“Life goes on in the village. Life goes on like a song.” And so it is as Corrales begins 2021 after a coronavirus pandemic crushed most of community life here during 2020. The two lines above are the underlying phrase from the Corrales pageant produced and staged by the late Evelyn Losack in the early 1980s. The song “Los Corrales” was formally adopted by the Village Council on April 24, 2012. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXI No.6 May 5, 2012 “Corrales Adopts Official Song,” which includes stanzas and refrain.)

Although no deaths from COVID-19 infection in Corrales have been reported officially, at least one person here was known to have died as of January 1. The N.M. Department of Health reported that 194 Corrales residents had been diagnosed with the fast-spreading disease at the first of the year. Statewide, that number was up to 144,142, of whom 2,502 had died. On January 1, 791 New Mexicans were hospitalized with the deadly coronavirus.

On December 27, Corrales had 178 COVID cases, demonstrating the spike in new cases here. At the end of May, Corrales had nine cases of COVID-19. That had risen to 20 at the end of June, and on to 32 cases by the end of July. At the end of August, the village had 36 cases. On October 31, Corrales had 52; on November 15, it was 74, and then 119 on November 30.

Corrales Fire Department Commander Tanya Lattin reports that this holiday season “With everyone’s help, we assisted 41 families.” At least 148 people, of whom 86 were children, were helped. In fact, several citizens have steadied families with internet service for online school, as well as food, since March. Lattin says the Fire Department will continue to have food available for families in need.

By Meredith Hughes
A burst of increased activity at the eastern end of the former Kim Jew property at 4604 Corrales Road is evidence that Southwest Organic Producers (SWOP), which first began business in 2009 selling medical marijuana, is opening a retail cannabis dispensary in Corrales as soon as this month.

The store is opening at the corner of Corrales Road and Rincon Road, just north of Perea’s restaurant. A company employee at its first Albuquerque


When you are 22, athletic, and have a free summer ahead, even during a pandemic, you go for it, especially if you have supportive Corrales parents. Nicolette Jones has it all, and in November completed the 3,100-mile trek that is the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, stretching from just above the edge of northern Montana to the Crazy Cook Monument on the Mexican border.

According to the Trail Coalition website, “The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) is one of the most significant trail systems in the world. Established by Congress in 1978, it spans 3,100 miles between Mexico and Canada, traverses five states and connects countless communities along the spine of the Rocky Mountains.” What may be more important, it separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

With Joe Biden in the White House and John Kerry taking charge of the nation’s side-tracked response to climate change, prospects have improved that the planet’s livability can be retained. The president-elect’s proposal to direct some $2 trillion for that goal over the next four years may be blocked by a reluctant Congress already gagging over proposed trillions for pandemic relief. But since he first proclaimed climate change to be one of his top priorities, Biden has cloaked his plan as a job-creation bonanza.

On the president-elect’s long list of things he’ll do on day one is re-joining the Paris Climate Accord, a loosely binding pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to suppress and then reduce ever-rising global temperatures.

In tandem, Biden has endorsed Senator Tom Udall’s legacy-sealing legislation, the 30 By 30 Resolution which calls for concerted and sustained action to halt destruction of natural ecosystems, establishing a national goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the land and ocean of the United States by the year 2030. In it, Udall asserts that “conserving and restoring nature is one of the most efficient and cost-effective strategies for fighting climate change.” (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXIX No.13 September 19, 2020 “Senator Tom Udall Urges Push to ‘Save Nature’ By 2030.”)

By Meredith Hughes
Especially in these pandemic-restricted times, many are grateful that Albuquerque has more park space per person than any city in the United States. A guy who grew up in Los Angeles was a major open space advocate for Albuquerque from the 1970s through the mid-90s. Since 2016 he has lived in Corrales.

Rex Funk arrived in Albuquerque in 1969 to teach science courses as well as photography at West Mesa High School, after studying at Cal State Long Beach. He had carefully observed how urban sprawl had overrun much of LA’s natural setting, and early in his teaching career decided he wanted to create a nature center.

Music in Corrales volunteer Jannie Dusseau recently described the organization’s pandemically truncated season as “a significant learning experience and undertaking for our small volunteer organization, as we navigated what for us have been the unknown waters of obtaining and presenting online concerts.”

