal Humane to take our animals (Animal Humane is paid to do that; rescue groups generally are not). Is Animal Services certified? Who did that?

The Village policy has now become that once the three-day stray hold is up, animals must be removed from the Village immediately. As far as I can tell, that also means the Animal Services Officers are no longer allowed to foster or adopt out animals since that might require them to hold on to animals more than three days in order to do the placement. This new policy assumes that when the Village has an animal, Animal Humane will automatically take that animal without question. So, what happens if no rescue groups are allowed to help and Animal Humane will not or cannot take an animal? What then?

Some of you may not be aware, but in February, 2021 there was a hoarding situation in which there were 65 animals that had to be removed from a home in the village. Individuals and rescue groups stepped up to help our Animal Services Officers and all the animals were placed within a few days. Does anyone think Animal Humane is able to absorb so many animals into their group, many of which needed extensive medical and emotional care?

This is not the first time Animal Services has had to deal with hoarding situations or a large number of animals in need of rescue. Every summer and fall, large numbers of cats and kittens and dogs and puppies find their way into Animal Services. When this is happening in Corrales, it is happening everywhere else, including Animal Humane. How can they be depended upon to take Corrales animals?

When I suggested adding humane runs to Animal Services, I had no idea the unintended consequence would be a draconian effort to send all our stray animals out of the village in order to show that runs aren’t needed to temporarily hold Village animals. In the final analysis, the chaos that has occurred (and make no mistake, it is chaos) has shown a fundamental flaw in the ability of the Police Department to understand and support a village that values and loves its animals. The Corrales Police Department does an excellent job of protecting the citizens of this village. But animal services is not a priority to them.

The Fire Department currently is responsible for all the large animal issues. I propose placing Animal Services under the Fire Department. Putting all Village animals, large and small, under one umbrella rationalizes animal care, makes training easier, and creates a department that addresses animal services as a community service, not a policing issue.

We need to be supporting our Animal Services Officers. I will be proposing a small working group to work with Animal Services to address refinement of the policies under which they operate to enhance their ability to do their jobs. This working group will be asked to report to the Villaage Council on a regular basis.

In the final analysis, the Village Council has the responsibility to see that our Village runs smoothly, and it is my hope that our new mayor will join us in the effort to provide a better understanding of what our citizens want when it comes to animals, both large and small.

For that reason, I am asking everyone to discuss with your Village Councillor your support for our Animal Services Officers as they work to find the best solution for the village animals in their care. There will be opportunities, in the near future, to voice your concerns publicly about how we can do things better to once again be an “Animal Friendly Village.”

ISSUE 3-5-22 WHAT’S ON?

By Meredith Hughes

As you “spring forward” on March 13, do not forget the delights of Mardi Gras, when the final bit of COVID carb was added to your frame, and then ponder why Skinny Wednesday is not a thing, and why March Madness is. If you like. Meanwhile, daffodils! And St Paddy’s day. Oh, and this month American women get their own actual month! Yes, an entire month for the gals, whereas… Check it out at https://womenshistorymonth.gov/

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

  • 2022 Western Pecan Growers Association conference and trade show, March 8-10, New Mexico State University. This will be held at the Las Cruces Convention Center, and it kicks off March 8 with a baking event, Pecan Food Fantasy Contest. Winners will receive a cash prize along with being featured on the Pecan Food Fantasy Blog. The conference is in-person.The Association represents pecan growers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and the west Texas area. Richard Heerema, NMSU pecan specialist, is the organizer of the educational program. Info: https://western pecan.org. 680 E. University Ave
  • Albuquerque Museum opens Papercentric March 5, an exhibition through August 28 featuring paper arts from the museum’s permanent collection. Cast paper, papier-mâché, embossed paper, cut paper, and paper sculptures. “Paper is a common-place material that is often dismissed as unremarkable. In artworks, paper is often used simply as a support on which ink, pigment, and other materials are applied. Papercentric features works that utilize paper as the primary material rather than a substrate for other mediums. Works in this exhibition emphasize the simplicity, flexibility, strength, and fragility of paper and honor the material as a medium in its own right.” 2000 Mountain Road.
  • The Musical World of John Williams, March 12, 8 p.m. with the New Mexico Philharmonic. Williams’ scores for Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Jaws… https://nmphil.org/event/john-williams-march-12-2022/. Popejoy Hall, 203 Cornell.
  • Spring Break Camp/Classes, ABQ Biopark. Kids in grades 2-6 can choose from a Wildlife Safari at the Zoo, March 21, 22; or a Spring Water Journey at the Aquarium, March 23, and more. Visit https://www.cabq.gov/artsculture/biopark/camps-classes/spring-break-camps

Did You Know?

At the request of a reader, we asked Ken Duckert if a Corrales Art and Studio Tour were in the works for 2022.

Duckert replied: “COVID has certainly extracted a toll on everyone.  The Corrales Society of Artists was affected, too.  While we did have one of the most successful Studio Tours last September, our organizational structure had been weakened. 

“We regrouped last November and seated an entirely new Board in January and had a "call to arms" to the members.  The response was awesome.  Senior CSA members stepped up and were joined by many new members.  The new Board is meeting and moving forward with enthusiasm and optimism.  Our committees are fully staffed, and yes, the tour is scheduled for August 27-28. 

“The Old Church will host the Preview Gallery and the call for artists will go out on March 8.  The primary CAST Leadership Team has a full lineup of project managers, a budget, and a calendar. 

“Also, I just finalized plans to again involve students from both Corrales Elementary and Cottonwood Schools in our event.  Lots of things are coming together very nicely.  I am very optimistic and looking forward to serving again as CSA President this year.”

Call for artists, March 8.https://corralessocietyofartists.org/

In Corrales

  • Looking Waay Ahead, So You Can Polish Up Your Dear Deere: The Corrales Tractor Club will be hosting an antique tractor show on May 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Corrales Rec Center front field. Contact Grif Newcomb with questions at 505 803-8484.
  • Tree Advisory Committee meeting, March 7, 4 p.m.
  • Planning and Zoning Commission, March 16, 6:30 p.m.
  • Village Council meetings, March 8 via Zoom, March 22 in-person and via Zoom, 6:30 p.m.
  • The Corrales Community Seed Library is now open inside the Book Library.

“To ensure as many people as possible can enjoy seeds from the Corrales Community Seed Library, we are limiting check-outs to 1 packet per variety. At the end of the growing season, borrowers may save seeds from their harvest, label them and return a portion of the seeds to the library during our hours of operation.”   And, for a recorded course in seed starting from Master Gardener Judy Jacobs, see  https://tinyurl.com/tj9yjdbn

  • Corrales Bosque Gallery guest artists of the month for March are every member of the gallery, and the theme is the Owl or possibly Owls. Gourd artist Darryle Bass’ owls are not to be missed. A reception at the gallery for the Owl-a-thon is on March 6, from 1 to 5 p.m., with COVID protocols in place.
  • Corrales Historical Society Speakers series, March 27, 2 p.m. Dede Feldman on Boots, Suits & Citizens, an overview on how the New Mexico Legislature works. In-person on the Old Church stage. (Unless Zoom becomes necessary…) Info: swinstead15@ gmail.com
  • Casa San Ysidro, March 12, 1-3 p.m. presents “Old Bill Williams.” Williams “was one of the most colorful, adventurous, and proficiently literate of the nineteenth century western mountain men. Famous for exploring the Great Salt Lake, Santa Fe Trail, and Colorado River, Williams went on to become one of the best-known trappers and frontiersman of the west.” Larry Marken, re-enactor and docent at Las Golondrinas, plays Old Bill. Sign up via Aaron Gardner, agardner@cabq.gov, 505 898-3915.
  • Corrales Arts Center Salon: March 6, 2 p.m. via Zoom. “Preserving a Pueblo’s Past with Seeds:A Conversation with Roxanne Swentzell.” To become a member of the Corrales Arts Center, visit corralesarts center.org/join-us. For more information about salons, open to members only, email blank.deborah@ gmail.com March 12 and 26, a class in Pueblo culture by Jon Ghahate, Education Director, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 10 to noon. Limited to 20. Held at the Corrales Community Center. Creativity in Photography, March 19, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with Dennis Chamberlain. Corrales Community Center, 4324 Corrales Road. Register at corralesartscenter.org
  • Music in Corrales, TAKE3, Classical/Jazz Fusion, March 20, 3 p.m. This concert already is sold-out. “Due to public health considerations, we have limited ticket sales to a smaller-than-normal capacity for the Old San Ysidro Church; this concert has reached that limit. If at some point we can safely increase the seating, we will re-open ticket sales, so please check back periodically for availability.” Lance Ozier 505-899-8830
  • Corrales Library Author series, March 227 p.m. On Thursdays at 6 p.m. Spanish Conversation. Contact Sandra Baldonado for Zoom event details. sandra@corraleslibrary.org
  • Corrales Growers’ Market. Sunday, March 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Village in the Village. Focussed primarily on helping Villagers, more than social events, until Omicron and its ilk are booted out. Call 274-6206 or email corrales.viv@gmail.com.

ISSUE 3-5-22 LETTERS AND OPINIONS

Dear Editor:

I am not very eloquent at writing and hope that Jeff Radford edits my spelling and grammar to reflect only positive feelings and good will to all our friends in Corrales.

My wife, Karen, will be surprised when she reads that I am composing a letter to the Comment. I have always had many concerns for the village and wish to contribute to make Corrales a better place for all. I live on upper Meadowlark.

Every other month the Comment has a headline: Upper Meadowlark trail to start soon! Pathways project to start soon! I sincerely hope these, and other projects happen in my lifetime. I love Corrales.

My wife and I have supported Starry Nights and MainStreet long before we moved to the village. We purchased kitchen equipment for the fire station with little fanfare I did the Leadership Sandoval County program years ago and our group landscaped the skate park. We support Seed to Need, Village In the Village and so many other worthy organizations.

Corrales has been good to us, and we have been proud to give back. Like I said I am not so eloquent at writing and tend to ramble. I simply want to say thank you! I am the former owner of Harris Jewelers in Rio Rancho. My wife  and I have retired. Harris Jewelers continues to operate in Rio Rancho.

We wish to thank all our friends in Corrales, Rio Rancho and surrounding communities for your support over the years. I sincerely hope you continue to support Harris Jewelers.

I personally want to thank the people of Corrales for your support. We would not be in the position to retire and move on to our next chapter without our friends in the village. I can now hopefully become more involved in the community we love. Thank you all.

Mark Guerin

Dear Editor:

We salute and congratulate you on the 40th anniversary of the Corrales Comment. We have been privileged to share those 40 years of happenings in the Village of Corrales with you as readers of your written narratives.

Your expression of a first-hand view in the Comment has captured the good, the bad, the remarkable and the menial. Endless times we have watched you taking notes at council meetings and other village events. What cost you time was transformed for us as readers into a detailed “you better believe it” portrait of our village.

The Comment has offered a venue for the expression of individual Corraleño voices and dialogues. Thank you, Jeff.

Wayne and Jolene Maes

ISSUE 2-19-22 COMMENTARY

By George Wright

Former District 2 Councillor

Let’s keep nonpartisan municipal elections nonpartisan! With the Fahey campaign’s latest “List of Endorsers” ad and Corrales Comment opinion pieces, the Fahey campaign has tried to make the nonpartisan mayoral election highly partisan. But the Village’s struggle against Corrales becoming the “Commercial Cannabis Capitol of New Mexico” is not a partisan issue.

As my District 2 councillor, Bill Woldman, aptly explained before voting in favor of the ban implemented on the January 4, it comes down to a question of quality of life for Corraleños. And that’s something Fahey doesn’t acknowledge, as demonstrated by his lack of engagement and interaction with constituents.

While he has consistently opposed efforts to protect and defend our quality of life, voted against a protective ordinance, and expressed favoritism toward the cannabis industry’s growers and manufacturers on numerous occasions, Fahey has turned a deaf ear toward constituent complaints about how the cannabis operations have affected their quality of life.

Fahey was asked by constituents to help with the nuisances caused by the medical cannabis facility in his district in the north part of Corrales. He basically told neighbors that there was nothing that could be done to abate the odors, traffic and other problems, because he considered it a grandfathered-in, done-deal, which was probably not totally the case. Even if the facility was legitimate at the time, Fahey apparently never offered to do anything to help resolve neighborhood complaints.

When constituents in his district asked for help to fight a proposed medical cannabis operation on a four-acre tract adjacent to their rental and other properties, his solution, according to the constituents, was to quit answering their calls and emails.

While Fahey may view N.M.’s Cannabis Regulation Act as a “Law of the Land” that requires municipalities to blindly comply, other municipalities and legal entities have a different view. State Senator Katy Duhigg, an attorney who co-sponsored the CRA, and Los Ranchos Village Attorney Nann Winter, in conjunction with the Governing Body of our neighbors in Los Ranchos, have implemented a commercial cannabis ban in their agricultural/residential zones and they obviously feel it comports with state law and is defendable against legal challenges. And an independent legal assessment by a premier N.M. attorney firm also agrees that the Corrales ban will stand up to legal challenges.

By Nandini Kuehn

Jim Fahey Should Be Our Next Mayor

I support Jim Fahey for mayor for many reasons. Chiefly, he has the competence, relevant experience and proven community mindedness to build on recent Corrales governmental successes rather than backtrack to an imaginary, mythical past.

Each aspiring and incoming mayor vows to make things better for their constituents, to change, improve, build on and mostly, to prepare their communities for the future. Very few mayors say they will turn the clock back. Gary Kanin did just that at the recent municipal election forum.

Our outgoing mayor won election four years ago in a landslide because she listened to villagers’ concerns about a tone deaf, do-nothing administration that she inherited. Kanin proceeded to criticize Jim for representing a “continuation of this administration.” Jim Fahey’s plan is to build on an administration that stresses attentive and collaborative leadership, one that puts village and community interest front and center and preserve what makes living here so treasured —that is a problem? Not for me.

Jim Fahey’s three terms on the Village Council means he knows how our Village government works. He brings experience in water and building expertise from his years as a member of and chairing (2010 - present) the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA) which will stand us in good stead at this moment when water access and protection are so critical. His solid reputation and experience in community service for the past 20 years means he can work collaboratively and get things done while preserving Corrales values.

Kanin’s focus is mostly on gripes bordering on fear-mongering. He wants better police and fire safety. But aren’t we the safest town in New Mexico? Better pay, he opined. He was unaware of the Corrales-wide worker pay scale adjustment, passed unanimously by our council. That has resulted in a better paid, staffed and equipped Police and Fire Department. We have one of the best COVID management teams in the state. Why change that?

Gary Kanin repeatedly stressed preserving our strictly enforced density limits, when it is really not threatened. When he bragged about altering the southern border to bring all of Corrales within Sandoval, he made it clear it was a personal victory, done without council participation. No collaboration and more unilateral decision-making is bound to come our way if he returns to office.

Kanin’s only strategy to get more infrastructure funding appears to be to ask our legislators. Jim Fahey knows that the funds available to the State under the Infrastructure Bill will require more action and yes, he will look to our legislators and state sources for help. To get those funds, he will identify our strategic infrastructure needs that qualify for those funds and negotiate agreements to obtain and administer these funds with good financial oversight. Our legislators are our allies and excellent sources of information and advice about what is available and the process to get funding. But they are not going to bring a blank check to the table at anyone’s asking. Those days, if they ever existed, are long gone.

Jim Fahey will work with the Village Council as he seeks village-wide input for a new Comprehensive Plan that addresses water and sewer management, broadband expansion to upgrade the access we now have, build-out of the Performing Arts Center, expansion of the gym, evaluation of senior living options, and proper financial stewardship of our bonding for property acquisition and farmland easements to preserve our rural flavor. While Jim enforces our Village Codes that now exist, he is open to adjustments that serve emerging needs in our village.

In other words, he is committed to retain what is best about Corrales while developing measures that will sustain our gem into the future. This is the kind of mayor I want to vote for.

By Marg Elliston and Fred Harris

We are supporting Jim Fahey for mayor of Corrales because we know him well as a wise councillor and a problem solver who can work with all kind of folks in our sometimes fractious village for an even better future while protecting all of what we have here in Corrales. That requires a really complicated balancing act, more than just platitudes about the way things used to be.

Maybe it’s his long and successful MD background, but we’ve been struck by the fact that Jim has a terrific bedside manner. He listens carefully to everybody who’s got something to say. Then, he makes a thoughtful, rational, and compassionate diagnosis of the problem, free from bias or “alternative facts,” and decides on a rational and compassionate course of treatment, action.

Some of us especially respect Jim as the backyard farmer who grows the best tomato starts that we can ourselves then plant in our own backyard gardens. More, he is a leader in the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA) which is now helping Corrales build an important horse/bicycle trail link to greatly enhance the travel experience on the Sagebrush Trail, as well as partnering to reconstruct the Harvey Jones Channel entry into the Rio Grande —thereby improving the Bosque.

