Archive for January, 2010

There Will Always Be Those…

by John Weckerle

…Who can’t have their picture taken without making a goofy face.

Mule Deer Buck In Snow


Let’s All Take A Break For A Well-Deserved Howl

by John Weckerle

Fell voices drifting through the night?  Maybe so, and maybe not – but regardless, tonight is the Wolf Moon. This month’s “full” moon is closer to the Earth than it will be at any time in 2010.

Enjoy it while you can, folks, because this precious resource is on its way.  The Moon is moving away at 1.6 inches every year.  For those who didn’t get a chance to see it, we took the New Mexico Central camera outside and took a shot.

Wolf Moon 2010

2010 Wolf Moon Over The Estancia Valley

PSA: Edgewood Food Pantry/Clothing Distribution Canceled For Today (01/28/10) UPDATE

from Chuck Ring at


The Roadrunner Food Distribution and the Civitan Club clothing distribution in Edgewood has been canceled for today in Edgewood due to to weather and road conditions.

The organizers for both events will reschedule as soon as possible, hopefully within two or three days.

Please check back here for additional information.

Even In This Weather

by John Weckerle

Life goes on for our feathered friends.  This little guy paid a visit to New Mexico Central headquarters just a while ago.

Robin In Juniper With Snow

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor…

by John Weckerle

…Who, in this case, also happens to be your editor. I have recently added over a dozen new designs to the Adult Apparel and Kids & Juniors Apparel subsections of the Uncle John’s Critter Club section of Uncle John’s Place, and invite you to have a look. There are also some new mugs in the “Uncle John’s Other Stuff” section.

Winter Storm Dumps Major Snow Load (So Far)

Sedillo Hill camera at 8:33 a.m.

by John Weckerle

Snow is falling heavily here at New Mexico Central headquarters, and has been since sometime during the night.  Depending on where we dig, we can see anything from eight inches to a foot.  Areas shoveled less than half an hour ago are under two to three inches of snow already.  Road reports are not encouraging, and neither are the roadside camera shots from  Cameras at I-40 & NM 14, and at Carnuel, are iced over, with no image available except for the ice on the camera.  The I-40 & Zamora Rd. Camera shows some snow in both lanes, and having looked at two consecutive images, we think it may be getting worse there.  The Sedillo Hill camera shows at least some snow in all lanes – and both cameras show snow still falling. According to, the following schools in our area are closed:

  • East Mountain High School

    Senior Meteorological Correspondent Wilson Taking Scientific Snow Depth Measurements

    Senior Meteorological Correspondent Wilson Taking Scientific Snow Depth Measurements

  • Edgewood Christian School
  • Mountainair Junior High
  • Albuquerque Public Schools East Mountain Schools
  • Estancia Municipal Schools
  • Moriarty-Edgewood Schools
  • Mountainair Public Schools

TCPO To Go Transportation and the Estancia and Moriarty Magistrate Courts are also closed.  If we’ve missed any schools, we’d appreciate it if our readers would let us know.

Lest the local climate change “skeptics” get too excited, let’s remember that winter storms of this nature (and the frequency with which they’ve been occurring) are typical of El Nino conditions – a warming of surface waters in the Pacific Ocean.

DA Opinion – David King Cleared In Ethics Review

by John Weckerle

This morning’s Albuquerque Journal reports that, according to a review by the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office, PRC member David King’s “actions are within statutory requirements” with respect to his former minority ownership interest in Estancia Basin Water.  The issue was reviewed by the DA’s office because of Mr. King’s family and business relationships with Attorney General Gary King.  For more information, see the Journal article.

Huge Solar Plant Comes To Santa Rosa Area

by John Weckerle

Santa Rosa is usually a little east of our coverage area, but this news is big enough for New Mexico Central.  As reported in the Albuquerque Journal, GA-Solar, a subsidiary of Corporación Gestamp, will invest $1 billion in a 2,500 acre photovoltaic array with a capacity of up to 300 megawatts (MW).  According to the Journal article, the project will temporarily employ 300 workers during construction, with 75 permanent jobs being created for the plant’s operations.

For more information, see the Journal article.  Congratulations, Santa Rosa and Guadalupe County!

Out Of The Frying Pan…

by John Weckerle

We return after a brief hiatus, during which your editor was working on a project with an aggressive deadline.  That project was unique in that the associated travel last week – to Pasadena, California – provided the opportunity to experience last week’s storm twice: once there, and once here.

Now that most of the snow has melted here at New Mexico Central headquarters, we find ourselves again awaiting another, and apparently this one is going to be a doozy.  With that, let us provide you with the National Weather Forecast Winter Storm Warning. »» Out Of The Frying Pan…

Public Service Announcement: Edgewood Food Pantry and Clothing Distribution

Checking in on our friends at, we find that the Edgewood Civitan Club, Edgewood Food Pantry, and Roadrunner Food Bank will be joining forces to hold a food and clothing distribution event on January 28, 2010 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., or until everything is distributed.  Food will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and there will be enough food for 100 families.  For more information and copies of the event fliers, see the article.

