Corrales Lake won’t be open for waterskiing or swimming later this year, but mosquito-feeding might be. The long-envisioned stormwater detention pond along Sagebrush Drive is now substantially complete. The enormous basin excavated in what has been the north half of the Village’s Salce Park is the terminus for extensive drainage improvements to cure disastrous flooding in sandhill neighborhoods below the abandoned Dam No. 1 on the escarpment between Rio Rancho and Corrales. (See Corrales Comment Vol. XXXVII No.16 November 9, 2019 “Long-Awaited Salce Basin Project Will Control Flooding.”)

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As of Monday, April 20, four cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 had been recorded in Corrales. That information was available through the N.M. Department of Health’s website for the first time on Friday, April 17. Continual reporting of cases by zipcode can be found at the department’s website: http://www.cv.nmhealth.org.  On that homepage, find the “Click here to view positive cases by county,” and then choose “View map by zipcode.” All of Corrales, and only Corrales, has the zipcode 87048.

As of April 20, 1,971 people in New Mexico had been confirmed with the disease, out of a total of 36,784 who had been tested at that time. Fifty-eight died. One hundred sixteen COVID-19 patients were hospitalized.  It had not been disclosed how those four cases in Corrales had contracted the virus.

Tanya Lattin, the Corrales Fire Department’s emergency management coordinator said April 20 that the total coronavirus cases in Corrales still stood at four. “The State has told me that the zip code mapping ‘should’ be updated two times weekly, probably Mondays and Thursdays. I have put in a request to the State to find out more on days and times of the updates. I do know it does not look like it has been updated since the launch.”

Lattin said Corrales fire-rescue personnal have adequate personnel protective gear so far. “We have not changed anything since the four cases have been reported. The department has had strict protocols going back to March on response to all calls. “As I am sure you know, there are people who can be actively infected with COVID-19 without showing signs and symptoms, All patients, if capable, are asked by dispatch to come outside of their home. Surgical masks are given to all patients to wear, if they do not already have them.

“Responders use N-95 masks or P-100 on all calls along with eye protection and gowns if needed,” Lattin added. “Gloves are always worn on calls so this is not new. After every call, the crew will shower and wash their uniforms.

“We have a good amount of PPE as we started planning in January for COVID-19. We do look daily for available PPE from our vendors to replace what has been used. We also have requested and received some PPE from the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The Corrales EOC also secures and transfers neede supplies to other Village departments when requested.

“The fire department has a good supply of disinfectants for the station, vehicles and equipment. We have more disinfectants on order and purchased in February UVC equipment to add to the cleaning protocols in place in the fire station. The UVC has also been used at Village Hall by Chief Martinez.” She said the department staff has a health check protocol, under which each person checks for fever several times a day, and signs of any illness for all entries into the station are logged on a sheet. “Crews follow social distancing guidelines while at work as well.”

 

The Frontier Mart has been sold to a Corrales couple who intend to keep the store going. The new owners are Gabriel and Elizabeth Holguin; the business was already in existence as “Corrales Market” when Jean Blackmon Waszak and partners took it over in 1976.

For decades, the enterprise, also known affectionately as “the little store” was the setting for a column she wrote for Corrales Comment, “Reflections from a Country Store.” She suspended the column last year ...

Most Corrales businesses have continued right along despite the governor’s closure order. That’s because by far, most Corrales businesses are home occupations. People are working from home because that’s what they’ve always done. More than 800 businesses here are home-based operations, usually with internet clients.The products or services they offer cover a wide range, from fashion and jewelry to antique ceramics repair and illustrations.

Although it may be assumed that most of Village government’s gross receipts tax revenues come from restaurants and retail shops along Corrales Road, those hundreds of home-based businesses are collecting GRT for their sales as well… at least, they are supposed to. The Village Office could not provide a current list of active home occupation permits, nor a tally of Corrales’ take from their GRT payments. Monthly reports of such collections transferred from businesses to the Department of Finance and Administration in Santa Fe do not segregate monies coming from home-base operations from those from brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

Volunteers will be on site to direct traffic, get purchased products to your vehicle, and help with payments. Follow their directions. And if possible, order products before you come to the market. Anyone showing visible signs of illness associated with coronavirus will be asked to leave. You may also contact growers to arrange for direct purchases. Find information for growers here: corralesgrowersmarket.com/vendors. Any questions? Please call 898-6336 or 414-6706.

Farmers’ markets large and small are adapting to the social distancing requirements of their communities. One of the biggest markets in the Southeast, the St. Petersburg, Florida, Saturday Morning Market, involves over 150 vendors of vegetables, crafts and prepared meals, and it, too, has managed to turn a socially popular, community hang-out event, into an order-ahead drive-thru project. All participants are encouraged to wear masks and wash their hands.

