Archive for September, 2009

Upcoming Mountainair Events

by John Weckerle

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Announcements, we find two noteworthy events scheduled over the next few days.  This Saturday, October 3, a historical reenactment/costumed living history of life during the actively occupied period of Gran Quivira will be presented as a series of tours starting every half-hour beginning at 6 p.m.  For more information, see the article at Mountainair Announcements.

Especially importantly, Central Region Educational Cooperative and  Mountainair Public Schools will host early screening for developmental issues as part of the Child Find program. If you have a child age infant to five years old, this may be a great opportunity to identify problems that may be better addressed sooner than later. Again, for more information, see the Mountainair Arts article.

Edgewood Mayor Expresses Wind Turbine Concerns

Editor’s note: has published several articles raising questions regarding Edgewood’s approach to alternative energy: Edgewood Considering Windmills Without Requiring Permits, Everyone Knows It’s Windy, and Edgewood Energy Planning Needs More Diverse Approach.  While we remain supportive of properly planned and sited wind projects, we wish to reiterate our concern that not all projects are appropriate for all places, and there are certainly places within Edgewood’s existing boundaries that would not likely be appropriate as sites for wind turbines.  We again call on Edgewood not to rush to judgment on this issue, and not to simply brush off concerns simply because it may take time and effort to resolve them.  Once the money is spent and a wind turbine is up and running, it’s a bit late to come to the realization that one should have looked at the project more closely.  We also caution Edgewood that the Town could well face legal action from cell tower proponents who may feel that they are receiving unequal treatment under the law if they allow wind turbines to be built without restrictions.  Of course, the cell tower proponents could go with a “stealth” design that makes the tower look like a wind turbine…

by Bob Stearley, Mayor, Town of Edgewood

It is important for the World to develop energy alternatives to oil and gas. Wind energy generated by small turbines in Edgewood, however, does not appear to be an economical choice at this time.  The cost of even a small system (~2.5 kW) is around $20,000.  A good-case scenario might be for it to be built on a 63 foot tall tower, and to be located in an area where there are no buildings, trees, or hills, and a (computer predicted) wind class of 3, where it would be predicted to generate an average of 440 kWh per month and a savings of $58 per month.  If there are buildings, hills and trees in the area, and the predicted wind class is 2, the energy generation would be 270 kWh and a savings of  $36 per month.  If the tower is 35 feet tall the (predicted) savings would be only $30 per month.  Even if the Federal Government provides $5,400 (of our tax money) to subsidize the cost, the net cost of $14,600 is still out of line with a potential return of from $30 to $58 per month. »» Edgewood Mayor Expresses Wind Turbine Concerns

Time To Circle The Water Wagons?

by John Weckerle

Today, we received the following message from Karen Torres of  Santa Fe County, forwarded by  the Estancia Valley Economic Development Association:

The Santa Fe County Water and Wastewater Operations Department will be conducting a series of public meetings to facilitate public input on proposed well locations to serve as a back-up water supply to the Buckman Direct Diversion Project.

  • Wednesday, September 23rd 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Nancy Rodriquez Center (1 Prairie Dog Loop)
  • Thursday, September 24th 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Eldorado Senior Center (14 Avenida Torreon)
  • Monday, September 28th 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Rodeo Grounds Extension Office (3229 Rodeo Rd.)
  • Tuesday, September 29th 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Santa Fe County Edgewood Satellite Office (1916 Old US 66, Edgewood)
  • Wednesday, September 30th 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Pojoaque Satellite Office (West Gutierrez, Suite 9, Pojoaque Center)

For more information, call Karen Torres at 992.9871.

Uh-oh. »» Time To Circle The Water Wagons?

Upcoming Weed Management Action

The following is a public notice from the Central New Mexico Cooperative Weed Management Area:

The week of September 21 -25, 2009, the Central New Mexico Cooperative Weed Management Area in conjunction with the New Mexico State Land Office and our Cooperators are going to aerially spray Russian knapweed on New Mexico Highway 41 one-half mile north of the intersection of NM Highways 41 and 542.  Treatment of Russian knapweed is planned for the west side of NM State Highway 41 just to the west of the highway right-a-way.  Acres planned for treatment include approximately 160 acres of State and Private Lands. »» Upcoming Weed Management Action

The Grill vs. Everybody Else

by John Weckerle

New Mexico Central has received word from Kathy Schuit of Katrinah’s East Mountain Grill in Edgewood that the establishment has entered the State Fair green chile cheeseburger contest.  According to Kathy, the grills fire up at 1 p.m. on September 22.  If you’re going to the Fair, paint up your “Sell No Holiday Before Its Time” picket signs and cheer our local establishment on.  If not, stop in to the restaurant and taste in advance what may be the next king of the hill in the State burger championship!

And Even More Annoying – In Fact “Most Annoying”

by John Weckerle

As I related my annoyance with the beyond-early exploitation of Christmas to a colleague just after our last entry, another colleague, who had overheard, popped in and told us about a grand scientific effort that had taken place some time back.  Three intrepid souls had decided to conduct a survey and ask respondents what were the things they liked the best in a piece of music – and what they found most annoying.  They then used the results of the survey to create the world’s most wanted, and the world’s most annoying, pieces of music.  The world’s most annoying piece, at about 22 minutes long, is indeed a work of art in the realm of musical irritation – an opera singer rapping and then singing “cowboy,” incessant holiday themes (sung by a jangly children’s chorus), bagpipes, tubas, pipe organs, references to Walmart and George Stephanopoulos, patriotic background singing, and more – and many at the same time.  Perhaps not surprisingly, the world’s most wanted music – a journey into soft schlock –  is perhaps more subtly odious, although it is mercifully much shorter (which may be why the worst music beats it out in the end).  At least the worst music is funny.  We invite our readers to enjoy the music and the articles to which it is attached:

The world’s most annoying music

The world’s most wanted music

Who Wants To Boycott The State Fair? And Some TV Shows?

by John Weckerle

Well, at least one of us is thinking about it.  The issue?  The incredibly irritating television commercial promoting the event.