Dancing In Carbon Shoes

by John Weckerle

As most of our readers know, New Mexico Central has not typically focused extensively on national/global issues. Global climate change has been the subject of a single article thus far. However, given some of what we’ve been reading, we think perhaps it is time for article number two.

We have watched with some interest the exchanges in the letters-to-the-editor at the Mountain View Telegraph between Scott Brooks, Ken Johnson, and Bob Clancy, a debate into which your editor even waded once. Mr. Brooks and Mr. Johnson believe that evidence and analysis supporting the concept of anthropogenic climate change are the bogus result of some sort of vast conspiracy among the grand majority of climate and environmental scientists. Mr. Clancy disagrees, as does your editor. Mr. Clancy, to a lesser extent, myself, and others have at times looked into the issues raised by the climate conspiracy theorists and tried to correct the misconceptions presented. For the most part, the reaction seems to have been a combination of dodge, hustle, regrouping, and diversion. A tactic? Perhaps. A strategy? Well…

The issue has begun spilling over into the local blogs, with blogger Chuck Ring weighing in on the subject, referring to “man’s so-called climate change” and stating “Carbon footprints are of little interest to me at this time because it seems that the whole “global warming/climate change” effort has tumbled rear-end over teakettle … at least for now and maybe far into the future. Something about scads of emails and weather cold enough to freeze the horns off of a brass billy goat.”  Mr. Ring has made a number of other comments suggesting that he is embracing a certain skepticism on the subject of anthropogenic climate change, apparently on the basis of the notorious “Climategate” e-mails.  If Mr. Brooks and Mr. Johnson’s constant barrage of letters to the Telegraph didn’t make this a local issue, Mr. Ring’s entry into the discourse certainly does, as he is running for local office. With all that in mind, we’d like to address a few of the relevant claims recently made. »» Dancing In Carbon Shoes

Public Service Announcement: Family and Home Safety Fair

by John Weckerle

We’ve received word from Ellen Burgess at the Torrance County Project Office that a Family and Home Safety Fair will be held in McIntosh on Saturday, January 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The Fair, which will address such issues as child safety, disaster preparedness, quality of life, and associated subjects will also include free food and door prizes.   Presenters will include the NM Attorney General’s office, the Central New Mexico Electrical Cooperative, Torrance County Sheriff’s Department, Moriarty Police Department, the Cariño Toy and Resource Library, and many others.  For more information, see the event flier.

Mr. Johnson Goes To Washington

by John Weckerle

As reported by and the Albuquerque Journal, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will join U.S. Representative Steve Cohen and recently reunited comedy team Cheech and Chong at next Wednesday’s Marijuana Policy Project’s 15th anniversary celebration in Washington, DC.  Mr. Johnson – who claims to have quit indulging many years ago, and advocates that others do likewise – has for years been an advocate of legalizing marijuana, citing the costs and effects associated with maintaining its illegal status.

Mr. Johnson is reportedly thinking seriously about a 2012 Presidential bid – and thinking aloud,  having set up a political advocacy committee,  as well as what appears to be the beginnings of a campaign web site.  New Mexico Central is not generally in the habit of endorsing candidates for political office, but if nothing else, a Johnson foray into the fray might make the campaign more interesting than it might be without him.

Public Service Announcement – EBRA Annual Meeting This Saturday

by John Weckerle

The Estancia Basin Resource Association (EBRA) will be held this Saturday, January 16, at 2 p.m. at the East Torrance Soil and Water Conservation District Educational Complex, located at 700 South 10th Street in Estancia.  Scheduled events include election of directors; speakers including State Senator Sue Wilson Beffort, Ryan Schwebach of the Estancia Basin Water Planning Committee, and a representative of the State Engineer’s office; and distribution of door prizes.  Mr. Schwebach will be discussing the update to the regional water plan and the path forward.

Grow Your Own – A Grower’s Work Is Never Done

by John Weckerle

Indoor Herbs

Even with daytime temperatures well into the forties recently at New Mexico Central headquarters, it’s still far too early for outdoor gardening. So what is a frustrated, would-be gardener to do?

Garden inside, of course.

Indoors is a great place for a miniature herb garden.  I’ve found it easy to grow some of my most often-used herbs – for example, basil, dill, and cilantro, shown here – using a couple of plastic window boxes and some plain old Miracle Gro potting soil.  The box in the foreground contains the “next generation” – seeds started yesterday to help provide a more-or-less continuous supply of fresh, flavorful herbs. A couple of “select-a-size” paper towels are serving as mulch to keep the soil from drying out while the seeds are germinating.

Not shown here are the spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce recently started at the other end of the room.  Leafy green plants do just fine in the standard stuff – but fruiting plants like tomatoes may not produce well or may produce small fruit with this soil, as it is higher in nitrogen and lower in phosphorus than tomatoes and similar crops seem to like.  Last year, we tried using unamended Hyponex potting soil for indoor tomato growing, but found that it hardened more than we liked if allowed to dry.  This year, we may try a blend – Hyponex to tone down the fertilizer in the Miracle Gro, which will provide organic matter to keep the soil from hardening too much.