Archive for May, 2009

Fundraiser For Wildlife West Next Saturday

by John Weckerle

Next Saturday, June 6, a fundraiser will be held to feed the animals at Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood, New Mexico.  This will include a chuckwagon supper, entertainment by The Rattlerz, tours of the animal areas, disc golf, horseshoes, and a free-flight Peregrine Falcon demonstration – all for the paltry sum of $28 per person. For reservations, contact the Park at (505) 281-7655 or (505) 286-4053. For more information, see the Park’s event flier.

Once again, folks, Wildlife West is an outstanding asset to the regional community, and the Park needs our help.  We simply can’t wait and assume that a big donor will ride in on a white horse and start tossing food into the habitats.  If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, please consider visiting the Park web site and making a contribution.  Even the smallest donation helps, and if enough of us make those donations, it will be just as good as one big one. To all our readers, whether they hail from here or elsewhere, please do what you can to feed the animals at Wildlife West.  You will have our thanks.

New Italian Restaurant Opens

by John Weckerle

On Tuesday of this week, a new restaurant – Gordon’s Italian Restaurant – opened at the former location of Kokopelli’s on State Road 14 just north of Frost Road.  We went to dinner at the new establishment last evening.

We arrived early, and were greeted by a friendly, courteous, and humorous gentleman at the front desk.  We were seated immediately – there were few other patrons in the restaurant when we arrived, and the parking lot was far less than half full.  Each of us ordered a glass of Farnese Chardonnay, which was reasonably good and reasonably priced at $6.50 per glass.  We looked over the menu, which had pasta dishes (these do not include a salad) priced from $9 to $12 and other, more expensive dishes up to $25.  I ordered the linguine con gamberi (shrimp), and Lucy ordered the conchigle salsica (forgive the spelling if it’s wrong), which was shells and sausage.  Our server, Tracy, brought the wine and some bread and butter, and then some water, and we began waiting for our dinner. »» New Italian Restaurant Opens

A Truly Celestial Celebration This Saturday

by John Weckerle

The MoonThe Albuquerque Astronomical Society will hold the first of this summer’s three big East West Mountain events – combining a Star Party and Astrophotography Boot Camp –  at Oak Flat this Saturday, May 30 (subsequent events are June 27 and July 25).  Astrophotographer Becky Ramotowski (some of Ms. Ramotowski’s outstanding photos can be seen here), whose photos were reportedly featured in the BBC series, The Sky At Night, will provide instruction on taking great celestial images to novices and advanced shooters alike, with any type of camera: digital SLR, point-and-shoot, and even film cameras.  As Ms. Ramotowski notes in the May 2009 edition of the Sidereal Times, “The ultimate goal is to get attendees whipped into shape so they will have an extraordinary photo to enter in the TAAS Astrophoto Show in November.” That’s a great opportunity for photographers of any stripe. »» A Truly Celestial Celebration This Saturday

Employment Opportunity

From the Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative:

Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative is accepting resumes for a full time Billing Technician in the Mountainair office.  Must be proficient in generalized computer skills with a strong emphasis on Microsoft Excel.  Bookkeeping experience and strong communication skills are required.  College education is preferred. Please send resumes to CNMEC, PO Box 669, Moriarty NM 87035.  Att: Alena  Closing 6-5-09

Public Service Announcement: Wildlife Safe Passage Meeting Tomorrow

by John Weckerle

We have received word from Linda Hill that the New Mexico Department of Transportation will be holding a meeting on Wildlife Safe Passage from Tijeras to Edgewood tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.  at Wildlife West Nature Park’s Bean Barn.  Wildlife Safe Passage uses a combination of tactics – fencing, underpasses, etc. to help prevent wildlife from crossing highways such as Interstate 40 and being struck by vehicles.  Wildlife Passage also helps reduce the impacts of highways on animal migration, reproduction, foraging, access to water, and other ecologically essential activities.  A similar effort was undertaken in Tijeras Canyon, where the DOT worked with the City of Albuquerque and local groups such as the Tijeras Canyon Safe Passage Coalition and others.

For a map and directions to Wildlife West, see the Park’s map & directions page.