For folks who are still deciding who to vote for to move Corrales forward, consider that our new mayor will need to continue the excellent local and area relationships which have been so well now established and that Jim knows so well. Our new mayor will need to continue to work with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District to make sure that Corrales irrigators get their fair share of water in this and future seasons —crucial to the survival of our farms, ditches  and cottonwood forests.

With the increased funding opportunities provided by the Covid Relief Acts, our new mayor will need continued good cooperation with Governor Michelle Luján Grisham and her staff. Corrales’ funding requests will succeed if our new mayor continues the close relationship we now have with our friendly local legislators to prepare and present thoughtful and collaborative capital outlay “needs lists.” Our new mayor must continue frequent and meaningful contact we have with the other mayors in our area and with the County and other government agencies which have an effect on our way of life in Corrales.

Jim Fahey already knows well and will work well with these agencies and elected officials —and with all of us. We need him to help lead us onward, preserving and protecting the Corrales we love.

By Jo Anne Roake

Mayor of Corrales

My View

For the past four years, it has been my honor to serve as your mayor. Thank you for trusting me to work hard to bring you a responsible and respectful government. And I have worked hard! Good government is so much more than a single issue and requires sustained effort and commitment. I made it my mission to repair and strengthen relationships with neighboring communities, legislators, county and state organizations. I did a deep dive into the intricacies of today’s challenges, technological, governmental, financial and legal.

Through the combined efforts of staff, myself and the Governing Body, Village government has never been more professional, robust or effective. We’ve accomplished a great deal and now have the resources and momentum to move forward, successfully navigating inevitable change to our advantage as we tackle the future.

Government resides in the present, not the past. So I must speak up for the candidate that will honor the past, but know how to move us into the future.

First of all, there’s no doubt former Mayor Gary Kanin served this community for years, years ago. Thank you. However, the future of the Village lies ahead, not behind. Jim Fahey has never left the public arena, serving the last of his multiple Village Council terms until just two years ago, and he is currently serving as chairman of the Southern Sandoval County Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA).

With SSCAFCA, he helped secure funding for large water retention and improvement projects. The negotiating skills he developed will translate well into making sure that the Village has a bold advocate as we face the unprecedented opportunity to get funding for infrastructure investments. Jim also has deep ties to our agricultural community as a farmer, vendor and manager of the Corrales Growers’ Market.

He has demonstrated his commitment to the community time and again. He is honest, straightforward and competent. Together with the Governing Body, he’ll lead the Village in a vigorous way that recognizes our past but with an understanding of current realities that will enable us to survive as a unique community into the future.

Based on my own experience as mayor for the last four years, and what it takes to do a credible job, I know Jim Fahey is the right man for the job. Thank you.

By Rick Thaler

Full disclosure: I’m a left-wing socialist with anarchist tendencies, but some of my best friends in Corrales are so far to my right politically that we shouldn’t be able to see each other, much less work and play together.

Yet we do. I have lived here almost 50 years and I have known Gary Kanin for many of those years. I don’t recognize the caricature of him painted in the letters to the Comment of this week. I recently met Jim Fahey and have corresponded with him at some length about the issues that are important to me. I don’t recognize the caricature of him in the letters either.

Both these candidates are well qualified to hold the office of mayor. Both have integrity and a long-standing commitment to the good of the village. As far as I can tell their positions on the key issues facing the village are not all that different.

Conspiracy theories, partisan attacks and childish name-calling have no place in this election. I encourage you all to make direct contact with the mayoral candidates after listening to them in the forums and base your vote on what they say and how they say it, not on baseless ad hominem attacks and smears.

Fahey’s record indicates that he likely won’t lift a finger, phone, or pen to defend the ban on commercial cannabis operations in residential areas, and may instead work to repeal it. Gary Kanin is the only mayoral candidate who has indicated that he will work to keep our residential areas free from commercial cannabis operations. Mayor Kanin was an excellent mayor before, and he will be an excellent mayor again.

ISSUE 2-19-22 LETTERS

Dear Editor:

Mayoral candidate Gary Kanin sent a flyer to homes over the weekend with a quote from me at least 15 years old. It left the misimpression that I am endorsing his candidacy. He didn’t seek my permission to use the old quote in this campaign. While I enjoyed serving as mayor with Gary in the last century and hold him in high regard, I’m actually supporting Jim Fahey for mayor.

Dr. Fahey is dedicated to good government and will do a great job for Corrales. Thanks for letting me clear that up.

Martin J. Chavez

Former mayor, Albuquerque

Dear Editor:

I’m Gerard Gagliano, former Councillor for District 2, and a 24-year resident of Corrales.  I worked with Gary Kanin before serving on the Corrales Village Council, and served on the council with Jim Fahey. 

I’m supporting Gary Kanin in this important election, because Gary has always been eager to work with people who have opposing opinions.  Listening and understanding views and open to adjusting his own view, while keeping a goal in mind is what we all yearn for in a leader.

Gary has steadfastly been a supporter of A-1 and A-2 zoning, ensuring that we continue to enjoy the lifestyle and property values of Corrales.  Gary teamed with Corraleños across all persuasions to purchase land for and build the Corrales Recreation Center.  He built the Corrales Municipal Complex and Senior Center, expanded the Village Library and found the funding to pave Loma Larga.

From protecting the Bosque Preserve, to protecting ground water, Gary leads the charge.  I disagreed with differing waste water solutions supported by Gary and Jim.  Gary came from a position of wanting to protect water quality.  Jim inexplicably voted against potable water during our review of the Comprehensive Plan.

Gary has the experience and leadership to get us through a challenging time for our village, and has proven he will do what’s right for Corrales.  He possesses the qualities we want in any leader, and that is why he is my choice for the mayor of Corrales.  Please vote early or on March 1 for our future.

Gerard A Gagliano

Former Councillor, District 2

Dear Editor:

It is so important for all of us to know about the candidates we are considering voting for. I was your Sandoval County Commissioner from Corrales for eight years and know how important it is to have good, experienced people working on our behalf.

I know Rick Miera and the public service experience he brings as a candidate for the Village of Corrales Council.

Rick was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives for 25 years.   He served as chairman of the Finance Committee (responsible for budgets and funding).  Rick Miera, or should I say State House Representative, Rick Miera was known as the education legislator working towards improving the N.M. school system at all levels, and he is still very involved.

I am pleased to endorse and hope you will vote for Representative Rick Miera for the open seat on the Corrales Village Council which he is seeking.   Experience counts, and there is no question Representative Miera brings that knowledge and experience.

Donnie Leonard

Dear Editor:

I am supporting Rick Miera because  experience counts! It is imperative that our Village officials partner with both government and private sectors to ensure that our community continues to thrive through the following actions:

  • Keeping our village healthy and safe.
  • Stimulating local business.
  • Protecting local farms.
  • Enforcing zoning laws.
  • Supporting the ever-growing number of artists and
  • Sustaining the quality of life that we all benefit from here in the village.

Rick Miera has the executive, fiduciary and legislative experience to work collaboratively with governmental officials and Corrales citizens to meet these challenges. I can attest to his success as a legislator.

I have been an educator in the Corrales area for over 40 years. I have observed him work diligently to pass much-needed appropriations and public education policy legislation in his capacity as chairman of the Legislative Education Committee .

I am proudly supporting his candidacy and appreciate how fortunate we will be for him to represent the Village of Corrales as the District 1 Village Councillor.

Sherry Jones

Dear Editor:

Whether you are a long time Corrales resident, been here for a bit of time or are new to the community, I can guarantee you moved here because certain Corrales lifestyle and attributes appealed to you.

As a long-time resident of Corrales who, along with my husband, raised our two children here, we appreciated the rural lifestyle. A place where we could raise animals and teach the kids how to manage a rural environment learning problem-solving skills, responsibility  and resilience.

Over the years, there have been continued challenges to retain and sustain that environment. Changes happen, it is inevitable, and we have seen the changes over the past 45 years. Governing the Village becomes paramount to deal with these pressures. Residents must be mindful of the vision each candidate truly has for the village.

I hear promises with questions hanging as to how candidate Fahey will aggressively support the village as a rural community. His track record does not support what appears to be a change of heart concerning retaining the village as a rural community.

Our local government must have a unified vision for the village and not skirt the matter for political reasons. Gary Kanin was consistent with his vision for the village as a rural environment. He was able to bridge the gap between making progress for the village while committing to retain the rural atmosphere.

As our mayor, Gary successfully negotiated changes that supported the growing village consistent with the vision of keeping the country in Corrales. Not easily accomplished.

As for the political cartoon featured in the last edition of the Comment: Maybe we should be able to reach back to communication the old-fashioned way sometimes. Isn’t this the common complaint of government bureaucracies  —out of touch and easy to dismiss when you have the technology between you? Using technology is great, but not so much when the electricity goes off! Reach into your thoughts as to why you moved to Corrales. Become involved to support Corrales to retain the unique, residential rural place we call home. It really will take a village.

Vote for Gary Kanin for mayor. Frantz, Dilts and Eichhorst for Village Council.

Elaine K. Manicke

Dear Editor:

Corrales has an opportunity to elect a candidate to the Village Council with experience in government second to none. As a N.M. State Representative for two decades and chairing the State House Finance Committee, along with being very responsible for many improvements in the New Mexico educaxystem, Rick Miera continues to want to serve in public service. As a 20-year former employee of Sandoval County and Economic and Tourism director,  I learned how important quality people are and Rick Miera is one such person. Rick’s knowledge in many areas such as finance, education, planning, and leadership is a real good fit for the Corrales Council.

I am honored to support and endorse Rick Miera for Village Council. 

 Donna Wylie

Dear Editor:

 I have serious reservations about District 1 candidate Cora Frantz.  While I’m pleased that we can get to know our municipal candidates through the forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters, I’m not sure we have learned enough about them. 

As a District 1 voter, I am particularly interested to learn more about Cora Frantz to understand why she sued the Village to prevent the building of the Northwest Sector Fire Substation.  When I see the devastation caused by western fires I’m so thankful for the efforts of our Chief Anthony Martinez and his people to keep us safe.  He continues to offer proposals that will allow our Fire Department to rapidly respond to fire outbreaks. 

Having a second fire station and positioning a water tank in the northwest area of the village is a benefit to those of us who live in the northwest area.

Cora Frantz, why did you sue the Village to prevent it?  What does this say about the priorities you would have as a councillor?  I’m sorry the voters of District 1 don’t know the answers to these questions.  Your neighbors have a right to know what you considered more important than the fire protection of the Northwest Sector of Corrales.

Sam Thompson

Dear Editor:

As this election in Corrales draws closer, I wish to thank the many who have supported me now and during my past four terms as mayor.  You know what I stand for:  rural and Corrales country values.

 I am not in favor of additional access to Rio Rancho, including opening Angel Road.  I do plan to address the voluminous traffic on Corrales Road,  much of which comes from outside of the village. Heavy traffic on Corrales Road and other village roads results in noise and air pollution, and poses risks for bicyclists, horse riders and pedestrians.

My program remains:  1- and 2-acre residential density, farming, trails for bicycles, horses and pedestrians, preservation of the Bosque Preserve, Library annex, the Arts and Cultural District, transparency at Village Hall and the ban on commercial cannabis operations in the A-1 and A-2 residential zones.

I personally have always supported the ban and all it stands for.  Others didn’t support the ban, and only now say that they would enforce and defend it.  That is somewhat of a Johnny-come-lately statement, and very different from my stance and what I would do.

 If you have questions for me, please let me know.  Although I have several email accounts and text on my cell, the email address I’m using for the campaign is garykanin@gmail.com

 Gary Kanin

Dear Editor:

We want to endorse Mel Knight wholeheartedly on behalf of myself, Donnie Leonard and Donna Wylie. We strongly feel that Mel Knight should be re-elected District 3 councillor for a second term.

The three of us have all lived in the Corrales for over 40 years.  We have all been involved in many village organizations and have worked tirelessly to improve our village. 

 We collaborated with Mel Knight to raise money for many civic organizations. We want you to know the kind, sincere, and dedicated person we know.  

She retired from Albuquerque Public Schools after 39 years as a speech pathologist.  In addition to carrying a full load as a speech pathologist, she  was the head teacher for five years at her school site.  She served in a leadership role running the meetings, and collaborating with teachers, parents, related service professionals, and outside agencies. 

Mel Knight is not new to Corrales;  She moved here in 1984. It did not take Mel long to embrace the Village lifestyle. Soon after moving to Corrales, Mel met John and Dee Turner; they encouraged her to join the Friends of the Corrales Library (FOCL). The FOCL’s mission was to raise monies to augment the library budget:  to expand the library, to purchase equipment, furniture, computers, etc. 

The largest fundraiser was the annual Father’s Day Concert in La Entrada Park. Mel was a valued member of FOCL who sold tickets, promoted the concert, secured food donations and helped negotiate the use of  La Entrada Park. 

 In the 90s, Mel and several other women started Corrales Women Investing in the ’90s (CWINS), a club dedicated to investment education and women's empowerment.   Mel served as both president and treasurer.  CWINS is still going strong today.  

In 1998 tragedy struck their family!  Al and Mel Knight lost their precious son, Liam, in an accident. Mel and Al turned this tragedy into a beautiful village asset.  In Liam’s memory, as well as all the children who left us way too soon, they designed and built Liam’s Pond in the southwest corner of the Corrales Recreation Center. Mel and Al, along with many Corraleños, spent many hours on the pond. Many families still enjoy the pond fishing or just sitting today, enjoying the serenity. It is a beautiful tribute to all the children that left us way too soon.

 For over three years, Mel was a soccer referee for their son, Austin’s, Corrales Youth Soccer Team, the Conquistadors. Austin went on to play varsity soccer at Cibola High School.   He attended Corrales Elementary, Taylor, Cibola High, and graduated from Eastern New Mexico University, and now lives in Albuquerque.

In 2008 Mel and Al Knight started Acequia Winery. Their vineyard and the wine-making facility are located at their family home. They also have a tasting room and carry-out service. In addition, the Knights work with other wineries to promote Corrales wine and Corrales overall.

 Mel Knight has also volunteered with the following Corrales Village organizations: Village in the Village for over three years, the Corrales Historical Society and the Corrales Harvest Festival when Al drove the tractor and Mel was a spotter.

 Mel is also an avid horsewoman; in the past she rode with a group of women and men called the Hot Flash Riders, and represented Corrales in the N.M. State Fair American National Cancer Awareness Day Rodeo “Tough Enough to Wear Pink”.

 Mel turned her interest to Village government. She served on the Corrales Parks and Recreation board in the mid-2000s,  on the Corrales Planning and Zoning Commission for some years starting in 2014, and on the Corrales Village Council where she is the current District 3 Councillor.

 Mel does her homework and embraces each new challenge with enthusiasm and diligence. As a Village councillor, Mel prepares for the meeting, researching and seeking input from experts and citizens to inform her vote. She reserves judgment and listens carefully to all opinions. She is careful to seek legal advice from the Village Attorney concerning voting on policy, zoning, or other pertinent matters. 

She is approachable and eager to listen to the citizens of Corrales. These are qualities of an effective elected official. 

We are proud to call Mel a friend, and are proud of her many years of service to Corrales. 

We endorse and support Mel Knight and thank her for her selfless service.

Sherry Jones

Donna Wylie

Donnie Leonard

Dear Editor:

While reading your February 5, 2022 issue, I see that Jim Fahey indicated the Village ordinance passed in January conflicts with state law. In addition, Mel Knight mistakenly refers to a petition supporting the Village ordinance ban in A1 and A2 zones as a total ban, one she indicates would violate New Mexico State Law. Both of these are misleading and a misrepresentation of the facts.

The petition only addressed a ban on commercial cannabis operations in Zones A-1 and A-2, and the Corrales law that was passed on January 4 only bans commercial cannabis operations in Zones A-1 and A-2; that law is consistent with and comports with the N.M. Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA) that allows municipalities the authority to regulate commercial licenses within the municipality’s jurisdiction.

When our state legislators developed the CRA, they paid special attention to protect residential neighborhoods from the adverse effects of cannabis commercial operations, and they included such provisions within the final CRA version. The CRA grants local jurisdictions the authority to “adopt time, place and manner rules”, as well as “rules that reasonably limit density of licenses and operating times consistent with neighborhood uses” for cannabis commercial operations.

This is exactly what our Village governing body has accomplished in the January 4, 2022, council meeting: banning commercial cannabis operations through zoning restrictions in our agricultural/residential neighborhoods.

Surrounding municipalities such as Los Ranchos have also prohibited commercial cannabis operations from residential neighborhoods through zoning restrictions like the one Corrales passed.

Fahey voted against a similar ban, Ordinance 18-002, while Village councilor in 2018; he was opposed to protecting neighbors from commercial cannabis operations then, and apparently still opposes such restrictions. Likewise Councillor Knight also was the single vote among the council when she voted against banning commercial cannabis operations in the A1 and A2 neighborhoods where we live.

