Archive for June, 2009

Something Musical This Way Comes

by John Weckerle

As August approaches, so does this year’s music festival at Wildlife West Nature Park.  Featuring such acts as John McCutcheon, the Badly Bent, Dave Firestine and Round the House, and Syd Masters & The Swing Riders among many others, the festival will provide plenty of opportunities for listening and other fun – and, of course, access to the zoo.   The festival is being held at the same time as the Town of Edgewood’s Run, Rally and Rock celebration, a cooperative effort between the Town and the Chamber of Commerce, and shuttles will reportedly make it easy to get to and from both events.  For more information on the music festival, see the Wildlife West Nature Park site.

While we’re on the subject, we’d like to remind our readers that the Park is still in need of donations to help support its continued operation.  Wildlife West provides outstanding educational opportunities for people of all ages, and employment for many of our local young people during the summer.  Donations can be made by credit card on the Park’s web site, and of course they can accept checks through the mail and cash in person.  If you can afford it, we ask that you consider donating what you can – donations of any size will help.

Some Fire Restrictions Lifted

by John Weckerle

According to a press release received issued Thursday, fire restrictions on the Mountainair Ranger District and the Kiowa and
Rita Blanca National Grasslands effective Friday, June 26th were to have been lifted last Friday.  Moisture and higher humidity have resulted in a decreased fire danger.  The press release cautions those building campfires to use caution, including taking the following steps:

  • Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten
    stumps, logs, dry grass, pine needles and leaves. Pile extra wood away
    from the fire.
  • Clear the area down to bare soil.
  • Keep your campfire safe and small, especially when it’s windy.
    Never leave your campfire unattended.
  • Drown the fire with water & dirt, stir remains, add more water and
    dirt, and stir again.
  • Do not bury coals as they can smolder and re-ignite later.
  • Make sure your fire is dead out before leaving.

As always, fireworks of any kind are prohibited.  For more information on fire restrictions in the Cibola National Forest, see their web site at

Un-Muddying The Waters

by John Weckerle

We have received additional information on the status of the Edgewood sewer project.  According to our source, the 180-day clock did not, in fact, start as of the date of Mayor Bob Stearley’s previously-referenced letter to The Independent, and will not start in the immediate future.  Rather, the Council must formally award the contract, after which paperwork associated with contractual relationships between the Town and the contractor would be processed and the contractor would have to be bonded.  The 180-day clock, therefore, would not begin until sometime in early August and would, theoretically, run out in  February/March 2010, missing the Mayor’s March prediction that it would be completed this year. »» Un-Muddying The Waters

Edgewood Projects Progress, But More Planning Needed

by John Weckerle

In this week’s edition of The Independent, Edgewood Mayor Bob Stearley updates us on the status of a number of Town projects. We have a few thoughts on what we read in The Independent.

First, we’d like to suggest that the Town post these status reports on its web site rather than relying exclusively on the local newspapers to distribute the information.  That way, it would be easier to peruse the information at later dates.  This should be a relatively simple task.

With respect to content, we note that Mr. Stearley had already reported the completion of the sign ordinance (see our March 27 article) in a Guest View in the Mountainview Telegraph. Most of the other projects discussed are in the planning stage.  We are glad to see that the Town now has a full complement of police officers.  The sewer presents an interesting challenge: the latest update is that construction is anticipated to take 180 days – and there were only 190 days left in the year as of the date of Mr. Stearley’s letter to The Independent (Mr. Stearley had previously indicated that the sewer would be completed this year).  That leaves little leeway for delays.  We have not heard yet whether rates had been set, an effort that was also underway in March. »» Edgewood Projects Progress, But More Planning Needed

A Little More New England

by John Weckerle

Photo - Tree In Fog Along The White River in VermontWe left New England Tuesday for the second leg of our trip, taking an Amtrack train to Pennsylvania Station in New York City, and then a commuter train to Gillette, New Jersey.  Our time in New England was largely spent on graduation festivities and visiting with relatives, and the weather was, for the most part, somewhere between gloomy and rainy.  There were a few patches of sun, and at times the typically grey Vermont June weather provided an opportunity to capture a moment or two.