Public Service Announcement: Fire Prevention Meeting To Be Held June 4

Checking in on Chuck Ring’s blog, we see that Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Brasher has announced a fire protection/prevention meeting to update residents on the 2009 fire season.  For more information, see Chuck’s article.

No More Nambe For Me

by John Weckerle

An article in yesterday’s Albuquerque Journal informs us that Nambe, the maker of “New Mexican” metal objects d’art, outsourced all its casting operations  to China and India last year, with only polishing being done at its Espanola plant.  They’re also operating four retail stores and, despite the fact that none of their products are made in New Mexico, they still consider themselves a New Mexico company.  Well, they may technically be headquartered here, but they’ve sent their manufacturing jobs overseas, and in our opinion their products are no longer “New Mexican,”  regardless of whether the designs are created here.  I don’t own that much Nambe, but every piece I’ve purchased – or ever will – was made in the United States.  If you’re against outsourcing American – and especially New Mexican – manufacturing jobs, then you may wish to consider not purchasing Nambe products in the future.

Memorial Weekend Fire Safety Reminder

by Arlene Perea, Mountainair District Ranger Station

Mountainair, NM, May 19, 2009 – Cibola National Forest officials remind everyone of the importance of responsible recreating in anticipation of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The Mountainair Ranger District as well as the Kiowa & Rita Blanca Grasslands are the only districts currently under stage 1 fire restrictions.  Although Black Kettle, Mount Taylor, Magdalena and Sandia are not under any fire restrictions, we would like to remind all forest visitors to use extreme caution to prevent any wildfires within the Cibola National Forest and Grasslands.  In anticipation of the upcoming holiday, district fire and recreation personnel will continue to patrol the roads, trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, and other recreational facilities during the holiday weekend.
The following Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands Ranger Districts remain affected by high fire danger:

Open Campfire Restrictions:

  • Campfires, charcoal grills and stove fires are prohibited on national forest lands, except in Forest Service developed camp and picnic grounds where grills are provided.
  • Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns and heaters meeting safety specifications are allowed.

Smoking Restrictions:

  • Smoking is allowed within an enclosed vehicle or building; a developed recreation site; or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter and free of all flammable material.


  • As always, fireworks are prohibited on all national forest lands.

Forest Officials would also like to remind the public to please “Be Bear Aware”. Some areas of the forest have been experiencing a high occurrence of black bear sightings. Although beautiful to look at, black bears are wild creatures that can be very dangerous if provoked. Camp and picnic grounds are heavily used over the holiday. Please remember to keep your Forests free of litter.

For further information, please contact the Cibola National Forest at 505-346-3900 or visit us on the web at  You may also call the districts at:

Sandia – 505-281-3304
Mountainair – 505-847-2990
Magdalena – 575-854-2381
Mount Taylor – 505-287-8833
Kiowa & Rita Blanca – 575-374-9652
Black Kettle – 580-497-2143

What do you mean “Free Money”?

by Kelly Krauth

With all of the new stimulus package rebates, refunds and hoopla, it amazes me of how many people do not really know about the money that is now available to them through the First-Time Homebuyer’s Credit.  I recently participated in a workshop and asked this very question to a group of people.  1 of 30 people raised their hand when I asked this very question.  This made me realize that I needed to get this news out to my local community.  Now before I lose you at “first time home buyer”, did you know that a first time home buyer also means an individual who has not owned a principal residence in the previous three years?

Let me say this simply for everyone to understand.  This is a gift.  No catch and no gimmick.  Anyone who as ever wanted to buy a new home now has the opportunity to receive a gift from Uncle Sam up to $8,000 for buying a new home before November 30th 2009. »» What do you mean “Free Money”?

Summertime Approaches, And There’s Plenty To Do

by John Weckerle

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Arts, we see that there are a number of events.  These include work on the Mountainair community mosaic tomorrow, starting at 9 a.m.; a meeting of the Mountainair Gun Club on Thursday; Voices In The Wind at Gran Quivira on Saturday and Sunday; and the Tijeras Open-Air Arts Market this weekend.  For more information, see the Mountainair Announcements article.

