Corrales is in court in a contract dispute with the firm that re-built upper Meadowlark Lane. “I guess I would have to say we are in litigation” over the Village’s refusal to fully pay for work it considers unsatisfactory or incomplete, Village Administrator Ron Curry said July 3.

Attorneys for Blackrock Services LLC filed a civil suit in the Thirteenth Judicial District Court May 13 asking a judge to order Curry to issue a “notice of substantial completion” and, presumably, to be paid for that.

Although Curry has been tight-lipped about exactly what remains to be done, or re-done, on the road-building project that began in March 2019, the dispute likely involves stormwater drainage features in and along the roadway.

“What happened was that they filed for a motion for a writ of mandamus to order me to sign a ‘substantial completion’ notice that would allow them to be paid, but I would not sign that ‘substantial completion’ notice because they haven’t conformed with the rules and regulations,” Curry explained.

A 1992 painting by Corrales artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith was recently acquired by the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. The tall, mixed media painting “I See Red: Target” is part of Smith’s series about the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ trip to the Western Hemisphere. The piece is the first painting by a Native American artist to be acquired by the National Gallery of Art.

By Meredith Hughes
The medical cannabis farm on the property of the Komadina family at the north end of Corrales is infused with investor capital, a management team and energy, as exemplified in Aaron Brogdon, in a swirl of activity recently.

Brogdon heads up Corrales Management, which soon will oversee three medical cannabis retail outlets.

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By Scott Manning

Part 1

A small group of Corrales residents meets regularly to discuss plans to transform the Corrales Interior Drain into a recreational trail for walkers and for cyclists. This group is just beginning the planning process, but a similar project has already been partially implemented in Albuquerque’s North Valley along the Alameda Drain.

On June 9, Doug Findley organized a Zoom meeting to discuss the possibility of constructing a recreational space along the entire length of the Corrales Interior Drain. The Corrales Interior Drain is a drainage ditch and irrigation water return feature that runs north-south through the central area of Corrales east of Corrales Road.

At Findley’s suggestion, Mayor Jo Anne Roake said July 2 she intended to appoint a group to look at the potential for better using the area around the drainage ditch. The mayor said she hoped to appoint the following at the July 21 council meeting:  Doug Findley, Rick Thaler, Ed Boles, Sayre Gerhart, Jeff Radford and John Perea.

The group has as its mission “to identify and help implement ways in which the Interior Drain and its right-of-way may be improved for safe, enjoyable and essential public use while maintaining tranquility for adjacent residents.” The Interior Drain would retain its primary function as a drainage infrastructure for the village. But Findley and collaborators propose that the ditch bank become a mixed-use space that also supports recreation.

This is not the first time that residents have proposed transforming the land along the Corrales Interior Drain.
Over a decade ago, Radford, a charter member of the Corrales Bicycle, Pedestrian Advisory Commission, suggested that the Village support a plan for the ditch bank to be used for recreation and —possibly— a shady area for parking for visitors to the nearby businesses along Corrales Road.

The proposal he floated years ago would have part of the ditch replaced by a perforated underground culvert that would continue the original drainage function for adjacent land. Radford said that concept was suggested by former Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Chief Engineer Subhas Shah in the 1980s when Corrales residents complained about mosquitoes breeding in stagnant, smelly ditch water.

Now, this group of Corrales residents plans to meet and work closely with Mayor Jo Anne Roake to advance the idea of a new recreational space along the drainage ditch. Once they have achieved committee or task force status, they plan to work with the Conservancy District (MRGCD) and with Corrales residents to transform the ditch bank.

Mary Davis, historian summa cum laude of Corrales and beyond, just did her first book promo Zoom for fans of her newest book, Hometown Corrales: A Family Album, courtesy of Bookworks in Albuquerque.

She decided to sit in front of her randomly filled bookshelf for her remote chat, as is now customary among celebs and the litterati. This hour-long virtual event June 21 attracted just over a dozen possible customers/readers. Coming July 23 at 1 p.m. is Davis’ second Zoom appearance, this one for members of Village in the Village. For more information, call 274-6206.

As reported by Corrales Comment the end of last year, “Ten years of researching, interviewing, hair-pulling and collating later, Mary Davis has completed a second book about Corrales, an effort aided and abetted by the skills and commitment of Carolyn O’Mara, graphic designer, as well as by members of the Corrales Historical Society. This new project is called Hometown Corrales: A Family Album, and its primary focus is people —59 family names, and as many as 200 people, representing a tapestry of interwoven names and families.

As Davis put it, “This book is the answer to those who asked “Why is my family not in the book?” Her first such volume, Corrales, put out in April 2010 by Arcadia Publishing, was part of the series “Images of America.” And yet, even after all this, Davis admits there are “numerous families I know nothing about.’”

During the ongoing pandemic, Davis has been staying close to home with her husband Paul, retired University of New Mexico professor and author of numerous books, whose days are firmly focused on creating remarkable wood block prints that capture the essence of the novels of Charles Dickens. These 18 by 18-inch Dickens evocations are not for sale.

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 was presented at the June 16 Village Council meeting. The plan was explained in a Powerpoint presentation by the Corrales Bicycle, Pedestrian Advisory Commission. The council meeting was held via internet, as such meetings were over the past two months.

The commission has held discussions with Rio Rancho officials, the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority and Corrales Public Works several times over the last five years. Public Works has estimated the trail link could cost around $74,000 including engineering and installation.