And still they persisted. The schedule already was set for September 2020 through April 2021, when COVID-19 blew everything up. The president of Corrales Cultural Arts Council’s Music in Corrales, Lance Ozier, along with Mike Foris and Deb Dapson took a deep dive into how to switch from in-person to online concerts.

They sought a new platform vendor who could support video on demand, and their usual ticket sales platform using brownpapertickets was no longer viable. They decided to offer the first online presentation for free. It featured Russian pianist Arsentiy Kharitonov, and ran through January 3, 2021.

Maybe 2021 will be the year some Corrales seniors wishing to downsize, but still live in the village, will begin to realize their dreams. Frank Steiner, with the backing of a Village in the Village committee, appears more hopeful than ever.

In the fall of 2019, Steiner informally presented to Corrales Planning and Zoning Administrator Laurie Stout his plan to create a complex of five duplexes on the 1.89-acre parcel where his Sunbelt Nursery now sits. The land is at the corner of Corrales Road and Dixon Road, in the commercial district, which would make walking or bike riding to village stores, restaurants and the Bosque Preserve uncomplicated for residents.

Despite some suspicions and misgivings, the Village Council approved purchase of a conservation easement on 12 acres of farmland at its December 8 session. The vote was three-to-two to pay $960,000 for an easement on the Haslam farm between the Corrales Main Canal and the Corrales Lateral irrigation ditch at the end of Kings Lane. Councillors Stuart Murray and Kevin Lucero voted no, citing prospects that a more desirable tract might become available during the next six months.

That was almost certainly a reference to the long-discussed, and negotiated possibility that the Trosello tract farther north along the east side of Corrales Road might be saved from development as home sites. Murray, Lucero and several villagers had argued that the Village had negotiated an option to purchase the Haslam tract this past summer and still had six months remaining to exercise it. They argued there was no hurry to close on the Haslam land.

A new effort is under way to establish some controls over continued erection of cinder block walls adjacent to Corrales Road which detract from scenic views. At the December 8 Village Council meeting, Councillor Zach Burkett said he would like to see incentives by Village government to encourage other styles of walls or fences that do not inhibit views.

He said he wanted the council to address the issue after seeing such tall, solid walls erected by builder Steve Nakamura on two properties at the south end of Corrales over the past year.

If you love digging in dirt and fussing with seeds, and now are inclined to become better informed, soon you can dive into the 15-week Master Gardener Training offered each winter-spring by Sandoval Extension Master Gardeners, in partnership with New Mexico State University. The training program is expected to start by February and end by early May 2021.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the training will be virtual, in the classroom, along with small group activities guided online by Master Gardener mentors. The training program covers practical horticulture topics including sustainability, botany, plant identification, soil biology, entomology, integrated pest management, arboriculture, perennials, vegetable and fruit production, plant pathology, weeds, pollinators, companion planting, and irrigation.

To be certified as a Sandoval Extension Master Gardener, you must successfully complete...

Construction is expected to begin in April for a long-proposed trail connection between the City of Rio Rancho’s paved Thompson Fence Line trail along the edge of the escarpment and the end of Sagebrush Drive in Corrales. Engineering work has begun after the Corrales Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Commission pushed for it at the June 16 Village Council meeting. The plan was explained in a Powerpoint presentation by the commission.

At the November 12 session Village Administrator Ron Curry said the work would likely begin in April since that is the availability of the firm contracted to build the trail link. In the meantime, he said adjacent property owners will be contacted to make sure they are aware of the project.

The Village of Corrales began offering free COVID-19 face masks to village residents and businesses November 10. “We want to do everything we can to encourage mask use.  That is an enormously powerful weapon against the current surge of cases,” said Mayor Jo Anne Roake. “We want to be sure everyone who needs one has one.”

Businesses that need a supply can call Sandy Rasmussen at the Corrales MainStreet office, 350-3955.  Individuals can get masks via the fire station at 898-7501. If you need them delivered as you are staying home, this can be arranged, according to the mayor.

Coming soon, a video that covers the importance of masks, social distancing and protecting each other, first responders and other essential workers.  Look for it on the Village website website, corrales-nm.org, under “COVID -19 Resources.” And don’t miss the COVID-19...

A team of Corrales woodworkers has built small, student desks for children trying to learn at home during the pandemic. Ben Blackwell said he was inspired to start such an effort here after seeing a CBS Evening News story in early October. He took a prototype to Corrales Elementary School this fall for feedback, and then modified his design to make desk legs shorter for a better fit for a typical kid in kindergarten through third grade.

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