Archive for East Mountains

A Little Catching Up, And A Little Clearing Up

by John Weckerle

With the election safely over, we turned to some of our local favorites to see what sort of high-fiving might be going on – and surprisingly found essentially none among our normal haunts.  After apparently selling its trademark to the fossil fuel industry (the site essentially became a re-posting venue for screeds by petroleum industry-funded fossil fuel advocate Marita Noon), the Sandia Tea Party site appears to have gone “dark” in October.  As expected (and hoped), the East Mountain Tea Party remains silent, but a little searching revealed that its former denizens Therese Cooper and Char Tierney are alive and kicking on the internet, dispensing their version of reality via Facebook. We don’t want to be raising the relevance scores on their accounts, so we won’t link directly, but on Facebook they are therese.cooper.9 and char.tierney.9, respectively, the latter having recently changed her Facebook account from CharTierney.  Both accounts are reminiscent of what we saw on the East Mountain Tea Party site and sites associated with the Table of the Remnant and Operation Jesus Pictures.  Silvana Lupetti is also apparently on Facebook (SilvanaLupetti). Unfortunately, we didn’t find anything particularly worth commenting on, but we’ll keep an eye out just in case.

We do, however, occasionally receive e-mails from readers containing what might be described in the current vernacular as “fake news,” and we thought we’d share a little of that with you today. We recently received an e-mail containing the following:

»» A Little Catching Up, And A Little Clearing Up

Mountainair and Sandia Ranger Districts Both in Stage II Fire Restrictions

by Donna Nemeth, Public affairs Officer, USDA Forest Service, Cibola National Forest

Albuquerque, NM, July 13, 2016 – Continued hot and dry weather has increased the potential for fires on the Sandia Ranger District, prompting a change to Stage II fire restrictions.  The Mountainair Ranger District remains in Stage II restrictions.  The following are prohibited:

  • Building or maintaining a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove
  • Explosives, fireworks, or any pyrotechnic device
  • Smoking, except in a vehicle or building or an area that has no vegetation such as a parking lot
  • Chainsaws or other equipment powered by a combustion engine
  • Welding or operating a torch with an open flame
  • Using a motor vehicle off of National Forest System roads, except in developed campgrounds and trailheads and areas within 10 feet of the roadway where there is no vegetation
  • Firearms

The Mount Taylor and Magdalena Ranger Districts remain in Stage 1 fire restrictions.  The following are prohibited:

  • Building or maintaining a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove except in developed areas such as campsites or picnic areas where grills are provided
  • Explosives, fireworks, or any pyrotechnic device
  • Smoking, except in a vehicle or building or an area that has no vegetation such as a parking lot
  • Petroleum-fueled stoves, except an area that has no vegetation such as a parking lot

These orders will remain in effect until December 31, 2016, or until rescinded.  Violations of this order are punishable by a fine of $5,000 for individuals, $10,000 for organizations, and/or 6 months of imprisonment.  If you have any questions about the fire restrictions, please contact the Mountainair Ranger District at 505-847-2990 or the Sandia Ranger District at 505-281-3304, or your local Ranger District.

 

Fall Burning on the Mountainair Ranger District

by Arlene Perea

Mountainair, NM – October 14, 2015: Fire officials on the Mountainair Ranger District are planning to begin fall burning.  The first project planned is the approximately 460 acre Thunderbird Prescribed Burn which was started in June but not completed due to weather conditions and personnel.  Managers have been closely monitoring fuel moistures and have decided that conditions are again conducive to implement a very successful burn.  The planned burn area is located within the Thunderbird Ecosystem Management Project area, east of FR#422, south of FR#253 and north of FR#275.  This area has been previously thinned so fire personnel will now be entering the area to burn excess material left behind after the thinning operation.

The burn date is tentatively planned to begin the week of October 19 but may be conducted at any point within the next month.  Fire managers on the district will be organizing resource and will be closely watching weather patterns and fuel moistures to determine the best time to implement a successful burn.  If ignited, fire management crews will monitor the burn for as long as necessary.

As with most of the burns in the Manzano Mountains, the goal of this project is to improve watershed and wildlife biodiversity, and to help protect private property in the event of a wildfire by reducing fuel loading (amount of fuel available to burn).  Our ecosystem depends on fire to promote new vegetation, enhance habitat and reduce the threat of large fire.  It also improves public and firefighter safety by reducing the accumulated fuels that could otherwise contribute to more intense fire behavior under hotter and drier conditions.