The natural setting of Vermont is as different from New Mexico’s as its architecture.  It is a land of forests, meadows, and pastures, and the abundant moisture make it an impressively green place.  Abundant clouds and fog bring forth a world of mist and shadow, pierced occasionally by moments of brilliant sunshine and bright reflections.  We are told that the rain and cool are normal for Vermont in June – but we did get a little sunshine the day we left. »» A Little More New England

And Now For Something Completely Different – Again

by John Weckerle

Wynona Cascade, White River Junction, VTWe join you today from White River Junction, Vermont, the first stop on our epic journey from one V to another – Vermont to Virginia.  White River Junction is the place where the White and Connecticut Rivers join forces and head seaward.  Located near the middle of Vermont’s eastern border, White River Junction has grown along with Hartford, Vermont and Lebanon, New Hampshire to form a sort of “ruratropolis;” the three towns blend into each other in such a way that one can easily move from one to the other without realizing it if one of the many little “welcome to” signs populating the roadsides.

Like much of New England, the White River Junction area is a place of winding roads and rushing water.  Tall, green meadows are found nestled among the ubiquitous forests – forests different from our own, as they are dominated by deciduous trees – oaks, poplars, and maples, maples, maples – and the understory contains ferns far more often than New Mexico’s evergreen woodlands.

Wednesday night’s dinner was at a restaurant (Authentic Italian Cuisine is all we remember of the name; it’s on Elm Street) in Manchester, NH, at which I had a very serviceable linguine with white clam sauce.  Thursday’s lunch at Yama in Lebanon was a tasty experience of sushi and other associated dishes.  A Japanese/Chinese/Korean establishment, Yama serves up an excellent sushi lunch special – six pieces of tuna roll and six assorted pieces of sushi – for well under $10.  We augmented this with their dragon roll – in this case, similar to a California Roll with unagi (cooked eel) wrapped halfway around. The other diners, who ordered various different dishes, were similarly enthusiastic about their dishes.  Dinner Thursday was courtesy of Raymunto’s, a local chain whose New York pizza rivals much of the pizza I’ve had in New York City itself.

Our trip thus far has been dominated by travel time, graduation festivities, and the associated activities, and that will continue today.  Tomorrow will bring more leisurely pursuits, and perhaps the opportunity for some scenic photography; for today, we will leave our readers with photos typical of the area: Wynona Cascade (above) and the White River (below).

White River, White River Junction, VT

Torrance County Roads Review – District 3

by John Weckerle

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Announcements, we find that District 3 Commissioner Chavez is soliciting input regarding problem roads in that part of the County.  Vanessa Vaile at Mountainair Arts is assisting Commissioner Chavez by compiling a list, a primary version of which she hopes to submit by June 30.  For more details and information on how to get a county road review, see the full announcement.

On Appointments and Administration

by John Weckerle

The agenda for the June 17 Edgewood Town Council meeting contains an agenda item: Appointment of Ms. Karen Mahalick as Town Administrator.  The selection of a Town Administrator has been a controversial issue in Edgewood in the past, and this time around appears likely to follow in that tradition.

Ms. Mahalick currently serves as the Town’s planning and zoning director.  We do not currently have access to information on Ms. Mahalick’s qualifications for the position.  However, we will note that former Town Councilor Chuck Ring, who has been watching this issue closely, has indicated that there are a number of apparent justifications being presented for this appointment (see Chuck’s blog article).  Briefly, these are: »» On Appointments and Administration

Mooning The Estancia Valley

by John Weckerle

Photo - Moon Over The Estancia Valley by John WeckerleSaturday and Sunday nights were great ones for those with an appreciation of a full moon – especially those of us who had a camera ready.  Click on the image to the right to see a full-sized copy of Saturday night’s display!