Because I believe that past is prologue, in choosing a candidate, I look at their past actions (evidenced by votes) as opposed to any statements that they now support upholding a ban protecting neighborhoods just as we approach an election. A simple majority of our governing body can quickly reverse this ban and subject us all to the many problems associated with commercial cannabis. While Fahey says he will vigorously defend all Corrales laws, including the cannabis ban, he does not pledge not to try to change the law. I support Gary Kanin who has long opposed the commercial development of cannabis in Corrales. I hope that readers will consider the same process before  they cast their vote.

Patrick McClernon

Dear Editor:

We have known Jim Fahey for 24 years and consider him a family friend. Jim is honest, straight forward and bipartisan. When he served on the Village Council, his approach was to listen to all citizens, get the facts and make a decision that would best satisfy the needs of citizens without compromising the values of our established lifestyle.

During the transition of the Growers’ Market to the recreation center site, Jim was a vendor at the market. Like so many of us, he grew food for his family and brought high quality excess produce and plant starts to the market, providing safe, healthy food to the community.

Jim believed in the mission of the market to provide marketing resources for agricultural landowners and access to local food for the community. He also understood the challenges  and commitment the market faced moving to the rec center and becoming a part of the center’s development as a commuity asset.

For several years, Jim Fahey served as president of the market’s executive committee. His leadership during the changes encountered kept the growers focused on developing agricultual land use options that created usable community assets. Getting through that transition has enabled the market to prosper for the benefit of both.

The Village continues to face complex challenges that affect our land use and our lifestyle. We are confident that Jim will apply his wide experience and knowledge to provide us all a voice in finding solutions.

Al Gonzales, Bonnie Gonzales,

Sarah Gonzales-vanHorn, Mary Gonzales and Timothy Gonzales

Dear Editor:

I must admit that I was amused at some of the letters to the Editor in the February 5, 2022 edition of the Corrales Comment that referenced alleged nefarious shadow groups pumping funds into the current election process and attempting to manipulate voters. References were made to “dark money, misleading information and a small cabal of people who prefer not to operate in daylight.…”

Given the number of letters that incorporated similar comments, one might assume there was some organized attempt to mislead the public on the part of those writing the letters. The authors made no attempt to name these stealth individuals, identify the source of this information or to demonstrate how the letter writers verified the accuracy of their information. It seems to me that logic dictates that any “dark money” would emerge from “outsiders” with a financial gain in mind and would stem more from those with an attraction to the lure of potential cannabis profits rather than from the backers of a man who has supported the ban on commercial operation in the A-1 and A-2 zones from the get-go.

I served two terms on the Village Council with Gary Kanin. I am a progressive Democrat and Gary himself will tell you I gave him hell during those two terms. That said, we were willing to work together for the good of the village, and I have a genuine fondness for the man. I respect him for his willingness to listen to other people’s opinions and to work to a compromise that was of benefit to the residents.

I have no reason to believe any of that commitment has changed. During Gary’s administration, road blocks were not placed in front of councillors who wished to add items to the agenda, Village employees were not required to notify the administration of any contact or conversation they had with any councillor, meetings that required the attendance of members of the council were arranged to accommodate councillors and residents who worked regular hours and the Village Council was not a bastion of the retired or selfemployed.

I live in this village and have for 30 years. I moved to Corrales for the rural environment, the ability to keep my horses in my back yard, the safe environment for my rescue dogs, the wildlife, birds, bosque and community I found here. I am supporting Gary Kanin for mayor of Corrales because I don’t want those things to change.

His accomplishments in his previous tenures are impressive, including but not limited to; all but one section of Loma Larga was completed, this included the repositioning of the irrigations ditches, a major engineering feat; land was purchased and the Recreation Center built; the equestrian arena was built; the Bosque Preserve was initiated; net one acre was codified; Angel Road was closed to traffic from Highway 528; and the Sandoval County Line was moved south to encompass all of the village, resulting in lower taxes for those directly affected. This last was a significant accomplishment, one I don’t believe has been pulled off anywhere else in this country.

I am supporting Gary Kanin for mayor because I do not support spot zoning. Neither does Gary. We have a Comprehensive Plan and an ordinance that states that there can be one house per acre, or in some areas, one house per two or more acres. Any derivation from this jeopardizes our water, our property values and our life style.

I do not support Corrales serving as a traffic corridor for other communities. Neither does Gary. These transient commuters do not bring revenue to the Village; there is nothing to buy on Loma Larga and we have only one petrol station on Corrales Road. Traffic that originates in other communities serves only to pollute the air in Corrales and create congestion and frustration for Village residents.

I support the equestrian lifestyle and the family farms that have come to define our community. So does Gary. Gary maintains membership in the Corrales Tractor Club and the Corrales Horse and Mule People, still owns a horse, and in pre-Covid days participated in the Corrales Ride, the Christmas de Caballos Parade, and the 4th of July Parade.

I do not support commercial cannabis production in residential areas. Gary Kanin supports the ban on such cultivation in the A-1 and A-2 zones.

During his previous tenures, animal rescue organizations worked hand in hand with Animal Control, and thanks to his cooperation and willingness to bring the Village into a cooperative recreation program with other groups by providing the arena, Corrales hosted a free to participants, children’s equestrian event that endured for better than a decade and garnered over 250 participants.

Gary Kanin is a man who has dedicated his life to public service. He has no allegiances owed to outside boards or commissions who hold joint powers agreements with other municipalities – he does not serve two masters. His campaign has been backed and financed by Village residents, not outsiders, and he favors transparency in government – something that has been noticeably lacking for the past 4 years.

A vote for Kanin is a vote to preserve the community we love.

Melanie Scholer

Dear Editor:

Be sure to vote in our Important 2022 Corrales Village election for a new mayor and three new Village Councilors if you live in Districts 1,3 and 4.  My view of our election comes from raising two children in Corrales, working at our elementary school and serving for 12 years on the Village Council.

This election comes at a critical time for the Village of Corrales because the state of New Mexico has introduced cannabis into New Mexico for the first time by passing the Cannabis Regulation Act.  Many people in Corrales have had problems with the aroma of intensively grown medical cannabis, and commercially grown recreational cannabis will be even worse.  According to the CRA, local jurisdictions may regulate commercial licenses through zoning “consistent with neighborhood uses.” That’s precisely what the law enacted by the Village Council on January 4, 2022 does; it bans commercial cannabis operations in Zones A-1 and A-2, where we have our homes.  One mayoral candidate, Gary Kanin, favors the ban, and his opponent, Jim Fahey, does not.

 I do believe Corrales is a great place to live, and I also believe that commercial cannabis operations in residential areas would severely degrade our quality of live and livability.

 I am voting for Gary Kanin because of his excellent performance as mayor for three terms previously.   Our Corrales Comprehensive Zoning Plan is to be updated.  We are a village with much more land required around our homes than if we lived in the cities near us.  It has been brought to our attention that there are concerns for intensive, commercial growing of cannabis in residential areas.  Residents from parts of the village were suffering from living with the strong aroma of growing medical cannabis plants, and proposed recreational commercial operations would be even more toxic to our living environment. Cannabis plants require more water than many traditional agricultural crops require, and in commercial greenhouses plants require year-round watering .  Water use is a significant concern for Corrales with a lowering ground water level.  Safety in our village is important for all.

 It was my experience while working on the council through 12 years that Jim Fahey frequently voted for larger densities in the village and more commercial uses.  He appears to not understand that many “Cannabis Claims Collide with Reality,” as printed in The New York Times, on January 2, 2022.  Most research has not been of high scientific quality to be published in professional journals.  He appeared not to care that properties around commercial cannabis operations would lose property value.  In 2017 and 2018, when his constituents came to him with the fact that buyers had purchased land next to them in order to grow medical cannabis commercially, he was not interested in helping them to find a solution or in bringing it to council for discussion and resolution.  In 2018, he voted against Village zoning restrictions on growing medical cannabis commercially when it was proposed by councillors and the Village Attorney.   Do we believe he would change his mind if elected?  I believe not.

Vote for Gary Kanin for mayor to keep country in Corrales and a safe place for our children.

Pat Clauser

Dear Editor:

Here are some facts associated with letters published in the Corrales Comment Vol.XXXX, No 24, February 5, 2020 “Letters & Opinions.”

  • From Jim Fahey: “…ordinance that does not allow commercial cannabis production in the village.…”

Fact: Ordinance 21-06, adopted on January 4, 2022, prohibits cannabis production in A-1 and A-2 residential zones. It does not prohibit cannabis production in the Corrales Road Commercial Area or the Neighborhood Commercial Office District, comprising about 200 acres. Those two zones contain more leasable space than Cottonwood and Coronado malls combined, and together they are approximately one-third the size of the bosque.

  • “ordinance…[that] conflicts with state law.”

Fact 1: state law conflicts with federal law.

Fact 2: NMAC 26-2C-12 says: A. “A local jurisdiction may: (1) adopt time, place and manner rules … including rules that reasonably limit density of licenses and operating times consistent with neighborhood uses; …” (emphasis added). Therefore, Ordinance 21-06 does not conflict with state law.

From Mick Harper:

  • “…outright ban that puts the village at odds with state law.”

Fact: This is false; see above. Also, note that on November 10, 2021, Los Ranchos passed Ordinance 282 about 2 months before Corrales passed Ordinance 21-06, a similar but less restrictive ordinance.

From Mel Knight:

  • “…people…campaigned with a flyer promoting a total ban on growing cannabis…”

Fact: The flyer promoted banning commercial cannabis operations in residential A1 and A2; it did not advocate a “total ban.”

  • “To say, ‘I don’t like this law, so I don’t have to abide by it’ is scary to me [Mel Knight].”

Fact: When New Mexico passed the Cannabis Regulation Act NMSA 26-C on June 29, 2021, our state government decided not to abide by federal law. Also, see above. Corrales is abiding by state law.

From Bill Vega:

  • “…their flyers and ads have blatantly misstated that Jim Fahey voted against…Ordinance 21-06…passed…in early January 2022. Jim Fahey was not a member of the council, and not even in the room when that ordinance was passed.”

Fact: On January 23, 2018, then Councillor Jim Fahey voted against Ordinance 18-002 banning cultivation of cannabis in residential A1 and A2 zones.

Again from Jim Fahey, “…you cannot ignore the truth and facts.…” I couldn’t agree more. Let’s focus on the facts.

Vicki Reder

Dear Editor:

I read with interest the mailer produced by the Kanin campaign, and I feel it needs some clarification. In 1990, John Callan was elected mayor, vacating his council seat. I was elected to fill that spot in a special election, and I was seated next to Councilor Gary Kanin. One of my first acts was to approve the ordinance that created the Corrales Bosque Preserve. This was done under Mayor Callan, not Mayor Kanin.

When Callan resigned, we on the council, following established procedure, voted to install Gary as mayor, rather than go through the expense of an election.

I was, at that time, the only mother on the council, and I had two notable experiences which informed me the village needed public space for our children. First, our kids were interested in playing soccer, but the only area where they could play was a field provided by a generous private landowner. What if that field was no longer available? Where would our kids enjoy their games?

The second involved the Corrales Elementary tradition of taking our kids to Rio Rancho’s Haynes Park for an end of school year picnic. We were setting up at one of the picnic tables when a woman approached us asking what school we represented. When told Corrales, she informed us the park was reserved for Rio Rancho schools. We were not welcome.

Sometime later, the Jones field came before the council with a plan to build 14 homes on the sheep pasture and a request for a zone change to commercial for the property fronting Corrales Road. The extensive green space was a gem in the center of the village, and I saw an opportunity to protect the land from development while providing recreational space for our children.

Everyone was opposed, even Gary. At $80,000 an acre, the Jones parcel was deemed too expensive for the village to purchase. The Parks and Recreation Commission drew up plans to put recreational activities on the Gonzales land north of the bank. One day, after dropping my kids off at school, I stopped by the Corrales Comment office to speak with editor Jeff Radford.

“I can’t do it, Jeff. No one wants to buy the Jones property.”

Jeff stared at me, pointing a finger at my face. “Don’t you give up, Chris. Don’t give up.” I will never forget that moment. The village owes Jeff their gratitude because I took his words to heart. I squared my shoulders and went back to the fight.

It took a lot of work to cobble together the support. I would grab people at the Post Office, at the grocery store, at coffee shops. I remember talking to Gary over iced tea at a restaurant. “It’s a capital investment,” I advocated. “The village can’t lose.” Finally, after much discussion, Gary got on board.

Next came the question of funding. I proposed the village purchase half of the property through a ten-year gross receipts bond issue. Someone asked at a council meeting if there was a way we could purchase the rest, and I suggested we challenge the community to raise the money. Scott Sibbett then created Corrales Rec, Inc., complete with the wooden thermometer on Corrales Road, and fundraising began in earnest.

Dear Editor,

The mailer issued by the Kanin campaign needs clarification. John Callan was elected mayor in

1990, vacating his council seat. I was elected to fill that spot in a special election, and I sat next

to Councilor Gary Kanin. Almost immediately, we approved the ordinance that created the

Corrales Bosque Preserve. Kanin was not installed by the council as mayor until a year later

when Callan resigned.

As for the Recreation Center, I was, at that time, the only mother on the council. Two

experiences led me to fight for public space for our children. First, our kids were playing soccer

on a field provided by a generous private landowner. Second, when we took our kids to Rio

Rancho’s Haynes Park for an end of school year picnic, we were told the park was reserved for

Rio Rancho schools.

When the Jones field came before the council with a plan to build 14 homes on the sheep

pasture and a request for a zone change to commercial for the property fronting Corrales Road,

I saw an opportunity to protect extensive green space, a gem in the center of the village, from

development while providing recreational space for our children.

Everyone was opposed, including Gary. At $80,000 an acre, the Jones parcel was deemed too

expensive for the village to purchase. Gary supported the Parks and Recreation Commission’s

plan to put recreational activities on the Gonzales land north of the bank.

One day, after dropping my kids off at school, I stopped by the Corrales Comment office to

speak with editor Jeff Radford. “I can’t do it, Jeff. No one wants to buy the Jones property.”

Jeff pointed a finger at me. “Don’t you give up, Chris. Don’t give up.” The village owes Jeff their

gratitude because I took his words to heart. I squared my shoulders and went back to the fight.

It took a lot of work to cobble together the support, grabbing people at the Post Office, at the

grocery store, at coffee shops. I spoke with Gary over iced tea at a restaurant. “It’s a capital

investment,” I advocated. “The village can’t lose.” Finally, Gary got on board.

I proposed the village purchase half the property through a ten-year gross receipts bond. When

asked at a council meeting how we could purchase the remainder, I suggested we challenge the

community to raise the money. Scott Sibbett created Corrales Rec, Inc., complete with the

wooden thermometer on Corrales Road, and fundraising began in earnest.

To give him his due, once Gary committed, he did get us $50,000 from Bernalillo County as well

as large donations from private individuals. That money paired with residents’ contributions

and jars of pennies from Corrales Elementary school children, allowed us to complete the

purchase in an exemplary example of public and private partnership.

It was hard, and there were times I left council meetings close to tears, but thanks to those who

worked to support me in initiating the project as well as those who raised the money, we have

a precious treasure in the heart of the village where residents can recreate and relax. It is

possible we could have had a center under Gary’s leadership, but it would have been a pale

substitute for what we have now.

Finally, I have no issue with an 89-year-old running for public office, I know people in their 90’s

still working. However, does Gary have the technological ability to manage a municipality in

2022? He told me in early February he doesn’t own a computer. When I asked if he had an

email address, he said he did. “They” would let him know when something came in. In addition,

it was clear during the zoomed candidate forums that an unknown person was coaching him on

the call.

We have a hard-working staff at the village, but it is small. Should they be expected to handle

his emails and zoom meetings? And, if he needs this type of help running a campaign, what

happens over the next four years if he gets the job. Will people unknown to the voters be

coaching him there as well?

I have had my differences with Jim Fahey. But with Jim, what you see is what you get. There is

no one behind the scenes manipulating him. I have seen him swayed with logic and facts. I can

live with that, so I will support him. I hope you do as well.

Chris Allen

To give him his due, once Gary committed, he plunged in, getting us $50,000 from Bernalillo County as well as large donations from private individuals. That money paired with residents’ contributions and jars of pennies from Corrales Elementary school children allowed us to complete the purchase in an exemplary example of public and private partnership.

ISSUE 2-19-22 GOLDEN YEARS

By Sarah Pastore

Executive Director, Village in the Village

A Belated Valentine: Love Abounds in Corrales

“You still haven’t met all of the people who are going to love you.” —Anonymous

The day that I’m writing this happens to be my birthday, a day that always provides me with an extra opportunity for reflection. As each year passes and affords me the chance to learn more about life and love, I think about all the different iterations of love I’ve learned so far. I think the world we all want to live in is fueled by love, but it’s not only about the kind we see highlighted in the greeting card aisle this month.

As small children, we realize the purest form of love; we give and receive it unguardedly. When my sons were toddlers, I watched them develop a profound adoration not just for me, my husband, and our extended family, but also for the UPS man, their preschool teachers, and within minutes of meeting a new friend at the park. The hearts of children run wild with abandon and the possibility of new experiences.

