Should Village government take over Corrales Road from the state highway department? It’s a question that has re-surfaced every few years since Corrales incorporated as a municipality in 1971, and it’s back again. A public presentation will be scheduled for the near future to explain what might be involved if Village officials take up the N.M. Department of Transportation’s long-standing offer to give the road to Corrales.
That prospect was mentioned briefly at the November 10 Village Council meeting during Village Administrator Ron Curry’s report. He tied that possibility to more clarity regarding the Village’s financial situation. “It’s maybe out in the weeds, but I think it’s pretty exciting,” Curry prefaced. “We are getting to a point where we have got a lot of our accounting and finances to a point of reconciliation —where we are looking at fully engaging with our Tyler financial software— and how quickly that can get us to even consider taking over Corrales Road.”
Tyler Technologies produces the municipal accounting software package used by Village government. Curry said he expects to move ahead on talks with NMDOT on that possibility “sometime within the next 90 days, depending on what their schedule will allow, where they come in and talk about all the details and ramifications involved in us taking over Corrales Road.” Mayor Jo Anne Roake had little to add when asked November 12 for details: “The Village will be meeting with NMDOT next week, and we’ll try to set a date for a public presentation on the topic.”
The November 7 issue contained an article indicating the Wagner family’s Farmland Experience at the north end of Corrales might not be in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions. Jim Wagner contacted Corrales Comment to clarify that authorities had visited the site numerous times and found no violations of coronavirus safe practices.
Corrales cases of COVID-19 have climbed ominously this month, reaching 74 as of November 15. The number rose from fewer than 60 in October to 63 cases as of November 10, and then up to 72 four days later. Statewide, the number of coronavirus cases reached 64,201 as of November 15,...
No Christmas de Caballos parade this year, and no St. Nick’s old-fashioned community Christmas party. Those two holiday traditions that have brightened Corraleños’ spirits have been cancelled, as has the “giving tree” erected in the Village Office. But another is still going and needs your participation more than ever.
It’s the annual food and gift drive by the Corrales Fire Department. “As we head into the holiday season, things will be different this year to help keep everyone safe from COVID-19,” the Corrales Fire Department’s Tanya Lattin explained.
A woodworking business on a recently C-zoned property along Hansen Road has been approved by the Village Council following an appeal by a nearby resident. Following a hearing November 10, councillors voted unanimously to uphold the Planning and Zoning Commission’s approval of a site development plan for Dendro Technologies, owned by Rick and his son, Jacob Thaler at 4404 Corrales Road.
At its September 16 meeting the P&Z commission unanimously approved the Thalers’ proposed site development plan on the condition that buffering walls for noise control be erected on the south, east and north sides of their property. Commissioners specified that six-foot buffer fences would have to be erected within one year on the south and east sides and within two years on the north side. The primary piece of equipment for Dendro Technologies is a band saw that is used to cut slab planks to make furniture and other purposes. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXIX No. 13 September 19, 2020 “Rick Thaler and Son Open Woodworking Business.”)
The sewer line along Corrales Road experienced a major blockage in early November when Los Lunas-based Southwest Sewer Service was called in to remediate. The blockage was cleared within a few hours, although the Corrales Public Works Department continued to flush the line for several more hours. Public Works Director Mike Chavez said he could not definitively identify the cause of the problem. “We noticed we had an issue when the pressure on the line increased. We isolated the area in question and applied vacuum on one end and pressure on the other until the blockage loosened up and we could remove it.
“We did have to rotate between the vacuum and pressure a couple of times. We did have to isolate the area so the main was put out of service in the area we were working on.
As most youngsters are having to adjust to school work that is entirely online, Corrales fifthgrader Maya Gomez is right at home with it —literally. She’s in her second year with New Mexico Connections Academy, and is maintaining a grade level of 99 percent, she reported in a Corrales Comment phone interview October 29.
She and her parents, Danelle and Roberto Gomez, chose the remote learning model as a better alternative to classes at a typical brick-and-mortar school because she can better cope with diabetes problems. In a regular school, she recalled, she missed too much class time when she had to go to the school nurse’s station to manage her erratic blood sugar levels. “With home schooling, I can stop what I’m doing and check my blood sugar, and then start again where I left off.”
The program she’s in now, a tuition-free virtual public school, allows more flexibility, but still structured, learning environment. “The first year worked out very well,” she reported. She also credits her academic success to wearing a new Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring device. Her school day starts soon after breakfast and continues with breaks until about 4 p.m. Her favorite subjects are social studies and science, especially space walks. “I want to...
The Village Council will vote at its December 8 meeting whether to buy a conservation easement on the Haslam farm at the north end of the valley. That might have come at their November 10 session except that the appraisal for that purchase was not available to the public ahead of the meeting.
Village Attorney Randy Autio and Village Clerk Aaron Gjullin admitted the oversight and said the appraisal document would be posted on the Village’s website immediately and would be included in the information packet for the December 8 council meeting.
Corrales’ Mary Feldblum is confident of progress toward passage of the Health Security for New Mexicans bill in the next session of the N.M. Legislature.
“This election has brought major changes to the state senate, and support for Health Security has unquestionably increased,” she said in mid-November. New senate leadership, along with additional supportive senators, means that we finally have the opportunity to pass legislation that will create the Health Security Plan.
In addition, strong support remains in the state house.” She said on the federal level, some challenges remain, although a Biden presidency is cause for optimism.
The preservation and maintenance guy for the Old Church, John McCandless, is not one to lounge about even as COVID-19 invades captivating Corrales. He reports that “The pandemic has impacted some of our preservation and maintenance activities, but essential maintenance has continued. The biggest impact so far has been on our revenue stream.