Flying Objects Identified

by John Weckerle

Weather Balloon and Jet Over New Mexico

Those of us who were out pounding rebar into the ground and setting soup cans on it (go ahead, ask us why – we dare you) this evening  enjoyed a sight worth seeing – and those of us with a camera handy should always be happy to pass it on.  The spectacular sight of a weather balloon illuminated by the setting sun is always worthy of note, but to have a jet pass so “closely” (from our point of view, of course) was a rare treat.  We hope that somebody on the plane got a great shot of the balloon.  We were actually going to post photos of this weekend’s full moon today, but we’ll hold them for a day or two given the uniqueness of today’s display. Want to know where it is now?  Check out the NASA balloon tracking page!  More photos behind the cut… »» Flying Objects Identified

Smoke In The Air

from Karen Takai, Sandia Ranger District, via Arlene Perea, Mountainair Ranger District

Hi all, As you wake up this morning you will notice a slight smell of smoke in the air. This smoke is coming from the Gila National Forest where the National Forest is monitoring  fire for resource benefits.

In this case this fire is being used as a tool to bring fire back to the landscape while increasing protection for resources such as the Gila Trout, by reducing the potential for high- intensity fires that may burn if the fuel build-up remains untreated.

For more information  follow the like to

We have received some rain but remember with the right conditions fires can start anytime so do not become complacent.

Just a thought this morning………… If this smoke was from something local would you have been ready to evacuate?  What about your animals….What if you were in town…the Sheriffs Office would be closing the roads back to the East Mountains….who would get your family and animals out……..Would your property be able to stand against a wildfire….

It is a beautiful Saturday… take a few hours to do just one preparedness project to get you that much safer and defendable in case of a major incident.

Call if you have any questions or need information to get you prepared…KT

Note: Ms. Takai can be reached at (505) 281-3304, extension 120.

Grow Your Own – Boxing Day (Part Deux)

by John Weckerle

In our last Grow Your Own article, we went through the basic construction of a box for raised bed gardening (again, with a nod to Mel Bartholemew’s The New Square Foot Gardening).  After writing that article, we moved the bed into place, leveled it, and mixed some soil.  This new bed contains approximately one large wheelbarrow (alas, the last) of the soil given to us by Roger Alink of Wildlife West Nature Park last year, one bag each of composted cotton burr and chicken compost, one 2 ft3 bale of sphagnum peat moss, the last of the harvest from our household/yard compost bin, and a dozen or so shovels full of sand.  The result is a rich and friable soil that is similar to the mix in the other two beds.  We then added the grid to the top, simply attaching three pieces of lath in each direction using sheetrock screws and providing a visual aid to help us fit our plants into their square-foot domains.  With all that done, it was time to plant and create the new critter control system.

»» Grow Your Own – Boxing Day (Part Deux)

KXNM FM Torrance County Listener Survey

by John Weckerle

The Torrance County Project Office is soliciting public input on the creation of the area’s first rural radio station, KXNM 88.5 FM via a simple, five-question survey.  The questionnaire is available in both English and Spanish.   For more information, contact Ellen Burgess or Pat Lincoln at 832-0332.

Star Party at Wildlife West Nature Park

by John Weckerle

The Town of Edgewood will host a Star Party at Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood Saturday, June 12,  starting at 8 p.m.  Area astronomers from the East Mountain Stargazers will be on hand with some impressive telescopes to show attendees such sites as Saturn’s rings, the Hubble Space Telescope, satellites, meteors, and more.  As always with the Star Parties held at Wildlife West, popcorn and cider will be provided.  The slide show for this event will be the NASA Cosmos presentation, and the festivities will include the “Who Wants To Be An Astronaut” Game.  All participants will be provided with a star map and a satellite flyover schedule.

The event will be held at Wildlife West Nature Park’s Bean Barn.  For more information and a look at the sky map for June 12, see the event flyer.

Employment Opportunities

Corrections Corporation of America CCA has 35 Job Positions available.  They have openings for Clerks, Case Managers, RN’s, Correctional Officers, and other positions.   Applications are available at the Workforce Connection Office in Moriarty, or call 832-6774 for more information.