The commercial – the theme of which is that the State Fair is like all the holidays rolled into one – features a number of people dressed in costumes representing holidays, dancing (poorly) to the Christmas song “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.”

I, for one, have been sick to death for years of the exploitation of Christmas and the cynical trend of commercial interests’ shoving one of our best holidays into our faces as much as four months in advance.  I can understand the hobby stores getting things out early – it takes time to make things for Christmas, especially if you make a lot of presents (which I do, although I’m committed to a last-minute dash most years).  But this incessant barrage of Christmas paraphernalia that begins in late August and persists through December is, to my mind, offensive.  »» Who Wants To Boycott The State Fair? And Some TV Shows?

3rd Annual Drinking for Cancer

by John Weckerle

The Lazy Lizard Grill on NM 14, just south of Frost Road, will hold its 3rd Annual Drinking for Cancer event on Friday, September 11 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.  The event will include a raffle and silent auction to benefit local resident (currently staying in Texas) Mike Moore’s battle with cancer.  Mr. Moore is undergoing treatment in Texas, and his insurance company has refused to pay for the treatments because they are considered “experimental.”  The event’s entry fee is $5 in advance and $8 at the door.  Raffle tickets are $5 each or $20 for five tickets.

September 11 Memorial Event

The following is a press release from Wildlife West Nature Park:

On Friday, September 11, 2009 the largest simultaneous white dove release in history will take place across America as a national memorial to those who died on September 11, 2001. In New Mexico the only location for this special recognition for victims and fire fighters who perished that day will be held at Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood at 10:00 a.m.

The release of white doves will take place in locations from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, in communities from large cities to small town all across America. Wildlife West Nature Park was selected as the only site in New Mexico for this national memorial in part because Tom Smylie, world-renowned falconer, will handle the release of the birds (the birds will fly back to his home in Edgewood).

The public is invited to attend and to honor those who lost their lives on this devastating day. Admission to Wildlife West is free during the day for this special ceremony. Contact Wildlife West Nature Park for additional information at 505-281-7655, 877-981-WILD (9453) or visit the Park’s web site at

Stop Calling Your Brother Names!

by John Weckerle

Lacking any significant local messes on which to comment, at least for the moment, we turn out attention to a situation that is often seen locally, and yet is symptomatic of factors at work nationwide – the nature of discourse on public issues. In a commentary posted last week that I cannot find at present, a CNN reporter bemoaned the deterioration of the way in which public debate is being conducted on a wide variety of issues. The piece was not partisan, and gently chided both sides for their behavior. It is disappointing to see how far this business can go. As the author pointed out, those holding a right-of-center view are often branded by their opponents as fascists or right-wing radicals; those to the left are likewise vilified as socialists or elitists. Especially over the last couple of decades, we seem all too eager to abandon the real subject at hand, refuse to listen to any viewpoint other than our own, accept opinions as fact, and descend immediately into name calling and accusation. We are losing our ability to listen, and replacing it with a talent for shouting. »» Stop Calling Your Brother Names!

Let’s Keep An Eye On The Science, Shall We?

Note: John Weckerle is a licensed professional geologist and has been at work in environmental consulting for 22 years.

by John Weckerle

In the August 27 of the Mountain View Telegraph, local climate contrarian Ken Johnson – now billing himself as a retired professor, although of what and from whence remains a mystery –  renews his attempt to convince us all that climate change is a farce.  In this particular case, Mr. Johnson uses a simplistic discussion of the reaction products of hydrocarbon combustion and a flawed description of carbon sequestration as a result of geologic processes.

Your editor – and others – have sparred with Mr. Johnson before.  In a 2008 response to one of Mr. Johnson’s letters, I pointed out that Mr. Johnson was using, as the basis of his argument, the thoroughly discredited “Oregon Petition Project (While Mr. Johnson appears to know better than to use this reference to support his case in letters to the Telegraph, he still uses it elsewhere, most recently in a June 11 letter to the Santa Fe New Mexican). »» Let’s Keep An Eye On The Science, Shall We?

Rep. Heinrich To Hold Office Hours At Edgewood Library

by John Weckerle

First District U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich will will hold office hours tomorrow, Thursday, September 3 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Edgewood Library, 95 Highway 344 North.  For more information, contact the Congressman’s office at 346-6781.

Permaculture Gathering In Edgewood

by John Weckerle

On October 3, 2009, beginning at noon, Dr. Christian Meuli will host the free annual permaculture gathering in Edgewood.  Permaculture, the art and science of creating human environments based on an understanding of ecological relationships, uses a systems approach to create environmentally sustainable settings that provide a positive experience for those who live in them – human and otherwise.   The effective use of resources – for example, soil, water, sunlight, and organic matter – are key elements of permaculture, as is the effective incorporation of topography.  Dr. Meuli, known locally as the chairman of Edgewood’s Parks and Recreation Committee, is one of the area’s foremost experts on and advocates for permaculture, and has used permaculture principles to create a sustainable and rewarding environment at his home.

The program will include a site tour, potluck, and presentations.  Tom Smylie, a raptor expert who has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Peregrine Fund and also conducts free-flight falcon shows and raptor courses at Wildlife West Nature Park, will discuss Birds In Our Lives.  Water artist and Keepers of the Waters Director Betsy Damon will give a presentation on “Living Water.”  For more information, see the event flier or contact Dr. Meuli at (505) 281-4871.