Archive for August, 2009

Bernalillo County Fire Preparedness Meeting

From Larry Gallegos at the Bernalillo County Public Information Department:

Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Brasher is calling on all East Mountain residents to attend a Fire and Emergency Preparedness Meeting to update everyone on the 2009 fire season.

Representatives from Congressman Martin Heinrich’s office, the U.S Forest Service, Kirtland Air Force Base, the Bernalillo County Fire Department & Fire Marshal’s Office, Environmental Health and the Office of Emergency Management will be on hand. Topics will include: updated weather forecasts, weather patterns and fire behavior expected for the next few months, evacuation plans for humans and animals, and how residents can stay prepared during this fire season. There will be a question and answer period after the presentations with all the panelists.

“The recent Main Fire reminded all East Mountain residents of the need for fire preparedness,” says Commissioner Brasher. “Bernalillo County encourages  everyone take advantage of this opportunity to stay informed and prepared for any and all fires and emergencies.”

The meeting will be held on Thursday, August 27th from 6:30pm-8:00pm at LosVecinos Community Center, 478 1/2 Old Hwy. 66, in Tijeras.

On The Road Again – After A Few Bumps

by John Weckerle

As our readers know, your editor suffered a rear-end collision about two and a half weeks ago, which among other things resulted in the total loss of my 1996 Jeep Cherokee. I am still experiencing some neck, shoulder, and back pain, and trying to schedule a follow-up with my doctor, assuming he can see me relatively soon.  But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today – we’re here to talk about the search for a new vehicle.

We’d like to thank Sharon of Prudential InterMountain, her friend Mark Wiggins (owner of Casa Chevrolet, Casa Jeep/Chrysler, etc.), the folks at Rich Ford in Edgewood, and those at the Kia dealership on Lomas; while we didn’t end up buying a car from any of them, they were all friendly, very helpful, and exerted no pressure.  We’d also like to thank Russ Hayes at Prudential for his help. »» On The Road Again – After A Few Bumps

Music Festival A Success

by John Weckerle

Headliner John McCutcheon performs at this years Wildlife West Music Festival

Headliner John McCutcheon performs at this year's Wildlife West Music Festival

This year’s Wildlife West Music Festival was an unprecedented success, according to Wildlife West Nature Park founder and director Roger Alink.

According to Mr. Alink, the festival broke even for the first time since the Town of Edgewood suddenly terminated financial support last year, leaving the Park bound by contracts with entertainers and plagued by a 50% hole in the budget.  The community rallied to the Park’s support, donating money and flea market items and purchasing raffle tickets on a custom mandolin, among other prizes.  The Town’s decision – which, in the opinions of many (including this publication), was a policy or political decision wrapped in the anti-donation clause’s clothing – was hotly contested. Since that time, some Town officials seem to have come to appreciate the Park to a greater degree – Mayor Bob Stearley donated two pies for the pie auction, and Town Council member John Abrams was spotted enjoying John McCutcheon’s afternoon performance. Photos of some of the performances can be seen on Wildlife West’s music festival page.

The success of this year’s festival is significant because it shows that the Park can attract nationally – and, in the case of Mr. McCutcheon, internationally – recognized performers without the need for extensive governmental funding.  We at NM-Central would like to express our appreciation to those who have supported the Park to date and helped to keep the music festivals alive.

Everybody Loves A Parade…

by John Weckerle

…Except maybe those who don’t go to them.

The Town of Edgewood kicked off its 10th birthday celebration with its second major annual parade.  Coordinated with the Edgewood Chamber of Commerce, the parade was a huge success.  Participants marched along Route 66 from the Mail and Copy location eastward to the Red Arrow campground, waving and tossing goodies to the kids (some of them pretty big) in the crowd along the sidwalks.  Local dignitaries and state officials were joined by the Pinto Pride Marching band; equestrian and cowboy shooting groups; law enforcement and rescue organizations; miniature horses; donkeys; tractors; trucks; floats; a variety of costumed characters; clowns; and “wild animals” representing Wildlife West Nature Park.  For those who missed the parade, or who would like to see highlights to remind them of the fun they had, we’ve prepared a short photo slide show.

Harvest Time!