During the prescribed burn, NFS roads directly affected by the burn may be closed to the public.  Signs will be posted in any areas with temporary road closures.  In addition, temporary road signs warning about smoke and activity on the roads will be posted on State Highways 131 and 55 along with Forest Roads #422, #253 and #275.  Smoke may be noticeable throughout any of the local mountain communities and will include the Estancia Valley and the west side of the Manzano Mountains.  Smoke could travel as far north as State Highways 217 and 337 in the Tijeras area depending on conditions.  Fire fighters will make every attempt to burn during times of the day when ventilation is optimal.  Additional fire vehicles will be in the area patrolling and monitoring the roads.  Please drive carefully when on affected roads, as visibility might be lowered due to smoke.

Prescribed Fire General Information – EMIFPA

by John Helmich

EM Residents,

Fall is frequently when prescribed fires are planned and executed in the NFs of NM. We have received updates from several areas that are planning prescribed fires. The Carson NF, Santa Fe NF and the Cibola NF are all planning prescribed burns in their districts. Since these districts are close to our area (and in our area), we will try to keep you updated about these efforts. But if you have not heard from us about what is going on, and see smoke, here are some telephone numbers for you to use seeking information – Carson National Forest: (575) 758-6200; Santa Fe National Forest: (505) 438-5300; and Cibola National Forest: (505) 346-2650.

Talking about prescribed fire, the NM Prescribed Fire Council will be hosting an all day workshop in Capitan, NM on October 29th. You can get more information about this workshop by calling Doug Boykin at 575-405-2387 or Don Kearny at 575-835-9359. You can also go to their information page about this by using this link: http://nmrxfire.nmsu.edu/.

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Press Release: Sandia Ranger District Planning Prescribed Burn

Editor’s note: This was forwarded Friday by John Helmich of the East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association

Tijeras, NM – October 15, 2015: Cibola National Forest fire managers on the Sandia Ranger District are planning to conduct broadcast burning starting on Wednesday, October 21st, weather conditions permitting.

The planned prescribed burn is in David Canyon, which is situated east of Kirtland Air Force Base and west of Raven Court Rd in Tijeras, NM. The crews will burn the understory of approximately 170 acres of Ponderosa pine. Smoke could affect the Raven Court area, State Highway337, and Forest Road 530. There will be a closure to area system trails and Forest Roads during burn operations. The public will be notified when conditions are safe to enter the area.

Broadcast burns involve applying fire across the forest floor. Flames make their way along the surface, consuming accumulated needles, leaves, branches, and logs while recycling nutrients back into the soil. Broadcast burns typically produce the most noticeable smoke. The purpose of this burn is to reduce hazardous fuels and to maintain wildlife habitat.

All prescribed fire activity is dependent on personnel availability, weather – including winds and ventilation, and approval from the NMDEQ (http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb/).

Periodic prescribed burns will occur in this area through December as conditions permit.

For more information about the prescribed burn, please contact the Sandia Ranger District at 505-288-2112. Smoke sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at https://nmtracking.org/en/environ_exposure/fire-and-smoke/#xEPHT__fivemile__1329.

For more information, you can visit our website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/cibola or call the Sandia Ranger Station in Tijeras, NM at 505-281-3304.

Follow the conversation at www.facebook.com/cibolanf.

EMIFPA contact information:

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

EMIFPA Fire Info – October 1, 2015: EM Library Community Appreciation Day

by John Helmich

EM Residents,

This one should be on your calendar! The Tijeras Library (EM Library) will hold a “Community Appreciation Day” October 10th (Saturday) from 10 am until 2 pm. They will be holding various programs for the whole family – grade schoolers, teen agers and parents. Check out the various events planned by visiting their web page – http://abclibrary.org/eastmountain.

EMIFPA will be part of this celebration. We will hold a 1/2 hour conversation (10 -10:30 am) about landlord/tenant issues and concerns. This is a very interesting topic, and we hope highly informative. EMIFPA member agency US Forest Service Sandia Ranger District will also be involved. Matt Rau, FMO for the Sandia District, will present a program (12:30 – 1 pm) on prescribed fire, and he will also be touching on USFS prescribed fire plans in the near future on the Sandia District.

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

EMIFPA Fire Info – May 28, 2015 – Tijeras Library Meeting

by John Helmich

EM Residents,

It’s your turn to help us!  We want to hear from you! Is there information you want/need about wildfire that we have not helped you with?   Do you have ideas that you believe we should incorporate into our education program or ideas on how we can reach more people?

Come to the May session of the Tijeras Public Library series. The date is May 28, 5:30 – 6:30 pm in the library meeting room. Help us help you!

As always, we encourage you to get involved. Your safety during wildfire and any disaster will be effected by your neighbors and their readiness. Be prepared and help your neighbors become prepared too.

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Red Flag Fire Conditions Today

by John Helmich

EM Residents,

The first “red flag” condition for the season is forecast for our EM region today from 12 noon until 7 pm. The full forecast is here: http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=abq&wwa=red%20flag%20warning.