“With public gatherings out of the question, events such as music performances and weddings have been curtailed. The funds generated by these events help sustain our preservation and maintenance activities, so we’ve scaled back or postponed some plans. However, necessary work is continuing.” A month or so ago, some creature was spotted tossing odd bits and bobs up into the air from a hole in the ground just east of the church. On further inspection it was seen to be McCandless, who by necessity was ripping out some old plumbing.
The Corrales Fire Department’s annual holiday food drive and collection of children’s presents is under way. “As we head in to the holiday season, things will be different this year to help keep everyone safe from COVID-19,” the Corrales Fire Department’s Tanya Lattin explained.
“We still have a need for food and presents for Corrales families, but cannot do a normal food drive and setup a “giving tree.” We will not have groups help with food sorting, food box setup or present wrapping. What we will be able to do as a community is help support those in need.” Lattin suggested that people who want to get gift tags this year, or to adopt a family for food, should contact her directly by calling 702-4182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn what a child wants and needs.
The medical research laboratory where Corrales’ John Alsobrook works gained national attention November 12 when the New York Times reported on its COVID-19 investigations. Headlined “New Type of Test on T-Cell Response May Better Discern Immunity to Virus,” the article explained how researchers at Adaptive Biotechnologies in Seattle used ongoing work on Lyme disease to re-focus on COVID-19.
The article did not mention former Village Councillor Alsobrook by name, but quoted the firm’s chief medical officer as saying “What we’re developing is essentially a way to look at that cellular part of immunity,” rather than whether COVID-19 antibodies are found in a person tested.
By Meredith Hughes
As New Mexico enters deep lockdown, many of us are not quite feeling that big old joyful, grateful “we gather together” Thanksgiving buzz, though we indeed are pleased to be alive and well. Absolutely not seeing our son in DC, nor other family in Bucks County, Brooklyn, New Hampshire or Maine, nor friends in New York or California, not even locals right here.
But we recall a rollicking good Thanksgiving dinner here pre-pandemic, with a Spanish-theme. Paella, grilled sardines, assorted greenery, cheeses, Spanish wine and flan for dessert. This year, contemplating eating tuna right from the can while watching “The Crown,” I decided to ask villagers, totally randomly chosen, their Thanksgiving favorites.
A solemn and deliberately sparsely-attended event on Veterans’ Day was held at the memorial in La Entrada Park outside the Corrales Library. Attended by about 15 people, the pandemic-influenced event was highlighted by the ringing of a bell and a brief speech by retired Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Orell.
In his remarks, he said “The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the 11th month 1918 was when the armistice was signed ending the First World War. “For years after, this day was celebrated by the ringing of bells in all churches and the blowing of whistles in all factories. Americans throughout the country would bow their heads, observing a moment of awesome silence, wherever they were, in tribute to all that died in that war.
“Today’s observance of that special day still reflects our respect for the end of the war and many more in which our nation has engaged over the...
An old farmhouse, considered one of the oldest structures in Corrales, has been designated a historic property by the Corrales Historical Society. The old residence at 4655 Corrales Road, now owned by Susanna Chavez and Doug Findley, was listed in the State of New Mexico’s Register of Historic Properties in 2010. “The Elias Martinez Farmhouse reflects its status as the home of a hard-working farmer who took advantage of existing walls to expand his home. It provides a window into Corrales before it succumbed to mid-20th century development pressures and helps tell the story of the village’s long Hispanic agricultural history,” according to the description for the State Register.
The mayor’s new initiative to publicly recognize “local heroes” has produced the first three villagers to be so honored: historian Mary Davis, Red Cross volunteer Linda Crowden and Corrales Comment publisher Jeff Radford.
Mayor Jo Anne Roake started the program last month when in her weekly “Mayor’s Message” she wrote “Hats off to a local hero. Corrales resident and Red Cross volunteer Linda Crowden is in Baton Rouge distributing food and supplies for those devastated by recent hurricanes. Linda said she ‘really wanted to be out in the field, and has the background and experience to do my best for us.’ Thank you to Linda for her efforts.”
In the following Village Council meeting, Roake urged villagers to submit their own nominations to Corraleños who should also be recognized as local heroes. Quickly nominated were Davis, for her work with the Corrales Historical Society and books about Corrales, and Radford, for reporting on...
A beautifully illustrated 175-page art book compiled and written by Corrales’ Martha Egan is being distributed by the University of New Mexico Press. Relicarios: the forgotten jewels of Latin America is a product of Egan’s 40 years of research since her Peace Corps days in Venezuela. The hardcover book is available at her store in the Casa Perea Artspace, 4829 Corrales Road.
“In the mid-1970s while I was perusing the jewelry case of a Lima antique shop, I spied several pretty framed miniatures of saints painted in a Cusco style. ‘They’re relicarios,’ the owner told me. ‘Two-sided, eighteenth century, silver frames.’
The recently completed project to prolong the life of the 85 year old wooden culvert siphon that brings irrigation water into Corrales has dramatically transformed the north end of Corrales next to the river. The old barrel stave pipe that delivers water from the east side of the river to the Corrales valley has been threatened by the constantly eroding river bed since about 1974 when Cochiti Dam was built.
The river has washed away about 12 feet of dirt that originally covered the hydraulic siphon when it was laid in 1935. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXII, No.16, October 5, 2013 “River Bed’s Drop Disturbs Buried Irrigation Culvert.”) The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) studied options for a remedy, deciding to cover it with large rocks, arranged in a long line all the way across the river, forming a low dam that over time is expected to cause river water to drop silt and recover the wooden pipe.