By Meredith Hughes
Here are brief updates, links and information we think may be of value during this period of closures.. Some of this is perhaps well known by now, some not. We keep updating this information.
Note that up-to-date information on businesses is likely to appear on their social media pages, rather than on their websites.

Health and safety
• Overview from the Office of the Governor: http://www.newmexico.gov
If you need help: http://www.newmexico.gov/i-need-assistance

By Meredith Hughes
It appears that hungry yet independent seniors, deprived by the horrific virus dubbed “ novel” of hanging out at their usual eateries, are lining up in their cars to partake of the meals programs Sandoval County makes possible.

A longtime staffer for the County’s Senior Services said “we are busier than ever before,” as the numbers continue to climb. “Cooking and serving cafeteria style is much easier than having to package or box everything up,” she said. “Our expenses definitely are up, and certain foods, including milk, are harder to source.”

Most of the food served up to seniors...

By Meredith Hughes
Insta has a nifty ring to it, right? The best part of horrible “instant” coffee, for example. Insta-gram, that place where online photos demand your attention, especially from the family you hold dear, albeit from a distance.

So Instacart caught your eye, especially after having decided not to venture inside grocery stores awash in virus droplets for a while, given this period of plague. And with zero interest in lining up in the old fogie shopping line, pre dawn.

Instacart was started in San Francisco in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta, a guy who grew up in Canada, trained as an electrical engineer,...

You may need to hire some help…
… to cast your ballot in the June 2 primary elections.

A plethora of candidates want your vote to fill local, state and federal offices. For starters, 12 names are shown running for president of the United States on Democrats’ ballot, including those who have withdrawn already. Libertarians will have 12 presidential candidates to choose from, including Daniel Behrman of Las Vegas, New Mexico, whose email address is taxationistheft@behrman2020.com.

A total of eight Corraleños will be on the party primary ballots. Running for a variety of positions are Jane Powdrell-Culbert, Bob Perls, Daymon Ely, Ben Rodefer, Brenda McKenna, Kevin Lucero, Tania Dennis and Audrey Mendonca-Trujillo. Perhaps the most populous ballot category...

With local schools and libraries closed, and kids parceled out to grandparents or interacting with busy work-at-home parents, maybe creating dyes from plants would be a happy diversion. That might be especially true for elementary school age kids, who might be intrigued to know that for hundreds of years dyed clothing was possible only through plants.

For this project, corral four crock pots, along with beets, spinach, onions and black walnuts still in the shells. Also paint brushes, paper and possibly fabric and yarn. Place cut-up beets, spinach, onion skins and black walnuts in separate crock pots and barely cover with water. Heat the crock pot on low overnight. In the morning, the crocks will contain natural dye paint that you can pour into bowls. Invite children to create designs on paper using the natural paint.

Kids also can fool around with plain fabrics and yarn, dipping them in the dye, and then hanging them up outdoors, possibly, to allow for dripping. They can create from the fabric or wool whatever moves them. If you want to go further, you can create dyes from carrots, roses and, later in the season, marigolds and sunflowers. Experiment!

Many diligent and generous readers responded to an appeal published in Corrales Comment’s April 11 issue seeking financial support amid the extraordinary economic collapse accompanying the global pandemic. Heartfelt thanks to all who did so.

Advertising revenues have begun to dip, as expected, since many, if not most, businesses have been stricken by coronavirus closures. In the work week ending April 17, Corrales Comment received more checks or credit card payments from loyal readers than from our advertisers!

Those gestures of support and good will were often accompanied by sympathetic comments, a few of which are published below.

“I couldn’t live without the Corrales Comment. I hope this helps a bit.”

Kiss the guacamole good bye. Researchers in Mexico warn that the avocado is becoming an endangered species due to climate change. It has been identified as an endangered fruit due to the climate-driven spread of fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens. A New York Times article March 13 noted that an exhibit in the American Museum of Natural History about ...

By Meredith Hughes
Sowing to the edges, with no hedges, is an agricultural approach that has decimated what one gardener has called “linear nature preserves,” which once nurtured all manner of creature, including bees. In Britain, once fabled for its healthy hedgerows, this created soil erosion, more impact from wind, and far less biodiversity...

Plant a variety of trees to have flowers throughout the year. Trees in the ornamental pear family will bloom first in the spring, followed by ornamental plums and redbuds. Fruit trees blossom next, with peach and apple being the most reliable for actually producing fruit. Cherry, apricot and nectarines often bloom too early and then get taken down by a late frost. Crab apple trees bloom in late spring. Desert willows and chitalpas bloom in the summer, along with chaste trees.

The fish are being fed, the plants looked after, and the dropbox checked daily at the Corrales Library, even if villagers cannot enter to snatch up Hilary Mantel’s final book about poor dear Thomas Cromwell, or snag a DVD of an old Fred and Ginger flick.

Technical Services boss, Brynn Cole, wants to assure us that one library staffer stops by each day. Still, “we all are working remotely but have weekly staff meetings via Zoom, which allows us to brainstorm and plan as best we can for this uncertain future.”

