Archive for July, 2009

Possible Mobile Meth Lab Discovered In East Mountains

by John Weckerle

Hikers in the Manzano Mountains were surprised to discover two unattended backpacks at about 1:30 yesterday afternoon, near mile marker 26 on NM 337.  One of  the backpacks was smoking, and the hikers flagged down a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy, who called in the APD bomb team and hazmat (hazardous materials) personnel.  Examination of the backpacks revealed the presence of “chemicals and other items consistent with a meth lab,” according to Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department representative Erin Kinnard Thompson.  Ms. Thompson indicated that the investigation is ongoing.

It’s A Dog’s Life – Mine, At Least For Now

by John Weckerle

Our readers may have noticed a brief hiatus since last Saturday.  On that sunny and hot day, we chose to visit what we thought was a food festival at the Triangle Grocery – but which turned out to be a small arts and crafts fair.  We understand that there was some food inside – but we never really got the chance to sample the food or look over the arts and crafts.  My wife spotted the Animal Humane folks at the east edge of the parking lot, and suggested that we stop there first.  We’ve been talking about getting a dog for about a year, and nearly adopted one a couple of months ago (at the last minute, the current owners decided to keep her).  We looked over the occupants of the big RV in which they transport the dogs, and visited with one or two outside before hunger overcame the other folks in the group, and we needed to pop over to the Greenside Cafe for lunch (I had the Funky, a vegetarian sandwich that changes periodically – this time, an excellent portabella mushroom sandwich).  As we started in that direction, my wife noticed a puppy that we hadn’t seen.  He was an eight-week-old Chihuahua/heeler cross and very friendly, so we discussed it over lunch, went back, and adopted him.

We hadn’t really been planning on adopting a puppy, but we are having a great deal of fun.  Even the house training is kind of an adventure – each success is pretty rewarding for everybody involved.  It is, however, time consuming, and has taken up a little of the time I usually set aside for writing.  He’ll be house trained soon, and the articles will increase in frequency.

One disappointment – I called the Town of Edgewood, and found that they have discontinued their dog training classes.  We’ll be checking with Animal Humane to see what they have available; alternatively, I suppose we could enroll in Petsmart’s classes.  If any of our readers know of something of good quality available locally, we’d love to hear about it.

Grow Your Own – All Quiet On The Squirrel Front – Sort Of…

by John Weckerle

We have finally begun harvesting zucchini and yellow squash, and it looks as if it will be a bountiful summer at least as far as that goes. There are more that are within a day or two and, depending on how fast they grow, we may be looking at calabacitas, zucchini parmigiana, or both – or something else entirely.  Several small eggplants are in the early stages of development, and small tomatoes are everywhere.  The empty sections of Bed 1 have been replanted with lettuce, spinach, string beans, and green onions (all from seed) and chard seeds have been added to the existing sections to bring us a continuing yield. While it may seem a little late to be planting seed, remember that we experimented pretty successfully with covering Bed 1 last year (see article). »» Grow Your Own – All Quiet On The Squirrel Front – Sort Of…

Return To Gordon’s

by John Weckerle

On May 29, we reviewed the newly opened Gordon’s Italian Restaurant on North 14, at the former location of Kokopelli’s Restaurant.  We returned to Gordon’s last night, and are pleased to report that things now seem to be running smoothly, and the service issues we discussed in our first review appear to have been resolved. »» Return To Gordon’s

Look – It’s Bird! It’s A Plane! No, It’s A Nebula!

by John Weckerle

A reminder: The last of this year’s series of Oak Flats Star Party and Astrophotography Boot Camp events, presented by the Albuquerque Astronomical Society  is scheduled for this Saturday, July 25 th – weather permitting, of course.  For more information, see our May 27, 2009 article.

Nine Individuals Detained At Sedillo Hill Exit

by John Weckerle

Photo - Detained individuals at Sedillo Hill exit

Undocumented immigrants at I-40 Sedillo Hill exit

This photo, taken a little after 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 11 at the I-40 Sedillo Hill exit, depicts eight men and one woman (not clearly visible in this photo) in the custody of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department.  Other than the two law enforcement vehicles, no other vehicles  were present.

According to Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department representative Erin Kinnard Thompson, the people shown here were detained during a traffic stop for a routine violation.  Ms. Thompson indicated that “they were apparently undocumented immigrants and were turned over to immigration officials.”


by John Weckerle

As all can tell, we have finally upgraded to the latest version of WordPress and changed the design of the blog.  We’ve done this to take advantage of the spam control, nested commenting, and other new features of WordPress 2.8.2 – not to mention the opportunity to exploit a little more of the “real estate” on our viewers’ screens.  Why did we take so long?  Well, our previous version was old enough that we had to take some elaborate steps to ensure that our content would not be eliminated.  Everything seems to have worked well, and we hope that we are providing a more enjoyable experience.

We will be replacing the header image with something more regionally appropriate relatively soon, and are planning some other potential changes, as well.