Grow Your Own – The Rise Of The Horicultural Sneaker

by John Weckerle

Today’s gardening adventure started relatively early – before the remains of yesterday’s impotent clouds had entirely cleared from the sky.  The sounds of Rice Krispies rose in the surrounding woods.  That’s right…Rice Krispies.  I am one of those people lucky enough to have enough hearing left to actually hear the tentative tune-ups of recently emerged cicadas testing out their instruments before bursting into symphonic harmony, and the sound (as I hear it; nobody else here at headquarters can) closely approximates that audibly entertaining breakfast cereal that we enjoyed so many years ago, and many still do today.

Today’s objective was to prepare and begin planting the north bed.  Having learned my lesson last year, and having seen the benefits of temporary enclosures, the first step was to begin construction of a wind-protection setup that could be quickly converted to a full-blown mini-greenhouse should the temperature pull the sort of fast one it did last May.   I set out to create something that would be easy to water and inspect – and ended up with a running shoe. »» Grow Your Own – The Rise Of The Horicultural Sneaker

Public Service Announcement – Summer Programs For Kids In Mountainair

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Announcements, we find that summer school and the ASPIRE summer program will begin June 1.  Registration has begun.  For more information, see the full announcement at Mountainair Announcements.

New Edgewood Outdoor Market Opens Next Month

by Kelly Krauth

When I was younger, one of my favorite Saturday morning events was a trip to the farmer’s market. Wandering through the booths, picking and choosing my “prizes” for the week was something that I looked forward to.  As we look towards doing our part in the fight for a “green” community, the revitalization of the local market seems a wise choice.

On June 13th, the Edgewood “Arts and Organics Market” will open on the corner of Rt 66 and 344. As the name implies we will offer a variety of organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey, and eggs as well as the crafts and products of local artisans.   We are seeking all facets of vendors as we wish to offer enough variety to have something for everyone. Growers, Artists, Canners, Bakers, Crafters, musicians and anyone else that has a marketable product that is  produced locally is welcome to join us!

The market will be open every Saturday from 9:00 – 1:00 through September.  For more vending or other information, call Shari at 235-8285.

Happy Birthday, New Mexico Central!

by John Weckerle

It hardly seems possible that, just a year ago today, sprang into being.  A lot has happened over the past year, and we thought it might be entertaining to take a stroll down memory lane, look over our early stories, and see what, if anything, has changed.

Our debut article – Will the Grinches steal Edgewood’s music festival? – discussed the Town of Edgewood’s decision to abruptly cut all its funding for the annual music festival at Wildlife West Nature Park.  The pretext for this decision had to do with the Town’s position that funding the event represented a violation of the State anti-donation clause, an assertion that we disputed then and still dispute today.  Because the funding was terminated after the Park had signed contracts with the performers, the Park had no choice but to produce the event under its own steam.  The community came together and, with donations and other funds raised, the festival almost – but not quite – broke even.  The financial strain from this situation, coupled with the subsequent economic downturn, have put the Park in a state of difficulty, and we again ask that people consider making donations at the Park’s web site.  This year’s music festival, featuring nationally acclaimed folk performer John McCutcheon, promises to be a top-notch event, and tickets can be purchased in advance on the Park web site. »» Happy Birthday, New Mexico Central!

Public Service Announcement: Torrance County All Hazards Committee Meeting

From Arlene Perea at the Mountainair Ranger District:

Just wanted to drop everyone a short line informing you of two meetings, tonight and tomorrow night (Editor’s note: That would be Tuesday, May 12 and Wednesday, May 13).  They will be the same meeting so there is no need to attend both unless you think of different questions which you would like addressed.  Tonight’s meeting in Tajique at the Tajique Community Center at 6pm.  Tomorrow’s meeting is also at 6pm at the Torreon Community Center.

An example of some of the topics to be discussed include:
General Fire Season Outlook
Fire and Flood Preparedness – Lessons Learned
Well Head Protection
Flood Potential

This is not a Forest Service Meeting, but a meeting sponsored by the Torrance County All Hazards Committee.  Just helping get the word out.