In the teen years, butterflies fill our stomachs with the first feelings of romantic love. We’re thrust into a new world of navigating these emotions and heartbreaks. We learn to guard our hearts and we learn that sometimes love hurts. Yet the hope of sharing life with a partner propels many of us to share our hearts anyway.

Throughout our adult years, we forge the bonds of friendship that carry us through marriage, babies, careers, divorce and loss. The stories that our lives write are filled with supporting characters who laugh and cry with us —some who may impact us greatly but briefly, and others who remain steadfast beside us for decades. The love of a friend is precious in ways that in some respects, surpasses the love of a partner.

In the senior years, love finds a new maturity from a lifetime of experiences. It’s this love that pours into grandchildren, comforts adult children facing a world of uncertainty, and looks for ways to “be the change” in this same unclear future. It’s a love that finds purpose and meaning in helping others now that career obligations have subsided. It’s a time to appreciate the fruition of work that we’ve put into relationships, and a time to evaluate the love we’ve shown to others that will someday be our legacy. Rather than being hardened by the ups and downs of life, I find that many seniors have hearts that once again run wild with abandon because they can truly appreciate the gift it is to love and be loved.

I’ve had the privilege to grow my career with Village in the Village over the past 4 years. My duties began by doing administrative work and have continued to evolve so that we can expand our impact in Corrales. In learning about our organization, what I’ve noticed the most over the years is how many of our members have created extremely meaningful friendships with each other. Through social activities (in person before the pandemic, and for now on Zoom) and services provided by our volunteers, our members form connections over shared experiences, mutual friends, and common interests.

The quote I began with —“You still haven’t met all of the people who are going to love you”— instantly reminded me of Village in the Village. It didn’t occur to me until reading the quote that this organization is made up of people filled with love to share—with their friends, neighbors, and community. When our members need each other —from experiencing an unexpected injury to the loss of a spouse— they show up for each other. They’re among the first to ask, “How can I help?” I’ve seen them do it time and time again, not only for people who have become their friends, but for new ViV members they’ve never met.

This outpouring of love among ViV members is not only beautiful to see, but a true gift to Corrales. Right here in our village, we have a group of people willing and ready to help each other with life’s challenges and celebrate each other’s joys. They’re a network of dedicated and dynamic individuals, and the love and care that they show our community is why Corrales is a place I’m proud to call home.

Do you have extra love to give? Could you use a little extra love in your life? I think I know just the group for you. Find out more at http://www.villageinthevillage.org, or call (505) 274-6206.

ISSUE 02-19-22 MOVIE REVIEW

Jackass Forever Directed by Jeff Tremaine. Starring Johnny Knoxville and His Dumb Buddies. Plugs: None. Nearest: Cottonwood Mall.

 Director Jeff Tremaine and Johnny Knoxville return for a fourth, and allegedly last, installment of the popular Jackass series in which Knoxville and his not-too-bright buddies engage in mild public property destruction and somewhat more serious personal bodily destruction.

Jackass relishes in shock, stupidity and plenty of shots to mens’ privates; this film features mixed martial arts UFC title holder Francis Ngannou punching one of the fellows in the testicles. Comedian Eric Andre, one of several B-list celebrities who appear in cameos, notes dryly at one point that “This is not a Mensa conference.”

 If stupid stunts are your thing, ranging from human cannonballs to stun gun stunts to a fat guy jumping into a cactus patch, this is your bag. Jackass Forever also makes use of a variety of vermin including snakes, scorpions, spiders and bees, used to menace the performers.

There’s lots of gross-out humor involving bodily fluids and substances (human and otherwise), and the film is definitely not for the squeamish. Not all of the segments in Jackass are dangerous stunts; some of them are simply Candid Camera-type pranks, with hidden cameras capturing bystanders’ reactions to crazy situations.

Amid all the outrageous, and occasionally disgusting, shenanigans, it’s easy to overlook the ingenious engineering skills brought to the film. While the segments and clips may only take 20 seconds or a minute to watch, actually designing and testing the stunts to make them dangerous but not lethal involves a lot of work and preparation. A scene where farts are lit on fire is captured through a semi-scientific contraption that would not be out of place on Mythbusters, while some of the stunts were presaged by reality shows such as Fear Factor.

 One interesting aspect of the series is the use of meta-narrative. In addition to the stunts, which are pretty straightforward, there are also pranks —some of which are quite elaborate— played on both unsuspecting marks and cast members each other on the set, so it’s never really clear, at least until the end of the sketch, what’s real and what’s not. The mixing of fact and fiction, genuine and ersatz threats, keeps the action interesting through the hit-and-miss series of sketches and stunts.

 Jackass began as a television series in 2000, and soon became a successful film franchise. By now the series has the feel of old friends —in both senses of the word— reuniting to see if they can still pull off the stunts from their salad days.

Most of the crew are back, including Steve-O and Chris Pontius (with the exception of Ryan Dunn, who died in a drunk-driving car crash in 2011). Jackass is an equal-opportunity offender and makes use of a variety of (mostly male) morphologies, from dwarf Wee Man to morbidly obese Preston Lacy. In an attempt to bring in some new blood, as it were, the crew have gotten a bit more diverse, with female Jackass participant Rachel Wolfson and a few African-American buddies as well.

 Knoxville has stated that he plans no more entries, though the call of cash may prove otherwise. For those curious about the skater stunt origins of the Jackass series, check out the documentary Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine, available on Hulu. I make no apologies for laughing out loud multiple times, punctuated by some groans and more than a few winces; Jackass Forever may be low-brow and not everyone’s cup of pig semen, but the film has an undeniable escapist appeal. 

Benjamin Radford

ISSUE 02-05-22 WHAT’S ON?

By Meredith Hughes

Only 28 days to whip through this month, masks in your pockets, hanging in the car, airing outside from the apple tree….still, on we go!

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

  • Dogs! Just opened February 5 at NM Museum of Natural History and Science. “Sniff out the science behind our puppy love! Let curiosity be your guide and discover life from a dog’s point of view in Dogs! A Science Tail, a richly interactive 9,000 sq. ft. exhibition for humans.” 1801 Mountain Rd.
  • The Annual Albuquerque Garden Center Rummage Sale is on, February 25 and 26, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Center, 10120 Lomas. Proceeds benefit the Council of ABQ Garden Clubs. (505) 296-6020.
  • New Mexico Museum of Art. Ansel Adams: Pure Photography, has just opened. The exhibition runs through May 22. It includes close-up nature studies, portraits, and views of architecture Adams made during the 1930s. 107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe.
  • Chatter Cabaret, February 27, at Albuquerque Museum, 5 p.m. W.A. Mozart Violin Sonata in F major, K. 377; Hannah Kendall Processional; Joan Tower Trés Lent; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Piano Trio in A minor, op. 50. With David Felberg, violin; James Holland, cello; Judith Gordon, piano. Food and drink to purchase. 2000 Mountain Rd.
  • Jewel Cases, through early April, celebrates “Albuquerque's incredible wilderness-urban interface and chronicles one man's daily explorations and the gems found on the way.” The artist is George Julian Dworin. Plus, Thoughts on the Rio Grande in Photographs and Haiku, also through early April. Works by Clarke Condé. “This series explores the great river and its surroundings as it passes through an ever-expanding city of Albuquerque..” Open Space Visitor Center, 6500 Coors. The Center is now open to the public Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • The University of New Mexico Art Museum reopens this month with “Mysterious Inner Worlds,” the first solo exhibition in New Mexico by Pakistan-born American artist and professor Anila Quayyum Agha. The exhibition from February 18 through July 2 features four sculptures activated by light, including the large-scale light installation titled Intersections (2014) and the debut of the sculpture Steel Garden (Red) (2021). Agha combines forms from Islamic architecture with her own concepts about patterns of sacred and worldly spaces. 203 Cornell Dr. NE.
  • Concerts? Shows? The long-awaited arrival of “Hamilton” has been delayed more than once, but right now you can buy tickets for the show, scheduled to appear in early May of 2023. We kid you not. Be upbeat and optimistic, ok? Check website regularly. https://www.popejoypresents.com/ Popejoy Hall, 203 Cornell.

Did You Know?

Yes, we all are tired of fending off COVID-19 and its pals.  But the Corrales Fire Department is tireless.  For news, updates, and assistance from the fire department team do visit http://www.corrales-nm.org/fire/page/covid-19-resources-health-and-resilience.

In Corrales

  • Early voting for Corrales municipal elections runs February 1-25, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Village Clerk's Office, 4324 Corrales Road. The actual Municipal Officer Election Day will be March 1 at the Corrales Recreation Center, 500 Jones Road. This polling location will be open 7am through 7pm. Please contact the Village Clerk, Melanie Romero, at 505-897-0502 or mromero@corrales-nm.org with questions.
  • Corrales Senior Center is closed for exercise and group activity, though meals will still be available for pick-up or homebound delivery. The Center plans to reopen February 21. 
  • Planning and Zoning Commission, February 16, 6:30 p.m.
  • Village Council meetings, February 8, 22, 6:30 p.m.
  • The Corrales Community Seed Library opens on February 8, thanks to the funding from the FOCL group, community donations, and volunteer contributions. “The seed library preserves rare, heirloom, or open-pollinated seeds and encourages our community to save quality seeds that are suitable to our growing area. Up to 15 seed packets may be borrowed from the seed library during a calendar year.

“To ensure as many people as possible can enjoy seeds from the Corrales Community Seed Library, we are limiting check-outs to one packet per variety. At the end of the growing season, borrowers may save seeds from their harvest, label them and return a portion of the seeds to the library during our hours of operation.”   And, for a recorded course in seed starting from Master Gardener Judy Jacobs, go here: https://tinyurl.com/tj9yjdbn

  • Corrales Bosque Gallery guest artist of the month for February is Laura Balombini of Red Paint Studio. A reception for Balombini at the gallery is on February 6, from 1 to 5 p.m., with COVID protocols in place.
  • Corrales Historical Society Speakers series, February 20, 2 p.m. Elizabeth Horodowich, professor of history at New Mexico State University, presents “When New Mexico was China.” Please note this talk likely will be via Zoom, but as so much is still being juggled COVIDly, it could well be rescheduled. ( The January 16 talk on the topic of “Los Arabes of New Mexico” was cancelled and is set to be rescheduled, one assumes.) So stay tuned….

This February talk explores how for hundreds of years after the Columbian voyages, Europeans believed that Asia and America occupied the same continent. “European cartographers and cosmographers understood the lands that are today the American Southwest and New Mexico to be near, or even overlapping with, China and India. Seemingly endless maps, narrative accounts, and images illustrate this phenomenon. Exploring these sources to better understand how and why early modern Europeans connected these two worlds allows us to see how ideas about New Mexico were at the heart of the very earliest European conceptions of globalization.”

  • Casa San Ysidro Museum is open again, and offering three February programs. “New Mexico's Money, Coins of the Colonists: 1536 – 1812,” February 12, from 1-4, with numismatic scholar, Rod Frechette, unfolds the history of Mexican coinage, contemporary US and European coinage, and Colonial (US) paper money. February 19, Blacksmithing Basics, 1:30 to 3:30. Plus three more classes through May. February 26, Heritage Spinning and Weaving – Fiber Prep, 1:30 to 3. This class features a special emphasis on fiber harvest and preparation using Churro wool. Participants will learn to wash, card, and comb wool in preparation for processing wool into yarn for domestic and commercial use. The first of eight different classes, one per month. Sign up via Aaron Gardner, agardner@cabq.gov, 505-898-3915.
  • Corrales Arts Center. Creativity in Photography, February 19, and March 19, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with Dennis Chamberlain. (Rescheduled from January 22.) Corrales Community Center, 4324 Corrales Road. Register at corralesartscenter.org
  • Music in Corrales, February 26, 7:30 p.m. American pianist Claire Huangci, winner of the first prize and the Mozart prize at the 2018 Geza Anda Competition, performs. This concert already is sold-out. “Due to public health considerations, we have limited ticket sales to a smaller-than-normal capacity for the Old San Ysidro Church; this concert has reached that limit. If at some point we can safely increase the seating, we will re-open ticket sales, so please check back periodically for availability.” Lance Ozier 505-899-8830
  • Corrales Library. Author series, February 22, 7 p.m. with Barbara Kotulska-Haskin, author of “How My Brain Works.” Plus, Thursdays at 6 p.m. Spanish Conversation. Please contact Sandra Baldonado for Zoom event details. sandra@corraleslibrary.org T
  • Corrales Growers’ Market. Sunday, February 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Village in the Village. Focussed primarily on helping Villagers, more than social events, until Omicron and its ilk are booted out. Call 274-6206 or email corrales.viv@gmail.com.

ISSUE 02-05-22 LETTERS AND OPINIONS

Dear Editor:

There are apparently some people in the Village of Corrales anxious over an ordinance they successfully influenced the Village Council to pass… although it conflicts with state law. It is now the “law of the land” in the village until the state or a judge says otherwise. The position of the mayor as the executive is to enforce and defend the ordinances.

As mayor I would enforce and defend the Village ordinances approved by the Village Council and by extension, the citizens of Corrales. The recently passed ordinance that does not allow commercial cannabis production in the village will be enforced and defended.

As a professional person and one without cognitive deficiencies, I resent and question the thought processes of those who claim to know what I am thinking or what I would do in any situation. I am honest, truthful and tell you what I know after research and careful consideration. People aren’t always happy with the truth, but reasonable people realize you can’t ignore the truth and facts… unless you don’t care and make your own truth.

I’m running for mayor of the entire village of Corrales and all the citizens. Hopefully, we can all come together and do what is best for the village.

Jim Fahey

Dear Editor:

My first impression from attending a Village Council meeting was “Wow! These people are smart... and well informed, care about their town, and for all of their spirited disagreements, seem to know we are all in this together.” Or, something like that.

That night was well over a week and a half ago. I’ve witnessed many civic disputes and concurrences since then, seen a few bad ideas kicked aside, seen a few gems grown from undistinguished beginnings, a few obvious common goals nursed along to fruition, then revised and reworked until all concerned seemed to realize we can never arrive at a perfect final answer, but we need to get along with life and avoid staring darts at one another whenever we cross paths at the post office or growers’ market.

My first impression from seeing the campaign mailer from Jonathan Dilts was that I was getting an official notice from the Village of Corrales. Else, why would it display the official seal of the Village? Further examination revealed the seal was appropriated to lend credence to a fevered screed built on all caps and underlined words and phrases, of exclamation points and underlining, and more than a bit of hysteria. And cannabis operations “immediately next to our homes!” Except for the 300-foot setback requirement, I suppose.

The notion that cannabis is the only issue facing the village is wide of the mark. Our exposure to lawsuits might never come back to haunt us, but why not examine reasonable and tough restrictions on cultivation and processing instead of an outright ban that puts the Village at odds with state law?

Sonoma County, California has a 1,000-foot setback requirement between residences and cannabis farms. I am not advocating wholesale emulation of every imaginable California custom, but they do a bit of agriculture there. And, I’m betting residents of Sonoma care as much as do Corraleños about the quiet enjoyment of their rural community. Property values, too.

And why indulge in litmus-test politics? To toss aside a long-time practitioner of public service in favor of a man who never reveals his own agenda or notions of what good governance involves? The list of critical issues is complete enough, but details are nowhere to be seen.

When my wife joined the Corrales Library Board in the 1980s, Mel  Knight had already been on the FOCL board for many years. She’s been an active member of the equestrian community for years, served on the Planning and Zoning Commission (not a spot for glory-seekers, I can personally attest), and has served well as District 3 councillor.

Vote to re-elect Mel Lawlor Knight for District 3 councillor.

Mick Harper

Dear Editor:

Our compliments on the article on the restoration of the contents of the old-time capsule in your last issue. As residents of Corrales, it’s wonderful to realize we have talent working with Mayor Roake, such as Mary Davis, Kitty Tynan and Anne Van Camp.

Of course, not all “old-time” things age as well. Things such as attempts at voter manipulation. One can easily ask, “Do some folks think we’re so easily manipulated?

For instance, consider the recent antics of a small but vocal shadow group that has been seeking to manipulate Corrales voters: this group hides its funding sources, twists the facts, misleads voters with bogus, official-looking mailers, and offers up candidates ill-prepared to govern our Village. For example:

  • A glossy “petition” mailed to Corraleños that contained untruths and trades on ill-founded fear of the State of New Mexico’s legalization of marijuana. This group was unwilling to reveal the dollars behind the petition and used misleading information regarding who controls the issue of commercial marijuana growth (leaving the Village open to an expensive lawsuit).
  • Peddling that “petition” with its inflated, unverified signatures to intimidate Village councillors with distorted “voter” numbers.
  • Identical election mailers deployed right now against two current council candidates, disguised as an official Village document by unauthorized use of the Village seal.
  • “Flash mobs” besieging Village Council meetings echoing orchestrated lies.
  • The multiple appearances of a former Village councillor (who was never elected in a contested election) sermonizing, then excoriating the Village Administration.