“Red flag” conditions are “short term, temporary warnings indicating the presence of dangerous combinations of temperature, wind, relative humidity, and fuel or drought conditions which can contribute to new fires or rapid spread of existing fires. They can be issued at any Fire Danger level.” Presently, we are at the “Moderate” fire danger level.

Expect high winds, above average temperatures, very low relative humidities. Now is the time to test your preparedness planning. Review the meaning of the various fire danger levels as well as what are the recommended activities during “red flag” conditions.

John Helmich

EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site

EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

Proof Positive: There Is Life After Death

by John Weckerle

Or something to that effect.

On January 4, 2013, the East Mountain Tea Party announced its dissolution.  No doubt some were relieved, and others disappointed (not the least of whom were those of us who enjoyed commenting on their commentary).  As it turns out, the East Mountain Tea Party is back, and may never really have gone anywhere in the first place.

A recent Internet search led us to a Facebook page* upon which the first post, written on April 4, 2010, provides convincing (to us, at least) evidence that the owners of this Facebook account are likely the same people responsible for the posts that gave us all so much to discuss some years ago.  The fact that the cell phone number associated with the page (505-269-5617) is the same as that used for the previous web site perhaps supports that conclusion.  The commentary continued at a reduced pace, with a meager nine posts in 2013 and just one in 2014.  Now, however, we see two posts less than a week apart in March 2015, and one of them contains an all-too-familiar combination of religious intolerance and inaccuracy, referring to President Barack Obama as a “Marxist, Muslim man-boy,” all of which is clearly intended to be derogatory. And of course, there is the signature anonymity – no name, just the pseudonym “East Mountain Tea Party.”

Is the East Mountain Tea Party back, or are these just a couple of posts before the page goes silent again?  We’ll see – because we’ll be watching!

* We’re not providing them with a link, but if you search Facebook for “East Mountain Tea Party,” you’ll find them right away.

And Never The Twain Shall Meet

by John Weckerle

We now turn the baleful eye of New Mexico Central* to none other than the Mountain View Telegraph, the progenitors of lies, deceit, disease, and filth.** In their recent article “Organization lauds 1983 move to N.M.,” the Telegraph opens: “The American Society of Radiologic Technologists threw a grand opening and anniversary party last Friday to unveil its greatly expanded and renovated East MountainsTM © headquarters and to celebrate 30 years in the Land of Enchantment.” The article then goes on to describe the location as “…just west of Carnuel on Old Route 66.”

WHAT???

Ignoring the split infinitive in the first sentence, let us begin with the concept of “East Mountains.”TM ©  We at New Mexico Central have always taken issue with this moniker, given that the entire “East Mountain”TM © area is, in fact, wholly within the western half of the state.  The term is essentially a geoegocentrism propagated by the schweinhunde in Albuquerque.*** However, since most of this area seems perfectly fine with accepting Albuquerque’s self-referential definition of the area to its east as the “East Mountains,”TM © we consider it worthwhile to examine the Telegraph’s description of this organization’s headquarters.  The web site for the American Society of Radiologic Technicians (ASRT) lists its address as “15000 Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123-3909.”  We performed the inevitable Google Maps search, of course, and found that a line drawn north-south intersects Albuquerque – well, to the north and the south.

There are few who would argue, we think, that any location that is not entirely east of Albuquerque is situated within the East Moutnains.TM ©

Armed with this information, we sought to consult with the appropriate authority on geographic descriptors within New Mexico to put the last nail into the lid of this one.  After a protracted**** search, we were surprised to find out that…

We’re it.

That’s right: New Mexico Central is now the only Recognized Authority on the Application of Regional Descriptions in New Mexico, TM © and the first thing we’re doing is copyrighting/trademarking “East Mountain,” TM © and associated plurals, abbreviations and colloquialisms.  Communities, businesses, and individuals who wish to describe themselves as being within the East MountainsTM © must contact us and request an application.  Following the payment of the fee (which we will determine based on a variety of factors, including the balance in the community’s bank account), Senior Geographic Descriptor Correspondent Wilson will conduct an analysis and render an opinion.  As should be expected, the application fee is non-refundable.

* We’re like Sauron.  Only worse.
**Just kidding, Telegraph folks.  We know you try to do (and generally succeed in doing) a good job at reporting in an environment in which it is increasingly difficult to practice anything that resembles journalism.  This does not waive a reasonable expectation of accuracy, though; while we understand that the Telegraph has to do what they can to expand readership, expanding geography is another thing.
*** Just kidding, Albuquerque.  We love ya.  We’d love ya more if you’d bring in an Ethiopian restaurant, though.  No kidding; that is some really great food. Plus, we’d like our own commuter rail system. Thank you.
**** As far as you know.

PSA: Red Flag Warnings

by John Weckerle

The East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association has issued an advisory on how to assist fire protection agencies in preventing wildfire during red flag warnings.

