Archive for April, 2010

No Soup For You! Well, Okay, Soup For You…And Definitely For Me

by John Weckerle

Your editor has been (and remains) a longtime fan and customer of the May Café in Albuquerque.  However, there is one thing that may not be the May’s strong suit, and that is vegetarian soups.  They’re actually pretty honest about this, if one asks; the vegetarian soups are not as flavorful as their meat-based varieties.

Enter Café Trang, which is located just south of Louisiana Blvd. and Central Avenue in the former location of the Arirang Asian market (just south of the market’s current location, and diagonally across from the May).   When I’m in the mood for a bowl of spicy vegetarian lemongrass soup, this is where I go to satisfy the craving.  The soup is hearty and flavorful, with an excellent balance of vegetables, tofu, and noodles – and the vegetables are cooked just to my taste, with just the right degree of crispiness.  I usually pair it with an order of vegetarian spring rolls, which comes with a serving of Thai peanut sauce for dipping.  Service has typically been excellent and friendly, and prices are reasonable.

One warning about the soup: I always specify a small bowl, which is not that small; ordering anything bigger threatens to trigger the “never eat anything bigger than your head” rule, especially when combined with the spring rolls.  Of course, ordering a medium or large bowl means you get to have it again the next day.

Spring Has Sprung, Or Is/Will Be…And There’s Plenty To Do!

by John Weckerle

The first weekend of May always brings plenty of outdoor fun to the area, and this year is no exception. We’ve received notice of a number of events planned for this Saturday and Sunday, including:

  • This Saturday and Sunday, May 1 & 2, Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood will hold its annual Green Energy Fair and Wind Festival.  This is a great opportunity to learn a little about renewable energy, see (and even buy) some great kites, and – of course – visit Wildlife West’s enhanced zoo.
  • High Desert Riders, a regional equestrian group, will hold their fifth annual livestock sale and flea market this Saturday, May 1, in Edgewood.  There will be opportunities to buy or sell livestock and equestrian-related items, and mini-clinics will discuss subjects associated with rabbits, goats, sheep, chickens, and horses.  For more info, see the event flier.
  • This weekend will also mark the opening of the season at the Tijeras Open Air Market on Old Route 66, featuring “exciting artists” and “exciting new crafts.”  Festivities will include music by Gene Corbin and Susan Clark (separately) on Saturday, and the Southwest String Band on Sunday.
  • Local artists and craftspeople will also be on hand in front of the Triangle Grocery in Cedar Crest.
  • According to our friends at Mountainair Announcements, a community garden meeting and workday is scheduled for this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Mojave Rose in Mountainair.  For more information, see the Mountainair Announcements article.

It certainly seems as if there will be plenty to do out in the fresh air this weekend.  Cool, but not cold, temperatures should put a spring in our steps.  Have fun out there!

Public Service Announcement: American Cancer Society Relay For Life – Estancia Valley Kickoff Meeting

The kickoff meeting for the Estancia Valley’s ACS Relay for Life will be held this coming Sunday, April 25 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  at the East Torrance Water Conservation District Educational Building.  A light dinner will be served.  For more information, see the event flier.

The Wall, All In All…

by John Weckerle

One of our earlier articles, What’s A Chamber For? has unexpectedly mutated into a debate over the constitutional basis of the “wall between church and state.”  Because so much time has passed between the publication of the article and the resumption of comments, and because it’s an interesting subject, we’re providing a brief mention here to make sure that all the original participants are aware that the discussion has continued.

Grow Your Own: The Fantastic Four – Rise Of The Silver Sprout

by John Weckerle

Salad On The Hoof: Got Romaine? All you need is a pot, soil, water, some seeds, and a sunny window.

This past winter was a time for some, well, interesting discourse on global climate change.  “Skeptics” local and nationwide heaped criticism on the concept, often using the winter weather as a springboard to dive into the muddy waters.  Well, winter’s over, and it’s time to start growing – although we’ll have a brief mention of the previous season’s severity before we’re through.

Sprouts – though not those referenced in the title; again, that’s for later – are up!  Tomatoes, kale, and chard were up three weeks ago.  We started with tomatoes and green bell peppers to get a head start on our short season, and spinach, kale and chard because of their wonderful cold tolerance.  In fact, we started spinach very early.  Unfortunately, a mouse got in during some remodeling, and decided to dine on our spinach sprouts.  Spinach seeds planted later have just poked up above the soil surface. »» Grow Your Own: The Fantastic Four – Rise Of The Silver Sprout

Concert Tonight In Mountainair

by John Weckerle

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Announcements, we find that the Double D Wranglers, a cowboy music and entertainment group from Nebraska, will be playing tonight starting at 7 p.m. at the Brazil Auditorium in Mountainair.  For more information, see the Mountainair Announcements article and the group’s web site.

A Little “Exposure”

by John Weckerle

Your editor has been informed that two of his photographs will be published in the July edition of New Mexico Magazine, which will be “on the stands” June 20.  The photos – one of a peregrine falcon in flight, and one of peregrine expert Tom Smylie working with a falcon during a demonstration at Wildlife West Nature Park – were provided free of charge in support of the Park.  Wildlife West holds free flight falcon shows during its Harvest Festival and as part of its weekly Chuckwagon Suppers, held each Saturday during the summer.

Public Service Announcement: Estancia Basin Water Planning Committee Canceled

The meeting of the Estancia Basin Water Planning Committee scheduled for Thursday, April 15, 2010 has been canceled.  The next meeting is scheduled for May 20, 2010 and will be held in Moriarty at the Magnum Steel Buildings conference room.

Public Service Announcement: East Mountain Fire Prevention Meeting

Editor’s note: We just received the following press release from Larry Gallegos at the Bernalillo County Public Information Office.


Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Brasher is calling on all East Mountain residents to attend the first Emergency Management Fire Prevention Meeting of the 2010 fire season. Representatives from the Bernalillo County Fire Department & Fire Marshall’s Office, the Office of Emergency Management, U.S Forest Service and others will be on hand. Topics will include:  preparing for a fire, evacuation plans for humans and animals, weather patterns and fire behavior expected this year and how residents can get ready for the upcoming fire season. There will be a question and answer period after the presentations with all the panelists.

“I hope that East Mountain residents take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about preparing themselves for fire dangers and to see what Bernalillo County is proactively doing to help them in case of a fire,” said Commissioner Brasher.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 21st, from 6:30pm-8:00pm at Los Vecinos Community Center, 478 1/2 Old Hwy. 66, in Tijeras.

Public Service Announcement – Mountainair School Health Advisory Committee Meeting

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Announcements, we find that the local School Health Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m.  For more information, see the Mountainair Announcements article.

Senator Visits Estancia Valley, Discusses Jobs, Health Care Reform

by John Weckerle

New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman and Local Elected Officials

New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman and Local Elected Officials

Last Wednesday, New Mexico’s senior Senator, Jeff Bingaman, addressed the Estancia Valley Economic Development Association (EVEDA) and local officials from the Valley’s communities.  Mr. Bingaman discussed two high-priority issues, job creation and health care reform.

On job creation, Senator Bingaman discussed two bills already passed: the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the recently passed jobs bill, commonly known as the HIRE Act.  According to Mr. Bingaman, the State of New Mexico recently estimated that it has been awarded $4.3 billion in ARRA funds.  According to the map application at the site, some of that, perhaps $3 million or more, has made it into the coverage area.   Mr. Bingaman highlighted the HIRE act as well, noting its provision for a payroll tax exemption for employers hiring new employees who have been out of work more than 60 days.  The HIRE Act also purportedly increases the amount of equipment small businesses can write off in a single year (as opposed to depreciating it over multiple years) from $125,000 to $250,000.  Mr. Bingaman expressed a hope of passing a new bill for clean energy projects.  He also made mention of the new solar equipment manufacturing plant to be built in Rio Rancho, which may employ as many as 1,500 people by 2014. »» Senator Visits Estancia Valley, Discusses Jobs, Health Care Reform

Evil Spotted In Edgewood Again This Afternoon

by John Weckerle

The forces of evil were encountered again today in Edgewood – not far from the intersection of NM-344 and Old Route 66.  That’s right, the Security Tool malware program cropped up on yet another Edgewood computer.  This makes two this year of which your editor is aware, and I’m sure the other nerds like myself computer enthusiasts in the area have been running into it as well.  We’ll refer our readers to our previous story on the issue, and suggest that everybody download a copy of the removal software and the directions.  This is one sneaky, stubborn piece of malice, and you’re looking at a couple of hours minimum to remove it.  Be extra careful with those e-mail attachments, folks!

John Weckerle: Racist? Race-Baiter? Racist-Baiter? False Accuser? Who Is This Guy?

by John Weckerle

It can be amazing how the same thing can mean different things to different people, and how easy it can be to get drawn into discussions of issues that one considers perhaps less than earth-shaking.  Your editor has recently been in a discussion at (thread here) regarding certain aspects of incidents in front of the Capitol Building leading up to the passage of the health care reform bill.  The conversation begins with discussion of whether or not racial epithets are hurled, and sort of takes off from there.  Unfortunately, there appears to be some disagreement as to the meaning of your editor’s writings, and editor Chuck Ring has taken the position that it was my intent to “paint” him as a racist despite statements to the contrary.  Mr. Ring declares himself the final authority on the meaning of my words in this regard – an assertion with which I might be expected to disagree. »» John Weckerle: Racist? Race-Baiter? Racist-Baiter? False Accuser? Who Is This Guy?

Public Service Announcment: Wildlife West Invitation to Green Energy Vendors

Editor’s note: The press release below is an invitation to vendors to participate in the annual Wind Festival and Green Energy Fair at Wildlife West Nature Park next month. The invitation would appear to include exhibitors as well as vendors.

Invitation to participate in our free wind festival and green energy fair at Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood, NM.  Any vendor that has anything to do with green energy or the wind should consider coming to our 9th annual festival on May 1,2 from 10-6 daily.  Our e-mail is  if you would like to join us.  There is no fee for any vendor qualified by doing any education or having products or services relating to our theme of green energy and or wind gadgets or kites.   Please join us for the fun and opportunity to meet and greet our visitors.

Thank you,  Roger Alink  263-9453

Ah, Spring… You @^(&#!!

by John Weckerle

Many of us here in central New Mexico looked forward to sunny weather this Spring – finally, a chance to go outdoors without having five pounds of mud clinging to each foot as soon as we stepped out the door.  Well, the mud is mostly gone, but our other great friend, pollen, has stepped up to the plate just in time to make the outdoors a no-man’s land for many allergy sufferers. With a nice, wet El Nino winter behind us – and, according to the National Weather Service, an El Nino Spring ahead of us – trees are spewing forth pollen in a reproductive frenzy.  The pollen indices (from for Edgewood for today through Monday are 10.8, 10.6, 11.4, and 11.4 (out of 12).  Combined with the recent high winds, this has wrought havoc with the noses of New Mexico, and with very little precipitation and plenty of wind predicted for the next week or so, the immediate future is looking a little bleak for those who suffer from exposure to tree pollen.

It has to blow itself out eventually.  In the meantime, there’s a silver lining; this must be a windfall (pun intended) for the pharmaceutical companies.