The only remedy is to tug back the curtain on these deceptive practices by thinking critically and carefully reading the material that clutters our mailboxes. These tactics must fail. We do not want or need this disruptive, misleading, “dark $$” type of governance in Corrales! So, vote!

If Gary Kanin and his backers win the mayoral election, you can be sure there will be more antics to come. We have seen tactics like these this play out at the national level and do not want to see it happen in our village.

We urge you to reject these efforts and join so many Corraleños in supporting Jim Fahey for mayor. Jim Fahey brings the experience, integrity and continuous community involvement that will guide us into the future. He will use reason, not scare tactics to address complex issues, and will listen to all sides before he acts. And he will act in the best interests of this village. In other words, he will govern.

Gary Sims and Terry Eisenbart

Dear Editor:

I am writing today to ask my fellow citizens of Corrales to join me in supporting my friend Jim Fahey as the next mayor of our village. I know him to be honest, straight forward and diligent.

I also know that he values the rural agrarian lifestyle of Corrales because that is the lifestyle he lives.

His experience as a surgeon assigned to the University of New Mexico and the Veterans Administration provides the medical background important to the villages’ continuing climb out of the COVID pandemic. While we all hope that scourge will be over before the next mayor is sworn in, I expect that it will be a major concern in the Village of Corrales for several years to come.

Jim Fahey has the experience necessary to assure that the Village takes advantage of the financial opportunities available due to current federal funding and the State’s financial surplus. His experience in Village government is unmatched. For the last 16 years, since 2006, he has been a fixture in Corrales government, serving on the Corrales Council (2006 – 2020); as director and chair at the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority, (2010 to the present) and at the Corrales Growers Market (manager and member).

Notably, 2006 is the last time his opponent served in Village government. Jim Fahey’s current experience with bond issues and infrastructure financing will assure that we get our fair share.

Finally, Fahey believes in open, collaborative government, that considers all sides of the issues. I have observed that he listens to all parties’ concerns, even when he personally disagrees, and supports the decisions reached, even when he voted the other way. In today’s political climate, there may be no more relevant characteristic.

Jim Fahey truly cares about Corrales. Thank you for taking the time to consider this endorsement. Let’s elect Jim the next mayor of Corrales.

Robert J. Martinez

Dear Editor:

In his “commentary” in Corrales Comment’s January 22, 2022 issue, former Village Councillor George Wright opines at great length about the so-called “ban” on commercial cannabis operations in Zones A-1 and A-2 and its import for the upcoming mayoral election.

Indeed, the self-named “Concerned Corraleños” did mobilize a lot of signatures with expensive mailers, posters, scare tactics and misinformation. But they remained completely closed-mouthed about who was behind the “campaign” and whose big bucks were funding it.

I personally was appalled at this lack of transparency, and when I asked about who they were and their sources of funding, former Village Planning and Zoning Commissioner Frank Wirtz declined to answer.

This is the same style and misinformation you can expect if former Mayor Gary Kanin and —more to the point—his enablers like Wirtz and Wright get their hands on Corrales Village government. Hidden agendas, misinformation, no transparency. Which is not a good look for our Village government.

Jim Fahey served three terms as Village councillor representing Council District 5, my district. I always found him to be transparent, blunt and reasonable. He listened well anytime I raised an issue with him, explained his position, and could change his mind when he saw other sides to issues.

He has proven himself to be someone who cares deeply about this village, and I have no doubt that he will govern our Village with everyone in mind, explaining what he’s doing as he works to build consensus and good policy. And I also have no doubt he will enforce the current council ordinance banning commercial marijuana production in A-1 and A-2 as it stands. Until he —or Gary Kanin if he wins— has to defend Corrales in an expensive lawsuit using our tax dollars.

George Wright in his commentary also tries to make out Mel Knight as the “one” holdout against his agenda. But unfortunately, the circus around the petition conveniently ignored the fact that cannabis policy is set at the state level, and unfortunately again, the councillors voting for that misguided petition have indeed opened up the Village to risk of an expensive lawsuit. Mel Knight was correct —and brave— to vote against the ordinance.

So villagers, we actually have a stark choice in the upcoming mayoral election: “dark” money, misleading information, and a small cabal of folks who prefer not to operate in daylight, propping up a former mayor who did a lot of good several decades ago but who has been out of public life for almost that long ever since. Versus an intelligent, thoughtful neighbor who’s dedicated much of his energy to strengthening our Village. Please consider voting for Jim Fahey.

He’s a much better choice for our village.

Mary Ellen Capek

Dear Editor:

A new tenor: outcome-based legislators.

Our most vulnerable population is our children. We as parents and as a society try to protect them from harm. The greatest harm they may incur, of course, is death. The CDC’s 2020 report shows the various causes of death for all age groups. I would hope that we, as a society, might prioritize protection of children from death as one of our priorities, if not the No.1 priority.  Let us say we formed a task force to reduce if not eradicate that No.1 cause of child deaths. We gather experts in the areas of disease, public health, public health law and all manner of learned people who have familiarity with the problem as well as potential solutions, perhaps even ones that already showed promise from within and outside of our country.

The task force comes up with recommendations and suggests implementing them, say, for one year, to see if they worked, i.e., were associated with a reduction in child deaths. If they were, great. If they weren’t, we can disband the interventions. Sounds reasonable? I would think so.

Task force members would be based on their expertise and not their political affiliation.  All we want to see is a reduction in child deaths.

If we look at that leading cause of child deaths and add the adults who also died of that same cause, there were over 40,000 such deaths in 2021. If our task force were to look for possible interventions elsewhere and saw Japan had only 76 deaths for their entire country from the same cause, there may be important life-saving information to glean from our neighbors across the Pacific.

This dramatic difference in death totals by a factor of over 500x, and the No.1 cause of child death in America, is …firearms.  And, all of a sudden, we as a society who had been on board to deferring to the expert task force, is now, you should pardon the expression, up in arms. Or maybe not.

Perhaps the gravity of the situation in our country, and how successful another country can be, might allow some dispassionate and constructive dialogue to grow. Perhaps we, as the electorate, can insist our representatives, regardless of their political stripe, focus on solutions to the social ills that affect all of us, rather than perpetuating divisions between us by the tenor of their discourse. If we insist on outcomes-based legislation, our legislators, regardless of “D,” “R”, or “I” after their names, may sharpen their pencils a bit more, and become outcomes-based legislators.

Michael Baron

Dear Editor:

My name is Charles Thomas, and for the past ten years, I have had the pleasure of working for, and with James Fahey, candidate for mayor of Corrales. During this time, Fahey has served the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority in the role of board director and chairman, and has been actively involved in most aspects of providing flood control solutions for the entire jurisdiction.

Fahey has supported actions by SSCAFCA to prioritize flood control projects but also encourages staff to work closely with the other public and private entities to develop positive solutions to flood problems that benefit all involved.

He has proven to be a quick study, and consistently asks questions to help him better understand the world of flood control provided by a public agency and continues to build his knowledge to make better, more informed decisions.

It is clear from my interactions with him that he has a strong desire to help people. One of the common statements I have often heard from him is “What do you need from me?” In my view, this is a strong indicator of “servant leadership,” of someone who is not too important to do the little things, even if they are inconvenient. As an example, SSCAFCA often needs  documents and checks signed by a board director, and many of these are time-critical. Fahey has never shirked this  responsibility, and has always made himself available, even on short notice, to drive to our offices in Rio Rancho and sign the needed paperwork, even if it is only a single item.

When Jim Fahey comes into the office, he makes a point to greet staff on his way in and out, and frequently stops to chat with them. This indicates to me that he has a genuine interest in the SSCAFCA staff and their continued well-being. Speaking for myself, I truly appreciate this as an individual and as the administrative head of the agency that he serves as an elected official.

In closing, if asked to describe Jim Fahey in three words, I would say he is fair, decisive and personable. I have enjoyed engaging with him through the years, whether the discussion involved the detailed analysis of a recent storm event or the best way to cultivate tomato plants. I believe Jim Fahey will make an excellent mayor for the Village of Corrales.

Charles Thomas,

SSCAFCA executive director

Dear Editor:

It is becoming increasingly evident that Jim Fahey’s opposition consists of a small group of people who have drafted a figure from the past, created a one-issue election scenario and are attempting to ride his coattails to gain control of the Village.

Their efforts have reached the point where their flyers and ads have blatantly misstated that Jim Fahey voted against the ban on commercial cannabis in Corrales’ residential zones. This ban (Ordinance No. 21-06) was passed by the Village Council in early January 2022. Jim Fahey was not a member of the council, and not even in the room when that ordinance was passed. The opposition campaign is creating a deliberate misrepresentation in pursuit of its narrow agenda.

There are many challenges and opportunities ahead for our village. Cannabis may turn out to be one. But the restriction banning the growth and processing of cannabis in Zones A-1 and A-2 is now Corrales law. Fahey has stated he is fully committed to support, enforce and defend the will of the people as expressed by that law. I believe that he is the one candidate with the energy and capabilities to carry that out.

But our next mayor can’t be a “one trick pony.”  There are a number of important areas —agriculture, economic, environmental, infrastructure— where the mayor’s leadership will be necessary to move the Village forward in the 21st century in a manner consistent with our cultural heritage.

Jim Fahey has the current skills, the commitment, the vision and the integrity to be that leader for Corrales. I urge you: Vote competency. Vote vitality. Vote Fahey.

Bill Vega

Dear Editor:

We write in support of the mayoral candidacy of Jim Fahey. Jim has a long history of public service in the village and in Sandoval County. As a retired surgeon, he brings many strong and valuable traits to the job of mayor: experience, focus, determination and commitment.

We strongly encourage our fellow citizens to vote for Jim Fahey for mayor of Corrales!

Gary Miller and Valerie Beaman

Dear Editor:

Whether they admit —or tout— it or not, all candidates (and non-candidates) who do not favor the ban do in fact favor commercial intensive cannabis greenhouses next door.

Some candidates might say they favor “family” backyard commercial cannabis greenhouses, but allowing these necessarily means allowing intensive cannabis greenhouses, which can easily fit in most Corrales backyards, and mega-scale greenhouses on bigger lots. 

Given the Cannabis Regulation Act passed by the legislature this spring, the “family” and the intensive and the mega greenhouses are inextricably linked.

The smaller can’t be allowed without also allowing the intensive and big.

So, the ban is very much an either/or situation.  Corrales either allows commercial cannabis greenhouses —smaller and larger, intensive and not— in A-1 and A-2 or it does not.

For the last 6 months, the Village Council, Village Hall, attorneys and the public have been working to find a best stance. Many, if not most, council meetings during that time have had commercial cannabis in residential neighborhood as part of the agenda.  Work study sessions have been dedicated specifically to that.

At council meeting discussions, many residents would offer opinions and suggestions. The large majority of public input was in favor of the ban. For example, on January 4, 16 persons from the public spoke, with 14 in favor of the ban and 2 against.

At the end of the six-month deliberation process (which was during a special moratorium, affording the governing body —and public— extra time to consider the issues) on January 4, two different proposals were before council to consider and possibly approve one or the other or none.  Proposal No.1 from several councillors banned commercial cannabis operations in A-1 and A-2 zones; this re-instituted Ordinance 18-02, which was approved by council four years ago. 

Proposal No.2 from Village Hall and its attorneys was just as restrictive as Proposal No.1 for lots less than eight acres in size but allowed greenhouses of unspecified size and unlimited cannabis plant numbers on larger lots than that.  Council voted 5-1 in favor of Proposal No.1.

 Like it or not, both Proposals No.1 and No.2 amounted to either allowing intensive commercial cannabis operations in residential neighborhoods or not allowing them.  The only way that any commercial cannabis operations would have been allowed in A-1 and A-2 would have been to reject both proposals, which council did not do.

So, the candidates now are either for the ban or are not for the ban; if the latter, they are in favor of allowing intensive cannabis operations in residential neighborhoods and mega-sized operations on larger lots.

Because of its ample property lot sizes and wide-open fields and Village policy of not taxing cannabis producers, Corrales is attractive to commercial growers, who might or might not reside in the village. Some people will make a profit but at the expense of surrounding neighborhoods’ quality of life and property values. 

Currently, we have a ban but it is only as good as it is supported by the governing body in the future.

Questions: Would you want commercial cannabis production next door? If not, please vote for the candidates who support the ban. Ask candidates, “Are you for or are you against the ban?”

  Fred Hashimoto

Dear Editor:

George Wright and Andy Dilts, would like you to believe that I don’t care about the villagers in Corrales, and that I want cannabis growing in residential areas. I don’t.

On January 4 in the special meeting of the Village Council, I explained to everyone in the Zoom meeting that I supported the 300-foot. setback amendment that our Village Attorney, Municipal League attorney as well as citizen attorneys were in favor of.

I stated that I was also worried about the smell, water usage, lights, fencing and increase of crime surrounding the growing of cannabis. I also made a comment about how difficult it was to vote on this issue because an organized group of people (never identifying themselves) campaigned with a flyer promoting a total ban on growing cannabis that would violate New Mexico State law.

Backing the total ban on cannabis and this petition were law enforcement officials, retired veterans and elected officials. I can’t fathom how these civil servants could suddenly decide that they will only obey laws they like and they don’t have to obey laws they don’t like. In our Constitution there are ways to change laws, but to say “I don’t like this law, so I don’t have to abide by it” is scary to me. When I took office in 2018, I took an oath to follow the laws of the State of New Mexico. This oath is important to me.

I’ve lived in Corrales for 37 years and have been on numerous Village boards and commissions. Dilts has lived here for eight years and has not donated any of his time to Corrales organizations.

At this time in politics, people will tell half truths to get what they want.

There are political playbooks that foster “do anything to win.”

I trust in the villagers I’ve worked with over 37 years to know myintentions and to realize I have, and will continue to work for Corrales’ best interests.

As Mayor Jo Anne Roake stated in her Friday address to the villagers, the ordinance that was passed on January 4 about cannabis is now the law. She stated in her message that the Village will rigorously defend the rule of law and so will I.

I just thought there was a better way to accomplish the goals we wanted to achieve.

Mel Knight

Dear Editor:

I don't think Jim Fahey should be elected mayor. Period. He’s been a booster for outsized development in Corrales for as long as he’s lived here, following a move from Texas where development goes largely unregulated.

In 2008, he voted to effect a zoning change to M (Municipal) from A-1 (Residential). The Corrales Planning and Zoning Commission had denied the change request by the owner who wanted to lease the residential home and over-sized garage at 7227 Corrales Road to a charter school, and this required the zoning designation of “M.”

The property is at the corner of Corrales Road and Camino de Todos los Santos, a hazardous intersection approached by a blind curve when heading north.

Contrary to the Corrales Comprehensive Plan, and rooted in irregularities and political favoritism from the get-go, the drive for spot zoning and large-scale development spawned a great deal of division and acrimony between village residents. I reside close to the property, and opposed this poorly-conceived plan, along with many neighbors and residents of the village in general. I particularly remember the expression on Jim Fahey’s face, a mixture of glee and malice, as he voted “Yes” to favor the developer and the proponents of the charter school.

The school’s charter application planned on a student body numbering 180, potentially a very large influx of traffic to an already over used and narrow road. The charter school board was eventually stymied in its goal due to an inadequate site development plan, which was rejected by the Corrales P&Z Commission.  Things finally came down to earth, and at the risk of losing its charter due to the delay of development approval and for the lack of a fit location, the school decided to locate in a vacant school building outside of the village.

The over-leveraged developer then requested that his initial plea for rezoning to M be reversed back to A-1 Residential and the council duly granted his request.  The property at 7227 Corrales Road remains a single-family residence and the irrigated land it sits on is the daily winter grazing home for a great many Sandhill Cranes and other migratory birds. 

Jim Fahey brooks no discontent, a my-way-or-the-highway kind of personality. According to my recent correspondence with former councilor Ennio Garcia-Miera, whose second term ended in 2020, an ethics bill he sponsored, one designed to curb counsel corruption, received a “No” vote from councilor Jim Fahey, who it seems doesn’t believe in oversight or accountability.

It’s also of interest that Jim Fahey has twice been deferred to in his bids for election: once by Sayre Gerhart, who chose not to seek a second term in 2012 as councillor for District 5, leaving the field open Jim Fahey to run in her stead, and now, with current mayor Jo Anne Roake stepping aside for a run at a second term and leaving the field open to Jim Fahey yet again. These actors are working in concert and shifting power between themselves, and to what ends?

Garcia-Miera was a newly elected councillor when he joined a majority of councillors in voting against then-mayor Phil Gasteyer’s nomination of Fahey for the Planning and Zoning Commission during the interregnum when Fahey was out of power. The nomination closely followed the pair’s disastrous and failed scheme to spot zone farmland for large scale development at 7227 Corrales Road.

Garcia-Miera also confirmed my observation that at a Village budget meeting, when he asked Jim Fahey where he got a monetary number he was floating, Councillor Fahey replied derisively, crudely stating on the record “I pulled it out of my ass.” What are the many other things Jim Fahey will be pulling if elected mayor?  

