With Election Day 2020 immediately ahead, the democratic process is in full swing. Regardless of which candidate or party it favors, the electorate seems to be far more engaged than at any time in recent memory. Maybe candidates proclaim it every election cycle, but this year both presidential candidates, Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, have loudly asserted this election is the most important in American history. That call for voters’ support echoes through down-ballot campaigns. Early and absentee voting seems to validate that.

An unprecedented rash of arson fires in the Corrales Bosque Preserve is threatening the beloved forest along the river and nearby homes. “We have had a total of seven fires in the bosque on two separate days,” Corrales Fire Department’s Tanya Lattin told Corrales Comment October 18. No evidence was found to suggest any of the blazes was caused accidentally by campers or squatters. In Mayor Jo Anne Roake’s message to villagers days before, she flatly stated, “Corrales has an arsonist in the Bosque. Numerous fires have been started in the last week. The Corrales Fire Department has successfully responded to each one, helped by neighboring first responder organizations.” Lattin said a fire Thursday, October 8 was discovered near the bridge over the Riverside Drain at the end of Andrews Lane. She described that one as a small fire about 200 feet by 200 feet in area.

With coronavirus infections spreading rapidly, Corraleños are intensifying precautions. Plans for political rallies were halted, trips to grocery stores were kept to a minimum and appointments for clinics and hospital visits were cancelled. As of October 18, cases of COVID-19 in the zip code 87048 reached 42. In Sandoval County about three percent of people tested were positive for the virus.

Statewide, 934 people had died by that time and 36,788 people had come down with the deadly disease. “COVID-19 is out of control in our state, with 672 cases reported yesterday, Mayor Jo Anne Roake cautioned. “The governor calls it a ‘raging wildfire,’...


Exasperated by the continuous flow of traffic on Corrales Road these days? Rest assured it’s not because everybody and his uncle or her aunt has moved to Corrales in a mass migration. Instead, the clogged condition of Highway 448 through Corrales is caused by closure of lanes on Highway 550 between Interstate 25 and Highway 528 through Bernalillo.

By Jeff Radford

Finally, candidates for national offices are forced to address citizens’ demand for a substantive response to ever more severe consequences of climate change. In the first presidential debate moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden were not expected to be asked to comment on that issue at all. It came up briefly anyway, with Trump backing down a little from his earlier position that the whole thing is a hoax perpetrated by China, while Biden assured the electorate that he would make combatting climate change a priority and would quickly re-join the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.

By Meredith Hughes
A fractured pelvis and a broken elbow? A year before that, a compromised femur? These are mere blips impeding Nancy Butler, age 90, for whom movement and activity are all-important. One of her goals?

Decisions on how Village officials will use the former residence of Harvey and Annette Jones, west of the Corrales Post Office, have advanced little since the property on which it sits was acquired more than four years ago. Village Administrator Ron Curry said in a phone interview October 16 that a final assessment has yet to be made whether the structure can be re-purposed and renovated or should be razed. That is about where things stood in 2016 when the 2,54 acres of land and buildings were purchased.

“A chemical review will be done to see what is in that structure. We’re having Facility Build and another company go in there to look for asbestos and mold and other problems that would diminish the integrity of the structure,” Curry said. Facility Build is a firm owned by Corrales resident Brian Kilcup and which last year renovated the old Corrales Valley Fire Station which now houses the Planning and Zoning Department.

“What we don’t want to do is make a plan for using the building and go forward with those plans, then discover problems that will mean additional costs,” he added.

“Depending on the evaluation, we could do a re-model or we could raze the structure and build on the foundation or expand the foundation.

“We had a meeting with folks who examined both of those possibilities. We’re trying to be prudent as we go forward.” In the meantime, interim uses are underway. The Corrales Police Department is now using space in the old Jones residence as a secondary office to encourage social distancing, Curry said. Community groups have met there in recent years, although those gatherings are curtailed due to the pandemic.

Corrales author Rudy Miera has been named the Village’s poet laureate. Long a resident here, Miera was so designated by Mayor Jo Anne Roake last month, based on his volunteering with the Corrales Library. He is directing the library’s “I Love to Write” youth poetry contest, the results of which will be announced October 30, the birthday of the late Rudolfo Anaya, who Miera considers a mentor. The contest was open to persons in middle school and high school. Each poet was to begin with the phrase “Life in New Mexico is….”

Corrales MainStreet, Inc. recently launched a fundraiser for local businesses it is calling “Starry Daze Business Booster Bingo” program. Starry Night, a gala usually held in late August or early September also to raise money for MainStreet projects, was nixed given obvious pandemically-dictated restrictions. The bingo project which runs until November 31, requires players to pick up a bingo card at any participating local business, and spend at least $25 there, thus earning a checking off of a box on the card. The instructions state: “When you have completed a row (or more if you are an over-achiever!) just turn it in with receipts and it will go into the drawing. Our goal is to bring $15,000 in business to the participating merchants and give away $2,350 in prizes. Have fun.”

To enter, you must go to the Corrales MainStreet office with card and receipts in hand, your name, email and phone filled in as well. Twelve gift cards, ranging from $100 per, to $500, comprise the prizes. MainStreet’s...

