Archive for January, 2009

Edgewood COW Award Nominations Due February 3

by John Weckerle

The Town of Edgewood is  soliciting  nominations for their Community On the Way (COW) awards honoring volunteers who have worked to the benefit of the Town of Edgewood.  These annual awards recognize those who have given of their time and energy for the good of the Edgewood community.  Nomination forms may be downloaded or picked up either at the Town offices or the local Chamber of Commerce office and must be submitted to either location by February 3.  The award ceremony and potluck dinner, to be hosted by KOB TV’s Steve Stucker, will be held at the Edgewood Middle School on February 20, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.  For more information on the awards, locations where forms may be obtained and/or dropped off, see the nomination form and flyer or contact the Town office at (505) 286-4518.  The Town’s fax number is (505) 286-4519.

Fire & Emergency Response Training Coming In March

by John Weckerle

The East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association (EMIFPA) will hold its 2009 Spring Wildfire and Emergency Response Training Events from March 7 to 8, 2009 in Tijeras.   Events will include a two day training”focused specifically on Initial Attack/transition to Type Three Team Organization.  Each agency will be responsible for nominating their people…”  EMIFPA will also work with local community members, providing a one-day training event for wildlfire preparedness, fire risk reduction around homes, and evacuation on March 7.  There is room for 100 students, and nominations are due by February 6.  Candidates will be notified by February 19 regarding acceptance.  Community members must reserve their space with Sue Hansen of the Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District.  For more information, see the event notice, and for more information on area fire training, see the EMIFPA training page.

Given the re-emergence of La Nina in the Pacific Ocean, this is likely to be a dry spring, and that means increased risk of wildfire.  This training may be a good opportunity for residents unfamiliar with fire risk management to learn about strategies that may save lives and property.

Grow Your Own – A Winter Update

by John Weckerle

Preparation for this year’s micro-agricultural pursuits are proceeding.  We have now sprouted lettuce, tomatoes (beefsteak and cherry), yellow squash, string beans, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, basil, green onions, cilantro, brussels sprouts, and snow peas.  So far, only the green bell peppers have not sprouted.  The snow peas are furthest along,  with the largest now nearly two feet high and the other two not far behind.  The string beans (bush, not vine) only sprouted a few days ago, but had to be removed from the starting trays because they were pushing the top off – a familiar occurrence. »» Grow Your Own – A Winter Update

Beef Cattle Producers Workshop Coming To Moriarty

by John Weckerle

The New Mexico State University Santa Fe and Torrance County Cooperative Extension Service Offices will hold a beef cattle producers workshop at the Moriarty Civic Center on Tuesday, February 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The workshop is intended for both small and large producers, and specialists and professional staff will be available for one-on-one consultation.  Topics will include loco weed infestation, beef management, health, marketing, and much more.  Lunch will be provided.  Those who wish to attend should contact the Torrance County Cooperative Extension Service at 246-4745 or the Santa Fe County Cooperative Extension Service at 471-4711.  Your editor will not be attending; the flier includes a cartoon with the message “Save A Cow, Eat A Vegetarian” and, where lunch is concerned, I’d rather see one than be one.

Senator Beffort Provides Legislative Update

by John Weckerle

At the Estancia Basin Resource Association (EBRA) annual meeting Saturday, Senator Sue Wilson Beffort provided an update on developments occurring during this legislative session.

Ms. Beffort, who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, indicated that, as currently predicted, expenditures would outweigh tax revenues by $454 million over the next fiscal year, and that number could swell to over $1 billion by next fiscal year.  Because the state cannot indulge in deficite spending, Ms. Beffort indicated that some programs may see reductions in funding.  According to the Senator, some water programs – which have seen substantial spending in recent years – may be reduced this year.  Ms. Beffort indicated that funding in some programs had gone to technologies that “didn’t work,” and that the Finance Committee would be examining that issue this session.  Ms. Beffort also indicated that the Senate Finance Committee was proceeding carefully to ensure that key priorities, such as education, forest management, and people relying on public assistance would not be severely impacted.  Ms. Beffort also referenced 416 appointed positions recently created by the Richardson administration, suggesting that expenditures needed to support those positions would be a topic of discussion. »» Senator Beffort Provides Legislative Update

Chuck Ring Honored – Again!

 By Bob Steiner

Chuck Ring seems to be one of the more active “retired” citizens in Edgewood,. There is  hardly a civic organization that he is not active in. He has been repeatedly recognized for his many contributions to the town and Santa Fe county.

Last Wednesday night (Januray 21st), at a meeting of the Edgewood town council, he was presented with a plaque from the New Mexico Municipal League.  This organization, which assists communities in developing plans and administrative procedures,  recognized Chuck for dedicated service to the League as  Director of its board of directors for the peiod 2005 to 2008.  As Mayor Stearly was not at the council meeting, Councilor Rita-Loy Simmons did the actual presentation. Congratulations Chuck!

Been Through The Desert On A Bobcat With No A New Name

by John Weckerle

Photo - New Bobcat at Wildlife West Nature ParkWildlife West Nature Park has a new resident, and the new resident has a problem – she needs a name.

The Park recently acquired a 7 month-old female bobcat, formerly an illegal pet from the Alamagordo area.  Having been raised in a household environment, she is very friendly (my wife and I spent some time in the cage with her, and she was very interested in attention).  She’s also curious, very active, and has a relatively short attention span.  Wildlife West recently held a contest to find a name for the newest occupant, and she is now named “Spark,” a name given by a local fourth grade student.