A Firehose In The Sky

Update: New Mexico Central received a total of 1.6 inches from yesterday’s storm, according to our rain gauge.

by John Weckerle

As I rode through Tijeras Canyon this afternoon, having finally escaped the 15 mph, storm-related slowdown on approach to Tijeras, I found myself listening to the dulcet tones of the emergency broadcast system klaxon.  The system informed me that Albuquerque and eastern Bernalillo County were subject to flash flood warnings, and further clarified that some areas had received 2 inches of rain in 30 minutes.  I arrived home just as the storm did, just a bit after 6 p.m., and was greeted by the sound of hail hitting the garage roof; it had started literally a second after I pulled in.  A true gully-washer ensued, dropping about an inch in the first 20 minutes.  It has been raining steadily since, and as of 8:40 this evening, we’ve measured 1.4 inches.

With the supply in the rain harvesting tanks nearly exhausted, this is all more than welcome.  We do hope the hail – which was only pea-sized – didn’t do too much damage.  We’d be interested in hearing how our readers fared, and how much rain you got!

Who Will Win The Battle?

Editor’s note: Thanks to Mountainair Announcements for the heads-up on this event.

by John Weckerle

That depends on who plays best – in this Saturday’s Battle of the Bands at Estancia’s first annual Teen Fest.  Teen Fest, to be held beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 25 at Estancia Park in…well, Estancia, of course… includes the Battle of the Bands, a teen art and music festival, and a Guitar Hero competition. For more information, call 384-1092 or stop by the Estancia Town Office.

Teen Fest comes to us via the Teen Outreach Program (TOP), available thanks to the efforts of the good folks at the Torrance County Projects Office (TCPO). According to the New Mexico Department of Health, the TOP is “a school and community-based program designed to prevent teen pregnancy and academic failure, and to promote positive youth development.” There are opportunities for community service, classroom discussions, activities, and developing life experience. For more info, see the TOP flier or contact TOP at 384-1092 or 832-0332.

Accident Takes Life Of Edgewood Teen

by John Weckerle

We received e-mail messages from Edgewood Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Friday Robin Foshee regarding an automobile accident that took the life of Ariel O’Dwyer of Edgewood last Tuesday.  Tyler O’Dwyer, Ariel’s brother, and Michelle Popkes were very seriously injured in the crash.  Ms. Foshee has set up a memorial fund (“O’Dwyer Memorial”) at Sandia Laboratories Federal Credit Union. Donations may be made at any SLFCU branch.  For more information, contact Ms. Foshee at 286-2577.

New Mexico Central Eyewitness Weather…

by John Weckerle

…in which, I go outside and witness the weather.  Nobody guessed the reference last time; maybe somebody will get lucky this time around.

Saturday night sent a swarm of thunderstorms through the vicinity of New Mexico Central headquarters, bringing us 0.1 to 0.2 inches of rain and a spectacular lightning display.  As is often the case, your editor shot some photos of lightning over the valley – but this time, in addition, decided to sieze the opportunity for a little more up close and personal look at one of nature’s most impressive light shows. Fortunately, the lightning was close enough to be breathtaking, but far enough away to be safe.

Photo - Lightning in Central New Mexico

»» New Mexico Central Eyewitness Weather…

Public Service Announcement: Rodeo!

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Announcements, we find that the Mountainair Gymkhana Rodeo  is scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday, July 19) all day at the fairgrounds off Route 55.  For more information, see the Mountainair Announcments announcement.

Public Service Announcement: Relay For Life

Editor’s Note: We received the following message from Margarita Mercure Hibbs, chairperson for this year’s Relay for Life last week, and encourage everyone to either participate or sponsor a team. This annual American Cancer Society event raises funds for cancer research.  The attachments to the message include the Relay for Life flyer, letter to supporters, and sponsorship agreement.

Hello Family and Friends,

Attached is a letter of information regarding this wonderful event.  Some of you may know that I have been organizing this event in the Estancia Valley for the last two years.  This August 1st and 2nd is my third and last year to Chair the event and it would be wonderful if you all could come out and support this special charity.  As you know, my sister Paula, my mother Margie, my cousin Chris, my Aunt Marie and my father in law all experienced the ravages of cancer.  This annual effort is my attempt to fight back against this terrible disease.

Please consider participating in this incredible event.  It is a 24 hour event spent celebrating life for our cancer survivors, remembering our loved ones who did not make it and fighting back in solidarity by raising money to find more cures and provide more services to cancer patients.  The philosophy is very simple; Cancer does not sleep, so for one full night, we will not sleep.  It would really be special to have you participate and support my last year. »» Public Service Announcement: Relay For Life

Fire Areas Open With Restrictions; Others Close

by John Weckerle

The Mountainair Ranger District lifted closure orders for the Ojo Peak, Trigo, and Big Spring Fire Rehabilitation Areas on July 2, 2009.  However, restrictions have been placed on the use of motorized vehicles within those areas.  The Tajique, New Canyon, and Capilla Peak campgrounds have been closed until December 31, as has Forest Road 245.   For more information and for updates on closures and restrictions within the Cibola National Forest, consult the Cibola National Forest Closures and Restrictions page.

Look, Up In The Sky!

by John Weckerle

Photo - Hang glider at Sandia Peak

Visitors to the top of the Sandia Peak Tramway received an unusual treat today, as several hang gliders launched from the area just north of High Finance Restaurant.  One glider headed straight toward Albuquerque, but the second worked to ride the thermals and gain substantial altitude before leaving the area.  Onlookers were heard to comment that two of the hang gliders were headed to a landing at a concert in Santa Fe.  »» Look, Up In The Sky!