Otherwise, Cole is answering your emails about tech issues, and can help you navigate Overdrive, the portal for accessing e-books and audio books to download onto your phone or tablet. She will also chat with you via email, if you want to connect with another human.

“Congress passed the bipartisan  CARES Act to deliver critical relief to our nation in this moment of crisis,” Congressman Ben Ray Lujan said. “It is clear, however, that we need to get more resources to our small businesses, our hospitals and frontline health care workers, and our local, state, and tribal governments.

“We also need to provide additional SNAP funding to ensure that no family in New Mexico goes hungry during this crisis.

 “The Trump administration has struggled to implement the CARES Act, especially the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program. Too many community lenders, mom-and-pop small businesses and underserved communities are being left behind,” the congressman said.
“Small businesses need more funding from the SBA loan and grant programs, and these programs need reforms and greater transparency to ensure that New Mexican small businesses get the support they need and deserve.

“The pandemic has dealt a serious blow to our public health and economy. While we would all like to get back to normal, there must be a substantial increase in the production in rapid testing and personal protective equipment. That is why we need more resources now.”

Due to Covid-19, the Placitas Community Library Art Committee is taking its themed exhibition program online. Because the library and its Collin Room gallery are temporarily closed, the upcoming show “Reaching Back, Looking Forward,” featuring work by local talent will be a virtual one, debuting May 1 at http://www.PCLArt.com.

The theme is particularly timely, as communities all over the globe reminisce about life prior to cronavirus, while trying to envision the ways current events will alter the days and months and even years ahead. The artists participating in “Reaching Back, Looking Forward,” were encouraged to look back at important influences on their art and to consider new ways to use the past to inform new work.

The virtual gallery can be found at http://www.PCLArt.com where the work of more than a dozen local artists working in a variety of media and styles is shown. They include Carol Allen, Susan Burden, Rebecca Cohen, Linda Heath, Charlotte (Toll) Hicks, Claire Lissance, Lavon Maestas, Karen Jones Meadows, Bobby Middendorf, Jules Nyquist, Susan Pine, Elizabeth Potter and Ilene Weiss. All of the work is available for purchase online. As always, 25 percent of the income from sales will benefit the library’s operating budget.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall and senators from Oregon wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt urging Interior to immediately suspend any policy proposals or actions unrelated to the COVID-19 emergency that require a public comment period until the threats of COVID-19 have subsided. Udall is the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. The Oregon senators were Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.  The senators sent the letter as Americans across the country are focused on the safety and well-being of their families and themselves during this global crisis, meaning public comment periods on policy actions at this time cannot fully reflect public opinion and meaningful participation.  In New Mexico, the Department of the Interior oversees approximately 27 million acres, about 34 percent of the state’s total lands. Late last month, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) entered into a public comment period for the sale of federal public land in Eddy, Lea and Chaves counties while COVID-19 confirmed cases had jumped to 403 with seen confirmed deaths across the state.  “As the country is addressing the public health emergency of COVID-19, the agencies within the Department of Interior should be focused on how to bolster the response to COVID-19 in communities across America,...

Advocates for the homeless in New Mexico are urging the state and local communities to make preparations to help those without permanent housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of positive cases in New Mexico remains low compared with many other states, but those who experience homelessness are very high-risk for contracting the disease, according to Hank Hughes, executive director of New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness.

The easiest way to be sure you can participate in the political party primaries June 2 is to use the N.M. Secretary of State’s portal for an absentee ballot. “We have an election coming up, and it is unclear how the pandemic will affect the June 2 primary,” State Representative Daymon Ely explained. “I urge you to make a plan to vote. The best and easiest way will be to order an absentee ballot. You can do so by going online to https://portal.sos.state.nm.us/ OVR/WebPages/AbsenteeApplication.aspx. “The legislature is currently considering a special session to address budget issues. While we don't know when this will be yet, there are other issues that might be considered specifically around helping small business.  Any ideas you have on a special session or examples of problems that need help would be very much appreciated,” Ely said.

The United Nations climate change conference (COP26) that was set to take place in Glasgow, Scotland in November has been postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.    This decision has been taken by the COP Bureau of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with the United Kingdom and its Italian partners.
Dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021, hosted in Glasgow, will be set out in due course following further discussion with parties.   “In light of the ongoing, worldwide effects of COVID-19, holding an ambitious, inclusive COP26 in November 2020 is no longer possible,” organizers said.   “Rescheduling will ensure all parties can focus on the issues to be discussed at this vital conference and allow more time for the necessary preparations to take place. We will continue to work with all involved to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions.  COP26 President-Designate and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma explained, “The world is currently facing an unprecedented global challenge and countries are rightly focusing their efforts on saving lives and fighting COVID-19. That is why we have decided to reschedule COP26.”
UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa added, “COVID-19...

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