EBRA Annual Meeting Scheduled

by John Weckerle

The Estancia Basin Resource Association (EBRA) will hold its annual membership meeting on Saturday, January 24 beginning at 2:00 p.m. at the Moriarty Civic Center.  Speakers will include:

  • Ryan Schwebach, Chairman, Estancia Basin Water Planning Committee – Estancia Basin Regional Water Plan Update
  • Chuck DuMars, EBRA attorney – Current issues in New Mexico water law
  • Donzil Worthington, Wilson and Company – Status report on the proposed EMW regional water supply project.

Other events include the annual election for open Board of Directors seats, reports on issues and activities from the previous year, and door prizes.  For additional information, contact Art Swenka, EBRA President, at 384-0176.

Edgewood Considering Windmills Without Requiring Permits

 by John Weckerle

Tonight, with very little fanfare before the fact, the Town of Edgewood will hold public hearings on a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow windmills as a permitted use in all residential areas.  Towers may be up to 80 feet tall  on small lots (1/2 to 1 acre)  and with no limit on height on larger lots.  The ordinance can be found here.

The proposed revision appears overly simplistic and indicates that inadequate consideration was given to the complex issues associated with wind turbine use in residential settings.  For example, the noise requirement states that a level of 60 decibels may not be exceeded at the “closest neighboring inhabited dwelling.”  In some situations, there may be many undeveloped lots between the windmill and the next inhabited dwelling, potentially rendering those lots uninhabitable and depriving the owners of the ability to build homes on them.  Taken in that context, some may suspect that the windmill ordinance has a certain “anti-development” goal. Allowing wind turbines – and their associated towers, to be permitted rather than conditional uses seems to ignore the complex and varied residential configurations found within Edgewood’s rather extensive land area. »» Edgewood Considering Windmills Without Requiring Permits

Edgewood To Acquire Town House Land?

By Bob Steiner

As previously reported on our blog (please see “Town House Community Not Approved”, Dec 23rd, post 336),  the Edgewood planning and zoning commission turned down a request  by local developer, Tim Oden, to re-zone the Northwest Corner of the intersection at State Road 344 and Venus to allow the construction of a town house community. This request was turned down due to the extensive opposition of many residents residing in close proximity to that location.  After the measure was voted down, town staff (Ms. Mahalick) assured the residents present that the town was not aware of any “other” plans for that location.

I recently was passed some pertinent information  regarding the town  house “ site” from an “anonymous” source. Normally I would give no credence to such input and simply regard it  as a rumor, but this source has proven to be accurate on other occasions. so I decided to try and corroborate the information.  In so doing, I was surprised  to find out that while what I had heard was “speculative”,  it could well be accurate.  If true, the people  near the site need  to be aware of what is happening.

»» Edgewood To Acquire Town House Land?

Goodwill Industries Looking To Hire Seniors

by John Weckerle

Goodwill Industries of New Mexico has announced their Senior Employment Community Services Program, in which low-income residents of Torrance County who are 55 and older can earn $7.50 per hour working 20 hours per week.  For more information, contact the Workforce Connection office in Moriarty at 832-6774 or stop by their office.  The Workforce Connection is located at 777 Old Highway 66 in Moriarty (Chamber of Commerce building).

Moriarty-Edgewood School District 2 Mill Levy Election To Be Held

by John Weckerle

On February 3, The Moriarty-Edgewood School District (MESD) 2 Mill Levy Election will be held to determine whether the current levy will be extended through  2014.  Funds from the levy would, according to the MESD brochure, be ” used for the maintenance of buildings, acquisition of equipment, and other capital improvement purposes.”  The money cannot be used for operational expenses such as salaries and other personnel costs.  Anticipated funding from the continuation of the levy is anticipated to be approximately $930,000 per year, which would be matched with about $35,000 per year from the state Public School Capital Improvement Fund.

It should be noted that “A vote for the captial improvements tax levy will not result in a tax increase.” This is money that is sorely needed for the upkeep of our school facilities, and we urge local residents to support the mill levy.  For more detailed information and a list of polling places, please see the MESD brochure.

Moriarty Gets Coffeehouse, Bookseller

by John Weckerle

There’s a new coffeehouse in town, going by the name of Mustang Mudd’s. The cafe, with a bar for bellying up and seating for about 25 customers, is located in the rear portion of the building that now houses Le Barn Wild West Chic, Maggie’s Gifts, and the new bookseller.

Photo - Mustang Mudd's Coffeehouse

»» Moriarty Gets Coffeehouse, Bookseller

Edgewood Seeks Parks And Recreation Committee Applicants

by John Weckerle

The Town of Edgewood is seeking applicants for one member and two alternate vacancies on its Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC), which is involved with parks, trails, athletics, open space, events, education, conservation, and more.  The PRAC meets monthly, as may subcommittees.   Those interested in supporting Edgewood’s excellent PRAC should leave a resume, to include experience and areas of interest, at the Town office c/o Roger Holden by January 20, 2009.

Public Service Announcement: Mountainair School Board Elections

by John Weckerle

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Announcements, we find that the Mountainair School Board election will be held on February 3, 2009.  For more information, see the full article at Mountainair Announcements.