“The time is now,” the commission’s presentation urged. “A Parks and Recreation survey indicated residents want opportunities to exercise outside

BALLOON FIESTA POSTPONED

By Meredith Hughes
We have no Balloon Fiesta this year, yet another casualty of the pandemic which had been fairly well beaten back in New Mexico —until it no longer was.

Ironically, the Balloon Fiesta Park field has been functioning busily for some time as a drive-up COVID-19 testing site via Presbyterian, which typically can do about 800 tests per day. Yet it was so overwhelmed July 3, with cars backed up onto San Mateo by 11 a.m., that Presbyterian closed up early.

GET YOUR NOMINATION
IN FOR PET MAYOR

The pandemic may have halted many events in their tracks, including the State Fair and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, but Tracy and Chuck Stabenow and the forces behind the Corrales Harvest Festival are determined that the 2020 Pet Mayor election will go forward.

The Harvest Festival itself still officially is scheduled to take place September 26 and 27, though whether that will stand likely is in doubt. Still, Corrales needs a Pet Mayor in...

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

The announced Corrales Fourth of July Parade was cancelled just days before it was to have launched due to an intense spike in COVID-19 infections. Of the 753 cases in Sandoval County at that time, 22 were in Corrales. Mayor Jo Anne Roake encouraged strict adherence to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s toughened guidelines.

On July 3, the mayor’s message urged compliance with the new orders. “The Village will always put your safety first in this time of pandemic. It’s been the message for months.

Cool summer evenings in Corrales have been a pleasure for hundreds of years, and 2020 is no exception. Winds were a bit more brisk than usual, but welcome, especially blowing over water in the Corrales Acequia. Behind masks, villagers strolling along the ditch banks nod greetings to passersby they don’t know by name.

At the west end of the Corrales Recreation Center, groups of fisher-folk around the Liam Knight Pond maintain ample “social distancing” while encouraging the 500 pounds of recently stocked catfish to gather for supper.

At the rec center skatepark, youngsters continue to soar until fading twilight makes it impossible.

 

The killing of a large pony in its corral near Cabezon Road and Caminito Alegre at the south end of Corrales late at night June 25 shocked villagers and led to a fundraising effort for a reward for information. The crime is being investigated by the N.M. Livestock Board; donations for a reward are being channeled to Crimestoppers in Albuquerque.

Donations to the “Justice for Rocky” reward fund can be sent to Corrales Horse and Mule People at https://gf.me/u/yc589h or mailed to CHAMP, PO Box 1064, Corrales NM 87048 with Justice for Rocky in the memo line.



Corralitos 4-H had “so many plans for this year and so many new members, it is really a bummer we have not been able to meet or do any of our community service projects,” reported 4-H leader Lacey Bendzus. New Mexico State University 4-H “cancelled all face-to-face 4-H activities until August 8, so we have not been able to do anything together, even with social distancing, at all,” she added. The Sandoval County Fair, a key event for Corralitos 4-H members, scheduled to run in Cuba from July 29 through August 2, has been cancelled. So organizers are creating a Virtual Livestock Show and Virtual Junior Livestock Sale.  The sale will be open to everyone.

Although Mayor Jo Anne Roake declined to explain the departure of former Village Clerk Shannon Fresquez, Aaron Gjullin has been hired to replace her. Gjullin has been assisting Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Siverts over the past two years. He started working at the rec center as a life guard at the pool in 2008. In 2017, he was named head life guard. Gjullin earned a degree at the University of Portland after studying biology and mathematics. In the Portland area, he was general manager of a large farm from 2014 to 2017.

In 2018, he was an administrative assistant in the Village Office. In recent years, he has also managed the Village’s website and other digital media tasks.
He applied for the position of Village Clerk on May 22. At the May 26 Village Council meeting, discussion about Fresquez’s departure was guarded and brief, since it was said to be a personnel matter.

Councillor Kevin Lucero asked for some discussion about the change, saying he was concerned about the rate of turnover in the Village Clerk position. ...

A career in veterinary medicine and/or research awaits a young Corraleña who reigned as New Mexico’s “Miss Rodeo Teen 2017.” Clara Maxam’s interests led to a summer project with Los Alamos National Laboratories studying the effects of the lab’s work on wildlife in the area. That was during her first year at New Mexico State University, from which she recently graduated with concentrations in animal sciences, chemistry and horse management.


The call of the cool waters of the Rio Grande recently has brought to its shores people launching swimming pool floats… flotation devices utterly unsuitable for river rafting.

Some haven’t worn life vests, something required by state law.  The result? Urgent calls to Corrales Fire Department and Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue,


By Scott Manning

The Corrales Bosque Advisory Commission and Sandia Pueblo are in talks to collaborate on bosque maintenance efforts.

According to Fire Chief Anthony Martinez, collaboration between the Village of Corrales and Sandia Pueblo would consist of dialogue between the two parties to coordinate bosque maintenance and to secure more funding.

Martinez has plans for several bosque maintenance projects this year. First, he intends to complete maintenance work on pre-existing fuel breaks in the preserve. This entails removing new plant growth to preserve the integrity of the fuel breaks.  Second, dead trees and vegetation must be removed from the bosque to reduce fire danger and to improve recreation on the hiking trails. This cleared wood is in turn sold to local Pueblos in need. Third, to improve the health of the ecosystem, workers must remove invasive Ravenna grass.

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