Blacksmith Demonstration at 2008 Wildlife West Harvest Festival

Blacksmith Demonstration at 2008 Wildlife West Harvest Festival

by John Weckerle

Later this month, on Saturday and Sunday, August 29 to 30, Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood will hold its annual Harvest festival celebrating the area’s culture, traditions, and agricultural heritage.  This year’s festivities include a wine tasting, blacksmith demonstrations, hayrides, games and stage shows, folk music, opportunities to experienc wildife up-close, many artists and vendors, a Chuckwagon Dinner featuring Syd Masters and the Swing Riders, and a Sunday morning fun run and pancake breakfast. These events are a lot of fun, and are a great experience for the whole family.  Albuquerque folks: it’s only 20 easy Interstate minutes away – and you can’t take the family to the movies (for two hours) for what you’d pay for this all-day event!

Time To Take A Deep Breath

by John Weckerle

It is a rare thing here at New Mexico Central that we discuss issues currently on the national radar, but there is an issue that has come home to roost, at least for your editor, and probably for a lot of people.  This is the issue of health insurance reform.

We have all seen the coverage of the angry exchanges over this issue, with substantial volatility being displayed by those opposed to one or the other supposed provisions of the draft legislation.  A certain degree of emotion is, of course, to be expected in these situations, but we find it a little disappointing to see so many people proceeding directly to angry words, shouting, and other displays of less-than-civil behavior.  While it may be personally satisfying, it seems quite possible that this will produce the opposite of their desired results; rarely does angry shouting change minds or garner support for a position – except perhaps among those who already support it.  In the end, it’s really just preaching to the choir. »» Time To Take A Deep Breath

Passing on Pep Boys

by John Weckerle

This seems to be our week for panning businesses – perhaps because the experience of a car accident and subsequent flat tire on the remaining family car at an inopportune time can push one to  do business with enterprises whose services are not part of the everyday need.  As previously mentioned, we ended up with a flat tire at the Wildlife West Music Festival late afternoon Saturday.  It was too late to bring the tire anywhere local, and most places are closed on Sunday.  Given that we had to go car-almost-shopping Sunday, and we didn’t want to wait until Monday to get the tire fixed, we decided to take the tire along and drop it off at Pep Boys to see if it could be repaired or, if necessary, replaced.

A little background: We’ve been having our work done locally since we moved here, but when we lived in Albuquerque, we at one point took our cars to the Firestone on Juan Tabo for pretty much everything.  After a while, under the leadership of a manager named Al, things went downhill.  Typically, we would drop a car off, get an estimated time that it would be ready, come back somewhat later than the estimated time, and find that the car had not even been looked at yet.  This got to the point where we decided never to do business with the Juan Tabo Firestone again. »» Passing on Pep Boys

Fire Update From Bernalillo County Commissioner Brasher

We received the following press release from Larry Gallegos of the Bernalillo County Public Affairs Department yeterday:

County Commissioner Michael Brasher wants everyone in the East Mountains to know that Bernalillo County is aware of the flare up in the ongoing East Mountain fire. State and U.S. Forestry personnel are fighting the fire at this time and have air support and additional resources on route.

“Bernalillo County is proactively reinforcing wild land fire crews and patrols in the area and will assist when needed,” says Commissioner Brasher.

Bernalillo County Fire Chief John Garcia adds, “The Bernalillo Fire Department is staging additional staff and equipment at Fire Station 11 to be ready to assist if the need arises.” (Fire Station 11 is located at 10838 Highway 337 in Tijeras.)

As in the case of any fire or emergency, residents should take precautions by gathering important papers, photos, etc. Always make arrangements for people with disabilities, pets and animals and always communicate your plans with other family members.

I Break For Animals

by John Weckerle

After braking to avoid hitting an animal last Wednesday, I was surprised by a loud “bang!” and the immediate experience of looking up at the ceiling in the back floor of my Jeep.  I had been hit from behind hard enough to snap the back of my seat.  We will forego discussion of the particulars pending resolution of the issue, except to say that, at this point, there is no cause for much alarm on the part of our readers. One hopes that the aches and pains, etc. will disappear completely, and sooner than later.