How do we know when a red flag warning is in effect?  Well, there are a number of ways, but we’ve set up a customized weather page at www.weather.gov.  To get started, input your city and state in the “Local Forecast by City, State” box near the top left.  When the new page opens, you can use the map to zero in on your location.  We used the satellite view to pinpoint New Mexico Central headquarters.  Then just bookmark the page and you’re set.  You can access location-specific weather advisories, forecasts, hourly weather graphs, and much more.

More Of The Same

by John Weckerle

With a busy week behind us and this morning’s garden endeavors complete, and having been watching for a while, we decided to take a closer look in on the Sandia Tea Party site (www.sandiateaparty.com) and see what the newest local chapter was up to.  We found ourselves neither greatly surprised nor disappointed:  both in format and in content, we found exactly what we expected.

From the standpoint of format, the Sandia Tea Party site is a mess, suggesting that something has gone terribly wrong with the group’s WordPress software.  This is just a little surprising, since a look through the articles on the site suggests that it is being managed by Edgewood Town Councilor Chuck Ring, who has been blogging for at least a couple of years.  The effective formatting characteristic of WordPress is entirely lacking, and the site is all plain text.  An anomalous swath of dark background nearly obscures one section of content.

As bad as the formatting is, the content does little to compensate.  We examined two articles – one on the famed “Pigford” cases, and one on global warming – and that was enough.  Let’s have a quick look at the two.

 

»» More Of The Same

Oh Good, Another One

by John Weckerle

It was with some amusement that we read about the formation of a new local Tea Party chapter, the Sandia Tea Party, at Gadabout-Blogalot.com.  We’re wondering whether there will be turf wars; there’s already an East Mountain Tea Party, and the Sandias are, after all, part of the East Mountains.

We decided to look the new group up, and found their web site.  Some parts of the site are still apparently being worked out, but we were interested to see that the Contact Us page listed the president of the chapter: John Doe.

Really?

This is just what we needed – another shadowy organization run by anonymous “patriots” championing their version of “conservative” ideology.  At what point did we arrive at the conclusion that there’s something wrong with having our names associated with that in which we believe?  Whether we agree with the positions of an organization or not, we assign essentially zero credibility to the opinions and positions of those who speak in combative terms but lack the fortitude to put their names where their mouths are.  We’ll be watching, and turning over rocks where we can find them.

Local Phone Service Interrupted

by John Weckerle

KOBTV reports that internet and phone service have been restored to our area after having been interrupted due to the accidental cutting of a Qwest fiber optic cable in Tijeras.  Another crew cut a line south of Soccorro that interrupted service  to much of the southern part of the State.  KOBTV and other sources suggested that cell phones be used to make emergency contact.

That would have been fine, we suppose, except for those of us whose cell phone service was also affected.  As it turns out, we had a medical emergency here at New Mexico Central headquarters shortly after the outage began, and found that our Sprint cell service was also inoperative.  Unable to make ANY connections to contact doctors or emergency response people for advice, we made our own run to the ER in Albuquerque and took care of the problem ourselves (everything will be fine).

We would like to know more about this situation: the identity of the contractors, what led to the accidental cutting of the cables, whether any negligence was involved, what corrective actions and/or sanctions are being implemented, and what Qwest may be able to do provide some level of backup service in the event that cables are accidentally cut in the future.

Mountainair Ranger District Press Release: Fall Prescribed Burning To Begin on the Mountainair Ranger District

Mountainair, NM – October 25, 2010: As fall colors come to an end and temperatures drop, it’s time for the Mountainair Ranger District to continue its prescribed burning program.  According to District Fire Management Officer, Mark Bernal, the district currently has two burns planned.

Currently there are 2 burns planned on the district.  The first burn is the East Thunderbird Prescribed Burn.  The East Thunderbird burn began last winter, but due to early winter precipitation was not completed.  The fall conditions have given us the opportunity to reenter the 190 acre area and attempt to complete the burn.

The burn will be in a forest area locally known as the Thunderbird area.  This area was thinned within the Thunderbird Ecosystem Management area, along both sides of Forest Road #275.  There are no set dates for the burn but district fire personnel will be watching weather patterns closely during the next few weeks to determine when it is safe and advantageous to conduct this burn.  The burn will be conducted only if and when weather patterns and available fire personnel are conducive to burning.

The second burn planned is the Barranco Prescribed Burn.  This burn is also within the Thunderbird Ecosystem Management area and is located South of Forest Road #275.  This burn will also be conducted as weather conditions and personnel allow.

If you have questions regarding the planned prescribed burn or any other Mountainair Ranger District questions, please call 505-847-2990 or email Adrian Padilla at adrianpadilla@fs.fed.us or Arlene Perea at atperea@fs.fed.us.