Please support the opposition candidate and former mayor Gary Kanin's bid for the mayoral seat.

Adrian Panaro

ISSUE 1-22-22 COMMENTARY

By George Wright

The 2022 municipal election is very important to conserving our lifestyle, quality of life, and legacy. In 2018, the Village Council passed a law (Ordinance 18-002) that banned commercial cannabis operations in Zones A-1 and A-2, the areas of the village where we have our homes.

Based on faulty input from the Village Attorney, the council revoked that 2018 law in August 2021. Corraleños, through petition and through their elected representatives, spoke out. The council realized its mistake, and during a special meeting on January 4, 2022, it reinstated a law that bans commercial cannabis operations in Zones A-1 and A-2.

The council vote was 5:1 in favor of the ban with Councillor Mel Knight of Council District 3 the only dissenter.

Councillor Knight is standing for re-election in March, and her opponent is Jonathan A. (Andy) Dilts. Andy shares a view of cannabis with the 1,200 persons who signed the petition to ban commercial cannabis in residential areas.

Councilor Knight does not share a similar protective view. She claimed that a residential protective ordinance violated state law, however she did not articulate why a ban would be against the law. Our neighbors in Los Ranchos have implemented a similar ban and they obviously feel it comports with state law and is defendable against legal challenges, and an independent legal assessment by a premier N.M. attorney firm also agrees that the ban will stand up to legal challenges.

I support Andy Dilts for District 3 Councillor. I believe that he will strongly support the legislation enacted by the council on January 4, and will defend it should the ban be the subject of subsequent litigation against the Village.

In the history of the Village’s struggle against Corrales becoming the “Commercial Cannabis Capitol of New Mexico,” there have only been two other councillors who have not voted in favor of ordinances which ban commercial cannabis operations where we live, and which were thankfully and  ultimately enacted into law.

In 2018, Jim Fahey was one of two councillors who voted against Ordinance 18-002; the other was Ennio Garcia-Miera who no longer lives in Corrales. But Jim Fahey does live here and is running for mayor.

I am concerned that as mayor, Fahey would scuttle the good efforts of 1,200 constituents and five councillors who loudly expressed support for the legislation that bans commercial cannabis operations in residential areas. I am concerned that he will not strongly defend the law, if at all, should it be legally challenged, and he has a long legacy of favoring marijuana’s growth and production.

On numerous occasions, Fahey has expressed favoritism toward the cannabis industry’s growers and manufacturers. In addition to his 2018 votes against Ordinance 18-002, the following are some snippets of his past positions.

In a 2017 council meeting, he said, “The Village of Corrales is an agricultural community. You put a seed in the ground, it grows, it becomes a plant. Regardless of what list cannabis is on, it’s a plant.” I agree with Jim, when it is put into the ground a seed usually does grow into a plant.

But cannabis is not defined as “agriculture” anywhere in the N.M. Cannabis Regulation Act, nor in any other state or federal statute. In fact, at the federal level, the 2008 Farm Act declared hemp an agriculture product, but cannabis remained a Schedule I Controlled Substance. Following Fahey’s logic, hemlock and belladonna are plants too, but I also would not want them commercially produced on a lot next door.

When a councillor, Fahey was asked by constituents to help with the nuisances caused by the medical cannabis facility in his district in the north part of Corrales. He basically told neighbors that there was nothing that could be done to abate the odors, traffic and other problems, because he considered it a grandfathered-in, done deal, which was probably not totally the case. Even if the facility was legitimate at the time, Fahey apparently never offered to do anything to help resolve neighborhood complaints.

When constituents in his district asked for help to fight a proposed medical cannabis operation on a four-acre tract adjacent to their rental and other properties, his solution, according to the constituents, was to quit answering their calls and emails. That’s when Councillor Pat Clauser and I thought that such a solution was not a good one, and we began the long, but productive process of getting a council majority to enact Ordinance 18-002.

After that law was passed, the medical cannabis company pulled out and sold out. Instead of a cannabis facility next door, neighbors now see a well-done home that aptly fits with the prevailing architecture.

Jim Fahey’s record indicates that he likely won’t lift a finger, phone or pen to defend the ban on commercial cannabis operations in residential areas, and may instead work to repeal it. Gary Kanin is the only mayoral candidate who has indicated that he will work to keep our residential areas free from commercial cannabis operations.

Mayor Kanin was good for the Village before, and he will be good for the Village again. I strongly support Kanin for Corrales!

By Scott Wilber
Executive Director, New Mexico Land Conservancy

Following on the heels of her “30x30 Executive Order” earlier this fall to conserve at least 30 percent of the state’s land and water in order to “protect New Mexico’s lands, watersheds, wildlife and heritage,” Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham recently announced that the State will pursue a $50 million general obligation bond in the upcoming 2022 legislative session to provide much needed dedicated funding across multiple state agencies for a variety of existing land conservation, natural resource management and restoration programs.

The Land of Enchantment (LOE) Bond will be one of the governor’s signature agenda items in the 2022 legislative session and will supplement ongoing efforts to sustain and support New Mexico’s watersheds, wildlife, natural and working lands, scenic beauty and world-renowned outdoor recreation.

The LOE bond would be funded by a modest increase in state property taxes of about $2 per New Mexico household over the next 25 years. If passed during the legislative session, the bond proposal will appear on a statewide ballot for approval or rejection by New Mexico voters in November 2022.

This is exciting news —and, really, the culmination of the ongoing, collective efforts of many different conservation, wildlife, agricultural and outdoor recreation organizations going back almost 20 years— to establish dedicated state funding specifically for conservation in New Mexico. One of the important programs the bond funds would hopefully support is the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, designed to support conservation easements, restoration, forest health and watershed management projects.

This program, administered by the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, unfortunately has received no funding since its creation in 2010.

Without dedicated state funding, New Mexico misses out on millions of dollars through federal conservation and natural resource management grant programs that require non-federal matching funds.  State funding would enable state land and natural resource management agencies, tribes, soil and water conservation districts and non-profit conservation organizations to access more of this federal funding.

To adequately address the myriad of challenges currently facing our state —and offset the impacts to our watersheds, forest health and water supply, wildlife and working lands caused by growth and development, prolonged drought and climate change, and increased wildfire—  we need to fund more land conservation, restoration and better management of public, tribal and private lands. Meeting the goals of “30x30,” particularly at larger watershed and landscape scales, simply cannot be achieved through more public land acquisition alone.

Anyone looking at a land ownership map of New Mexico can see that roughly 40 percent is public, 10 percent is tribal and the remaining 50 percent is private, and also see how intertwined these ownerships are.  Rivers, wildlife, cultural resources and scenery don’t just stop at boundaries between public and private land.

Watersheds, in particular, consist of multiple, different ownerships and jurisdictions across the state and, therefore, conservation and restoration efforts need to be managed in an integrated and coordinated fashion, but sometimes with different approaches and solutions.  “30x30” was never intended to just be a public lands initiative and, if it becomes only that in New Mexico, it will alienate a large portion of the population.

Conservation, restoration, agricultural and outdoor recreation groups have been working on and waiting for years for dedicated state funding for the important work that they collectively do. A bond like this will help state agencies, tribes, political subdivisions of the state, as well as non-profit organizations to leverage more federal funding to protect and restore New Mexico’s land and watersheds, improve wildlife habitat and connectivity, prevent land fragmentation, and support healthy land and natural resource stewardship across the state for the benefit of all New Mexicans.

Land and water conservation is essential to the health of our watersheds, ecosystems and natural resources, and fundamental to the welfare of our local communities and economies, and our overall well-being.  We are encouraged by this proposed conservation funding initiative and the governor’s commitment to addressing these timely and urgent issues facing New Mexico today.

 

 

ISSUE 1-22-22 MOVIE REVIEW

Spider-Man: No Way Home  HHHHH Directed by Jon Watts. Starring Tom Holland and Alfred Molina. Plugs: Too many to count. Nearest: Cottonwood Mall.

 Like many teenagers I was a fan of comic books, and my favorite superhero was Spider-Man. In fact Spider-Man is so popular that Marvel Comics had several different titles featuring the character, including Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Man Unlimited, Web of Spider-Man, and my favorite, The Amazing Spider-Man. The character has spawned a sprawling and lucrative (if understandably uneven) film franchise, of which Spider-Man: No Way Home is the latest installment.

 The film is cleverly self-referential, which is a function of both its plot and our current zeitgeist; more cinematic nostalgia can be found in the new version of Scream, for example. It’s also self-referential in that in the film, Spider-Man literally refers to several other Spider-Men, though to avoid spoilers I’ll say no more.

 Spider-Man: No Way Home isn’t the first of the franchise to have different versions of the main character appear in the same film; that was done —and very well, I might add— in the Academy Award winning 2018 animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The idea in fact goes back even further, being done a decade ago in Iron Man 2 when multiple Iron Men appeared together and teamed up, the idea presumably being that the only thing better than one superhero is more of that same hero.

The film’s multiple Spider-Men actually works as more than a gimmick, however, and brings unexpected humanity to the film.

 The film begins with Peter Parker being outed as the titular hero. I enjoyed how the film took its premise seriously and explored what would really happen if Spider-Man’s secret identity was revealed. We see Peter’s carefully-guarded secret being broadcast as news around the world, and soon TV news helicopters are circling the apartment he shares with Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). Reporters harass him wanting a comment, and (arguably even worse) the applications to MIT that Peter, his girlfriend MJ (played by Zendaya) and his buddy Ned (Jacob Batalon) have submitted are denied because of the controversy, which propels the plot.

 I admired the same element in Captain America: Civil War, which offered a real-world moral question: What if a team of superheroes existed, as an autonomous, extrajudicial entity? In the real world when a country threatens its neighbors or acts belligerently (thus threatening international security and world peace) there are various diplomatic sticks and carrots that can be employed to bring their leaders into line. Economic sanctions can be imposed or removed, foreign aid given or withheld, and so on.

But a team of superheroes have no such resources or internationally-recognized legitimacy: their method of control (or dispensing justice, if you prefer) is fighting, not avoiding fighting. Even heroes are —with all due respect— bullies in that they get what they want through violence and destruction. We all cheer because of course they’re on the side of truth and justice and using their powers against villains, but they are not peacemakers.

 The film is loaded, though not larded, with great Spidey villains including Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, Electro, and Lizard Man. Alfred Molina and Willem DaFoe make much of their brief but meaty parts as the first two, respectively. They are all together because through a botched spell cast by Doctor Strange (an always-watchable Benedict Cumberbatch) they have been plucked from alternative realities and show up here.

Strange appears now and then to help Spider-Man and his friends save the world —or at least help get them into graduate school. J.K. Simmons shot the film while on break from his Farmers insurance commercials, appearing briefly as Spider-Man’s longtime civilian antagonist J. Jonah Jameson. No longer at The Daily Bugle, the former editor is now a rabid Alex Jones-style social media sensation, gleefully stirring up trouble.

 Spider-Man: No Way Home has its share of flaws; like many of its ilk it’s a bit longer than it needed to be, and there’s a surfeit of “meet cute” banter. There are a few plot holes, none larger than the key question of whether to return the various villains back to their own parallel worlds. This ethical dilemma, which unfortunately anchors key plot points, is about whether to “send them back to die.”

But (at that point in the film anyway) it’s not at all clear that the villains would inevitably die —at least no sooner than anyone else. In fact this should be a no-brainer for Spider-Man, who has seen first-hand over the years how little these ruthless villains care for the innocent lives they routinely threaten. They may (or may not) die if sent back to their own worlds, but they will certainly kill countless innocent people if they do.

One is said to “go home and have a chance,” though it’s not clear at what, but it presumably includes killing lots of people, if his curriculum vitae is any indication. This pickle is wisely elided in favor of astonishing action sequences and spectacular special effects.

 I’ve usually disliked time travel films and stories because they often serve as a deus ex machina plot device, serving to create (or tidily wrap up) any conflicts or problems. The same applied to magic and multiverses, which are often used as a bit of a cheat and reduce the dramatic stakes. What’s the point of superheroes risking their lives to save the world if a simple magic spell or portal to another world can fix things and defeat the villains? (I’ve always felt the same about the Marvel superhero Thor; it’s a bit unfair to include an actual god to fight along with fallible, flesh-and-blood superheroes like Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Green Arrow —he is a god, after all, and has innate supernatural powers far beyond anything we puny humans could hope for.

It’s sort of like bringing a nuclear bomb to a knife fight. But whatever.

 Part of Spider-Man’s appeal is that he is caught between worlds: being an ordinary student by day and a web-swinging hero by night; trying to maintain relationships with girlfriends while needing to heed the call of duty at a moment’s notice.

Tom Holland captures this paradox perfectly and is one of the best actors to portray the character.  Overall, Spider-Man: No Way Home succeeds on many levels, bringing humor and heart to a franchise sometimes weighed down with pointless action and scattered subplots.

Benjamin Radford

ISSUE 1-22-22 GOLDEN YEARS

By Laura Smith

Transitions

Transitions are difficult. Since late 2014, on the third Thursday of each month, a group of volunteers have gotten together for the Village in the Village (ViV) board of directors meeting. Last month I said goodbye to the group after an almost seven-year stint. I hung up from the Zoom call with a mixture of emotions. I felt relief, gratitude, pride, and sadness. Here’s why.

Back in the fall of 2014, I retired from my practice of psychology and wanted to engage more with my community. A neighbor down the street coincidentally invited me to an information event about a new organization called Village in the Village (ViV). I was intrigued. After joining, another neighbor convinced me to become involved with the events committee for ViV. Before I knew it, I was invited to become a board member.

So, from early 2015 until December 2021, I dedicated almost every third Thursday of every month to ViV.

Back to my emotions upon leaving. I was relieved because there were occasions that being a board member could take considerable time. There were committee meetings to attend, applicants to be interviewed, handbooks to be updated, forms to develop and social events to attend.

Although I retired from the practice of psychology, I had not retired from my other job as an author. During those years, my husband, Chuck Elliott, and I wrote five new editions of our previously published books as well as a new book.

Those writing projects consumed more than a bit of time.

I felt grateful to have served on the board of ViV. Like many, I had lived in Corrales for a long time but knew only my immediate neighbors, other dog walkers and a few scattered friends. Being involved with ViV greatly enlarged my social circle. Whenever I shop for groceries, I inevitably find myself exchanging pleasantries with fellow ViV members. I am especially grateful for the experience of serving others through ViV.

Volunteering gives my life meaning and purpose.

I also felt proud. Proud of the many accomplishments of ViV, some supported by grants from Intel, and all involved volunteer effort. I’ll mention just a few.

  • Have you ever seen the bocce court at the recreation center? Open to all community members, ViV applied for and received a grant to build that court.
  • ViV started a medical equipment lending program (MELP) free to all Corrales residents. With the help of our wonderful Corrales Fire Department, a building was purchased to hold the many donated items. Need a walker, cane, or raised toilet seat? Maybe you had surgery or broke a bone. You can borrow sanitized, gently used equipment without cost. A friendly volunteer will even deliver any items you need to your home. Just call ViV’s number, 505-274-6206, and leave a message with your request.
  • Again, in concert with Corrales Fire Department, ViV obtained lock boxes so that emergency personnel can enter homes of vulnerable seniors who live alone without damaging expensive doors.
  • ViV purchased and constructed three “little libraries” that enhance our neighborhoods.
  • Finally, I am proud that because of dedicated volunteers, ViV has thrived and survived throughout COVID. Members continue to be driven to medical appointments, groceries are still delivered, and people meet regularly on Zoom to connect with each other.

Sadness also seeped in shortly after ending that last Zoom call. I already miss connecting with other members of the board. I loved watching the organization grow, planning and revamping procedures, getting involved in recruitment, and knowing that ViV helped many people stay in their Corrales homes.

Transitions are difficult. I look forward to continuing to be involved with ViV, but in a smaller role. My life, as has all of ours, changed during the last couple of years. I will be spending more quiet time reading, writing and connecting with friends and family.

Maybe, in the near future, we can all get together for a cup of coffee.

Laura Smith is a member and volunteer of ViV. You can learn more about the organization at http://www.villageinthevillage.org or call 505-274-6206.

ISSUE 1-22-22 LETTERS

Dear Editor:

A little note to thank you for publishing your great newspaper. The Comment keeps us COVID house-bound residents connected to the village, so you’re more appreciated now than ever before.

As a former newspaper reporter, I’m a real “news junkie!” I just wanted you to know how much we all look forward to each issue.

Blanche Fishel

Dear Editor:

As I drive through Corrales (yes, I am a Rio Rancho resident who “cuts” through but I also patronize many of your businesses), I am seeing a lot of signs about growing marijuana.

Clean Air for All Now (cafanow) supports any Corrales residents’ efforts to make their community a better place, a safer place. If the residents of Corrales are concerned about odors and chemicals originating from grow facilities, I also share their concerns.

Cafanow joins your efforts to discuss and support the concerns about the growth of marijuana in your village.

Will you join us in our efforts to ensure Intel is held to account for the over 250 volatile organic chemicals it uses and the 95 tons of hazardous air pollutants it emits into your home, soil and air?