I will say, however, that I have been very unimpressed by the other party’s insurance agents, Berger Briggs of Albuquerque, and the carrier, Union Standard Insurance Company.  Again, we will defer discussion of the particulars until after the matter has been concluded; however, in our opinion, we found neither the agent nor the provider to be particularly stellar with respect to the way the case has been handled thus far. »» I Break For Animals

Bypassing The Buford

by John Weckerle

Last Friday, our intrepid band of restaurant-testers decided, on a whim, to give the “reinvented” Buford Restaurant a try.  The Buford, located on Highway 41 just north of I-40 in Moriarty, closed for a number of months for remodeling, and opened amidst fanfare regarding a new look and new menu earlier this year.

We were a little concerned when we pulled into the parking lot at lunch time on a Friday and saw only one car parked there.  It was perhaps even more ominous that, when we entered the establishment, there appeared to be nobody eating.  We waited patiently for our server to finish some paperwork at the front desk before taking our drink order, reviewing the menu.  Then we left and drove to the East Mountain Grill in Edgewood. »» Bypassing The Buford

Ready…Set…Wait For It

by John Weckerle

It’s almost here – the Annual Music Festival at Wildlife West Nature Park, this Friday through Sunday.  Featuring a Barn Dance Friday night and 22 shows on two stages over two days, this is the East West Mountains/Estancia Valley’s biggest music event of the year.  This year’s headliner – internationally renowned folk musician John McCutcheon – is joined by nationally recognized bands The Badly Bent and Dave Firestine & Round The House, as well as the cowboy and Western stylings of Syd Masters and other bands of statewide renown.  More information can be found on the Wildlife West music festival page, and of course tickets can be purchased online.  The lucky winner of Sunday’s fiddle contest will receive a violin donated by Encore Music. »» Ready…Set…Wait For It

Ride For The Blind – A Dream Come True For Kids

by John Weckerle

Yesterday saw a new event in Edgewood – the first annual Ride for the Blind fundraiser at the Equestrian Park subdivision on NM-344.  This year’s fundraiser, organized by Russ and Phyllis Hayes of Prudential Sandia InterMountain Real Estate of Edgewood, provided an opportunity for young blind people to ride horses and take carriage rides throughout the subdivision.  This year’s event benefitted Walkin N Circles Ranch, an Edgewood horse rescue charity.

Having watched the young people riding that day, Mr. Hayes commented on how rewarding it was to watch the participants ride: “The kids are excited and a little scared when they mount up, but by the time they make the first trip around the corral, they’re grinning from ear to ear.”

Yesterday’s event included music by Jimbo, who did a great job performing songs that lent a festive air to the activities.  Shorty’s Barbecue of Moriarty was on hand with its traditional offerings; Walkin N Circles was selling ice cream; and Prudential Sandia InterMountain Real Estate had water and cookies on hand.  The program started at about 10 a.m., and riding opportunities continued to about 2 p.m. »» Ride For The Blind – A Dream Come True For Kids

New Addition to

by John Weckerle

As requested, we are providing some photos of the newest resident at headquarters.  Meet Wilson, who is now nine weeks old and has written his first symphony.  More pictures behind the cut.

»» New Addition to

Forest Service Closures: Capilla, New Canyon, and Tajique Campgrounds

Announcement from Arlene Perea at the Mountainair Ranger District:

The Mountainair Ranger District would like to remind all visitors that although many roads have been reopened throughout the district, Forest Road #245 from New Canyon Campground to Capilla Peak continues to be closed.  This is due to the high volume of burned hazard trees remaining along the road.  Crews have been and continue to work on cutting these trees; however they pose a serious threat to any traffic on the road.  This includes foot traffic.  Along with the continued closure of Forest Road #245, New Canyon and Capilla Campgrounds are also closed due to the hazard trees as well as the possibility of flash flooding through the New Canyon Campground.  Tajique Campground on the North end of the district also continues to be closed due to the possibility of flash flooding.  With the forest reopening, we are seeing many hikers within these areas.  Hikers are asked to use the adjacent trail (New Canyon Trail) to access this portion of the forest, but no camping is allowed in Capilla or New Canyon campgrounds.  District Ranger Karen Lessard said “These areas continue to be post-fire work zones so we ask that visitors stay away from these areas for your own safety as well as the safety of our crews.”

The Mountainair Ranger District has also received a high volume of calls regarding the availability of fire wood cutting areas.  We currently have 3 wood cutting areas open, however all permits have been sold for these areas.  Our crews are working diligently to open another area soon.  To find out the availability of permits, please call the Mountainair Ranger District at 505-847-2990 before visiting to buy a permit.