Villagers living in the vicinity of the Wagner Farmland Experience on Corrales Road, now in full swing, have noted almost no pandemic safe practices in place, with overflow parking, groups of more than five people, few masks, many lined up to buy tickets, and nothing close to social distancing. Each fall Wagner’s creates a corn maze, and invites visitors to pick out future jack-o-lanterns from their pumpkin patch.

New this season, a “Vegetable U-Pick,” featuring a variety of vegetables including different color bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, eggplant and chile piquin. Farmland Experience is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through October 31. Admission is charged.

By Meredith Hughes
As of October 17, the first-ever online Old Church Fine Arts Show has had 1,423 visitors to its site.  According to the Corrales Historical Society board of directors secretary, Carol Rigmark, “close to 1,100 are first time visitors and over 300 are returning to the site for another look.”

The show featuring about 50 artists is running online through October 31. It is produced in collaboration with the Corrales Society of Artists. It can be viewed at www.corralesoldchurchshow.com. 

If you’d like to bring recognition to someone you consider a local hero, the mayor wants nominations for that designation. “Let’s recognize those among us who do their best to help others here in town, in New Mexico, the nation and even the world,”

Mayor Jo Anne Roake said in her weekly message. “Please nominate your local hero, and we’ll recognize that person at our Village Council meeting.”

Nominations should be emailed to Village Clerk Aaron Gjullin at agjullin@corrales-nm.org.

Roake said she was inspired to start the program after learning of the volunteer work being done by Linda Crowden with the Red Cross in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, helping distribute food and supplies to families devastated by recent hurricanes.

For the first summer since it was  acquired by the Village in 2008 to be preserved in perpetuity as farmland, the 5.5-acre Gonzales field is almost fully growing crops. Approximately two-thirds of the Juan Gonzales Bas Heritage Farm...

Crawfish étouffée, beignets, filet au poivre, food for fans of Louisiana is now being served up at C3’s Bistro, whose owners moved into the spot most recently held by Las Ristras Restaurant at Village Plaza, 4940 Corrales Road. Corrales’ Cajun Creole Bistro had its soft opening recently, and awaits a full service grand opening in 45-60 days once its wine and beer license has been secured. C3’s is already working with Ex Novo Brewery across the road to provide edibles to their customers.

The new restaurant’s owners have years of experience in food service, bought the traditional French restaurant P’tit Louis Bistro on Nob Hill in November, and once C3’s is fully launched, expect to open more than one location for an “all things waffle” venture called AJ’s Waffology.

One of the owners said that “Corrales is known for supporting Corrales business,” so he jumped at the chance to open up at the Village Plaza.

A drone might be handy, in these pandemic times, to slowly drift along high above Corrales Road to look down on what businesses are in, what out, what pending, etc. But, a car must do. The long-debated and awaited medical cannabis retail shop via TopShelf, aka Southwest Organic Producers, or SWOP, is still not open at 4604 Corrales Road in an end space in the former Kim Jew building.

But there are tiny signs of progress. The building itself is still not sold, but SWOP reported on its website October 9 that it had “just started harvesting our first couple of harvests. The results are in and they’re testing better than ever.” Cannabis for SWOP is being grown now in Corrales at 379 Camino de Corrales del Norte, under the guidance of Spencer Komadina. It comprises three greenhouses.

The League of Women Voters of New Mexico launched its statewide voter guide on September 15.  Vote411.org  provides information on national and statewide candidates, much of it in English and Spanish.  This will be in addition to the league’s regular four area printed editions, which will be published later this month. The league successfully launched an earlier version of Vote411.org for the primary election in June.

“This is an ambitious project for us but aligns with our goals of providing excellent, non-partisan voter education and information about the election process,” said state LWV President Hannah Burling.

“Now that many people are voting by mail, we wanted to get pertinent information out to them as early as possible.” “We have reached out to candidates all over the state.  We have sent them ...

A branding “tag line” for a marketing campaign by Corrales MainStreet will continue as a “deliverable” in its contract with the Village in the months ahead if funding is secured. MainStreet’s annual contract with the Village was slated to be taken up at the August 18 council meeting. In an August 11 email to Corrales Comment, Corrales MainStreet’s Sandy Rasmussen offered an update for the controversial branding exercise. “So we have carried the ‘branding’ into our contract for 2020-2021 with the Village (going before Council at the next meeting) because we could not complete it because of funding and this pandemic doesn’t help.

Perhaps it has been changing wind patterns, changing weather or changing industrial chemicals, but breezes over the microchip factories on the escarpment may have caused breathing irritation downwind this summer. During the August 19 virtual meeting of Intel’s Community Environmental Working Group (CEWG), much discussion focused on complaints that Intel’s chemical emissions were suspected as the cause for early morning breathing problems.

Dennis O’Mara, a Corrales resident who consistently attends CEWG meetings and is retired from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said he had awakened several times in August when industrial odors were blown into his bedroom through swamp coolers. He began reporting breathing fumes he associated with Intel more than seven years ago. He lives on Tierra Encantada, far from the neighborhoods nearest the factories that experienced such intense exposures decades ago.

Next year is the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States. If one is old enough, the images of that day, especially those of the fire-filled, crumbling Twin Towers in Lower Manhattan, are seared into memory. As New Mexico writer Jesse Ehrenberg put it in the new book New Mexico Remembers 9/11, “And the people trapped, more than one hundred stories above the ground, their only choice to die in flames or jump out into the sky, and fall like leaves, screaming, (screams that would never be heard, but our imaginations would never forget.)”

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