Cafanow has been concerned about the odors, chemical and hazardous waste pouring out of Intel’s outdated cub scrubbers and thermal oxidizers for decades.

Villagers have tried to work with local, state and federal government agencies to hold Intel to account without success.

Villagers have previously asked for basic protection from a chemical plant that sits in their midst.

1) Intel currently holds a minor source permit, like a dry cleaner! Based on this impotent permit, there is no government oversight whatsoever. Intel uses more than 250 volatile organic compounds and emits 95 tons of hazardous waste. Nothing less than a major source permit should have been granted. The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) completely failed to protect the residents surrounding the Intel/Rio Rancho plant.

2) Intel is currently using old and outdated emissions abatement equipment. Cafanow is requesting Intel install new thermal oxidizers and cub scrubbers to make their hazardous chemicals a “little less” hazardous.

Let’s face it, no chemicals are safe. The best we can ask for is to minimize Intel’s chemicals that rain down on villagers on a daily basis.

The chemicals and hazardous waste Intel emits and the concern of marijuana growth in your village addresses the same issues: the health, well-being and property values of your residents.

Ask yourself: is it safe to live under a giant microchip facility that has no governmental oversight whatsoever? If Intel becomes a superfund site, will your home values increase or will Intel leave a giant mess behind as it did in Mountain View, California?

Is living next to a marijuana grow facility safe if they use insecticides and pesticides?

The answer to both is no.

Cafanow is not asking for the removal of Intel! Cafanow is hoping/praying NMED will do the right thing, what they are charged to do: protect the residents surrounding the Intel/Rio Rancho facility. NMED must award nothing less than a major source permit and require the installation of new and updated emissions abatement.

Intel can afford it!

Please join our efforts as we join yours! Go to cafanow.com and sign the petition. Our goal is to reach as many residents who live near and around the Intel/Rio Rancho plant of the dangers of the chemicals being used in their midst.

See our website: Cafanow.com, and  note our email address: cafanow @gmail.com

Marcy Brandenburg,

co-chair Clean Air for All Now

Dear Editor:

I agree with you, Johnny Martinez, it was “gracious” of Jeff Radford to publish your entire commentary (or was it a manifesto?). And that is the only thing I agree with.

If your commentary was meant to insult “newcomers” you have succeeded. You went on and on and on, about how things have changed since we newcomers have arrived. You said you are not the only Corraleño who feel this way. I am glad I was welcomed to Corrales by other Corraleños who do not feel as you do.

I moved to this area because it reminded me of where my dad grew-up in Colorado (“the Valley”). You not only insulted/slandered newcomers but the Village Council and also the mayor, (who many Corraleños voted for). Many of us believe Mayor Roake has done an excellent job as mayor, so she will be missed.

We seniors would like to think that things were better, “in-the-good-old-days.” Perhaps they were, but things do change, no matter where you live. The newcomers you have insulted are the people who have tried to assimilate into the community. Newcomers have supported the village not only monetarily but by giving of themselves (their time).

We newcomers have volunteered;   volunteered at the library, senior center (delivering meals, teaching classes, painting, etc.) the old San Ysidro Church (mudding), organizing events, Corrales Historical Society, Village in the Village and St. Nicholas party (keeping the memory of Evelyn Losack alive) as each year newcomers and Corraleños have baked mountains of cookies for the party. Years ago, when we were younger, we newcomers volunteered to clean-up Corrales Road and Loma Larga twice a year.  Newcomers have also volunteered/donated to the elementary school (school supplies, helped children improve reading skills, and helped pay for outstanding lunch bills).     

Newcomers are regulars at Perea’s, Village Pizza, Frontier Mart, Mercantile, Hannah & Nates, the Bistro Brewery and Sandia Bar when it was open. As well as the galleries, shops, etc.

If you were not so busy finding fault with others you might have noticed newcomers also call on the sick, deliver communion and food, give rides, etc. Instead of complaining I would like to suggest you volunteer/donate. Depending on the COVID restrictions; the school, church, graveyard, Senior Center, and Village in the Village can all can use  volunteers (garden work, cleaning, sanitizing).

Mr. Martinez what have you done lately to make the village a better place to live? Your “we-were-here-first” attitude is insulting not only to us newcomers but to the people who were “really” here first. I will go out on a limb and make a wild guess that centuries ago when Europeans were colonizing this area, someone else was here first. Just saying…. In short, things change! Get over it.

Dolores Chavez-Caballero Biehl

Dear Editor:

This is a needed follow up to my article that in the last issue of the Comment. If you did not read it, I encourage you to read “Elephant in The Room”.

Apparently, it struck a chord as I received numerous emails, was encouraged to run for office and I was even given a lead on securing the Corrales song. If I can get it, I’ll post it on YouTube for all to enjoy.

Here are non-edited excerpts from some of the emails I received:

—“What an unwelcome, and I would guess, prejudiced commentary you wrote. This is a Hispanic MAGA sermon. All was the garden of Eden until the expats (whites) came.”

—“Johnny, I greatly appreciated your recent article in the Comment.”

— “We don’t feel we can honestly call ourselves Correlenos if it's defined by a long family heritage in the village. However, if Correleño is defined by a close knit group of friends who care for each other, we would consider it an honor to proudly wear that term.”

—“Thanks for speaking out in a respectful but honest way.”

—“Many thanks for your essay. It was obviously heartfelt and the result of much reflection, as well as conversations with other long-time Corraleños.”

—“Outstanding article, Johnny.”

—“Thank You for your text. You mentioned your grandparents house burning and I recall that Sunday. My Aunt Sofia and I were walking back home when we saw the smoke. Tia Sofia and Trinidad Perea got together to see what they could do to help your grandparents.”

As I wrote in the previous article, my aim was to expose a contrast of community and culture. As I read the comments emailed to me, I can say that was accomplished, as evidenced by the vastly different takes on my writing. My emphasis was the contrast between people from here who shared community and concern for one another and some people who have moved in but care about their own interests at the expense of others and community harmony.

I never mentioned a resentment for people of any color moving into our village. If you read about our village history, you’ll learn some of our original families were Italian, French, German, and more; we even had a Black mayor. I encourage everyone living here to buy a copy of Mary Pietsch Davis’ book Hometown Corrales, a Family Album.” She wonderfully highlights much of what the different families contributed to Corrales. Let me be clear; bigots of all races are ugly. Race and culture can be vastly different.

Culture is tradition, spirit and personality. Corrales, let’s get back to a culture of “close knit group of friends who care for each other,” as one commented.

Again, I solicit comments, stories and ideas for more articles. You can write me at Corralesstories@gmail.com or by dropping off written correspondence in the Comment’s drop box at the start of the walkway to the office door.

Be well, be a good citizen —a Corraleño!

Johnny Martinez

Dear Editor:

Jim Crow 2.0?

Hell NO!

Support voter rights legislation.

Michael Baron

ISSUE 01-08-2022 LOS CABALLOS

By Steve Komadina

A New Year And New Direction?

Well, here we are 2022! Always a chance for new beginnings as we turn the calendar at the end of another year.

This is a column that talks about horses and the Corrales connection. It was started as an initiative of Corrales Horse and Mule People (CHAMP) to help horse and non-horse owners to think about living in a horse-oriented community.

The name of the column and initial essays were written by Nancy Nelson who was an active member of the board of CHAMP and an avid horse owner and rider. When Nancy ran out of ideas and topics, she asked me to continue writing the column. Many years later, I am still at it.

I have struggled all those years with the name Nancy gave the column. I often asked myself if the casual reader of the Corrales Comment had any idea of what it meant if they did not read Spanish.

“Corrales Para Los Caballos” “Corrales For The Horses.”

As I look to the New Year, it might be a good time for a change. What would you call a column with a horse connection in Corrales? Here are some possibilities:

“Horsing Around in Corrales “ or “Horsing Around in Our Village” or “The Real Poop about Horses in Corrales” or “Corrales Saddles Up” or “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Stable” or “Why We Saddle Up” or “Becoming a Millionaire with Horses by Starting with 2 Million.” At least you would know it had a horse connection!

What will the New Year bring for our Corrales horse heritage? Our population as a world and its interests is continually evolving. Our climate changes. Our free time has evolved.

Will we have more time at home with the shift to virtual offices and more time to spend in the stable without a commute? Will horses return as a necessity for going to the post office and store, with ban on fossil fuels and an unreliable renewable electric grid? Will hitching posts and diapers for buggy and wagon horses keep the poop off main street? Who knows?

This I know. Change is inevitable and often out of our control. Stay tuned and see what we will call ourself the next time this column is printed. Maybe a different language every month!

ISSUE 01-08-2022 COMMENTARY

By Johnny Martinez

Elephant in the Room

I am not a writer, but after speaking with members of old Corrales families, I was prompted to write this piece. I would like to solicit similar stories and sentiments from those who perhaps are reluctant to write about “stuff”, especially our older Corraleños. I will provide my contact information at the end of this article.

I was raised here in Corrales. My family has been here for generations. We are Corraleños. I left in 1982 and was privileged to serve 34 years in the military during my time away.

I had a wonderful career, saw the world, worked on things I cannot speak about, had the opportunity to fly an F-16, spent time on Air Force One, worked on a congressional campaign and even saved a life. However, life has a way of returning one to his roots. I returned to Corrales in 2016 to be closer to my elderly parents who are very much vested Corraleños.

Unfortunately, much of present-day Corrales is not as I remember it. More than anything, I have noticed the type of person in Corrales is what is most contrasting from what I grew up knowing. I want to share a couple of stories to provide a contrast of community and culture. My aim is not to create a divide, but rather to expose the “elephant in the room” so to speak. Please keep in mind that the idea of writing this comes after speaking to members of over 10 Corrales families who have voiced the very opinions I will be voicing in this piece. I am not conveying anything others are not expressing.

When I was a young boy, our neighbor’s cows broke down our fence to graze on the property where I now reside. Back then it was just natural grasses on a rolling hill filled with chamisa (rubber rabbitbrush). My father and that neighbor spatted over repair of that fence for a short bit.

Then one day the other gentleman came over with a six pack of beer and apologized to my father; it was probably Old Milwaukee back then, or maybe even Hamms. In any case, they shook hands and the whole ordeal was considered over. Years later, my father was instrumental in rallying neighbors and contacting our police when this same neighbor’s house was being broken into late at night. The thieving duo was caught on West Ella Road by the Corrales police.

I believe the arresting police officer was Benjie. Everyone knew Benjie. Speaking of West Ella, I remember when Corrales flooded in the 1970s. If you own a house on the south side of West Ella that existed during the aforementioned flood, I have been in your house. The community all rallied together, and we helped those families salvage whatever we could from those flooded houses for one another. I do not know what it was, but I just knew we would be helping because as a boy, I had heard the story of how in 1957, my grandfather’s house burned to the ground.

Harvey Jones, who owned a construction company on the property where the community center, soccer field and Post Office now sit, donated material for my grandfather to rebuild that house which is on Corrales Road just across from the Village Office. You see, Mr. Jones was a Corraleño.

Everyone lived and existed humbly, even those who were affluent, all because they were Corraleños. We looked after one another because that is what Corraleños do.

Today, we have come to find there is a new breed of people who have moved in. They come from elsewhere, build a new house and complain about their neighbors. I see fences going up everywhere because passersby do not like what they see or hear. Then, I read articles in the Comment from those complaining about the “canyon effect” the walls and fences create. Heck, as a kid the only fences we needed were to keep in livestock. And if we could see Mr. Doe’s truck or heavy equipment was broken down in the yard, it was because he may not have been able to afford the fix. Neighbors would trade tractor work and provide rides; not complain about the disabled vehicle. We felt for the fellow Corraleño.

Now, it is apparent that people are forced to build solid fences or walls to keep people from looking in and to avoid continuing complaints from the new neighbors or village officials. Recently, I talked to members of five families that are well established on a certain stretch of a popular road here. Their homes have all been here since before I was born. Their newer neighbor has complained about every one of them.

Why did you move in there?

I read how newcomers have stated they love to embrace our local culture and heritage, but then I cannot help but think: hypocrite! You say you love the “rich Hispanic culture” yet, you cannot stand to see his humble house across from yours because it lowers your property value.

This very house or yard you may be complaining about is most likely older than you. Its cocina has hosted neighbors of all walks, and the matriarch, Doña Josefina once bragged about how her sobrino, Larry, who works at Yonemotos on Fourth Street, joined the Army and will be leaving soon.

“Let’s invite everyone and give him a wonderful send-off!” is what was expressed. Perhaps, a matanza… but oooh, don’t even mention that long standing cultural celebration taking place across from your new estate.

Keen to keep the focus on complaints, I will say that while I may not be 100 percent correct in my perception of things, a likely scenario is: a person who has recently moved here to Corrales complains to a Village employee who does not live here. That employee cites ordinances voted on by people who are new here, and a citation, warrant or whatever you want to call it, follows that conversation and is delivered by the dear, underpaid police officer who can’t afford to live here, to the homeowner, whose family has been here for generations and is doing his best to pay his increasing property taxes to maintain that home and pass it along to future generations. All the riff is external… expat if you would. What unfortunately remains: quarreling neighbors.

Recently, a man I know approached a neighbor who cannot stand to look at him. In a neighborly effort, he said “I know we have our differences, but we need to make this right; we’re neighbors and it’s Christmas time.” The neighbor’s reply was simply: “I’m fine with the way it is.” Boy, somehow that does not read well in a children’s book. You know the one we read to our kids and grandkids about being good citizens? I cannot help but think “Wow, how ugly is that?” I suppose this embittered neighbor is not, and will never be, a true Corraleño.

I also was recently conversing with a long time Corrales farmer. The summation of the conversation is Corraleños do not get involved in our local politics, but in their defense, they are busy being Corraleños; they live simply and place much trust in man’s good nature and honesty.

But you see, trust and honesty are now out the window. In a council meeting a while back, the topic of restricting marijuana growth in our village was discussed. The outcome entailed some restrictions regarding marijuana growth in the village. Many reasons for doing so were shared. I even spoke, as I have many years ministering to youth and even working alongside some of the Tucson Police Department Gang Unit members with troubled youth.

I have personal experience dealing with the consequences of marijuana use by our youth. Trust me, it will find its way to your adolescent children. Perhaps my voice was discounted and not given weight  for lack of being an attorney or not possessing my PhD. In any case, I have learned many do not feel our council cares about the voice of Corraleños as much as they may be interested in, or possibly connected to the supposed money in this industry. The council mysteriously changed their disposition. Since that initial meeting, I believe Steve Gutierrez wrote about this incident in a Comment article and cited the possible dishonesty of the mayor and council.

I challenge readers to watch KRQE’s Dean Staley’s report on the negative consequences legalized marijuana has brought to Colorado. He interviews law enforcement officials, educators and district attorneys regarding the problems legalized marijuana has brought to their communities. A present saying is “listen to the science or statistics.” Well, smart council members of Corrales: Please do so. I say that respectfully.

https://www.krqe.com/news/marijuana/behind-the-story-colorados-legal-cannabis-illegal-growhouse-problem/

https://www.ktsm.com/news/local-news/the-effect-of-legalizing-marijuana-colorados-warningto- new-mexico/

New Mexico is already at the bottom of education metrics. The last thing we need is to introduce something to our community that is hurting our youth’s education or ability to learn and comprehend as a whole. It is already an issue. As you read this piece, I challenge you to consider your income and where you are from. If you possess higher education levels or are fortunate to earn a significant and above average income, more than likely you’re an expat, meaning, not from here. My point is, we should not effectuate something that has the potential to negatively affect the local education metrics even more than they are.

Corrales property is not “cheap,” and our crime rate is low. There is a reason pot growers want to be in our community. Perhaps the pot growers think the associated crime might be mitigated by centering themselves in a safer community. The projected grow houses are suspiciously near all the older and smaller homes in Corrales. I find it interesting that none of the million-dollar homes in Corrales are likely to have a marijuana grow house adjacent to their property.

Regardless of your belief in the right or wrong of its consumption, I cannot see the benefit of introducing this industry to our farming village… a village that was never divided on whether corn was a good crop to grow. Corraleños back in the day would never have introduced something that caused a disturbance to the community. New Mexico is a vast territory with a sparse population. Do you mean to tell me there is not another place you can grow your weed? Cheaper and with no resistance from the local community? You would not do that in the name of community harmony? Council member, you don’t consider that?

I remember Ann Dunlap singing a song about Corrales: “It’s between Bernalillo and Paradise Hills on a crooked old road by the river… where guitar players croon in the local saloon and the locals play heck with their livers…blah blah blah…one thousand people and two thousand dogs, and three thousand registered horses…” blah blah blah…. (If anyone knows the entirety of that song, I would love for you to share it with me as I have forgotten most of it). I mentioned the song to emphasize that in years prior, we celebrated Corrales because we loved and appreciated each other. So much so that we could even sing about it. What a wonderful place we had! Now, people outside of Corrales think people living in Corrales are full of themselves. I know this because I hear it all the time at work. Sometimes, I cannot even argue their sentiments.

There is a reason Mary Davis wrote about Corrales families. She tapped into something beautiful and historic. I challenge you to buy a copy of her books from our local gift shops or markets…

Read about the families and how they built and shaped Corrales and its neighborly culture.

I am proud to say my family is mentioned in at least one of her books. My grandfather and great uncles worked on paving the road through Corrales in 1946. My father, the nicest man you will ever meet, served on the Planning and Zoning Commission here 1980-86, and a further 18 years with the Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Commission. I even recall that once, Governor Bruce King called our house and sought my dad’s perspective and input on an issue.

When we had that flood in the 70s, I remember my dad firing up a bulldozer left on a neighbor’s property and shoring up the ditch on Loma Larga, ultimately saving many of the homes east of Loma Larga between La Entrada and West Ella. And then there of course is Margie from Alameda who, whenever I see her, tells me of how my father saved her life from drowning in the Rio Grande. I could go on… I mention my dad not only because I am enormously proud of him but because a neighbor told me that code enforcement personnel were complaining about his stuff on his property. Shame on you! What have you contributed to the village outside of your paycheck?

My family name is not the only name having contributed in the building of Corrales. Just look at the roads: Montaño Road, Chavez Lane, Rupert’s Lane, Armijo Lane, and so on. Did you ever ponder those names?

I encourage you to take a drive through beautiful Corrales and take notice of the road names. The names are of the families who owned strips of land and built roads, farmed, and volunteered in the shaping of Corrales. Take the time to learn this and appreciate their legacy. When you see their humble homes consider they never felt the need to have a large home. “Para que? The kids will be grown soon and then it’s just me and the vieja.”

You may not know this, but many of these families own substantial ranches elsewhere in New Mexico. They just choose to live humbly here, in Corrales.

Having worked in technical fields my whole career, I understand change and how it is embraced.

However, not all change is good…. Just ask an aging and sickly person. Even though they may know a lot more now than back then, they will surely admit that sometimes, things were better “back in the day.”

I understand many of you reading this may not appreciate this article. That is perfectly okay. I do not appreciate many of the things I see and hear around town, but I served to defend my right to speech and feel I deserve to voice it. I guess you could say, I have some skin in the game… I am a Corraleño!

What I would love is to hear stories from Corraleños. You can write me at Corralesstories@gmail.com. Watch your language and type elephant in the subject line. I’ve spoken with Jeff Radford from the Comment who has graciously said he would accept written communication to me through his drop box for those who do not use email.

ISSUE 01-08-2022 LETTERS

Dear Editor:

My wife Alicia and I have lived in Corrales for over 26 years and have raised our children here.  I am a licensed real estate broker who has been continuously active in my profession here locally for over 35 years. 

We have no objection to the personal use and cultivation of marijuana for recreational and/or medicinal purposes on and in one’s residence.

We are strongly opposed however, to commercial cultivation in residential areas that are zoned A-1 and A-2 and any other zone designations that apply to residential property use in the village. 

Aside from problems associated with increased traffic, noise, and odors that affect many in proximity to such operations —the attractive nuisance of commercial cultivation will attract potential crime and the resulting spillover of non-village people who have no investment or concern for the security of our rural lifestyle that so many have worked hard to preserve.

The property at 3577 Loma Larga and 119 Veronica Court are just two addresses on applications for commercial cultivation permits that are in close proximity to our home, among dozens more that have submitted applications throughout every other residential part of Corrales. 

Upon greenlighting this commercial exploitation of our precious natural resources (water), and our security and comfort, Fire Department Chief Anthony Martinez might want to consider installing a much larger water piping system along Loma Larga, as there is the strong potential for residential-use domestic wells to run dry, and hence, a critical need for city water to flow out of our taps once the commercial growers suck the aquifer empty.

As a real estate professional who has assisted individuals and families with the purchase and sale of their homes in the village for many years, approving the commercial marijuana grow industry will have a significant negative impact on “everyone’s” property value, an undesirable but inevitable effect of our elected leaders ignoring their constituents' welfare in favor of giving preference and support to an industry that will impact our home values, personal safety, and the health and enjoyment we deserve and have come to expect as property owners and stakeholders in Corrales.

We urge our mayor and the councillors to heed the needs and the pleas of the Village residents that they serve, and not enable nor permit commercial cultivation of marijuana in our residential neighborhoods.

Steve and Alicia Murthal

Dear Editor:

I feel compelled to respond to the statements reported by the Corrales Comment in Mike Hamman’s “Exit Interview” as the MRGCD director in the December 18, 2021 issue, as well as his out-of-order pro-commercial cannabis comments during the December 14 Village Council meeting. He used his time under the Village Administrator’s agenda to spend several minutes discussing the errors and misconceptions of those who signed petitions favoring a ban on commercial cannabis operations in zones A-1 and A-2. The public was restricted to two minutes each under a subsequent agenda item reserved for cannabis legislations discussion, but Hamman was allowed to freewheel for several minutes before Councillor Stuart Murray raised a point of order. Even then, the mayor allowed Hamman to continue to “wrap up” his presentation with additional time.

Hamman has used his position and influence as MRGCD director to expound on and misrepresent facts about the Village’s exposure to harmful effects of commercial cannabis operations in residential areas, and he either intentionally misrepresents, or is ignorant about, the science, economics, neighborhood effects and implementation of commercial cannabis grow facilities. Further, he may have used his position and influence to obtain commercial permits for water rights to support a cannabis grow operation on land that he owns in Corrales.

I believe this sort of misinformation is common for the pro-commercial cannabis supporters in Corrales. There has been significant misrepresentation of facts as well as personal misrepresentation from those claiming to be disinterested parties.

For example, Hamman claims that commercial cannabis uses “less water than tomatoes, corn and other crops in California”. What he doesn’t explain, however, is that those studies are for outdoor growth, and not the intensive, high density, high tunnel, greenhouse indoor cultivation of cannabis plants proposed to be allowed in Corrales. It is very well documented that a water usage rate of two to six gallons of water per plant per day is typical for cannabis growers. For 100 adult plants using the median amount, that annual consumption can be as high as 146,000 gallons of water annually, not including water usage for evaporative cooling as well.

Hamman further says that those seeking protection for A1 and A2 who are “fear mongering” might convince the Village Council to take action which would limit opportunities for local farmers to make a “decent living.” This is simply nonsense.

We are not asking to limit any existing abilities of a farmer to make a living. No changes affecting traditional farmers at all. We just don’t want to be subjected to noxious odors and toxic BVOC emissions that are a by-product, along with grow lights, excessive noise, increased traffic, damage to an already diminishing water table, and lowered property values of commercial cannabis cultivation. Realtors now require that persons wanting to transact houses near the two medical cannabis facilities must state the presence of such facilities in the real estate transaction disclosure documents.

The real issue is that commercial cannabis is huge money for a select few Corraleños who are willing to risk the quality of life of the rest of us to make a large profit for themselves in a business fraught with significant threat to others. But the business is extremely lucrative. A master gardener can cultivate 4 to 6 lbs. of product from a cannabis plant. The current spot price for cannabis is $1300 per pound. 100 plants producing 5 lbs. each yields a wholesale price of $650,000.

Quite the “decent living” don’t you think? As long as you don’t worry about the long term effects on neighbors.

Lastly, Hamman in both his farewell write-up in the Comment, as well as during an out-of-order monologue during the December 14 Village Council meeting, represented himself as not “having a dog in this fight” and that he is simply “pro-farmer.” But that simply is not the fact. He does have a dog in the fight.

What Hamman failed to mention is that he and Sally Olguin applied for a water use diversion to create a commercial well during 2021. Sally Olguin has likewise applied for a commercial cannabis license under “Monte Vista Farm and Market Inc.” along with Antonio Olguin for 100 plants, and that both Hamman and Olguin have co-resided at a residence on Mountain View Lane, which is immediately adjacent to the site for the high tunnel cannabis greenhouse they propose. The properties upon which they live, and upon which the proposed commercial cannabis operation will reside belong jointly to Olguin andHamman.

How can this possibly be considered as not “having a dog in this fight”? How does someone so quickly know about and obtain commercial water rights? Well, perhaps it helps to be the director of MRGCD and have all the right connections. How does someone stand in front of the governing body and claim that he is an uninterested party, criticize those of us concerned about livability and quality of life, say similar things to a Corrales Comment interviewer, and yet claim that he is completely Corrales cannabis neutral?

Public officials have been investigated and excoriated for less, and perhaps the Sandoval County Ethics Commission or the newly created N.M. Ethics Commission would have an interest in Hamman’s conduct. An ethics investigation might be in order at both the county and state level.

Frank Wirtz

Dear Editor:

We may be hurting the climate with our climate plan.

It is clear that humans have caused the recent spike in atmospheric CO2, and while some are still arguing about how fast that will affect us, recent weather events and trends are not encouraging.

Synergistic effects like wildfires, release of frozen CO2 from permafrost, and continued loss of forests suggest getting a real plan in place sooner rather than later.  Doing what we can to decrease CO2 emissions is extremely important and Patti Flanagan’s letter (December 18, 2021) highlights simple steps we can take to help.

Substantial emissions are associated with creating the steel, concrete, wiring, transport and earth-moving required unless that manufacturing energy is provided by a zero- or low-carbon means.  Building zero carbon energy sources also produces carbon by using existing fuels to produce the silicon cells, wind generators, cement, rebar and metals required. 

A large, fast, spending program for infrastructure over a short period can cause the manufacturing-carbon cost of fixing prior neglect to produce near-term increases in CO2.  A possible near-term way to decrease this impact is with nuclear power. While avoiding this source may be a good long-term target, ignoring it as a possible transitional way to limit damage to the planet is a disservice.

Legislators seem to be shooting wildly at individual items known to help and ignoring the cost to the environment of producing them or their aggregate results. An all-electric passenger car fleet in the United States assumed by Build Back Better and, using statistics from bts.gov, eia.gov, and epa.gov, would consume roughly 1.5 times the total renewable power produced in 2020 just for vehicular travel.

We would need a huge growth in low-carbon electrical generation just to have power to connect to the charging stations that BBB installs… or a choice between blackouts and stranded motorists, and this ignores the CO2 produced manufacturing and installing that infrastructure. A poor result for a large inflation-fueling expenditure and a big hit in manufacturing carbon emissions.

Are electric cars the proper solution?  Battery minerals are already running in short supply.  Wouldn’t high-speed rail be better for long range travel?  Have we looked at systems that have succeeded like Florida’s rail and people movers in Miami?  Remember it took more than half a century to mess this up. 

Shouldn’t we be working to minimize total additional carbon pollution including the manufacturing carbon cost of infrastructures?  On the other hand, doing nothing is the wrong answer.  These are not Hollywood popularity contests. These are existential questions. Politicians apparently won’t address them unless they become voting issues, and the media is in La-la-land. 

Everyone says we “should listen to the science” regarding climate change, yet no one has asked the scientists “what is the minimum carbon footprint out of this mess?!” 

We need a coherent plan along with low-emission  piecemeal actions, not a shoot-from-the-hip, pollution-generating enterprise aimed at the long term while ignoring short term impacts to the atmosphere.

Denny Rossbach

ISSUE 01-08-2022 WHAT’S ON

By Meredith Hughes

We did it! Made it out of 2021 —thank you, vaxxes, Facetime and Zoom— and into 2022, even though 99 year old phenom Betty White did not, alas. Some of us plan to wander through The Mary Tyler Moore Show to see Ms White, in a show we never watched, because, we were living abroad… sound posh?

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

• Beginners Floral Design Classes, January 11 – February  22, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. A seven week course Tuesdays, taught by National Flower Show judge and instructor, Shirley Tetreault. $75 for new students, $60 for repeat students. Albuquerque Garden Center, 10120 Lomas.

• The United Nations International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032, kicks off with a free, online festival, January 14-23. The sponsor of the festival is the Endangered Languages Project, https://www.endangeredlanguages.com/about/,  based at the University of Hawaii. The keynote speaker is Lorna Wanosts’a7 Williams, whose “endangered language” is Ucwalmícwts. You can also dip your tongue and brain into Guernesiais, Limbu, Basaa, Secwepemctsín, Yougambeh, Hawaiian, and many more. For info regarding speakers: https://sites.google.com/endangeredlanguages.com/elp-festival/home?authuser=0    To sign up: https://tinyurl. com/2p9fsdwf

• Jewel Cases, starting January 15, celebrates “Albuquerque's incredible wilderness-urban interface and chronicles one man’s daily explorations and the gems found on the way. As a composite, this piece is about looking up, looking down, looking long, and looking in. It is about vitality, about pausing, about quiet, about joy, about curiosity and learning. And ultimately, it is about sharing and creating connectedness.” The artist is George Julian Dworin. Plus, Thoughts on the Rio Grande in Photographs and Haiku, beginning January 22. Works by Clarke Condé. “This series explores the great river and its surroundings as it passes through an ever-expanding city of Albuquerque, where the needs of its people compete with the needs of the plants and animals that rely on its waters for life itself.” Open Space Visitor Center, 6500 Coors. The Center is now open to the public Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

• Midori, January 15, 6 p.m. performs Korngold’s Much Ado About Nothing Overture; the Brahms Violin Concerto, and Symphony No. 2. Well known to Corrales music lovers, violinist Midori appears at Popejoy Hall, 203 Cornell.  Tickets: https://tinyurl.com/ 2p83 raxx. Strict COVID protocols will be in place.

• Candelaria Nature Preserve, guided public information tour, January 28, 10 a.m. to noon. This 167 acre section of Open Space in the North Valley was being weeded by goats in November 2021. You can inspect their work via this tour. Sign up: Colleen Langan-McRoberts, openspace@cabq.gov , 505-768-4200.  End of Arbor Road, Albuquerque. 

Did You Know?

The Herb Society of America has picked Violet species, Viola spp, as the herb of the month, or, as herb of the year, depending on what area of its website you land on.  The International Herbal Society, in fact, named the viola “Herb of the Year.” The genus Viola includes between 500 and 600 species in the violaceae or violet family, including violets, pansies, heartsease or Johnny jump-ups, other species, and many hybrids within the family. • Viola hybridize freely, which can make identification challenging. • While the flowers across the species vary in color, they generally have four unlike petals arranged in pairs and a fifth lower lobed petal with a spur, on top of an individual stem. • Pansy is generally the common name reserved for the hybrid Viola × wittrockiana, whose complex origin includes at least three species. • Violet, Viola odorata, has been used in the perfume industry as a fragrance source. • The fragrance of violets is said to be “flirty” since it seems to come and go. The presence of ionone causes humans to not be able to detect the fragrance for moments at a time. • Violet, Viola odorata and heartsease, Viola tricolor are two species with a history in herbal medicine for respiratory issues and many other issues including liver disorders and bad tempers according to Hippocrates. • The flowers of violets, heartsease, and pansies can be candied and added fresh to salads, desserts and other dishes. The leaves are also edible and can be added to fresh greens or soups. V. odorata has a sweeter flavor and is the most popular to be added to sweets and teas. The mild pea flavor of V. tricolor pairs well with either sweet or savory foods. • Viola flowers flavor violet liqueurs such as Crème Yvette, Crème de Violette, Parfait Amour, and The Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur. The Aviation, Blue Moon, and Violet Fizz are classic cocktails made with violet liqueur.

The HSofA was established in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1933, but moved into a historic building in Kirtland, Ohio in 1988, after establishing the National Herb Garden in Washington, DC, at the National Arboretum in 1980. See https:/ /www.herbsociety.org/

In Corrales

• Corrales Tree Preservation Advisory Committee, January 10, 4:00 p.m.

• Village Council meetings, January 11, 25, 6:30 p.m.

• Corrales Historical Society Speakers series, January 16, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. “Los Arabes of New Mexico: Compadres from a Distant Land”, presented by Monika Ghattas, a history professor, based on her book about Lebanese immigrants in New Mexico. Budaghers, established as an early trading post, was founded by Joseph Budagher, an immigrant from Lebanon.  At Old Church.

• Casa San Ysidro is closed in December and January.

• Corrales Arts Center. Creativity in Photography, January 22, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with Dennis Chamberlain. Corrales Community Center, 4324 Corrales Road. Register at corralesartscenter.org

• De-Spooking Clinic, January 15, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For horses and their people. Near the Rec Center, Corrales.

• Music in Corrales, Hot Club of Cowtown, where country meets jazz. January 22, 7:30 p.m. “Due to public health considerations, we have limited ticket sales to a smaller-than-normal capacity for the Old San Ysidro Church; this concert has reached that limit. If at some point we can safely increase the seating, we will re-open ticket sales, so please check back periodically for availability.” Lance Ozier 505-899-8830

• Corrales Library Book Club, January 31, 2:30 p.m. Contact Sandra Baldonado for Zoom event details. sandra@corraleslibrary.org

• Corrales Growers’ Market. Sunday, February 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Village in the Village. Focussed primarily on helping villagers, more than social events, until Omicron is booted out. Call 274-6206 or email corrales.viv@gmail.com.